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Neoconservatism

Neocons are attack dogs of neoliberalism and lobbyists for MIC:  "national security parasites"

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." ~Sun Tzu

News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links Wolfowitz Doctrine American Exceptionalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
New American Militarism "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Demonization of Putin Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-Russian hysteria
The Great Democratic Party Betrayal: Pro-War Democrats as Vichy Left War is Racket Predator state Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Obama: a yet another Neocon National Socialism and Military Keysianism
James Burnham -- renegade Trotskyite and American Machiavelli Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Noble Lie Neocons Credibility Scam Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nation under attack meme
Robert Kagan Max Boot Bill Kristol Madeleine Albright Samantha Power Susan Rice
Media-Military-Industrial Complex National Security State / Surveillance State Senator McCain Conservatives Without Conscience  Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Power abroad rests on justice and decency at home
Leo Strauss and the Neocons Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few  
Color revolutions Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 PNAC  
The Deep State War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Media domination strategy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism
Fighting Russophobia Neo-fascism Anti-Americanism Torture Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoconservatism, an introduction

Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy,
 my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate,
and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters"
jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!"

The dopes areascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.

Comment from Veteran NBC-MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation

Neoconservatives, which like Bolsheviks in the past are mostly Jewish intellectuals, are frequently described as ideologues with pro-Israel and anti-Russian bent, but the truth is that they are far more interested in gaining access to money and power. Most of them are useless smacks with degree in journalism or history and they would starve if not fed by military industrial complex. Being a lobbyist of military industrial complex is the only job they can get. Add to that that most of them are personal cowards and chicken hawks and you get the picture: they are just bottom-feeders. "National security parasites" is a very apt definition for this category of people.

The ideology of Neoconservatism was explicitly formulated in Wolfowitz Doctrine which contains the key postulates of Neoconservatism in foreign policy. They can be summarized as "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge". That partially explains unprecedented level of military expenses of the USA since 1991 (after the dissolution of the USSR) when, effectively, the USA has not external enemies and those money can be used to improve well being of common people in the USA. But neoliberal elite engage in building global neoliberal empire rules from Washington and that empire needed the dominant military force to protect and  expand it .  From other  point of view that was an attempt of the US MIC to preserve its position acquired during the Cold War, if necessary by inventing or creating a new threats.  Neocons just happen perfectly suit the role of lobbyists of MIC interest in Washington  and thus were financially and politically supported by MIC.

Large part of neocons consist of so-called "elite-wannabes," often well-educated and highly capable, who has been denied access to elite positions and who decided to use warmongering backdoor to get there.

Proselytizing their own brand of global regime change is just a mean to sustain the access to funds and political power.  They know perfectly well which side of the bread is buttered and by whom.   We can suspect that for many of them (Max Boot is a good example here) access to money from MIC and Israel lobby is the primary driving force. Often they are viewed as Likud lobby in the USA:  "The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they’ve got it." ( Israel lobby in the United States - Wikipedia ):

The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the ‘background’ of those ‘Pro-Israel’ as, “A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics. Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors.”[24]

According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:

... ... ...

A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by Center for Responsive Politics indicates current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the US Republican party since 1996.[46] The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990."[47] In contrast, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the same (1990–2006) period.[48] In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate, Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources.[49]

... ... ...

AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it’s clear where they stand on the subject.”[43]

.... ... ...

Mearsheimer and Walt state that “pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state.”[50]

When strategic interests of Israeli (for example remaking of the Middle East so that Israel can exercise dominant power in this region; which includes fragmentation of several existing states) deviate from the strategic interests of the USA (which mostly are interested in uninterruptable supply of cheap oil) neocons do betray the USA national interests with ease. The US-Israel relationship significantly damages the relationship between the United States and the Arab world. They also were serving as propagandists and influencers for all recent Middle East military adventures and regime change efforts.  Recently that was the case in Syria: in no way Assad government represented a threat to the USA interests. Still the pressure of "likudniks" was such that the USA engaged in the "regime change" efforts.

But in reality they should be viewed more like lobbing group of MIC then lobbing group of Israel. As well as transnational corporations interested in opening new markets. But recently facts that Israel spend large sums on money on trying to influence the USA politicians came to light and to this extent one gets impression that the tail is wagging the dog. 

They should probably be viewed as the lobbying and propaganda arm of military industrial complex. Is both Republican and Democratic Party position themselves as a "War Party" they represent an important political force on the USA political landscape.  The fact that some of staunch neocons  such  as Max Boot recently defected to Democratic Party just confirm the fact that in forign policy there is only one party in the usa -- the neocon party. 

And there is not much conservative in neocon ideology -- it is basically a revamped Trotskyism, if not neo-fascism. Just look at Nuland's fraternization with Ukrainian far right nationalists despite her Jewish roots (and despite the fact that this movement was hell-bent on killing Jewish people during WWII and served as capos in concentration camps). This was not accidental; this was a conscious political choice -- they are birds of the feather.

Ideologically they are a more militant flavor of neoliberals ("neoliberals with the gun", so to speak). They also are more openly statist, then a typical neoliberal. But their neo-Trotskyites roots are mostly demonstrated in foreign policy (they do not have a coherent domestic policy; but generally their views in this area are more aligned with the  Democratic Party than Republican Party views). 

All-in-all, we will essentially view them as lobbyists of MIC, "neoliberals with a gun".


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[Mar 25, 2019] I've been thinking a lot lately about the collapse of the Empire - who/what survives and who/what doesn't.

Mar 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

mourning dove , Mar 24, 2019 5:22:00 PM | link

I've been thinking a lot lately about the collapse of the Empire - who/what survives and who/what doesn't.

When people talk about collapse, it generally means social/political/economic collapse and there seems to be a consensus that such a collapse would necessarily mean a military collapse as well. I'm not convinced.

One key difference between the US today and the Soviet Union at the time of it's collapse is that the USSR didn't have a military framework that spread out across the globe, the US does. That framework has the infrastructure, resources, supplies, personnel, and equipment to maintain itself in the event of collapse. For me, I'd have to put it in the category of "survives".

The global elite already have their contingencies in place and will be able to ride out whatever comes in luxury as long as they don't actually blow up the planet. So they go in to the "survives" category too. Preppers and some form of militarized police would also likely survive along with those who have a propensity for brutality and violence.

The next question of who/what doesn't survive is too staggering to fully contemplate and leads me to see collapse as a massive depopulation scheme that will leave the Empire intact. It would emerge leaner, debt free, unhindered by any pretence of international law, and having rid itself of the pesky masses and their demands, it would be free to dominate everything that's left of this world.

Be careful what you wish for.

karlof1 , Mar 24, 2019 5:26:12 PM | link

mourning dove @16--

A "VFD"? Of the 39 definitions provided , I've only been associated with a few, like Very Fun Day. No, never had a Facebook account, nor do I want one.

karlof1 , Mar 24, 2019 5:52:26 PM | link
mourning dove @22--

The Overseas Empire of Bases is 100% dependent on monies from home for their survival. Once the monies cease coming, decamping will commence.

How closely have you examined the previous Big Economic Collapse and the measures put in place to mitigate its affects if one occurs again? Have you closely examined what made the USSR/Russian collapse so dire for its populace? Having knowledge related to those questions answers is rather important in being able to forecast what might occur within the Outlaw US Empire. Actually, I agree with Hudson that the Executive choice boils down to just two options: Save the banks as Obama did or Save the People as Hoover and FDR attempted.

fast freddy , Mar 24, 2019 6:07:20 PM | link
As long as the USA "controls" (running up ridiculously massive debt) the money, vis a vis the Petrodollar, the World Bank and its predatory loans, the dollar as global currency with other currencies "pegged" to it, thereby creating massive inflation and poverty in Latin America, the Philippines and every third world shirt hole, AND massive debt in every first world nation, AND trillionaire individuals running loose - friends of the City of London, the Rothschilds AND such people who maintain no allegiance to any nation state. They're holding all the money and the gold.

AND the Massive Military Industrial Congressional Complex which guarantees the value of the dollar via shock and awe (Shuckin' Y'all!) and full spectrum dominance. AND the ability to impose economic sanctions to starve children and the elderly, to get all of Europe to go along with crippling economic sanctions.

Until that changes, the USA is the leader of the free world. It's Morning and America and the corpse of Reagan is smiling.

[Mar 24, 2019] One could wish that DOJ IG Horowitz could investigate and sanction British Intelligence for its use of official and non-official officials in starting this debacle.

Highly recommended!
Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: `[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.' |"

From page one of the Barr letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. https://www.scribd.com/document/402973432/AG-March-24-2019-Letter-to-House-and-Senate-Judiciary-Committees#from_embed Some call this merely the "end of the beginning." Further revelations will be emerging, including from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. " J ustice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed Thursday his office is still investigating possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI in their investigation into President Trump and associates of his 2016 campaign," reported the Washington Examiner this week.

Decameron , 32 minutes ago

However, AG Barr's letter retells the tale of Russian Interference in our elections, according to Mr. Mueller and his team's investigation and indictments. So, the anti-Trump camp will undoubtedly continue to question the 2016 election results, and blame the defeat of HRC on the "Reds." One could wish that DOJ IG Horowitz could investigate and sanction British Intelligence for its use of official and non-official officials in starting this debacle.

[Mar 24, 2019] The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment. ..."
"... Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian. ..."
"... Access and motive . . .here are two who had both: Seth Rich and Imran Awan. That our fake news organizations have no interest in either, that should tell you something. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Tunga , 2 hours ago link

"I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now." - exce

The State Department paused its investigation of the Secretary's emails so as not to interfere with the Mueller investigation. Here we see Taibbi writes an exhaustive condemnation of the Western press while leaving out the very crux of the story, the very source of the stolen DNC emails was Clapper and Brennan pretending to be Guccifer 2.0.

Pitiful attempt at redemption there Matt. Seriously, go **** your self.

"After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment.

Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.

To date, Connolly's language study has not drawn any significant objections or criticism."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-25/guccifer-20-game-over-year-end-review-0

Any G Dala,

DNC emails were downloaded at 22.3Mbs, a speed which is not possible to achieve remotely, or even local. It is the exact download speed of a thumb drive.

All russian "fingerprints" were embedded in error codes, which had to be affirmatively copied. They were not an accident.

And please remind me, who exactly was it that examined the DNC servers and pointed at Russia?

Access and motive . . .here are two who had both: Seth Rich and Imran Awan. That our fake news organizations have no interest in either, that should tell you something.

[Mar 24, 2019] Poor Travolta. With Mueller finished, US media turns to John Travolta for collusion gossip

Mar 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zanon , Mar 24, 2019 3:35:09 PM | link

Poor Travolta..
With Mueller finished, US media turns to John Travolta for collusion gossip
https://on.rt.com/9qss

[Mar 24, 2019] No matter the result, what is found or is not, to the neocons/neolib Establishment, Trump will always be waiting for his next check written in Cyrillic and denominated in rubles.

Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Perry Colace

All of this reminds me of the first combat scene in 'Full Metal Jacket'. Joker is being helicoptered into the battle at Hue, and the door gunner is just firing his M-60 nonstop, yelling 'Get some! Come on! Get some!', as people below are running and getting shot. Joker says, 'Aren't you afraid that you might be killing innocent women......or children?'. The door gunner says,

If they run, they're VC.

If they stand still, they're WELL TRAINED VC!'.

No matter the result, what is found or is not, to the left, Trump will always be waiting for his next check written in Cyrillic and denominated in rubles.

Macher1, 3 hours ago

It's not Rubles.. Those be Sheckels.

