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National Security State as Protection Racket on the Danger of Terrorism: Review of Literature

“Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Skripal poisoning Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy False flag operations in cyberspace FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Vault 7 scandal
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Operation Gladio - Wikipedia The Deep State Litvinenko poisoning Inverted Totalitarism Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance To whom Euromaydan Sharp-shooters belong?
Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Douma gas attack: Yet another false flag poisoning? Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Idlib false flag chemical attack
Demonization of Putin White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools DNC and Podesta emails leak and  subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Grand Chessboard Humor Etc

"The greatest threat is that we shall become like those who seek to destroy us"

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

Michael Hirsh in

How America's Top Tech Companies
Created the Surveillance State )

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies (called "Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency).  It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as itdoes not reuare a single party system and the dominant ideology. Also the state can has less decisive, more flexible role in economic sphere. Formally, the  National Security State is the state, where the institutions of imperial and state security override any elected government.  In other words the state where Intelligence agencies are in change (and please note that CIA can be viewed as armed branch of Wall Street and historical ally top positions were initially staffed with Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles )

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly the society of mass surveillance, with increasingly militarized police, meaning that as most aspects of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place. All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now acquire police solutions.

Moreover intelligence services became Praetorian Guard of  neoliberal elite that is in power and that completely changed the nature of governance in the USA. Now there is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America".  It has population of around 5 million people and it controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is ~ 2% of total USA population but a higher percentage of the adult population  of working  age (around 200 millions). And now it become a formidable political force which in 20176 (and not only in 2016) strived to become a kingmaker.

Much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex and connected to it influential caste of "Imperial Servants" -- people well being of which is dependent on the existence and expansion of the US global neoliberal empire. This is probably no less then 10 million people if we count defense contractors, Pentagon brass, Intelligence agencies staff, State Department employees, top layers from Wall-Street and Silicon Valley,  and the Staff of the Congress.)  

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produces social conflict, which at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation" and other neoliberal crap).  At this point it requires police methods of suppression of dissent like was the case with "Occupy Wall Street" movement suppression. As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under Bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th the USSR "Nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became more detached from that interest of lower 80% of population, and in 80th adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

The neoliberal state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under Bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th the USSR "Nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached from that interest of lower 80% of population, adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

 

Both neoliberalism and the national security state are results of the "revolution from above"

Under neoliberalism, which established itself in the USA since late 70th, tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions, "revolving door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society) became the result of political decisions favoring neoliberal elite at the expense of common citizens. So it was a typical revolution from above. To hide this requires constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat (with Russia as preferred object). That's where intelligence agencies come handy as they by-and-large control key journalists and key MSM. For example Washington Post for a long time was called "voice of CIA" even in the US establishment. 

Since 9/11 terrorism is used as a smoke screen to hide the warts of neoliberalism and facilitate the transition of state into national security state. Adoption of Patriot Act and resulting hypertrophied growth of intelligence agencies in the USA are just a tip of the iceberg. In reality the situation became pretty much Orwellian with Intelligence agencies as the new incarnation of the "Big Brother" as well as the "permanent war for permanent peace" between Oceania (USA and NATO vassals) and Eurasia (Russia and China) in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984. 

It is clear that the war with terrorism launched also can be called  "permanent war for permanent peace" as the enemy is illusive and can be  really easily faked with minimal propaganda efforts by intelligence agencies (who control most "terrorists" anyway).  The level of rampant militarism in the USA now is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements, especially under Trump when American Exeptionalism (or, more correctly, the American version of nationalism) got the features of a regular supremacist ideology  similar to Zionism (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

Paradoxically intelligence agencies and Pentagon can't live peacefully with each other and struggle for power. That why intelligence  agencies launched a color revolution against Trump, who can in some ways be viewed as the Presidential Candidate of Pentagon (especially if we view neocons as Pentagon lobbyists and Israel as a state-lobbyist for Pentagon; that might explain pro-Israeli stance of Trump).

After coming to power Trump introduced several new measures which in some way signify a new stage of the development of neoliberalism and can be  "national neoliberalism". He explicitly rejects old model of neolioberal globalization on the base of multinational treaties (which was neoliberalism Modus operandi since its inception)  and wants to use the power of the US to bully all nations  "one-to-one" basis.  Creating "exclusive" trading blocks. Those who behave against the USA wishes have sanctions imposed, cut from US dominated financial system and are threatened with war.  Iran is the latest example here. 

In this mutation of  neoliberalism as a social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the USA. The Deep state as it is now called. For example, intelligence agencies now strive and de facto achieved the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place, but nobody from CIA went to jail for this: "mission accomplished"; Nixon removal is another although less visible one).

The colossal budget with  juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives intelligence agencies and Pentagon not only tremendous power, but also create vested ideological and financial interests of the whole caste of "imperial servants", the well being of which depends of their continuation.  Wars became necessary for maintaining the level of those budgets. Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy.

Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy.

It is important to understand that the USA intelligence agencies are probably closer connected to Wall Street and military contractors then the federal government and often serve as enforcers of specific interests. They are able to work against particular administration officially proclaimed policies, for example in organizing the foreign coup d'état.  For example, for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of Wall Street.

There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from the Congress, nor from the Justice Department. But the reverse is not true: the intelligence agencies have appointees in all mentioned above branches of government. The natural line of development of intelligence agencies  since its inception and toward acquiring more power and securing higher budget. With time, the tail start wagging the dog.  This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. Actually the term the "Deep State" originated in Turkey.  The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal of KGB brass (under Andropov, who was instrumental in installing Gorbachov into power), who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that was the key factor that led to the dissolution of the USSR.

The key "three letter agencies" (CIA, DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18, 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.  Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA. 

It is prudent to view National Security State as a modern form of corporatism, closely related to concepts of neo-fascism and Inverted Totalitarism. As ellatynemouth noted in the comment to the Guardian article Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay (Dec 26, 2013):

The surveillance state is the ruling class's key hole through which they monitor us and our potential dissent. It's now an integral part of capitalism and can't be removed.

The game has changed. It's now about convincing us as much as possible that they will stop snooping on us. They won't though. It will just become more heavily hidden.

Surveillance state was made possible with the advent of computers, Internet and wireless communication. In some features it is close to neo-fascism and Latin-American far right authoritarian regimes, but there are important difference. Instead of organized violence against opponents it achieved its goals without relentless physical repression/elimination of opponents. It's key feature is mass surveillance, discreditation and blackmailing of opponents (like in German Democratic Republic there are dossier for every member of society and skeletons from the closet can be revealed for any politician or activist)  as well as control and manipulation of media, not mass repression of opponents. Like neofascist regimes of the past (such as Pinochet regime in Chile) and authoritarian "communist" regimes of the past and present, it make organized opposition to the government virtually impossible. Of the 20 characteristic traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around a half are applicable to the national security state.

After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas ("America is an exceptional nation"). As an amazing example of doublespeak Bushists managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less).

Bush government inspired post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps $75 billion; but in reality more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.  Add to this several trillion dollars wasted on war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq. The Congressional Research Service estimate for 2001-2016 is 1.6 trillion; Brown university estimate is 3.6 trillion; some estimates are as high as six trillions (PolitiFact).  Only future medical care and disability benefits for veterans of these war is near $1 trillion (Center for Strategic and International Studies )

Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the  "deep state" is actually in charge. In most areas the Obama administration was more like Bush II administration, with "change we can believe in" as a smokescreen for nefarious actions. Obama launched more wars then Bush II too.  In this sense this was the most blatant and the most successful  "bait and switch" in the recent  political history of the USA.  Later is lightly different form repeated with Trump, who  also during election campaign proposed reasonable steps of improving standard of living of the US population and finishing forign wars, but instance switched sides after election pushing neoliberal policies at home, and continuing all Bush-Obama wars foreign wars abroad.  He also appointed open war hawks into his administration. The list of neocons in Trumps administration is as long as in Bush II administration and includes people in key positions such as Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo.

This is the view of Professor Michel Greenon, who in his book advocated the view that tradition troika of powers in the USA became by and large ceremonial and that real actors, at least in area of national security are not non-elected executives of super-powerful and well financed three-letter agencies. Here is a brief overview taken from review published by Reason (National Security State - Reason.com):

Though Glennon doesn't describe his thesis in terms of public choice theory, it echoes that discipline's insight that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run the institutions. For the Trumanites, Glennon explains, "benefits take the form of enlarged budgets, personnel, missions; costs take the form of retrenchments in each." Witness the vast archipelago of intelligence facilities-nearly three Pentagons' worth of office space-that have been erected in greater Washington, D.C., since 9/11.

The national security state is becoming an autonomous, self-perpetuating entity, Glennon warns. It sets the table for elected officials' choices and increasingly dictates terms to them. The permanent bureaucracy basks in the "glow" of Madisonian institutions, drawing legitimacy from the illusion that elected officials are in charge. But while the buck may stop with the president, the real power resides with the Trumanites.

This explanation is strongest in the realm of state surveillance, which serves as Glennon's central case study. Recall the embarrassing revelation, in the summer of 2013, that the NSA was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. What did the president know, and when did he know it? If you believe top administration officials, Obama was almost as surprised as Merkel. Glennon quotes Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that the Merkel wiretap, like a lot of NSA programs, occurred "on autopilot."

On one hand, that's what you'd expect them to say. On the other hand, the claim is entirely plausible, and it is consistent with the earlier history of NSA abuses uncovered by the Church Committee in the 1970s. Under Project SHAMROCK, for example, the NSA collected the content of virtually all cable traffic entering or leaving the United States for three decades-150,000 messages a month at its height. It was, the committee's final report concluded, "probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken." And yet it's not clear that any president ordered, approved, or was even aware of SHAMROCK. When the program's existence was exposed in the mid-'70s, Louis Tordella, longtime deputy director of the NSA, admitted that he didn't know whether any president or attorney general had ever been briefed on it.

The picture grows somewhat more complicated when we look at the modern practice of presidential war making. From the Truman administration onward, the president has accumulated enormous unchecked authority, despite James Madison's conviction that, since the executive department was "most distinguished by its propensity to war," it is "the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence."

When it comes to picking the wars we wage, it's not clear that the Trumanites are fully in charge. Take four major war-powers decisions during the Obama administration: the Afghan surge, the escalation of drone attacks, the Libya intervention, and the current war against ISIS. I put the Trumanite win-loss record at roughly .500 here. The military and national security bureaucracy fought hard for the surge and the drone escalation, and got them. They generally opposed the Libyan action, and some prominent Trumanites-such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs -appear to have been reluctant to endorse our latest war in the Middle East.

In the case of this most recent war, domestic politics seems a better explanation: The president yielded to the near-irresistible demand that he "do something" about the beheading of Americans and the implosion of the Iraqi state. Bombing ISIS is something, so we're doing it.

The Obama experience suggests we get the wars the Trumanites want -- and also some they don't. But this is hardly fatal to Glennon's thesis. He stresses that "a good theory of institutional behavior can predict, at best, only tendency over time"; his "predicts only that national security policy will change little from one administration to the next." So far, that theory is holding up rather well.

Even so, I've always been partial to one version of the "government politics" explanation. A few years ago, I wrote a book arguing that "Americans' unconfined conception of presidential responsibility is the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties." If the political reality is such that the president will be held personally accountable for any domestic terror attack, don't be surprised when he seeks powers nearly as vast as the expectations put upon him.

Glennon acknowledges it's not either-or; "explanations overlap," he writes. Dumb wars and security-state overreach are the result of political choices and the bureaucratic imperative. Policy continuity is depressingly overdetermined.

Real-time histories of key national security decisions in the Obama years tend to underscore this point. In Kill or Capture, reporter Daniel Klaidman describes the enormous political pressure the Obama administration was under after the failed "underwear bomber" attack on December 25, 2009. "For the White House," Klaidman writes, "the psychic toll of Christmas Day was profound. Obama realized that if a failed terror attempt could suck up so much political oxygen, a successful attack would absolutely devastate his presidency. And much as he liked to talk about returning to first principles, Obama also had a powerful instinct for self-correction-as well as self-preservation."

The psychic aftershock of Christmas 2009 helped shape a lot of what followed: from body scanners at airports to ramped-up drone strikes to the lethal targeting of an American citizen.

But to Glennon's point, the administration was under pressure from the Trumanites well before that. In the 2012 book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, James Mann describes a concerted effort by then-CIA director Michael Hayden and other senior intelligence officials to preserve business as usual by scaring the hell out of the incoming Obama team. Their private name for this scheme was the "Aw, Shit! Campaign."

The scare tactics worked. Klaidman reports that both Harold Koh, legal advisor at the State Department, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, used the same metaphor to describe the military pressure for more targeted killings: a runaway train. It was like "a massive freight train hurling down the tracks" Koh said. "You would have to throw yourself on the tracks to try to stop it," said Johnson.

All this helps shed light

 
e border="2" width="90%" bgcolor="#FFFF00">   ;s strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.

In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?

National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.

It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.

While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real power belongs.  Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president to push the act through the Congress.

But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate. 

As Paxton describes it (Tracking Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and  "imperial" and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Post 9/11  "passions" in the USA were definitely skillfully used by Bush administration to push the nation into the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it were pretty vicious, really in traditions of Third Reich ("you are either with us, or with our enemies"). 

But public was not really central in this whole issue. Americans were extras at best, patsies at worst,  Essentially all major decisions were made "behind the curtain" by deep state structures and public was just brainwashed into approval of those action. That's an important different between national security state and classical fascist regimes. In classic fascist state the leading fascist party would be central to unleashing such a war.  Here it was bust a bunch of highly placed bureaucrats in Bush II administration (so called neocons, which is an ideological group allied with the military industrial complex, but not an organized party as such).

Here is a more extended treatment of this issue (cited from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

I would like to stress that similar processes occurred in different states after WWII as well (Latin America military dictatorships are one example). And with new force and on the new level after the dissolution of the USSR in Russia.  Of course the USSR was a National Security Surveillance State even before WWII, being one of the "pioneers" of this form of state along with Italy and Germany. But it was a rather "primitive" form of national security state  in a sense that it did not rely on computers, collecting "envelope" of all Internet communication, emails headers and other "meta-data" as well as systematic interception of SMS-based communications as well interception of wireless communication and financial operations via computerized banking (especially credit card transactions)  for surveillance.

Rule of Trumanites as the essence of the US National security state -- Boston Globe review of Michael Glennon book

Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, and is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.” published a very penetrating review of the book in  The Boston Globe. In which he stated:

It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.

Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”

If this were a movie, it would soon become clear that some evil force, bent on consolidating power and undermining democratic governance, has surreptitiously tunneled into the under-structure of the nation. Not so. In fact, Glennon observes, this hyper-secret and difficult-to-control network arose in part as an attempt to head off just such an outcome. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.

By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”

This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.

Why National Security State needs provocations -- pseudo terrorist attacks (false flag attacks)

There are multiple reasons such as to instill fear, and to demonstrate competence (Big Brother’s Liberal Friends — Crooked Timber)

Dr. Hilarius, 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.

Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it’s repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.

Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.

Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than “your betters know best” and that the state’s critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn’t need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more...

Tremendous push (or acceleration of pre-existing tendencies) toward National Security State occurred after 9/11 under the banner of fighting terrorism. At the point technological capabilities of mass surveillance using computers and the ability to have a dossier for everybody were in place, while mass deployment of PC, credit cards and cell phones provides constant stream of information to those dossiers, not that different from "gum shoes" reports. On November, 2001 the phone records of most Americans begin flowing to the N.S.A. After 9/11, President Bush authorizes the N.S.A. to collect phone and Internet content and metadata without a warrant. Within weeks, under the so-called President’s Surveillance Program (P.S.P.), the major telephone companies voluntarily hand over the data. The N.S.A. creates a twenty-four-hour “Metadata Analysis Center” (MAC) to search the phone records. In October 26, 2001: The Patriot Act is passed. Section 215 allows the government to seize “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

At this point the process started with adoption of Truman doctrine came to a logical end: national surveillance state became a reality. Formally Truman Doctrine was created "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." but in reality their function was more questionable and after 9/11 (some people date this event as early as 1963 -- JFK assassination) those activities created what is called "The State Within a State" similar to the USSR KGB role (see The State Within a State by Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick). Here is one review of the book:

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

I have problems with the author's obvious hatred of the Russian Revolution and Stalin and the way she claims there is an unbroken chain of horror going all the way back to 1917. Obviously things are better today -- hence her book! She says 66.7 million people died under "Chekist" rule since the Russian Revolution -- and then cites the Guiness Book of Records as her source!? No one could ever prove such a figure, I think its one of things that's repeated 'til it becomes fact.

I also find the author's lack of knowledge about our own CIA kind of disheartening. This fine organization has spread as much death and terror in the Third World (Indonesia, Guatemala,Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc. etc. ) as the KGB ever did anywhere, yet she seems to make them out to be benevolent compared to the KGB (which if you read this book are responsible for everything wrong with the world today).

After reading this book I still don't understand why she thinks the KGB or its incarnations are as bad today as they were at the height of the Terror in 1937. Its not really explained in the book. I still am not convinced that the KGB was the NKVD, and definitely convinced that either was the SS. Research I have done casually has never come up with hard, convincing figures for a Nazi style genocide in the USSR, and this anecdotal, unconvincing book didn't change my historical views.

See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State." From Amazon review:

Hogan, a specialist in American diplomatic and national security studies, has written a complex but interesting work on the emergence of the national security state. To create this state, it was necessary to merge the armed forces, the Defense Department, and scientists into a single unit to enhance the military's capabilities. To a large extent, this unification was accomplished in the 1950s. The driving forces were James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, and powerful members of Congress such as Carl Vinson (D-GA), who chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs, along with presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Hogan presents a compelling case but overemphasizes the importance of Truman and Eisenhower while downplaying the role of Vinson and others in the security state's creation. In fact, both Truman and Eisenhower often seemed opposed to it but succumbed to pressure from Congress and key figures like Acheson. This extremely complex study, which deals with a subject few other books handle, is designed for scholars and informed lay readers interested in the creation of the "military-industrial complex." by Richard P. Hedlund, Ashland Community Coll., KY

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in his book "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History" noted:

"As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present."

Attempts to curtain the surveillance proved to by fruitless.  Church Committee was probably the most important "after JFK assassination" attempt to somewhat tame three latter agencies and especially CIA, but it ended in nothing.

Later NSA overtook CIA in many areas of intelligence gathering activities. Which create internal frictions between two agencies. State Department also "infringed" in CIA role in foreign countries and, for example, in organization of neoliberal color revolutions in oil rich or strategically important countries it is difficult to tell when clandestine actions of State Department ends and clandestine actions of CIA stars and vice versa. 

In is interesting to note that even Senators feel threatened by this total surveillance system. In December 14, 2005 Senators Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and several colleagues sign a letter warning that Section 215 “would allow the government to obtain library, medical and gun records and other sensitive personal information” that “would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans.” They demand that the records requested should “have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy,” a requirement that would

protect innocent Americans from unnecessary surveillance and ensure that government scrutiny is based on individualized suspicion, a fundamental principle of our legal system.

In March, 2006, the Patriot Act is reauthorized without the changes sought by Obama and others.

In his October 19, 2012 review of the book Saman Mohammadi (The Excavator) wrote:

The case could be made that the creation of the CIA and the National Security State in 1947 was necessary. But after sixty years of human rights abuses, systematic attacks on the constitution, false flag terror events, assassinations of political reformers, and other horrible crimes against humanity, should not the CIA be reformed?

Let's put the question of morality aside. What are the "national security" reasons that legitimize the existence of the CIA? Once you learn that Al-Qaeda is a CIA creation and proxy insurgent army and that 9/11 was a massive false flag operation, you come to the natural conclusion that the CIA does not perform a national security role.

The CIA plays a much dirtier role: engineering the American mind. It is not denied that the shadow CIA has major influence in the mainstream media, especially amongst top newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Michael S. Rozeff speculates that the New York Times is entirely run by the CIA.

We can't know for certain if that is true because of the lack of historical documentation in the public domain, but there is a mountain of observable evidence that proves the CIA has many of its spooks working for the New York Times. Go here for just one example.

Until the American people demand that the U.S. government commit to radical transparency and the principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution, the shadow CIA and the mainstream media can twist history and manage public perceptions of reality as much as they like.

The shadow CIA's greatest power comes from its command of the American public mind as well as its ability to create a fictional version of history. The false flag September 11 events was the shadow CIA's biggest media operation to date. It was their Mona Lisa. They painted the canvas of reality with the brush of myth, and worked day and night to shape the collective memory of the American people while the horror of the tragic attacks was still fresh in the nation's mind.

Although the shadow CIA doesn't have a total command of the American mind and of history, as proven by the rise of the global 9/11 truth and justice movement, it possesses enough media power to mold world public opinion and dictate government policy for the United States with ease. There is no question that its power is totalitarian in nature and its aims are evil. It does not serve the interests of the American people; that much is clear.

How can there be freedom when CIA officials in television studios, newspaper offices, and publishing companies drive the public conversation and form the national narrative on every issue of significance. The global alternative media is the only global civil society actor that is putting limits on the CIA's power to make up history and suppress the truth about historical events like 9/11 and the occult sacrifice of JFK.

In the past, the shadow CIA was presented with roadblocks in the Congress. But 9/11 fixed that problem. The laws and the politics changed. In "The Big Chill," author Dan Froomkin says the absence of Congressional leadership in the post-9/11 political universe has strengthened executive power. Here is an excerpt his article:

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of government—particularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill—not to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists's Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. "What we've got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks."

Since the Congress is not willing to stand up for the rights of the American people, the truth, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, then the American people and global civil society must stand up. Congress has no real power. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, Congress only has an eight percent approval rating. There are underground, neo-Nazi groups in Europe that are more popular than the Congress.

The mainstream media is no better. It is content with its role as a propaganda arm of the shadow CIA, and that is a tragedy. American newspapers have the power to improve their nation and change the world for the better, but instead they choose to cover up independent investigations of shady events like 9/11 that shed light on how the U.S. government really operates.

Alternative media outlets like Infowars.com, Veterans Today, Lew Rockwell.com, Washington's Blog, The Corbett Report, and countless others are doing the best they can to educate the American people and wake up humanity.

The last thing the shadow CIA wants to see is an informed and awakened America. It is waging a silent war on human consciousness because it is scared of an enlightened world. A world that is awake and aware of its crimes against humanity is its greatest nightmare.

If the shadow CIA has its way, it will continue inventing stories and passing it off as history with total immunity. But the global alternative media is telling the shadow CIA: Enough is enough, stop lying to the American people and the world.

The CIA's reckless disregard of U.S. traditions and laws made former President Harry Truman rethink his decision to create the CIA in the first place. On December 22, 1963, Truman wrote in The Washington Post:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency (Wikipedia):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer argues that the Bush I war in Iraq (as well as Bush II invasion and occupation of the country) was an action of the military industrial complex usurping the "peace dividend". Iraq was attractive target as it has oil and far enough away to prove a good vehicle for eating up contract cash. He views the rise of the National Security Defense State as a consequence of "the threat of peace" for military industrial complex and identifies seven characteristics of a such a state:

  1. The military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
  2. Political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
  3. The military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
  4. Obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
  5. The working assumption is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
  6. It restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
  7. The church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Now we can add one additional feature
  1. Total surveillance

Compare that definition of the National Security State with the definition of Inverted Totalitarism. Most countries now have features of both.

The debate about National Security State reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don’t currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here’s why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the “Two to Three Hop” scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).”

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

Whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it ?

The book American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (edited by Ignatieff) raised an important and probably the most controversial question in world politics: whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it.

Following are based on the article by Laurence W. Britt published in Free Inquiry magazine

To a secular humanist, the principles of international law seems logical, right, and crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

The following regimes can be studies in this respect: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. They constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible. Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
  1. Propaganda of nationalism and Exceptionalism ("shining city on the hill", beckon of democracy, etc). Prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins. The fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy. Pride in the military, and demands for unity are way of expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a level of suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia (French fries - Freedom fries).

  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Despite "freedom rhetorics" the party views human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious and truth about gulags is out, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the parties would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, such as Muslims, communists/socialists/liberals, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Opponents of these party were inevitably labeled as terrorists stooges and dealt with accordingly.

  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites identified closely with the military. A disproportionate share of national budget is allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an ultimate expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

  5. Sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, the party covertly views women as second-class citizens. Often are both anti-abortion and homophobic with the cover of religious values. For propaganda reasons those attitudes were masterfully blended into strong support of the fundamentalist religious sects, thus lending the party some legitimacy to cover for its abuses.

  6. A controlled mass media. The mass media could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Control can be indirect and subtle with formal adoption of slogan about "free media". Methods included the control of licensing, access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders and owners of the mass media are part of the power elite. The result is rampant brainwashing, which usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the party's excesses.

  7. Obsession with national security. A national security apparatus is bend to come under direct control of the ruling elite. It is used to bypass laws as a direct instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

  8. Abuse of religion. The party attaches itself to the dominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of religious values. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with those values is swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents are “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the party is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

  10. Power of organized labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Being poor was considered akin to a vice.

  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these party. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities professors come under close scrutiny; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or scientific theories, especially economic, are strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.

  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police is often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Criminal charges sometimes are used against political opponents. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of two candidates representing the same power elite are usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, suppressing responsibilities for legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

The most recent debate about the legitimacy of national security state as exists in the USA was sparked by Edward Snowden revelations. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about National Security State modus operandi  might send a chill up your spine...


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National Security State

National Security State Bulletin, 2017 National Security State Bulletin, 2016 National Security State Bulletin, 2015

[Jul 29, 2021] JFK - Accept Our Diverse World As It Is

Jul 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

vova_3.2018 5 hours ago remove link

The Clintons changed the definition of truth.

