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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 Libertarian Philosophy Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA National Security State
Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite Theory Cold War II Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
"Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place The Deep State Strzok-gate Neo-conservatism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Two Party System as Polyarchy Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative
Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak Anti Trump Hysteria Trump vs. Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Syria civil war Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Color revolutions Demonization of Putin
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Anti-globalization movement Neoliberal corruption Neoliberalism and Christianity Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Disaster capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Corporatism New American Militarism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism American Exceptionalism Predator state Obama: a yet another Neocon
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? 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
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 War and Peace Quotes
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

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 doe snot correlate well with official position is worth presenting.  the reality is more complex than that. This consideration probably should be kept in mind when reading those pages. While they are an excellent tool for destroying propaganda stereotypes it is your own task to integrate your new understanding under some new paradigm. The  central for those pages is the idea that we live in neoliberal society and will continue to live in it for some type despite the crisis it experience 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 joined the former enemy.  That means  that we live in an unstable society prone to unleashing wars and falling in major 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 -- the current social system in the USA and most European countries, Japan, Russia and China (with some minor variations) -- is a very interesting ideology, one that does not dare to speak its name ;-). After a triumphal march of neoliberalism in late 80th and early 90th (with the collapse of the USSR as the high point), 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 neolibneral as a sopcial system was/is in comprison with New Deal Capitlaism, that does not  maen the the coming sucessor can;t be worse.

Risght now nolibeism is seiously sick and remind me Bolshevism after WWII. Bolshvism lasted almost 50 years after 1945, and do not see why neoliberalsm can;t last even longer then that as currently there is no viable aternatrives. for example russia which neolos try to pains as ne "Great Satan" is a neolinberal state. After the "triumphal march" over the globe in the late seventies and 80th with the collapse of the USSR, which elite (aka nomenklatura)  simply changed sides neoliberalism lost traction after 2000 and slided in deep crisis in 2008. Collase of Bolshevism paralleled the  collase of New Deal capialism in the USA. Like large part of Soveit nomenklatura became turncoats. Much like the US "management class" alliance of which with trade unions was the crucial factor in the New Deal sustainability; as soon as it collapsed the New Deal was replaced with neoliberalism.

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 is growing, standards of majority of population are iether  stagnant or fall, neoliberal globalization (with offshoring and outsourcing) as well as automation leave the young unemployed. Wealth was redistributed to the few and the level of unreality if 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. As the pie shrinks, someone will have to get less pie. And it is not financial oligarchy, or MIC.

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. 

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. the decline which 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 past its prime and entered the phase of decline.   So for all practical purposes the  deline of neoliberalism as a social system stated 8  years after crisis on 2008  and this decline  is a source of problems in the USA society which  neoliberal elite whats to hide  under  the smoke screen of Russiagate.

The neoliberal ideology  which is, essentially, can  be called "market fundamentalism" was discredited earlier, after global financial crisis of 2008.  Much like communism was after WWII when it became clear that it can't secure the standard of living for its population superior to 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 power of financial oligarchy. So it's not surprising that the New Deal Capitalism was 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.

From this point the standard of living of poor and lower middle class in the West started to slide. The first 20 years, till probably 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 helpdesk type which jobs migrated to India and other countries with cheap and qualified labor force.  so loss of manufacturing jobs was amplified by loss of some segments of white color 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" 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 of unrestricted immigration. Vigorous persecution and deportation of illegal immigrants and measures to block their entry (Mexican wall, etc) 
  3. Fight against suppression of wages by multinationals via cheap imported labor. Rejection of the idea of global labor market and unrestricted outsouring of labor to foreign countries. Legal measures against multinationals who tried to offload major part of workforce abroad. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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;
  6. Détente with Russia;
  7. More pragmatic relations with Israel and suppression of Israeli agents of influence in congress and government (AIPAC and so called dual citizens problem;
  8. Attempt to reverse the offshoring of manufacturing and labour to China and India, as well as addressing the problem of trade deficit;
  9. Rejection of total surveillance on all citizens;
  10. The cut of military expenses to one third or less of the current level and concentrating on revival on national infrastructure, education, and science.
  11. Abandonment of maintenance of the "sole superpower" status and global neoliberal empire for more practical and less costly "semi-isolationist" foreign policy;
  12. Closing of unnecessary foreign military bases and cutting aid to the current clients.

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.

Still the fact remains: in 2016 financial oligarchy not only failed to put the desired puppet into White House, and 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.

This is not the first time the "deep state" tried to depose elected president. JFK was probably the first, Nixon the second and now Trump might be the third. What is new is disappearance of anti-war left 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. And for this particular reason 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.  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 tail between all major cities, or at lease might not be having such frequent deadly crashes of Amtrak trains. Among other useful things like better roads, 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.

Still the New Deal remain the most humane form of capitalism invented and our analysis of neoliberalism has distinct 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 makes possible the restoration of the rule of the financial oligarchy, which happened in late 1980th.

The new coalition of anti-globalization forces that emerged during Trump election campaign is still pretty amorphic 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 Volin 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 -- the  first color revolution launched within the USA

What is new in putsch of intelligence services and neoliberal establishment against Trump is presence of classic elements of color revolutions technology. Which were for the first time used within the USA by "neoliberal nomenklatura" to preserve power. Some people call it Purple revolution. 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)

[Aug 19, 2018] Fate Of Key Gas Pipeline In The Balance As Putin, Merkel Begin Meeting

Aug 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"Russian influence will flow through that pipeline right into Europe, and that is what we are going to prevent," an unnamed U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal just as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel meet outside of Berlin on Saturday centered on the two countries moving forward with the controversial Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but also involving issues from the Iran nuclear deal to ending the war in Syria.

Intense pressure from Washington is overshadowing the project, construction of which is already in advanced stages, as the WSJ cites current and former US officials who say sanctions are under discussion and could be mobilized in a mere matter of weeks .

These potential sanctions, ostensibly being discussed in response to US intelligence claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election, could target companies and financial firms involved in the massive pipeline's construction . This comes after comments from President Trump at the opening of a NATO summit in July made things uncomfortable for his German counterpart when he said that Germany is so dependent on Russia for energy that it's essentially being "held captive" by Vladimir Putin and his government.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia. They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia," Trump told NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg at a televised opening breakfast.

The pipeline has been opposed by multiple US administrations, who have long accuse the Kremlin of seeking to accrue political leverage over Europe given the latter's already high dependence on Russian natural gas. The pipeline has been a frequent talking point and target of attacks by Trump, who has threatened to escalate the trade war against Germany going back months if it supported the construction of the pipeline. US officials have also expressed concern that Russia will pull pack significantly from delivering natural gas via Ukraine when its Gazprom tranit contract expires by the close of 2019. Ukraine is currently the chief Russian natural-gas export point to the EU and depends heavily on levying fees on this trade.

Both Russia and Germany have sought to calm US concerns over the Ukraine issue, with Putin himself reportedly telling both Merkel and Trump that he is "ready to preserve" gas transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 was completed.

US officials speaking to the WSJ , however, downplayed the Ukraine issue, instead focusing on the urgency of allowing such significant and irreversible Russian economic, political, and infrastructural inroads into the heart of Europe .

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, told the WSJ , "We have been clear that firms working in the Russian energy export-pipeline sector are engaging in a line of business that carries sanctions risk," -- something which he's repeatedly emphasized with officials in Berlin. President Trump himself has also reportedly raised the issue directly with Chancellor Merkel on multiple occasions. But for all the shrill US media claims that Trump is somehow doing Putin's bidding, the WSJ has this illuminating line : "Officially, the European Commission, the EU's executive body, is coordinating the gas-transit talks, but Ms. Merkel also has played a leading role because of her regular contacts and longstanding relationship with Mr. Putin, European officials say ."

Meanwhile, it appears that Washington has a losing hand even while making threats of sanctions in an attempt to block the pipeline project.

Crucially, the WSJ report provides further confirmation of the following previously known but hugely significant detail :

A European energy executive familiar with the discussions said company representatives had told John McCarrick, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources, that the five European companies and Gazprom had already provided €5.5 billion ($6.3 billion) in financing and that the project wouldn't be stopped even if the U.S. were to impose sanctions .

The Nord Stream 2 project was started in 2015 and is a major joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and European partners, including German Uniper, Austria's OMV, France's Engie, Wintershall and the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell.

The pipeline is set to run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea - doubling the existing pipeline's capacity of 55 cubic meters per year, and is therefore critical for Europe's future energy needs.

Currently, the second phase involves utilizing an existing pipeline already channelling smaller amount of gas from Russia to Germany. Construction for the second phase started in May of this year.

GlassHouse101 -> Winston Churchill Sat, 08/18/2018 - 13:29 Permalink

More Sanctions!! Sanction all of the countries!

07564111 -> GlassHouse101 Sat, 08/18/2018 - 13:35 Permalink

will lead only to war with Russia..take that as fact.

[Aug 19, 2018] FBI Dealt Blow By DC Judge; Must Address Measures Taken To Verify Steele Dossier

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
The FBI has been dealt a major blow after a Washington DC judge ruled that the agency must respond to a FOIA request for documents concerning the bureau's efforts to verify the controversial Steele Dossier, before it was used as the foundation of a FISA surveillance warrant application and subsequent renewals.

US District Court Judge Amit Mehta - who in January sided with the FBI's decision to ignore the FOIA request, said that President Trump's release of two House Intelligence Committee documents (the "Nunes" and "Schiff" memos) changed everything.

Considering that the FBI offered Steele $50,000 to verify the Dossier's claims yet never paid him, BuzzFeed has unsuccessfully tried to do the same to defend themselves in a dossier-related lawsuit, and a $50 million Soros-funded investigation to continue the hunt have turned up nothing that we know of - whatever documents the FBI may be forced to cough up regarding their attempts to verify the Dossier could prove highly embarrassing for the agency.

[I]f Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts , according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

What's more, forcing the FBI to prove they had an empty hand will likely embolden calls to disband the special counsel investigation - as the agency's mercenary and politicized approach to "investigations" will be laid all the more bare for the world to see. Then again, who knows - maybe the FBI verified everything in the dossier and it simply hasn't leaked.

That said, while the FBI will likely be forced to acknowledge the documents thanks to the Thursday ruling, the agency will still be able to try and convince the judge that there are other grounds to withhold the records.

In January, Mehta blessed the FBI's decision not to disclose the existence of any records containing the agency's efforts to verify the dossier - ruling that Trump's tweets about the dossier didn't require the FBI and other intelligence agencies to act on records requests.

" But then the ground shifted ," writes Mehta of Trump declassifying the House memos. "As a result of the Nunes and Schiff Memos, there is now in the public domain meaningful information about how the FBI acquired the Dossier and how the agency used it to investigate Russian meddling."

The DOJ also sought to distinguish between the Steele Dossier and a synopsis of the dossier presented to both Trump and then-President Obama in 2016, however Mehta rejected the attempt, writing "That position defies logic," while also rejecting the government's refusal to even say if the FBI has a copy of that synopsis.

"It remains no longer logical nor plausible for the FBI to maintain that it cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents," Mehta wrote.

It is simply not plausible to believe that, to whatever extent the FBI has made efforts to verify Steele's reporting, some portion of that work has not been devoted to allegations that made their way into the synopsis. After all, if the reporting was important enough to brief the President-elect, then surely the FBI thought enough of those key charges to attempt to verify their accuracy . It will be up to the FBI to determine which of the records in its possession relating to the reliability of the Dossier concerns Steele's reporting as discussed in the synopsis.

"This ruling represents another incremental step in revealing just how much the FBI has been able to verify or discredit the rather personal allegations contained in that synopsis derived from the Steele dossier," said Brad Moss, a lawyer pressing the lawsuit for the pro-transparency group, the James Madison Project. "It will be rather ironic if the president's peripheral actions that resulted in this ruling wind up disclosing that the FBI has been able to corroborate any of the 'salacious' allegations."

In other words, the FBI must show what they did to verify the claims contained within the Nunes and Schiff memos.

Because the case was heard on appeal, the ruling will not take immediate effect, notes Politico , which adds that the appeals court is now likely to remand the case to Mehta, while the FBI is going to try and convince him the records should remain unreleased.

GoFuqYourself -> vaporland Sat, 08/18/2018 - 12:57 Permalink

Maybe the globalists are starting to capitulate to the nationalists behind the scenes

jin187 -> GoFuqYourself Sat, 08/18/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

Strange how the alphabet soup agencies always seem to fight hardest only when it comes to hiding embarrassing information from the American people. Yet they wonder why we don't consider them all civil servants and heroes.

[Aug 19, 2018] "No one wants their ship to get stuck (in Ukrainian waters) with a cargo, which had been paid for," another source at a Russian shipping company said

Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al August 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

Neuters: Some Russian ships stop cargoes to Ukraine after tanker detained- sources
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russia-ukraine-shipping/some-russian-ships-stop-cargoes-to-ukraine-after-tanker-detained-sources-idUKKBN1L01GU

Russian ships typically carry oil products from Turkmenistan via Russian ports and the Sea of Azov to the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Kherson and Nikolayev during summer, partly by river.

They also ship sunflower seed oil from Ukraine, and those operations have also been suspended, according to the sources.

"No one wants their ship to get stuck (in Ukrainian waters) with a cargo, which had been paid for," another source at a Russian shipping company said
####

Not new, but a little more detail.

Cutting one's nose off to spite

[Aug 19, 2018] Why we do not negotiate with the USA

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. sets the main goals in negotiating with anyone and does not retreat an inch from the self-asserted goals. ..."
"... The U.S. does not offer anything in cash or immediate in return for what it receives in cash. It simply makes strong promises and tries to enchant the other side by mere promises. ..."
"... And in the final step, when things are over and the U.S. has received the cash, the immediate benefits, it breaches the same promises. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Iranian Supreme Leader even posted a special graphic summary to summarize and explain the Iranian position:

This is the U.S. formula for negotiation:

  1. Because U.S. officials depend on power and money, they consider negotiations as a business deal.
  2. The U.S. sets the main goals in negotiating with anyone and does not retreat an inch from the self-asserted goals.
  3. They demand the other side to give them immediate benefits and if the other party refrains from giving in, the U.S. officials will create an uproar so that their partner would give up.
  4. The U.S. does not offer anything in cash or immediate in return for what it receives in cash. It simply makes strong promises and tries to enchant the other side by mere promises.
  5. And in the final step, when things are over and the U.S. has received the cash, the immediate benefits, it breaches the same promises.
  6. This is the U.S.'s method of negotiation. Now, should one negotiate with such a duplicitous government?

[Aug 19, 2018] Ukrainian external debt reached 83 percent of the GDP

Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile,

This year, the Ukraine Prime Minister Groisman said that the external debt is 83% of the GDP. And by the end of the year, having been pressurized by the IMF, it will reach 90%. In order to service its external debts, the Ukraine spends $4.8 billion a year.

This is real slavery - only a new, improved version of it. From the 17th to the 19 centuries, slavery in [the North American British colonies and then - ME] the United States had a number of serious deficiencies: slaves had to be brought all the way from Africa; slaves were not extremely industrious; Americans themselves had to live amongst the slaves; and, most unpleasantly, all this led to civil war in the United States.

In this version of 21st century slavery, all these disadvantages have been eliminated! Slaves stay in their homecountry: there is no need to bring them from there, no need to live amongst them and to feed them! Slaves are forced to work hard in the hope of paying off their debt, so they are motivated and hardworking. And most importantly, no civil war in the USA!

Draw your own conclusions.

[Aug 19, 2018] New Interests Join The Clash About North-East Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Turkey fell into the same deep state bankers financial trap, that Spain Greece Italy fell for. Bail out a vunrable country then pull the rug out ! You own them ! So I would slightly disagree with it being entirely of there own making. I blame the Rothchild family. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

... ... ...

At the beginning of the year one U.S. dollar cost 3.5 lira. At the beginning of August it cost 4.80 lira. It then went up to 7.00 lira/$ and at Friday's closing it was down again at 6.00 TL/$. But Monday morning lira will again lose more of its value:

Turkey's credit rating was cut further into junk Friday by S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service, which said the volatile lira and wide current-account deficit may undermine the Middle East's largest economy.

S&P reduced Turkey's foreign-currency rating to four notches below investment grade at B+ from BB-, on par with Argentina, Greece and Fiji. Moody's lowered its grade to Ba3 from Ba2, three notches below investment grade. The ratings companies said the weak currency, runaway inflation and current-account deficit are Turkey's key vulnerabilities .

Turkey's crisis is homemade . The current spat with the United States only exaggerates it. For years Turkey borrowed large amounts of money from abroad and invested it into local infrastructure instead of producing exportable products. Its current account deficit this year will again be some $50 to $60 billion. International banks and other foreign lenders now demand interests rates above 20% from Turkish lenders because the chance of losing the lent money is high.

After the 17% crash on August 13 down to 7 TL/$ the Turkish Central Bank used some one-time measures to support the currency without raising its interest rate. The Turkish president Erdogan is ideologically adverse to interests and keeps the bank from doing what it must do to cool the Turkish economy and to stabilize the currency.

Erdogan asked Russia for help but received nothing but good advice. He also called in favors. When in June 2017 Saudi Arabia's clown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) tried to take over Qatar and to steal its juicy $350 billion sovereign wealth fund, the emir of Qatar called on Turkey for help. Erdogan sent the Turkish army and air force. His troops protected Qatar from a Saudi invasion.

With the lira in trouble the emir flew to Ankara and promised a new $15 billion investment into Turkey. Additionally some mysterious cargo was unloaded from his plane. That saved the lira for a few days. But Turkey's structural problems are unsolved. Erdogan is no longer trusted and his son in law, who he made finance minister, lacks the necessary qualification for the job. Thus :

"We forecast a recession next year," S&P said. "Inflation will peak at 22 percent over the next four months, before subsiding to below 20 percent by mid-2019."

The Qatari move came a few days before its arch enemy Saudi Arabia also moved into the area. On Friday the U.S. announced that Saudi Arabia would support the U.S. occupied north-east Syria with 100 million dollar . The Wahhabi Saudis are now financing the secular Kurdish terror organization PKK/YPG, the local U.S. proxy in north-east Syria.

If the Saudi clown prince MbS wants to take revenge on Turkey's Erdogan for messing up his plans for Qatar, he now has his chance.

Posted by b on August 18, 2018 at 03:56 PM | Permalink


Mark2 , Aug 18, 2018 5:12:42 PM | 4

One refinement to add to 'b's outstanding post (how the hell does he do it, miraculous !) as far as I can see Turkey fell into the same deep state bankers financial trap, that Spain Greece Italy fell for. Bail out a vunrable country then pull the rug out ! You own them ! So I would slightly disagree with it being entirely of there own making. I blame the Rothchild family.
Fastfreddy , Aug 18, 2018 5:32:52 PM | 5
Moody's and S&P ratings agencies are fraudulent institutions. For having AAA rated billions worth of junk mortgages, they should have been indicted and prosecuted.
Lochearn , Aug 18, 2018 5:44:06 PM | 6
Excellent analysis again, b. You surpass yourself. There is something you talk about that has always intrigued me

"For years Turkey borrowed large amounts of money from abroad and invested it into local infrastructure instead of producing exportable products."

There is a parallel here with Spain. From entry into the Euro in 1999 the floodgates of credit opened. Bankers, politicians and builders were involved in creating vast swathes of speculative urbanization; two airports were built which now stand empty, a formula 1 track hosted five races before closing, a phantom theme park; huge, almost empty accommodation complexes, and the list goes on. The ghost airport in Ciudad Real, which cost £1.2 million euros, was sold off to Chinese buyers for a mere 10,000 euros. The "Cajas", the regional banks, were all bailed out by the government.

Apart from local corruption, which is nothing new, I think there must have been a deliberate strategy on the part of EU elites not to finance industrial projects that would generate export currency, and hence compete with EU industrial powers such as Germany (I once read Spanish academic paper arguing this but have not managed to track it down). When the same happens in Turkey, obviously not an EU country, you have to wonder whether is it part of a transatlantic banker strategy: corrupt national elites finance corrupt local elites to build ghost infrastructures as cheap and shoddy as you can get, the banks that financed it get bailed out if it all crashes. What's not to like?

telescope , Aug 18, 2018 5:50:52 PM | 7
Turks can't avoid Greek-style crisis now. The solution calls for a violent swing in trade balance from huge deficit to sizable surplus, somewhere in a range of $100B. That can't happen unless people of Turkey are warehoused in slave-labor-condition factories that can be competitive enough to displace Asian players. That entails bone-crushing fall in living standards.
All in all, 20 percent decline in GDP is now all but certainty. The longer Erdogan tries to avoid the harsh medicine, the deeper this cancer goes. He should either bow to IMF, or to exit NATO, join BRICS and ask for loans from that grouping.
Of course, Turkish military can say bye-bye to its present size. It's unsustainable. Financial crunch will reduce Turkish armed forces to less than half of their present size.
And if Erdogan wants to keep his soldiers well-equipped for half the price - which he should - he'll have to switch to much more reasonably priced Russian weaponry. Once he does that, even Russia may contribute $10B to his bailout kitty.
Otherwise, Erdogan is a dead man. The economic hurricane barreling his way is only gathering strength with every passing day. And all he is doing is unfurling umbrellas and increasing the volume of music.
Mark2 , Aug 18, 2018 6:29:19 PM | 12
That list of infrastructure @ Lochern mentions looks geared toward the holiday industry which in the past has been a major income for Turkey ! Worth at the time perhaps investing in. Very popular with Eurapians but very popular with Russians. My wild guess would be---- some dodgey ploy by the west to drive a wedge between Russia and Turky, devideding and ruling both! By meens of conflict and bank debt .The gains would be numerous long term and short term. But as already mentioned may back fire and bring Russia and Turkey closer. I hope so.
Pft , Aug 18, 2018 6:30:54 PM | 13
Much of Turkeys external debt is private and not government . Their BIS controlled central bank kept interest rates high. This forced Turkish banks to take out loans in USD or Euro which had lower interest rates to meet loan demands in the private corporate sector , which they made at higher interest rates after exchanging for Lira. More profitable. The assumption was there would be a relatively stable exchange rate. So there was risk.

That risk made them vulnerable fx attack by the globalist banking cartel. When Erdogan took over more control from the TCB last month to reduce interest rates and reduce demand for foreign loans this was seen as an act of war. The independence of the central bank must be defended. Trumps additional tarrif increases, mild as they were were simply a symbolic barking of orders to take Turkey down

Looking at the broader picture. Since the 2008 financial blowout there has been "carry trade" fueled by zero-cost liquidity pumped into the global system by quantitative easing, which was then shipped to high-interest emerging markets such as Brazil, Turkey and other countries.

With the beginning of the Fed's "tapering" of QE and rising interest rates since 2015, the whole financial system has triggered a "reverse carry trade" where dollars flow out of emerging markets back to safer havens. This is what you are seeing in Turkey, Argentina, Russia, Brazil, etc.

The last 10 years are a replay of the decade running up to the 1997/1998 crisis. While the 1985 'Plaza Accord' dollar devaluation was not exactly QE, it had the same intent and results – a flood of cheap money and dollar debt, and therefore growing global dependence on the dollar and vulnerability to US monetary and economic policy

Some say countries like Turkey should know better, but countries have little control over their monetary policy under the global and independent central banking system forced on them. Go against this system and you will be hit with sanctions , subject to regime change or will be invaded

So call it a homegrown crisis if thats the reality you choose to live in. Who am I to say otherwise?

CDWaller , Aug 18, 2018 6:52:06 PM | 15
These rating agencies are the same ones that rated junk mortgage bonds AA. They are for sale to highest bidder or since they haven't been prosecuted for their criminal behavior, vulnerable to threats from the same political machine that turned a blind eye in 2008.
Turkey may have homegrown economic problems as you have pointed out but they certainly have even more problems with a vindictive and extremely corrupt Uncle Sam who ruthlessly punish any and all independent actions.
dh-mtl , Aug 18, 2018 7:26:48 PM | 17
Another excellent blog B. I agree with many of the above commenters that the breadth and depth of the analysis on MOA is truly amazing.

Pft@13. Good analysis as well.

However, I would expect that Turkey will not be another Greece. Rather I expect Turkey to get help from its friends to stabilize its economic position, resist U.S. sanctions and avoid an IMF bail-out.

With the support of Qatar, and I would expect China as well, I would expect Turkey to protect its banks. However, it is also possible that they will let some private Turkish companies, with dollar denominated debts, default. Such defaults, combined with the pressure that declining dollar liquidity is already putting on other emerging markets and Italy, would be destabilizing for the Western financial system. Sooner or later, and I suspect sooner, the FED will be required to start printing money again, which will reverse the dollar's recent strength and relieve the pressure on Turkey.

At the end of the day, however, I expect that this episode will be another step in the direction of de-dollarization and will further reduce the ability of the U.S. to use economic sanctions to bully its adversaries.

Mark2 , Aug 18, 2018 8:03:33 PM | 18
A strange paradox of life !
Owe your bank 1000 the bank manager will make you bankrupt, owe the bank a million and he'll invite you home for dinner ! More to lose !
By this token I'd like to think, the more country's that refuse there debt, the less power the west will have ! The less credibility and the less fear and influence they can inflict .
If the west wants to weaponise banking so be it ! Bring it on. Let's pull the rug out from under the banks/Rothchilds.
Feet ! Natural justice !
ben , Aug 18, 2018 8:19:12 PM | 19
Pft @ 13 said:"Some say countries like Turkey should know better, but countries have little control over their monetary policy under the global and independent central banking system forced on them. Go against this system and you will be hit with sanctions , subject to regime change or will be invaded."

CDWaller @ 15 said:"These rating agencies are the same ones that rated junk mortgage bonds AA. They are for sale to highest bidder or since they haven't been prosecuted for their criminal behavior, vulnerable to threats from the same political machine that turned a blind eye in 2008."


The usual suspects described perfectly.

[Aug 19, 2018] End of "classic neoliberalism": to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare. This global trade war is spearheaded by the Trump White House, which sees trade sanctions and tariffs, such as the onslaught it launched against Turkey, as an integral component of its drive to secure the United States' geopolitical and economic interests at the expense of friend and foe alike. ..."
"... But while they are deeply divided as to their economic and geo-political objectives, the capitalist ruling classes are united on one essential question. However the next stage of the ongoing breakdown of world capitalism proceeds, they will all strive by whatever means considered necessary to make the working class the world over pay for it. ..."
"... In 2008, capitalist governments around the world, above all in the US, derived enormous benefit from the decades-long suppression of the class struggle by the trade unions and the parties of the political establishment. The rescue operation they carried out on behalf of parasitic and criminal finance capital would not have been possible without it ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/16/pers-a16.html

"But to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare. This global trade war is spearheaded by the Trump White House, which sees trade sanctions and tariffs, such as the onslaught it launched against Turkey, as an integral component of its drive to secure the United States' geopolitical and economic interests at the expense of friend and foe alike.

The character of world economy has undergone a major transformation in the past decade in which economic growth, to the extent it that it occurs, is not driven by the development of production and new investments but by the flow of money from one source of speculative and parasitic activity to the next."

"But while they are deeply divided as to their economic and geo-political objectives, the capitalist ruling classes are united on one essential question. However the next stage of the ongoing breakdown of world capitalism proceeds, they will all strive by whatever means considered necessary to make the working class the world over pay for it.

This is the lesson from the past decade which, in every country, has seen a deepening attack on wages, social conditions and living standards as wealth is redistributed up the income scale, raising social inequality to unprecedented heights.

In 2008, capitalist governments around the world, above all in the US, derived enormous benefit from the decades-long suppression of the class struggle by the trade unions and the parties of the political establishment. The rescue operation they carried out on behalf of parasitic and criminal finance capital would not have been possible without it."

[Aug 19, 2018] Due to an astonishing coincidence, two doctors on duty had just returned from a course at Porton Down, Britain's world-leading equivalent to Shikhany, when Scripals were brought in

Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen August 15, 2018 at 4:59 pm

For anyone still interested in the Skripal poisoning incident, Rob Slane at The Blogmire has a new article where he draws attention to this paragraph lifted from The Daily Telegraph:

"Dr Stephen Jukes, intensive care consultant at Salisbury District Hospital, where the Skripals were treated (and where Rowley and Sturgess were taken), has described trying 'all our therapies' to keep Sergei and Yulia alive. Due to an astonishing coincidence, two doctors on duty had just returned from a course at Porton Down, Britain's world-leading equivalent to Shikhany, when the pair were brought in. Recognising what looked like symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning, they made sure to include diazepam and atropine in their battery of treatments -- the drugs compensate for some of the effects of acetylcholinesterase blockage -- and plunged the Skripals into an artificial coma to prevent brain damage."
https://www.theblogmire.com/are-any-mps-prepared-to-ask-the-prime-minister-why-she-appears-to-have-made-a-deeply-misleading-statement-on-26th-march/

Astonishing coincidence, that the two doctors were fresh from a training course at Porton Down? Maybe not.

Elsewhere Slane states that the Skripals, and Julia especially, made rapid recoveries after coming out of their induced comas, and that by the time Theresa May made her statement in Parliament, she may have been aware (or was deliberately left uninformed) that Julia at least was improving and nowhere remotely near pushing up daisies.

kirill August 15, 2018 at 8:44 pm
This story is BS like the rest of this hoax. Neurotoxins are not 100% treatable. There is nerve damage and any military grade toxin such as VX would leave vast amounts of it, regardless of intervention. So the recovery of the Julia proves she was never exposed to a neurotoxin.

The average media consumer has never done any research on the subject of various subjects that are relevant. They think of treatments in cartoon fashion. Take this magic pill and you are fully cured. No long lasting effects, no lack of cures, etc. A common trope in TV and movies is the magical antibody. You have a horde of zombies (yet more deep insight into disease) and some vaccine is going to cure their disorder. Complete and utter rubbish.

An example to show what a failure the common perceptions are about disease is Necrotizing Fasciitis. It is not the bacteria (strep B type) that consume the "flesh". It is a runaway cytokine inflammation induced necrosis of cells on a massive scale. Basically it is a genetic disorder even if bacteria trigger the disease. So how the metabolism responds to a neurotoxin should be considered. In the case of military nerve agents, the design of the toxin is to result in rapid death. This prevents various secondary, metabolism-associated pathologies from manifesting themselves. But in the case of the Skripals, which are pure fiction, we would have all of these secondary pathologies manifesting themselves.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648782/

"Moreover, the effects of nerve agents are very long lasting and cumulative (increased by successive exposures), and survivors of nerve agent poisoning usually suffer chronic neurological damage that can lead to continuing psychiatric effects [109]."

[Aug 19, 2018] Neoliberals have monopolized the information distribution system internet and television and used it to silence critics, prevent competing platforms from arising, bully society into accepting their standards of conduct and thought, blacklist conservatives in Hollywood, promote physical violence against dissenters

Notable quotes:
"... In that sense, the elite media are indeed enemies of the people – our people, that is. If they didn't want to perceived as such, they should have been fairer in their coverage, they shouldn't have started censoring people and banning them off Twitter and PayPal for wrongthink, they shouldn't have promoted endless invasion, they shouldn't have coordinated outrageous attacks like that disgraceful WaPo story alleging everyone who didn't support Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian plot (lying bastards) ..."
"... It's not appropriate for a handful of American cities (LA, NY, and DC), a single political party (the democrats), and a handful of democrat-voting businessmen and leftist "journalists" to control 98% of the narrative. Something needs to be done about that. ..."
"... Otherwise, South Africa is our future. They faced the same choice as we do now, and they did it wrong. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [178] Disclaimer , August 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT

I think some clarification is needed here. What these people have actually done is the following:

They have monopolized the information distribution system – internet and television – and used it to silence critics, prevent competing platforms from arising, bully society into accepting their standards of conduct and thought, blacklist conservatives in Hollywood, promote physical violence against us (punch a Nazi where "Nazi" is basically any non extremist), and organize countless wide-spread coordinated attacks against our government in order to overthrow it, and replace it with their own. They've used banks to deny service to legal gun shops (a roundabout way to ban them), they've used credit card companies to shut down critics of Islam, they've used lawfare to attack Christian bakers, they've banned critics from PayPal, they've censored YouTube videos, they boot critics from Facebook, they employ an army of "state-sponsored in all but name" censors for social media – SPLC, ADL, and they have recruited a "state-sponsored in all but name" KGB to track down and dox/fire/witchunt dissenters on the internet.

We live in fear that at any moment out lives could be destroyed if we are filmed in public expressing wrong think; other countries like Germany have laws against this, so why don't we? Oh, that's right, because it is a useful tool to control dissent. The deepstate needs to keep their little empire together. Careful not to be white and say the wrong thing or your picture may end up being broadcast by the Young Turks to the world: "racist white lady calls the cops on innocent non-whites who didn't pay for anything in a restaurant and loitered around, refused to leave a private establishment after being politely asked to pay or go, and then screamed at cops for 10 minutes before being arrested. The shame. Dirty racist."

We are subject to false allegations in a system rigged by feminists to discriminate against men. We are guilty until proven innocent. We have to work twice as hard for half the results due to racist affirmative action policies. We are bombarded with leftist propaganda in the entertainment industry. No form of entertainment is free from their proselytizing. There are endless 2 minute sessions of hate directed at us: Duke Lacrosse, Virginia rape hoax, Ferguson, Starbucks,

The media got away with this in the past by pretending to be objective, but they don't even bother with that aspect anymore. Unfortunately, the corrupt, spineless traitors in the GOP let this happen. They should have been rigorously enforcing anti-monopoly laws, media ownership laws, and supporting public broadcasting – internet and television – in order to drive down the ratings of deepstate-run organs like CNN. Instead, they sold out. They are traitors, too.

In that sense, the elite media are indeed enemies of the people – our people, that is. If they didn't want to perceived as such, they should have been fairer in their coverage, they shouldn't have started censoring people and banning them off Twitter and PayPal for wrongthink, they shouldn't have promoted endless invasion, they shouldn't have coordinated outrageous attacks like that disgraceful WaPo story alleging everyone who didn't support Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian plot (lying bastards)

How many of these fake news stories have these people come up with? Stormy Daniels, Omarosa, Russiagate, BLM . It should be clear by now that these scum are trying to rig the upcoming election in the democrat party's favor by ginning up racial and gender animus; that is blatantly what they tried to do in 2016. So, why are we letting them? We can't organize a boycott of them, their advertisers, their distribution networks? If they ban us from social media, can't we pass laws requiring their distribution network – internet service providers and trucking companies – to ban them in retaliation? Can't we organize state-sponsored, censorship-free competition? Our state legislatures can ban boycotts of Israel but not protect we the people?

It's not appropriate for a handful of American cities (LA, NY, and DC), a single political party (the democrats), and a handful of democrat-voting businessmen and leftist "journalists" to control 98% of the narrative. Something needs to be done about that.

Personally, I think the US is done for as a constitutional republic. Either we secede and have a country run for the benefit of our own people (optimal), or we seize control and run the government for the benefit of ourselves. Works for China. And that's exactly what the left is plotting with their immigration invasion. So why not strike first? Do we want to end up like South Africa? Do we want to end up with a one-party democrat state? Imagine racist SJW scum stomping on your face forever. That's the choice we face, and it is coming up soon.

As far as I'm concerned, Trump won 60% of the American vote. A near majority of the people who voted democrat are not American. They are foreign invaders invited after the 1965 immigration act to steal away our democracy and give it to the racist democrat party. If the Chinese army invaded California, we wouldn't give them the vote. So, why do racist invaders get to vote? Strip them of their citizenship and let only republicans vote. Then, expel these traitors to other countries where they belong.

Our country was originally founded as an exclusive society that reserved the vote for white landowners, and the American Revolution was only supported by a third of the public. Patriots rose up and kicked out the king against the wishes of the stupid masses, and they were right to do so. Thank God that wasn't left up to an equal vote because not all men are equal in their abilities.

I don't see how it would be wrong to reserve the vote exclusively for our people again, or at least Republicans in general, people who have the nation's best interest at heart, people wise enough and capable enough to understand right from wrong and wisdom from stupidity.

Think this is too extreme? It isn't because that's exactly what they have publicly advocated doing to us – deport us, enslave us, censor our speech, jail us, attack us in the streets, ban Fox News. One of their democrat senators publicly supported censoring more people after Alex Jones was deplatformed via RICOesque collusion. They announce it publicly! When are we going to take their threats seriously and strike first?

Otherwise, South Africa is our future. They faced the same choice as we do now, and they did it wrong. They gave their country away to racist vermin who now threaten to steal their land without compensation. It was obvious at the time that it would end badly for the whites there one day, but they stupidly ignored the warnings, Now, their racist president chants "death to the Boar, death to the white man." Don't think that can happen here? It can. The racist democrat running for Georgia governor wants to destroy Stone Mountain and give reparations to blacks (steal our money like SA steals white lands).

When the rats retake the White House in 2020, they are going to unleash a wave of racist hate against us that will never abate. That's what Obama did with BLM, so there is no reason to believe they won't do so again but much worse after all their rhetoric. And there will be so many democrat-voting immigrant invaders here that we can never win power again. They thirst to make our country a dictatorship like China, but with themselves at the top. That's a scary thought. Are we going to let them do it?

[Aug 19, 2018] The Russian government-sponsored news outlets, RT and Sputnik News, registered as foreign agents in the US at the orders of the Department of Justicw but CIA controlled outlets in Russia still were not converted to the same status

RT is foreign government financed press. It is an obligation of the US government to control foreign propaganda. The same is true for the Russian government and Voice of America and Svoboda or BBC and UK government.
The problem arise when you consider NYT, or WaPo as privately owned outlet. They are to a large extent CIA controlled outlets. . And that creates huge discrepancy.
Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren August 18, 2018 at 4:54 am

kirill August 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

Because transparently biased private media companies are somehow better than state sponsored ones. That is the Pavlovian reflex that has been conditioned into western media consumer sheep for decades if not centuries.

If one stops and thinks about it, private companies are actually freer to engage in propaganda than state sponsored ones. Russia is a democracy (yes indeed, by US and EU standards) and would want its sponsored media to spread a moderate message that counterbalances the cheesy hate propaganda spewed by the "free" corporate media and NATzO state sponsored media. The key here is the sponsoring of an alternative voice that provides actual information and not just spin. Clearly RT was not just spewing spin and doing a good job debunking NATzO BS. That is not acceptable to the de facto totalitarian west.

Patient Observer August 18, 2018 at 6:24 am
I always found the concept that private/corporate controlled media was inherently freer than a government sponsored media as patently ridiculous.

Considering that the government nominally is controlled by the citizens while corporate media is controlled by its owners should be sufficient in itself to show which type of ownership best serves the interest of the citizens.

The argument that private media is a competition to who can best tell the truth is simply contrary to every business instinct. Information is power and that information is to be controlled, distorted, fabricated, etc. as needed to advance certain, private, interests. The internet has thrown a shoe into the media machinery by establishing alternate information channels.

As for RT, I find them fairly unbiased, their biggest sin is to simply report news that is studiously ignored by the MSM.

kirill August 18, 2018 at 7:37 am
What is annoying about western media consumer sheep is that they are willfully blind and not just ignorant or brainwashed. As with Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch it is patently clear that the owner dictates the tone of the whole organization. This is a trivial consequence of the pyramid structure of organizations: the top boss chooses all the lower bosses down to the workers. Sure there is some offloading of decision making, but you do not see leftist media being owned by rightist owners. A corporation is a dictatorship and not some grass roots democracy. The workers (journalists) are hired and fired and do not run a collective which elects their administration.

[Aug 19, 2018] Murphy's Law Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors by Thomas Knapp

Notable quotes:
"... Political blogger Michael Krieger answers that question with a simple headline: "Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared." The American political establishment has spent the last decade quaking in its boots over the next potential disclosure from WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, or whistleblowers yet unknown. This isn't about "our democracy." It's about "their power." ..."
"... The US government's use of putatively "private sector" social media outlets as proxy censors has been going on for some time, but the Russiagate scandal lent it new momentum. And it's not just some alleged lunatic fringe that they're after. Recent victims of Twitter's ban policy include non-interventionist foreign policy analysts like Scott Horton (editorial director of Antiwar.com ), former Foreign Service Officer Peter Van Buren, and Ron Paul Institute director Daniel McAdams. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
In a recent tweet, US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) warned that "Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart." His solution: "These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it."

Yes, odd as it might seem, Senator Murphy believes that the future of America can only be secured by suppressing information and discussion he doesn't like. That sentiment seems to be going around. David McCabe of Axios reports on a leaked policy paper from the office of US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). Two of its most dangerous proposals:

"[N]ew federal funding for media literacy programs that could help consumers sort through the information on online platforms." In other words, well-financed government propaganda to make sure we hear what Mark Warner wants us to hear (and think what he wants us to think about what we hear elsewhere).

"[R]equiring web platforms to label bot accounts or do more to identify authentic accounts, with the threat of sanction by the Federal Trade Commission if they fail to do so." America's long tradition of anonymous and pseudonymous political speech -- not least among it the Revolution-era pamphlets of Thomas Paine -- shouldn't be subject to the veto of Mark Warner or Chris Murphy.

Then, a good laugh: "The size and reach of these platforms demand that we ensure proper oversight, transparency and effective management of technologies that in large measure undergird our social lives, our economy, and our politics."

Since when has government ever produced proper oversight, transparency, or effective management of anything? And what could possibly go wrong with eviscerating the First Amendment to give these jokers "oversight" or "management" powers over technologies that undergird our politics? What's really going on here?

Political blogger Michael Krieger answers that question with a simple headline: "Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared." The American political establishment has spent the last decade quaking in its boots over the next potential disclosure from WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, or whistleblowers yet unknown. This isn't about "our democracy." It's about "their power."

The US government's use of putatively "private sector" social media outlets as proxy censors has been going on for some time, but the Russiagate scandal lent it new momentum. And it's not just some alleged lunatic fringe that they're after. Recent victims of Twitter's ban policy include non-interventionist foreign policy analysts like Scott Horton (editorial director of Antiwar.com ), former Foreign Service Officer Peter Van Buren, and Ron Paul Institute director Daniel McAdams.

