Softpanorama

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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Deep State
Libertarian Philosophy Elite Theory Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism
Corporatism Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Globalization of Financial Flows Anti-globalization movement Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Neo-conservatism National Security State Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Hypocrisy of British ruling elite as the template for hypocrisy of neoliberal elite
Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria DNC emails leak Anti Trump Hysteria Two Party System as Polyarchy Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Demonization of Putin Media-Military-Industrial Complex Strzok-gate Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Neoliberal corruption Neoliberalism and Christianity
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Israel lobby IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Disaster capitalism American Exceptionalism Predator state Obama: a yet another Neocon
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Corruption of Regulators Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Syria civil war Gas Wars Color revolutions New American Militarism
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Groupthink Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Deception as an art form Mayberry Machiavellians Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers  Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie Talleyrand quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes George Carlin Propaganda Quotes
Overcomplexity of society Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism Key Myths of Neoliberalism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15


Introduction

 

Skepticism is a useful quality that some people naturally possess and other can develop, but it not a panacea.  As such any "Skeptical" or even "Slightly skeptical" paged by definition suffer from "confirmation bias". They postulate that only information that does not correlate well with official position is worth presenting.  The reality is more complex than that.  There is no grantee that such skeptical openion is correct. And in retrospect many such opinion, which look highly plausible in the heat of the day, look naive and unsubstantiated ten years after. Been there, saw that.

Also, while not so lucrative as shilling for government, adhering to anything that differ to government position is too simplistic an approach. Especially in the long run, as historical forces in action at the particular moment are often unknown and not evident to participants of the events.

Those considerations probably should be kept in mind when reading those pages. While skeptical opinion is an excellent tool for destroying propaganda stereotypes it is your own task to integrate them into your new understanding of the situation. Sometime that requires integration under some new paradigm, or rejection based on the new paradigm for particular historical situation.  The problem with history is that the real meaning of events often became clear only a centruty or so after they occure.

The  central for this set of "slightly skeptical" Softpanorama pages is the idea that we live in neoliberal society and will continue to live in it for some type despite the crisis it experiences now. Because there is no viable alternative on the horizon and resurrection of New Deal capitalism is not possible as the countervailing forces that existed to keep financial oligarchy in check dissipated, and part of them (top management of corporations) joined the former enemy. 

At the  same time  I adhere to the working hypothesis that neoliberalism is not sustainable "in the long run" as it tend to weaken, or destroy the very foundation on which the society is based, and first of all human solidarity.  That means  that we live in an unstable society prone to unleashing wars and falling in periodic financial crisis (aka Minsky moments). In this sense Financial crisis of 2008 can be called using Churchill's quote  "This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.

"Neoliberalism is not only the current social system in the USA, but also in most European countries, Japan, Russia and China (with some minor variations). It is a global social system which displayed both New Deal Capitalism and Bolshevism. It is a very interesting ideology,  the second 'man made" ideology after Bolshevism, which which it has several important similarities, see Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich.) The clandestine ideology one that does not dare to speak its name ;-).

The crescendo of Triumphal march of neoliberalism which stated in 1980th was the collapse of the USSR, which happened in 1991, when Soviet elite switched  sides and  preferred to became "entrepreneurs" like their Western counterparts, privatizing  and looting their own country. Communists proved to be very corruptible folk, especially at Nomenklatura level and they like dollars more then their country.  BTW the collapse of Soviet Union was not what neoliberal propaganda teaches us. In essence Soviet elite (aka nomenklatura) simply changed sides. The collapse of Bolshevism both as an ideology and the society paralleled the collapse of New Deal capitalism in the USA. Like large part of the USA management elite, Soviet nomenklatura became turncoats. And it was the alliance of management elite and trade unions that was at the core of New Deal capitalism. As soon as it collapsed the New Deal capitalism was replaced with neoliberalism.

But neoliberalism entered the major crisis in 2008. The net result was so called Secular Stagnation. The "end of cheap oil" is another factor that guarantee the continuation of Secular Stagnation.  See Peak Cheap Energy.  

This site is slightly skeptical as for long-term viability of Neoliberalism as a social system. At the same time as bad as neoliberalism is as a social system was/is in comparison with New Deal Capitalism, that does not mean the coming successor can't be worse.  If there is a way out of this neoliberal mess that was pushed on us since late 70th, I can't see it.

Right now Neoliberalism  is seriously sick and reminds me the condition of Bolshevism after WWII and Stalin death (around 1960th). Bolshevism lasted almost 50 years after 1945, and do not see why neoliberalism can't last much longer then that, as currently there is no viable alternatives. For example, Russia which neocons try to paint as the new "Great Satan" is a yet another neoliberal state. Just with a different flavor of neoliberalism. BTW Trumps "national neoliberalism" (or neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) is why we have trade war with China (another  neoliberal state) as well with Russia (also a neoliberal  state). So much for "neoliberal International". That's a real crumbling of classic neoliberalism, which proved to to have clay feet. 

But neoliberalism proved to be a sustainable social system which was able to survive its first crisis of 2008 and the collapse of neoliberal ideology.  So it probably can be reformed by increasing the role of the state (that's what Trump national neoliberalism is actually doing, although very inconsistently) and rejecting most elements of "market fundamentalism". Financial institutions now again should be viewed as a special kind of Mafioso structures, which untamed tend to buy the control of the government, and regulated and taxes accordingly.

At the same time neoliberal center (let's say care G7)  needs countries to loot. From 1991 to 2000 xUSSR area was such a region. And G7 prospered. but looting was cut after 2000 and due to this and Minsky moment circumstances due to financialization (which took form of creating and turning public non-profitable IT startups)  the USA experienced short dot-com" crisis in 2008. To escape consequences of this crisis FED stimulated building industry, especially home building was propelled by giving mortgages to anybody with  ward breath and that led to 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. The crisis which severely undermined the neoliberal ideology. That means that after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, much like Soviet communism after WWII.   It became more bloodthirsty and several countries fall victims (Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc)

Due to neoliberalism the USA is no longer a politically stable country. Political animosity after election of Trump reminds a "soft civil war", racial hostility (which is amplified by "identify politics")  is growing, standards of living of the majority of population are either stagnant or fall, neoliberal globalization (with off shoring and outsourcing) as well as automation leave both the young and people "over 50" unemployed. Epidemic of narco addiction in the USA (which claims 70K victims a year) and suicides (which claim approx 47K in 2017) reminds epidemic of alcoholism in the USSR. Both were at least partially caused by desperation of people, who can't get a meaningful well paying job and see no future for themselves and their children.

Under neoliberalism wealth is redistributed up by  several powerful mechanisms and the level of inequality became dangerously high. The working class falls into drugs and anomie. The wars for sustaining and expanding the neoliberal empire and crushing dissenters from neoliberal dogma never end. Meanwhile infrastructure ages and falls behind that of more advanced nations. Anger grows, which was pretty evident in  2016elections -- for many voting for Trump was the way to show middle finger to the neoliberal establishment.  As the pie shrinks, someone have to get less pie. And it is not financial oligarchy, or MIC.  They are pretty well fed at the expense of others. 

Who would thought that 30 years later the winner of the Cold War will enter the phase of decline which in may respects remind many observers  the decline of the USSR ?  And that inability to predict the figure is also a powerful sign to view the pages in this collection with the grain of salt. Please do not take views expressed for granted. No matter how plausible they are now many of them with time will prove to be wrong.  Think and  analyze the situation yourself.  

I would like to repeat again that this decline of neoliberal society started  after the crisis of 2008 (the point at which neoliberal ideology collapsed and was discredited, much like communist ideology was after WWII. Trump election and Brexit were two historical events, after which we can attest that neoliberalism is most probably past its prime and entered the decline stage.  And this decline  increases the polarization of the USA society in which ruling neoliberal elite lost most of its legitimacy in the eyes of common people. This is the problem  which neoliberal elite tried to hide after 2016 Presidential elections under  the smoke screen of Russiagate (which is essence is a color revolution with the goal of deposing Trump). Resulting Neo-McCarthyism hysteria, designed to redirect anger to the external enemy (the scapegoat) and cement the cracks in the neoliberal facade,  is a very dangerous phenomena, which increases the chances of WWIII, the war which can end the human civilization as we know it.   Professor Stephen Cohen has several insightful articles that analyse this danger.

The discreditation of the neoliberal ideology is very similar to the process of discreditation on Bolshevism in the USSR: after 2007 it became clear to the majority of population that it can't secure the rising standard of living for the majority USA population. Only tiny fraction of population (less then top 10%) benefitted from neoliberalism. This is a very similar situation with bolshevism in the USSR, when in late 60th and early 70th it became clear that it can't match the standard of living  of common people in Western European countries (and even most of the East European countries), which remained under the capitalism.

Paradoxically golden days of capitalism in Western Europe and the USA (which lasted till 79th) were possible only because communist states such as USSR existed, as it served as a powerful deterrent against the restoration of the power of financial oligarchy. So it's not surprising that the New Deal Capitalism was very quickly dismantled after the USSR collapse. Moor did its duty, moor can go ;-). In other words, the mere existence of the USSR, while was not threat to the Western countries social system,  served as a powerful inhibitor of cannibalistic instincts of the elite in the USA and Western countries. It was communism that helped to secured the dominance of the New Deal capitalism till early 80th and the period of prosperity for the common people in the USA.

From this point the standard of living of poor and lower middle class in the West started to slide. First slowly from 1990 to 2000 and then at accelerated pace due to outsourcing, capabilities of which were tremendously enhanced by technological revolution, especially the revolution in communication. Also till 2000 (dot com crisis) the slide was masked by tremendous technological progress in computers and communications. Still outside top 10-20% of population, the slide of the standard of living and the income is a fact.  Outsourcing and offshoring killed many meaningful, well paying jobs. The new level of automation, possible with modern computers, killed some more. The possibility of cheap transcontinental communications also killed IT jobs and even many helpdesk type which migrated to India and other countries with cheap and qualified labor force.  So the loss of manufacturing jobs was amplified by the loss of some segments of white collar jobs as well.

While neoliberal think tanks and powerful MSM propaganda machine (in which the word neoliberalism is still a taboo) now try to contain damage, the fatal flaws of neoliberal ideology after 2008 financial collapse are apparent and can't be hidden. The key neoliberal country and the key enforcer of neoliberalism over the globe -- the USA -- entered "secular stagnation" period in economics. It is also is trying to fend off the challenge that China economic growth presents to its world dominance.

Brexit and the election of Trump mean that the protest against neoliberal globalization entered  the political mainstream in the USA in 2016: Hillary Clinton suffered her electoral fiasco because she was the proponent of neoliberal status quo, the proponent  of neoliberal globalization and the wars for expansion of neoliberal empire, the candidate who promised to kick the neoliberal can down the road. 

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

  Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children...

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

From the Chance for Peace address delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953. (Regarded as one of the finest speeches of Eisenhower's presidency.)

Trump should probably be viewed as a new stage of this decline of American republic (which for a long time is neither democracy not a republic, but a warmongering empire, a new social system of "inverted totalitarism" as Sheldon Wolin called it ). Some trapping of previous "New Deal style" democracy remained, but most of New Deal achievement  such as using trade unions as countervailing social force to check the greed of capital owners was perverted. During elections Trump used to have anti-globalization inclinations -- anathema to neoliberals -- and that's why he was so viciously attacked after he has won; but those inclinations almost completely disappeared after the election. Trumpism which sometimes is defined as "economic nationalism" (or national neoliberalism, if you wish ;-) includes the following (partially intersecting) elements which are anathema to classic neoliberalism:

  1. Rejection of neoliberal globalization. Use of tariffs to protect domestic manufacturing.
  2. Rejection on neocon dominance in the US foreign policy. Many Americans view neocons as traitors who serves interests  of MIC and Israel at the expense of bottom 80% of the US population.  The same is true about "liberal interventionists" like Hillary, Obama. They are just another favor of neocons.
  3. Rejection of unrestricted immigration. Vigorous persecution and deportation of illegal immigrants and measures to block their entry. Enforcement of border control   (Mexican wall, etc)
  4. Fight against suppression of wages by multinationals via cheap imported labor. Rejection of the idea of global labor market and unrestricted outsourcing of labor to foreign countries. Legal measures against multinationals who tried to offload major part of workforce abroad. 
  5. Fight against the elimination of meaningful, well-paying jobs in the USA via outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing (which is the essence of neoliberal globalization). Attempts to reverse this trend.
  6. Rejection of wars for enlargement and sustaining of neoliberal empire, especially NATO role as global policemen and wars for Washington client Israel in the Middle East;
  7. Détente with Russia;
  8. More pragmatic relations with Israel and suppression of Israeli agents of influence in congress and government (AIPAC and so called dual citizens problem;
  9. Attempt to reverse the offshoring of manufacturing and labor to China and India, as well as addressing the problem of trade deficit;
  10. Rejection of total surveillance on all citizens;
  11. Rejection of rampant militarism and overblown Pentagon and intelligence agencies budgets. The cut of military expenses to one third or less of the current level and concentrating on revival on national infrastructure, education, and science.
  12. Abandonment of maintenance of the "sole superpower" status and global neoliberal empire for more practical and less costly "semi-isolationist" foreign policy concentrating on technological lead in areas where it still exists;
  13. Closing of unnecessary foreign military bases and cutting aid to the current clients.
  14. Rejection of identity politics. No to "unisex bathroom" and other perversions.  No to rampant, destructive  feminism.

Of course, the notion of "Trumpism" is fuzzy and different people might include some additional issues and disagree with some listed here, but the core probably remains. Please note that Trump was emasculated by the "deep state" and turned into neocon in foreign policy just three-four months into his presidency.  The only action which is along this lines so far was his decision to withdraw from Syria. Whether  it will be implemented remains  to be seen.  His appointments directly contradict those 14 items. People such as Bolton, Pompeo, Haley are anathema to such a program.

Still the fact remains: in 2016 financial oligarchy not only failed to put the desired puppet into White House, but was forced to unleash a color revolution against new POTUS ( Russiagate witch hunt is only the tip of the iceberg in this sense) to put him into compliance, or depose him. Neoliberals and neocons also failed with their color revolution as Brennan machinations (As Professor Stephen Cohen noted Russiagate should be renamed to Intelgate) with Steele dossier backfired that they got under fire from Trump supporters.  And both Brennan and FBI Mayberry Machiavellians suddenly from predators became a pray.  Neoliberal Democrats (Clinton wing of Democratic Party, of DemoRats) while managed to preserve political power over the party of suppress Sunders supporters, overplayed their hand with Russiagate and neo-McCarthyism campaign (which was designed to rally nation around the flag) and might face consequences during midterm elections.  Their only hope is help from the Grand Inquisitor, appointed as a part of coup d'état against Trump launched by intelligence agencies (the core of the "deep state"), Mr. Mueller.

Neocons are actually a cancer of the US society. May be even terminal cancer. In any case they are look like extremely destructive force, MIC lobbyists without any principles, or consciousness.  In other words bunch of highly paid psychopaths as people without consciousness are called.

This is not the first time the "Deep State" (read intelligence agencies+Pentagon+Department of State) in alliance with  neocons and "liberal interventionists" tried to depose elected president. JFK was probably the first, Nixon was probably the second (the key role of CIA in his removal now became apparent) and now Trump might be the third.

What is new in the current situation is the complete disappearance of anti-war forces and the total conversion under Hillary of Democratic Party into another War Party, the party of militant globalists (which can be a perfect new home for neocons).  Clinton wing of the Democratic Party doesn't want to admit she lost the election because neoliberalism became unpopular among the US electorate.  At the same time "the fifth branch of government" -- the intelligence services proved to be a formidable political force on the US political arena, able to block any attempts to stop "feeding and care" of military industrial complex (which requires having a scapegoat like Russia or China). And for this particular reason "media-military-intelligence-financial" complex block any even feeble attempts of rapprochement or cooperation with Russia.

The country now resembles military camp with war propaganda on all major TV channel and newspapers broadcasted 24 x7.  But the cost of "guns instead of butter" policies are growing: the cost of post 9/11 War project  approaches  $5.6 trillion.  those trillions were stolen from ordinary Americans under false pretences (As President Eisenhower noted "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." If even small part of those funds were invested within the country we would have high speed trains between all major cities, or at least might not be having frequent deadly crashes of Amtrak trains. Among other useful things like better roads, more fuel efficient cars, more and better bridges and airports.

Nostalgia for New Deal Capitalism

While I am openly nostalgic for the New Deal capitalism, I understand perfectly well that currently, there is no viable new alternative to neoliberalism. First of all because as in late 70th "managerial class" became yet another turncoat and allied with capital owners, against workers and middle class.  That happened not only in the USA, but in the USSR too (that's why the USSR collapsed; in this case USSR  "managerial class" (nomenklatura) allied and was partially bought by the USA capital owners)

Still the New Deal remain the most humane form of capitalism invented, and our analysis of neoliberalism has distinct "pro New Deal capitalism" bias. But we need to understand that the restoration of the New Deal capitalism looks impossible because the social base of it -- the alliance of corporate management and trade union leaders, was destroyed due to the defection of corporate managers to the side of capital owners. This realignment of political power made possible the restoration of the rule of the financial oligarchy, which happened in the USA in late 1980th.

The new coalition of anti-globalization forces that emerged during Trump election campaign is still pretty amophic political force and is unable to force changes in the society, as easy emasculation of President Trump by the Deep State proved to all of us.  But hopefully it will grow and became better organized politically whether within the Republican Party of outside of it.

Neoliberal regime as the social system under which we live

And yes, my friends, like Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it, all of us are living under neoliberal regime at least since 1980, most probably without knowing it. 

Current events are much easier to analyze if you use the framework of analyzing neoliberalism as a social system proposed in those pages.  Neoliberalism as a social system replaced the notion of Political party with the collection of neoliberal think tanks, a new class of "professional revolutionaries" who are mercenary political army that fight for the victory of neoliberalism and comprise kind of global Neoliberal International. On interesting nuance is that the idea of "professional revolutionaries" was one of the key innovations  of Bolsheviks and Trotskyites. And we can view neoliberalism as some kind of "Trotskyism for rich." In this  sense this social system is almost as far from real democracy as the USSR one party system. It is something Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarism". In certain aspects it is even more anti-democratic than the capitalism of the Gilded Age with which it has some uncanny similarities (enforcement of the "Law of Jungles" in labor market by suppression of trade unions and "atomization" of individuals as agent who sells themselves on some kind of marketplace, not as human being) .   As Pope Francis noted neoliberalism in anti-Christian system that despise and demonize poor blaming them as incapable to provide "value" to the marketplace, and ignoring their value as a human beings:

... Such an [neoliberal] economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.

Another interesting aspect of neoliberalism is the existence of so-called "neoliberal rationality" (compare with the "proletarian mindset" of Bolshevism ). As well as the extent of brainwashing of population into this rationality, especially at the university level (via neoclassical economics). As well as  the level and the sophistication of the use of propaganda which includes a set of neoliberal myths very similar to what were created by Bolshevism. For example, the neoliberal myths of "Free trade", "free market" (why not "fair" in both cases?) , "labor market", "human capital", etc.  In reality, the key idea behind this Potemkin Village-style ideological facade is the redistribution of wealth up toward top 1%  (or even more to the top 0.01%).  Exactly like was the case with Bolshevism, which while proclaiming the false facade of "dictatorship of proletariat" mercilessly suppressed unions and kept 90% of population at the standard of living much lower than in Western and even Eastern Europe. Although not close to starvation which is the ideal of neoliberal "plantation economy" (implemented, for example, by Wal-Mart, with its below subsistence wages), with atomized and isolated from each other "debt slaves."

In other words, there are some striking similarities between Soviet nomenklatura and neoliberal oligarchy, similarities that no objective scholar studying neoliberalism  can ignore. See also Two-Party System as Polyarchy -- "the first after the post system" proved to be ideal for neoliberal regime as it allows financial oligarchy preselect  candidates from both Parties. Effectively  turning the election into expensive staged event -- a grandiose political spectacle, if you wish. but with predicted outcome as stage directors who perform casting are members of a close circle of neoliberal elite -- mostly financial oligarchy.  It could have been adopted by Soviet nomenklatura as well, as it very effectively prevents any real challenges to the existing political regime by pre-selection of two candidates running to the given position and two parties, which are essentially a "soft" and "hard" factions of a single party of financial oligarchy. 

The level of "synchronicity" in coverage of foreign events by neoliberal MSM also reminds me the level typical for Soviet Union. With all MSM repeating the State Department talking points and in general going out their skin be politically correct stooges of the neoliberal regime.

Yet another very interesting aspect of neoliberal regime is the level of public apathy, limited  public discourse and even vocabulary (try to find the word "neoliberal" in WaPo ;-)  as well as epidemic of narco-addition (especially in Rust Belt, which is more severely hit by neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing). Which is not that dissimilar to the epidemic of alcoholism under Bolshevism. When common people see no future for themselves and their children they tend to engage in self-destructing behaviour.   Sheldon Wolin called this approach to suppressing of dissent "inverted totalitarism."

What is really interesting is that the term "neoliberalism"  has the status of a semi-taboo in the USA, and seldom can be found in articles published by the USA MSM, due to some kind of "silence" pact ;-). the intent of this set of pages intent is to fight this trend and present a "slightly skeptical" view of this important social phenomenon.  

It is also important to understand that the level of hostility to Trump by the "deep state" is directly connected with three main (and very quickly betrayed) promises that Trump made during elections:

  1. No more neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing of jobs and industries;
  2. No more wars for expansion of neoliberal empire;
  3. Jobs for all Americans

All three were the direct revision of neoliberal ideology postulates, as well as departure from the "neoliberal rationality".  That's why the counter-attack of both the "Deep State" and neoliberal MSM on Trump was so vicious, with well coordinated set of leaks, appointment of Special Prosecutor (on fake pretext), re-launch of McCarthyism, and campaign of demonization of Trump and his administration in media.  In the level of outrage that writers of Pravda during Stalin "Show Trials" would find  completely in line with their own writings -- they so vividly resembles the attacks on "revisionists" in the USSR during Stalinism, that you may wish to revisit books devoted to those trials  ;-).

Most people do not understand that putsch against Trump is actually tried and true "color revolution" regime change attempt -- the  first color revolution launched within the USA

What is new in putsch of intelligence services and neoliberal establishment against Trump is the strong presence of classic elements of color revolutions technology. Which were for the first time used within the USA by "neoliberal nomenklatura" (and first of all the elite which represents Clinton wing of Democratic Party)  to preserve power. Some people call it Purple revolution but the most common name is now Russiagate. The ultimate goal is to remove Trump from power, and if this is not possible to emasculate his for the next four years. Some elements of this technology were previously used probably to depose Nixon. Watergate also involved intelligence agencies (the core of the Deep State) activities directed at the removal of the sitting President. And going back JFK was probably the first President removed by intelligence services.  

Initially color revolution technologies were designed  to topple "unfriendly" to neoliberalism regimes in xUSSR space and "resource nationalists" in the Middle East (as well as against China in Hong Cong). That suggests that after the election of 2016 neoliberals felt a real threat from Trump "revisionism".

Deployment of those technologies does not spell well with the social stability because delegitimization of elected government has lasting negative effects. Just look at Ukraine which was the victim of the most recent "color revolution" experiment. They have now two breakaway regions and the drop of the standard of living of population around 200% or more.  The country also now is a debt slave. In other words when the gin of color revolution is out of the bottle it is not that easy to put it back and the events can turn in the direction not anticipated by the originators of such a color revolution.

