Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

"All hat, no cattle" Cowboy Trump

No jobs, no wall, no good medical insurance, continuation of foreign wars, pandering to Israel, buffoonery, and  incompetence.  Trump did not capped the deficit, re-instated Glass-Steagall, controlled the cost of prescription drugs, nor pushed legislation for the modernization of the infrastructure of the country.

If the orangutan starts a war with Iran, he needs to be impeached. I say this as someone who held my nose and voted for the orangutan.

Janwaar Bibi,  Comment in the American Conservative, April 9, 2019

News US Presidential Elections of 2020 Recommended Links Trump as America’s First Zionist President Jared Kushner Israel lobby "Trump is insane" meme Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Trump foreign policy is the continuation of the neocon foreign policy
Trump tax cut for the rich Trumpcare scam and staggering incompetence of Trump administration Trump as rabid militarist Syria civil war Iran saber-rattling Korea saber-rattling Venezuella: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya? Reversal of planned detente with Russia Civil war in Ukraine
Trump2016 foreign policy platform Trump2016 immigration platform Trump2016 economic platform Assange and Wikileaks Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Steele dossier Strzokgate MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution
Hawks in Trump administration Mike "we killed 200 Russians" Pompeo John Bolton Elliott Abrams Nikki "Binomo" Haley -- yet another female neocon in best Madeleine Albright style Gina Haspel and dead ducks storyl Ivanka Trump -- Lady Macbeth of Trump administration Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump: the appointment of the special prosecutor gambit Israeli support of headchoppers and air raids on Syria military infrastructure
Trump as a puppet of the Deep State War is Racket Trump version of gangster capitalism Complete surrender to neocons Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Anti Trump Hysteria Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few NeoMcCartyism Anti-Russian hysteria
The Deep State  Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite National Security State Big Uncle is Watching You Media-Military-Industrial Complex Non-Interventionism  Two Party System as Polyarchy DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Nation under attack meme New American Militarism American Exceptionalism
Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs   MSM as attack dogs of color revolution FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor

National neoliberalism

 
In 2016 Trump promised to drain the swamp. He drained a small patch of neocon swamp and put all those bottomfeeders from this patch in his cabinet.

It's increasingly hard to view Trump as an American president. I don't know exactly what the hell he is, but he obviously spends more time working for Israel and Saudi Arabia than he does doing what the American people hired him to do. Israel's Netanyahu and that Saudi Arabian prince who kills journalists seem to get everything they want from Trump, but America gets zilch.

No wall, no infrastructure, no America First foreign policy. The stuff he has delivered, we didn't want it: more immigrants, the biggest national debt in history, more Mideast wars.

Voted Trump in 2016. Never again. And not just "never again". I hope Mueller or some other competent law enforcement type gets him dead to rights and puts him and his corrupt associates in prison. A shame they can't put him in the same cell as Hillary Clinton.

Practical Matters, March 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

...my thesis is not that the current American political system is an inspired replica of Nazi Germany’s or George W. Bush of Hitler. References to Hitler’s Germany are introduced to remind the reader of the benchmarks in a system of power that was invasive abroad, justified preemptive war as a matter of official doctrine, and repressed all opposition at home — a system that was cruel and racist in principle and practice, deeply ideological, and openly bent on world domination. Those benchmarks are introduced to illuminate tendencies in our own system of power that are opposed to the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Those tendencies are, I believe, “totalizing” in the sense that they are obsessed with control, expansion, superiority, and supremacy.

Sheldon Wolin


Abstract

Trump voters hoped that Trump will be like FDR "betrayer of his class". But he proved to be like Obama "betrayer-in-chief" of his voters

He got to the WH not on his own merits but as a middle finger to the neoliberal establishment from the working class (which abandoned neoliberal Dems) and lower middle class. Who experienced declining standard of living for 30 years now and only in 2016 decided to speak out (Clinton correctly calculated that "they have nowhere to go" and it works after he sold Dems to Wall Street for more then twenty years). So Trump was in essence a protest candidate and his strong/weak points did not matter much ("anybody but Hillary mentality"). Now the situation changed. 

With his wet kiss with Netanyahu and allowing Adelson's protégé Bolton and Pompeo to define foreign policy, Trump switched from MAGA to MIGA("Make Israel Great Again") : Trump is turning all of Israel’s “asks” into American foreign policy moves, doing things that previous presidents of both parties rejected or refused to do, in some cases because they put the security of the United States at risk.  

Trump dependence on Adelson's money for his re-election campaign and avid Zionist (and a member of shady orthodox Jewish sect, rumored to be connected with Mossad) Jared Kushner presence in WH (as well as Aldelson's protégé Bolton and Pompeo) adds insult to injury.

With complete betrayal of his voters he now looks like Republican Obama, like another master of "bait and switch" manuver. That means that at this elections we will have the category of "anybody but Trump" voters.

Obama won his reelection bid. Can Trump repeat the trick ?  In fact most US Presidents since Nixon (with the exception  of Carter and Bush Sr) were reelected. Often despite complete betrayal of voters (Clinton, Obama). One of the important factors is whether the USA slips into recession in  2020. If so Trump chances are considerably diminish.

Introduction

First of all, it is obvious that Donald trump will fully fulfill his current presidential term in the White house.  And most probably will be Presidential Candidate from the Republican Party in 2020 elections. Accordingly, the "tradition" of re-election of the current US presidents, which has been consistently maintained since Bill Clinton works in his favor.  But Trump sails into recession he is finished.

One factor in Trump favor is that  Democratic Party field now is really crowded and the apparent leader is older then Trump (Bernie Sanders is 77)

So there are many "known unknowns" in the current race. But as for the results of Trump two years in power most key facts are know. We can speak about

Some  of this items in Trump score card are covered below, but here is a pretty biting satire  that summarizes Trump 'achievements" much better that I ever could (from a comment at zerohedge.com, Apr 15, 2019)

Dear President Trump:

Tears came to my eyes - happy tears - when you were elected! A seemingly impossible feat was accomplished that day in November.

I understood when you faced tremendous resistance in your first 200 days from Demorats. It seemed you were unphased and determined - all was good.

Good night, and good luck.

Trump betrayal

Trump surprise victory in 2016 has shown that back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy  that they actually elected Donald Trump president, despite his obvious flaws, just to show middle finger to the neoliberal establishment. 

But the part of Trump voters that sincerely believed in his election rhetoric and  assumed that  Trump like FDR before him is the traitor of his class and will institute the necessary reforms to help blue-collar workers and lower middle class is up to a rude awakening. 

The part of Trump voters that sincerely believed in his election rhetoric and  assumed that  Trump like FDR before him is the traitor of his class and will institute the necessary reforms to help blue-collar workers and lower middle class is up to a rude awakening

He betrayed them both in domestic and foreign policy.  He did very little useful for the majority of his voters (blue color voters) -- outscoring of US jobs continued unabated. Trying to hide his fiasco, Trump tries to prop up the stock market and brags about low unemployment (U3 measure) but U3 measure is fake and U6 measure which is more realistic stands currently  at around 8% (Current U-6 Unemployment Rate ).  Gallup U6 unemployment  rate estimate is no longer available, but it used to be 1%-1.4%  higher then official figure, so it is reasonable to assume that in reality it is still hovering around 9-10%. Ten percent is a very scary figure which means "one out of ten."   Only during  Great Depression the US unemployment was over ten percent for several years (at this time they measured only U6, U3 was invented later to hide the real unemployment statistics):

 Unemployment Statistics during the Great Depression

Depression Era Unemployment Statistics
Year
Population
Labor
Force
Unemployed
Percentage of
Labor Force
1929
88,010,000
49,440,000
1,550,000
3.14
1930
89,550,000
50,080,000
4,340,000
8.67
1931
90,710,000
50,680,000
8,020,000
15.82
1932
91,810,000
51,250,000
12,060,000
23.53
1933
92,950,000
51,840,000
12,830,000
24.75
1934
94,190,000
52,490,000
11,340,000
21.60
1935
95,460,000
53,140,000
10,610,000
19.97
1936
96,700,000
53,740,000
9,030,000
16.80
1937
97,870,000
54,320,000
7,700,000
14.18
1938
99,120,000
54,950,000
10,390,000
18.91
1939
100,360,000
55,600,000
9,480,000
17.05
1940
101,560,000
56,180,000
8,120,000
14.45
1941
102,700,000
57,530,000
5,560,000
9.66

Official U-6 Unemployment was 10.1% in January 2017 when Trump term started, with a long term peak at 17.9% in February 2010.

The standard of living of lower 90% of the US population continued to drop (with large swats of US population living essentially in the third world conditions), good, well paying job are even more scarce, outsourcing and offshoring continues, and medical costs and the cost of education are higher then they were before.  So two years of Trump was a kind of "Trump university" training for Trump electorate.  In case of Trump university he took the money and run, in this  case he took votes and run ;-).

So far, Donald Trump has passed only one significant piece of legislation: the 2017 tax cut. Corporations and  rich were  principal beneficiaries. They already saved more than $150 billion, and over the course of a decade the Trump tax cut will probably increase the budget deficit by around $2 trillion.  It did little to nothing for key Trump voters. The tax cut was supposed to do more than just give stockholders more money. It was supposed increase economic growth, 3 percent or more at an annual rate. In reality, the expectation that the tax cut would work miracles were based on a specific story about what is holding the US economy back. And that story was all wrong. So it was a brief sugar high after which GDP growth started to decelerate.

Economics probably will work against the Trump re-election:  it is slowing  and in late 2019 or early 2020 might start slipping  into recession. While GDP is a questionable metric of economic  performance (especially in in economics with the large financial sector like the USA), the trend shown on the picture below is not favorable for Trump.

Some early sign of mental degradation

During Russiagate neoliberal MSM tried to present Trump as crazy. Throughout the campaign and Trump's first year in office, news articles, op-eds, and tweets critical of him have routinely used words such as "crazy," "insane," and "unstable" as epithets. But this is a typical war propagandaa tactics that implied demonization of the enemy, just extended to using mental health language in political battles?

Paradoxically like in case with Hillary we now are more concerted about Trump mental health because of his  narcissistic overt behaviour and the fact that he is over 70 and at this age many people already display early signs of mental degradation. Donald Trump at the time of his inauguration was older than half of the US deceased former presidents at the age when they died.

And persons over 70 usually have some mertal deseases at least at very eary stages Not necessary dementia or Alseyment (Trump father dies of Alseimer), but often mild signs of  Aphasia.  Aphasia is best thought of as a collection of different disorders, rather than a single problem. Each individual with aphasia will present with their own particular combination of language strengths and weaknesses. In a common form of Aphasia called Progressive Jargon Aphasia  speech is fluent and effortless with intact syntax and grammar, but the person has problems with the selection of some nouns. They just can't be retrieved from the memory. For example, they know that Forrester is produced by the Japanese company but can't name the company (Subaru) despite knowing it in the past, unless reminded. After that they use if effortlessly. They just can't retrieve the word from the memory.  People with jargon aphasia often invent substitutes for nouns that went "into the black hole"

Also at age over 70 the real physical and mental load of running the President Office might be neurologically destructive. At this age this level of stress and mental load greatly speed up development of any pre-existing mental conditions.  Most observer  note Trump's “psychological instability” and “unpredictable behavior.”  You can see on YouTube video how strangely he handle Melania Trump presence (he usually does pay any attention to her presence at all):

It is rumored that Trump in the past took stimulants (Adderall, a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine  which are used to treat ADHD) 

Adderall is a stimulant related to amphetamines. It’s commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, according to medical references. It is also used to enhance athletic performance and as a cognitive enhancer, aphrodisiac and euphoriant.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with heart conditions and/or high blood pressure. Of cause NYT alarmist article with the claim that high cholesterol necessarily entails additional risk should be discarded (it matter mostly for people with pre-existing heart conditions and/or procedures like cardiac stents or cardiac bypass), but for a man over 70 with not very healthy diet (Trump rumored to have unbalanced diet with way too much meat) and hectic lifestyle inherent for the President everything might matter.

While sign of mental degradation of Trump are less evident then in case of Hillary some on them are objectively present.

  1. On one documented occasion the President was unable to find his  way into the car which was standing exactly opposite the plane on  which he arrived. That happens for patients with Sundowning syndrome, a multitude of behavioral problems begin to occur in the evening or while the sun is setting.  One of observable symptoms is disorientation as natural light begins to fade and increased shadows appears. But it also happens with people who are tired, after sleepless night, or distracted by their own thoughts. Still look at the following video:

    Trump displays Sundowning - Dementia , tell tale signs #whitehouse #omg #sundowning - YouTube

  2. Trump appears to be experiencing  some signs of Aphasia (which is typical for people over 70) including declining ability to construct structured sentences and express his thoughts coherently. That does not mean that he did not think sharp. Other cognitive functions are mostly preserved, such as memory and personality This disorder effects only expressive part of the process. Aphasia is best thought of as a collection of different disorders, rather than a single problem. Each individual with aphasia will present with their own particular combination of language strengths and weaknesses. In case of Trump we can observe:

    Experts observed that Trump’s disrupted speech pattern, riddled with syntax anomalies, persistent repetitions, and constant shifts in train of thought, appears to be recent. According to the experts who have reviewed recordings of Trump’s speech in interviews from the 1980s and 1990s, he has not always suffered an apparent linguistic disability.

Here the goal is not to define the problem, but just to warn that he probably is not the person to vote for.

Trump 2016 platform

As comment in Economist's View stated  during election cycle of 2015-2016 "Trump has a four point platform that was anti-neoliberal in its essence":

  1. Non-interventionism. End the wars for the expansion of American neoliberal empire. Détente was Russia. Abolishing NATO and saving money on this. Let European defend themselves. 
  2. No to "neoliberal globalization." Abolishing of transnational treaties that favor large multinationals such as TPP, NAFTA, etc. Tariffs and other means of punishing corporations who move production overseas. Repatriation of foreign profits to the USA and closing of tax holes which allow to keep profits in tax heavens without paying a dime to the US government.  Sanctions of China for abusing  WTO.  Switch to bilateral treaties with countries instead, the move which allow more fully exploit the US dominant position in world economy (American imperialism reborn)
  3. No to neoliberal "transnational job market" -- free movement of labor including immigration (especially illegal immigration, rampant in the USA). Criminal prosecution and deportation of illegal immigrants. Cutting intake of refugees. Curtailing legal immigration, especially fake and abused programs like H1B. Making it more difficult for people from countries with substantial terrorist risk to enter the USA including temporary prohibition of issuing visas from certain (pretty populous) Muslim countries.  Building the "Trump Wall" against illegal immigration across Southern border with Mexico.
  4. No to the multiculturalism. Stress on "Christian past" and "white heritage" of American society and the role of whites in building the country. Rejection of advertising "special rights" of minorities such as black population, LGBT, woman, etc. Promotion them as "identity wedges" in elections was the trick so dear to DemoRats and, especially Hillary (gender) and Obama (race card)

Lost categories of voters

As he almost completely betrayed his 2016 election platform by his actual policies and he probably will lose certain  categories of voters. As Trumps was hypocritical on the illegal immigration issue  because he has an opportunity to do something his first year in office when Republican has the majority in the Congress but did absolutely nothing, mainly continuing his propaganda  campaign and implementing some superficial measure like  directed against arrival in the USA Muslim extremists (with the exception of Saudis of cause). Even more grave was his open and blatant betrayal of blue collar voters and lower middle class voters which can result in the defection of significant chunk of his dormer voters.  To add insult to injury he proved to be argent militarist and militarism is the most sure way to further impoverishment of the middle class.  Among them:

  1. Most of Alt-right. They are clearly betrayed. "Dump Trump" is the meme among this group. They probably go with Andrew Yang. 7 Reasons Why #YangGang Is More Than Just A Meme, by Anatoly Karlin - The Unz Review
  2. All anti-war independents. This is undeniable because of duplicity and militarism of his administration, which is dominated by Bush II style rabid neocons. Pompeo and Bolton would be perfect for Clinton administration after routine sex change operation.  Anti war voters if they have a chance, will vote for Tulsi Gabbard. Trump behaved like a mixture of a classic  neocon chickenhawk, and a school yard bully in the best style of Madeleine Albright. He almost completely betrayed this section of his former electorate and his election-time promises (withdrawal from Syria was too little too late, is incomplete and due to Trump tendency to reverse his decisions under pressure from neocons can easily be rolled back after yet another false flag)
  3. A large part of  blue collar votes.  Trump tax cut was a fake as most of what Trump did in domestic policy. It benefited manly rich and super rich such as Trump himself and his family. His revision of Obamacare essentially broke it (although he promised to improve it)  and hurts many and benefited only very few. It proved to be  enother travesty and affected voters will not forgive that Trump. There is not improvement in the standard of living of blue collar workers and lower middle class under Trump administration. Outsourcing and offshoring are continued (albeit at slower pace).  His  tax cut was joke for blue collar workers. It positively affects mostly the rich. But what is most important that he promises to bring back jobs proved to yet another Obama-style fake simply because he is completely incompetent and does not understand that this involves drastic measured,  which he will never  take.  Now I think a large part of former pro-Trump blue collar voters will support Andrew Yang:

    Many of those who energetically created pro-Trump memes in 2016 have since turned on their man. He has not built the wall, he is too attached to Israel, and it was more fun to support a rebel candidate than it has been to defend a sitting president. Depressed by the thought that even their supposedly radical outsider has become, in most substantive terms, a generic Republican, they have become more explicitly anti-political.

    Yang’s campaign was built on his concern that increasing automation will eliminate jobs and drive Americans out of their economic and social spheres of life. He fears that if unemployment and underemployment spread, people will degenerate into self-destructive and antisocial behaviors. You can see that in the surge of suicides among middle-aged Americans around the country that have brought down our country’s life expectancy over the last two years—and the fact that eight Americans are dying of opiates every hour.

    The Biggest Losers of Trump's Presidency: His Voters

    One of Yang’s proposals to avert these trends is a “Freedom Dividend”—or what is more commonly referred to as Universal Basic Income—of a guaranteed $1,000 a month to every American. This policy proposal is what has truly excited the phenomenon known as the “Yang Gang.” If America is destined to decline, they’ve concluded in a fit of cynical exuberance, they might as well at least get some money out of it. Some of them are a little more calculated, seeing the potential to take their thousand a month and spend more time on creative and social endeavors with less of a need to work. But most enjoy it as a funny, irreverent meme, raising a middle finger to the political establishment.

    Yang’s face soon began to blossom across Twitter: new, warm, innocent, and, yes, generous. In my first article on Yang, I wrote that his campaign would suffer because he is uncharismatic. It is this lack of charisma that has made #yanggang memes so entertaining. The idea of this mild-mannered software nerd dancing with stacks of hundred dollar bills on the “Yang Yacht” is so absurd that it is genuinely funny. As other Democratic hopefuls play up their love of rap or youthful fondness for marijuana in a desperate attempt to get some cool kid credibility, casting Yang as some sort of playboy works, consciously or otherwise, as a satire on modern electoral campaigning.

  4. A large part of white nationalist votes. They understand that  MAGA is not MIGA and so far Trump (and, especially his  family, especially Kushner) is more in MIGA camp than in MAGA camp.  And while they are ambivalent toward Zionism as an ideology none of them have warm feeling about Israel because of clear Israeli interference in the US politics via super-powerful and very rich Israeli lobby.  The theme of Israeli lobby undue influence  on Trump family (and especially personality of Jared Kushner) became promising  on such cite frequently visited by this category of voters as unz.com where Phillip Giraldi published several scalding article about Israeli lobby political influence. Such books as Kushner, Inc. Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump does not help Trump, iether. Here are telling quotes from Amazon reviews:

    gregory p blass

    graduate of Trumps School of ethics

    Kushner has absolutely no right to step foot into the White House, or Air Force one. He has no credentials other than a expert scammer......why the hell would he need security clearances. His background in NY real estate is suspect. He is in no way following Stephen Ross footprints. He is abusing his connections to the Oval Office which. hopefully, will surface in Mueller’s Report...

    Chef Jo March 19, 2019
    Perfect Timing. Can We Survive This?

    ...As Ivanka's father does things more out in the open, the Javanka duo flies under the radar wreaking havoc with our systems of checks and balances that have been in place for more than two centuries. The damages, the secret dealings, etc...

    Javanka may have been able to unsettle the "norms" that we have built with blood sweat and tears all in the name of the selfish almighty dollar.

    If you thought Kushner Inc.'s 666 Park Avenue was a boondoggle, we may all hopefully (thank you Robert Mueller et alia.) find out that we have all just been flimflammed like nothing before.

  5. Some ethnic voters.  That include all Arab voters (Tramp Pro-Israel stance)  and a large section of Muslim voters, a part of Asian  voters (Trump China policy). What is interesting is that  Trump was never attractive to Jewish voters as well, who tend to lean to Democratic Candidates (although Hillary was an abomination and as such an exception) 
  6. A part of Latin American voters who resent his attempt to stage a Venezuela color revolution and grab oil resources of the country.  
  7. A part of military voters as his promise to end foreign wars proved to be a fake and while Trump proved to be a dream candidate for military brass and Pentagon contractors, rank-and-file military disapprove Trump foreign policy (especially if Tulsi can be his opponent, or VP of Sanders).
  8. Some highly educated professionals votes who previously voted for him as "Not-Hillary" often crossing party lines (the author of this page belongs  to this category)
  9. Some parts of senior citizens voters as Trump policies bad effected seniors.

He probably gained in two categories of voters

He  can no  longer present himself as kind of political  "Tabula rasa" in newcomer, pristine candidate against corrupt Washington oligarchy into which one can project his/her own desires. Now he has political baggage and it is not pretty.  Looks like he is completely in pocket of neocons  and Israel lobby.  In this sense appearance of the books like Kushner Inc will do some damage among highly educated independents, who previously voted for Trump (not a major group, but still...) 

You might be surprised, but this page is the page written by former Trump supporter as is evident from the coverage of 2016 election campaign on this site.  

In one short sentence the net result of "two years of Trump" is "buffoonery."  Often very dangerous buffoonery which in foreign policy was intermixed with bulling and bizarre moves done without any consultation with key administration members, only of request of Kushner Inc.  I like how discredited by Iraq war fiasco neocons  like Max Boot or Robert Kagan derisively talk about authoritarians in foreign countries they do not like ;-)  Now we have the same problem at home, but those despicable MIC stooges will never  admit that.

In any case, this "very stable genius" proved to be impulsive and utterly incompetent, especially in foreign policy area. But usually the foreign policy of American presidents (and Trump in this case is no exception) does not have much influence on domestic political life.  An old joke about the average American voters is that "half of his brain is occupied by a hamburger, and the other half by American football" still applies. If this is true then for foreign policy there is simply no place. And for the majority of American voters, therefore, it does not matter much what the us President does outside the country and what foreign policy course he follows as long as it does not directly affect his well-being   or standard of living.

 In domestic policy Trump became a marionette of Goldman and Sachs propagating "National neoliberalism" (which includes Neoliberal Deregulation and continuation of outsourcing and offshoring with decimation of well-paying  US jobs and replacement them with McJobs and perma-temps).  His tax cut was a travesty and did not affect positively his votes, outsourcing continues, financial firms continue to loot the country, banks, monopolies like Amazon and Google and transnational companies have outsize political influence in Washington. In other words swap consumed Trump and his claim that he will drain the swamp is not a bad joke. He became a part of the swaps.

In foreign policy he became a marionette of neocons and Israel lobby and despite lesser weight of foreign policy in the US elections it definitly became Trump liability.  As Mueller investigation raised the question about foreign influence on the US elections and many understand that Russian influence is just a smoke screen hiding real Great Britain, Israeli and Saudi influence ( a well informed part of US voters think about Russiagate as  another instance of Iraq WDMs scare which brought the country into Iraq war ).

Israel lobby might  become a wedge issue in the incoming elections, and here Trump connection to Zionist donors and shady figures like Kushners might be liability. His appointment of Jared Kushner as Mid-East envoy is a classic example of both nepotism and incompetence. his cozy relations with Israel right wing Prime Minister Netanyahu also might slightly backfire depriving Trump of anti-war votes. Here is how Daniel Larison  the leading political analyst in highly respected The American Conservative magazine recently ( March 21, 2019 ) characterized Trump  attempt to ensure Benjamin Netanyahu victory in oncoming Israel elections by violating all existing international law norms and US resolutions and using the old principle "the might makes right"  (Trump Puts America Last  )

As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials:

President Donald Trump’s tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.

U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week’s meetings between Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.

No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump’s decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.

Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump’s message.

After more than two years of watching Trump’s impulsive and reckless “governing” style, it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning.

There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump’s foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

On domestic front Trump also failed measurably to fulfill his election promises. he did not built the wall. He did not stem the flow of illegal immigrants (and  how can he is he is a "national neoliberalism" adherent; national neoliberalism approves slave labor). Moreover, Trump's key promise to voters was to raise the standard of living of the middle class and create meaningful jobs. That was a blatant deception on his part, as he did nothing to alleviate the plight of common Americans who suffer under neoliberalism "without jobs, without perspectives, being  treated as disposable napkins"

Trump's key promise to voters was to raise the standard of living of the middle class and create meaningful jobs. That was a blatant deception on his part, as he did nothing to alleviate the plight of common Americans who suffer under neoliberalism "without jobs, without perspectives, being  treated as disposable napkins."

Trump did introduced changes in the US neoliberal system, converting it into a new flavor of neoliberalism which can be called National neoliberalism.  As Sheldon Wolin observed about previous administration (and this process of conversion started under Bush II, not under Trump, this is slide toward "inverted totalitarism" form of governance, where population has no voice in determining iether domestic or foreign policy:

..my thesis is not that the current American political system is an inspired replica of Nazi Germany’s or George W. Bush of Hitler. References to Hitler’s Germany are introduced to remind the reader of the benchmarks in a system of power that was invasive abroad, justified preemptive war as a matter of official doctrine, and repressed all opposition at home — a system that was cruel and racist in principle and practice, deeply ideological, and openly bent on world domination. Those benchmarks are introduced to illuminate tendencies in our own system of power that are opposed to the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Those tendencies are, I believe, “totalizing” in the sense that they are obsessed with control, expansion, superiority, and supremacy.

In this sense Trump is a very dangerous development, despite his buffoonery.  Like in Germany in  1920-1930th  immiseration of blue collar and lower middle class create a favorable conditions  for rise of ultra right.  And the remaining most staunch supporters of Trump are from the ultra-right segment of population.

The damage that the re-imposition of US sanctions is doing a great damage to Iran’s economy, but inflicting pain for its own sake is pointless cruelty. The US gains nothing from this, and it imposes high costs on the Iranian people who bear most of the burden. Actually higher oil price damages the US economy too.  This is a typical MIGA policy and Trump pandering to Zionist lobby is one of the factor that will prevent many people voting for him in 2020.  The last thing the people od the USA need is a foreign lobby stooge in the White House.  Actually Russiagate should properly be  investigation about Israel and Great Britain interference in the the US election. Russian interference is just a smoke screen designed to hide those obvious two as well as Hillary political fiasco. 

National neoliberalism is neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization, or, more correctly, where globalization was replaced by colonization (if necessary by military means) and the direct dictate and bullying. Which makes is similar to national socialism, but without national socialist domestic social policy elements. If one looks at NSDAP program of 1920 paradoxically those social demands position national socialist of 1920th to the left of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party and Trump: 

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

All that means that national socialism became now like in 1920 attractive again and in sole form is present in resurgent far-right movement all over Europe, where in  several countries they are already in power.  The USA is late to the party but  is no exception.

In no way those changes favor the 'deplorables" -- bottom 90% of the US population, which brought Trump to victory. So it would be only fair if Trump loses 2020 election. But the US political system is more complex that this simplistic reasoning  and I would not predict the result of 2020 elections ;-)

During 2016 elections Trump, with all his buffoonery and clownish acts, at least is able to offer some hope to many disenfranchised US voters and has shredded the myth of invincibility of the establishment candidate, neocon warmonger Hillary. But after coming to power Trump behaved like Bush II trying to bully its way toward world hegemony. In a way Trumpism emerged from the Pandora's box of Bush policies that destabilized the Middle East and  his "you are iether with us or against us dilemma." In the process he lost a large part of his votes, including anti-war independents. Logically, his incompetence and incoherence almost guarantees that he'll be a one-term president, but again the US political system is pretty unique and often behave illogically (there are some analists who try to promote hypothesis that Trump is playing more complex game that it appears, some kind of 4 dimensional chess, but this hypothesis does not stand Occam razor test)

President Donald Trump is completely captured by neocons.  And one of prime cause of that isolation is his wet kiss with neocons, especially the appointment of John Bolton.  Since taking over as National Security Advisor to the President in April 2018, Bolton has purged the old staff and replaced them with sycophants whose primary qualifications are decades of collaboration with Bolton.

Since the December departures of John Kelly and James Mattis, Bolton has had near total control over the flow of policy recommendations into the President.  Better said:  The lack of flow

MAGA to MIGA transformation

("Effect of Adelson/Kushner")

 

Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton, writing in Lobelog, yesterday, argue that Sheldon Adelson was responsible for Trump's turnaround from populist anti-war candidate to pro-Israel hawk. In 2016, they write, Trump was mocking those, like Marco Rubio, who were seeking Adelson's support, meaning they were seeking his money. By the time of his inauguration, however, Trump had adopted Adelson's militant pro-Israel stance, including Adelson's demands to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and pursue a confrontationist approach to Iran, and Adelson occupied a prominent seat at the inauguration ceremony.

"Trump met Adelson in Las Vegas in early October 2017. One week later, Trump announced that he would no longer certify that Iran was complying with the Iran nuclear deal, even though the U.S. intelligence community and all of Washington's European allies, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had found no evidence that Tehran was cheating," Lobe and Clifton write.

"One month later, Adelson used his own newspaper, The Las Vegas Review Journal, to express his frustration with Trump's failure to quickly redeem his promise to move the embassy. Two months after that, Trump reversed a half century of U.S. policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. According to Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury, Steve Bannon credited Adelson for Trump's decision."

Adelson's big protégé, as I've reported previously, is John Bolton. According to Lobe and Clifton, it was Adelson who made the arrangements to get Bolton back into the White House, overcoming efforts by White House chief of staff John Kelly keep to keep him out. Adelson also reportedly orchestrating the firing of McMaster and of Tilleson and their replacements by Bolton and Pompeo. Ands Bolton, like Adelson, has long favored a "military solution" to the Iran nuclear problem. In 2013, Adelson posted an op-ed in his newspaper, the Las Vegas Review Journal, calling for the nuclear bombing of Iran, first in some uninhabited area of the country to send Iran's leaders "a message" and if that didn't work, a second bombing of Tehran itself (this of course, would be a war crime in the first degree). Bolton, himself, in an op-ed two years later, held up the Israeli bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor as the model for what the US should (as was later documented by a Norwegian researcher who's name I don't recall, the bombing of Osirak did not end Saddam's Hussein's nuclear bomb program. Rather, it forced it underground and out of sight, as UN weapons inspectors discovered in the 1990's after Gulf War I).

Who Does John Bolton Actually Work For by Willy B. Apr 4, 2019

When he was running, Trump was sharp about Adelson's money’s influence. He said that he would make Marco Rubio into “his perfect little puppet.”  But badly Trump needed Abelson's money both for his election (his claim that his election campaign was financed only by  his money was a lie)  and to stem Democrats advanced during Midterm, where they have chance to win both Senate and the house. So who’s the puppet now?

Long with connection to Adelson. Trump connection of Kushner is another liability.  Jared is avoid Zionist, member of suspicious mystical religious cult (one of very few Orthodox cults that accept Israel and often accused of links to Mossad):

After April 2017 Trump became a typical neocon and promoted " the "will of the strong" approach to foreign policy essentially positioning the USA as a rogue state that  does not care one bit about international treaties and obligations. And about UN which still for some strange reason resides in NYC.  His policies were transactional in nature but coercion election built-in  "give me something and I will give you a little bit in return" approach. But give me now, or..."  He was captured by neocons soon after election mainly because he  did not really rely on his money during the elections --  he took around $100 million from Casino billionaire Adelson:

The fact is, the neo conservative "Never Trumpers" began moving in on Trump almost as soon as he won the election in order to ensure that their policy perspective prevailed. Greased by Adelson's money, it appears that they have succeeded to a considerable degree, particularly on Iran, but also on other aspects of national security policy as well, including, it appears, on Venezuela. And if US relations with Russia don't improve now that Russia-gate is dead, it'll be because of this crowd as well.

Bolton's history goes back to the Reagan Administration in the 1980's, and his perfidy during the runup to the Iraq invasion is well known to this readership. What I focus on here is the period from January of 2017 through mid-2018, around the time of his appointment to be Trump's national security advisor, plus a couple of months, during which period a number of interesting reports were posted on Trump's lobbying of the White House to get an administration position and his sponsorship by Adelson.

Adelson's only concern, by his own quoted words, is protecting Israel and, according to the reports below, has even advocated the nuclear bombing of Iran if it doesn't give up a nuclear weapons program that every reasonable intelligence assessment and the IAEA say it doesn't have. Adelson is also credited with facilitating the firing of both H.R. McMaster and Rex Tillerson and replacing them with Bolton and Mike Pompeo, another one of Adelson's boys.

That's why Trump appointed Haley who is close to Israel lobby and later arrived to his current version of foreign policy

In addition to Adelson, Jared Kushner moved Trump in the same direction ("Kushner effect"). That's why contrary to his election promises Trump continued all beneficial to Israel colonial wars (in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine) and is trying to launch a couple of  others (Iran, Korea, Venezuela).

He several times bombed Syrian air fields on false pretences of chemical attack (which in reality were false flag operation by the ISIS, performed with the exact goal to get the US to act as ISIS air force bombing Syria government targets).  His administration also tried to stage a coupe d'état in Turkey, which failed and strained relations between two countries. 