We don't need "more government oversight" of social media. What we need is for it to be recognized, and treated, as a criminal abuse of power (and a violation of US Code Title 18 § 241 -- "conspiracy against rights") for government officials or employees to attempt to "oversee" or "manage" social media's content standards.

Let me reconfigure Chris Murphy's authoritarian statement to correctly name the stakes: The survival of our freedom depends on it.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Thomas Knapp Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( thegarrisoncenter.org ). He lives and works in north central Florida.

[Aug 19, 2018] The Trump-Media Logrolling by Sam Husseini

Notable quotes:
"... By Sam Husseini an independent journalist who contributes to The Nation, CounterPunch, Truthdig, Consortium News, CommonDreams and other outlets. He is also senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy and founder of VotePact.org . Originally published at his website ..."
"... support and defend the Constitution of the United States ..."
"... by the customer ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Sam Husseini an independent journalist who contributes to The Nation, CounterPunch, Truthdig, Consortium News, CommonDreams and other outlets. He is also senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy and founder of VotePact.org . Originally published at his website

Today, hundreds of newspapers , at the initiative of the Boston Globe , are purporting to stand up for a free press against Trump's rhetoric.

Today also marks exactly one month since I was dragged out of the July 16 Trump-Putin news conference in Helsinki and locked up until the middle of the night.

As laid in my cell, I chuckled at the notion that the city was full of billboards proclaiming Finland was the " land of free press ".

So, I've grown an especially high sensitivity to both goonish behavior toward journalists trying to ask tough questions -- and to those professing they are defending a free press when they are actually engaging in a marketing campaign.

As some have noted, the editorials today will likely help Trump whip up support among his base against a monolithic media. But, just as clearly, the establishment media can draw attention away from their own failures, corruptions and falsehoods simply by focusing on some of Trump's.

Big media outlets need not actually report news that affects your life and point to serious solutions for social ills. They can just bad mouth Trump. And Trump need not deliver on campaign promises that tapped into populist and isolationist tendencies in the U.S. public that have grown in reaction to years of elite rule. He need only deride the major media.

They are at worst frenemies. More likely, at times, Trump and the establishment media log roll with each other. The major media built up Trump . Trump's attacks effectively elevate a select few media celebrities.

My case is a small but telling one. Major media outlets were more likely to disinform about the manhandling I received in my attempt to ask about U.S., Russian and Israeli nuclear threats to humanity -- I'll soon give a detailed rebuttal to the torrent of falsehoods , some of which I've already noted on social media -- than to crusade against it.

Other obvious cases: None of the newspaper editorials I've seen published today mention the likely prosecution of Wikileaks . If there were solidarity among media, the prospect of Julian Assange being imprisoned for publishing U.S. government documents should be front and center today.

Neither did I see a mention of RT or, as of this week, Al Jazeera , being compelled to register as foreign agents. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert has openly refused to take questions from reporters working for Russian outlets. Virtual silence -- in part because Russia is widely depicted as the great enemy, letting U.S. government policy around the world off the hook.

The above are actual policies that the Trump administration has pursued targeting media -- not rhetoric that dominates so much establishment coverage of Trump.

Then there's the threat of social media.

My day job is with the Institute for Public Accuracy. Yesterday, I put out a news release titled " Following Assassination Attempt, Facebook Pulled Venezuela Content ." Tech giants can decide -- possibly in coordination with the U.S. government -- to pull the plug on content at a time and manner of their choosing.

You would think newspaper people might be keen to highlight the threat that such massive corporations thus pose, not least of all because they have eaten up their ad revenue (the Boston Globe page on the effort is actually behind a paywall .)

The sad truth is that this is what much of the media have long done: Counter to the lofty rhetoric of many of today's editorials, the promise of an independent and truth-seeking press has frequently been subservient to propaganda, pushing for war or narrow economic and other interests.

The other major story of the day -- quite related to this -- is that of Trump pulling former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance. NPR tells me this is an attempt to "silence a critic". But Brennan has an op-ed in today's New York Times and is frequently on major media. He oversaw criminal policies during the Obama administration, including drone assassinations. If anything, this has elevated Brennan's major media status.

Those who have been truly silenced in the "Trump era" are those who were critical of the seemingly perpetual U.S. government war machine since the invasion of Iraq.

Trump attacks on the establishment media -- like many media attacks on him -- are frequently devoid of substance. But recently one of his rhetorically tweets stated that media " cause wars ". I would say "push for war", but that's quibbling.

Trump is technically right on that point, but it's totally disingenuous coming from him. He's actually been the beneficiary of the media compulsion he claims to deride. When he exalts U.S. bombing strikes in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere, CNN calls him " presidential ".

Many consider "Russiagate" critical to scrutinizing the Trump administration, but the two reporters, apparently picked by the White House, during the Helsinki news conference focused on "Russiagate" -- which eventually led to Brennan and others attacking Trump as "treasonous". Meanwhile, much more meaningful collusion that can be termed Israelgate is being ignored as the U.S. and Israeli governments attempt to further mold the Mideast.

The need for genuinely free sources of information is greater than ever. It is unclear to me if traditional newspapers can be part of the equation. Quite likely, the institutions desperately needed to carry out that critical mission are yet to be born.


Epistrophy , August 17, 2018 at 5:32 am

The other major story of the day -- quite related to this -- is that of Trump pulling former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance.

I fail to understand why any ex-government employee should keep a top-level security clearance. When you leave, you leave, full stop. One serves in government at the leisure of the American public. In my view, Brennan is behaving like a mafiosi 'made-man', not as a public servant.

Tech giants can decide -- possibly in coordination with the U.S. government -- to pull the plug on content at a time and manner of their choosing.

I cannot figure out what is going on with Google, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter – lets call them the 'Four Horsemen'. I cannot believe that they are stupid enough to think that blanket bans are going to stifle the alternative media and enhance Democrat election prospects. Surely they aren't that naive?

In fact the exact opposite is happening. The Four Horsemen have super-charged Trump's base. Before the ban, alternative media at least tried to comply with their Community Guidelines.

Now, having been banned, alternative media are completely unleashed and their following is exploding.

olga , August 17, 2018 at 8:14 am

They are just following a long-established path (well-trodden, in other words). Set out an afternoon and read this comprehensive report: http://themillenniumreport.com/2018/02/how-the-c-i-a-completely-took-over-the-mainstream-media-with-operation-mockingbird/
Nothing new under the sun. And yes, the more they push, the more people will turn to alternatives.

JTMcPhee , August 17, 2018 at 8:56 am

As to turning to alternatives, I'm not clear on the whole net and web architecture thing. Are there not choke points that the Borg/Panopticon have their strangler's hands around, so that at some point, when their algos and auguries tell them the time is ripe, they can squeeze, and kill all such outside-the-Narrative interchange? It's not like the Big Data Piles that the NSA is constantly adding to, with full cooperation from the Four Horsement, don't already identify and catalog and characterize the "threats" to the project posed by mopes like us, who participate in "well-known Russian outlets" like NC.

Full spectrum dominance includes planned and actual dominance by the Borg/Pentagram of the entire electromagnetic spectrum too, http://www.doncio.navy.mil/mobile/ContentView.aspx?ID=5833&TypeID=21 . So even ham radio operators, the people who provide, from their own meager,resources, the communications substrate that has been so helpful in many disasters, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_emergency_communications , and the remaining broadcasters in the long- and shortwave ranges, will find that their bit of bandwidth will be hashed and crashed. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2001-06-25/news/0106250301_1_shortwave-radios-bbc-broadcasts Noting that so much of the content of remaining broadcast media is, shall we say, "affected" by the Borg via "initiatives" like Operation Mockingbird

I'm reminded of the back story bit in "Independence Day," when Jeff Goldblum's character intuits that there's a timing signal in the Evil Consumer Aliens' communication stream that reports the countdown to when the Giant Black Ships (why are Evil Aliens always black? Why not some hippie rainbow coloration?) with their city-destroying weapons are all in position and they can start blasting the hum-ants that might oppose their looting of this planet

anonymous , August 17, 2018 at 9:25 am

Think of the internet as a tollway with booths at either end and monitoring along the way. When you control a booth, for example, you can see which cars pass by.

I have seen that process in action and am in favor of privacy tools (VPN, control of Java scripts, ad/malware blockers, etc) to preserve some semblance of anonymity. Even with those in place, there are still ways for actors to observe. Be guided accordingly.

Lord Koos , August 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm

From what I understand, a VPN can be hacked but only by using a lot of resources to do it, you'd have to be a person of great interest for them to bother with it. (I use one myself at all times.)

Beyond censoring social media platforms, the next step would be to remove access to any blog or and site which doesn't go along with the narrative the state is promoting. I assume that would not be too difficult, but if the site in question is on a foreign server they would have to actually hack it. Has Naked Capitalism ever considered using a foreign host that would be more difficult to compromise?

Epistrophy , August 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

Very difficult to provide choke points – but I am sure they are working on it. Because almost everything depends upon instantaeous network connectivity, such as power systems, logistics systems, communication systems, transport systems, defence systems and banking systems, among others, any interference is going to have side effects that could be quite serious.

In addition, systems are becoming more and more distributed, with no central control point – blockchain being a recent example.

For example, I stopped using youtube.com years ago. Mostly I use bitchute to watch some things directly, view videos through a search engine like DuckDuckGo or view videos embedded in websites like NC.

Bitchute uses bittorrent to transmit videos – meaning that the viewers of the videos also provide the bandwidth to each other – a peer to peer transmission method – so there is almost no bandwidth cost to Bitchute and no central point of control. The more users or 'nodes', the better the system works.

Youtube, on the other hand, can control or 'choke' content, but it has huge central server bandwidth costs.

As I see it, YouTube is going to morph into a proprietary Netflix-type of service in just a few years. Garage-produced indie content and alternative media startups will probably move to a different platform.

sharonsj , August 18, 2018 at 10:05 am

I checked out bitchute and all I saw were mostly right-wingers, conspiracy theorists and anti-Semitic rants. None of that could be considered reliable news.

none , August 17, 2018 at 10:18 pm

It's normal for clearances to stay active after a person leaves employment where it was required. It can help them get new employment. Example: you're a machinist at Lockheed milling engine parts for fighter planes. You need a clearance for that, because the engine specs are classified. Now the project ends and you're without a job. Something else comes online at Northrup Grumman up the street: you already have a clearance, so you get hired. If the clearance lapsed you'd have to go through months of background checks all over again, so you keep it current. That doesn't mean you keep having access to classified info about stuff you're not working on, it just means you follow a bunch of regulations like I think you have to report to the feds if you travel out of the country (as if they didn't already know).

I see job ads now and then (esp. in aerospace) where clearances are required or preferred (because they have to get one for you if you don't have it already), for reasons like the above. It's pretty mundane imho. Like being a licensed electrician almost.

The situation with Brennan and other grifter spooks is different, but the idea of a clearance just means you've been investigated and found to be a low risk for leaking classified info. Just because you leave a job doesn't mean you suddenly *become* a risk, so there's no reason to yank the clearance merely because there's an interval in which you're not using it.

Bill Smith , August 17, 2018 at 6:40 am

"I fail to understand why any ex-government employee should keep a top-level security clearance."

It is not unusual for someone who left government service to get contacted by someone who is currently working on a project the ex-employee worked on. The likelihood of this happening certainly decreases as time passes. If the ex-employee doesn't still have the security clearance talking about the project would be illegal.

JTMcPhee , August 17, 2018 at 8:29 am

And given how revolving door rotates, and how corrupt the majority of those "projects" is, why is it a bad thing that ex-employees (who might, say, have used the NSA's Panopticon to spy on and harass ex-lovers and present significant others, or to trash people who dare question the Narrative, or to have engaged in the manifold frauds and corruptions that the Pentagram and much of the state security (sic) apparatus have, and are, engaged in?

There's no "loyalty to America," no "defense of the Constitution" by so very many of the current employees (and millions of self-interested "contractors") who slurp at the government trough, while claiming to be "serving the Nation" as they build and foster the machinery of the Panopticon and perpetual war machine that does not even try to "win victories" except as between procurement projects and in vicious conflicts for better office space. What entitles these people to continue to have the "economic benefit," and it clearly is one, of a "security clearance," on departing from such employment? Is that the kind of 'entitlement" that is worthy of protection, when stuff like Social Security (a prepaid insurance against abject poverty in old age and disability) and Medicar-Medicaid, are as those "security professionals" would say, are "threatened" and "under attack?"

As to "illegality of communications," I bet you may be well aware that such "communications" in violation of all kinds of laws and principles of "democracy" are part of the tradecraft and standard practice. Lady Justice wears a blindfold, not for the mythical reasons of treating all equally, but to let the malefactors get away with stuff. She ought to have at least one hand tied behind her back, too, though I guess one hand has to be left free to wield the sword and cut off anyone not protected by 'current practices" and the Leona Helmsley Rule that "law is for the little people "

Pat , August 17, 2018 at 8:47 am

So the government has no mechanism they can use to contact these employees for information, say having the current employer act as an agent of the government. Said employee making an appointment at a government facility a t the government's time and choosing and providing a limited waiver of secrecy for that meeting and that meeting alone would probably satisfy both security issues and the issue of former employee using his knowledge for the good of the people not personal or private gain, revenge, leverage, etc we have now.

JTMcPhee , August 17, 2018 at 9:08 am

Yah, so simple, it would seem. And of course, on the record, and on the history of how this vast, unauditable, covert, growing, immensely corrupt blob operates, not ever going to become the practice. This link kind of overemphasizes sexsexsex stories, but does cover (below the fold) a whole lot of the vast corruption that is standard practice for the Imperial government -- just as has been the case, and downfall, of previous empires: http://washingtonsblog.com/2016/01/corrupt-american-government.html

And all this assumes that the folks still slurping at the govenment trough are acting in good faith, for the general welfare, subject to the Congressionally mandated and smugly ignored oath they are all supposed to swear to:

Oath of Office for Federal Officials

Employees of the United States Government including all members of Congress are required to take the following oath before assuming elected or appointed office.

5 U.S.C. 3331:

An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services shall take the following oath: I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

a different chris , August 17, 2018 at 8:56 am

>to get contacted by someone who is currently working on a project the ex-employee worked on

Well before they commence the actual conversation he/she needs to get re-cleared. If it takes 6 months then that's just the way it is.

So some guy has a high security clearance, and then you want his input say 10 years later. You're telling me the CIA/NSA/(insert alphabetic blood-sucking agency here) has been keeping as tight tabs on his behavior as they have the rest of the people in your office? Dude could have gotten a coke addiction and turned to, sigh, the Russians for some moola. Would they really know?

And "the likelihood decreases" is not a defense. You either have a policy – "security clearance decreases at the following rate: x, y, z" or you don't.

Lambert Strether , August 18, 2018 at 2:22 pm

> he/she needs to get re-cleared. If it takes 6 months then that's just the way it is.

That makes too much sense. Stop that.

Mike Barry , August 17, 2018 at 7:04 am

Israeli logrollers gon' drink yo blood and gitcho mama!. Ooga Booga!

JTMcPhee , August 17, 2018 at 8:32 am

Does that mean you agree that the Israel-ites actually do drive a lot of the content of 'our" media, and the behaviors of "our" government? Or is it a "have bara, will travel" kind of comment? Or what? Not clear.

The Rev Kev , August 17, 2018 at 7:59 am

This author is right. I do not know if you would call what the media did a form of virtue-signalling or whatever but the net effect is a demonstration that the media is into coordinated campaigns. I do not think that people have forgotten the "This Is Extremely Dangerous to Our Democracy" Sinclair script a few months ago. This is just more of the same.
I don't even know why they act so b***-hurt when Trump attacks their honesty. In the last few months I have seen them call him a traitor, a gay-bitch, they have called for a military coup to unseat him, they have begged for the deep state to rescue them, they have elevated people who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers to the ranks of noble heroes of the Republic. As far as I am concerned, they have made their own bed and now they can lay in it, even if they have to share it with Donald J. Trump.

Kokuanani , August 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

Big media outlets need not actually report news that affects your life and point to serious solutions for social ills. They can just bad mouth Trump.

Substitute "The Democratic Party" for "big media outlets" and you've got another accurate picture.

Angie Neer , August 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Yesterday when I looked at the NYT online, the big featured graphic in the center of the page, typically a photo, was a rotating feed of Trump tweets, in headline-sized text. It struck me as a new low in the pathetic Trump-media feedback loop. It's all a game of "made you look!"

Bill Smith , August 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Yeah, they probably got a summer intern to do that.

Anyone read Ronan Farrows "War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence"?

In one passage he describes a meeting at the State Department where they are complaining that nobody is interested in their policy prescriptions and decide that the problem is that they need some graphs. They all turn to Farrrow and look at him as he is the youngest in the meeting and figure he is the only one who would know how to do that. "Ageism" he thought.

Seamus Padraig , August 18, 2018 at 5:07 am

Trump vs. the MSM: the greatest reality-TV show ever!

Altandmain , August 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

The problem with the mainstream media calling out Trump is that this is like the pot calling a kettle black.

Trump is awful, sure. But so is the corporate media with its pro-war and neoliberal economic agenda.

As Ian Welsh notes, the press is Trump's enemy, not the servant of the people:
https://www.ianwelsh.net/the-press-is-trumps-enemy-not-the-lefts-friend/

A case could be made that independent media like Naked Capitalism is doing a key public service. Not the corporate media though, whose main objective is always to maximize advertising revenues and to impose the views of its owners, the very rich, on society.

Lambert Strether , August 18, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Two random comments on this topic:

1) The best justification for giving officials formally out of government clearance on either side of the revolving door is that you may need to call on them for advice. It seems to me that this incentivizes "intelligence" over wisdom. And for wisdom, long experience plus open sources should be enough. (For example, if you want to call in an ex-official on North Korean nukes, they don't really need to know the details of the latest weaponry, or Kim's weight gain, or whatever. That can be explained to them by the customer , as needed. What's really needed is an outside voice -- the role played by an honest consultant -- plus wisdom about power relations on the Korean peninsula. No need for clearance there.)

2) RussiaRussiaRussia has been very profitable, not only personally for the talking heads in the intelligence community but for the press. Removing clearance not only hits the talking heads in the wallet, it disrupts the relation between the press and its network of anonymous sources.

[Aug 18, 2018] BIG TROUBLE BREWING AT THE BAKKEN Rapid Rise In Water Production Signals Red Flag Warning Zero Hedge Zero Hedge

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

By the SRSrocco Report ,

Big trouble is brewing in the mighty North Dakota Bakken Oil Field. While oil production in the Bakken has reversed since it bottomed in 2016 and increased over the past few years, so has the amount of by-product wastewater. Now, it's not an issue if water production increases along with oil. However, it's a serious RED FLAG if by-product wastewater rises a great deal more than oil.

And... unfortunately, that is exactly what has taken place in the Bakken over the past two years. In the oil industry, they call it, the rising "Water Cut." Furthermore, the rapid increase in the amount of water to oil from a well or field suggests that peak production is at hand . So, now the shale companies will have an uphill battle to try to increase or hold production flat as the water cut rises.

According to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, the Bakken produced 201 million barrels of oil in the first six months of 2018. However, it also produced a stunning 268 million barrels of wastewater:

Thus, the companies producing shale oil in the Bakken had to dispose of 268 million barrels of by-product wastewater in just the first half of the year. I have spoken to a few people in the industry, and the estimate is that it cost approximately $4 a barrel to gather, transport and dispose of this wastewater. Which means, the shale companies will have to pay an estimated $2.2 billion just to get rid of their wastewater this year.

Now, some companies may be recycling their wastewater, but this isn't free. Actually, I have seen estimates that it cost more money to recycle wastewater than it does to simply dispose of it. So, as the volume of wastewater increases while the percentage of oil production declines, then the shale companies are hit with a double-whammy... less oil revenue and rising wastewater disposal costs.

To give you an idea just how much more water is being produced versus oil in the Bakken, I went back to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources and looked at their data back to 2015. Unfortunately, the data published in excel only goes back to 2015, even though they have figures published in PDF form starting in 2003.

Regardless, four years is plenty of time to show just how bad the situation is becoming in the Bakken. In June 2015, the North Dakota Bakken produced 16% more water than oil. However June this year, the Bakken field produced 38% more water than oil :

You will notice that overall oil and water production declined in 2016, due to the falling oil price, but as production grew in 2017 and 2018, the percentage increase of by-product wastewater surged to 32% and 38% respectively. Here is an interesting comparison:

Bakken Oil & Water Production:

June 2015 Oil = 34.4 million barrels

June 2015 Water = 39.8 million barrels (16% more water)

June 2018 Oil = 33.8 million barrels

June 2018 Water = 46.8 million barrels (38% more water)

As we can see, while overall Bakken oil production in June 2018 was less than it was in June 2015, the volume of waster water increased by an additional 7 million barrels.

I believe there are two negative forces at work in the Bakken as it pertains to the rising volume of wastewater.

  1. As the wells and field age, more water is produced than oil
  2. Larger Frac Stages, which require more water and sand, are now being utilized to keep production growing or to keep it from falling

While a rising water cut isn't a surprise to the industry as it is a natural progression of an aging oil well or field, the use of Larger Frac Stage wells should be a WAKE-UP CALL to investors. Why? Because Larger Frac Stage wells consume a great deal more water and sand to produce more oil initially, but the decline rates are even more severe than regular shale wells.

So, when the Investor Relations are bragging how the companies are using the newer technology of more complex Large Frac Stage wells, this isn't a good sign. This means that the company is now desperate to try and grow production, or at worst, to keep it from falling.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Shale Industry is in serious trouble. Most of the shale fields have reached a peak and when production starts to decline, especially during a collapsing oil price, I forecast a rapid disintegration of the industry. We must remember, as the oil price and oil production falls, then company stock and asset values will plummet while the high debt levels remain. Thus, the shale industry will have increasing difficulty in servicing its debt.

I will continue to monitor the production of oil and wastewater in the Bakken. Please check back for updates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are new to the SRSrocco Report, please consider subscribing to my: SRSrocco Report Youtube Channel .

[Aug 18, 2018] America the Punitive by Philip Girald

Notable quotes:
"... Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

There has been a dramatic shift in how the United States government carries out its business internationally. Admittedly, Washington has had a tendency to employ force to get what it has wanted ever since 9/11, but it also sometimes recognized that other countries had legitimate interests and accepted there was a place for diplomacy to resolve issues short of armed conflict. The Bush Administration reluctance to broaden its engagement in the Middle East after it recognized that it had blundered with Iraq followed by Obama's relaxation of tensions with Cuba and his negotiation of a nuclear agreement with Iran demonstrated that sanity sometimes prevailed in the West Wing.

That willingness to be occasionally accommodating has changed dramatically, with the State Department under Mike Pompeo currently more prone to deliver threats than any suggestions that we all might try to get along. It would be reasonable enough to criticize such behavior because it is intrinsically wrong, but the truly frightening aspect of it would appear to be that it is based on the essentially neoconservative assumption that other countries will always back down when confronted with force majeure and that the use of violence as a tool in international relations is, ultimately, consequence free.

I am particularly disturbed with the consequence free part as it in turn is rooted in the belief that countries that have been threatened or even invaded have no collective memory of what occurred and will not respond vengefully when the situation changes. There have been a number of stunningly mindless acts of aggression over the past several weeks that are particularly troubling as they suggest that they will produce many more problems down the road than solutions.

The most recent is the new sanctioning of Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury England. For those not following developments, last week Washington abruptly and without any new evidence being presented, imposed additional trade sanctions on Russia in the belief that Moscow ordered and carried out the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th. The report of the new sanctions was particularly surprising as Yulia Skripal has recently announced that she intends to return to her home in Russia, leading to the conclusion that even one of the alleged victims does not believe the narrative being promoted by the British and American governments.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with restraint, avoiding a tit-for-tat, he is reported to be angry about the new move by the US government and now believes it to be an unreliable negotiating partner. Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy.

Turkey is also feeling America's wrath over the continued detention of an American Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson by Ankara over charges that he was connected to the coup plotters of 2016, which were allegedly directed by Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim religious leader, who now resides in Pennsylvania. Donald Trump has made the detention the centerpiece of his Turkish policy, introducing sanctions and tariffs that have led in part to a collapse of the Turkish lira and a run on the banking system which could easily lead to default and grave damage to European banks that hold a large party of the country's debt.

And then there is perennial favorite Iran, which was hit with reinstated sanctions last week and is confronting a ban on oil sales scheduled to go into effect on November 4th. The US has said it will sanction any country that buys Iranian oil after that date, though a number of governments including Turkey, India and China appear to be prepared to defy that demand. Several European countries are reportedly preparing mechanisms that will allow them to trade around US restrictions.

What do Russia, Turkey and Iran have in common? All are on the receiving end of punitive action by the United States over allegations of misbehavior that have not been demonstrated. Nobody has shown that Russia poisoned the Skripals, Turkey just might have a case that the Reverend Brunson was in contact with coup plotters, and Iran is in full compliance with the nuclear arms agreement signed in 2015. One has to conclude that the United States has now become the ultimate angry imperial power, lashing out with the only thing that seems to work – its ability to interfere in and control financial markets – to punish nations that do not play by its rules.

Given Washington's diminishing clout worldwide, it is a situation that is unsustainable and which will ultimately only really punish the American people as the United States becomes more isolated and its imperial overreach bankrupts the nation. As America weakens, Russia, Turkey, Iran and all the other countries that have been steamrolled by Washington will likely seek revenge. To avoid that, a dramatic course correction by the US is needed, but, unfortunately, is unlikely to take place.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Aug 18, 2018] The USA with a single strike killed all efforts of Puting to establ;ish better relations with the USA

Google translation
Aug 18, 2018 | newzfeed.ru

According to leading analysts, America decided to take such a tough step because of Washington's desire to restrain the development of our state as much as possible. However, it is already clear that such actions on the part of American colleagues will only worsen relations between the two superpowers. The new sanctions package altogether nullifies all previous agreements.

"All the positive aspects that have emerged after the meeting of the two presidents in Helsinki, of course, will be almost completely leveled," the media quoted the statement of the head of the center for military and political studies Vladimir Batyuk.

According to him, the actions of the us administration threaten with negative consequences, extremely complicating the further dialogue between Washington and Moscow.

First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Vladimir dzhabarov, commenting on the situation, said - the United States is trying to "trim the wings" of Russia.

"The reason is banal – they are trying to restrain the development of Russia. The Americans themselves understand that our country is now deploying its wings, Russia is on the rise, it can become a powerful competitor both economically and militarily. Therefore at any cost try to constrain us", – the member of the Federation Council spoke.

According to dzhabarov, our country has long understood that Russia has no partners in America. The US is engaged in dirty methods of competition, using a variety of levers to squeeze Moscow from the EU energy markets.

"But it's useless. The history they, probably, not teaching. Let them read what the sanctions against Russia led to, " the Senator added.

We will remind, on August 8, the U.S. state Department announced the introduction of new restrictive measures against Russia. This package of anti-Russian sanctions includes a ban on the supply of dual-use products to Russia, a decrease in the level of diplomatic relations, an almost complete cessation of us exports, as well as a ban on flights to the States of the Russian company Aeroflot.

[Aug 18, 2018] All Sanctions Against Russia Are Based on Lies by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... (labs in several countries including the UK have also manufactured it) ..."
"... still refuses to say any such thing ..."
"... Look at this paragraph: ..."
"... "Russia is the official successor state to the USSR. As such, Russia legally took responsibility for ensuring the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] applies to all former Soviet Chemical Weapons stocks and facilities." ..."
"... It does not need me to point out, that if Porton Down had identified the nerve agent as made in Russia, the FCO ..."
"... would not have added that paragraph. Plainly they cannot say it was made in Russia. ..."
"... In short, the ruling cited above, even if read in the most improbably forgiving way possible, shows the UK government does not have the information to warrant any of the claims it has so far made about Russian state involvement in the alleged poisoning of the Skripals. It shows the UK government is currently guilty of lying to Parliament, to the British people, and to the world. ..."
"... Imposition of Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act Sanctions on Russia ..."
"... Press Statement ..."
"... Department Spokesperson ..."
"... Following the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, the United States, on August 6, 2018, determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals. ..."
"... Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018. ..."
"... no path to peace, ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | theduran.com

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


All of the sanctions (economic, diplomatic, and otherwise) against Russia are based on clearly demonstrable intentional falsehoods; and the sanctions which were announced on August 8th are just the latest example of this consistent tragic fact -- a fact which will be proven here, with links to the evidence, so that anyone who reads here can easily see that all of these sanctions are founded on lies against Russia.

The latest of these sanctions were announced on Wednesday August 8 th . Reuters headlined "US imposes sanctions on Russia for nerve agent attack in UK" and reported that, "Washington said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia by the end of August after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain." This was supposedly because "Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door. European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in the strongest action by President Donald Trump against Russia since he came to office."

However, despite intense political pressure that the UK Government and 'news'media had placed upon the UK's Porton Down intelligence laboratory to assert that the poison had been made in Russia (labs in several countries including the UK have also manufactured it) , the Porton Down lab refused to say this. Though the US Government is acting as ifPorton Down's statement "determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent," the actual fact is that Porton Down still refuses to say any such thing , at all -- this allegation is merely a fabrication by the US Government, including its allies, UK's Government and other Governments and their respective propaganda-media. It's a bald lie.

On March 18th, the great British investigative journalist and former British diplomat Craig Murray had headlined about UK's Foreign Secretary, "Boris Johnson Issues Completely New Story on Russian Novichoks" and he pointed to the key paragraph in the Porton Down lab's statement on this matter -- a brief one-sentence paragraph:

Look at this paragraph:

"Russia is the official successor state to the USSR. As such, Russia legally took responsibility for ensuring the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] applies to all former Soviet Chemical Weapons stocks and facilities."

It does not need me to point out, that if Porton Down had identified the nerve agent as made in Russia, the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office -- UK's foreign ministry] would not have added that paragraph. Plainly they cannot say it was made in Russia.

Murray's elliptical report, which unfortunately was unclearly written -- it was rushed, in order to be able to published on the same day, March 18 th , when the UK's official response to the Porton Down lab's analysis was published -- was subsequently fully explained on March 23 rd at the excellent news-site Off-Guardian, which specializes in investigating and interpreting the news-media (in this case, Craig Murray's article, and the evidence regarding it); they headlined "Skripal case: 'closely related agent" claim closely examined'," and concluded their lengthy and detailed analysis:

In short, the ruling cited above, even if read in the most improbably forgiving way possible, shows the UK government does not have the information to warrant any of the claims it has so far made about Russian state involvement in the alleged poisoning of the Skripals. It shows the UK government is currently guilty of lying to Parliament, to the British people, and to the world.

Nothing has been published further about the Skripal/Novichoks matter since then, except speculation that's based on the evidence which was discussed in detail in that March 23 rd article at Off-Guardian.

On the basis of this -- merely an open case which has never been examined in more detail than that March 23rd analysis did -- the Skripal/Novichok case has been treated by the UK Government, and by the US Government, and by governments which are allied with them, and by their news-media, as if it were instead a closed case, in which what was made public constitutes proof that the Skripals had been poisoned by the Russian Government. On that blatantly fraudulent basis, over a hundred diplomats ended up being expelled.

The Porton Down lab still refuses to say anything that the UK Government can quote as an authority confirming that the Skripals had been poisoned by the Russian Government.

All that's left of the matter, then, is a cold case of official lies asserting that proof has been presented, when in fact only official lies have been presented to the public.

The UK Government prohibits the Skripals from speaking to the press, and refuses to allow them to communicate even with their family-members . It seems that they're effectively prisoners of the UK Government -- the same Government that claims to be protecting them against Russia.

This is the basis upon which the US State Department, on August 8th, issued the following statement to 'justify' its new sanctions:

Imposition of Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act Sanctions on Russia

Press Statement

Heather Nauert

Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

August 8, 2018

Following the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, the United States, on August 6, 2018, determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.

Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018.

US law is supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty" -- the opposite of legal systems in which the contrary assumption applies: "guilty until proven innocent." However, regarding such matters as invading and destroying Iraq in 2003 upon the basis of no authentic evidence; and invading and destroying Libya in 2011 on the basis of no authentic proof of anyone's guilt; and on the basis of invading and for years trying to destroy Syria on the basis of America's supporting Al Qaeda in Syria against Syria's secular government; and on the basis of lying repeatedly against Russia in order to load sanction after sanction upon Russia and to 'justify' pouring its missiles and thousands of troops onto and near Russia's border as if preparing to invade 'the world's most aggressive country' -- the US federal Government routinely violates that fundamental supposition of its own legal system ("innocent until proven guilty"), whenever its rulers wish. And yet, it calls itself a 'democracy'.

Donald Trump constantly says that he seeks improved relations with Russia, but when his own State Department lies like that in order to add yet further to the severe penalties that it had previously placed against Russia for its presumed guilt in the Skripal/Novichok matter, then Trump himself is publicly exposing himself as being a liar about his actual intentions regarding Russia. He, via his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's State Department, not only is punishing Russia severely for this unproven allegation, but now adds yet further penalties against Russia for it. Trump is being demanded by the US Congress to do this, but it is his choice whether to go along with that demand or else expose that it's based on lies. He likes to accuse his opponents of lying, but, quite obviously, the members of Congress who are demanding these hiked rounds of sanctions against Russia are demanding him to do what he actually wants to do -- which is now clearly demonstrated to be the exact opposite of exposing those lies. If Trump is moving toward World War III on the basis of lies, then the only way he can stop doing it is by exposing those lies. He's not even trying to do that.

Nothing is being said in the State Department's cryptic announcement on August 8th that sets forth any reasonable demand which the US Government is making to the Russian Government, such that, if the reasonable demand becomes fulfilled by Russia's Government, then the United States Government and its allies will cease and desist their successive, and successively escalating, rounds of punishment against Russia.

Russia is being offered no path to peace, but only the reasonable expectation of escalating lie-based American 'justifications' to perpetrate yet more American-and-allied aggressions against Russia.

There have been three prior US excuses for applying prior rounds of sanctions against Russia, and all of them have likewise been based upon lies, and varnished with many layers of overstatements.

First, in 2012, there was the Magnitsky Act, which was based upon frauds (subsequently exposed here and here and here ) which assert that Sergei Magnitsky was murdered by the Russian Government. The evidence (as linked-to there) is conclusive that he was not; but the US Government and its allies refuse even to consider it.

Then, in 2014, Crimea broke away from Ukraine and joined the Russian Federation, and the US and its allies allege that this was because Russia under Putin 'seized' Crimea from Ukraine, when in fact America under Obama had, just weeks prior to that Crimean breakaway, seized Ukraine and turned it against Russia and against Crimea and the other parts of Ukraine which had voted overwhelmingly for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom the Obama regime had just overthrown in a bloody coup that had been in the planning ever since at least 2011 inside the Obama Administration . Several rounds of US-and-allied economic sanctions were imposed against Russia for that -- for the constant string of lies against Russia, and of constant cover-ups of "the most blatant coup in history," which had preceded and caused the breakaway.

These lies originated with Obama; and Trump accuses Obama of lying, but not on this, where Obama really did lie, psychopathically . Instead, Trump makes those lies bipartisan. On what counts the most against Obama, Trump seconds the Obama-lies, instead of exposing them. And yet Trump routinely has accused Obama as having lied, even on matters where it's actually Trump who has been lying about Obama.

Then, there have been the anti-Russia sanctions that are based upon Russiagate and 'Trump is Putin's stooge and stole the election.' That case against Russia has not been proven, and Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange says that what he had published were leaks from the DNC and Podesta's computer, not hacks at all; and yet the sanctions were imposed almost as soon as the Democratic Party's accusations started. Those sanctions, too, are utterly baseless except as being alleged responses to unproven (and likely false) allegations . Furthermore, even in the worst-case scenario: the US Government itself routinely overthrows foreign governments, and continues tapping the phones and electronic communications of foreign governments, and manipulating elections abroad. Even in the worst-case scenario, Russia hasn't done anything that historians haven't already proven that the US Government itself routinely does. That's the case even if Russia is guilty as charged, on all of the U.S-and-allied accusations.

So: Who wants World War III? Apparently, both the Democratic and the Republican Parties do . Obama called Russia the world's most aggressive nation . Trump joins with him in that bipartisan lie. Outside of America itself, most of the world consider the United States to be actually the " greatest threat to peace in the world today." Therefore, why isn't the NATO alliance against America? The NATO alliance is America and most of its vassal-nations: they're all allied against Russia. Their war against Russia never stopped. That 'Cold War' continued, even after the USSR and its communism and its Warsaw Pact mirror-image to NATO, all ended in 1991 ; and now the intensifying 'cold war' threatens to become very hot. All based on lies. But that seems to be the only type of 'justifications' the US-and-allied tyrants have got.

Either the lies will stop, or else we all will. Trump, as usual, is on the wrong side of the lies . And he seems to be too much of a coward to oppose them, in these cases, which are the most dangerous lies of all. This is how we could all end. Doing something heroic that would stop it, seems to be way beyond him -- he doesn't even try. That's the type of cowardice which should be feared, and despised, the most of all. Trump has taken up Obama's worst, and he runs with it. Trump had promised the opposite, during his Presidential campaign. But this is the reality of Trump -- a profoundly filthy liar -- at least insofar as he has, thus far, shown himself to be. What he will be in the future is all that remains in question. But this is what he has been, up till now.

[Aug 18, 2018] The most embarrassing outcome will turn out to be that they actually did nothing to verify the Steele dossier

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

rosiescenario Sat, 08/18/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

The most embarrassing outcome will turn out to be that they actually did nothing to verify the Steele dossier. Why would they question it? They wanted to use it as a political tool. Do I question and inspect a hammer before I swing it?

Barring that, if they did try to verify it, their complete and utter stupidity will see the light of day.

In either case they are truly fucked by this court order.

MaxDemon Sat, 08/18/2018 - 18:05 Permalink

So the FBI's position is that they cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents to confirm or deny the truth of the dossier, but they used it in the FISA warrants. But the procedure required for the warrants are that all information must be verified, so those documents need to exist. So the FBI is admitting that they did not follow the required procedure. That makes the warrants void, which means that all information obtained that way is mute, and thus the entire case collapses. Further, filling a warrant request where the rules have not been followed is perjury, making everyone who signed it guilty of a criminal offense against the court.

[Aug 18, 2018] Declining America Is Setting up Itself for Terrible Revenge After the Fall by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy. ..."
"... One has to conclude that the United States has now become the ultimate angry imperial power, lashing out with the only thing that seems to work – its ability to interfere in and control financial markets – to punish nations that do not play by its rules. ..."
www.unz.com
Aug 17, 2018 | russia-insider.com
"As America weakens, Russia, Turkey, Iran and all the other countries that have been steamrolled by Washington will likely seek revenge." 145 There has been a dramatic shift in how the United States government carries out its business internationally. Admittedly, Washington has had a tendency to employ force to get what it has wanted ever since 9/11, but it also sometimes recognized that other countries had legitimate interests and accepted there was a place for diplomacy to resolve issues short of armed conflict.

The Bush Administration reluctance to broaden its engagement in the Middle East after it recognized that it had blundered with Iraq followed by Obama's relaxation of tensions with Cuba and his negotiation of a nuclear agreement with Iran demonstrated that sanity sometimes prevailed in the West Wing.

That willingness to be occasionally accommodating has changed dramatically , with the State Department under Mike Pompeo currently more prone to deliver threats than any suggestions that we all might try to get along.

It would be reasonable enough to criticize such behavior because it is intrinsically wrong, but the truly frightening aspect of it would appear to be that it is based on the essentially neoconservative a ssumption that other countries will always back down when confronted with force majeure and that the use of violence as a tool in international relations is, ultimately, consequence free.

I am particularly disturbed with the consequence free part as it in turn is rooted in the belief that countries that have been threatened or even invaded have no collective memory of what occurred and will not respond vengefully when the situation changes.

There have been a number of stunningly mindless acts of aggression over the past several weeks that are particularly troubling as they suggest that they will produce many more problems down the road than solutions.

The most recent is the new sanctioning of Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury England. For those not following developments, last week Washington abruptly and without any new evidence being presented, imposed additional trade sanctions on Russia in the belief that Moscow ordered and carried out the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th.

The report of the new sanctions was particularly surprising as Yulia Skripal has recently announced that she intends to return to her home in Russia , leading to the conclusion that even one of the alleged victims does not believe the narrative being promoted by the British and American governments.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with restraint, avoiding a tit-for-tat, he is reported to be angry about the new move by the US government and now believes it to be an unreliable negotiating partner.

Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy.

Turkey is also feeling America's wrath over the continued detention of an American Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson by Ankara over charges that he was connected to the coup plotters of 2016, which were allegedly directed by Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim religious leader, who now resides in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump has made the detention the centerpiece of his Turkish policy, introducing sanctions and tariffs that have led in part to a collapse of the Turkish lira and a run on the banking system which could easily lead to default and grave damage to European banks that hold a large party of the country's debt.

And then there is perennial favorite Iran, which was hit with reinstated sanctions last week and is confronting a ban on oil sales scheduled to go into effect on November 4th. The US has said it will sanction any country that buys Iranian oil after that date, though a number of governments including Turkey, India and China appear to be prepared to defy that demand. Several European countries are reportedly preparing mechanisms that will allow them to trade around US restrictions.

What do Russia, Turkey and Iran have in common? All are on the receiving end of punitive action by the United States over allegations of misbehavior that have not been demonstrated. Nobody has shown that Russia poisoned the Skripals, Turkey just might have a case that the Reverend Brunson was in contact with coup plotters, and Iran is in full compliance with the nuclear arms agreement signed in 2015.

One has to conclude that the United States has now become the ultimate angry imperial power, lashing out with the only thing that seems to work – its ability to interfere in and control financial markets – to punish nations that do not play by its rules.

Given Washington's diminishing clout worldwide, it is a situation that is unsustainable and which will ultimately only really punish the American people as the United States becomes more isolated and its imperial overreach bankrupts the nation.

As America weakens, Russia, Turkey, Iran and all the other countries that have been steamrolled by Washington will likely seek revenge. To avoid that, a dramatic course correction by the US is needed, but, unfortunately, is unlikely to take place.