See also Neoliberalism


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It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

-- Shota Rustavelli (1172–1216)

[Oct 13, 2019] Hunter Biden Emerges; Quits Board Of Chinese Private-Equity Firm

Cats know from whom he stole the meat...
Notable quotes:
"... In May, journalist Peter Schweizer accused the Bidens of corruption in both Ukraine and China - revealing that in 2013, they flew together to China on Air Force Two. Two weeks later, Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China , which expanded to $1.5 billion. ..."
"... " If it sounds shocking that a vice president would shape US-China policy as his son -- who has scant experience in private equity -- clinched a coveted billion-dollar deal with an arm of the Chinese government, that's because it is " - Peter Schweizer ..."
"... As the accusations against Hunter mounted, he attempted to do damage control in a July interview with the New Yorker - in which he opened up about being a crackhead and accepting a 'bribe' from a Chinese energy tycoon in the form of a 2.8 carat diamond worth thousands of dollars, which he says wasn't a bribe - and admitted he and his father had spoken of his business dealings. ..."
Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Hunter Biden is stepping down from a controversial board position at a Chinese-based private-equity company, and has vowed to forego all foreign work if his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020, according to Bloomberg .

Hunter will step down from the board on Oct. 31, according to a statement released by his lawyer, George Mesires.

"Hunter always understood that his father would be guided, entirely and unequivocally, by established U.S. policy, regardless of its effects on Hunter's professional interests," reads the statement. " He never anticipated the barrage of false charges against both him and his father by the President of the United States."

"Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests," the statement continues. " He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs. "

In May, journalist Peter Schweizer accused the Bidens of corruption in both Ukraine and China - revealing that in 2013, they flew together to China on Air Force Two. Two weeks later, Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China , which expanded to $1.5 billion.

" If it sounds shocking that a vice president would shape US-China policy as his son -- who has scant experience in private equity -- clinched a coveted billion-dollar deal with an arm of the Chinese government, that's because it is " - Peter Schweizer

As the accusations against Hunter mounted, he attempted to do damage control in a July interview with the New Yorker - in which he opened up about being a crackhead and accepting a 'bribe' from a Chinese energy tycoon in the form of a 2.8 carat diamond worth thousands of dollars, which he says wasn't a bribe - and admitted he and his father had spoken of his business dealings.

[Oct 13, 2019] American STD Cases Rise To Record High

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

fliebinite , 1 hour ago link

Maybe the fastest way to reduce STDs is to stop promoting homosexuality in our schools. Since HIV inhibitors were created and HIV virtually cured, the gay community has been in overdrive on the sexual practices that causes most of the STDs on the report. Just like the 80's the doctors in these studies suggest a massive increase in spending across everyone when in fact, you can reduce the rate of these diseases massively by targeting this subsector of society that continues these filthy practices.

"In 2014, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men accounted for 83% of primary and secondary syphilis cases where sex of sex partner was known in the United States. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men often get other STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. HPV (Human papillomavirus) , the most common STD in the United States, is also a concern for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Some types of HPV can cause genital and anal warts and some can lead to the development of anal and oral cancers. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to get anal cancer than heterosexual men. Men who are HIV-positive are even more likely than those who do not have HIV to get anal cancer."

https://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm

[Oct 13, 2019] London Has A Massive Cocaine Addiction

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Reporting by Sky News indicates that this level of usage equates to 567,445 doses every day and an estimated street value of £2.75m.

Unlike other cities included in the research, Dr Leon Barron, forensic scientist at King's College London, said that "sustained cocaine usage across the week" was observed in London , with only "a slight rise at the weekend", adding: "cocaine is an everyday drug in London".

[Oct 13, 2019] Will American Exceptionalism Rise Again

The Collapse of American exceptionalism is actually the collapse of neoliberalism and the US neoliberal empire.
Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

At its core, exceptionalism places America outside of normal history into a category of its own. Our initial "escape" from history followed two interrelated tracks: one was the religious radicalism of the Puritans, the other was the frontier experience. Both paths were the warpath.

The early settlers believed that they were "chosen" -- blessed by a special relationship to their God. They viewed their " errand in the wilderness " as a holy mission destined to bring a new and better way of life to the world. God's judgment on their progress was revealed in the bounty of a harvest or the outcome of a war.

Exceptionalism was not a free-floating idea but was forged into a lasting culture by the frontier wars aimed at the elimination or assimilation of native people and the conquest of land. America's frontier history produced a lasting mythology that popularized empire and white settler culture while cloaking their many contradictions.

I know it is hard to believe that the Puritans are still camped out in our minds. The old religious radicalism has taken modern form in the liberal-sounding belief that the US military is a "force for good (read God) in the world." The double-edged sword of exceptionalism traps us into repeating history: our high moral standards and special role in the world gives us license for wars and aggressions. It is the liberal elements of exceptionalism that are most seductive, most difficult to wrap our heads around, and the most effective at winning our consent to war.

Exceptionalism Wins Our Consent to War With A One-Two Punch

On the one hand, we have the "hard" exceptionalism like that of the Cold War (New and Old) and the War on Terrorism. These war stories revolve around a rigid binary of good and evil. After 9/11, in scores of speeches, George W. Bush repeated the mantra that there were "no gray areas" in the struggle between good and evil.

On the other hand, "soft" exceptionalism takes a slightly different tack by appealing to the liberal in us. Stories of rescue, protection, democracy and humanitarian efforts assure us of our goodness. Obama mastered this narrative by claiming the US had a "duty to protect" the weak and vulnerable in places like Libya.

These two strains of war stories are the narrative one-two punch, winning our consent to war and empire.

Here is how war propaganda works: if authority figures in government and media denounce foreign leaders or countries or immigrants as an evil threat and repeat it thousands of times, they do not even have to say, "We are the chosen people destined to bring light to the world." They know that millions of Americans will unconsciously refer to the exceptionalist code by default because it's so deeply embedded in our culture. Once made brave by our exceptional character and sense of superiority, the next moves are war, violence and white supremacy.

Myth Meets the American War in Vietnam

The Vietnam War, and the resistance to it, profoundly challenged all existing war stories. At the heart of this disruption was the soldier's revolt. Thousands of US soldiers and veterans came to oppose the very war they fought in . An anti-war movement inside the military was totally unprecedented in US history. The war-makers have been scrambling to repair the damage ever since.

Following the defeat of US forces in Vietnam, the elites shifted gears. The idea that the US could create a new democratic nation -- South Vietnam -- was an utter illusion that no amount of fire-power could overcome. In truth, the US selected a series of petty tyrants to rule that could never win the allegiance of the Vietnamese people because they were the transparent puppets of American interests. The ruling class learned a lesson that forced them to abandon the liberal veneer of "nation-building."

The Next Generation of War Stories: From "Noble Cause" to "Humanitarian War."

Ronald Regan tried to repair the damaged narratives by recasting the Vietnam War as a "Noble Cause." The Noble Cause appealed to people hurt and confused by the US defeat, as well as the unrepentant war-makers, because it attempted to restore the old good vs. evil narrative of exceptionalism. For Regan, America needed to rediscover its original mission as a "city on a hill" -- a shining example to the world. Every single President since has repeated that faith.

The Noble Cause narrative was reproduced in numerous bad movies and dubious academic studies that tried to refight the war (and win this time!). Its primary function was to restore exceptionalism in the minds of the American people. While Regan succeeded to a considerable degree -- as we can see in the pro-war policy of both corporate parties -- "nation-building" never recovered its power as a military strategy or war story.

The next facade was Clinton's "humanitarian war." Humanitarian war attempted to relight the liberal beacon by replacing the problems of nation-building with the paternalistic do-gooding of a superior culture and country. In effect, the imperialists recycled the 19th Century war story of "Manifest Destiny" or "White Man's Burden." That "burden" was the supposed duty of white people to lift lesser people up to the standards of western civilization -- even if that required a lot of killing.

This kind of racist thinking legitimized the US overseas empire at its birth. Maybe it would work again in empires' old age?

From the "War on Terrorism" to the "Responsibility to Protect."

After the shock of 9/11 the narrative shifted again. Bush's "global war on terrorism" reactivated the good vs. evil framing of the Cold War. The "war on terror" was an incoherent military or political strategy except for its promise of forever wars.

Just as the Cold War was a "long twilight struggle" against an elusive but ruthless communist enemy, terrorists might be anywhere and everywhere and do anything. And, like the fight against communism, the war on terrorism would require the US to wage aggressive wars, launch preemptive strikes, use covert activities and dodge both international law and the US Constitution.

9/11 also tapped into deeply-rooted nationalistic and patriotic desires among everyday people to protect and serve their country. The first attack on US soil in modern memory powerfully restored the old binary: when faced with unspeakable evil, the US military became a "force for good in the world." It's easy to forget just how potent the combination is and how it led us into the War in Iraq. According to The Washington Post :

Nearing the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this.

The mythology is so deep that at first the people, soldiers especially, just had to believe there was a good reason to attack Iraq. So we fell back on exceptionalism despite the total absence of evidence. Of course Bush made no attempt to correct this misinformation. The myth served him too well -- as did the official propaganda campaign claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

But in due course, some of the faithful became doubters. A peace movement of global proportions took shape. But in the US far too much of what appeared as resistance was driven by narrow partisan opposition to Republicans rather than principled opposition to war and empire.

But fear not war-makers -- Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton came to the rescue! As they continued Bush's wars in the Middle East and expanded the war zone to include Libya, Syria and then all of Africa, they sweetened "humanitarian war" with a heaping dose of cool-coated "Responsibility to Protect." Once again, American goodness and innocence made the medicine go down and our wars raged on.

Obama restored legitimacy to the empire so effectively that it took years for the illegal, immoral, racist and "unwinnable" wars to reveal themselves to the public. I was told by one of the leaders of About Face: Veterans Against War that they almost had to close shop after Obama was elected because their donor base dried up. Obama's hope was our dope. Just as the daze was finally lifting, Trump started to take the mask off.

Is The Mask Off?

Today's we face an empire with the mask half off. Trump's doctrine -- "We are not nation-building again, we are killing terrorists." -- is a revealing take on military trends that began with the first US – Afghan War (1978-1992). US leaders gave up nation-building and opted for failed states and political chaos instead of the strong states that nation-building, or its illusion, required. The US military began to rely on mercenaries and terrorists to replace the American citizen-soldier. The soldier revolt of the Vietnam Era already proved that everyday Americans were an unreliable force to achieve imperial ambitions.

Nothing rips the mask off of the humanitarian justifications better than the actual experience of combat in a war for oil and power -- so the war managers tried to reduce combat exposure to a few. And they succeeded. The number of official US troops abroad reached a 60-year low by 2017 . Even still a new resistance movement of veterans is gathering steam .

Can the mask be put back on? It's hard to say, because as The Nation reports, Americans from a wide spectrum of political positions are tired of perpetual war.

Can the "Green New Military" Put The Mask Back On?

The recycled imperial justifications of the past are losing their power: Manifest Destiny, White Mans' Burden, leader of the free world, nation-building, humanitarian war, war against terrorism, responsibility to protect -- what's next? If only the military could be seen as saviors once again.

A last-ditch effort to postpone the collapse of the liberal versions of war stories might just be the " Green New Military ." Elizabeth Warren's policy claims, "Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change. " It's a wild claim that contradicts all evidence unless she is also calling for an end to regime-change wars, the New Cold War and the scaling down of our foreign bases. Instead, Warren is all about combat readiness. She did not invent this -- the Pentagon had already embraced the new rhetoric . Given that the Working Families Party and some influential progressives have already signaled their willingness to accept Warren as a candidate, she might just silence dissent as effectively as Obama once did.

But, the lie is paper-thin: "There is no such thing as a Green War." You can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time but you cannot fool mother nature one little bit. War and climate change are deeply connected and ultimately there is no way to hide that.

The New Cold War and More of The Same Old Wars

So far the New Cold War against Russia and China has recycled the anti-communist conspiracy of the old Cold War into the xenophobic conspiracy theory of Russia-gate. Even a trusted tool like Mueller could not make it work as a coherent narrative but no matter -- the US did not skip a beat in building up military bases on Russia's borders .

The media and political attacks on Russia or China or immigrants, or Iran or Syria are likely to continue because propagandists cannot activate the exceptionalist code without an evil enemy. Still, it takes more than evil. An effective war story for the US ruling class must project the liberal ideas of helping, protection, saving and the spread of democracy in order to engineer mass consent to war. Hence the need for "Humanitarian War," "Duty to Protect" or maybe the"Green New Military."

Let anyone propose a retreat from any battlefield and the "humanitarian" war cry will rally the empire's pawns and savior-types. If we practice our exceptionalism religiously -- and religion it is -- then the US empire will never ever pull back from any war at any time. There is always someone for the empire to "protect and save:" from the "Noble Savages" and innocent white settlers of the frontier, to the Vietnamese Catholics, to the women of Afghanistan, to the Kurds of Syria.

We so want to see our wars as a morality play, just as the Puritans did, but the empire is all about power and profit.

"War is the Continuation of Politics by Other Means." -- Carl von Clausewitz

All the Big Brass study Clausewitz because he is the founder of western military science -- but they are so blinded by the dilemmas of empire that they make a mess of his central teaching: War is politics.

None of the war narratives and none of the wars can solve the most important question of politics: governance . Who will govern the colonies? The overwhelming verdict of history is this: colonies cannot be democratically or humanely governed as long as they are colonies. Until the empire retreats its heavy hand will rule in places like Afghanistan.

The empire is reaching the limits of exceptionalism as both war narrative and national mythology. This is why our rulers are forced to desperate measures: perpetual war, occupation, intense propaganda campaigns like Russia-gate, the reliance on mercenaries and terrorists, and the abuse and betrayal of their own soldiers.

Just as damning to the war machine is the collapse of conventional ideas about victory and defeat. The US military can no longer "win." The question of victory is important on a deep cultural level. According to the original mythology, the outcome of wars waged by "the chosen people" are an indication of God's favor or disfavor. In modern terms, defeat delegitimizes the state. Endless war is no substitute for "victory."

But it's not military victory we want. Our victory will be in ending war, dismantling the empire, abolishing the vast militarized penal system and stopping irreparable climate chaos. Our resistance will create a new narrative but it can only be written when millions of people become the authors of their own history.

The empire is slipping into decline and chaos – one way or another. Will we be actors deciding the fate of the American Empire or will it's collapse dictate our fate? But these wars will, sooner or later, become the graveyard of empire -- or else America is truly exceptional and we really are God's chosen people.

[Oct 13, 2019] The cat knows whose meat it has eaten...

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:22 0 SHARES

Hunter Biden is stepping down from a controversial board position at a Chinese-based private-equity company, and has vowed to forego all foreign work if his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020, according to Bloomberg .

[Oct 13, 2019] The CIA Versus Donald J. Trump

Notable quotes:
"... I have no sympathy for Trump anymore. He hasn't had Sessions or Barr induct one single ******* person guilty of treason or sedition in a 3 years. Prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich if they want to. ..."
"... It was Fraud Trump, who helped re-fill the swamp, by putting Torturer Gina Haspel in as CIA head wasn't he? ..."
"... CIA vs Trump is a false dichotomy dilemma. They both work hand-in-glove in a production made to deceive the masses. What the masses are really unaware of is the propaganda lies echoed out at them without a single shred of doubt against these claims. Why are we so gullible as to not ask "why" for the many presentations en posed upon us?! ..."
Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The CIA Versus Donald J. Trump by Tyler Durden Sat, 10/12/2019 - 22:50 0 SHARES

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

It's both pathetic and laughable that Democrats, the mainstream press, and Trump critics are referring to the CIA agent who turned in Trump for his telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as a "whistleblower."

It's pathetic because it denigrates real whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Thomas Drake, and William Binney. Those people are the courageous ones. They risked their careers, their liberty, and even their lives to expose criminal wrongdoing within the national-security state agencies they were working for.

That's not what that supposed CIA agent did when he filed his complaint against Trump. He didn't blow the whistle on his agency, the CIA, by exposing some secret dark-side practices, such as MK-Ultra drug experimentation on unsuspecting Americans, secret assassinations of Americans, secret assets within the mainstream press, or secret destruction of torture videotapes of incarcerated inmates at a top-secret CIA prison center in some former Soviet-bloc country.

If he had done that, the CIA would have come after him with all guns blaring, just as the national-security establishment has gone after Snowden and those other genuine whistleblowers. In fact, that's how one can usually identify a genuine whistleblower. That's obviously not happening here. Instead, the national-security establishment is hailing this "whistleblower" as being a brave and courageous hero for disclosing supposed wrongdoing by Trump, not by the CIA.

That anti-Trump CIA agent isn't a whistleblower at all. Instead, he's nothing more than a spy and a snitch. He is obviously a spy. After all, he works for the CIA, the premier spy agency in the world. And by turning in Trump in an obvious attempt to get him into trouble, he's also obviously a snitch.

A "gotcha" moment

In fact, the entire episode has a "gotcha" feeling to it. For almost three years, Americans have been made to suffer under a constant stream of speeches, commentaries, op-eds, and editorials about what Trump rightly called the "collusion delusion" theory. Democrats, the mainstream press, and Trump critics were 100 percent certain that their real-life hero Robert Mueller, the special counsel, was going to find evidence that Trump conspired with Russian officials to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful place as president of the United States. They had impeachment plans set in place, ready to go.

And then Mueller dashed their hopes. His report disclosed that the collusion delusion was the biggest conspiracy theory in U.S. history, one openly promoted by Democrats, the mainstream press, and Trump critics on a daily basis for almost three years.

All they needed and wanted was an opportunity -- any opportunity -- to apply their impeachment process to another set of a facts. Fortunately for them, Trump himself gave them that opportunity. That supposed CIA agent was ready with a "gotcha!" and proceeded to snitch on Trump with his "whistleblower" complaint.

Trump is obviously a smart man, both businesswise and politically. But to make that telephone call to Zelensky and request him to investigate Joe Biden, while holding up a foreign aid package to Ukraine, immediately after being exonerated by Mueller of the collusion delusion allegation, was about the dumbest thing he could do. How could he not realize that his enemies would be looking for any opportunity to set their impeachment process into motion against him?

The likely explanation lies with arrogance and hubris. After Trump got his exoneration on the collusion delusion accusation, he figured that he was now all-powerful and could do whatever he wanted. The fact that he was, at the same time, exercising such dictatorial powers as raising tariffs, starting trade wars, building his Berlin Wall along the border, and imposing sanctions and embargoes, all without the consent of Congress, was also making him feel omnipotent and untouchable. His admiration for foreign dictators no doubt filled his mind with the same sense of totalitarian, untouchable power.

That's what likely caused Trump to give his enemies the "gotcha" episode for which they were clearly thirsting. Trump turned out to be his own very worst enemy.

National security enmity toward Trump

Despite his campaign rhetoric against "endless wars," Trump has kept U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the Middle East, where they have continued to kill, die, and wreak massive destruction. He has also authorized the continuation of the Pentagon's and CIA's assassination program. He has also continued the Pentagon's and CIA's indefinite detention and torture center at Guantanamo Bay. He has done nothing to rein in the NSA and its secret surveillance schemes. The fact is that Trump's term in office, despite his "America First" rhetoric, has proven to be nothing more than a continuation of the Bush-Obama administrations.

That's what he should be impeached for, but unfortunately his critics feel that those high crimes don't rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

But it's also true that Trump has failed to demonstrate the complete deference to authority of the national-security establishment that Hillary Clinton and other Washington, D.C., political elites have. Trump's failure to bend the knee to the national-security establishment made him suspect from the very beginning, especially since the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI were certain that their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, was going to be the new president.

Thus, there has been a war between Trump and the national-security establishment from even before he was elected and especially after he was elected. In a remarkable moment of candor and honesty, Congressman Charles Schumer, commenting on the war between Trump and the national-security establishment, stated, "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

One way of getting back at Trump is, of course, through assassination, a power that the Supreme Court has confirmed that the national-security state wields against American citizens, so long it is necessary to protect "national security."

Another way of getting back at Trump is smear tactics through the use of assets within the mainstream press. The CIA's Operation Mockingbird comes to mind.

Coup through impeachment

And other option to get back at Trump is through impeachment and conviction, especially through assets within Congress. But before any collusion-delusion proponent cries "conspiracy theory," recall that President Eisenhower warned Americans in his 1961 Farewell Address about the threat that the "military-industrial complex" poses to the liberties and democratic processes of the American people. Actually, Ike planned to use the term "military-industrial-congressional complex" but changed his mind at the last minute. He was referring to the intimate, integrated relationship between members of Congress and the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, Eisenhower is not perceived to be a "conspiracy theorist," the term that the CIA popularized to keep people from examining the Kennedy assassination too closely.

Speaking of the Kennedy assassination, early in his administration Trump announced that he intended to comply with the deadline for releasing the CIA's long-secret records relating to the assassination. At the very last minute, Trump folded and granted the CIA's request for continued secrecy.

Why did Trump do that?

One possibility is that he became convinced that "national security" would be jeopardized if the American people were to see the CIA's long-secret JFK assassination records.

Another possibility is that he struck some sort of secret negotiated deal with the CIA.

A third possibility is that he figured that if he would ingratiate himself with the CIA in the hope that they would leave him alone. If that was the case, Trump might well go down as one of the most naïve presidents in history.


I am Groot , 34 minutes ago link

I have no sympathy for Trump anymore. He hasn't had Sessions or Barr induct one single ******* person guilty of treason or sedition in a 3 years. Prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich if they want to.

If we have no rule of law anymore, then **** it. It's time to abolish our entire government and start from scratch under the Declaration of Independence.

iuyyyyui , 45 minutes ago link

Maybe Trump was naive not to realize how much the entrenched elites were against him and what he represented.

And maybe the entrenched elites don't realize how deeply so many of us deplorables hate them . Let's see how D.C. -- the Senate and the Supreme Court -- defuse the coming Civil War. Because the House and the Executive have already staked out their positions ... AND SO HAVE WE.

Mimir , 54 minutes ago link

"That anti-Trump CIA agent isn't a whistleblower at all. Instead, he's nothing more than a spy and a snitch..." !!!!

That promised well for the The Future of Freedom ....., and the protection of whistleblowers.

America is is entering a cul de sac in clear daylight for all to see. The World is laughing.

mark1955 , 58 minutes ago link

Next Joke...LOL!

Fraud Trump ( President "Gun Control" ) and the CIA are best buddy's!!!

It was Fraud Trump, who helped re-fill the swamp, by putting Torturer Gina Haspel in as CIA head wasn't he?

They ( Along with their democrat/republican Comrades ), are working together for their Rothschild Israeli/NWO masters, to Try and undermine the American people and Enslave the world!

Please don't fall for this phony Good Cop/Bad Cop "Theatre"...Fraud Trump and the CIA are one and the same!

peggysue1 , 1 hour ago link

I think that the CIA will rue the day they took on Trump. They have a tiger by the tail. Just ask Mueller. We all re member how that turned out.

CTacitus , 1 hour ago link

CIA vs Trump is a false dichotomy dilemma. They both work hand-in-glove in a production made to deceive the masses. What the masses are really unaware of is the propaganda lies echoed out at them without a single shred of doubt against these claims. Why are we so gullible as to not ask "why" for the many presentations en posed upon us?!

Here is as awkward question: why are we not allowed to simply ask what is truly ailing us and why in many countries the mere doubt or questioning will lend one in prison. What kinds of "truths" demand prison time for simply asking questions?!

We've lost WWII. Western societies are no longer exceptional, if they were so to begin with (the traitors made sure of that). We must reform and address the one true problem at our midst: Jewish tyranny!

A man, unlike ANY politician since dared to put the interests of his people ahead of anything else. Whether you agree or disagree, have an open mind to revisit this case; perhaps you will now see what you missed previously.

... ... ...

perikleous , 51 minutes ago link

Left and Right is nothing but Reality TV for the masses. They are two sides of a coin, in the end its still one coin!

They are funded on both sides from the same people, one side is funded openly the other is through NGOs to hide the "investment" donation.

To believe they are truly after Trump is BS, the "left" wants in, by getting him "out" but the people funding it all are just using the "left" as muscle to keep Trump "inline" doing their bidding! If it was a Democrat they couldn't keep inline they would do the same thing, in the end its all just another way to keep society divided so they can further control us and strip away more freedom,power and money/assets and we agree to give it away when asked under the BS lie of protecting us from some made up enemy/threat, and we fall for it every time like a mouse to glue paper!

If Snowden and Assange showing us how bad we have been betrayed didn't wake us up to rebel, nothing will!