[Mar 24, 2019] One thing left out is the ability of readers to call BS on a story i.e. a robust comment section for debates.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sites that use Disqus that allow shadow banning or steal and sell your information are just plain evil. ..."
"... The marketing of Russiagate™ was no act of "stupidity". News outlets didn't erroneously "swallow" anything. They acted as agents of the Globalist American Establishment/Deep State which was attempting to shake an interloper (Trump) off its back or, at the very least, to completely tie his hands in policy-making terms. Too bad that same Deep State has created a "Cadillac of (P)residential prerogative over the years which Trump has been driving right over their little blood-stained hands....as an added benefit, this new brand of hyper-partisan "Yellow Journalism" sold papers...to some ..."
"... How many fake headlines were created? How many panels of propaganda spreading "experts" were assembled? How many drooling sycophant hosts made this their everyday routine to stir the 'divide the nation' pot as they swore to God and the American People that the President was an asset of a foreign provocateur subverting the Republic? ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Smiley, 4 hours ago (Edited)

One thing left out is the ability of readers to call BS on a story i.e. a robust comment section for debates. In other words, the Media's ability to simply ignore criticism enabled them to go off into their own Russiagate universe. Places that still allow competing narratives and diverse opinions, like ZeroHedge, are the main places I read anymore. If a link leads to WaPo or NYT, I bail instantly.

Sites that use Disqus that allow shadow banning or steal and sell your information are just plain evil.

Won't even go there.

Bananaamerican , 4 hours ago (Edited)

One thing I massively disagree with Taibbi on: "news outlets once again 'swallowed' a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included"

The marketing of Russiagate™ was no act of "stupidity". News outlets didn't erroneously "swallow" anything. They acted as agents of the Globalist American Establishment/Deep State which was attempting to shake an interloper (Trump) off its back or, at the very least, to completely tie his hands in policy-making terms. Too bad that same Deep State has created a "Cadillac of (P)residential prerogative over the years which Trump has been driving right over their little blood-stained hands....as an added benefit, this new brand of hyper-partisan "Yellow Journalism" sold papers...to some

4 hours ago
(Edited)

Spot on. There was no misunderstanding. Everyone in The Swamp and MSM knew and accepted their assigned roles. That's why their was nary a retraction. Retractions played no part in their goals.

Nael, 1 hour ago
Agreed. They were totally complicit. How many fake headlines were created? How many panels of propaganda spreading "experts" were assembled? How many drooling sycophant hosts made this their everyday routine to stir the 'divide the nation' pot as they swore to God and the American People that the President was an asset of a foreign provocateur subverting the Republic?

Too many to count.

[Mar 23, 2019] Killing for Credibility A Look Back at the 1999 NATO Air War on Serbia by Brett Wilkins

Mar 23, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged as much against Serbian civilians – hundreds of whom perished – as it was against Slobodan Milošević's forces, and it was a campaign of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton's own admission was fought for the sake of NATO's credibility.

One Man's Terrorist

Our story begins not in the war-torn Balkans of the 1990s but rather in the howling wilderness of Afghanistan at the end of the 1980s as defeated Soviet invaders withdrew from a decade of guerrilla warfare into the twilight of a once-mighty empire. The United States, which had provided arms, funding and training for the mujahideen fighters who had so bravely resisted the Soviet occupation, stopped supporting the jihadis as soon as the last Red Army units rolled across the Hairatan Bridge and back into the USSR. Afghanistan descended deeper into civil war.

The popular narrative posits that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, Washington's former mujahideen allies, turned on the West after the US stationed hundreds of thousands of infidel troops in Saudi Arabia – home to two out of three of Sunni Islam's holiest sites – during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Since then, the story goes, the relationship between the jihadists and their former benefactors has been one of enmity, characterized by sporadic terror attacks and fierce US retribution. The real story, however, is something altogether different.

From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon flew thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen, often accompanied by US Special Forces, from Central Asia to Europe to reinforce Bosnian Muslims as they fought Serbs to gain their independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Clinton administration armed and trained these fighters in flagrant violation of United Nations accords; weapons purchased by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran were secretly shipped to the jihadists via Croatia, which netted a hefty profit from each transaction. The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which thousands of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb and Serbian paramilitary forces, concluded that the United States was "very closely involved" in these arms transfers.

When the Bosnian war ended in 1995 the United States was faced with the problem of thousands of Islamist warriors on European soil. Many of them joined the burgeoning Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which mainly consisted of ethnic Albanian Kosovars from what was still southwestern Yugoslavia. Emboldened by the success of the Slovenes, Croats, Macedonians and Bosnians who had won their independence from Belgrade as Yugoslavia literally balkanized, KLA fighters began to violently expel as many non-Albanians from Kosovo as they could. Roma, Jews, Turks and, above all, Serbs were all victims of Albanian ethnic cleansing.

The United States was initially very honest in its assessment of the KLA. Robert Gelbard, the US special envoy to Bosnia, called it "without any question a terrorist group." KLA backers allegedly included Osama bin Laden and other Islamic radicals; the group largely bankrolled its activities by trafficking heroin and sex slaves. The State Department accordingly added the KLA to its list of terrorist organizations in 1998.

However, despite all its nastiness the KLA endeared itself to Washington by fighting the defiant Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević. By this time Yugoslavia, once composed of eight nominally autonomous republics, had been reduced by years of bloody civil war to a rump of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. To Serbs, the dominant ethnic group in what remained of the country, Kosovo is regarded as the very birthplace of their nation. Belgrade wasn't about to let it go without a fight and everyone knew it, especially the Clinton administration. Clinton's hypocrisy was immediately evident; when Chechnya fought for its independence from Moscow and Russian forces committed horrific atrocities in response, the American president called the war an internal Russian affair and barely criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin. But when Milošević resorted to brute force in an attempt to prevent Yugoslavia from further fracturing, he soon found himself a marked man.

Although NATO called the KLA "the main initiator of the violence" in Kosovo and blasted "what appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation" against the Serbs, the Clinton administration was nevertheless determined to attack the Milošević regime. US intelligence confirmed that the KLA was indeed provoking harsh retaliatory strikes by Serb forces in a bid to draw the United States and NATO into the conflict. President Clinton, however, apparently wasn't listening. The NATO powers, led by the United States, issued Milošević an ultimatum they knew he could never accept: allow NATO to occupy all of Kosovo and have free reign in Serbia as well. Assistant US Secretary of State James Rubin later admitted that "publicly we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing were quite small."

Wagging the Dog?

In 1997 the film Wag the Dog debuted to rave reviews. The dark comedy concerns a Washington, DC spin doctor and a Hollywood producer who fabricate a fictional war in Albania to distract American voters from a presidential sex scandal. Many observers couldn't help but draw parallels between the film and the real-life events of 1998-99, which included the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton's impeachment and a very real war brewing in the Balkans. As in Wag the Dog , there were exaggerated or completely fabricated tales of atrocities, and as in the film the US and NATO powers tried to sell their war as a humanitarian intervention. An attack on Yugoslavia, we were told, was needed to avert Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanians.

There were two main problems with this. First, there was no Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars until after NATO began mercilessly bombing Yugoslavia. The German government issued several reports confirming this. One, from October 1998, reads, in part:

The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities and are no proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo or a part of it. What was involved in the Yugoslav violent actions and excesses since February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the military underground movement (especially the KLA) A state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists neither now nor earlier.

Subsequent German government reports issued through the winter of 1999 tell a similar story. "Events since February and March 1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity," stated one report released exactly one month before the NATO bombing started. "The measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed toward combating the KLA and its supposed adherents and supporters."

While Serbs certainly did commit atrocities (especially after the ferocious NATO air campaign began), these were often greatly exaggerated by the Clinton administration and the US corporate mainstream media. Clinton claimed – and the media dutifully parroted – that 600,000 Albanians were "trapped within Kosovo lacking shelter, short of food, afraid to go home or buried in mass graves." This was completely false . US diplomat David Scheffer claimed that "225,000 ethnic Albanian men are missing, presumed dead." Again, a total fabrication . The FBI, International War Crimes Tribunal and global forensics experts flocked to Kosovo in droves after the NATO bombs stopped falling; the total number of victims they found was around 1 percent of the figure claimed by the United States.

However, once NATO attacked, the Serb response was predictably furious. Shockingly, NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark declared that the ensuing Serbian atrocities against the Albanian Kosovar population had been "fully anticipated" and were apparently of little concern to Washington. Not only did NATO and the KLA provoke a war with Yugoslavia, they did so knowing that many innocent civilians would be killed, maimed or displaced by the certain and severe reprisals carried out by enraged Serb forces. Michael McGwire, a former top NATO planner, acknowledged that "to describe the bombing as a humanitarian intervention is really grotesque."

Bloody Hypocrites

The other big problem with the US claiming it was attacking Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds was that the Clinton administration had recently allowed – and was at the time allowing – far worse humanitarian catastrophes to rage without American intervention. More than 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered while Clinton and other world leaders stood idly by during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The US also courted the medievally brutal Taliban regime in hopes of achieving stability in Afghanistan and with an eye toward building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. Clinton also did nothing to stop Russian forces from viciously crushing nationalist uprisings in the Caucuses, where Chechen rebels were fighting for their independence much the same as Albanian Kosovars were fighting the Serbs.

Colombia, the Western Hemisphere's leading recipient of US military and economic aid, was waging a fierce, decades-long campaign of terror against leftist insurgents and long-suffering indigenous peoples. Despite horrific brutality and pervasive human rights violations, US aid to Bogotá increased year after year. In Turkey, not only did Clinton do nothing to prevent government forces from committing widespread atrocities against Kurdish separatists, the administration positively encouraged its NATO ally with billions of dollars in loans and arms sales. Saudi Arabia, home to the most repressive fundamentalist regime this side of Afghanistan, was – and remains – a favored US ally despite having one of the world's worst human rights records. The list goes on and on.

Much closer to the conflict at hand, the United States tacitly approved the largest ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since the Holocaust when as many as 200,000 Serbs were forcibly expelled from the Krajina region of Croatia by that country's US-trained military during Operation Storm in August 1995. Krajina Serbs had purged the region of its Croat minority four years earlier in their own ethnic cleansing campaign; now it was the Serbs' turn to be on the receiving end of the horror. Croatian forces stormed through Krajina, shelling towns and slaughtering innocent civilians. The sick and the elderly who couldn't escape were executed or burned alive in their homes as Croatian soldiers machine-gunned convoys of fleeing refugees.

"Painful for the Serbs"

Washington's selective indignation at Serb crimes both real and imagined is utterly inexcusable when held up to the horrific and seemingly indiscriminate atrocities committed during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. The prominent Australian journalist John Pilger noted that "in the attack on Serbia, 2 percent of NATO's missiles hit military targets, the rest hit hospitals, schools, factories, churches and broadcast studios." There is little doubt that US and allied warplanes and missiles were targeting the Serbian people as much as, or even more than, Serb forces. The bombing knocked out electricity in 70 percent of the country as well as much of its water supply.

NATO warplanes also deliberately bombed a building containing the headquarters of Serbian state television and radio in the middle of densely populated central Belgrade. The April 23, 1999 attack occurred without warning while 200 employees were at work in the building. Among the 16 people killed were a makeup artist, a cameraman, a program director, an editor and three security guards. There is no doubt that the attack was meant to demoralize the Serbian people. There is also no doubt that those who ordered the bombing knew exactly what outcome to expect: a NATO planning document viewed by Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac forecast as many as 350 deaths in the event of such an attack, with as many as 250 of the victims expected to be innocent civilians living in nearby apartments.

Allied commanders wanted to fight a "zero casualty war" in Yugoslavia. As in zero casualties for NATO forces, not the people they were bombing. "This will be painful for the Serbs," Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon sadistically predicted. It sure was. NATO warplanes flew sorties at 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), a safe height for the pilots. But this decreased accuracy and increased civilian casualties on the ground. One attack on central Belgrade mistakenly hit Dragiša Mišović hospital with a laser-guided "precision" bomb, obliterating an intensive care unit and destroying a children's ward while wounding several pregnant women who had the misfortune of being in labor at the time of the attack. Dragana Krstić, age 23, was recovering from cancer surgery – she just had a 10-pound (4.5 kg) tumor removed from her stomach – when the bombs blew jagged shards of glass into her neck and shoulders. "I don't know which hurts more," she lamented, "my stomach, my shoulder or my heart."