[Aug 18, 2018] Neoliberalism illness can't be cures other then by a "regime change"

Aug 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Virgile , August 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm GMT

That is the true face of America that has emerged after having been hidden behind good manners success and glamour.
Trump is only a catalyst to that revelation. The illness have been there for long time disguised in a motto "We are a great democratic nation'. It is now showing its real and ugly face.
The USA's illness cannot be cured other than by a 'regime change'.
Maybe that is what is brewing..

[Aug 18, 2018] https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/3/15914750/steve-bannon-trump-tax-rich

Aug 18, 2018 | www.vox.com

That might have been true .then. However, Bannon was never the puppet master (Trump is a capitalist who has never listened to anyone else apart from his own messy ego in his life: the idea that he would be a puppet for anyone, Bannon, Putin or whatever, is risible). Without wanting to raise from the dead the 'Trump is teh Hitler' meme: there is a very very tiny grain of truth in it, just as there is a very very tiny grain of truth in the right wing idea that Hitler was a socialist because his party had the word 'socialist' in it. Hitler's initial programme really did have a tiny element of 'socialism' in it, and some elements of the working class (shamefully) swallowed the lies and gained him votes.

But it was never real and Hitler was never going to deliver. He dealt with the Brownshirts (the most authentically 'working class' and 'socialist' part of the Nazi movement) in the Night of the Long Knives, and from that point on, the 'socialist' parts of the Nazi programme were steadily ditched, as the regime became more and more strongly right wing throughout the '30s.

Same with Trump (in this respect only). It's true that in the run up to the election he threw some scraps to the working class, and some of his protectionist rhetoric swung him some states in the Rust Belt. Some union supporters, to their shame, trooped along to the White House soon after.

But Trump, a right wing Republican who is, as I've said, far more orthodox a Republican than the media would have you believe, was never going to deliver. Bannon was the most 'left wing' of Trump's circle (and as his admiration for Thatcher makes clear, he was never very left wing) and he was quickly cast out. Trump did not, in fact, 'drain the swamp' and nor did he try. His major economic policy has turned out to be .tax cuts for the rich. And he has totally failed to follow through on the (interesting) isolationist rhetoric he used in his election campaign (despite the fact that some of us hoped otherwise). He has turned out to be as much of a warmonger as Obama or even Bush jr (even towards Russia, again despite what the media would have you believe).

And we haven't heard too much about that 'trillion dollar' investment in infrastructure recently have we?

The problem is that the Democrats have concentrated on the (mainly trivial and uninteresting) ways in which Trump differs from previous Republican Presidents (the lies, the silly tweets, the dubious rhetoric) and have therefore persuaded themselves that this 'unorthodox' President will have to be removed by 'unorthodox means'. 'Tain't so. Trump will be removed the only way any President (except Nixon) has ever been removed since the dawn of the Republic: by the opposing party organising, developing a strong program that people can believe in, and getting out the core vote. No election has ever been won any other way. In the case of the Democrats this means using the might and money of organised labour and activists to get candidates who can inspire and who have a genuinely progressive message that resonates with people.

Democrats, #Russiagate will not save you. Getting your core vote out to vote for a genuinely progressive candidate, will.

Likbez

@Hidari 08.18.18 at 6:41 pm

Powerful post and a veryclear thinking. Thank you !

Also an interesting analogy with NSDAP the 25-point Plan of 1928

Hitler's initial programme really did have a tiny element of 'socialism' in it, and some elements of the working class (shamefully) swallowed the lies and gained him votes.

But it was never real, and Hitler was never going to deliver. He dealt with the Brownshirts (the most authentically 'working class' and 'socialist' part of the Nazi movement) in the Night of the Long Knives, and from that point on, the 'socialist' parts of the Nazi programme were steadily ditched, as the regime became more and more strongly right wing throughout the '30s.

Same with Trump (in this respect only). It's true that in the run-up to the election he threw some scraps to the working class, and some of his protectionist rhetoric swung him some states in the Rust Belt. Some union supporters, to their shame, trooped along to the White House soon after.

Actually NSAP program of 1928 has some political demands which are to the left of Sanders such as "Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes", ".We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts)." and "We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries."

7.We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens... ... ...

... ... ...

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13.We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

... ... ...

21.The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22.We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

23.We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press...

.... ... ...

24.We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race...

But I think Trump was de-facto impeached with the appointment of Mueller. And that was the plan ( "insurance" as Strzok called it). Mueller task is just to formalize impeachment.

Pence already is calling the shots in foreign policy via members of his close circle (which includes Pompeo). The recent "unilateral" actions of State Department are a slap in the face and, simultaneously, a nasty trap for Trump (he can cancel those sanctions only at a huge political cost to himself) and are a clear sign that Trump does not control even his administration. Here is how <a href="http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/august/17/america-the-punitive/">Philip Giraldi</a> described this obvious slap in the face:

The most recent is the new sanctioning of Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury England. For those not following developments, last week Washington abruptly and without any new evidence being presented, imposed additional trade sanctions on Russia in the belief that Moscow ordered and carried out the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th. The report of the new sanctions was particularly surprising as Yulia Skripal has recently announced that she intends to return to her home in Russia, leading to the conclusion that even one of the alleged victims does not believe the narrative being promoted by the British and American governments.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with restraint, avoiding a tit-for-tat, he is reported to be angry about the new move by the US government and now believes it to be an unreliable negotiating partner. Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy.

From the very beginning, any anti-globalization initiative of Trump was sabotaged and often reversed. Haley is one example here. She does not coordinate some of her actions with Trump or the Secretary of State unliterary defining the US foreign policy.

Her ambitions worry Trump, but he can so very little: she is supported by Pence and Pence faction in the administration. Rumors "Haley/Pence 2020" surfaced and probably somewhat poison atmosphere in the WH.

Add to this that Trump has hostile to him Justice Department, CIA, and FBI. He also does not control some critical appointments such as the recent appointment of CIA director (who in no way can be called Trump loyalist).

Which means that in some ways Trump already is a hostage and more ceremonial President than a real.

[Aug 18, 2018] Best Available Evidence Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson's by Rudy Panko

Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Sep 13, 2016

Clinton has been using her "dehydration" story for years. This time it won't work. 219 The media is already working around the clock to hush up questions about Hillary's rapidly deteriorating health. She overheated has allergies pneumonia! She'll be back on her feet soon, citizen. End of discussion. Anyone who says otherwise is a Looney Tune. (Remember that just a week ago the media shamed anyone who even suggested that Hillary Clinton might be sick.)

We don't buy it . Commenting on Clinton's latest "medical episode", Dr. Zuhdi Jasser M.D. observed : "What she had was a syncopal episode. She passed out. That's either cardiovascular or neurologic. Now, her team wants us to believe it is dehydration. She didn't appear to be dehydrated and that doesn't get fixed in 90 minutes."

There's a very good reason why Bill has already replaced his wife on the campaign trail : Hillary Clinton is suffering from advanced stages of Parkinson's. And it's just going to get worse.

But first, what is Parkinson's?

The Parkinson's theory has been floating around for quite some time, but in our humble opinion, Dr. Ted Noel, a physician who worked for 32 years in clinical medicine, makes the most compelling case that Clinton is suffering from this very serious neurological condition. We want to emphasize that Dr. Noel made this video on August 29 , long before Hillary's "medical episode" on September 11:

In his video analysis, Dr. Noel makes the following points:

  1. Leaked e-mails show that Clinton's aides researched medication used to treat Parkinson's.
  2. Clinton has suffered from fainting spells as early as 2005, when she lost consciousness while making a speech. In 2009 she fell and broke her elbow. In 2012 she suffered a concussion after fainting and striking her head. All of these falls can be explained by Parkinson's, which affects the motor system. (Team Hillary blames dehydration.)
  3. Hillary's personal aide Huma Abedin wrote in an e-mail that Clinton is "often confused." Again, this would be consistent with Parkinson's, which in its advanced stages can even lead to dementia.
  4. Numerous documented cases where Clinton needed physical assistance, whether it's using a chair as a support while giving a stump speech, or requiring help climbing stairs. Again, Parkinson's severely impedes motor functions.
  5. During a roundtable discussion in April, Hillary nodded her head for an extended period -- one estimate puts the number of nods at 400; it looks odd, but it makes perfect sense if she has Parkinson's: It's a head-nodding tremor. (Go to 5:45 in the video. Truly bizarre behavior.)
  6. Clinton has also shown signs of "pin-rolling" tremors, as well as unnatural (and even painful) finger positions.
  7. The now-famous video of Hillary's head bobbing uncontrollably while speaking with the press was not a "seizure" (or a result of "iced chai"): It's a very common side-effect of Levadopa, a common and effective treatment for Parkinson's. However, visual stimulus, or anxiety, can cause unnatural reactions. Which brings Dr. Noel to his next point:
  8. It's been nearly 300 days since Hillary Clinton has held a press conference. No one has offered a rational reason for this. But here's an easy explanation: It's because Hillary's condition makes it very difficult for her to handle stressful situations in which she is bombarded with multiple questions and requests at the same time. Furthermore:
  9. This also explains her frankly bizarre facial expressions during her nomination. (Go to 9:38 in the video, because you can't do this point justice without watching the video.)
  10. In response to a protestor at a rally, Clinton literally freezes. She's unable to move, let alone speak. An aide rushes up to her and says "It's okay. We're still here. Keep talking." We urge everyone to watch Dr. Noel's analysis of this event, which begins at the 11:14 mark.
  11. Her coughing fits are evidence of a swallowing disorder -- common in those who suffer from Parkinson's. It could even be a symptom of pneumonia, which is also quite common among those with Parkinson's. (NOTE: Dr. Noel made this observation more than a week before Hillary was "diagnosed" with pneumonia.)

After Clinton "overheated" on September 11 , Dr. Noel made a follow-up video:

The keys points in this video:

  1. Hillary's doctor claims that Clinton's behavior on September 11 was due to "dehydration", the excuse used every time Clinton has a "medical episode". Here you really have to watch the video to fully appreciate how unbelievable this claim is -- and how often it's been used.
  2. Clinton is wearing blue-tinted glasses, which are used to help stabilize motor functions in those suffering from Parkinson's.
  3. When Clinton begins to fall, as shown in the video, she doesn't attempt to hold out her arms or protect her face. She's frozen into a board-like rigidity. Again, common for someone with Parkinson's.
  4. It's obvious that Clinton's condition is serious -- but instead of going to the hospital, she is taken (against protocol) to Chelsea's apartment. The only way this makes sense is if Clinton's team already knew what was wrong.

  5. Pneumonia cannot explain much of Clinton's behavior. Parkinson's, on the other hand, would explain all of it.

me frameborder=

#Hillary squeezing her nurse's fingers. Clearly, she's disoriented. Final stages of Parkinson's disease? pic.twitter.com/E5SJjcIvDA

-- Mathijs Koenraadt (@mkoenraadt) September 12, 2016

Aside from Dr. Noel's analysis, it appears that Clinton took a neurological test shortly before collapsing:

Pneumonia!

As Paul Joseph Watson explains :

The image shows Hillary grasping the woman's fingers with her fist, which is a classic motor neuron test to determine abnormalities in the nervous system.

The NYU School of Medicine details how the test is conducted;

"Test the patient's grip by having the patient hold the examiner's fingers in their fist tightly and instructing them not to let go while the examiner attempts to remove them. Normally the examiner cannot remove their fingers. This tests the forearm flexors and the intrinsic hand muscles. Compare the hands for strength asymmetry."

This is precisely what appears to be taking place in the image above. So why would Hillary be receiving a motor neuron test if she was only suffering from pneumonia, as her campaign claimed?

Taken as separate, isolated incidents, one could easily dismiss any of the points made by Dr. Noel. But when examined as a whole, Clinton's "odd behavior" and "accidents due to dehydration" over the last ten years are much harder to dismiss as benign or symptoms of pneumonia.

There's a very good reason why Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference for nearly 300 days: Her physical and neurological condition simply won't allow for it. She can't even take softball questions from her list of pre-approved journalsts without breaking into a coughing fit .

Clinton is scheduled to debate Trump in two weeks. The pneumonia cover story will likely disintegrate long before then.

The DNC should find a new candidate before it's too late. The game is up.


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

[Aug 18, 2018] Corporate Media the Enemy of the People by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements. ..."
"... Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away ..."
"... In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events. ..."
"... U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?" ..."
"... If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters. ..."
"... The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content ..."
"... Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense. ..."
"... To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. ..."
"... The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. ..."
"... There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite ..."
"... A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. ..."
"... A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. ..."
"... In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. ..."
"... The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. ..."
"... The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. ..."
"... To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. ..."
"... The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"Homeland" Distortion

Consistent with its possession as a leading and money-making asset of the nation's wealthy elite, the United States corporate and commercial mass media is a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle designed to keep the U.S. citizenry subordinated to capital and the imperial U.S. state. It regularly portrays the United States as a great model of democracy and equality. It sells a false image of the U.S. as a society where the rich enjoy opulence because of hard and honest work and where the poor are poor because of their laziness and irresponsibility. The nightly television news broadcasts and television police and law and order dramas are obsessed with violent crime in the nation's Black ghettoes and Latino barrios, but they never talk about the extreme poverty, the absence of opportunity imposed on those neighborhoods by the interrelated forces of institutional racism, capital flight, mass structural unemployment, under-funded schools, and mass incarceration. The nightly television weather reports tells U.S. citizens of ever new record high temperatures and related forms of extreme weather but never relate these remarkable meteorological developments to anthropogenic climate change.

The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements.

As the prolific U.S. Marxist commentator Michael Parenti once remarked, US "Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away." [1]

Selling Empire

U.S. newscasters and their print media counterparts routinely parrot and disseminate the false foreign policy claims of the nation's imperial elite. Earlier this year, U.S. news broadcasters dutiful relayed to U.S. citizens the Obama administration's preposterous assertion that social-democratic Venezuela is a repressive, corrupt, and authoritarian danger to its own people and the U.S. No leading national U.S. news outlet dared to note the special absurdity of this charge in the wake of Obama and other top U.S. officials' visit to Riyadh to guarantee U.S. support for the new king of Saudi Arabia, the absolute ruler of a leading U.S. client state that happens to be the most brutally oppressive and reactionary government on Earth.

In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events.

As the leading Left U.S. intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman showed in their classic text Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Orwellian double standards are rife in the dominant U.S. media's coverage and interpretation of global affairs. Elections won in other countries by politicians that Washington approves because those politicians can be counted on to serve the interests of U.S. corporations and the military are portrayed in U.S. media as good and clean contests. But when elections put in power people who can't be counted on to serve "U.S. interests," (Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro for example), then U.S. corporate media portrays the contests as "rigged" and "corrupt." When Americans or people allied with Washington are killed or injured abroad, they are "worthy victims" and receive great attention and sympathy in that media. People killed, maimed, displaced and otherwise harmed by the U.S. and U.S. clients and allies are anonymous and "unworthy victims" whose experience elicits little mention or concern.[2]

U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?"

In February of 2015, an extraordinary event occurred in U.S. news media – the firing of a leading national news broadcaster, Brian Williams of NBC News. Williams lost his position because of some lies he told in connection with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A naïve outsider might think that Williams was fired because he repeated the George W. Bush administration's transparent fabrications about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's supposed connection to 9/11. Sadly but predictably enough, that wasn't his problem. Williams lost his job because he falsely boasted that he had ridden on a helicopter that was forced down by grenade fire during the initial U.S. invasion. If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters.

More than Entertainment

The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content but was completely ignored in Herman and Chomsky's groundbreaking Manufacturing Consent. [3] One example is the Hollywood movie "Zero Dark Thirty," a 2012 "action thriller" that dramatized the United States' search for Osama bin-Laden after the September 11, 2001 jetliner attacks. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office-smash. It was also a masterpiece of pro-military, pro-CIA propaganda, skillfully portraying U.S. torture practices "as a dirty, ugly business that is necessary to protect America" (Glenn Greenwald[4]) and deleting the moral debate that erupted over the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques." Under the guise of a neutral, documentary-like façade, Zero Dark Thirty normalized and endorsed torture in ways that were all the more effective because of its understated, detached, and "objective" veneer. The film also marked a distressing new frontier in U.S. military-"embedded" filmmaking whereby the movie-makers receive technical and logistical support from the Pentagon in return for producing elaborate public relations on the military's behalf.

The 2014-15 Hollywood blockbuster American Sniper is another example. The film's audiences is supposed to marvel at the supposedly noble feats, sacrifice, and heroism of Chris Kyle, a rugged, militantly patriotic, and Christian-fundamentalist Navy SEALS sniper who participated in the U.S. invasion of Iraq to fight "evil" and to avenge the al Qaeda jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001. Kyle killed 160 Iraqis over four tours of "duty" in "Operational Iraqi Freedom." Viewers are never told that the Iraqi government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or al Qaeda or that the U.S. invasion was one of the most egregiously criminal and brazenly imperial and mass-murderous acts in the history of international violence. Like Zero Dark Thirty's apologists, American Sniper's defenders claim that the film takes a neutral perspective of "pure storytelling," with no ideological bias. In reality, the movie is filled with racist and imperial distortions, functioning as flat-out war propaganda.[5]

These are just two among many examples that could be cited of U.S. "entertainment" media's regular service to the American Empire. Hollywood and other parts of the nation's vast corporate entertainment complex plays the same power-serving role in relation to domestic ("homeland") American inequality and oppression structures of class and race. [6]

Manufacturing Idiocy

Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense.

In the U.S., where violence is not as readily available to elites as in 1970s Latin America, corporate America seeks the same terrible outcome through its ideological institutions, including above all its mass media. In U.S. movies, television sit-coms, television dramas, television reality-shows, commercials, state Lottery advertisements, and video games, the ideal-type U.S. citizen is an idiot in this classic sense: a person who cares about little more than his or her own well-being, consumption, and status. This noble American idiot is blissfully indifferent to the terrible prices paid by others for the maintenance of reigning and interrelated oppressions structures at home and abroad.

A pervasive theme in this media culture is the notion that people at the bottom of the nation's steep and interrelated socioeconomic and racial pyramids are the "personally irresponsible" and culturally flawed makers of their own fate. The mass U.S. media's version of Athenian idiocy "can imagine," in the words of the prolific Left U.S. cultural theorist Henry Giroux "public issues only as private concerns." It works to "erase the social from the language of public life so as to reduce" questions of racial and socioeconomic disparity to "private issues of individual character and cultural depravity. Consistent with "the central neoliberal tenet that all problems are private rather than social in nature," it portrays the only barriers to equality and meaningful democratic participation as "a lack of principled self-help and moral responsibility" and bad personal choices by the oppressed. Government efforts to meaningfully address and ameliorate (not to mention abolish) societal disparities of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality and the like are portrayed as futile, counterproductive, naïve, and dangerous.[8]

To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. It celebrates and otherwise advances the "right hand of the state"[9]: the portions of government that serve the opulent minority, dole out punishment for the poor, and attacks those perceived as nefariously resisting the corporate and imperial order at home and abroad. Police officers, prosecutors, military personnel, and other government authorities who represent the "right hand of the state" are heroes and role models in this media. Public defenders, other defense attorneys, civil libertarians, racial justice activists, union leaders, antiwar protesters and the like are presented at best as naïve and irritating "do-gooders" and at worst as coddlers and even agents of evil.

The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. As the American cultural critic Neil Postman noted thirty years ago, the modern U.S. television commercial is the antithesis of the rational economic consideration that early Western champions of the profits system claimed to be the enlightened essence of capitalism. "Its principal theorists, even its most prominent practitioners," Postman noted, "believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well-informed, and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest." Commercials make "hash" out of this idea. They are dedicated to persuading consumers with wholly irrational claims. They rely not on the reasoned presentation of evidence and logical argument but on suggestive emotionalism, infantilizing manipulation, and evocative, rapid-fire imagery.[10]

The same techniques poison U.S. electoral politics. Investment in deceptive and manipulative campaign commercials commonly determines success or failure in mass-marketed election contests between business-beholden candidates that are sold to the audience/electorate like brands of toothpaste and deodorant. Fittingly enough, the stupendous cost of these political advertisements is a major factor driving U.S. campaign expenses so high (the 2016 U.S. presidential election will cost at least $5 billion) as to make candidates ever more dependent on big money corporate and Wall Street donors.

Along the way, mass cognitive competence is assaulted by the numbing, high-speed ubiquity of U.S. television and radio advertisements. These commercials assault citizens' capacity for sustained mental focus and rational deliberation nearly sixteen minutes of every hour on cable television, with 44 percent of the individual ads now running for just 15 seconds. This is a factor in the United States' long-bemoaned epidemic of "Attention Deficit Disorder."

Seventy years ago, the brilliant Dutch left Marxist Anton Pannekoek offered some chilling reflections on the corporate print and broadcast media's destructive impact on mass cognitive and related social resistance capacities in the United States after World War II:

"The press is of course entirely in hands of big capital [and it] dominates the spiritual life of the American people. The most important thing is not even the hiding of all truth about the reign of big finance. Its aim still more is the education to thoughtlessness. All attention is directed to coarse sensations, everything is avoided that could arouse thinking. Papers are not meant to be read – the small print is already a hindrance – but in a rapid survey of the fat headlines to inform the public on unimportant news items, on family triflings of the rich, on sexual scandals, on crimes of the underworld, on boxing matches. The aim of the capitalist press all over the world, the diverting of the attention of the masses from the reality of social development, nowhere succeed with such thoroughness as in America."

"Still more than by the papers the masses are influenced by broadcasting and film. These products of most perfect science, destined at one time to the finest educational instruments of mankind, now in the hands of capitalism have been turned into the strongest means to uphold its rule by stupefying the mind. Because after nerve-straining fatigue the movie offers relaxation and distraction by means of simple visual impressions that make no demand on the intellect, the masses get used to accepting thoughtlessly all its cunning and shrewd propaganda. It reflects the ugliest sides of middle-class society. It turns all attention either to sexual life, in this society – by the absence of community feelings and fight for freedom – the only source of strong passions, or to brute violence; masses educated to rough violence instead of to social knowledge are not dangerous to capitalism "[11]

Pannekoek clearly saw an ideological dimension (beyond just diversion and stupefaction) in U.S. mass media's "education to thoughtlessness" through movies as well as print sensationalism. He would certainly be impressed and perhaps depressed by the remarkably numerous, potent, and many-sided means of mass distraction and indoctrination that are available to the U.S. and global capitalist media in the present digital and Internet era.

The "entertainment" wing of its vast corporate media complex is critical to the considerable "soft" ideological "power" the U.S. exercises around the world even as its economic hegemony wanes in an ever more multipolar global system (and as its "hard" military reveals significant limits within and beyond the Middle East). Relatively few people beneath the global capitalist elite consume U.S. news and public affairs media beyond the U.S., but "American" (U.S.) movies, television shows, video games, communication devices, and advertising culture are ubiquitous across the planet.

Explaining "Mainstream" Media Corporate Ownership

There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite. The first and most important explanation for this harsh reality is concentrated private ownership – the fundamental fact that that media is owned primarily by giant corporations representing wealthy interests who are deeply invested in U.S. capitalism and Empire. Visitors to the U.S. should not be fooled by the large number and types of channels and stations on a typical U.S. car radio or television set or by the large number and types of magazines and books on display at a typical Barnes & Noble bookstore. Currently in the U.S., just six massive and global corporations – Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, The News Corporation and Disney – together control more than 90 percent of the nation's print and electronic media, including cable television, airwaves television, radio, newspapers, movies, video games, book publishing, comic books, and more. Three decades ago, 50 corporations controlled the same amount of U.S. media.

Each of the reigning six companies is a giant and diversified multi-media conglomerate with investments beyond media, including "defense" (the military). Asking reporters and commentators at one of those giant corporations to tell the unvarnished truth about what's happening in the U.S. and the world is like asking the company magazine published by the United Fruit Company to the tell the truth about working conditions in its Caribbean and Central American plantations in the 1950s. It's like asking the General Motors company newspaper to tell the truth about wages and working conditions in GM's auto assembly plants around the world.

As the nation's media becomes concentrated into fewer corporate hands, media personnel become ever more insecure in their jobs because they have fewer firms to whom to sell their skills. That makes them even less willing than they might have been before to go outside official sources, to question the official line, and to tell the truth about current events and the context in which they occur.

Advertisers

A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. As Chomsky has noted in a recent interview, large corporations are not only the major producers of the United States' mass and commercial media. They are also that media's top market, something that deepens the captivity of nation's supposedly democratic and independent media to big capital:

"The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public the very idea of advertiser reliance radically distorts the concept of free media. If you think about what the commercial media are, no matter what, they are businesses. And a business produces something for a market. The producers in this case, almost without exception, are major corporations. The market is other businesses – advertisers. The product that is presented to the market is readers (or viewers), so these are basically major corporations providing audiences to other businesses, and that significantly shapes the nature of the institution."[12]

At the same time, both U.S. corporate media managers and the advertisers who supply revenue for their salaries are hesitant to produce content that might alienate the affluent people who count for an ever rising share of consumer purchases in the U.S. It is naturally those with the most purchasing power who are naturally most targeted by advertisers.

Government Policy

A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. Under the terms of the 1934 Communications Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act, commercial, for-profit broadcasters have almost completely free rein over the nation's airwaves and cable lines. There is no substantive segment of the broadcast spectrum set aside for truly public interest and genuinely democratic, popular not-for profit media and the official "public" broadcasting networks are thoroughly captive to corporate interests and to right-wing politicians who take giant campaign contributions from corporate interests. Much of the 1996 bill was written by lobbyists working for the nations' leading media firms. [13]

A different form of state policy deserves mention. Under the Obama administration, we have seen the most aggressive pursuit and prosecution in recent memory of U.S. journalists who step outside the narrow parameters of pro-U.S. coverage and commentary – and of the whistleblowers who provide them with leaked information. That is why Edward Snowden lives in Russia, Glenn Greenwald lives in Brazil, Chelsea Manning is serving life in a U.S. military prison, and Julian Assange is trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. A leading New York Times reporter and author, James Risen, has been threatened with imprisonment by the White House for years because of his refusal to divulge sources.

Treetops v. Grassroots Audiences

In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. Left U.S. media critics like Chomsky and Herman are said to be hypocrites because they obviously find much that is of use as Left thinkers in the very media that they criticize for distorting reality in accord with capitalist and imperial dictates.

The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. As far as the business elites who own and manage the U.S. mass media and the corporations that pay for that media with advertising purchases are concerned, this "rabble" cannot be trusted with serious, candid, and forthright information. Its essential role in society is to keep quiet, work hard, be entertained (in richly propagandistic and ideological ways, we should remember), buy things, and generally do what they're told. They are to leave key societal decisions to those that the leading 20th century U.S. public intellectual and media-as-propaganda enthusiast Walter Lippman called "the responsible men." That "intelligent," benevolent, "expert," and "responsible" elite (responsible, indeed, for such glorious accomplishments as the Great Depression, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq, the Great Recession, global warming, and the rise of the Islamic State) needed, in Lippman's view, to be protected from what he called "the trampling and roar of the bewildered herd."[15] The deluded mob, the sub-citizenry, the dangerous working class majority is not the audience for elite organs like the Times, the Post, and the Journal.

The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. This elite includes such heavily indoctrinated persons as corporate managers, lawyers, public administrators, and (most) tenured university professors. Since these elites carry out key top-down societal tasks of supervision, discipline, training, demoralization, co-optation, and indoctrination – all essential to the rule of the real economic elite and the imperial system – they cannot be too thoroughly misled about current events and policy without deleterious consequences for the smooth functioning of the dominant social and political order. They require adequate information and must not be overly influenced by the brutal and foolish propaganda generated for the "bewildered herd." At the same time, information and commentary for the relevant and respectable business and political classes and their "coordinator class" servants and allies often contains a measure of reasoned and sincere intra-elite political and policy debate – debate that is always careful not to stray beyond narrow U.S. ideological parameters. That is why a radical Left U.S. thinker and activist can find much that is of use in U.S. "treetops" media. Such a thinker or activist would, indeed, be foolish not to consult these sources.

"P"BS and N"P"R

A second objection to the Left critique of U.S. "mainstream" media claims that the U.S. public enjoys a meaningful alternative to the corporate media in the form of the nation's Public Broadcasting Service (television) and National Public Radio (NPR). This claim should not be taken seriously. Thanks to U.S. "public" media's pathetically weak governmental funding, its heavy reliance on corporate sponsors, and its constant harassment by right wing critics inside and beyond the U.S. Congress, N"P"R and "P"BS are extremely reluctant to question dominant U.S. ideologies and power structures.

The tepid, power-serving conservatism of U.S. "public" broadcasting is by longstanding political and policy design. The federal government allowed the formation of the "public" networks only on the condition that they pose no competitive market or ideological challenge to private commercial media, the profits system, and U.S. global foreign policy. "P"BS and N"P"R are "public" in a very limited sense. They not function for the public over and against corporate, financial, and imperial power to any significant degree.

"The Internet Will Save Us"

A third objection claims that the rise of the Internet creates a "Wild West" environment in which the power of corporate media is eviscerated and citizens can find and even produce all the "alternative media" they require. This claim is misleading but it should not be reflexively or completely dismissed. In the U.S. as elsewhere, those with access to the Internet and the time and energy to use it meaningfully can find a remarkable breadth and depth of information and trenchant Left analysis at various online sites. The Internet also broadens U.S. citizens and activists' access to media networks beyond the U.S. – to elite sources that are much less beholden of course to U.S. propaganda and ideology. At the same time, the Internet and digital telephony networks have at times shown themselves to be effective grassroots organizing tools for progressive U.S. activists.

Still, the democratic and progressive impact of the Internet in the U.S. is easily exaggerated. Left and other progressive online outlets lack anything close to the financial, technical, and organizational and human resources of the corporate news media, which has its own sophisticated Internet. There is nothing in Left other citizen online outlets that can begin to remotely challenge the "soft" ideological and propagandistic power of corporate "entertainment" media. The Internet's technical infrastructure is increasingly dominated by an "ISP cartel" led by a small number of giant corporations. As the leading left U.S. media analyst Robert McChesney notes:

"By 2014, there are only a half-dozen or so major players that dominate provision of broadband Internet access and wireless Internet access. Three of them – Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast – dominate the field of telephony and Internet access, and have set up what is in effect a cartel. They no longer compete with each other in any meaningful sense. As a result, Americans pay far more for cellphone and broadband Internet access than most other advanced nations and get much lousier service These are not 'free market' companies in any sense of the term. Their business model, going back to pre-Internet days, has always been capturing government monopoly licenses for telephone and cable TV services. Their 'comparative advantage' has never been customer service; it has been world-class lobbying.' [16]

Along the way, the notion of a great "democratizing," Wild West" and "free market" Internet has proved politically useful for the corporate media giants. The regularly trumpet the great Internet myth to claim that the U.S. public and regulators don't need to worry about corporate media power and to justify their demands for more government subsidy and protection. At the same time, finally, we know from the revelations of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and others that the nation's leading digital and Internet-based e-mail (Google and Yahoo), telephony (e.g. Verizon), and "social network" (Facebook above all) corporations have collaborated with the National Security Agency and with the nation's local, state, and federal police in the surveillance of U.S. citizens' and activists' private communications.[17]

Solutions

The fourth objection accuses Left media critics of being overly negative, "carping" critics who offer no serious alternatives to the nation's current corporate-owned corporate-managed commercial and for-profit media system. This is a transparently false and mean-spirited charge. Left U.S. media criticism is strongly linked to a smart and impressive U.S. media reform movement that advances numerous and interrelated proposals for the creation of a genuinely public and democratically run non-commercial and nonprofit U.S. media system. Some of the demand and proposals of this movement include public ownership and operation of the Internet as a public utility; the break-up of the leading media oligopolies; full public funding of public broadcasting; limits on advertising in commercial media; the abolition of political advertisements; the expansion of airwave and broadband access for alternative media outlets; publicly-funded nonprofit and non-commercial print journalism; the abolition of government and corporate surveillance, monitoring, and commercial data-mining of private communication and "social networks."[18] With regard to the media as with numerous other areas, we should recall Chomsky's sardonic response to the standard conservative claim that the Left offers criticisms but no solutions: "There is an accurate translation for that charge: 'they present solutions and I don't like them.'"[19]

A False Paradox

The propagandistic and power-serving mission and nature of dominant U.S, corporate mass media might seem ironic and even paradoxical in light of the United States' strong free speech and democratic traditions. In fact, as Carey and Chomsky have noted, the former makes perfect sense in light of the latter. In nations where popular expression and dissent is routinely crushed with violent repression, elites have little incentive to shape popular perceptions in accord with elite interests. The population is controlled primarily through physical coercion. In societies where it is not generally considered legitimate to put down popular expression with the iron heel of armed force and where dissenting opinion is granted a significant measure of freedom of expression, elites are heavily and dangerously incentivized to seek to manufacture mass popular consent and idiocy. The danger is deepened by the United States' status as the pioneer in the development of mass consumer capitalism, advertising, film, and television. Thanks to that history, corporate America has long stood in the global vanguard when it comes to developing the technologies, methods, art, and science of mass persuasion and thought control.[20]

It is appropriate to place quotation marks around the phrase "mainstream media" when writing about dominant U.S. corporate media. During the Cold War era, U.S. officials and media never referred to the Soviet Union's state television and radio or its main state newspapers as "mainstream Russian media." American authorities referred to these Russian media outlets as "Soviet state media" and treated that media as means for the dissemination of Soviet "propaganda" and ideology. There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. It is just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of its host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective.

Its success is easily exaggerated, however. To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. A recent Pew Research poll showed that U.S. "millennials" (young adults 18-29 years old) have a more favorable response to the word "socialism" than to "capitalism" – a remarkable finding on the limits of corporate media and other forms of elite ideological power in the U.S. The immigrant worker uprising of May 2006, the Chicago Republic Door and Window plant occupation of 2008, the University of California student uprisings of 2009 and 2010, the Wisconsin public worker rebellion in early 2011, the Occupy Movement of late 2011, and Fight for Fifteen (for a $15 an hour minimum wage) and Black Lives Matter movements of 2014 and 2015 show that U.S. corporate and imperial establishment has not manufactured anything like comprehensive and across the board mass consent and idiocy in the U,S. today. The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C. The struggle for popular self-determination, democracy, justice, and equality lives on despite the influence of corporate media.

[Aug 18, 2018] How Syria and Ukraine Drove the Russia Hawks Insane

Notable quotes:
"... also mentioned adversary ..."
"... veritable demon ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

In Part 1 we referenced the infamous hysteria triggered in Salem Massachusetts by Betty Parris (age 9) and Abigail Williams (age 12).

In 1692 their prepubescent imaginations were apparently more than capable of detecting the evil doings of witches at loose in their community; and a population hopped up with Calvinist enthusiasm for the supernatural works of the Almighty apparently was also capable of lapsing into collective madness – at least for a spell.

But who would have thought that in the year 2018 the grizzled adults and racketeers who populate the Imperial City would fall prey to the same momentary outbreak of deliriums?

After all, Vladimir Putin was the very same Putin who made a mere cameo appearance in the 2012 presidential debates. He got an honorable mention when Barack Obama appropriately schooled Mitt Romney on the fact that Russia was not America's principal national security threat.

Indeed, the MSM commentators who are shrieking about Trump's parlay with Vlad today were knowingly furrowing their brows about Romney's alleged gaffe back then.

So the question at hand is what changed? How did the politics as usual debating points about the status of Russia and Putin only 69 months ago turn into a veritable Salem style hysteria?

We'd suggest two pivotal events turned the Imperial City upside down. To wit, Barry lost his nerve in August 2013 on the Syrian red line and Donald Trump won the 2016 election in the red zones of Flyover America.

In between, the mainstream media completely lost its grasp on reality as the Imperial City dove headlong into it latest and greatest Indispensable Nation adventures by intervening in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, and Iraq for the third time.

The Indispensable Nation conceit, of course, is the ultimate cover story for the work of Empire and is the polar opposite of the rudimentary America First notions on which Donald Trump rode into the White House.

As it happened, the Indispensable Nation meme flourished when the neocons and liberal interventionists became ascendant during the Clinton and early Bush 43 era; and they virtually ran the policy tables after 9/11 as the full-throated War on Terrorism cranked up a powerful head of steam.

Nevertheless, the acolytes of Empire nearly lost their political lunch when Shock & Awe in Iraq turned into a bloody quagmire and the retaliation against the Taliban for harboring the 9/11 conspirators ended up as an endless trillion dollar war in the Hindu Kush.

That's why the peace candidate won in 2008. And it didn't matter that Barrack Obama was an utterly unqualified greenhorn Senator and former part-time law professor and community organizer who had no more claim to the Oval Office in his day than the Donald did this time around.

But Barry was too much the quick study by half. Rather than dismantle the rogue postwar Empire of the neocons and militarists, he sought to make it smarter and more deft. So he populated his national security team with moderate neocons like Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus and Victoria Nuland and a posse of liberal interventionists including Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power.

Our point here is not simply that peace never had a chance with that crowd in charge of policy; it's that the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011 triggered a toxic brew of interventionist enthusiasm among Barry's foreign policy team that quickly metastasized into R2P (responsibility to protect) madness in Libya and Syria.

Needless to say, even a newly arrived Martian visitor in 2011 what have been scratching his head about Libya.

In his advancing old age, Khadafy had turned himself into a model non-proliferator and exclusively inward focused tyrant. Libya thus posed a threat to exactly no one outside its own borders; and it was just plain laughable as a matter of concern to the security of the American homeland.

But Hillary and her posse famously danced on Khadafy's grave after NATO-enabled terrorists brought about his brutal demise. So doing, they learned a dangerously erroneous lesson.

Namely, that uncooperative dictators who purportedly threatened their citizens with genocidal repression could be clinically removed for a few billions worth of bombs, drones and aid to local rebels.

That proposition really had nothing to do with homeland security in America and was belied by the fiascoes in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now the "smart" people were in charge, and both Libya and Egypt were proof they knew how to make Regime Change happen with a minimum of muss and fuss.

Yet any intelligent reading of the impossible sectarian politics of Syria put the lie to that conceit in a heartbeat.

Indeed, given the 40-year history of the Assad family business built around Baathist secularism and a protective umbrella for Syria's numerous minority confessions – Alawite, Druse, Shiite, Christian, Jewish, Kurd etc. – the very idea of arming Sharia-spouting Sunni Arabs to overthrow the Assad regime was sheer lunacy.

So whatever the immediate origins and allegedly peaceful intentions of the anti-Assad uprising in the spring of 2011, it did not take long for these clashes to degenerate into bloody urban warfare.

And it did not take a lot of figuring to also see that arming Muslim Brotherhood sectarians was absolutely guaranteed to generate a violent response from Damascus. That's because the Brotherhood had been the historic vanguard of Sunni religious opposition to the Baathist secularism of the Assad regime; and had been brutally suppressed by the senior Assad in the 1980s.

Beyond that, it was also a given that the Shiite polities on either side of Syria's borders would likely come to Assad's aid. That is, the Iranians in the east and Hezbollah across the southwest border in Lebanon – to say nothing of the regime's longtime Russian patrons, whose only naval base in the Mediterranean was located on Syria's tiny slice of coastline.

In any event, Obama's neocons and R2P liberals threw every caution to the wind. In going all in for regime change and demonizing Assad as a butcher who used barrel bombs and chemical weapons against innocent civilians, they maneuvered Obama – newly feisty as the slayer of Osama bin-Laden – into drawing his famous red line on the use of chemical weapons.

Needless to say, that was catnip to the Nusra Front and ISIS jihadists who dominated the armed opposition. It did not take long for them to mount a false flag attack in Ghouta in August 2013, which horrified the social media connected world when 1300 civilians suffered gruesome deaths from what was apparently sarin gas.

Only later did rocket experts demonstrate that the sarin had been delivered by short-range projectiles launched from jihadist controlled areas outside of Damascus, not by Assad's forces 15-20 miles away. But at the moment, the job was done: Obama was on the hot-seat of his own foolishly drawn red line – exactly where the jihadist and his own interventionists wanted him.

When he attempted to escape the trap by punting the decision to bomb Assad to Capitol Hill, however, Cool Hand Vlad saw his opening. To wit, he quickly brokered a deal with Assad to have his entire chemical weapons arsenal removed and destroyed under international supervision.

That was operationally executed by the acknowledged neutral experts at the OPCW (Organization For The Prevention of Chemical Weapons) and there is little doubt that the preponderant share of Assad's arsenal was eliminated.

Yet for that act of constructive statesmanship, the neocons and liberal interventionists never forgave Putin. Then and there he became Bad Vlad because his action on chemical weapons but the kibosh on Washington's excuse for regime change in Damascus.

In fact, the War Party interventionists of both stripes – neocons and R2P liberals – went on the all-out attack in September 2013, transforming Putin from the also mentioned adversary of the Obama-Romney debate one year earlier into a veritable demon . Hillary now even insisted his was a modern day Adolph Hitler.

As it happened, the duly elected President of Ukraine chose that same fall to pursue an economic bailout deal with Moscow to rescue his country's debt-laden, corruption ridden post-Soviet economy; and he did so in lieu of the far less attractive deal that had been offered by the west through the EC, IMF and Washington.

Not surprisingly, that wholly appropriate decision by the leader of a sovereign nation became exactly the opening for the Washington interventionists to strike hard at Putin and Russia.

We have detailed elsewhere how the so-called Maidan uprising on the streets of Kiev in February was funded, organized and enabled by Washington and its cadres of operators from the CIA, NED, State and sundry NGOs; and how that divided the country to the quick politically when Washington installed and recognized a radical nationalist government that immediately moved against the Russian speaking populations of the Donbas and Crimea.

Indeed, enabling the Kiev coup and instantly recognizing the crony capitalists, ruffians and neo-Nazi nationalists who formed the new government was the single stupidest act of peace candidate Barry's entire presidency.

But by then the interventionists were in high dudgeon. So there was no stopping their virtually instantaneous demonization of Russia and Putin for actions which were self-evidently driven by Russia's vital national interests in it own backyard – not some kind of aggressive quest for territory or lebensraum.