It would be a whole different story if the info they released was being debated for truth, but they have been openly confirmed on everything they released and we still go along with this DeepState monster that has basically imprisoned us all, some with bars/cells some without but all imprisoned and lacking Free will/freedom we as a nation are suppose to have!

The fact that we still surrender more and more of this freedom daily without any outcry from the population is mindboggling. How bad does it have to get to get some fight out of the populas? It is even more worrying that there is no MSM that will independently report what we know as fact so we can unite.

[Oct 13, 2019] Opening Statement of Marie L.Yovanovitch to the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Committee on Oversight and Reform

Yet another female neocon hawk of the mold of Samantha Power. Hillary have found not only Nuland, but several of them ;-) She denied that Nulandgate create a civil war in Ukraine to advance the US geopolitical goals. She also denied influencing Ukrainian leadership, while in reality Ukraine now is governed from the US embassy (which is sometimes called by locals called Washington Obcom) . Such a hypocrite.
As for "do not prosecute" list -- do not believe anything government officials say until it is officially denied.
And that EuroMaydan actually promote corruption to the level unheard during Yanukovich tenure but with different players.
Notable quotes:
"... creates an environment in which U.S. business can more easily trade, invest and profit. ..."
"... the Embassy's April 2016 letter to the Prosecutor General's Office about the investigation into the Anti-Corruption Action Center or AntAC ..."
"... the departure from office of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin ..."
"... As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a "do not prosecute" list is completely false ..."
"... Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President's orders "since he was going to be impeached." That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else. ..."
"... I have never met Hunter Biden, nor have I had any direct or indirect conversations with him. And although I have met former Vice President Biden several times over the course of our many years in government, neither he nor the previous Administration ever, directly or indirectly, raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me. ..."
"... With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him -- a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. I do not know Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine. ..."
Oct 11, 2019 | d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net

The Revolution of Dignity, and the Ukrainian people's demand to end corruption, forced the new Ukrainian government to take measures to fight the rampant corruption that long permeated that country's political and economic systems. We have long understood that strong anti-corruption efforts must form an essential part of our policy in Ukraine; now there was a window of opportunity to do just that.

Why is this important? Put simply: anti-corruption efforts serve Ukraine's interests. They serve ours as well. Corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy, while an honest and accountable Ukrainian leadership makes a U.S.-Ukraine partnership more reliable and more valuable to the U.S. A level playing field in this strategically located country -- one with a European landmass exceeded only by Russia and with one of the largest populations in Europe -- creates an environment in which U.S. business can more easily trade, invest and profit. Corruption is a security issue as well, because corrupt officials are vulnerable to Moscow. In short, it is in our national security interest to help Ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law governs and corruption is held in check.

Two Wars

But change takes time, and the aspiration to instill rule-of-law values has still not been fulfilled. Since 2014, Ukraine has been at war, not just with Russia, but within itself, as political and economic forces compete to determine what kind of country Ukraine will become: the same old, oligarch-dominated Ukraine where corruption is not just prevalent, but is the system? Or the country that Ukrainians demanded in the Revolution of Dignity -- a country where rule of law is the system, corruption is tamed, and people are treated equally and according to the law? During the 2019 presidential elections, the Ukrainian people answered that question once again. Angered by insufficient progress in the fight against corruption, Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly elected a man who said that ending corruption would be his number one priority. The transition, however, created fear among the political elite, setting the stage for some of the issues I expect we will be discussing today.

... ... ...

I arrived in Ukraine on August 22, 2016 and left Ukraine permanently on May 20, 2019. Several of the events with which you may be concerned occurred before I was even in country.

Here are just a few:

Several other events occurred after I was recalled from Ukraine. These include:

During my Tenure in Ukraine

[Oct 13, 2019] Rep. Jim Jordan Asks 17 Awkward Questions About Pelosi's Impeachment Inquiry

This is coup d'état, no question about it. What is the level of connection of Adam Schiff and the CIA?
Notable quotes:
"... Why did the "whistleblower" write an 800+ word memo describing President Trump and President Zelensky's call based on second-hand information gleaned from a conversation that lasted just a few minutes? ..."
"... Why didn't the "whistleblower" just give his memo to the Inspector General, instead of a seven page complaint dressed up with extraneous citations and media references? ..."
"... What work did the “whistleblower” do with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate? ..."
Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

1. Why did the "whistleblower" write an 800+ word memo describing President Trump and President Zelensky's call based on second-hand information gleaned from a conversation that lasted just a few minutes?

2. Why did the "whistleblower" wait 18 days to file the complaint after describing the call as "frightening" in their memo?

3. Why and when did the "whistleblower" communicate with Rep Adam Schiff's staff before filing the complaint?

4. Why did the "whistleblower" hide from the ICIG that they met with Rep Adam Schiff's staff by not checking the box on the whistleblower form indicating they had spoken to Congress?

5. Why didn't Rep Adam Schiff tell us his staff had met with the "whistleblower?"

6. Why didn't the "whistleblower" just give his memo to the Inspector General, instead of a seven page complaint dressed up with extraneous citations and media references?

7. Why is Rep Adam Schiff holding hearings, depositions, and interviews behind closed doors?

8. Why won't Rep Adam Schiff release the transcripts of these interviews, instead of leaking cherry-picked information that fits his narrative?

9. Why won't Rep Adam Schiff take questions from the press after these interviews, like Republicans have done?

10. Why does Speaker Pelosi think we need to “strike while the iron is hot,” instead of taking time for serious and thorough investigative fact-finding?

11. Why is Speaker Pelosi scared to have a vote to open an official impeachment inquiry like it’s been done every other time?

12. Why do Democrats keep making up the rules as they go along, instead of following a fair process?

13. What work did the “whistleblower” do with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate?

14. Why do Democrats and the media keep falsely claiming President Trump pressured Ukraine? President Zelensky has repeatedly said that he wasn't pushed.

15. Why don't Democrats trust the American people to choose the President? The election is less than 13 months away.

16. Why won't Democrats focus on helping the country, instead of attacking the President with this unfair and partisan process?

17. Why won't the media ask these questions to Rep Adam Schiff or Speaker Pelosi?


punjabiraj , 1 minute ago link

Dems not troubled by truth. Their mind control media believes in itself as the new God that the morons bow down to and will abandon their children for. Their brainwashed radical left will trample their own mothers to get into a fight to the death for their demonic cause of grabbing power for the furtherance of their selfish sponsors.

This is the train of darkness that unwittingly delivered the first people POTUS reaction. The train drivers are very powerful and are long established as the puppet masters. They are scheming 24/7 on multiple fronts to distract their enemy called democracy and further embed themselves within every internal organ and nerve fiber. But they are not immutable.

The capture of democracy is a goal that they must achieve. The attack is obviously coordinated and multi-faceted. The tool of brainwashing will target the children, like the Nazi program called "Hitler Youth" but with a neolibic dogma.

One man stands alone against the deep state and its swamp and media and mind control and infiltration. Can he trust anyone to watch his back?

Someone Else , 9 minutes ago link

This is really a travesty. Every day we hear about this. The President is being tried by the press - with only one side being heard. How the hell is this fair?

Sick Monkey , 13 minutes ago link

The impeachment calls were to serve as a distraction till 2020.

Seems to have backfired.

Again

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link

disturbing thread to you maybe.

to most on this thread democrats want to take all they can via taxes, then borrow what they can't raise in taxes, democrats will cause widespread poverty, sickness and will sponsor **** educational standards, encourage perversion and pay minorities taxpayer dollars to buy their votes - even though minorities are no more special than any social grouping (other than the perverts in the lbGTQ++ community who are special in a mentally retarded way) democrats sponsor criminal behavior by refusing to punish it and so on and so forth,

trump at least promotes reward for effort, by giving back some taxes to individuals and makes American corporate tax rates consistent with global corporate tax rates, has shitcanned the stealth taxes on healthy people via Obamacare, and inspires people left behind by the constant march to socialism that the US has endured for the last fifty years (via welfare benefits, scholastic indoctrination, social housing programs, medicare/medicaid programs that taxpayers could have got for half the price they paid - and half the debt liabilities run up in trust funds.

so..has trump got the federal government completely out of peoples lives? no, but he at least wants taxes on the country to 18% of GDP and not the 40% targeted by the howler monkeys on the left.

it is not a choice of two equal evils. it is the choice between YOU paying 18% of your income or 40%.

tough choice right?

[Oct 13, 2019] The Foreign Office Must Be Challenged Over Sacoolas' Immunity

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Craig Murray,

... ... ...

Finally, if RAF Croughton were an annex to the US Embassy and if Mr Sacoolas were a diplomat, the cars of both he and his wife would have diplomatic CD plates. Mrs Sacoolas was not driving a diplomatic car – an obviously vital fact in this case, again omitted from all mainstream media reporting.

... ... ...

This fake "diplomatic immunity" needs to be challenged in court, but I am not sure anyone except Harry Dunn's family has the locus to do this. Their son was killed by the wife of a spy and to avoid political embarrassment about his activities, the government has falsely connived at a status of diplomatic immunity and then pretended to be trying to get Mrs Sacoolas back. That is an awful lot to take in for people in a terrible state of grief. After losing a son, the cognitive dissonance involved in uncovering state secrets, and learning that the state is malevolent and senior ministerial office holders are liars, is a huge hurdle to surmount. The Dunn family have first to summon the will to fight it, and then to avoid the attempts to hug them in the suffocating embrace of an establishment lawyer – believe me the powers that be will be covertly thrusting one at them – who will advise them they are most likely to make progress if they rock no boats.

The only people I know of who effectively enjoy secret diplomatic immunity are spies from CIA/NSA like Jonathon Sacoolas or from Mossad like Shai Masot . There are not any other categories of pretend diplomats having immunity, and the elaborate charade to pretend that there are is a nonsense. It must not distract from the fact that the claim that the government can grant US and Israeli intelligence agencies diplomatic immunity at will is a lie. The government is acting illegally here. There is no legislation that covers Raab in allowing Mrs Sacoolas to kill – albeit accidentally – with impunity.

I pray both the government and Mrs Sacoolas will be brought to account. I hope Mr and Mrs Dunn find what peace they can with their loss, and are able to remember with due warmth the eighteen wonderful years that I am sure they had with their son.

* * *

Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, Craig's blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate. Subscriptions to keep Craig's blog going are gratefully received .

[Oct 10, 2019] Investigation Of Biden-Enriching Burisma Opened Months Before Zelensky Even Elected Report

Notable quotes:
"... Solomon said Tuesday on " Hannity " that the U.S. government knew Ukraine was planning to look again into activities at Burisma Holdings, an energy company that employed then-Vice President Joe Biden's son as a member of its board of directors, early this year . The report is noteworthy because President Trump has been accused by Democrats of threatening in July to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine unless its new president pursued an investigation into the company and the younger Biden's role there. ..."
"... Solomon said the timeline of the alleged "illicit funds" coincided in part with the time Hunter Biden held a place on the firm's board . The younger Biden was reportedly paid as much as $1 million per year for his time on the board, but Solomon said investigators in Ukraine filed a 15-page "notice of suspicion" indicating they were "looking at the possibility that the $3.4 million paid to Hunter Biden's firm may have been part of the illicit funds that were moving through the company. " ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A new report from recent Fox News hire John Solomon tosses gasoline on the dumpster-fire narrative at the heart of an impeachment inquiry launched after a CIA officer filed a whistleblower complaint, alleging President Trump abused his office by 'pressuring' the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for corruption.

According to Solomon, a new document "shows that Ukrainian officials had opened a new probe into the firm linked to Hunter Biden months before President Trump's phone call with that country's leader."

Solomon said Tuesday on " Hannity " that the U.S. government knew Ukraine was planning to look again into activities at Burisma Holdings, an energy company that employed then-Vice President Joe Biden's son as a member of its board of directors, early this year . The report is noteworthy because President Trump has been accused by Democrats of threatening in July to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine unless its new president pursued an investigation into the company and the younger Biden's role there.

" The U.S. government had open-source intelligence and was aware as early as February of 2019 that the Ukrainian government was planning to reopen the Burisma investigation ," he claimed. "This is long before the president ever imagined having a call with President Zelensky," he added, noting Petro Poroshenko was still Ukraine's president at that time . - Fox News

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/d4tMIUwR6-w

According to Solomon, Ukraine's NABU anti-corruption agency requested reopening a probe into Burisma and its owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

According to the report, "The investigation then went forward, Solomon said. The new probe later resulted in a "Notice of Suspicion" being filed, alleging the existence of "illicit funds" running through the fir m, Solomon also claimed."

Solomon said his reporting revealed the requested reopening of the probe into Burisma involved, in part, "unusual transactions" in the natural gas giant's accounts.

Solomon said the timeline of the alleged "illicit funds" coincided in part with the time Hunter Biden held a place on the firm's board . The younger Biden was reportedly paid as much as $1 million per year for his time on the board, but Solomon said investigators in Ukraine filed a 15-page "notice of suspicion" indicating they were "looking at the possibility that the $3.4 million paid to Hunter Biden's firm may have been part of the illicit funds that were moving through the company. "

"A month later, in April, the prosecutor's office -- open-source intelligence, again -- the U.S. government officials confirming they were aware of this -- made a request of another investigative agency in Ukraine for assistance in going through these bank records," Solomon claimed. - Fox News

"That is a significant change in the timeline," said Solomon, adding "it was omitted from the whistleblower's complaint, and the question is did he not know it or did he exclude it because it didn't fit the narrative he was trying to write."

[Oct 10, 2019] Biden 'Personally Paid $900,000 By Burisma' According To Ukrainian MP In Bombshell Admission

Notable quotes:
"... Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed on Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group for lobbying activities , citing materials related to an investigation. ..."
"... "According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014]," Derkach added. ..."
"... Derkach says he will publish the leaked documents on his Facebook account, and will initiate the creation of an ad hoc parliamentary investigative commission, " and has already requested launching a criminal case against Ukrainian officials into interference into U.S. elections ," according to the report. ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed on Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group for lobbying activities , citing materials related to an investigation.

Via Interfax :

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Group , Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada member Andriy Derkach said citing investigation materials.

Derkach publicized documents which, as he said, " describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr. " at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine's press center in Kyiv on Wednesday. - Interfax

" This was the transfer of Burisma Group's funds for lobbying activities , as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners , which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services," said Derkach.

Derkach also puiblicized sums of money transferred to Burisma Group representatives - including Joe Biden's son Hunter.

"According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014]," Derkach added.

"Using political and economic levelers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group. "

"Biden's fifth visit to Kyiv on December 7-8, 2015 was devoted to making a decision on the resignation of [then Ukrainian Prosecutor General] Viktor Shokin over the case of Zlochevsky and Burisma. Loan guarantees worth $1 billion that the United States was to give to Ukraine was the point of pressure. Biden himself admitted exerting pressure in his speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018, calling Shokin 'son of a bitch who was fired'," Derkach added.

Via Interfax :

The timeline of events proves that the U.S. linked the Zlochevsky case to loan guarantees, he said.

After the decree dismissing Shokin was published on April 3, 2016, the governments of the United States and Ukraine signed a loan guarantee agreement worth $1 billion, several months later, on June 3, he said.

"In this case, there are facts should be subject to investigation. There is an agency that has powers to investigate them; the U.S. Department of Justice. If the Ukrainian Prosecutor General signs documents and send them to U.S. Department of Justice without any requests, he will accomplish his mission," he said, adding that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General has such powers.

"Considering international corruption in public is a way-out for President Zelensky. I am certain that he is not involved in international corruption," Derkach said.

It was reported earlier that Derkach publicized correspondence between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and officers of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. According to publicized correspondence, starting from July 14, 2017, the lists of criminal proceedings undertaken by NABU officers were sent from the electronic mailbox of Polina Chyzh, an assistant to NABU first deputy head Gizo Uglava, to the electronic mailbox of Hanna Yemelianova, a legal specialist of the anti-corruption program of the U.S. Justice Department at U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Derkach says he will publish the leaked documents on his Facebook account, and will initiate the creation of an ad hoc parliamentary investigative commission, " and has already requested launching a criminal case against Ukrainian officials into interference into U.S. elections ," according to the report.

[Oct 10, 2019] Trump, Impeachment Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
The term "centrist" is replaced by a more appropriate term "neoliberal oligarchy"
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps. ..."
"... So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place. ..."
"... For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path. ..."
"... In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained. ..."
"... Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change. ..."
"... These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy. ..."
"... "For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely. ..."
"... how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? ..."
"... Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked. ..."
"... To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so. ..."
"... Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too. ..."
"... Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars. ..."
"... Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time. ..."
"... I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid. ..."
"... At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems. ..."
Oct 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

There is blood in the water and frenzied sharks are closing in for the kill. Or so they think.

From the time of Donald Trump's election, American elites have hungered for this moment. At long last, they have the 45th president of the United States cornered. In typically ham-handed fashion, Trump has given his adversaries the very means to destroy him politically. They will not waste the opportunity. Impeachment now -- finally, some will say -- qualifies as a virtual certainty.

No doubt many surprises lie ahead. Yet the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives have passed the point of no return. The time for prudential judgments -- the Republican-controlled Senate will never convict, so why bother? -- is gone for good. To back down now would expose the president's pursuers as spineless cowards. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC would not soon forgive such craven behavior.

So, as President Woodrow Wilson, speaking in 1919 put it, "The stage is set, the destiny disclosed. It has come about by no plan of our conceiving, but by the hand of God." Of course, the issue back then was a notably weighty one: whether to ratify the Versailles Treaty. That it now concerns a " Mafia-like shakedown " orchestrated by one of Wilson's successors tells us something about the trajectory of American politics over the course of the last century and it has not been a story of ascent.

The effort to boot the president from office is certain to yield a memorable spectacle. The rancor and contempt that have clogged American politics like a backed-up sewer since the day of Trump's election will now find release. Watergate will pale by comparison. The uproar triggered by Bill Clinton's " sexual relations " will be nothing by comparison. A de facto collaboration between Trump, those who despise him, and those who despise his critics all but guarantees that this story will dominate the news, undoubtedly for months to come.

As this process unspools, what politicians like to call "the people's business" will go essentially unattended. So while Congress considers whether or not to remove Trump from office, gun-control legislation will languish, the deterioration of the nation's infrastructure will proceed apace, needed healthcare reforms will be tabled, the military-industrial complex will waste yet more billions, and the national debt, already at $22 trillion -- larger, that is, than the entire economy -- will continue to surge. The looming threat posed by climate change, much talked about of late, will proceed all but unchecked. For those of us preoccupied with America's role in the world, the obsolete assumptions and habits undergirding what's still called " national security " will continue to evade examination. Our endless wars will remain endless and pointless.

By way of compensation, we might wonder what benefits impeachment is likely to yield. Answering that question requires examining four scenarios that describe the range of possibilities awaiting the nation.

The first and most to be desired (but least likely) is that Trump will tire of being a public piñata and just quit. With the thrill of flying in Air Force One having worn off, being president can't be as much fun these days. Why put up with further grief? How much more entertaining for Trump to retire to the political sidelines where he can tweet up a storm and indulge his penchant for name-calling. And think of the "deals" an ex-president could make in countries like Israel, North Korea, Poland, and Saudi Arabia on which he's bestowed favors. Cha-ching! As of yet, however, the president shows no signs of taking the easy (and lucrative) way out.

The second possible outcome sounds almost as good but is no less implausible: a sufficient number of Republican senators rediscover their moral compass and "do the right thing," joining with Democrats to create the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump and send him packing. In the Washington of that classic 20th-century film director Frank Capra, with Jimmy Stewart holding forth on the Senate floor and a moist-eyed Jean Arthur cheering him on from the gallery, this might have happened. In the real Washington of "Moscow Mitch" McConnell , think again.

The third somewhat seamier outcome might seem a tad more likely. It postulates that McConnell and various GOP senators facing reelection in 2020 or 2022 will calculate that turning on Trump just might offer the best way of saving their own skins. The president's loyalty to just about anyone, wives included, has always been highly contingent, the people streaming out of his administration routinely making the point. So why should senatorial loyalty to the president be any different? At the moment, however, indications that Trump loyalists out in the hinterlands will reward such turncoats are just about nonexistent. Unless that base were to flip, don't expect Republican senators to do anything but flop.

That leaves outcome No. 4, easily the most probable: while the House will impeach, the Senate will decline to convict. Trump will therefore stay right where he is, with the matter of his fitness for office effectively deferred to the November 2020 elections. Except as a source of sadomasochistic diversion, the entire agonizing experience will, therefore, prove to be a colossal waste of time and blather.

Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps.

Besides, as Trump campaigns for a second term, he would almost surely wear censure like a badge of honor. Keep in mind that Congress's approval ratings are considerably worse than his. To more than a few members of the public, a black mark awarded by Congress might look like a gold star.

Restoration Not Removal

So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place.

Just recently, for instance, Hillary Clinton declared Trump to be an "illegitimate president." Implicit in her charge is the conviction -- no doubt sincere -- that people like Donald Trump are not supposed to be president. People like Hillary Clinton -- people possessing credentials like hers and sharing her values -- should be the chosen ones. Here we glimpse the true meaning of legitimacy in this context. Whatever the vote in the Electoral College, Trump doesn't deserve to be president and never did.

For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path.

In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained.

Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change.

These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy.

"For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

The U.S. military's "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad at the start of the Iraq War, as broadcast on CNN.

For such a scheme to succeed, however, laundering reputations alone will not suffice. Equally important will be to bury any recollection of the catastrophes that paved the way for an über -qualified centrist to lose to an indisputably unqualified and unprincipled political novice in 2016.

Holding promised security assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agrees to do you political favors is obviously and indisputably wrong. Trump's antics regarding Ukraine may even meet some definition of criminal. Still, how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? Consider, in particular, the George W. Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 (along with the spin-off wars that followed). Consider, too, the reckless economic policies that produced the Great Recession of 2007-2008. As measured by the harm inflicted on the American people (and others), the offenses for which Trump is being impeached qualify as mere misdemeanors.

Honest people may differ on whether to attribute the Iraq War to outright lies or monumental hubris. When it comes to tallying up the consequences, however, the intentions of those who sold the war don't particularly matter. The results include thousands of Americans killed; tens of thousands wounded, many grievously, or left to struggle with the effects of PTSD; hundreds of thousands of non-Americans killed or injured ; millions displaced ; trillions of dollars expended; radical groups like ISIS empowered (and in its case even formed inside a U.S. prison in Iraq); and the Persian Gulf region plunged into turmoil from which it has yet to recover. How do Trump's crimes stack up against these?

The Great Recession stemmed directly from economic policies implemented during the administration of President Bill Clinton and continued by his successor. Deregulating the banking sector was projected to produce a bonanza in which all would share. Yet, as a direct result of the ensuing chicanery, nearly 9 million Americans lost their jobs, while overall unemployment shot up to 10 percent. Roughly 4 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. The stock market cratered and millions saw their life savings evaporate. Again, the question must be asked: How do these results compare to Trump's dubious dealings with Ukraine?

Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked.

Sen. Carter Glass (D–Va.) and Rep. Henry B. Steagall (D–Ala.-3), the co-sponsors of the 1932 Glass–Steagall Act separating investment and commercial banking, which was repealed in 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so.

What are the real crimes? Who are the real criminals? No matter what happens in the coming months, don't expect the Trump impeachment proceedings to come within a country mile of addressing such questions.

Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . His new book, " The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory ," will be published in January.

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Mark Thomason , October 9, 2019 at 17:03

Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too.

Now the Republicans who lost their party to Trump think they can take it back with somebody even more lame than Jeb, if only they could find someone, anyone, to run on that non-plan.

Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars.

Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time.