Dragiša Mišović wasn't the only hospital bombed by NATO. Cluster bombs dropped by fighter jets of the Royal Netherlands Air Force struck a hospital and a market in the city of Niš on May 7, killing 15 people and wounding 60 more. An emergency clinic and medical dispensary were also bombed in the mining town of Aleksinac on April 6, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.

Bridges were favorite targets of NATO bombing. An international passenger train traveling from Belgrade to Thessaloniki, Greece was blown apart by two missiles as it crossed over Grdelica gorge on April 12. Children and a pregnant woman were among the 15 people killed in the attack; 16 other passengers were wounded. Allied commander Gen. Wesley Clark claimed the train, which had been damaged by the first missile, had been traveling too rapidly for the pilot to abort the second strike on the bridge. He then offered up a doctored video that was sped up more than three times so that the pilot's behavior would appear acceptable.

On May 1, at least 24 civilians, many of them children, were killed when NATO warplanes bombed a bridge in Lužane just as a bus was crossing. An ambulance rushing to the scene of the carnage was struck by a second bomb. On the sunny spring afternoon of May 30, a bridge over the Velika Morava River in the small town of Vavarin was bombed by low-flying German Air Force F-16 fighters while hundreds of local residents gathered nearby to celebrate an Orthodox Christian holiday. Eleven people died, most of them when the warplanes returned and bombed the people who rushed to the bridge to help those wounded in the first strike.

No One Is Safe

The horrors suffered by the villagers of Surdulica shows that no one in Serbia was safe from NATO's fury. They endured some 175 bombardments during one three-week period alone, with 50 houses destroyed and 600 others damaged in a town with only around 10,000 residents. On April 27, 20 civilians, including 12 children, died when bombs meant to destroy an army barracks slammed into a residential neighborhood. As many as 100 others were wounded in the incident. Tragedy befell the tiny town again on May 31 when NATO warplanes returned to bomb an ammunition depot but instead hit an old people's home; 23 civilians, most of them helpless elderly men and women, were blown to pieces. Dozens more were wounded. The US military initially said "there were no errant weapons" in the attack. However, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre later testified before Congress that it "was a case of the pilot getting confused."

The CIA was also apparently confused when it relied on what it claimed was an outdated map to approve a Stealth Bomber strike on what turned out to be the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Three Chinese journalists were killed and 27 other people were wounded. Some people aren't so sure the attack was an accident – Britain's Observer later reported that the US deliberately bombed the embassy after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.

There were plenty of other accidents, some of them horrifically tragic and others just downright bizarre. Two separate attacks on the very Albanians NATO was claiming to help killed 160 people, many of them women and children. On April 14, NATO warplanes bombed refugees along a 12-mile (19-km) stretch of road between the towns of Gjakova and Deçan in western Kosovo, killing 73 people including 16 children and wounding 36 more. Journalists reported a grisly scene of "bodies charred or blown to pieces, tractors reduced to twisted wreckage and houses in ruins." Exactly one month later, another column of refugees was bombed near Koriša, killing 87 – mostly women, children and the elderly – and wounding 60 others. In the downright bizarre category, a wildly errant NATO missile struck a residential neighborhood in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, some 40 miles (64 km) outside of Serbia. The American AGM-88 HARM missile blew the roof off of a man's house while he was shaving in his bathroom.

NATO's "Murderous Thugs"

As the people of Yugoslavia were being terrorized by NATO's air war, the terrorists of the Kosovo Liberation Army stepped up their atrocities against Serbs and Roma in Kosovo. NATO troops deployed there to keep the peace often failed to protect these people from the KLA's brutal campaign. More than 164,000 Serbs fled or were forcibly driven from the Albanian-dominated province and by the summer of 2001 KLA ethnic cleansing had rendered Kosovo almost entirely Albanian, with just a few die-hard Serb holdouts living in fear and surrounded by barbed wire.

The KLA soon expanded its war into neighboring Macedonia. Although NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the terror group "murderous thugs," the United States – now with George W. Bush as president – continued to offer its invaluable support. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice personally intervened in an attempt to persuade Ukraine to halt arms sales to the Macedonian army and when a group of 400 KLA fighters were surrounded at Aracinovo in June 2001, NATO ordered Macedonian forces to hold off their attack while a convoy of US Army vehicles rescued the besieged militants. It later emerged that 17 American military advisers were embedded with the KLA at Aracinovo.

Credibility Conundrum

The bombing of Yugoslavia was really about preserving the credibility of the United States and NATO. The alliance's saber rattling toward Belgrade had painted it into a corner from which the only way out was with guns blazing. Failure to follow threats with deadly action, said President Clinton, "would discredit NATO." Clinton added that "our mission is clear, to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose." The president seemed willfully ignorant of NATO's real purpose, which is to defend member states from outside attack. British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed with Clinton, declaring on the eve of the war that "to walk away now would destroy NATO's credibility." Gary Dempsey, a foreign policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote that the Clinton administration "transformed a conflict that posed no threat to the territorial integrity, national sovereignty or general welfare of the United States into a major test of American resolve."

Waging or prolonging war for credibility's sake is always dangerous and seems always to yield disastrous results. Tens of thousands of US troops and many times as many Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian soldiers and civilians died while Richard Nixon sought an "honorable" way out of Vietnam. Ronald Reagan's dogged defense of US credibility cost the lives of 299 American and French troops killed in Hezbollah's 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. This time, ensuring American credibility meant backing the vicious KLA – some of whose fighters had trained at Osama bin Laden's terror camps in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact that al-Qaeda had already been responsible for deadly attacks against the United States, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

It is highly questionable whether bombing Yugoslavia affirmed NATO's credibility in the short term. In the long term, it certainly did not. The war marked the first and only time NATO had ever attacked a sovereign state. It did so unilaterally, absent any threat to any member nation, and without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. "If NATO can go for military action without international blessing, it calls into question the reliability of NATO as a security partner," Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, then Moscow's ambassador to NATO, told me at a San Francisco reception.

Twenty years later, Operation Allied force has been all but forgotten in the United States. In a country that has been waging nonstop war on terrorism for almost the entire 21st century, the 1999 NATO air war is but a footnote in modern American history. Serbs, however, still seethe at the injustice and hypocrisy of it all. The bombed-out ruins of the old Yugoslav Ministry of Defense, Radio Television of Serbia headquarters and other buildings serve as constant, painful reminders of the horrors endured by the Serbian people in service of NATO's credibility.

Brett Wilkins is a San Francisco-based author and activist. His work, which focuses on issues of war and peace and human rights, is archived at www.brettwilkins.com

Read more by Brett Wilkins

[Mar 23, 2019] Former CIA Director John Brennan Bashed on Twitter for Inaccurate Prediction of Coming Mueller Indictments by Chris Morran

Mar 23, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

Now that Robert Mueller has closed his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election without bringing any new indictments, some Twitter users have lashed out at former at political analyst and former CIA director for his recent prediction that Mueller would be bringing additional charges before finishing his probe.

Brennan appeared on MSNBC earlier this month, where he predicted that the special counsel's office would soon be bringing indictments to add to the list of 34 individuals already charged by Mueller's team.

In that interview, Brennan also opined that he expected that any indictment of anyone close to President Trump, including his family or extended family, would be named at the conclusion of the investigation.

"Bob Mueller and his team knows if he were to do something -- indicting a Trump family member or if he were to go forward with indictment on criminal conspiracy involving U.S. persons -- that would basically be the death of the special counsel's office, because I don't believe Donald Trump would allow Bob Mueller to continue in the aftermath of those types of actions," Brennan explained at the time.

Yet Mueller closed his investigation without bringing any further indictments and without any charges being brought against anyone within Trump's closest circle. The president's supporters and others took this opportunity to pounce on Brennan via Twitter.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been openly critical of the Russia investigation, was among the first to call out Brennan's indictment prediction.

"You can't blame MSNBC viewers for being confused," tweeted Greenwald in the wake of news that Mueller had submitted his report. "They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act"

He later added, "The worst part of this video is how Brennan said Mueller would indict Trump Family members for conspiring with Russia before March 15 or after, because he was too noble to do it on the Ides of March. Will MSNBC or Brennan apologize? Will there be consequences for any of this? LOL"

Conservative political pundit Charlie Kirk listed Brenna on a list of other frequent targets -- Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others -- of people who should be investigated, though it was not clear which laws Kirk believes any of these individuals might have broken.

Actor Dean Cain likened Brennan's indictment prediction to Vermont Governor Howard Dean's infamous "Dean Scream" that helped to tank Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.

Conservative political consultant Frank Luntz used the incorrect Brennan prediction to criticize media outlets for what he saw as a failure to acknowledge errors on their part.

... ... ...

[Mar 22, 2019] Trump Puts America Last by Daniel Larison

Mar 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do.

Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Whatever short-term benefit Israel gains from it, the U.S. gains nothing and stands to lose quite a bit in terms of our international standing.

There has been no consideration of the costs and problems this will create for the U.S. in its relations with other regional states and beyond because Trump couldn't care less about the long-term effects that his decisions have on the country.

Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him.

Trump's bad decision can be traced back to Bolton's visit to Israel earlier this year:

Administration officials said that National Security Advisor John Bolton was instrumental to the decision, after visiting Israel in January to assure officials there that the United States would not abandon them in Syria despite Trump's sudden withdrawal of troops from the battlefield.

Nervous Israeli officials saw an opportunity. "It was an ask," one Israeli source said, "because of the timing -- it suddenly became a relevant issue about Iran."

Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support.



SF Bay March 21, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Well, of course Trump puts America last. There is one and only one person he is interested in -- himself. As you say this is his narcissistic personality at work.

My never ending question is always, "Why does any Republican with a conscience remain silent? Are they really all this shallow and self absorbed? Is there nothing Trump does that will finally force them to put country before party and their own ambition?"

It's a really sad state of events that has put this country on the road to ruin.

Kouros , , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm
I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!
Trump 2016 , , March 22, 2019 at 1:45 am
Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. Straightening out all this stupidity will take years. Here's hoping that Trump gets to watch his foreign policy decisions tossed out and reversed from federal prison.
Grumpy Old Man , , March 22, 2019 at 3:29 am
He ought to recognize Russia's seizure of Crimea. Why not? Кто кого?
Tony , , March 22, 2019 at 8:50 am
The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it.

The administration says that a Russian missile violates the treaty but it will not tell us what the range of the missile is. Nor will it allow its weapons inspectors to go and look at it.

The reason is clear: Fear that the weapons inspectors' findings would contradict the administration's claims.

Some Perspective , , March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am
I voted Republican ever since I started voting. I voted for Bush I, Dole, Dubya, and McCain. I couldn't vote for either Obama or Romney, but I voted for Trump because of Hillary Clinton.

I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.

We're losing our country. We're losing America.

Sid Finster , , March 22, 2019 at 10:22 am
To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend.

Europoliticians tell that last one a lot. "We really don't want to but the Americans twisted our arms ZOMG Special Relationship so sorry ZOMG!" Only with a lot more Eurobureaucratese.

G-Pol , , March 22, 2019 at 11:15 am
I agree with the article's premise, but not because of this move regarding Israel.

Personally, I believe this move will have little impact on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are too focused on containing Iran and Turkey to give a crap about what Israel does. The only Arab states that I can see objecting to this move are Syria (obviously) and the others who were already allied with Iran and/or Turkey to begin with.

Right now, the REAL center of attention in the region should be Northern Syria. THAT's where the next major war likely will begin. In that area, Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are the ones doing the major escalations, while Israel has virtually no role at all aside from sideline cheer-leading. And of course, Trump is doing nothing to stop what could become the next July Crisis. What's "America First" about that?

Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss its alliance with the US goodbye.