The CIA changed the definition of Truth - FTFY

Oliver Stone premiered his new documentary about the Kennedy assassination titled
' JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass' ,

Not a lone wolf killing: New documentary on JFK assassination reveals 'organized black op,' director Oliver Stone tells RT
https://www.rt.com/usa/529180-jfk-assassination-documentary-oliver-stone/

Oliver Stone exposes JFK assassination cover-up

TBT or not TBT 10 hours ago

Well, we would have gone bigger in Vietnam, and sooner, than LBJ did. So there is that. The Cold War might have been shorter.

C Rabbit PREMIUM 7 hours ago

That is not true. Kennedy intended to remove our troops.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Action_Memorandum_263

Johnson reversed that memorandum within a few days of Kennedy's assassination. Johnson was just another front man for the MIC.

radio man 15 hours ago

What a load. Visited the 6th floor and the grassy knoll back in the eighties and all doubts were confirmed. Like Trump, JFK was clueless about the real enemy. The true enemy is a central banking cartel that knew a Military Industrial Complex could and would serve as a Fountain of Youth.

Taxpayers are semi-living proof that bloodletting is still in vogue and the Oswald hoax was simply the cost of doing business.

eatapeach 14 hours ago (Edited)

Pretty clear, just from the cui bono, that it was a coup: LBJ got the White House, the MIC got more Vietnam, and Israel's American arm AIPAC did not have to register as a foreign agent.

Baron Samedi 15 hours ago

(((They))) had/have long since planned a world-spanning post-modern, neo-feudal (ref. Quigley T&H) bankster aristocracy with a pseudo-Marxist face ... and were/are not about to let anyone interfere with that. The most wonderfully compact expression of this is to be found in a speech by Ned Beatty in the 1976 (!) film NETWORK:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuBe93FMiJc

(Seeing Old Sam playing chicken simultaneously (!) with two nuclear-armed peers and quite apparently indifferent to the fate of 7-8 billion peasants (anyone with assets of less than 1 B U$D) should be informative enough. But his continued frenetic drive for apparent hegemony also suggests Sam believes he is alone in having an ace up his sleeve (e.g. ZPE/antigrav/DEW++) to achieve it.)

bobdog54 15 hours ago

What happened to that kind of sensible democrat?

Corn Pops brother, Pop Corn 14 hours ago

He made a deal with the devil, known as the mob in Chicago, then burned the CIA by backing out of the Cuban invasion.

The rest is history, as they say

radio man 14 hours ago

Then, Bobby goes after the mob. Brilliant!

consistentliving PREMIUM 10 hours ago

becuz Mob, CIA basically the same thing, different day

Able Ape 4 hours ago

JFK did NOT give the generals the nuclear war they wanted [Cuban Missile Crisis]; for that, he was a great man...

Don Cherry 3 hours ago (Edited)

And for that he was assassinated

Ms No PREMIUM 1 hour ago (Edited)

He was assassinated for saying he would break the CIA I to a thousand pieces and demanding Inspections of Israel's Dimona. His father also made comments proving they were wise to the Zio mafia.

[Jul 21, 2021] U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

The US does not like competition in spyware business ;-)
Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Prof , Jul 19 2021 18:09 utc | 1

A number of international papers report today on the Israeli hacking company NSO which sells snooping software to various regimes. The software is then used to hijack the phones of regime enemies, political competition or obnoxious journalists. All of that was already well known but the story has new legs as several hundreds of people who were spied on can now be named.

How that came to pass is of interest :

The phones appeared on a list of more than 50,000 numbers that are concentrated in countries known to engage in surveillance of their citizens and also known to have been clients of the Israeli firm, NSO Group, a worldwide leader in the growing and largely unregulated private spyware industry, the investigation found.

The list does not identify who put the numbers on it, or why, and it is unknown how many of the phones were targeted or surveilled. But forensic analysis of the 37 smartphones shows that many display a tight correlation between time stamps associated with a number on the list and the initiation of surveillance, in some cases as brief as a few seconds.

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalism nonprofit, and Amnesty International, a human rights group, had access to the list and shared it with the news organizations, which did further research and analysis. Amnesty's Security Lab did the forensic analyses on the smartphones.

The numbers on the list are unattributed, but reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents.

Who might have made such a list and who would give it to Amnesty and Forbidden Stories?

NSO is one of the Israeli companies that is used to monetize the work of the Israel's military intelligence unit 8200. 'Former' members of 8200 move to NSO to produce spy tools which are then sold to foreign governments. The license price is $7 to 8 million per 50 phones to be snooped at. It is a shady but lucrative business for the company and for the state of Israel.

NSO denies the allegations that its software is used for harmful proposes with a lot of bullshittery :

The report by Forbidden Stories is full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources. It seems like the "unidentified sources" have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality.

After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report. Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims. In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.

The reports make, for example, the claim that the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the NSO software to spy on the leader of the opposition party Rahul Gandhi.

How could NSO deny that allegation? It can't.

Further down in the NSO's statement the company contradicts itself on the issues:

Cont. reading: U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

How do you explain the suspiciously-timed, and simultaneous, Five Eyes denunciation of China for alleged hacking of Microsoft? Is it a way of deflecting too much wrath on Israel? Or, is b wrong and the China story serves as real distraction.

james , Jul 19 2021 18:17 utc | 2

thanks b.. it is an interesting development which seems to pit the usa against israel... i am having a hard time appreciating this... maybe... interesting conundrum snowden paints himself into... @ 1 prof... there are plenty of distractions to go around.. hard to know...
karlof1 , Jul 19 2021 18:31 utc | 3
Prof @1--

In our day-and-age, all "Spectacular Stories" serve as distractions, although some are genuine scoops illuminating criminal behavior involving state actors. Ultimately, this scoop provides much more leverage for Putin's ongoing insistence that an International Treaty dealing with all things Cyber including Cyber-crime be convened ASAP.

Mar man , Jul 19 2021 18:34 utc | 4
"Who has an interest in shutting NSO down or to at least make its business more difficult?
The competition I'd say. And the only real one in that field is the National Security Agency of the United States."

There is at least one other possibility.

The leak could be from a highly sophisticated state actor that needs to "blind" US and especially Israeli intelligence services temporarily.

That could very easily be China, Russia or even Iran. Some of their assets could be on the list.

Exposing the service weakens, or possibly destroys, it until another workaround is found.

China might do this to push customers towards some of their cellphones that are supposedly immune to this.

Russia and Iran might need to blind Mossad, NSA and CIA or upcoming operations in Syria, Iraq and possibly Afghanistan.

Who knows?

Down South , Jul 19 2021 18:36 utc | 5
Weird to have the US burn an Israeli spy operation (I'd be surprised if they didn't build back doors into their own software) in such a public manner.

The only reason I can think of for the US to shut NSO down is if they refused to share information they had gathered with the NSA and so they were put out of business.

Snowden didn't have a problem with the NSA et al spying on foreign adversaries. He had a problem when the NSA was spying illegally on US citizens.

ld , Jul 19 2021 19:07 utc | 8
JUSA: Blackmailing and Bribing Politicians; it's what they do.
div> No marriage can survive financial problems. This is just capitalism eating itself for scarce profits.

Posted by: vk , Jul 19 2021 19:11 utc | 9

No marriage can survive financial problems. This is just capitalism eating itself for scarce profits.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2021 19:11 utc | 9

Brendan , Jul 19 2021 19:13 utc | 10
This is an old story going back years.
https://citizenlab.ca/2018/09/hide-and-seek-tracking-nso-groups-pegasus-spyware-to-operations-in-45-countries/
The question is: Why is it being investigated so closely now?

The 'West' could be using it as a weapon to rein in Israel, which it sees as getting more and more out of control. Netanyahu might be gone but the policies that he represents will not just disappear.

The mass media didn't like Israel's destruction of the building in Gaza where the Associated Press had its offices. How are the media supposed to publish reports from places where they don't have anywhere to work?

Western governments are exasperated that Israel doesn't even pretend to have any respect for international law and human rights. Nobody in power in the West cares about those things either, and they really want to support Israel, but doing that is a lot harder when Israel makes it so obvious that it is a colonial aggressor.

As the Guardian reported yesterday, "The Israeli minister of defence closely regulates NSO, granting individual export licences before its surveillance technology can be sold to a new country."

The attack on NSO looks like a message to the Israeli state.

chet380 , Jul 19 2021 19:24 utc | 11
Can we expect US sanctions against Israel, whose intelligence agency sponsored this, and against the Various Israeli companies involved?
m , Jul 19 2021 19:42 utc | 13

I think you are very wrong in your assessment that this is about business and getting rid of the competition. Information isn`t about money. It is about power.

The people at MoA might not have noticed it because of ideological bias but Netanyahu and Biden (and before him Obama) were quite hostile towards each other. To a degree they were almost waging a kind of undercover cold war against each other (culminating in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334).

In this context I don`t believe the "former" Israelis spies at NSO are just Isrealis. They are a specific kind of Israelis. Namely extreme-right Israelis/Likud loyalists. Netanyahu created his own private unit 8200 - outside of the Israeli state. The profit that NSO made were just the "former" spies regular payment.

The USA - with the consent and probably active assistance of the new Israeli government - took Netanyahus private intelligence service down.

Stonebird , Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 15
The US has found out that the NSO spyware can be used BY the "other regimes" against US leaders. Or at least against US assets.

The Israelis would sell their wares to anyone with a buck (or shekel, as the buck is getting rather uncertain as a money).

IE. Saudi buys a section of numbers and then decides to track and eliminate "opposants". BUT if there are CIA personnel implanted with a good cover story, then OOOPS, "another one bites the dust".

Max , Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 16
What laws exist in your nation to prevent illegal snooping?

How about profiling by the digital companies? Nations need to pass laws making it a CRIMINAL offense to conduct snooping or hacking without a warrant. What happened to Apple's claims about its devices' superior security and privacy?

Let's see what sanctions or criminal ACTIONS are taken against NSO, its executives and other companies. Is any of the information captured by NSO shared with Israel &/or Five Eyes? Are their financial accounts frozen? Let's see how they're treated compared to Huawei.

Are Dark web sites linked to the REvil ransomware gang operating? Shutdown all illegal snooping and cyber crimes entities.

A rule or law isn't just and fair if it doesn't applies to everyone, and they can't be applied at the whims of powerful. Laws and rules applied unequally have no credibility and legitimacy.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Stonebird , Jul 19 2021 20:02 utc | 17

Max | Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 16

"A rule or law isn't just and fair if it doesn't applies to everyone, and they can't be applied at the whims of powerful. Laws and rules applied unequally have no credibility and legitimacy."

Max, are you sure you have got your feet on this planet earth? If there is one factor that is common to his era, is that "Justice" is no longer blindfolded, but is looking out for the best interests of "friends".

Can you name a few countries where your ideal is the norm?

*****
PS. Don't bother, as I won't reply, I'm off to bed to dream of a perfect world. Much easier, and I can do it lying down.

Yul , Jul 19 2021 20:08 utc | 18
@b

Edifying Twitter thread :
https://twitter.com/YousefMunayyer/status/1417169505747341318

check this article from 6 yrs ago:
Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists

c1ue , Jul 19 2021 20:35 utc | 19
Another possible scenario is that the NSO has been poaching people and/or techniques from US intel agencies for use in its for-profit schemes.
That is one thing which is guaranteed to get a negative reaction - regardless of who is doing it and which party is in power.
We do know that NSO has been very active on the exploit buying dark webs since their inception...

Also, I would point out that US entity action against NSO didn't just start today: Facebook sued them even before COVID, in 2019

And earlier 2016 NSO mention in Apple exploit

The above article also notes that NSO was acquired by Francisco Partners in 2010...

Thus maybe all this is purely a capability play: The US is falling behind and so wants to bring in house, more capability. One way is to squeeze an existing successful player so that they have to cooperate/sell out...

All I can be sure of, is that none of the present foofaraw has anything to do with the truth.

thewokendead , Jul 19 2021 20:39 utc | 20

"In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit."

Ya..Right. That's not remotely gonna happen!

The NSO 'Group" would have to provide a substantial amount of their very sensitive 'operational' & 'proprietary' internal documents - which would most certainly be requested in discovery - to any of the possible defendants should NSO be stupid/arrogant enough to actually file a formal suit of "defamation" in a any US court.

Talk about a "defamation" legal case that would get shut down faster than Mueller's show indictment of 13 'Russian' agents and their related businesses that were reportedly part of the now infamous "Guccifer 2.0" "Hack"

When these "Russian" hackers simply countered by producing a surprise Washington based legal team that publically agreed to call Mueller's bluff and have the all of the 'indicted' defendants actually appear in court, they immediately "requested" - via the discovery process - all relevant documents that the Mueller team purportedly had that confirmed that their was any actual or attempted (hacking) criminality.

VIA POLITICO:

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation -- the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering -- were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings.

Last month, however, a pair of Washington-area lawyers suddenly surfaced in the case, notifying the court that they represent Concord Management. POLITICO reported at the time that the move appeared to be a bid to force Mueller's team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information.

The NSO Group is never going to even considering this "defamation" route, but their threatening legal bluster is pure... Hutzpa!

thewokendead

Mark Thomason , Jul 19 2021 20:55 utc | 22
In a world in which this can be done, the worst of governments will do it, and in the worst ways.

The US and other governments have promoted this. Their own intelligence services use it. They actively oppose efforts to block it, as happened with private encryption ideas.

We can't both make it possible and prevent the bad guys from doing it.

We have deliberately made it possible, and opposed serious efforts to protect private life against it. Now we are surprised?

Max , Jul 19 2021 21:07 utc | 23
@ Stonebird (#17), you missed the pun in those words. Maybe you're sleeping while reading.

The Financial Empire and its lackeys want a "rules-based international order" and China-Russia... want a "rule of international laws". Both are meaningless and worthless as they're applied unequally. I am awake and in sync with REALITY. Just playing with these two ideas. We have the law of the jungle. However, Orcs (individuals without conscience – dark souls) are worse than animals in greed, deceits and killing.

"The Black Speech of Mordor need to be heard in every corner of the world!"

Antibody , Jul 19 2021 22:42 utc | 26
Interesting story but I agree that the hype is overblown because nothing much will change even if this NSO outfit has a harder time flogging its spyware to all and sundry.

The NSA, CIA, MI5/6, Mossad and the 5 Lies spies will continue spying on friend and foe alike and tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google will likewise continue their unethical surveillance practices and will keep passing on private citizen's data to government spy agencies. So it goes.

For a dissident Snowden is a lightweight. His beef wasn't, as b points out, with the NSA itself, he just didn't like them spying on Americans within the USA. He had no problem spying on people in other countries as long as the proper 'rules' were followed. That, almost by definition, makes him a limited hangout.

Sam F , Jul 19 2021 22:47 utc | 27
The AI report notes that this software was abandoned in 2018 for cloud implementations to help hide responsibility;
Having Amazon AWS dump services naming NSO probably has no effect at all, as NSO will just use other names;
Antibody , Jul 19 2021 22:53 utc | 28
@Max 23

" However, Orcs (individuals without conscience – dark souls) are worse than animals in greed, deceits and killing."

Non-human animals operate on a genetically programmed autopilot and are not responsible for their actions.

Humans are partially engineered by genetics but unlike the "lower" animals they have the power to choose which actions they will take and they are therefore responsible for their choices.

A bear or a mountain lion will attack a human when it is injured or when protecting its young, but one can't blame these animals for exercising their survival instincts.

Human beings are the only mammal, indeed the only animal, that is capable of evil, i.e. deliberately choosing to harm or kill other humans for profit or personal gain.

Paul , Jul 19 2021 23:06 utc | 29

On this subject, I suggest barflies read the excellent post on the previous MoA Week in Review thread by:

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 19 2021 1:36 utc | 71

My reply @167 and Uncle T's further comment.

The book on this criminal conduct is called 'Murdoch's Pirates.' The detestable Amazon have it at 'unavailable' however it is available at Australian bookseller Booktopia.


Sushi , Jul 20 2021 0:24 utc | 30
How do you explain the suspiciously-timed, and simultaneous, Five Eyes denunciation of China for alleged hacking of Microsoft? Is it a way of deflecting too much wrath on Israel? Or, is b wrong and the China story serves as real distraction.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 19 2021 18:09 utc | 1

If the US navy were to purchase leaky boats would it not be absurd for it to then blame Russia or China for the influx of water?

If the US government, and US industry, purchase software full of holes is it not equally absurd for them to blame a foreign entity for any resulting leaks?

In answering these questions it is worthwhile to remember that US government entities support the insertion of backdoors in US commercial software. Such backdoors can be identified and exploited by 3rd parties.

Debsisdead , Jul 20 2021 1:37 utc | 33
If this somewhat limp-wristed takedown of NSO did not have the support of apartheid Israel's intelligence services, the graun would not be pushing the story.

It is that simple, the guardian is run by rabid zionists such as Jonathon Freedland deputy editor, who retains editorial control from the second seat rather than #1 simply because the zionist board wanted to stroke the fishwrap's woke credentials by having a female editor.
Foreign news and england news all have many zionist journos.
Now even the sports desk features stories by a bloke called Jacob Steinberg 'n sport is not generally an interest of jews.
Also if NSO a corporation born to advance particular media interests were in fact a tool of apartheid israel's intelligence establishment, it is unlikely that it would have tried to sue the graun back in 2019.

None of that precludes Mossad plants working at NSO, in fact the move against it would suggest that zionist intelligence has wrung the organisation dry.
This 'takedown' suggests to me that these services will continue, but not for everyone as before. ME governments will never again gain full access, no matter how friendly they may claim to be. All future contracts with whatever entity follows will only proceed if permitted by FukUSi.

div> Since the software is licensed by the number of phones it's installed on, NSO must have a means of determining the device ID/phone number of each phone (You wouldn't trust some shady third-world regime to be honest, would you?

Posted by: J2 , Jul 20 2021 1:44 utc | 34

Since the software is licensed by the number of phones it's installed on, NSO must have a means of determining the device ID/phone number of each phone (You wouldn't trust some shady third-world regime to be honest, would you?

Posted by: J2 | Jul 20 2021 1:44 utc | 34

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 20 2021 1:49 utc | 35
The Israeli connection just read an account on AC by Rod Dreher and so far, writers are downplaying the connection to Israel. If it was a Chinese or Russian company we would be blaming Putin.

We blame Putin for every criminal in Russia but I don't see anyone blaming Israel for a product they they authorized for export. Wow.

It does take two to tango, so I do understand talking about the clients who bought the product but if they have the export version of the spyware the it's obvious that Israel has the super-duper lethal version but that's okay. No biggie. But Iran having any weapons to defend their own country is a scandal.

Boss Tweet , Jul 20 2021 1:56 utc | 36
US taxpayers subsidize the Israeli military industry. The zionists then developed tools which they use against palestinians and their adversaries. The same technologies are later sold at a profit to various United states security agencies. A wonderful self licking ice cream cone of christian zionism, so much winning... Paying up the wazoo for our own eslavement. Last I checked, the chosen one's were never held accountable for their role prior to 911 operations.

Fox News Series on Israeli Spying on US Telecommunications:
https://cryptome.org/fox-il-spy.htm

Biswapriya Purkayast , Jul 20 2021 2:12 utc | 38
The Amerikastani Con-serve-ative manages to write a whole article about this without mentioning the name of the "country" that created and exported this software.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/pegasus-end-of-privacy/

This same Amerikastani Con-serve-ative pretends to champion free speech but doesn't permit the slightest criticism of this same "nation", the racist fascist apartheid zionist settler colony in Occupied Palestine. In fact the very mention of the word "zionist" will get your comment removed.

MrChristian , Jul 20 2021 3:11 utc | 39
I'm of the school of thought that Snowden is still an active CIA asset used to assist in discrediting government agencies, such as the NSA, to allow private corporations to take their place in data collection and dissemination. Alphabet, and it's AI/quantum computers should not be ignored in this particular scenario
Max , Jul 20 2021 3:15 utc | 40
@ Antibody (#28), good points, thanks.

Human beings with conscience are INNER directed. Those without strong conscience (Orcs) are OUTER directed and thereby easily captured, corrupted and controlled. Human beings with great conscience (soul/spirit), strong mind and healthy body are PARAGONS.

Orcs were once elves. They got programmed by the dark forces of Saruman & Sauron (Sin). Sauron's EYE is for intimidation. Seeing it sends fear into the hearts of people and sucks away their courage. "When did we let evil become stronger than us?" Communicate reality, truth and expose power freely!

There is still light to defeat the darkness. May your light light others 🕯🕯🕯

uncle tungsten , Jul 20 2021 3:32 utc | 41
karlof1 #3
Ultimately, this scoop provides much more leverage for Putin's ongoing insistence that an International Treaty dealing with all things Cyber including Cyber-crime be convened ASAP.

Israel and the UK will never sign such a protocol. The USA? only if it is worthless.

Mar man #4

The leak could be from a highly sophisticated state actor that needs to "blind" US and especially Israeli intelligence services temporarily.

That could very easily be China, Russia or even Iran. Some of their assets could be on the list.

pssst - UK

Sarcophilus , Jul 20 2021 5:28 utc | 45

"Snowden's opinion on this is kind of strange". Snowden's task, almost a decade ago now, was to facilitate the passage of CISPA. Greenwald was the PR guy. Remember Obama saying we need to have a conversation about privacy versus security? Well, Snowden and Greewald helped him to have the conversation on his terms. And the media giants will be forever grateful. Greenwald even got his own website. So no, nothing strange about what Snowden said. It was in his script. Was, is and always will be an asset.

Linus , Jul 20 2021 6:35 utc | 47
In a broader context:
"In a corporatist system of government, where there is no separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. The actual government as it actually exists is censoring the speech not just of its own people, but people around the world. If US law had placed as much emphasis on the separation of corporation and state as it had on the separation of church and state, the country would be unrecognizably different from what we see today."
"It's A Private Company So It's Not Censorship"
Stonebird , Jul 20 2021 8:05 utc | 48
Sanctions? Sanctions, did anybody mention sanctions for those carrying out Cyber attacks? (Particularly ones that target "Freedom of speech" and Journalists.)


.............Just waiting.

Joe B , Jul 20 2021 10:11 utc | 51

Apple is also zionist controlled, so not surprising that NSO had all internal details to hack their iPhones, via tribal leakers or approved connections. So is Amazon, so their cloud service for NSO continues under other cover.

Those in danger should not use Apple or Amazon-based or other zionist-controlled products or services. A catalog of those might help.

BM , Jul 20 2021 13:00 utc | 55
U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

I don't buy it. It doesn't sound plausible to me as presented.

One possibility is that it is a camouflaged operation to take down non-attributably spy software that has fallen into the wrong hands, and thereby contrary to US interests. For example, the new Myanmar government is sure to be using the software to observe the US-sponsored miscreants from the Aung San Su Kyi regime who are bombing schools, hospitals and government offices, and to seek out wanted criminals in hiding. The NSO take-down could be an operation to take those licences out of operation. In that scenario those NSO customers who are not anti-US might get support to continue operations as usual. As another example it could also be used as a warning to the Saudis not to get too close to the Russians and Chinese or ditch the US dollar, and not to accommodate to Iran.

Or maybe NSO just had the wrong political connections in the USA.

Whatever it may seem on the surface, that is what it surely is not.

div> I certainly can't compete on tech savvy as I have none, but doesn't this perhaps line up with the summit decision between Putin and Biden to cooperate in terms of policing cybercrime? Maybe that's too obvious, but I don't see that Snowden is contradicting his own positions in that case. And of course, b, you are correct that the main culprit on these matters is the US. Throwing the spotlight elsewhere however, doesn't mean it can't circle around. Spotlights have a way of doing that.

Posted by: juliania , Jul 20 2021 14:54 utc | 56

I certainly can't compete on tech savvy as I have none, but doesn't this perhaps line up with the summit decision between Putin and Biden to cooperate in terms of policing cybercrime? Maybe that's too obvious, but I don't see that Snowden is contradicting his own positions in that case. And of course, b, you are correct that the main culprit on these matters is the US. Throwing the spotlight elsewhere however, doesn't mean it can't circle around. Spotlights have a way of doing that.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 20 2021 14:54 utc | 56

Simplicius , Jul 20 2021 15:15 utc | 57
The interesting backdrop to all this is that Israel has a *huge* presence in all things associated with cybersecurity and have for years. The IDF's Talpiot plan no doubt enviously eyed the NSA tapping into everyone's internet/cellphone traffic and wanted a piece of the action. The financial intelligence alone would make it hugely valuable, not to mention blackmail opportunities and the means to exercise political control.

I wonder if the Intel's Haifa design bureau was behind the infamous "management engine" installed on *every* Intel chip since 2008 (to, of course, "make administration easier")?

The discover of this "feature" precipitated a huge scandal not too many years back if you recall...

This "feature" gave anyone who could access it the ability to snoop or change the code running on the main CPU... anyone want to guess whether the Mossad knows how to get to it?

Mar man , Jul 20 2021 15:37 utc | 58
@Simplicius | Jul 20 2021 15:15 utc | 57
"I wonder if the Intel's Haifa design bureau was behind the infamous "management engine" installed on *every* Intel chip since 2008 (to, of course, "make administration easier")?"

I remember 30 years ago there was controversy over the NSA requiring hardware backdoors in all phones. At the time, it was called the "Clipper chip". Reportedly, the program failed and was never adopted. Apparently, as this article exposed, that is false and something like it is installed in all phones and possibly computers manufactured for sale in the western world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip

Supposedly, the real story behind Huawei sanctions and kidnapping of their executive, is Huawei phones have no NSA backdoor since the Chinese flatly refuse to cooperate with NSA.

vk , Jul 20 2021 15:40 utc | 59

Turns out the Microsoft hacking accusation against China wasn't a distraction against the NSO scandal, but a capitalist reaction against the CPC's growing containment of their own big tech capitalists:

The Crackdown in China Is a Hot Mess, and It's Coming for Us

For people who don't know: this Kara Swisher is clearly an USG asset (or behaves exactly like one). Every column she writes is an unashamed apology to all the USG policies on big tech and on all decisions of American big tech.