Netanyahu is well aware that for his policies and plans to destroy all geopolitical and regional competitors, another such chance as Donald Trump may never exist. And he wants to milk it to the fullest extent possible.  Trump, in turn, also proved that conventions, treaties, agreements, and just some established customs and traditions in international relations mean little to him.

The total score of Trump administration in both  foreign and domestic polices is negative - the standard of living for the majority of the USA population did not increased (but it did not decreased iether, remaining probably around the same as under Obama), jobs  continued to evaporate, outsourcing continues With the exception of outsourcing with China -- he did launched tariff war with China as he promised.

His policies toward Iran looks like pandering to Israel lobby, not  so much defending interests in of the USA in this region.  while existence of any theocratic regime is objectionable, the double standard of treating KSA and Iran differently is too obvious to get Trump administration any points in his desire to confront Iran.

The total US debt rose (due to increased military budget and tax cuts). Trump increased military spending to a vain attempt to appease MIC ( and by the way he increased American aid to Israel as if it is necessary). To add insult to injury, while campaigning  on the basis of interests of blue collar workers and middle class Americans, squeezed by neoliberal globalization and greed of the US corporations, he pushed tax cuts for the rich.

The fact that he cooperated in the Lubavitch (Chabad) sect  is generally a disgrace.  Why it was necessary for Trump to bring Kushner and  Ivanka )members of this sect) to the White House I do not understand. Especially in view of the criminal past of Kushner father (from whom he inherited his real estate empire)

 

Elections 2016 period and three month after inauguration can be be  called "MAGA stage" of his presidency. Here are several links from his 2018 campaign

Trump as a fake anti-war crusader who populated his administration with neocons

Like Obama before him, Trump proved to be a sad joke of a anti-neoliberal, anti-war crusader.  The same is true about his anti-globalization stance, it looks like he prefers the direct economic racket, open bullying of weaker trade partners to treaties (bullying does suggest a power imbalance).  He still wants to sustain and expand the US neoliberal empire, no matter what are the costs for the US people. Venezuela is a good example here.  Of course US oil companies want to return to this country.  On the tips on the bayonetts , if necessary. And Trump preaching "national neoliberalism" is very accommodative to such requests. 

US relations with Russia, which Trump promised to improve, have chilled to Cold War status. Essentially  Trump administration policies toward Russia of  does not differ one bit from the policies of Obama administration.  And do not much differ from what we would expect form Hillary. Part of this is connected the the President  no longer determines the foreign ploicy. Other forces do. That increases chances of WWIII, which might mean that perishing of the human civilization, as we know it.

Khrushchev's bon mot about the US nuclear superiority still apples, He said something like that: "Yes, the USA is much stronger, we just have the capability to destroy the USA one time, while they have the capability to destroy the USSR many times").  This saying is fully applicable to the Trump adoption  of the "supersized" military budget. 

It does not matter how many times you exceed your opponent military budget, because you can blow out the planet only once. As the result of care and feeding of MIC and Imperial Wars launched since 1980, the US national debt is now larger than the US economy. This is imperial overstretch. It is probably unsustainable "in a long  run". The only thing we do not know if the long run  means 10 years, 20, or 50. Much depends on the price oil oil dynamic. As soon as it exceeds $80-$100 per barrel the USA economy will slide in "perma-rececssion" (aka secular stagnation). 

His "Draining the swamp" slogan in reality turned to be as phony as "change we can believe is. "  he proved to be another Bush II, uneducated, inarticulate,  and incompetent President fully controlled by neocon lobby (which in its immense gratitude for services he provided wants to depose him and organized Mueller witch hunt). Add to this his impulsivity and narcissistic desire to be in the spotlight and you get a really toxic brew. The number of neocons in Trump administration is comparable with the number of neocons in Bush II  and Obama administrations.

Trump allowed to Washington foreign policy elite to conduct his foreign policy. The latter is arrogant (just look at Pompeo and Bolton), out of touch with reality and still stuck in the 1990s when the USA really rules the world (USSR collapsed, and China was far from its present  economic might). They believed in American exceptionalism and that the US had an almost divine right to run the world. American power at this time supposedly rivaled imperial Rome.

Clinton, Bush,  Obama and (as we discovered too late) Trump all shared similar foreign policy objectives. First of all they wanted to to spread the US-style neoliberalism.  Even if this needs to be accomplished on the tips of bayonets.  Any dissenters are branded as authoritarian dictators, sanctioned. any non nuclear players (and one small nuclear player -- North Korea) were threatened with force.  The Washington elite believes it is America’s destiny to lead the world forever, despite their own alarming level of degeneration and incompetence. 

Due to this neocons mindset, Government officials and media commentators who have promoted disastrous wars suffer no consequences and are welcomed back into circles of power. The cost of imperial wars since dissolution of the USSR runs at around 6 trillion. It is now clear that that large part of the defense budget would be better spent at home, upgrading the country's infrastructure.

Trump proved to be completely different politician then he was pretending to be during 2016 election.  In this sense he competes with Obama for the  title of Grandmaster of "bait and switch" game. His main accomplishment was "Trump tax cut for the rich". Similar to Bush II cut. In this sense he performed a deft "bait and switch" maneuver similar to one done by Obama and can be called "Republican Obama." Another classic turncoat US politician, who betrayed his voters three months after the elections. 

Thanks to Trump, the US is now in the Israeli situation - an increasing percentage of the population in many countries is beginning to hate him. A taught us the classics "ideas become a material force when they masses start believing in them"

Moreover, trump pushes himself into the situation of the former USSR, when the main production is the production of weapons. And except that the filing of the neo-cons will give countries a second Afghan in Iran (with the help of his great friend Netanyahu.)

Analogy with Obama reelection

Obama proves to be completely describable turncoat, but still he (and Bush II before him) managed to get reelected for the second term. That create some home for Trump as it is probably impossible to exceed Obama in  duplicity and mendacity (drone strikes, "Osama Bin Laden" killing with some signs of a false flag, Libya, Syria, Ukraine).  But truth be told foreign adventuturs does not mean much in the US Presidential election; the candidates mostly complete on domestic issues. Here Trump failed dismally -- there are not new jobs.   Jobs continued to be outsourced out of the USA.

That means that like Obama Trump now depends of the weakness otf Dem party candidate. Against any "decent" candidate he has almost no chances. Especially newcomer to politics without much political baggage into whom electorate can project their wishes like it did with Obama and Trump before.  In this case Trump can zero chances for reelection. He will be new Hillary in elections 2020: aging erratic warmonger (with Bolton as an albatross around his neck) with health problems. 

Although Trump, like Obama before him won mostly of the boldness of his election promises, now he need to complete on substance an truck record of his Administration. That's a tough task.  After two years in office Trump should be viewed like strange mixture of Bush II and Obama. It makes him more like Obama from the point of view of a  serial betrayer  of election promises.  Obama attacked a slate of very denigrating  nicknames (Obomber is one, "Teleprompter" is another ;-) .  And  Trump's nicknames gallery is even richer and includes:  Agent Orange, Very Stable Genius, Covfefe,  Vulgarian, von Clownstick, Trampolino, dRamp, and Pinocchio. Those nicknames for Trump are not accidental. Among anti-Trump Republicans, discontent is extremely high. When Ann Coulter Fires Back at Trump: ‘The Only National Emergency Is That Our President Is an Idiot’  it is easy to understand the President does have problem with his former base. Ann said that she didn’t need a Tarot card reader to know that Trump would “totally f-over his base.”

In 2016 election campaign  Trump had the freedom to position himself as anti-war, anti-establishment  candidate and some of his points resonated strong with the the US population. Now after he betrayed all of them, his options are much more narrow. The one he  already tried to position himself as "anti-socialist" and use Venezuela as a trial balloon for attracting this segment of voters.   Of course his posture is fake, but  some fish might swallow this  hook.  Although in the USA everything is possible. But it is clear not that he is a part of neoliberal establishment, "national neoliberalism" promoter so to speak.

His anti-war track record is non-existent (Syria bombings, Iran and Korean  saber-rattling, launching Venezuela color revolution, weapons supplies to Ukraine, support of Yemen war,  etc) and his anti-corruption and pro white-collar stance now is a sad, nasty joke (Javanka, "Trump university" scam, his appointments). He essentially did nothing for blue collar voters who secured his victory in 2015 presenting them "tax cut for rich" as a substitute. So most probably the lion share of those votes now are  going to Tulsi and Warren, respectively, not to Trump.  If remaining votes are enough to overcome the opposition, then God bless. 

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 to defend the interests on neoliberal oligarchy, with WikiLeaks detailing the gory details of their corruption and malfeasance. Essentially they represent  a single party, the joint party of MIC and Wall Street. But they will fight furiously and might try to accomplish with Tulsi the same dirty trick as they accomplished with Sanders in 2016, using her as a sheepdog.

Is close connection to MIC improves Trump chances for re-election

I would say it does. In a sense Israel should be viewed as a part of MIC lobby. Trump inflated military spending, including nuclear weapons and military assistance to Israel. All this actions raise serious wuestion and Us infrastructure is in decay and standard of living of the bottom 80% of population continues to slide.

According to journalist URI Friedman, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card for more than 15 years, naming this just a socialism for MIC. Perhaps the country might change the course only after the next financial collapse  ( a decade expired after the collapse of 2008, so it can happen anytime soon). If the collapse happens before elections then Trump is doomed.

MIGA instead of MAGA? Is close connection with  Israeli lobby an advantage in incoming elections ?

Pandering of Trump administration to Israel should be viewed in the context of Trump links to MIC, not as an isolated phenomena: Israel should be viewed as a part of MIC lobby.

The Trump administration’s recent steps in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should surely lay to rest any doubts about the enormous, and dangerous, power of the Israel lobby in Washington. Under Trump, the lobby has shown it can wield unprecedented influence – even by its usual standards – in flagrant disregard for all apparent US interests.

First, there was the move this month of the US embassy to Jerusalem, not quietly but on the 70th anniversary of the most sensitive day in the Palestinian calendar, Nakba Day. That is when Palestinians commemorate their mass expulsion from their homeland in 1948. By relocating the embassy, Trump gave official US blessing to tearing up the 25-year-old peace process – and in choosing Nakba Day for the move, he rubbed the noses of Palestinians, and by extension the Arab world, in their defeat. Then, the White House compounded the offence by lauding Israeli snipers who massacred dozens of unarmed Palestinians protesting at the perimeter fence around Gaza the same day. A series of statements issued by the White House could have been written by Israel’s far-right prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself.

At the United Nations, the US blocked a Security Council resolution calling for the massacre to be investigated, while Nikki Haley, Trump’s UN envoy, observed to fellow delegates: “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”

None of these moves served any obvious US national interest, nor did Trump’s decision the previous week to tear up the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran that has long been reviled by the Israeli government. In fact, quite the contrary: These actions risk inflaming tensions to the point of a regional war that could quickly drag in the major powers, or provoke terror attacks on US soil.

All of these various lobbies have long wielded significant power in Washington, but remained largely separate. In recent years, their interests have come to overlap considerably, making Israel ever more unassailable in US politics.

Under Trump, their agendas have aligned so completely that this multi-headed lobby has as good as collectively captured the presidency on matters that concern it most.

That is not to say that the Israel lobby will not face future challenges. Other pressures are emerging in reaction to the unaccountable power of the Israel lobby, including progressive voices in US politics that are, for the first time, breaking with the long-standing bipartisan nature of the debate about Israel.

Bernie Sanders’s unexpected surge in the Democratic nomination race for the presidency, the rise of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, the growing alienation of young US Jews from Israel, and the US public’s ever-greater exposure on social media to Israel’s crimes are signs of trends it will be difficult for Israel to counter or reverse.

But Israel is getting its way at the moment. But hubris is a fault we have been warned about since the time of the ancient Greeks. Israel may yet come to learn a little humility – the hard way.

Will color revolution launched  by the Deep State against Trump help him to win 2020 elections

  Assuming something is cobbled together worth opening impeachment hearings over, the Republican majority in the Senate is still unlikely to convict. Trump will run for reelection in 2020. Will public opinion, empathy, following impeachment proceedings, help him as it did Bill Clinton? How many voters will see through this politicization of the constitutional process? How many Democrats who wanted real progress on health care and immigration will see this all as just a waste of time, their midterm votes squandered on a circus?

Peter Van Buren March 11, 2019

This will be the first elections in the USA history which are run after unsuccessful color revolution against sitting President (aka Russiagate), and unprecedented McCarthyism-style  witch  hunt unleashed against him.

Successfully played against  Trump the Special Prosecutor gambit (with Rosenstein as the Trojan horse and Comey as sacrificial pawn) might be viewed  the first color revolution against sitting President in the history of the USA  that did not yet resulted in removal of the President from his position (if we do not view JFK assassination and Nixon Watergate as two previous color revolutions; Bush senior was involved in both). And as such  Russiagate will got to history books along with Kennedy assassination, Nixon impeachment and 9/11 as a watershed event for the county.

The witch hunt against Trump, the game which he was not supposed to win, unmasked the level of politicization and corruption within higher echelons of FBI, pernicious connection of its counterterrorism division to CIA and  blatant disregard of the law.  for that we should be  grateful to Trump, but only for that.

Still, in a way Trump is an anomaly which defied the concerted rigging of election by neoliberals including Wall Street money and the mainstream media  presstitutes.

Recently Trump tried to position himself as a fighter against socialism. How successful is this phony positioning (with his tax cuts he proved to be an advocate of corporate socialism) remain to be seen. He remain a shallow. inexperienced, somewhat impulsive politician, who betrayed his voters.

Despite all Trump faults and  his unpreparedness to the  position of the President of the USA, the color revolution against Trump launched by Deep State  is still deeply wrong and deeply troubling. Especially the role FBI, CIA, and especially MI6 (Steele dossier),  played in it. But to defend Trump now would be just the defense of the constitution, not the particular person.  In this sense, and only in this sense  he still deserves our  sympathy and  support.

Russiagate has shown to all thinking people in the USA and all people of the world that the real rulers of the USA. And  it is not sitting President and his administration, but intelligence agencies, MIC (which includes Israel lobby) and Wall Street (so called the Deep State)

Will sympathy to Trump as a victim of vicious witch hunt overweight resentment from his betrayal of his voters in the same way as Obama faced in 2010 against Romney is difficult to say. But now I see the point when Trump is called "Republican Obama". 

Obama managed to win his second term despite blatant betrayal of his voters because he  faced much  weaker candidate. Who will be Trump opponent in 2020 election remains to be seen, but neither Liz Warren, nor Tulsi Gabbard will give him the same advantages as running against universally hated neocon warmonger Hillary.   Also Obama was a "CIA-democrat" who  enjoyed unconditional support of intelligence agencies both in the USA and UK. Which is not true for Trump.

The other important legacy of 2016 election is the role of British intelligence serves and surviving Obama faction in CIA and FBI (which is essentially the same of neocon faction). in 2016 intelligence  agencies emerged as kingmakers, throwing Sanders under the bus and allowing neocon warmonger Hillary (who has suffered at least five fainting spells on public ) to run against Trump -- which led to surprising Trump victory.

New faces on the election field might well be  result of Trump policies

Elections 2020 might be the fist when the USA might have anti-war candidate -- Tulsi Gabbard.  But neoliberals and neocons are like new generation of Bolsheviks -- dishonest, Machiavellian and power hungry to the extreme and  will do everything to push her under the bus. Add to this oversize role of intelligence agencies which like a new Praetorian Guard pretend for the role of kingmakers.   

I think Trump already lost most of independent voters, who voted for him in 2016, and lion share of anti-war votes (if he invades Venezuela he will lost all of them).

He also will not enjoy the huge privilege of running against Hillary, and as such is not longer  entitled to "anybody but Hillary" vote, which probably was at least 10% of all votes for him and, in fact, propelled him to the Presidency.

Because "Trump University" story was enough for anybody with IQ above 100 to understand some negative trait of this person.

Which strata of US voters Trump already irrevocably lost?

The fact the Democratic field is highly fractured and more then a dozen candidates compete in 2002 elections  can help, but  not by much as only three main candidates have any chances to get finish line.

With the help of "DemoRats" (Clinton neoliberal democrats faction of the Democratic Party)  as well US and British intelligence agencies a new scapegoat for Hillary fiasco in election, a new  American enemy  that might help to unite divided bation  has been manufactured in the form of the Russian Federation and its President, Vladimir Putin, who drew the ire of the Washington for resisting  the  US hegemony. This reached a crescendo in 2018 when DemoRats won the Congress. The dubious accusations of election interference made by the same intelligence agencies that sold the pack of lies that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction are not new.

But alarmingly they become "Official US Truth" (OUT) in Washington propaganda NewSpeak and  challenging any of them can cost a candidate a lot. Tulsi already feels the wrath on neocon -- those greedy and unscrupulous lobbyists for MIC. BTW the most rabid neocons from the US establishment has even likened the alleged intrusion by Moscow to 9/11 forgetting that this analogy holds if and only if we view both as false flag operations, conducted by CIA with the help of Mossad, MI6 and other "fiends".

Warren  will also soon find  herself under fire from Wall Street. That's for sure.  And that can help Trump.

Trump lost anti-war right -- the part of electorate that probably ensured his victory in 2016

Sometimes it hard to tell who’s in charge in the Trump administration. He hired several  neocons,  who not only do not support his agenda butopenly defy him.  From unz.com (the site that well represents anti-war right) comments

follyofwar March 5, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT

Neocons Pompeo and Bolton are the two most warlike consiglieres I have witnessed in my lifetime. It certainly appears that, one way or the other, they will get their war against someone, anyone. They may be concerned that time is running out, since their boss has less than a 50% chance of re-election. Let’s see, will it be Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, China, or Russia – or all of them at once?

... ... ...

I take that back. I forgot about Queen Hillary and her delight over Colonel Gadhafi’s gruesome death by bayonet up the anus.

Realist March 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm GMT
@follyofwar

Neocons Pompeo and Bolton are the two most warlike consiglieres I have witnessed in my lifetime.

These two d*ckheads were hand picked by Trump….but his base is too stupid to see Trump is a part of the Deep State. 

And he lost them after the first three month of his presidency. Probably he did not value them much.  In this sense Trump is treasonous tritor (and forget this silly and extremely dangerous neo-McCarthyism Russiagate theater of corrupt, completely in pocket of Wall Street, DemoRats (aka Clinton wing of Democratic party)  and intelligence agencies careerists  like Brennan and Clapper. 

libezkova -> sanjait... , April 10, 2017 at 04:17 PM
"Trump and Putin are both Kabuki theater specialists who use foreign military adventurism to stoke nationalism and distract from other issues."

It was Obama and Hillary who were Kabuki theater specialists. The first was Nobel Price winner, my God. Real Kabuki Theater.

But especially Hillary. Remember Libya theater and poor Colonel Gaddafi, sodomized with the bayonet. We came, we saw. he died.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Trump campaigned on non-interventionism platform. Almost paleo--conservative platform. And on April 6 he lost "anti-war right". And even some part of anti-war left ( Sanders supporters who really hated Hillary for her jingoism and corruption ) who supported him holding the nose. Probably forever.

That might have consequences for him because he lost support from politically active and important segment of his electorate. Which to certain extent protected him from impeachment as the last thing DemoRats want are fierce protests up to armed clashes with alt-right afterward.

If his calculation was that DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats) are now also a War party, so it does not matter, he probably badly miscalculated.

He now needs to worry what Russians might have on him because Wikileaks or other similar sites might get some interesting materials. Of course Pence would be even more horrible POTUS, and revenge is a dish that better serve cold, but still he probably did not sleep well after this "Monica" show of strength.

He also probably can forget about any compromises of the style "something for nothing" (as previous presidents enjoyed from Russia in a wane hope of improving relations between two countries) from Russians for a while.

Only things prepaid with yuans from now on ;-).

The whole move smells with "Monica" and Iraq WDM: "Shoot first ask questions later".

Now he really can be impeached by DemoRats with impunity and there will be little on no protests. But now, when he surrendered to neocons, why DemoRats take trouble to impeach him?

In other words, from April 6 "Agent Orange" is walking in his new clothing like naked king from Andersen tale.

Trump lost part of blue collar votes, as his administration like Obama  administration did nothing for them

Trump tax cut was an an insult.  He cut  taxes for his  family and friends, not for his voters.

How Trump won The revenge of working-class whites - The Washington Post

he won using thiser votes and then betrayed him with the same ease as OPbama did

For the past 40 years, America's economy has raked blue-collar white men over the coals. It whittled their paychecks. It devalued the type of work they did best. It shuttered factories and mines and shops in their communities. New industries sprouted in cities where they didn't live, powered by workers with college degrees they didn't hold.

They were not the only ones who felt abandoned by a rapidly globalizing economy, but they developed a distinctly strong pessimism in its face.

On Tuesday, their frustrations helped elect Donald Trump, the first major-party nominee of the modern era to speak directly and relentlessly to their economic and cultural fears. It was a “Brexit” moment in America, a revolt of working-class whites who felt stung by globalization and uneasy in a diversifying country where their political power had seemed to be diminishing

It was a rejection of the business-friendly policies favored at various points by elites in both parties, which deepened trade relationships with foreign countries and favored allowing more immigrants in. And it was a raw outburst at the trends of rising inequality and economic dislocation that defined America's economy thus far this century.

Whites without a college degree — men and women — made up a third of the 2016 electorate. Trump won them by 39 percentage points, according to exit polls, far surpassing 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney's 25 percent margin. They were the foundation of his victories across the Rust Belt, including a blowout win in Ohio and stunning upsets in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In polling, these voters have expressed deep racial and cultural anxieties. In exit polls they were more likely than the country as a whole to say that illegal immigrants should be deported. But those polls also suggested economic concerns and hostility toward leaders in Washington were much more important factors driving them to Trump.

[Markets plunge worldwide as Trump surges to White House]

Half of these voters said the economy was the most important issue in their vote, compared to 14 percent for immigration. A majority said international trade takes away American jobs. Three-quarters said the economy is “not good” or “poor” and nearly 8 in 10 said their personal financial situation was the same or worse than it was four years ago. Two-thirds said they preferred Trump to handle the economy instead of Democrat Hillary Clinton, compared with less than half of the electorate overall.

Trump loss of of a part of military votes

Trump attempt to privatize Veteran Administration hospitals and health care faces stiff resistance of veterans ( “Doubling Down” With Private Care Push, Trump’s VA — ProPublica, Jan 30, 2019 )

When Congress passed a bill last year to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs, lawmakers said they were getting rid of arbitrary rules for when the government would pay for veterans to see private doctors.

Under the old program, veterans could go to the private sector if they would have to wait 30 days or travel 40 miles for care in the VA. Lawmakers and veterans groups, including conservatives, criticized those rules as arbitrary. The new law, known as the Mission Act, was supposed to let doctors and patients decide whether to use private sector based on individualized health needs.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration proposed new rules, known as access standards, to automatically make veterans eligible for private care. Instead of 30 days, it’s 20 days for primary care or 28 days for specialty care. Instead of 40 miles, it’s a 30-minute drive for primary care or a 60-minute drive for specialty care.

The announcement appeared to do little to settle the debate over whether the VA’s rules are arbitrary.

“Twenty days is just as arbitrary as 30 days,” Bob Wallace, the executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars, one of the largest veterans service organizations, said in a statement.

What is clear about the new rules is that they are dramatically more permissive. The new drive-time standard alone will make 20 percent of veterans eligible for private primary care and 31 percent eligible for private specialty care, up from 8 percent for both kinds of care under the old program, according to a briefing document circulated on Capitol Hill.

“This is doubling down on the administrative rules such as drive times and wait times,” said David Shulkin, the former VA secretary who was fired last year by President Donald Trump, in part over disagreements about this bill. “I was in favor of a system that was clinically based, that put veterans’ needs first and allowed the right match of services. This is just changing and loosening the administrative rules.”

VA spokeswoman Susan Carter declined to comment.

Last month, a ProPublica investigation of the private-care program that the administration is now expanding found overhead costs that were much higher than industry standards and comparable government programs. In response to the article, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie acknowledged that the agency was “taken advantage of” with these overhead costs and vowed to improve.

On the campaign trail, Trump presented himself as a champion for veterans, and as president he frequently boasts about what his administration has done for former service members. But at the same time, he has enthusiastically supported shifting more veterans to private medical care, over the objection of major veterans groups that want to preserve the VA’s health system. He has also plunged the VA into chaos by upending his own leadership team at the agency and handing vast influence to three men nicknamed the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” because they meet at the president’s resort in Florida.

The new access standards are the most important step toward reshaping the VA in line with Trump’s vision of enlarging the private sector’s role.

“None of this should be a surprise to anybody: President Trump has made it clear from pretty much the moment he started running he wanted full choice,” said Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, a political group that advocates for more private care and that is backed by the Koch brothers, the industrialists who have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative causes. “This does get us closer to full choice. That’s the model we want to get to.”

The VA is planning to continue widening the access standards, dropping the wait time for primary care to 14 days in 2020, according the agency’s briefing materials.

Already, according to the document, almost half of the VA’s primary care sites (69 out of 141) have wait times longer than 20 days, meaning their patients could get private care. In gastroenterology, 81 out of 128 sites have waits longer than 28 days. But, the document cautioned, “This data is not reliable.”

According to people present for briefings on Wednesday, congressional staff and veterans groups had a long list of questions that largely went unanswered by VA officials. Among them:

“They just didn’t provide a whole lot of answers to questions about the impact,” said Carl Blake, Paralyzed Veterans of America’s executive director. “The fact is it’s going to open up eligibility. It’s debatable whether there are adequate resources to do so. What won’t be acceptable is for them to take money from other programs in the VA to pay for it.”

The unanswered questions could dramatically change the program’s cost. The official notice for the new rules on the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs says the “Anticipated Costs and Benefits” are “TBD.” In Wednesday’s briefings, officials said the new access standards will increase the agency’s expenses by $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion next year and by $19 billion to $20 billion over five years, the people present said.

Lawmakers have cast doubt on the VA’s cost projections. In a letter to Wilkie on Monday, 28 Democratic senators noted that officials had provided “widely varying and potentially contradictory” figures depending on the day.

“I don’t know why they’re not using the resources we used to model this,” said Nancy Schlichting, the former CEO of the Henry Ford Health System who led a congressionally chartered commission that in 2016 issued a report on the VA’s future. The commission estimated that paying for veterans to see private doctors without a referral from the VA could increase costs by $96 billion to $179 billion a year.

“It’s very, very unsophisticated, frankly,” Schlichting said of the administration’s proposal.

When debating the Mission Act, lawmakers relied on a projection by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that assumed the rate of veterans using the private sector would stay about the same. That assumption has now been blown up by the way the administration is implementing the law.

“Today’s announcement hastily rolling out new access standards places core VA services and vital research programs at risk by shifting money towards care outside VA,” House veterans committee chairman Mark Takano said in a statement on Wednesday, vowing to hold a hearing. “Today’s announcement places VA on a pathway to privatization and leads Congress to assume the worst.”

Wilkie had moved to pre-empt such criticism. “Some will claim falsely and predictably that they represent a first step toward privatizing the department,” he said in a lengthy statement on Monday, two days before the news access standards were announced.

As evidence, Wilkie said appointments in the VA’s health system have increased by 3.4 million since 2014 to more than 58 million in 2018. But his statement did not mention how much the VA’s private-sector appointments have grown: more than four times as much. According to agency data provided to ProPublica, the VA’s private-care appointments increased by 14.9 million since 2014 to 33.2 million in 2017. Private care accounted for 37 percent of the VA’s total outpatient appointments in 2017, up from 25 percent in 2014, the data shows.

In developing these access standards, Wilkie relied extensively on Darin Selnick, who previously worked for Concerned Veterans for America, the organization supported by the Koch brothers. Selnick signed onto an infamous 2016 proposal to dismantle the VA’s government-run health system. Selnick also worked closely with the trio of unofficial advisers known as the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”

Selnick sat on the “executive steering committee” in charge of implementing the Mission Act and reported directly to Wilkie as a senior adviser, according to an organization chart obtained by ProPublica. However, when the VA presented a version of the same chart to Congress at a December hearing, Selnick’s name was not there.

Lawmakers voted for the Mission Act with the understanding that access standards would automatically trigger private care for only a few kinds of services, such as lab tests, X-rays and urgent care, the 28 Senate Democrats said. But now the administration is making the access standards apply to everything, a plan that ProPublica first revealed in November.

“This proposal risks needlessly siphoning away VA resources to private providers, which could irresponsibly starve excellent existing VA clinics and hospitals,” Senate veterans committee member Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawmakers and the public may not get more information about the how the program will be funded until the White House releases its budget for 2020. But officials have indicated they won’t submit the president’s budget to Congress on time, blaming the 35-day partial government shutdown. The shutdown did not affect the VA, but it did furlough staff in the Office of Management and Budget, putting the VA at risk of being late on the Mission Act regulations that are due in June, according to an agency report obtained by ProPublica.

The VA recently chose Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group, to take over administering the new private-care program in most of the country. However, because the agency was late in awarding the contracts, Optum won’t be ready to start when the new program is supposed to take effect in June.

In the interim, program will be run by TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the old vendor that charged unusually high fees. TriWest has also filed a formal protest challenging the VA’s decision to hire Optum. The dispute will be adjudicated by the Government Accountability Office.

Help us investigate: Do you know what’s going on at the VA? Are you a VA employee or a veteran who receives VA benefits and services? Contact Isaac Arnsdorf at 917-512-0256 or [email protected] Here’s how to send tips and documents to ProPublica securely.

Correction, Feb. 5, 2019: This story, relying on incorrect calculations from the Department of Veterans Affairs, originally misstated the proportion of total VA outpatient appointments in the private sector. It was 37 percent in 2017, up from 25 percent in 2014; not 58 percent in 2017, up from 33 percent in 2014.

Danger from anticorruption crusader Elizabeth Warren

As Clinton wing launched a color revolution against Trump, the USA now is not a newcomer to using color revolutions mechanisms as a political tool. I do not see why this some Gene Sharp recommendation can't be implemented by Eliabeth Warren in 2020 race against Trump -- who is a perfect opponent for any anti-corruption crusader.

A fearsome the anti-corruption campaign can be launched against Trump administration too member of which has had its share of transgressions and scandals.  In a way Trump is an ideal political sparring partner for an anti-corruption candidate, who can be send into knockdown with relatively modest effort.  Just the story of Trump university ( a classic "bait and switch" scheme) if properly revived  can so a real damage (hint -- he settled the NY lawsuit for 25 millions).  And Warren is a more formidable opponent for Trump in this area that those two weaklings of 2016 Presidential race: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (The Sad Story of Trump 'University' ):

I don't know anything about starting a university, and that was a fake university," Rubio said as Trump repeatedly tried to interrupt him. "There are people who borrowed $36,000 to go to Trump University, and they're suing now. $36,000 to go to a university that's a fake school. And you know what they got? They got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump."

"I've won most of the lawsuits," Trump protested.

Cruz also got in on the act. "You know, Marco made reference earlier to the litigation against Trump University. It's a fraud case. His lawyers have scheduled the trial for July," he said. "I want you to think about, if this man is the nominee, having the Republican nominee on the stand in court, being cross-examined about whether he committed fraud. You don't think the mainstream media will go crazy on that?"

Friday morning on NBC's Today, Rubio kept the heat on Trump for his "fake school." "You have a guy who is being sued right now for fraud for Trump University," said Rubio. "I've had stories written about my driving record."
 

Warren really has teeth in this area and Trump will feel very very uncomfortable in any debate that raises this topic.

Javanka problem: the curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby

Kushner crossed the line from using his First Amendment right to speak freely about government policy into subverting official US foreign policy in favor of Israel very early, even before his father-in-law inauguration.  He attampted via Flynn to inflice vote of Russia on UN anti-Israel resolution. It did not work well (actually if fuled Russiagate histeria) and got Flynn into hot water. He was deliberatly ambushed by Muller and caught in lied to FBI.  So Flynn was the  first victim of Kushner machinations.

Later Donald Trump had appointed Jared Kushner to be his point-person on US relations with the Middle East. The latter was specifically charged with forging an Israel-Palestine peace plan, which Trump, in typical flamboyant fashion, called "the ultimate deal".

Both Israeli elite and leaders throughout the region were stunned that the US had charged a real estate speculator with resolving one of the world’s most difficult diplomatic problem. Moreover Kushner has made significant donations to Israeli settlements, was already known to be heavily pro-Israel in his approach. For some reason  he determined that the Saudis were the key to unlock the Arab part of the equation.  So he’s made three visits to the Saudi kingdom in the past year. He brought his father-in-law on the latter’s first foreign trip as president to visit King Salman and the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. This was an astonishing turn in US relations. Cultivate the Saudi royals, expecting them to “bring along” the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world towards that "ultimate" peace deal was a bold and risky gable to forge Israel-Saudi alliance.  It was also very risky step with a lot of diplomatic fallout. among them possibility of creating the alliance of Turkey, Iran and Qatart opposing fledging Isreal-Saudi alliance pushed by Kushner.   Due to his close association with Israel Kushner is placing US Middle East policy in lock-step with Israel. That certainly leaves the Palestinians, among others, out in the cold.

Due to his  continuing business deal in forign countries Kushner also has problem obtaining the security clearances. Trump overruled FBI experts which were reluctant to grant this clearance. Brennan recently described this is some detail ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1BSmwJb6gs ) Kushner also has albatross about his neck  in a form of  skyscraper called 333 Fifth  Avenue (  Kushner, Inc Vicky Ward on How Jared and Ivanka’s Greed & Ambition Compromise U.S. Foreign Policy - YouTube ). Loan 1.4 billon was coming due and no America lender with touch it. So he badly needed a foreign investor.  The Trump-Kushner “pivot” toward Saudi Arabia accords along with a similar Israeli embrace of the House of Saud also was directed against Trump arch-enemy -- Iran. He eventually got money from Qatar -- on unimaginably favorite conditions (99 year lease for 1.3 billion)

Kushner and Ivanka were also instrumental is ushing out of Trump administration several key people, such as Bannon and 

Violating the Logan Act

 

The Wall Street Journal reported a new development in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: did Jared Kushner violate the Logan Act whenr he lobbied UN Security Council members to sabotage a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements. The act dates back to the earliest days of the republic when the USA was much weaker then European powers. Who were eager to interfere with the domestic and foreign affairs of weaker states. For that reason, American legislators passed the Logan Act which prohibited private citizens from becoming agents of foreign states in trying to influence US foreign policy. The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby Middle East Eye

The Act, as it was implemented, became something of a double-edged sword as it enabled the political party in power to target anyone in the opposition who exercised his right to lobby for a particular policy regarding various foreign states.