To wit, Putin did not "seize" Crimea like it was some country in the Benelux that he coveted. To the contrary, Crimea was virtually Russian to the core after it was purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783 and thereafter when Sevastopol become the homeport for the great black sea fleet of czars and commissars alike.

For crying out loud, Crimea was never part of Ukraine until Khrushchev had the Soviet Presidium transfer it in 1954 from the Russian Soviet Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic as a gift to his Ukrainian compatriots who had stood with him the bloody struggle for Stalin's succession.

So Washington decided to declare economic war on Russia through Obama's idiotic sanctions in order to make sure that the dead hand of the Soviet Presidium's writ is enforced 64 years later.

Besides, Russia did conduct a referendum which was fair by all objective accounts; and under which 83% of the eligible voters elected to return to Mother Russia after what had been an historical short interlude of rule by the Ukrainian state. Among other things, the overwhelmingly Russian speaking population of Crimea as not enthusiastic about being culturally "cleansed" the Ukrainian nationalists who now ruled in Kiev.

Likewise with the Donbas and the other nearby Russian speaking provinces on the eastern border. Many of them had been put there generations earlier by Stalin to man what was the industrial maw – coal, iron, steel, chemicals and heavy engineering – of the Soviet Union.

And all of them knew of the terrors that had occurred during WWII when the Hitler's Wehrmacht marched through the Donbas and destroyed everything and everyone in sight on its way to the siege of Stalingrad, and how it had been accompanied by legions of Ukrainian collaborators during the terror.

They also knew that the region had eventually been liberated from the Nazi terror by the Red Army as it returned through the region on its way to Berlin.

Yet the interventionist fools in Washington ignored all of this and proclaimed Putin menace to peace and the rule of law because he came to the aid of the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population, which did not want to be ruled by the Ukrainian nationalists who had illegally sized power in Kiev.

The obvious solution all along was partition – just like happened when Washington forced Serbia to give up Kosovo; or when the artificial country of Czechoslovakia, created by backroom intrigue at Versailles in 1919 peacefully decided to separate into two sovereign countries a few year back.

In short, there is no there, there. The Ukraine/Crimea "aggression" is nothing of the kind, and Putin was in Syria because he was invited to be there by its sovereign government.

In fact, the whole demonization campaign, the sweeping economic sanctions and NATO's provocative encroachments on Russia's borders in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea are nothing more than retaliation for Putin's wise rescue of Barrack Obama from his own stupid red line.

But this isn't the end of the stupidity. In part 3 we will strip the bark off the Russian election meddling meme by laying out the simple fact that a country which is no threat to the security of the American homeland, but which has been viciously attacked by Washington, might will seek to make it's case for a different policy.

That is to say, none of this is about espionage or stealing military secrets. It actually boils down to the obvious fact that Donald Trump had an open mind about Russia and had not been party to Obama's cabal of neocon and R2P interventionists and their campaign of revenge against Vlad Putin.

That Putin preferred Trump was a no brainer and he admitted as such at the Helsinki Summit. But that Putin's preference for Trump had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the election is also patently obvious.

Nevertheless, the Deep State has cooked up a massive fiction that claims Moscow made every effort to do so.
We intend to tear that Big Lie limb-for-limb in Part 3, but suffice it here to consider the take below from CIA veteran Philip Giraldi . It does remind that Salem on the Potomac is actually happening in the here and now:

Beyond what is or is not contained in the document itself, there is a clear misunderstanding regarding how a sophisticated intelligence organization, which certainly includes the GRU, operates. If there had been a large-scale Kremlin sanctioned plan to disrupt the US election, it would not be run by twelve identifiable GRU officers working with what appears to be only limited cover and resources. If the facts are correct, the activity might have been a routine probing, collecting and selective dissemination of information effort that all intelligence agencies engage in. The United States does so routinely in many countries, interfering in elections worldwide, far more than Russia with its limited resources, and even carrying out regime change.

If the Kremlin's objective were truly to undermine American democracy, a task that is already being undertaken very ably by the GOP and Democrats, hundreds of officers would be involved, all working under deep cover and operating securely out of dispersed sites. And no one involved would be using computers connected to networks that could be penetrated to enable personal identification or discovery of the ultimate source of the activity. Everyone would be working in alias on stand-alone machines and the transmission of information would be done using cutouts to break any chain of custody. A cutout might consist of using thumb drives to transmit information from one computer to another, for example. There would be no sending or receiving of information by channels that could be identified by NSA or CIA and compromised.

So the idea that the United States government identified twelve culprits who were responsible for trying to overthrow American democracy is by any measure ludicrous, if indeed there was a major plan to disrupt the election at all. The indictment is little more than a political document seeking to undermine any effort by Donald Trump to establish rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. It will also serve to give fuel to the Democrats, who are still at a loss to understand what happened to Hillary Clinton, and Republican hawks like John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse who persist in seeking to refight the Cold War. As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin said in their Helsinki press conference, the coming together of the leaders of the world's two most powerful nuclear armed countries is too important an opportunity to let pass. Cold Warriors in Washington should take note.

[Aug 18, 2018] In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship -- Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Scott Horton Show ..."
"... This commentary was originally published on ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship August 10, 2018 • 92 Comments

In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship, argues Caitlin Johnstone in this commentary.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Last year, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed on the US Senate floor that it is their responsibility to "quell information rebellions" and adopt a "mission statement" expressing their commitment to "prevent the fomenting of discord."

" Civil wars don't start with gunshots, they start with words," the representatives were told. "America's war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America."

Yes, this really happened.

Today Twitter has silenced three important anti-war voices on its platform: it has suspended Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, suspended Scott Horton of the Scott Horton Show , and completely removed the account of prominent Antiwar.com writer Peter Van Buren.

I'm about to talk about the censorship of Alex Jones and Infowars now, so let me get the "blah blah I don't like Alex Jones" thing out of the way so that my social media notifications aren't inundated with people saying "Caitlin didn't say the 'blah blah I don't like Alex Jones' thing!" I shouldn't have to, because this isn't actually about Alex Jones, but here it is:

I don't like Alex Jones. He's made millions saying the things disgruntled right-wingers want to hear instead of telling the truth; he throws in disinfo with his info, which is the same as lying all the time. He's made countless false predictions and his sudden sycophantic support for a US president has helped lull the populist right into complacency when they should be holding Trump to his non-interventionist campaign pledges, making him even more worthless than he was prior to 2016.

But this isn't about defending Alex Jones. He just happens to be the thinnest edge of the wedge.

Infowars has been censored from Facebook, Youtube (which is part of Google), Apple, Spotify, and now even Pinterest, all within hours of each other. This happens to have occurred at the same time Infowars was circulating a petition with tens of thousands of signatures calling on President Trump to pardon WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who poses a much greater threat to establishment narratives than Alex Jones ever has. Assange's mother also reports that this mass removal of Infowars' audience occurred less than 48 hours after she was approached to do an interview by an Infowars producer.

In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Because legalized bribery in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations has given wealthy Americans the ability to control the U.S. government's policy and behavior while ordinary Americans have no effective influence whatsoever, the U.S. unquestionably has a corporatist system of government. Large, influential corporations are inseparable from the state, so their use of censorship is inseparable from state censorship.

This is especially true of the vast mega-corporations of Silicon Valley, whose extensive ties to U.S. intelligence agencies are well-documented . Once you're assisting with the construction of the US military's drone program , receiving grants from the CIA and NSA for mass surveillance, or having your site's content regulated by NATO's propaganda arm , you don't get to pretend you're a private, independent corporation that is separate from government power. It is possible in the current system to have a normal business worth a few million dollars, but if you want to get to billions of dollars in wealth control in a system where money translates directly to political power, you need to work with existing power structures like the CIA and the Pentagon, or else they'll work with your competitors instead of you

Censorship Through Private Proxy

And yet every time I point to the dangers of a few Silicon Valley plutocrats controlling all new media political discourse with an iron fist, Democratic Party loyalists all turn into a bunch of hardline free market Ayn Rands. "It's not censorship!" they exclaim. "It's a private company and can do whatever it wants with its property!"

They do this because they know their mainstream, plutocrat-friendly "centrist" views will never be censored. Everyone else is on the chopping block, however. Leftist sites have already had their views slashed by a manipulation of Google's algorithms, and it won't be long before movements like BDS and Antifa and skeptics of the establishment Syria and Russia narratives can be made to face mass de-platforming on the same exact pretext as Infowars.

This is a setup. Hit the soft target so your oligarch-friendly censorship doesn't look like what it is, then once you've manufactured consent, go on to shut down the rest of dissenting media bit by bit.

Don't believe that's the plan? Let's ask sitting US Senator Chris Murphy: " Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart," Murphy tweeted in response to the news. "These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it."

That sure sounds an awful lot like the warnings issued to the Silicon Valley representatives on the Senate floor at the beginning of this article, no? This is headed somewhere dark.

We're going to have to find a way to keep the oligarchs from having their cake and eating it too. Either (A) corporations are indeed private organizations separate from the government, in which case the people need to get money out of politics and government agencies out of Silicon Valley so they can start acting like it, and insist that their owners can't be dragged out on to the Senate floor and instructed on what they can and can't do with their business, or (B) these new media platforms get treated like the government agencies they function as, and the people get all the First Amendment protection that comes with it. Right now the social engineers are double-dipping in a way that will eventually give the alliance of corporate plutocrats and secretive government agencies the ability to fully control the public's access to ideas and information.

If they accomplish that, it's game over for humanity. Any hope of the public empowering itself over the will of a few sociopathic, ecocidal, omnicidal oligarchs will have been successfully quashed. We are playing for all the chips right now. We have to fight this. We have no choice.

This commentary was originally published on CaitlinJohnstone.com .

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . This article was re-published with permission.


gininitaly , August 14, 2018 at 6:59 am

https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-344-problem-reaction-solution-internet-censorship-edition/

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 8:23 am

Cal-

Caitlin is still on medium.
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/latest

glitch , August 14, 2018 at 10:17 pm

She also has her own website now https://caitlinjohnstone.com/

Herman , August 13, 2018 at 11:07 am

Ms. Johnstone is right. Government pressure on corporations works but the media in all its forms does a pretty good job of sowing discord without government interference. There are so few instances where the government and the major media are not in sync, they are hard to find. As to allowing the lonely voices of worthy organizations like Consortium News, why should they bother. Allowing them creates the pretense of free speech. If they become dangerous, the mood of our elected officials is to fix the problem as Ms. Johnstone rightly notes. The defense of freedom of speech by government and the major media is very selective, and the use of the calling fire in a loaded theatre standard is a big enough vehicle for suppression to drive a truck through, a whole convoy in fact.

As an aside, watching Sixty Minutes on their hit piece about Russian interference in our elections was an example of sloppy journalism that seems to be the norm. when it is about Russia. I was about to say they never used to be like that, but I think that is probably not true.

uncle bob , August 13, 2018 at 12:42 am

https://therealnews.com/series/max-blumenthal-on-the-silicon-valley-dc-internet-police

peon d. rich , August 12, 2018 at 6:19 pm

Bulls-eye!!!! especially on Democratic party loyalists who perform a much more important function for plutocracy than the Republicans and the Tea Party – to rally around fake progressive politics dripping out of the DNC, and effectively drain off the pressure building for true progressive politics.

cjonsson1 , August 12, 2018 at 1:50 pm

This is a good example of Caitlin explaining what is going on in the American media wars which is crucial for people to know.
Our access to information, other than government propaganda, is becoming very limited because the few major social network corporations are owned by a few wealthy individuals or private government contractors. They are monopolies which should be designated public utilities, and regulated as such, or broken up into smaller entities, allowing for competition.
It is important to preserve what is left of our freedom of expression and our free press. The ability to comment on reporting and discuss it with others is diminishing while sources are becoming more and more restricted.
Government and big business fight the public for control of information and opinion. We have to collectively save our stake in democracy by rejecting censorship.

Karl Pomeroy , August 11, 2018 at 8:55 pm

You make some very good points. Alas, I disagree about Alex Jones. The very few times I've listened to his videos, it seemed to me every last thing he said was absolutely true and correct. So I don't know where the idea comes from that he speaks disinformation. He's sometimes obnoxious and hard to watch. But that's a different thing. His words are accurate, particularly about the globalists, the deep state, US-Russia relations, and Trump.

Arby , August 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm

"It is possible in the current system to have a normal business worth a few million dollars, but if you want to get to billions of dollars in wealth control in a system where money translates directly to political power, you need to work with existing power structures like the CIA and the Pentagon, or else they'll work with your competitors instead of you."

Actually, If companies get big, they become potential big tools/weapons for the war-making State, at which point they will be offered a deal that they can't refuse, as one would expect within this gangster Corporatocracy. Look at Wikileaks. Mozilla simply jumped on the fake news bandwagon, so they are now safe, as Aaron Kesel at Activist Post points out. Lavabit's owner, Ladar Levinson had principles and was loyal to his customers (including Edward Snowden) whom he didn't want to betray just because the Corporatocracy State demanded it, and so he shut down. He revived his company once he figured out ways to shield his customers from the war-making State that attacks us all in the name of 'national security'.

So, it's a little more dire than the government just deciding to favor your competitors, which of course the amazing Caitlin knows.

With all of this capture by tech giants, innovators, by the war-making State (Randolph Bourne), How will end? I have more than one answer to that. One of those answers is the obvious one: Ramped up counterrevolution, in the area of cyberspace mainly, in the State's war against the people. And such a war is underway as any number of authors have demonstrated thoroughly. And its not (just) Russia attacking the people. Jeff Halper wrote "War Against The People." Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes edited "The Secure And The Dispossessed." Douglas Valentine wrote "The Phoenix Program," which he notes wasn't confined to Vietnam. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman wrote the devastating two-volume "Political Economy Of Human Rights," which included "The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism." And Edward Herman wrote: "The Real Terror Network." All of those books and many others talk about counterrevolution and the counterinsurgency (State terrorism) that goes with it.

And counterrevolution and counterinsurgency doesn't have to be of the extreme variety, such as in South Vietnam when the US was torturing that country to death. Caitlin has talked about how the State (New Zealand) went to work on her friend, Suzie Dawson. Read the account. It's quite illuminating.

What do you call 'thinking' that is against 'thinking' (and what we consider to be a part of innovation that leads to inventions that elevate society? It's called counterrevolution. That's where our corrupt tech giants have gone. It won't end well for them, even if they think otherwise and even if they feel safe because they are with the big guy. There's a bigger guy who has that big guy in his sights.

"Thinking About Thinking" – https://arrby.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/thinking-about-thinking/

"41 Tags, 17 Entries And No Views. Bookmark Me Maybe?" – https://arrby.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/41-tags-17-entries-and-no-views-bookmark-me-maybe/

vinnieoh , August 11, 2018 at 10:14 am

"We Do What We're Told" – Peter Gabriel; "So"

Somehow I had missed those words from our elected "representatives" in Congressional hearing. What these political pimps and whores don't want us to do is get together and agree to dispel the bullshit that we're up to our necks in right now.

As far as I know this is the first piece I've read by Caitlin Johnstone, and I agree with her general premise that this is more than just ominous. More and more of our elected "representatives" talk and act like alien totalitarians.

The good news is that Trump's "trade" and saber-rattling belligerence is finally awakening the rest of humanity to the fundamental non-starter of a unipolar anything. That one entity so militarily, politically, and economically dominant that it can cause pain and suffering wherever and whenever it decides. It is ironic that Trump's MAGA is the act in this play that will dethrone the USA. The downside is that the 99% control NOTHING (this is true across most of the planet.) Another downside is that the megalomaniacs in power will not concede power without a cataclysmic conflict. But nothing is set in stone, though the indications don't look promising.

Jerry Alatalo , August 11, 2018 at 8:57 am

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

"But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose what is always a great benefit – the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

– JOHN STUART MILL (1806-1873) English political economist, philosopher

Realist , August 11, 2018 at 3:12 am

Something must be getting into the water supply either by accident or design to induce the mass hypnosis that has so many presumably intelligent people believing that we must all walk in lockstep on every policy the elites want. Maybe we are all zombified from the massive amounts of Xanax, Valium, Oxycontin and other mind-numbing psychoactive agents our population consumes and pisses, unmetabolized, into the water table to be recycled into our drinking water, obviating the need for a personal prescription to enjoy (suffer) the effects.

It's a real pity if the totally transparent sham scare stories they have disseminated are alone enough to convince most of the people to give up their constitutional rights and privacy. Clearly the tactic of the big lie doesn't work on every last individual or sites like this one would not have an audience. That is why they want to shut us down, and Alex Jones, though not a member of this journal club, is just the first step towards an outcome that will encompass everyone remaining outside an all pervasive Groupthink.

Ideas, beliefs, memes, values, customs, habits and such are not received universally from some inspirational force on high. (You are simply told to believe that from earliest childhood.) They are spread through the population like a virus from mind-to-mind contact, whether in person or via some modality of mass communication, like the TV or the internet. The object of censorship, as per Alex Jones or Ron Paul most recently, is to extirpate the source of "infection" as close to its point of origin as possible, before it can be spread to too many carriers for transmission to others. People tend to believe what they hear and what they hear comes from their regular contacts. Shut down their favorite talk show host or internet site and they become starved for new "seditious" ideas. If they never hear a truth, chances are they won't think it up themselves and certainly not act upon it.

Another thing I am pretty sure of: if their attempts at propaganda, psy-ops and mind control do not work to their satisfaction, unadorned thuggery will become the new standard. I know, I know, some of our number already get a taste of that.

Dave P. , August 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Realist –

"Another thing I am pretty sure of: if their attempts at propaganda, psy-ops and mind control do not work to their satisfaction, unadorned thuggery will become the new standard . . . "

You have it absolutely right. There have been markers all along since G.W. Bush/Cheney rule, clear indicators of this new Future.

But some of us are so desperate to have a better and peaceful future for the humanity on this planet that we get our hopes high for any silver lining in the sky – Obama's hope and change, now Trump's getting along with Russia and stopping interventions abroad.

Now it seems like there is this new hoax the Democrats are going to perpetrate, candidates with some type of socialist orientation, like Bernie Sanders supposedly has been or is. The politicians in both parties are accomplished ConMen, in service of the real Masters – MIC, Wall Street Finance, Media and Entertainment, working to bring this new Future. Bernie Sanders is no different.

Skip Scott , August 12, 2018 at 7:08 am

"Now it seems like there is this new hoax the Democrats are going to perpetrate, candidates with some type of socialist orientation, like Bernie Sanders supposedly has been or is. "

I have noticed this ploy as well. They are willing to have a few faux progressives to keep the progressive wing of the party from abandoning them altogether. They use Sanders, and now this new Ocasio-Cortez, to sell their "big tent" narrative, and then co-op them when it comes to all the important issues. They also constantly sell the idea that voting for third party candidates is a waste of time, so you have to settle for "the lesser of evils" when it comes time for a new president. I don't know how long they can keep playing the same con-game before people see through it, but if it happens again in 2020, I think we are doomed.

Realist , August 12, 2018 at 10:01 am

The Democratic incumbent running for the senate in Florida (Bill Nelson) has made me so angry by yet again using the party con against Russia that I could never vote for him even though his opponent is the horrendous Governor Rick Scott (who plead guilty to defrauding Medicare to the tune of a billion dollars for his Columbia HMO system prior to his election). I cannot abide such theft of taxpayer money in broad daylight, but I also cannot accept Nelson's spewing lies that Russia has actively hacked the Florida voter roles, plans to delete registrations and disrupt the November elections. You know who's really more likely to do those things? The Democratic and Republican parties.

Nelson is just making pre-emptive excuses for the loss that he sees coming. If he believes his desperate gambit can work, he must think the voters are damned idiots to believe that Russia would persist in perpetrating sabotage against American interests putting them constantly in the crosshairs of our politicians and media. He must think that Floridians will buy any tall tale that their elected officials tell them, totally unsupported by any evidence. We are to believe that Assad never stops trying to poison his own people and that Putin never stops interfering in American elections. (Why should Putin favor Rick Scott? Because he admires American crooks?) If you truly believe such accusations, it is probably logical that you would favor WAR with that country. I will vote for someone from the Baader-Meinhof gang or the Taliban Party (if there is such a beast) before either Nelson or Scott. Or I won't vote at all.

Jessika , August 10, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Zero Hedge tonight has an interesting article by Charles Hugh Smith, "The Grand Irony of Russiagate: US Becomes More Like USSR Every Day". The clampdown in the old Soviet Union before its collapse has parallels to what's going on in US now.

Jeff Harrison , August 10, 2018 at 5:12 pm

From Wikipedia. Fascism:
Fascism (/?fæ??z?m/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism,[1][2] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

The Cheetos-in-chief would love to wield dictatorial power and has tried to do so in the past as have his predecessors (Obama, yeah, well, we had to torture some folks::Shrub you're with us or against us.). Senator Chris Murphy essentially telling these companies who to kick off their platforms, the regimentation of society and the economy is continuing apace as companies are forced to comply with government demands that the government should never be able to make but they do for "national security reasons"

Pfui. As I've said before the US has become a fascistic police state.

MBeaver , August 11, 2018 at 10:50 pm

Many other western countries, too. The only thing missing to "fit" fascism is the nationalism. They completely gave up their national identity for neoliberal agendas. I wont look for a new term, because its as close to fascism as anything else, especially since the definition of leftism and socialism has changed a lot since fascism was invented (by a socialist), so why shouldnt the definition of fascism a tiny bit?
But it exposes people who always cry "its not fascism" because nationalism is missing, as accomplices at the very least.

Also, as an objective person, you should at least admit, that "cheeto-in-chief" is actually trying hard to keep the promises he made. I havent seen that in a western leader in a very VERY long time. Its just very obvious that the president isnt almighty and the deep state is very powerful. Thanks to Trump its become evident to even fools, that the USA is much more corrupt than even any conspiracy theorist would have thought just a few years ago.

jaycee , August 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

The idea that discordant speech is somehow a threat to the nation or democracy is so looney and bereft of fact that it is actually painful to contemplate how many otherwise intelligent persons seem to have internalized the notion. Obviously, Trump's election victory severely damaged the Establishment's confidence in the ability to "manufacture consent" to the degree that fundamental concepts of free speech are now in the cross-hairs. They will destroy the Republic in order to save it.

Gary Weglarz , August 10, 2018 at 3:58 pm

When the corporate state speaks of "hate speech" and "community standards" – one can be sure they are not referring to Madeline Albright's stunning defense for killing of a half a million Iraqi children with sanctions as "worth it." Nor would the corporate state ever categorize as "hate speech" the daily attack by a wide variety of U.S. officials and media pundits, not only on the Russian government, but on the very – "character" – of the Russian people as a whole.

Our actual and very real – "community standards" – in the U.S. include the complete normalization of illegal immoral endless aggressive war-making in violation of international law (not to mention regime change by jihadists, drone murders, economic warfare, political assassinations, etc.) – along with the despicable demonization of official enemies – in other words the total "normalization of hate-speech."

"Violations" of these widely held U.S. "community standards" & "hate-speech standards" involves plain and simply any – "challenge" – to them or deviation from them. In other words to speak words not sufficiently 'anti-Russian' today is considered a form of "hate speech" in MSM and in political discourse. To suggest peace rather than war with Russia might be a good idea is to violate precious "community standards" which today tolerate only mindless fact-free warmongering in public discourse. You really can't make this stuff up!

Dave P. , August 10, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Excellent comments. So true.

We are heading towards some sort of dark ages, and at very fast pace.

Maxwell Quest , August 10, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Gary, pointing out the shameless and bald-faced hypocrisy as you did can sometimes shake the stupefaction from an open-minded reader. Sadly, though, arguments such as these just seem to bounce off the Russiagaters, having no effect. Conversely, these very same people couldn't lavish enough praise on the peace prize winner Obama, whether he was bailing out the corrupt banks, letting the lobbyists craft Obamacare, trafficking arms through Benghazi, or droning some wedding party in the desert.

What do both of these examples have in common? Easy, the state media was able to control the narrative in each case, and these same hypnotized drones ate it up hook, line and sinker. This brings us right back to why internet-based censorship is the hot topic of the day, since it is the single most threat to complete state control over the public mind.

Dave P. , August 10, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Well said. Obama is not gone yet. He is still out there selling his philosophy of promoting the Wall street and corrupt banks, and droning and killing the weak and innocents all over the world , for the right cause so to speak – spreading freedom and democracy. And liberals buy it. What a World we live in!

He, along with Clintons, is the main instigator of "Russia Gate", which may lead the human life to extinction on Earth.

Realist , August 11, 2018 at 2:24 am

Dave

Yes, anything is permitted (by Washington) as long as it is in the name of "freedom and democracy." So say the leaders of our exceptional country.

Realist , August 11, 2018 at 2:22 am

Damn straight, Maxwell.

Mildly Facetious , August 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Yes, anything is permitted (by Washington) as long as it is in the name of "freedom and democracy." So say the leaders of our exceptional country.
??????????????????????????

They do this because they know their mainstream, plutocrat-friendly "centrist" views will never be censored.

Everyone else is on the chopping block, however.

Leftist sites have already had their views slashed by a manipulation of Google's algorithms, and it won't be long before movements like BDS and Antifa and skeptics of the establishment Syria and Russia narratives can be made to face mass de-platforming on the same exact pretext as Infowars.

-- - compare that, if you've a clue, (not to obfuscate your subject), Caitlan Johnstone, with, not mere censorship, but the Protection of 'Confidential' information such as the Industrial Pharma INDUSTRY OF DEATH (shades -of -nazi-germany??? )via INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION and PRESCRIBING OF OPIOIDS as if Huxley's "Soma" or/and a preview of " The Chemical and Bacteriological Conditioning of the Embryo. – Practical Instructions for Beta Embryro-Store Workers /// as in government forced vaccinations along with Facebook enforced capitulation of any/all -- Personal Sovereign Belief/s massively defaulting and bowing the knee and Becoming Persuaded and Trapped into inescapable Autocracy, by reason of Darwin-esk dissembling and a dis-informed election to Dissent Into The Maelstrom of the sinking ship of American Exceptionalism, -- as if God could/would "forgive" all-of-the-collective Brutality of Bombs, bullets, Uranium Munitions / CRIPPLING Sanctions imposted -- support of brutal dictators Who massacred INNOCENT Civilians in order to obtain/secure US MILITARY FUNDS, in order to secure autocratic/authoritative CONTROL

We are engulfed in a Molding Faze of acceptance of/into a totally new Reality strangely built upon Nazi science/experiments, now Entering an/the Age of Space-Age manipulation of DNA, Gene Manipulation -- origins of species ordered inside test tubes.

George Gilder prophetically saw this in this and more in his prescient 1990's book, MICROCOSM. --
George Gilder and his Discovery Institute were far Ahead – of -the -curve in this 'Facebook" era of Futurisms .

Please find and consider his book, esp as it relates to technological possibilities and the New Wonders (Brave New Worlds) of Gene splicing / manipulation .

[Aug 18, 2018] Last November, the Russian government-sponsored news outlets, RT and Sputnik News, registered as foreign agents in the US at the orders of the Department of Justice

Aug 18, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren August 18, 2018 at 4:54 am

kirill August 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

Because transparently biased private media companies are somehow better than state sponsored ones. That is the Pavlovian reflex that has been conditioned into western media consumer sheep for decades if not centuries.

If one stops and thinks about it, private companies are actually freer to engage in propaganda than state sponsored ones. Russia is a democracy (yes indeed, by US and EU standards) and would want its sponsored media to spread a moderate message that counterbalances the cheesy hate propaganda spewed by the "free" corporate media and NATzO state sponsored media. The key here is the sponsoring of an alternative voice that provides actual information and not just spin. Clearly RT was not just spewing spin and doing a good job debunking NATzO BS. That is not acceptable to the de facto totalitarian west.

Patient Observer August 18, 2018 at 6:24 am
I always found the concept that private/corporate controlled media was inherently freer than a government sponsored media as patently ridiculous.

Considering that the government nominally is controlled by the citizens while corporate media is controlled by its owners should be sufficient in itself to show which type of ownership best serves the interest of the citizens.

The argument that private media is a competition to who can best tell the truth is simply contrary to every business instinct. Information is power and that information is to be controlled, distorted, fabricated, etc. as needed to advance certain, private, interests. The internet has thrown a shoe into the media machinery by establishing alternate information channels.

As for RT, I find them fairly unbiased, their biggest sin is to simply report news that is studiously ignored by the MSM.

kirill August 18, 2018 at 7:37 am
What is annoying about western media consumer sheep is that they are willfully blind and not just ignorant or brainwashed. As with Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch it is patently clear that the owner dictates the tone of the whole organization. This is a trivial consequence of the pyramid structure of organizations: the top boss chooses all the lower bosses down to the workers. Sure there is some offloading of decision making, but you do not see leftist media being owned by rightist owners. A corporation is a dictatorship and not some grass roots democracy. The workers (journalists) are hired and fired and do not run a collective which elects their administration.

[Aug 18, 2018] The Latest Globalist Accusations Against Russia are Preposterous, They Now Include 'Racism'

Notable quotes:
"... chargé d'affaires ..."
"... but Russians as such ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

It is debatable how much of the US government Trump actually controls. The baseless CW finding by the State Department (with heavy pressure from Congress) is the work of Trump's globalist enemies in the bureaucracy and in Congress ( all of the Democrats, and almost all of the Republicans ), with the complicity of his own appointees, to undermine his overtures to Moscow and further erode his Executive authority. Besides blocking every possible path to détente with Russia, this is another step to setting Trump up for removal from office.

Regarding the timing of a second set of sanctions set to kick in November, it's hard to see how that will be avoided. Russia will not submit to inspections, which the US is arrogantly demanding of Russia, as if she were some pipsqueak country like Libya. Given that the OPCW certified in 2017 that the Russians had completed destruction of 100% of their CW stockpile (cf., the US still has almost 10% of our stocks, which are not expected to be completely gone until 2023), the demand is the equivalent of proving that you have stopped beating your wife (to the satisfaction of someone who admittedly continues to beat his own wife).

In the absence of capitulating to the US demand, which Russia will not do, legally Trump can waive the sanctions. But that option is no doubt part of the political trap being laid for him, presenting him a Hobson's choice.

On the one hand, he can waive the sanctions, further hyping the charges of treason against him (and, if the waiver is before the elections, giving the Democrats another red flag to wave), as well as inviting new legislation passed by a margin "Putin's puppet" cannot veto;

or he can let them go into effect.

If, as seems likely, the harsher measures are applied it is hard to overstate the danger created. These are the kind of things that countries do just one step from totally breaking relations in advance of war: cutting off access to American banks, barring Aeroflot from the US (in context, the least of our concerns, though symbolic), effectively blocking all exports and imports, and downgrading or suspending diplomatic ties. With respect to the last – a direct assault on Trump's presidential authority to send and receive ambassadors under Article II of the Constitution (oddly, no one in Congress seems to care that presidents routinely usurp their authority to make war) – this likely would mean withdrawing the US ambassador from Moscow and expelling the Russian ambassador in Washington, while maintaining relations if at all at the chargé d'affaires level.

In word, this is insanity. What's perhaps worse is that this political warfare is being conducted with total disregard for the truth, much less an honest attempt to find it. It's worse than a presumption of guilt; it's a positive, unambiguous verdict of culpability under circumstances where the accusers in Washington and London (I would guess but cannot prove) know perfectly well that the CW finger pointing is false.

It has been clear from the beginning of Trump's meteoric rise on the American political scene that he and his American First agenda were perceived by the beneficiaries of the globalist, neoliberal order as a mortal danger to the system which has enriched them. Maintaining and intensifying hostility toward Russia, even at the risk of a catastrophic, uncontainable conflict, lies at the center of their efforts . This political war to save globalism at all hazards is intensifying.

It would be a mistake, however, to understand hostility to Russia as just a cold calculation of pecuniary and social advantage by a corrupt mandarin class. It is all that of course, but it is also deeply ideological, reflecting the agenda of the entrenched pseudo-elites to dismantle the traditional national identities and Christian moral values of the West – and impose their godless agenda on the East as well .

But there is something else too, something that touches the emotional heart of both Russophobia in a global context and anti-Trumpism domestically. That is the accusation of racism .

Unsurprisingly one of the first to give voice to this concept was Hillary Clinton, who in her August 2016 "tinfoil hat speech" sought to portray Trump as a creature of the "Alt-Right " because, among other things, he once complimented Infowars ' Alex Jones: "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down." But in Hillary's estimation, who is "the grand godfather" of the worldwide Alt-Right? You guessed it: "Russian President Vladimir Putin." A month later she doubled down in her infamous " basket of deplorables " speech, branding Trump's tens of millions of supporters "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it." (In an evident oversight, she omitted mention of Putin.)

Give the warmongering old girl credit for her doggedness. Hillary has stuck to this theme even as she sinks into irrelevance (while still reportedly harboring ambitions of a 2020 presidential run !), in June 2018 calling Putin the leader of the worldwide "authoritarian, white-supremacist, and xenophobic movement" who is "emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists, and even neo-Nazis."

Hillary is not alone. As summed up by Jodi Jacobson of Rewire.News (" Putin, Trump, and Kavanaugh: A Triad of White Supremacy and Oligarchy "):

'Putin is a dictator. His interests are in amassing wealth and power at any cost, both in Russia and globally. He is an ethnic nationalist , a white supremacist , and an Islamophobe . He aligns himself with radical right-wing religious and political groups to marginalize and attack the rights of women, LGBTQ communities, and religious and ethnic groups outside his power base.'

But perhaps the most revealing description comes from putative comedian Bill Maher on a recent episode of his HBO program, explaining that "Race Explains Shift From Party Of Reagan To Party Of Putin" and excoriating not just Putin but Russians as such for their genetic characteristics:

[Aug 18, 2018] Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of "Israel" was a silly idea with no basis in law But when they slipped into Full Spectrum Vampire mode and started slaughtering/ maiming Palestinians like there was no tomorrow, it became obvious that Trump knew exactly what he was doing, and why

Not sure that this was anticipated by Trump...
Notable quotes:
"... Now the whole world has been reminded, again, what a bunch of self-worshipping ratbags they are. Passing an Only Jews Are People law in "The M.E's only democracy" merely added to the farce. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 18, 2018 8:36:55 AM | 88

I like Trump's ambiguity. Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of "Israel" was a silly idea with no basis in law. But when they slipped into Full Spectrum Vampire mode and started slaughtering/ maiming Palestinians like there was no tomorrow, it became obvious that he knew exactly what he was doing, and why.

Now the whole world has been reminded, again, what a bunch of self-worshipping ratbags they are. Passing an Only Jews Are People law in "The M.E's only democracy" merely added to the farce.

It's 'interesting' that:

financial matters , Aug 18, 2018 9:20:25 AM | 90
Hoarsewhisperer @ 88

Yes. I think Israel is rapidly losing support and that of Hezbollah is growing. I think history will soon be on the side of the Palestinians and Syrian Golan.

I also see Russia as getting fed up with the Palestinian debacle. If Israel overreaches and gets a Hezbollah response they may find themselves without friends.


[Aug 18, 2018] Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about

Notable quotes:
"... Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this? ..."
"... A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies. ..."
"... It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries ..."
"... If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary. ..."
"... An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him ..."
"... A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination ..."
"... 'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.' ..."
"... I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief. ..."
"... Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 4 hours ago

PT,

Fascinating.

Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this?

The point is not merely a quibble. A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies.

It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries .

Another related matter has to do with the termination of Steele as a 'Confidential Human Source.'

It has long seemed to me that it was more than possible that this was not to be taken at face value. If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary.

An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him .

A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination .

(See http://thehill.com/person/d... .)

When on 31 January 2017 – well after the publication of the dossier by BuzzFeed – Ohr provided reassurance that he could continue to help feed information to the FBI, Steele texted back:

"If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can't allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous."

At that point, Solomon tells us that 'Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.' This seems to me a rather important question. It would seem likely, although not certain, that he is talking about another Brit. If he is, would it have been someone else employed by Orbis? Or someone currently working for British intelligence? What is the precise significance of 'forced to go back home', and why would this have been 'disastrous'?

Another crucial paragraph:

'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.'

The earlier contacts may be of little interest, but there again they may not be.

As it happens, it was following Berezovsky's arrival in London in October 2001 that the 'information operations' network he created began to move into high gear. It is moreover clear that this was always a transatlantic operation, and also fragments of evidence suggest that the FBI may have had some involvement from early on.

I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief.

The original attempt came in a radio programme broadcast by the BBC – which was to become known to some of us as the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, a familiar 'trusty' for the intelligence services.

(A transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office at the time is available on the archived 'Evidence' page for the Inquiry, at http://webarchive.nationala... , as HMG000513. There is an interesting and rather important question as to whether those who sent it out, and those who received it, knew that it was more or less BS from start to finish.)

The programme was wholly devoted to claims made by the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets, who was presented as an independent 'due diligence' expert, without any mention of the rather major role he had played in the original 'Orange Revolution.'

Back-up was provided by his supposed collaborator in 'due diligence', the former FBI operative Robert 'Bobby' Levinson. No mention was made of the fact that he had been, in the 'Nineties, a, if not the lead FBI investigator into the notorious Ukrainian Jewish mobster Semyon Mogilevich.

The following March Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish, on what we now know was a covert mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it.

[Aug 18, 2018] MoA - John Brennan Is No Match For Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Most important was " Brennan's ringleader role in the so-far unsuccessful attempts to derail Trump , both before and after the 2016 election. As far as we can tell it was Brennan who concocted and launched the conspiracy to insinuate that Trump is connected with alleged Russian influence. Brennan bet that Hillary Clinton would win the election. He lost his bet and is now out in the cold. He fears that his role, especially his conspiring with British security services and with the Steele dossier, will come to light. ..."
"... [R]unning against the deep state provides Trump a rhetorical crutch. It's a built-in excuse for failing to deliver on his 2016 campaign promises. Sitting presidents usually have to run as incumbents. Trump can try to run for re-election as an outsider. And is there a better poster boy for the alleged deep state than Brennan? ..."
"... The idiots who express solidarity with Brennan by offering up their security clearances confirm, simply by doing so, that there IS a deep state cabal that is opposed to Trump. Attacking Brennan and them will help Trump to get reelected. ..."
"... By colluding against me, the fake media proved once and for all, that they are in cahoots with the Democrats and have declared themselves to be my true political opposition ..."
"... Trump is excellent in playing his domestic opponents. Brennan made a huge mistake in publicly opposing him. He is now standing in the limelight and people will only dig further into his role in the "Russian collusion" campaign. Yesterday Brennan authored a New York Times ..."
"... Director Brennan's recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan's statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn't he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times . ..."
"... It is doubtful that Trump will let go of the issue. Brennan is a too juicy target to stop shooting at it. Currently Brennan is still too valuable as an enemy for Trump to destroy him. But once that is over Brennan's day of judgment will come. Here are high hopes that Brennan will finally have to pay for at least one of his many crimes. ..."
"... If the Democrats jump to defend Brennan, they will have fallen into another Trump Trap. They are assuredly tone-deaf and stupid enough to take the bait. ..."
"... You are a Trump supporter because you supposedly believe Trump is an insurgent fighting the deep state for a democratic world order, or some such, perhaps more discreetly phrased. But this is nonsense ..."
"... Trump, whatever maybe said against him, is a legitimately, constitutionally elected president. The people like Brennan working against him were not elected. I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Jill Stein. But, if there is a civil war, I will have to fight for Trump's side. The oath that I swore as a naval officer was to the Constitution. ..."
"... he's a nasty neocon that is of course protected by liberal MSM ..."
"... Unfortunately, there is no limit on the numbers of despicable, warmongering, money-grubbing, craven, destructive, maniacal creatures in government. Brennan is one such specimen. Brennan belongs in prison for subverting the Constitution. ..."
"... Look, Brennan has now had enough time, with his 'hit-team' to clear much of his record and trail of criminality, and he believes that he has enough backing to go after Trump. The key is obviously the Uranium1 scam, which Mueller and Sessions appear to be stalling on big-time. And then there's the Imran Awan / Debbie Washerwoman Shultz bonanza about to break big-time - and you're trying to tell me that Brennan being charged or sued would be 'quite extreme, and an evil precedent'? ..."
"... Just my 2 cents worth. Trump's a stooge, and nearly 100% of what he does is solely and only to bully someone whom Trump perceives has having stood up to him (Trump). It's not so much about Trump taking on BigSpy, Inc, in any meaningful or substantive way. It's about Trump being a big-assed bully and throwing his considerable weight around... without accomplishing much other than smacking down Brennan - deservedly but with no real ongoing lasting useful effect. ..."
"... Democrats are not collectively smart enough or politically astute enough to run away from Brennan. What fools they are! ..."
"... Why did Trump nominated Gina Haspel as CIA Director? Her nomination was supported by former CIA directors John Brennan, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell, former Director of the NSA and CIA Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. ..."
"... Haspel was CIA chief of station in London in 2016, when the plot against Trump was hatched. She must have known what Steele et al. were up to. ..."
"... Trumps connections with the Russian Mafia were certainly reason for concern. Too bad the DeepState Media downplayed this angle and some other angles , perhaps that would have prevented Trump from winning. ..."
"... Post Brennan the Trump administration is not only expanding the use of drones, it is also obscuring the facts about how many drones are being used, how many people are being killed by them, and where. His CIA Director Gina Haspel is certainly just as evil as Brennan and even better versed in water boarding. ..."
"... And we should not forget Brennan's role in the coup in Ukraine....does CIA still have an office on the 4th floor of SBU building in Kiev? ..."
"... If the intelligence agencies are so hostile to him, then why nominate Haspel? How does Haspel who, is connected to torture, help MAGA? How is Trump "draining the swamp" when he nominates a swamp creature (the 'choice' of the Deep State) for CIA Director? ..."
"... When "populist" Presidents (both Obama and Trump) serve the establishment instead of the people then we are, simply, being played. In fact, the American political system is organized to prevent a real popul ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Brennan Is No Match For Trump

U.S President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Good. It is probably the best things Trump has ever done. Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell instead of making money off his former status.