Max , Jul 20 2021 18:26 utc | 63
@ vk (#59), Your conclusion about Kara Swisher is good one. However, cast the net wider to understand the NETWORK that she represents and find additional media Orcs. Most likely she is an asset of the Global Financial Syndicate, acting as a gatekeeper/porter/lobbyist in the technology arena. Her mentor Walter Mossberg was an asset too? It is easy to identify Orcs!

Work Experience: WSJ, The Washington Post, New York Times, ... Who did she sell Recode to? Who are financiers of Vox Media?
Education: Georgetown, Columbia University (many assets come from here)

Piotr Berman , Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 64
While the theory from m at #13 about it being a personal tiff between Biden and Netanyahu has some appeal I tend to believe it is more complex than that.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 20 2021 5:14 utc | 44

While Dems could accumulate some grudges against Netanyahu, they can be pretty thick skinned on that. On the other hand, if Netanyahu used his budget to dig the dirt against his opponents like Bennet, with NSO as the took, the grudge against NSO could be very strong on the side of the current government of Israel. Internal strife between Likudniks is intense. And the mantle of the ruler of Israel comes with perks, like the ability to plant stories in WP and NYT.

Jackrabbit , Jul 20 2021 23:33 utc | 65
CIA 'takedown' of NSO? or an orchestrated 'crackdown' on press freedoms?

UK journalists could be jailed like spies under proposed Official Secrets Act changes

The Government said the reform was needed as the existing acts, with the last update in 1989, are no longer enough to fight the "discernible and very real threat posed by state threats".

The Home Office said it does "not consider that there is necessarily a distinction in severity between espionage and the most serious unauthorised disclosures, in the same way that there was in 1989".

[More at the link.]


If it was Russia or Iran that was selling such spyware, would FUKUS react with measures against the press or with sanctions and efforts to protect the press?

!!

BM , Jul 21 2021 7:14 utc | 66
On the other hand, if Netanyahu used his budget to dig the dirt against his opponents like Bennet, with NSO as the took, the grudge against NSO could be very strong on the side of the current government of Israel. Internal strife between Likudniks is intense. And the mantle of the ruler of Israel comes with perks, like the ability to plant stories in WP and NYT.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 64

Ah, you've nailed it, Piotr!

m , Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67
@64 Piotr Berman
This goes much deeper than just personal animosity.

For several years now there had been some kind of cultural war waging in Israel with the populist leader - Netanyahu - on the one side and and most of the Israeli establishment - the Mossad, the generals and the High Court - against him. The generals eventually acted by founding their own party (with the former TV presenter Lapid at it`s head) and deposed Netanyahu.

This cultural war in Israel is not only very similar to the cultural war in the USA. The two countries are so intervened with one another that both conflicts have kind of merged.

Bemildred , Jul 21 2021 10:19 utc | 68
Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67

"This cultural war in Israel is not only very similar to the cultural war in the USA. The two countries are so intervened with one another that both conflicts have kind of merged."

Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67

Yes, not unrelated to the purge Biden seems to be planning here. Bibi made a big mistake getting so cozy with Trump. I would wager Trump is going to be in the crosshairs too. And that is likely to be divisive, in both places.

[Jul 21, 2021] Big Tech- -Our Terms Have Changed

Jul 21, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

BY TYLER DURDEN WEDNESDAY, JUL 21, 2021 - 11:09 AM

Authored (satirically) by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening.

I received another "Our Terms Have Changed" email from a Big Tech quasi-monopoly, and for a change I actually read this one. It was a revelation on multiple fronts. I'm reprinting it here for your reading pleasure:

We wanted to let you know that we recently updated our Conditions of Use.

What hasn't changed:

Your use constitutes your agreement to our Conditions of Use.

We own all the content you create on our platform, devices and networks, and are free to monetize it by any means we choose.

We own all the data we collect on you, your devices, purchases, social networks, views, associations, beliefs and illicit viewing, your location data, who you are in proximity to, and whatever data the networked devices in your home, vehicles and workplaces collect.

We have the unrestricted right to ban you and all your content, shadow-ban you and all your content, i.e., generate the illusion that your content is freely, publicly available, and erase your digital presence entirely such that you cease to exist except as a corporeal body.

What has changed:

If we detect you have positive views on anti-trust enforcement, we may report you as a "person of interest / potential domestic extremist" to the National Security Agency and other federal agencies.

Rather than respond to all disputes algorithmically, we have established a Star Chamber of our most biased, fanatical employees to adjudicate customer/user disputes in which the customer/user refuses to accept the algorithmic mediation.

If a customer/user attempts to contact any enforcement agency regarding our algorithmic mediation or Star Chamber adjudication, we reserve the unrestricted rights to:

a. Prepare voodoo dolls representing the user and stick pins into the doll while chanting curses.

b. Hack the targeted user's accounts and blame it on Russian or Ukrainian hackers.

c. Rendition the user to a corrupt kleptocracy in which we retain undue influence, i.e., the United States.

Left unsaid, of course, is the potential for "accidents" to happen to anyone publicly promoting anti-trust enforcement of Big Tech quasi-monopolies. Once totalitarianism has been privatized , there are no rules that can't be ignored or broken by those behind the curtain . So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening.

Editor's note: this is satire. If I disappear, then you'll know who has no sense of irony or humor.

* * *

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

* * *

My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF) .

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[Jul 19, 2021] Leak Exposes Global Abuse Of Cyber-Spying Weapon To Target Politicians, Activists, Journalists

A smartphone is a spying device from which one also can make phone calls. After Prism is should be clear to anybody that goverments intercepts your email messages and record your phone calls just because they can.
"..reporters identified more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries. They included several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists and more than 600 politicians and government officials – including several heads of state and prime ministers." -- and all those idiots use plain vanilla Anroid or IOS. Nice. They probably have no money to buy a basic phone for $14 or so. That does not save from wiretapping but at least saves from such malware.
Jul 19, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Southfront reports that an Israeli company's spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organizations, published on July 18th.

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One of the organizations, The Washington Post, said the Pegasus spyware licensed by Israel-based NSO Group also was used to target phones belonging to two women close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist murdered at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018.

One of them was his fiancee, and she and the other woman were targeted both before and after his death.

The Guardian, another of the media outlets, said the investigation suggested "widespread and continuing abuse" of NSO's hacking software , described as malware that infects smartphones to enable the extraction of messages, photos and emails; record calls; and secretly activate microphones.

The investigation highlights widespread and continuing abuse of NSO's hacking spyware called 'Pegasus' which the company confirms is only intended for use against terrorist groups, drug and human traffickers, and criminals.

Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras.

Based on the investigation, the leak contains a list of 50,000 phone numbers that have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

The list includes many close family members of one country's ruler, suggesting he might have instructed the country's intelligence agencies to explore the possibility of tracking and spying on their own relatives.


anti-bolshevik 8 hours ago (Edited)

Two articles from Motherboard Vice:

Is Israel EXEMPT from the ' rules-based order ' that Biden / Blinken / Yellen constantly affirm?

Any incoming Sanctions? Any Treasury asset-seziures?

NSO Group Impersonated Facebook to Help Clients Hack Targets May 20, 2020

Motherboard uncovered more evidence that NSO Group ran hacking infrastructure in the United States.

A former NSO employee provided Motherboard with the IP address of a server setup to infect phones with NSO's Pegasus hacking tool. Motherboard granted the source anonymity to protect them from retaliation from the company.

Amazon Shuts Down NSO Group Infrastructure July 19, 2021

The move comes as activist and media organizations publish new findings on the Israeli surveillance vendor.

Amazon has previously remained silent on NSO using its infrastructure . In May 2020 when Motherboard uncovered evidence that NSO had used Amazon infrastructure to deliver malware , Amazon did not respond to a request for comment asking if NSO had violated Amazon's terms of service.

Southern_Boy 10 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The licensor of software is not the user of the software. An Israeli company developed it and may have used it.

In weapons terms, an Israeli company was the arms developer.

However, there are the licensees and users of the software. The factions and individuals who actually used this weapon of war and political coercion.

In weapons terms, there are others, like the US and other country intelligence communities who will be the ones who pulled the trigger.

The "trigger pullers include the Bolshevik Democrat party and the Biden campaign, which used it to control citizens through intelligence gathering (remember Judge Roberts?) and extract political donations from corporations and rich individuals. Don't forget the Globalist GOP RINOs and Tech monopolists, who have used this weapon to control and subvert anyone that they need to subjugate.

Bye bye Apple, Xiomi and Google Android. You just lost your market of brainwashed sheep for new mobile phones. Even the unwashed Joe Six-Packs of this world now know they are being manipulated with the phones that are so expensive.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE 11 hours ago

I've spent many years studying Experimental Psychology & Personality Theory and can honestly state that malware can't determine appropriate behavioural signals intelligence enough to act responsibly, or judiciously.

Algos are dependent upon Behavioural Science & human analytics. They are crude tools that employ hit & miss techniques that hardly ever work accurately.

Israeli intelligence tries to look state of the art, but they are just as dimwitted as the CIA.

WorkingClassMan 10 hours ago

They might be dimwitted and hamfisted but like an elephant with a lobotomy they can still do a lot of damage flailing around. Worst part about it is them not caring about the consequences.

NAV 10 hours ago remove link

It's amazing how the "dimwits" control the entire apparatus of the most powerful Empire in the world and the entire world media.

2banana 12 hours ago (Edited)

It's not just some politicians and journalists.

It's everyone.

Your phone spys on you in every possible way.

Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras.

gregga777 12 hours ago (Edited)

It's been widely for at least a decade that carrying a smart phone is really like wiring oneself up for 24/7/365 audio and/or video surveillance. They only have themselves to blame if they've been spied upon by the world's so-called secret intelligence agencies.

[Ed. The next time in a crowded public space, turn on Wi-Fi and count the number of unlocked phones under the "Other Networks" menu.]

truth or go home 12 hours ago

If you have no phone, and no facebook, then you are likely immune from prosecution. My neighbor the Fed agent told me 10 years ago that these two sources are 90% of every investigation. That number has only gone up. They track you with it, they find out your contacts with it. They find out your secrets with it. Just try to get either of those things anonymously. You can't.

philipat 11 hours ago remove link

Land of the Free....

Ura Bonehead PREMIUM 7 hours ago

'truth or go home', 'having no Facebook' doesn't help you as FB secures the same information via data-sharing arrangements with any number of apps you may download, that came on your phone, or are embedded deep on your phone. Just a fact.

Steeley 4 hours ago

A friend that lives in Pahrump, NV reports that every time he crosses into California a smart phone Covid Health Tracking App activates and he starts getting notifications. Can't turn it off or find where it resides. When he crosses back into Nevada it stops.

E5 10 hours ago

"After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report,"

Really? So if 99 claims are true and one false? Never did they say there was truth to the accusation that they hacked phones.

If you are going to commit a crime I suppose you want to "issue a statement" that you didn't. I guess we have to ask them 2 more times: then it is a rule that you must tell all. No minion can resist the same question three times.

zzmop 9 hours ago (Edited)

Keyword -'Israeli', Not Russian, Israeli, Not 'Russian hackers', Israeli hackers

eatapeach 9 hours ago

This is old news. Congresswoman Jane Harman was all for spying/eavesdropping until she got busted selling her power to Israel, LOL.

consistentliving PREMIUM 7 hours ago

Not USA fake paper pushers but Mexican journalists deserve mention here

Revealed: murdered journalist's number selected by Mexican NSO client

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/18/revealed-murdered-journalist-number-selected-mexico-nso-client-cecilio-pineda-birto

not just journalists either (i know SLATE but hey) https://slate.com/technology/2019/09/mit-media-lab-jeffrey-epstein-joi-ito-moral-rot.html

vova_3.2018 10 hours ago

A smart phone is a spying device .....

Spying & .... Israeli cybersecurity firm "NSO Group" has been selling surveillance software Pegasus, enabling the murder of dissident journalist.

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination
https://www.mintpressnews.com/snowden-israeli-spyware-used-by-governments-to-pursue-journalists-targeted-for-assassination/251612/

Israel: Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LeOt4HCI-M

Israeli cybersecurity firm "NSO Group" Which Sold Pegasus Spyware, paid Biden's political advisers in SKDKnickerbocker consulting firm.
https://sputniknews.com/world/202107191083412056-biden-advisers-consulting-firm-got-paid-by-israeli-nso-group-which-sold-pegasus-spyware-report/

Israel doesn't respect human rights!. Israel has been killing defenseless people in Palestine for more than 50 years. The sad thing is that US support these genocidal sick sycophats.

wizteknet 10 hours ago

Where's a list of infected software?

vova_3.2018 9 hours ago (Edited)

Where's a list of infected software?

If they take yr phone under control they'd have access to everything & then they can use the info against you or anybody else in the info.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuBuyv6kUKI

Israeli spy-wear "Candiru" works a little bet different than Pegasus but is also used to hack & track journalists and activists.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWEJS0f6P6k

The magic number of "6 million" will be the Get out of Jail Card once again.

And, these idiots keep preaching about the great risk China poses...

Steeley 4 hours ago

Embedded in the OS...

Kugelhagel 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is that article an attempt to get some sympathy for "politicians", "journalists" and "activists"? Try again.

HippieHaulers 11 hours ago

Exactly. Don't forget Kashogi was CIA. And they're using another asset (Snowden) to roll this out. This story stinks.

WhiteCulture 7 hours ago (Edited)

I installed Nice Systems onto 600 desk tops in 2003 at 3 separate call centers, a call monitoring and a PC, mainframe CICS, or email, screen scrape capability. When the call audio was recorded we also captured whatever was on the screen. No doubt the government has been doing this on our phones and all personal computers for over a decade.

TheInformed 7 hours ago

Your example shows that people are dumb, it's not evidence of some grand 'government backdoor' conspiracy. Don't conflate the two.

two hoots 10 hours ago (Edited)

Forget the petty herd/individual surveillance, this is a "super power" tool for investment opportunities, negotiation advantage, strategic decisions, military/covert decisions, etc. you can be sure that the most improved (undisclosed) versions are in use in the usual suspect country. Likely spying on the spy's that bought the software from them. These are those steps beyond Nietzsche's amoral supra-man.

Globalist Overlord 12 hours ago

Whitney Webb was writing about this in 2018.

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination

https://www.mintpressnews.com/snowden-israeli-spyware-used-by-governments-to-pursue-journalists-targeted-for-assassination/251612/

tunetopper 12 hours ago

If Pegasus is used against Human Traffic-ers, then why didnt they get Jeffrey Epstein earlier?

Occams_Razor_Trader 11 hours ago

Why 'get' people when you can 'use' these people ........................?

RasinResin 11 hours ago

I use to be in IT and worked in association with Radcom. Now you may ask who is that? They are the Israeli company that is truly behind all monitoring and spying of your phones in America

https://radcom.com/

EVIL incarnate

CryptoingTheLightFantastic 11 hours ago

"Reuters' spokesman Dave Moran said, "Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are. We are aware of the report and are looking into the matter."

I love the sanctimonious clutching of pearls, wringing of hands, and bleating from the purveyors of CCP propaganda, woketardness, and globalism whenever the velvet hand that feeds them punishes them with a throat punch instead.

donebydoug 11 hours ago

Journalists can't be spies, right? That would never happen.

Watt Supremacist 12 hours ago

Yes but do the people working for Reuters know all that?

nowhereman 11 hours ago

Just look at the signature on your paycheck.

Grumbleduke 11 hours ago

they're in the news business - of course they don't!

You know the adage "when your livelihood depends on not knowing" or something....

Enraged 10 hours ago

Listening in on calls is a distraction story by the propaganda media.

The real story is the blackmailing of politicians, judges, corporate executives, etc. for many years by the intelligence agencies with tapes of them with underage girls and boys. This was included in the Maxwell/Esptein story.

These people are compromised, which is the reason for the strange decisions they make, as they support the globalist elite.

There is no reason to spy on journalists, as they are part of the intelligence agency operations.

Max21c 10 hours ago (Edited)

There is no reason to spy on journalists, as they are part of the intelligence agency operations.

True the press are either spies or puppets and vassals of Big Brother and the secret police. They're all mostly agents of the Ministry of Truth. But sometimes they get the weather report right.

Wayoutwilly 12 hours ago remove link

Bet they have sh!t on Roberts, Kavanaugh and Barrett too.

Brushy 11 hours ago

Wait a minute, you mean the tracking spy device that you carry around and put all of your personal information on is actually tracking and spying on you?!!

Dis-obey 10 hours ago remove link

They have data on everyone but not enough eyes to look at everyone all the time. So when you get flagged then they can open all the data on your device to investigate u.

ay_arrow
Yog Soggoth 10 hours ago

Khashoggi was not a journalist. While interesting, this is not the story of the year.

Lawn.Dart 10 hours ago

Almost every intellegence agent is a writer of some kind.

Max21c 10 hours ago

NOS is just one company out of many. They have the willing complicity of the security services of other countries including the CIA, FBI, NSA, DOJ, in the USA and similar per UK. Secret police use these special contractors to help them engage in crimes and criminal activities and it does not matter whether the secret police use a foreign or domestic secret police agency or contractor as they're all in on it together. It's just a criminal underworld of secret police, secret police bureaus & agencies, and "intelligence" agencies. They're all crooked. They're all crooks and criminals and thieves that rob and persecute innocent civilians just like the Bolsheviks, Nazis, Gestapo, Waffen SS, Viet Kong, Khmer Rouge, Red Guards, ISIS, Stasi, KGB, etc. It's all the same or similar secret police, police state tactics, state security apparatus abuses of power, absolute power & its abuses, and spy agencies and intelligence agencies... and those that go along with it and collaborate. It's all just criminal enterprises and crime agencies.

The 3rd Dimentia 9 hours ago

one other tentacle- https://archive.4plebs.org/dl/pol/image/1590/02/1590026057592.jpg

Dis-obey 10 hours ago

So you can solve the 10,000 open murder investigations in Chicago with this. That's how its being used right...

Bostwick9 10 hours ago

"We are deeply troubled to learn that two AP journalists, along with journalists from many news organizations, are among those who may have been targeted by Pegasus spyware," said Director of AP Media Relations Lauren Easton.

OMG . Not journalists !!!!!!!!!!

Guess NSO is a "buy", then.

NAV 11 hours ago remove link

To believe that the Israelis will not use the information that they have is absurd.

Here's one example:

The American Anti-Defamation League under Abe Foxman long made it a practice for decades to tail all Congressmen – liberal or conservative -- as was brought out in allegations in the San Francisco trial of its head operative Roy Bullock on charges of buying blackmail information from members of the San Francisco Police Department as reported by the San Francisco Examiner. Bullock had collected information and provided it to the ADL as a secretly-paid independent contractor for more than 32 years.

Can it be that there's a connection between data of this kind and the unbelievable unification of almost every congressman behind every Israeli position?

Of course, the San Francisco Examiner no longer is in existence. But Israeli trolls continue to gather like wasps upon meat to destroy any information that might reveal their nefarious purposes.

Norseman_Aura 10 hours ago

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fbi-files-reveal-adls-long-history-spying-on-peace-pro-palestinian-and-arab-diplomat-groups-207706361.html

In 1993 the FBI interviewed 40-year undercover ADL operative Roy Bullock , who had improperly obtained social security numbers and drivers licenses from San Francisco Police Department officer Tom Gerard. Gerard and Bullock infiltrated and obtained information on California Pro-Palestinian and anti-Apartheid groups as paid agents of both the ADL and South African intelligence services. The ADL paid tens of thousands in damages over the incident and promised not to collect confidential information in the future.

SARC '

novictim 8 hours ago

What do you want to bet that Orange Hitler and associates along with MAGA Republicans, their attorneys, friendly patriot reporters, etc, have had their phones widely hacked going all the way back to 2016?

Because when you are a "progressive" in power, anyone who wants to unseat you is a terrorist threat and you can do just about anything you want to them because you are saving the world.

Sarrazin 8 hours ago

unseat you is a terrorist threat and you can do just about anything you want to them because you are saving the world.

Funny, it's the same formula US foreign policy applies to all it's victims nations around the world. Fighting terrorists in the name of saving the world.

LEEPERMAX 9 hours ago (Edited)

💥BOOM !!!

In 2020 alone, Facebook and Amazon spent more money on lobbyists than did Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing -- major players in the defense-industrial complex !!!

Let that sink in.

OldNewB 11 hours ago

"Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are."

This hasn't happened in ages. What the large majority of MSM operatives (so called "journalists" ) convey to the public is propaganda and agenda driven misinformation and disinformation.

SummerSausage PREMIUM 12 hours ago

Obama spying on Trump and Fox reporters - meh.

Same Obama intelligence services spying on WaPo & leftist reporters - FASCIST

Mute Button 11 hours ago

We're supposed to be outraged even though Trump & co. know they're being "spied" on.

Its just a game of the uniparty.

Ivy Mike 8 hours ago

Yawn. Smart phones have swiss cheese security. Who knew.

If you have a secret that you really don't want people to know, don't put in on a device that ever touches the internet. Don't talk about important stuff on a phone call. Any mob boss from the 70's could tell you that.

MeLurkLongtime 5 hours ago

I would add if you have Alexa, don't converse on any sensitive topics in front of her, either.

_0000_ 9 hours ago remove link

" Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras."

This is a non-story. Lots of smoke, lots of brew-ha-ha.

Why is THIS a jaw dropping story now when the NSA/CIA have been doing this to ALL iOS and Android devices years ago? RE: CALEA , signed into law in 1996 by Bill Clinton.

Just more misdirection... meant to distract from something else. What?

Rectify77 PREMIUM 10 hours ago

Isn't it odd that Iran, Russia and China are not on the map? Who are the Israelis playing?

NAV 10 hours ago

Isn't is amazing that Russia is giving asylum to Edward Snowden who will be arrested and inflicted with only God knows what if captured by the USA?

Market Pulse 13 hours ago

And we are surprised, why??? Everyone's phones are spied upon with all the data collected. All part and parcel of the NWO and the "Information Age". How else are they going to get all that information to control everything. And just think, once upon a time, there were no cell phones and the people were fine. They also were happier and much more free. Hint - ditch the phone!

dog breath 4 hours ago

Hello? This stuff has been going on for two decades. Bill Binney, former NSA, been talking about this since after 911. Five eyes is a way over going around internal rules. Every country does this. Russia, China, EU, USA, Australia, etc. are all spying on their own citizens. This world is turning into a corrupt crap pile and I'm waiting for the Lord to come.

[Jul 08, 2021] Tucker Carlson Responds To Unmasking In Blistering Monologue, Discusses With Glenn Greenwald

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (2130ET): Tucker Carlson responded to today's 'unmasking' - namely an Axios report which accuses him of trying to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm an American citizen, I can interview whoever I want - and plan to," said the Fox News host.

Presented without further comment, along with Carlson's sit-down with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden revelations about domestic spying and other illicit activities conducted by the US government.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1412936005305475077

Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a bombshell broadcast that an NSA whistleblower had approached him with evidence that the National Security Agency has been spying on his communications , with the intent to leak his emails to the press and 'take this show off the air.'

Today, Carlson told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that the emails have in fact been leaked to journalists - at least one of whom has contacted him for what we presume is an upcoming article on their contents.

"I was in Washington for a funeral last week and ran into someone I know well, who said ' I have a message for you ,' and then proceeded to repeat back to me details from emails and texts that I sent, and had told no one else about. So it was verified. And the person said 'the NSA has this,' and that was proven by the person reading back the contents of the email, 'and they're going to use it against you.'

To be blunt with you, it was something I would have never said in public if it was wrong, or illegal, or immoral. They don't actually have anything on me, but they do have my emails. So I knew they were spying on me, and again, to be totally blunt with you - as a defensive move, I thought 'I better say this out loud.'"

"Then, yesterday, I learned that - and this is going to come out soon - that the NSA leaked the contents of my email to journalists in an effort to discredit me. I know, because I got a call from one of them who said 'this is what your email was about.'

So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination. It's confirmed. It's true. They aren't allowed to spy on American citizens - they are. I think more ominously, they're using the information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It's happening to me right now..."

" This is the stuff of banana republics and third-world countries ," replied Bartiromo.

[Jul 03, 2021] The Godfather of Critical Race Theory

So even in 1971 corporate American understood usefulness of critical race theory and "black bolshevism" for their needs. Otherwise Bell would never get a tenure in Harvard -- the bastion of neoliberalism and corporatism.
As the theory is a typical pseudoscience in the best style of Academician Lysenko, it is natural that " Far more Americans have learned about critical race theory from its opponents than from the theorists themselves."
The idea that "struggle for racial equality is worthwhile even though it will never succeed." remiinds me Eduard Bernstein's "movement toward goal is everything; goal is nothing" see Eduard Bernstein's Revisionist Critique of Marxist Theory and Practice Bernstein was a member of the German Social Democratic party which was a particularly strong and important member of the Second International conference. Bernstein's thoughts are encapsulated in his book, Evolutionary Socialism, published in 1899.
Notable quotes:
"... ...Far more Americans have learned about critical race theory from its opponents than from the theorists themselves. ..."
"... The political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr., whose work focuses on race and inequality, wrote about a conference he attended at Harvard Law School in 1991, where "I heard the late, esteemed legal theorist, Derrick Bell, declare on a panel that blacks had made no progress since 1865. I was startled not least because Bell's own life, as well as the fact that Harvard's black law students' organization put on the conference, so emphatically belied his claim." Mr. Reed dismissed the idea as "more a jeremiad than an analysis." ..."
"... Like the French existentialist Albert Camus, who saw Sisyphus's eternal effort to roll a boulder uphill as a symbol of human endurance in an absurd world, Bell demands "recognition of the futility of action" while insisting "that action must be taken." ..."
"... To the journalist and historian James Traub, who profiled Bell for the New Republic magazine in 1993, this amounted to a recipe for paralysis: "If you convince whites that their racism is ineradicable, what are they supposed to do? And what are blacks to do with their hard-won victim status?" ..."
Jul 03, 2021 | www.wsj.com

... ... ...