LJ , October 9, 2019 at 17:01

Well, yeah but I recall that what won Trump the Republican Nomination was first and foremost his stance on Immigration. This issue is what separated him from the herd of candidates . None of them had the courage or the desire to go against Governmental Groupthink on Immigration. All he then had to do was get on top of low energy Jeb Bush and the road was clear. He got the base on his side on this issue and on his repeated statement that he wished to normalize relations with Russia . He won the nomination easily. The base is still on his side on these issues but Governmental Groupthink has prevailed in the House, the Senate, the Intelligence Services and the Federal Courts. Funny how nobody in the Beltway, especially not in media, is brave enough to admit that the entire Neoconservative scheme has been a disaster and that of course we should get out of Syria . Nor can anyone recall the corruption and warmongering that now seem that seems endemic to the Democratic Party. Of course Trump has to wear goat's horns. "Off with his head".

Drew Hunkins , October 9, 2019 at 16:00

I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid.

At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems.

Of course, the corporate Dems would rather lose to Trump than win with a progressive-populist like Bernie. After all, a Bernie win would mean an end to a lot of careerism and cushy positions within the establishment political scene in Washington and throughout the country.

Now we even have the destroyer of Libya mulling another run for the presidency.

Forget about having a job the next day and forget about the 25% interest on your credit card or that half your income is going toward your rent or mortgage, or that you barely see your kids b/c of the 60 hour work week, just worry about women lawyers being able to make partner at the firm, and trans people being able to use whatever bathroom they wish and male athletes being able to compete against women based on genitalia (no, wait, I'm confused now).

Either class politics and class warfare comes front and center or we witness a burgeoning neo-fascist movement in our midst. It's that simple, something has got to give!

[Oct 10, 2019] Why is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs US corporations face choice between virtue-signaling and business by Helen Buyniski

Notable quotes:
"... "Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?" the Chinese People's Daily newspaper wondered in an op-ed published on Wednesday. Beijing tore into the trillion-dollar company for offering HKmap.live, a map app that allows users to report and track police activity, warning the app "facilitates illegal behavior" and that Apple is hurting its reputation among Chinese consumers by "mixing business with politics and commercial activity with illegal activities." " ..."
"... This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple ," the People's Daily declared, advising the tech firm to " think deeply ." ..."
"... Hong Kong's cheerleaders are rapidly finding out they may have bitten off more than they can chew. It's rarely a good idea, as a global business, to alienate 1.4 billion people living in the world's second-largest economy. ..."
"... More importantly, most Americans don't want a side of politics when they buy a smartphone or go to a basketball game. ..."
Oct 10, 2019 | www.rt.com

Beijing is angry at Apple for allowing a police-tracking map used by Hong Kong protesters in its App Store. Pressure grows on US companies doing business in China to take a side, as virtue-signaling clashes with serving customers. "Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?" the Chinese People's Daily newspaper wondered in an op-ed published on Wednesday. Beijing tore into the trillion-dollar company for offering HKmap.live, a map app that allows users to report and track police activity, warning the app "facilitates illegal behavior" and that Apple is hurting its reputation among Chinese consumers by "mixing business with politics and commercial activity with illegal activities." "

This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple ," the People's Daily declared, advising the tech firm to " think deeply ."

The majority of Apple's products are manufactured in China, and those that aren't are assembled in Texas from Chinese parts. China is the second-largest market for Apple products, and CEO Tim Cook expects it will soon overtake the US as number one.

According to HKmap.live's developers, Apple initially rejected the app during a reviewing process, but reconsidered following an appeal. It allows users to report not only the locations and movement of police, but also the use of tear gas and other protester-specific features. The protests, which began in May over a now-shelved extradition bill, have grown quite violent, with some rioters turning on ordinary citizens who merely express solidarity with the mainland.

It's not as if Apple has a track record of defying China's wishes – the company does not include the Taiwan flag emoji on its Chinese devices, and this week has gone further by hiding the flag from users in Hong Kong and Macau. China does not recognize Taiwan as a separate country.

In the latest version of iOS, users in Hong Kong no longer have access to the Taiwan flag () on the emoji keyboard https://t.co/EDnlSsFyYF pic.twitter.com/DbvFR0O8By

-- Emojipedia (@Emojipedia) October 7, 2019

Nor do people look to Apple as their moral guiding light. The Foxconn factories used by the company in China have become infamous after a wave of worker suicides, so much that Apple had "suicide nets" installed to stop the employees from jumping to their deaths.

So where did this sudden urge to stand up for rioters that have become the darlings of the West come from? Apple joins a lengthening list of American corporate entities – including the makers of adult cartoon 'South Park', the manager of NBA team the Houston Rockets, and Vans shoes – who've piled on China following the outbreak of the protests during the summer.

Virtue-signaling is almost expected of American companies in the Trump era. Celebrities who don't speak out against the president are assumed to be secretly harboring pro-Trump sympathies, for example. China probably seems like an easier target than the president – Beijing is halfway around the world and currently embroiled in a trade war with the US.

Hong Kong's cheerleaders are rapidly finding out they may have bitten off more than they can chew. It's rarely a good idea, as a global business, to alienate 1.4 billion people living in the world's second-largest economy. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who initially spoke up for Rockets manager Daryl Morey's "freedom of expression" after he tweeted in support of the protests, has modified his statement to include understanding that there are "consequences" to such freedoms and is scrambling to reach an understanding with China after the nation's largest state-run TV station dropped NBA games in retaliation.

Look for Apple to do something similar if the government controlling its manufacturing and its second-largest market decides to punish its insolence.

More importantly, most Americans don't want a side of politics when they buy a smartphone or go to a basketball game. The vast majority of consumers – those who aren't on Twitter shrieking over the latest revelation that a CEO attended a Trump fundraiser – are not interested in a company's ability to virtue signal. They want a product that works, not one that tells them what to think.

By Helen Buyniski , RT

[Oct 10, 2019] Glorifying rioters China blasts France and EU for hypocrisy after they call for restraint in Hong Kong

Any opposition to the government now quickly became a tool of geopolitical struggle
Oct 10, 2019 | www.rt.com

China’s embassy in France has slammed the country’s reaction to protests in Hong Kong, calling it hypocritical and arguing France should show empathy as China did when Paris was trying to cope with Yellow Vests.

The diplomatic mission was commenting on a statement issued by the European Union, and swiftly repeated by the French Foreign Ministry last week, after Hong Kong police used live ammunition against a protester in self-defense for the first time in four months of demonstrations.

[Oct 09, 2019] The only 'Russian bots' to meddle in US elections belonged to Democrat-linked 'experts'

Another day, another false flag operation...
Notable quotes:
"... New Knowledge's victory lap was short-lived. On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate. ..."
"... Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead. ..."
"... In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet. ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

US cyber-security experts have blamed Russia for meddling in American elections since 2016. Now it has emerged that authors of a Senate report on 'Russian' meddling actually ran a "false flag" meddling operation themselves. A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agency. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone. Morgan and Fox have struck gold in the "Russiagate" racket, which sprung into being after Hillary Clinton blamed Moscow for Donald Trump's presidential victory in 2016. Morgan, for example, is one of the developers of the Hamilton 68 Dashboard, the online tool that purports to monitor and expose narratives being pushed by the Kremlin on Twitter. The dashboard is bankrolled by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy – a collection of Democrats and neoconservatives funded in part by NATO and USAID.

It is worth noting that the 600 "Russia-linked" Twitter accounts monitored by the dashboard are not disclosed to the public, making it impossible to verify its claims. This inconvenience has not stopped Hamilton 68 from becoming a go-to source for hysteria-hungry journalists, however.

From the way it was formed to the secrecy of its "methods" to the blatantly false assumptions on which its claims rest, "Hamilton68" is probably the single most successful media fraud & US propaganda campaign I've seen since I've been writing about politics. It's truly shocking.

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 22, 2018
Troll hunters or bot farm?

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

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

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

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

Russian trolls tracked by #Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise. pic.twitter.com/Nz1PNmuT2R

-- Jonathon Morgan (@jonathonmorgan) November 10, 2017

Ultimately, Moore ended up losing the race by a miniscule 1.5 percentage points – making his opponent Doug Jones the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the US Senate in over 25 years.

Money trail and weak apologies

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

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

This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://t.co/gIAytOh2yy

-- Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) December 28, 2018

The money for the venture came from a $750,000 contribution to AET by Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn and a big Democrat donor. Once that emerged, Hoffman offered a public apology for his connection to the shady operation, but insisted that he didn't know what his money was going towards.

" I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing ," Hoffman said in a statement.

"For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET -- the organization I did support -- more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject."

As for Shane, he told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, but had signed a nondisclosure agreement at the request of AET, so he could not talk about it further.

Spin and denial

Shane's spin on the tale was that New Knowledge "imitated Russian tactics" as part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 and had no effect on the election. Yet these tactics are only considered "Russian" because New Knowledge and similar outfits said so! Moreover, New Knowledge's budget in Alabama was greater than the reported amount spent by "Russians" on the 2016 US presidential election, yet Moscow's alleged meddling was supposed to be decisive, while New Knowledge's failed?

New Knowledge responded to the Times story by insisting that the "false flag" operation was actually a benign research project. In a statement posted on Twitter, the company's CEO claimed that its activities during the Alabama Senate race were conducted in order to "better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."

My statement on this evening's NYT article. pic.twitter.com/lsJuRqiffL

-- Jonathon Morgan (@jonathonmorgan) December 20, 2018

Morgan emphasized that he in no way took part in an influence campaign, and warned people not to mischaracterize his "research."

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

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

Meddlers unmasked

The final nail in the coffin of Morgan's story came on Thursday, when the leaked secret after-action report from "Project Birmingham" was published online, showing that those behind the Alabama campaign knew perfectly well what they were doing and why.

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

**an exclusive release by @JeffGiesea https://t.co/VXrCeb8LAD

-- Jeff Giesea🌿 (@jeffgiesea) December 28, 2018

So, it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection.

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[Oct 09, 2019] Here they go again Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "much of this Volume's analysis is derived from" ..."
"... "Russian troll farm" ..."
"... "Intelligence Community Assessment," ..."
"... "Strategic Communications Center of Excellence." ..."
"... "a cybersecurity company dedicated to protecting the public sphere from disinformation attacks." ..."
"... "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet." ..."
"... "Russian" ..."
"... "significantly informed the Committee's understanding of Russia's social media-predicated attack against our democracy," ..."
"... Ever since Hillary Clinton blamed "Russian hackers" ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

Here they go again: Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence 9 Oct, 2019 00:05 Get short URL Here they go again: Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence Here they go again: Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee look at a placard showing 'Russian social media manipulation' at a November 1, 2017 hearing. © REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Follow RT on RT The Senate Intelligence Committee's final report on 'Russian interference' in the 2016 US presidential election is short on evidence and long on reheated assertions and innuendo from 'experts' exposed as actual election meddlers. There is little new in the 85-page , partially redacted document released on Tuesday, that has not been made public by the committee previously – including the accusations that "Russia" focused on stoking anger and resentment among African-Americans, for example .

There is a reason for that. By the committee's own admission, "much of this Volume's analysis is derived from" the work of two Technical Advisory Groups (TAG), which produced two public reports back in December 2018, to the same kind of fawning press coverage the report is receiving now.

NEW: The Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections involved using social media content to mostly target African-Americans, a new Senate committee report concludes. https://t.co/7BRUmiG18T

-- NPR (@NPR) October 8, 2019

Not surprisingly, the report's "findings" are being cited as conclusive proof that Democrats were right and President Donald Trump was wrong about 2016, Russia, Ukraine and the US presidential election.

The Senate Intelligence Committee unveiled a sweeping new bipartisan report showing Russian efforts to boost Trump's White House bid on social media during the 2016 U.S. election https://t.co/TUjUhBdMnc

-- POLITICO (@politico) October 8, 2019

The only trouble with that is that the committee provides no actual evidence for any of its claims – only assertions. For example, their description of the Internet Research Agency – the "Russian troll farm" – is basically copied over from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of a dozen of its alleged members. Yet a federal judge presiding over the case ruled back in May that allegations cannot be treated as established evidence or conclusion, coming close to finding Mueller's prosecutors in contempt.

Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim READ MORE: Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim

Another document presented as evidence is the January 2017 "Intelligence Community Assessment," the disingenuously named work of a small group of people, hand-picked by the Obama administration's DNI and chiefs of the CIA, FBI and NSA – all of whom, except for the NSA, have since been implicated in what seems to be a campaign to spy on Trump, delegitimize his presidency, and have him impeached.

The Senate report also quotes testimonies from Obama aides such as Ben Rhodes – helpfully redacted of course – Gen. Philip Breedlove, the NATO commander who tried to set off a war with Russia; professional "Russian bot" hunters like Clint Watts and Thomas Rid; and NATO's "Strategic Communications Center of Excellence."

The best part, however, has to be the reliance on New Knowledge, presented as "a cybersecurity company dedicated to protecting the public sphere from disinformation attacks." In reality, New Knowledge was exposed by the New York Times as the outfit that actually ran bots and disinformation operations during the 2017 Alabama special election for the US Senate, targeting Republican candidate Roy Moore on behalf of Democrats – while blaming Russia! In an internal memo, New Knowledge executives boasted how they "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

The other TAG, led by British academics and researchers, found that the activity of 'Russian trolls' increased after the election – by 238 percent on Instagram, 59 percent on Facebook, 52 percent on Twitter, and 84 percent on YouTube. So it was influencing elections retroactively?

Left unsaid was that the absolute quantity of "Russian" posts was minuscule, a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to the billions of social media posts generated and consumed by the US electorate during the campaign.

Also on rt.com Worst meddler ever? 'Russian' Facebook ads 'trolling US election' went completely unseen

These are the people who "significantly informed the Committee's understanding of Russia's social media-predicated attack against our democracy," as this week's report puts it.

Ever since Hillary Clinton blamed "Russian hackers" for the revelations of corruption within the DNC in July 2016, the Washington establishment has been eager to blame Moscow for all the ills of the US political system, real or imagined. The Senate Intelligence Committee's report seems to be nothing more than an attempt to reheat the long-cold corpse of a conspiracy that should have been buried with the Mueller Report and allowed to rest in peace.

[Oct 09, 2019] Two Drowning Men Pulling Each Other Down to the Bottom

Oct 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Caught in a rip-tide and being dragged further out to sea, Mr. Brennan has hit the rocks and lost his ship. Floating with him, a hapless group of CIA and NSC Cold Warriors, all in way over their heads.

Having torn the sheets and smashed the hull, they bob in the waves. Lost is the wars they started far off over the horizon. Ukraine, Syria, who is to blame? Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, too.

Now, they have seized some bloated fat guy they are trying to turn into a raft. Two-faced, venal opportunist, he waded out into the water, seeing an opportunity to make a buck off the ship-wreck.

[Oct 09, 2019] Dems publish Trump administration officials' texts in Ukrainegate impeachment frenzy

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

In one of the exchanges with US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, dated September 9, Taylor spells out what would become the Democrats' argument for impeachment:

As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

It's time Dems try to bring in Ambassador Bill Taylor.

Taylor *twice* texts about a direct quid pro quo between military aid and Ukraine helping Trump rig our election.

There's a *reason* Taylor thought there was a quid pro quo.

Let's hear from him: https://t.co/NY8KRlYpb5

-- Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 4, 2019

Sondland's admonishment of Taylor – "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind." – is somehow being held up as an admission of wrongdoing, along with his request for a phone call instead of continued texts.

Just like that, all of a sudden, the controversy about the so-called "whistleblower" who may have colluded with House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-California) before filing his complaint – based on hearsay – is declared "irrelevant" and the texts are held up as the Holy Grail of impeachment proceedings.

At this point, whistleblower complaint is irrelevant. Transcript of Trump-Zelensky call and texts from Volker, Sondland et al released yesterday is all one needs to show clearly Trump misconduct .

-- Michael McFaul (@McFaul) October 4, 2019

It's curious how the same treatment was not given a few months ago to the anti-Trump text messages of FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, when the entire media establishment twisted itself into pretzels to explain that when Strzok said "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president what he really meant, you see, was something totally innocuous and not sinister at all .

House Republicans have blasted the diplomatic texts as "cherry-picked" by the other party, and argued that the closed-doors testimony of Kurt Volker, former US special envoy to Ukraine who participated in the exchanges, painted a completely different picture.

We noticed the original tweet was deleted after we posted our fact check.

Here's a screenshot, in case you missed it.

Truth hurts. https://t.co/HHHz0Te5PT pic.twitter.com/ZJ4KDcEGHR

-- Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) October 4, 2019

Reading the transcript of Volker's opening statement, obtained and published Friday by investigative reporter John Solomon and the Federalist, seems to back that claim. Volker testified he did not bring up the issue of a hold on military aid with the Ukrainians until late August, when it was first reported in the media – and long after the Trump-Zelensky phone call. Nor was he made aware of any reference to former VP Joe Biden or his son until the transcript of the call was released on September 25.

US Vice President Joe Biden after addressing Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada in Kiev, flanked by President Petro Poroshenko and Speaker Vladimir Groisman, August 12, 2015. © Sputnik/Nikolay Lazarenko

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani "stressed that all he wanted to see was for Ukraine to investigate what happened in the past and apply its own laws," Volker also explained.

Also on rt.com Shot down? Testimony by Trump's Ukraine envoy seems to skewer Democrats' impeachment narrative

On the issue of holding up military aid, Volker admits he was conducting his own policy, in line with the consensus in Washington, rather than obeying the president who appointed him:

"I became aware of a hold on Congressional Notifications about proceeding with that assistance on July 18, 2019, and immediately tried to weigh in to reverse that position I was confident that this position would indeed be reversed in the end, because the provision of such assistance was uniformly supported at State, Defense, NSC, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the expert community in Washington."

Yet the most overlooked text in the batch is from Volker to Giuliani, dated August 9, asking for a phone call "to make sure I advise Z [Zelensky] correctly as to what he should be saying."

'F**k the EU': Snr US State Dept. official caught in alleged phone chat on Ukraine 'F**k the EU': Snr US State Dept. official caught in alleged phone chat on Ukraine READ MORE: 'F**k the EU': Snr US State Dept. official caught in alleged phone chat on Ukraine

To the impeachment-bent Democrats, what's objectionable here is the substance of Volker's instruction – namely, the alleged "election meddling" in investigating the Bidens (and Ukraine's role in 2016, which they are eager never to mention). What should be objectionable is the fact that a US diplomat is stage-whispering to the freshly elected president of an ostensibly sovereign country. Not that it would be the first time.

Way back in April 2016 , President Barack Obama argued that the US stood for the "principle that nations like Ukraine have the right to choose their own destiny." Left unsaid was that such choices would only be honored if they aligned with US beliefs and objectives – and subject to "color revolution" and regime change if not, which is just what happened in February 2014 in Kiev.

The fact that neither Democrats and Republicans are raising that issue with Volker's testimony and the texts just goes to show that neither have a problem with the US acting like an empire, and Ukraine being its vassal. That is what is truly damning about all of this, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Nebojsa Malic , senior writer at RT

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[Oct 09, 2019] Trump has accused the US' intelligence agencies of "spying" on his 2016 campaign and obtaining a FISA wiretapping warrant under false pretenses

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

President Donald Trump has continued to hammer Democratic efforts to impeach him, this time accusing the party of "continuing to interfere in the 2016 election" as well. "Not only are the Do Nothing Democrats interfering in the 2020 Election, but they are continuing to interfere in the 2016 Election," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "They must be stopped!"

Not only are the Do Nothing Democrats interfering in the 2020 Election, but they are continuing to interfere in the 2016 Election. They must be stopped!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2019

The president has called the impeachment investigation against him – which centers around allegations he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into reopening a corruption investigation into Joe Biden's son Hunter's business dealings in the country – "fake" and a "phony witch hunt," designed to oust him before the 2020 race.

Rather than suggesting that Democrats were traveling through time to meddle in the 2016 election all over again, the second half of the president's tweet refers to his belief that the impeachment drive was concocted to distract from Attorney General William Barr's efforts to investigate the origins of the counterintelligence probe against his campaign.

Trump has accused the US' intelligence agencies of "spying" on his 2016 campaign and obtaining a FISA wiretapping warrant under false pretenses. Barr's office received a draft report of this alleged FISA abuse from the Justice Department's Inspector General two weeks ago.

[Oct 09, 2019] Demorats try to present Ukraine as a foreign power instead of a new Puerto Rico, totally contolled by the USA territoty. In other words they are "Full of Schiff"

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

Several top Democrats have released text messages between US officials which they claim expose the Trump administration's drive to 'coerce' the Ukrainian government to target Joe Biden, for purely political reasons obviously. The Democratic chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees released the messages in a letter to fellow representatives late Thursday.

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/428684500/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true&access_key=key-da7vTHhEexmTioD4RtIm

The letter features over a dozen text messages between US diplomats – including former Trump administration envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Ukrainian embassy official Bill Taylor, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, as well as the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Also on rt.com Trump says China and Ukraine should investigate the Bidens' activities in the countries

"The president and his aides are engaging in a campaign of misinformation and misdirection in an attempt to normalize the act of soliciting foreign power to interfere in our elections," the chairmen wrote.

Even more astonishing, he is now openly and publicly asking another foreign power – China – to launch its own sham investigation against the Bidens to further his own political aims.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would launch an impeachment inquiry over the allegations the president sought to "shake down" his Ukrainian counterpart, unifying six separate committee probes under one umbrella.

This isn't about a Campaign, this is about Corruption on a massive scale! https://t.co/DOCvfM8eqi

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2019

President Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing amid the controversy, arguing that there is nothing illicit about requesting an ally to investigate potential corruption. He has stressed that Biden himself publicly bragged about threatening to withhold US loan guarantees to Ukraine unless the country fired its head prosecutor, who happened to be investigating the gas firm that hired Biden's son, Hunter.

. @DevinNunes . @Jim_Jordan

What is fascinating in the texts is the 4 attempts that Bill Taylor made to entrap Sondland-beginning less than a week after Shifty's staffer Thomas Eager met with Bill in Ukraine.

I smell a rat 🐀 https://t.co/XpUVsxyvwM pic.twitter.com/KfmOKbXojU

-- JadedKushner - Supernatural Wisdom-PARODY (@JarradKushner) October 4, 2019

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[Oct 09, 2019] 'Unconstitutional, illegitimate secretive' White House pens lengthy letter on why it won't cooperate with 'impeachment inqui

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

A showdown between the White House and Democrats is in full swing with the former penning a letter declaring it would not cooperate with an "illegitimate" and "unconstitutional" impeachment inquiry conducted in secret. The letter , published on Tuesday evening, condemned the impeachment initiative in the harshest terms yet, arguing it deprived President Trump of "constitutionally mandated due process," and that the inquiry lacked legal legitimacy, as it was never authorized by a House vote.

Congressional Democrats have flouted the Constitution and all past bipartisan precedent under the guise of an "impeachment inquiry."

Full response from the White House: https://t.co/0kC4yFeghg

-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 8, 2019

You have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans.

"You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers," the letter continued "All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent ." [emphasis in original]

The White House accused Democrats of using impeachment as a tool to not only "undo the democratic results" of the previous election, but to "influence" the upcoming contest as well, citing the words of Congressman Al Green (D-Texas), who in May expressed concerns that "if we don't impeach the President, he will get reelected."

The letter also notes that ranking Republican committee members had not been granted the same subpoena powers as the Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment process – as they were during previous inquiries – slamming the process as unfair and "one-sided."

Also on rt.com Impeachment saga: Trump won't send EU envoy to stand before 'totally compromised KANGAROO COURT' but Dems file subpoena

Earlier on Monday, the Democratic committee chairs issued a subpoena to compel the testimony of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key figure in the inquiry, after the White House signaled that it would block his appearance before Congress. The Trump administration appears to be doubling down on that move, arguing in the letter that it will simply not comply with future subpoenas.

Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it.

Going along with the inquiry under its "current unconstitutional posture" would "inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers," the letter said, adding that Democrats have "left the president no choice" but to refuse to cooperate.

Also on rt.com Ukrainegate goes to Pentagon: House Democrats subpoena DoD & OMB as part of Trump impeachment probe

The missive is the White House's latest response to intensifying impeachment efforts spearheaded by House Democrats, who launched the proceedings late last month accusing Trump of pressuring the President of Ukraine to probe into the activities of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son in the country.