There is no way our international reputation will come out of this war unscathed, and odds are we'll be in a far worse position diplomatically than we were at any point in our history, even during the Iraq war. When that happens, the American people will be out to assign blame. Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to Israel over the subsequent generation.

All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and much of Europe and the Middle East into.

[Mar 22, 2019] The War on Yemen and the Trump Administration's Contempt for the Law

Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Trump administration has ignored yet another mandated deadline for reporting to Congress on Yemen:

A senior Pentagon official had pledged to deliver the strategy report at the beginning of March after failing to meet a Feb. 1 deadline mandated by law.

In recent months, the Trump administration has disregarded several certification requirements from Congress. In February, the State Department refused to say whether the Saudi-led force had reduced civilian casualties in the Yemeni conflict. And the White House failed to respond to lawmakers' query about whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last year, the administration met the first certification deadline by brazenly lying to Congress that the Saudi coalition was successfully reducing harm to civilians in Yemen. Congress completely failed to hold Secretary Pompeo accountable for those lies, and the administration has obviously concluded that it can get away with disregarding these requirements. For the last several months, both the Secretary of State and the Pentagon have simply refused to comply with the law. In this case, the Pentagon probably can't "detail specific US diplomatic and national security objectives" because the only discernible objective of reflexive support for the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen is to indulge them in whatever they want to do. An administration that has illegally involved the U.S. in the war on Yemen for more than two years obviously won't have any respect for legal requirements set by Congress when they can't even be bothered to respect the Constitution.

The administration's contempt for the law and their disrespect for Congress are additional reasons why the House should vote on and pass the antiwar Yemen resolution that the Senate passed earlier this month. Beyond that, Congress needs to increase pressure on the Saudi and Emirati governments with additional measures to cut off arms sales and hearings to scrutinize the numerous human rights abuses and war crimes committed by their forces and their proxies.

When war supporters object that Congress risks undermining the U.S.-Saudi relationship, it is important for members of Congress to know that it is Mohammed bin Salman who has jeopardized the relationship through his reckless and destructive behavior. The Saudi government has been desperately lying about its conduct in Yemen and elsewhere to the U.S. and the entire world, and the crown prince has proven himself to be completely unreliable and strikingly incompetent at everything except grabbing more power for himself:

"We know who this guy is, we know what he's capable of, and treating him like he's an ally or a reliable partner is totally untenable," said Jeremy Konyndyk, a former US Agency for International Development director during the Obama administration.

The Saudi government has made itself a liability to the U.S. Since the administration puts Saudi Arabia first and won't do anything to defend American interests, it falls to Congress to do what the president won't.

[Mar 22, 2019] Glenn Greenwald on Twitter The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years. ..."
"... They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so. ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Glenn Greenwald 3h 3 hours ago

The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away: not one single American was charged, indicted or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election - not even a low-level volunteer. The number is zero.

Compare what cable hosts (let's leave them unnamed) & Democratic operatives spent two years claiming this would lead to - the imprisonment of Don, Jr., Jared, even Trump on conspiracy-with-Russia charges - to what it actually produced. A huge media reckoning is owed.

Don't even try to pretend the point of the Mueller investigation from the start wasn't to obtain prosecutions of Americans guilty of conspiring with Russia to influence the outcome of the election or that Putin controlled Trump through blackmail. Nobody will believe your denials.

Are we now ready to rid ourselves of the thrilling espionage fantasy that Trump is controlled by Putin and the Kremlin using blackmail? There's no way Robert Mueller would have gone 18 months without telling anyone about this if it were true, right? How could that be justified?

Perhaps now we can focus on the actually consequential actions the Trump administration is taking and finally move past the deranged conspiracy theories that have drowned US discourse for 2+ years. A side benefit will be not ratcheting up tension between 2 nuclear-armed powers.

Giving up these exciting conspiracy theories about international blackmail & convening panels to decipher all the genius hidden maneuvers of Mueller will be bad for cable ratings, book sales & the Patreon accounts of online charlatans. But it'll be very healthy in all other ways.

CNN's Justice Department reporter https:// twitter.com/LauraAJarrett/ status/1109210442864439299

The desperate attempts to salvage something from this debacle by the Mueller dead-enders are just sad. Yes, the public hasn't read the Mueller report. But we *know* he ended his investigation without indicting a single American for conspiring with Russia to influence the election

Trump, Jr. testified for hours and hours before Congress, including about the Trump Tower meeting. If he lied there, or to Mueller, why didn't Mueller indict him for perjury, lying to Congress or obstruction? Same questions for Kushner. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

If Mueller found evidence that Putin controls Trump & forces him to act against US interests & in favor of Russia - not just with a pee-pee tape but with financial blackmail - what could possibly justify keeping that a secret through the end of the investigation? It's ludicrous.

US discourse has been drowned for 2+ years with conspiratorial, unhinged, but highly inflammatory and unhinged idiocy - playing games with two nuclear-armed powers because of anger over the 2016 election. It's time to stop. Mueller ended his work. We see the public indictments.

And to be clear: I've urged a full investigation into these Trump/Russia claims from the start, from before Mueller was appointed, with full disclosure. I still favor that - precisely to end the reckless speculation to which we've been endlessly subjected https:// medium.com/@ggreenwald/st atements-about-possibility-russia-meddling-hacking-need-for-investigations-2016-present-f5794c1496d6

So many in the media devoted endless airtime & print & pixels misleading people to believe Mueller was coming to arrest & prosecute Trump, Jr, Kushner & so many others for conspiring with Russia over the election & obstruction. None of that happened. You can't pretend it away.

hard to make jokes 59m 59 minutes ago

the Supreme Court of the Southern District of New York can also do that. And please, wait until the report comes out and read it, then we'll see.

Bala R 32m 32 minutes ago

They was never the point. No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years.

Mary Batson 17m 17 minutes ago

They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so.

[Mar 22, 2019] I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about authoritarian regimes?!

Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Kouros , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm

I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!

[Mar 21, 2019] The Russian meddling fraud Weapons of mass destruction revisited

Feb 20, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Fifteen years ago, on February 5, 2003, against the backdrop of worldwide mass demonstrations in opposition to the impending invasion of Iraq, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell argued before the United Nations that the government of Saddam Hussein was rapidly stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction," which Iraq, together with Al Qaeda, was planning to use against the United States.

In what was the climax of the Bush administration's campaign to justify war, Powell held up a model vial of anthrax, showed aerial photographs and presented detailed slides purporting to show the layout of Iraq's "mobile production facilities."

There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end.

The World Socialist Web Site , in an editorial board statement published the next day, declared the brief for war "the latest act in a diplomatic charade laced with cynicism and deceit." War against Iraq, the WSWS wrote, was not about "weapons of mass destruction." Rather, "it is a war of colonial conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global hegemony."

The response of the American media, and particularly its liberal wing, was very different. Powell's litany of lies was presented as the gospel truth, an unanswerable indictment of the Iraqi government.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared, "The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise."

The editorial board of the New York Times -- whose reporter Judith Miller was at the center of the Bush administration's campaign of lies -- declared one week later that there "is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account for them to the current inspectors."

Subsequent developments would prove who was lying. The Bush administration and its media accomplices conspired to drag the US into a war that led to the deaths of more than one million people -- a colossal crime for which no one has yet been held accountable.

Fifteen years later, the script has been pulled from the closet and dusted off. This time, instead of "weapons of mass destruction," it is "Russian meddling in the US elections." Once again, assertions by US intelligence agencies and operatives are treated as fact. Once again, the media is braying for war. Once again, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the American government -- which intervenes in the domestic politics of every state on the planet and has been relentlessly expanding its operations in Eastern Europe -- are ignored.

The argument presented by the American media is that the alleged existence of a fly-by-night operation, employing a few hundred people, with a budget amounting to a minuscule fraction of total election spending in the US, constitutes a "a virtual war against the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda" ( New York Times ).

In the countless articles and media commentary along this vein, nowhere can one find a serious analysis of the Mueller indictment of the Russians itself, let alone an examination of the real motivations behind the US campaign against Russia. The fact that the indictment does not even involve the Russian government or state officials is treated as a nonissue.

While the present campaign over Russian "meddling" has much in common with the claims about "weapons of mass destruction," the implications are far more ominous. The "war on terror" is exhausted, in part because the US is allied in Syria and elsewhere with the Islamic fundamentalist organizations it was purportedly fighting.

More fundamentally, the quarter-century of invasions and occupations that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union is rapidly developing into a conflict between major nuclear-armed powers. The effort of the American ruling class to offset its economic decline using military force is leading mankind to the brink of another world war. As the National Defense Strategy, published less than a month before the release of the indictments, declared, "Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

Russia is seen by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus as a principal obstacle to US efforts to control the Middle East and to take on China -- and it is this that has been at the center of the conflict between the Democratic Party and the Trump administration.

There have already been a series of clashes in recent weeks between the world's two largest nuclear-armed powers. On February 3, a Russian close-air support fighter was shot down by al-Nusra Front fighters, which are indirectly allied with the United States in its proxy war against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. Then, on February 7 and 8, Russian soldiers were killed in US air and artillery barrages in Deir Ezzor, in what survivors called a "massacre." Both the US and Russian governments have sought to downplay the scale of the clash, but some sources have reported the number killed to be in the hundreds.

Even as US and Russian forces clashed in Syria, representatives of the Kremlin and the Pentagon sparred at the Munich security conference this weekend over the deployment and development of nuclear weapons. While accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Washington this month issued a nuclear posture review envisioning a massive expansion of the deployment of battlefield nuclear weapons.

The Mueller indictment is intended to provide an appropriate "narrative" for military aggression motivated by different aims. At the same time, it serves as a ready-made pretext for censorship and domestic repression that goes far beyond the extraordinary measures adopted under the framework of the "war on terror." Russia, the American people are supposed to believe, uses domestic social opposition to weaken the United States, rendering political dissent effectively treasonous.

Already, this campaign has led the major US technology firms to implement far-reaching measures to censor political speech on the Internet. Google is manipulating its search results and Facebook is manipulating its news feeds, while seeking to turn the social media platform it has developed into an instrument of corporate-state surveillance.

Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it. The target of the repressive measures is not Russia, but the American working class. The ruling elite is well aware that as it plots war abroad, it stands upon a social powder keg at home.

... ... ...

Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

[Mar 21, 2019] Trump s Terrible Golan Heights Recognition Decision by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition ..."
"... Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future. ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

There were hints in recent days that U.S. recognition of Israel's claim to the Golan Heights was coming, and now the president has done it. Israel's control of this territory dates back to the 1967 war, when Israel grabbed this part of Syria and refused to return it. Israel has no legitimate claim to this territory, and in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land that it seized during a war the U.S. is sending a potentially very dangerous message to governments all around the world.

Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition, and it also tells them that the U.S. isn't going to pay any attention to international law when it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over occupied territories.

Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future.

[Mar 20, 2019] John McCain Associate Provided Dossier to Obama National Security Council Breitbart

Mar 20, 2019 | www.breitbart.com

David Kramer, a long-time advisor to late Senator John McCain, revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele was being taken seriously.

In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste Wallander.

In a deposition on Dec. 13, 2017 that was recently posted online, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December 2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry's State Department. Senator McCain asked me to meet with both of them to see if this was being taken seriously in the government," Kramer said.

"And Senator McCain asked you to meet with them?" Kramer was asked to clarify.

"Yes, just to see if this was being taken seriously. I think he wanted to do -- this was his kind of due diligence before he went to Director Comey."

Kramer testified that in his conversations with Nuland and Wallander he was told by both of them that each were aware of the dossier and that Nuland "thought Steele was a serious person."

Kramer revealed that he gave a copy of the dossier to Wallander, who was familiar with the contents but did not have a copy.

"I had a subsequent conversation with Ms. Wallander in which I gave her a copy of the document. That was probably around New Year's," he said.

"She had not seen it herself until I had shown it to her," Kramer added. "She had heard about it. And she didn't know the status of it."