Besides that there is no sound reason why anyone who does not work for the government, directly or indirectly, should have a clearance and thereby access to state secrets. ACLU and others are wrong in this. Revoking or keeping a security clearance has nothing to do with free speech or first amendment rights.

Abu Jihad Brennan was the CIA's station chief in Saudi Arabia when the Khobar Towers were bombed. Al-Qaeda did it , but Brennan was helpful in blaming the attack on Hizbullah and Iran. He was deputy executive director of the CIA on 9/11. That 9/11 happened was an intelligence failure or, as some have it, an incident arranged by the deep state. Brennan was CIA chief of staff while the agency concocted false stories about Iraqi WMD. He was within the command line that ran the CIA torture program. It was Brennan who conspired with the Gulf dictators to hire Jihadis to destroy Libya and to attempt the same in Syria. In short - the man was always ruthless, incompetent and dishonest.

When Obama became president he wanted to make Brennan Director of the CIA. The Democrats in Congress were opposed to that. Obama then made him his high priest of targeted killings . After Obama's reelection, Brennan finally became director. He ordered the CIA to spy on the Congress committee investigating CIA torture. He lied to Congress under oath when he denied that it had happened. When it was proven that the CIA did what it did, he had to apologize.

At that time a Washington Post editorial headlined Obama should fire John Brennan . Today the Post calls the revocation of a security clearance of a former official, who -it had opined- should have long been fired, a "political vendetta against a career intelligence officer". Hypocrites.

Most important was " Brennan's ringleader role in the so-far unsuccessful attempts to derail Trump , both before and after the 2016 election. As far as we can tell it was Brennan who concocted and launched the conspiracy to insinuate that Trump is connected with alleged Russian influence. Brennan bet that Hillary Clinton would win the election. He lost his bet and is now out in the cold. He fears that his role, especially his conspiring with British security services and with the Steele dossier, will come to light.

Since Trump became president Brennan publicly opposed him. That was a huge mistake. He is no match for Trump. Be revoking Brennan's clearance Trump is now elevating him to 'hero' of the so called 'resistance' against him which he connects to the deep state. This is the Trump playbook :

[R]unning against the deep state provides Trump a rhetorical crutch. It's a built-in excuse for failing to deliver on his 2016 campaign promises. Sitting presidents usually have to run as incumbents. Trump can try to run for re-election as an outsider. And is there a better poster boy for the alleged deep state than Brennan?

The idiots who express solidarity with Brennan by offering up their security clearances confirm, simply by doing so, that there IS a deep state cabal that is opposed to Trump. Attacking Brennan and them will help Trump to get reelected.

Trump uses the same playbook when he attacks the "fake news media" for opposing him. He is right in that nearly all U.S. and international editors favored Hillery Clinton over Trump. This week 200 U.S. papers united to write editorials against Trump's attacks against the "freedom of the press". They fell for his trick :

Most journalists agree that there's a great need for Trump rebuttals. I've written my share. But this [Boston] Globe -sponsored coordinated editorial response is sure to backfire: It will provide Trump with circumstantial evidence of the existence of a national press cabal that has been convened solely to oppose him. When the editorials roll off the press on Thursday, all singing from the same script, Trump will reap enough fresh material to whale on the media for at least a month. His forthcoming speeches almost write themselves: By colluding against me, the fake media proved once and for all, that they are in cahoots with the Democrats and have declared themselves to be my true political opposition ...

Trump is excellent in playing his domestic opponents. Brennan made a huge mistake in publicly opposing him. He is now standing in the limelight and people will only dig further into his role in the "Russian collusion" campaign. Yesterday Brennan authored a New York Times Op Ed headlined President Trump's Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash. It does not provide any evidence for the "hogwash" claim. Brennan can not show that there was a Trump campaign collusion with Russia or anyone else.

Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, gave a somewhat salty and fitting response :

"Director Brennan's recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan's statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn't he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times .

"If, however, Director Brennan's statement is purely political and based on conjecture, the president has full authority to revoke his security clearance as head of the Executive Branch."

In short: "Nut up or shut up."

It is doubtful that Trump will let go of the issue. Brennan is a too juicy target to stop shooting at it. Currently Brennan is still too valuable as an enemy for Trump to destroy him. But once that is over Brennan's day of judgment will come. Here are high hopes that Brennan will finally have to pay for at least one of his many crimes.


fastfreddy , Aug 17, 2018 3:30:26 PM | 1

If the Democrats jump to defend Brennan, they will have fallen into another Trump Trap. They are assuredly tone-deaf and stupid enough to take the bait.
steven t johnson , Aug 17, 2018 3:55:46 PM | 2
Indeed, Brennan is scum

That said, there is no deep state, there is just the state. There are factions in the ruling class, but arbitrarily deciding one is evil is just working for the other. You are a Trump supporter because you supposedly believe Trump is an insurgent fighting the deep state for a democratic world order, or some such, perhaps more discreetly phrased. But this is nonsense. The idea that people hate John Brennan so much they'll vote for Trumpery in the midterm and 2020 because Trump is kicking the ass of their enemy...did you actually read what you wrote here?

As far as the free speech rights of Brennan are concerned, the question is whether any contacts with other security officials, and any other research for article, books and speeches can be deemed as pursuing information he is not cleared for. That he could be criminally charged or sued. This would be quite extreme, and an evil precedent when such repressive tactics are used even within the upper ranks. What they do to each other, they'll do to us, faster, harder and more often.

howard in nyc , Aug 17, 2018 3:57:50 PM | 3
b wrote, above:
Good. It is one of the best things Trump has ever done. Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell.

but, but, Nancy Pelosi said in a twit:

Revoking the security clearance of an honorable patriot is a stunning abuse of power & a pathetic attempt to silence critics.

Whom am I to believe? (um, trick question) Thank you for the brief summary of this horrible person's career lowlites. Now I can just point people to this piece when they ask me how can I speak against such an 'honorable patriot'. Jeesh, these times we live.

lysias , Aug 17, 2018 4:35:05 PM | 4
Trump, whatever maybe said against him, is a legitimately, constitutionally elected president. The people like Brennan working against him were not elected. I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Jill Stein. But, if there is a civil war, I will have to fight for Trump's side. The oath that I swore as a naval officer was to the Constitution.
Bardi , Aug 17, 2018 4:38:41 PM | 5
"Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell." Neither of those are reasons to remove someone's security clearance. The reasons are documented. Try to stay on topic.
Zanon , Aug 17, 2018 4:41:06 PM | 6
" Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell."

Great summary, he's a nasty neocon that is of course protected by liberal MSM.

gogaijin , Aug 17, 2018 4:41:57 PM | 7
I think this is the right move and it may indeed turn out to be a political win. But before giving Trump all the credit, it should be noted that Senator Rand Paul, a man who has consistently been critical of US foreign policy, publicly proposed the idea of canceling Brennan's security clearance last month.

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article216755630.html

Zanon , Aug 17, 2018 4:46:21 PM | 8
After clearance pull, Democrats rush to back Brennan – who spied on them https://www.rt.com/usa/436065-democrats-forget-brennan-spied/
fastfreddy , Aug 17, 2018 4:46:39 PM | 9
Unfortunately, there is no limit on the numbers of despicable, warmongering, money-grubbing, craven, destructive, maniacal creatures in government. Brennan is one such specimen. Brennan belongs in prison for subverting the Constitution.
lysias , Aug 17, 2018 4:47:22 PM | 10
Accusing Trump of treason for what he did in Helsinki is surely sufficient reason for losing a clearance.
fredjc , Aug 17, 2018 4:49:16 PM | 11
@2 steven

"That said, there is no deep state, there is just the state. There are factions in the ruling class, but arbitrarily deciding one is evil is just working for the other. You are a Trump supporter because you supposedly believe Trump is an insurgent fighting the deep state for a democratic world order, or some such, perhaps more discreetly phrased. "

What a strange opening gambit? There obviously is a deep state - who do you think Trump has been battling with if it is not 'hangers on' to political power and influence, the MIC, the Corporations, Wall St, the Fed and the Bankers (spelt with a 'W')?

Look, Brennan has now had enough time, with his 'hit-team' to clear much of his record and trail of criminality, and he believes that he has enough backing to go after Trump. The key is obviously the Uranium1 scam, which Mueller and Sessions appear to be stalling on big-time. And then there's the Imran Awan / Debbie Washerwoman Shultz bonanza about to break big-time - and you're trying to tell me that Brennan being charged or sued would be 'quite extreme, and an evil precedent'?

Jeez, what are they feeding the trolls with these days...

RUKidding , Aug 17, 2018 4:57:57 PM | 12
Brennan is disgusting scum. May he rot. I would prefer for all who are Ex-BigSpy,Inc to have their security clearances revoked as soon as they become "ex." Sadly, that's apparently not how it's done. I fully disagree with a policy of letting these "ex" types keep their security clearance as "a matter of courtesy." Perhaps this whole kerfuffle will lead to a review of this practice and a change but not holding my breath.

Although I kinda personally "like" it that Trump revoked Brennan's clearance, I am also troubled by it. I don't think Trump followed proper channels, and the way it was done -- and for the reasons stated -- are questionable. IMO, it has at least a bit of a stink of Dictatorship about it.

Ergo, I'm not all "down" with what Trump did. Yeah, yeah, he fired a shot across the bow of BigSpy, Inc. In some ways, that's a good thing. But as usual, Trump does this in such a stupidly dumb and ham-handed way that it pretty much negates the potential "good" this might do.

Just my 2 cents worth. Trump's a stooge, and nearly 100% of what he does is solely and only to bully someone whom Trump perceives has having stood up to him (Trump). It's not so much about Trump taking on BigSpy, Inc, in any meaningful or substantive way. It's about Trump being a big-assed bully and throwing his considerable weight around... without accomplishing much other than smacking down Brennan - deservedly but with no real ongoing lasting useful effect.

fastfreddy , Aug 17, 2018 4:58:38 PM | 13
7

Democrats are not collectively smart enough or politically astute enough to run away from Brennan. What fools they are!

They abandoned their "working persons" base a long time ago. That, and Obama embraced (rescued) the Republican Party after it was nearly torn asunder by Dubya Bush. Recall that Republican affiliation was at an historic low. They needed a boot on their throats and instead they got a hand up. A seat at the table, and often, the head of the table.

Completely revived, they (the R Party) now have carte blanche to destroy public institutions at will.

Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 4:59:17 PM | 14
Why did Trump nominated Gina Haspel as CIA Director? Her nomination was supported by former CIA directors John Brennan, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell, former Director of the NSA and CIA Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Draining the swamp? If Trump had taken on Brennan sooner, Haspel's nomination and confirmation might've been moot.

Watch what they DO not what they SAY.

lysias , Aug 17, 2018 5:08:45 PM | 15
Haspel was CIA chief of station in London in 2016, when the plot against Trump was hatched. She must have known what Steele et al. were up to.
Pft , Aug 17, 2018 5:12:59 PM | 19
Trumps connections with the Russian Mafia were certainly reason for concern. Too bad the DeepState Media downplayed this angle and some other angles , perhaps that would have prevented Trump from winning.

Post Brennan the Trump administration is not only expanding the use of drones, it is also obscuring the facts about how many drones are being used, how many people are being killed by them, and where. His CIA Director Gina Haspel is certainly just as evil as Brennan and even better versed in water boarding.

Anyways, big whoop that Brennan lost his security clearance . I doubt he needs Food Stamps now.

Mark2 , Aug 17, 2018 5:23:27 PM | 20
Personally I hope this gets right out of control. Drone strikes and cruse missile style ! Freandly rebels, white helmets the whole deal. bring it on and pass the popcorn !!! Dirty scum.
hopehely , Aug 17, 2018 7:04:33 PM | 31
And we should not forget Brennan's role in the coup in Ukraine....does CIA still have an office on the 4th floor of SBU building in Kiev?
Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 7:59:19 PM | 39
lysias @27: Trump was meant to win? Obviously not by the intelligence agencies...

If the intelligence agencies are so hostile to him, then why nominate Haspel? How does Haspel who, is connected to torture, help MAGA? How is Trump "draining the swamp" when he nominates a swamp creature (the 'choice' of the Deep State) for CIA Director?

When "populist" Presidents (both Obama and Trump) serve the establishment instead of the people then we are, simply, being played. In fact, the American political system is organized to prevent a real popul

Rob , Aug 17, 2018 8:02:56 PM | 40
As far as I am concerned, every CIA director, living or dead, is/was guilty of heinous crimes and deserves to rot in hell. Yet it is just plain nonsense to believe that Donald Trump can outsmart them...
NemesisCalling , Aug 17, 2018 8:22:30 PM | 43
@25 jackrabbit

Trump is...

"a deep state asset." How do you know that? It could be just as well that Trump is fighting this group by outsmarting them with the long game, a la Putin. (i.e. mixed signals and not acting too brashly in undoing the cabal)

"a faux populist." Even if he was a faux populist, which he might exhibit shades of, how does this make him a bad president at this current juncture in US history? Would you accept that a good president could not be a populist? IMO, he appears to be scrambling the cohesive unity and appearance of America's FP and putting the pressure on the seams of NATO and the UN so that they may eventually tear. Whatever your opinion of the UN, one can not argue against its ineffectual weight in ongoing atrocity (Syria, Yemen), but one COULD argue that it has been an agent of or has at least been coopted by the NWO.

I believe you are proceeding from these two points in your thinking that need to be reevaluated.

In your prior post @13, you equate selecting Gina Haspel as director of the CIA as further proof of Trump's assured malfeasance. Have you considered that:

1) she may be ineffectual and so on Trump's leash at the CIA
2) in her prior years under the shadow of Brennan, her promotions might have been politically-motivated and so it is understandable that a globalist like Brennan would vote in lockstep their approval of Haspel because "GIRL POWER!" .
3) it might not be as simple as that to say that just because one is brought up in Brennan's CIA and then ascends to its heights that she will do globalist/Brennan bidding as a sleeper-agent in her position.

Circe , Aug 17, 2018 10:48:00 PM | 62
I agree with everything expressed here about Brennan but while Trump is getting rid of one war criminal, he's bedding another; oligarch friend Erik Prince aka Blackwater ceo, aka exCIA operative who he wants to put in charge in Afghanistan. Trump could care less of your noble reasons for hating Brennan. Trump is no genius who gives a damn about human rights violations. Trump only cares about number one; HIMSELF.

So what's the difference between Brennan and Prince? Only the size of their bank account. When Trump does something right as in Brennan's case you can always thank his big fat ego; self-promotion or self-preservation; SELF being the operative word. To compensate for that accidental right move he'll make a collosal dumb move as in North Korea vs Iran as in Brennan vs Erik Prince. I rest my case.

jadan , Aug 17, 2018 11:15:05 PM | 67
The enemy of my enemy is also an enemy in this case. It pains me to agree with Trump on any issue. Brennan is a thug. His physiognomy gives him away at a glance. To say he is no match for Trump is not correct. He is no match for the power of the presidency. Trump can't handle this power, either, which is why he is going down for laundering money for Russians and for colluding with them to win the election, which is not to say the Russians rigged the election. Nor is not to say the Russians are enemies, as Obama and the CIA have struggled to establish. This is to say that Trump is impulsive, ignorant, solipsistic, and corrupt to the bone.
Jen , Aug 18, 2018 12:16:37 AM | 69
I have heard rumour that while he was CIA Station Chief in Saudi Arabia in the late 1990s, John Brennan converted to Wahhabi Islam. Is anyone able to say if this is true?

The only sources of information on this rumour are a former FBI counter-terrorism agent John Guandolo and a retired CIA senior official Brad Johnson (who has admitted that he has never heard Brennan say the shahada - the profession of faith, that the only God is Allah and Muhammad is his prophet - but knows people in the CIA who apparently have heard Brennan say the shahada in front of Saudi and US government officials).

https://www.acunewsdaily.com/2017/06/29/cia-confirms-john-brennan-converted-to-islam/

Cyril , Aug 18, 2018 1:08:08 AM | 71
Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive.

Indeed. It's possible that the misdeeds listed in the article have not begun to measure the man's wickedness.

I think it's a good time to mention The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade by Alfred McCoy. (I am not posting a link as the URL is too long.) As the title says, the book is about how deeply the CIA is involved in the global drug trade.

What are the chances that former CIA Director Brennan is/was one of the gangsters causing the current opioid and heroin epidemic in the U.S.?

Emily , Aug 18, 2018 6:15:28 AM | 78
Why would he have a security clearance if he was no longer a member of the government?
None of them should
I cannot understand the logic of it all,
Hillary Clinton for example - she has one I believe.
Rather bizarre isn't it?
Just asking.

[Aug 18, 2018] Sanders behaviour during election is suspect, unless you assume he acted as sheep dog for hillary

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Why didn't Sanders complain about DNC-Hillary collusion (he knew about it well before she captured the nomination - MSM didn't publicize it until after she had won). ..."
"... Why didn't Sanders make a big deal of Hillary's winning 6 of 6 coin tosses during the Iowa primaries. Character was an issue from the start of the race. Trump would later lambast "crooked Hillary". ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 8:59:57 PM | 48

lysias @41

There were only two populists in the race: Trump and Sanders. One on Hillary's left (sheep-dogging voters to Hillary) and one on Hillary's right (Trump).

Why did any of the other 18 republicans turn populist? Why didn't they wait so long to complain about the coverage being provided to Trump?

Why were Republicans so adamantly against Trump after he won the nomination? Many said that they prefered Hillary - whom they had claimed to hate so much only months before? Answer: Trump had to be an outsider. That's what makes the populist so compelling. He has to be seen as taking on the establishment.

After such a contentious race, why did Trump quickly say that there would be no prosecution of Hillary? He has proven to be petty and vain yet he was so quick to forgive the Clintons?

Why did Trump wait so long to fire Comey? It's almost like it was timed for Comey to hand the baton to a special prosecutor.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Here's a few more questions (of many many other questions)

dumbass , Aug 17, 2018 9:41:12 PM | 53

>> Why did/didn't Sanders

Good questions. Asking them sequentially leads even a dumbass like me to conclude Sanders is a fraud.

Unfortunately, most Sanders supporters probably don't remember the issues long enough to reevaluate them collectively. Each issue appears to them during "the news cycle" as some one-off foible -- considered as misdemeanors and then forgotten before the next one occurs and thus never assembled mentally as evidence for a larger felony case.

[Aug 18, 2018] The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented

Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jack Thomsen , Aug 18, 2018 10:07:22 AM | 92

At last – a paterfamiliar earful by none other than James Howard Kunstler, on the state of the "Three Headed Monster" that is the Democratic Party.

This is an important tipping point, because the country is waiting for nobles of the left to lead their children from the deep dark woods.
Every day, we ask, "Where are the adults? Who will call this madness for what it is?" I'll provide the link to this masterful analysis of the "illness" – but first let me tempt readers with a brief synopsis of the "first head".

" one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented.

The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself . who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- "

This was published on his blog yesterday..... this is monumental, if only because the masks are coming off.

Read his description of the other 2 heads.... it's wonderful.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-three-headed-monster

[Aug 18, 2018] If you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid

Notable quotes:
"... Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid." ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Aug 18, 2018 8:23:37 AM | 86

Just over at the American Conservative reading an article about Seymour Hersch and found this:
Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid."

[Aug 18, 2018] Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid

Notable quotes:
"... Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid." ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Aug 18, 2018 8:23:37 AM | 86

Just over at the American Conservative reading an article about Seymour Hersch and found this:
Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid."
Nothing changes. Something for the #resistance to think about. BTW, how do we know that Arthur Sylvester was telling the truth? Or was he lying?

[Aug 18, 2018] The CIA manufactures fake news (often out of whole cloth) to suit a preconceived agenda (such as the evisceration of human rights or the pursuit of full spectrum dominance)

Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

fast freddy , Aug 18, 2018 7:55:39 AM | 85

Intel or Intelligence (as in information) is a peculiar word. The CIA and various individuals, spooks, creeps and etc. manufacture it (often out of whole cloth) to suit a preconceived agenda (such as the evisceration of human rights or the pursuit of full spectrum dominance).

[Aug 18, 2018] I blame Brennan for MH 17 crash in Ukraine.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I would like to add one more war crime to the list attributed to the scum Brennan, who traveled to Kiev in 2014 to help oversee the initial attack on the Donbass by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The attack was branded as the "Anti-Terrorist Operation" (ATO), and I am sure that Brennan was instrumental in crafting and labeling the attack. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

col from oz , Aug 18, 2018 2:25:52 AM | 74

I blame (Brennan) for MH 17 crash in Ukraine. Two months before Brennan was in Kiev. The Obama Whitehouse denied (at first) that CIA Brennan was in Kiev however video proof existed and the Whitehouse had to admit that Brennan was their. It is my opinion that a soft go head to Ukraine intell(with extreme deniability) to bring down a passenger Airline and blame it on Russia.

Despicable man (Obama incl) who could easy resolve who fired the missile as the satellite photos were/have/or never be made public as it would show a completely different story as to the one they are spinning. It's the old Sherlock Holmes 'the dog who did not bark' is the true reason why satellite footage supposedly blaming evil Russians launching missiles.

That's why Obama went for a whitehouse ( a political document) report instead of full intelligence e report that would have satellite footage with expert analysis which would show Ukraine culpability.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78r1qAHUVwY

Kerry statement to 50 million people that they have the satellite footage.

Ukraine Defense Minister( Ex Head Intell) getting his ducks in a row Rebels / have a new Russian supplied a new....

https://nationalpost.com/news/ukraine-accuses-russia-of-violating-its-airspace-allowing-weapons-across-border-as-crisis-escalates

With the spliced tape ( why would you need one if the Rebels really did it/ release time/tape, hours after planes destruction. So pre planned with the usual suspects.....

Perimetr , Aug 18, 2018 1:10:46 AM | 72
I would like to add one more war crime to the list attributed to the scum Brennan, who traveled to Kiev in 2014 to help oversee the initial attack on the Donbass by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The attack was branded as the "Anti-Terrorist Operation" (ATO), and I am sure that Brennan was instrumental in crafting and labeling the attack.

[Aug 18, 2018] The debate's been ongoing for over 2 years now: Is Trump part of the Deep State, or is he an outlier backed by a Deep State faction?

Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 17, 2018 7:13:14 PM | 32

The debate's been ongoing for over 2 years now: Is Trump part of the Deep State, or is he an outlier backed by a Deep State faction?

Escobar answered the second clause's query in the positive as he admitted being fed info by a member of that faction. If one's an independent hitman and gets hired by the Mob, does that make you a member or do you remain just an affiliate? IMO, once employed, you become a member until you're no longer employed. Ergo, Trump's a member of the Deep State as he's employed by one or more of its factions.

What was/is the Deep State's stated goal? Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet and outer space. When was it explicitly stated? During WJ Clinton's second term when Clear Skies 2010 was published, which provided flesh to GHW Bush's announcement of the New World Order. Is that goal compatible with the 1787 US Constitution? No, in a host of ways, but most importantly it violates the UN Charter in wholesale fashion.

So, as one who pledged an oath to defend the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic , should the orders of POTUS Donald Trump be obeyed since we've just deduced he's a member of a domestic enemy cabal? No! He must be resisted.

But who do we deem not a domestic enemy, which is to ask: Who can/do we trust, or should we trust nobody? Of course, these questions are primarily for US citizens to ponder, specifically those of us who still stand by our Oath despite being discharged from service, and of course those actively serving or in reserve capacities.

Or maybe some person will shoot my logic full of holes.

[Aug 18, 2018] The funny thing is people still believe Putin wanted Trump, believing a poor translation

Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

TS , August 15, 2018 at 7:17 am

> Do you also dismiss the global pattern of Russian interference on democratic elections by the same means and methods?

Yup! Since nobody has presented the slightest evidence of such a pattern (and even the German intelligence agencies have said it didn't happen )

> Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump?

Nope!

> Are the CEO's of FACEBOOK and Google and Twitter also spouting lie about Russian media interference in our elections's

As far as I know, they have been avoiding doing so (presumably because they know such lies would be exposed immediately).

> When the details come out about how Russia has funneled money throu the NRA, will you dismiss that as well?

The NRA is funded by Moscow gold! I like it that makes all its right-wing supporters in Congress agents of Moscow, right? Please launch a campaign to have them all impeached. (I won't hold my breath waiting, though.)

> Is Florida election systems not really under Russian military attack as I write this?

Well, no, it is not. And why should the Russians want to, in the first place? The existing office-holders do more harm than anything they could possibly arrange

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

his name is seth rich. the dnc gave him a memorial bike rack.

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Do you dismiss the global pattern of CIA interference in elections all around the world for decades, including Russia in 1996? Look at the amount and quality of this so-called interference by Russian citizens. It is miniscule. Facebook , google, and twitter know they have to play ball with our so-called "Intelligence Community" and Congress or else. Please provide a source for Putin saying publicly he helped Trump. I found nothing on a browser search.

You are drinking MSM Kool-aid by the bucketload. Try reading through the archives here for an education.

Rob , August 14, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I believe that Putin said that he hoped for Trump to win, not that he ordered Russian operatives to interfere in the U.S. election process. There is a big difference. If I am wrong about this, I would love to see the evidence.

Curious , August 15, 2018 at 1:40 am

Rob, there's is a lot of confusion about what Putin really said, and most of it is wrong. Again, the 'lost in translation' issues. Here is what was said by Putin, quoted in CGI and elsewhere:

CGI quote: What Putin actually called Trump in Russian is "ochen' yarkiy chelovek," which literally translates to "a very bright person." Unlike the English word "bright," the Russian yarkiy does not connote intelligence; rather, it means someone who is colorful, flashy, showy, an individual who makes himself stand out from the crowd.

The more colloquial translation is "a colorful character," a phrase that in the Russian carries a note of bemusement. Putin added that Trump is also "talented (talantlivyi), without a doubt." He then went on to say that "regarding [U.S.] internal politics and the turns of phrase [Trump] employs to boost his popularity, I repeat that it is not our business to assess that aspect of his performance." Taken as a whole, the statement suggests that Putin recognizes the theatrical component of Trump's campaign, and chose not to comment on the contentious impact that Trump and his statements have had on American politics.

Putin himself later explained this to the journalists at one of his end of the year Q&As he has.

Trump, naturally, heard a bad translation and this appealed to his self-aggrandizement. He gave the thumbs up thinking Putin was congratulating, and backing him. Unsurprisingly, people still misunderstand Putins' statement.

Translation issues often occur and I remember when Jimmy Carter went to Poland for his first trip abroad to Poland, and the translator said President Carter had a great "lust" for the people of Poland, whereas the word "lust", as in German, means "desire, fondness and affection" and not some sexual connotation at all in a formal context.. The funny thing is people still believe Putin wanted Trump, believing a poor translation. Foreign languages really should be taught in schools again.

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump? NO, he did not. The questioner joined several questions together. Putin agreed that he wanted a person to win who would try to mend relations with Russia. He said he did nothing to help the process.

You really believe the billionaire CEOs of those controlling businesses???

As for Florida- remember the 2000 election.

Paul P , August 14, 2018 at 4:35 pm

These are all quite easily addressed point by point. As the saying goes, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Where is this established pattern of interfering with the "same means and methods"? If the claim is essentially, "Russia obtained evidence of corruption in an unfavorable party and disseminated this evidence to swing a democratic foreign election against said party" please cite an example of another election where this can be proven as something that happened. It hasn't.

Did Putin publicly admit that Russia acted to help Donald Trump? The answer to that is no. You are likely misinterpreting or misrepresenting an interview in which Putin stated Trump's more conciliatory campaign rhetoric (vs Clinton's open hostility) seemed preferable. This is as far as the "admission" went and is miles from your assertion/interpretation.

FB and Twitter's definition of Russia-linked activity is purposefully misleading. For activity to be considered Russia-linked, only ONE (not all) of the following conditions must apply. 1. The account is set up from Russian IP. 2. The account is confirmed using number with a Russian phone carrier. 3. Any services purchased are paid for in Russian currency. 4. The user has ever logged in via a Russian network, even once. 5. The user posts primarily in Russian. 6. User has a screen name spelled in the Cyrillic alphabet.
None of these things can even guarantee that a user is even Russian national, much less acting at the behest of the Russian government. If you used the wifi at Sheremtyevo during a layover between Amsterdam and Beijing and used Twitter, they'd call that Russia-linked activity.

According to Bloomberg, "Russia funneling money through the NRA" amounts to a meager $2512 donated by 23 people with Russian addresses in 2015-2018 (laughably paltry for an organization with over $433,000,000 in annual revenue), the majority is in the form of membership dues and less than half in the form of individual donations. This is hardly indicative of some giant secret funding operation, especially as there is no proof the Russian government has anything to do with this. There are an estimated 300,000 American citizens at least temporarily residing in Russia, but it's inconceivable that among them might be 23 NRA members/donors?

As for Florida, to date there's been no evidence presented. If there's no evidence, then anyone believing this only does so because they want to.

keir , August 14, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I can only assume that:
"Are the CEO's of FACEBOOK Google and Twitter also spouting lie about Russian media intereference in our elections's"
-was meant to be ironic?
If not, then what do you think these unregulated public forums and their selective censoring are really for?
An exercise in freedom of speech?
(clearly not all speech)
They are literally designed to sway public opinion (at best) and circulate the lies that corporate media is spouting.

Russian Meddling?
Why this so funny to the majority of the rest of the world is because historically America not only meddles in elections, but illegally invades and overthrows democratically elected governments and installs dictatorships (think Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine and the Honduras)
The real irony is that in the 1996 Russian election under Clinton the US made sure it was their man Yeltsin that got elected.
It is psychologically easy to attach to the hysteria of Russian fear mongering, because of the history of propaganda.
"Fear Communism!"
"They are infiltrating America through worker's unions!!"
Only now they are crony capitalists just like us.

Karelian , August 14, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Bream Lynch,

No, he didn't say that. And if some media claims so, then please avoid that media in the future, as it lies to you. He answered the first part of a two-piece question. He said that he hoped Trump to win, not that he ordered people to assist Trump.

And there is no "global pattern" of Russian interference. You may remember how NSA said they watched the Russians hack Macron's email? But do you remember how soon after that France said there were no "Russian hacking" of any sort. You might also remember how the media in Germany (and in US) told that Russia was ready to hack the German elections? Do you remember how after the elections German intelligence agency said that they didn't find any Russian activities at all?

The France case:
https://apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7db3b0d739e9dc5d4d

And how the "trusted" NSA claimed to "saw everything":
https://www.wired.com/2017/05/nsa-director-confirms-russia-hacked-french-election-infrastructure/

The German case (you might want to use google translator):
https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/geheimdienste-bnd-keine-beweise-fuer-desinformations-kampagne-putins-1.3365839

P.S. Sorry about my English. This is not my native language :)

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 5:12 am

Karelian -- excellent English. Good job.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

"Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump?"
No, he did not, though media pundits pretended he did for a few days and then dropped it.

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

When the details come out? That's the problem -- relentless accusations for 20 months with no evidence and little detail except absurd notions about the (non) effect of click-bait ads on social media that have nothing to do with Russian government activity. What is equally absurd is the idea that the Russian Federation gives a rat's petunia about who wins a contest between Bill Nelson or Rick Scott, two all-too-similar politicians in the American mold. And of course the Russian government has an idea of how to purge just the right voters to achieve a preference! What nonsense!

With all the "information" and "disinformation" coming from a myriad of quarters trying to sell one candidate over another during our protracted election seasons, people need to get a grip about terms such as "influence" and "interference" and perhaps arrive at the perspective that amidst all the chatter and influence-peddling lies the responsibility for individual voters to separate wheat from chaff and come to a personal voting decision.

CNN and MSNBC backed Clinton to the hilt so in my disagreement should I cry "untoward influence!"? well, that's touching on another subject and I'll leave it at that.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:46 pm

The fact Putin would want Trump as opposed to the war criminal Hillary who threatened war with Russia and destabilize the Middle East in a proxy war is just sanity.

Why would you believe the very same people who lied us into Iraq and worse ?

Literally

willow , August 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Obama traveled to the UK to urge voters to vote against Brexit. The Saudi's funded 20 percent of Hillary's campaign. yada-yada-yada

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 11:25 pm

And Obama went to France to cheerlead for Macron the week of the election. But that's exceptional -- no indispensable -- advice.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:08 am

Obama wiretapped Merkel's phone!

People should really think hard about that when tossing around these horse chit lies about Russia hacking the DNC.

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

Looking over the comments on Lawrence's post, I wonder if we're losing sight of the bigger picture here. Exposing the truth about a presidential candidate, whoever did it (and all the credible evidence to date points toward Seth Rich) isn't meddling, it's a public service. The DNC leak didn't threaten democracy, it promoted it by providing crucial information to the U.S. electorate. Those who claim that revealing the truth about a political candidate is a crime are the ones who constitute the real threat to democracy.

Smears, hoaxes, fabrications, and psyops are standard operating procedure for U.S. intelligence agencies. You would have to be simple to believe that these agencies would hesitate to use these same tactics against the American public when it furthers their political agenda. Just like you would have to be simple to believe that the officials running these agencies don't have a political agenda.

Russia is an obstacle to U.S. global hegemony? Blow it up, after first subverting their economy with groundless sanctions and whipping the American public into a hysterical war frenzy. That's the grand strategy behind the Russiagate hoax, the Skripal hoax, the Douma hoax, and whatever hoax they dream up next.

If President Trump is foolish enough to get in the way, he's expendable, and he knows it now if he didn't before.

Skip Scott , August 15, 2018 at 8:22 am

alley cat-

I've thought the same myself. Even if it was the evil Vlad himself who snuck into the DNC, stole the files and personally handed them to Assange, how is bringing the truth about the collusion between team Hillary and the DNC to sabotage the Sanders' campaign an "attack" on our democracy? Actually it would be a service to our democracy, and an "attack" on an evil oligarchy that was trying to subvert our democracy.

This whole "evil Ruskies" thing is just ridiculous. Our democracy has been utterly corrupted from within, and providing the truth to the voting public can never be considered an "attack", no matter the source.

Al Pinto , August 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

Quote from the article:

"The intrusion into the Democratic National Committee mail was a local download -- wherever 'local' is."

"wherever" is a wide definition. While I certainly agree that 22.6MB/s, or ~180Mb/s, does seem a lot like USB 3.0 write speed, one cannot neglect the possibility of over the network transferring the same data with the same speed.

The DNC server certainly had the bandwidth available for this transfer rate, most hosting service providers do allow ramping up the transfer rate up to 1Gb/s. Verizon and other ISPs in the New York Metropolitan area had been providing fiber connection for businesses and home users for years, with transfer rates of up to 1Gb/s. For home users the most popular speed had been 200Mb/s for years.

Please keep in mind that 8 bits = 1 Byte Notice the capitalization of the letter "B"

The 200Mb/s speed has a maximum transfer rate of 25MB/s. Knowing that the network protocol overhead uses up about 10% of the nominal speed, then the 22.6MB/s transfer rate is easily achievable remotely. And yes, "wherever that local is".

Theoretically The Russians could have hacked a PC/server, with high speed Internet access within the New York Metropolitan, hacked the DNC server from the "Zombie" system, download the archived files to the "Zombie" system and download to possibly couple of other "Zombie" systems, prior to reaching the destination in Russia. At least that's how I would have done it

Even doing so, there should have been traces of these connections in the NSA data warehouse in UTAH, possibly even capturing the transfered archived file. It would not surprise me a bit, if that's the case. The fact in itself, that there has been no such verification/capture for this connection seems to indicate that the data transfer has taken place directly on the server, via the USB port. Unless of course the NSA does not want to disclose network traces of the connection, since it might implicate a friendly country, maybe the most friendly country for the US, that would also exonerate Russia.

As for the dates of the file It seems that these files had been generated just prior to downloading the .7z archived files. The default behavior for .7z is to preserve both the folder and file creation dates, while recording the current time for the archive folder in itself. Of course, this can be changed, both during and/or after archiving

JoeD , August 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Ok you're a troll right? Verizon has most certainly not provided fiber connections for home users in the New York Metropolitan area. They stopped their fiber roll out A LONG TIME AGO. So no, the infrastructure does not exist.

No you don't know much about network speeds if you believe that you can have those sustained speeds all the way through the connections. If you have ever done internet speed tests you will know that your speed depends a lot on the different nodes you pass through.

"You'd need a dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia to achieve that result," Binney said in a recent interview. "

If you can shoe me that and you have something, otherwise, you're trolling.

Al Pinto , August 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm

If anyone, you don't know much about network speeds and Verizon

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

https://www.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/

For businesses, that had been mentioned, Verizon started the fiber rollout even earlier

Show me where my numbers are incorrect?

Johnmichael2 , August 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

trollling ? I don't think you understand internet data rates nor the capabilities of hackers .. he's talking about remote control of a PC local to the DNC server with good access not a direct high speed route out of the country.
Come on folks, the great US of A has been influencing electoral politics of other nations for years by many methods. Russians are not dumb some of the best virus detection and protection comes out of Kaspersky Labs. Look up the work of Russian and eastern country information science experts; the Chinese, Israelis and Indian practitioners are no dummies either.
Open your eyes Russian and other hacking is real and 'turn about is fair play' . we ain't the rulers of the world anymore in case you didn't notice.

Rob , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

This comments section is a place where people are allowed to spout their own ideas and theories, but still, I am amused by commenters who presume to have knowledge about communications technology that is somehow unknown to the likes of William Binney and other genuine experts in the field. I know that this may sound like ad hominem thinking on my part, but some of the opinions regarding technology are so simplistic that they make me laugh.

willow , August 14, 2018 at 11:04 pm

It's all good because it leads to deeper understanding of subject and makes us better able to finesse/counter/debate disinformation on forums like the Washington Post or the NYT, where
opposing views are scant and we need to push back.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:59 am

If the evidence existed, it would have been released in redacted form by the NSA over a year ago (although by now you would think they would have fabricated something).

Diane Rejman , August 14, 2018 at 10:50 am

I believe much of this whole "Russiagate" thing started as a disgusting and pathetic attempt to give Hillary an excuse for losing, and is now out of control, with tentacles reaching throughout our country and the world. The DNC has admitted to being cheaters. THAT should be the bigger investigation. Our right to vote should be sacred, but the DNC took all legitimacy away from it. If they thought their "chosen one" couldn't win the primary without cheating and other assistance, why would they think she could win the main election? She was a horribly bad candidate, and they won't admit this. So instead -- they came up with this whole, "My dog ate my homework" type theory. And yes -- it is very scary to think this whole Russiagate conspiracy theory has gotten out of hand, and is now too big to fail. What a ridiculous reason to create trouble with Russia!

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I remember Obama in his "lame-duck" period expelling Russian diplomats, stealing their US properties, starting the whole landslide of Russia-hatred when he had spent 8 years helping to reduce the seats of the Democratic Party at all levels of government by his actions. Check out the figures- Democrats lost because of their own faults.

Elizabeth Burton , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

The original intent, based on the rhetoric that followed right after the Russiagate narrative was first launched, seem to have been to have the election declared invalid so they could either do it over or have HRC declared the real winner by fiat. Apparently, at some point wiser heads pointed out that wasn't Constitutionally viable, so the story was toned down to its current level then repeated over and over, per Goebbels' Law, to ensure the bulk of the public accepted it as proven fact.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:22 am

don't kid yourself.
They still have the fantasy of installing their queen.
Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School.
Postulates the fantasy that Democrats win the house in 2018.
A NY congressman/woman takes the dive and resigns so Hillary can be appointed to the seat by NY governor.
And, she is then elected Speaker of the house putting her in #3 for the presidency.
Then Pence resigns a- la Spirow Agnew.
And, Trump is impeached and removed by the Senate.
Voila Herself is president.

These F'n people have lost all grip on reality.
The only people buying the Russia Russia Russia hysteria is the same people pushing it.
They are delusional.
Completely unhinged and delusional.

Stephen P , August 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

Suzie Dawson and Chris Hedges discuss elite power five weeks ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zzcDELakRM

Jim other , August 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Thank you for this video!

jean , August 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Thank you, Stephen P!
I'll tweet it, to remind people of what Assange has done.

Peter Bowen , August 14, 2018 at 10:08 am

Your excellent discussion is only lacking the role of British intelligence. See "The fish stinks from the head down" by Barbara Boyd at LaRouchePAC.com.

anastasia , August 14, 2018 at 9:49 am

Guccifer is a manipulator and a fabricator, and time and location cannot be determined? Yet, Guccifer leaves fingerprints of the Russians, in Cyrillic letters. If Guccifer is a manipulator and a fabricator, deliberately leaving fingerprints of the Russians, one need only ask, who in the world would want to pin the blame on the Russians for election interference in the US, and for what reason would they want to do such a thing. When that question is answered, you narrow down who is behind it all.

xeno , August 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

The American public has been living in a cloud of mis- and dis- information for decades. This isn't new.

Since Trump came on the political scene a couple years ago and scared the big money and big power "elite", it has become more obvious and extreme.

Christian Chuba , August 14, 2018 at 8:10 am

If the hack narrative is ever refuted, the IC community will just fallback to 'Russians are still attacking our democracy with facebook posts', aren't we the fragile, hot house plants. Still I would love to see the truth come out someday, whatever that may be.

This other article makes a convincing case that the first set of Russians indicted by Mueller were just commercial scammers, not spy masters from the Kremlin http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html
I hate that he is an anonymous blogger who calls himself 'Moon of Alabama' but dang, he just writes so well.

The last set of accusations centers around hacking voter registration servers which is reported as 'Russians hacking state elections'.
I've wondered if this is just another commercial enterprise where hackers are just doing routine identity theft, not nice, but not a state enterprise.

I remember Putin wanting to have a treaty with the U.S. to clamp down on all international hacking but that would require reciprocity and this would prevent our infiltration of their systems. This never gets any mention in our MSM.

Chucky LeRoi , August 14, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Just a very small point Christian. The blogger at MOA is hardly anonymous. Click the "about this blog" link on the site. I even have his home address for donations

F. G. Sanford , August 14, 2018 at 7:58 am

Observations I have shared here in the past have had little impact on the grand scheme of things, so it is with little hope that I comment today. Arguments become complex and tortured, esoteric even to the point of grasping at philosophical abstractions which, in the end, bear no resemblance to the actual events.