Several Democratic opponents shot back at the document, some denouncing the move as an act of obstruction.

"The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement on Tuesday, adding the president had "normalize[d] lawlessness."

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[Oct 09, 2019] CIA Whistleblower 'Professionally Tied' To 2020 Candidate; 2nd 'Whistleblower' Was First One's Source

Oct 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A CIA employee who lodged a whistleblower complaint over President Trump's request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden has a "professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates," according to the Washington Examiner 's Byron York - citing a source familiar with last Friday's impeachment inquiry interview with Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

Now we know why House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) won't release the transcript...

" The IG said [the whistleblower] worked or had some type of professional relationship with one of the Democratic candidates ," said York's source.

"What [Atkinson] said was that the whistleblower self-disclosed that he was a registered Democrat and that he had a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate," said a third person with knowledge of the testimony.

All three sources said Atkinson did not identify the Democratic candidate with whom the whistleblower had a connection. It is unclear what the working or professional relationship between the two was.

In the Aug. 26 letter, Atkinson said that even though there was evidence of possible bias on the whistleblower's part, " such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern 'appears credible,' particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review ."

Democrats are certain to take that position when Republicans allege that the whistleblower acted out of bias . Indeed, the transcript of Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a public document, for all to see. One can read it regardless of the whistleblower's purported bias. - Washington Examiner

In short, a registered Democrat on the CIA payroll went to Adam Schiff's committee, who referred him to a Democratic operative attorney, who helped him file a whistleblower complaint on a form which was altered to allow second-hand information .

Update: Former State Department official Peter Van Buren told Tucker Carlson on Monday that the second 'whistleblower' is simply the the source for the original 'second-hand' complaint. (h/t Gateway Pundit)

[Oct 09, 2019] Instruments of democracy Hong Kong police raid protesters, seize body armor, petrol bomb materials (PHOTOS) -- RT World News

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

Hong Kong police have seized weapons, armor and materials used to create Molotov cocktails, which they said belonged to radical groups among the protesters labeled 'pro-democracy' by western media. According to the police, on Monday and Tuesday they targeted 48 locations throughout the city that they suspected were connected with violent protesters, who have been waging street battles against the police force for several months.

The police arrested 51 people, including seven women, who were aged between 15 and 44, and charged them with various crimes related to the rioting.

... ... ...

The authorities published photos of the items they discovered during the raid, which include several suits of body armor, various melee weapons as well as chemicals and glass bottles used in the manufacturing of petrol bombs – a weapon routinely deployed by the protesters to cause chaos in Hong Kong.

... ... ...

Mass anti-government protests first gripped the Chinese city in March, when thousands took to the streets to protest an extradition bill that they deemed an attack on Hong Kong's autonomy under the so-called "one country, two systems" arrangement. The bill has since been revoked, but the protest movement's demands have continued to grow and it has become more violent in its approach.

... ... ...

Peaceful protest demonstrations in Hong Kong, which have been the prime focus for Western media coverage, take place against the backdrop of vandalism, harassment of businesses deemed loyal to the central government and outright rioting.

[Oct 09, 2019] Epstein Co-Conspirators Named By Accuser; Alleged Pedo Scout Ready To Spill The Beans

Oct 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/09/2019 - 16:45 0 SHARES

Jeffrey Epstein accuser Jennifer Araroz filed an amended complaint Tuesday which names two accomplices in the convicted pedophile's alleged sex-trafficking operation along with more than 20 corporate entities, according to CNN .

While Epstein's alleged 'madam' Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused of actively participating in Epstein's sex crimes, the new complaint asserts that "secretary" Lesley Groff and former executive assistant Cimberly Espinosa "participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure ."

Jennifer Aroz, 14, via NBC News

"The co-conspirators provided organizational support to Epstein's sex trafficking ring, identifying and hiring the recruiters of underage girls for Epstein's sexual pleasure, scheduling appointments with these underage girls for Epstein's sexual pleasure , intimidating potential witnesses to Epstein's sex trafficking operation, and generally providing administrative oversight of his sex trafficking operation and ensuring it remained secret ," the complaint continues.

"He raped me, forcefully raped me" Araoz told NBC News in July. The 32-year-old Epstein accuser says she was 14-years-old when the abuse began. " I was terrified, and I was telling him to stop. 'Please stop,' " Araoz continud.

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

Groff's attorney, Michael Bachner, told CNN "As an executive assistant to Epstein, Lesley worked as part of a professional staff that included in-house attorneys, accountants, an office manager and other office staff."

"Lesley's job included making appointments for Mr. Epstein as directed by him, taking his messages, and setting up high-level meetings with CEOs, business executives, scientists, politicians and celebrities," the statement continues - adding " At no time during Lesley's employment with Epstein did she ever engage in any misconduct. "

Also included in the complaint are the executors of Epstein's estate (one of whom was reportedly seen removing a bag of items the day after Epstein's death).

In August, Araoz told reporters that her abuse at the hands of Epstein and his enablers "robbed me of my youth, my identity, my innocence, my self-worth."

Brunel ready to talk

On Monday, an attorney for Epstein's former confidant, business partner, and model scout Jean-Luc-Brenel says he's ready to talk to authorities, according to the Telegraph .

Brunel and Ghislaine Maxwell (via the Daily Mail)

The Paris prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation in August into any possible Epstein victims in its territory, and Mr Brunel is of potential interest to investigators.

Last month police searched Karin Models, which Mr Brunel founded.

In court filings, Virginia Guiffre, a long-time accuser of Epstein, claimed teenage girls were brought to the US by Brunel and were "farmed out" by him to have sex with Epstein . Ms Guiffre also claims she was forced to have sex with Brunel several times. Brunel denies both allegations.

His lawyer Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt said Mr Brunel "firmly contests accusations in the press" and "will reserve his statements for justice officials."

On Monday Ms Dreyfus-Schmidt, said that her client has notified the Paris prosecutor's office that he is at the disposition of judicial officials. - Telegraph

According to Epstein accuser Virgina Giuffre Roberts, Brunel "would bring young girls (ranging to ages as young as twelve) to the United States for sexual purposes and farm them out to his friends, especially Epstein."

"Brunel would offer the girls "modeling" jobs. Many of the girls came from poor countries or impoverished backgrounds, and he lured them in with a promise of making good money."

Illustration via the Daily Beast

In the 1980s Brunel was featured in a 60 Minutes expose after having gained a reputation for sleeping with many of his underage models. His name was prominently featured in a series of phone messages recovered from trash pulls of Epstein's mansion.

[Oct 09, 2019] Ukrainegate as the textbook example of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , October 09, 2019 at 02:07 PM

His entire life trump has been a deadbeat.

"The president is dropping by the city on Thursday for one of his periodic angry wank-fests at the Target Center, which is the venue in which this event will be inflicted upon the Twin Cities. (And, just as an aside, given the events of the past 10 days, this one should be a doozy.) Other Minneapolis folk are planning an extensive unwelcoming party outside the arena, which necessarily would require increased security, which is expensive. So, realizing that it was dealing with a notorious deadbeat -- in keeping with his customary business plan, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has stiffed 10 cities this year for bills relating to security costs that total almost a million bucks -- the company that provides the security for the Target Center wants the president*'s campaign to shell out more than $500,000.

This has sent the president* into a Twitter tantrum against Frey, who seems not to be that impressed by it. Right from when the visit was announced, Frey has been jabbing at the president*'s ego. From the Star-Tribune:

"Our entire city will stand not behind the President, but behind the communities and people who continue to make our city -- and this country -- great," Frey said. "While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis."

It is a mayor's lot to deal with out-of-state troublemakers. Always has been."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29416840/trump-feud-minneapolis-mayor-security-rally/

ilsm , October 09, 2019 at 03:03 PM
When it comes to Trump not going full Cheney war monged in Syria Krugman is a Bircher!l
likbez , October 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM
This is not about Trump. This is not even about Ukraine and/or foreign powers influence on the US election (of which Israel, UK, and Saudi are three primary examples; in this particular order.)

Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

An excellent observation by JohnH (October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM )

"It all depends on which side of the Infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine."

There are two competing narratives here:

1. NARRATIVE 1: CIA swamp scum tried to re-launch Russiagate as Russiagate 2.0. This is CIA coup d'état aided and abetted by CIA-democrats like Pelosi and Schiff. Treason, as Trump aptly said. This is narrative shared by "anti-Deep Staters" who sometimes are nicknamed "Trumptards". Please note that the latter derogatory nickname is factually incorrect: supporters of this narrative often do not support Trump. They just oppose machinations of the Deep State. And/or neoliberalism personified by Clinton camp, with its rampant corruption.

2. NARRATIVE 2: Trump tried to derail his opponent using his influence of foreign state President (via military aid) as leverage and should be impeached for this and previous crimes. ("Full of Schiff" commenters narrative, neoliberal democrats, or demorats.) Supporters of this category usually bought Russiagate 1.0 narrative line, hook and sinker. Some of them are brainwashed, but mostly simply ignorant neoliberal lemmings without even basic political education.

In any case, while Russiagate 2.0 is probably another World Wrestling Federation style fight, I think "anti-Deep-staters" are much closer to the truth.

What is missing here is the real problem: the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (and elsewhere).

So this circus serves an important purpose (intentionally or unintentionally) -- to disrupt voters from the problems that are really burning, and are equal to a slow-progressing cancer in the US society.

And implicitly derail Warren (being a weak politician she does not understand that, and jumped into Ukrainegate bandwagon )

I am not that competent here, so I will just mention some obvious symptoms:

  1. Loss of legitimacy of the ruling neoliberal elite (which demonstrated itself in 2016 with election of Trump);
  2. Desperation of many working Americans with sliding standard of living; loss of meaningful jobs due to offshoring of manufacturing and automation (which demonstrated itself in opioids abuse epidemics; similar to epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR before its dissolution.
  3. Loss of previously available freedoms. Loss of "free press" replaced by the neoliberal echo chamber in major MSM. The uncontrolled and brutal rule of financial oligarchy and allied with the intelligence agencies as the third rail of US politics (plus the conversion of the state after 9/11 into national security state);
  4. Coming within this century end of the "Petroleum Age" and the global crisis that it can entail;
  5. Rampant militarism, tremendous waist of resources on the arms race, and overstretched efforts to maintain and expand global, controlled from Washington, neoliberal empire. Efforts that since 1991 were a primary focus of unhinged after 1991 neocon faction US elite who totally controls foreign policy establishment ("full-spectrum dominance). They are stealing money from working people to fund an imperial project, and as part of neoliberal redistribution of wealth up

Most of the commenters here live a comfortable life in the financially secured retirement, and, as such, are mostly satisfied with the status quo. And almost completely isolated from the level of financial insecurity of most common Americans (healthcare racket might be the only exception).

And re-posting of articles which confirm your own worldview (echo chamber posting) is nice entertainment, I think ;-)

Some of those posters actually sometimes manage to find really valuable info. For which I am thankful. In other cases, when we have a deluge of abhorrent neoliberal propaganda postings (the specialty of Fred C. Dobbs) which often generate really insightful comments from the members of the "anti-Deep State" camp.

Still it would be beneficial if the flow of neoliberal spam is slightly curtailed.

[Oct 09, 2019] "True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed

The article has interesting statistics of foreign fighters in Donbass civil war.
Oct 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Some interesting estimates of the numbers of foreign fighters that participated in the Donbass War from 2014-2019 from a report [PDF] by the Soufan Center. (h/t Kholmogorov)

Originally from: Census of Foreign Fighters in the Ukraine, by Anatoly Karlin - The Unz Review


AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm GMT

Kiev-controlled Ukraine served as a destination for would-be murderers seeking impunity for years. However, inviting foreign scum will help it about as much as it helped ISIS. Maybe even less: some foreign and domestic ISIS bandits had ideology beyond raping and looting, Ukrainian bandits in Donbass do not. "True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed.

In contrast, many volunteers on the side of Donbass freedom fighters do have honest beliefs and are not cowards avoiding combat. Not all, though: some just look for an adventure, on the battlefield and in bed.

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT
@Korenchkin If you go by quintessence of Nazi ideology "my tribe is better than your tribe", every nation has its Nazis, including Russia.

To its credit, tribal nationalists never got more than ~7% electoral support in Russia.

After Ukrainian experience showed that any country can be quickly ruined by primeval tribal nationalism, their support in Russia dropped to below 2%. But it still isn't zero. Then again, ~1% of any population are schizophrenics, 2-3% are gays/lesbians, etc., so single digit representation of any kind of deviation is not threatening country's survival.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website October 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack I asked the questions first, but I'll be generous and explain this to you on the fingers.

1. I used the term "Banderists" in the context of Ukraine's volunteer battalions – that is, where foreigners have the most realistic chance of getting accepted.
2. Polls show Ukrainians to generally be 50/50 on Bandera, but obviously, that number will be much higher amongst the rather self-selected sample that are volunteer battalion members. At least 80%, if not 90%.
3. Poles obviously couldn't care less for Bandera. Polish *nationalists* – even less so.
4. Nationalists are the likeliest foreigners to participate in the Donbass.
5. Do you now see why this would be a pertinent point to mention in the specific context of why 10x fewer Poles fight for the Ukraine relative to Georgians, despite having 10x the population?

jeppo , says: October 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm GMT
I'm not sure if 14 fighters is a big enough sample size to justify lumping Canada into the dreaded "Russophobe" category. But the 10 pro-Ukrainians to 4 pro-Russians ratio closely mirrors that of self-declared ethnic Ukrainians (1,359,655) to Russians (622,445) in Canada.

Though many, possibly even a majority of those "Russians" are actually Jews. The Ukrainian lobby has been disturbingly powerful in Canada for a long time (multiculturalism was their bright idea), while the Russian lobby is seemingly invisible.

There are signs and symbols of Ukrainian nationalism everywhere (banks, festivals, flags, bumper stickers etc), while similar Russian symbols are basically non-existent. The Uke to Russkie ratio may be only 10-4, but it feels more like 10-1, or even 100-1.

Philip Owen , says: October 7, 2019 at 10:29 pm GMT
I expected more Russians from the Baltics. Apparently, they and Serbs were early arrivals in Girkin's group. Perhaps the ethnic Russians were counted as Russian?

Quite a few White Russians emigrated to France. The Whites were well supported by ethnic Russians in the Donbass during the Civil War.

Many Irish Nationalist commentators supported Russia (enemy's enemy) but the table shows Ireland Pro Ukraine (anti-imperialist a stronger driver?). The Russian settlers in the Donbass are such an obvious parallel to the Orangemen.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website October 7, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Where did they come from and what motivated them?

1. Chechens would be the obvious answer. I recall reading there were 2x as many Chechens fighting for Ukrainians than for Russians.

2. Svidomy Ukrainians in Russia.

3. And, as mentioned, Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists (~60%-70% on Ukraine's side, at least initially). The other brands of Russian nationalists were overwhelmingly pro-Russian.

AP , says: October 8, 2019 at 1:17 am GMT
@AnonFromTN More foreign "scum" on Donbas side than Ukrainian side. As one would expect. It's not all bad however, Donbas should be kept apart from Ukraine.

"True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed.

Ukrainian-American Paslawsky fought and died in the war.

https://www.rferl.org/a/mark-paslawsky/26541831.html

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the only American known to have fought alongside Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian separatists has been killed in eastern Ukraine.

Mark Gregory Paslawsky, 55, died while fighting with the volunteer Donbas Battalion.

Paslawsky, who fought under the nom de guerre "Franko," was killed on August 19 during fighting in the town of Ilovaysk, near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko.

Paslawsky was born in 1959 in New York and grew up in a tight-knit Ukrainian-American family in New Jersey. He moved to Ukraine around two decades ago and informed his family earlier this year that he planned to volunteer for the Ukrainian Army, according to his brother, Nestor Paslawsky.

::::::::::::::

The American fighting for Donbas, "Cowb0y", meanwhile was some sort of petty criminal in the USA. Like Motorola in Russia, of course.

AnonFromTN , says: October 8, 2019 at 1:59 am GMT
@AP

Ukrainian-American Paslawsky fought and died in the war.

One out of how many millions? Even Georgian participation is much higher on the per capita basis. LOL.

AnonFromTN , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:02 am GMT
@AP

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko

Just out of curiosity: Anton Herashchenko is that fatter-than-a-pig guy with five chins? The founder of the "Mirotvorets" site?

SveVid , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:06 am GMT
@Philip Owen Well the Serbs played a major role in the defence of the territory that is today the Donbas (not particularly well known among modern Russians). So Serbian nationalists have an extra cause in regards to the Donbas

Slavo-Serbia or Slaveno-Serbia, was a territory of Imperial Russia between 1753-64. It was located by the right bank of the Donets River between the Bakhmutka River (Бахмут) and Luhan (Лугань) rivers. This area today constitutes the territories of present-day Luhansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. The administrative centre of Slavo-Serbia was Bakhmut (Bahmut).

Spisarevski , says: October 8, 2019 at 6:56 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

In contrast, many volunteers on the side of Donbass freedom fighters do have honest beliefs and are not cowards avoiding combat. Not all, though: some just look for an adventure

Not mutually exclusive. If you feel that you're leading a meaningless life and you are looking for adventure, something radically different from a cubicle job or whatever, might as well do something like join a war where you get to defend innocent people.

anonymous coward , says: October 8, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Russian settlers in the Donbass

Don't be an idiot.

The "Russian settlers" were colonizing an empty land that was previously ethnically cleansed by the Turks.

LondonBob , says: October 8, 2019 at 8:59 am GMT
Considering ex ISIS fighters are often left to go free and claim benefits it was interesting to see the fate of the fella who went to the Donbass and didn't even fight.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/british-man-pro-russian-forces-ukraine-jailed-terrorism-benjamin-stimson-a7842521.html

Five years and four months.

LondonBob , says: October 8, 2019 at 9:06 am GMT
@anonymous coward So was South Africa but didn't stop there being close ties between loyalists and the apartheid government, a few Ulstermen were in the the government and there was the shared settler Calvinist outlook. The IRA had quite close links to Croats, don't know if loyalists had the same with Serbs. MP Ian Paisley junior is somewhat of a Russophile.
Kinez , says: October 8, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
@SveVid This is all true, but all those people are completely and utterly assimilated into Ukrainians / Russians and have been for much longer than living memory. Most people in Serbia (except history nerds etc) have no idea about this history. A much more plausible explanation for Serbs going to fight in the Donbass would make some reference to Russian (and also Greek btw) volunteer units fighting with the Serbs in the 1990s and contacts established during that time.
Beckow , says: October 8, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Mazepa is way up there and he joined the early 17th century Swedish invasion of Russia that ended with the defeat at Poltava. That effectively ended Sweden as a great power. Seems like Ukrainians have a thing for worshipping losers allied with anyone west of them, so there is some hope for Porky's eventual rehabilitation.

Carl Bildt's ancestors were there in high stockings among the vanquished at Poltava – the Bildts never forgave the humiliation, those Swedes can be sneaky. That explains the persistent anti-Russian attitudes among the Nordics. Swedes also tend to be simple-minded, nobody swallows the current globo-homo propaganda as eagerly or looks for Russian submarines hiding behind every whale.

nokangaroos , says: October 8, 2019 at 12:23 pm GMT
By and large Austria and Croatia are the only surprises – here, the history of the last century is a bit complicated. "Altösterreicher" is a popular euphemism for "Galician Jew" i.e. the current Kiew regime. The Croats are more probably channeling their recent hatred for the Serbs. [Not really] funny what the separation of East and West Rome is still doing to a people.

[Oct 09, 2019] As long as a majority of the House is willing to vote for a special rule, there is little that the Rules Committee cannot do

Oct 09, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

Lburg , October 8, 2019 at 6:09 pm

This may be a LollaPalosi wrap-up smear tactic.

Called the House Rules Committee office this morning. In order for House Rules to change after they pass at the start of the session – in this case January 2019 – there would have to be a vote taken. In looking at the House Resolution ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/6/all-actions ) all actions occurred in Jan. this year so no vote to amend has been taken. That doesn't mean that Nan won't use this wonk's paper to bolster her position OR that a particular committee didn't change their rules. But according to the person I spoke with, the standing House Rules can not be changed without a vote.

The gentleman also said that Congressional Research Service papers are just that – interpretations/research on a particular subject that do not hold any legislative weight. They are requested anonymously so there probably isn't a way to trace who requested this particular paper or how it ended up being authored by Rybicki (one of seven she's written this year). Additional little tidbit is that the papers can be requested by members of Congress or their staff members.

While trying to figure it out on my own found this chilling little factoid from the Rules Committee page re: bills considered under a "special rules" scenerio ( https://rules.house.gov/about archived here: http://archive.fo/VIK1C ):
"The Committee has the authority to do virtually anything during the course of consideration of a measure, including deeming it passed. The Committee can also include a self-executed amendment which could rewrite just parts of a bill, or the entire measure. In essence, so long as a majority of the House is willing to vote for a special rule, there is little that the Rules Committee cannot do. " (emphasis mine)

That makes the House Rules Committee more powerful that the full house voting on "special rules" bills. Well doesn't that just sound .wrong.

[Oct 09, 2019] Five Questions That Frighten Impeachment-Focused Dems by Graham Noble

No doubt many surprises lie ahead. Yet the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives have passed the point of no return. The time for prudential judgments -- the Republican-controlled Senate will never convict, so why bother? -- is gone for good. To back down now would expose the president's pursuers as spineless cowards. The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC would not soon forgive such craven behavior.
As this process unspools, what politicians like to call "the people's business" will go essentially unattended.
Notable quotes:
"... It seems curious, to say the least, that neither the FBI nor former special counsel Robert Mueller discovered the successful 2016 efforts by the Democratic National Committee to reach out to the Ukrainian government to provide dirt on Trump and his campaign associates . Considering that both of those investigations were focused on uncovering a possible conspiracy with a foreign power to influence the presidential election, why was the Ukraine-DNC connection not looked into? It can only be gross incompetence or a deliberate decision to overlook that vital piece of the puzzle. ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Five Questions That Frighten Impeachment-Focused Dems by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/09/2019 - 11:25 0 SHARES

Authored by Graham Noble via LibertyNation.com,

As the phony impeachment investigation targeting President Donald Trump rumbles on, there really is no definitive list of questions that as yet remain unanswered. Were anyone to compile such a list, it would probably start with five questions that strike at the heart of the entire affair.

These questions clarify whether the current process is being conducted correctly or is colored by partisan hostility – and, indeed, whether the Russian "collusion" investigation was similarly tainted.

1. Ukraine-DNC Connection?

It seems curious, to say the least, that neither the FBI nor former special counsel Robert Mueller discovered the successful 2016 efforts by the Democratic National Committee to reach out to the Ukrainian government to provide dirt on Trump and his campaign associates . Considering that both of those investigations were focused on uncovering a possible conspiracy with a foreign power to influence the presidential election, why was the Ukraine-DNC connection not looked into? It can only be gross incompetence or a deliberate decision to overlook that vital piece of the puzzle.

2. Anonymous Witnesses?

The so-called whistleblower who came forward with a complaint about the nature of the president's phone conversation with the new Ukrainian president is hardly a credible witness since he or she had no firsthand knowledge of the call. Democrats are already making elaborate but secretive plans to extract testimony from this individual. Can his or her identity be kept from the public – and from the president – indefinitely?

The president's opponents cannot possibly believe that they can impeach Trump using secondhand allegations provided by an anonymous source. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has vowed that, if Democrats refuse to identify this "whistleblower," then he will ensure that any Senate impeachment trial will do so. Further, it would be necessary for the identities of White House sources from whom the whistleblower claims to have obtained information to be exposed.

Regardless of laws and rules designed to protect whistleblowers, any formal impeachment cannot be based upon testimony from unknown persons. Given that Democrats, since day one of the Trump presidency, have made no secret of their desire to impeach the president, the entire credibility of such an effort would stand or fall on complete transparency. The American public and the president himself deserve nothing less than to know the identities of the accusers and the sources from which they drew their information.