In the same testimony, the McCain associate revealed that he held a meeting about the dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer's permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom. That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.

BuzzFeed infamously published Steele's full dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.

Prior to his death, McCain admitted to personally handing the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey but he refused repeated requests for comment about whether he had a role in providing the dossier to BuzzFeed, including numerous inquiries sent to his office by this reporter.

In his book published last year, McCain maintained he had an "obligation" to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he would even do it again. "Anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell," McCain exclaimed.

Kramer, meanwhile, also said that he briefed others reporters on the dossier contents, including CNN's Carl Bernstein, in an effort to have the anti-Trump charges verified.

The same day BuzzFeed released the full dossier, CNN first reported the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump.

Kramer said that he believed McCain was sought out in order to provide credibility to the dossier claims.

"I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack," Kramer stated.

The controversial Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.

Kramer's testimony sheds a new light on the role of the Obama administration in disseminating the largely-discredited dossier that was reportedly involved in the FBI's initial investigation into the Trump campaign and unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion. Also Comey cited the dossier as evidence in a successful FISA application to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Trump's 2016 campaign. The testimony also revealed how McCain was utilized to give the wild dossier charges a credibility boost.

Nuland and dossier

Nuland's specific role in the dossier episode has been the subject of some controversy for her.

In their book , "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump," authors and reporters by Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier's claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Steele sought out Rome-based FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta, with whom he had worked on a previous case. Before Gaeta met with Steele on July 5, 2016, the book relates that the FBI first secured the support of Nuland, who at the time was assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs specializing in Russia.

Regarding the arrangements for Steele's initial meeting with the FBI about the dossier claims, Isikoff and Corn report:

There were a few hoops Gaeta had to jump through. He was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Rome. The FBI checked with Victoria Nuland's office at the State Department : Do you support this meeting ? Nuland, having found Steele's reports on Ukraine to have been generally credible, gave the green light.

Within a few days, on July 5, Gaeta arrived and headed to Steele's office near Victoria station . Steele handed him a copy of the report. Gaeta, a seasoned FBI agent, started to read . He turned white. For a while, Gaeta said nothing . Then he remarked, "I have to report this to headquarters."

The book documents that Nuland previously received Steele's reports on the Ukrainian crisis and had been familiar with Steele's general work.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Clinton's State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Nuland's name surfaced in a flurry of news media reports last year about the dossier and Kerry's State Department.

Sidney Blumenthal

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named another former official from Kerry's State Department for alleged involvement in circulating the dossier. The magazine reported that Kerry's chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer, obtained the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually decided to share the questionable document with Kerry.

Finer received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an "old friend." Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

Nuland, Winer Give Conflicting Accounts

There are seeming discrepancies between Winer and Nuland about actions taken involving the dossier.

Nuland described in a Politico podcast interview what she claimed was her reaction when she was presented with Steele's dossier information at the State Department.

She said that she offered advice to "those who were interfacing with" Steele, immediately telling the intermediary or intermediaries that Steele "should get this information to the FBI." She further explained that a career employee at the State Department could not get involved with the dossier charges since such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which prevents employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in certain kinds of political activities.

In a second interview, this one with CBS's Face The Nation, Nuland also stated that her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.

Here is a transcript of the relevant section of her February 5 interview with Susan B. Glasser, who described Nuland as "my friend" and referred to her by her nickname "Toria":

Glasser: When did you first hear about his dossier?

Nuland: I first heard -- and I didn't know who his client was until much later, until 2017, I think, when it came out. I first heard that he had done work for a client asserting these linkages -- I think it was late July, something like that.

Glasser: That's very interesting. And you would have taken him seriously just because you knew that he knew what he was talking about on Russia?

Nuland: What I did was say that this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of -- not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics. So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate whether they thought it was credible.

Glasser: Did you ever talk about it with anyone else higher up at the department? With Secretary Kerry or anybody else?

Nuland: Secretary Kerry was also aware. I think he's on the record and he had the same advice.

Nuland stated that Kerry "was also aware" of the dossier, but she did not describe how he was made aware. She made clear that she told "those who were interfacing" with Steele to go to the FBI since any State Department involvement could violate the Hatch Act.

Her Politico podcast interview was not the only time she claimed that her reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.

On Face The Nation on February 4, Nuland engaged in the following exchange in which she stated her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI (emphasis added):

MARGARET BRENNAN: The dossier.

VICTORIA NULAND: The dossier, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, "This is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate."

And that was our reaction when we saw this. It's not our -- we can't evaluate this. And frankly, if every member of the campaign who the Russians tried to approach and tried to influence had gone to the FBI as well in real time, we might not be in the mess we're in today.

Nuland gave the two interviews after her name started surfacing in news media reports involving Kerry's State Department and the dossier. Her name also came up in relation to a criminal referral of Steele to the Justice Department in the form of a letter authored last year by Sen. Chuck Grassley, who at the time chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The Grassley-Graham criminal referral contains redacted information that Steele received information from someone in the State Department, who in turn had been in contact with a "foreign sub-source" who was in touch with a redacted name described as a "friend of the Clintons."

Numerous media reports have since stated that the source of information provided to the State Department that was in turn passed on to Steele was Cody Shearer, a controversial figure tied to the Clintons who is also an associate of longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal. According to sources who spoke to CNN, Shearer's information was passed from Blumenthal to Winer, who at the time was a special State Department envoy for Libya working under Kerry. Winer says that Kerry personally recruited him to work at the State Department.

It is Winer's version of events that seems to conflict with Nuland's.

In an oped published in the Washington Post, Winer identified Nuland as the State Department official with whom he shared Steele's information. Winer writes that Nuland's reaction was that "she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material." He does not relate any further reaction from Nuland.

Winer wrote in the Washington Post (emphasis added):

In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved "active measures," a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.

In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the "dossier." Steele's sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.

I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.

That was the extent of Winer's description of Nuland's reaction upon being presented with Steele's dossier claims. Nuland's public claim that her "immediate" response was to refer Steele to the FBI since State involvement could violate the Hatch Act seems to conflict with the only reaction that Winer relates from Nuland – that she felt Kerry should be made aware of the dossier information.

In Winer's Washington Post oped, he writes that Steele had a larger relationship with the State Department, passing over 100 reports relating to Russia to the U.S. government agency through Winer. Winer wrote that Nuland found Steele's reports to be "useful" and asked Winer to "continue to send them."

He wrote:

In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department would like copies of new information as he developed it. I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele's reports. She told me they were useful and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele's reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters, and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of events in Russia.

Kramer and the dossier

In his book, "The Restless Wave," McCain provided an inside account of how he says he came across the dossier.

He wrote that he was told about the claims in the document at a security conference in Canada in November 2016, where he was approached by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow and friend of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.

McCain wrote that Wood told him Steele "had been commissioned to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents as well as potentially compromising information about the President-elect that Putin allegedly possessed."

McCain, however, did not address the obvious question of whether he was told exactly who "commissioned" Steele to "investigate" the alleged Russian ties. The dossier was paid for by Clinton's campaign and the DNC.

McCain goes on to describe Wood as telling him Steele's work "was mostly raw, unverified intelligence, but that the author strongly believed merited a thorough examination by counterintelligence experts."

The politician says the dossier claims described to him were "too strange a scenario to believe, something out of a le Carré novel, not the kind of thing anyone has ever actually had to worry about with a new President, no matter what other concerns."

Still, McCain says he reasoned that "even a remote risk that the President of the United States might be vulnerable to Russian extortion had to be investigated."

McCain concedes Wood told him he had not actually read the dossier himself, and writes that he wasn't sure if he ever met Wood before and couldn't recall previously having a conversation with Wood. Still, McCain took Wood's word for it when Wood vouched for Steele's credibility. "Steele was a respected professional, Wood assured us, who had good Russian contacts and long experience collecting and analyzing intelligence on the Kremlin," McCain wrote.

Present at the meeting with Wood and McCain was Kramer, who McCain writes agreed to "go to London to meet Steele, confirm his credibility and report back to me."

McCain doesn't detail Kramer's visit to London beyond simply writing, "When David returned, and shared his impression that the former spy was, as Sir Andrew had vouched, a respected professional, and not to outward appearances given to hyperbole or hysteria, I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as 'the dossier.'''

McCain leaves out exactly where Kramer obtained his dossier copy.

The Washington Post reported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it. Those details marked the clearest indication that McCain may have known that the dossier originated with Fusion GPS, meaning that he may have knowingly passed on political material to the FBI.

Also, in a New York Times oped in January, GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritch wrote that they helped McCain share their anti-Trump dossier with the Obama-era intelligence community via an unnamed "emissary."

In his own testimony, Kramer relates conversations with Simpson about the dossier.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

[Mar 20, 2019] Merkel is the most servile lackey that the US could wish for.

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Cemi , Mar 20, 2019 8:50:23 AM | link

@17 Guy Thornton wrote:
Merkel might say: "There is definitely a place for Brazil in NATO. They can have ours."
Forget it! Merkel is the most servile lackey that the US could wish for. She is doing everything her masters in Washington ask her to do. For example the German public is awaiting a mildly entertaining show of their government on how to work around yesterdays court decision:
International law is the yardstick for international politics. This has been clarified by the Higher Administrative Court in Münster in a spectacular ruling on lethal US drone missions in Yemen. Several relatives of victims who were killed in such attacks had sued. They hold the Federal Republic of Germany jointly responsible for this because the United States allegedly also uses the US airbase in Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate for these fatal attacks.

There are important indications that the drone attacks in question violate international law and the fundamental right to life. The Federal Republic of Germany must protect these rights and stand up for them. Therefore the Federal Republic must clarify now in a first step whether the attacks offend against international right.

(Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator from Urteil über US-Airbase in Ramstein: Deutsche Richter fordern Überprüfung tödlicher US-Drohneneinsätze )

NOT! Aside from the fact, that the public press largely ignores this decision, our governments have a long record of doing actually nothing when formally independent judges even from the highest courts ask them to adhere to the law.
Speaking of embarrassing lackeys, when the empire was seeking a new nodal point to more efficiently drone bomb Northern Africa the most obvious/nearby European locations like Italy, France or Greece all said "Nah, better not". But, don't you worry, Missus Merkel was of course happy to offer Stuttgard in Southern Germany as base for AFRICOM!

Always at your service!

[Mar 20, 2019] The US wants Brazil to join NATO

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Guy Thornton , Mar 19, 2019 4:22:12 PM | link

Merkel might say:

"There is definitely a place for Brazil in NATO. They can have ours."

[Mar 20, 2019] Vladimir Putin celebrates birthday on ice in celebrity hockey match

This article was written 4 years ago, but the problem with Putin successor remains. Putin is a unique politician and his replacement might be much weaker, causing troubles for Russia. This is not new problem for Russia, but this time it will be especially acute. BTW this comment thread looks like "who is who" list for NATObots.
Notable quotes:
"... We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see. ..."
"... Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come ..."
"... Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously. ..."
"... It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways. ..."
"... He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship. Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work] ..."
"... Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed. ..."
"... Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section. ..."
"... PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ? ..."
Oct 07, 2015 | The Guardian

goatrider 7 Oct 2015 17:12

I wonder if everyone on the Guardian staff has the same "man crush" on Putin? Could explain all these obsessive articles. I also wonder if he spent any time in the penalty box?

laticsfanfromeurope -> Extracrispy 7 Oct 2015 17:06

You prefer ISIS and Al-Nusra then the legitimate Syrian gov. and the legitimate help of Russia...not a surprise from stupid western supporters!


pfox33 7 Oct 2015 17:05

There isn't one of our western politicians that wouldn't sell his fucking mother to be getting the attention that Putin's getting. I thought he was supposed to be isolated.

So to keep the hockey thing going, Putin's stolen the puck in the neutral zone, split the Nato defensemen who were too far forward and is on a breakaway.