In their book "Critical Race Theory: An Introduction," Mr. Delgado and Jean Stefancic list several of its core premises, including the view that "racism is ordinary, not aberrational," and that it "serves important purposes, both psychic and material, for the dominant group," that is, for white people. In recent years, these ideas have entered the mainstream thanks to the advocacy of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was catalyzed by several high-profile cases of police violence against Black people, as well as the New York Times's 1619 Project and bestselling books like Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" and Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist." Critical race theory also informs instruction at some schools and other institutions.

...Far more Americans have learned about critical race theory from its opponents than from the theorists themselves. That may be inevitable, since their writing was mostly aimed at other scholars. But at least one major work is more accessible: "Faces at the Bottom of the Well," the 1992 book by Derrick Bell, who is often described as the founder or godfather of critical race theory.

Bell died in 2011, but the response to his work foreshadows today's controversies. In "Faces," he blends the genres of fiction and essay to communicate his powerfully pessimistic sense of "the permanence of racism" -- the book's subtitle. Bell's thought has been an important influence on some of today's most influential writers on race, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander.

Derrick Bell was born in Pittsburgh in 1930, and after serving in the Air Force he went to work as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Eisenhower Justice Department. He left the job in 1959 after being told that he had to resign his membership in the NAACP to avoid compromising his objectivity. That experience reflects a major theme in Bell's work: Can traditional legal standards of objectivity and neutrality lead to justice for Black Americans, or does fighting racism require a more politically engaged, results-oriented approach to the law?

In 1971, Bell became the first Black professor to receive tenure at Harvard Law School. As he writes in "Faces," "When I agreed to become Harvard's first black faculty member I did so on the express commitment that I was to be the first, but not the last, black hired. I was to be the pioneer, the trailblazer." But the school was slow to hire more Black faculty, leading Bell to leave in protest in 1990. He ended up spending the last part of his career at NYU Law School.

... ... ...

The political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr., whose work focuses on race and inequality, wrote about a conference he attended at Harvard Law School in 1991, where "I heard the late, esteemed legal theorist, Derrick Bell, declare on a panel that blacks had made no progress since 1865. I was startled not least because Bell's own life, as well as the fact that Harvard's black law students' organization put on the conference, so emphatically belied his claim." Mr. Reed dismissed the idea as "more a jeremiad than an analysis."

In the conclusion to "Faces," Bell argues that the struggle for racial equality is worthwhile even though it will never succeed. Like the French existentialist Albert Camus, who saw Sisyphus's eternal effort to roll a boulder uphill as a symbol of human endurance in an absurd world, Bell demands "recognition of the futility of action" while insisting "that action must be taken."

To the journalist and historian James Traub, who profiled Bell for the New Republic magazine in 1993, this amounted to a recipe for paralysis: "If you convince whites that their racism is ineradicable, what are they supposed to do? And what are blacks to do with their hard-won victim status?"

... ... ...

These experiences inform "Faces at the Bottom of the Well," which is made up of nine fables, some with a science-fiction twist. In one story, a new continent emerges in the Atlantic Ocean, with an atmosphere that only African-Americans can breathe. In another, the U.S. institutes a system where whites can pay for permission to discriminate against Blacks -- a kind of cap-and-trade scheme for bigotry.

[Jun 26, 2021] How An Obscure App Turned Millions Into Unwitting Spies For The US Military

Jun 25, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

There's a growing cottage industry at the nexus of consumer research and government surveillance.

In a report published Friday, the Wall Street Journal explored the world of Premise Data Corp., an innocently-named firm that uses a network of users, many in the developing world, who complete basic tasks for small commissions. Assignments can range from snapping photos of competitors' stores, to counting the number of ATMs in a given area, to reporting on the price of consumer goods on the shelf.

Roughly half of the firm's clients are private businesses seeking "commercial information" (mostly reporting on competitors' operations), both the US government and foreign governments have hired the firm to do more advanced reconnaissance work while gauging public opinion.

According to WSJ , Premise is one of a growing number of companies that are straddling "the divide between consumer services and government surveillance and rely on the proliferation of mobile phones as a way to turn billions of devices into sensors that gather open-source information useful to government security services."

Premise's CEO even hinted that the company had been tapped by foreign governments to help with setting policy about how to deal with "vaccine hesitancy".

"Data gained from our contributors helped inform government policy makers on how to best deal with vaccine hesitancy, susceptibility to foreign interference and misinformation in elections, as well as the location and nature of gang activity in Honduras," Premise Chief Executive Officer Maury Blackman said. The company declined to name its clients, citing confidentiality.

Premise launched in 2013 as a tool meant to gather data for use in international development work by governments and non-governmental organizations. In recent years, it has also forged ties to the American national-security establishment and highlighted its capability to serve as a surveillance tool, according to documents and interviews with former employees. As of 2019, the company's marketing materials said it has 600K contributors operating in 43 countries, including global hot spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.

Federal records show Premise has received at least $5MM in payouts from the government since 2017 on military projects -- including from contracts with the Air Force and the Army and as a subcontractor to other defense entities. The company's key utility was, again, gathering information: It would use civilian users in Afghanistan and elsewhere to map out "key social structures such as mosques, banks and internet cafes; and covertly monitoring cell-tower and Wi-Fi signals in a 100-square kilometer area."

In a presentation prepared last year for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Aghanistan, Premise shared some details about its global operation which showed that it's mostly active outside the US.

It also showed how its "users" stationed around Kabul helped it collect data that are valuable to the US and Afghan military.

As the WSJ explained, data from Wi-Fi networks, cell towers and mobile devices could be valuable to the military for "situational awareness, target tracking and other intelligence purposes."

There is also tracking potential in having a distributed network of phones acting as sensors, and knowing the signal strength of nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points can be useful when trying to jam communications during military operations.

Users of Premise's data-collection app typically aren't told for whom they are truly working. This is all laid out in its privacy policy, of course. The app currently assigns about five "tasks" per day to its active users in Afghanistan.

When WSJ caught up with Afghani users of the app, they were told that the users were typically paid about 25 cents per task (about 20 Afghani). And that lately, some of the tasks had struck him as "potentially concerning." Premises claims that none of its users have ever been harmed while completing tasks.

In this way, many of the app's users are effectively being used as unwitting spies for the military.

But it's just one more thing to look out for. Next time you're traveling abroad and you see somebody taking a photo of a mosque or a bank, just remember, it might be part of an officially sanctioned intelligence operation.

[Jun 26, 2021] So Much Of What The CIA Used To Do Covertly It Now Does Overtly - ZeroHedge

Jun 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In the later years of an abusive relationship I was in, my abuser had become so confident in how mentally caged he had me that he'd start overtly telling me what he is and what he was doing. He flat-out told me he was a sociopath and a manipulator, trusting that I was so submitted to his will by that point that I'd gaslight myself into reframing those statements in a sympathetic light. Toward the end one time he told me "I am going to rape you," and then he did, and then he talked about it to some friends trusting that I'd run perception management on it for him.

The better he got at psychologically twisting me up in knots and the more submitted I became, the more open he'd be about it. He seemed to enjoy doing this, taking a kind of exhibitionistic delight in showing off his accomplishments at crushing me as a person, both to others and to me. Like it was his art, and he wanted it to have an audience to appreciate it.

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I was reminded of this while watching a recent Fox News appearance by Glenn Greenwald where he made an observation we've discussed here previously about the way the CIA used to have to infiltrate the media, but now just openly has US intelligence veterans in mainstream media punditry positions managing public perception.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jU58mrEpPvU

"If you go and Google, and I hope your viewers do, Operation Mockingbird, what you will find is that during the Cold War these agencies used to plot how to clandestinely manipulate the news media to disseminate propaganda to the American population," Greenwald said .

"They used to try to do it secretly. They don't even do it secretly anymore. They don't need Operation Mockingbird. They literally put John Brennan who works for NBC and James Clapper who works for CNN and tons of FBI agents right on the payroll of these news organizations. They now shape the news openly to manipulate and to deceive the American population."

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled " The CIA and the Media " reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America's most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media are meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and the public is too brainwashed and gaslit to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC's Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

They're just rubbing it in our faces now. Like they're showing off.

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And that's just the media. We also see this flaunting behavior exhibited in the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a propaganda operation geared at sabotaging foreign governments not aligned with the US which according to its own founding officials was set up to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. The late author and commentator William Blum makes this clear :

[I]n 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up to "support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, nongovernmental efforts". Notice the "nongovernmental"" part of the image, part of the myth. In actuality, virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government, as is clearly indicated in the financial statement in each issue of its annual report. NED likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO.

"We should not have to do this kind of work covertly," said Carl Gershman in 1986, while he was president of the Endowment. "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60's, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created."

And Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

We see NED's fingerprints all over pretty much any situation where the western power alliance needs to manage public perception about a CIA-targeted government, from Russia to Hong Kong to Xinjiang to the imperial propaganda operation known as Bellingcat.

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Hell, intelligence insiders are just openly running for office now. In an article titled " The CIA Democrats in the 2020 elections ", World Socialist Website documented the many veterans of the US intelligence cartel who ran in elections across America in 2018 and 2020:

"In the course of the 2018 elections, a large group of former military-intelligence operatives entered capitalist politics as candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination in 50 congressional seats" nearly half the seats where the Democrats were targeting Republican incumbents or open seats created by Republican retirements. Some 30 of these candidates won primary contests and became the Democratic candidates in the November 2018 election, and 11 of them won the general election, more than one quarter of the 40 previously Republican-held seats captured by the Democrats as they took control of the House of Representatives. In 2020, the intervention of the CIA Democrats continues on what is arguably an equally significant scale."

So they're just getting more and more brazen the more confident they feel about how propaganda-addled and submissive the population has become. They're laying more and more of their cards on the table. Soon the CIA will just be openly selling narcotics door to door like Girl Scout cookies.

Or maybe not. I said my ex got more and more overt about his abuses in the later years of our relationship because those were the later years. I did eventually expand my own consciousness of my own inner workings enough to clear the fears and unexamined beliefs I had that he was using as hooks to manipulate me. Maybe, as humanity's consciousness continues to expand , the same will happen for the people and their abusive relationship with the CIA.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook , Twitter , Soundcloud or YouTube , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .

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[Jun 26, 2021] Late Stage Globalism- When Anything That Is Not Censored Is A Lie

Money quote: " Zerohedge has more traffic than Huffington Post, Vox, Vice, The Atlantic and pretty well any of the other bluecheck day camps for aspiring establishment shills."
Jun 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mark Jeftovic via BombThrower.com,

Late Stage Globalism Is A Tale of Narratives vs Networks

Over the past few weeks in my weekly #AxisOfEasy newsletter I've been covering how Big Tech and the corporate media tried, unsuccessfully, to keep a lid on the Wuhan Lab origin narrative. At one point I half-joked "I'll shut up about this when it's safe to talk about Ivermectin" . This week, I did end up writing a piece about Ivermectin, namely how doctors can't even mention it in their videos or podcast appearances without being penalized by social media platforms.

Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist who has studied bats (from which COVID-19 purportedly originated) was recently on Triggernometry , the UK based podcast that my company, easyDNS , has been sponsoring since mid-2020. It turns out that neither Weinstein nor Triggernometry can say the word "Ivermectin" in their shows. If they do they'll get an automatic takedown by YouTube and a strike on Facebook for violating community standards.

Matt Taibbi recently posed the question " Why has "˜Ivermectin' become a dirty word? " He cites Dr. Pierre Kory in his testimony to a US Senate Committee hearing on medical responses to COVID-19 in December 2020. Kory was referring to an existing medicine that was already FDA approved that he was describing as a "wonder drug" in treating COVID-19, that drug was Ivermectin.

This Senate testimony was televised and viewed by approximately 8 million people. YouTube removed the video of this exchange. They later suspended the account of the United States senator who invited Dr. Kory to speak. (Kory also appeared on Brett Weinstein's show and they took down that as well).

Associated Press for their part "fact checked" the senate testimony, and because, in their words "there is no evidence that Ivermectin is a "˜miracle drug' against COVID", they labeled it as false:

CLAIM: The antiparasitic drug ivermectin "has a miraculous effectiveness that obliterates" the transmission of COVID-19 and will prevent people from getting sick.

AP'S ASSESSMENT: False. There's no evidence ivermectin has been proven a safe or effective treatment against COVID-19.

... ... ...

But I'm looking beyond that, outside of network TV. The hottest news outlets are fast becoming independent journalists like Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald , self-publishing via their Substack. That's mainly email.

Joe Rogan has a larger audience than Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon combined. So too does Steve Bannon, btw. The few times I've been on his Warroom I was astounded at the reach of his audience. According to company sources he's doing between 2.5 and 3.5 million downloads per day. The last people I would ever expect to be tuning into Bannon are telling me "I saw you on Warroom". (It's mind-blowing).

Zerohedge has more traffic than Huffington Post, Vox, Vice, The Atlantic and pretty well any of the other bluecheck day camps for aspiring establishment shills.

It's because of independent, renegade journalists and people writing outside of major outlets that these stories are starting go mainstream despite the best efforts of Big Tech, enforcing whatever canon the corporate press deems to be truth, or the establishment anointed "fact checkers" who try to step in whenever something looks to gain traction:

The Wuhan lab origin was suspected for over a year (and the Fauci emails prove it). Zerohedge was on it almost immediately and got deplatformed for their troubles. It was finally pushed over the line in a Medium post by Nicholas Wade over a year later.

Ivermectin may be next round and it looks like if it gets anywhere it will be thanks to people like Matt Taibbi and Bret Weinstein.

What is the common thread here? It's the power of decentralized networks and open source protocols vs narrative control that is promulgated from global governments, amplified by the corporate media, and enforced by technocratic platforms.

... ... ...

It may seem like the censorship is absolute and that the narrative and the spin is overwhelming. But take solace that it only appears that way because the facade is breaking.

As more people realize that the centralized technocratic system is failing, those who's privilege and position are premised on it have to double down, triple down. They have to burn the boats.

They're fully committed now and because they have no other choice they have to overstep and overreach. Too much, too soon. Too late.

[Jun 24, 2021] One Nation Under Greed- The Profit Incentives Driving The American Police State - ZeroHedge

Jun 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

One Nation Under Greed: The Profit Incentives Driving The American Police State BY TYLER DURDEN THURSDAY, JUN 24, 2021 - 12:00 AM

Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

- Frédéric Bastiat, French economist

If there is an absolute maxim by which the American government seems to operate, it is that the taxpayer always gets ripped off.

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Not only are Americans forced to " spend more on state, municipal, and federal taxes than the annual financial burdens of food, clothing, and housing combined ," but we're also being played as easy marks by hustlers bearing the imprimatur of the government.

With every new tax, fine, fee and law adopted by our so-called representatives, the yoke around the neck of the average American seems to tighten just a little bit more.

Everywhere you go, everything you do, and every which way you look, we're getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

The overt and costly signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government are all around us: warrantless surveillance of Americans' private phone and email conversations by the FBI, NSA, etc.; SWAT team raids of Americans' homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that collect and disseminate data on Americans' private transactions; and militarized agencies with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling.

Meanwhile, the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and the agencies under their command -- Defense, Commerce, Education, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, etc. -- have switched their allegiance to the Corporate State with its unassailable pursuit of profit at all costs and by any means possible.

By the time you factor in the financial blowback from the COVID-19 pandemic with its politicized mandates, lockdowns, and payouts, it becomes quickly apparent that we are now ruled by a government consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population and seemingly unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.

As with most things, if you want to know the real motives behind any government program, follow the money trail.

When you dig down far enough, you quickly find that those who profit from Americans being surveilled, fined, scanned, searched, probed, tasered, arrested and imprisoned are none other than the police who arrest them, the courts which try them, the prisons which incarcerate them, and the corporations, which manufacture the weapons, equipment and prisons used by the American police state.

Examples of this legalized, profits-over-people, government-sanctioned extortion abound.

On the roads : Not satisfied with merely padding their budgets by issuing speeding tickets, police departments have turned to asset forfeiture and red light camera schemes as a means of growing their profits. Despite revelations of corruption, collusion and fraud, these money-making scams have been being inflicted on unsuspecting drivers by revenue-hungry municipalities. Now legislators are hoping to get in on the profit sharing by imposing a vehicle miles-traveled tax , which would charge drivers for each mile behind the wheel.

In the prisons : States now have quotas to meet for how many Americans go to jail. Increasing numbers of states have contracted to keep their prisons at 90% to 100% capacity . This profit-driven form of mass punishment has, in turn, given rise to a $70 billion private prison industry that relies on the complicity of state governments to keep the money flowing and their privately run prisons full , " regardless of whether crime was rising or falling ." As Mother Jones reports, "private prison companies have supported and helped write laws that drive up prison populations . Their livelihoods depend on towns, cities, and states sending more people to prison and keeping them there." Private prisons are also doling out harsher punishments for infractions by inmates in order to keep them locked up longer in order to "boost profits" at taxpayer expense . All the while, prisoners are being forced to provide cheap labor for private corporations . No wonder the United States has the largest prison population in the world .

In the schools: The security industrial complex with its tracking, spying, and identification devices has set its sights on the schools as " a vast, rich market " -- a $20 billion market, no less -- just waiting to be conquered. In fact, the public schools have become a microcosm of the total surveillance state which currently dominates America, adopting a host of surveillance technologies, including video cameras, finger and palm scanners, iris scanners, as well as RFID and GPS tracking devices, to keep constant watch over their student bodies. Likewise, the military industrial complex with its military weapons, metal detectors, and weapons of compliance such as tasers has succeeded in transforming the schools -- at great taxpayer expense and personal profit -- into quasi-prisons. Rounding things out are school truancy laws , which come disguised as well-meaning attempts to resolve attendance issues in the schools but in truth are nothing less than stealth maneuvers aimed at enriching school districts and court systems alike through excessive fines and jail sentences for "unauthorized" absences. Curiously, none of these efforts seem to have succeeded in making the schools any safer.

In the endless wars abroad : Fueled by the profit-driven military industrial complex, the government's endless wars are wreaking havoc on our communities, our budget and our police forces. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour . Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053 . Talk about fiscally irresponsible: the U.S. government is spending money it doesn't have on a military empire it can't afford. War spending is bankrupting America.

In the form of militarized police : The Department of Homeland Security routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, " paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams ." The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war -- and the citizenry are the enemy combatants. Over 80,000 SWAT team raids are conducted on American homes and businesses each year. Moreover, government-funded military-style training drills continue to take place in cities across the country.

In profit-driven schemes such as asset forfeiture : Under the guise of fighting the war on drugs, government agents (usually the police) have been given broad leeway to seize billions of dollars' worth of private property (money, cars, TVs, etc.) they "suspect" may be connected to criminal activity. Then -- and here's the kicker -- whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, the government keeps the citizen's property, often divvying it up with the local police who did the initial seizure. The police are actually being trained in seminars on how to seize the "goodies" that are on police departments' wish lists. According to the New York Times, seized monies have been used by police to "pay for sports tickets, office parties, a home security system and a $90,000 sports car."

Among government contractors: We have been saddled with a government that is outsourcing much of its work to high-paid contractors at great expense to the taxpayer and with no competition, little transparency and dubious savings. According to the Washington Post , "By some estimates, there are twice as many people doing government work under contract than there are government workers ." These open-ended contracts, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, "now account for anywhere between one quarter and one half of all federal service contracting." Moreover, any attempt to reform the system is " bitterly opposed by federal employee unions , who take it as their mission to prevent good employees from being rewarded and bad employees from being fired."

By the security industrial complex : We're being spied on by a domestic army of government snitches, spies and techno-warriors. In the so-called name of "precrime," this government of Peeping Toms is watching everything we do, reading everything we write, listening to everything we say, and monitoring everything we spend. Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it is all being recorded, stored, and catalogued, and will be used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government's choosing. This far-reaching surveillance, carried out with the complicity of the Corporate State, has paved the way for an omnipresent, militarized fourth branch of government -- the Surveillance State -- that came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum. That doesn't even touch on the government's bold forays into biometric surveillance as a means of identifying and tracking the American people from birth to death.

By a government addicted to power: It's a given that you can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured. Emboldened by the citizenry's inattention and willingness to tolerate its abuses, the government has weaponized one national crisis after another in order to expand its powers. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, asset forfeiture schemes, road safety schemes, school safety schemes, eminent domain: all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the police state's hands. Now that the government has gotten a taste for flexing its police state powers by way of a bevy of COVID-19 lockdowns, mandates, restrictions, contact tracing programs, heightened surveillance, censorship, overcriminalization, etc., "we the people" may well find ourselves burdened with a Nanny State inclined to use its draconian pandemic powers to protect us from ourselves.

These injustices, petty tyrannies and overt acts of hostility are being carried out in the name of the national good -- against the interests of individuals, society and ultimately our freedoms -- by an elite class of government officials working in partnership with megacorporations that are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions.

This perverse mixture of government authoritarianism and corporate profits has increased the reach of the state into our private lives while also adding a profit motive into the mix. And, as always, it's we the people, we the taxpayers, we the gullible voters who keep getting taken for a ride by politicians eager to promise us the world on a plate.

This is a far cry from how a representative government is supposed to operate.

Indeed, it has been a long time since we could claim to be the masters of our own lives. Rather, we are now the subjects of a militarized, corporate empire in which the vast majority of the citizenry work their hands to the bone for the benefit of a privileged few

Adding injury to the ongoing insult of having our tax dollars misused and our so-called representatives bought and paid for by the moneyed elite, the government then turns around and uses the money we earn with our blood, sweat and tears to target, imprison and entrap us, in the form of militarized police, surveillance cameras, private prisons, license plate readers, drones, and cell phone tracking technology.

All of those nefarious deeds by government officials that you hear about every day: those are your tax dollars at work.

It's your money that allows for government agents to spy on your emails, your phone calls, your text messages, and your movements. It's your money that allows out-of-control police officers to burst into innocent people's homes, or probe and strip search motorists on the side of the road. And it's your money that leads to Americans across the country being prosecuted for innocuous activities such as growing vegetable gardens in their front yards or daring to speak their truth to their elected officials.

Just remember the next time you see a news story that makes your blood boil, whether it's a police officer arresting someone for filming them in public, or a child being kicked out of school for attending a virtual class while playing with a toy gun, remember that it is your tax dollars that are paying for these injustices.

There was a time in our history when our forebears said "enough is enough" and stopped paying their taxes to what they considered an illegitimate government. They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people.

Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow.

Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we've let bankers, turncoats and number-crunching bureaucrats muddy the waters and pilfer the accounts to such an extent that we're back where we started.

Once again, we've got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as they please.

Once again, we've got a judicial system insisting we have no rights under a government which demands that the people march in lockstep with its dictates.

And once again, we've got to decide whether we'll keep marching or break stride and make a turn toward freedom.

But what if we didn't just pull out our pocketbooks and pony up to the federal government's outrageous demands for more money?

What if we didn't just dutifully line up to drop our hard-earned dollars into the collection bucket, no questions asked about how it will be spent?

What if, instead of quietly sending in our checks, hoping vainly for some meager return, we did a little calculating of our own and started deducting from our taxes those programs that we refuse to support?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , if the government and its emissaries can just take from you what they want, when they want, and then use it however they want, you can't claim to be anything more than a serf in a land they think of as theirs.

This is not freedom, America.

[Jun 20, 2021] Why Big Business Ends Up Supporting The Regime

In reality big tech is the part of neoliberal elite that control the politics and politician (the USA politics and politicians were privatized during Reagan and nothing changed since that period). They also has strong ties with intelligence community often emerging from some some intelligence agency plan and DAPRA or CIA funds. So it is strange to be suprozed that they will always take the side of the government -- they control the goverment...
Jun 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democrats in Congress want comprehensive regulation of social media which will ultimately allow regime regulators to decide what is and what is not "disinformation." This has become very clear as Congress has held a series of Congressional hearings designed to pressure tech leaders into doing even more to silence critics of the regime and its preferred center-left narratives.

Back in February, for instance, Glen Greenwald reported:

For the third time in less than five months , the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms.

House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. "Industry self-regulation has failed," they said, and therefore "we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation." In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.

(The February hearing wasn't even the end of it. Big Tech was summoned yet again on March 25 .)

Greenwald is probably right. The end game here is likely to create a permanent "partnership" between big tech in which government regulators will ultimately decide just how much these platforms will deplatform user and delete content that run afoul of the regime's messaging.

It might strike many readers as odd that this should even be necessary. It's already become quite clear that Big Social Media is hardly an enemy of mainstream proregime forces in Washington. Quite the opposite.

Jack Dorsey, for instance, is exactly the sort of partisan regime apparatchik one expects out of today's Silicon Valley. For example, during October of last year , Twitter locked down the account of the New York Post , because the Post reported a story on Hunter Biden that threatened to hurt Biden's chances for election. Over 90 percent of political donation money coming out of Facebook and Twitter goes to Democrats.