We are asked to believe that Russian "insiders" fed information damaging to Candidate Trump to Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, who then concocted the "dossier". This would serve to subvert his electability, and failing that, would provide an "insurance policy" to insure that his Presidency would be nonviable. In the same breath, we are asked to believe that those same Russians who sabotaged Mr. Trump's credibility -- wait for it -- manipulated the election to insure that his opponent would lose. Either strategy would result in an outcome unfavorable to Russia. Either Pence would assume leadership after an engineered coup, or Clinton would have won. Neither outcome benefits the Russians. YOU SIMPLY CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. All of this ignores what I and others observed long before the election: Hillary Clinton was the most repugnant candidate the DNC could possibly have chosen. Gotta give it to COL Lawrence Wilkerson, who stated frankly: "I just don't think she's electable".

Without all the ontological baggage, "Fideism" simply refers to articles of religious faith. Religion cares not a wit for evidence. In fact, it relies on the rejection of common logic in favor of "faith", itself the polar opposite of empirical, evidence-based thinking.

When news outlets of the day smeared, fabricated, edited, misrepresented and outright lied about Jim Garrison's case regarding the JFK assassination, the affronts to his integrity became so egregious and so obvious that, under the "Fairness Doctrine", he was granted a thirty minute rebuttal on one of the major television networks. To paraphrase, he said, "The American public has been sold a children's fairytale. But we are not children, and as adults, the consequences of believing such nonsense will be devastating. We will eventually lose our democracy".

Garrison's prediction has come to pass. We now vehemently defend fairytales as reality collapses in front of our very eyes.

Bob Van Noy , August 14, 2018 at 8:52 am

Thanks F. G. Sanford for the very appropriate referral to Jim Garrison. It was his dedication in the face of near impossible odds that convinced me to dedicate myself to fighting the ongoing battle for honesty and justice with respect to JFK's Assassination. When I remember the lifelong dedication of Jim Garrison, Fletcher Prouty, and the many totally dedicated Journalists, Researchers, and Public Servants like William Binney, I'm encouraged that the Truth will yet win out

Bob H , August 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Somehow I think Christopher Steele is the link to all of Russiagate. He was the head of Mi6's Russia Desk and "held the hand" of the dying Alexander Litvinenko(the 1st alleged poison victim of Putin), he was still around for the mysterious suicide of Dr. Kelley, he was hired by Fusion GP3, first by the GOP, then by the Dems to dig up dirt on Trump. He was then hired by Crowdstrike to clean up the DNC server(denied to the FBI). His association with Portman Down might well connect him with the Skripal poisonings.

jdd , August 14, 2018 at 4:36 pm

You are on target. In fact there is speculation that Skripal may have been one of the infamous "sources" of Steele's salacious dossier. In any case, Skripal was recruited to MI6 by one Pablo Miller, during the time Steele was undercover in Moscow, and who in addition to living near Skripal, was employed by Orbis, Steele's Private Intelligence firm. Interestingly,according to the Telegraph, Miller's association with Orbis has since been removed from his linkedin profile.Steele also pops up in a key role in conjunction with State's Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer in the violent 2014 coup against the elected government of Ukraine. where he began surveillance of Paul Manafort, and was later involved,along with his boss richarad Dearlove of MI6, in the targeting of Mike Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadopolous, the intended entrapment of the last two occurring on British soil, and then fed into the FBI by John Brennan.

Bob Herrschaft , August 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

jdd if you have a link for Steele's connection with the 2014 Ukraine coup, I would appreciate it if you would post it here thanks

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

No wonder Reagan got rid of the "Fairness Doctrine". The US MSM could not survive it these days.

I wonder too how many people remember the McCarthy times, which seem to have returned with a vengeance without the commies!!

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Re Wilkerson "I just don't think she's electable".
This might be a good time to remind readers that HRC has never won a contested election in her life.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 8:49 am

She was twice elected to the U.S. Senate with opponents on the ballot, and had to win contested primaries both times.

It doesn't speak very well of the people of New York that she won all those races, but in what sense were they not "contested elections", at least in the limited sense that applies to U.S. politics generally?

GKJames , August 14, 2018 at 7:02 am

(1) Does this set an impossibly high bar? Assuming one can navigate the technological intricacies -- the point about transfer speeds seems reasonable enough -- can't one equally conclude that there is compelling evidence of Russia's ongoing (over years) cyber-operations against a number of countries? Certainly, there is the counter-argument, Well, you've not proved anything. True enough, but in terms of crafting policies, we're never dealing with a proof-beyond-reasonable-doubt standard. And even if we agreed that DNC emails were leaked (by Americans) rather than hacked by Russians, that wouldn't be the end of the inquiry, would it?

(2) Reasonable people will agree that hysteria should not drive policy. But hasn't US policy -- especially in connection with the country's relationship with the rest of the world -- been driven by exactly that, more often than not, for eons? The Infotainment Complex recognized long ago that there are profits to be made by luring eyeballs. The particular flavor may vary with time (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, etc.), but the hysteria itself is ever-present. Today's flavor happens to be Russia, a perennial best-seller that benefits a variety of domestic constituencies, not least the Threat Industry. Whether the public is being manipulated or simply getting what it wants is an open question. My own view is that, by and large, very little happens without the public's (even if only tacit) support.

(3) US foreign policy has always been an extension of domestic politics. Politicians taking sensible positions invariably would be flogged by power-seekers for being "soft" on some contrived evil. Reality, especially the nuanced kind, has rarely played much of a role. Nor has self-reflection. Neither Washington nor the public it ostensibly serves show a capacity for asking, What might explain Russia's position on, for instance, Crimea, Ukraine, and Georgia? The cavalier decision to expand NATO eastward to Russia's border as THE source of Moscow's resentment -- shared by a large proportion of the Russian public -- simply doesn't compute in American minds. That non-computation is bipartisan; it's simply how an empire does things.

(4) What remains strikingly elusive is a public exploration of how/why information on social media was found persuasive by American voters, irrespective of who planted the information. If it hadn't been Russians, would the November 2016 outcome have been different? Unlikely. A cursory look at the on-line world makes it obvious that ignorance is the coin of the realm, and that Americans do just fine in that regard all on their own.

All to say that the contentiousness among the world's powers will stay with us. As will the national myth-making. The best that can be hoped for is that there is enough self-restraint all around to keep in check the worst of the insanity.

mike k , August 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

GK -- Your comment can be summed up as: Nothing new here, get used to it -- there's nothing we can do about it. Really? The establishment would dearly love for all of us to adopt your ho hum attitude.

GKJames , August 14, 2018 at 9:08 am

Am suggesting that the problem facing what's left of the republic is far greater than a hack/leak case, "collusion", or even the Nov '16 outcome. The American mind needs re-wiring, something that Americans had better do themselves if they don't want a changing geopolitical landscape to do it for them. Sure, there are (always have been) people with a clue, but they tend to be outnumbered, now more than ever as widely cheered appeals to the visceral have taken over the ethos of government itself. Problem is, the opposition (at least at national leadership levels) to the current administration is mired in incoherence, obsessed to distraction with the obviously woeful personal qualities of the president, and devoid of imagination (the realistic kind). In other words, liberal democracy as we've known it since 1945 and imperfect as it's been, is under threat. And the threat doesn't come from Russia, but from half of a population no longer persuaded that it's the only viable way of sustaining the grand experiment. Concerns with anything less than that strike me as a matter of nibbling at the edges and avoiding what we really need to do: look at ourselves and stop pointing fingers at whatever "others" we can conjure as the source of our troubles.

Ray McGovern , August 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

Dear GK,

Thanks for both your comments and the wider perspective they offer.

Ray

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 14, 2018 at 6:45 am

A further thought.

We have, of course, someone who can precisely and accurately answer any question in the matter.

Unfortunately, he is more or less imprisoned at the behest of your American government.

And should he be turned out of his current situation, he faces certain extradition to the US where he faces ugly treatment and a long prison term.

Such are the realities of American power in the world today.

By the way, his name is Julian Assange.

And the Democratic Party's own candidate, Ms Clinton, was quoted in her charming fashion, "Can't we just drone him or something?"

Of course, it was in line with many ugly statements by Clinton, as the one, after Qaddafi's assassination -- a man who did his best for his people and kept them in peace -- "We came, we saw, he died! Ha ha ha!"

It isn't just Trump who has a filthy mouth and constantly tells lies.

It is the whole American power establishment.

There is no easy solution, at least not in our time.

Powerful people who are determined to do terrible things will do them.

The total stakes for America's power establishment are too big for any argument or evidence to turn it around.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 14, 2018 at 6:28 am

But this is just the way American politicians have learned to deal with any adverse finding about almost anything, especially in foreign affairs.

They just ignore it.

"How far will we allow our government to escalate against others without proof of anything?" is a reader quote cited by the author.

But I ask, first, what the "allow" is doing in there?

Just what options, what real power, do average Americans have today? My best guess is that it is close to zero.

Yes, you're still free, at least for a little while, to write and speak words, words, and more words. But their net effect on the giant engine that is the American power establishment is close to zero also.

And perhaps before long -- given events like the Alex Jones creepy stunts -- you may not even be able to utter the words.

The stupid, endless stuff about Russia and hacks is just one small battle front of a huge multi-front war being waged by the American power establishment for world supremacy.

If you want to understand the engines driving all this, read:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

willow , August 14, 2018 at 11:29 pm

The censorship extends to the alternative commentators too. KPFA, Pacifica radio, which hosts Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, just removed a long running program, Guns & Butter hosted by Bonnie Falkner because she recently dared to discuss verboten subjects, i.e., Zionism.

Gregory Herr , August 15, 2018 at 12:10 am

I was hoping she was vacationing. I'll miss her interviews with people like William Pepper, William Engdahl, the Saker, and many others. What a disappointment.

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:53 am

They'd rather stick with establishment shills, which is what Amy Goodman has evolved into as a serial apologist for yankee war crimes in the middle east.

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:51 am

Great articles; great responses; great website. You've accurately described the true nature of the present day yankee imperium in your responses and articles.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:22 am

Thank Dog our wonderful elites in the halls of power are spending millions; if not hundreds of millions of dollars on Russiafarce.
Instead of frittering it away on hardening the electrical grid to an EMP.

I feel so represented and cared for by our illustrious elites

David G , August 14, 2018 at 3:12 am

Ok, here's my technical question, which is not calculated to make me very popular around here.

Suppose the following:

Somebody (the Russians, the Samoans, elves, whoever) did in fact hack the DNC computer for these emails, and this was done at the expected, relatively slow download rate. They then may or may not have manipulated the data or metadata in some fashion on their own machine. The somebody then uploaded these files onto a USB flash drive, and then re-downloaded them onto another computer at the high transfer rate noted by the VIPS. From this second computer they were sent on to Wikileaks (or some intermediary).

Does the VIPS analysis preclude this scenario? If not, is it possible that they are correct about the download rate, but still have not excluded the possibility that the initial taking of the emails from the DNC was done by hack?

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 3:54 am

The disseminator (wikileaks/Julian Assange) of those LEAKED emails has already answered the question.
He has unequivocally stated that the emails were leaked; Not hacked.
NOTHING Wikileaks has released or claimed has ever been found to be false.

Kim Dotcom also claims to have intimate knowledge of the leak.
Both have offered to give testimony in this entire farce investigation
Yet, the grand inquisitor, Mueller the 9/11 and Anthrax, coverup artist refuses to interview them.
That alone should tell you what is really going on.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

So you're saying there's nothing in the VIPS analysis that refutes the scenario I outlined? Just those unrelated statements, upon which VIPS did not rely?

I'd be surprised if that's the case, but I'm waiting to hear from someone with useful knowledge on the subject. That doesn't seem to be you.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

That "someone" with the most knowledge on the subject has already spoken. His name is Julian Assange and he flat out said it came from a leak not a hack.

Who else do you think is more qualified to make a statement on the hack than Julian himself?

gratification , August 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

So what you're saying is that these cunning Russians faked the metadata on the DNC download (or whatever it was) so as to obfuscate the fact that it was them but left other "Russian fingerprints" -- such as cyrillic text -- that pointed to them? Baldrickian cunning! It's beyond my simple mind.

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/04/new-analysis-by-the-forensicator-examines-russian-fingerprints-left-by-guccifer-2-0/

David G , August 14, 2018 at 5:34 am

I'm not saying anything like that.

What I'm *asking* is how the VIPS analysis can tell that the download (or upload, whatever) speed that they are relying on was from the *beginning* of the data's journey to Wikileaks (i.e. the initial transfer from the DNC server), which is what is required to prove their thesis, rather than from some subsequent step along the way?

I'm not crediting myself with any genius in bringing up this point. It seems like a fairly obvious challenge to make to the VIPS analysis, and I'm sure it's been made elsewhere.

I imagine the VIPS have dealt with this question long ago somewhere or other, but I've never run across it and am hoping someone here has the technical chops to enlighten me.

In the mean time, how about everybody else stop trying to mischaracterize my question or throw irrelevant (to this specific issue) facts at me?

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:28 am

I am also no technocrat.
My understanding is that any hack or leak leaves "fingerprints" in the files.
Both the original and the target files.

Thus, in the case of the scenario you propose -- earlier hacks that were amalgamated and transformed into one large leak (I think this is your scenario) -- there would be fingerprints of the earlier hacks.

AFAIK no allegations or evidence have been put forth concerning earlier suspicious hacks that could have been transformed into one large, fast leak.

We need to look at the very strong possibility that the real purpose of Mueller's investigation is to hide something, not reveal something. That is the strong record of his CV.

Can someone tell me whether a person who has posted regularly in the past and who wants to post here must enter name and email address afresh with each and every post?

Or is it just me?

David G , August 14, 2018 at 7:44 am

Well, what you say may well be true, Litchfield, but it still seems to me to be external to the VIPS point about internet download-speed limitations, upon which -- based on Patrick Lawrence's article -- they seem to be hanging a great deal, especially since they now acknowledge that "[t]he conclusions initially drawn on time and location in VIPS50 are now subject to these recent discoveries" (i.e. have been brought into question).

So I think my question stands.

I too now have to re-enter name and email with each post, and I also was wondering whether it was just me. Guess not. Maybe an anti-spam thing?

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:39 am

Litchfield-

The re-entry of your personal data started a couple weeks ago. I believe it is a safety precaution so that your personal email address is no longer stored by CN. I could be wrong.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:41 am

As I understand your question, you are asking whether some information may not have been tracelessly stolen from the DNC server quite separately from the transfer to an external device described by VIPS.

My first reaction to this is that, obviously, any information could be copied from any computer at any time by any person -- but if the operation left no traces, nobody could know that it ever took place.

The only data that investigators have to go on are the files provided by Wikileaks and the logs and other records of the DNC server itself. As far as I know, those point only to one download -- that described by VIPS and this article.

Incidentally, you have reversed the usual meanings of "upload" and "download". Conventionally, one downloads data from a repository or database, and uploads to it.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:50 am

Having had a look at https://disobedientmedia.com/2017/07/new-research-shows-guccifer-2-0-files-were-copied-locally-not-hacked/ which explains the forensic methods used to derive the download speeds, I admit that my first comment was inaccurate.

The files used were in fact not those provided by Wikileaks. The article linked to above states that,

'The Forensicator specifically discusses the data that was eventually published by Guccifer 2.0 under the title "NGP-VAN." This should not be confused with the separate publication of the DNC emails by Wikileaks'.

The file copy times were derived from a compressed archive containing all the files of interest. You can see a partial picture of the archive listing in the linked article.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

I appreciate your comments, Tom Welsh, but I feel I am just foundering deeper in confusion.

To be clear, I wasn't "asking whether some information may not have been tracelessly stolen from the DNC server quite separately from the transfer to an external device described by VIPS." At least, I didn't mean to ask that.

I want to know specifically why the VIPS are sure that the speedy download/upload rate they build their case on happened exactly when the data left the DNC server, and not at some later point in their history. The VIPS argument depends on the former being the case.

The article you link to in fact *does* speak to this point, which is great, but as you say it specificies that it is *not* about the DNC files that ended up at Wikileaks.

But this Patrick Lawrence article has William Binney "examin[ing] all the metadata associated with the files [Guccifer] 2.0 has made public" without making any distinction between that and the DNC/ Wikileaks files.

I guess I really don't have a handle on the essential details here.

While I like reading Patrick Lawrence's reflections on statecraft, I think he may have been out of his depth here. There's nothing here that clarifies these questions, and that's without even mentioning the passages that are confusing on their own, such as the paragraph about how "G-2.0" somehow "merged" two sets of data into two sets of data.

I realized my use of "download" (vs. "upload") was off after my initial comment, and have tried to avoid it in the later ones, but Binney himself is quoted using it in the "reversed" sense in the article, and I took my lead from that.

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:37 am

David G-

Here is a good video of Bill Binney explaining the merged data sets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe1movhtIfA

As to your other question, it is my understanding that ALL transfer of files leaves metadata, and Bill Binney and the Forensicator have backtracked the metadata to the original download that was of a speed only possible (at that time and place) locally via a storage device.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Thanks, Skip Scott. That's helpful.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm

I thought that there were two incidents concerning hacks/leaks, which some people are conflating.

1. *Leak* of files from DNC computers. This info ended up being given to Wikileaks by a person w ho is known to both Craig Murray and Julian Assange
.
2. *Hack* of Hillary's private email server, including emails that should not have been on a private server. And that there is some speculation that the Chinese hacked into Hillary's private server.

Am I wrong about that?

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 4:23 am

"*Hack* of Hillary's private email server, including emails that should not have been on a private server. And that there is some speculation that the Chinese hacked into Hillary's private server.

Am I wrong about that?"

Not wrong.
Any intelligence agency and every intelligence agency, including 3rd world rate, were in and out of Hillary's paper MCSE server set up.
FFS Brian Pagliano was busted asking for help on how to delete files on Reddit.

Aaron Schwartz got the last laugh!
And, we all got a few more years of an unradiated planet.
Well, so long as you pretend like the MSM does that Fukushima is a mass fertilaztion event.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:04 am

Litchfield --

It's reasonable to assume that Clinton's home server was compromised by any number of intelligence agencies, but that's not connected to any of the emails that have been publicly released -- because they're spies and Wikileaks is journalism, no matter how much U.S. pols and their stooges want to pretend otherwise.

Part of the Russia-gate snow job is to confuse this matter, though -- for instance by pretending references by Trump on the campaign trail to "Hilary's emails" were actually about the DNC and Podesta leaks.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:12 pm

" other records of the DNC server itself"

I thought that no one had been able to get their hands on the DNC servers -- the DNC had not turned them over to law enforcement or the FBI -- to do forensics on them.
Am I wrong about that?

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 2:22 am

Litchfield -- no, you've got it right, the DNC servers have not been forensically examined by the FBI. They were given to Crowdstrike to examine, if you can believe it.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 11:48 am

One thing has been bugging me about Binney's argument. Yes, it is nearly impossible for someone in Russia to transfer the files that quickly. But who's to say the "hacker" was not much closer to the DNC server, somewhere near DC?

They then transported the files via thumb drive or (more likely) portable disk drive to Wikileaks.

Mind you, I desperately want Binney to be right, and for the whole charade to fall apart, but this seems to be a weakness in his forensic argument.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm

My understanding has been that the VIPS are saying any internet upload at the recorded rate would have been impossible under the applicable conditions, even a local one. Despite the Binney quote in this piece referring to a "dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia", I hadn't thought that's really their argument. Am I wrong?

In any case, without any expertise myself, I'm inclined to trust them on that, at least provisionally, but it's true that at this point the VIPS seem to be resting their entire thesis on that one point -- there's not a lot of redundancy (in the good sense) there.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:15 pm

"Despite the Binney quote in this piece referring to a "dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia", I hadn't thought that's really their argument. Am I wrong?"

I think you are right. That is my understanding. That any upload/download over the Internet would be much slower than a transfer to a flash drive.

I thought the mention of the 400-megabit line to Russia was a bit of hyperbole designed to show how ridiculous the upload over internet scenario is.

Curious , August 16, 2018 at 1:11 am

Litchfield,
Although you are not a 'techie' the bottom line is not proximity. One can be in the same room and not duplicate the speed of transfer. The internet is set up with limitations inherent in the technology available.
As a personal reference, doing the Olympics in Italy, we had our own 'home run fiber' with our fiber run to NY with copper as a backup. I do not have William Binneys' skills and tech savvy, but I do know as a different techie we could not create anywhere close to the speed this argument entails. And when on our 'home run' fiber from the US to Italy we had speed issues, not because of the fiber links, but the interfaces that terminate the ends of the fiber. This is important even for a non techie. If one doesn't have the latest and greatest fiber interface, or (god help us) copper pairs, the speed is dependent on the termination of the lines.
This hacking thing is as bogus as the world has seen, mainly because a lot of people don'y Know the difference between a hack and a leak, and would have to put down too many beers to learn.
Given what I know, I would trust Mr Binney to tell us what is possible, and again, it is not proximity, nor super copper pairs, fiber, not sat feeds. He, above others probably built what we now use randomly and he knows what is possible. This is just a suggestion to trust a man with his experience which is uncommon to those who have not built systems in their lives, and can only question without tech info.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Actually I think they underestimate some because to transmit a byte serially takes 10 bits total because there is overhead (start and stop bits). So 49.1 MBps is about 491 Mbps.

Was a 491 Mbps network connected to the DNC computer? Probably not (that's very fast) but it could be easily verified if the FBI or anybody else cared about the truth.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm

What you don't seem to be able to grasp is that "manipulating" the "data" or "metadata" would leave fingerprints of the manipulation as well.
As was demonstrated by the VIPS being able to discern that the Guccifer 2.0 data was actually 2 seperate batches of data "manipulated" into one set.

I left any snark I have for you in my head and not on the keyboard.
I ask that you do the same in the future so we can have an adult conversation on the subject and not an emotionally filled rant.

nonsense like "I'd be surprised if that's the case, but I'm waiting to hear from someone with useful knowledge on the subject. That doesn't seem to be you." is petty and childish.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

You should also consider leaving in your head aspersions such as telling people who are honestly seeking information that they are not "able to grasp" things.

Compare your aggressive approach to helpful attempts at addressing my question from Litchfield, Tom Welsh, and Skip Scott (so far).

You seem like a wants-the-last-word kind of person. Looking forward to reading it.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

I was quite polite to you in my first response.
You drew first blood.

Your question has been answered.
Any attempt to adjust the metadata would be traceable as was demonstrated by the 2 data sets being discovered as merged into 1 data set.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Why not be perfectly polite in all responses?
What is this "first blood" nonsense?
Grow up!!!

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:45 am

@Litchfield
"Why not be perfectly polite in all responses?"

Perhaps you could ask your buddy that same question.

"Grow up!!!"

Introspection
Learn it!
Live it!

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 3:12 am

Litchfield -- there are many people who come on sites like this, pretending to be novices, when their real objective is to place doubt in everybody's minds. That is their plan, to create confusion, obfuscate. Of course these people have the right to question what VIPS has discovered, but notice what they never ask for:

1) where are the DNC servers?

2) why haven't the DNC servers been handed over to the FBI?

3) why did the FBI accept Crowdstrike's analysis of the DNC servers?

4) why don't we allow VIPS access to these servers, along with the FBI, so that a complete analysis can be done?

5) why don't we allow VIPS access to NSA data in order to follow the evidence from beginning to end?

VIPS are doing the best job they can with what they have, but they are left with trying to piece a puzzle together. Let's get our hands on the real data.

We can't know whether David G is sincere in his questions or whether he's just trying to discredit VIPS (yes, that is the real objective of some people). I have my own opinion, but I'll keep that to myself.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:18 am

backwardsevolution --

I don't think you did a particularly good job about keeping your opinion about me to yourself here.

I didn't ask the questions you list because I was asking about something germane to this specific article which I wanted to learn more about.

If you equate that with a "plan, to create confusion, obfuscate", then how are you different from our members of Congress who are delegitimizing everybody who questions their preferred narrative?

Bluesugartribe , August 14, 2018 at 2:00 am

I couldn't agree more. Lockeed Martin and the numerous Political sellouts as well as the War merchants, including corporate media, need another Russian cold war to justify getting enormous government contracts that keep them glutinously feeding from the troth. This fake Russian narrative seems to tie the President's hands until the mid-terms
where they hope to flip the house and stop the investigation by the House Intel committee and politically damage him with impeachment and then to oust him in the 2020 election while setting the narrative to justify Cold War 2.0

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 1:27 am

U.S. neoconservatism is just the latest permutation of imperialism that has plagued us since the dawn of human history. Thucydides documented the blind greed and pig-headedness that destroyed Greek civilization almost two and a half millennia ago in his History of the Peloponnesian War :

"What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta."

And from Pericles' speech to the Athenians:

"And do not imagine that what we are fighting for is simply the question of freedom or slavery: there is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people who in a mood of sudden panic and in a spirit of political apathy actually think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go."

Add half a cup of Goebbels and Bernays sauce and a heaping tablespoon of hysteria to Pericles' recipe for Armageddon, and voila ! you have a deadly dish of yellow journalism like the one served up by the Washington Post editorial of Feb. 6, 2003:

"Irrefutable

After Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. . . .

. . . .Diplomats from these nations [e.g., France and Germany] do not dispute Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that "any country on the face of the Earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

. . . .None say Iraq has complied [with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441]. Until now, however, they have cynically argued that the inspectors must uncover evidence proving what they already know, or that it's too early to judge Saddam Hussein's cooperation. Mr. Powell's presentation stripped all credibility from that dodge."

All a perfect iteration of the law of the lynch mob: We don't need no stinkin' evidence, everyone knows they're guilty!

Ray McGovern , August 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Dear alley cat,

Good points, all. Thanks.

(I keep learning a whole lot from the many knowledgeable people who comment here. Please, nobody stop!)

Ray

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Many thanks to you Ray for all you are doing and have done.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Dear Ray,

So many thanks for all you do. And for always showing a pleasant demeanor.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

"Bernays sauce" is good.

I watched Powell's U.N. presentation live. Even on its face -- before the specific falsehoods had been exposed -- it was so obviously feeble, yet the media unanimously praised it as irresistibly convincing. This left a lasting impression on me, and it came to mind a few weeks ago during the stupefying media meltdown following the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit.

[Aug 18, 2018] Is Russia an Adversary by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then. ..."
"... Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border. ..."
"... We are your adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

Or, What's Wrong with Russian Collusion?

The question is finally being asked, by the president himself: what's wrong with collusion? Or at least his lawyer asks the question, while Trumps tweets:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion.

The problem, of course, is that of collusion with an alleged adversary. Russia, we are constantly informed, is one such adversary, indeed the main state adversary, with Putin is its head.

Adversary is a very strong term. The Hebrew word for adversary is Satan. Satan is the ultimate symbol of evil in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Satan tempted Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, causing her to eat the fruit, and so evil entered the world.

Just like some want you to think that evil entered the (good, pristine) U.S. electoral process due to this Russian adversary in 2016.

(Sometimes listening to TV pundits vilifying Putin I find Luther's famous hymn floating through my head:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Luther's referring to Satan, of course. But the current mythology around Putin -- as someone who still , like Lenin and Stalin before him, and the tsars of old, wishes us harm; is an unbridled dictator with a powerful great nuclear arsenal; is the wealthiest man on earth; and hates democracy -- resembles the mythology around the Adversary in the Bible.)

But let us problematize this vilification. When did Russia become a U.S. adversary? Some might say 1917 when in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution Moscow became the center of the global communist movement. But surely that period ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. cultivated Boris Yeltsin's Russia as a friend and even aided the drunken buffoon in winning the 1996 election. Bill Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Start II treaty. Harvard professors advised Moscow on economic reform.

The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then.

Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border.

It was a clear statement by the U.S. to a friendly country: We are your adversary. But, of course, the Pentagon and State Department always pooh-poohed Russian concerns, denying that NATO targeted any particular country.

Four years later (2008) NATO announced intentions to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Meanwhile the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo, the historical heart of Serbian civilization, had been wrenched from Serbia in 1999 under the pretext of a "humanitarian" intervention that included the first bombing (by NATO) of a European capital city since 1945. The province had been converted into a vast NATO base.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the prospect of NATO membership and western backing, attacked the capital of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, provoking (as the Russians explain it) a proper punitive response: the Russo-Georgian War of August 7-16 . After this Moscow recognized South Ossetia and a second breakaway republic, Abkhazia, in a tit-for-tat response to Washington's recognition of Kosovo.

Now Russia was labelled an aggressive power -- by the power that had carved up Yugoslavia, and invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies and killed half a million in the process. Plans to include Georgia in NATO had to be put on hold, in large part due to European allies' opposition (why provoke Russia?) but the U.S. intensified efforts to draw in Ukraine. That meant toppling the anti-NATO elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. State Department devoted enormous resources to the Maidan coup in Kiev on February 23, 2014. Its agents helped topple the government, ostensibly for its failure to negotiate an agreement for Ukrainian associate membership in the EU, but really to bring pro-NATO forces to power and expel the Russian Fleet from the Crimean Peninsula where it has been based since 1783. Moscow's limited support for the Donbass ethnic-Russian separatists and re-annexation of Crimea were, of course, depicted by the U.S. as more aggression, more mischievous opposition to "U.S. global interests."

But from Moscow's point of view these moves have surely been defensive. The main problem is (obviously) NATO and its dangerous, unnecessary and provocative expansion. Throughout his presidential campaign Trump questioned the continued "relevance" of NATO. Characteristically he focused on budget issues and allies' failure to meet the goal figure of 2% if GDP for military expenses (misleadingly depicting investment shortfalls as a betrayal and rip-off of the victimized U.S.). But he did -- to the alarm of many, and probably to Moscow's delight -- express little enthusiasm for the alliance's historical purpose.

The most rational proposition Trump voiced before his election that the U.S. should "get along" with Russia. That is, get along with the so-called adversary. Trump as we all know had been in Russia on business, hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, and maintains interest in building a Trump Tower in the city. He has met and befriended Russian oligarchs. He quite possibly sees Russia as just another country, like Germany or France.

If "the French" had had dirt on Hillary, would it have been okay to "collude" with them to influence the election result? France is, of course, a NATO ally. Would that make it different? Now that the president and his layers are openly questioning whether "collusion", per se, is even illegal, the specific nature of the colluder becomes more relevant.

Russia is an adversary.

Russia is an adversary.

Putin in Helsinki acknowledged to a reporter that he had hoped Trump could win, because he had expressed hope for better relations. He might have added that he dreaded the prospect of a Hillary victory because of her warmongering and characterization of him as a Hitler. Naturally the Russian media favored Trump over Clinton at a certain point when he emerged as a credible candidate. So when Trump on July 27, 2016 called on Russia to release Hillary's missing emails ("if you've got 'em") the Russians probably felt invited to make contact through channels. And when informed that they had dirt, Don Jr. wrote: "If that's what you say, I love it." (Who can blame him?)

Let's say there was some collusion after the June 6 Trump Tower meeting. Trump has suddenly acknowledged that the meeting with the Russians was indeed to "seek political dirt." He adds that this is "totally legal," and this may be true. Some are now saying that Don Jr. may have violated a federal statute (52 USC 30121, 36 USC 5210) forbidding any foreign person to "make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.' and for anyone to knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]." But the language is vague. If a Canadian speechwriter works gratis for a U.S. political candidate, in order to help him or her win, is this not "a thing of value" intended to affect an election?

If Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner had met with Canadian agents in Trump Tower I doubt there would have been any controversy. The fact is, Trump won the election and many of those stunned by that wish to undermine him using revived Cold War-type Russophobia. They insist: He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. And now they hope they've got him on this charge.

*****

Five years ago a young man named Edward Snowden (now living in forced exile in Russia) revealed to the world the extent of the U.S.'s global surveillance. He showed us how the NSA wiretaps EU meetings, popes' conversations, Angela Merkel's cell phone and maintains metadata on virtually all U.S. residents. He showed us what the contemporary advanced state can do in this respect. We should suppose that Moscow has, if not similar capacity, at least enough expertise to hack into the DNC emails or John Podesta's g-mail account. Is that surprising?

What none of the TV anchors is allowed to say needs to be said again: The U.S. interferes in foreign elections all the time, including Russian ones. It should surprise no one if Russian intelligence responds in kind. The point is not the provenance of the leaked emails but their content.

Those horrified by the leaked material complain that their release was designed to "undermine faith in our democratic system." Really? Don't the workings of the system itself undermine one's faith in it, once they are exposed? Was it adversarial of the leaker to inform us that the DNC had no intention of allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, and thus that the process was rigged? Was it unfriendly to reveal that Podesta was hoping the media would hype Trump, as an easy target for his candidate?

The question that will no doubt be debated in the coming days is whether seeking dirt on a political opponent from any foreigner is indeed illegal, or whether there are specific legal ramifications of meeting with someone from an "adversary" country. But it seems to me that Russia has not been defined as such officially. So we may have a discussion less about legality than the politics of Russophobia.

I am happy to see Trump besieged, rattled, possibly facing impeachment. But to bring him down on the basis of "Russian collusion," on the assumption that Russia is an adversary, would only advantage the warmongers who want no-fly zones over Syria and military support for the Kiev regime against the Donbas separatists. Vice President Pence I believe favors both.

Trump has said that he cannot host Putin in Washington this year, or until the Russian Hoax witch hunt is over. But Putin has invited him to Moscow. One senses he wants some agreements with Trump before he is ousted by his gathering adversaries, including the press, courts, Democrats, select Republicans, turncoat aides and he himself sometimes in his unguarded tweets.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu . Read other articles by Gary .

This article was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia , Chancellor Angela Merkel , Donald Trump , Elections , Espionage/"Intelligence" , Hillary Clinton , Kosovo , Mike Pence , President Vladimir Putin , Russia , Serbia , Ukraine , United States , US Hypocrisy , US Lies .

[Aug 18, 2018] But always remember, the FBI/DOJ is honorable .

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

agcw86 , Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

But always remember, the FBI/DOJ is "honorable". Yeah, that's the term they use to refer to the scumbags that "represent" us in congress. In reality, "there is no honor amongst thieves", and government is full of them because sociopaths gravitate to positions of power.

romanmoment Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:08 Permalink

It's a unruly fuck show at the FBI and nobody is being held accountable. No leadership, no standards, no neutrality, no accountability. Obama weaponized the FBI. Fire everyone.

[Aug 18, 2018] Deeply Troubling - Wall Street Journal Implores What Was Bruce Ohr Doing

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter the liberal mainstream media's Trump Derangement Syndrome , dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs and refusing to back off its intense pressure to get to the truth and hold those responsible, accountable (in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as 'Alt-Right' or 'Nazi' or be 'punished' by search- and social-media-giants) .

And once again Kimberley Strassel - who by now has become the focus of social media attacks for her truth-seeking reporting - does it again this morning, as she points out - hours after former CIA Director Brennan threw a tantrum over having his security clearance removed - that while Justice has released some damning documents - particularly on what Bruce Ohr was doing - much of the truth is still classified.

Via The Wall Street Journal,

What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department have continued to insist they did nothing wrong in their Trump-Russia investigation. This week should finally bring an end to that claim, given the clear evidence of malfeasance via the use of Bruce Ohr.

Mr. Ohr was until last year associate deputy attorney general.

He began feeding information to the FBI from dossier author Christopher Steele in late 2016 - after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a confidential informant for violating the bureau's rules. He also collected dirt from Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign and employed Mr. Steele. Altogether, the FBI pumped Mr. Ohr for information at least a dozen times, debriefs that remain in classified 302 forms.

All the while, Mr. Ohr failed to disclose on financial forms that his wife, Nellie, worked alongside Mr. Steele in 2016, getting paid by Mr. Simpson for anti-Trump research. The Justice Department has now turned over Ohr documents to Congress that show how deeply tied up he was with the Clinton crew - with dozens of emails, calls, meetings and notes that describe his interactions and what he collected.

Mr. Ohr's conduct is itself deeply troubling. He was acting as a witness (via FBI interviews) in a case being overseen by a Justice Department in which he held a very senior position. He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he'd been unaware of Mr. Ohr's intermediary status.

Lawyers meanwhile note that it is a crime for a federal official to participate in any government matter in which he has a financial interest. Fusion's bank records presumably show Nellie Ohr, and by extension her husband, benefiting from the Trump opposition research that Mr. Ohr continued to pass to the FBI. The Justice Department declined to comment.

But for all Mr. Ohr's misdeeds, the worse misconduct is by the FBI and Justice Department.

It's bad enough that the bureau relied on a dossier crafted by a man in the employ of the rival presidential campaign. Bad enough that it never informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of that dossier's provenance. And bad enough that the FBI didn't fire Mr. Steele as a confidential human source in September 2016 when it should have been obvious he was leaking FBI details to the press to harm Donald Trump's electoral chances. It terminated him only when it was absolutely forced to, after Mr. Steele gave an on-the-record interview on Oct. 31, 2016.

But now we discover the FBI continued to go to this discredited informant in its investigation after the firing -- by funneling his information via a Justice Department cutout. The FBI has an entire manual governing the use of confidential sources, with elaborate rules on validations, standards and documentation. Mr. Steele failed these standards. The FBI then evaded its own program to get at his info anyway.

And it did so even though we have evidence that lead FBI investigators may have suspected Mr. Ohr was a problem.

An Oct. 7, 2016, text message from now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok to his colleague Lisa Page reads: "Jesus. More BO leaks in the NYT," which could be a reference to Mr. Ohr.

The FBI may also have been obtaining, via Mr. Ohr, information that came from a man the FBI had never even vetted as a source -- Mr. Simpson. Mr. Steele had at least worked with the FBI before; Mr. Simpson was a paid political operative. And the Ohr notes raise further doubts about Mr. Simpson's forthrightness. In House testimony in November 2017, Mr. Simpson said only that he reached out to Mr. Ohr after the election, and at Mr. Steele's suggestion. But Mr. Ohr's inbox shows an email from Mr. Simpson dated Aug. 22, 2016 that reads, in full: "Can u ring."

The Justice Department hasn't tried to justify any of this; in fact, last year it quietly demoted Mr. Ohr. In what smells of a further admission of impropriety, it didn't initially turn over the Ohr documents; Congress had to fight to get them.

But it raises at least two further crucial questions.

First, who authorized or knew about this improper procedure? Mr. Strzok seems to be in the thick of it, having admitted to Congress interactions with Mr. Ohr at the end of 2016. While Mr. Rosenstein disclaims knowledge, Mr. Ohr's direct supervisor at the time was the previous deputy attorney general, Sally Yates. Who else in former FBI Director Jim Comey's inner circle and at the Obama Justice Department nodded at the FBI's back-door interaction with a sacked source and a Clinton operative?

Second, did the FBI continue to submit Steele- or Simpson-sourced information to the FISA court? Having informed the court in later applications that it had fired Mr. Steele, the FBI would have had no business continuing to use any Steele information laundered through an intermediary.

* * *

Strassel concludes with the point that she and The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board have been hammering for months...

We could have these answers pronto; they rest in part in those Ohr 302 forms. And so once again: a call for President Trump to declassify.

It's time for things to get more serious than slaps on the wrist, firings, and self-inflicted black-eyes!


onewayticket2 -> IridiumRebel Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

That Mueller is ignoring this OBVIOUS Clinton/Steele/Ohr/FBI etc, etc Russian collusion while prosecuting Manafort for an unrelated, 2005 financial crime (while granting IMMUNITY to Tony Podesta for the identical crime) is all the proof you need it's a coverup, not an "investigation" into russian collusion.

Strassel deserves a Pulitzer. But instead, CNN received an award for their comey story (after it was proven that comey leaked the documents to them....it's not that CNN did tons of investigative work....the docs were handed to them and they published them - dutifully in exchange for an award to be given at the WH Correspondents' dinner.)

CheapBastard -> GoFuqYourself Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

Kimberly Strassel deserves a Pulitzer Prize for her investigative journalism, esp in the face of so many far left commie attackers.

She legitimizes the WSJ as a paper worth reading.

Kudos to Ms Strassel.

fwiw imho -> onewayticket2 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:06 Permalink

hmmm, cnn publishing classified documents. How is that any different than WikiLeaks?

nmewn -> Stan522 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

That's a fact, long after Steele was fired as a "foreign asset" Ohr was still passing his Russian procured bullshit through to fellow travelers within the FBI & DoJ...like McCabe and Stzrok.

Hell the day before the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia, Glenn Simpson was dining with this "Russian government lawyer".And oddly enough, the very next day too.

The ONLY Russian collusion was happening on the dim side and one of the first clues is ALWAYS watch for what they are accusing other's of cuz that is what THEY are doing ;-)

replaceme -> nmewn Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Every time I read these things I start by saying the FBI/DOJ was trying to hide ____ , then I replace that with the FBI/DOJ conspired to hide ____. You start doing that too much and you have to say the FBI/DOJ colluded to nullify the election, overthrow an elected president. Somewhere this Summer I started saying the word coup with a little more conviction. When 350 news outlets then write coordinated editorials targeting that same president, not the architects of this conspiracy, this failed (so far) coup, I tend to side more against than with them. Journalism and Yellow Journalism are different things - I think that's why they added "Yellow" to the term.

Kokulakai -> Brazen Heist II Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Sessions was a sleeper, planted in the Trump campaign day one.

His reputation normally would exclude him from becoming AG.

Yet there he sits abetting the coup from the inside.

blindfaith -> Stan522 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:49 Permalink

"When CNN and MSNBC start to ask questions like this then I'll start paying attention."

Their money loving greed will never allow them to tell their dedicated liberals any such thing..

The media is the enemy of the Constitution, its amendments, and the Declaration of Independence. They do not care about who they hurt, they do not care about Americans or America....they are a foreign enemy under foreign control.

I thought better of Gates, I was wrong.