Eventually, virtually everyone realised that a weapon you used against an opponent could be wielded against you once you were out of power. So the Act fell into limbo. Only one individual was ever charged with violating it and he was never prosecuted.

But news that Kushner was under suspicion of violating the Act raised interesting issues. Though many US politicians have been accused of being shills for Israel and the Israel lobby holds sway over an enormous number of legislators, and though numerous Americans have been convicted of spying on Israel's behalf, no one has ever been convicted of harming the interests of the US for Israel's sake.

In fact, the rallying cry of the lobby is that there is no difference between Israeli and US interests. In other words, when you work on behalf of Israel's interests, you're also advancing America's. Of course, this is utter nonsense. It turns both countries into awkwardly conjoined Siamese twins.

Kushner is placing US Middle East policy in lock-step with Israel. That certainly leaves the Palestinians, among others, out in the cold

That's certainly what Kushner did in this case: Netanyahu, who initiated the request for Trump's intervention in the UN affair, wanted to fend off the resolution at all costs. It was originally put forward by Egypt.

As Vicky Ward, the author of  Kushner, Inc. Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump told Democracy Now the joke is Bebi Netanyahu was the US Secretary of State the last two years.  Here is a counple comments from Youtube that refect prevalent sentiments of the audience

 

The decline of neoliberalism continues, and Trump attempt to revive it by converting to "national neoliberalism" by-and-large failed

If Trump did something useful in dismantling  neoliberalism in the USA it would be  his discreditation of the neoliberal MSM, such as CNN, MSNBC, NYT and WaPo.

Here Trump, surprisingly, did play a rare positive role, sometimes helping to unmask those "rascals of the pen", the presstitutes of financial oligarchy which rules the country.  thanks  to Trump, CNN now is now called "Clinton News Channel",  NYT -- "the CIA bulletin", and  WaPo -- "Bezos' blog". 

Neoliberalism is now in decline, and with it is in decline the  international influence and significance of the USA. Many people in the USA started to understand that neoliberalism destroyed their well-being and continue to do so.  That's why they, after "serial betrayer" Obama "bait and switch" maneuver, Trump managed to lob a hand grenade into the Capitol and White House blowing out Hillary chances.

That means that in 2020 Trump can't position himself in the same way as in 2016 as now he has considerable and controversial political baggage as a defender of the US neoliberal empire. Most of the items in this part of his baggage are pretty disappointing.

Trump administration policies vs election promises

Trump administration looks like Bush III administration and is infected with neocons and representatives of financial oligarchy.  As "Personnel is policy" you can easily guess what policies they pursued and Trump did nothing to stimulate employment in the USA and to stop migration of jobs  from the USA oversees.  And he was elected on the promises to stop outsourcing and offshoring of US jobs.

Tim Swift in his article Trump v Republican elite - the split explained  outlined several election-time difference. The net result after two years of Trump administration are close to zero. Trump stance on NATO changed.  Trump stance on Russia became undistinguishable from Obama polices.

www.bbc.com

Mr Trump describes himself as a "commonsense conservative" and the fact that his message has earned him millions of Republican votes suggests a fracture between the grassroots and leadership.

Here are five key issues upon which the billionaire businessman diverges from Republican orthodoxy as represented by leaders like Mr Ryan and presidents of the past.

Trump adopted a typical neocons  foreign policy, not that different from Bush II administration

Despite his campaign rhetoric (“our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster”; “we’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own”), Trump used the playbook of the neocon foreign-policy. He practiced typical gagster capitalism, well know from previous administration which unleashed wars in Iraq and Libya. he continued the war in Syria, but as elections  2020 became close decided to withdraw  some troops, still leaving small contingent in the country; effectively relocation  them across the border to Iraq.  He decided to withdraw from the  Intermediate Missiles Treaty with Russia, the treaty that  was tremendously beneficial to The USA.  He continue the war in Afghanistan. In short, Trump policy is really undistinguishable from the Policies that Hillary might pursue, strengthening the assertion that Presidents perform mainly ceremonial duties legitimizing the regime in the eyes of voters. And the real foreign policy decisions are done by the Deep State. Which make the USA radically different from what we understand as a democratic country. It is a typical "inverted  totalitarism" regime with gif leaf of election covering like the smoke screen the brutal and directed against the interests of people of the USA policies of financial oligarchy and MIC (neocons are just lobbyists for MIC)

The  withdrawal from tremendously beneficial to the USA  INF treaty with Russia is another nail into Trump political coffin. Most experts view it as both reckless and stupid move (as most Trump  moves in  foreign policy), which advances interests of MIC and its despicable lobbyists like Boot, Kristol and Kagan. But not the security and well-being of American people.

The USA foreign policy after 1991 can be compared with Third Reich  polices. It has the slogan "America Uber Alles", which can he  tattooed on the foreheads of Bolton and Pompeo. In essence after collapse of the USSR on 1991 the Washington elite tried to position the USA as the  "ruler of Earth", which drained the country resources and impoverished the majority of population while enriching MIC and financial oligarchy (all wars are bankers wars).

Trump definitely is not a diplomat. His methods are taken from the playbook of organized crime, and he himself looks more and more like NYC racketeer.   He essentially operated more like a gangster selling his protection racket, than as a mature politician and skillful diplomat (remember the quip attributed to Al Capone  "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word.").

His foreign policy was a typical neocon foreign policy. With the only positive step so far of Syria withdrawal after bombing the Assad air force three time, the air force which is fighting against the USA supported Islamic State fighters , essentially serving  as ISIS air force (which in reality means movement of forces over the border to Iraq).  And even this withdrawal is incomplete (around  500 troops are left in the county; left illegally). This withdrawal is a bone thrown to his former anti-war voters, it too little too late and is offset by his saber-rattling with  Venezuela.  He betrayed Kurds and strained relations with Turkey -- a unique diplomatic achievement.

That means that in 2020 he can't count on anti-war voters, which was significant  fraction of independents who votes for him despite all his faults

While neocons are now very happy with his foreign policies, most of them (for example Max Boot, Kagan and  Kristol ) defected to Democratic Party and will try to damage his reelection bid.  Association with neocons and bringing several of them into administration (which as infested with neocons as Bush II administration) is a self-defeating policy and might further diminish his chances for reelection.

Even some members of establishment  started to realize that Trump neocons such as Pompeo and Bolton are dangerous for the country (better late, then never ;-). See for example Stephen Walt’s The Hell of Good Intentions.  Here is one Amazon comment

C. Overgaard

A Powerful Critique of US Foreign Policy November 4, 2018

This is a well written, well researched, and well reasoned criticism of Liberal Hegemony (“LH”). LH rests on the belief that the United States is uniquely positioned to spread democracy and shape the international system to promote international peace and prosperity. LH has led to the invasion of Iraq, military efforts in Afghanistan, and counterterrorism operations in Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria. The results, according to Walt, are not favorable:
  • Our military operations have been costly in both dollars and lives but have had scant success;
  • The number of violent extremists and the number of places where they are active is greater now then when Al Qaeda first emerged;
  • Our military efforts have created resentment because of civilian casualties;
  • Our foreign activities have taken time, attention and resources away from pressing domestic concerns; and
  • Efforts to promote democracy and human rights have gone into reverse with a decline in many countries of political rights and civil liberties.

In spite of this, LH continues to be advocated almost universally in the media and by political and foreign policy commentators. People who criticize its exercise are ostracized. Nevertheless, Walt names proponent’s names and few well known political and military spokesmen are spared.

Walt reviews Trump’s foreign policy and military efforts and concludes he has made matters worse.

Walt presents a very persuasive alternative strategy that he calls Offshore Balancing. It would entail a continued strong military but much less active military involvement in other countries and more use of diplomacy. This is truly a book well worth reading.

Trump immigration stance

The only area where Trump was more or less consistent with his election promises was the immigration. But even here his record is not that satisfactory as he missed his changes to build the Wall and retracted on many important issues like H1B visa, etc.  In this sense he might be helped by continuing crisis of Democratic Party (aka Demexit) and its inability to get rid off the corrupt to the core Clinton wing of Dems.

Forget Russiagate, Trump revealed himself as the agent of Israeli lobby

Hs stance toward Israel is controversial and led to a sarcastic rewording of his slogan MAGA into MIGA. His behavior in Syria might signify his complete political dependence on Israel lobby,  which now is viewed suspiciously by most US voters.   So while Russiagate witch hunt tries to find connection between Trump and Russia (although connections between Trump and Russian mobsters might really exists) the real scandal is the level of subservience of Trump toward Israel.

Trump is neocons hostage and does not control the USA foreign policy. In this circumstances China needs to get tough on casino modul Adelson to get her message heard by Bolton and other neocons

Dec 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

In his recent article "Averting World Conflict with China" Ron Unz has come up with an intriguing suggestion for the Chinese government to turn the tables on the December 1 st arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada. Canada detained Mrs. Meng, CFO of the world's largest telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei, at the request of the United States so she could be extradited to New York to face charges that she and her company had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. The sanctions in question had been imposed unilaterally by Washington and it is widely believed that the Trump Administration is sending a signal that when the ban on purchasing oil from Iran comes into full effect in May there will be no excuses accepted from any country that is unwilling to comply with the U.S. government's demands. Washington will exercise universal jurisdiction over those who violate its sanctions, meaning that foreign officials and heads of corporations that continue to deal with Iran can be arrested when traveling internationally and will be extradited to be tried in American courts.

There is, of course, a considerable downside to arresting a top executive of a leading foreign corporation from a country that is a major U.S. trading partner and which also, inter alia, holds a considerable portion of the U.S. national debt. Ron Unz has correctly noted the " extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history." One might add that Washington's demands that other nations adhere to its sanctions on third countries opens up a Pandora's box whereby no traveling executives will be considered safe from legal consequences when they do not adhere to policies being promoted by the United States. Unz cites Columbia's Jeffrey Sachs as describing it as "almost a U.S. declaration of war on China's business community." If seizing and extraditing businessmen becomes the new normal those countries most affected will inevitably retaliate in kind. China has already detained two traveling Canadians to pressure Ottawa to release Mrs. Meng. Beijing is also contemplating some immediate retaliatory steps against Washington to include American companies operating in China if she is extradited to the U.S.

Ron Unz has suggested that Beijing might just want to execute a quid pro quo by pulling the licenses of Sheldon Adelson's casinos operating in Macau, China and shutting them down, thereby eliminating a major source of his revenue. Why go after an Israeli-American casino operator rather than taking steps directly against the U.S. government? The answer is simple. Pressuring Washington is complicated as there are many players involved and unlikely to produce any positive results while Adelson is the prime mover on much of the Trump foreign policy, though one hesitates to refer to it as a policy at all.

Adelson is the world's leading diaspora Israel-firster and he has the ear of the president of the United States, who reportedly speaks and meets with him regularly. And Adelson uses his considerable financial resources to back up his words of wisdom. He is the fifteenth wealthiest man in America with a reported fortune of $33 billion. He is the number one contributor to the GOP having given $81 million in the last cycle. Admittedly that is chump change to him, but it is more than enough to buy the money hungry and easily corruptible Republicans.

In a certain sense, Adelson has obtained control of the foreign policy of the political party that now controls both the White House and the Senate, and his mission in life is to advance Israeli interests. Among those interests is the continuous punishment of Iran, which does not threaten the United States in any way, through employment of increasingly savage sanctions and threats of violence, which brings us around to the arrest of Meng and the complicity of Adelson in that process. Adelson's wholly owned talking head National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly had prior knowledge of the Canadian plans and may have actually been complicit in their formulation. Adelson has also been the major force behind moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has also convinced the Administration to stop its criticism of the illegal Israeli settlements on Arab land and has been instrumental in cutting off all humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. He prefers tough love when dealing with the Iranians, advocating dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran as a warning to the Mullahs of what more might be coming if they don't comply with all the American and Israeli demands.

Trump tax cuts for the  rich

His tax cuts benefitted mainly the rich -- clear betrayal of his 2016 platform, which emphasized creation of jobs for middle class and improving the condition of workers.  He adopted monstrous military budget which clearly is stealing funds from his voters.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2018 2017 2016 2015

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

[Apr 24, 2019] I thought Adelson is the heir of Meyer Lansky?

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Germanicus , says: April 24, 2019 at 12:27 am GMT

@Art

Hear hear – you are so right – how totally degrading – Adelson is a gambling gangster in China.

I thought Adelson is the heir of Meyer Lansky?

but to have to lick the hand of a man like Adelson, must be one hell of an ignominious degradation.

The thought of the leftist puppets kissing Soros butt is also not really appealing.

[Apr 24, 2019] Mueller Raises More Questions Than Answers -- About the Democrats by Patrick J. Buchanan

Apr 23, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The release of the Mueller report has left Democrats in a dilemma. Consider what Robert Mueller concluded after two years of investigation.

Candidate Donald Trump did not conspire or collude with the Russians to hack the emails of the DNC or John Podesta. Trump did not distribute the fruits of those crimes nor did anyone on his campaign. On collusion and conspiracy, said Mueller, Trump is innocent.

Mueller did not say that Trump did not consider interfering with his investigation. But that investigation nonetheless went on unimpeded. Mueller's document demands were all met. And Mueller did not conclude that Trump obstructed justice.

On obstruction, then, not guilty, by reason of no indictment.

We are told that Trump ranted to subordinates about firing Mueller. Yet as Attorney General Bill Barr pointed out, Trump had excellent reasons to be enraged. He was pilloried for two and a half years over a crime he not only did not commit but that never took place.

From the fall of 2016 to the spring of 2019, Trump was subjected to scurrilous attacks. It was alleged that his victory had been stolen for him by the Russians, that he was an illegitimate president guilty of treason and an agent of the Kremlin, that he was being blackmailed, and that he rewrote the Republican platform on Vladimir Putin's instructions.

All bull hockey, and Mueller all but said so.

Yet the false charges did serious damage to his presidency and the nation.

Mueller Time is Finally Over CNN Disgraces Itself as the Mueller Report Shatters Media Dreams

Answering them has consumed much of Trump's tenure and ruined his plans to repair our dangerously damaged relations with the world's other great nuclear power.

Yet it is the Trump haters who are now in something of a box.

Their goal had been to use "Russiagate" to bring down their detested antagonist, overturn his election, and put him in the history books as a stooge of Putin who, had the truth be known, would never have won the White House.

Mueller failed to sustain their indictment. Indeed, he all but threw it out.

Yet Trump's enemies will not quit now. To do so would be to concede that Trump's defenders had been right all along, and that they had not only done a grave injustice to Trump but damaged their country with their manic pursuit.

And admitting they were wrong would instantly raise follow-up questions.

If two years of investigation by Mueller, his lawyers, and his FBI agents could not unearth hard evidence to prove that Trump and his campaign conspired with the Russians, what was the original evidence that justified launching this historic and massive assault on a presidential campaign and the presidency of the United States?

If there was no collusion, when did Mueller learn this? Did it take two and a half years to discover there was no conspiracy?

The names tossed out as justifying the original investigation are George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. The latter was subjected to four consecutive secret FISA court surveillance warrants.

Yet neither man was ever charged with conspiring with Russia.

Was "Russiagate" a nothingburger to begin with, a concocted excuse for "deep state" agencies to rampage through Trump's campaign and personal history to destroy him and his presidency?

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate, has called for impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. But her call seems less tied to evidence of high crimes in the Mueller report than to her own anemic poll ratings and fundraising performance in the first quarter.

It is difficult to see how those Democrats and their media allies, who have invested so much prestige and so many hopes in the Mueller report, can now pack it in and concede that they were wrong. Their interests will not permit it; their reputations could not sustain it.

So where are we headed?

The anti-Trump media and second-tier candidates for the Democratic nomination will press the frontrunners to join their call for impeachment. Some will capitulate to the clamor.

But can Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, or Kamala Harris, each of whom has an agenda to advance, accept becoming just another voice crying out for Trump's impeachment?

The credibility of the Democratic Party is now at issue.

If Mueller could not find collusion, what reason is there to believe that Congressman Jerry Nadler's Judiciary Committee will find it? And then convince the country they have discovered what ex-FBI director Mueller could not?

With conspiracy and collusion off the table, and Mueller saying the case for obstruction is unproven, the renewed attack on Trump takes on the aspect of a naked and desperate "deep state"-media coup against a president they fear they cannot defeat at the ballot box.

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.


Ken Zaretzke April 23, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Why did Mueller hire only Democrats for his team–an unusually large team, at that? Was it because he thought nailing Trump on collusion a surefire thing? And as a surefire thing, there was no need to placate Republicans or provide balance? Who advised or pressured him to do that? Maybe the deep state

An investigation of the FBI's Trump-spying caper, with James Comey at the helm, should look into those matters. To some as yet undetermined extent, Mueller and Comey are joined at the hip. Or if they aren't, let the government prove it. If DOJ's Inspector General doesn't do it, we may need another special counsel to conduct a more thorough investigation. And this time, by someone from outside the Beltway, with no professional or social allegiances to individuals within it.

John S , says: April 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm
" not guilty, by reason of no indictment."

The report itself states that, per OLC, the Special Counsel determined not to make a prosecutorial judgment. It also states that the President is not exonerated of the crime of obstruction.

Stuart Ferguson , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:46 pm
Mr. Buchanan is right: President Trump has been found to be not guilty of working with Russia, but neither the media, nor the neo-cons can possible admit it, or their cause is lost. And one need not personally admire Donald Trump to note the haughty condescension of his opponents, most of whom have been wrong about almost everything for decades.

[Apr 24, 2019] Why then Mueller backed off (in panic) from the indicted' readiness to show up in court?

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm GMT

@Sean "Trump owes the Russians nothing, he was their way to stop Clinton."

-- Sean, you seem as taking really seriously the $4.700 spent by Russians on the Google ads as well as the indictment of Russian "hackers and trolls" (the alleged army of Kremlin) in absentia. Why then Mueller backed off (in panic) from the indicted' readiness to show up in court?

Your thinking is not original: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-13/google-ceo-exposes-shocking-full-extent-russian-meddling-2016

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/04/mueller-russia-interference-election-case-delay-570627

You may have some special grievances against Russia and Russians, but why such obvious depreciation of your intelligence by repeating after Adam Schiff?

[Apr 24, 2019] Wallbanger

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

says: April 23, 2019 at 6:15 pm GMT 100 Words What a joke. Trump is a Zionist. The "deep state" is Zionist. The trillionaires are Zionists.

Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. Continues the illegal wars in Syria and Yemen. Unilaterally declares the Golan Heights to be Israeli territory.

Kushner is Genie Energy. Cheney, et al. Stealing Syrian national wealth.

Trump is a tool.

Those who supported Trump are fools. Those who thought Mueller would find impeachable offenses are fools. We are all either fools or tools.


Adrian E. , says: April 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT

@Wallbanger Of course, Trump is pro-Zionist, and he hardly needed any pressure for this. Kushner is a close friend of Netanyahu, and we don't know anything about conflicts between Trump and Kushner.

But I think the Russiagate conspiracy theory still may have served important foreign policy goals.

I think it is important to distinguish between Israeli foreign policy and US neocon foreign policy, even though they are close allies. At least superficially, these are two rather different things, and to me, it is an open question to what degree these differences are only superficial.

US neocons follow the doctrine of „full spectrum dominance". This leads them to having military bases all over the world, stoking up conflicts, and destabilizing countries that have or want good relations with rivals like China and Russia. The idea that such „full spectrum dominance" will be used for the benefit of Israel certainly goes a long way for explaining why neocons think it is worth the price – after all, many US neocons are Jewish Zionists, and many of their lower-rank supporters are Christian Zionists. But their goal of „full spectrum dominance" goes beyond matters related to Israel, it leads to conflicts and tensions all over the world, Israel is just one of the motivating factors.

Israeli foreign policy is very different. It does not share the US' hostility towards other great powers. Israel has good relations with Russia and China. It refused to follow the US and the EU in sanctioning Russia, Netanyahu meets Putin regularly, and, like Trump with the Golan recognition, Putin also gave Netanyahu a present a short time before the elections (retrieving remains of an Israeli soldier who was missing since 1982 from Syria). Of course, Russia and Israel supported different sides in Syria, but they still seem to take into account each other's interest to some degree. Israel also has good relations and a strong economic partnership with China and participates in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. The general principle seems to be that whenever there is a conflict and rivalry, Israel wants to have good relations and influence on both sides. There are some exceptions, in the Sunni-Shia conflict, Israel only has behind-the-scenes influence on the Sunni-Wahhabi side, but that is probably one of the reasons why good relations with Russia, which has closer contacts with Iran, are important to Israel. In the case of the conflict in Ukraine (which is quite relevant for Israel because many Israeli citizens are from Russia or Ukraine), Israel remained neutral and has strong connections to both sides. Such a policy of keeping good relations with as many powerful nations as possible obviously seems smart for a smaller (albeit in many respects very strong) country in a difficult part of the world.

Of course, the Israeli government is very much aware that there could hardly ever be a powerful country where Israel is as influential as it is in the US. Israel has some significant influence in Western Europe and Russia, criticizing Israel can be risky, and overall, these countries have rather pro-Israeli policies (as does, as far as I know, China). But they will never be as extremely pro-Israeli as the US. There are many votes in the UN were there is just Israel and the US on one side (sometimes together with some tiny micronations that depend on the US). Therefore, it is in Israel's interest that the US tries at all cost to gain influence relative to other great powers that are less extremely pro-Israeli. Thus, US neocons who drive the US towards a costly „full spectrum dominance" policy are unequivocally positive and worthy of support from the perspective of the Israeli government. But for Israeli foreign policy itself, due to risk management considerations, the priorities are different. The best-case scenario for them is that a) Israeli influence in the US remains strong and b) the US can achieve and maintain „full-spectrum dominance" for a long time. But they also know that this best-case scenario is far from assured, and therefore, they also consider good relations between Israel and potentially powerful countries like China and Russia important.

I think Trump's foreign policy ideas (before any pressure was applied to him) was quite close to the Israeli ideas (rather than the positions of the US neocons). Unlike Israel, he had some ideas about confronting China (mainly on trade), and certainly, he wanted pro-Israeli policies, but it seems he also wanted to have a general policy of „getting along" with relatively important countries rather than pursuing „full-spectrum dominance" wherever possible and stoking up proxy conflicts at every occasion. On the whole, it seems Trump wanted a US foreign policy that is closer to the Israeli one than to the one of US neocons. If Israel can „get along" with Russia, why shouldn't the US? The Israeli and international press does not scream „treason" every time Netanyahu and Putin meet (which they do quite often).

This idea of a normalization of US-Russian relations is what led to such strong opposition from US neocons. I think they all knew that it would never be in doubt that Trump's policies would be pro-Israeli. But that was not enough for them. According to them, the US, unlike Israel, has to have a strongly anti-Russian stance.

I think there are two plausible explanations, one that does involve Israel and one that does not. They may both be partially be true (probably, for some US neocons, it is more the one, while for others, it is more the other).

The first explanation is that US neocons who strongly identify with Israel, as I argued above, recognize that Israel should have good relations with Russia and China because of risk management considerations, but at the same time, Israel wants to have the US to have as much power as possible because it will never have as much influence in Russia and China as it has in the US. The Russia hysteria has helped increasing military spending (and Democrats going along with this), which may increase the chances of "full spectrum dominance" – and this dominance will, among other things, be used on behalf of Israel. In that case, it may have been a kind of misunderstanding. Trump may have thought that for neocons, it would be enough if he is pro-Israeli and anti-Iranian and has normal, non-hostile relations with Russia, as Israel has – ignoring that the roles Israel and the US should play according to the neocons are very different.

But I am not so sure if Israel would really have minded much if the US had normalized its relations with Russia. Netanyahu hardly ever was hostile towards Trump, he knew he was a reliable ally. Some may even think it weakens the ability of the US to support Israel if it gets entangled in conflicts and confrontations all over the world. So, I suppose that for many true Israel-firsters, Trump was hardly seen as a problem (as long as he is pro-Israeli and anti-Iranian, and there had hardly been any doubt that he is). There also do not seem to be strong indications about Israeli involvement in Russiagate/Spygate. Some Israelis seem to have been involved in the entrapment of Papadopoulos, but it was not necessarily the Israeli government as a whole that was behind this (they may just have been needed because Israeli energy policy is one of the main specializations of Papadopoulos), and I think there are at least as strong indications of an Israeli involvement on the pro-Trump side. Russiagate/Spygate mainly seems to be an affair of US and British intelligence services, not so much of Israel. Certainly, in the US, many neocons were strongly involved, but it may not have so much to do with Israel. While support of Israel is one of the reasons why some neocons passionately pursue „full-spectrum dominance", for many of them, this has probably become a goal in itself, even in cases in which it is not needed for Israel – partially for ideological reasons, partially because many of them profit from increased military spending.

notanon , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:40 pm GMT
@Rurik

The right ((neocons)), on the other hand, see Trump as a quisling to rally the hated white men into dying for greater Israel. The perfect Commander and Chief of the Janissaries for Zion.

i agree that initially it was always a possibility he was a neocon plant i.e. neocons couldn't get a war in Syria so decided to put up a candidate who'd promise stuff on trade and immigration to get into office but then ignore it all afterwards and just do neocon stuff but

1) if so he didn't need to say the anti-war stuff
and
2) neocons like Kristol hated him and did everything they could to stop him.

You might call them the Alan Dershowitz wing of the Jewish supremacists. I see that mug on Tucker Carlson defending Trump, and he's positively beaming.

right but he'd be beaming like that even more if he knew Trump was originally isolationist but now is compromised and compliant.

too early to tell for sure but my take is if neocons and the media now start going easier on him i think that will prove they got him and want to keep him in office.

(nb it doesn't change anything if he was always a shill or he wasn't but they got him – the end result is the same)

Rurik , says: April 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm GMT
@notanon

1) if so he didn't need to say the anti-war stuff
and

the only reason I was duped into voting for Dubya his first term, was because I was appalled at Clinton's flouting of international law when he bombed Serbia, and Dubya said specifically said he wasn't a "nation builder". Boy oh boy was I chumped by that one.

And we were all chumped by Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, and serial war pig.

But what choice do we have but to at least vote for the peace candidate, and then wait until, on cue, we're all betrayed once again by the Jewish supremacist deepstate.

So far, Trump hasn't started any new wars. So as Mr. Giraldi says, "one hopes"

if neocons and the media now start going easier on him

then we're toast

it seems the only metric we have for determining whether or not a person is rotten to the core, or not, is whether the media likes them, or not.

If the media likes them, then they're as rotten as they come.

If the media hates them, (Ron Paul, Julian Assange

others..)

then there is likely at least something redeeming about them.

The main reason for (pathetically) clinging to some tiny, gossamer wisp of hope for Trump, is that ((they)) continue to be unhinged in their hysterical enmity for all things Trump.

But considering that he's basically giving them everything they want, (sans an all out war on Iran), it seems the main reason they still hate his guts, is because the despised rubes in flyover country still like him. And I suppose because of a few good judges and justices.

But as long as Bubba continues to proudly wear the hat, they're going to hate Donald Trump with a seething malevolence.

And I have to confess to getting great satisfaction by seeing these rats going apoplectic over Trump.

a guilty secret of mine is that everyday that this sick, twisted bitch

https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/4dbf746ee84f4a07be81d3e41d1e79c5?width=650

is *not* president, I smile inside.

notanon , says: April 23, 2019 at 6:23 pm GMT
@Rurik yes

it seems the only metric we have for determining whether or not a person is rotten to the core, or not, is whether the media likes them, or not

double yes

notanon , says: April 23, 2019 at 6:34 pm GMT
@Rurik the other potentially relevant thing about Trump imo is he made some comments on 9/11 at the time about how strong the twin towers were (i forget the exact details) which could be construed as walking the edge of disbelief.

this may be related to Brennan in particular having such a hysterical reaction to Trump's candidacy.

Germanicus , says: April 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Rurik

it seems the only metric we have for determining whether or not a person is rotten to the core, or not, is whether the media likes them, or not.

I would contend, this is not a reliable indicator. If they really dislike someone, they will simply not report anything at all. It would be a declared and enforced taboo to report.
Negative publicity is also publicity, and the guys behind the curtain know this.

Realist , says: April 23, 2019 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Rurik

But what choice do we have but to at least vote for the peace candidate, and then wait until, on cue, we're all betrayed once again by the Jewish supremacist deepstate.

It won't change anything, but you won't feel betrayed.

[Apr 24, 2019] Charles Pewitt

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

says: April 23, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT 100 Words Trump Is A Complete And Total Whore For Shelly Adelson And Jared Kushner

Shelly Adelson and Jared Kushner push mass legal immigration and illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal alien invaders.

Shelly Adelson and Jared Kushner put the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the United States.

The DEEP STATE rats are just as evil as Adelson and Kushner.

The USA needs a George Washington or Andrew Jackson To Smash The Treasonous Rats

Tweet from 2015:

Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

Art , says: April 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT

@Rurik Putin is a statesman, whereas Pence and Obama and Trump are lickspittles to cretinous toads like Sheldon Adelson. What that must be like, eh?

It'd be one thing to have to genuflect to a giant of a man, a Caesar or a Bismarck perhaps, but to have to lick the hand of a man like Adelson, must be one hell of an ignominious degradation.

Rurik,

Hear hear – you are so right – how totally degrading – Adelson is a gambling gangster in China.

How low can we go – Jew gambling money from a rival country controls America.

Adelson's money has so far bought Israel, Jerusalem and the Golan – what is next the Third Temple, to be followed by an Iran war?

Do No Harm -- Art

p.s. Is Adelson crazy Kabbalah also?

[Apr 24, 2019] One of the reasons I voted for DJT was because I wanted to know if the unelected elites (who control the Deep State) would ever voluntarily surrender the reigns of power in DC without bloodshed.

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

JEinCA , says: April 23, 2019 at 11:05 pm GMT

One of the reasons I voted for DJT was because I wanted to know if the unelected elites (who control the Deep State) would ever voluntarily surrender the reigns of power in DC without bloodshed. Now I unequivocally know the answer to that question. There is no democracy, there is no Republic and any Constitutional Rights us American citizens have left hang by a thread (think 1st and 2nd Amendments).

At this point Trump is either a hostage of the Deep State or he has joined them.

[Apr 24, 2019] Only a rabid Israel-firster and Clinton loyalist like Schiff could ignore the excellent report of the patriotic Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); the report explains why Clinton/DNC emails were never hacked but "leaked."

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 24, 2019 at 1:50 am GMT

@dale ruff "As for Adam,Schiff, he is a very smart guy "
-- If you say so.

Actually, proclaiming the enormity of Adam Schiff intelligence is so funny that here is a take on the "intelligence" that is the basis for A. Schiff' well-publicized vitriols: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-24/making-shit-us-intelligence-community-collapse-driver "Making Shit Up" – The US Intelligence Community As 'Collapse Driver'

On a serious note, only a rabid Israel-firster and loyalist to Clintons could ignore the excellent report of the patriotic Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); the report explains why Clinton/DNC emails were never hacked but "leaked."
True to the spirit of the DNC activists, the "progressives" and "liberals" are indifferent to the death of the young DNC operative Seth Rich.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/
https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin "interference" in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win.

In 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair asked Comey whether he ever had "access to the actual hardware that was hacked." Comey answered, "In the case of the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party "

we [VIPS] know for sure that the person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI's curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike.

Why the allegedly intelligent A. Schiff has never questioned the conclusions of a private CrowdStrike led by a Russophobic Jewish emigre from Moscow? For an honest person with a degree in law, Schiff should have been demanding an FBI investigation of the server in question. Instead, Adam has been at the forefront of the putsch against POTUS . So much for the "J.D. from Harvard Law School."

By the way, your attempts to impress the readers with your admiration for Harvard are funny.

[Apr 24, 2019] Who knows what is the real Trump agenda

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Mulegino1 , says: April 24, 2019 at 1:20 am GMT

Maybe Trump's agenda is to get the Holy City renamed "Jaredsalem", and Tel Aviv renamed "Telavanka."

[Apr 24, 2019] Bolton works for CIA.

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Oh no its the Illuminati , says: April 23, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT

ChuckO,

Bolton? NSA? Do you mean NSC? Everything we hear about Bolton lately is ideological labeling as a so-called Neocon, more ambiguous bullshit, or tainting him by association with Israelis. Funny how everybody just forgot what Bolton did at the UN, when Bush shoehorned him in there without congressional consent. Bolton personally constipated the drafting of the Summit Outcome Document to remove awkward mentions of the magic word impunity. The old perv put up 700 amendments to obstruct the process.

Now, who cares that much about impunity? And why would it be such a big deal, unless you had impunity in municipal law but the whole world was committed to ending impunity? Cause if you think about it, that's what the whole world has been doing for 70 years, codifying the Pre-CIA Nuremberg Principles as international criminal law and developing state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts as customary and then conventional international law. Who doesn't want that?

CIA. Impunity is CIA's vital interest. They go to war to keep it all the time.

Bolton works for CIA.

DESERT FOX , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm GMT
@Oh no its the Illuminati See Col. L. Fletcher Proutys book The Secret Team , the CIA is the zionist chain dogs that rule America!
ChuckOrloski , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Wisely, DESERT FOX recalled Colonel Fletcher Prouty, and wrote: " the CIA is the zionist chain dogs that rule America!"