I feel sorry for Obama because I think he's a good leader but when it comes to trying to maneuver in a geopolitical situation like Syria he's fucked before he leaves the house. Putin can just act without trying to herd cats like Obama has to do with his Nato minions. He doesn't have a bunch of recalcitrant GOP senators calling him everything but a white man and running their mouths about what they would do.

... ... ...


filin led -> Braminski 7 Oct 2015 16:55

It's you who are a troll, sir. By what you say, anything can be dismissed as paid propaganda. That means, you are as likely to be a paid agent yourself. So, if you can't come up with a constructive argument, stop commenting please.


Mordantdude -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 16:40

As Russians say: "Envy silently".

giacinto101 7 Oct 2015 15:59

We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see.


SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 15:54

Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come


CIAbot007 -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 15:39

Most of Aussies have a bit of common sense which says that you can't blame anyone before it is prooved. With Western MSM propaganda machine blaming Russia and Putin even before anything happens you bet there's no such thing as balanced and unskewed reporting and even will for any kind of such thing. Don't get fooled, use your brain or your brain will be used by someone else.


SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 14:48

Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously.


PekkaRoivanen MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:30

In the West, we don't have a sycophantic press kissing the leader's backside:

Guardian: Barack Obama scores just 2 out of 22 basketball hoops - video

You wrote that Obama plays basketball and you prove it with this video where Obama wears dress shirt (tie removed :-D) and scores badly.

Are you sure Obama plays basketball? Or is it just press kissing his backside?

Kev Kev Hektor Uranga 7 Oct 2015 14:28

the USA persecutes and kills people who speak out against it. Only difference is the USA does it in ways that nobody sees.. In other words the USA is the same as Russia only they do their work in the dark. When nobody is looking.

Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:26

That's the guy who is wishing Putin a happy birthday.

The US/UK duo have caused with their insane illegal wars more than a million deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and counting.

I recommend you look up a little the complex history and present situation in Chechnya and the North Caucasus region.

ISIS (which the insanely aggressive US/UK duo have in effect created) is already spreading its influence INSIDE the Russian Federation. So Putin has direct interests to defeat ISIS and stabilise Syria (and Iraq). In addition, the south of the Russian Federation is on the map of territories which ISIS plans to conquer.

See for example:
-
8 ISIS supporters killed in N. Caucasus special op

(2 August 2015)

Russian security forces have foiled a terrorist group that recently pledged allegiance to ISIS in Ingushetia, in the Northern Caucasus, according to the National Anti-Terror Committee (NAC). Security forces seized explosives, weapons and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
-
How Russian Militants Declared A New ISIS 'State' In Russia's North Caucasus

(26 June 2015)

The Islamic State group announced the creation of its northernmost province this week, after accepting a formal pledge of allegiance from former al Qaeda militants in the North Caucasus region of Russia.
-
-
It is true that at present, the Chechens are begging Putin to let them strike in Syria (and this is also closely linked to the complicated history of North Caucasus), but Putin has not unleashed them. See for example here:
-
-
Kadyrov asks Putin to allow Chechen infantry to fight in Syria (RT, 2 October 2015)
-
The head of the Chechen Republic has asked the Russian president to send Chechen units to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria, adding that his fighters have sworn to fight terrorists till the end.

"Being a Muslim, a Chechen and a Russian patriot I want to say that in 1999 when our republic was overrun with these devils we swore on the Koran that we would fight them wherever they are," the Chechen leader said. "But we need the Commander-in-Chief's decision to do this," he emphasized. According to the Russian Constitution, the president [Putin] is also the commander-in-chief of the military forces.


BMWAlbert clanview46 7 Oct 2015 14:26

It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways.


Julian1972 MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:21

That was last year...also it was authored by a combination of the CIA and their right-wing 'Operation Stay Behind' cohorts...though, if you don't know that by now you doubtless never will.


Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:16

Murderers, thieves and embezzlers stroking each other's egos.

Putin has a long way to go to match the US/UK.
-
-
Here is a recent report about 'collateral damage' compiled by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War:
-
Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the 'War on Terror' (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)

(March 2015)
-
This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million.

NOT included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen.

The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs.

And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
-
-
For more about civilian casualties due to the US-led coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq, see the Airwars website:

584 – 1,720 civilians killed:

To date, the international coalition has only conceded two "likely" deaths, from an event in early November 2014. It is also presently investigating seven further incidents of concern; is carrying out credibility assessments on a further 13; and has concluded three more investigations – having found no 'preponderance of evidence' to support civilian casualty claims.

More Power -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:13

He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship. Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work]. Just look at the World Bank, BRICS is on the door step. Happy birth day Putin. A badass mofo

blueskis -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:06

The vats majority of the 5500 killed have been civilians in East Ukraine killed by airstrikes ordered by kiev/washington, fully justifying Russian intervention.


ooTToo -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:40

Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed.


geedeesee -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:19

Russia is attacking what they said they'd attack, Tavernier. ISIS, al-Nusrah, and other terrorist organisations.

inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:18

No he isn't. Anybody with a functioning brain knows he had nothing to do with that. Unlike the US genocide in the Middle East - over 2 million dead and counting - not to mention the deliberate and sustained attack on a hospital. Maybe you don' get to see the news in your ward?

inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:13

The US created, funds, trains and arms ISIS - they are only supporting terrorists in their campaign to effect regime change. Russia is responding to a request fro the Syrian government, so its actions are entirely legal. The faces that the USA and the KSA are the biggest sponsors of terrorism in the world.

monteverdi1610 7 Oct 2015 12:22

Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section.

PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ?

[Mar 20, 2019] The Opportunity Cost of America s Disastrous Foreign Policy by Vlad Sobell

Foreign policy is no longer controlled by the President of the USA. It is controlled by the Deep state. This article is from 2015 but can easily be written about Trump administration
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire). ..."
"... First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way? ..."
"... In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule". ..."
"... Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine. ..."
"... Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all. ..."
"... Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. ..."
"... Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. ..."
"... Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. ..."
"... 'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'. ..."
"... "We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED] ..."
Mar 18, 2015 | Russia Insider

Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy... European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy

The avalanche of commentary since the Ukrainian crisis erupted a year ago has overshadowed any reflections on the immense forgone benefits (technically speaking, the "opportunity cost") of what might have been if Washington had been working for peace and stability instead of war and chaos.

Imagine the following: After the unraveling of the Communist bloc, Europe, in partnership with the US, had forged a new security system in which Russia was treated as a valued and equal partner – one whose interests were respected. Russia, decimated by a century of wars and Communist imperialism, would doubtless have eagerly reciprocated in kind. Most countries of the former Soviet Union would have then proceeded to build a new Eurasian structure of which Russia would have served as the natural umbrella, given its long-standing interaction with the region's diverse nations and cultures.

Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire).

The rising Far Eastern economic powerhouse, with the world's most populous country, China, at its centre, would have linked up with the world's largest economy (the EU). An enormous Eurasian production and financial bloc would have been created – one that drew primarily on secure supplies of Russian energy and other natural resources. Untold investment opportunities would have opened up in Siberia and Russia's Far East as well as in Central Asia. Hundreds of millions of people in Eurasia and elsewhere would have been lifted out of poverty. And, not least, the EU would have been refashioned as an integral part of the dynamic trans-Eurasian economy (rather than as a German-centred empire, as appears to be the case today), thereby making a major contribution to overcoming the ongoing global economic depression.

All of this was not to be, however. Why not? First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way?

European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy

In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule".

Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine.

And in what is eerily reminiscent of Stalinist "bloc discipline", the EU/NATO nomenclature was ordered to implement the absurd strategy of severing the Russian economy from the EU. For their part, the cowering Eurocrats willingly obliged by imposing sanctions on Russia that, perversely, have had a negative impact on their own economies (but, let it be stressed, not that of the US). No questions raised and no public debate on the wisdom of such a strategy permitted.

Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all.

This abuse and humiliation of Europe is unparalleled. The continent that gave the world the wonders of the Antiquity, modern democracy, the industrial revolution and what is arguably the greatest tradition of philosophy, fine arts and classical music is being bullied by its oversized offspring. Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. War and extermination camps are etched into the European DNA. America "knows" about them only from afar – and, not least, from the Hollywood entertainment industry.

Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. The so-called European "leaders" are colluding with them in plunging Europe into the abyss and thereby risking nuclear confrontation.

America, too, is a loser

But this is not just a tragedy for Europe and Eurasia. We are also witnessing the wilful misrule of America and, by default, of the entire West. Indeed, Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy. The "democracy-promoters" running Washington's foreign-policy apparatus apparently do not understand that America has nothing to lose and a lot to gain from the Eurasian economic project: the rising tide of global economic welfare would lift everyone's boats, including its own. Why should it matter to Washington if the rising tide comes from other quarters beyond its control?

Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. If it continues to support such forces against Russia, united Europe will lose not only its backbone but its very soul. The moral consequences of this loss will be enormous and could lead to the precipitous erosion of Western democracy.

The 'autocrats' want to work with the West, not against it

US and EU leaders believe that the Russian and Chinese "autocrats" are out to destroy the West because the latter hate freedom (as George W. Bush might have put it). And hence, they argue, the autocrats must be stopped in their tracks. The simple truth is that Western leaders are too blinkered to understand that far from desiring to destroy the West, Russia and China want it to prosper so that they can work with it to everyone's benefit. Having enjoyed a privileged position over several centuries and having attained unprecedented prosperity in recent decades, the West simply cannot understand that the rest of humanity has no interest in fomenting the "clash of civilizations" but rather craves peace and stability so that it can finally improve its economic lot.

Perhaps, however, all is not yet lost. It is still possible that reason – and economic forces – will prevail and force the West to correct the errors of its ways. What we need, perhaps, more than ever is the ability to step out of the box, question our fundamental assumptions (not least about Russia and China) and find the courage to change policies that have proved disastrous. After all, critical thought, dispassionate analysis and the ability to be open to new ideas is what made the West so successful in the past. If we are to thrive once again in the future, we must resurrect these most valuable and unsurpassed assets.

Vlad Sobell teaches political economy in Prague and Berlin Europeans Look On as US Sows Discord on the Continent Wed, Nov 2

Tom Welsh

What I cannot understand is the naive belief that elected politicians would act in the interests of those whom they represent. Under what other circumstances do we see human beings act with disinterested altruism? So why would a bunch of people who have been ruthlessly selected for selfishness, arrogance, and callousness - a bunch of carefully chosen psychopaths, if you will - behave in that way?

'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'.

- Paul Craig Roberts

jabirujoe

"Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy".

Not only it's foreign policy but it's domestic policy as well. Let's call it for what it really is. The Wall Street/Corporate policy which is the driving force behind behind everything the US does

Toddrich

"We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]

"When we're done with the U.S. it will shrivel up and blow away." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]

The welfare or future of the American people are not part of the equation.

[Mar 20, 2019] Obama was the first African American who sold out his fellow African Americans to be a president. To big money

Michelle is the same blatant liar as her husband, the king of "bait and switch" Obama. From comments: "Yea heard the speech - can I throw up now? How can anyone be taken in by the total insincerity of the whole charade. Hypocrisy rules the political roost and people just love it."... "Obama's old lady was as cheesy as the rest of them. Shallow words from shallow people."
-> www.theguardian.com

Scottarm 1h ago

Sucker born every minute over there!

Sounded like a speech made by a mother on the PTA committee , talk about hyperbole and one sided reporting.