3. Another Whistleblower?

At least one additional whistleblower has now come forward, according to reports, but does this fact change anything? Indeed, the outrage over the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears even more fabricated the more that anonymous individuals come forward with complaints. Already, it is highly suspicious that almost three weeks passed between the phone call itself and the filing of a complaint about what was said. Additional complaints filed even later hardly bolster the credibility of the case against Trump.

4. Schiff's Role?

How has Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) role in this latest assault upon the president compromised the entire process? Schiff has been less than forthcoming about his knowledge of events or the extent to which his own staffers worked with the whistleblower even before any complaint was filed with the intelligence community's inspector general.

Adam Schiff

As if the congressman were not already looking foolish and dishonest, his performance at a recent hearing was reason enough for Schiff to be compelled to recuse himself. During the event, he read out his own version of what Trump said to Zelensky – which bore no resemblance to the now-public transcript. The very idea that Schiff has either the capability or the desire to conduct a fair and objective investigation is utterly laughable.

5. Window Of Opportunity?

Finally, how big is the window of opportunity for congressional Democrats to impeach the president? They may have so far avoided making the process official, but articles of impeachment must, at some point, be brought to the floor of the House for a vote.

Once the opposition party chooses its presidential nominee, the campaign for the White House begins in earnest, and impeaching Trump during an election campaign is going to be seen as purely an attempt to influence the 2020 election – even by those Americans who do not already see it as such.

Democrats, therefore, have around eight months to conclude their investigations, draw up articles of impeachment, and bring them up for debate and a vote. The holiday season will take a bite out of that time, so the clock is ticking. The chances of impeachment going before the Senate before the 2020 Democratic National Convention are slim to none.

These five basic questions, when answered objectively, determine whether there is any realistic chance of Trump's enemies removing him from office before the next election or this entire exercise is, for Democrats, a political catastrophe.


CosmoJoe , 2 minutes ago link

The public isn't buying any of this because people are desensitized after hearing for 3 years that Trump will be gone in days, the walls are closing in, etc. 3 years of that **** and it was all nonsense. Remember how every Friday was going to be the day that Mueller dropped the dime on Trump? You can't do that for years and expect people to have any ***** left to give. That shipped has sailed.

Smi1ey , 30 minutes ago link

I want to know about Burisma . It is at the heart of the matter.

I want a timeline of their recent activities, board of directors etc. Why was their money seized in London? Who released it and why? Who asked Biden to join the board and why?

Burisma

Burisma

Burisma

Need . . . to . . . know . . .

847328_3527 , 34 minutes ago link

Both Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky have said the impeachment tactic a a major mistake. Chomsky says the Dems have not discussed jobs, economy, etc even once. They have only satisfied their own shallow egos by screaming "RussiaGate" "Impeachment" etc. according to Chomsky.

Fantasy Free Economics , 29 minutes ago link

This latest impeachment effort is as phony as all get out. It is for show to the Democratic base and it is guaranteed to fail. As long as Trump is handling the Epstein investigations. Heat from democrats is going to be completely manageable. http://quillian.net/blog/an-epstein-deal-is-in-place/

[Oct 09, 2019] NYT spit Clinton camp propaganda again. In reality, Ukraine is vassal state fully controlled by Washington (kind of Puerto Rico); what foreign influence we are talking about ?

Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 07, 2019 at 07:37 AM

(How times change.)

'We Absolutely Could Not Do That': When Seeking Foreign
Help Was Out of the Question https://nyti.ms/30Lkzni
NYT - Peter Baker - October 6

WASHINGTON -- One day in October 1992, four Republican congressmen showed up in the Oval Office with an audacious recommendation. President George Bush was losing his re-election race, and they told him the only way to win was to hammer his challenger Bill Clinton's patriotism for protesting the Vietnam War while in London and visiting Moscow as a young man.

Mr. Bush was largely on board with that approach. But what came next crossed the line, as far as he and his team were concerned. "They wanted us to contact the Russians or the British to seek information on Bill Clinton's trip to Moscow," James A. Baker III, Mr. Bush's White House chief of staff, wrote in a memo (*) later that day. "I said we absolutely could not do that."

President Trump insists he and his attorney general did nothing wrong by seeking damaging information about his domestic opponents from Ukraine, Australia, Italy and Britain or by publicly calling on China to investigate his most prominent Democratic challenger. But for every other White House in the modern era, Republican and Democratic, the idea of enlisting help from foreign powers for political advantage was seen as unwise and politically dangerous, if not unprincipled.

A survey of 10 former White House chiefs of staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama found that none recalled any circumstance under which the White House had solicited or accepted political help from other countries, and all said they would have considered the very idea out of bounds.

"I served three presidents in the White House and don't remember even hearing any speculation to consider asking for such action," said Andrew H. Card Jr., who ran the younger Mr. Bush's White House and was the longest-serving chief of staff in the last six decades.

William M. Daley, who served as commerce secretary under Mr. Clinton and chief of staff under Mr. Obama, said if someone had even proposed such an action, he probably would "recommend the person be escorted out of" the White House, then fired and reported to ethics officials.

Other chiefs were just as definitive. "Did not happen on Reagan's watch. Would not have happened on Reagan's watch," said Kenneth M. Duberstein, his last chief of staff. "I would have shut him down," said Leon E. Panetta, who served as Mr. Clinton's chief of staff and Mr. Obama's defense secretary.

The sense of incredulity among White House veterans in recent days crossed party and ideological lines. "This is unprecedented," said Samuel K. Skinner, who preceded Mr. Baker as chief of staff under Mr. Bush. Other chiefs who said they never encountered such a situation included Thomas F. McLarty III and John D. Podesta (Clinton) and Rahm Emanuel, Denis R. McDonough and Jacob J. Lew (Obama).

History has shown that foreign affairs can be treacherous for presidents, even just the suspicion of mixing politics with the national interest. As a candidate in 1968, Richard M. Nixon sought to forestall a Vietnam peace deal by President Lyndon B. Johnson just before the election.

Associates of Mr. Reagan were accused of trying to delay the release of hostages by Iran when he was a candidate in 1980 for fear that it would aid President Jimmy Carter, but a bipartisan House investigation concluded that there was no merit to the charge. Mr. Clinton faced months of investigation over 1996 campaign contributions from Chinese interests tied to the Beijing government.

In none of those cases did an incumbent president personally apply pressure to foreign powers to damage political opponents. Mr. Trump pressed Ukraine's president this summer to investigate involvement with Democrats in 2016 and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. while holding up $391 million in American aid. Mr. Trump has said he was simply investigating corruption, not trying to benefit himself.

"The right way to look at it is the vice president was selling our country out," Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, said in an interview on Sunday. Mr. Trump was fulfilling his duty, he said. "I don't see what the president did wrong."

Mr. Giuliani has been leading Mr. Trump's efforts to dig up evidence of corruption by the Democrats in Ukraine, meeting with various officials and negotiating a commitment by the newly installed government in Kiev to investigate conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election and supposed conflicts of interest by Mr. Biden.

Told that past White House chiefs of staff said any legitimate allegations should be handled by the Justice Department, not the president, Mr. Giuliani said: "That's if you can trust the Justice Department. My witnesses don't trust the Justice Department, and they don't trust the F.B.I." He added that he would not have either until Attorney General William P. Barr took over.

Mr. Barr has contacted foreign officials for help in investigating the origin of the special counsel investigation by Robert S. Mueller III into Russian interference and ties with Mr. Trump's campaign, part of an effort to prove that the whole matter was a "hoax," as the president has insisted.

Mr. Trump defends himself by saying that other presidents have leaned on foreign governments for help. That is true, but when other presidents have pressured counterparts and even held up American assistance to coerce cooperation, it has generally been to achieve certain policy goals -- not to advance the president's personal or political agenda.

As an example, Mr. Trump often cites Mr. Obama, who was overheard telling President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia in 2012 that he would have more "more flexibility" to negotiate missile defense after the fall election. While that may be objectionable, it is not the same thing as asking a foreign government to intervene in an American election.

"They assume everybody's as sleazy and dirty as they are, which is not the case," Mr. Emanuel said.

Mr. Trump points to Mr. Biden, arguing that the former vice president was the one who abused his power by threatening to withhold $1 billion in American aid to Ukraine unless it fired its prosecutor general.

Mr. Biden's son Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, earning $50,000 a month. The company's oligarch owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, had been a subject of cases overseen by the prosecutor, and so Mr. Trump contends that Mr. Biden sought the prosecutor's ouster to benefit his son.

As a matter of appearances, at least, the former vice president's family left him open to suspicion. Even some of his defenders say it was unseemly for Hunter Biden to seemingly trade on his family name. The elder Mr. Biden has said he never discussed his son's business dealings in Ukraine with him, but some Democrats suggest he should have if only to prevent just such a situation from arising.

For all of that, however, no evidence has emerged that Mr. Biden moved to push out the prosecutor to benefit his son. No memo or text message has become public linking the two. None of the American officials who were involved at the time have come forward alleging any connection. No whistle-blower has filed a complaint.

In pressing for the prosecutor's ouster, Mr. Biden was carrying out Mr. Obama's policy as developed by his national security team and coordinated with European allies and the International Monetary Fund, all of which considered the Ukrainian prosecutor to be deliberately overlooking corruption.

Indeed, at the time Mr. Biden acted, there was no public evidence that the prosecutor's office was actively pursuing investigations of Burisma, although Mr. Zlochevsky's allies say the prosecutor continued to use the threat of prosecution to try to solicit bribes from the oligarch and his team.

The 1992 episode involving Mr. Bush and Mr. Baker provides an intriguing case study in the way previous administrations have viewed seeking political help overseas. At the time, Mr. Bush was trailing in the polls and eager for any weapon to turn things around.

Representatives Robert K. Dornan, Duncan Hunter and Duke Cunningham of California and Sam Johnson of Texas urged the president to ask Russia and Britain for help.

Mr. Dornan, reached last week, said Mr. Baker offered no objections during the meeting. "Baker sat there in the Oval Office like a bump on a log," he recalled. "He said nothing." If Mr. Baker advised Mr. Bush not to reach out to foreign governments, then he did so after the congressmen had left, Mr. Dornan said.

Mr. Dornan said that was a mistake and that Mr. Bush should have done as Mr. Trump has. "The bottom line from me was, 'If you don't do this, Mr. President, leader of the free world, you will lose,'" Mr. Dornan said. "And he didn't do it and he lost. Baker cost Bush that second term."

As it was, Mr. Baker and some of his aides got in trouble anyway because State Department employees searched Mr. Clinton's passport file to determine whether he had ever tried to renounce his American citizenship. They found no such evidence, but an independent counsel was appointed to investigate whether the search violated any laws.

The attorney general who requested the investigation? Mr. Barr, in his first tour running the Justice Department. The independent counsel who was appointed? Joseph diGenova, a lawyer now helping Mr. Giuliani look for information in Ukraine. In the passport case, Mr. diGenova concluded that no laws had been broken and that he should never have been appointed in first place.

As for seeking help from Russia and Britain, Mr. Baker declined to comment last week, but his peers said he did exactly as they would have. "It would have been ludicrous at that stage to do anything," Mr. Skinner said. "Baker's decision was obviously the right one."

* Read the 1992 Memo President George Bush's Team
Sent About Seeking Foreign Help to Beat Bill Clinton

When Republican congressmen suggested Mr. Bush reach out to Russia or Britain for information that could help him win his re-election race against Bill Clinton, James A. Baker III, then the White House chief of staff, wrote this memo.

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/1877-memo-letter/d790695aa84a5ceb5e69/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 09, 2019 at 02:48 PM
This is pretty superficial: Ukraine is vassal state dully controlled by Washington (kind of Puerto Rico); what foreign influence we are talking about ?

Peter Baker just repeats Clinton camp talking points.

Ukrainian security establishment and probably large part of Ukrainian Congress (Rada) is probably fully controlled by CIA.

Actually representatives of CIA were sitting in SBU ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_Service_of_Ukraine) since the first Orange revolution ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Revolution which brought to power Viktor Yushchenko who lost to Yanukovich general election in 2004)

So anything Ukrainian side was doing to interfere with the US election has to be ordered from Washington, DC (which was done by "Obama regime", who wanted dirt of Trump team)

[Oct 09, 2019] This fake 'whistleblower' tale is tells us more about CIA then about Trump

The goal is clearly to create Russiagate 2.0
By putting Team Trump on defence, Pewlosi/Schiff et al hope with the Media's help to oust President Trump BEFORE their own corruption is exposed.
Oct 09, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Terence Gore , 07 October 2019 at 10:54 AM

The difference in my mind is that in 'Russiagate' the evidence was a frame up to get Trump impeached. The 'evidence' in this particular case seems more in what I assume almost every political entity from the local school board on up in trying to dig up dirt on the opposition. He does not appear to be asking anyone to 'fix' the evidence.
The 'whistleblower' feels to tale be more in the 'tattletale' category than someone at real risk for their job and safety.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/whistleblower-ukraine-trump-impeach-cia-spying-895529/

[Oct 09, 2019] CIA palace coup against Trump

Oct 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

wendy davis on Wed, 10/09/2019 - 10:47am Warning : Absurdist Irony Abounds:
From Patrick Martin at wsws.org , Oct. 9, 2019 :

'Why do the CIA assassins and coup-plotters love this "whistleblower"?'

" Ninety former national security officials under the Obama and Bush administrations -- and three who served for a period under Donald Trump -- have signed an "Open Letter to the American People" defending the CIA officer, as yet unidentified, whose whistleblower complaint has become the basis for the House of Representatives opening an impeachment inquiry into the president.

The signers "applaud the whistleblower not only for living up to that responsibility but also for using precisely the channels made available by federal law for raising such concerns."

They further claim, "A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed What's more, being a responsible whistleblower means that, by law, one is protected from certain egregious forms of retaliation."

They draw the conclusion that the anti-Trump whistleblower's identity must be protected at all costs, writing that "he or she has done what our law demands; now he or she deserves our protection."

This professed defense of whistleblowing as a critical function of democracy would be more convincing if it did not come from high officials in the administration that prosecuted more leakers and whistleblowers than all previous US administrations combined.

The signers include former CIA directors John Brennan, Michael Hayden and Michael Morell, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel , former Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (Obama's point-woman on Ukraine). Bush administration officials who signed the letter include Matthew G. Olsen, former head of the Justice Department's National Security Division, and Paul Rosenzweig, former deputy assistant secretary for policy, Department of Homeland Security. Among the former Trump aides who signed is Andrea Kendall-Taylor, former deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Security Council.

These officials had a much different attitude toward genuine American whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and John Kiriakou, who exposed crimes of US imperialism. Manning supplied WikiLeaks with Pentagon files documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as State Department cables showing US conspiracies against governments around the world. Snowden brought to light NSA spying on the entire world. Kiriakou exposed CIA torture in secret overseas prisons during the "war on terror."

None of these genuine whistleblowers received any form of protection. On the contrary, they were rebuffed in their efforts to expose atrocities by the US military-intelligence apparatus and felt compelled to release the information to the public. For their courageous actions, they have been brutally persecuted." [snip]

"In a recent commentary in Consortium News , Kiriakou noted the contrast between his own treatment and that accorded the "whistleblower" in the Ukraine case. He wrote, "If he's a whistleblower, and not a CIA plant whose task it is to take down the president, then his career is probably over. Intelligence agencies only pay lip service to whistleblowing." [snip]

"In other words, the former CIA agent suggests, the entire "whistleblower" complaint against Trump is likely an operation directed by higher-level officials at the agency.

Similar questions are raised in a remarkable article posted Monday on the website of Rolling Stone magazine, written by its main political writer Matt Taibbi."

And if you haven't seen it already:

"Meet the Press" anchor Chuck Todd grills senator: "You don't trust the FBI and CIA?", Barry Grey, wsws.org

And of course Grey speaks to the irony and hypocrisy afoot with Senators Ron Johnson and Chris Murphy as well:

"When Johnson evaded Todd's questions concerning Trump's bullying of Ukraine to advance his personal electoral chances, and instead repeatedly raised the Clinton campaign's collaboration with Ukrainian officials against Trump, Todd exclaimed as though in exasperated disbelief:

" Do you not trust the FBI? You don't trust the CIA? "

Johnson replied, "Absolutely not," to which Todd responded incredulously, "You don't trust any of those agencies?" [snip]

"The Democrats and their media chorus present what was rightly known as America's "Murder, Incorporated," along with its domestic counterpart, the FBI, as pillars of "democracy," improbable as this would seem to anyone familiar with the criminal history of these organizations. They evidently believe that the public is infinitely gullible and suffering from collective memory loss.

These, after all, are the organizations that justified the war in Iraq on the basis of the Big Lie of "weapons of mass destruction." They created the fraudulent narrative of the "war on terror" to justify aggressive wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa that killed millions and destroyed entire societies . Meanwhile, in Libya and Syria, they funded and collaborated with Al Qaeda-linked terrorist militias in wars for regime-change.

The CIA has engineered coups and installed military dictatorships and far-right regimes all over the world. It would take many volumes to detail all of the lies and crimes of these pillars of the "deep state" against the people of the United States and the entire world." [snip]

"Todd's next guest was Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat from Connecticut), who co-sponsored with Johnson the bill to provide more arms to Kiev. Murphy repeatedly attacked Johnson for a lack of "patriotism."

The final guest was John Brennan -- now a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC -- whom Todd presented as a national hero unjustly slandered and victimized by Trump and his political allies. Introducing the 25-year veteran of the CIA, who served as deputy executive director under George W. Bush and director under Barack Obama, Todd asked: "And how would you explain to somebody, you have been completely character assassinated and eviscerated Do you understand how you got here?"

Brennan replied that he has indeed been "pilloried as an example of the deep state." To which Todd exclaimed indignantly: "Well, at this point, it's a campaign to destroy the credibility of the intelligence community. Even now, Senator Johnson would not affirm that he trusted the CIA and FBI right now. What does that say about those two agencies right now and their ability to conduct the work of protecting America?"

Brennan took the opportunity provided by Todd to denounce the "disinformation" that is "inundating the airwaves," singling out "social media platforms," with the implication that media sources that do not disseminate the CIA line should be shut down or censored. "

Grey finishes with a brief resumé of Brennan's fascistic Imperial crimes.

From MTP on Twitter:

WATCH: In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, @SenRonJohnson (R-Wis.) turns questions about President Trump's conversation with the Ukrainian president into unfounded attacks on Democrats. #MTP https://t.co/tjLwXg1o8H pic.twitter.com/xf8UdbiN0m

-- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 6, 2019

WATCH: Former CIA Director @JohnBrennan : GOP senators are "running scared."

"[Donald Trump] is the typical bully. ...Now, I have become the ... example of the deep state." #MTP #IfItsSunday pic.twitter.com/tFXLDPh0Lo

-- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 6, 2019

WATCH: @ChrisMurphyCT responds to @senronjohnson 's comments earlier on Meet the Press. #MTP

"This entire country should be scared that at a moment when we need patriots, what we are getting is blind partisan loyalty." pic.twitter.com/Fvq2OAriKo

-- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 6, 2019

WATCH: Another whistleblower seems ready to come forward in Trump-Ukraine scandal #MTP .

"There seems to be a second whistleblower who's poised to come forward. Does this whistleblower change the conversation?" pic.twitter.com/Z87c5zoS02

-- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 6, 2019

(cross-posted from Café Babylon )

[Oct 09, 2019] Does it bother anybody that it is the CIA that is interfering in US elections?

Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> kurt... , October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM

Yeah, the whole Biden corruption stuff has been debunked just like the Trump-Putin conspiracy. But lots of people still believe one debunking or the other. It all depends on which side of the infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine.

Personally, I'd love to know the origins of the Trump-Putin conspiracy and why a former head of the CIA officer was on the front lines.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/05/opinion/campaign-stops/i-ran-the-cia-now-im-endorsing-hillary-clinton.html

And while we're at it, get a handle on what Hunter Biden, Biden's bundler, and the CIA friendly former president of Poland were all doing on Burisma's board ostensibly with no knowledge of it all from Obama's point man on Ukraine--Joe Biden.

BTW. Here's a blast from the past exploring Hunter Biden's suspicious dealings in Ukraine. Read it and wonder
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/09/from-2014-r-hunter-biden-should-declare-who-really-owns-his-new-ukrainian-employer-burisma-holdings.html

Doesn't it bother anybody that the CIA seems to be interfering in US elections?

ilsm -> JohnH... , October 01, 2019 at 02:17 PM
For democrats "conspiracy theory" only applies to anyone looking askance at the swamp.

It is national security, DUDE. You cannot investigate what the swamp things do or did in 2016!

Dude, for democrats the swamp must abide, the republic cannot survive if the CIA/FBI spooks cannot practice on GOP campaigns!

Sadly, the Obama swamp is no better than the French Ministry of Defense in May 1940.

Drain the swamp. DoJ IG still working and US Attorney Durham is building cases!

Tired of having to listen to Howie Carr to get anything about the dodgy dossier, paid by DNC and who cannot find what!

[Oct 09, 2019] If he s a whistleblower, and not a CIA plant whose task it is to take down the president, then his career is probably over.

The CIA officer who contacted the IG on Trump will never be trusted internally again. The view in Langley will be, "If he's willing to rat out the president of the United States, he'd be willing to rat out all of us."
Notable quotes:
"... If he's a whistleblower, and not a CIA plant whose task it is to take down the president, then his career is probably over. ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> kurt... , October 01, 2019 at 02:25 PM

From a former CIA whistleblower: "If he's a whistleblower, and not a CIA plant whose task it is to take down the president, then his career is probably over. Intelligence agencies only pay lip service to whistleblowing. A potential whistleblower is supposed to go through the chain of command as the current whistleblower did...

So even if he is a legitimate whistleblower, the CIA officer who contacted the IG on Trump will never be trusted internally again. The view in Langley will be, "If he's willing to rat out the president of the United States, he'd be willing to rat out all of us."
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/09/30/john-kiriakou-what-was-this-cia-officer-thinking/

Strange, very strange and suspicious, too, particularly since Mike Morrell, former head of the CIA, helped start the campaign against Trump?

Do we really want spooks meddling in domestic politics?

[Oct 09, 2019] Schiff role in Ukrainegate

Notable quotes:
"... To cap it off, on Tuesday we learned that the whistleblower has "a professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates" - as revealed by Inspector General Michael Atkinson during a closed-door interview with the House last Friday. ..."
"... take two shots ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... take eight shots ..."
"... Politico ..."
"... Keep reading for an interesting Biden connection ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

To review; the wheels of impeachment were set in motion after the original whistleblower, a CIA officer, approached House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's office with second-hand information (a contact Schiff lied about ) that Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."

One of Schiff's aides then directed the whistleblower, a registered Democrat, to a Democratic operative attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. The CIA officer then filed a whistleblower complaint on a recently altered form which now allows for the submission of second-hand information.

To cap it off, on Tuesday we learned that the whistleblower has "a professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates" - as revealed by Inspector General Michael Atkinson during a closed-door interview with the House last Friday.

How visibly shaken are we talking about?

According to a memo written by the first whistleblower on July 26, the day after the Trump-Zelensky call, the White House official said the call was "crazy," "frightening" and "completely lacking in substance related to national security."

Meanwhile, the actual whistleblower complaint claims:

( take two shots )

So let's take a look at the 'pressure' impeachment-hungry Democrats continue to claim Trump applied:

"I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it . I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it . As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible . "

The transcript makes clear no such pressure was applied, while Zelensky himself publicly stated that " nobody pushed me " to investigate matters requested by the Trump administration and Rudy Giuliani. Democrats have also claimed that nearly $400 million in US military aid was paused in order to use as leverage to kick start an investigation, however that theory has been relegated to at least the side-burner after it emerged that Zelensky had no clue it was being withheld at the time of the call.

Whatever the case, Democrats appear to be following the original script - as though Trump never released the transcript and all we know comes from inaccurate reporting first peddled through MSM outlets .