Yet, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't going to be enough to convince politicians to pack up and decide to leave social media companies alone. The regime is unlikely to be satisfied with anything other than full state control of social media through permanent regulatory bodies that can ultimately bring the industry to heel. Regardless of the ideological leanings of the industry players involved, they're likely to see the writing on the wall. As with any regime where the regulators and legislators hold immense power -- as is the case in Washington today -- the regime will generally be able to win the "cooperation" of industry leaders who will end up taking a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" position.

Silicon Valley Is Ideologically Allied with the Regime. But That's Not Enough.

It's been abundantly clear for at least a decade that ideologically speaking, Silicon Valley is as politically mainstream as it gets. The old early-2000s notion that Silicon Valley harbors secret libertarian, antiestablishment leanings has been disproven dozens of times over.

Moreover, Washington has a long history of co-opting tech "geniuses" to serve the whims of the regime. Even back in 2013 Julian Assange already saw the "ever closer union" between government agents and Silicon Valley. Assange saw how federal agencies were hiring Silicon Valley workers as "consultants" and saw where the "partnership" was headed. He concluded "The advance of information technology epitomized by Google heralds the death of privacy for most people and shifts the world toward authoritarianism."

But even if Silicon Valley is packed full of stooges for the NSA -- as appears to be the case -- this still doesn't mean that Silicon Valley firms are willing to happily hand over their property to the federal government. After all, Silicon Valley CEOs, managers, and stockholders are all still at least partly in it for the money. All else being equal, they prefer profit to loss, and they want freedom to make decisions free of regulatory control. They probably don't care about freedom in the abstract, but they care about it for themselves.

The Threat of Regulation Creates Support for the Regime

On the other hand, once federal policymakers and regulators start making threats, the game changes entirely. All of a sudden, it makes a lot of sense to pursue "friendly" relations with the state as a matter of self-preservation. If Washington has the ability to destroy your business -- and if it has become impossible to "fly under the radar" -- then it makes a lot of sense to make Washington your friend.

Under these circumstances, there's little to be gained from blanket opposition to federal regulation, and a lot to be gained from embracing regulation while merely working to ensure that regulation benefits you and your friends.

Big Business versus Small Business

So, it should never surprise us when big business ultimately ends up siding with the regime. It would be folly not to, especially if one has the means to hire lobbyists, attorneys, and PR consultants which can help Big Business negotiate effectively with regulators. Needless to say, the outcomes of these negotiations are likely to end up helping the big players at the expense of smaller ones who aren't even present at the negotiating table.

For small firms that have little hope of influencing federal policy, it still makes sense to simply oppose federal activism altogether and hope for the best. But if your firm manages to get a seat "at the table" it's best to seize the opportunity. To quote an old saying among lobbyists: "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu."

But let us not forget that even when private firms can bring immense amounts of resources to bear for purposes of influencing public policy and negotiating with bureaucrats: the regime itself ultimately holds the advantage. No private firm in the world has the resources to ignore or veto the wishes of the regime's army of regulatory, prosecutors, and tax collectors. No private firm enjoys anything approaching the coercive monopoly power of the state.

But this doesn't mean those firms can't share in this power. And that's very often what happens. Faced with a "join us or be destroyed" ultimatum from federal regulators or lawmakers, most private firms choose the "join us" option. Of course, many smaller firms aren't even offered the choice.


Tillyoudrop 9 minutes ago (Edited)

Wwwwrong.

BIG BUSINESS is the Regime, they own this fxxxing place, and they control you by the balls.

AriusArmenian 3 minutes ago remove link

All the major social media companies in the US were funded and controlled by the CIA from startup.

There is not a future end-game - it has been the CIA's agenda from the beginning.

The CIA along with Watt Street and the MIC owns and controls the US from top to bottom - and they intend for the lumpen white people to fall on their swords. This is all to the interests of the rich and powerful button pushers. I pity the young people like idiots so easily used by the elites.

freedommusic 10 minutes ago

Well when DARPA, the DOD, CIA, et al, created your company what choice do you have?

What did you think this company is YOURS Mr Z?

We created LifeLog with The Peoples money, handed it over to you so there is plausible deniability, and are now weaponizing this data against the very people who have funded it.

Welcome to the MO of monolithic government.

bunnyswanson 1 minute ago

Big Business is the regime. Unfair competition is the name of their game. Monopolizing their industry is their goal. Oversight committees should have stopped them but simple men who define themselves by what they own sell out eagerly.

[Jun 20, 2021] NSA Agrees To Release Records On FBI's Improper Spying On 16,000 Americans - ZeroHedge

Jun 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

NSA Agrees To Release Records On FBI's Improper Spying On 16,000 Americans BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, JUN 19, 2021 - 03:30 PM

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times,

The National Security Agency ( NSA ) has agreed to release records on the FBI 's improper spying on thousands of Americans , the secretive agency disclosed in a recent letter.

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Close Flows Into China Will Remain Very Robust, Says ANZ's Goh

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The agreement may signal a rift between the NSA and the FBI, according to attorney Ty Clevenger.

Clevenger last year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of The Transparency Project, a Texas nonprofit, seeking information on the FBI's improper searches of intelligence databases for information on 16,000 Americans.

The searches violated rules governing how to use the U.S. government's foreign intelligence information trove, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, an Obama nominee who currently presides over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, wrote in a 2019 memorandum and order that was declassified last year.

The FBI insisted that the queries for all 16,000 people "were reasonably likely to return foreign-intelligence information or evidence of a crime because [redacted]," Boasberg wrote. But the judge found that position "unsupportable," apart from searches on just seven of the people.

Still, Boasberg allowed the data collection to continue, prompting Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, to lament that court's decision on the data collection program, authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), "is even more inexplicable given that the opinion was issued shortly after the government reported submitting FISA applications riddled with errors and omissions in the Carter Page investigation."

Page was a campaign associate of then-candidate Donald Trump who was illegally surveilled by the FBI .

After the judge's order was made public, Clevenger filed FOIA requests for information on the improper searches with both the FBI and the NSA.

The FBI rejected the request .

In a February letter ( pdf ), an official told Clevenger that the letter he wrote "does not contain enough descriptive information to permit a search of our records."

The NSA initially declined the request as well, but later granted an appeal of the decision , Linda Kiyosaki, an NSA official, said in a letter ( pdf ) this month.

"You had requested all documents, records, and other tangible evidence reflecting the improper surveillance of 16,000 individuals described in a 6 December, 2019, FISC Opinion," Kiyosaki wrote.

Clevenger believes the NSA's new position signals a rift between the two agencies, potentially because the FBI has repeatedly abused rules governing searches of the intelligence databases while the NSA has largely not.

"There's been a battle between them, for example, Mike Rogers tried to shut off FBI access to the NSA database back in 2016," Clevenger told The Epoch Times, referring to how Adm. Mike Rogers, the former NSA director, cut out FBI agents from using the databases in 2016 .

"And so there's been some history of the NSA trying to limit the FBI's access because they know that the FBI is misusing the data intercepts," he added.

The NSA and FBI did not respond to requests for comment.

[Jun 14, 2021] Jessica Ashooh- The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It

Jun 14, 2021 | www.mintpressnews.com

Reddit is one of the world's most influential news and social media platforms. The website attracted over 1.2 billion visits in April 2021 alone, making it the United States' eighth most visited site, ahead of other leviathans like Twitter, Instagram and eBay. Now majority-owned by a much larger corporate publishing empire, Reddit is also far ahead of more established news sites, garnering three times the numbers of Fox News and five times those of The New York Times .

That is why it was so surprising that so little was made of the company's decision to appoint foreign policy hawk Jessica Ashooh to the position of Director of Policy in 2017, at which time it was also the eight most visited site in the U.S. Ashooh, who had been a Middle East foreign policy wonk at NATO's think tank the Atlantic Council, was appointed at around the same time that the Senate Select Intelligence Committee was demanding more control over the popular website, on the grounds that it was being used to spread disinformation. In her role as Director of Policy, she oversees all government relations and public policy for the company, in addition to managing content, product and advertising. Yet a Google search for "Jessica Ashooh Reddit" filtered between late 2016 and early 2017 (after she was appointed) elicits zero relevant results, meaning not one media outlet even mentioned the questionable appointment.

This is all the more hair-raising, given her resume as a high state official -- all of which raises serious questions about the extent of collaboration between Silicon Valley and the national security state.

A hawk's talons on Syria

The Atlantic Council is the de-facto brains of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and takes funding from the military alliance, as well as from the U.S. government, the U.S. military, Middle Eastern dictatorships, other Western governments, big tech companies, and weapons manufacturers. Its board of directors has been and continues to be a who's who of high U.S. statespeople like Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as well as senior military commanders such as retired generals Wesley Clark, David Petraeus, H.R. McMaster, James "Mad Dog" Mattis, the late Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and Admiral James Stavridis. At least seven former CIA directors are also on the board. As such, the council chooses to represent both political wings of the national security state.

Jessica Ashooh Resume

Ashooh's LinkedIn resume epitomizes the troubling relantionship between think tanks and big tech

Between 2015 and 2017, Ashooh was Deputy Director of the Atlantic Council's Middle East Strategy Task Force, working directly with and under Madeline Albright and Stephen Hadley. This is particularly noteworthy, given both these individuals' roles in the region. As Bill Clinton's secretary of state, Albright oversaw the Iraq sanctions and the Oil for Food Program, denounced as "genocide" by the successive United Nations diplomats charged with carrying them out. In an infamous interview with 60 Minutes , Albright casually brushed off a question about her role in the killing of half a million children, stating "the price is worth it." Meanwhile, Hadley was deputy or senior national security advisor to the government of George W. Bush throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, surely the greatest crimes against humanity thus far in the 21st century.

Ashooh appears to be as hawkish as her bosses. Her particular area of expertise is the war in Syria, regarding which she has been among the most belligerent voices, constantly calling for more American intervention to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. In a 2015 interview with Al Jazeera , she praised the U.K. government's decision to bomb the country, claiming that the British public was "coming around" to the idea of war. A shocked interviewer asked "how will the British airstrikes [on] Syria make the British public any safer?" Ashooh replied that it was "generally a positive decision" because "it goes a long way in improving international consensus on the way forward on Syria," although she lamented that there wouldn't be "much improvement in the situation without ground troops." There will be "no political solution without a military element," she predicted, essentially making the pitch for war.

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/bhFBUukP-YuKiCfZc.html


Ashooh has also constantly praised and supported Syria's opposition forces. In 2016, she said that she was very happy that "fighters on the ground from a number of key factions" were uniting against the "Assad regime." She condemned Russia for claiming these opposition forces were members of terrorist groups like Al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam or ISIS, insisting that these were "moderate" rebels.

Of course, the idea that there was still any measurable distance between "moderate" rebels and outright militant jihadists by 2016 was hard to maintain . Even The Washington Post by this time was admitting as much, noting that so-called moderates were now so "intermingled" with al-Nusra that it was difficult to tell them apart.

Nevertheless, the New Hampshire native took to the pages of The New York Times to demand that the U.S. arm the opposition. Of course, it was already doing so, the CIA spending $1 billion per year fielding rebel mercenary armies in the conflict -- with one in every 15 dollars the agency spent going to this endeavor. All of this Ashooh surely knew, yet she maintained that the West must continue to "jack up the price" of Russia defending Assad. "As long as [Assad] remains in power and remains the figurehead of the Syrian government this conflict won't end," she said , laying out her regime-change-or-bust position. Just weeks before unexpectedly taking over at Reddit, Ashooh seemed to still be in full foreign-policy-hawk mode, condemning Obama in the pages of The Washington Post for his apparent softness on Syria and demanding that Trump "restore U.S. credibility" by "order[ing] targeted, punitive strikes against the Assad regime."

Jessica Ashooh

Ashooh attends British Polo Day at Abu Dhabi's Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club. Photo | Ahlan Dirty war, dirty warrior

Ashooh is actually even more involved in the Syrian conflict than one might realize from her hawkish opinions alone. Between 2011 and 2015, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, in her own words , "[p]rovid[ing] senior decision makers with policy analysis and strategic advice, with a particular focus on Syria."

At that time the UAE was using its enormous financial clout to arm and fund a myriad of jihadist groups attempting to overthow the secular strongman Assad and establish some kind of Islamic state. Far from a conspiracy theory, this comes straight from the horse's mouth, as then-Vice President Joe Biden revealed in a Q&A session in 2014. The future president frankly stated :

The Saudis, the Emiratis, what were they doing? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. "

Under pressure, he later apologized for his loose lips.

MintPress News asked the Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs to comment on precisely what Ashooh's role was, but they failed to respond.

Jessica Ashooh Kurdistan

Ashooh is pictured during her time as a "consultant" in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo | Academyalumni

Ashooh herself appears to have been a relatively major player in the Syrian Civil War. In her previously mentioned Washington Post article , she notes that her boss was a former Emirati Air Force General and that she was flown to Istanbul in 2013 to attend an emergency meeting with leaders of the Syrian opposition, as well as ambassadors from unnamed Arab and Western states, in order to plan a response to a reported chemical weapons attack and to help the U.S. "coordinate with the Syrian opposition."

At the same time as she was advising the nation on Middle Eastern affairs, the UAE was widely accused of flying ISIS and al-Qaeda leaders into Yemen to help them intensify the Saudi-led onslaught on the impoverished nation and of smuggling U.S.-made weaponry -- including small arms, TOW missiles and Oshkosh fighting vehicles -- to the jihadist groups. While Ashooh's writing is careful to maintain a distinction between the "moderate" rebels she supports and the fundamentalist radicals she does not, it certainly is noteworthy that the entities she worked for consistently seem to end up in league with the most regressive forces in the region. MintPress also reached out to Reddit for comment on why they appointed Ashooh, given her past history, and on the wider phenomenon of government penetration of social media. The company initially promised to issue a response to the inquiry but has not followed through with it.

An Unholy Alliance: Did the US-Backed UAE Fly ISIS Leaders into Yemen's Killing Fields? The US-allied United Arab Emirates (UAE stands accused of flying ISIS leaders from Syria into Yemen to use in the Saudi-led Coalition war. MintPress News | Alexander Rubinstein | Mar 6, 2019 Opposing some dictatorships, supporting others

Regime change is on the table for more than just one Middle Eastern nation. In a 2017 paper for the Center for the National Interest -- a think tank established by former Republican President Richard Nixon and the "Godfather of Neoconservatism," Irving Kristol -- Ashooh explores the different options for forcing regime change in Iran, but concludes that overthrowing the "odious regime" is an impossible task right now, and criticizes the idea as a quixotic dream.

Nevertheless, she is far from an Iran dove. An Atlantic Council report she co-wrote insists that "Iranian interference in the Arab world must be deterred," and that "America's friends and partners must be reassured that the U.S. opposes Iranian hegemony and will work with them to prevent it."

Ashooh's commitment to fighting against Middle Eastern dictatorships might seem more principled if she did not appear so enamored of the least democratic one of them all. In 2016, she accompanied Albright and Hadley to Saudi Arabia and praised the monarchy's dynamic leadership on the economy and its nurturing of a new generation. "It was really really exciting to see that level of energy and the level of government support for these young people who were interested in shaping their own futures it was just wonderful," she said . In an article about her experience for business news website Market Watch , she waxed lyrical about how forward-thinking the Saudi government is and how the country has become "a hub for the dynamic and positive change that is swelling up throughout the region." Presumably, this excludes Yemen, a nation they were bombing relentlessly . In a 2020 interview , Ashooh revealed that her dream job would be U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. One of her earliest comments on her public Reddit page (made before she began working there) is deflecting the Kingdom from criticism of its dreadful treatment of women.

Jessica Ashooh Reddit profile

Ashooh's Reddit account, which doesn't identify her real identity, uses the moniker, arabscarab

As part of the Atlantic Council, Ashooh was tasked with envisaging a new Middle East for the 21st century. Given her output , it seems that she advocates for a transition towards a more privatized, free-market economic setup, not completely unlike the shock therapy tried in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. "We have to "encourage states to make the reforms that move economies from state-based to ones that support entrepreneurship, because the age of state-based economies is over," she said at a talk at New York University in 2015, adding:

You've got to move to support entrepreneurship in the region and let people take advantage of the natural industrial tendencies of people in the Middle East. My God, if you've ever been to a Turkish bazaar or a market in Cairo you know that these countries are perfectly capable of having functioning market economies. But the state has gotten in the way.

Ashooh's LinkedIn profile also notes that in 2010, she worked as an advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Planning "on a variety of strategic and economic development issues," but does not go into any more detail about what those issues were. A further biography merely states that her consultancy agency "provid[ed] strategic and management consulting services to the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq." Unsurprisingly, the organization has links to the U.S. military; the agency's lead partner being a former Army captain.

Think Tankie

Ashooh comes from a relatively prominent New Hampshire family of Lebanese descent, the most notable of which is probably her uncle Richard . Richard Ashooh was Donald Trump's Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and a former executive at weapons manufacturer BAE Systems. Unlike her uncle, Jessica appears to lean more Democratic, having donated money to a number of local politicians, as well as to anti-Trump Republican groups aimed at convincing them to vote blue, such as Right Side PAC and the now infamous Lincoln Project. However, she also appears to have great respect for many Republicans, having written her doctoral thesis at Oxford University on the Middle East policy of the George W. Bush administration. She also stated that the person she would have most liked to have met was 41st President George Bush Senior, describing him as possessing "incredible amounts of strategy, finesse and restraint." Thus, her political views appear to be exactly in the center of the neoliberal " blob " in Washington.

Ashooh also worked for the right-wing think tank the CATO Institute and is a Term Member of the more Democratic-aligned Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR's term member program is intended to, in its own words, "cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders."

Surveillance Valley

How and why, then, did a hawkish young mandarin hothoused at elite universities and in the halls of state power end up an executive at an anarchic messageboard site with an anti-establishment reputation? Virtually everyone else in senior roles at Reddit has relevant backgrounds in marketing or tech, having worked with comparable companies such as Yelp, Expedia and Snapchat.

Tom Secker -- a journalist, podcaster and researcher who runs SpyCulture.com , an online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry -- was deeply skeptical. "That someone whose entire career has been in international relations and foreign affairs is now the senior policy wonk at Reddit is simply bizarre. Given her ties to the CFR, Atlantic Council and the like, it's downright suspicious," Secker told MintPress .

Underneath the surface, however, the Atlantic Council has been rapidly expanding its influence and control over big social media companies. In 2018, it announced that it would be partnering with Facebook to promote trustworthy sources and derank, demote and even delete low quality or fake news, thus effectively curating what the platform's 2.85 billion worldwide users see in their news feeds. But the effect of recent algorithmic changes has been to throttle alternative media traffic in favor of establishment sources such as CNN , Fox News and The New York Times . Even such more mainstream liberal sites as Mother Jones have seen their numbers crater. Facebook later admitted that they were directly targeting Mother Jones because of its left-leaning content, raising the question that if such a middle-of-the-road liberal outlet was being penalized, wasn't the collapse in traffic to more radical publications surely deliberate? Given the Atlantic Council's funding and the identities of those on its board , their control over social media is tantamount to state censorship on a global level.

Earlier this year, Facebook also hired NATO press officer Ben Nimmo to be its intelligence chief, in another move that dismayed free-speech advocates. In the past, Nimmo has identified a Welsh pensioner and an internationally known Ukranian pianist as Russian bots, raising more questions about the suitability of the Atlantic Council to be an arbiter of truth online.

The Facebook-Atlantic Council link mirrors that of Microsoft with NewsGuard , a new piece of software purportedly trying to fight fake news by placing either green shields or red warning logos, corresponding to an outlet's credibility, beside all links in its browser, Microsoft Edge -- this credibility being decided entirely by NewsGuard itself. Newsguard pushed Microsoft to install the software on all its products as standard. Again, however, NewsGuard's system rated establishment websites like Fox News and CNN as trustworthy but independent media as suspect. And again, a glance at its advisory board makes it clear that this is a state operation. Those in key positions included George W. Bush's Secretary of Homeland Security and former NSA and CIA Director General Michael Hayden; ex-White House Communications Director Don Baer; and former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Worse still, NewsGuard is also linked to a PR agency employed in whitewashing the Saudi government's human-rights record and its role in the carnage in Yemen.

Twitter, too, has some extremely troubling links with state power. In 2019 Gordon MacMillan, a senior Twitter executive responsible for the Middle East region, was outed as an active duty officer in the British Army's 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online operations and psychological warfare. Far from causing a scandal, only one major U.S. outlet even mentioned the story, and the journalist in question resigned from the profession weeks later, claiming the existence of a network of top-down state censors who quash stories that threaten the power and prestige of the national security state. To this day, MacMillan remains in his post at Twitter, strongly suggesting the social media company knew of his role before he was hired.

Over the past few years, Twitter, Reddit and Facebook have announced the deletion of hundreds of thousands of accounts linked to sources in Russia, Iran, China and other enemy states, often on the recommendation of Western governments or state-sponsored intelligence organizations. However, they never seem willing or able to find any manipulation of their platforms by Western governments. Thus, the upshot of this has been to slowly dissuade critics of Western foreign policy from using their services.

"The mainstream media-politik establishment has managed to get a hold over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- shadow-banning and downrating posts considered 'Russian propaganda' or whatever other excuse they use to marginalize perspectives and content outside of the mainstream," Secker told MintPress . "Audiences for this sort of content are increasingly pissed off and alienated by the major social media sites."

Facebook, Social Media Giants Admit to Silencing Palestinian Voices Online Social media companies including Facebook have admitted to MintPress that pro-Palestinian posts were removed, blaming mistakes in the algorithm. MintPress News | Jessica Buxbaum | May 14

Increasingly, unwelcome political voices are either brushed off by centrist pundits as repeating Russian talking points or smeared as being amplified by Kremlin-based bot farms. The popularity of movements on the left like Black Lives Matter or the Bernie Sanders' campaign were written off as partially linked to Russia, while others suggested that the January 6 insurrection in Washington was essentially a Russian operation.

The irony is that many of the wildest accusations against Putin that have fed this climate of suspicion began life in Atlantic Council documents. For example, the organization has published a series of studies that suggest that virtually every European political party challenging the neoliberal status quo in some way -- from Labour and UKIP in the U.K. to Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece and PODEMOS and Vox in Spain -- are secretly controlled by Russia, functioning as the "Kremlin's Trojan Horses," in its words.

The Atlantic Council is also deeply intertwined with a U.K. government-funded organization called the Integrity Initiative, something that purports to be a group defending democracy from disinformation. However, in practice, it appears to be doing the opposite: planting disinformation about politicians' supposed links to Russia in order to undermine them. The Integrity Initiative is a government-backed cluster of journalists who operate in unison to conduct propaganda blitzes on unsuspecting publics. In 2018, it launched a successful operation to prevent Colonel Pedro Baños being appointed Spain's head of national security. Considering Baños too soft on Russia for the Atlantic Council and other hawks' liking, the initiative sprung into action, creating a storm of protest that led to another individual being chosen.

New Documents Reveal Covert UK Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In US Politics With the help of John Rendon and the State Department's Global Engagement Center, the Integrity Initiative brings its disinformation campaign to the US. MintPress News | Mark Ames | Jan 9, 2019

Reddit actually played a key role in a 2019 propaganda blitz against anti-war Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. A few days before the U.K.'s general election, Corbyn promoted documents leaked on the platform that showed that Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson was negotiating with American companies, putting much of the country's National Health Service up for sale. With just days to go before polls opened, it could have proved a game changer. Reddit quickly came to Johnson's rescue, however, asserting that the documents were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The story in the pliant British press switched from "Boris Johnson is selling off the NHS" to "Corbyn promotes Russian disinfo," thus greasing the skids for an easy victory for the hardline anti-Russia Conservative Party, an outcome the hawks at the Atlantic Council were no doubt relieved by, given Corbyn's open skepticism about war, empire and nuclear weapons. The veracity of the documents was not challenged.

For a while

Founded in 2005, Reddit has grown to become one of the world's largest and most influential websites. However, it began life as an anarchistic messageboard whose culture was profoundly libertarian and anti-establishment. For years, the company's administrators took a near free speech absolutist position. Aaron Swartz, Reddit's co-founder, was an open source hacktivist and even attempted to download and publish the entirety of academic publisher Jstor's library. When authorities got wind of what he was doing, they threatened him with 40 years in prison, an action that caused him to take his own life in 2013.

Reddit's own position on free information and free speech was often so extreme it caused huge controversy. The site became the internet's largest source of child pornography. It was only after CNN began reporting on it to a nationwide audience that things began to change. Other, grossly offensive communities like /r/BeatingWomen and /r/CoonTown were also protected.

Nevertheless, the culture established by anarchistic tech bros remained for some years, with the site resembling darker corners of the internet like 4Chan and 8Chan as much as more family-friendly mainstream social media like Facebook.

Ashooh's arrival in 2017 coincided with a new era in the site's history. Gone were the days of protecting communities that would bring in bad publicity. Her team quickly brought in a new content policy and began to delete communities that violated it. Last year, she oversaw the banning of over 2,000 communities in a single day, including /r/The_Donald, the main Donald Trump subreddit, and /r/ChapoTrapHouse, the most active left-wing community. These decisions have helped the money flow in; since 2017 revenue has more than tripled .

However, what has been lost across the internet is the liberatory potential of these technologies. In the 1990s and 2000s, many predicted that the internet would usher in a new era of egalitarianism and genuine democracy, helping even to reduce barriers and tensions between nations. For a while, the new medium allowed political actors to challenge the status quo and gain huge followings quickly. Alternative media was easily outperforming legacy media, and challenging the status quo when it came to news. Seeing that, the reaction since 2016 has been swift, as the elite have moved to retighten their grip over the means of communication. Ashooh's jump from national security state official to Reddit Director of Policy is just one more point of reference on that chart.

Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent , as well as a number of academic articles . He has also contributed to FAIR.org , The Guardian , Salon , The Grayzone , Jacobin Magazine , and Common Dreams .