Dear DESERT FOX,

As you know, for some very dramatic time, Attorney Garrison held Clay Shaw's feet-to-the-fire while demonstrating the latter businessman's connection to the Israeli company, Permindex.

So naturally, a reasonable & respectful question arises, for which there is likely no available & conclusive determination.

Are CIA, Mossad, and M16 joined as one (1) ruling and globally unaccountable
"(Western) Zionist chain dog" link? Tough one, D.F., but am confident you can intelligently handle it. Thanks & salud!

DESERT FOX , says: April 23, 2019 at 5:27 pm GMT
@ChuckOrloski From what I have read, MI6 is under zionist control and is the template for the CIA and the Mossad and is the controller of both the CIA and the Mossad and all three are under zionist control.

Another good book is The Committee of 300 by Dr. John Coleman a former officer in MI6 and his videos on youtube.

[Apr 24, 2019] Is Pence another Trojan horse in Trump administration: I believe that the NYT op-ed, purportedly by a "senior WH official" that said Trump was a buffoon but there are "adults" in charge of foreign policy at the WH, was written by Pence, at least in part

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anon [204] Disclaimer , says: April 24, 2019 at 2:05 am GMT

This is a good article but it misses a key person, probably the most important, in this whole sorry mess -- Mike Pence.

I strongly suspect Pence has been pulling a soft coup on Trump since Day 1. Pence is the biggest Ziocon there is, we had our first hint during his VP debate in 2016 with Tim Kaine when he said he would go to war with Russia over Syria. Trump countered him in the next debate. I believe that the NYT op-ed, purportedly by a "senior WH official" that said Trump was a buffoon but there are "adults" in charge of foreign policy at the WH, was written by Pence, at least in part. The word "lodestar" was a dead giveaway, and he is the only one who could not be fired. It is clear that the Pence admin is now running our foreign policy. He has been making speeches everywhere to gather support against all "our" enemies – Iran, Ukraine, NKorea, China, Venezuela, Syria.

A while back Trump was furious that Pence had hired (((Jon Lerner))), a Never Trumper and personal advisor to Nikki Haley at the UN as his personal advisor. Not sure if Pence dump him in the end but the fact that he even hired him in the first place should tell you who Pence is. Not since LBJ has there been a VP this involved in foreign policy. Pence is toxic. You can tell Pompeo and Bolton report to him. Wouldn't surprise me if he worked with Rosenstein to bring in Mueller. Pence 's wife despises Trump. She probably only agreed to let Pence be VP because he and his handlers promised her Trump will be impeached so he'd be president.

Of course, Trump is not completely innocent. He is an unprincipled idiot megalomaniac and is easily manipulated. What he's doing with immigration shows you who he really is, a total liar. Kushner the treasonous rat SIL is about to unleash a mass Chindian importation immigration plan that'll piss off all of Trump's base

[Apr 23, 2019] Justin Elliott on Sheldon Adelson by Scott

Notable quotes:
"... This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs , by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; Zen Cash ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; and LibertyStickers.com . ..."
"... To me, it is not so much the lies that major media organizations may broadcast, but the enormous amount of news of major importance that the networks censor that is doing the greatest harm. ..."
Oct 24, 2018 | scotthorton.org
Journalist Justin Elliott comes on the show to talk about casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has become one of President Trump's biggest donors. Although Trump derided him early in his campaign, the two have formed a close partnership with Adelson providing tens of millions in funding so long as Trump continues the correct policies with respect to Israel, Palestine, and Iran. Elliott and others have also speculated that Trump is trying to get Adelson approval to open a casino in Japan, helping him to expand his gambling empire in Asia.

Discussed on the show:

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica . He has produced stories for The New York Times and National Public Radio, and his reporting with NPR on the Red Cross' troubled post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Haiti won a 2015 Investigative Reporters and Editors award. Follow him on Twitter @JustinElliott .

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs , by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; Zen Cash ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; and LibertyStickers.com .

Check out Scott's Patreon page.

William on October 26, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Whether Adelson or some other plutocrat, American politics is awash in money, and it this money is crippling our democracy. I don't think that I have heard this topic discussed on any news program, and I don't expect to. To me, it is not so much the lies that major media organizations may broadcast, but the enormous amount of news of major importance that the networks censor that is doing the greatest harm.

Americans never get to see what they need to know. Keeping the peasants ignorant is the current mass media program, and they are doing a great job of it.

[Apr 23, 2019] Transactional Trumpism

Apr 23, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Brian 04.21.19 at 2:43 pm

I think the real question is not whether Trump is successful or not. That question is a red herring in American politics today. The real question is whether or not the Democratic "leadership" can allow nomination of a candidate that the Democrat rank and file want. Bernie Sanders should have won the nomination last time. But the superdelegate system gives a literal handful of mandarins the ability to fake the primary process. (I say that as someone who has significant issues with some of Sanders positions.)

Trump won because Hillary was a horrific candidate. Voters stayed home, disgusted. Trump won because the Obama administration didn't deliver hope nor change. He delivered a government of the corporate criminal bankers for them. Middle and working class America got screwed. Black people got screwed worst. Trump won because the utter corruption at the heart of the DNC was exposed for all to see in the emails. Trump win because of the Obama administration making a trade deal top secret classified and trying to force a vote through congress. Not seeing any point in voting, Democrats didnt.

All the evidence since shows the DNC leadership didn't learn anything. They are just as contemptuous of voters, just as manipulative with their window dressing as ever. The Democratic party is the party of endless war even more than the Republicans. It's a party that stopped every effort by Trump to wind down or end war posture with Russia and North Korea. There's now 2 parties in Netanyahu's pocket implementing Likuds insane middle east ideas. Put some solar energy and LGBTQ butter on it with a side of women's rights bullshit and it's "Democrat". But the politicians are just as venal. The legislature just as wildly right wing war mongering.

The 1960's is long over. The Democratic party hasn't seen a new idea since and has converted to govern to the right of Nixon. Way to Nixon's right. The Democratic party is the tool of the Uber-ization of not just America, but the whole world. Flour and break the law to pauperize the working class, and suck money to a few in the SF Bay Area. That's policy now.

You can see it already. Sanders is ahead. But Buttigieg is being anointed. He's the perfect candidate. He's gay! He's out of the closet! And he's a corporate tool who can talk smoothly without speaking a clear word. Best of all, he has ZERO foreign policy experience or positions. So he'll be putty in the hands of the corporations that want endless war for profits. Wall Street wants him. And the street owns the Democratic party. Will he give a flying f*@k about the middle and working class? Will he be anything but another neo-liberal who can be differentiated from a neo-conservative only by mild difference in racism? (Overt vs.covert)

At least Buttigieg isn't Beto O'Rourke, the most completely empty skin in Congress. There's that.

All the evidence I see is no. The Democrat "leadership" don't understand. I predict a Trump win, or else a squeaker election that barely scrapes by with a win.

No matter what, the idiot Democrats won't get it. Pelosi will do her best to cast the Republicans anti-tax anti-government (federal) government culture war in concrete with balanced budget horse manure. The Democrats will continue to force a new cold war on Russia. They will keep backing companies that steal from the middle and working class. (Yes, Uber and Lyft are massive theft operations. They implemented taxi service without licenses. Those licenses cost a lot of money to those who bought them. They put the public at risk causing multiple deaths and assaults from unlicensed taxi drivers.)

Trump's appeal is that he at least talks a game of "f*@k you". Domestically it's all lies on all sides. He lies to everyone. But at least he doesn't lie smoothly like the "good Democrat" candidates do.

Jim Harrison 04.21.19 at 5:17 pm (no link)

Obviously everybody's motives are mixed. The same guys who are calculating the economic advantages of supporting Trump are likely to be cultural nativists too. That said, I think a lot of the traditional Republicans who have come around to heartfelt Trumpism supported him once he got the nomination for rational (zweckrational) reasons. A moderate Democrat like Clinton might not seem like much of a threat, but the era of triangulation is coming to an end no matter who's in charge. The imperative problems of the times -- drastic inequality, economic stagnation, a train wreck of a health care system, climate change -- will have to be faced with measures deeply threatening to the existing order of things, especially since sheer demography is undermining the white Christian base of right-wing politics. Under the circumstances, the only way to defend privilege is to embrace some kind of craziness. The incompetence of the administration and the decline of American power and prestige that goes with it are a trade-off. In any case, though Trump may be worse than necessary, any conservative government will necessarily oversee the debasement of the country in the name of race and religion. As Molly Bloom once murmured, "as well him as another."
eg 04.21.19 at 5:30 pm ( 25 )
I don't believe a whole lot of thought goes into, "I'm for Team Coke because it's not Team Pepsi"

So put me down for #4 and #6 above

Lee A. Arnold 04.22.19 at 1:22 pm (no link)
jim harrison #24: "Under the circumstances, the only way to defend privilege is to embrace some kind of craziness. The incompetence of the administration and the decline of American power and prestige that goes with it are a trade-off."

I think you've put it in a nutshell. But the recognition of this particular thought is prevented in the minds of conservatives, both upper and lower class, by an opposing thought. The conservative logic is that defending privilege is scientifically proper. It is to defend the material hierarchy in which you, yourself, may ascend on your own merits as a productive successful individual. Privilege is not simply "I got mine, so you get yours": it is conservatives' presumed key to capitalism's overall success, thus to defend privilege is to defend the US's status as the world's strongest, most vibrant economy.

There are several reasons why this law of the jungle may no longer remain operational in the US, and they started before Trump 's hastening of US decline. If these reasons ever dawn upon the lower-class conservatives, that awakening may not come yet for 10 or 20 years as the unavoidable bills become due and global financial markets begin to divest from the US as if it were a money-loser. In the meantime the upper class will have taken its money offshore, as foreign economies grow and liberalize investment. Thus it is that neoliberals (in Quinn Slobodian's particular description, of a free-floating globalized financial class that manipulates local national policies) can cut themselves free of the US as it descends further into stratified poverty and brutality. The elites, simply by following the financial markets, will gut the US.

Your quote describes a trade-off that is a vicious circle. It looks impossible to break unless there is a generally agreed-upon rewrite of political economy. I repeat "generally agreed-upon", because the real need is to change a big social preference, and as economists say,"preferences are exogenous", meaning they are prior to the application of the toolkit of modern economics. The US was the first large advanced capitalist country, and it may become the first large advanced democratic socialist country if it is to avoid fascism.

Uncle Jeffy 04.22.19 at 2:05 pm (no link)
Happy Charles Krauthammer Day!

In Memoriam, of course. But his brilliant insight (that there were WMDs in Iraq, and all we needed was a little more time to find them) will live on forever ..

Jay 04.22.19 at 11:43 pm (no link)
or maybe they weren't eager for World War 3 with Russia over Syria or the Ukraine?

I voted for Trump after previously voting for Ralph Nader. And Obama proved beyond a doubt that Nader was right. Meanwhile Trump has done exactly what I hoped he would do; he has shown that our entire election system is rigged by the CIA (obviously not very thoroughly rigged). Like or hate Trump, only a traitor would not be concerned that the CIA is giving marching order to the media and colluding to derail candidates it does not approve of.

Unless a "democrat" stands up who is willing to talk about unconstitutional wars, unconstitutional bailouts, unconstitutional surveillance and unconstitutional rigging of the two major parties, Trump is far better because he is forcing the public to see how corrupt DC is. We have been in a constitutional crisis since at least the 1990's. Of course if you are too weak and stupid to handle any of that discussion, just bury your head and pretend that "racism" is the only reason Trump won.

bruce wilder 04.23.19 at 12:21 am (no link)
Reading the post and comments, I can help but feel the entire agenda is about feeling good about one's own political fecklessness. The abject moral and economic failures of left-neoliberalism / lesser evilism Democratic Party politics are staring at you. And, you are projecting that outward as if Trump is a failure of the Republican Party and its politics!
J-D 04.23.19 at 4:25 am (no link)
Jay

Trump has done exactly what I hoped he would do; he has shown that our entire election system is rigged by the CIA (obviously not very thoroughly rigged).

If you mean that (as a result of Trump's election) most people in the US now believe that that your entire election system is rigged by the CIA, then you're wrong: most people in the US do not believe that your entire election system is rigged by the CIA. On the other hand, you can't mean that as a result of Trump's election you now believe that to be true, because (on your own say-so) you already believed it to be true before Trump's election.

If you mean that as a result of Trump's election you feel justified in priding yourself on having superior insight to the poor dupes who still believe in the system, then I would believe that's how you feel; but perhaps that's not what you mean. I hope that's not what you mean.

Trump is far better because he is forcing the public to see how corrupt DC is

No, the number of people who did not believe that DC was corrupt before Trump but who have come to believe that it is corrupt because of Trump is so small as to be insignificant.

likbez 04.23.19 at 5:58 am (no link)
@Brian 04.21.19 at 2:43 pm ( 18)

First of all thank you for your post. You insights are much appreciated. Some comments:

The real question is whether or not the Democratic "leadership" can allow nomination of a candidate that the Democrat rank and file want.

In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination. And Democratic leadership mainly consists of "CIA-democrats"

Trump won because Hillary was a horrific candidate. Voters stayed home, disgusted. Trump won because the Obama administration didn't deliver hope nor change. He delivered a government of the corporate criminal bankers for them. Middle and working class America got screwed. Black people got screwed worst. Trump won because the utter corruption at the heart of the DNC was exposed for all to see in the emails.

This is a very apt description of reasons for which Trump had won, but anti-war sentiments played also important role and probably should be added to the list. People with neocon foreign policy platform might face hard wing in 2020 as well too. That does not means that voters will not be betrayed again like in case of Trump and Obama, but still

The Democratic party is the party of endless war even more than the Republicans. It's a party that stopped every effort by Trump to wind down or end war posture with Russia and North Korea. There's now 2 parties in Netanyahu's pocket implementing Likuds insane middle east ideas. Put some solar energy and LGBTQ butter on it with a side of women's rights bullshit and it's "Democrat". But the politicians are just as venal. The legislature just as wildly right wing war mongering.

True. But in 2020 that might be their undoing. That's why this corrupt gang is more afraid of Tulsi more then of Trump.

In general the level of crisis of neoliberalism will play important role in 2002 elections, especially if the economy slows down in 2020. Wheels might start coming off the neoliberal cart in 2020; that's why Russiagate hysteria serves as an "insurance policy". It helps to cement the cracks in the neoliberal façade, or at least to attribute them to the chosen scapegoat.

One good thing that Trump has done (beside criminal justice reform) is that he helped to discredit neoliberal media. That effort should be applauded. He really turned the Twitter into a razor to slash neoliberal MSMs.

[Apr 23, 2019] The Conspiracy Against Trump by Philip Giraldi

Lightly edited for clarity...
Notable quotes:
"... One might reasonably ask if America in its seemingly enduring role as the world's most feared bully will ever cease and desist, but the more practical question might be "When will the psychopathic trio of John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliott Abrams be fired so the United States can begin to behave like a normal nation?" ..."
"... This hatred of all things Trump has been manifested in the neoconservative "Nevertrump" forces led by Bill Kristol and by the "Trump Derangement Syndrome" prominent on the political left, regularly exhibited by Rachel Maddow. ..."
"... Whether the Mueller report is definitive very much depends on the people they chose to interview and the questions they chose to ask, which is something that will no doubt be discussed for the next year if not longer. Beyond declaring that the Trump team did not collude with Russia, it cast little light on the possible Deep State role in attempting to vilify Trump and his associates. ..."
"... The media has scarcely reported how Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ), has been looking into the activities of the principal promoters of the Russiagate fraud. Horowitz, whose report is expected in about a month, has already revealed that he intends to make criminal referrals as a result of his investigation. ..."
"... The first phase of the illegal investigation of the Trump associates involved initiating wiretaps without any probable cause. This eventually involved six government intelligence and law enforcement agencies that formed a de facto task force headed by the CIA's Director John Brennan. Also reportedly involved were the FBI's James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson, and Admiral Michael Rogers who headed the National Security Agency. ..."
"... The British support of the operation was coordinated by the then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has since been forced to resign. Brennan is, unfortunately still around and has not been charged with perjury and other crimes. In May 2017, after he departed government, he testified before Congress with what sounds a lot like a final unsourced, uncorroborated attempt to smear the new administration ..."
"... The Deep State wants a constant state of tension with 'hostile' countries (Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China, Syria and others). This scares the crap out of ignorant Americans and allows unjustifiable spending on war matériel. ..."
"... The Deep State wants a steady supply of cheap foreign labor to provide wealth to the supporters of the Deep State. ..."
"... You know damn well Adelson sent Bolton and you should also know damn well why the Orange Boy staffed his adm with Zionists. No one in NY except Zionists would associate with Trump. ..."
Apr 23, 2019 | www.unz.com

The real "deplorable" in today's United States is the continuation of a foreign policy based on endless aggression to maintain Washington's military dominance in parts of the world where Americans have no conceivable interest. Many voters backed Donald J. Trump because he committed himself to changing all that, but, unfortunately, he has reneged on his promise, instead heightening tension with major powers Russia and China while also threatening Iran and Venezuela on an almost daily basis. Now Cuba is in the crosshairs because it is allegedly assisting Venezuela. One might reasonably ask if America in its seemingly enduring role as the world's most feared bully will ever cease and desist, but the more practical question might be "When will the psychopathic trio of John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliott Abrams be fired so the United States can begin to behave like a normal nation?"

Trump, to be sure, is the heart of the problem as he has consistently made bad, overly belligerent decisions when better and less abrasive options were available, something that should not necessarily always be blamed on his poor choice of advisers. But one also should not discount the likelihood that the dysfunction in Trump is in part comprehensible, stemming from his belief that he has numerous powerful enemies who have been out do destroy him since before he was nominated as the GOP's presidential candidate. This hatred of all things Trump has been manifested in the neoconservative "Nevertrump" forces led by Bill Kristol and by the "Trump Derangement Syndrome" prominent on the political left, regularly exhibited by Rachel Maddow.

And then there is the Deep State, which also worked with the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began. One can define Deep State in a number of ways, ranging from a "soft" version which accepts that there is an Establishment that has certain self-serving objectives that it works collectively to promote to something harder, an actual infrastructure that meets together and connives to remove individuals and sabotage policies that it objects to. The Deep State in either version includes senior government officials, business leaders and, perhaps most importantly, the managed media, which promotes a corrupted version of "good governance" that in turn influences the public.

Whether the Mueller report is definitive very much depends on the people they chose to interview and the questions they chose to ask, which is something that will no doubt be discussed for the next year if not longer. Beyond declaring that the Trump team did not collude with Russia, it cast little light on the possible Deep State role in attempting to vilify Trump and his associates. The investigation of that aspect of the 2016 campaign and the possible prosecutions of former senior government officials that might be a consequence of the investigation will likely be entertaining conspiracy theorists well into 2020. Since Russiagate has already been used and discarded the new inquiry might well be dubbed Trumpgate.

The media has scarcely reported how Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ), has been looking into the activities of the principal promoters of the Russiagate fraud. Horowitz, whose report is expected in about a month, has already revealed that he intends to make criminal referrals as a result of his investigation. While the report will only cover malfeasance in the Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, the names of intelligence officers involved will no doubt also surface. It is expected that there will be charges leading to many prosecutions and one can hope for jail time for those individuals who corruptly betrayed their oath to the United States Constitution to pursue a political vendetta.

A review of what is already known about the plot against Trump is revealing and no doubt much more will be learned if and when investigators go through emails and phone records. The first phase of the illegal investigation of the Trump associates involved initiating wiretaps without any probable cause. This eventually involved six government intelligence and law enforcement agencies that formed a de facto task force headed by the CIA's Director John Brennan. Also reportedly involved were the FBI's James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson, and Admiral Michael Rogers who headed the National Security Agency.

Brennan was the key to the operation because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court refused to approve several requests by the FBI to initiate taps on Trump associates and Trump Tower as there was no probable cause to do so but the British and other European intelligence services were legally able to intercept communications linked to American sources. Brennan was able to use his connections with those foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, to make it look like the concerns about Trump were coming from friendly and allied countries and therefore had to be responded to as part of routine intelligence sharing. As a result, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn were all wiretapped. And likely there were others. This all happened during the primaries and after Trump became the GOP nominee.

In other words, to make the wiretaps appear to be legitimate, GCHQ and others were quietly and off-the-record approached by Brennan and associates over their fears of what a Trump presidency might mean. The British responded by initiating wiretaps that were then used by Brennan to justify further investigation of Trump's associates. It was all neatly done and constituted completely illegal spying on American citizens by the U.S. government.

The British support of the operation was coordinated by the then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has since been forced to resign. Brennan is, unfortunately still around and has not been charged with perjury and other crimes. In May 2017, after he departed government, he testified before Congress with what sounds a lot like a final unsourced, uncorroborated attempt to smear the new administration :

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

Brennan's claimed "concerns" turned out to be incorrect. Meanwhile, other interested parties were involved in the so-called Steele Dossier on Trump himself. The dossier, paid for initially by Republicans trying to stop Trump, was later funded by $12 million from the Hillary campaign. It was commissioned by the law firm Perkins Coie, which was working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The objective was to assess any possible Trump involvement with Russia. The work itself was sub-contracted to Fusion GPS, which in turn sub-contracted the actual investigation to British spy Christopher Steele who headed a business intelligence firm called Orbis.

Steele left MI-6 in 2009 and had not visited Russia since 1993. The report, intended to dig up dirt on Trump, was largely prepared using impossible to corroborate second-hand information and would have never surfaced but for the surprise result of the 2016 election. Christopher Steele gave a copy to a retired of British Diplomat Sir Andrew Wood who in turn handed it to Trump critic Senator John McCain who then passed it on to the FBI. President Barack Obama presumably also saw it and, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "If it weren't for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller's investigation."

The report was leaked to the media in January 2017 to coincide with Trump's inauguration. Hilary Clinton denied any prior knowledge despite the fact that her campaign had paid for it. Pressure from the Democrats and other constituencies devastated by the Trump victory used the Steele report to provide leverage for what became the Mueller investigation.

So, was there a broad ranging conspiracy against Donald Trump orchestrated by many of the most senior officials and politicians in Washington? Undeniably yes. What Trump has amounted to as a leader and role model is beside the point as what evolved was undeniably a bureaucratic coup directed against a legally elected president of the United States and to a certain extent it was successful as Trump was likely forced to turn his back on his better angels and subsequently hired Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams. One can only hope that investigators dig deep into what is Washington insiders have been up to so Trumpgate will prove more interesting and informative than was Russiagate. And one also has to hope that enough highest-level heads will roll to make any interference by the Deep State in future elections unthinkable. One hopes.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .


Realist , says: April 22, 2019 at 11:28 pm GMT

The Deep State plot to undermine the president

The President is part of the Deep State. To understand what the Deep State will and will not tolerate answer these questions.

What do both parties agree on? If they appear to disagree, look to see if anything changes when one party has the power to cause change or does the party in power make excuses to avoid change? Those things that the populus is against but never change or get worse are what the Deep State wants

  1. The Deep State wants a constant state of tension with 'hostile' countries (Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China, Syria and others). This scares the crap out of ignorant Americans and allows unjustifiable spending on war matériel.
  2. The Deep State wants a steady supply of cheap foreign labor to provide wealth to the supporters of the Deep State.
  3. The Deep State wants our financial institutions to never fail (FED 2009) even at the expense of 90% of Americans. The Deep State wants financial institutions to provide financial products to the wealthy which cripples the vast majority of Americans.
  4. The silly internecine squabbles within the Deep State are a ruse to misdirect the public from important issues like constant war, legal and illegal immigrants taking jobs from Americans and the increased transfer of wealth for the 90% to the supper weathy.

There will never be a wall and illegal immigration will continue to be a problem. All the investigations into Trump, the DNC, Hillary and all the rest will never come to justice. The wealth transfer will not stop

Until Americans realize these diversions for what they are and put an end to it through what ever means necessary

renfro , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:28 am GMT

it was successful as Trump was likely forced to turn his back on his better angels and subsequently hired Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.

Oh plezzze .you sound like you've been drugged. Trump never had any better angels as any reporter and journalist whoever interviewed or investigated him would tell you.

And come on! .You know damn well Adelson sent Bolton and you should also know damn well why the Orange Boy staffed his adm with Zionists. No one in NY except Zionists would associate with Trump.

.

notanon , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:35 am GMT
i think some of the conspiracy was about controlling Trump's foreign policy going forward but i also think some of it was people like Brennan worried CIA collusion with Saudi funded jihadist groups since 9/11 (and possibly before) might come out.
Hiram of Tyre , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:41 am GMT
Right.

A plot to undermine another POTUS who does exactly what the previous ones did: bend over to Israel, continues wars, etc.

Trump is only controlled opposition.

[Apr 22, 2019] FBI top brass have been colluding with top brass of CIA and MI6 to pursue ambitious anti-Russian agenda

Highly recommended!
"Carnage needs to destroyed" mentality is dominant among the USA neoliberal elite and drives the policy toward Russia.
They all supported neoconservative extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda directed on weakening Russian and establishing of world dominance. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this
Notable quotes:
"... There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this. ..."
"... This agenda has involved hopes for 'régime change' in Russia, whether as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. Also central have been hopes for a further 'rollback' of Russia influence in the post-Soviet space, both in areas now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya. ..."
"... And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for 'régime change' projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. ..."
"... Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky. ..."
"... it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep.. ..."
"... I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence". ..."
"... It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate. ..."
"... And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that. ..."
"... Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ..."
"... They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040 ..."
"... In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. ..."
"... State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union ..."
"... About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS ..."
"... No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming. ..."
"... Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons. ..."
"... Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing. ..."
"... Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program. ..."
"... IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war. ..."
"... The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. ..."
"... A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella. ..."
"... Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear. ..."
Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Steele, Shvets, Levinson, Litvinenko and the 'Billion Dollar Don.'

In the light of the suggestion in the Nunes memo that Steele was 'a longtime FBI source' it seems worth sketching out some background, which may also make it easier to see some possible reasons why he 'was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'

There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this.

This agenda has involved hopes for 'régime change' in Russia, whether as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. Also central have been hopes for a further 'rollback' of Russia influence in the post-Soviet space, both in areas now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya.

And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for 'régime change' projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area.

Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky.

The question of what links these had, or did not have, with elements in U.S. intelligence agencies is thus a critical one.

In making some sense of it, the fact that one key figure we know to have been involved in this network was missing at the Inquiry – the former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007 – is important.

Unfortunately, I only recently came across a book on Levinson published in 2016 by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier, which is now hopefully winging its way across the Atlantic. From the accounts of the book I have seen, such as one by Jeff Stein in 'Newsweek', it seems likely that its author did not look at any of the evidence presented at Owen's Inquiry.

(See http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/what-really-happened-robert-levinson-cia-iran-454803.html .)

Had he done so, Meier might have discovered that his subject had been, as it were, 'top supporting actor' in the first fumbling attempt by Christopher Steele et al to produce a plausible-sounding scenario as to the background to Litvinenko's death. A Radio 4 programme on 16 December 2006, presented by the veteran BBC presenter Tom Mangold, had been wholly devoted to an account by Shvets, backed up by Levinson. Both of these were, like Litvinenko, supposed to be impartial 'due diligence' operatives.

The notion that any of them might have connections with Western intelligence agencies was not considered. The – publicly available – evidence of the involvement of Shvets, whose surname means 'cobbler' or 'shoemaker' in Ukrainian, in the processing of the tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supposedly recorded by Major Melnychenko, which had played a crucial role in the 2004-5 'Orange Revolution' was not mentioned.

Still less was it mentioned that claims that the – very dangerous – late Soviet Kolchuga system, which made it possible the kind of identification of incoming aircraft which radar had traditionally done, without sending out signals which made the destruction of the facilities doing it possible, had been sold by Kuchma to Iraq had proven spurious.

What Shvets had done had been to take – genuine – audio in which Kuchma had discussed a possible sale, and edit it to suggest a sale had been completed.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

As a former television current affairs producer, I can talk to you of the marvels which London audio editors can produce, very happily. Unfortunately, the days when not all BBC and 'Guardian' journalists were corrupt stenographers for corrupt and incompetent spooks, as Mangold and his like have been for Steele and Levinson, are long gone.

All this has become particularly relevant now, given that Simpson has placed the notorious Jewish Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich and the 'Solntsevskaya Bratva' mafia group centre stage in his accounts not simply of Trump and Manafort, but also of William Browder. For most of the 'Nineties, Levinson had been a, if not the, lead FBI investigator on Mogilevich.

(On this, see the 1999 BBC 'Panorama' programme 'The Billion Dollar Don', also presented by Tom Mangold, which has extensive interviews both with Mogilevich and Levinson at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/panorama/transcripts/transcript_06_12_99.txt )

In the months leading up to Levinson's disappearance, a key priority for the advocates of the strategy I have described was to prevent it being totally derailed by the patently catastrophic outcome of the Iraqi adventure.

Compounding the problem was the fact that this had created the 'Shia Crescent', which in turn exacerbated the potential 'existential threat' to Israel posed by the steadily increasing range, accuracy and numbers of missiles available to Hizbullah in hardened positions north of the Litani.

These, obviously, provided both a 'deterrent' for that organisation and Iran, and also a radical threat to the whole notion that somehow Israel could ever be a 'safe haven' for Jews, against the supposedly ineradicable disposition of the 'goyim' sooner or later to, as it were, revert to type. The dreadful thought that Israel might not be necessary had to be resisted at all costs.

What followed from the disaster unleashed by the – Anglo-American – 'own goal' in toppling Saddam was, ironically, a need on the part of key players to 'double down.' Above all, it was necessary for many of those involved to counter suggestions from the Russian side that going around smashing up 'régimes' that one might not like sometimes blew up in one's face.

Even more threatening were suggestions from the Russian side that it was foolish to think one could use jihadists without risking 'blowback', and that there might be an overwhelming common interest in combating Islamic extremism.

Another priority was to counter the pushback in the American 'intelligence community' and military, which was to produce the drastic downgrading of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme in the November 2007 NIE and then the resignation of Admiral William Fallon as head of 'Centcom' the following March.

So in 2005 Shvets came to London. He and his audio editors had another 'bite at the cherry' of the Melnychenko tapes, so that material that did in fact establish that both the SBU and FSB had collaborated with Mogilevich could be employed to make it seem that Putin had a close personal relationship with the mobster.

All kinds of supposedly respectable American and British academics, like Professors Karen Dawisha and Robert Service, have fallen for this, hook, line and sinker. It gives a new meaning to the term 'useful idiot.'

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

In a letter sent in December that year by Litvinenko to the 'Mitrokhin Commission', for which his Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant, this was used in an attempt to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin's personal 'krysha', had attempted to supply a 'mini atomic bomb' – aka 'suitcase nuke' – to Al Qaeda. Shortly after the letter was sent Scaramella departed on a trip to Washington, where he appears to have got access to Aldrich Ames.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

At precisely this time, as Meier explains, Levinson was in the process of being recruited by a lady called Anne Jablonski who then worked as a CIA analyst. It appears that she was furious at the failure of the operational side at the Agency to produce evidence which would have established that Iran did indeed have an ongoing nuclear programme, and she may well have hoped would implicate Russia in supplying materials.

There are grounds to suspect that one of the things that Berezovsky and Shvets were doing was fabricating such 'evidence.' Whether Levinson was involved in such attempts, or genuinely looking for evidence he was convinced must be there, I cannot say. It appears that he fell for a rather elementary entrapment operation – which could well have been organised with the collaboration of Russian intelligence. (People do get fed up with being framed, particular if 'régime change' is the goal.)

It also seems likely that, quite possibly in a different but related entrapment operation, related to propaganda wars in which claims and counter claims about a polonium-beryllium 'initiator' as the crucial missing part which might make a 'suitcase nuke' functional, Litvinenko accidentally ingested fatal quantities of polonium. A good deal of evidence suggests that this may have been at Berezovsky's offices on the night before he was supposedly assassinated.

It was, obviously, important for Steele et al to ensure that nobody looked at the 'StratCom' wars about 'suitcase nukes.' Here, a figure who has played a key role in such wars in relation to Syria plays an interesting minor one in the story.

Some time following the destruction of the case for an immediate war by the November 2007 NIE, a chemical weapons specialist called Dan Kaszeta, who had worked in the White House for twelve years, moved to London.

In 2011, in addition to founding a consultancy called 'Strongpoint Security', he began a writing career with articles in 'CBRNe World.' Later, he would become the conduit through which the notorious 'hexamine hypothesis', supposedly clinching proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the sarin incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal, was disseminated.

Having been forced by the threat of a case being opened against them under human rights law into resuming the inquest into Litvinenko's death, in August 2012 the British authorities appointed Sir Robert Owen to conduct it. (There are many honest judges in Britain, but obviously, if one sets out to find someone who will 'cover up' for the incompetence and corruption of people like Steele, as Lord Hutton did before him, you can find them.)

That same month, a piece appeared in 'CBRNe World' with the the strapline: 'Dan Kaszeta looks into the ultimate press story: Suitcase nukes', and the main title 'Carry on or checked bags?' Among the grounds he gives for playing down the scare:

'Some components rely on materials with shelf life. Tritium, for example, is used in many nuclear weapon designs and has a twelve year half-life. Polonium, used in neutron initiators in some earlier types of weapon designs, has a very short halflife. US documents state that every nuclear weapon has "limited life components" that require periodic replacement (do an internet search for nuclear limited life components and you can read for weeks).'

(For this and other articles by Kaszeta, as also his bio, see http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk ')

What Kaszeta has actually described are the reasons why polonium is a perfect 'StratCom' instrument. In terms of scientific plausibility, in fact there were no 'suitcase nukes', and in any case 'initiators' using polonium had been abandoned very early on, in favour of ones which lasted longer.

For 'StratCom' scenarios, as experience with the 'hexamine hypothesis' has proved, scientific plausibility can be irrelevant.