For example - the Washington Post 's original reporting from September 18th, when the whistleblower story broke:

"Trump's interaction with the foreign leader included a "promise" "

The Wall Street Journal on September 21:

"President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani"

( take eight shots )

Yet, with the record having been set straight by both the transcript and Zelensky, and the CIA whistleblower's credibility in tatters, Democrats appear to have passed the point of no return - with a few realizing that the GOP-controlled Senate could flip the impeachment effort on Democrats by airing the Bidens' dirty laundry along with other 'matters' in a very public trial going into the 2020 election.

Conspiracies everywhere

After Robert Mueller and the FBI took more than three years to prove an actual "conspiracy theory" that Trump was 'colluding' with Russia, the Times describes documented Ukrainian election meddling in 2016 as just that - writing that the whistleblower "detailed key aspects of the [Trump-Zelensky] conversation, including Mr. Trump's request for investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, and a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election. "

( take a shot )

As a matter of fact, a DNC operative did coordinate with Ukrainians to meddle in the 2016 election to benefit Hillary Clinton, as has been by now widely reported . Veteran Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa worked directly with the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States, along with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, to target Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort according to Politico .

" They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa ," said Andrii Telizhenko, who worked in the embassy at the time, adding "the embassy worked very closely with" Chalupa.

"If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump's involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September," Telizhenko recalls Chalupa saying.

Thanks to Chalupa's outreach on behalf of Clinton and the DNC, Artem Sytnyk , Ukraine's Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU - which Joe Biden helped form) and lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko released a "black ledger" containing off-book payments to Manafort . In December of 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that Sytnyk and Leshchenko " acted illegally " by releasing Manafort's name, according to the Kiev post ( Keep reading for an interesting Biden connection ).

There's your "conspiracy theory."


Mute Button , 1 minute ago link

Advise to the Democrats.

Drop the chalupa.

Warthog777 , 4 minutes ago link

visibly shaken... Reminds me of "I strenously object"...

You gotta be shittin me.

ConqueringFools , 12 minutes ago link

LOL haha.......American leadership are a bunch of eunuchs! My god.......our inner cities are basically third world shitholes.........we've got ****** shaboons slashing patrons throats in McDonald's and some grown man snowflake is "visibly shaken" by a goddamn nothing burger of a phone call between Presidents? Fuk outta here!

Obi-jonKenobi , 13 minutes ago link

It's being reported this week by the AP and others that Energy Secretary Rick Perry was involved in pressuring Ukrainian president Zelensky to place hand-picked allies of Trump on the board of the state gas company, Naftogaz, in order to steer business to insiders that have given big bucks to Trump and the Republicans, insiders like Soviet-born businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman whose company, Global Energy Producers LLC, made massive donations to Trump and the Republicans and which stood to make millions supplying liquid natural gas to Ukraine if allies placed on the board of Naftogaz could steer business to them. And Trump's so-called lawyer, Rudy Giuliani was in the middle of this facilitating the connections at the same time he was helping Trump pressure the new president to investigate the Bidens and other matters such as Manafort and CrowdStrike.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Don the Con and his band of thieves were involved in their own corruption in Ukraine even as they hypocritically pushed for an investigation into the Bidens. And although this is mostly the kind of corruption that involves insiders who made large political donations getting the payoff they hoped for - which is, unfortunately, perfectly legal - it wandered into possible criminal territory when it involved removing from positions of power people seen as obstructions to this attempt to gorge at the trough. That included the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and members of the supervisory board of the state gas company, Naftogaz, who are supposed to help root out corruption. Not if Trumptards have their way!

And, laughably, Trump is using concern for corruption in the Ukrainian government as his cover for pushing for an investigation of the Bidens. And he hopes to get away with it with his usual barrage of chutzpah and lies . . . and with the help of the ignorant rubes that support him.

Confucious 222 , 11 minutes ago link

From 1999-2014, Ukraine donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than any other foreign country.

Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, & Romney all have children working for Ukrainian gas companies.

And all of the people I mentioned want Trump impeached. Are you connecting the dots yet?

i poop pink ice cream , 11 minutes ago link

"Meddling" in the U.S. election? 99% of the "meddling" comes from the the Israelis. When do they get called on the carpet?

Justapleb , 15 minutes ago link

Stop calling them whistleblowers.

They are alleged hearsay accusers. And we have the ******* TRANSCRIPT.

We are out of our minds. A person who did not hear the conversation, who did not read the transcript, is put before us instead of the transcript itself - and acting like they need witness protection.

Clown World.

blindfaith , 19 minutes ago link

ATTENTION TROLLS:

Rudy – For years Obama had a pay for play operation in his administration and it's disgusting and one of the reasons they're fighting so hard – If Biden comes out, so does Clinton come out and about three others. This goes right to the top of the Obama administration and the administration that says, 'I didn't have scandals' will be the most scandal ridden administration in our history. Obama didn't care about ethics. He didn't care otherwise it wouldn't happen.

Joe – That's right

Rudy – A Vice President should have been stopped from doing this by a President who had the slightest bit of integrity. But a Chicago 'pol' like Obama – pay for play eight times – millions of dollars to your Vice President [Biden] and hundreds of millions of dollars to your Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton]. They just bought the offices. Crooks.

Warm milk, hankies, and blankets for the trolls.

jmagoo , 23 minutes ago link

OK so I have come to the conclusion:

USA is made up of largely people who will vote Trump back in 2020, but because of this Democrats have no ability to control themselves and so lies, hear say, and just general jackholery will be their direction. Fine. I am cool with it bitch all you want, have fun making up lies to make yourselves feel better but most of the rest of us. We just feel bad for you, its like an emotional break down of someone you know. It's kinda scary, but at the same time I am no longer interested in rebuking you for being "off" you just have to seek help at this point. As for Trump, he's not the greatest president but the insanity of what's gone on has forced him to be our choice again because no party is willing to put forth middle of the ground candidates that appeal to the country as whole.

Remember this we're all Americans and we're just worried about you TDS people at this point, you need help. And Trump would be best to put the entire congress on hiatus as did Boris Johnson until the next election.

Moneycircus , 20 minutes ago link

Huey Long - there was a Democrat who at least had a platform.

Ex post facto logic says he was assassinated because he was a populist or worse. ********. He was assassinated because he appealed to the people and was thus a threat.

https://youtu.be/hphgHi6FD8k

KuriousKat , 23 minutes ago link

There was a time Dems in Government stood for something..

In examining the CIA's past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public. The second is the damage to the credibility and independence of a free press which may be caused by covert relationships with the U.S. journalists and media organizations.
Sen.Frank Church

He became an important figure in American foreign policy and chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1979 to 1981. He was one of the first Senators to publicly oppose the Vietnam War , and co-sponsored legislation to curtail the war. In 1975, Church led the Church Committee, which inspired the passage of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the creation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence .

WTF happened to Them...

They took a beautiful thing and turned it against us..unrecognizable..

[Oct 09, 2019] George Orwell assumes that if such societies as he describes in Nineteen Eighty-Four come into being there will be several super states. These super states will naturally be in opposition to each other or (a novel point) will pretend to be much more in opposition than in fact they are

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is the direction in which the world is going at the present time, and the trend lies deep in the political, social and economic foundations of the contemporary world situation. ..."
"... Specifically the danger lies in the structure imposed on Socialist and on Liberal capitalist communities by the necessity to prepare for total war with the U.S.S.R. and the new weapons, of which of course the atomic bomb is the most powerful and the most publicized. But danger lies also in the acceptance of a totalitarian outlook by intellectuals of all colours. ..."
"... Two of the principal super states will obviously be the Anglo-American world and Eurasia. If these two great blocks line up as mortal enemies it is obvious that the Anglo-Americans will not take the name of their opponents and will not dramatize themselves on the scene of history as Communists. Thus they will have to find a new name for themselves. The name suggested in Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course Ingsoc, but in practice a wide range of choices is open. In the U.S.A. the phrase "Americanism" or "hundred per cent Americanism" is suitable and the qualifying adjective is as totalitarian as anyone could wish. ..."
"... Pretty much explains the SDP and NuLabourInc and his name sake Blair and our political landscape of the last 50 years, don't you think? ..."
"... Also pay attention to the 'parody phrase. ' ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Dungroanin -> MikeE Oct 9, 2019 12:46 AM

That is my down tick.

Because i feel that some agenda is at play. I'm not going to accuse you of trolling, or even a bit of gas lighting, but it seems like a slide into classic red scaring and recasting of Eric Blair

By way of explaining my emotion and since you mention Warburg, here is an example of Orwellian post humous attribution. He never said "imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever."

'from a post-publication press release directed by publisher Fredric Warburg toward readers who "had misinterpreted [Orwell's] aim, taking the novel as a criticism of the current British Labour Party, or of contemporary socialism in general." The quotation from the press release was "soon given the status of a last statement or deathbed appeal, given that Orwell was hospitalized at the time and dead six months later."

You can read more at georgeorwellnovels.com, which provides a great deal of context on this press release, which runs, in full, as follows:

It has been suggested by some of the reviewers of Nineteen Eighty-Four that it is the author's view that this, or something like this, is what will happen inside the next forty years in the Western world. This is not correct. I think that, allowing for the book being after all a parody, something like Nineteen Eighty-Four could happen. This is the direction in which the world is going at the present time, and the trend lies deep in the political, social and economic foundations of the contemporary world situation.

Specifically the danger lies in the structure imposed on Socialist and on Liberal capitalist communities by the necessity to prepare for total war with the U.S.S.R. and the new weapons, of which of course the atomic bomb is the most powerful and the most publicized. But danger lies also in the acceptance of a totalitarian outlook by intellectuals of all colours.

The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one: Don't let it happen. It depends on you.

George Orwell assumes that if such societies as he describes in Nineteen Eighty-Four come into being there will be several super states. This is fully dealt with in the relevant chapters of Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is also discussed from a different angle by James Burnham in The Managerial Revolution. These super states will naturally be in opposition to each other or (a novel point) will pretend to be much more in opposition than in fact they are.

Two of the principal super states will obviously be the Anglo-American world and Eurasia. If these two great blocks line up as mortal enemies it is obvious that the Anglo-Americans will not take the name of their opponents and will not dramatize themselves on the scene of history as Communists. Thus they will have to find a new name for themselves. The name suggested in Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course Ingsoc, but in practice a wide range of choices is open. In the U.S.A. the phrase "Americanism" or "hundred per cent Americanism" is suitable and the qualifying adjective is as totalitarian as anyone could wish.

If there is a failure of nerve and the Labour party breaks down in its attempt to deal with the hard problems with which it will be faced, tougher types than the present Labour leaders will inevitably take over, drawn probably from the ranks of the Left, but not sharing the Liberal aspirations of those now in power. Members of the present British government, from Mr. Attlee and Sir Stafford Cripps down to Aneurin Bevan will never willingly sell the pass to the enemy, and in general the older men, nurtured in a Liberal tradition, are safe, but the younger generation is suspect and the seeds of totalitarian thought are probably widespread among them. It is invidious to mention names, but everyone could without difficulty think for himself of prominent English and American personalities whom the cap would fit.'
http://www.openculture.com/2014/11/george-orwells-final-warning.html

-- -- -- -

Pretty much explains the SDP and NuLabourInc and his name sake Blair and our political landscape of the last 50 years, don't you think?

Also pay attention to the 'parody phrase. '
'
As i wrote earlier, perhaps Blair of Eton ultimately saw how clearly hist talents had been misused by the 'totalitarians' before he died.

I understand that some of his works are still censored and others never published. As are his state employment in propaganda on which he probably based his 'parody' on.

[Oct 08, 2019] To [Samantha Power] applies Scott Fitzgerald's often cited comment. Once Biden is back in power, all these people will come back from the cold rain the bombs on the globally deplorables.

Notable quotes:
"... "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . ." ..."
"... I have not always been a pacifist, but my view is "liberal internationalism" can never excuse war. ..."
"... Particularly, as US pushed "liberal internationalism" is maintaining a post WW II world order to add to its Degeneracy. ..."
"... They conflate PNAC strategy with US security and anyone not in to military intervention for the PNAC is a traitor. ..."
Oct 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , October 03, 2019 at 01:54 PM

https://twitter.com/lilyslynch/status/1179714507406544896

Lily Lynch‏ @lilyslynch

This is what institutional, "humanitarian" power looks like: Fluff pieces in liberal media with zero input from people on the receiving end of your bombs; unchecked power to decide who lives and who dies; and (most of all) never having to answer for it.

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

Running with Samantha Power

On a jog through a battlefield, James Astill discusses war and peace with the conscience of the Obama administration

4:07 AM - 3 Oct 2019

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 01:58 PM

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1179715126724907010

Branko Milanovic‏ @BrankoMilan

To [Samantha Power] applies Scott Fitzgerald's often cited comment. Once Biden is back in power, all these people will come back from the cold & rain the bombs on the globally deplorables.

Lily Lynch @lilyslynch

This is what institutional, "humanitarian" power looks like: Fluff pieces in liberal media with zero input from people on the receiving end of your bombs; unchecked power to decide who lives and who dies; and (most of all) never having to answer for it.

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

4:09 AM - 3 Oct 2019

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:01 PM

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . ."

-- F. Scott Fitzgerald

kurt -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:24 PM

Love this quote.

ilsm -> kurt... , October 03, 2019 at 02:40 PM

Yeah, it is how I view post modern liberals!

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:03 PM

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

Running with Samantha Power

On a jog through a battlefield, James Astill discusses war and peace with the conscience of the Obama administration

[ Degeneracy. ]

ilsm -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:38 PM

"liberal internationalism in Obama's cabinet. That made her [Powers] a target for his critics. Her openness to military intervention – she was against [W Bush?] it in Iraq but for it in Libya – drew flak from the left."

How can a supposed liberal [Obama was not a liberal in a traditional sense, maybe post modern?] favor military intervention?

Does it involve ignoring "state run industrial age mass murder"?

Does it see a rationalized outcome to justify state mass murder?

I think post modern morality goes more towards the means don't matter much less the end--- see Libya!

I have not always been a pacifist, but my view is "liberal internationalism" can never excuse war.

Particularly, as US pushed "liberal internationalism" is maintaining a post WW II world order to add to its Degeneracy.

ilsm -> ilsm... , October 03, 2019 at 04:25 PM

I can answer this:

"How can a supposed liberal [Obama was not a liberal in a traditional sense, maybe post modern?] favor military intervention?"

Democrats who "worry" about "national security" are Clinton/Kerry project for a new American century (PNAC) accolades!

They conflate PNAC strategy with US security and anyone not in to military intervention for the PNAC is a traitor.

The cover for PNAC expanding spheres is "liberal internationalism"!

A great confidence game!

Why democrats call Trump a "traitor" he is not loyal to the neocon agenda.

im1dc -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 04:43 PM

Updating F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

"Life in the Fast Lane" Eagles

(2013 Remaster)

[Oct 08, 2019] ISIS once 'apologized' to Israel for attacking IDF soldiers former Israel Defense Minister"

Oct 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jon Baptist , says: October 8, 2019 at 5:15 am GMT

If there was a terrorist out there worth a damn he would be bombing congress instead of Wal-Mart's

This is the key observation.

"ISIS once 'apologized' to Israel for attacking IDF soldiers – former Defense Minister" –
https://www.rt.com/news/386027-isis-apologized-israel-golan/

"'You can assume that these terrorists are fighting for Israel. If they aren't part of the regular Israeli army, they're fighting for Israel. Israel has common goals with Turkey, the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries,' Assad was quoted by Ynet" – https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4946010,00.html

[Oct 08, 2019] Robert Reich as a despicable neoliberal stooge who pushed lies and distortions bout Ukrainegate

Ukraine is not an independent country. It is a de-facto colony of the USA. Trump just ordered his subordinate (in a very polite ) term to conduct investigation of criminal behaviour of Biden family.
Not defending Trump by Robert is "full of Schiff"
Oct 08, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

When the framers of the constitution gave Congress the power to impeach a president, one of the high crimes they had in mind was acceding to what Alexander Hamilton called "the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils". James Madison argued for impeachment lest a president "might betray his trust to foreign powers".

The second question is whether Trump did this. The answer is also an unqualified yes. In the published version of his phone conversation with Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump asks for the "favor" of digging up dirt on Joe Biden.


reinhardpolley , 5 Oct 2019 09:50

Trump is much more than the kid with his hand in the cookie jar, like a brat he smashed the cookie jar and said "What cookie Jar? Biden did it!"
And the GOP wimps are there, either nodding in agreement, or looking the other way..
NotIdefix -> reinhardpolley , 5 Oct 2019 11:58
https://www.politicalflare.com/2019/10/biographer-reveals-trump-was-a-vicious-bully-as-a-child-who-threw-rocks-at-babies /

"Trump was a loud-mouthed classroom know-it-all who could never admit he was wrong and boasted of giving his music teacher a black eye."

Jayem64 -> NotIdefix , 5 Oct 2019 13:31
Well.. Total Sociopath, then, maybe even a full-on Psychopath.

Anti-social-personality disorders in the highest scale -so to speak- always are there since childhood. Psychopaths are as such genetically, from birth. Unlike sociopaths. Sociopaths usually have become as such through things/trauma's experienced in life. Their initially healthy front-cortex is usually either damaged, or has less influence on their behaviour. In Psychopaths, the front cortex doesn't function at all it seems, or at sùch a low level that it can be considered absent. Psychopaths usually have a history of seriously harming animals, people, insects, around them for fun since childhood.

End-result almost the same, though. Complete and utter lack of empathy, ( though, Sociopaths often dó have empathy for their direct family/relatives, where Osychopaths even lack thàt.) stratospherically elevated sense of superiority, prone to uncontrolled ( sometimes even violent and murderous) tantrums when things do not go as he/she wants/demands etc... Enjoyment in the suffering of others. No conscience to speak of etc.

So, in short, Trump to a tee.

mbidding -> NotIdefix , 5 Oct 2019 17:26
As also noted in The Making of Donald Trump by David Kay Johnston. A worthwhile read.
ValuedCustomer -> neutralpaddy , 5 Oct 2019 10:06
The brand value was all he wanted and that has multiplied. It was always win-win.

Heh. I wonder if you underestimate the ruthlessness of the establishment. Once stripped of the (so far surprisingly robust) protections afforded by elected office I imagine it's more likely he'll be hounded to his grave pour dencourager les autres than ignored as merely a spent pol. I doubt they'll observe the decencies of the mafia and leave his family alone either.

Nada89 , 5 Oct 2019 10:02
The US is a tinpot republic that ever since the Patriot Act has virtually reduced all citizens to enemies of a paranoid state, untl proven otherwise.

In a strange sort of way a president like Trump seems like the ideal sort of man to head such a dysfunctional system (because it reflects how uncivilised it is).

Put another way - even if a piece of political theatre does take place (in the shape of an impeachment) it is only a matter of time before Trump is replaced by an unequally unappetising leader who will resume business as usual with powers that really control US economic and military policy.

curiouswes -> Nada89 , 5 Oct 2019 10:23
all the patriot act did was tell the American people that the government doesn't give a "hoot" about the US constitution (specifically the 4th amendment). If the American people wish to trade their freedom for their security, then the constitutionally legal way to do that is with another amendment effectively repealing the fourth.
MARK MANNERS -> Nada89 , 5 Oct 2019 16:15

In a strange sort of way a president like Trump seems like the ideal sort of man to head such a dysfunctional system (because it reflects how uncivilised it is).


The American public have been groomed for years, mainly through cutting education budgets, to accept this kind of president. The pesky internet tends to even things up, but people need to want to use it. They certainly will when their buying power drops.

Put another way - even if a piece of political theatre does take place (in the shape of an impeachment) it is only a matter of time before Trump is replaced by an unequally unappetising leader who will resume business as usual with powers that really control US economic and military policy.


It goes in a pendulum swing. Bush, Obama, Trump, Someone Else... It's not so much a right left swing as an Idiot-swing. What the American public want is someone they can admire. Many people admired Obama but so do many people admire Trump. They're not the same people. What Obama promised, and delivered, was get the USA out of the shock of 2007-08 and put it back on its feet again after Bush spent all that money on the Irak war. This keeps everyone happy, as a large part of the US economy is from consumption. It also keeps a part of industry happy, as they need to be able to export and import. The public is not happy with a weak dollar, nor tarifs that both push import prices up. Bush kept the arms industry very happy, for obvious reasons and Trump's constant tension-building abroad sort of does the same. But it still comes down to how happy the public is and how much they can or refuse to be manipulated. They're a bit wiser now.
PortilloMoment -> Ziontrain , 5 Oct 2019 12:36
'Politics in the country is a cesspool.'

I don't disagree, but,

Newsflash: Politics the world over is a cesspool. History and Ancient history says it has always been so. Names and places, incidents and scandals are in no short supply to confirm nothing much has changed in the modern world.

"Politics is a dirty business" is the understatement of all time. While many politicians are indeed working in the interests of their constituents, many more are not and political parties have only one interest - themselves.

If you want an indication of how much the table is tilted, witness the recent announcement that it's ok for politicians to lie when trying to increase their support. If that doesn't tell us all we need to know - about the links between politics and business, or the fundamental lack of morals inherent in all politics, of the contempt the public are held in, I don't know what will.

SmilinJackAbbott , 5 Oct 2019 10:06

House Democrats will vote to impeach


Yeah but they changed the rules to bypass a vote on an impeachment inquiry specifically to prevent the accused due process & the ability to challenge the accusations.

In other words they'll vote to impeach after preventing opposing evidence, in this case the Obama administration meddling in 2016 with the Ukraine's help & the Biden pay for play operation laughably conducted under the guise of rooting out corruption in Ukraine.

As grizzled old prosecutor Rudy Giuliani said he learnt early on if you want to find where the corruption is ignore everything else, follow the money, and it all leads straight to the Bidens.

SmilinJackAbbott -> Jdivney , 5 Oct 2019 10:13
That didn't take long. There we have it. The Dems are totally justified conducting a kangaroo court show trial because 'there is no opposing evidence'.
Ziontrain , 5 Oct 2019 10:26
Ok Trump is dirty and should go.

But then what? Is there any core of decent politicians left to rule the country? Who? The GOP crooks? The Clinton gang? The Bidens whose son is peddling political influence in corrupt countries? Peloisi and Schumer who are up to their eyeballs in dirty money from AIPAC and are savaging the few clean young politicians in their own party ? There's no end to it.

We are so far from cleaning up the place.

Trump could go, but the circus rolls on...

curiouswes -> Ziontrain , 5 Oct 2019 11:38

Who?

Tulsi Gabbard is the only person running that has the moral authority to run this nation and the ability to get the required votes in order to win. Doing that is going to extremely difficult since the media is controlled by the corporations and the corporations don't want her. Ike warned us about the military industrial complex over 50 years ago and she is the first candidate to openly challenge its authority since that warning.

Jayem64 -> Ziontrain , 5 Oct 2019 13:57
Trump goes.. They'll get Pence..

Oh. Dear.

Religious loon as POTUS 'What could go wrong'

Bluejil , 5 Oct 2019 05:53
We truly have lost all sense today, from the USA to the UK, these two nations have most certainly lost the plot, I suppose the writing was always on the wall. Most of us are for our neighbours no matter their class, colour or religion, most of us want a civilised society where we have the necessities in live, decent wages, health care, education. Services that protect us. Shame the actual few keep voting against these things, whether that be from their misery, ignorance or whatever the latest excuse is, those of us who want to return to dignity and work towards progress must vote the charlatans out.
newbieveryday -> Bluejil , 5 Oct 2019 06:02
Western democracy is dying of greed, consumerism and power madness. Xi and Putin can't believe their dumb luck at how the US and UK are falling apart. People in places like Eastern Europe, Taiwan, etc., may start wondering whether they should gather winter coats and heavy shoes and have a talk with their children.

[Oct 08, 2019] Ukraine is not a sovereign state. At least since 2014. It is a a vassal state totally (I mean totally) controlled from Washington, DC. Including country security services. Kind of Puerto Rico.