[Jun 12, 2021] Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux service polkit patched

Highly recommended!
Linux systems that have polkit version 0.113 or later installed – like Debian (unstable) , RHEL 8 , Fedora 21+ , and Ubuntu 20.04 – are affected.
Jun 12, 2021 | www.theregister.com

A seven-year-old privilege escalation vulnerability that's been lurking in several Linux distributions was patched last week in a coordinated disclosure.

In a blog post on Thursday, GitHub security researcher Kevin Backhouse recounted how he found the bug ( CVE-2021-3560 ) in a service called polkit associated with systemd, a common Linux system and service manager component.

Introduced in commit bfa5036 seven years ago and initially shipped in polkit version 0.113, the bug traveled different paths in different Linux distributions. For example, it missed Debian 10 but it made it to the unstable version of Debian , upon which other distros like Ubuntu are based.

Formerly known as PolicyKit, polkit is a service that evaluates whether specific Linux activities require higher privileges than those currently available. It comes into play if, for example, you try to create a new user account.

me title=

Backhouse says the flaw is surprisingly easy to exploit, requiring only a few commands using standard terminal tools like bash, kill, and dbus-send.

"The vulnerability is triggered by starting a dbus-send command but killing it while polkit is still in the middle of processing the request," explained Backhouse.

Killing dbus-send – an interprocess communication command – in the midst of an authentication request causes an error that arises from polkit asking for the UID of a connection that no longer exists (because the connection was killed).

"In fact, polkit mishandles the error in a particularly unfortunate way: rather than rejecting the request, it treats the request as though it came from a process with UID 0," explains Backhouse. "In other words, it immediately authorizes the request because it thinks the request has come from a root process."

This doesn't happen all the time, because polkit's UID query to the dbus-daemon occurs multiple times over different code paths. Usually, those code paths handle the error correctly, said Backhouse, but one code path is vulnerable – and if the disconnection happens when that code path is active, that's when the privilege elevation occurs. It's all a matter of timing, which varies in unpredictable ways because multiple processes are involved.

The intermittent nature of the bug, Backhouse speculates, is why it remained undetected for seven years.

Linux systems that have polkit version 0.113 or later installed – like Debian (unstable) , RHEL 8 , Fedora 21+ , and Ubuntu 20.04 – are affected.

"CVE-2021-3560 enables an unprivileged local attacker to gain root privileges," said Backhouse. "It's very simple and quick to exploit, so it's important that you update your Linux installations as soon as possible." ®

[Jun 12, 2021] Seven years old bug in Polkit gives unprivileged users root access

Highly recommended!
The polkit service is used by systemd. Linux systems that have polkit version 0.113 or later installed – like Debian (unstable), RHEL 8, Fedora 21+, and Ubuntu 20.04 – are affected. "CVE-2021-3560 enables an unprivileged local attacker to gain root privileges," said Backhouse. "It's very simple and quick to exploit, so it's important that you update your Linux installations as soon as possible."
See Red Hat Advisory ...
Jun 12, 2021 | londonnewstime.com

Ancient Linux bugs provide root access to unprivileged users

Security researchers have discovered some 7-year-old vulnerabilities Linux distribution

Can be used by unprivileged local users to bypass authentication and gain root access.

The bug patched last week exists in Polkit System Service, a toolkit used to assess whether a particular Linux activity requires higher privileges than currently available. Polkit is installed by default on some Linux distributions, allowing unprivileged processes to communicate with privileged processes.

Linux distributions that use systemd also use Polkit because the Polkit service is associated with systemd.

This vulnerability has been tracked as CVE-2021-3560 and has a CVSS score of 7.8. It was discovered by Kevin Backhouse, a security researcher on GitHub. He states that this issue occurred in 2013 with code commit bfa5036.

Initially shipped with Polkit version 0.113, it has moved to various Linux distributions over the last seven years.

"If the requesting process disconnects from dbus-daemon just before the call to polkit_system_bus_name_get_creds_sync begins, the process will not be able to get the unique uid and pid of the process and will not be able to verify the privileges of the requesting process." And Red Hat Advisory ..

"The biggest threats from this vulnerability are data confidentiality and integrity, and system availability."

so Blog post According to Backhouse, exploiting this vulnerability is very easy and requires few commands using standard terminal tools such as bash, kill and dbus-send.

This flaw affects Polkit versions between 0.113 and 0.118. Red Hat's Cedric Buissart said it will also affect Debian-based distributions based on Polkit 0.105.

Among the popular Linux distributions affected are Debian "Bullseye", Fedora 21 (or later), Ubuntu 20.04, RHEL 8.

Polkit v.0.119, released on 3rd rd We will address this issue in June. We recommend that you update your Linux installation as soon as possible to prevent threat attackers from exploiting the bug.

CVE-2021-3560 is the latest in a series of years ago vulnerabilities affecting Linux distributions.

In 2017, Positive Technologies researcher Alexander Popov discovered a flaw in the Linux kernel introduced in the code in 2009. Tracked as CVE-2017-2636, this flaw was finally patched in 2017.

Another old Linux security flaw indexed as CVE-2016-5195 was introduced in 2007 and patched in 2016. This bug, also known as the "dirty COW" zero-day, was used in many attacks before the patch was applied.

Ancient Linux bugs provide root access to unprivileged users

Source link Ancient Linux bugs provide root access to unprivileged users


[Jun 12, 2021] The FBI Secretly Ran the Anom Messaging Platform, Yielding Hundreds of Arrests in Global Sting - WSJ

Any encrypted communication platform can serve as a honeypot for intelligence agencies.
Jun 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Hundreds of suspected members of criminal networks have been arrested by authorities around the world after being duped into using an encrypted communications platform secretly run by the FBI to hatch their plans for alleged crimes including drug smuggling and money laundering.

In the global sting operation dubbed "Operation Trojan Shield," an international coalition of law-enforcement agencies led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation covertly monitored the encrypted communications service Anom, which purported to offer a feature cherished in the criminal underworld: total secrecy.

The sting was revealed this week in a series of news conferences by authorities in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Alleged members of international criminal organizations adopted the platform as a means to communicate securely, unaware that authorities were covertly monitoring 27 million messages from more than 12,000 users across more than 100 countries, officials said.

The takedown involved more than 9,000 law-enforcement offices around the world that had searched 700 locations in the previous 48 hours alone, U.S. and European officials said early Tuesday. Police forces had in recent days carried out more than 800 arrests in 16 countries and seized more than 8 tons of cocaine, 22 tons of cannabis and 2 tons of synthetic drugs, as well as 250 firearms, 55 luxury vehicles and over $48 million in various currencies. More than 150 threats to human life were also disrupted, officials said.

In the U.S., the FBI charged 17 foreign nationals operating in places including Australia, the Netherlands and Spain with distributing encrypted Anom communications devices, saying they violated federal racketeering laws typically used to target organized-crime groups, officials said. Eight of those individuals are in custody and nine remain at large, they said.

The global effort put any other companies offering such services on notice that law-enforcement agencies world-wide consider developing and selling technology aimed at defeating their ability to monitor and intercept communications to be unlawful""the latest salvo in a debate unfolding globally about how to balance security and privacy on technology platforms.

Authorities, who see encrypted platforms like Anom as providing a haven for illicit activity beyond the reach of government monitoring, signaled that intelligence agencies and law enforcement would aggressively seek to infiltrate platforms designed in such a way that they can be used by terrorists and criminal gangs to evade detection.

"The immense and unprecedented success of Operation Trojan Shield should be a warning to international criminal organizations""your criminal communications may not be secure; and you can count on law enforcement world-wide working together to combat dangerous crime that crosses international borders," said Suzanne Turner, the special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego field office.

... ... ...

Trojan Shield grew from when the FBI developed a confidential human source involved in the development of Anom and used that access to make, market and distribute the devices around the world, according to an affidavit unsealed in U.S. federal court this week. The source, who had been involved in selling other secure devices to criminal networks before trying to develop Anom, agreed to cooperate with the bureau in order to reduce his or her own criminal exposure and lessen a potential sentence, court documents say.

With the source's cooperation, the FBI and its law-enforcement partners secretly built into Anom the ability to covertly intercept and decrypt messages. The FBI relied on the source's relationships with criminal gangs in Australia to help distribute the first batch of devices, with word of the service spreading organically after that, documents say.

Europol said Anom was used by more than 300 criminal groups in more than 100 countries, including Italian organized crime, outlaw motorcycle gangs and international drug-trafficking organizations. In court filings, the bureau detailed extensive conversations about narcotics trafficking, cryptocurrency transactions, cash smuggling, corruption and other illicit activity flowing through Anom's systems.

[Jun 12, 2021] BioSecurity Fascist State

Jun 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

GMC , says: June 9, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT • 18.5 hours ago

@beavertales

My good friend in Canada says that it seems to be a "BioSecurity Fascist State" forming also. And it's not against Cuba , it's against the populace of Canada. Worse than anything in the US. < >

[Jun 12, 2021] Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone. Is this to track employee every movement?

Jun 06, 2021 | mobile.slashdot.org

Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone (cbsnews.com) 37 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:39PM from the company-lines dept. "Walmart will give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year ," reports CBS News, "so they can use a new app to manage schedules, the company announced Thursday." The phone, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, can also be used for personal use, and the company will provide free cases and protection plans. The phone's retail price is currently $499... Up until now, associates at Walmart stores used handheld devices they shared to communicate, but an initial test with employee smartphones was received well and will now be expanded upon, Walmart said...

The company promised that it would not have access to any employee's personal data and can "use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they're used to." The test will be expanded by the end of the year, Walmart said.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced pay increases for nearly a third of its U.S. workforce of 1.6 million. In February, digital and store workers saw their starting hourly rates increase from $13 to $19 depending on their location and market. Hmmm ( Score: 3 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:48PM ( #61460698 ) Probably will be used to clock them in and out when they enter and exit the premises, and track their movements to ensure they are working and not lollygagging. Maybe even track bio info to adjust health insurance prices.

If you think this is just a free gift done out of generosity, you're quite naive. Reply to This Share No thank you ( Score: 3 ) by RitchCraft ( 6454710 ) on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:11PM ( #61460772 ) It would be wise for Walmart employees to put that phone in a locker on premises before leaving. Having your corporate overlord knowing everything you do outside of work is creepy ... peeping Tom creepy. Wal-mart states they won't collect your data but we'll be reading a news story within two years finding out they did just that. "We're sorry for data that was collected. It was a configuration oversight on our part. We promise to do better moving forward." yadda, yadda, yadda. Reply to This Share Not surprised... ( Score: 5 , Interesting) by Pollux ( 102520 ) < speter@@@tedata...net...eg > on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:36PM ( #61460814 ) Journal

I was talking last week with someone who works customer service at a nearby Walmart. She told me that people are either leaving or moving up the chain, and it's hard to keep new employees retained. She had one who was in for three days, then just went AWOL and was never heard from again.

I asked her what starting salary was. (The Walmart's in out-state MN.) She said $11.50.

I guess Walmart can't help but behave this way. What they should be doing is raising salaries. Instead, they choose to offer a "perk" of a "free" phone w/ a "free" phone plan. I say "free", because no doubt the phone will be a data goldmine for corporate. How? Let me count the ways.

1) Track employee movements within the store;
2) Determine quantity and length of employee breaks;
3) Track employee movements outside the store;
4) Track employee searches;
5) Track employee social media posts;
6) Monitor employee spending behaviors;
7) Mine employee messages;

And so on, and so forth...And any one of these data mining operations can be used to punish employee misbehavior, hustle Walmart services (Moneygram springs to mind), not to mention sell to interested 3rd parties. (With Walmart commanding the largest fleet of employees in the United States, imagine how many other companies would be willing to pay for generalized data on employee behavior. Better yet, image how much someone would be willing to pay to advertise directly to 1.6 million people.)

[Jun 12, 2021] Google Should Be Treated as Utility, Ohio Argues in New Lawsuit

Jun 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Google's critics have said for years that it should be treated like a public utility. On Tuesday, Ohio's attorney general filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that the search company is one.

The case adds to the legal woes confronting the Alphabet Inc. GOOG 0.68% subsidiary, which also faces antitrust lawsuits from the Justice Department and a separate consortium of states led by Colorado and Texas. The company is contending with cases in countries around the world where its dominance as a search provider has sparked a push by regulators to corral its power.

Amid the array of court challenges, Ohio said that it is the first state in the country to bring a lawsuit seeking a court declaration that Google is a common carrier subject under state law to government regulation. The lawsuit, which doesn't seek monetary damages, says that Google has a duty to provide the same rights for advertisements and product placement for competitors as it provides for its own services.

"When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican.

A Google spokesman said that the remedies sought in the Ohio lawsuit would worsen the company's search results and impair businesses' ability to connect directly with customers. "Ohioans simply don't want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company," a spokesman said. "This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we'll defend ourselves against it in court."

[Jun 12, 2021] FBI and Australian Police Ran an Encrypted Chat Platform To Catch Criminal Gangs

You do not need backdoors, when you have insiders :-)
Jun 08, 2021 | it.slashdot.org

The FBI and Australian Federal Police ran an encrypted chat platform and intercepted secret messages between criminal gang members from all over the world for more than three years. From a report: Named Operation Ironside (AFP) / Trojan Shield (FBI, Interpol) on Monday, law enforcement agencies from Australia, Europe, and the US conducted house searches and arrested thousands of suspects across a wide spectrum of criminal groups, from biker gangs in Australia to drug cartels across Asia and South America, and weapons and human traffickers in Europe.

In a press conference on Monday, Australian police said the sting operation got underway in 2018 after the FBI successfully seized encrypted chat platform Phantom Secure. Knowing that the criminal underworld would move to a new platform, US and Australian officials decided to run their own service on top of Anom (also stylized as AN0M), an encrypted chat platform that the FBI had secretly gained access to through an insider. Just like Phantom Secure, the new service consisted of secure smartphones that were configured to run only the An0m app and nothing else.


Re:STFU!
( Score: 3 )
by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @04:56PM ( #61467056 )

Maybe the criminals already figured it out?

According to a commenter at SANS "Part of the decision to stop monitoring and making arrests was a blog posting (since deleted) detailing the behavior of the ANoM app, this March, which didn't correctly attribute the backdoor to the FBI."

https://www.sans.org/newslette... [sans.org]

So maybe the criminals were indeed starting to figure it out, albeit slowly.

Re:STFU! ( Score: 5 , Insightful) by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @03:03PM ( #61466708 ) Homepage Journal

Well, now the criminals can't trust any encryption. That means that it can slow them down quite a bit for a while.

Meanwhile most of the ransom for the pipeline ransomware is also recovered, which likely means that it's possible to track Bitcoin.

Governments may be slow, but they can be relentless in pursuing their targets if they really want. Re:STFU! ( Score: 4 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @03:40PM ( #61466816 )

Anyone can track Bitcoin transactions from wallet to wallet. The paydirt is that the LEOs know which wallets to watch and can follow the trail.

Tainted Bitcoins are a big thing, and even tumbled coins just mean more tainted coins that currency exchanges will not accept. You might be able to find an individual to trade, and maybe an escrow service so you can do a multisig transaction so the other party doesn't rob you blind when trading to something like XMR to the ill-gotten gains.

However, all it takes is one bit of info to tie the wallet to a person, and the blockchain will do the conviction for the prosecutor from there. Reply to This Parent Share They've just proven they don't need backdoors to e ( Score: 1 ) by layabout ( 1576461 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @03:07PM ( #61466718 ) This is the kind of law enforcement technique that should be used when faced with end-to-end encryption. It proves that there is no need for backdoor and how even "unbreakable" encryption systems can be compromised Closed source proprietary encryption system ... ( Score: 4 , Insightful) by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @04:42PM ( #61467002 ) Journal

It was a closed-source black-box proprietary encryption system.

As we've pointed out time and again: You can't trust it if you can't check it. Your security is totally at the mercy of the system's authors and operators.

But crooks are apparently no smarter than Pointy Haired Bosses. (Thank goodness.)

[Jun 08, 2021] RFK's False-Flag Assassination, and the forgotten Palestinian patsy by Laurent Guyénot

Jun 08, 2021 | www.unz.com
RFK's False-Flag Assassination, and the Forgotten Palestinian Patsy LAURENT GUYÉNOT JUNE 5, 2021 3,600 WORDS 150 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit 1 Share Share 4 Email Print More 5 SHARES RSS Share to Gab

On June 6, 1968, Robert Kennedy had just won the California Democratic presidential primary, when he was shot dead, five years after his brother. David Talbot has shown in his book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years , published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster, that Robert had never believed in the conclusion of the Warren Commission Report, and that, had he succeeded in becoming the next American president, he would have done his utmost to set up a new investigation. Whether he would have been able to get to the bottom of it is another matter. But it is a reasonable assumption that the forces that had killed John were the same that killed Robert on his way to reclaim the White House. After all, as Laurence Leamer writes in Sons of Camelot : "Bobby had been the president's alter ego and protector. . . . He had loved his brother so intensely and served him so well that within the administration it was hard to tell where one man ended and the other began." [1] After 1963, Robert was still his brother's continuation. He was the heir and the avenger.

That is why I have argued before -- and I repeat in my new book -- that the ultimate key to the JFK whodunit is in RFK's assassination, which has a very clear, unmistakable Israeli signature. RFK's assassination is a masterwork of false flag operation, designed by a supremely intelligent, Machiavellian, and organized cabal, the same that orchestrated one year earlier, with Johnson's complicity, the attempted false flag attack on the USS Liberty (watch the new groundbreaking four-part documentary film Sacrificing Liberty ).

What is truly extraordinary, and demonstrates an unmatched expertise in the industry of lies, is that the conspirators succeeded to get rid of Robert Kennedy while at the same time blaming the assassination on their enemies -- the Palestinians -- and thereby giving themselves both an alibi and a victim's role: through RFK, Israel was the target, they claim.

Sirhan Sirhan, the "virulent anti-Semite"

Just hours after Robert's assassination, the press informed the American people, not only of the identity of the assassin, but also of his motive, and even of his detailed biography. [2] Twenty-four-year-old Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jordan, and had moved to the United States when his family was expelled from West Jerusalem in 1948. After the shooting, a newspaper clipping was found in Sirhan's pocket, quoting Robert's following statement: "The United States should without delay sell Israel the 50 Phantom jets she has so long been promised." Handwritten notes by Sirhan found in a notebook at his home confirmed that his act had been premeditated and motivated by his hatred of Israel.

That became the mainstream storyline from day one. Jerry Cohen of the Los Angeles Times wrote a front page article, saying that Sirhan is "described by acquaintances as a 'virulent' anti-Israeli" (Cohen changed that into "virulent anti-Semite" in an article for the Salt Lake Tribune ), and that: "Investigation and disclosures from persons who knew him best revealed [him] as a young man with a supreme hatred for the state of Israel." Cohen infers that "Senator Kennedy . . . became a personification of that hatred because of his recent pro-Israeli statements." Cohen further revealed that, about three weeks before the shooting, Sirhan wrote "a memo to himself" that said, "Kennedy must be assassinated before June 5, 1968," that is, Cohen notes, "the first anniversary of the six-day war in which Israel humiliated three Arab neighbors, Egypt, Syria and Jordan." [3]

After September 11, 2001, the tragedy of Robert's assassination was rewritten and installed into the Neocon mythology of the "Clash of Civilizations" and the "War on Terror." A book entitled The Forgotten Terrorist, by Mel Ayton (2007), purports to present "a wealth of evidence about [Sirhan's] fanatical Palestinian nationalism," and to demonstrate that "[Sirhan's] politically motivated act was a forerunner of present-day terrorism."

In 2008, on the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of Bobby's murder, Sasha Issenberg of the Boston Globe recalled that the death of Robert Kennedy was "a first taste of Mideast terror." He quotes Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz saying: "It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn't recognize it at the time." [4] ‬ That Sirhan was from a Christian family was lost on Dershowitz.

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin took care to mention it in The Forward , only to add that Islamic fanaticism ran in his veins anyway: "But what he shared with his Muslim cousins -- the perpetrators of September 11 -- was a visceral, irrational hatred of Israel. It drove him to murder a man whom some still believe might have been the greatest hope of an earlier generation. . . . Sirhan hated Kennedy because he had supported Israel."

And so, the Forward insists: "One cannot help but note the parallel between [Robert] Kennedy's assassination and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In both tragic cases, Arab fanaticism reared its ugly head on American soil, irrevocably changing the course of events in this country." [5] And the lesson: "In remembering Bobby Kennedy, let us remember not just what he lived for, but also what he died for -- namely, the precious nature of the American-Israeli relationship." [6] In other words: let's propagate the narrative, for it is good for Israel.

On the fiftieth anniversary, the narrative was well rehearsed : Robert got killed because he was "pro-Israel". [7] Therefore his murder was a crime against Israel.

For anyone familiar with the history of the Kennedy clan, there is something odd in the notion that the assassination of Robert Kennedy was a crime against Israel. Robert had not been, in his brother's government, a pro-Israel Attorney General. He had infuriated Zionist leaders by supporting an investigation led by Senator William Fulbright and the Committee on Foreign Relations, aimed at registering the American Zionist Council as a "foreign agent", which would had considerably hindered its efficiency. [8]

In 1968, Robert Kennedy had not suddenly turned pro-Israel. He was simply trying to attract Jewish votes, as everyone else. Robert's statement in an Oregon synagogue, mentioned in the May 27 Pasadena Independent Star-News article found in Sirhan's pocket, didn't exceed the minimal requirements. Its author David Lawrence had, in another article entitled "Paradoxical Bob," underlined how little credit should be given to such electoral promises: "Presidential candidates are out to get votes and some of them do not realize their own inconsistencies." [9] In fact, as Arthur Krock has noted, the supposed motive for RFK's murder is itself paradoxical: "If this motive was his position that the United States was committed to preserve Israel as a nation, his statement was made with more moderation than that of other important political persons who said the same thing." [10]

All things considered, there is no ground for believing that Robert Kennedy would have been, as president of the U.S.A., particularly Israel-friendly.

Did Sirhan kill Robert Kennedy?

If we trust official statements and mainstream news, the assassination of Robert Kennedy is an open-and-shut case. The identity of the killer suffers no discussion, since he was arrested on the spot, with the smoking gun in his hand.

In reality, ballistic and forensic evidence shows that none of Sirhan's bullets hit Kennedy. According to the autopsy report of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Thomas Noguchi, Robert Kennedy was hit by three bullets, while a fourth went through his coat. All these bullets were shot from behind Kennedy: two of them under his right armpit, following an upward angle, and the third, the fatal bullet, behind his right ear, at point blank range. Dr. Noguchi reaffirms his conclusion in his memoirs, Coroner (1983) . Yet the sworn testimonies of twelve witnesses established that Robert had never turned his back on Sirhan and that Sirhan was five to six feet away from his target when he fired. Moreover, Sirhan was physically overpowered by Karl Uecker after his second shot, and, although he continued pressing the trigger mechanically, his revolver was not directed towards Kennedy anymore.