What polonium provides is a means of suggesting that Al Qaeda have in fact got hold of a nuclear device which they could easily smuggle into, say, Rome or New York, or indeed Moscow, but there is a crucial missing component which the FSB is trying to provide to them. By the same token, of course, that missing component could be depicted as one that Berezovsky and Litvinenko are conspiring to suppl to the Chechen insurgents.

In addition, the sole known source of global supply is the Avangard plant at Sarov in Russia, so the substance is naturally suited for 'StratCom' directed against that country, which its intelligence services would – rather naturally – try to make 'boomerang.'

According to Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele is a 'boy scout.' This seems to me quite wrong – but, even if it were true, would you want to unleash a 'boy scout' into these kinds of intrigue?

As it is not clear why Kaszeta introduced his – accurate but irrelevant – point about polonium into an article which was concerned with scientific plausibility, one is left with an interesting question as to whether he cut his teeth on 'StratCom' attempting to ensure that nobody seriously interested in CBRN science followed an obvious lead.

In relation to the question of whether current FBI personnel had been involved in the kind of 'StratCom' exercises, I have been describing, a critical issue is the involvement of Shvets and Levinson in the Alexander Khonanykhine affair back in the 'Nineties, and the latter's use of claims about the Solntsevskaya to prevent the key figure's extradition. But that is a matter for another day.

A corollary of all this is that we cannot – yet at least – be absolutely confident that the account in the Nunes memo, according to which Steele was suspended and then dismissed as an FBI source for what the organisation is reported to define as 'the most serious of violations' – the unauthorised disclosure of a relationship with the organisation – is necessarily wholly accurate.

Who did and did not authorise which disclosures to the media, up to and including the extraordinary decision to have the full dossier, including claims about Aleksej Gubarev and the Alfa oligarchs, in flagrant disregard of the obvious risks of defamation suits, and who may be trying to pass the buck to others, remains I think less than totally clear.

Posted at 03:42 PM in As The Borg Turns , Habakkuk , Russia , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 03 February 2018 at 04:33 PM

thanks david... fascinating overview and conjecture..

it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep..

JohnB , 03 February 2018 at 05:17 PM
David,

Thank you very. As ever you have illuminated a few more things for me. Kaszeta's involvement is interesting. He is someone I am in the middle of researching in relation to Higgins and Bellingcat.

turcopolier , 03 February 2018 at 06:02 PM
james

It is the closest of all international intelligence relationships. It started in WW2. Before that the Brits were though of as a potential enemy. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 03 February 2018 at 06:10 PM
I think the English are using you, they are unsentimental empirical people that only do these that benefit the Number One.
The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
catherine , 03 February 2018 at 06:22 PM
That Newsweek piece about Levinson is very superficial to me.

Re: Levinson

# Who suggested to who 'first' the Iran caper...Anne Jablonski to Levinson or Levinson to Jablonski? It was reported earlier by Meier that in December 2005, when Levinson was pitching Jablonski on projects he might take on when his CIA contract was approved he sent her a lengthy memo about Dawud's potential as an informant.

# Ira Silverman, the Iran hating NBC guy, pitched a Iraq caper to Levinson with Dawud Salahuddin, as his Iran contact and Levinson went to Jablonski with it.

# And what was with Boris Birshstein, a Russian organized crime figure who had fled to Israel and Oleg Deripaska, the "aluminum czar" of Russia whose organized crime contacts have kept him from entering the United States jumping in to help find Levinson? The FBI allowed Deripaska in for two visits in 2009 in exchange for his alleged help in locating Levinson but obviously nothing came of it.

I think there were more little agents/agendas in this than Levinson and Jablonski and US CIA.

Ishmael Zechariah , 03 February 2018 at 06:54 PM
DH,

As usual a wonderful analysis. I admire your insight, integrity and courage. I wish you could write more on why the Borg is so much against Trump, even though they have Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference for them.

I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence".

Be safe.

Ishmael Zechariah

Rd , 03 February 2018 at 07:31 PM
Babak Makkinejad said in reply to turcopolier...

The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
..and US is the one who has been paying for it since 1979!!!

kooshy said in reply to Ishmael Zechariah... , 03 February 2018 at 08:21 PM
IZ
My guess is, that he is unpredictable, instantaneous and therefore can't be consistent and reliable, useful idiot needs to be predictable.
kooshy , 03 February 2018 at 08:43 PM
"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. "

David as usual fascinating work connecting the dots. One question that comes to my mind is about the above point you are making. Is it your understanding or believe that these IC individuals on both side of Atlantic, are pursuing/forcing their (on behalf of the Borg) foreign policy agenda outside of their respected seating governments? If not, why is it that incoming administration cannot stop them? So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

different clue , 03 February 2018 at 08:49 PM
Ishmael Zechariah,

( reply to comment 6),

I am not David Habakkuk, obviously. But I will venture a little opinion anyway. It is not enough that the Borgists get their policy preferences. If it were, then Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference would be enough for them.

It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate.

And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that.

So that is why the Borg cares so much. They view the Trump election as an insurgency, and they view themselves as waging a counterinsurgency, which they dare not lose.

Jack , 03 February 2018 at 08:54 PM
David,

Thanks for your analysis. I always enjoy and learn from your posts. I wish you would post more often.

In my non-expert opinion, the Borg and the media were all in for Hillary. They were convinced that she was gonna win. To curry favor with the Empress who would be certainly crowned after the election they were eager and convinced that their lawlessness would become a badge for promotion and plum positions in her administration. In their conceit, they believed they could kill two birds with one stroke. They could vilify Putin and create the mass hysteria to checkmate him, while at the same time disparage and frame Trump as The Manchurian Candidate to seal their certain electoral victory.

Unfortunately for them voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn't buy their sales pitch despite the overwhelming media barrage from all corners. Even news publications who have only endorsed Republican candidates for President for over a century endorsed her.

Trump's election win caused panic among the political establishment, the media and the Deep State. They were already all-in. Their only choice was to double down and get Trump impeached. Now their conspiracy is beginning to unravel. They are doing everything possible to forestall their Armageddon. Of course they have many allies. This battle is gonna be interesting to watch. Trump is clearly getting many Congressional Republicans on side as his base of Deplorables remains solidly behind him. That is what's befuddling the Borg pundits.

SmoothieX12 -> kooshy... , 03 February 2018 at 09:51 PM
So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. This swamp (Borg, deep state, etc.) still thinks that it can use Cold War 1.0 Playbook and address very real and dangerous American economic issues. They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:10 PM
They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:24 PM
You are right CWII is very much desired and on agenda, but i am not sure of setup, the setup/board has been changed tremendously and IMO benefits the Asian side of Bosphorus, for one thing technology is no longer exclusive, and financial burden is heavier on atlantic side.
catherine said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:21 AM
''Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ''

The locust keep trying and trying, destruction is their life's work.

'1977-1981: Nationalities Working Group Advocates Using Militant Islam Against Soviet Union'

In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. The Islamic populations are regarded as prime targets. Richard Pipes, the father of Daniel Pipes, takes over the leadership of the NWG in 1981. Pipes predicts that with the right encouragement Soviet Muslims will "explode into genocidal fury" against Moscow. According to Richard Cottam, a former CIA official who advised the Carter administration at the time, after the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1978, Brzezinski favored a "de facto alliance with the forces of Islamic resurgence, and with the Republic of Iran." [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 241, 251 - 256]

'November 1978-February 1979: Some US Officials Want to Support Radical Muslims to Contain Soviet Union'

State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union

aleksandar , 04 February 2018 at 04:41 AM
David,

About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS.

Fred said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 08:40 AM
Babak,

"they got US to bail them out during WWII" And how would things have worked out had we not done so?

Fred , 04 February 2018 at 08:46 AM
David,

"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time."

Yes, that is what appears to be just what is coming to light. I wonder just what position Trey Gowdy is going to have since he won't be running for re-election. The rage from the left is palpable. I'm sure the next outraged guy on the left will know how to shoot straighter than the ones who shot up Congressman Scalise or the concert goers at Mandalay Bay.

Anna said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 08:48 AM
"They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with."
-- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.
turcopolier , 04 February 2018 at 08:54 AM
Anna

The powerful are often remarkably ignorant. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> Fred... , 04 February 2018 at 10:08 AM
England preferred NAZI Germany to USSR, this is well known. As to what would have happened, the outcome of the war, in my opinion, did not depend on US participation in the European Theatre. All of Europe would have become USSR satellite or joined USSR.
jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 11:53 AM
"unsentimental empirical people"? Absolutely disagree with you. Now the Iranians, they strike me as a singularity unsentimental people. Just general impressions, mind you.
Kooshy said in reply to catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
Yes, US was the first country to proudly deliver Manpads to be used by "rebels" (Mojahadin later Taleban) against USSR in Afghanistan back in 80s. And, as per the architect of support for the rebels (Zbigniew Brzezinski) very proud of it with no regret. With that in mind, I don't see how western politicians, the western governments and their related proxy war planers, will be regretting, even sadden, once god forbid we see passenger planes with loved ones are shot down taking off or landing at various western airports and other places around the word. Just like how superficialy with crocodile tears in their eyes they acted in aftermath of the terrorist events in various western cities in this past 16 years. Gods knows what will happens to us if the opposite side start to supply his own proxies with lethal anti air weapons. "Proudly", I don't think anybody in west cares or will regret of such an escalation.
Phodges said in reply to turcopolier ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:23 PM
Sir

It seems we are being defeated by Cicero's enemy within. Zion is achieving what no one could hope to achieve by force of arms.

David Habakkuk -> catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 01:17 PM
catherine,

In response to comment 5.

I think it likely that what Meier produces is only a 'limited hangout', and am hoping that when the book arrives it will contain more pointers.

It is important to be clear that one is often dealing with people playing very complicated double games.

An interesting document is the 'Petition for Writ of Habeus Corpus' made on behalf of Khodorkovsky's close associate Alexander Konanykhin back in 1997,when the Immigration and Naturalization Service were – apparently at least – cooperating with Russian attempts to get hold of him. An extract:

'During the immigration hearing FBI SA Robert Levinson, an INS witness, confirmed that in 1992 Petitioner was kidnapped and afterwards pursued by assassins of the Solntsevskaya organized criminal group. This organized criminal group is reportedly the largest and the most influential organized criminal group in Russia, and operates internationally.'

(See http://defiancethebook.com/legal/habeas/petition.htm .)

Note the similarities between the 'StratCom' that Khonanykin and his associates were producing in the 'Nineties, and that which Simpson and his associates have been producing two decades later.

Another useful example is provided by a 2004 item in the 'New American Magazine', reproduced on Konanykhin's website:

'One of those who testified on behalf of Konanykhine was KGB defector Yuri Shvets, who declared: "I have a firsthand knowledge on similar operations conducted by the KGB." Konanykhine had brought trouble on himself, Shvets continued, when he "started bringing charges against people who were involved with him in setting up and running commercial enterprises. They were KGB people secretly smuggling from Russia hundreds of millions of dollars . This is [a] serious case, and I know that KGB ... desperately wants to win this case, and everybody who won't step to their side would face problems."'

(See http://konanykhin.com/news/the-konanykhine-case.html .)

So – 'first hand knowledge', from a Ukrainian nationalist – look at what the Chalupas have been doing, it seems not much has changed.

For a rather different perspective on what Konanykhin had actually been up to, from someone in whose honesty – if not always judgement – I have complete confidence, see the testimony of Karon von Gerhke-Thompson to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services hearings on Russian Money Laundering. In this, she described how she had been approached by him in 1993:

'"Konanykhine alleged that Menatep Bank controlled $1.7bn [£1bn] in assets and investment portfolios of Russia's most prominent political and social elite," she recalled. She said he wanted to move the bank's assets off shore and asked her to help buy foreign passports for its "very, very special clients".

'In her testimony to the committee Ms Von Gerhke-Thompson said she informed the CIA of the deal, and the agency told her that it believed Mr Konanykhine and Mr Khodorkovsky "were engaged in an elaborate money laundering scheme to launder billions of dollars stolen by members of the KGB and high-level government officials".

(For a 'Guardian report, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/sep/23/julianborger ; for the actual testimony, see http://archives-financialservices.house.gov/banking/92299ger.pdf .)

Coming back to Steele's 'StratCom', in July 2008, an item appeared on the 'Newnight' programme of the BBC – which some of us think should by then have been rechristened the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – in which the introduction by the presenter, Jeremy Paxman, read as follows:

'Good evening. The New Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, was all smiles and warm words when he met Gordon Brown today. He said he was keen to resolve all outstanding difficulties between the two countries. Yada yada yada. Gordon Brown smiled, but he must know what Newsnight can now reveal: that MI5 believes the Russian state was involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko by radioactive poisoning. They also believe that without their intervention another London-based Russian, Boris Berezovsky, would have been murdered. Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, has this exclusive report.'

(For the transcript presented in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, see http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ )

When Urban repeated the claims on his blog, there was a positive eruption from someone using the name 'timelythoughts', about the activities of someone she referred to as 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist' – when I came across this later, it was immediately clear to me that she was Karon von Gerhke, and he was Shvets.

(For the first part of the exchanges of comments, the second apparently having become unavailable, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/markurban/2008/07/litvinenko_killing_had_state_i.html )

She then described a visit by Scaramella to Washington, details of which had already been unearthed by my Italian collaborator, David Loepp. Her claim to have e-mails from Shvets, from the time immediately prior to Litvinenko's death, directly contradicting the testimony he had given, fitted with other evidence I had already unearthed.

Later, we exchanged e-mails over a quite protracted period, and a large amount of material that came into my possession as a result was submitted by me to the Inquest team, with some of it being used in posts on the 'European Tribune' site.

What I never used publicly, because I could only partially corroborate it from the material she provided, was an extraordinary claim about Shvets:

'He was responsible for bringing in a Kremlin initiative that was walked Vice President Cheney's office on a US government quid pro quo with the Kremlin FSB SVR involving the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – a cease and desist on allegations of a politically motivated arrest of Khodorkovsky, violations of rules of law and calls from Russia's expulsion from the G 8 in exchange for favorable posturing of U.S. oil companies on Gazprom's Shtokman project and intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria, all documented in reports I submitted to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and MI6.

'Berezovsky's DS could not be on both sides on that isle. His Kremlin FSB SVR sources had been vetted by the CIA and by the National Security Council. They proved to be as represented. As we would later learn, however, he was on Berezovsky's payroll at same time. The FSB SVR general he was coordinating the Kremlin initiative through was S. R. Subbotin, the same FSB SVR general who was investigating Berezovsky's money laundering operations in Switzerland during the same timeframe. His FSB SVR sources surrounding Putin were higher than any Lugovoy could have ever hoped to affiliate with.

'R. James Woolsey (former CIA DCI), Marshall Miller (former law partner of the late CIA DCI William Colby), who I coordinated the Kremlin initiative through that Berezovsky's DS had brought in were shocked to learn that he was affiliated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko. He was in Berezovsky's inner circle and engaged in vetting Russian business with Litvinenko. He operated Berezovsky's Ukraine website, editing and dubbing the now infamous Kuchma tapes throughout the lead up to the elections in the Ukraine. Berezovsky contributed $41 million to Viktor Yushchenko's campaign, which he used in an attempt to force Yushchenko to reunite with Julia Tymoschenko. It failed but would succeed later after Berezovsky orchestrated a public relations initiative through Alan Goldfarb in the U.S. on behalf of Tymoschenko.'

Having got to know Karon von Gerhke quite well, and also been able to corroborate a great deal of what she told me about many things, and discussed these matters with her, it is absolutely clear to me that she was neither fabricating nor fantasising. What later became apparent, both to her and to me, was that in the 'double game' that Shvets was playing, he had succeeded in fooling her as to the side for which he was working.

It seems likely however that the reason Shvets could do what he did was that quite precisely that many high-up people in the Kremlin and elsewhere were playing a 'double game.' In this, Karon von Gerhke's propensity for indiscretion – of which I, like others, was both beneficiary and victim – could be useful.

An exercise in 'positioning', which could be used to disguise the fact that Shvets was indeed 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist', could be used to make it appear that 'intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria' was actually credible.

This could have been used to try to rescue Cheney, Bush and their associates from the mess they had got into as a result of the failure of the invasion to provide any evidence whatsoever supporting the case which had been made for it. It could also have been used to provide the kind of materials justifying military action against Iran for which Levinson and Jablonski were looking, and for similar action against Syria.

Among reasons for bringing this up now is that we need to make sense of the paradox that Simpson – clearly in collusion with Steele – was using Mogilevich and the 'Solnsetskaya Bratva' both against Manafort and Trump and against Browder.

There are various possible explanations for this. I do not want to succumb to my instinctive prejudice that this may have been another piece of 'positioning', similar to what I think was being done with Shvets, but the hypothesis needs to be considered.

A more general point is that people in Washington and London need to 'wise up' to the kind of world with which they are dealing. This could be done quite enjoyably: reading some of Dashiell Hammett's fictions of the United States in the Prohibition era, or indeed buying DVDs of some of the classics of 'film noir', like 'Out of the Past' (in its British release, 'Build My Gallows High') might be a start.

Very much of the coverage of affairs in the post-Soviet space since 1991 has read rather as though a Dashiell Hammett story had been rewritten by someone specialising in sentimental children's, or romantic, fiction (although, come to think of it, that is really what Brigid O'Shaughnessy does in 'The Maltese Falcon.')

The testimony of Glenn Simpson seems a case in point. The sickly sentimentality of these people does, rather often, make one feel as though one wanted to throw up.

Thomas , 04 February 2018 at 01:24 PM
"They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.}

No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming.

SmoothieX12 -> Anna... , 04 February 2018 at 01:39 PM
- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.

My coming book is precisely about that. Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons.

Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing.

Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program.

james said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 04 February 2018 at 03:01 PM
there seems to be no shortage of money for these blatant propaganda exercises..
Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 04:14 PM
I think the failure of Deciders is nothing new - Fath Ali Shah attacking Russia, or the abject failure of the Deciders in 1914. Europe is still not where she was in 1890.
begob , 04 February 2018 at 05:20 PM
I read the post and responses early on, so forgive me if this point has been addressed in the meantime. If the memo information on non-disclosure of material evidence to the warrant issuing court is accurate, as soon as that information came to the attention of the authorities (clearly some time ago) there was a duty on them (including the judge(s) who issued the warrants) to have the matter brought back before the court toot sweet. If that had happened it would surely be in the public domain, so on the assumption the prosecutors and maybe even the judge didn't see the need to review the matter, even purely on a contempt/ethics basis, the memo information only seems convincing if the FISA system is a total sham. I really doubt that.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 06:20 PM
IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war.

The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. As I remember that wasn't the case at the end of VN war when i first landed here. At that time even though the war was on the other side of the planet and away from homeland, still people, especially young ones in colleges were paying more attention to the cost of war.

spy killer , 04 February 2018 at 06:55 PM
Diana West has uncovered some interesting "Red Threads" (6 part article at dianawest-dot-net) on all the Fusion GPS folks. Seems ole Russian speaking Nellie Ohr got herself a ham radio license recently. Wonder why she would suddenly need one of those? They are all Marxists with potential connections back to Russia.
English Outsider -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 07:23 AM
Been there. I am also a latecomer to SST. You have to read the back numbers. How? My IT expertise dates from the dawn of the internet and was lamentable then but I find Wayback sometimes allows easier searches than the SST search engine. A straight search on google also allows searches with more than one term. This link -

https://twitter.com/pat_lang

- gets you to a chronological list and for recent material is sometimes quicker than fiddling around with search engines. "Categories" on the RH side is useful but then you don't get some very informative comments that cross-refer.

If those sadly elementary procedures fail resort to the nearest infant. There's a blur of fingers on the keyboard and what you want then usually appears. Never ask them how they did it. They get so fed up when you ask them to explain it again.

"Who is David Habakkuk?" That's a quantum computer sited, from internal evidence you pick up from time to time, somewhere in the Greater London area. Cross references like you wouldn't believe and over several fields, so maybe he's two quantum computers.

The "Borg"?. Try Wittgenstein. Likely a prog but you can't be choosy these days. Early on in "Philosophical Investigations" (hope I get this right) he discusses the problem of how you can view as an entity something that has ill-defined or overlapping boundaries. The "Borg" is that "you know it when you see it" sort of thing. A great merit of this site is that the owner and many of the contributors know it from inside.

In general you may regard your new found site as a microcosm of the great battle that is raging in the West. It's a battle between the (probably apocryphal but adequately stated) Roveian view of reality that regards truth as an adjunct to or as a by-product of ideology and Realpolitik and the objective view of reality as something that is damned difficult to get at, and sometimes impossible, but that has a truth in it somewhere that is independent of the views and convictions of the observer. It's a battle that's never going to be won but unless it tilts back closer to common sense it can certainly be lost and the West with it.

jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 08:11 AM
Clearly the Labor Party in the UK preferred the USSR to Nazi Germany. (cepting that short interlude where the Soviets signed the Agreement with Hitler, and the Left Organized Leadership all across Europe, for the most part, lined up with Hitler). But for the most part, Labor was Left.
Elements (the ones that won out in the end) of the Conservative Party loathed both Hitler and Stalin. An element of the Conservative Party was sympathetic, but only up to a certain point, with the Nazis. This ended in 1939, sept.

So I don't think it fair, or accurate, to say 'England prefered the Nazis....and even if it not those things, it certainly not "well known", except to the people who have used the false premise to butter their wounds from supporting Stalin in his Pact with Hitler. Or are inclined to bash the British in general.

Babak Makkinejad -> jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 08:29 AM
All right, perhaps I should have said "The English Government". Google "Litvinov", you may discover how the English Government pushed Stalin to make a deal with Hitler to buy USSR time.
Sid Finster said in reply to Jack... , 05 February 2018 at 10:26 AM
Witness the infamous State Department protest memo calling for more war on Syria.

The State Department employees that signed that memo were sure that HRC would win and that their diligent work in pushing the Deep State agenda would sure be rewarded.

Since entering office, Trump appears to have taken the line that if he gives the Deep State everything it demands, he will be allowed to remain in office, even if he is not allowed to remain in power.

Sid Finster said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 05 February 2018 at 10:31 AM
Explain Marshall Miller's role in this, please. He is someone I know quite well. I also know one of the Chalupas.
begob said in reply to jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 10:56 AM
jonst That's broadly accurate, but specifically Attlee brought the motion of no confidence in Chamberlain, which the conservative appeasers won but which led to Churchill's opportunity. Attlee was essential in cabinet to Churchill's resistance after the retreat of the BEF.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 11:18 AM
FM
What are you doing here? You said you dislike the military. Are you really in the Spanish Basque country? Bilbao maybe? break - David Habakkuk is a private scholar of the Litvinenko murder and Soviet/Russian politics and intelligence affairs. His surname comes from Wales where in the 18th (?) Century the ancestral village were all "chapel" and changed their surnames to Old Testament names. His father was master of one of the Cambridge colleges and David is himself a graduate of Cambridge. pl
Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 11:19 AM
Yes, I am Iranian. All "Babak"s are Iranians - except some obscure ones that are Rus - Babakov.
Anna , 05 February 2018 at 02:07 PM
The hard, blinding truth: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/05/will-conspiracy-trump-american-democracy-go-unpunished/
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Thomas said in reply to turcopolier ... , 05 February 2018 at 02:08 PM
Colonel,

This troll showed up recently at b's place doing the same accusations. There is group that is running sacred and pulling out all the stops in "info ops" side of the spectrum. The damn fools don't or, most probably, won't get thru their thick heads and even thicker hearts that it is a failed strategy that turns bystanders into their opponents.

Richardstevenhack , 05 February 2018 at 02:36 PM
Here for your edification is the definitive analysis of the GOP memo by Alexander Mercouris over at The Duran.

And it is a masterpriece - and quite long, possibly his longest analysis of anything so far. He buries the counterarguments being passed around by the Democratic opposition and the anti-Trump media.

Mercouris writes on legal affairs alongside his foreign policy stuff and he writes with a lawyer's precision. And in this article he points out that the GOP memo is writter as a legal document - probably by Trey Gowdy - with additional political insertions by Nunes. So it should properly be referred to as the "GOP memo" or the "Gowdy memo", not the Nunes memo."

Why this is important is that the GOP memo is basically written as a defense lawyer would in contesting a case -- this case being the FISA warrant application. Which means its orientation is proving failure to disclose relevant and material information to the FISA court and in some cases rising to the point of contempt of court.

Seriously, read this! The whole thing!

Rampant abuse and possible contempt of Court: what you need to know about the GOP memo
http://theduran.com/rampant-abuse-contempt-court-analysis-gop-memorandum/

blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 03:25 PM
Sen Grassley releases memo heavily redacted by DOJ/FBI.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-05/grassley-graham-blast-fbi-censoring-memo-calling-criminal-probe-trump-dossier

"Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging," Grassley said in a statement after posting a heavily redacted version of the criminal referral that he and GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sent to the Justice Department last month. " The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn't secret. "

I suppose DOJ/FBI believe that by obstructing, stalling and obfuscating they can buy time and that the Republicans in Congress will get tired of the games and go home. This seems like a pretty straightforward memo, highlighting the discrepancy between Steele's court filings and the FBI's version of Steele's discussions with them. Grassley is pointing out that either Steele or the FBI is lying.

What is interesting is the difference in process and ability between the House & Senate. The House can release their memos on its own, even if not declassified by the Executive, whereas the Senate requires the Executive to declassify it's memos that are based on classified documents.

turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 04:38 PM
FM

We have not had a self declared communist on SST before although LeaNder in her youth may have come close to that exalted status. You might want to read the wiki on me and the CV I have posted on the blog to avoid tedious accusations of this or that. I am thought by some to have some knowledge of the ME so please do not try to lecture me about how much you love the Arabs. I speak their language and have lived with them for a long time. There are people who write to SST who are pro-Trump and some who are anti-Trump. I seek a mixture of views so long as personal insult and invective are eschewed. Personally, I do not belong to a political party and would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Trump is the constitutionally and legally elected president of the United States. Your descriptors with regard to him are, in my opinion, only plausible if seen from the point of view of various kinds of leftist including Marxist-Leninists like you. You sound very smug and self-satisfied but we will see if you can have an open mind at all. pl

Kooshy said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 04:46 PM
Found him, Ali Babacan XVPM, XFM and M of finance. Yes god forbid, if he is a decendent of Ardisher Babakan and another claimant to Iranian throne, which CIA and Soros can jump on.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Babacan MBA from Northeestern
blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 04:55 PM
...would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Aye. Aye. Sir!

+1

That is why some of us believe the Patriot Act and FISA are both unpatriotic and unconstitutional. SCOTUS disagrees with the few of us.

Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 05:03 PM
I do not believe Trump is a misogynists - he stated publicly that he likes beautiful women. I also do not think he is a racist. I think he is the first US leader in many decades who has been willing to publicly talk about US problems. For most other US politicians - they largely live in "the best of all possible worlds".
English Outsider , 05 February 2018 at 06:31 PM
Colonel - sincere apologies if my comment above disrupted the discussion on a fascinating article.

David Habakkuk - I should say that "Quantum Computer" referred solely to the ability to gather and collate great amounts of material. It's an ability I admire. On Steele, you are among other things setting out something that is unfamiliar to me though not to most others here, I imagine, and that is the milieu in which he is or was working as a UK Intelligence operative. That you have also done in previous articles; it doesn't seem to be a particularly savoury milieu. As far as Steele's US activities are concerned, from you I'm not getting the picture of a lone operative, all ties with MI6 neatly severed, working solo in the States on some chance assignment in 2016. I'm getting the picture of someone still very much in the swim and selected because of that.

The only problem with that second picture is the dossier, or the 30% or so of it - what Comey, I think it was, described as "salacious and unverified". Surely that's got to be amateur night. Not something that a practised professional working with other professionals would put his hand to. Does that not support the picture of an ex-operative who's gone off the rails and is fumbling around unsupervised?

The Steele affair touched a nerve. One is always I suppose aware that IC professionals are getting up to all sorts and it doesn't seem improbable that "all sorts" includes political stuff and smear campaigns. But it's not heaps of corpses in Syria or farm boys being sent to certain death in the Ukraine. And even within the UK Intelligence Community and their contractors or whatever they're called, compared with what our IC people have done in the ME or compared with what one fears Hamish de Bretton Gordon might have got himself involved in, Christopher Steele's just a choirboy. Nevertheless there's something deeply repellent about what he did. Whatever your view of Trump there he was, newly elected, obviously wanting to make a go of it, and already faced with difficulties. Then some chancer throws "Golden Showers" in his face and makes his position, not maybe for the insiders but for the general public, that bit more untenable.

So from a UK perspective the question of whether Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK becomes important. If he was truly working solo then that from a UK point of view is regrettable but one of those things. In that case MI6 would just have to tighten up its controls on what ex-operatives get up to, put out the appropriate disclaimers, and that's the end of it as far as the UK is concerned. But if Golden Showers and the rest of it was a "Welcome Mr President" from UK IC professionals as a group then those professionals should be hung drawn and quartered together with whoever set them on.

I've read your article several times now and apart from the fact that much of what you pull together isn't material I'm up on, it doesn't seem to me that you're definitely coming to one conclusion or the other. There are many more facts to come out so perhaps this question is premature, but do you think Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK or was he, at least as far as the UK is concerned, working solo?

kooshy , 05 February 2018 at 07:49 PM
Most Iranian females Named Fatima/ Fatimah after prophet' daughter, call themselves Fati, and if they are of aristocrat type, they are called Bibi Fati Khanam, which is honorable lady Fati and if they are westernized they become Fay or Fifi.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 07:59 PM
EO

Much of your commentary seems directed to David Habakkuk and PT rather than I. I don't think the FBI would have started to pay him until he left UK service. pl

English Outsider , 06 February 2018 at 05:10 AM
Colonel - Further apologies - I should have submitted comment 79 as two items.

Yes, the question about Steele was in response to DH's article. The UK side of the affair is I suppose only a small part of the question you and your Committee are examining but it's a dubious part however one looks at it. Although it's early days yet I was hoping DH, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the UK intelligence scene, might feel able to cast more light on that UK side.

English Outsider -> Cortes... , 06 February 2018 at 05:53 AM
Cortes - " ... where, exactly, do you expect the great public to look beyond the initial scabrously defamatory storytelling about the "golden showers"? "

I don't think one can expect the public, at least in the UK, to look very far beyond the initial scandal. The investigations and enquiries presently under way in the US are complex and are taking place in a different system. This member of the UK public wouldn't be able to give you a coherent account of those enquiries and I doubt many of my fellows could.

So we have to take on trust, most of us, what we're told. As far as I can tell the underlying theme from the BBC and the media is generally that Trump is subverting the American Justice system in order to ensure his own misdemeanours aren't investigated.

Some of us take that as gospel. Others of us assume that the politicians and the media are untrustworthy and ignore them. I doubt many of us go into much more detail than that. Therefore the original story will stick in our minds.

But for some in the UK there are questions in there as well. How come the UK got mixed up in all this? How much did the UK get mixed up in it?

David Habakkuk -> Sid Finster... , 06 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Sid Finster,

In response to comment 53.

When I belatedly started looking at the Litvinenko mystery, as a result of a strange email provoked by comments of mine on SST which arrived in my inbox in March 2007 from someone who turned out to be a key protagonist, it was rather obvious that improvised and chaotic 'StratCom' operations had been put into place on both the Russian and British sides to cover up what had happened.

A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella.

When I started delving, I came across some very interesting pieces on Scaramella and related matters posted on the 'European Tribune' website by a Rome-based blogger using the name 'de Gondi' in the period after the story broke.

His actual name is David Loepp, by profession he is an artisan jeweller specialising in ancient and traditional goldsmith techniques, and I already knew and respected his work from his contributions to the transnational internet investigation into the Niger uranium forgeries – an earlier MI6 clusterf**ck.

So in May 2008 I posted a longish piece on that site, setting out the problems with the evidence about the Litvinenko case as I saw them, in the hope of reactivating his interest. This paid off in spades, when he linked to, and translated a key extract from, the request from Italian prosecutors to use wiretaps of conversations with Senator Paolo Guzzanti in connection with their prosecution of Scaramella for 'aggravated calumny.'

The request, which up to not so long ago was freely available on the website of the Italian Senate, was denied, but the extensive summaries of the transcripts provided a lot of material.

(This initial post by me, and later posts by me on that site, are at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/uid:1857/diary. Three posts David Loepp and I produced jointly in December 2012, which have a lot on Scaramella and Shvets, are on his page there, at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/de%20Gondi/diary .)

The extract from the wiretap request which David Loepp posted, which like Litvinenko's letter containing the claims he and Yuri Shvets had concocted about Putin using Mogilevich to attempt to supply Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb' is dated 1 December 2005, contains key pointers to the conspiracy. It concludes:

'A passage on Simon Moghilevic and an agreement between the camorra to search for nuclear weapons lost during the Cold War to be consigned to Bin Laden, a revelation made by the Israeli. According to Scaramella the circle closes: camorra, Moghilevic- Russian mafia- services- nuclear bombs in Naples.'

Subsequent conversations make clear that Scaramella left on 6 December 2005 for Washington, on a trip where he was to meet Shvets. The summary of a report on this to Guzzanti reads:

'12) conversation that took place on number [omissis] on December 18, 2005, at 9:41:51 n. 1426, containing explicit references to the authenticity of the declarations of Alexander Litvinenko acquired by Scaramella, to the trustworthiness of the affirmations made by Scaramella in his reports to the commission and to the meetings Scaramella had with Talik after having denounced them [presumably Talik and his alleged accomplices]. (They can talk with HEIMS thanks to the help of MILLER. SHVEZ says that he had been a companion of CARLOS at the academy; SHVEZ has already made declarations and is willing to continue collaboration. Guzzanti warns that a document in Russian arrived in commission in which the name of SCARAMELLA appears several times, these [sic] say that directives to the contrary had been given to Litvinenko. Scaramella says that he went to the meeting with TALIK in the company of two treasury [police] and a cop, Talik spoke of a person from the Ukrainian GRU who would be willing to talk and a strange Chechen ring in Naples. Assassination attempt against the pope, CASAROLI was a Soviet agent.)'