TeethVillage88s -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:01 Permalink

Hatch Act Violations by many in FBI... plus CIA, NSA, DNI, DOJ. Prohibitions against political activity by Federal Employees. Brennen should be scared that we all prove common policy prohibition does lead to lying/deceit and even sedition, treason, subterfuge, subversion charges.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2014/10/30/hatch-act https://osc.gov/Resources/HA%20Pamphlet%20Sept%202014.pdf https://osc.gov/Pages/The-Hatch-Act-Frequently-Asked-Questions-on-Feder https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/employee-relations/training/p

adonisdemilo -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:38 Permalink

@Ghost of PartysOver,

"Bruce Ohr was NOT a Lone Wolf"

Not a lone wolf, I agree, and he is the fall guy, bloody fool.

Darracq -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

This article, along with all the other reports, always state that the DOJ did this, the FBI did that, but fails to name the individual involved or the department heads who were responsible. The information is always muddled and obfuscated by the bureaucratic organization, so no individual is responsible. Enough of this, name names please!!! or no one will ever be accountable.

Darracq -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:31 Permalink

Who was Ohr handing off the information to? There is an entire chain of people here who have to be exposed and prosecuted.

NumberNone -> youarelost Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

Stalin had the Moscow Trials where he framed his opposition and had them executed. Does anyone doubt had Hillary won that she would have orchestrated the prosecution of Trump and his cronies knowing full well she ran the entire frame-up behind the scenes?

Who would have stood up for Trump? Both sides wanted him buried and gone. History would have written that Trump was the ultimate Manchurian candidate...paid for, supported by, and mandated to by Russia, now serving a life sentence for treason.

swamp -> NumberNone Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:57 Permalink

Mueller is doing that right now

the artist -> NumberNone Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

Very insightful comment. Nobody has any doubt but half the country wouldn't care. The other half as you eluded to, would be scattered to the wind and left at the mercy of the controlled opposition that is the Republican Party.

We all need to be ready to form a Big Tent Party outside the power structure of the current D's and R's. Obviously not the moment now but there will come a moment when we all must strike out Alone...Together . Leave these shit stains and all of their divide and conquer BS in the dust.

[Aug 18, 2018] Pentagon Whistleblower Demoted After Exposing Millions Paid To FBI Spy Halper, Clinton Crony

Aug 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A Pentagon whistleblower was stripped of his security clearance and demoted after complaining about questionable government contracts with both FBI informant spy Stefan Halper and a company headed by Chelsea Clinton's "best friend" for whom then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings, reports the Washington Times .

Adam Lovinger, a Trump supporter and 12-year veteran of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA), filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Defense Department's inspector general in May against ONA boss James Baker - who hired Halper, 73, to "conduct foreign relations" and kept the details of the spy's contracts "close to the vest." Baker was appointed chief of the ONA in 2015 by Obama Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter.

At that point, Lovinger wouldn't have known was a spy working with the FBI/DOJ on operation " Crossfire Hurricane " - the code name for the Obama administration's counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign.

In an internal October 2016 email to higher-ups, Mr. Lovinger wrote of " the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper ," the complaint said. It said Mr. Baker hired Mr. Halper to "conduct foreign relations," a job that should be confined to government officials.

...

In the fall of 2016, as the election loomed, Mr. Lovinger sent emails to Mr. Baker and other officials at the Office of Net Assessment complaining about the entire outside contracting process. He also said the office failed to write papers on long-term threats presented by radical Islam, China and Iran .

And in September 2016, Lovinger sent an email directly to Baker summing up the perceived problems, which reads in part:

"Some of our contractors distribute to others their ONA work for personal and professional self-promotion," wrote Lovinger. "Another part is the growing narrative that ONA's most high-profile contractors are known for getting paid a lot to do rather peripheral work ."

"On the issue of pay, our contractors boast about how much they get paid from ONA . Such boasting, of course, generates jealously among those outside the club, and particularly from those who have tried to secure ONA contracts unsuccessfully."

"On the issue of quality, more than once I have heard our contractor studies labeled 'derivative,' 'college-level' and based heavily on secondary sources . One of our contractor studies was literally cut and pasted from a World Bank report that I just happened to have read the week before reading the contractor study itself. Even the font was the same."

Halper - an Oxford University professor, former US government official and longtime FBI / CIA asset (who was married to the CIA deputy director's daughter at one point), received over $400,000 for a 2016 contract which Lovinger complained about.

According to USASpending.gov, Mr. Halper was paid $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016 , for a contract that ran until this March. - Washington Times

In total, the American citizen teaching abroad received over $1 million from contracts dated between 2012 and 2016.

Lovinger's attorney, Sean M. Bigley, filed the second of four complaints on July 18 with the Pentagon's senior ethics official, claiming that Lovinger's bosses punished him on May 1, 2017 by abusing the security clearance process to yank his credentials and relegate him to clerical chores. Lovinger's complaint also names the Washington Headquarters Services, a support agency within the Pentagon that awarded the Halper contracts.

"As it turns out, one of the two contractors Mr. Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Mr. Halper ," wrote Bigley in the ethics complaint, which referred to the contracts as " cronyism and corruption ."

" Nobody in the office seemed to know what Halper was doing for his money ," said Bigley. "Adam said Jim Baker, the director, kept Halper's contracts very close to the vest. And nobody seemed to have any idea what he was doing at the time. He subcontracted out a good chunk of it to other academics. He would compile them all and then collect the balance as his fee as a middleman . That was very unusual."

A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election, including Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Halper's $411,575 award came three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by "Steele dossier" creator Christopher Steele . The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the largely unverified dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page.

The unassuming university professor approached Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016, six weeks after the September 26 DoD award start date. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails .

He said that he first encountered the informant during a conference in mid-July of 2016 and that they stayed in touch. The two later met several times in the Washington area. Mr. Page said their interactions were benign. - New York Times

And as the Daily Caller reported, Halper used a decades-old association with Paul Manafort to break the ice with Page.

Page noted that in their first conversation at Cambridge, Halper said he was longtime friends with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort . A person close to Manafort told TheDCNF that Manafort has not seen Halper since the Gerald Ford administration . Manafort and Page are accused in the Steele dossier of having worked together on the campaign's collusion conspiracy, but both men say they have never met. - Daily Caller

Halper would continue to spy on Page after the election. Two days after the second installment of Halper's 2016 DoD contract, On July 28, he emailed Page with what the Trump campaign aide describes as a "cordial" communication, which did not seem suspicious to him at the time.

In the email to Page, Halper asks what his plans are post-election, possibly probing for more information. " It seems attention has shifted a bit from the 'collusion' investigation to the ' contretempts' [sic] within the White House and, how--or if--Mr. Scaramucci will be accommodated there," Halper wrote.

Clinton connection

The other complaint lodged by Lovinger concerns a string of contracts totaling $11 million to Long Term Strategy Group - a D.C. consulting firm headed by self-described "best friend" of Chelseal Clinton, Jacqueline Newmyer Deal.

In October, the Washington Free Beacon reported that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings in 2009 between Deal and Pentagon officials to discuss contracts - to which Deal says no award "resulted directly or indirectly from the actions or influence of Secretary Clinton ."

According to one 2009 email, Clinton said she recommended Deal to Michele Flournoy, the newly installed undersecretary of defense for policy, who was seeking young women to mentor.

Deal, a specialist in China affairs who worked at the White House as a press aide for First Lady Clinton in the 1990s, wrote back to Clinton saying she would meet Flournoy on May 5, 2009, and stated "thank you very much for making this happen."

Later that month, Deal thanked Clinton for "all your encouragement and help with DoD, " shorthand for the Defense Department. - Free Beacon

In a statement, Deal said: "Jacqueline Deal and the Long Term Strategy Group (LTSG) are justifiably proud of their collaboration with the US Department of Defense across multiple administrations over the last two decades, beginning under the administration of President George W. Bush. LTSG's work has consistently earned the highest respect and confidence of its clientele in government and has won LTSG a reputation for producing research and analysis of exceptional quality."

[Aug 18, 2018] Manafort jury asks judge to leave early on second day of deliberations

Notable quotes:
"... If convicted on all counts, Mr Manafort could face a sentence of up to 305 years in prison based on the maximum for each count, with the most serious charge carrying up to 30 years. However, if convicted, he likely would be given between seven and 12 years, according to a range of estimates from three sentencing experts interviewed by Reuters. ..."
"... Meanwhile Mr Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.thenational.ae

Prosecutors accuse Mr Manafort of a complex effort to hide millions of dollars in income from Ukrainian politicians.

Mr Ellies earlier refused to release the names of jurors, saying he has received threats and fears for their safety as well.

The judge said he is currently under the protection of U.S. marshals. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he's been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.

President Trump earlier said the case was "sad" and described Mr Manafort as a "good person."

If convicted on all counts, Mr Manafort could face a sentence of up to 305 years in prison based on the maximum for each count, with the most serious charge carrying up to 30 years. However, if convicted, he likely would be given between seven and 12 years, according to a range of estimates from three sentencing experts interviewed by Reuters.

Meanwhile Mr Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"The government does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed, but respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration, within the applicable guidelines range of zero to six months imprisonment is appropriate and warranted," Mr Mueller said in the filing.

Mr Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to FBI agents investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 7.

[Aug 18, 2018] Too Big to Fail Russia-gate One Year After VIPS Showed a Leak, Not a Hack by Patrick Lawrence

Notable quotes:
"... Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century ..."
"... "Democrats are lipstick on a neocon pig. " ..."
"... The headline says it all? The Russiagate lie is "to big too fail" because if this shellgame hoax concocted by the Democratic Party to mask the very thing they are accusing Russia of doing, election meddling was ever exposed, the'd be finished, as a Political Party! ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

One year later, the VIPS memo contending that the DNC emails were leaked and not hacked has yet to be successfully challenged. Meanwhile, the country sinks deeper into the morass of the new McCarthyism, comments Patrick Lawrence.

A year has passed since highly credentialed intelligence professionals produced the first hard evidence that allegations of mail theft and other crimes attributed to Russia rested on purposeful falsification and subterfuge. The initial reaction to these revelations -- a firestorm of frantic denial -- augured ill, and the time since has fulfilled one's worst expectations. One year later we live within an institutionalized proscription of proven reality. Our discourse consists of a series of fence posts and taboos. By any detached measure, this lands us in deep, serious trouble. The sprawl of what we call "Russia-gate" now brings our republic and its institutions to a moment of great peril -- the gravest since the McCarthy years and possibly since the Civil War. No, I do not consider this hyperbole.

Much has happened since Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity published its report on intrusions into the Democratic Party's mail servers on Consortium News on July 24 last year. Parts of the intelligence apparatus -- by no means all or even most of it -- have issued official "assessments" of Russian culpability. Media have produced countless multi-part "investigations," "special reports," and what-have-yous that amount to an orgy of faulty syllogisms. Robert Mueller's special investigation has issued two sets of indictments that, on scrutiny, prove as wanting in evidence as the notoriously flimsy intelligence "assessment" of January 6, 2017.

Indictments are not evidence and do not need to contain evidence. That is supposed to come out at trial, which is very unlikely to ever happen. Nevertheless, the corporate media has treated the indictments as convictions.

Numerous sets of sanctions against Russia, individual Russians, and Russian entities have been imposed on the basis of this great conjuring of assumption and presumption. The latest came last week, when the Trump administration announced measures in response to the alleged attempt to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal, a former double agent and his daughter, in England last March. No evidence proving responsibility in the Skripal case has yet been produced. This amounts to our new standard. It prompted a reader with whom I am in regular contact to ask, "How far will we allow our government to escalate against others without proof of anything?"

This is a very good question.

Cover of 2001 book that looks back on the earlier period of anti-Russia hysteria.

There have been many attempts to discredit VIPS50 as the group's document is called. There has been much amateurish journalism, false reporting, misrepresentation, distortion, misquotation, and omission. We have been treated to much shoddy science, attempts at character assassination, a great deal of base name-calling, and much else. Russia is routinely advanced as the greatest threat to democracy Americans now face. Is there any denying that we live amid an induced hysteria now comparable to the "Red under every bed" period of the 1950s?

None of this has altered the basic case. VIPS and forensic scientists working with it have continued their investigations. New facts, some of which alter conclusions drawn last year, have come to light, and these are to be addressed. But the basic evidence that Russia-gate is a false narrative concocted by various constituents of national power stands, difficult as this is to discern. Scrape back all that is ethically unacceptable and unscrupulously conveyed into the public sphere and you find that nothing has changed: No one "hacked" the Democratic party's mail in the summer of 2016. It was leaked locally. From what one can make out, it was done to expose the party leadership's corrupt efforts to sink Bernie Sanders' insurgent campaign to win the Democratic nomination.

But in another, very profound way, more has changed since VIPS50 was published than one could have imagined a year ago. American discourse has descended to a dangerous level of irrationality. The most ordinary standards of evidentiary procedure are forgone. Many of our key institutions -- the foreign policy apparatus, the media, key intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, the political leadership -- are now extravagantly committed to a narrative none appears able to control. The risk of self-inflicted damage these institutions assume, should the truth of the Russia-gate events emerge -- as one day it surely will -- is nearly incalculable. This is what inspires my McCarthy and Civil War references. Russia-gate, in a phrase, has become too big to fail.

This column is an attack on no one. However it may be read, it is not intended as another round of vituperative argument adding to the din and fog we already suffer daily. No shred of ideology informs it. I write a lament -- this for all we have done to ourselves and our institutions this past year, and to the prospect of an orderly world, and for all that must somehow be done to repair the damage once enough of us indeed recognize what has been done.

New VIPS Findings

Binney: Dares anyone to prove remote speeds .

The forensic scientists working with VIPS continued their research and experiments after VIPS50 was published. So have key members of the VIPS group, notably William Binney, the National Security Agency's former technical director for global analysis and designer of programs the agency still uses to monitor internet traffic. Such work continues as we speak, indeed. This was always the intent: "Evidence to date" was the premise of VIPS50. Over the past year there have been confirmations of the original thesis and some surprises that alter secondary aspects of it. Let us look at the most significant of these findings.

At the time I reported on the findings of VIPS and associated forensic scientists, that the most fundamental evidence that the events of summer 2016 constituted a leak, not a hack, was the transfer rate -- the speed at which data was copied. The speed proven then was an average of 22.7 megabytes per second. That speed matches what is standard when someone with physical access uses an external storage device to copy data from a computer or server and is much faster than a remote hack, reliant on communications topology available at the time, could achieve.

Binney experimented into the autumn. By mid-autumn he had tested several routes -- from East Coast locations to cities in eastern Europe, from New Jersey to London. The fastest internet transfer speed achieved, during the New Jersey–to–Britain test, was 12.0 megabytes of data per second. Since this time it has emerged from G-2.0's metadata that the detected average speed -- the 22.7 megabytes per second -- included peak speeds that ran as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, impossible over the internet. "You'd need a dedicated, leased, 400–megabit line all the way to Russia to achieve that result," Binney said in a recent interview.

To my knowledge, no one with an understanding of the science involved, including various former skeptics, any longer questions the validity of the specific finding based on the observed transfer rate. That remains the bedrock evidence of the case VIPS and others advance without qualification. " No one -- including the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA -- has come out against this finding," Binney said Monday. "Anyone who says the speed we demonstrated can be achieved remotely, our position is 'Let's see it. We'll help any way we can.' There hasn't been anyone yet."

There is also the question of where and when leaks were executed. Research into this has turned out differently.

Evidence last year, based on analysis of the available metadata, showed that the copy operation date-stamped July 5, 2016, took place in the Eastern U.S. time zone. But Forensicator, one of the chief forensic investigators working on the mail-theft case anonymously, published evidence in May showing that while there was activity in the Eastern zone at the time of that copy, there was also a copy operation in the Pacific time zone, where clocks run three hours earlier that EST. In an earlier publication he had also reported activity in the Central time zone.

Plainly, more was awaiting discovery as to the when and where of the copy operations. The identity of Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be a Romanian hacker but which the latest Mueller indictment claims is a construct of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, has never been proven. The question is what G–2.0 did with or to the data in question. It turns out that both more, and less, is known about G–2.0 than was thought to have been previously demonstrated. This work has been completed only recently. It was done by Binney in collaboration with Duncan Campbell, a British journalist who has followed the Russia-gate question closely.

Peak Speed Established

Binney visited Campbell in Brighton, England, early this past spring. They examined all the metadata associated with the files G–2.0 has made public. They looked at the number of files, the size of each, and the time stamps at the end of each. It was at this time that Binney and Campbell established the peak transfer rate at 49.1 megabytes per second.

But they discovered something else of significance, too. At some point G–2.0 had merged two sets of data, one dated July 5, 2016, which had been known, and another dated the following September 1, which had not been known. In essence, Campbell reverse-engineered G–2.0's work: He took the sets of data G–2.0 presented as two and combined them back into one. "G–2.0 used an algorithm to make a downloaded file look like two files," Binney explained. "Those two shuffled back together like a deck of cards."

G–2.0 then took another step. Running another algorithm, he changed all the dates on all the files. With yet another algorithm, he changed the hours stamped on each file. These are called "range changes" among the professionals. The conclusion was then obvious: G–2.0 is a fabrication and a fabricator. Forensicator had already proven that the G–2.0 entity had inserted Russian "fingerprints" into the document known as the "Trump Opposition Report," which G-2.0 had published on June 15, 2016. It is clear that no firm conclusions can be drawn at this point as to when or where G–2.0 did what he did.

" Now you need to prove everything you might think about him," Binney told me. "We have no way of knowing anything about him or what he has done, apart from manipulating the files. We detected activity in the Eastern time zone. Now we have to ask again, 'Which time zone?' The West Coast copy operation [discovered by Forensicator] has to be proven. All the data has been manipulated. It's a fabrication."

This throws various things into question. The conclusions initially drawn on time and location in VIPS50 are now subject to these recent discoveries. "In retrospect, giving 'equal importance' status to data pertaining to the locale was mistaken," Ray McGovern, a prominent VIPS member, wrote in a recent note. "The key finding on transfer speed always dwarfed it in importance."

The indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers announced in mid–July by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney-general, also come into question. They rest in considerable part on evidence derived from G–2.0 and DCLeaks, another online persona. How credible are those indictments in view of what is now known about G–2.0?

Binney told me: "Once we proved G–2.0 is a fabrication and a manipulator, the timing and location questions couldn't be answered but really didn't matter. I don't right now see a way of absolutely proving either time or location. But this doesn't change anything. We know what we know: The intrusion into the Democratic National Committee mail was a local download -- wherever 'local' is." That doesn't change. As to Rosenstein, he'll have a lot to prove."

What Role does Evidence Play?

Rosenstein at the Justice Department on July 13 announcing indictments against 12 GRU agents. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rosenstein's predicament -- and there is no indication he understands it as one -- brings us to an essential problem: What is the place of evidence in American public discourse? Of rational exchange?

The questions are germane far beyond the Russia-gate phenomenon, but it is there that answers are most urgent. What is implicit in the Rosenstein indictments has been evident everywhere in our public sphere for a year or more: Make a presumption supported by circumstantial evidence or none and build other presumptions upon it until a false narrative is constructed. The press has deployed this device for as long as I have been a practitioner: "Might" or "could" or "possibly" becomes "perhaps," "probably" and "almost certainly," and then moves on to unqualified fact in the course of, maybe, several weeks. Now this is how our most basic institutions -- not least agencies of the Justice Department -- routinely operate.

This is what I mean when I refer to ours as a republic in peril.

There is the argument that certain things have been uncovered over the past year, and these are enough to conclude that Russia plots to undermine our democracy. I refer to the small number of Facebook advertisements attributed to Russians, to strings of Twitter messages, to various phishing exercises that occur thousands of times a day the world over. To be clear, I am no more satisfied with the evidence of Russian involvement in these cases than I am with the evidence in any other aspect of the Russia-gate case. But for the sake of argument, let us say it is all true.

Does this line up with the Russophobic hysteria -- not too strong a term -- that envelops us? Does this explain the astonishing investments our public institutions, the press, and leading political parties have made in advancing this hysteria as they did a variant of in the 1950s?

As global politics go, some serious thought should be given to a reality we have created all by ourselves: It is now likely that America has built a new Cold War division with Russia that will prove permanent for the next 20 to 30 years. All this because of some Facebook ads and Twitter threads of unproven origin? Am I the only one who sees a weird and worrisome gap between what we are intent on believing -- as against thinking or knowing -- and the consequences of these beliefs?

There was an orthodoxy abroad many centuries ago called Fideism. In the simplest terms, it means the privileging of faith and belief over reason. It was the enemy of individual conscience, among much else. Fideism has deep roots, but it was well around in the 16 th century, when Montaigne and others had to navigate its many dangers. Closer to our time, William James landed a variant on American shores with an 1896 address called "The Will to Believe." Bertrand Russell countered this line of thinking a couple of decades later with "Free Thought and Official Propaganda," a lecture whose title I will let speak for itself. Twenty years ago, none other than Pope John Paul II warned of a resurgence of Fideism. It is still around, in short.

Do we suffer from it? A variant of it, I would say, if not precisely in name. There seems to be a givenness to it in the American character. I think we are staring into a 21 st century rendition of it.

To doubt the hollowed-out myth of American innocence is a grave sin against the faith. It is now unpatriotic to question the Russia-gate narrative despite the absence of evidence to support it. Informal censorship of differing perspectives is perfectly routine. It is now considered treasonous to question the word of intelligence agencies and the officials who lead them despite long records of deceit. Do we forget that it was only 15 years ago that these same institutions and people deceived us into an invasion of Iraq the consequences of which still persist?

This was the question Craig Murray, the former British diplomat (who has vital information on the DNC mail theft but who has never been interviewed by American investigators) posed a few weeks ago. Eugene Robinson gave a good-enough reply in a Washington Post opinion piece shortly afterward: "God Bless the Deep State," the headline read.

How we got here deserves a work of social psychology, and I hope someone takes up the task. Understanding our path into our self-created crisis seems to me the first step to finding our way out of it.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us . Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist .


Gerry L Forbes , August 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm

  1. Can the DNC server be used to convict anybody but the DNC and Crowdstrike since they refused to let the FBI examine the server, breaking the chain of custody? About the indictments handed down so far all one can really say is "luncheon is served!" ("Any good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich"). And how is lying to the FBI a crime unless it meets the standard of obstruction of justice? Do they put you under oath before questioning you? Isn't this just an infringement of Fifth Amendment rights? Must be one of Schumer's six ways from Sunday.
  2. The amount of discord sown by Russian trolls probably pales in comparison to that sown by American trolls and wouldn't even register compared to the discord sown by daily headlines screaming about Russian meddling.
  3. The solution is to teach critical thinking but this will not happen because it is not in the interests of politicians, lobbyists, or advertisers and the businesses that these groups serve.Even Harvard University prefers to protect its students from "fake news' by censorship rather than education.
Rob , August 17, 2018 at 12:50 pm

"Lying" to the FBI is exactly how they indicted Michael Flynn. His interrogators asked questions to which they already had the answers (via telephone taps), and when he gave them wrong information, they nailed him. For all we know, he simply forgot specific details in giving his answers and was not trying to deceive, but that possibility seems to be beside the point. This is a common tactic that the FBI uses to induce suspects and witnesses to cooperate. Clever, but backhanded, IMO

irina , August 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm

1981 is not 2018.

And you might want to google 'Clinton Body Count' if you're worried about politicos offing people. In fact, a young woman investigating Bill Clinton's sexual shenanigans just got dead rather suspiciously . . .

For those who are so vituperative about Vladimir Putin, I say "Be careful what you wish for". We can only hope his successor is as unflappable as he seems to be. (By the way, during your trip did you learn anything about the Siege of Leningrad in WW2 ?) Did you know that Putin's parents lived through that siege, and that his older brother died in childhood as a result of being young and starving during the siege ?

I live in Alaska and remember the 'Golden Samovar Service' offered by Alaska Airlines in the late 1980's (direct flights to the Russian Far East). Now, we must fly almost all the way around the world to get to Siberia. How does that make sense ?

Kay , August 15, 2018 at 11:39 am

What is astonishing to me is how anyone could have believed this hoax in the first place, particularly when the Democratic party literally admitted it chooses candidates in backroom deals. It is lobbyists, defense contractors, corporations & the Israeli lobby that owns our politicians. Russia gate is also a smokescreen that covers up another foreign government interfering in our own & in our elections. Trumps largest donor is Sheldon Adelson, Israeli billionaire. We have 89 members of Congress who are dual Israelis and we just gave that fascist, genocidal state 38 BILLION in welfare. All our wars have been for the colonial expansion of greater Israel and the new NDAA literally authorizes war with Iran, on behalf of Israel & Saudi Arabia of course.

I was present throughput the 2016 election and witnessed the fraud by Clinton the DNC & the FBI's downgrading of Clinton crime was obvioua. Where in the hell was everyone else? Democrats wanted Clinton & her intelligence agency crowd because WAR WAS ASSURED. Democrats are addicted to war & militarism. I still meet people who had no idea that Obama was involved in five wars, with Clinton help!! And if they do know they don't CARE.

Democrats are lipstick on a neocon pig. Their love for war & continued denial about their corruption will continue to see them lose election after election. In a recent Gallop poll, Russia was at the bottom of the list of concerns for respondents. Democrats do not talk to their base. They talk at them with Russiagate. It's old. I do believe the lies will be revealed and I believe that more in America know what's really going on than not. 62 percent of Americans don't vote. There is a reason for that. In another recent poll 56 percent of Americans want normalized relations with Russia. It's the elite that are,driving us to war.

The question is what will we do to stop it

Ed , August 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm

"Democrats are lipstick on a neocon pig. "

True, and let's not forget that the original neocons were Scoop Jackson democrats who infiltrated the GOP and now infest both parties.

KiwiAntz , August 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

The headline says it all? The Russiagate lie is "to big too fail" because if this shellgame hoax concocted by the Democratic Party to mask the very thing they are accusing Russia of doing, election meddling was ever exposed, the'd be finished, as a Political Party!

So the lie must go on using Russia as the scapegoat to divert public attention from Democrats colluding with the Intelligence Agencies to firstly get rid of Bernie Saunders as a Presidential Candidate then to get dirt on Trump in a attempt to conduct a soft coup to oust him from office! The corruption of the Democratic Party & the entire American establishment, comprised of its Corporate, Financial, Political, MIC & Intelligence Agencies in lockstep with a insidious MSM propagandist arm is now, so corrupt, evil & ingrained, that there's no hope for its citizens who now live in a Stasi, Gestopo, Fascist Country whose Leaders are blaming Russia for everything to distract attention away from their race to the bottom, deathcult ambitions & their willing to risk Nuclear War with Russia too advance their lunatic plans! America is lost as a Country with no hope, no values & certainly has no moral compass or conscience

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:22 am

This is exactly how it is at present. It is a signal disgrace and war crimes, such as the Yemen thing and suggested wars with Iran and elsewhere are the inevitable outgrowth of this situation.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Hillary Clinton's record is of mass murder and chaos and coups

What do you think all of this is about

Afghanistan Iraq Syria Libya Iran Etc

It all a proxy war with Russia It's about pipelines and Europe and keeping the USA in the Middle East

Top US General Warns Syrian "No-Fly" Zone Means War with Russia

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.globalresearch.ca/top-us-general-warns-syrian-no-fly-zone-means-war-with-russia/5547581/amp https://www.google.com/amp/ Hillary wanted the no fly zone and called Putin Hitler

michael , August 15, 2018 at 5:30 am

The Clintons abrogated the Reagan agreements with Gorbachev to keep NATO to the west of reunified Germany, ringing Russia with NATO bases and provoking Russian actions. American and British oligarchs (like Bill Browder) descended on Russia under American puppet Yeltsin to plunder Russia, along with quick study Russian oligarchs (many of whom fled to the West, particularly to London, with the money). Putin put an end to that, and the Clintons had a conniption, since they were counting on fortunes for themselves. Clintons delivered the meaningless Kosova war, as well as in Chinagate, offshoring our technology technology jobs to permanent free trade status China, which was designed to further pressure Russia but may come back to haunt us, as did the Clintons' repeal of Glass Steagall in 2008. Putin is popular for reversing much of what the Clintons' did to Russia, and Russian life expectancy has gone up by 5 years since 2005 (American life expectancy has declined, and is below the OECD countries in aggregate).

GKJames , August 15, 2018 at 6:53 am

I recognize that hyperbole is the order of the day. But to lay at Clinton's feet responsibility for "mass murder [really??] and chaos and coups" in the countries you identify surely is carrying your highly selective rage too far. If memory serves, it was some other guy who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. As for her "call[ing] Putin Hitler," what she in fact said was that Putin's actions in Ukraine -- the purported protection of the ethnic Russian minority in the east of the country in order to justify the use of military force there -- was similar to what Hitler h

Keith , August 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm

According to Bill Binney in an interview with Jimmy Dore ( https://youtu.be/JHZXVWUxxDU ), Guccifer 2.0 released two batches of data, one on 5 July 2016 and a second on 1 Sept 2016. "But if you look at that data a little closer," Binney said, "and you ignore the hour and the day, and just look at minutes, seconds, and milliseconds, [you can take those] two data sets and shuffle them like a deck of cards. They fit together into one dataset without conflict." So there was one continuous set of data. In other words, G-2.0 got hold of one dataset, but wanted it to appear as two different hacks. Binney doesn't deviate from the claim that the speed of the download means it was done "locally"–not over the internet–but that we don't know where "local" was (it wasn't necessarily done at the DNC). As for the possibility that the dataset was hacked over the internet, then moved locally at the much faster speed, I'd guess that the VIPS would have identified that possibility. If G-2.0 were so unsophisticated as to change dates and hours, but ignore minutes, seconds, and milliseconds, G-2.0 might have overlooked any evidence that the dataset had also been moved previously over a slower internet transfer–and VIPS is sharp enough to have picked that up. If such evidence could easily be removed, surely VIPS would have pointed out that possibility.

JWalters , August 14, 2018 at 9:02 pm

The main defense against the VIPS download speed analysis is the claim that the files might have been stolen from the DNC server over the internet at the slower speed, and then copied to a thumb drive at the faster speed. I'd like to hear how VIPS would dispute that theory.

In any case, there is a great deal of additional evidence that the theft was an inside job, including Julian Assange and Craig Murry saying the emails came to Wikileaks from a disgruntled insider, and even Leon Podesta speculating that it was insider.

Rob Roy , August 14, 2018 at 10:56 pm

The were leaked. JULIAN ASSANGE HAS SAID SO MANY TIMES. Why do you think he is now isolated from the world? Now I hear he's considering taking an offer to testify and I'm worried about his mental state. Maybe someone in isolation who goes "stir crazy" would be willing to do anything to get out of it. No, that can't be right. He's never caved before.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 5:55 am

As Federal judge William Zloch told Bernie supporters when they sued the Hillary DNC for stealing the primaries and their donations, the DNC is NOT a government entity. The DNC is NOT a public institution. The DNC IS a private club which by some arcane corrupt rule befitting a Banana Republic allows it to put forth one of essentially only two candidates for President. If there was any crime committed in this "matter" the FBI would have been all over those servers and computers like white on rice. You cannot have it both ways. As it is, there is no chain of custody for any possible evidence, and as Hillary has said many times, No Evidence Means No Crime.

Gary Weglarz , August 14, 2018 at 4:37 pm

It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the "Russiagate" nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence. They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands.

I will say that the amount of mental gymnastics required to continue not believing evidence that is right in front of one's eyes is quite impressive – but I'd never underestimate the American people's creativity when they want to maintain their illusions/delusions. And I'd certainly never underestimate the Russiagate troll army's persistence.

At this rate I expect to soon encounter some version of the following "observation" in the comments section for this article: – "maybe space aliens hired by the Russians downloaded the files to a to a new fangled thig-a-ma-jig and then shape-shifted so Craig Murray would be fooled into thinking a real-like-human insider provided him the files on a flash drive." – "oh, oh, wait, maybe the aliens abducted Murray too, and then just made him "think" a fellow human gave him the drive in person." "yeah, yeah, and maybe Assange just says he didn't get the files from the Russians because "he's a space alien too." "Yeah, prove to me that it didn't happen this way – you can't – ha! there! I win!"

Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:06 am

"Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives.

[Aug 18, 2018] "DNC server hack" was an insider transfer. Insider dead. Dead men tell no tales and so far, neither does Wikileaks

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

StarGate -> valjoux7750 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:41 Permalink

Double pronged exercise: 1) Start war with Russia, steal its oil, break into tiny States to destroy its power; 2) Destroy Trump as enemy of globalist world domination and USA disintegration plan.

MSM propaganda arm to sell (1) and (2).

These retired Intel specialists keep interfering in the game and interjecting inconvenient facts:

DNC server never hacked by Russia or anyone. It was an insider transfer. Insider dead. Dead men tell no tales and so far, neither does Wikileaks.

currency Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:12 Permalink

VIPS is doing some excellent work and they show what really happened while Rosenstein is out to Lunch, Sessions is deaf dumb and blind - useless - both Sessions and Rosenstein need to go.

Muller does not care and he is not interested in the truth and is ignoring the facts and the corruption in the FBI/DOJ - Muller and his band of Clinton Loyalist are trying to frame Trump.

StarGate -> currency Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:50 Permalink

Rosenstein and Mueller KNOW the DNC server was not hacked by Russia or by anyone. Insider transfer. So are they working for HilBarry? Or is this a magic act?

What Sessions is doing is unknown. He knows he was set up by Barry sending the Russian ambassador to his office and by (FBI? Spy) Paul Ericsson offering to connect campaign thru him to Russia. He had to recuse or be in the midst of the mess. Does he have a plan? - we don't know.

quasi_verbatim Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

It's not Russiagate, it's Americagate and it's your problem, not ours.

The only significant remaining question is whether you fade gracefully from the page of History or whether you take the Samson Option and we all go out flash-bang.

Taras Bulba Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

I have a ton of respect for Binney. Regardless as to how fucked up this country is and its govt, there are still people who will step up and try to set the record straight.

Cloud9.5 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

Joseph Goebbels was indeed a genius. Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and it becomes the accepted truth.

TradingTroll -> Cloud9.5 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:42 Permalink

Not really true, that statement.

If you put a camera in front of a bunch of randomly selected Americans and ask them to state their name and where they live, before answering if they voted for Trump, you get a lot of No replies.

Now do the same questioning anonymously. The number of Nos drops.

This is the gaping hole in Goebbels argument. Anonymous polls can get closer to the truth. Then the "accepted truth" is challenged, as in 9-11.

Goebbels=too much hubris.

bh2 -> Cloud9.5 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 23:12 Permalink

It was Hitler who endorsed the Big Lie technique. Goebbels was much more subtle.

He would laugh at amateurs whose propaganda is so absurdly vulnerable to conclusive falsification by objective facts.

MrBoompi Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:34 Permalink

"There has been much amateurish journalism, false reporting, misrepresentation, distortion, misquotation, and omission." In other words, the CIA was behind this.

hooligan2009 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:43 Permalink

so... the upshot is that G.2 and DCLeaks fabricated the leak as a hack AND the tools to do this and to fabricate signatures/date stamps etc existed in the CIA (proven here: https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/index.html ) and possibly MI6, but not in Russia, or Romania?

the CIA has "stations" all over the world?

looks like a few facebook and twitter posts have resulted in the alphabet soup, deep state, DNC and MSM spending tens of billions of dollars pushing a false agenda against russia AND have caused hundreds of billions of exra dollars on military expenditure and extra security globally.

in which case, they have won by further diverting taxes away from taxpayers and increasing debt where insufficient taxes remain/ed.

bh2 -> hooligan2009 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 23:15 Permalink

Binney has said if the evidence shows the Russians did it, the Russians didn't do it.

This may be a good principle to apply even to things like Facebook ads, etc.

malcolmevans Fri, 08/17/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

The fact that the files were downloaded from the DNC computer, and not hacked from abroad, should be the key to unlocking Clinton conspiracies that would destroy large portions of the Democrat establishment if revealed.

schroedingersrat Fri, 08/17/2018 - 05:01 Permalink

I can achieve up to 1 Gbit/s up & downstream. The average up/downstream is probably quite a bit lower but +50mb/s is probably average. So i lol at the VIPS LOL

JerseyJoe -> schroedingersrat Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:32 Permalink

Really!?! From what point to what point? Compressed or uncompressed? Fiber or Coax drop?

Laugh all you want - you come off as an idiot because you probably are.

Misean -> schroedingersrat Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

Ignorance is bliss. 1 Gb/s = 128MB/s. 50mb/s = 6.25MB/s.

http://www.netmeter.eu

Server:Russia Moscow

Download speed (down)

on 1 thread:0,64 Mbit/s (0,08 MB/s | 640,82 kbit/s)

on more threads:33,84 Mbit/s (4,23 MB/s | 33 838,65 kbit/s)

Upload speed (upload)

on 1 thread:8,47 Mbit/s (1,06 MB/s | 8 467,03 kbit/s)

Sorry dipshit. Just because a connection from your ISP to pr0nHub is fast doesn't make it fast worldwide. 8.47Mb/s = ~1MB/s.

VIPS is very clear they are talking MEGABYTES / s not megaBITS /s. 1BYTE = 8BITS.

Go pull your head out of your ass dumbf*ck

onasip123 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 07:18 Permalink

The Russia-gate narrative pushers aren't interested in the truth.

They're only interested in sowing discord and chaos to distract from crimes of sedition.

East Indian Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:35 Permalink

The poison of partisan propaganda dumped into American polity to prevent the prosecution of the guilty (for illegally spying on Trump campaign and the assorted crimes associated with it, including the murder of Seth Rich) will continue to foul the atmosphere for decades. The fight is certainly between an unelected octopus that has captured all the three wings of American polity, and a determined if not well armed citizens. The end is not near.

There is a small, nice book by C Northecote Parkinson, "The Law and the Profits". He describes how in 1909 the British empire started a simultaneous course of welfare state and empire building warfare state bureacracy, and how it eventually bankrupted the people by 1945. America started its own version with L B Johnson's Great Society and Vietnam War. Since American economy was much bigger the dichotomous struggle has lasted much longer. But now the time to choose one over another is at hand. Candidate Trump advocated trimming the warfare state more and first. But President Trump is sending mixed signals.

The only saving grace is the self aware American citizenry and its capacity to reform itself.

[Aug 18, 2018] Coup d' tat is such an ugly word

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

JoeTurner Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

Coup d'état is such an ugly word. I prefer "domestic insurgent contingency operation"

[Aug 18, 2018] Whataboutism charge

Notable quotes:
"... It's not what aboutism it's called having consistency and principles. It's like Jack the Ripper calling Ted Kennedy a murderer. It matters if both sides are doing deals with Russia and only one has proved collusion with Russia government officials ..."
"... Your new Mcarthyism isn't working but nice try since it's all you have to offer ..."
"... Whataboutism is a call out for hypocrisy. It wasn't invented by the Russians. It was in use by a carpenter over two-thousand years ago: "Why do you call out for a dust mote in my eye when there is a log in yours?" ..."
"... Nothing new under the sun. ..."
"... Kind of like What about Russian interference in our Elections? Whatabout that, as a clear and dangerous deflection from Hillary taking blame for her incompetent and corrupt 2016 campaigns? ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

O Society , August 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

"What about Clinton?" is an example of Whataboutism, which is a classic Russian propaganda technique used to divert attention away from the relevant subject, statement, argument, etc at hand with an accusation of hypocrisy.

It takes the form, "What about _______?"

Whataboutism is a type of psychological projection. It uses blame shifting to attribute wrong doing or some character defect to someone else with a goal of sabotaging the conversation by steering the speaker to become defensive.

On the playground, the kids call it "I know you are, but what am I?"

I have no idea whether any of this Russiagate stuff is real. We have seen no evidence, so I remain skeptical until someone shows actual evidence of Trump-Putin collusion.

However, I do know where Donald Trump got a bunch of his money, and where he and his followers got Whataboutism.

A Guide to Russian Propaganda

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Shouldn't that be "A Guide to Ukrainian Propaganda"?

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 9:20 pm

It seems to me that jean agreed with your characterisation of Trump and in no way was trying to sabotage the conversation. jean referenced some facts about characters relevant to the broader topic.

I would contend that every time I've heard the cry of "well, that's just whataboutism", the purpose of that claim has been to avoid addressing the points made–thus sabotaging further engagement or conversation.

So now, after all this time, you still "have no idea" whether Russiagate nonsense is real–what a fine fence-straddler you are. And then to suggest that "whataboutism" is made in Russia and slyly connect that to "Trump and his followers" -- well, you just lost me brother.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:05 pm

lol

It's not what aboutism it's called having consistency and principles. It's like Jack the Ripper calling Ted Kennedy a murderer. It matters if both sides are doing deals with Russia and only one has proved collusion with Russia government officials

That would be Hillary

I understand why you would want to deflect from that but it won't change the facts

Your new Mcarthyism isn't working but nice try since it's all you have to offer

zendeviant , August 15, 2018 at 5:30 am

Whataboutism is a call out for hypocrisy. It wasn't invented by the Russians. It was in use by a carpenter over two-thousand years ago: "Why do you call out for a dust mote in my eye when there is a log in yours?"

Nothing new under the sun.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 5:33 am

Kind of like What about Russian interference in our Elections? Whatabout that, as a clear and dangerous deflection from Hillary taking blame for her incompetent and corrupt 2016 campaigns?

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 6:38 am

and her incompetent and corrupt tenure as secretary of state which gave so many people a really good idea of what her presidency would look like.

Nop , August 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm

The accusation "whataboutism" just a childish way of trying to deny the point of view of rival interests. Like plugging your ears and chanting "la la la".

[Aug 18, 2018] Twitter censorship is not surprising, but Trump usage of Twitter is

Notable quotes:
"... Can someone explain this to me like I'm 5. Some poor slub, baker in Colorado is forced to make a cake for some homos (I say it with love) because he violated their constitutional right of equal protection. But, twitter and Facebook can ban and censor free speech in violation of the constitution. The baker is privately owned and the propaganda companies are public, what's the deal? ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

TheSilentMajority -> Baron von Bud Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

Trump needs to immediately stop supporting the Twitter platform and switch to another platform for all his messaging.

Twitter was actually going bankrupt before trump ran for office.

Now twitter survives only because of Trumps' tweets. Yet twitter bans/censors all other "conservative" views.