Oct 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

kurt -> kurt... , October 07, 2019 at 10:33 AM

Trump solicited a campaign contribution from a foreign power and withheld congressionally approved military aid in an act of extortion. The transcript is 7 freaking pages. If you are okay with this you are a traitor.

Further, last night he did what Putin wanted him to do in respect to Syria and Kurdistan - and this will like result in our ally being annihilated. If you are okay with this you are a traitor.

likbez -> kurt... , October 08, 2019 at 06:50 AM

You just do not understand the reality basking in your delusional neoliberal Grand Myth.

Ukraine is not a sovereign state. At least since 2014. It is a a vassal state totally (I mean totally) controlled from Washington, DC. Including country security services. Kind of Puerto Rico.

[Oct 08, 2019] Bill Black: Eric Holder is the Official Missing from Discussions of the Bidens' Ukrainian Efforts

Oct 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on October 8, 2019 by Yves Smith

Bill Black- Eric Holder is the Official Missing from Discussions of the Bidens' Ukrainian Efforts -

Sleaze, greed, bigotry, and cowardice were common in both parties.

Joe and Hunter Biden Handed Trumps Dual Freebies

Goldberg's column is unusually honest for a Democrat like Goldberg. It includes two important admissions about Joe and Hunter Biden's poor judgment in dealing with Ukrainian matters.

As all this was happening, Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a natural gas company that Zlochevsky co-founded, at some points earning $50,000 a month. Zlochevsky might have thought he could ingratiate himself with the Obama administration by buying an association with the vice president. All available evidence suggests he was wrong.

We need to put Hunter Biden's $50,000 per meeting in perspective, he began receiving it in 2014, when the purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita GDP figure for Ukraine was slightly over $8,500. In a single month, Hunter Biden received fees over six times what a typical Ukrainian received in a year. Hunter Biden had no relevant expertise to be on the Ukrainian firm's board of directors. The only disagreement I have with Goldberg's description is her use of the word "earning" instead of "received." Hunter Biden does not "earn" his money. He makes money off those who seek to get in good with his dad. The Trump children, of course, have super-charged this sleaze.

Hunter's one real job miraculously led to his ludicrously rapid promotion to EVP of a major bank. The bank, of course, was a major contributor to his dad. Hunter's miraculous advancement to EVP is a typical sleazy payoff to elite politicians' kids. Both parties do it. The sole reason Zlochevsky hired Hunter was to try to influence favorably his dad and the Obama administration. This too is typical elite sleaze. Yes, we should remember that Trump's spouse, children, and their spouses, make Hunter look like a highly competent saint when it comes to cashing in on their tawdry Trump ties.

Goldberg correctly notes the modest nature of the sleaze in the Bidens' case. There is no evidence that hiring Hunter Biden ingratiated the Ukrainian firm with the Obama administration. There is no evidence that hiring Hunter Biden ingratiated the Ukrainian firm with Joe Biden. Joe Biden's successful effort to fire the corrupt non-prosecutor increased the chances that the Ukrainian government would sanction the firm. Trump's claim that the fired prosecutor was an anti-corruption hero investigating Hunter's purported corruption is a double lie. Trump's attacks on Joe and Hunter Biden are lies. This should not surprise us. First, Trump always lies. Second, Joe and Hunter Biden's sketchy actions are not crimes or ethical violations. They may be 'corrupt' in the broad sense of that word in everyday usage, but not in the legal sense of statutes against corruption. Trump, therefore, has substituted lies for the nuanced reality.

Sadly, the fact that Trump's attacks on both Bidens are lies does not mean that either acted at the minimum level of integrity we should demand. Goldberg implicitly admits Joe Biden's fundamental failure through her effort to excuse it.

It's not hard to imagine why Biden didn't press Hunter. The Biden boys and their father had been through hell together. Hunter has said his first memory was waking up in the hospital next to his older brother, Beau, after the car crash that killed their mother and baby sister. He grew up to be a troubled man, his life pockmarked by addiction and failure.

Beau died of brain cancer a few months before Biden traveled to Ukraine to push the government to crack down on corruption. It's not shocking that, at a moment when his family was consumed by grief, Biden wasn't inclined to confront his surviving son.

We can agree with Goldberg's sympathy for Joe Biden while recognizing that he displayed terrible judgment. He put himself in an obvious apparent conflict of interest when he chose to take the lead in the Obama administration's effort to replace Ukraine's corrupt prosecutor. Biden volunteered to take that role. There was no need to do so. The Obama administration and the various European and international organizations that agreed with the need to fire him had a host of effective leaders with the leverage to get him fired.

Joe Biden's Problems Dealing with Hunter Biden's Demons

The sympathetic accounts stressing Joe Biden's concerns with protecting Hunter Biden miss three related point. The common denominator is that Joe has acted in a manner sure to harm Hunter. The first point is the nature of Joe's special concerns about Hunter.

Mr. Biden nearly did not run for president because of the effect it would have on his family -- and particularly on Hunter Biden and his children, according to multiple advisers to the former vice president. Hunter Biden has struggled for years with substance addiction and had recently gone through a very public divorce from his first wife.

As parents and humans, it is easy to sympathize with Hunter and Joe Biden. We also have to discuss how an immensely powerful father who desperately wishes to be President needs to address his surviving son's demons. We can start with the fact that Joe had no good answer available. Sometimes, all the available options range from bad to terrible. Hunter is an alcoholic. He repeatedly abuses hard drugs. He cheated on the women he professed to love. That pattern of abuse had a number of obvious, deeply harmful implications. He lied, probably hundreds of times, to the people who loved him most. That pattern is inherent to abusing alcohol and drugs and cheating on the women you say you love. The pattern of lies means that no one close to Hunter could believe him without being repeatedly deceived.

The decades-long pattern of alcoholism and hard drug abuse meant that Hunter was frequently unable to meet his family and business responsibilities. He washed out of the National Guard because he continued using drugs even when he knew the Guard would test him for drug use. Yes, like millions of Americans he 'struggled' with addiction – without success. The odds that he has put his loved ones' lives in danger by driving or providing child care while impaired approach certainty. Given the tragic history of the Bidens that began with the fatal car crash, this must have terrified the entire family. Hunter is not in control of his life. Drugs and alcohol control his life. He was not loyal to the central member of his family – his spouse. Joe knew from repeated, bitter experience that he could not rely on Hunter's word, judgment, restraint, or moral compass.

These facts were essential for Joe to take into account when considering what to do about Ukrainian events. He knew he could not trust whatever Hunter told him about his Ukrainian business deal. Again, the key is to understand that Hunter's demons meant that Joe had no good choices. Even if Joe recused himself from all Ukrainian matters, Hunter was likely to embarrass him. Joe has stated publicly that he did not discuss Hunter's business involvements with Hunter, which is a strategy that invites apparent conflicts of interest and scandal. Joe knew that no company of integrity would put Hunter on its board of directors and pay him $50,000 a meeting. Hunter had no meaningful expertise, no knowledge of Ukrainian matters, a history of sketchy hires and promotions by those hoping to buy influence with his politically powerful and ambitious dad, and a history of screwing up royally.

Hunter, of course, has a Yale law degree and is an adult. He knew better than to take the Ukrainian position and cash. Throughout his adult life, however, Hunter has been willing to take advantage of his dad's name and contacts. We can be sympathetic with Hunter's demons, but we also need to hold him accountable for his record of terrible decisions.

Joe knew that the Ukrainian company hired Hunter for one reason – he was Joe's son. Joe knew that was a terrible reason to hire Hunter. Joe knew that hiring Hunter indicated that the Ukrainian firm lacked integrity. Joe chose to take the administration's lead on Ukrainian events in circumstances he knew created an apparent conflict of interest with Hunter and his Ukrainian firm. Joe knew that there was no reason why Hunter needed to accept the sketchy Ukrainian firm's over-the-top largess and no reason why Joe had to take the Obama administration's lead in implementing its Ukrainian policies.

Joe knew that the apparent conflict of interest would expose Hunter and Joe to attack by Joe's political enemies – and that Hunter's addictions and record put Joe and Hunter in a position where they could not effectively fight back. Joe knew Hunter was particularly vulnerable to political attack and humiliation.

Summing it Up: Both Bidens Gifted Trump Freebies

Joe knew the action he could take that guaranteed venomous partisan attacks on Hunter was running for president. No one has ever doubted Joe's ambition to be President. What we do not understand is what Joe's policy passion is. His statement of why he is running cannot be true. No one rational believes that electing Joe as President would turn Moscow Mitch into a bipartisan legislator eager to pass Biden's legislative agenda. It is fine to yearn for a 'Kumbaya' bipartisan fantasy world. Even in that fantasy, few of us have any sense what legislation Biden thinks McConnell would support that Democrats would not find odious.

Joe knew that the Democratic Party was rich in talent. He did not have to run for President to save the Party or the Nation. Joe knew that he and Hunter had each gifted Trump Ukrainian freebies. Joe knew that his infamous 'electability' mantra ignored both freebies that Trump was sure to exploit.

The next to last thing Joe should have done was add to the incentive to attack Hunter by creating gratuitously an apparent conflict of interest by taking the lead role in firing the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor. The absolute last thing Joe should have done if he wanted to protect Hunter from attack was to run for president. Joe's decision to run made it a certainty that Trump would concentrate his attacks on Hunter – and Joe's apparent conflict of interest in gratuitously taking the administration's lead on firing the Ukrainian prosecutor given Hunter's cashing in on the Ukrainian firm's desire to buy influence. Joe's ambition trumped Joe's desire to protect Hunter.

Even more bizarre, while it has been clear for months that Trump was setting up to attack Joe and Hunter Biden's far from excellent Ukrainian adventures, Joe's response to those attacks has been feeble. Joe's 'electability' trope has died – and Joe is the one that killed it. If Joe cannot manage an effective response to Trump lies he has known are coming for months, imagine what will happen in a debate when Trump hits him with unexpected smears. Trump's smears will be lies, but few believe that Biden will prove agile and tough in counterpunching against novel Trumpian lies.

It is Impossible to Compete with Trump or the Democrats' Unintentional Self-Parody

We need to step back for a moment and stress the unbelievable chutzpah of Trump claiming that his passion for ending corruption explains his obscene perversion of the powers of government to extort other nations to create – not reveal – dirt on his political opponents. The Trump administration is the most corrupt in U.S. history. Relatives of the corrupt cabinet members that made the Harding and Grant administrations infamous can rejoice that their forbearers have become relatively less infamous. Trump is profoundly corrupt and he loves his fellow corrupt autocrats like Putin. The willingness of Republican enablers to repeat his corruption excuse for urging other nations to investigate his political opponents is simply another in the long line of examples proving that they have betrayed America and their oath of office.

The Obama administration, however, had its own geyser of hypocrisy when it came to the way it phrased its demands that Ukrainian officials fire their top anti-corruption prosecutor. The hypocrisy is not that they unjustly insisted that Ukrainian leaders fire the prosecutor. The evidence is conclusive that the prosecutor was, at best, a coward who refused to prosecute elite corrupt officials and CEOs. The hypocrisy is that at the same time the Obama administration was (correctly) pointing out the need to fire prosecutors who refuse to prosecute the most elite business fraudsters, the Obama administration's top prosecutor was refusing to prosecute our elite fraudsters.

The key character we should be talking about is Eric Holder, President Obama's Attorney General. No one has commented on the chutzpah of the Obama administration demanding Ukraine fire Viktor Shokin, its top prosecutor, for failing to prosecute Ukraine's most elite criminals that had corrupted the entire system. Goldberg explains:

"Shokin was seen as a single point of failure clogging up the system and blocking corruption cases," a former official in Barack Obama's administration told me. Vice President Joe Biden eventually took the lead in calling for Shokin's ouster.

The Wall Street Journal provided a similar explanation.

"We weren't pressing Ukraine to get rid of a tough prosecutor, we were pursuing Ukraine to replace a weak prosecutor who wouldn't do his job," Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Volker in his deposition defended Mr. Biden's work in Ukraine and pointed out that the prosecutor was corrupt and worked to shield favored people from prosecution, rather than go after wrongdoers, according to the person familiar with his testimony.

USA Today's account agreed.

The international effort to remove Shokin, who became prosecutor general in February 2015, began months before Biden stepped into the spotlight, said Mike Carpenter, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Biden and a deputy assistant secretary of defense, with a focus on Ukraine, Russia, Eurasia, the Balkans, and conventional arms control.

As European and U.S. officials pressed Ukraine to clean up Ukraine's corruption, they focused on Shokin's leadership of the Prosecutor General's Office.

"Shokin played the role of protecting the vested interest in the Ukrainian system," said Carpenter, who traveled with Biden to Ukraine in 2015. "He never went after any corrupt individuals at all, never prosecuted any high-profile cases of corruption."

That demonstrated that Poroshenko's administration was not sincere about tackling corruption and building strong, independent law enforcement agencies, said Heather Conley, director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank.

I have not found any article that points out the obvious hypocrisy of the Obama administration demanding that a nation's top prosecutor be fired for failing to prosecute the nation's most powerful, corrupt, and destructive elite financial criminals. The hypocrisy of Obama praising Holder while demanding Shokin's 'head' was epic. To fix a problem one must first admit it and resolve to fix it. Instead, Holder and Obama went with the preposterous lie that there were no fraudulent elite bankers, so they brought no prosecutions of the elite bankers whose frauds drove the GFC.

President Obama and Vice President Biden ignored that hypocrisy. The media continue to ignore the hypocrisy. Trump and the Republicans ignore the hypocrisy. We need to emphasize that in addition to refusing to prosecute elite banksters, the Trump administration has reduced white-collar prosecutions even below Obama's pathetic record. Worse, Barr and Trump are making it clear that while their elite contributors can loot with impunity, the Department of Justice now threatens to prosecute corporations that oppose Trump on obviously pretextual grounds.

If Holder had prosecuted the elite banksters, Trump would have been defeated in the election. The refusal to prosecute the banksters who gained immense wealth by leading frauds and predation, along with the massive bank bailout, was a critical contributor to the public rage that gave Trump his Electoral College victory.

Hillary Clinton's gratuitous decision to enrich herself through secret speeches to two of the world's most fraudulent banks – Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank – gifted freebies essential to Trump's election. Clinton advisers repeatedly warned her that the Republicans would use the secret paid speeches as a mace to attack her. She and Bill Clinton were, through tens of millions of dollars in speech fees, already wealthy. She had no financial need to take money from two of the world's most destructive criminal enterprises. Her greed trumped her ambition, so she ignored her advisers' warnings and did the secret speeches. Those freebies gifted the election to Trump.

Why, given that bitter failure by the 2016 Democratic candidate who won her Party's nomination based on her purported 'electability' would Biden gift Trump a freebie? From the beginning of this campaign, Biden's paramount claim has not been policies, but his purportedly unique 'electability.' The highly electable do not give the Trumps of the world freebies to bash them during the election contest. The highly electable do not stare like a deer mesmerized by a car's headlights when Trump lies about them and their children on a daily basis. They do not simply counterpunch – they unleash a devastating assault on the lies and smears, Trump's corruption, and Trump's hypocrisy.

[Oct 08, 2019] Syria - Trump Gives A Green Light For Another Turkish Invasion

Oct 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Turkey wants to replace those Kurds with the Syrian mob that it armed and supported against the Syrian government troops. These people and their families currently live in Turkey. To move them into north Syria would be one of the largest ethnic cleansing operation the world has seen in recent times.

A saying goes "The Kurds have no friends but the mountains." But there are no mountains in Syria's north east. While the YPG might want to fight off a Turkish invasion they have little chance to succeed. The land is flat and the YPG forces only have light arms.

There is only one solution for them. They will have to call up the Syrian government and ask it to come back into the north east. That would remove the Turkish concerns and would likely prevent further Turkish moves.

[Oct 08, 2019] The Ugly Results of an Absurd Syria Policy

Oct 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

By Daniel LarisonOctober 7, 2019, 12:23 PM

Trump has opened the door to a Turkish incursion into Syria:

Donald Trump has given the green light to a contentious Turkish military operation in north-east Syria against the main US allies in the battle with Isis, triggering alarm in Washington and Europe and plunging the campaign against jihadis into uncertainty.

The US has started withdrawing troops from the vicinity of a looming Turkish incursion, following Mr Trump's phone call with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, on Sunday night.

The White House said the US military, which has about 1,000 troops in Syria, would not "support or be involved in the operation" that Turkey has repeatedly threatened to launch against US-backed Kurdish militias. In a statement, it said US forces would "no longer be in the immediate area".

Removing U.S. forces from the area avoids having them caught up in the Turkish military operation. Unless the U.S. was prepared to oppose Turkey and defend the YPG, it's not clear what purpose would be served by keeping those forces where they were. Our absurd Syria policy has put us in the untenable position of trying to keep the peace between mutually hostile "allies" for years, and eventually the U.S. was going to have to choose which "ally" it was going to side with. It is worth remembering that Turkey is a treaty ally and the YPG is at most a proxy that has proven to be useful over the last few years. If the U.S. is going to favor one or the other, it was never likely that our government would take the side of the YPG over Turkey.

This dilemma wouldn't exist if the U.S. hadn't been waging an illegal war in Syria for the past five years, and this should teach us to think very carefully about whether we should support armed groups in a conflict where we have few clear interests. The U.S. has a long history of supporting and then discarding armed proxies, and this will keep repeating itself as long as the U.S. gets involved in unnecessary wars that it will sooner or later quit. The solution isn't to use U.S. forces as a buffer with no end in sight, as quite a few critics of this decision seem to want, but to refrain from sending U.S. forces into conflicts that don't matter for U.S. security in the first place. Eventually our forces are going to leave places on the other side of the planet, and it is unrealistic and unfair to make promises of a more enduring commitment that everyone has to know won't be kept.

Having said all that, the administration has handled all this very poorly. Like almost every Trump decision, the decision was made hastily and without coordinating with any of the people that would be affected by it. It isn't clear that all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Syria anytime soon, so it is possible that the illegal deployment there will continue somewhere else. And it wouldn't be a Trump foreign policy decision if it didn't involve making insane threats about destroying a country if its government does something he doesn't like:

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Trump clearly wants to have things both ways, but it won't work. He is obviously wrong to threaten to "destroy and obliterate" the Turkish economy, and the language in his statement is deranged. Anyone who refers to his own "great and unmatched wisdom" obviously doesn't have any wisdom to speak of, and it shows in this unhinged threat. For one thing, the threat isn't likely to deter Erdogan from ordering an attack on Kurdish forces. The Turkish government sees the YPG as part of an intolerable threat, and they aren't going to be coerced into changing their position on that. Following through on the threat would mean inflicting punishment on the people of Turkey for something their government has done, which would both inflame hostility to the U.S. and harm tens of millions of people without achieving anything.

These are all the ugly results of an absurd Syria policy and an illegal war that Trump escalated when he came into office. It should serve as a warning to future administrations about the pitfalls of involving the U.S. in wars we don't need to fight and throwing our support behind "allies" that we will eventually leave in the lurch.

Update: The movement of U.S. forces is just a redeployment inside Syria:

US troops are *not* leaving Syria and will simply be moved out of area Turkey may attack, senior administration official says. Number moving is 50 special operators.

Rep. Justin Amash says it best:

He's not bringing home the troops. He's not ending any war. Stop falling for it.

Shakes_McQueen 13 hours ago

"...if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)."

WHO SAYS THIS?

Forget the self-aggrandizing wording, which is beyond satire... Turkey are a treaty ally! He's casually musing and threatening, in public, about "obliterating" the economy of a treat ally!

It's going to be fascinating to see what the American history books have to say about this time we are living through.

JSC2397 12 hours ago
BTW, just as background: apparently Trump's threat to "destroy and obliterate" the Turkish economy relates to a massive fine the US is "entitled" to assess on some Turkish interests regarding a huge money-laundering scheme to evade financial sanctions on dealing with Iran. Which fine we have not yet officially levied out of the goodness of our hearts...

[Oct 08, 2019] Did China Just Announce the End of U.S. Primacy in the Pacific

Oct 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

For China, the three principle points of potential military friction with the U.S. are Taiwan, South Korea-Japan, and the South China Sea. Apart from South Korea and Japan, where the U.S. has significant ground and air forces already forward deployed, the main threat to China is maritime power projected by American aircraft carrier battlegroups and amphibious assault ships. The Chinese response was to develop a range of anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities designed to target American naval forces before they arrived in any potential contested waters.

Military Readiness Sidelined For Ships the Navy Doesn't Want Face It, The Mighty U.S. Aircraft Carrier is Finished

Traditionally, the U.S. Navy has relied on a combination of surface warships armed with sophisticated air defense systems, submarines, and the aircraft carrier's considerable contingent of combat aircraft to defend against hostile threats in time of war. China's response came in the form of the DF-21D medium-range missile , dubbed the "carrier killer." With a range of between 1,450 and 1,550 kilometers, the DF-21D employs a maneuverable warhead that can deliver a conventional high-explosive warhead with a circular error of probability (CEP) of 10 meters -- more than enough to strike a carrier-sized target.

To compliment the DF-21D, China has also deployed the DF-26 intermediate-range missile , which it has dubbed the "Guam killer," named after the American territory home to major U.S. military installations. Like the DF-21, the DF-26 has a conventionally armed variant, which is intended to be used against ships. Both missiles were featured in the 2015 military parade commemorating the founding of the PRC.

The U.S. responded to the DF-21/DF-26 threat by upgrading its anti-missile destroyers and cruisers , and forward deploying the advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) surface-to-air missile system to Guam . A second THAAD system was also deployed to South Korea . From America's perspective, these upgrades offset the Chinese advances in ballistic missile technology, restoring the maritime power projection capability that has served as the backbone of the U.S. military posture in the Pacific.

As capable as they were, however, the DF-21D and DF-26 were not the shashoujian weapons envisioned by Chinese military planners, representing as they did reciprocal capability, as opposed to a game-changing technology. The unveiling of the true shashoujian was reserved for last week's parade, and it came in the form of the DF-100 and DF-17 missiles.

The DF-100 is a vehicle-mounted supersonic cruise missile "characterized by a long range, high precision and quick responsiveness," according to the Chinese press . When combined with the DF-21/DF-26 threat, the DF-100 is intended to overwhelm any existing U.S. missile defense capability, turning the Navy into a virtual sitting duck. As impressive as the DF-100 is, however, it was overshadowed by the DF-17 , a long-range cruise missile equipped with a hypersonic glide warhead, which maneuvers at over seven times the speed of sound -- faster than any of the missiles the U.S. possesses to intercept it. Nothing in the current U.S. arsenal can defeat the DF-17 -- not the upgraded anti-missile ships, THAAD, or even the Ground Based Interceptors (GBI) currently based in Alaska.

In short, in the event of a naval clash between China and the U.S., the likelihood of America's fleet being sent to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean is very high.

The potential loss of the Pacific Fleet cannot be taken lightly: it could serve as a trigger for the release of nuclear weapons in response. The threat of an American nuclear attack has always been the ace in the hole for the U.S. regarding China, given that nation's weak strategic nuclear capability.

Since the 1980s, China has possessed a small number of obsolete liquid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles as their strategic deterrent. These missiles have a slow response time and could easily be destroyed by any concerted pre-emptive attack. China sought to upgrade its ICBM force in the late 1990s with a new road-mobile solid fuel missile, the DF-31 . Over the course of the next two decades, China has upgraded the DF-31, improving its accuracy and mobility while increasing the number of warheads it carries from one to three. But even with the improved DF-31, China remained at a distinct disadvantage with the U.S. when it came to overall strategic nuclear capability.

While the likelihood that a few DF-31 missiles could be launched and their warheads reach their targets in the U.S., the DF-31 was not a "nation killing" system. In short, any strategic nuclear exchange between China and the U.S. would end with America intact and China annihilated. As such, any escalation of military force by China that could have potentially ended in an all-out nuclear war was suicidal, in effect nullifying any advantage China had gained by deploying the DF-100 and DF-17 missiles.

Enter the