The summary of a later conversation also refers to 'MILLER':

'conversation that took place on number [omissis] on January 13, 2006, at 11:22:11 n. 2287, containing references to Scaramella's sources in relation to facts referred in the Commission, the means by which they were obtained by Scaramella from declarations made abroad, the role of Litvinenko, also on the occasion of declarations made by third parties and the credibility of the news and theses given by Scaramella to the commission (Scaramella reads a text in English on the relation between the KGB and PRODI. Guzzanti asks if its credibility can be confirmed and if the taped declarations can be backed up; Scaramella answers that there were two testimonies, Lou Palumbo and Alexander (Litvinenko), and that the registration made in London at the beginning of the assignment [Scaramella's?] had been authenticated by a certain BAKER of the FBI. As he translates the text from English, Scaramella notes that the person testifying does not say he knows Prodi but only that he thinks that Prodi ...; all those who worked for the person testifying in Scandinavia said that Prodi was "theirs." The affair in Rimini, Bielli is preparing the battle in Rimini. Meetings with MILLER for the three things that are needed. Polemic about Pollari over the pressure exerted on Gordievski.)'

In the exchanges on my May 2008 post, I mentioned and linked to some extraordinary comments on a crucial article by Edward Jay Epstein, in which Karon von Gerhke claimed that his sceptical account fitted with what her contacts in the British investigation had told her. When that July I came across her equally extraordinary claims in response to the BBC's Mark Urban piece of stenography – which Steele may also have had a hand in organising – I found she was referring to precisely that visit to Washington by Scaramella which had been described in the wiretap request.

As you can perhaps imagine, the fact that 'Miller' had featured in the conversations with Guzzanti both as a key contact, who could introduce Scaramella to Aldrich Ames (which is who 'Heims' clearly is), and with whom there had been meetings about 'the three things that are needed' made me inclined to take seriously what Karon von Gerhke said about his role.

In December 2008, I put up another post on 'European Tribune', putting together the material from David Loepp and that from Karon von Gerhke – but not discussing the references to 'Miller.' As I had hoped, this led to her getting in touch.

Among the material with which she supplied me, which I in turn supplied to the Solicitor to the Inquest, were covers of faxes to John Rizzo, then Acting General Counsel of the CIA. From a fax dated 23 October 2005.

'John: See attached email to Chuck Patrizia. Berezovsky alleges he is in possession of a copy of a classified file given to the CIA by Russia's FSB, which he further alleges the CIA disseminated to British, French, Italian and Israeli intelligence agencies implicating him in business associations with the Mafia and to ties with terrorist organizations. Yuri Shvets was authorised/directed by Berezovsky to raise the issue with Bud McFarlane scheduled for Thursday. McFarlane is unaware the issue will be raised with him.'

From a fax dated 7 November 2005:

'John: I am attaching an email exchange between Yuri Shvets and me re: 1) article he published on his Ukraine website on alleged sale of nuclear choke to Iran, which I reproached him on as having been planted by Berezovsky and 2 the alleged FSB/CIA document file that Berezovsky obtained from Scaramella, which Yuri acknowledges in his e-mail to me. Like extracting wisdom teeth to get him to put anything on paper, especially in an e-mail! [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is the source McFarlane referred Yuri to re: Berezovsky's visa issue. She proposed meeting Berezovsky in London. Alleged it would take a year to clear up USG issues and even then could not guarantee him a visa. She too has access to USG intelligence on Berezovsky. Open book.'

From a fax dated 5 December 2005:

'John. From Mario Scaramella to Yuri Shvets to my ears, the DOJ has authorised Mario Scaramella to interview Aldrich Ames with regard to members of the Italian Intelligence Service agent recruited by Ames for the KGB. Scaramella, as you may recall, is who gave Boris Berezovsky's aide, a former FSB Colonel [LITVINENKO – DH], that alleged document number to the FSB file that the CIA disseminated on Berezovsky – a file that Bud McFarlane's "Madam Visa" [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is alleged is totting off to London for a meeting with Berezovsky, who has agreed to retain her re: his visa issue. Quid pro quo's with Berezovsky and Scaramella on the CIA agent currently facing kidnapping charges for the rendition of the Muslim cleric? Scott Armstrong has a most telling file on Scaramella. Not a single redeeming quality.'

In the course of very extensive exchanges with Karon von Gerhke subsequently, we had some rather acute disagreements. It was unfortunate that her filing was a shambles – a crucial hard disk failed without a backup, and the 'hard copies' appeared to be in a chaotic state.

However, the only occasion when I can recall having reason to believe that was deliberately lying to me was when David Loepp unearthed a cache of documentation including the full Italian text of the letter from Litvinenko containing the 'StratCom' designed to suggest that Putin had attempted to supply a 'mini nuclear bomb' to Al Qaeda. Having been asked to keep this between ourselves for the time being, Karon insisted on immediately sending it to her contacts in Counter Terrorism Command, and then produced bogus justifications.

Time and again, moreover, I found that I could confirm statements that she made – see for example the two posts I put up on the legal battles following the death in February 2008 of Berezovsky's long-term partner Arkadi 'Badri' Patarkatsishvili in June and July 2009, which were based on careful corroboration of what she told me.

(I should also say that I acquired the greatest respect for her courage.)

And while Owen and his team suppressed all the evidence from her, and almost all of that from David Loepp, which I had I provided to them, the dossier about Berezovsky is described in a statement made by Litvinenko in Tel Aviv in April 2006, presented in evidence in the Inquiry.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

Other evidence, moreover, strongly inclines me to believe that there were overtures for a 'quid pro quo', purporting to come from Putin, but that this was a ruse orchestrated by Berezovsky.

Part of the purpose of this would almost certainly have been to supply probably bogus 'evidence' about arms sales in the Yeltsin years to Iraq, Iran and Syria. Moreover, I think there was an article on the second 'Fifth Element' site run by Shvets about the supposed sale of a nuclear 'choke' – whatever that is – to Iran.

The likelihood of the involvement of elements in the FBI in these shenanigans seems to quite high, given what has already emerged about the activities of Levinson. Also relevant may be the fact that the 'declaration' which was part of the attempt to frame Romano Prodi was authenticated, in London, by 'a certain BAKER of the FBI.')

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 09:40 AM
Thank you David Habakkuk. Truly sordid and deplorable. WWIII to be initiated on basis of lies.
Jack , 06 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
David

You may already know this but Steele was a no show in a UK court for a deposition on the libel suit.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/05/christopher-steele-is-no-show-in-london-court-in-civil-case-over-dossier.amp.html

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 01:18 PM
I know something of spectroscopy. The critical issue here is the provenance of the samples and not the sophistication of the techniques used in the analysis itself or its instrumentation. The paragraph that you have quoted:

"To figure out signatures based on various synthetic routes and conditions, Chipuk says that the synthetic chemists on his team will make the same chemical threat agent as many as 2,000 times in an ..." reeks of intellectual intimidation - trying to brow-beat any skeptic by the size of one's instrument - as it were."

And then there is a little matter of confidence level in any of the analysis - such things are normally based on prior statistics - which did not and could not exist in this situation.

LeaNder , 07 February 2018 at 09:16 AM
David, it's no doubt interesting to watch how attention on Victor Ivanov in another deficient inquiry on the British Isles, was managed in that inquiry. If I may, since he pops up again in the Steele dossier. You take what's available? Is that all there is to know?

I know its hard to communicate basics if you are deeply into matters. Usually people prefer to opt out. It's getting way too complicated for them to follow. You made me understand this experience. But isn't this (fake) intelligence continuity "via" Yuri Svets what connects your, no harm meant I do understand your obsession with the case, with what we deal with now in the Steele Dossier? Again, one of the most central figures is Ivanov.

Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear.

By the way, babbling mode, I found your Tom Mangold transcription. It felt it wasn't there on the link you gave. I used the date, and other search terms. Maybe I am wrong. Haven't looked at what the judge ruled out of the collection. Yes, cozy session/setting.

According to Google search there are no other links then your articles here:
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf

**********

JAN RICHARD BÆRUG
The Collapsing Wall. Hybrid Journalism. A Comparative Study of Newspapers and Magazines in Eight Countries in Europe

Available online. Haven't read it yet, but journalism as hidden public relations transfer belt would be one of my minor obsessions. ...

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 07 February 2018 at 11:23 AM
I wonder too; their command of the English idiom is very au currant - noticed "opt in/opt out" reference? Too American.

They clearly are not native speakers of German.

LeaNder said in reply to kooshy... , 07 February 2018 at 12:30 PM
why California, Kooshy #18? California among other things left this verbal trace, since I once upon time thought a luggage storage in SF might be free/available now: this is my home, lady.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kish_Island#Economy

Tourists from many -- but not all -- foreign nations wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain any visa prior to travel. For those travelers, upon-arrival travel permits are stamped valid for 14 days by Kish officials.

Who are the not all? Can we assume Britain is not one of those? The German link is different. How about the Iranian? or isn't this the Kish we are talking about?

LeaNder said in reply to LeaNder... , 07 February 2018 at 01:14 PM
correcting myself #94:

another Ivanov. I struggled with names (...) in Russian crime novels, admittedly. But that's long ago from times Russian crime and Russian money flows and rogues getting hold of its nuclear material surfaced more often in Europe. 90s

I see Sergei seems to share my interest in the literary genre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Ivanov#Personal

[Apr 22, 2019] The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s is the Story of Our Times by Edward Curtin

Apr 22, 2019 | www.unz.com
Edward Curtin April 2, 2019 2,900 Words 177 Comments Reply Listen ॥ ■ ► RSS

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?app_id=&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2Fd_vbiawPdxB.js%3Fversion%3D44%23cb%3Df1955f96990c7ae%26domain%3Dwww.unz.com%26origin%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.unz.com%252Ff10e16cb0d248e4%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=75&href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Farticle%2Fthe-cia-takeover-of-america-in-the-1960s-is-the-story-of-our-times%2F&layout=button_count&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&send=false&show_faces=false&width=90

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/share_button.php?app_id=&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2Fd_vbiawPdxB.js%3Fversion%3D44%23cb%3Df123c5d527f003%26domain%3Dwww.unz.com%26origin%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.unz.com%252Ff10e16cb0d248e4%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=0&href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Farticle%2Fthe-cia-takeover-of-america-in-the-1960s-is-the-story-of-our-times%2F&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&type=button

http://www.unz.com/article/the-cia-takeover-of-america-in-the-1960s-is-the-story-of-our-times/ Email This Page to Someone
Remember My Information


=> Remove from Library B Show Comment Next New Comment Next New Reply Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour. Email Comment Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter Add to Library
Bookmark Toggle All ToC Search Text Case Sensitive Exact Words Include Comments

List of Bookmarks

" 'We're all puppets,' the suspect [Sirhan Sirhan] replied, with more truth than he could have understood at that moment."

– Lisa Pease, quoting from the LAPD questioning of Sirhan

ORDER IT NOW

When Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, the American public fell into an hypnotic trance in which they have remained ever since. The overwhelming majority accepted what was presented by government authorities as an open and shut case that a young Palestinian American, Sirhan Sirhan, had murdered RFK because of his support for Israel, a false accusation whose ramifications echo down the years. That this was patently untrue and was contradicted by overwhelming evidence made no difference.

Sirhan did not kill Robert Kennedy, yet he remains in jail to this very day. Robert Kennedy, Jr., who was 14 years old at the time of his father's death, has visited Sirhan in prison, claims he is innocent, and believes there was another gunman. Paul Schrade, an aide to the senator and the first person shot that night, also says Sirhan didn't do it. Both have plenty of evidence. And they are not alone.

There is a vast body of documented evidence to prove this, an indisputably logical case marshalled by serious writers and researchers. Lisa Pease is the latest. It is a reason why a group of 60 prominent Americans has recently called for a reopening of, not just this case, but those of JFK, MLK, and Malcom X. The blood of these men cries out for the revelation of the truth that the United States national security state and its media accomplices have fought so mightily to keep hidden for so many years.

That they have worked so hard at this reveals how dangerous the truth about these assassinations still is to this secret government that wages propaganda war against the American people and real wars around the world. It is a government of Democrats, Republicans, and their intelligence allies working together today to confuse the American people and provoke Russia in a most dangerous game that could lead to nuclear war, a possibility that so frightened JFK and RFK after the Cuban Missile Crisis that they devoted themselves to ending the Cold War, reconciling with the Soviet Union, abolishing nuclear weapons, reining in of the power of the CIA, and withdrawing from Vietnam. That is why they were killed.

The web of deceit surrounding the now officially debunked Democratic led Russia-gate propaganda operation that has strengthened Trump to double-down on his anti-Russia operations (a Democratic goal) is an example of the perfidious and sophisticated mutuality of this game of mass mind-control.

The killing of the Kennedys and today's new Cold War and war against terror are two ends of a linked intelligence operation.

Moreover, more than any other assassination of the 1960s, it is the killing of Bobby Kennedy that has remained shrouded in the most ignorance.

It is one of the greatest propaganda success stories of American history.

In her exhaustive new examination of the case, A Lie Too Big To Fail , Lisa Pease puts it succinctly at the conclusion of her unravelling of the official lies that have mesmerized the public:

The assassination of the top four leaders of the political left in the five year period – President John Kennedy in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 – represented nothing less than a slow-motion coup on the political scene.

If anyone wishes to understand what has happened to the United States since this coup, and thus to its countless victims at home and throughout the world, one must understand these assassinations and how the alleged assassins were manipulated by the coup organizers and how the public was hoodwinked in a mind-control operation on a vast scale. It is not ancient history, for the forces that killed these leaders rule the U.S. today, and their ruthlessness has subsequently informed the actions of almost all political leaders in the years since. A bullet to the head when you seriously talk about peace and justice is a not so gentle reminder to toe the line or else.

"But the way the CIA took over America in the 1960s is the story of our time," writes Pease, "and too few recognize this. We can't fix a problem we can't even acknowledge exists." Nothing could be truer.

Lisa Pease has long recognized the problem, and for the past twenty-five years, she has devoted herself to shedding light on the CIA's culpability, particularly in the Robert Kennedy case. Few people possess the grit and grace to spend so much of their lives walking this path of truth. The extent of her research is dazzling, so dazzling in its voluminous detail that a reviewer can only touch on it here and there. She has written a book that is daunting in its comprehensiveness. It demands focused attention and perseverance, for it runs to over 500 pages with more than 800 footnotes. This book will remain a touchstone for future research on the RFK assassination, whether one agrees or disagrees with all of her detailed findings and speculations. For this book is so vast and meticulous in its examination of all aspects of the case that one can surely find areas that one might question or disagree with.

Nevertheless, Pease fundamentally proves that Sirhan did not shoot RFK and that there was a conspiracy organized and carried out by shadowy intelligence forces that did so. These same forces worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, federal, state, and judicial elements to make sure Sirhan was quickly accused of being the lone assassin and dispatched to prison after a show trial. And the mass media carried out its assigned role of affirming the government's case to shield the real killers and to make sure the cover-up was successful.

No doubt others will investigate this case further. Yet I think no more research is really needed, for as with these other assassinations, additional analyses will only result in pseudo-debates about minutiae. Such debates will only serve to prolong the hallucinatory grip the perpetrators of these crimes have on a day of reckoning, suggesting as they would that we do not really know what happened. This is an old tactic meant to delay forevermore such a day of reckoning.

The facts are clear for all to see if they have the will to truth. All that is now needed is a public tribunal, which is planned for later this year, in which the fundamental, clear-cut facts of these cases are presented to the American public. In the case of Robert Kennedy's assassination as with the others, a little knowledge goes a long way, and only those who are closed to basic logic and evidence will refuse to see that government forces conspired to kill these men and did so because all were seeking peace and justice that was then, and is now, a threat to the war-making forces of wealth and power that control the American government.

Pease writes:

Anyone who has looked closely and honestly at the evidence has realized that more than one person was involved in Robert Kennedy's death. So why can't reporters see this? Why can't the media explain this? Because the media and the government are two sides of the same coin, and those who challenge the government's version of history, as numerous reporters have found out, all too often lose status and sometimes whole careers. Kristina Borjesson published an anthology of such stories in her book Into the Buzzsaw, in which journalists describe how they lost their careers when each of them expressed a truth that the government did not want exposed.

Lisa Pease discloses such truths. I am reporting on her work. Therefore, the mainstream media, except for an extraordinary reporter or two, such as Tom Jackman of The Washington Post , will likely ignore both of us, but the publication where you are reading this is on the side of truth, and in the disclosure of truth lies our hope.

Since more than one person was involved in the killing of RFK, there was – ipso facto – a conspiracy. This is not theory but fact. The fact of a conspiracy. For more than fifty years, mainstream reporters have been cowed by this word "conspiracy," thanks to the CIA. Many others have been intelligence assets posing as journalists, regurgitating the lies. This is a fact.

The official story is that after giving his victory speech for winning the 1968 Democratic California Primary, Kennedy, as he was walking through a crowded hotel pantry, was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, who was standing to his left between 3-6 feet away. Sirhan's revolver held eight bullets, and as he was shooting, he was tackled by a group of large men who subdued him. All witnesses place Sirhan in front of Kennedy and all claim he was firing a gun.

Fact: As the autopsy definitively showed, RFK was shot from the rear at point blank range, three bullets entering his body, with the fatal headshot coming upward at a 45-degree angle from 1-3 inches behind his right ear. Not one bullet from Sirhan's gun hit the Senator. In addition, an audio recording shows that many more bullets than the eight in Sirhan's gun were fired in the hotel pantry that night. It was impossible for Sirhan to have killed RFK.

Let me repeat: More than one gunman, contrary to the government's claims, equals a conspiracy. So why lie about that?

What is amazing is that the obvious conclusion to such simple syllogistic logic (Sirhan in front, bullets in the back, therefore ) that a child could understand has been dismissed by the authorities for fifty-one years. The fact that the government authorities – the LAPD, the Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney, federal and state government officials, the FBI, the CIA – have from the start so assiduously done all in their power to pin the blame on "a lone assassin," Sirhan, proves they are part of a coordinated cover-up, which in turn suggests their involvement in the crime.

The fact that Robert Kennedy was shot from the back and not the front where Sirhan was standing immediately brings to mind the Zapruder film that shows that JFK was killed from the front right and not from the 6 th floor rear where Oswald was allegedly shooting from. That unexpected film evidence was hidden from the public for many years, but when it was finally seen, the case for a government conspiracy was solidified.

While no such video evidence has surfaced in the RFK case, the LAPD made sure that no photographic evidence contradicting the official lies would be seen. As Lisa Pease writes:

Less than two months after the assassination, the LAPD took the extraordinary step of burning some 2,400 photos from the case in Los Angeles County General's medical waste incinerator. Why destroy thousands of photos in an incinerator if there was nothing to hide? The LAPD kept hundreds of innocuous crowd scene photos that showed no girl in a polka dot dress or no suspicious activities or individuals. Why were those photos preserved? Perhaps because those photos had nothing in them that warranted their destruction.

While "perhaps" is a mild word, the cover-up of "the girl in the polka dot dress" needs no perhaps. Dozens of people reported seeing a suspicious, curvaceous girl in a white dress with black polka dots with Sirhan in the pantry and other places. She was seen with various other men as well. The evidence for her involvement in the assassination is overwhelming, and yet the LAPD did all in its power to deny this by browbeating witnesses and by allowing her to escape.

Sandra Serrano, a Kennedy campaign worker and a courageous witness, was bullied by the CIA-connected police interrogator Sergeant Enrique "Hank" Hernandez. She had been sitting outside on a metal fire escape getting some air when the polka dot dress girl, accompanied by a man, ran out and down the stairs, shouting, "We've shot him, we've shot him." When Serrano asked whom did they shoot, the girl replied, "We've shot Senator Kennedy." Then she and her companion, both of whom Serrano had earlier seen ascending the stairs with Sirhan, disappeared into the night. A little over an hour after the shooting Serrano was interviewed on live television by NBC's Sander Vanocur where she recounted this. And there were others who saw and heard this girl say the same thing as she and her companion fled the crime scene. Nevertheless, the LAPD, led by Lieutenant Manuel Pena, also CIA affiliated, who was brought out of retirement to run the investigation dubbed "Special Unit Senator," worked with Hernandez and others to dismiss the girl as of no consequence.

Lisa Pease covers all this and much more. She shows how Sirhan was obviously hypnotized, how the trial was a farce, how the police destroyed evidence from the door frames in the pantry that proved more than the eight bullets in Sirhan's gun were fired, how Officer DeWayne Wolfer manipulated the ballistic evidence, etc. Through years of digging into court records, archives, transcripts, the public library, and doing countless interviews, she proves without a doubt that Sirhan did not kill Kennedy and that the assassination and the cover-up were part of a very sophisticated intelligence operation involving many parts and players. She shows how no matter what route Kennedy took in the hotel that night, the killers had all exits covered and that he would not be allowed to leave alive.

While some of her more speculative points – e.g. that Robert Maheu (Howard Hughes/CIA) was "the most credible high-level suspect for the planner of Robert Kennedy's assassination," that Kennedy was shot twice in the head from behind, etc. are open to debate, they do not detract from her fundamentally powerful case that RFK, like his brother John, was assassinated by a CIA-run operation intended to silence their voices of courageous resistance to an expanding secret government dedicated to war, murder, and human exploitation. The U.S. government of today.

When Bobby Kennedy was entering the kitchen pantry, he was escorted by a security guard named Thane Eugene Cesar, a man long suspected of being the assassin. Cesar was carrying a gun that he drew but denied firing, despite witnesses' claims to the contrary. Conveniently, the police never examined the gun. He has long been suspected of being CIA affiliated, and now Pease says she has found evidence to confirm that. She writes, "It's hard to overstate the significance of finding a current or future CIA contract agent holding Kennedy's right arm at the moment of the shooting."

Yes, it is. As she rightly claims, the CIA takeover of America in the 1960s is the story of our time. And our time is now. None of this is ancient history. That is so crucial to grasp. For those who think that learning the truth about the 1960s assassinations is an exercise in futility reserved for those who are living in the past, they need to think again. Our descent into endless war and massive media propaganda to support it is part of a long-term project that began with the elimination of JFK, Malcom X, MLK, and Robert Kennedy. They were killed for reasons, and those reasons still exist, even if they don't physically, but only in spirit. Their killers roam the land because they have become far more deeply part of the institutional structure of government and the media.

Pease says:

It was horrible that Robert Kennedy was taken from us far too soon. It is horrible that one man has borne the guilt for an operation he neither planned nor willingly participated in. It's horrible the conspiracy was so obvious that bullets had to be lost and switched to hide it. And it's horrible that the mainstream media has never dared to tell the people of this country that the government lied to us about what they really found when they looked into this case. Until the media can deal with the truth of the Robert Kennedy assassination, and until the people can be made aware of the CIA's role in slanting the truth on topics of great importance, America's very survival is in jeopardy .We've come perilously close to losing democracy itself because of fake, CIA-sponsored stories about our history. Should America ever become a dictatorship, the epitaph of our democracy must include the role the mainstream media, by bowing to the National Security state, played in killing it.

By writing A Lie Too Big To Fail, Lisa Pease has done her valiant part in refuting the lie that is now failing. Now it is up to all of us to spread the word of truth by focusing on the fundamental facts so we can finally take back our country from the CIA.

Then we can say with RFK and his favorite poet Aeschylus:

And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

[Apr 22, 2019] On Contact: Russiagate Mueller Report with Aaron Mate

That's a great interview that summarizes Russiagate in a very assessable way. This is exactly repetition of Iraq WDM and subsequent cover up. The consequence is a new higher level of discreditation of neoliberal MSM, at least by Trump supporters They will just ignore those bottomfeeders like Clapper and Brennan.
Endemic of Russophobia is the biggest net result of Russiagate. This is also a big election gift to Trump.
The Deep State did not view Trump as a reliable steward of neoliberal empire and that's why Russiagate was unleashed. And Trump is an embarrassment to the empire, no questions about it.
MadCow spend two year rabidly promoting Russiagate nonsense and she still has her job. That's suggest whom she serves. In other cased she would be discarded like used condom.
Apr 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Chris Hedges discusses with Nation reporter Aaron Mate how despite the categorical statement in Robert Mueller's report that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia, the conspiracy theories by the nation's mainstream media show little sign of diminishing.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America Category News & Politics


Amy Marie , 1 day ago

Keep up the awesome work Aaron on RT

S Douglas , 1 day ago

It's great to see some non-propagandist journalism.

Tertiary Adjunct , 1 day ago (edited)

RT, give Aaron a show.

Dan Harris , 1 day ago

Aaron Mate is the absolute perfect foil to Jimmy when he is on the Jimmy Dore show. It is hilarious.

NPC Junk Ogre, TYT Head NPC , 1 day ago

We're all still waiting for MSDNC to bring on Aaron, Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore, Michael Tracey and others on any of their programs. MSDNC has not had on one single lefty who got this fraudulent and disgraceful Stalinesque political investigation right from day one since December of 2016. Not one.

MrB1923 , 1 day ago

THIS is journalism. EVERYTHING else is propaganda.

Eric Disegno , 1 day ago (edited)

Two of the greatest journalists in Real News! Thank You RT!!!

J.L. Goodman , 1 day ago

I've got to admit, I get a massive dopamine rush hearing these two sane, intelligent,critical thinkers, skillfully dissect this convoluted quadrafuck that has wasted some much of our precious time. I literally feel washed clean for a moment.

Scott Turner , 1 day ago (edited)

Thanks for this. Aaron Maté and Chris Hedges keep many people somewhat sane in an insane media world. Depressed, but at least somewhat sane. lol

Mike2020able , 1 day ago

Chomsky : ' Israel ,not Russia, interferes With US Election '

[Apr 22, 2019] 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era by Sharyl Attkisson

Apr 22, 2019 | thehill.com

Now, with special counsel Robert Mueller's exhaustive investigation over and no Trump official charged with taking part in any Russki scheme, Russian election interference may turn out to be the most persistent scandal of the Obama era.

To date, it's also one of the most puzzling.

Obama also infamously mocked Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 when Romney suggested Russia was a foe to be reckoned with. This begs the question of whether problems could have been staved off if the president had taken Russia more seriously.

    Inadequate response . Actions that President Obama and his top intel officials did take to mitigate Russian interference proved woefully inadequate. After telling reporters that Russian intelligence operatives attacked Democrats' computer systems, then-CIA Director John Brennan and his colleagues "privately warned their Russian counterparts not to persist with their active measures" and "Obama himself told Russian President Vladimir Putin not to interfere in the election." CNN notes : "These warnings did not work."
    Failure to disclose. Obama intel officials secretly told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Russia was targeting the Trump campaign, but paradoxically kept the information secret from the Trump campaign. Experts say legitimate efforts to protect national security typically would include notifying the supposed target of the spying. Intel officials arguably should have alerted all the political campaigns and warned them to be on the lookout, asking if any suspicious contacts had been made.

Recall the FBI had notified the DNC earlier, after determining it had been targeted by Russians. The decision not to likewise loop in the Trump campaign regarding the supposed targeting suggests intel officials were not focused on protecting national security but hoping to entrap Trump campaign officials.

    Targeting Trump. Instead of going after the Russians and working to protect the Trump campaign from possible infiltration, intel officials targeted the Trump campaign. They applied for numerous secret wiretaps to surveil Trump associates. In the process, they apparently violated strict FBI Woods Procedures designed to prevent false or unverified information from being used to obtain wiretaps.
    Suspicious timing. Russia's election interference certainly was not new on election day. Yet only after Trump was elected (instead of Hillary Clinton did President Obama assign his intel officials to issue a public report about Russia's scheme. And only then did he pursue punishment, including sanctions and expulsion of some Russian diplomats from the United States.
    Blame game. After Trump was elected, some of the very Obama officials who failed to prevent Russian interference began a campaign of media leaks and deflection, pointing to Donald Trump and his associates. These officials included FBI Director Comey, CIA Director Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, national security adviser Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.
    Ignorance. As they investigated foreign interference, intel officials apparently overlooked the role of interests besides the Russians, including Russia's adversary Ukraine and the British. Ex-British spy Christopher Steele built and peddled the anti-Trump "dossier." Former U.K. ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood had a November 2016 meeting with Sen. John McCain in Nova Scotia, where Wood told him about Steele's anti-Trump dossier.
    Russia's link to FBI and Democrats. The FBI overlooked the apparent, admitted "collusion" between Steele and Kremlin-connected Russians who provided opposition research against Trump -- some of it false -- for the dossier. Then, the FBI used the Kremlin-connected Russian research, in part, to obtain wiretaps against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Why will Russia election interference in 2016 prove to be more enduring than other scandals? A great deal of money and effort has been spent to dismiss other scandals along partisan lines. In this case, people in both political parties agree the interference happened -- and that it happened on Obama's watch. His intel officials appear to have been either distracted, conflicted or asleep at the switch.

Whatever the case, they were inarguably ineffective.

Sharyl Attkisson ( @SharylAttkisson ) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers "The Smear" and "Stonewalled," and host of Sinclair's Sunday TV program, " Full Measure ."

[Apr 22, 2019] Greenwald calls media reaction to Mueller report 'genuinely stunning' by Julia Manchester

Those neoliberal MSM bottomfeeders were just doing their paid jobs prompting Russiagate hysteria... They continue to live in a bizarre and perverted Russiagate fantasy land because they are unable to admit that you was completely wrong. And that destroyed thier credibility.
It also exposed neoliberal MSM as completely subservient to intelligence services and raises that question of the second Church Committee hearing on influence of CIA on the USA media.
I am sure the Brennan and Clapper will not be fired without some hearings about their role in unleashing the current neo-McCarthyism complain. They will continue to poison the atmosphere. And it is pipe dream to expect that they will be prosecuted.
Apr 22, 2019 | thehill.com
Robert Mueller 's report is "genuinely stunning," accusing the press of continuing to promote the "conspiracy" that President Trump 's campaign conspired with Russia in 2016.

"I find that genuinely stunning as somebody who's been a pretty harsh media critic for more than a decade," Greenwald, co-founding editor at The Intercept, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton. "My bar for their behavior is, I think, rather low, and yet they somehow descended beneath it.

"The reality is that for three years there has been a conspiracy theory that has dominated our political and media discourse, which is that Donald Trump conspired with Russia over the 2016 election and that he's an agent of the Russian government along with many of his associates," he continued.

"In the Mueller report in one section after the next said either they couldn't establish that or there was no evidence for it, and yet they're acting as though it said exactly the opposite, that this conspiracy theory was demonstrated and proven and vindicated," he said. "They're living in some bizarre fantasy land because they're worried that admitting that they got this story wrong will damage their credibility."

"Pretending they got it right is just worsening the problem," he added.

... ... ..

-- Julia Manchester

[Apr 22, 2019] Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama s Attempted Coup Against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Americans should be marching in the streets at this attempted coup but we are so doped with mindless entertainment that we no longer care. We are becoming a system where as long as you don't challenge the 2 party system you are allowed your freedom to make money and to say whatever you want so long as it doesn't have consequences. ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | community.oilprice.com

shadowkin , 04/10/2019 01:49 AM

The irony of the Mueller investigation that was demanded by Democrats because they thought it would show Trump colluded with Russia to win the Presidency is that it has blown up in their faces by exposing in greater detail how Obama and the Deep State attempted first, to throw an election in favor of one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and second, attempted a coup once Trump was elected via investigations and false claims.

Once Trump won the election, the Deep State used their accomplices in the msm to convince the American public that Donald J Trump stole the election with the collaboration of the Russians. In this way they sought to remove him by impeachment.

It turns out the Deep State were the ones who were acting as agents of Russia seeking to tear America apart.

Consider:

  • John Brennan, Obama's CIA director, by his own admission, played a key role in instigating the investigation of Trump before the election. In the aftermath of the election Brennan has repeatedly called Trump a traitor on social media and old media.
  • We now know in August 2016 Brennan gave a private briefing to Sen. Harry Reid. Subsequently, Reid sent a letter to the FBI which included info that clearly came from the now infamous dossier, manufactured by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS contractor. This dossier would later be included in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application that was used to justify investigations into Trump, his campaign, and his family. It now appears very likely Brennan later lied under oath that he did not know who commissioned the dossier.
  • This dossier was originally funded by none other than Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
  • Since the conclusion of the Mueller report has come out Brennan, probably fearing an investigation into his actions pre/post election, now says he had "bad information". A more accurate description might be that he was willfully spreading disinformation to bring down a President.
  • James Comey himself described this dossier as "salacious" and "unverified" yet he did not bother to have the FBI attempt to verify the contents of the dossier.
  • This didn't stop Comey from lying 4 times to the FISA court that ex-British spy Steele was the source of an article by "journalist" Isikoff, which was used to corroborate claims in his own dossier. So Comey, in essence, told the FISA court that the Steele dossier had been corroborated by Steele.
  • Some background: Steele also worked for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. So the only person who had any verifiable evidence of working with the Russians in any capacity is an ex-British spy, contracted to manufacture a false dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton to smear Trump and later weaponized to impeach Trump after he won the election.
  • Comey lied to the FISA court so he could obtain, as he did, a warrant to spy on Carter Page (Trump staffer) and the Trump family during the election. Moreover, in addition to Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, and former Attorney General Sally Yates were required to sign off on the FISA warrant application. They are either incompetent or were engaged in a conspiracy but regardless, this was a fraud on the FISA court.
  • Bruce Ohr, a senior official at the time at the Justice Department, acted as a middleman between the FBI and Steele. He passed along information from his wife Nellie Ohr, also a Fusion GPS contractor like Steele , with, presumably, unverified and false info regarding Trump and his campaign.
  • The FBI later terminated Steele's relationship as a confidential informant with them after he revealed this relationship to the press. However, for up to 1.5 years after, Bruce Ohr continued to act as middleman between Steele and the FBI, even after Mueller took over the investigation .