GODsaysBRESCAPE , 2016-07-26 11:20:12
Yeah, they are good with words the Obama. They can talk the talk. But they don't walk the walk. All we got from Obama was more wars, more regime changes, more torture prisons, hundreds of thousands of more dead women and children in the middle east, more racist killer cops at home and a new cold war. And Hilary will bring more of the same. Now that is something to cry about.
tb4911 -> -> ShanghaiGuy , 2016-07-26 11:40:30
Libya but Hillary was the real driving force.
Michael109 , 2016-07-26 11:12:00
Collective amnesia here. The speech brought me to tears also, tears for a once proud Dem party. The Obamas are backing a person, Clinton, who was "extremely careless" with emails in relation to national security (FBI words) and who clearly lied under oath to Congress and who is also clearly behind rigging the Dem nomination process to shaft Sanders and the millions of young people who supported him, absolutely shameless
pentreifan , 2016-07-26 11:11:46
Caring Hillary? A woman who said of Gadaffi's murder "We came, we saw, he died." He was, apparently, sodomised with a bayonet beforehand. And Obama's care for children seems limited by borders. Doesn't seem to care much about the kids of Afghanistan or Yemen.

http://www.salon.com/2015/09/10/what_hillary_clinton_wants_you_to_forget_her_disastrous_record_as_a_war_hawk /

Here's John Pilger on Obama:

" In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make "the world free from nuclear weapons". People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion."

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/23/a-world-war-has-begun-break-the-silence

Rob Lewis , 2016-07-26 10:56:02
Michelle said (Hillary) "Advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer" This is the same Lawyer that bragged about getting a 41 year old pedophile off the hook for raping a 12 year old girl.

https://www.intellihub.com/video-hillary-clinton-brags-getting-pedophile-off-hook /

Sid Debgupta , 2016-07-26 10:44:03
Wow -- I am all weepy --

Where to next Madam Obama ? You have a few months left to scrounge on the taxpayer dime, so where is the next multi-million dollar all-expenses paid vacation with Mammy, the kids and the entire entourage gonna be ?

Frontignan , 2016-07-26 10:39:50
Yea heard the speech - can I throw up now? How can anyone be taken in by the total insincerity of the whole charade. Hypocricy rules the political roost and people just love it.
Yarkob , 2016-07-26 10:39:38
Christ, the astroturfers are out big today.

Did she mention the over 4000 people (of who estimates vary between 500-3000 civilian deaths) her husband has murdered with drone strikes since being in office?

So inspiring!

Chuck3 , 2016-07-26 10:25:28
Don't Americans understand how incredibly arrogant it sounds when they say theirs is the "greatest country on earth"?

What a load of jingoistic garbage. I've lived there. It most definitely is not the "greatest country on earth".

Flooch , 2016-07-26 10:08:44
Usual shouty American nonsense. If you don't have an intelligent point to make, just shout. You know it makes no sense.
BlackForester , 2016-07-26 10:08:13
I adore great men and women who know how to hire a competent team of ghostwriters.
MarkoRam , 2016-07-26 10:05:18
Lol. So much for 'open, independent and fearless' journalism.
NuttyNietzsche , 2016-07-26 10:00:46
An overpopulated planet, a poisoned biosphere, a militant and violent global insurgency by a 7th Century tribal faith; a potential woman in the Whitehouse (and what a gleaming example of womanhood she is!)? A complete irrelevance. Bread and circuses and maudlin hyperbole that will keep the tiny minds of SJWs happy but which won't solve a thing.
Potyka Kalman , 2016-07-26 09:37:50
Only Obama obviously wasn't the first "African American" president. He was the first African American who sold out his fellow African Americans to be a president. To big money.

BTW he's preparing to go on his conference tour. If you think about all the public money he used to save the banking sector (without any consequence for the banking sector), he should be touring at the end of his life. Poor Hillary. She so wanted the job Obama got.

Piggy256 , 2016-07-26 09:19:51
The Americans are so good at farce (Trump) or heart-rending tear-jerkers (Michelle) that are always somewhat repulsive or embarrassing, shall I say, to our European ears. It is a form of popular catharsis that is second-nature to artists and politicians there.
whoarethey , 2016-07-26 09:19:12
Moved to tears, really, well I suppose being Americans they are full of mush and hypocrisy --
DaveMerkin , 2016-07-26 09:11:06
These conventions seem like well managed cult get together. Both republicans and democrats seem like mindless zombies. Obama's old lady was as cheesy as the rest of them. Shallow words from shallow people.
Iconoclastick , 2016-07-26 09:00:06
I recall when she came to an inner city girls' school in London a couple of years back, on what's despairingly referred to as a sink estate. She gave one of those syrupy, nuero linguistic programming speeches, favoured by her dark arts husband's, TelePrompTer speech writing team. Full of all that usual suspect; "hopey, changey, reach for the stars, you can do it if you believe and want it bad enough" nonsense to the assembled teenage girls. And there in lies the point of the Obamas; they're an antidepressant, a simple and effective calming drug for sections of the masses.
IvoryT , 2016-07-26 08:58:53
There's an impressive speechwriter in their team. And the delivery coach is also worth the money.

[Mar 20, 2019] What will happen if no energy source can cover the decline rate

Notable quotes:
"... "If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela. So not a smooth short % decline rate." ..."
"... Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has soared (expected to top $250T in 2019). ..."
"... Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since it will be a push over compared to Iran. ..."
Mar 16, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ignored says: 03/16/2019 at 12:42 am

Iron Mike Asked:

"If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela. So not a smooth short % decline rate."

Energy is the economy, The economy cannot function without energy. Thus its logical that a decline in energy supply will reduce the economy. The only way for this not to apply is if there are efficiency gains that offset the decline. But at this point the majority of cost effective efficiency gains are already in place. At this point gains become increasing expensive with much smaller gains (law of diminishing returns). Major infrastructure changes like modernizing rail lines take many decades to implement and also require lots of capital. Real capital needed will be difficult to obtain do to population demographics (ie boomers dependent on massive unfunded entitlement & pensions).

Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has soared (expected to top $250T in 2019).

My guess is that global economy will wipe saw in the future as demographics, resource depletion (including Oil) and Debt all merge into another crisis. Gov't will act with more cheap and easy credit (since there is no alterative TINA) as well as QE\Asset buying to avoid a global depression. This creating a wipesaw effect that has already been happening since 2000 with Boom Bust cycles. This current cycle has lasted longer because the Major central banks kept interest rates low, When The Fed started QT and raising rate it ended up triggering a major stock market correction In Dec 2018. I believe at this point the Fed will no longer seek any further credit tightening that will trip the economy back into recession. However its likely they the global economy will fall into another recession as consumers & business even without further credit tighting by CB (Central Banks) Because they've been loading up on cheap debt, which will eventually run into issues servicing their debt. For instance there are about 7M auto loans in delinquency in March of 2019. Stock valuations are largely driven by stock buybacks, which is funded by debt. I presume companies are close to debt limit which is likely going to prevent them from purchase more stock back.

Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since it will be a push over compared to Iran. I think once all of remaining independent Oil Exports are seized that is when the major powers start fighting each other. However is possible that some of the proxy nations (Pakastan\India),(Israel\Iran), etc trigger direct war between the US, China, and Russia at any time.

Notice that the US is now withdrawing from all its major arms treaties, and the US\China\Russia are now locked into a Arms race. Nuclear powers are now rebuilding their nuclear capacity (more Nukes) and modernizing their deployment systems (Hypersonic, Very large MIRV ICBMS, Undersea drones, Subs, Bombers, etc.

My guess is that nations like the US & China will duke it out before collapsing into the next Venezuela. If my assessment is correct, The current state of Venezuela will look like the garden of Eden compared to the aftermath of a full scale nuclear war.

Currently the Doomsday clock (2019) is tied with 1953 at 2 minutes:

https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/past-announcements/

1953 was the height of the cold war. I presume soon the Doomsday clock will be reduced to less than 2 Minutes later this year, due to recent events in the past few weeks.

https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/

"the world's nuclear nations proceeded with programs of "nuclear modernization" that are all but indistinguishable from a worldwide arms race, and the military doctrines of Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo against the use of nuclear weapons."

" The current international security situation -- what we call the "new abnormal" -- has extended over two years now. It's a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War, a state that features an unpredictable and shifting landscape of simmering disputes that multiply the chances for major military conflict to erupt."

[Mar 20, 2019] Bruce Ohr, Liar or Moron by Larry C Johnson

Credibility of the US government and Justice system was greatly undermined, if not destroyed by the Russiagate. Inability to investigate more plausible election interference by British an, Saudi and Israeli actors by Mueller paints him as a despicable political operative working for Clintons, not an independent Prosecutor, who diligently investigate the foreign interference in elections.
The role of Rosenstein is the role of co-conspirator in a plot to deprive Trump of the Presidency or, at least, for force him to pursue the Deep State foreign policy, which is totally bankrupt policy. And they succeeded in this. Trump wet kiss with neocons was probably the part of the deal.
Notable quotes:
"... When even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account? ..."
"... I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation. ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , a day ago

When even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account?
MP98 , 2 days ago
No one is going to face any consequences - legal or other. Hell, most of them will make money from writing books about their "dedicated service." When was the last time the swamp applied the laws to one of it's own. Answer: never.

The laws are enforced on us - the "deplorables out there," not the swamp creature "elite." We are not governed, we are ruled.

And sadly that situation is as much the result of an indifferent and ignorant populace as the behavior of the ruling class.

Nobby Stiles , 2 days ago
In case you had not seen. I think it does connect well with the piece above.

https://www.americanthinker...

English Outsider -> Nobby Stiles , 2 days ago
"One other important sidetone--there has been a longstanding agreement among the 5 Eyes (i.e., US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to NOT recruit as assets each other's spies. Christopher Steele's employ with the FBI violates this policy."

I see Steele's surfacing again. Might I put in a minor query. Does this longstanding agreement cover retired personnel?

Bill Gaydon -> English Outsider , 8 hours ago
Same question....^
TTG -> English Outsider , a day ago
I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation.

"Steele might have been expected to move on once his investigation of the bidding was concluded. But he had discovered that the corruption at FIFA was global, and he felt that it should be addressed. The only organization that could handle an investigation of such scope, he felt, was the F.B.I. In 2011, Steele contacted an American agent he'd met who headed the Bureau's division for serious crimes in Eurasia. Steele introduced him to his sources, who proved essential to the ensuing investigation. In 2015, the Justice Department indicted fourteen people in connection with a hundred and fifty million dollars in bribes and kickbacks."

The second instance of Steele's cooperation with the FBI even had a peripheral relationship with Trump. "Several years ago, the FBI hired Steele to help crack an international gambling and money-laundering ring purportedly run by a suspected Russian organized-crime figure named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. The syndicate was based in an apartment in Trump Tower. Eventually, federal officials indicted more than thirty co-conspirators for financial crimes. Tokhtakhounov, though, eluded arrest, becoming a fugitive. Interpol issued a "red notice" calling for his arrest. But, in the fall of 2013, he showed up at the Miss Universe contest in Moscow -- and sat near the pageant's owner, Donald Trump."

According to the New Yorker magazine article, it was standard Orbis procedure to warn authorities about national security threats. Steele warned German authorities about IS militants using the refugee flow to infiltrate Europe. "When Steele took his suspicions about Trump to the FBI in the summer of 2016, it was in keeping with Orbis protocol, rather than a politically driven aberration."

Within the FBI, I'm sure Steele was coded as a source in some way as a standard procedure to use his information. We did the same with our non-asset sources in DOD. Hell, I was even coded as an intelligence asset when I was a SMU operative/case officer. This was different from the reporter number all case officers are given.

https://www.newyorker.com/m...

Tidewater -> TTG , 11 hours ago
Philip Giraldi, on March 13, 2018, has an essay about this New Yorker article: 'Christopher Steele as seen by the New Yorker. Liberal fantasies beatify the messenger.' This is in the Unz Review. www.unz.com/pgiraldi/christ... .

Mayer doesn't mention that Steele was almost certainly identified as MI6 during the years (possibly 1990-1993) that he was stationed in Moscow under diplomatic cover. Russian counterintelligence agents broke into his apartment, used the toilet, left it unflushed; they stole his wife's best shoes. He was definitely identified by 1999 when he was in Paris. There was a DSMA notice. Too late. Then, in 2006, when Steele is said to have had the Russia desk, there was the highly embarrassing electronic spy rock in a Moscow park. Surely he held some responsibility for that? And if Steele was a Russian expert why were his talents being wasted in Afghanistan?