#trumpdumpstwitter

MuffDiver69 -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

He should promote a new one alongside twitter and Facebook at the least....

inosent -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:00 Permalink

That is a very good idea. Trump's use of another honest 'platform' would be one heluvan endorsement, which is what the alt - twitters need, lacking all the (((billions))) the big (((3))) were given (which is why we know all about them but not so much the honest, free speech alternatives)

trippy1 -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:02 Permalink

Go to GAB.ai!!! #trumpdumptwitter

HisBoyElroy -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

Can someone explain this to me like I'm 5. Some poor slub, baker in Colorado is forced to make a cake for some homos (I say it with love) because he violated their constitutional right of equal protection. But, twitter and Facebook can ban and censor free speech in violation of the constitution. The baker is privately owned and the propaganda companies are public, what's the deal?

the artist -> HisBoyElroy Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:51 Permalink

Because as it stands these companies are private entities that can do whatever they want shy of discriminating against a person of one of several protected classes for one of several activities.

If the baker refused to bake a cake for the Log Cabin Republicans on the grounds that they were republicans then everything is cool. but if he refused on the grounds that they are " Log Cabins " then that aint cool.

Capiche

HisBoyElroy -> the artist Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

Still doesn't compute to me.... certain groups have only attained "protected " status due to the constitutional interpretation of "equal protection " .... in other words they are only protected because their constitutional rights may have been violated. How is the social media banning and censorship of groups not a violation of their constitutional rights, as long as they don't advocate violence?

the artist -> HisBoyElroy Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:51 Permalink

Although political speech is protected speech, there is no requirement for private organizations to honor the same code that the central state must honor. If Twitter banned you because you were black, white or gay then you would have a case.

And you DONT want it that way. This is a moral panic not unlike the Red Scare of the 50's, the Satanic Panic of the 80s. In both cases there was a grain of truth that was used to employ broad sweeping over-reactions from people and corporations. They were both eventually replaced with the exact opposite of their stated goals.

If you started a media company you do not want the gov telling you that you must publish one thing or another.

Do not worry. This will blow up spectacularly. We are witnessing the last gasps of Legacy Media. They have become irrelevant. The future is the Wild West of Information. There will be a tipping point soon when the body politic suddenly wakes up and rejects the old way and realizes that what we crave for news and entertainment is On Another Channel. That channel will be Alt-Tech.

Alt-Tech will not contain CNN, Fox News et al. They will be outcompeted by the truth and actual investigative journalism and gritty-pulpy entertainment that is ALL against the TOS of the Legacy Tech giants.

You-tube, Twitter will go the way of Facebook where anyone with a brain knows that they are riddled with zombie accounts. Advertisers will flee (as they have already begun to do) and the architecture of Soc. Media will change forever. That is the future. Prepare for it.

Do not fall for the public utilities angle. These companies live by the sword and they will die by the sword. What develops out of their demise needs to be unfettered and pure.

Look to the giant creators like Pewdiepie and Alex Jones to get together and join en mass an Alt-tech social media site. The two of them together have more subscribers/fans than ALL of the cable pundits COMBINED.

the artist -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:46 Permalink

YES YES YES!!!

Calling Peter Thiel...Put together an alt-social media site and Trump can promote it by cross posting his messages there. Only he won't post them ALL...

The really good ones he will post on Alt-Tech and force the world to bend.

This raises another point. The true power of Trump and social media is the power of the Boycott. Trump can destroy Billion dollar industries with a single message.

Trump, with this power can be the first president that continues to rule after office via social media. THAT my friends is the thing that scares the living shit out of the deep state. It is exactly what Barry Soweto Wanted to do but was thwarted at the last minute. It is the reason they are turning themselves inside out to silence the groundswell.

Something wicked this way comes for NWO Globalist Vampires.

[Aug 17, 2018] FBI Forensic labs are shit and dishonest. They had 20 years of cases reviewed because of their false testimony on hair matching.

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Abaco -> Yellow_Snow Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:15 Permalink

FBI Forensic labs are shit and dishonest. They had 20 years of cases reviewed because of their false testimony on hair matching. Went into court swearing that dog hair was an exact match to the suspects.

FBI forensics are nothing more than a bullshit factory for manufacturing convictions.

What is the science behind ballistic "matching" of a bullet to a gun? Just a carefully constructed lie. They imply every gun bullet combination is unique. There is NO scientific basis for claiming that. In other words a "match" might be correct but the "match" might also apply to a shitload of other weapons. Those lying fucks go into court every day and bullshit juries.

What is the science behind claiming every fingerprint is unique? Most people believe that bullshit but there is no science behind it.

What do you make of this exchange?

The only part of the FBI that might not be corrupted is their efforts against sex trafficking. But even their anti child molesting activity isn't worth much because all they do is get perverts downloading images and videos. They don't go after the actual molesters because almost always has to be a state thing. Resources given to the FBI for this would be better handled at the state level.

[Aug 17, 2018] But if you have ever managed to think yourself into the criminal mind, you will understand that it is precisely the fact that he was NOT subject to any comeback that made the whole thing such fun

Notable quotes:
"... ...Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different? ..."
"... People often wonder why psychopathic sadists enjoy torturing their victims, when presumably they have enough cognitive empathy to appreciate how terrible the suffering is. ..."
"... But that is WHY the sadists enjoy their activities so much. What they do to their victims is so unendurable, yet someone is having to endure it – and that somebody is not the perpetrator. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

David G August 14, 2018 at 2:45 am ...Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different? Reply


AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

"Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs" – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different?

Yup, got lots of laughs from his fellow members of the club that were coconspirators.

Had he tried that joke around veterans and the families of casualties of that whole criminal adventure I doubt he would have made it out alive.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:57 am

Had he tried that joke around any of the millions of victims of his criminal aggression or their familes and friends, I am sure he would not have made it out alive.

But if you have ever managed to think yourself into the criminal mind, you will understand that it is precisely the fact that he was NOT subject to any comeback that made the whole thing such fun.

People often wonder why psychopathic sadists enjoy torturing their victims, when presumably they have enough cognitive empathy to appreciate how terrible the suffering is.

But that is WHY the sadists enjoy their activities so much. What they do to their victims is so unendurable, yet someone is having to endure it – and that somebody is not the perpetrator.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 4:51 am

I've never tried to think myself into the criminal mind. And, I thank you for the insight. I have had someone try to kill me. Someone that has killed at least one person before by his own admission. It changes you forever.

[Aug 17, 2018] The roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News

Notable quotes:
"... I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism. ..."
"... Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/ ..."
"... the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended). ..."
"... I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target. ..."
"... I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

jaycee , August 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News. The policy – isolate Russia as a pariah nation – was set before the Maidan events reached their resolution. Victoria Nuland's "f -- - the EU" rant was in response to efforts to mediate the situation and possibly spoil or derail the plans. IMHO, the Russian response to the violent coup was fully expected by the Americans to have been a tanks-in-the streets-Czechoslovakia-1968 scenario, and yet all they got was a Crimean referendum and a frozen stalemate in eastern Ukraine. Still, policy being policy, NATO reacted as if there had been a full invasion regardless.

Anecdotally, conversations I've had with intelligent, progressive, good-hearted persons suggests the election of Trump has in effect destabilized their critical thinking abilities. This has opened up the space in which the worst aspects of Cold War 2.0 have flourished. In their minds, the urgent need to remove Trump by any means, fair or foul, fully overwhelms any other priorities, including objective consideration of the current moment.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:14 pm

I think you are right about Ukraine. I also recall that everything went downhill after Putin negotiated for Assad to give up all Syria's chemical weapons. Which gave cause to believe Putin was being punished for interfering in the Coalitions schemes. I think Robert Parry sighted that as well.

No matter jaycee I too believe that Ukraine was where the U.S. fired the first bullet. This New World Order the U.S. represents doesn't negotiate, no instead it's either our way or no way, is the mantra of the tribe. Joe

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I wrote a response jaycee that went to the wind . What I was saying was Putin got punished with the uprising in Ukraine after he pulled Assad out of the chemical weapons debate. Joe

Suggestion the Consortium needs to get this comment boards algorithm problem figured out.

Sibiriak , August 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

Jaycee:

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014 "
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism.

Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/

OlyaPola , August 14, 2018 at 4:42 am

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014,"

As in statistics perceived trajectories are functions of framing including evaluation horizons.

From inception, and through declarations such as the Monroe doctrine, some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have perceived others as simultaneously existential threats and existential opportunities.

These existential threats and opportunities have been facilitated and acted upon as functions of perceived needs and opportunities.

The targets and modes of activation of these perceived needs and opportunities have varied according to perceived needs and opportunities, sometimes using the tactics of "hot wars" and sometimes using the tactics of "cold wars".

Some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have correctly perceived others as existential threats and opportunities to/for them given their socio-economic system and its perceived requirements – the functions of the "other" being multi-various – the definition of the "others" include but are not necessarily restricted to those of difference within and without the "United States of America".

Some in the Soviet Union in the early 1970's attempted to conflate "strategy" with "tactics" and decided to forget notions of existential threat and perceive only existential opportunity through conflation, thereby facilitating detente on the basis of spheres of influence.

War is not restricted to things that go bang but restricted to forms of coercion.

The misrepresentation "cold war", which was never cold but sometimes engaged through proxies, was/is a context specific tactic.

Some are of the view that the ends justify the means instead of understanding that means condition ends, and consequently some facilitate and rely upon increasing the conflation of strategy with tactics increasing the sum, motivations, and resolve of the "others", thereby conditioning strategy through accelerating, continuing and expanding existential threats.

Those who engage in such self-delusion were not/are not restricted to the misrepresentation "United States of America" but as Thucydides and others were aware, have been/are generally restricted to those who perceive others as existential opportunities and threats.

Some others correctly assess the misrepresentation "United States of America" to be more a land of opportunity than an existential threat.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:48 am

I agree with your comment. A good precis. And the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia.

Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended).

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

jaycee-

I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target.

Aime Duclos , August 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Yes, Skip, when the West's pillaging and looting of Putin's country was stopped, the one percent was not amused. Add to that NATO's constant march up to Russia's borders, the threat to and actual placement of "defensive" missles on Russia's border.

The last straw was the US orchestrated coup in it's next NATO prize for acquisition Ukraine. Putin reacted as any leader would, and with restraint I might add.

Yet somehow all this proves Putin is a thug? It's been a calculated drive to this new Cold War. The MIC is having it's way.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions.

[Aug 17, 2018] EXCLUSIVE FULL UNEDITED Interview of Putin with NBC's Megyn Kelly - YouTube

Mar 10, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Nicholas Petrov , 5 months ago

Why did Megan Kelly cut out the part of the interview all the time what for?! Why did she interview him then?! nonsense. PS Russia Insider thank you for the full video

Vikram Nandakumaran , 4 months ago

The best part starts at 5.00 min mark where putin explains the stupidity of megyn Kelly by saying your story is for housewives....Glory to putin...

Sails , 4 months ago (edited)

Wow, Putin tells the truth. She is an idiot. Bush was a CIA guy, lots of people in the white house are ex-military high ups. America is also run by the military.

Annunaki Annunaki , 2 months ago

let me ask you this; which country seems more stable? The country where; a civil war seems to jump off between whites vs. colored/Mexican Americans, kids on a regular mass murder classmates and teachers, people are so lost they don't know what their gender is, the president is a loose canon, incapable and a barbarian, the political system refuses to sign treaties all other nations did sign for the sake of the planet, the political system condemns and attacks countries for alleged reasons of democracy and freedom but refuses to condemn friends who occupy land, surprises and kill civilians and continue doing this for decades, shameless materialism is the norm and being greedy is promoted, secret societies are actually the ones in power....?

Tell me which country is more stable and more Christian based? Which country is more honest although freedom of press is not a trait of this state? which is the country that is always criticizing others (Chinese for no democracy, Russia for no press freedom) but is itself the biggest hypocrite? Where democratically presidents get killed if they indeed have good intensions towards the American people like JFK.

Where the CIA imports cocaine to flood the streets of the getho's..where you have to be prepared to suck dick to have a musical or movie screen carreer.. where soldiers who thought they served their country get no compensation after being paralyzed in battle but are being ignored, where presidents who abuse stagiars can still be president, where desperate teenagers kill one another with automatic weapons for decades for alleged territory but the government rather go restore order at the other end of the world,, where the presidents decide to start developing new nuclear weapons while the world thought we had finally ended this dangerous path, where the president talks about other countries in words like 'shithole countries', where they still have the guts to call themselves 'Gods own country!' ...how dare you......?

INFILTRATOR2008 , 5 months ago

again, NBC cut out part of the interview !

Unixoid Machiavelli , 3 months ago

America is a great nation. Why do they send such stupid reporters to interview president? If she is popular among Americans and they take her seriously then I have reason to think that most of USA people are lost... Are you with me?

Arman , 4 months ago

It wasn't an interview. it was an examination.

June Randeria , 4 months ago

Putin is so eloquent. If all people watched him they would see for themselves how sincere he actually is, and how he graciously answers with patience when questioned disdainfully

[Aug 17, 2018] EXCLUSIVE, FULL UNEDITED Interview Of Lavrov To BBC

Mar 10, 2018 | www.youtube.com

lyrastar999 , 3 months ago (edited)

this interviewer is awful! omg, love watching Lavrov slay this ugly dragon! the interviewer (i won't call him a journalist) is so obvious, he insults Lavrov's intelligence at every turn.

PowerhouseG , 3 months ago (edited)

Im British but i support Russia on all this that Britain and America staged this whole thing and fake chemical attacks and i believe the Russians much more than my own British government , i believe Russia is trying to do the right thing

si lafuyang , 3 months ago

That interviewer is a repugnant dog.

August Reigns , 4 months ago

even Germany is telling the western world to stop demonizing Russia

Garrett Nelson , 2 months ago

That guy giving the interview needs to learn some manners. Even though he tried his best to piss the FM off it back fired in his face big time. He looked like an ass.

Angie Wright , 3 months ago

It's like Lavrov is trying to reason with a 2 year old. LOL

Rok Pogorelčnik , 3 months ago

it clearly shows this "journalist" is only interested in discredit Lavrov.. he is not interested in what he has to say... that's disgraceful bbc

[Aug 17, 2018] Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (Full Interview) NBC News

Jul 21, 2017 | www.youtube.com

SOJO , 1 year ago

Mr Lavrov killing them with rationality. This is not a good look for you, NBC

Plus Pack , 1 year ago

This guy makes me laugh. Russian's have a unique sense of humor

Naseem Khan , 1 year ago

Ten US bases in Syria - for a moment there I thought I was hearing things but Mr. Lavrov repeated it. When did this happen and by whose permission and cooperation?

Ken Spock , 1 year ago

Thank God for the Russians.....

Xendrius , 1 year ago

You will never see American liar politicians interviewed by Russian journalists, their lies and acting would be exposed.

Xendrius , 1 year ago

NBC is run by Illuminati which is behind 9/11 and the creation of ISIS. Deep state is mad Russia finished off ISIS, now they are trying to punish Russia wth false accusations. The timing is obvious.

fenrisragnerok , 1 year ago

The most intelligent diplomat the international scene has seen for many years.... Silly NBC agenda is so transperant....

Johannes Sekgololo , 1 year ago

This is what a DIPLOMAT should sound like. What a relief the Obama days are over.

Paul Barrett , 1 year ago

LAVROV = LEGEND [ RESPECT FROM THE U.K ]

Elielle , 1 year ago (edited)

Lavrov clearly have difficulties to even understand these stupid questions. And not in terms of a language but in terms of substance. Embarrasing for NBC.

William Croslow , 1 year ago

Anyone still believing any 'Russia/Trump' conspiracy theories needs their head examined.

Valley 56 , 1 year ago

How refreshing to see an intelligent adult talk about world affairs. This silly schoolboy who passes for a modern journalist can't trick him into saying something stupid because he is a grown

LaidIsGentleMen , 1 year ago

It is such a relief to listen to this man. Wise, calm and completely devoid of the hysteria and political correctness we find in most western politicians.

nwo foe , 10 months ago

Lavrov is one world-class politician.

little dards , 1 year ago

Mr Journalist, you have a golden chance to ask some of the most important questions to the top Russian diplomat, and you're merely gossiping. What a joke. You are FAKE NEWS!

caligirl , 1 year ago

The interview is so stupid. Stupid questions like 'Did Trump and Putin meet in the men's room?". Embarrassing!

Nikita Gusarov , 1 year ago

Cool guy, wish Western officials could be like that

[Aug 17, 2018] Lavrov Brilliantly Dissects Western Lies And Manipulations On The False Flag And Skripals

Lavrov suggests that Skripals were intentionally poisoned by BZ which temporary disable a person (for approx 4 days) and Novichok was injected in samples to implicate Russia. He impliedly suggests that this was a false flag operation.
Notable quotes:
"... First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do??? ..."
"... I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Maria Kuzali , 4 months ago

First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do???

Off Grid Nation , 4 months ago

I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. #IDONOTCONSENT

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

THANK YOU RUSSIA IN PARTICULAR PRESIDENT PUTIN AND LAVROV BOTH GOOD INTELLIGENT AND DECENT MEN

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

MACRON TRUMP AND MAY ARE MURDERERS......THANK YOU ASSAD AND RUSSIA AND KURDISH PEOPLE FOR TRULY STANDING UP FOR CIVILISED VALUES

James Australian , 4 months ago (edited)

need to stop the tyrants to prevent the fall of Damascus.. Must not let them kill Mr Assad.

zac anthony , 4 months ago

I believe in Russia more than our gov we are being led

Luboš Lier , 4 months ago

Russia just needs to give Syria couple of tactical nukes. And the peace in Syria is assured...

haithem ali , 4 months ago

Sometimes he continues talking without look at paper..... bcs he say true.... and USA, BRITAIN and France cant do that bcs they are lying and scared if they will say something wrong.

[Aug 17, 2018] Lavrov Gives Tillerson a Brilliant History Lesson on US Interventionism

The same day one year ago...
Aug 17, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Ali Haider , 1 year ago (edited)

Russians are really brilliant...salute you Russia 

Phil Newmann , 1 year ago

Tillerson. What a high HYPOCRISY. The US has murdered more than 10 million people in the last 13 years and you say Assad is a war criminal for defending his own country?

Morbius1963 , 1 year ago

Tillerson makes no mention of the democratic wishes of the Syrian people.

Sangam Sangam , 9 months ago

Assad killed terrorist in Syria sent and trained by US.

tom parankewich , 1 year ago

He forgot to say they want pipelines to go through Syria pure and simple .

Ds Vic , 1 year ago

Lavrov is a beauty! Making illmericans look dumb as usual.

[Aug 17, 2018] Stephen F. Cohen Sanction mania versus Russia -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

Notable quotes:
"... For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security. ..."
"... Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policymaking. ..."
"... US "core" interests "need" Russia's cooperation in many vital ways. ..."
"... Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities ..."
"... It could end titanium exports to the United States ..."
"... Nor have four other circumstances. ..."
"... turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. ..."
"... in an era when there is no "globalization," or international security, without Russia. ..."
"... with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, ..."
"... is in response to Russia's alleged "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election . ..."
"... only the kind of "meddling" and "interference" in the other's domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. ..."
"... to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of "cooperation with Russia." And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.sott.net

For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security.

Cohen begins by putting the current bipartisan Senate campaign to impose new, "crushing" sanctions on Russia in historical context. Broadly understood, sanctions have been part of US policy toward Russia for much of the past 100 years. During the Russian civil war of 1918-20, President Woodrow Wilson sent American troops to fight against the emerging Soviet government. Though the "Reds" were clearly the established government of Soviet Russia by 1921, Washington continued to deny the USSR diplomatic recognition until President Franklin D. Roosevelt established formal relations in 1933. During much of the 40-year Cold War, the United States imposed various sanctions on its superpower rival, mainly related to technological and military exports, along with periodic expulsions of diplomats and "spies" on both sides.

Congress' major political contribution was the 1975 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which denied Moscow privileged trading status with the United States, primarily because of Kremlin restrictions on Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. Indicative of how mindlessly habitual US sanctions had become, Jackson-Vanik was nullified only in late 2012, long after the end of the Soviet Union and after any restrictions on Jews leaving (or returning to) Russia. Even more indicative, it was immediately replaced, in December 2012, by the Magnitsky Act, which purported to sanction individual Russian officials and "oligarchs" for "human-rights abuses." The Magnitsky Act remains law, supplemented by additional sanctions leveled against Russia as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and particularly Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Looking back over this long history, there is no evidence that any US sanctions ever significantly altered Moscow's "behavior" in ways that were intended. Or that they adversely affected Russia's ruling political or financial elites. Any pain inflicted fell on ordinary citizens, who nonetheless rallied "patriotically" around the Kremlin leadership, most recently around Russian President Vladimir Putin. Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policymaking.

Why, then, Washington's new bout of sanction mania against Moscow, especially considering the harsh official Russian reaction expressed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who called the Senate's proposed measures "a declaration of economic war" and promised that the Kremlin would retaliate?

One explanation is an underlying, astonishing assumption recently stated by Michael McFaul , the media-ubiquitous former US ambassador to Moscow and a longtime Russia scholar: "To advance almost all of our core national security and economic interests, the US does not need Russia." Such a statement by a former or current policymaker and intellectual is perhaps unprecedented in modern times - and manifestly wrong. US "core" interests "need" Russia's cooperation in many vital ways. They include avoiding nuclear war; preventing a new and more dangerous arms race; guarding against the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction; coping with international terrorists (who are in pursuit of such materials); achieving lasting peace in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East; fostering prosperity and stability in Europe, of which Russia is a part; promoting better relations with the Islamic world, of which Russia is also a part; and avoiding a generation-long confrontation with a formidable new alliance that already includes Russia, China, Iran, and other non-NATO countries. If McFaul's assumption is widespread in Washington, as it seems to be, we are living in truly unwise and perilous times.

A second assumption is no less myopic and dangerous: that the Kremlin is weak and lacks countermeasures to adopt against the new sanctions being advocated in Washington. Consider, however, the following real possibilities. Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities and begin trading with friendly nations in non-dollar currencies, both of which it has already begun to do. It could restrict, otherwise undermine, or even shut down many large US corporations long doing profitable business in Russia, among them Citibank, Cisco Systems, Apple, Microsoft, PepsiCo, McDonald's, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Co., and even Boeing. It could end titanium exports to the United States , which are vital to American civilian and military aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing. And terminate the sale of rocket engines essential for NASA and US satellite operations. The world's largest territorial country, Russia could charge US airlines higher tariffs for their regular use of its air space or ban them altogether, making them uncompetitive against other national carriers. Politically, the Kremlin could end its own sanctions on Iran and North Korea, alleviating Washington's pressure on those governments. And it could end the Russian supply transit to US troops fighting in Afghanistan used since the early 1990s.

None of this seems to have been considered by Washington's sanction zealots. Nor have four other circumstances. Sanctions against Russia's "oligarchs" actually help Putin, whom the US political-media establishment so despises and constantly indicts. For years, he has been trying to persuade many of the richest oligarchs to repatriate their offshore wealth to Russia. Few did so. Now, fearful of having their assets abroad frozen or seized by US measures, more and more are complying. Second, new sanctions limiting Moscow's ability to borrow and finance investment at home will retard the country's still meager growth rate . But the Kremlin coped after the 2014 sanctions and will do so again by turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. (Russian agricultural production, for example, has surged in recent years, now becoming a major export industry.) Third, already unhappy with existing economic sanctions against Russia, European multinational corporations - and thus Europe itself - may tilt even farther away from their capricious "transatlantic partner" in Washington, who is diminishing their vast market in the East. And fourth, waging "economic war" is one impulsive step from breaking off all diplomatic relations with Russia, this too actually being discussed by Washington zealots. Such a rupture would turn the clock back many decades, but in an era when there is no "globalization," or international security, without Russia.

Finally, what reason do Washington extreme Cold Warriors themselves give for imposing new sanctions on Russia? Most of them are in the US Senate, historically a body with at least several independent-minded distinguished statesmen, but no longer, with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has demonstrated considerable wisdom in regard to US-Russian relations. Their professed reasons are various and nonsensical. Some say Russia must be sanctioned for Ukraine, but those events happened four years ago and have already been "punished." Others say for "Russia's aggression in Syria," but it was Putin's military intervention that destroyed the Islamic State's terrorist occupation of much of the country and ended its threat to take Damascus, to the benefit of America and its allies, including Europe and Israel. Still others insist the Kremlin must be sanctioned for its "nerve agent" attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK several months ago. But the British government's case against the Kremlin has virtually fallen apart, as any attentive reader of articles in David Johnson's Russia List will understand.

Ultimately, though, the new bout of sanction mania is in response to Russia's alleged "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election . In reality, there was no "attack" - no Pearl Harbor, no 9/11, no Russian parachuters descending on Washington - only the kind of "meddling" and "interference" in the other's domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. Indeed, whatever "meddling" Russian actors did in 2016 may well have been jaywalking compared to the Clinton administration's massive, highly intrusive political and financial intervention on behalf of the failing Russian President Boris Yeltsin's reelection campaign in 1996.

We are left, then, with the real reason behind the new anti-Russian sanctions effort: to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of "cooperation with Russia." And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. This bizarre, also unprecedented, reality is more than a whisper. According to a New York Times "news analysis," as well as other published reports,

a "bipartisan group of senators, dismayed that Mr. Trump had not publicly confronted Mr. Putin over Russia's election meddling, released draft legislation" of new sanctions against Moscow. "Passage of such a bill would impose some of the most damaging sanctions yet."
Leave aside for now that it is not Russian "meddling" that is delegitimizing our elections but instead these fact-free allegations themselves that are doing so. (How many losing candidates in 2018 will claim their victory was snatched away by Putin?) Consider instead that for doing what every American president since Eisenhower has done - meet with the sitting Kremlin leader in order to avoid stumbling into a war between the nuclear superpowers - in effect both Trump and Putin are being condemned by the Washington establishment, including by members of Trump's own intelligence agencies.

If so, who will avert the prospect of war with Russia, a new Cuban missile-like crisis, conceivably in the Baltic region, Ukraine, or Syria? Certainly not any leading representative of the Democratic Party. Certainly not the current Russophobic "bipartisan" Senate. Certainly not the most influential media outlets, which amplify the warmongering folly almost daily. In this most existential regard, there is for now only, like it or not, President Donald Trump.

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com .
Comment: As Cohen brilliantly points out - sanctions, for the US, are a dead end.

[Aug 17, 2018] Running timeline of Steele dossier:

Notable quotes:
"... Bruce Ohr and his wife are complicit in the fake Christopher Steele Russian dossier ..."
"... All of this was orchestrated by the Obama Administration ..."
"... All of these FBI and DOJ people are just lackeys who take their orders from higher-ups. The real deep state controllers seem to always be protected by the underlings. But it's the underlings who fall on the sword. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:40 Permalink

I've posted this before, I keep this running timeline:

StarGate -> otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

Good work - Add:

MAY 2016

1st week, before 16 - Caputo reports someone claiming to be a former NSA agent offered him Hillary emails. He declined concerned they were classified and urged whistleblower process be followed. He reported event to Mueller.

9 or 13 - FBI Priestap in London

10 - *Papadopoulos meets Australian ambassador & Clinton Foundation sponsor Alexander Downer in 'Kensington Wine Room' in London

Reported by NYT on 30 Dec 2017.

10 - Paul Ericsson sends "Kremlin Connection" email to Sen Sessions offering to hook DJT campaign up with Russia's Putin

May Date? - Rosenstein-Mueller Special Counsel team member Preet Bharara granted a special Visa for Russian agent Natalia Veselnitskaya in order for her to meet with Trump Jr at a June 2016 Tower meeting the FBI would record. Obama sent one of his translators to the meeting. Natalia needed a special Visa because she was barred from entering the US.

StarGate -> otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

Here's JUNE 2016

JANUARY 2016

9 - Russian Rinat Akhmetshin visits Obama White House for the day. Later he was in Trump Tower meeting of June 2016. WH visitor Log.

JUNE 2016

9 - Infamous Trump Tower meeting w/ Jr and Russian atty Natalia. Then Natalia meets w/ Simpson Fusion GPS before & after Tower mtg

14 - Russian atty Natalia attends US House Foreign Affairs hearing.

DATE? - Russian atty attends Magnitsky Act meeting w/ Dem Reps Rohrbacher and Dellums.

26 - 1st FISA court warrant denied.

27 - DoJ AG Lynch met with Bill Clinton on Arizona airport tarmac

28 - CIA Evan McMullin sister creates fake "Trump OrGAINization" site and bought from GoDaddy the domain trump-email.com. Site then fake robot calls Russian Alfa Bank to create 'ping trail.'

Registry Domain ID: 1565681481_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN .

otschelnik -> StarGate Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:24 Permalink

SG, thanks. You mean Alfa Bank.

Where can we find references on this Evan McMullin and his sister?

StarGate -> otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:56 Permalink

Corrected - thx

Did not keep McMullin research. There were family pics of them. They attended same Auburn High School in WA, near Seattle.

Was Mormon mission agent in Brazil. Interned for CIA while at Mormon college. Agent for UN in Israel & Muslim nation of Jordan. For CIA was recruiter for Muslim radicals. Worked w/ British UK spy system. Did he know Steele?

McMullin ran against DJT in 2016 election w/ backers 'never Trump'. Got 21% UT vote. McMullin went directly from CIA to being "undercover?" Prez candidate.

Also of note,

Halper is UK citizen (&US) plus Rhodes at Oxford same time as Rhodes Bill Clinton. It is unknown if Rhodes scholars take loyalty oath to UK.

otschelnik -> StarGate Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

Right on McMullin. The fact that Alfa Bank Russia was pinging Trump tower was brought up several times by the Lamestream Media during peak 'muh Russia' in 2017, and believe Clinton mentioned it in one of the debates. But there are Russian owners of apartments in Trump Tower who apparently use the house server, and (I speculate) that these Russian residents were managing their own private banking.

Now you make it sound like it was a set-up by McMullin's sister? By the way I agree with your analysis of the CIA candidate... at least strip Utah's electoral college votes from Trump.

insanelysane Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:13 Permalink

Again, there can never be a legal judgement that the DOJ and/or the FBI tried to sway a political election and then engaged in seditious actions when the election wasn't swayed. This would "destroy" the power of these institutions. It is obvious and EVIDENT that there was a conspiracy by DOJ and FBI employees to stop Trump.

The issue the Deep State has is that they were able to successfully end the IRS exposure by destroying all of the evidence as Obama was elected for another 4 years. The Deep State expected Hillary to win and stay for 8 years so none of this DOJ/FBI information would see the light of day. Trump is in charge now. If the Rs take more seats in 2018 the Deep State may do some really interesting things as they are feeling the heat. Sessions has been playing the wait and see game. As a career politician he is waiting to see which way the wind blows in November.

TeethVillage88s Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:21 Permalink

It is normal tendency in US Military to try to control war news, hold back information from the public like coffins coming home from Vietnam or Iraq. And we are not surprised if the Pentagon actually engaged in counter intelligence against US Citizens. I've said this about Obama Care (ACA) and Mr. Guber or whatever... and I've said this about Hillary Clinton.

- It is completely different when our MICC in FBI, CIA, NSA, DOJ, engage in Hatch Act Violations while on the Job against a presidential candidate with phony intel, spies, false statements to FISA court, false news stories... then 'Smirk' on camera and continue to lie to all of America. Hatch Act governs political behavior, but I'd say the FBI, NSA, CIA, DOJ are to be held to the highest levels of behavior. No politics on Govt Time/working hours. https://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/Hatch_Act.pdf

BendGuyhere Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:58 Permalink

Turns out the FBI was a TRUST-BASED organization all along. Who knew? That trust has been shattered.

At least the scum, filth, lying criminals rotting in prison own who and what they are. They can't masquerade as uber-boy scouts.

With any luck the end of Trump's second term will see a stiff housecleaning with lots of FBIers rotting in prison for a very long time.

hooligan2009 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:29 Permalink

bruce ohr looks asian chinese. i can't find any internet chit about his parents. Oh, and is this true?

Michelle Obama and DOJ Bruce Ohr classmates at Harvard Law for 3 yrs

https://www.patreon.com/posts/michelle-obama-3-20682188

istt Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:32 Permalink

"He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he'd been unaware of Mr. Ohr's intermediary status."

Is this an attempt at humor by Strassel?

And why won't Trump declassify??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ZazzOne Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

Bruce Ohr and his wife are complicit in the fake Christopher Steele Russian dossier. Feckless Jeff Sessions needs to indict Ohr and his wife (and the rest of the Deep State cabal) involved in their treasonous coup attempt against the duly elected POTUS!!!!!!!

TacticalTrading Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:35 Permalink

All of this was orchestrated by the Obama Administration. And because Obama must be recognized historically as the greatest and most honest president of all time, because he was the first black president ever.....

We cannot allow the legacy of the first black president to be tarnished

To allow anything else to happen could offend someone. Obama knew this would be the case and thus he knew he had a free pass to get away with anything he wanted.

Hillary knew the exact same thing and, well, When you give an honest person a chance to get away with a few things they will take a mile. Hillary is not an honest person, so she went as far as possible under the belief that she would get away with it.

Oops

Will the historians get it right? Time will tell

MrBoompi Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

All of these FBI and DOJ people are just lackeys who take their orders from higher-ups. The real deep state controllers seem to always be protected by the underlings. But it's the underlings who fall on the sword.

[Aug 17, 2018] Trump revokes security clearance for former CIA chief Brennan Ruling class warfare intensifies by Patrick Martin

Who are two factions of the elite that now logged horns? Patrick Martin thinks that "Brennan party" "... oppose Trump mainly on the grounds that his foreign policy -- particularly in relation to Russia -- is undermining longstanding strategic interests of American imperialism."
Notable quotes:
"... The action against Brennan provoked widespread opposition within the military-intelligence apparatus and from the Democratic Party and the corporate media. Most congressional Democrats and some Republicans criticized Trump's action, while former intelligence and security officials issued public protests. ..."
"... As the Socialist Equality Party declared in the main resolution adopted by its Fifth National Congress, last month, both sides in the conflict, Trump and his opponents, are enemies of the working class ..."
"... The break with democratic forms of rule is accompanied by ferocious conflicts within the state apparatus. Each day the president spews his verbal tirades, while the Democrats expound their neo-McCarthyite fantasies of Russians "sowing discord" in America. There is nothing remotely progressive, let alone dignified, in the opposition to Trump mounted by the Democratic Party and sections of the media. They represent another reactionary faction of the ruling class. They oppose Trump mainly on the grounds that his foreign policy -- particularly in relation to Russia -- is undermining longstanding strategic interests of American imperialism. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The warfare reached a new stage Wednesday with the move by US President Donald Trump to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, citing his "erratic conduct and behavior," "frenzied commentary" in the media and on Twitter, and "wild outbursts on the internet and television."

The action against Brennan provoked widespread opposition within the military-intelligence apparatus and from the Democratic Party and the corporate media. Most congressional Democrats and some Republicans criticized Trump's action, while former intelligence and security officials issued public protests.

The New York Times , the main media mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, immediately opened its editorial pages to Brennan to respond to Trump's action. In a comment published Thursday, Brennan focused entirely on promoting the myth of Russian intervention in the US elections, denouncing Russian denials as "hogwash," and portraying Trump as a conscious and witting collaborator with "our primary global adversary" -- in other words, a traitor.

The White House first hinted at revoking Brennan's security clearance last month, and the statement announcing the action initially carried the date July 26, indicating that the move had been decided on three weeks ago, but was not made public until Trump felt it would help distract public attention from the mounting crisis within his administration.

... ... ...

On the other hand, Brennan has emerged naturally as the chief spokesman of Trump's ruling class critics. He is the former head of drone warfare for the Obama administration and the former chief executive of the organization of official assassins, thugs and professional liars known as the Central Intelligence Agency. As CIA director, he sought to block the Senate Intelligence Committee report released in 2014 documenting CIA torture during the Bush administration.

Brennan has a three-decade career with the CIA, where he served, among other places, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, before spending most of the past 20 years at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia or in the Obama White House.

Since leaving the CIA in January 2017, Brennan has cashed in on his intelligence career with a lucrative post as an "analyst" and commentator for NBC News. He has played a leading role in the campaign by sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the media and the Democratic Party, to attack Trump as "soft" on Russia. The aim is not only to impose a shift in the foreign policy of the Trump administration, but to create the framework for criminalizing domestic opposition and censoring the Internet.

As the Socialist Equality Party declared in the main resolution adopted by its Fifth National Congress, last month, both sides in the conflict, Trump and his opponents, are enemies of the working class :

The break with democratic forms of rule is accompanied by ferocious conflicts within the state apparatus. Each day the president spews his verbal tirades, while the Democrats expound their neo-McCarthyite fantasies of Russians "sowing discord" in America. There is nothing remotely progressive, let alone dignified, in the opposition to Trump mounted by the Democratic Party and sections of the media. They represent another reactionary faction of the ruling class. They oppose Trump mainly on the grounds that his foreign policy -- particularly in relation to Russia -- is undermining longstanding strategic interests of American imperialism.

It is notable that Brennan's column in the New York Times , written in McCarthyite language, presents democratic forms themselves as the main weakness in a global struggle with Russia. Brennan writes: "Electoral politics in Western democracies presents an especially inviting target, as a variety of politicians, political parties, media outlets, think tanks and influencers are readily manipulated, wittingly and unwittingly, or even bought outright by Russian intelligence operatives. The very freedoms and liberties that liberal Western democracies cherish and that autocracies fear have been exploited by Russian intelligence services "

... ... ...

Patrick Martin

[Aug 17, 2018] Neoliberal press is by definition the enemy of the people, but they will vehemently deny this

Not only Trump is right calling neoliberal MSM the enemy of the people. This is a distributed version of the Ministry of Truth. With CIA as a command center ;-).
Thanks God internet still exists and is not completely controlled by neoliberals and neocons.
The behaviors of neoliberal MSM during color revolution against Trump is pretty revealing, so say the least.
That Department N of the Ministry of Truth is upset about Trump revealing inconvenient truth should not surprise anybody
Notable quotes:
"... And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thursday, the New York Times decried Trump's accusation that the media are "the enemy of the people." "Insisting that truths you don't like are 'fake news' is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists 'the enemy of the people' is dangerous, period," said the Times .

Fair enough, but is it not also dangerous for a free press to be using its First Amendment rights to endlessly bash a president as a racist, fascist, sexist, neo-Nazi, liar, tyrant, and traitor?

The message of journalists who use such terms may be to convey their detestation of Trump. But what is the message received in the sick minds of people like that leftist who tried to massacre Republican congressmen practicing for their annual softball game against Democrats?

And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe -- organized national attack on him, joined in by the Times and 300 other newspapers, was journalistic "collusion" against him?

If Trump believes that CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times , and the Washington Post are mortal enemies that want to see him ousted or impeached, is he wrong?

We are an irreconcilable us-against-them nation today, and given the rancor across the ideological, social, and cultural chasm that divides us, it is hard to see how, even post-Trump, we can ever come together again.

Speaking at a New York LGBT gala in 2016, Hillary Clinton said: "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic. Some of those folks are irredeemable, but they are not America."

When Clinton's reflections on Middle America made it into print, she amended her remarks. Just as Governor Andrew Cuomo rushed to amend his comments yesterday when he blurted at a bill-signing ceremony: "We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great." America was "never that great"?

[Aug 17, 2018] Can America Ever Come Together Again The American Conservative

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"... Washington Post ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If ex-CIA director John Brennan did to Andrew Jackson what he did to Donald Trump, he would have lost a lot more than his security clearance.

He would have been challenged to a duel.

"Trump's performance in Helsinki," Brennan had said, "exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was treasonous."

Why should the president not strip from a CIA director who calls him a traitor the honor and privilege of a security clearance? Or is a top-secret clearance an entitlement like Social Security?

CIA directors retain clearances because they are seen as national assets, individuals whose unique experience, knowledge, and judgment may be called upon to assist a president in a national crisis.

Not so long ago, this was a bipartisan tradition.

Who trashed it?

Was it not the former heads of the security agencies -- CIA, FBI, director of national intelligence -- who have been leveling the kind of savage attacks on the chief of state one might expect from Antifa?

Are ex-security officials entitled to retain the high privileges of the offices they held if they descend into cable TV hatred and hostility?

Former CIA chief Mike Hayden, in attacking Trump for separating the families of detained illegal immigrants at the border, tweeted a photo of the train tracks leading into Auschwitz. "Other governments have separated mothers and children" was Hayden's caption. Is that fair criticism from an ex-CIA director?

Thursday, the New York Times decried Trump's accusation that the media are "the enemy of the people." "Insisting that truths you don't like are 'fake news' is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists 'the enemy of the people' is dangerous, period," said the Times .

Fair enough, but is it not also dangerous for a free press to be using its First Amendment rights to endlessly bash a president as a racist, fascist, sexist, neo-Nazi, liar, tyrant, and traitor?

The message of journalists who use such terms may be to convey their detestation of Trump. But what is the message received in the sick minds of people like that leftist who tried to massacre Republican congressmen practicing for their annual softball game against Democrats?

And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe -- organized national attack on him, joined in by the Times and 300 other newspapers, was journalistic "collusion" against him?

If Trump believes that CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times , and the Washington Post are mortal enemies that want to see him ousted or impeached, is he wrong?

We are an irreconcilable us-against-them nation today, and given the rancor across the ideological, social, and cultural chasm that divides us, it is hard to see how, even post-Trump, we can ever come together again.

Speaking at a New York LGBT gala in 2016, Hillary Clinton said: "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic. Some of those folks are irredeemable, but they are not America."

When Clinton's reflections on Middle America made it into print, she amended her remarks. Just as Governor Andrew Cuomo rushed to amend his comments yesterday when he blurted at a bill-signing ceremony: "We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great." America was "never that great"?

Cuomo's press secretary hastened to explain: "When the president speaks about making America great again he ignores the pain so many endured and that we suffered from slavery, discrimination, segregation, sexism, and marginalized women's contributions."

Clinton and Cuomo committed gaffes of the kind Michael Kinsley described as the blurting out of truths the speaker believes but desperately does not want a wider audience to know.