Americans should be marching in the streets at this attempted coup but we are so doped with mindless entertainment that we no longer care. We are becoming a system where as long as you don't challenge the 2 party system you are allowed your freedom to make money and to say whatever you want so long as it doesn't have consequences.

Any more details of Mueller's report due to be released by AG Barr are likely to reveal more of the rotted core of the Deep State and their machinations and not, as Democrats think, damaging info about Trump.

[Apr 22, 2019] Jews vs Zionists

Apr 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

While it clear anti-Seminissm to hate Jews as the ethnic groups, it is quite different about Zionism -- Jewish nationalism with the elements of supremacist ideology that puts Israel as the central symbol of "jeweshnessh"

In the eyes of Spokoiny, the three types of contemporary anti-Semitism, be it Left, Right or Islamic ("which is not only fascistic but outright genocidal," according to Spokoiny) are in fact one by nature: "there's just one type of anti-Semitism that simply dresses its ugly persona in different ideological garments." So it isn't just the Jews that should be reunited; the Goyim, or shall we say the rest humanity, aren't diverse either, their oppositions to Jewish politics, Israel or Zionism are only a matter of "different ideological garments."

In Spokoiny's universe, the Jews are hated for being Jews. It is not that some oppose Israel for being racist, expansionist and genocidal. It is not because some may be upset that the Israeli Lobby dominates Western foreign affairs in the open. It is not because American and British boys and girls are sent to fight and die in Zio-con wars, it is not because some have noticed that it was a bunch of prominent Jewish intellectuals who have managed to reshape the Western ethos by means of so-called progressive ideologies. It is not because the media seems to be biased in favour of a criminal state, which happens to be a Jewish one. In Spokoiny, reasoning and self-reflection are pushed aside. In his universe some just hate Jews blindly, irrationally and for no reason.

But Spokoiny may as well be right. There is a common element in the Left-wing, Right-wing, Christian and Islamic opposition to Jewish politics, culture and ideology: opposition to choseness is how Bernard Lazare described it in his 1894 Zionist text Antisemitism: Its History and Causes . There is a shared common ground that unites all those so-called 'anti-Semites.' The alleged 'enemies of the Jews' are people who want the Jewish past to be subject to scrutiny like all other historical chapters, Israeli barbarism to be curtailed, Wall Street to be restricted, Palestine to be free. They want globalisation to be halted, immoral interventionism to die out. The so-called 'anti-Semites' actually follow the Zionist promise, they want Jews to finally assimilate and become 'people like all other people.' The so-called 'enemies of the Jews' are upholding the most enlightened rational universalist ethical positions. They treat Jews as ordinary people and expect their state and institutions to subscribe to ethical standards.

Spokoiny hates Alain Soral, the French intellectual who was sentenced this week to one year in prison by a French court for "negationisme" (history revisionism).

In the eyes of French Jewish institutes and Spokoiny, Soral is the ultimate enemy. He has managed to present a unifying message that appeals to the Left, the Right and Muslim immigrants. Soral calls for a universal reconciliation, between them all under a French nationalist egalitarian ethos. The French Jewish institutions see Soral's call as a vile anti-Semitic message as it doesn't seem to accommodate Jewish exceptionalism. However, some Jews have joined Soral's movement. But they clearly demoted themselves to French patriots. They left chosenism behind, they see themselves primarily as French.

"We in the Jewish community need to believe him (Soral)." Spokoiny writes, "We need to stop participating in the divide-and-conquer game of those who hate us." In other words, Spokoiny wants to see Jews as one monolithic identity. One that sticks together and exercises its power. If Spokoiny or anyone else thinks that such politics may eradicate anti-Semitism, he or she must be either naïve or just stupid . What Jews need to do is to self-reflect, to ask themselves why anti-Semitism is rising again. Jews must identify their own role in this emerging reality. Rather than constantly blaming their so called 'haters,' Jews may want to repeat the early Zionist exercise and ask what is exactly in Jewish culture, identity and politics that makes Jewish history into a chain of disasters.


Johnny Rottenborough , says: Website April 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm GMT

The conclusion of Chapter 1 of Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak:

There are two choices which face Israeli-Jewish society. It can become a fully closed and warlike ghetto, a Jewish Sparta, supported by the labour of Arab helots, kept in existence by its influence on the US political establishment and by threats to use its nuclear power, or it can try to become an open society. The second choice is dependent on an honest examination of its Jewish past, on the admission that Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism exist, and on an honest examination of the attitudes of Judaism towards the non-Jews.

The second choice would require Jews to 'demote themselves' to mere humanity. There seems to be no hope of that.

Bloody Bill , says: April 19, 2019 at 4:10 pm GMT
Good article Atzmon.

Jews do seem to be incapable or completely unwilling to self-reflect on their behavior and its effects. Instead, they pathologize the goyim saying its somehow inherent.

Zionism is despised all over the political spectrum. So called anti-semitism is not just some far right nazi ideology. Leftists, muslims, blacks etc. are all seeing Jewish behavior as a real threat.

The hostility and destructive, subversive behavior to western culture and institutions is despised by the right. The left hates the racist and hostile murderous behavior to the Palestinians. Both hate the zio-con wars.

Jews are not in a good situation. However, most of them are completely unwilling to change their behavior. In fact, they seem to be pushing even harder and faster. It is not looking like there is going to be a good outcome for the Jews at the rate they're currently going.

Colin Wright , says: Website April 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
' what is exactly in Jewish culture, identity and politics that makes Jewish history into a chain of disasters '

One wonders to what extent exactly this characterization is accurate. Even if it is true to some extent, can't the history of all peoples be characterized as a 'chain of disasters'?

Take the Jews of any particular region: the Ukraine, say. Okay, fine -- they suffered the pogroms associated with Khmelnitsky's uprising and the Holocaust. Some would add the pogroms of late Tsarist Russia, but here's an unpleasant fact: those weren't all that big a deal

Meantime, what about the gentiles? Well, first off, I don't think anyone did well out of Khmelnitsky's uprising: gentiles were being slaughtered in job lots as well. Then there were the artificial famines of Stalin's regime, which were inflicted primarily -- exclusively? -- on the Christian peasantry. The Nazis weren't nice to Ukrainian gentiles either. There was the holocaust of the Mongol invasions.

Etc. Things are tough all over. We could engage in the same compare and contrast for Spanish Jews and gentiles, French Jews and gentiles, German Jews and gentiles, and so on. Some evils were inflicted mostly on the Jews, some mainly on the gentiles, some indifferently on both.

Even if one could establish that Jews have come in for more than their fair share of abuse, it's obviously a wild distortion of the past to see Jews alone as victims. The Thirty Years War was catastrophic for German gentiles as well as German Jews. 75% of the German gentile civilians trapped in Konigsberg when it fell to the Russians wound up being murdered, starved to death, or otherwise done in. Was it better to be a Jew or a gentile then?

Jews don't have a monopoly on victimhood, and to assume otherwise is to indulge in a pernicious fantasy. We wind up agreeing that Jews are uniquely entitled to misbehave, because they alone have been abused. Neither end of that proposition is valid.

Edward Huguenin , says: April 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT
"Anti-semite" has lost its sting, because every justified criticism of the Zionist Israeli government is declared to be anti-semitism. The word is so overused and misapplied as to be useless. Indeed, to be declared "anti-semite" by the Israel Lobby is to be declared a person of high moral conscience.

[Apr 22, 2019] Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: 'We lied, we cheated, we stole'

This memorable statement is at 3:53 ;-)
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com

JR says: April 22, 2019 at 6:27 am

One would be naive to expect any truth from Pompeo. Self satisfied creature considers this funny too. How deep can one sink..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsnAR3yqfQ0

[Apr 22, 2019] Our Iran Policy Is Run By Fanatics

Apr 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Trump administration won't be issuing any more waivers to importers of Iranian oil:

The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran.

U.S. officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2.

Refusing to offer new sanctions waivers is the latest sign that Trump is once again giving in to the most extreme Iran hawks. When sanctions on Iran's oil sector went into effect last November, the administration initially granted waivers to the top importers of Iranian oil to avoid a spike in the price of oil, but that is now coming to an end. The economic war that the U.S. has been waging against Iran over the last year is about to expand to include some of the world's biggest economies and some of America's leading trading partners. It is certain to inflict more hardship on the Iranian people, and it will damage relations between the U.S. and other major economic powers, including China and India, but it will have no discernible effect on the Iranian government's behavior and policies. India, China, and Turkey are practically guaranteed to ignore U.S. demands that they eliminate all Iranian oil imports.

Josh Rogin reported on the same story:

The decision to end waivers has implications for world oil markets, which have been eagerly anticipating President Trump's decision on whether to extend waivers. The officials said market disruption should be minimal for two reasons: supply is now greater than demand and Pompeo is also set to announce offsets through commitments from other suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Trump spoke about the issue Thursday with the UAE's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Between the administration's Venezuela and Iran oil sanctions and increased instability in Libya (also supported by the Trump administration), oil prices are nonetheless likely to rise. Even if they don't, Trump's Iran obsession is causing significant economic dislocation for no good reason as part of a regime change policy that can't and won't succeed. It cannot be emphasized enough that the reimposition of sanctions on Iran is completely unwarranted and represents a betrayal of previous U.S. commitments to Iran and our allies under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The decision to refuse any new sanctions waivers is a clear sign that the most fanatical members of the Trump administration have prevailed in internal debates and U.S. Iran policy is held hostage to their whims.


liberal, says: April 21, 2019 at 11:44 pm

Maybe Trump will reap the benefits of this if oil prices go up a lot and it torpedos his reelection in 2020.

One thing I'm really not clear on how are these proposed sanctions against third parties (e.g. Japan, etc etc) not a violation of trade agreements? Are there escape clauses in those agreements that allow the US to do these things, or is it merely that these other countries are (usually) not willing to rely on the trade agreements' protections because, at the end of the day, it would mean a trade war with the US, which they're not willing to countenance?

JR , says: April 22, 2019 at 6:27 am
One would be naive to expect any truth from Pompeo. Self satisfied creature considers this funny too. How deep can one sink..

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tsnAR3yqfQ0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

cosmo , says: April 22, 2019 at 7:19 am
Iran policy ??? What about foreign policy in general ?? Interventionism is NOT what Americans want, or can afford! No more lives & limbs (and dollars) for foreign countries!!
Dry Dock , says: April 22, 2019 at 8:34 am
"Between the administration's Venezuela and Iran oil sanctions and increased instability in Libya (also supported by the Trump administration), oil prices are nonetheless likely to rise. Even if they don't, Trump's Iran obsession is causing significant economic dislocation for no good reason "

But there is a good reason. Forcing up oil prices is a shot in the arm for the Saudi economy. Remember "Israel first, and Saudi Arabia second". That formula explains most of Trump's foreign policy, the rest being a jumble of random impulses and the consequences of infighting among his advisors.

KXB , says: April 22, 2019 at 10:24 am
Gas is already $3.20 in the Chicago suburbs, and we are not into the summer driving season yet. Overseas – India is going to the poll. India imports most of its oil, and Iran is a major supplier. Yes, the Saudis have been trying to get India to switch over to more Saudi imports – but it would look like "strong" Modi is giving in to Trump and MBS.
TheSnark , says: April 22, 2019 at 10:59 am
We are going to sanction China for buying Iranian oil? Does anyone seriously think they are going to submit to that gracefully? Japan and Korea might, they are much smaller and stuck with us. But China?

And I seriously doubt that sanctioning India for buying Iranian oil will advance our strategic alliance with them, either.

[Apr 22, 2019] Current Neo-McCarthyism hysteria as a smoke screen of the UK and the USA intent to dominate European geopolitics and weaken Russia and Germany

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine. ..."
"... But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , July 24, 2018 12:23 am

@run75441 July 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Best bet is for Russia to want to trade with the US and Europe. The gas pipeline will not be enough leverage on Germany as it provides 9% of their needs.

Yes. And that's against the USA interests (or more correctly the US-led neoliberal empire interests). North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine.

As you know, nothing was proven yet in Russiagate (and DNC hacks looks more and more like a false flag operation, especially this Guccifer 2.0 personality ), but sanctions were already imposed. And when the US government speaks "Russia" in most cases they mean "China+Russia" ;-). Russia is just a weaker link in this alliance and, as such, it is attacked first. Russiagate is just yet another pretext after MH17, Magnitsky and such.

To me the current Anti-Russian hysteria is mainly a smokescreen to hide attempt to cement cracks in the façade of the USA neoliberal society that Trump election revealed (including apparent legitimization of ruling neoliberal elite represented by Hillary).

And a desperate attempt to unite the society using (false) war propaganda which requires demonization of the "enemy of the people" and neo-McCarthyism.

But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad (for example, military alliance means the end of the USA global military domination; energy alliance means that is now impossible to impose a blockade on China energy supplies from Middle East even if Iran is occupied)

In this sense the recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia is quite understandable. While, at the same time, totally abhorrent. My feeling is that unless Russia folds, which is unlikely, the side effects/externalities of this posture can be very bad for the USA. In any case, the alliance of Russia and China which Obama administration policies forged spells troubles to the global neoliberal empire dominated by the USA.

Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind and adapt to a "new brave world" by using preemptive adjustments.

Which is why all this Trump-Putin summit hysteria is about.

Neither hard, nor soft neoliberals want any adjustments. They are ready to fight for the US-led neoliberal empire till the last American (excluding, of course, themselves and their families)

[Apr 22, 2019] Trump's tone on Mueller report changes after initial upbeat view

Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , April 20, 2019 at 09:11 AM

Trump's tone on Mueller report changes after initial upbeat view
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/04/20/trump-tone-mueller-report-changes-after-initial-upbeat-view/s77V84hJjYGdc4WTS6F5kJ/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

JILL COLVIN - Associated Press - April 20, 2019

WASHINGTON ( -- President Donald Trump is lashing out at current and former aides who cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, insisting the deeply unflattering picture they painted of him and the White House was ''total bullshit.''

In a series of angry tweets from Palm Beach, Florida, Trump laced into those who, under oath, had shared with Mueller their accounts of how Trump tried numerous times to squash or influence the investigation and portrayed the White House as infected by a culture of lies, deceit and deception.

''Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,'' Trump wrote Friday, adding that some were ''total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).''

The attacks were a dramatic departure from the upbeat public face the White House had put on it just 24 hours earlier, when Trump celebrated the report's findings as full exoneration and his counselor Kellyanne Conway called it ''the best day'' for Trump's team since his election. While the president, according to people close to him, did feel vindicated by the report, he also felt betrayed by those who had painted him in an unflattering light -- even though they were speaking under oath and had been directed by the White House to cooperate fully with Mueller's team.

The reaction was not entirely surprising and had been something staffers feared in the days ahead of the report's release as they wondered how Mueller might portray their testimony and whether the report might damage their relationships with Trump.
... ... ...

In one particularly vivid passage, Mueller recounts how Trump called McGahn twice at home and directed him to set in motion Mueller's firing. McGahn recoiled, packed up his office and threatened to resign, fearing the move would trigger a potential crisis akin to the Saturday Night Massacre of firings during the Watergate era.

In another section, Mueller details how Trump questioned McGahn's note-taking, telling the White House counsel that, ''Lawyers don 't take notes'' and that he'd ''never had a lawyer who took notes.''

''Watch out for people that take so-called ''notes,'' when the notes never existed until needed,'' Trump said in one of his tweets Friday. Others whose contemporaneous notes were referenced in the report include former staff secretary Rob Porter and Reince Priebus, Trump's first chief of staff.

Trump ended his tweet with the word, ''a...'' suggesting more was coming. More than eight hours later, he finally completed his thought, calling the probe a ''big, fat, waste of time, energy and money'' and threatening investigators by saying, ''It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason.'' There is no evidence of either.

... ... ...

[Apr 22, 2019] T>wisting the tools of justice and state to slander

Apr 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mueller's inclusion of information on obstruction of justice that portrays unbecoming conduct by the president that nonetheless doesn't rise to the level of indictable crime allows Democrats to decide where to take this next. Mueller has not tossed the ball to a Democratic Congress to play out its check and balance role so much as handed dirt to Democratic politicians to use as they see fit. It's an odd end for the righteous Robert Mueller, twisting the tools of justice and state to slander.

And as with collusion, we already know the ending on obstruction. Mueller did not indict because the evidence did not support it. Attorney General Bob Barr and his deputy Rod Rosenstein, by law the actual intended recipients of the report, agreed with Mueller. Trump's actions were lawful. Though some of them were troublesome and even immoral, they were not criminal. Most significantly, Mueller could not indict on obstruction because it was not possible to determine that Trump had showed the legally required corrupt intent. All of that precedes any consideration given to Department of Justice and Office of Legal Counsel advice that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

If Mueller had an obstruction case, he would have made it. He could have specifically recommended indictment and made explicit that the complex legal issues around presidential obstruction meant a decision was beyond his and the attorney general's constitutional roles and must be addressed by Congress via impeachment. He could have indicted any number of people in Trump's inner circle, or issued a sealed indictment against post-White House Trump himself. He could have said that he couldn't indict solely because of DOJ/OLC rules and therefore explicitly created a road map for impeachment to guide the next step.

None of that happened. Mueller had no reason to speak in riddles, show restraint, send signals, embed hidden messages , or hint at things that others should do. He could have swung in any number of ways but instead found reason to leave the bat on his shoulder. Volume II should have ended there.

But it seems obvious from reading the report that stories alleging that members of Mueller's team saw evidence of obstruction that they found "alarming and significant" were true. Barr did a great disservice in omitting at least mention of this from his summary, as it forms the bulk of Volume II and will fuel nearly everything that happens next.

Despite no indictment, the report outlines 10 instances containing elements of obstructed justice by Trump, with a suggestion (volume II, page 8) that someone may want to look again. Apparently not everyone on Mueller's team agreed with the boss's conclusion that the evidence was insufficient, and Mueller chose to allow what is essentially dissent Talmudically contradicting his major Volume II conclusion to be baked into his own work.

Mueller was tasked with making an unambiguous decision: either to prosecute or not. He made it, and then included pages of reasons suggesting he might be wrong even as he also found space to say that the dissent might also be missing the key element of corrupt intent. There is no explanation for this confusing, ambiguous, and jumbled departure from traditional prosecutorial judgment. The final line (volume II, page 182) reads like a Twilight Zone script: "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

One focus of the dissent is on Trump firing former FBI director James Comey. For this to be obstruction, Trump would have had to have fired Comey with the corrupt intent to impede the investigation. The Mueller report is clear that this was not what happened. Despite the public messaging, the firing was related to Comey's mishandling of the Clinton email case. The report shows that the president was angry at Comey for telling him privately that he was not under investigation but refusing to say so publicly, as Comey had done (once) for Hillary Clinton. Volume II, page 75: "Substantial evidence indicates that the catalyst for the president's decision to fire Comey was Comey's unwillingness to publicly state that the president was not personally under investigation." That's not obstruction of justice; it's presidential rage.


Fellkirk , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm

So no Russia conspiracy after all. After all that.

One can't help wondering how it might have gone had Israel rather than Russia been the foreign target of the investigation. After all, the FBI tells us that Israeli spying against America is as intense as Russian and Chinese spying. The Israelis are more advanced in some ways. There is no Russia-America Political Action Committee, for example. No Russian Sheldon Adelson either.

After the Mueller fracas dies down, we can expect Russia and China to develop methods and mechanisms that parallel those Israel uses to meddle in our elections and threaten our politicians. It's safer, and far more effective.

Donald , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm

This lefty tends to agree with you. There are so many issues where Trump can legitimately be described as awful and on a personal level he is awful. On some of the issues (and on his personality), some of the TAC conservatives around here would agree with me. Larison rips into Trump almost every day.

So what do our wonderful Democratic progressive leaders and journalists (with rare exceptions) do? They zero in on a McCarthyite conspiracy theory where Trump is innocent.

Freaking geniuses.

Still, Trump is a sleaze and I leave it to the lawyers to determine if the "obstruction" charge will go anywhere.

JR , says: April 20, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Mueller's performs malpractice as a prosecutor by stating:
"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

WorkingClass , says: April 21, 2019 at 6:51 am

Mueller could not give the Democrats and the deep state the president's head. But he did encourage them to continue the quest. The chances of Trump's reelection are thereby greatly enhanced. The left won't have anything better to do than impeach the president for another six years.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) , says: April 20, 2019 at 5:31 am

the report very specifically and literally does not exonerate the president for all his conduct covered in the report

The report DOES NOT exonerate Trump; it says explicitly that "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts, that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment."

I agree that's not an indictment, but it's decidedly not an exoneration either. So it seems like *Boland is disgracing herself,* trying to spin the Mueller Report into something favorable to the president.

Have you looked at the report? It explicitly

"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Seriously, folks, stop grasping at straws. It looks pathetic. Ever heard of "innocent unless proven guilty"? One of the basic legal principles – ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – if y'all haven't. If something assumed to be an evidence or a testimony cannot indict, it *automatically* exonerates. Grow up and face it. And start actually campaigning if you wanna have even the smallest chance in 2020. I can assure you that your collusion delusion is among the last things voters of any social, racial, ethnic, religious or regional backgrounds care about.

Groucho , says: April 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Reading the comments here it is clear that Trump derangement syndrome is alive and well at TAC.

There are two possible outcomes in a legal inquiry, indictment and exoneration. The fact that Mueller could not indict on collusion means Trump was exonerated. Mueller punted on the issue of obstruction of justice because he could not prove that either and for him to imply otherwise is dishonest and borders and prosecutorial misconduct.

A trace of common sense would lead one to ask why Trump would obstruct an investigation into a crime that he surely knew he did not commit?

One doesn't have to be a Trump fan to marvel at the mendacity and stupidity that liberal elite's have displayed in refusing to face reality.

[Apr 22, 2019] Ken Starr's effort cost 120 million and was just as stupid as this one

Apr 22, 2019 | kunstler.com

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm #

Ken Starr's effort cost 120 million and was just as stupid as this one. So the Republicans got a taste of their own medicine, the really bad thing to come out of this is the possibility of nuclear war with Russia.

FincaInTheMountains April 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm #

Another adept of the Hanlon's Razor who is forgetting that the Republicans started all kinds of investigations against the Clintons not because Bill screwed somebody in the Oval Office, but because Hillary cheated in 1992 presidential elections by using a spoiler Ross Perot, which violated all gentlemen's agreements of the American elite.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 1:31 pm #

They appointed Ken Starr to be the most powerful prosecutor in the U.S. with unlimited money, manpower and time based on not even speculation. They had nothing, if it were not for Linda Tripp's backstabbing of her friend Monica Lewinsky the whole thing would of ended much earlier.

Ken Starr threatened Monica and everyone within 100 miles of her with long prison sentences if she did not reveal every detail, which he leaked to the press on a daily basis. It was dirty politics at its finest.

100th Avatar April 19, 2019 at 3:35 pm #

Of course. Because a serial philanderer, womanizer, and/or rapist getting oral sex from a very young intern in a government office and then lying about is is not serious. A me-too moment. Now imagine if Trump did that.

100th Avatar April 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm #

There are people that are willfully ignorant. You are willfully stupid, but you're intensely partisan, which perhaps explains your conundrum.

There are severe grounds for punishment in the federal workplace for having sex with your subordinate. In your office. On government time.

Even more severe if found lying about it during the course of an investigation/review.

You can blame a vast rightwing conspiracy, a witch-hunt, or your melodramatic claim of "coup", but it is a settled conclusion that Bill Clinton is a womanizer, serial philander, and accused rapist.

But he is a D, which is all that matters for the useful voting idiots.

[Apr 22, 2019] The Mueller report and the campaign against Russia by Joseph Kishore

Notable quotes:
"... "Russia's interference in the campaign was the core issue that Mr. Mueller was appointed to investigate," the Times writes, "and if he stopped short of accusing the Trump campaign of overtly cooperating with the Russians -- the report mercifully rejects speaking of 'collusion,' a term that has no meaning in American law -- he was unequivocal on Russia's culpability: 'First, the Office determined that Russia's two principal interference operations in the 2016 US presidential election -- the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operations -- violated US criminal law." ..."
"... In the key passage, the Times complains that Trump has failed to take this supposed interference in American politics seriously. "Culpable or not," the editors write, "he must be made to understand that a foreign power that interferes in American elections is, in fact, trying to distort American foreign policy and national security." ..."
"... "Distort foreign policy " By this is meant the CIA-backed imperialist operations in Syria and the campaign against Russia itself. ..."
"... In addition to the conflicts over foreign policy, the anti-Russia campaign has been aimed at criminalizing domestic opposition and justifying an unprecedented attack on free speech, including the censorship of the internet, utilizing Google, Facebook, and other social media companies, under the absurd pretext that the online operations of Russia are responsible for social conflict within the United States. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.wsws.org

The release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on allegations of Russian interference in the US election and alleged collusion with the Trump administration has reignited the ferocious factional warfare within the American ruling class.

An editorial published Friday evening by the New York Times very clearly reveals, after two years, what this conflict was all about. As the World Socialist Web Site has repeatedly insisted, dominant factions of the military-intelligence apparatus, whose demands have been channeled by the Democratic Party and the media, will not accept any retreat from an intensification of the conflict with Russia.

The editorial board statement is published under the headline, "The Mueller Report and the Danger Facing American Democracy," with the subhead, "A perceived victory for Russian interference poses a serious risk for the United States."

It begins, "The report of the special counsel Robert Mueller leaves considerable space for partisan warfare over the role of President Trump and his political campaign in Russia's interference in the 2016 election. But one conclusion is categorical: 'The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.'"

This statement is a backhanded acknowledgement that the Mueller report fails to substantiate many of the wild claims, promoted by the media including the Times , of collusion or direct coordination between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government. However, what the Times is more concerned with is the underlying -- and no less unfounded -- claim, that Russia has attacked "American democracy" and that an aggressive response is necessary.

"Russia's interference in the campaign was the core issue that Mr. Mueller was appointed to investigate," the Times writes, "and if he stopped short of accusing the Trump campaign of overtly cooperating with the Russians -- the report mercifully rejects speaking of 'collusion,' a term that has no meaning in American law -- he was unequivocal on Russia's culpability: 'First, the Office determined that Russia's two principal interference operations in the 2016 US presidential election -- the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operations -- violated US criminal law."

In the key passage, the Times complains that Trump has failed to take this supposed interference in American politics seriously. "Culpable or not," the editors write, "he must be made to understand that a foreign power that interferes in American elections is, in fact, trying to distort American foreign policy and national security."

"Distort foreign policy " By this is meant the CIA-backed imperialist operations in Syria and the campaign against Russia itself.

In addition to the conflicts over foreign policy, the anti-Russia campaign has been aimed at criminalizing domestic opposition and justifying an unprecedented attack on free speech, including the censorship of the internet, utilizing Google, Facebook, and other social media companies, under the absurd pretext that the online operations of Russia are responsible for social conflict within the United States.

Regurgitating the unsubstantiated assertions of the intelligence agencies, which the Mueller report also accepts, the Times denounces "a social media campaign [by Russia] intended to fan rifts in the United States." Significantly, this same assertion was accepted by Trump's attorney general, William Barr, who proclaimed upon releasing the report Thursday that it proved that Russia had engaged in a systematic campaign to "sow social discord among American voters."

As if the growing wave of social unrest in the United States, propelled by unprecedented levels of social inequality, is the product of the nefarious intervention of Vladimir Putin! This is simply the resurrection of hysterical McCarthyite red-baiting, with capitalist Russia assuming the place of the Soviet Union.

A particularly noxious expression of the attack on democratic rights is the agreement, across all factions of the US ruling elite, to target WikiLeaks. The Mueller report was issued only days after British police seized WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the US government revealed that it was seeking his extradition, to face indefinite detention or worse.

The Times editorial repeats the allegation -- again, never substantiated, but asserted by the Mueller report -- that the Russian government was involved in hacking "the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and releasing reams of damaging materials through the front groups DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, and later through WikiLeaks."

"The real danger that the Mueller report reveals," the Times repeats, "is not of a president who knowingly or unknowingly let a hostile power do dirty tricks on his behalf, but of a president who refuses to see that he has been used to damage American democracy and national security."

It adds, "A perceived victory for Russian interference poses a serious danger to the United States. Already, several American agencies are working, in partnership with the tech industry, to prevent election interference going forward." That is, Google and Facebook have already instituted far-reaching measures to censor the internet. "But the Kremlin is not the only hostile government mucking around in America's cyberspace -- China and North Korea are two others honing their cyber-arsenals, and they, too, could be tempted to manipulate partisan strife for their ends." That is, further measures are needed.

Here we have combined the twin and interrelated aims of all factions of the ruling class -- to intensify war, not only against Russia, but also against China, and suppress social opposition.

The Times ends with an olive branch to Trump and the Republicans. "The two parties may not agree on Mr. Trump's culpability," the editors write, "but they have already found a measure of common ground with the sanctions they have imposed on Russia over its interference in the campaign. Now they could justify the considerable time and expense of the special counsel investigation, and at the same time demonstrate that the fissure in American politics is not terminal, by jointly making clear to Russia and other hostile forces that the democratic process, in the United States and its allies, is strictly off limits to foreign clandestine manipulation, and that anyone who tries will pay a heavy price."

Thus we have it, as they say, straight from the horse's mouth. The opposition of the Democrats and their affiliated media outlets to the Trump administration was never about its right-wing and fascistic policies, its illegal and unconstitutional agenda, or its authoritarian methods of rule, but over concerns that he has undermined what are considered key geostrategic interests of American imperialism.

As far as the ruling class is concerned -- and here we speak of both the Democrats and the Trump administration -- the "heavy price" is to be borne not only by the foreign policy rivals of the American ruling class abroad, but also by the working class at home.

[Apr 22, 2019] What is "collosion" ?

Notable quotes:
"... Federal law also prohibits candidates from cooperating or consulting with a foreign national who is spending money to influence a U.S. election. These "coordinated expenditures" are treated as contributions under campaign finance law and thus run afoul of the law's ban on contributions from foreign nationals in U.S. elections. ..."
"... There are laws against specific actions Obama employees used to get the "evidence" on the Trump campaign. We need the Impeachment on C-SPAN to get to the bottom of Obama targeting the Trump campaign and how it was politically motivated with no more to do with protecting national security than Hillary's abuses of sensitive information, and losing e-mails. ..."
"... If Trump were to be impeached by the House, then either he would be convicted by a Republican majority Senate or he would be exonerated or he would resign instead. Which of those possible outcomes would fix US politics or even make a difference? The Democratic Party cannot become a winner with the policies of loser liberalism. This they have proven for fifty years. It is an immutable reality that laughs in the face of supposed evidence-based policy making. ..."
"... US President Trump says he is completely exonerated after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report concluded he "did not conspire" with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. ... ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 01:47 PM

https://www.commoncause.org/democracy-wire/what-is-collusion/

Defining Democracy: Collusion

07.24.2017 / By Lauran Pauley

Defining Democracy: Collusion

What is collusion? Is collusion a crime?

Part of an occasional series looking at language dominating the news and influencing how Americans learn about the way our government works.

The media are filled with speculation about whether each twist and turn of the Russia-Trump investigation will "prove collusion." A recent Vanity Fair headline read "Does Trump's Tangled Russia Web Constitute Collusion?" and a Vox headline asserted that "Trump administration: There's no evidence of collusion."

What is collusion? Is collusion a crime?

The dictionary definition of "collusion" is a "secret agreement or cooperation, especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose." But when it comes to the unfolding story of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the word is being used as a catch-all term for illegal acts such as conspiracy, espionage, campaign finance violations, bribery, or fraud. There is no federal law making collusion a crime.

While "collusion" has proven to be a useful word for journalists and the general public, it also serves as a useful straw man for defenders of President Trump; they argue that collusion is not a crime and that the Trump campaign's activities did not constitute collusion, so there's no reason for further investigation.

However, the fact that there's no law prohibiting "collusion" doesn't mean there's no statute prohibiting some of the specific activities that the Trump campaign engaged in, or may have engaged in.

For example, federal law bars the solicitation or receipt of a contribution from a foreign national. Last week, Common Cause filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice alleging that the Trump campaign violated this prohibition when Donald Trump Jr. asked for a meeting with a Russian to receive what he believed would be valuable opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

Federal law also prohibits candidates from cooperating or consulting with a foreign national who is spending money to influence a U.S. election. These "coordinated expenditures" are treated as contributions under campaign finance law and thus run afoul of the law's ban on contributions from foreign nationals in U.S. elections.

Finally, federal law prohibits two or more persons from conspiring to commit a crime -- an offense known as "criminal conspiracy."

As evidence of Trump campaign interactions with Russian nationals connected to Putin's government continues to mount, investigation by the Department of Justice, the Federal Election Commission and Congressional Committees is necessary. And though "collusion" is a convenient word for describing these potential violations, our justice system rightly demands precision when it comes to defining violations of the law. In the coming weeks and months, we'll explain the legal meaning of important terms like "coordination" and "conspiracy." So stay tuned!

ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 20, 2019 at 07:14 PM
I am with MCs Tlaib and AOC! I like the impeachment gig!

There are laws against specific actions Obama employees used to get the "evidence" on the Trump campaign. We need the Impeachment on C-SPAN to get to the bottom of Obama targeting the Trump campaign and how it was politically motivated with no more to do with protecting national security than Hillary's abuses of sensitive information, and losing e-mails.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , April 21, 2019 at 06:34 AM
In a world where words have fallen prey to misuse then the tree of truth cannot be seen in the forest of gibberish. It is not like the zealots are engaging in discussion and seeking clarity, but rather they just choose their language like bludgeons and pitchforks with little attention to usage and meaning.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , April 21, 2019 at 06:53 AM
If Trump were to be impeached by the House, then either he would be convicted by a Republican majority Senate or he would be exonerated or he would resign instead. Which of those possible outcomes would fix US politics or even make a difference? The Democratic Party cannot become a winner with the policies of loser liberalism. This they have proven for fifty years. It is an immutable reality that laughs in the face of supposed evidence-based policy making.
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 21, 2019 at 06:51 AM
I understand that 'collusion' is a crime only under the Federal RICO laws. That must be where Trump heard about it.