By tallying all the bullet impacts in the pantry, and those that wounded five people around Kennedy, it has been estimated that at least twelve bullets were fired, while Sirhan's gun carried only eight. On April 23, 2011, attorneys William Pepper and Laurie Dusek gathered all this evidence and more in a 58-page file submitted to the Court of California, with a request that Sirhan's case be reopened. They pointed out major irregularities in the 1968 trial, notably that the serial number of Sirhan's pistol did not match the serial number of the pistol by which were test fired the bullets compared with those extracted from Robert's brain. [11] Pepper also provided a computer analysis of audio recordings during the shooting, made by engineer Philip Van Praag in 2008, which confirms that two guns are heard. [12] Paul Schrade, a Kennedy confidant who was behind Robert during the shooting and received one of Sirhan's bullets, has long believed there was a second shooter. He testified at Sirhan's 2016 parole hearing, and told him: "the evidence clearly shows that you were not the gunman who shot Robert Kennedy." [13] Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his sister Kathleen have joined Schrade and support the call for a reinvestigation of the assassination. [14]

The presence of a second shooter was mentioned by several witnesses and reported on the same day by a few news outlets. There are strong suspicions that Robert's real assassin was Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard hired by the Hotel Ambassador, property of Zionist businessman Myer Schine. Cesar was stuck behind Kennedy at the moment of the shooting, and some people saw him draw his pistol. One of them, Don Schulman, positively saw him fire. [15] Incredibly, Cesar's weapon was never examined, and he was never interrogated, even though he did not conceal his hatred for the Kennedys. [16]

Even if we assumed that Sirhan did kill Robert Kennedy, a second aspect of the case raises question: Sirhan seemed to be in a state of trance during the shooting, and of disorientation just after. More importantly, Sirhan has always claimed that he has never had any recollection of his act. Fifty years after the facts, he continues to declare: "I was told by my attorney that I shot and killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy and that to deny this would be completely futile, [but] I had and continue to have no memory of the shooting of Senator Kennedy." He also claims to have no memory of "many things and incidents which took place in the weeks leading up to the shooting." [17] Some repetitive lines written of a notebook found in Sirhan's bedroom, which Sirhan recognizes as his own handwriting but does not remember writing, are reminiscent of automatic writing: there is a whole page of fifteen repetitions of "RFK must die, Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated, assassinated, assassinated, assassinated," suddenly turning to "I have never heard please pay to the order of of of of of." [18]

Psychiatric expertise, including lie-detector tests, has confirmed that Sirhan's amnesia is not faked. Therefore, experts in hypnosis and mental manipulation believe that Sirhan has been submitted to hypnotic programming. "It was obvious that he had been programmed to kill Robert Kennedy and programmed to forget that he had been programmed," stated Dr. Robert Blair. [19] In 2008, Harvard University professor Daniel Brown, a noted expert in hypnosis and trauma memory loss, interviewed Sirhan for a total of 60 hours, and concluded that Sirhan, whom he classified among "high hypnotizables," acted involuntarily under the effect of hypnotic suggestion: "His firing of the gun was neither under his voluntary control, nor done with conscious knowledge, but is likely a product of automatic hypnotic behavior and coercive control." During his sessions with Dr. Brown, Sirhan could remember having been accompanied by an attractive woman, before suddenly finding himself at a shooting range with a weapon he did not know. According to Brown's report, "Mr. Sirhan did not go with the intent to shoot Senator Kennedy, but did respond to a specific hypnotic cue given to him by that woman to enter 'range mode,' during which Mr. Sirhan automatically and involuntarily responded with a 'flashback' that he was shooting at a firing range at circle targets." Later, attorney William Pepper found an entry in the police file that showed that, just days before the assassination, Sirhan had visited a firing range, accompanied by an unknown instructor. [20]

Mossad, Mental control, and false-flag terrorism

We know that in the 1960s, American military agencies were experimenting on mental control. Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, son of Hungarian Jews, directed the infamous CIA MKUltra project, which, among other things, were to answer questions such as: "Can a person under hypnosis be forced to commit murder?" according to a declassified document dated May 1951. [21] As Larry Romanoff has pointed out , MKUltra was an overwhelmingly Jewish enterprise, with people like Dr. John Gittinger, Harris Isbell, James Keehner, Lauretta Bender, Albert Kligman, Eugene Saenger, Chester Southam, Robert V. Lashbrook, Harold Abramson, Charles Geschickter, and Ray Treichler. [22]

In his book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations (2018), Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman has revealed that, in May 1968, the month preceding Robert Kennedy's assassination, the Israeli Military Intelligence (AMAN) was planning to assassinate Yasser Arafat by hypnotically programming a Palestinian. The idea was proposed by a Navy psychologist named Binyamin Shalit, who claimed that, "if he was given a Palestinian prisoner -- one of the thousands in Israeli jails -- with the right characteristics, he could brainwash and hypnotize him into becoming a programmed killer. He would then be sent across the Jordan, join the Fatah there, and, when the opportunity arose, do away with Arafat." The proposal was approved. Shalit selected a 28-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem, whom he deemed easily suggestionnable. The operation failed, but it proves that, in 1968 precisely, Israel was practicing a method of assassination identical to the one used against Robert Kennedy. [23]

Moreover, manipulating Palestinians to make them commit crimes, or committing crimes and blaming Palestinians for them, bears the signature of Israel. According to former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, in 1991 elements of the Mossad were plotting an attempt on the life of President George H. W. Bush. Bush had resisted an unprecedented pro-Israel lobbying campaign that called for $10 billion to help Jews immigrate from the former Soviet Union to Israel, complaining in a televised press conference on September 12 that "one thousand Jewish lobbyists are on Capitol Hill against little old me." [24] Worse, there was his policy of pressuring Israel to the negotiating table at the Madrid Conference by freezing their loan guarantees. Israel had had enough of him. The plan was to leak words to the Spanish police that terrorists were on their way, kill Bush and, in the midst of the confusion, release three Palestinians captured earlier and kill them on the spot. [25]

It is well known that Israel has a long history and a grand expertise in false flag terrorism. A report of the U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), quoted by the Washington Times on September 10, 2001, described the Israeli Intelligence agency as: "Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act." [26] That statement was made public on the day before 9/11.

The pattern dates from before the creation of the Jewish State, with the bombing of the King David Hotel, headquarter of the British authorities in Jerusalem, in the morning of July 22, 1946. Six terrorists of the Irgun dressed as Arabs brought 225 kg of explosives hidden in milk churns into the building. When a British officer became suspicious and gunshot ensued, the Irgun members fled after igniting the explosives. The explosion killed 91 people, mostly British, but also 15 Jews.

The strategy was repeated in Egypt during the summer of 1954, with Operation Susannah. The goal was to compromise the British's withdrawal from the Suez Canal, demanded by Colonel Abdul Gamal Nasser with support from President Eisenhower. Egyptian Jews trained in Israel bombed several British targets, then put the blame on the Muslim Brotherhood. The accidental detonation of an explosive device allowed the exposure of the conspiracy, which led to the "Lavon Affair", from the name of the Defense Minister who was held responsible.

There are more of the same stories in Gordon Thomas's Gideon's Spies: the Secret History of the Mossad (2009). [27] By definition, false-flagged Arab terrorism is only exposed when it fails, and we cannot know how many such operations have been set up by the Mossad. But from the revelations of Ronen Bergman in Rise and Kill First, Sirhan sure looks like a typical made-in-Mossad Palestinian patsy.

There are still, of course, unanswered questions, such as: How did Sirhan find himself in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel at midnight on June 6, 1968, with a pistol in his pocket? Sirhan himself declared it was by accident, or by mistake, but then he doesn't remember much of that evening. Another question is: Why did Kennedy, after finishing his speech, exit the ballroom through the kitchen pantry, instead of walking through the crowd of his supporters, as he usually did? To this question, there is an answer: according to a campaign volunteer present at the scene and interviewed by Michael Piper, it was Frank Mankiewicz who insisted that Robert go this way. [28] Now, isn't it awkward that Mankiewicz had started his career in public relations "as civil rights director for the western branch of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith," as he mentions in his autobiography. [29] (The ADL, remember, was founded in 1913 by the B'nai B'rith to defend the convicted child rapist and murderer Leo Frank .) [30] In 1991, Mankiewicz handled publicity for Oliver Stone's film JFK .

Content of my new book, The Unspoken Kennedy Truth :

Watch the video based on my earlier Kennedy research:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a_kh5tb7PtA?feature=oembed

Laurent Guyénot, Ph.D., is the author of The Unspoken Kennedy Truth (2021), "Our God is Your God Too, But He Has Chosen Us": Essays on Jewish Power (2020), and From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land (2018).


Vinnie O , says: June 5, 2021 at 5:09 pm GMT • 2.3 days ago

Bobby Kennedy was killed by a single shot to the back of his head. The shot was fired at a range close enough to singe the hair on the back of his neck.

Sirhan was of course standing IN FRONT of Bobby, firing BLANKS. The reason for firing those blanks was to cover up the sound of the OTHER gun.

The ONLY person who could have fired such a shot was one of the FBI "bodyguards".

Bobby was murdered because he had a good chance to be elected Prez o' US. And if Bobby EVER became Prez, he would have re-opened the investigation of the murder of his brother, JFK. So RFK was killed by the same people who killed JFK.

Although NO ONE talks about the "plane crash" that killed JFK, Jr., that was also an assassination for the purpose of ensuring that NO ONE EVER made an honest investigation of the murder of JFK, Sr.

Laurent Guyénot , says: June 5, 2021 at 6:39 pm GMT • 2.2 days ago
@Vinnie O

Agreed. I did talk about JFK Jr. here:
https://www.unz.com/article/the-broken-presidential-destiny-of-jfk-jr/
And I have a chapter on him in my new Unspoken Kennedy Truth book

Katy , says: June 5, 2021 at 9:18 pm GMT • 2.1 days ago

Sirhan's safety is often in my mind since the death of Epstein and the attempt on Sirhan.
Looks like Barr was trying to clean up CIA tracks.

Katy , says: June 5, 2021 at 9:28 pm GMT • 2.1 days ago

My understanding is that Maheu was the conduit between the CIA and the Mafia
in at least the JFK assassination. Mafia includes both Italian and Jewish/Israeli groupings. But the order and primary coverup was from the CIA (or acting former CIA). You don't usually hear about military generals, but they had to be in on it too. LBJ was clearly not a mastermind though must have been involved to a degree. Same with Hoover.

I was a college student in LA at the time of the RFK assassination,
not that it makes me an expert, but it made me aware then and concerned and
investigating ever since.

I have read all of Laurent Guyenot's works and most of it was powerfully eye opening,
especially about the history and "purpose" of the Old Testament Bible. I am grateful to him for this work.

He seems to me on less solid ground when it comes to who can control things in the US.

Notsofast , says: June 5, 2021 at 10:45 pm GMT • 2.1 days ago

m.k.ultra/cia/mossad cannot be separated. creating unwitting assassins is a major part of why the program was created. sirhan sirhan's handler "the girl in the polka dot dress" was seen by 25 witnesses but dismissed as a figment of the imagination of an overwrought campaign worker who claimed she heard her say "we shot him, we shot him". the camel faced woman of the joe/camel administration refused to allow sirhan sirhans parole even though bobby kennedy jr. requested it. guess that handlers have to have to watch out for each other.

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: June 6, 2021 at 5:46 am GMT • 1.8 days ago

US and Western political invertebrates don't pander for Jewish votes-they grovel for Jewish MONEY, the Universal Lubricant of electoral success.

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: June 6, 2021 at 5:51 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
@Godfree Roberts

And he attacked the Israel A-bomb program and wanted to end the Federal Reserve, that financial yeshiva. They were lining up to top him, then his brother.

Katy , says: June 6, 2021 at 2:11 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
@The Alarmist

I agree that it's a mystery he is still alive. Other than it would need someone in the DOJ with the determination to see that he was carefully assassinated. You know there was a recent attempt on his life, don't you? Right around the time Epstein died. As long as Barr was head of DOJ I was extremely concerned about Sirhan.

Of course, originally they expected him to be executed and the California had the audacity to eliminate the death penalty.

Anon [213] Disclaimer , says: June 6, 2021 at 2:50 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

FBI document warns conspiracy theories are a new domestic terrorism threat
https://news.yahoo.com/fbi-documents-conspiracy-theories-terrorism-160000507.html

lloyd , says: Website June 6, 2021 at 8:40 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

To understand Robert Kennedy's support for Israel, we have to enter the mental world of post World War Two. Robert wanted Israel' s nuclear programme ended because the Cold War required a bi polar between nuclear powers, US and USSR. A nuclear Israel would make Israel a super power as has indeed happened. Otherwise Robert, a war vet, loved Israel as an epitome of frontier America. Also Israel's social programme as contrasted with America's predatory capitalism greatly appealed. Robert's visit to Israel and deprecation of the Arabs fitted that era. The Arabs and Islam were not popular as backward peoples except for some Arabian Nights nostalgia. I have read a book that Iranian agents were also involved in his assassination. This was the era of the Shah who was covertly allied to Israel

S , says: June 7, 2021 at 2:31 am GMT • 21.9 hours ago
@Franz

I once read of a security expert who had been around during the 60's who believed RFK's assassination was almost inevitable as RFK routinely disregarded security protocols regarding his exposure to large crowds.

Morton's toes , says: June 7, 2021 at 4:15 am GMT • 20.2 hours ago
@RoatanBill

That others were involved is a given and the 'system' has protected them for decades, just as it protected the assassins who killed JFK.

Since a president Robert would have been determined to get to who killed his brother, it is practically a foregone conclusion they were both killed by the exact same crew.

Alden , says: June 7, 2021 at 4:57 am GMT • 19.5 hours ago

Sirhan Sirhan wasn't a Muslim he was Christian Greek Orthodox variety. In 1948 When he was 4 years old armed Israeli troops cane to his family's 10 room house and gave them one hour to pack up what they could carry and get out. His father was fired from his city of Jerusalem water department job as soon as Zionists bribed blackmailed and threatened United Nations delegates to declare Israel a nation.

The family went to live in a Greek Orthodox pilgrim hostel. 7 kids mostly boys youngest 4 how'd you like that. One of the boys was killed in a Zionist terrorist bombing at a crowded rush hour intersection about a year before. The Church refugee program brought the Sirhan to Pasadena Ca. They bought a house and settled in.

Having been kicked out of his home at age 4 by armed troops Sirhan was righteously resentful of the Zionists. He grew more anti Zionist at Pasadena community college because of pro Israel Jewish professors.

Kennedy ran in the California primary. He promised arms and support to Israel. So Sirhan shot him.

Robert Kennedy was as anti White as his brothers. He lobbied for the 1965 and 1968 unlimited non White immigration and affirmative action bills. He marched at the head of MLK's funeral, practically shoving the widow out of the way for photo opportunities. He also massively supported the Hispanic cause and was one of the first anti White Democrats to lobby for Hispanics to get affirmative action benefits. Although that didn't happen until 1970. By the time JFK was elected, Robert was a hard core anti White.

He's dead. Sirhan Sirhan confessed to shooting Kennedy because of Kennedy's support for Israel and the Israelis who stole his family's home.

If you're pro Israel and love the American politicians who give more to Israel than to the American taxpayers, you would have lived Kennedy at the time.

If you're anti White and pro black and brown you should mourn Kennedy as an anti White, pro black and brown pro black on White crime and pro affirmative action discrimination against White Americans dead martyr.

If you are pro White and against affirmative action discrimination against White Americans you are a misinformed ignoramus if you mourn Robert Kennedy.

If you are pro Palestinian and anti the Israeli property grabbers you are a misinformed ignoramus if you mourn the pro Israel Kennedy.

All 3 Kennedy brothers were anti White. March 1961 less than 2 months after he became President JFK issued executive order 10925 I believe it was mandating that all federal agencies SHALL take affirmative action to hire blacks over Whites.

Ted lobbied for the 64 civil rights for all but Whites act, the 65 unlimited non White immigration act. The 68 affirmative action act and every anti White law and judicial appointment in his long career.

And Robert disdained Whites and slobbered over MLK Jesse Jackson Cesear Chavez and every black and brown activist in existence. And he was a vociferous supporter of Israel and the anti White Jewish organizations in America.

Someone shot him. Sirhan Sirhan claimed he shot Robert Kennedy. Robert was as much an enemy of Whites and Palestinians as Johnson was.

Had Robert Kennedy become President he would have been as anti White as Nixon or worse.

Sirhan Sirhan had an excellent motive; revenge. The Jews didn't. Robert Kennedy was a puppet of jews both in domestic ( anti White) and foreign affairs.

Robert Kennedy was pro school de segregation and bussing , pro affirmative action, pro Hispanic pro black soft on black crime and anti White.

Any White man who mourns the Kennedys is anti White negro lover and Zionist.

Colin Wright , says: Website June 7, 2021 at 5:12 am GMT • 19.2 hours ago

The following topics come to mind.

Israel does indeed have a history of unmasked false-flag operations: the Lavon Affair, the attack on the Liberty, their proven awareness beforehand that the 9/11 attacks were going to happen, where, and how.

So unless we're to assume they're invariably incompetent, it follows that there must also have been false-flag operations that were never uncovered. Like, say, the assassination of Robert Kennedy. But this is hardly proof that this was in fact what happened. It merely demonstrates that it's not inconceivable.

Then there's Sirhan Sirhan himself. What was he like? Had he had similar episodes in the past: committing violent acts and having no memory of them? Was he deranged in some way that suggested such behavior was possible? We know, for example, that the young Adolf Hitler was transported when he saw Wagner's Rienzi -- the story of a man who rises to become the savior of his people. Obviously, this prefigured Hitler's later career. Was there anything in Sirhan's life that prefigured an assassination attempt?

Was there other evidence that Sirhan was worked up about Kennedy and Israel? Surely there should have been more than reading a clipping that Kennedy was for an arms sale. What was he saying to people? What had he been reading? Was Sirhan even aware of who was running for President?

If Israel was in fact behind the killing, how were they sure they would benefit? Was it, in June, clear that if Kennedy lived, he would get the nomination and beat the Republican nominee, and that if he did, that he would be dramatically worse for Israel than the apparent alternatives at that point?

Franklin Ryckaert , says: June 7, 2021 at 5:21 am GMT • 19.1 hours ago
@The Alarmist

Sirhan doesn't remember anything (because of his hypnosis), therefore he is not dangerous.

The Jews made a mistake by choosing a Christian Palestinian as their "typical fanatical Muslim terrorist", but they hoped the gullible American public would not notice, which of course was the case.

Colin Wright , says: Website June 7, 2021 at 5:35 am GMT • 18.9 hours ago

This bit from Wikipedia is worth mentioning.

' On February 10, 2016, at his 15th parole hearing, he [Sirhan] was denied parole again. One of Sirhan's shooting victims from that night, Paul Schrade, aged 91 at the time of the hearing, testified in his support, stating his belief that a second shooter killed Kennedy and that Sirhan was intended to be a distraction from the real gunman by an unknown conspiracy '

Lee , says: June 7, 2021 at 10:48 am GMT • 13.6 hours ago
@Vinnie O ense.

Kennedy had been shot three times. One bullet was fired at a range of perhaps 1 inch (3 cm) and entered behind his right ear, dispersing fragments throughout his brain.[41] The other two entered at the rear of his right armpit; one exited from his chest and the other lodged in the back of his neck.[4

Wiki

Five other people were wounded by the "blanks" that SS fired after RFK had been shot.

Five other people were wounded: William Weisel of ABC News, Paul Schrade of the United Automobile Workers union, Democratic Party activist Elizabeth Evans, Ira Goldstein of the Continental News Service, and Kennedy campaign volunteer Irwin Stroll.[24]

Ron Unz , says: June 7, 2021 at 11:43 am GMT • 12.7 hours ago
@Triteleia Laxa g seems to point in a certain obvious direction, but Bergman's recent book also includes a major new revelation. At exactly the same moment that Sirhan was being wrestled to the floor of the Ambassador Hotel ballroom in Los Angeles, another young Palestinian was undergoing intensive rounds of hypnotic conditioning at the hands of Mossad in Israel, being programmed to assassinate PLO leader Yasir Arafat; and although that effort ultimately failed, such a coincidence seems to stretch the bounds of plausibility.

https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-mossad-assassinations/#final-judgment-on-the-jfk-assassination

Triteleia Laxa , says: June 7, 2021 at 12:17 pm GMT • 12.2 hours ago
@Ron Unz e when compared back to the real world.

Had a sinister grouping discovered how to create hypnotised assassins a half a century ago, there is no interest of theirs that they would not be able to achieve by now.

Yet the group you accuse has not even been able to deal with the Palestinians. In the meantime, countless peace settlements, successful ethnic cleansings, large scale massacres, and more, have taken place around the world, ignored and/or forgiven.

My impression is that you paint the Israelis/"deep state neocons"/Jews as Saturday morning cartoon villains. They are all powerful, utterly ruthless, constantly scheming, and yet somehow never achieve more than the most ordinary of their aims. This is too funny.

Joe Levantine , says: June 7, 2021 at 12:22 pm GMT • 12.1 hours ago
@Franklin Ryckaert

And that made them bold enough to pin 9/11 on a bunch of Islamic terrorists. The system is superb; when discussing 9/11 in 2011 with one of my American cousins, he looked at me like I had come from Mars when I asked him about the the third building (7) falling down without being hit. His answer was " what building you are talking about". That got me curious and I researched to find out if my cousin's reaction was a rarity and to my big surprise it turned out that up to that date only 25% of the American public were aware of the fall of three buildings all in all. Free US media indeed!

MLK , says: June 7, 2021 at 12:26 pm GMT • 12.0 hours ago
@Godfree Roberts After all, whatever else you might say of him, long-reigning Erdogan, is the poster boy for leader hubris yet he's still there.

Though if you make too many powerful enemies eventually someone is going to take a shot. Think of it as the coalition of the willing.

We all crave and grow comfortable with the coutours of what did and didn't happen as if was ordained. Thus Kerry made fun of W. Bush for sitting in that elementary school classroom on live TV as if, regardless of what he (W) and those protecting him knew, he was safe as a kitten.

I've mentioned the Vincennes/Lockerbie as elucidating in terms of the functionality of the resolve. With the US and Iran, the two indisputable moving parties, conspiring to make Libya the dirty dog.

Old and Grumpy , says: June 7, 2021 at 1:14 pm GMT • 11.2 hours ago
@Colin Wright

Richard Nixon, via Henry Kissinger, was very good for the Israelis. Would mystery votes in Illinois and Texas happen for Bobby like they did for John? We will never know. Joe Kennedy was a ruthless, power driven man, which is why the Kennedy mystique has always been both amusing and a mystery. Perhaps Joe could have pulled another presidential election off for another son.

christoso , says: June 7, 2021 at 1:14 pm GMT • 11.2 hours ago

According to campaign workers at the scene, RFK wanted to exit the ballroom through the crowd, but his press secretary, Frank Mankiewicz insisted that he leave through the pantry, having arranged a midnight press briefing in a nearby room. Kennedy was told that he needed to hold the briefing so that he could appear on the morning news the following day. Oddly, Mankiewicz later denied having played this role, contradicting the accounts of Kennedy's staff. As Guyenot points out, Mankiewicz was formerly a publicist for the Zionist ADL. Collins Piper, by the way, goes off on a tangent suggesting that Iran somehow had a hand in the RFK assassination.
Another loose end is of course the girl with the polka dot dress. Who was she? where did she go? Here is one authors novel assessment: http://www.surfs-up.net/Downloads/RFK.pdf If this writer is correct, the ADL also played a role in the silencing of the polka dot dress girl.

EuroNat , says: June 7, 2021 at 1:32 pm GMT • 10.9 hours ago
@Triteleia Laxa ts. "Confused" was an oft repeated adjective to describe the victims state of mind.

Vice made a documentary years ago that can easily be found on the internet, "worlds scariest drug" was titled if memory serves me. Here's also some safety advice for travelers to Colombia, proof of how common this is:

https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safety/south-america/colombia/drugs-in-colombia

Now could someone be ordered to kill someone else while high on scopolamine? I have read of no reports. But one thing is clear, a hypnotized like state – in which victims blindly follow directions from strangers – can be induced chemically.

[Jun 07, 2021] Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone. Is this to track employee every movement?

Jun 06, 2021 | mobile.slashdot.org
Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone (cbsnews.com) 37 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:39PM from the company-lines dept. "Walmart will give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year ," reports CBS News, "so they can use a new app to manage schedules, the company announced Thursday." The phone, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, can also be used for personal use, and the company will provide free cases and protection plans. The phone's retail price is currently $499... Up until now, associates at Walmart stores used handheld devices they shared to communicate, but an initial test with employee smartphones was received well and will now be expanded upon, Walmart said...

The company promised that it would not have access to any employee's personal data and can "use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they're used to." The test will be expanded by the end of the year, Walmart said.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced pay increases for nearly a third of its U.S. workforce of 1.6 million. In February, digital and store workers saw their starting hourly rates increase from $13 to $19 depending on their location and market. Hmmm ( Score: 3 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:48PM ( #61460698 ) Probably will be used to clock them in and out when they enter and exit the premises, and track their movements to ensure they are working and not lollygagging. Maybe even track bio info to adjust health insurance prices.

If you think this is just a free gift done out of generosity, you're quite naive. Reply to This Share No thank you ( Score: 3 ) by RitchCraft ( 6454710 ) on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:11PM ( #61460772 ) It would be wise for Walmart employees to put that phone in a locker on premises before leaving. Having your corporate overlord knowing everything you do outside of work is creepy ... peeping Tom creepy. Wal-mart states they won't collect your data but we'll be reading a news story within two years finding out they did just that. "We're sorry for data that was collected. It was a configuration oversight on our part. We promise to do better moving forward." yadda, yadda, yadda. Reply to This Share Not surprised... ( Score: 5 , Interesting) by Pollux ( 102520 ) < speter@@@tedata...net...eg > on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:36PM ( #61460814 ) Journal

I was talking last week with someone who works customer service at a nearby Walmart. She told me that people are either leaving or moving up the chain, and it's hard to keep new employees retained. She had one who was in for three days, then just went AWOL and was never heard from again.

I asked her what starting salary was. (The Walmart's in out-state MN.) She said $11.50.

I guess Walmart can't help but behave this way. What they should be doing is raising salaries. Instead, they choose to offer a "perk" of a "free" phone w/ a "free" phone plan. I say "free", because no doubt the phone will be a data goldmine for corporate. How? Let me count the ways.

1) Track employee movements within the store;
2) Determine quantity and length of employee breaks;
3) Track employee movements outside the store;
4) Track employee searches;
5) Track employee social media posts;
6) Monitor employee spending behaviors;
7) Mine employee messages;

And so on, and so forth...And any one of these data mining operations can be used to punish employee misbehavior, hustle Walmart services (Moneygram springs to mind), not to mention sell to interested 3rd parties. (With Walmart commanding the largest fleet of employees in the United States, imagine how many other companies would be willing to pay for generalized data on employee behavior. Better yet, image how much someone would be willing to pay to advertise directly to 1.6 million people.)

[Jun 06, 2021] US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
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Jun 06, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom May 31, 2021 Save

On Memorial Day, Caitlin Johnstone says it's important to block the propaganda that helps feed a steady supply of teenagers into the imperial war machine.

Airman placing U.S. flags at military graves, May 27. (Arlington National Cemetery, Flickr)

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

V ice President Kamala Harris spent the weekend under fire from Republicans, which of course means that Kamala Harris spent the weekend being criticized for the most silly, vapid reason you could possibly criticize Kamala Harris for.

Apparently the likely future president tweeted "Enjoy the long weekend," a reference to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, instead of gushing about fallen troops and sacrifice.

That's it, that's the whole entire story. That silly, irrelevant offense by one of the sleaziest people in the single most corrupt and murderous government on earth is the whole entire basis for histrionic headlines from conservative media outlets like this :

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1398784636193488897&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Harris, the born politician, was quick to course correct.

"Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country," the veep tweeted . "As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice."

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F1059031867&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=860&maxheight=1000&dnt=1&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%25253A%25252F%25252Fsoundcloud.com%25252Fgoing_rogue%25252Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom&utm_source=caitlinjohnstone.com

Listen to this article.