John Helmer quotes some old intelligence hands who deny that he was a particularly impressive agent or was deeply knowledgeable about Russia. Steele never went back to Russia after 1992 or 1993. Mayer, in the New Yorker article, makes no mention of what surely were setbacks for British intelligence regarding Russia in which Steele likely was playing a large part.

We've been here before in this discussion. The question remains-- was Steele an unwitting puppet of a Russian master counterstrike, an aikido throw which has badly shaken and distracted America? DH, we await your comments. Has TTG gone wobbly?

TTG -> Tidewater , an hour ago
I'm also fairly certain RIS was aware of Steele's status as an MI6 officer when he was stationed in Moscow. I would think anyone working out of a diplomatic embassy is first assumed to be an intelligence officer by the host nation. I stayed away from embassies and other government facilities just to avoid that taint. The one time I was summoned to an embassy, I conducted extensive surveillance detection measures both before and after the visit and I wore a disguise.

It was a normal matter for intelligence officers to be cycled through Afghanistan and Iraq post 9-11, no matter what their former expertise. I did my turn. CIA's "Russia House" was bitter about their fall from the pinnacle to be replaced by all things CT during that time.

Was some of the raw information in Steele's dossier planted by RIS? That's very possible. Several experienced former US intelligence officers have voiced that possibility, especially about the more salacious bits of the dossier.

Fred -> TTG , 15 hours ago
That's a nice piece in the New Yorker. They mention the golden shower episode in Moscow, however, left out Loretta Lynch. "In was in her role as district attorney that her involvement in the Fifa investigation began. Over the course of five years in Brooklyn..." See the BBC article on FIFA from 2015: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32912118

So did Loretta Lynch talk to Christopher Steele during this case or did Steele just talk to the FBI agent who was years later in London? When did then US attorney for New York's Eastern District Lorretta Lynch get informed and by which FBI agent? Who did that agent tell about the Steele dossier, when did it get to the AG's ears, and when did she tell Obama?

"On January 5, 2017, it became clear that at least two Washingtonians remained in the dark about the dossier: the President and the Vice-President. " Oh, apparently AG Lynch never told Obama, because????????

Another New Yorker Enigma: "Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.'s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.'s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump's team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.) "

So the UK has been spying on US Presidential candidates? Oh, they said they were "illicit" communications. What does that mean? Who was communicating with Whom? And how did G.C.H.Q. decide these communications were "illicit" but others, well they'd have to have them all to make a comparison, wouldn't they? Put a ribbon on top of that one. DId they also intercept any of Hilary's communications?

TTG -> Fred , 13 hours ago
Given that Steele played an important role in at least two major FBI investigations leading to multiple indictments, I would assume Lynch knew about Steele. Whether they ever conversed, I don't know.

Comey was not at all sure about Lynch's impartiality. It would not surprise me if he kept details of the Russian investigation, including the dossier, from her. She probably learned about it shortly before Obama and Trump were briefed on the dossier. Obama knew enough about the Russian investigation, without the dossier, to warn Putin to knock it off in September 2016.

I don't know if the Brits spied on our Presidential candidates. I wouldn't doubt it. We bugged Merkel's phone. What I am sure of is that the Brits spy on every Russian of importance within their capabilities. If Trump's campaign was in contact with those Russians, the Brits would know about it. They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign. They wouldn't have done that just for shits and giggles.

Fred -> TTG , 2 hours ago
"They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign."

They thought it illicit? Listening is one thing, giving information to aid your country's government's preferred candidate is interference in an election process - ours. How many times has our ally the UK interfered with US elections? They had plenty of help from the FBI and DOJ here in the US in 2016. Who elected GCHQ to be arbiters of US elections? I can't find them in the US Constitution. Using the FBI and DOJ to sabatouge your party's political opponents, that's third world government standards.

TTG -> Fred , 34 minutes ago
If the Brits wanted to directly influence the election, they would have publicly released their information about "illicit' contacts. Keeping it within intelligence channels does nothing to influence an election. I would hope the Brits would never hold back on information concerning a possible CI threat.
English Outsider -> TTG , 4 hours ago
TTG - thank you for your reply above. The picture one gets of Steele is no longer that of a loose canon who somehow got himself involved in a presidential election campaign. It is that of an experienced and respected professional working in tandem, if perhaps unconventionally, with other professionals.

And perhaps thinking that he or his contacts back home had stumbled over important information showing that a presidential candidate was compromised. That information possibly being the tip of the iceberg and urgently demanding further investigation.

But that makes what happened all the more unusual -

1. Why didn't the further investigation happen? Surely the fact that such an important matter wasn't thoroughly investigated, and that using all possible resources in the States and abroad, shows that it was no serious investigation in the first place?

And more to the point here -

2. If those involved were professionals working away soberly at a necessary investigation, what were they doing suddenly branching out into a smear campaign?

For none, even the originators of the dossier, are claiming that the more discreditable part of the Steele dossier is true. That is not Intelligence material. It is sensationalised smear material.

This objection has been met in part with the claim that the dossier was all raw unsifted Intelligence and therefore was released as is.

But surely experienced Intelligence professionals don't suddenly pitch raw unsifted Intelligence into the middle of the political arena while they are supposed to be still assessing that intelligence?

Irrespective of the question of whether Trump was compromised the question therefore arises - what were American officials doing running a smear campaign against a presidential candidate?

Which leads back to the original question. What officials this side of the Atlantic were also involved, and how high did the authorisation for their involvement go in England.

.

On a matter I'm better informed about, I don't see the Colonel quietly farming away in Kent. I see him striding across the limitless expanse of a Scottish grouse moor. If our lot had known their business they'd have worked that into their offer.

But if that farm in Kent is still going spare ...

.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 3 hours ago
I could have been Glubb's neighbor. I could have been a contender ... I thought the whole thing showed a surprising lack of judgment on their part.
TTG -> English Outsider , an hour ago
The counterintelligence investigation was in progress through the lead up to the 2016 election and is still in progress. Through 2016, it was done in a remarkably quiet fashion. That's how these investigations are supposed to work. No one hears about them until there is an arrest or indictment. That's how Mueller is running his investigation. We hear nothing from him except for the indictments already issued. And they are characteristically slow and methodical, usually spanning years before an arrest is made.

None of this investigation, including Steele's reporting was used in a pre-election smear campaign. In my opinion, the reason the Obama administration did not publicize the idea of Russian interference with the election and possible involvement of Trump campaign officials is that it would surely have been seen as a partisan smear campaign. The public did not hear of the Steele dossier until well after the election was over.

It was not just British intelligence involved in collecting on Russian interference in the election. The Estonians, the Dutch, the Australians and probably others contributed to the intelligence picture. We may not learn the full extent of that cooperation for many years. Given the changing nature of information warfare and social media manipulation, I sincerely wish the full extent of that intelligence is made public quickly. Sure that would probably also cramp Western media manipulation capabilities, of which we are far from innocent, but the sunlight would help inoculate all of us against this malignant phenomenon.

Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , a day ago
MI-6 tried to recruit me. I reported it to the COS at my post. Please don't tell me we and our liaison services love each other.
TTG -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Not surprised. What a duplicitous business we rolled around in.
Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , a day ago
They offered me a retirement farm in Kent, lifetime membership in one of the best clubs, a big stipend and"career assistance". It was funny.
TTG -> Pat Lang , a day ago
The retirement farm and the big stipend sounds pretty good. I could do without the best club and the career assistance. Sounds like they appreciated you a lot more than DIA.
Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 18 hours ago
DIA made me an SES-4 with presidential rank (Distinguished). Looks like the Brits expected me to have a lot of access. They claimed these guys were off the reservation. and that they were not authorized to pitch me.
TTG -> Pat Lang , 13 hours ago
Off the reservation my ass. I would say those Brits were a bunch of cheeky blokes who did not do a thorough enough job of assessing your susceptibility to recruitment.
Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 3 hours ago
You seem more upset over this than I was. We accepted their false statements of innocence betrayed by their own and went right on working with them. Why would they try this? Simple. As we do they wanted to know what we were not telling them. everyone does it. A basic principle. Recruit your liaison.
TTG -> Pat Lang , 29 minutes ago
You're right. I never worked out of an embassy or in any long term liaison function. If I was the target of such a pitch, it would have meant that I was blown along with any operations I was involved with. For me, it would have been life altering.
Boris -> English Outsider , a day ago
Been wondering about that too.
MarcotheLombard , 2 days ago
Thanks for this. I am wondering what Larry Johnson and the other members of this Committee of Correspondence make of the possible connection between Christopher Steele, Pablo Miller, and Sergei Skripal?

Some of Craig Murray's speculations in his latest post on the Skripal incident regarding the coordinated role of Orbis Intelligence, the BBC, and the British state (which issued a DSMA notice prohibiting press mention of Pablo Miller) are quite plausible. Murray is, like the members of this committee, a veteran of the game....

Was Skripal coerced/encouraged by Miller to serve as one of Steele's unattributed Russian "sources"? Did he later get cold feet? Or did he later attempt to buy his way back into Russia with the claim that he could provide proof that the Dossier was a fraud? Or was he working as a triple agent the whole time? Were the two sightseeing Russians "Borishov" and "Petrov" sent to retrieve something from Skripal?

https://www.craigmurray.org...

Patrick Armstrong -> MarcotheLombard , a day ago
Try this. This theory ties together all the incoherencies of the official explanation better than anything I have seen. And, I'm pleased to see it is getting reprinted here and there.
https://michaelantonyblog.w...
Nobby Stiles -> Patrick Armstrong , 20 hours ago
Yes, it made a lot of sense to me. The only thing it doesn't explain is the roof. Was somebody keeping some WMD in the attic?
Barbara Ann -> Patrick Armstrong , a day ago
I concur. This is the most plausible explanation of what really happened in Salisbury that I have read so far.

Colonel - might this theory be worth a dedicated SST post? It is 5,000 words, so perhaps Patrick, David Habakkuk, or another interested member of the committee would be happy to summarize the salient details (e.g. that Borisov & Petrov intended to return to Russia with Sergei Skripal). The author's contact details are in the comments section re reprint rights.

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. Then quickly changed his mind and pursues Obama policies. He clearly became a marionette of the Deep State.

Trump betrayed all and every of his main election promises, except may be building the wall. For example "Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse."
Notable quotes:
"... Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed. ..."
www.globalresearch.ca
It also remains to be seen how the Oligarchy will respond to Trump's victory. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve can cause an economic crisis in order to put Trump on the defensive, and they can use the crisis to force Trump to appoint one of their own as Secretary of the Treasury. Rogue agents in the CIA and Pentagon can cause a false flag attack that would disrupt friendly relations with Russia. Trump could make a mistake and retain neoconservatives in his government.
Centre for Research on Globalization
With Trump there is at least hope. Unless Trump is obstructed by bad judgment in his appointments and by obstacles put in his way, we should expect an end to Washington's orchestrated conflict with Russia, the removal of the US missiles on Russia's border with Poland and Romania, the end of the conflict in Ukraine, and the end of Washington's effort to overthrow the Syrian government. However, achievements such as these imply the defeat of the US Oligarchy. Although Trump defeated Hillary, the Oligarchy still exists and is still powerful.

Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed.

We do not know who Trump will select to serve in his government. It is likely that Trump is unfamiliar with the various possibilities and their positions on issues. It really depends on who is advising Trump and what advice they give him. Once we see his government, we will know whether we can be hopeful for the changes that now have a chance.

If the oligarchy is unable to control Trump and he is actually successful in curbing the power and budget of the military/security complex and in holding the financial sector politically accountable, Trump could be assassinated.

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump lost the war with the deep state and became a puppet. does it make any sense to re-elect a puppet ?

Feb 23, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Trump is losing the war with the "deep state". Badly...

President Trump's first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such talks were completely inline with Trump's declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)

Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?

With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC, had the second most important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.

They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian hawk :