It is arguably only a 'happy coincidence' that both the Russians and Trump did not want Hillary to be prez.

Also, that they were willing to do something about it, and who was Trump to interfere?

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 07:02 AM
Prosecuting the occasional thief caught stealing iPhones from unlocked cars solves nothing. Either lock your car or don't leave your iPhone in it.

Beating professional con-men at their own game is always a long shot and a lot of time and energy is wasted in the attempt.

US politics has a long history of abuse. Most voting age citizens have divorced themselves from the reality of it rather than seek counseling.

As long as things are good enough then the electorate will just go along with the system and not organize itself to demand constitutional reform. So, then the only solution is for things to get bad enough. It is good to be too old to live to see that day.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 21, 2019 at 07:46 AM
'who was Trump to interfere?'

Of course (?), it is illegal to accept assistance in a political campaign from foreign parties, I understand, but what if Trump did not know this? Is he to be persecuted for such ignorance?

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 08:05 AM
Legal definitions almost always have technical requirements for some positive action. In Trump's case being a passive actor probably was not a crime. The term "accept" is like "collusion" vague in colloquial use perhaps, but much more confined in law. I don't know the details and don't care enough to read the report for myself along with then reading the law to make sure that I understand it all. It is easy to see that Trump's ignorance was not a singular occurrence.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 07:07 AM
Thanks for the "collusion" explained under RICO.
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 21, 2019 at 11:13 AM
RICO sounds so much nicer than 'Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act'
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 10:47 AM
"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," said Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump's lawyer.

https://nyti.ms/2veNrXw

NYT - Emily Cochrane and Catie Edmondson - April 21

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, insisted on Sunday that it was acceptable for a political campaign to use hacked information about its opponent obtained from a foreign adversary -- though he personally would have advised against it.

"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," Mr. Giuliani said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that he would have argued against using it, "out of excess of caution."

"It depends on where it came from," he said, adding on NBC's "Meet the Press" that a political campaign's decision to use stolen information from foreign adversaries "depends on the stolen material."

Mr. Giuliani's assertion, which built on similar previous remarks that he had later backed away from, was offered partly as a rebuttal to questioning about a meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 in which Trump campaign aides met with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. It also underscored another aspect of the special counsel's report, released last week by the Justice Department, that the president has largely avoided addressing: that Russia secretly influenced the 2016 presidential election.

"They shouldn't have stolen it, but the American people were just given more information," Mr. Giuliani said on "Meet the Press."

The interviews by Mr. Giuliani were part of the parallel interpretations of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, that played out on national television on Sunday, as Trump allies and Democrats battled for control over the narrative of the report's conclusions. Mr. Giuliani and other Trump aides claimed vindication and offered a vociferous defense of the president, even as senior congressional Democrats vowed further investigation.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on "Meet the Press" that he would call Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel and one of the administration aides who cooperated extensively with the investigation, to testify.

Mr. Nadler said some of the president's actions detailed in the Mueller report, if proved, might warrant impeachment. But asked about beginning an impeachment inquiry, he said that "we may get to that, we may not," adding that his committee's task at hand was "to go through all the evidence, all the information and to go where the evidence leads us."

His conditional response showed how House Democrats as a whole were grappling with how to answer the impeachment question. ...

And even as the president and his allies trumpeted their vindication -- "I have never been happier or more content," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning -- they also lashed out at their perceived enemies.

"The Trump Haters and Angry Democrats who wrote the Mueller Report were devastated by the No Collusion finding!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, less than two hours after wishing the country a happy Easter. "Nothing but a total 'hit job' which should never have been allowed to start in the first place!"

They also singled out the testimony of certain aides who testified before Mr. Mueller's team and conservative lawmakers who criticized Mr. Trump's behavior as outlined in the report.

Late Saturday night, Mr. Trump, ostensibly in response to a scathing statement from Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, shared a video mocking Mr. Romney's unsuccessful presidential run in 2012.

Mr. Giuliani added to the criticism of the Utah senator, calling Mr. Romney a "hypocrite" for his statement. Mr. Romney had said he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection" from administration officials, "including the president."

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 11:10 AM
"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," said Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump's lawyer.

Depends on the meaning of 'taking'.

If they (or someone else) 'stole' that information, which of course the Trump Team would totally *not* do, and then conveyed it to the campaign, would
that be So Wrong? Fuhgeddaboudit!

RG probably meant to say that information was 'accepted'.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 09:21 PM
(Previously...)

Mueller report a 'complete exoneration' - Donald Trump

US President Trump says he is completely exonerated after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report concluded he "did not conspire" with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-47687956/mueller-report-a-complete-exoneration-donald-trump

BBC News - March 24

[Apr 21, 2019] It is stunning that the entirety of federal law enforcement, intelligence, and State department embraced and fortified Russian misinformation in their jihad against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Nevertheless, while it appeared to the Clinton partisans in the Obama White House, in the DoJ, the CIA, the FBI and overseas in the UK, that the e-mail case had been quashed sufficiently to preserve the likelihood of Clinton's accession, they had enough reservations to exploit a garbage pail of political dirt to take out an "insurance policy." ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , 21 April 2019 at 12:15 PM

Who is taking the over/under on whether Barr will actually investigate the origins of the attempted entrapment of Trump in Russia collusion and the roles played by key players in US law enforcement and intelligence agencies as well as the Brits & Aussie government agencies therein?

I'm willing to bet that it will all be swept under the rug and that Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Lynch & Rice will not be testifying to any grand jury. Barr has received multiple criminal & conspiracy referrals from Rep. Devin Nunes. However, Trump himself disregarded Nunes recommendation to declassify several documents & communications including the FISA application on Carter Page. The question is does Trump want to get to the bottom of the conspiracy? So far all he's done is tweet. IMO, Barr is the epitome of a Swamp Rat.

Tom22ndState -> blue peacock... , 21 April 2019 at 05:43 PM
"Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." – Sun Tzu

I have a feeling that President Trump will declassify and release the relevant documents in a manner that they will have maximum effect. It is stunning that the entirety of federal law enforcement, intelligence, and State department embraced and fortified Russian misinformation in their jihad against Trump.

This must never happen again. At least the operation was run by political hacks, former analysts who fancied themselves as operators. Their ham- fisted prints are over this shit storm. Thank you God for Comey, Brennan, and Clapper -- the three stooges of espionage.

Mad Max_22 , 21 April 2019 at 06:17 PM
I suppose that it's possible that AG Barr's DoJ will mount a serious investigation into the many tentacles ongoing governmental debacle that began with the Lynch DoJ providing political direction and cover for Comey's FBI to lie down on the Clinton e-mail investigation. Which came first, the cover up, or the capitulation, is not completely clear. Perhaps it was a hand in glove affair. Suffice it to say that by any standard of competence, it was a faux effort.

In my opinion, what was not done should constitute the elements of an obstruction violation. It would be a difficult charge to argue before a jury. Was the level of incompetence such that a reasonable person could not believe that it could not exist in the FBI, that there had to be malicious intent?

Nevertheless, while it appeared to the Clinton partisans in the Obama White House, in the DoJ, the CIA, the FBI and overseas in the UK, that the e-mail case had been quashed sufficiently to preserve the likelihood of Clinton's accession, they had enough reservations to exploit a garbage pail of political dirt to take out an "insurance policy."

Once again the question, could they possibly have been so incompetent. "What the heck" appears to have been the launching pad; Clinton's going to win anyway, Trump will be crushed under the unmaskings, leaks, and innuendo; and no one will ever find out.

But Trump wins, and the unwholesome political cabal is now stuck with an investigation of an incoming President whom they had tried to frag on the skimpiest evidentiary grounds imaginable. And worse, he appears to be sensing there is something rotten in the state of Denmark, and Cardinal Jim Comey is a shitty liar, and now he's out, and what is going to happen to this garbage scow they've launched, now with Comey gone. How do they kill this thing? Worse, how do they kill the political riot this thing has caused. They can't; they double down; they take out another insurance policy - Jim Comey's good bud, Bob Mueller with a posse of partisan attorneys, many vets of the Obama DoJ, a couple of squads of FBI Agents, including two who were prominent in the e mail case and the Steele inquiry, and a set up akin to a shadow DoJ. What could go wrong? They would hound the bastard out of office.

Which returns us to the question of whether Barr will mount a serious investigation into the political scandal of the last 100 years, at least. I suppose it is possible, but right now I'm not optimistic. For one thing Barr appeared at the big press conference with Rod Rosenstein. Rod Rosenstein is at minimum a critical witness. There is every reason to suspect that Comey, McCabe, Mueller, and Rosenstein conferred before Comey's leak to the NYT via a lawyer friend in furtherance of Mueller's appointment.

Going side by side with Rosenstein at this juncture doesn't augur well.

On the other hand, the continuing lunatic behavior of the demented left may give Barr no other choice but to sort the mess out once and for all for the good of the country. We'll see.

jdledell , 21 April 2019 at 06:28 PM
The biggest take I got out of the Mueller report is that Trump is a sleazy character and that is not what I want from the president, the Face of America to the rest of the world. Whether the Deep State went after Trump in an organized fashion is just noise in my ears. To me that is just normal political infighting the same as Trump and other Republicans went after Obama for being an illegitimate President as a non-citizen.
turcopolier , 21 April 2019 at 06:28 PM
Sorry, but it IS NOT "normal political infighting" for the cabal to have sought and still to seek the overthrow of of the legitimate head of state and government.

[Apr 21, 2019] Even if we got a candidate against the War Party the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump betayal his voters, surrounded himself with neocons, continues to do Bibi's bidding, and ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

Highly recommended!
Here we need to look at the candidate political history, their actions before the election. "Trump scam" like "Obama scam" was based on the fact that they do not have political history, they were what Romans called "Tabula rasa". A "clean state" politician into which voters can project their wishes about domestic and foreign policy. That was a dirty. but very effective trick.
But the most important factor in Trump win was the he was competing against despicable warmonger Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate who wanted to kick the neoliberal globalization can down the road. So the "lesser evilism" card was also in play consciously or unconscionably as well. So with Hillary as the opposition candidate it was a kind of implementation of the USSR style elections on a new level. but with the same with zero choice. Effectively the US electorate was disenfranchised when FBI has thrown Sander under the bus by exonerating Hillary. In a way FBI was the kingmaker in 2016 elections.
And please note that the Deep State launched a color revolution against Trump to keep him in check. Only later it became evident that he from the very beginning was a pro-Israel neoconservative, probably fully controlled by pro-Israel forces. That Trump electorate bought MIGA instead of MAGA from the day one.
Notable quotes:
"... The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down? ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock -> turcopolier ... , 21 April 2019 at 12:36 PM

Col. Lang,

In a recent call from Trump requesting his opinion on China, Jimmy Carter noted that China has not spent a dime on war since 1979, whereas we've spent trillions & continue to spend even more.

China invested trillions in their infrastructure while ours crumbles. They've invested in building the world's manufacturing capacity while we dismantled ours. We spend twice per capita on healthcare compared to any other western country, yet chronic diseases like diabetes keeps growing. We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined yet how superior is our weaponry compared to the Russians who spend one-tenth of what we spend? We've financialized our economy and socialized speculative losses of Wall St mavens but when some politicians talk about spending on the commons then socialism is labeled bad.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/this-is-water/

The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

[Apr 21, 2019] Are only candidates with enough compromising material in the hands of intelligence agencies allowed to be elected

Notable quotes:
"... Corrupt, centrist Democrats will demand that voters choose whatever turkeys the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC choose to run in 2020. And Republicans will back Trump. ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , April 21, 2019 11:15 pm

Pgl,

Fist of all Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. So his great advantage is that he really knows the "kitchen"

What about you ? What are your credentials to discuss this Byzantium issue and use "ad hominem" attack ?

AND Likbez favorably cites a comment from JohnH – the village idiot who loves to writes all sorts of stupid stuff at Mark Thoma's place!

The idea that in democratic societies the intelligence agencies tend to escape the control of executive branch and abuse their capabilities (" the tail start wagging the dog") is not new.

So the variation of this pretty established idea raised in JohnH post is not something to complain about. It is an interesting hypothesis that might or might not be true but definitely deserve consideration. In short it can be refined to the following statement: "only candidates with enough compromising material in the hands of intelligence agencies are allowed to be elected."

I do not subscribe to it and believe other considerations were at the core of launching of the color revolution against Trump. But the whole Pike commission was about abuse of power by CIA. And remember that none of the US presidents was able to remove J. Edgar Hoover, who dies in this position, so such methods were used in the past.

In this sense the love of Mueller demonstrated by many commenters in this blog looks slightly misplaced and can be justified only on the grounds "the end justifies the means" Which is a pretty slippery slope.

Currently both CIA and FBI are definitely over-politicized with FBI assuming the role of "kingmaker" in 2016 elections, pushing Sanders under the bus by exonerating Hillary. If you do not know or do not understand this established and pretty much undisputable historical fact that I can't help. FBI elected Trump. As simple as that.

As for JohnH, do you mean comments like this one?

JohnH -> kurt, April 19, 2019 at 07:13 AM

Funny! kurt has no idea what the Mueller Report says but Glenn Greenwald has dissected it:

"The key fact is this: Mueller – contrary to weeks of false media claims – did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump's closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen.

That's precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence – not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction – that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: "in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event."

https://theintercept.com/2019/04/18/robert-mueller-did-not-merely-reject-the-trumprussia-conspiracy-theories-he-obliterated-them/

Enough of the sour grapes. Hillary lost. Time for Democrats to adopt a positive agenda to cure what ails the country if they're even capable of anything beyond blaming Republicans for their incompetence.

And the following

JohnH -> Christopher H . April 18, 2019 at 03:56 PM

After the Trump-Putin conspiracy cratered, Democrats fixed on Barr–why won't he release the report? They were livid, because supposedly Barr was hiding something.

Now that the report has been released, Democrats will have new ammunition, which they will ingeniously distort to conflate with the discredited Trump-Putin conspiracy:

"See, we were right!!!" they will howl until election day "it's all Republicans' fault!!!" Not that anyone cares.

Of course, Trump has his own conspiracy now who put Trump-Putin in to motion, and did they violate the law. No matter, Trump will bask in his victimhood and probably win in 2020, since Trump-Putin exposed Democrats as being even less credible than Trump, the serial liar.

And of course, nothing will get done. Pelosi will get miniscule changes done to Obamacare and crow, "See? We can do it!" Of course, the Senate will have nothing of it, so Pelosi's vast accomplishments will go for naught, which she counted on, since the miniscule changes were nothing more than electioneering voter bait. No one will care.

Corrupt, centrist Democrats will demand that voters choose whatever turkeys the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC choose to run in 2020. And Republicans will back Trump.

Plenty of 'entertainment' for the next 18 months, nothing of substance will happen unless Democrats jump on the bandwagon for a Trump war

I think it is pretty legitimate level of discussion and it does not look like he is a rabid Trumpster. Please note "Trump-Putin exposed Democrats as being even less credible than Trump, the serial liar."

[Apr 21, 2019] Muller report implicates Obama administration in total and utter incompetence, if not pandering to the foreign intervention into the USA elections. The latter is called criminal negligence in legal speak.

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , April 20, 2019 2:30 am

"Within approximately five hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office. "
The report shows that Russia coordinated with Trump even if he was unaware of it.

Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration in total and utter incompetence, if not pandering to the foreign intervention into the USA elections. The latter is called criminal negligence in legal speak.

So all our three letter agencies with their enormous budgets and staff including NSA which intercepts all incoming/outgoing communications (and probably most internal communications) can't protect the USA elections from interference that they knew about ? Why they did not warn Trump?

Or NSA assumed that it was yet another CIA "training exercise" imposing as Russian hackers?

It not clear why Russia need such a crude methods as, for example, hacking Podesta email via spearfishing (NSA has all the recodings in this case), as you can buy, say a couple of Google engineers for less then a million dollars (many Google engineers hate Google with its cult of performance reviews and know that they are getting much less then their Facebook counterparts, so this might well be not that difficult) and get all you want without extra noise.

Historically Soviet and, especially, East German intelligence were real experts in utilizing "humint". With the crash of neoliberal ideology that probably is easier for Russians now then it was for Soviets or East Germans in 60th-80th.

For example, from my admittedly nonprofessional point of view, the most logical assumption about DNC hack is that it was a mixture of the internal leak (download of the files to the UCB drive) and Crowdstrike false flag operation (cover up operation which included implanting Russian (or Ukrainian) malware from Vault 7 to blame Russians.

And that Gussifer 2.0 was most probably a fake personality created specifically to increase credibility of this false flag operation (see for example http://g-2.space/ and https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/guccifer-2-clinton-foundation-hack-leak/ )

likbez , April 20, 2019 1:12 pm

Arne,

April 20, 2019 11:15 am

"Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration"

They did screw up.

Wrong. The fact that they did not warn/brief Trump suggests that this was an a deliberate and pre-planned attempt to entrap him by initiating Russian contacts by FBI/CIA/MI6 moles

We have some cursory evidence of at least four attempts to link Trump to Russians supposedly conducted by intelligence services ( https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/russiagate/ ):

  1. Moscow Trump Tower set up (via FBI mole Felix Saters), https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/the-fbi-tried-and-failed-to-entrap-trump-by-larry-c-johnson.html
  2. DNC email setup (via CIA and FBI contractor Crowdstrike ) https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/test-it-yourself-the-2-second-rounding-fact-pattern-in-the-dnc-emails-by-william-binney-and-larry-jo.html
  3. Veselnitskaya Trump tower meeting set up (via MI6 mole Rob Goldstone). https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/httpstruepunditcomexclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-fr.html
  4. Papadopoulos set up ( via Josef Misfud (MI6) and Stefan Halper (CIA) ). At the time Halper probably was reporting to the current CIA director Gina Haspel who was at this time CIA station chief in GB. She is a Brennan protégé, of recent Skripals dead ducks hoax fame.

Surveillance was specifically established to collect compromising material on Trump and his associates with high level official in Obama administration (and probably Obama himself) playing coordinating role.

Colonel Lang's blog is a good source of information on those issues with posts by former intelligence specialists.

And please note that I am not a Trump supporter. I resent him and his policies.

[Apr 21, 2019] An Empire of Bullshit - Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... The political reality is that Dems don't have nearly enough votes for impeachment, and they don't have a collusion conspiracy to garner more votes. All they have is the detritus of a failed soft coup -- a stink of fecklessness, mendacity, and vulnerability heading into the 2020 election season. ..."
"... "Expectation that Mueller was going to deliver any sort of impeachment evidence was non-existent. We all knew that the Deep State was going to deliver resounding support for the second term candidacy of the sitting incumbent buffoon even if he embarrasses whole nations including that of the USA." ..."
"... The evidence is overwhelming that Trump is a disgusting con-artist and bully who was inserted into office by the Koch brothers and similar moneyed nitwits to transfer yet more wealth and advance their schoolboy Randian agenda. Elizabeth Warren is beginning the calls impeachment. Time to clean the Augean stables. ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | kunstler.com

FincaInTheMountains April 19, 2019 at 10:09 am #

That was far from stupid, that was a formidable attempt of toppling the constitutionally elected US Government.

And it almost succeeded.

P.S. Are Americans so used to attributing ANYTHING to common stupidity?! Hanlon's razor again!!

Ol' Scratch April 19, 2019 at 10:28 am #

That said, one shouldn't discount stupidity either. It seems to be uncommonly common in the empire these days.

TiredOfTheTreadmill April 19, 2019 at 10:49 am #

I like the use of the words "constitutionally elected" to add serious power to the whole affair. In our current world of voter antics by both parties, heavily gerrymandered districts, corporations being considered people, corporate owned politicians who's main concern is their corporate buddies, electronic voting machines with proprietary code nobody can see, Israel's influence completely overlooked as people focus on Russia, etc it seems that stupid covers a lot of ground these days.

But please, take this political moment super seriously until the next political theater grabs everyone's attention. It's sure to make as much of an impact on the average person's life as Reagan's pre-election antics, Clinton's blowjob, etc On to the next thing in ADD nation is the most likely outcome. We will see, I may be wrong.

venuspluto67 April 19, 2019 at 10:26 am #

Oh yes, absolutely. The Russians never would have succeeded in their endeavor had it not been for the DNC's ham-fisted attempt to force the terminally unpopular Clintons down the country's throat for a non-contiguous third term. It was such an epic bungle that of course they're going to want to cast all the blame on the Russians so that they don't look like the freaking idiots they are.

Exscotticus April 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm #

>>> their only beef with him has to be his mannerisms and pedigree

That's easily 50%.

Recall that Obama was the "deporter in chief" long before Trump. Obama was the progenitor of the kids-in-cages deterrent. And nary a peep from his base or the MSM at that time. What little coverage existed was graciously overlooked and forgotten, beguiled as the Dems were by Obama's double-dealing dulcet promises of DACA and amnesty.

Obama was very good at telling people what they wanted to hear, and shielding them from the harsh realities of life. To paraphrase Colbert, "We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to tell us. Those were good times, as far as we knew." Obama was the perfect leader for a nation of adult children obsessed with their mental issues and genitalia.

venuspluto67 April 20, 2019 at 7:18 am #

Obama was a very smooth and genteel agent of empire, where Trump is as a rule very rude and coarse, which is what I believe turned mainstream voters in suburbs and medium-sized cities against him in the last election. But both never hesitated to give the one-percenters most of what these elites wanted, and in the final analysis, that's the only thing that really matters.

Walter B April 19, 2019 at 10:18 am #

"Understand that the Mueller Report itself was the mendacious conclusion to a deceitful investigation, the purpose of which was to conceal the criminal conduct of US government officials meddling in the 2016 election, in collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign, to derail Mr. Trump's campaign, and then disable him when he managed to win the election. Mr. Mueller was theoretically trying to save the FBI's reputation, but he may have only succeeded in injuring it more gravely."

Yes indeed James, you know this, I know this, and many who post here know this. You always present it all so well, thank you. We will, however, never cease to be plagued by those rabid few that will not and cannot accept it and move on. They will continue to deny and fabricate their own demented unrealities. Facts no longer exist for them for they have been replaced by those delusions that are created by their own, tiny minds. Or planted there by those manipulators that take full advantage of their lack of ability to think for themselves.

The loonies of today do not need facts, nor do they care to do mathematics, work with budgets, or allow themselves to be forced to face any reality that bites them in the ass due to their denial of consequences for their bad choices. Make it up as you go along is the rule of the day and yes Jim, an Empire of Bullshit! Thank you.

montsegur April 20, 2019 at 4:31 am #

The loonies of today do not need facts, -- Walter B

It is (again) that cult-like belief, Walter. When, in early 1945, captured German soldiers brayed their confidence in the ultimate victory of the Third Reich (to howls of GI laughter, I might add) those Germans were displaying a similar cult-like belief. It all fell apart the moment their chosen demigod blew his brains out in preference to being taken prisoner by the Soviet Union.

I wonder at what point will be the "moment it all falls apart" for the radical Left. I don't think they ever considered that the arc of the moral universe might bend around far enough to deal them a profound blow.

Cheers

K-Dog April 19, 2019 at 11:03 am #

The state does not like to be embarrassed so the state now assaults democracy. An Empire of Bullshit is a nice title and this empire is certainly No Place for a Cat .

That is my title.

K-Dog April 19, 2019 at 11:12 am #

The second link is to my webpage but the first is an interview with John Pilger about JA. I have never tried 'record UEL at current time before but lets try it out. It should start out with Lets go to Vault 7

Because what they can do with phones is amazing.

K-Dog April 19, 2019 at 11:18 am #

It worked but I screwed up.. Only this part should have been green Lets go to Vault 7

Because truth be told, if you get on their radar they do a lot more than blow smoke up your ass. They will try and fuck you up.

Janos Skorenzy April 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm #

Using humor to avoid Truth is an American specialty, but common to all dying cultures it would seem. So carry on until you are carried by six and ferried across the Styx. A silver coin should be left in your mouth to pay the boatman, Charon.

Exscotticus April 19, 2019 at 11:18 am #

CNN is desperately trying to be the tail that wags the dog. The political reality is that Dems don't have nearly enough votes for impeachment, and they don't have a collusion conspiracy to garner more votes. All they have is the detritus of a failed soft coup -- a stink of fecklessness, mendacity, and vulnerability heading into the 2020 election season.

benr April 19, 2019 at 11:26 am #

In short after years of telling white people how evil and entitled we are they have suddenly realized they are going down like the Titanic if they don't change course or their narrative and plank platform.

The DNC is the party of old crotchety people pretending to care about the unwashed masses but they are every bit the 1% they disparage so much. Could they finally be understanding they needed the white middle class or will they double down on class warfare and screams of everyone is racists but the DNC supporters?

This deplorable has a huge tub of popcorn and will enjoy watching the DEMS speed up the cycle of eating their own. They discounted the Trumpster and he has been two steps ahead the entire time. It will be funny if he manages to destroy the DNC and they become the next wig or bull moose party in other words a foot note in history. If so good riddance.

venuspluto67 April 19, 2019 at 11:32 am #

The long-and-short of it is that they don't have enough votes in the Senate to impeach Trump, so it's just not going to happen. The Democrats need to focus their efforts on trying not to force another turkey sandwich down the country's throat in 2020. {/cue Joe "Boundary Issues" Biden sniffing and fondling everybody within arm's reach}

Farmer McGregor April 19, 2019 at 11:24 am #

Reading today's post again: " demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities." brought something to mind.

Recently watched the first episode of Netflix's "Roman Empire" about how Marcus Aurelius' wife Faustina, when she thought he had died, scampered off to Egypt to schtupp his next-in-charge general in an effort to consolidate her power and keep the empire in family hands. This inspired the general to raise his legions to take Rome. When hubby Marcus turns out to be alive and well she off-ed herself, and Marcus had the general shanked.

Nothing new under the sun.

Ludwig Beck April 19, 2019 at 11:28 am #

The only question I have is who Jim is going to vote for in 2020.

Is Trump really screwing things up worse than say all the previous Presidents going back to Eisenhower? So what if half the country thinks he's a clown.

Walter B April 21, 2019 at 10:07 am #

Yes indeed he did come out and say that and I believe that he also told us who he voted for in 2016 as well. It takes a real man to admit that you voted for an incompetent, though I am certain that we have all done it in our time.

Janos Skorenzy April 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

Obviously I should stop saying obviously. Just like all Cretans are liars when they say "I am lying".

Soloview April 19, 2019 at 11:50 am #

I love your petards, Jim Kunstler, but I am not in any way convinced of a grand Trump counter-offensive following the release of the Inspector General's report. Nothing of substance will happen. You are dreaming in Technicolor. The dirty tricks, the brazen scheming to undermine the electoral process, the swindles and collusion between Obamite (as in "termite") WH and the Clintonchiks (as in "apparatchik") will be drowned in the howls and hysterics of the non-Fox media and the justice machinery's grasp of long-term self-interest, that is, past MAGA, which it knows is plain ol' OTBR (Orange Toupee Bullshit Revolution).

If anyone gets indicted, rest assured, it will be second-rate bit players, whose names the public will not even recognize (perhaps with the exception of Andy McCabe or Peter Strzok). In other words, it will not be carnage, and it will not reach the heights of Loretta Lynch, or Allah forbid, Barack Obama. That level political rot will be protected by the standard teflon: "acted legally, and in good faith, on the information available". And that will be that. The Republic will continue to be dismantled at the speed of God's windmills.

100th Avatar April 19, 2019 at 12:05 pm #

"Let congress put on a carnival of its own now. It will be greeted like a TV commercial for a hemorrhoid remedy while the real national psychodrama plays out in grand juries and courtrooms, demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities."

Just another banana republic, but instead of military juntas and generals and police forces we have parties and lawyers and media. Same sad spectacle. Different actors. Exceptionalism indeed.

venuspluto67 April 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm #

John Michael Greer does as decent job of discussing the hyper-subjectivity fueling, among other things, the Russia hysteria among urban establishment-liberals in his blog-post this week .

EvelynV April 19, 2019 at 1:15 pm #

I guess I'm kind of an ends justifies the means kind of person. Whatever it takes to dampen the effects of or rid ourselves of the human wreckage occupying the white house and all the other places he has installed his corrupt and incompetent stooges is the lesser evil.

If you don't think Trump's initial response to learning he was going to be investigated was glaring evidence he knew he'd been guilty of more than we'll ever know then you are devoid of any perspicacity whatsoever.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm #

Six terms of massively incompetent presidents will sink the U.S. Trump is increasing the national debt more than Obama and when we default because the interest is too high, bad things will happen.

China will come over here and buy everything it wants like it is a yard sale. We will turn into Greece where everything of value was sold off to the highest bidder.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 4:18 pm #

I am not talking about the small stuff, I am talking about buying Central Park or the electric grid for the whole East Coast. Or a few National Parks, thats what happened in Greece and it could happen here also.

The caliber of our politicians gives me confidence this will come about.

EvelynV April 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm #

You shouldn't get your hopes up about Trump winning in 2020. Only half the eligible-to-vote millennials voted in 2016. My guess is a substantial percentage of the ones who didn't were disgusted rightfully disgusted by Hillary. They will be older and wiser now and something tells me the mid-terms were a foreshadowing of what's to come. Of the millennials who did vote 2/3 voted for Hillary.

Meanwhile I'm guessing a fair number of white fat asses who voted for trump are or will be taking their dirt naps next time around. Thx for the compliment.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 11:42 pm #

Contrary to what you might think I have a very low opinion of Obama. He put the future of this country in great danger by increasing the national debt by a staggering 10 Trillion dollars. He passed and expanded the Patriot Act , he signed the NDAA and Felony Riot right before he left office.

He condoned all the war crimes and black torture sites of the Bush administration and he gave a pass to all the corruption that lead to that banking and housing collapse.

He is also a war criminal by expanding and continuing the wars and adding several more to the list.

Since 2000 the U.S. has been going downhill because of the shitty Neo Conservative and Neo Liberal administrations. I do not see it getting better and if you think Trump will leave us better off than when he started you are kidding yourself.

RB April 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm #

As long as we have a federal judiciary that has power far beyond its role in government, then Trump is not safe nor any conservative in particular. When a federal judge in HI can make a ruling that affects the entire body politic, then we are ruled by unelected men and women who respond to their own moods and philosophies and political bent.

There must be a new special counsel now who will pursue the lawless who in fact attempted a soft coup. However, with the various judges who fit the bill above, nothing will come of it. I cannot imagine Trump running for a second term and if he does, it will be a fiasco counting the votes around the nation.

benr April 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm #

Yes actually I have.
How you can say it does not affect people in a negative manner is why you are SO out of touch with reality.

BuckP April 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

Rome burns while Nero fiddles!
America disintegrates while Trump tweets!

While we are constantly bombardeded, 24-hours a day, with Russigate hysteria like a long-running boring, TV soap opera that has gotten stale, predictable and uninteresting, the world teeters on a precipice.The world's fiat dollar standard monetary system and the corresponding petrodollar are on borrowed time. This system no longer works for the rest of the world and they have grown weary of us, the USA, claiming to be the world's richest and most prosperous nation due to our ability to endlessly print currency without corresponding hyperinflation.

The new international monetary standard will include gold along with other commodities. Whether all this can be done peacefully is anyone's guess. With the world's largest most expensive,military, I doubt, we the USA, will cede our top perch without a fight. Soon,the rich little kiddies won't have to cheat to get into elite colleges because all the youg'ns will be drafted into the military.

"Be the first one on your block to have your boy (girl) come home in a box " -- - Country Joe and the Fish. Fighting for oligarchs and their ill-begotten dollars is such a noble cause. Sure???$700 insulin?? Because they care about you! What a laugh!

"War is a racket." -- General Smedly Butler. BTW, Trump vetoed the Congressional withdrawl of support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen because they have us by the balls due to the petrodollar. Ouch!

tucsonspur April 19, 2019 at 5:27 pm #

"Let congress put on a carnival of its own now. It will be greeted like a TV commercial for a hemorrhoid remedy while the real national psychodrama plays out in grand juries and courtrooms, demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities."

The question is how many of the almost 66 million Hillary voters will see it that way. And they are still after Trump, like dissolute children deprived of a wills' fortune, seeking vengeance on the rightful recipients.

We need convictions of those involved in the attempted coup. The daily disclosure of the subterfuge used by these perpetraitors may just drive home the point to enough of the former Hillary voters that the Democratic party is one of deceit and delusion, making them defect. Timing is essential.

Slick jig Obama must also pay for his collusion. That Harvard slickster, that Hillary tripster, that hoopin' hipster.

Trump currently peaks on the durometer. Tough guy. Dishes it out but also takes it.

MAGA (jail the perpetraitors) not MAKA

No, don't remember ever seeing it. A spur original? Or did some other genius already think of it?

Farmer Joe April 19, 2019 at 6:32 pm #

I just had a thought I'd like to get feedback on. What if the Russia collusion hysteria is symptomatic of peak oil. A thesis of JHKs Long Emergency is that things organized at the mass scale will fail. Are we first seeing the failure of dysfunctional mass scales endeavors? Are these the last desperate gasps of an ideology which has failed to survive the hardships of life? The dysfunctional policies emanating from it are certainly losing support here in Washington, or at least that's the vibe I get. I wonder how others are experiencing this. In summary, is the failure of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory and the obvious failure of policy regarding homelessness and economics the flushing out of detritus made necessary by a lowered EROI?

montsegur April 20, 2019 at 4:19 am #

Hello Farmer Joe,

Good thought. I'm not sure if is "symptomatic of peak oil", but my take is that it is a form of mass delusion brought on by a profound disconnection from reality.

You've probably heard of the KISS Principle. Could it be that the dysfunction we're witnessing is