Which is of course complete bullshit. It has been generations since any member of the U.S. military could be said to have served or sacrificed defending America or its freedoms, and that has been the case throughout almost the entirety of its history. If you are reading this it is statistically unlikely that you are of an age where any U.S. military personnel died for any other reason than corporate profit and global domination, and if you are it's almost certain you weren't old enough to have had mature thoughts about it at the time.

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Whenever you criticize the U.S. war machine online within earshot of anyone who's sufficiently propagandized, you will invariably be lectured about the second World War and how we'd all be speaking German or Japanese without the brave men who died for our freedom. This makes my point for me: the fact that apologists for U.S. imperialism always need to reach all the way back through history to the cusp of living memory to find even one single example of the American military being used for purposes that weren't evil proves that it most certainly is evil.

But this is one of the main reasons there are so very many movies and history documentaries made about World War II: it's an opportunity to portray U.S. servicemen bravely fighting and dying for a noble cause without having to bend the truth beyond recognition. The other major reason is that focusing on the second World War allows members of the U.S. empire to escape into a time when the Big Bad Guy on the world stage was someone else.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1399109694334046211&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

From the end of World War II to the fall of the U.S.S.R., the U.S. military was used to smash the spread of communism and secure geostrategic interests toward the ultimate end of engineering the collapse of the Soviet Union. After this was accomplished in 1991, U.S. foreign policy officially shifted to preserving a unipolar world order by preventing the rise of any other superpower which could rival its might.

A 1992 article by The New York Times titled " U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop ," reporting on a leaked document which describes a policy known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine after then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, reads as follows:

"In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting stage, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be 'convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.'

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy."

This is all U.S. troops have been fighting and dying for since the Berlin Wall came down. Not "freedom", not "democracy" and certainly not the American people. Just continual uncontested domination of this planet at all cost: domination of its resources, its trade routes, its seas, its air, and its humans, no matter how many lives need to risked and snuffed out in order to achieve it. The U.S. has killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century in the reckless pursuit of that goal.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/26O-2SVcrw0?enablejsapi=1&autoplay=0&cc_load_policy=0&iv_load_policy=1&loop=0&modestbranding=1&fs=1&playsinline=0&controls=1&color=red&rel=0&autohide=2&theme=dark&

And, as Smedley Butler spelled out 86 years ago in his still-relevant book War is a Racket , U.S. military personnel have been dying for profit.

Nothing gets the gears of industry turning like war, and nothing better creates chaotic Wild West environments of shock and confusion during which more wealth and power can be grabbed. War profiteers pour immense resources into lobbying , think tanks and campaign donations to manipulate and bribe policy makers into making decisions which promote war and military expansionism, with astounding success . This is all entirely legal.

It's important to spread awareness that this is all U.S. troops have been dying for, because the fairy tale that they fight for freedom and for their countrymen is a major propaganda narrative used in military recruitment. While poverty plays a significant role in driving up enlistments as predatory recruiters target poor and middle class youth promising them a future in the nation with the worst income inequality in the industrialized world, the fact that the aggressively propagandized glorification of military "service" makes it a more esteemed career path than working at a restaurant or a grocery store means people are more likely to enlist.

Without all that propaganda deceiving people into believing that military work is something virtuous, military service would be the most shameful job anyone could possibly have; other stigmatized jobs like sex work would be regarded as far more noble. You'd be less reluctant to tell your extended family over Christmas that you're a janitor at a seedy massage parlor than that you've enlisted in the U.S. military, because instead of congratulating and praising you, your Uncle Murray would look at you and say, "So you're gonna be killing kids for crude oil?"

And that's exactly how it should be. Continuing to uphold the lie that U.S. troops fight and die for a good cause is helping to ensure a steady supply of teenagers to feed into the gears of the imperial war machine. Stop feeding into the lie that the war machine is worth killing and being killed for. Not out of disrespect for the dead, but out of reverence for the living.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix , Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News .



Em , June 1, 2021 at 09:52

Instead of annually memorializing those dead youth, who were, in one way or the other, coerced to go off to foreign lands to kill or be killed, by other youth, in the name of a piece of dead symbolic cloth, wouldn't it be a better idea to honor them, while alive in the prime of living (the world over) by affording them the means to learn, leading by example, to discover for themselves – how to think critically as to what the real options are, collectively as well as individually, for survival and thriving.

CNfan , June 1, 2021 at 04:06

"Global domination" for the benefit of a predatory financial oligarchy.

Peter Loeb , June 1, 2021 at 09:11

Read William Hartung's "Prophets of War " to understand the dynamics.

Peter in Boston

Thom Williams , May 31, 2021 at 20:12

Re: CorsortiumNews, Joe Lauria, Caitlin Johnstone, Realist, & Rael Nidess, M.D.

Thank you all for speaking your truth in this dystopian human universe so apparently lacking human reason and understanding. As is so wisely introduced and recognized herein, the murderous depravity of the "Wolfwitz Doctrine" being and remaining the public policy formulation of our national governance, both foreign and domestic, is a fact that every U.S. citizen should consider and understand on this Memorial Day.
As Usual,
EA

Realist , May 31, 2021 at 17:27

Well stated, perfectly logical again on this subject as always, Caitlin. You out the warmongers for their game to fleece the public and rape the world all so a handful of already fat, lazyass but enormously wealthy and influential people can acquire, without the slightest bit of shame, yet more, more and more of everything there is to be had. You and General Butler.

Will this message get through, this time? Maybe the billionth time is the charm, eh? Can the scales suddenly fall from the eyes of the 330 million Americans who will then demand an immediate end to the madness? On the merits, it's the only conclusion that might realise any actual justice for our country and the rest of the world upon whose throat it keeps a knee firmly planted.

Sorry, nothing of the sort shall ever happen, not as long as the entire mercenary mass media obeys its corporate ownership and speaks nothing but false narratives every minute of every day. Not as long as the educational system is really nothing more than a propaganda indoctrination experience for every child born in the glorious USA! Not as long as every politician occupying any given office is just a bought and paid for tool of the Matrix with great talents for convincing the masses that 2 + 2 = 3, or 5, or whatever is convenient at the time to benefit the ledgers of their plutocrat masters.

What better illustrates the reality of my last assertion than the occupancy of the White House by Sleepy/Creepy Joe Biden who, through age alone, has been reduced to nothing more than a sack of unresponsive meat firmly trussed up with ropes and pulleys that his handlers pull this way or that to create an animatronic effect apparently perfectly convincing to the majority of the American public? Or so they say, based upon some putative election results.

Truly, thanks for the effort, Caitlin. I do appreciate that some have a grasp on the truth. I look forward to its recapitulation by yourself and many others to no effect on every Memorial Day in the USA. It would be unrealistic of me to say otherwise.

Rael Nidess, M.D. , May 31, 2021 at 12:54

Kudos for being one of a very few to mention the central driving ethic behind U.S. foreign policy since the demise of the USSR: The Wolfowitz Doctrine. As central today as it was when first published.

[Jun 06, 2021] The Cover-Up Continues- The Truth About Bill Gates, Microsoft, and Jeffrey Epstein by Whitney Webb

Notable quotes:
"... Vanity Fair ..."
"... After Epstein's 2019 arrest, it emerged that Epstein had "directed" Bill Gates to donate $2 million to the MIT lab in 2014. Epstein also allegedly secured a $5 million donation from Leon Black for the lab. Ito was forced to resign his post as the lab's director shortly after Epstein's 2019 arrest. ..."
"... Epstein appears to have become involved with Brockman as early as 1995, when he helped to finance and rescue a struggling book project that was managed by Brockman. ..."
"... According to former Israeli intelligence operative Ari Ben-Menashe, Bill Clinton had been the main focus of Epstein's sexual blackmail operation in the 1990s, a claim supported by Epstein victim testimony and Epstein's intimate involvement with individuals who were close to the former president at the time. ..."
"... Despite tensions arising from the Clinton administration's pursuit of Microsoft's monopoly in the late 1990s, the Gates and Clinton relationship had thawed by April 2000, when Gates attended the White House " Conference on the New Economy ." Attendees besides Gates included close Epstein associate Lynn Forester (now Lady de Rothschild) and then secretary of the treasury Larry Summers, who has also come under fire for his Epstein ties. ..."
"... Huffington Post ..."
"... Huffington Post ..."
"... Black was deeply tied to Epstein, even having Epstein manage his personal "philanthropic" foundation for several years, even after Epstein's first arrest. ..."
"... Indeed, 2013 was also the year that the Gates mansion systems engineer, Rick Allen Jones, began to be investigated by Seattle police for his child porn and child rape collection, which contained over six thousand images and videos. Despite the gravity of his crime, when Jones was arrested at the Gates mansion a year later, he was not jailed after his arrest but was merely ordered "to stay away from children," according to local media reports. From Melinda's perspective, this scandal, combined with Bill Gates's growing association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may have posed a threat to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's reputation, well before Epstein's 2019 arrest. ..."
"... Evening Standard ..."
"... The likely reason for the continued cover-up of the true extent of Epstein's ties to Gates has much more to do with Gates's company Microsoft than with Bill Gates himself. While it is now permissible to report on ties that discredit Gates's personal reputation, the information that could tie his relationship with Epstein and the Maxwells to Microsoft has been omitted. ..."
"... If, as the Evening Standard ..."
"... This is hardly an isolated incident, as similar efforts have been made to cover up (or memory hole) the ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to other prominent Silicon Valley empires, such as those led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk . One key reason for this is that the Epstein network's blackmail operation involved not only sexual blackmail but electronic forms of blackmail ..."
"... That Isabel and Christine Maxwell were able to forge close business ties with Microsoft after having been part of the front company that played a central role in PROMIS-related espionage and after explicitly managing their subsequent companies with the admitted intention to "rebuild" their spy father's work and legacy, strongly points to the probability of at least some Microsoft products having been compromised in some fashion, likely through alliances with Maxwell-run tech companies. The lack of mainstream media concern over the documented ties of the Epstein network to other top Microsoft executives of the past, such as Nathan Myhrvold, Linda Stone, and Steven Sinofsky, makes it clear that, while it may be open season on the relationship between Bill Gates and Epstein, such is not the case for Microsoft and Epstein. ..."
"... The ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to Silicon Valley, not just to Microsoft, are part of a broader attempt to cover up the strong intelligence component in the origin of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies. Much effort has been invested in creating a public perception that these companies are strictly private entities despite their deep, long-standing ties to the intelligence agencies and militaries of the United States and Israel . The true breadth of the Epstein scandal will never be covered by mainstream media because so many news outlets are owned by these same Silicon Valley oligarchs or depend on Silicon Valley for online reader engagement. ..."
"... Perhaps the biggest reason why the military/intelligence origins and links to the current Silicon Valley oligarchy will never be honestly examined, however, is that those very entities are now working with breakneck speed to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which would make artificial intelligence, automation, mass electronic surveillance, and transhumanism central to human society. One of the architects of this "revolution," Klaus Schwab, said earlier this year that rebuilding and maintaining trust with the public was critical to that project. However, were the true nature of Silicon Valley, including its significant ties to serial child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein and his network, to emerge, the public's trust would be significantly eroded, thus threatening what the global oligarchy views as a project critical to its survival ..."
"... What a menace these philanthropic organizations are to the ordinary and lowly. These billionaire creeps never stop plotting and figuring out even more ways to stomp on people and push their creepy agendas, which remain forever hidden. ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | www.unz.com

It further appears that Bill Gates, then head of Microsoft, made a personal investment in CommTouch at the behest of Isabel Maxwell. In an October 2000 article published in the Guardian , Isabel "jokes about persuading Bill Gates to make a personal investment" in CommTouch sometime during this period.

The Guardian article then oddly notes, regarding Isabel Maxwell and Bill Gates:

"In a faux southern belle accent, [Isabel] purrs: 'He's got to spend $375m a year to keep his tax-free status, why not allow me to help him.' She explodes with laughter."

Given that individuals as wealthy as Gates cannot have "tax-free status" and that this article was published soon after the creation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Isabel's statements suggest that it was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which manages the foundation's endowment assets, that made this sizable investment in CommTouch.

Furthermore, it is worth highlighting the odd way in which Isabel describes her dealings with Gates ("purring," speaking in a fake Southern accent), describing her interactions with him in a way not found in any of her numerous other interviews on a wide variety of topics. This odd behavior may be related to Isabel's previous interactions with Gates and/or the mysterious relationship between Gates and Epstein during this time.

Isabel Maxwell as CommTouch President

After 2000, CommTouch's business and clout expanded rapidly, with Isabel Maxwell subsequently crediting investments from Microsoft, led by Gates, and Paul Allen for the company's good fortune and the success of its effort to enter the US market. Maxwell, as quoted in the 2002 book Fastalliances , states that Microsoft viewed CommTouch as a key "distribution network," adding that "Microsoft's investment in us put us on the map. It gave us instant credibility, validated our technology and service in the marketplace." By this time, Microsoft's ties to CommTouch had deepened with new partnerships, including CommTouch's hosting of Microsoft Exchange .

Though Isabel Maxwell was able to secure lucrative investments and alliances for CommTouch and saw its products integrated into key software and hardware components produced and sold by Microsoft and other tech giants, she was unable to improve the company's dire financial situation, with CommTouch netting a loss of $4.4 million in 1998 and similar losses well into the 2000s, with net losses totalling $24 million in 2000 (just one year after the sizable investments from Microsoft, Paul Allen and Gates). The losses continued even after Isabel formally left the company and became president emeritus in 2001. By 2006, the company was over $170 million in debt. Isabel Maxwell left her position at CommTouch in 2001 but for years retained a sizable amount of CommTouch stock valued at the time at around $9.5 million . Today, Isabel Maxwell is, among other things, a " technology pioneer " of the World Economic Forum.

Epstein, Edge, and Nathan Myhrvold

Another indication of a relationship between Epstein and Gates prior to 2001 is Epstein's cozy ties with Nathan Myhrvold, who joined Microsoft in the 1980s and became the company's first chief technology officer in 1996. At the time, Myhrvold was one of Gates's closest advisers, if not the closest, and cowrote Gates's 1996 book, The Road Ahead , which sought to explain how emerging technologies would impact life in the years and decades to come.

In December of the same year that he became Microsoft's CTO, Myhrvold traveled on Epstein's plane from Kentucky to New Jersey, and then again in January 1997 from New Jersey to Florida. Other passengers accompanying Myhrvold on these flights included Alan Dershowitz and "GM," presumably Ghislaine Maxwell. It is worth keeping in mind that this is the same period when Gates had a documented relationship with Ghislaine's sister Isabel.

In addition, in the 1990s, Myhrvold traveled with Epstein in Russia alongside Esther Dyson , a digital technology consultant who has been called "the most influential woman in all the computer world." She currently has close ties to Google as well as the DNA testing company 23andme and is a member of and agenda contributor to the World Economic Forum. Dyson later stated that the meeting with Epstein had been planned by Myhrvold. The meeting appears to have taken place in 1998, based on information posted on Dyson's social media accounts. One photo features Dyson and Epstein, with a time stamp indicating April 28, 1998, posing with Pavel Oleynikov, who appears to have been an employee of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center. In that photo, they are standing in front of the house of the late Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet nuclear scientist and dissident, who is alleged to have had ties to US intelligence. Sakharov and his wife, Yelena Bonner, were supporters of Zionist causes .

The photos were taken in Sarov, where the Russian Federal Nuclear Center is based. That same day, another photo was taken that shows Epstein inside a classroom full of teens, apparently also in Sarov, given the time stamp.

Another Dyson image , one without a visible time stamp but with a caption stating the photo was taken "at Microsoft Russia in Moscow" in April 1998, shows Nathan Myhrvold. Dyson's caption further states, "This was the beginning of a three-week trip during which Nathan and a variety of hangers-on (including a bodyguard) explored the state of post-Soviet science." Epstein appears to be one of the "hangers-on," given the photographs, dates, and the described purpose of the trip.

Myhrvold and Epstein apparently had more in common than an interest in Russian scientific advances. When Myhrvold left Microsoft to cofound Intellectual Ventures, Vanity Fair reported that he had received Epstein at the firm's office with "young girls" in tow who appeared to be "Russian models." A source close to Myhrvold and cited by Vanity Fair claimed that Myhrvold spoke openly about borrowing Epstein's jet and staying at his homes in Florida and New York. Vanity Fair also noted that Myhrvold has been accused of having sex with minors provided by Epstein by none other than Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who stands accused of the same crime and who had previously flown with Myhrvold on Epstein's private plane.

In addition, a former colleague of Myhrvold's at Microsoft later developed her own ties to Epstein. Linda Stone , who joined Microsoft in 1993 and worked directly under Myhrvold, eventually became a Microsoft vice president. She introduced Epstein to Joi Ito of the MIT Media Lab after Epstein's first arrest. "He has a tainted past, but Linda assures me that he's awesome," Ito later said in an email to three MIT staffers. In Epstein's famous little black book, there are several phone numbers for Stone, and her emergency contact is listed as Kelly Bovino, a former model and alleged Epstein coconspirator. After Epstein's 2019 arrest, it emerged that Epstein had "directed" Bill Gates to donate $2 million to the MIT lab in 2014. Epstein also allegedly secured a $5 million donation from Leon Black for the lab. Ito was forced to resign his post as the lab's director shortly after Epstein's 2019 arrest.

Nathan Myhrvold , Linda Stone , Joi Ito, Esther Dyson , and Bill Gates were all members of the Edge Foundation community (edge.org website), alongside several other Silicon Valley icons. Edge, which is described as an exclusive organization of intellectuals " redefining who and what we are ," was created by John Brockman, a self-described "cultural impresario" and noted literary agent. Brockman is best known for his deep ties to the art world in the late 1960s, though lesser known are his various "management consulting" gigs for the Pentagon and White House during that same period. Edge, which the Guardian once called "the world's smartest website," is an exclusive online symposium affiliated with what Brockman calls "the Third Culture." Epstein appears to have become involved with Brockman as early as 1995, when he helped to finance and rescue a struggling book project that was managed by Brockman.

Edge, however, is more than just a website. For decades, it was also instrumental in bringing together tech executives, scientists who were often Brockman's clients, and Wall Street financiers through its Millionaires' Dinner, first held in 1985. In 1999, this event rebranded as the Billionaires' Dinner, and Epstein became intimately involved in these affairs and the Edge Foundation itself. Epstein was photographed attending several of the dinners as was Sarah Kellen, Ghislaine Maxwell's chief "assistant" and coconspirator in the Epstein/Maxwell-run sex trafficking and blackmail scheme.

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft and Jeffrey Epstein at the 2000 Edge Billionaires' Dinner Source: https://www.edge.org/igd/1200

From 2001 to 2017, Epstein funded $638,000 out of a total of $857,000 raised by Edge. During this period, there were several years when Epstein was Edge's only donor. Epstein stopped giving in 2015, which was incidentally the same year that Edge decided to discontinue its annual Billionaires' Dinner tradition. In addition, the only award Edge has ever given out, the $100,000 Edge of Computation prize, was awarded in 2005 to Quantum computing pioneer David Deutsch -- it was funded entirely by Epstein. A year before he began donating heavily to Edge, Epstein had created the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation to "fund and support cutting edge science around the world."

Since the Epstein scandal, regular attendees of the Billionaires' Dinner, sometimes called the Edge annual dinner, have referred to the event as an "influence operation." If one follows the money, it appears it was an influence operation largely benefitting one man, Jeffrey Epstein, and his network. The evidence points toward Myhrvold and Gates as being very much a part of that network, even before Epstein's involvement in Edge increased significantly.

A Tale of Two Bills

It is worth exploring the ties between the "philanthropic" endeavors of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton in the early 2000s, particularly given Epstein's and Ghislaine Maxwell's ties to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative during that period. According to former Israeli intelligence operative Ari Ben-Menashe, Bill Clinton had been the main focus of Epstein's sexual blackmail operation in the 1990s, a claim supported by Epstein victim testimony and Epstein's intimate involvement with individuals who were close to the former president at the time.

Bill Gates at the White House Conference on the New Economy in 2000, Source: LA Times

Despite tensions arising from the Clinton administration's pursuit of Microsoft's monopoly in the late 1990s, the Gates and Clinton relationship had thawed by April 2000, when Gates attended the White House " Conference on the New Economy ." Attendees besides Gates included close Epstein associate Lynn Forester (now Lady de Rothschild) and then secretary of the treasury Larry Summers, who has also come under fire for his Epstein ties. Another attendee was White House chief of staff Thomas "Mack" McLarty, whose special assistant Mark Middleton met with Epstein at least three times at the Clinton White House. Middleton was fired after press reports surfaced detailing his ties to illegal donations linked to foreign governments that had been made to Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign. Another participant in the conference was Janet Yellen, Biden's current Secretary of the Treasury.

Gates spoke at a conference panel entitled "Closing the Global Divide: Health, Education and Technology." He discussed how the mapping of the human genome would result in a new era of technological breakthroughs and discussed the need to offer internet access to everyone to close the digital divide and allow the "new" internet-based economy to take shape. At the time, Gates was backing a company , along with American Telecom billionaire Craig McCaw, that hoped to establish a global internet service provider monopoly through a network of low-orbit satellites. That company, Teledesic, shut down between 2002 and 2003 and is credited as being the inspiration for Elon Musk's Starlink.

Bill Clinton and Bill Gates entered the world of philanthropy around the same time, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launching in 2000 and the Clinton Foundation, in 2001. Not only that but Wired described the two foundations as being "at the forefront of a new era in philanthropy, in which decisions -- often referred to as investments -- are made with the strategic precision demanded of business and government, then painstakingly tracked to gauge their success."

Other media outlets, however, such as the Huffington Post , challenged that these foundations engaged in "philanthropy" and asserted that calling them such was causing "the rapid deconstruction of the accepted term." The Huffington Post further noted that the Clinton Global Initiative (part of the Clinton Foundation), the Gates Foundation, and a few similar organizations "all point in the direction of blurring the boundaries between philanthropy, business and non-profits." It noted that this model for "philanthropy" has been promoted by the World Economic Forum and the Milken Institute. It is also worth noting that several of Epstein's own "philanthropic" vehicles were also created just as this new era in philanthropy was beginning.

The Milken Institute was founded by Michael Milken , the notorious Wall Street "junk bond king," who was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989. He served little prison time and was ultimately pardoned by Donald Trump. Milken committed his crimes while working alongside Leon Black and Ron Perelman at Drexel Burnham Lambert before its scandalous collapse. Black was deeply tied to Epstein, even having Epstein manage his personal "philanthropic" foundation for several years, even after Epstein's first arrest. Perelman was a major Clinton donor whose 1995 fundraiser for the then president was attended by Epstein and whose companies offered jobs to Webster Hubbell and Monica Lewinsky after their respective scandals in the Clinton administration. Like Gates, Milken has transformed his reputation for ruthlessness in the corporate world into one of a "prominent philanthropist." Much of his "philanthropy" benefits the Israeli military and illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine.

Years after creating their foundations, Gates and Clinton discussed how they have "long bonded over their shared mission" of normalizing this new model of philanthropy. Gates spoke to Wired in 2013 about "their forays into developing regions" and "cites the close partnerships between their organizations." In that interview, Gates revealed that he had met Clinton before he had become president, stating, "I knew him before he was president, I knew him when he was president, and I know him now that he's not president."

Also in that interview, Clinton stated that after he left the White House he sought to focus on two specific things. The first is the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which he stated exists "thanks largely to funding from the Gates Foundation," and the second is the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), "where I try to build a global network of people to do their own thing."

The Clinton Health Access Initiative first received an $11 million donation from the Gates Foundation in 2009. Over the last twelve years, the Gates Foundation has donated more than $497 million to CHAI. CHAI was initially founded in 2002 with the mission of tackling HIV/AIDS globally through "strong government relationships" and addressing "market inefficiencies." The Gates Foundation's significant donations, however, began not long after CHAI's expansion into malaria diagnostics and treatments. Notably, in 2011, Tachi Yamada, the former president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health program, joined CHAI's board alongside Chelsea Clinton.

Bill Gates and Bill Clinton at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in 2010

Regarding the CGI, Epstein's defense lawyers argued in court in 2007 that Epstein had been "part of the original group that conceived of the Clinton Global Initiative," which was first launched in 2005. Epstein's lawyers described the CGI as a project "bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges." The Gates Foundation gave the CGI a total of $2.5 million between 2012 and 2013 in addition to its massive donations to the CHAI and an additional $35 million to the Clinton Foundation itself. In addition to the Gates Foundation donations, Gates's Microsoft has been intimately involved in other "philanthropic" projects backed by Clinton.

In addition to these ties, Hillary Clinton established a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the Gates Foundation in 2014 as part of the Clintons' No Ceilings initiative. That partnership sought to "gather and analyze data about the status of women and girls' participation around the world" and involved the two foundations working "with leading technology partners to collect these data and compile them." Months before the partnership was announced, Gates and Epstein met for dinner and discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy, according to the New York Times . During Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful run for president in 2016, both Bill and Melinda Gates were on her short list as potential options for vice president.

In addition, Epstein attempted to become involved in the Gates Foundation directly, as seen by his efforts to convince the Gates Foundation to partner with JP Morgan on a multibillion-dollar "global health charitable fund" that would have resulted in hefty fees paid out to Epstein, who was very involved with JP Morgan at the time. Though that fund never materialized, Epstein and Gates did discuss Epstein becoming involved in Gates's philanthropic efforts. Some of these contacts were not reported by the mainstream press until after the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce announcement. Yet, as mentioned, it was known that Epstein had "directed" Gates to donate to at least one organization -- $2 million in 2014 to the MIT Media Lab.

Recent revelations about Gates and Epstein meetings that took place between 2013 and 2014 have further underscored the importance Epstein apparently held in the world of billionaire "philanthropy," with Gates reportedly claiming that Epstein was his "ticket" to winning a Nobel Prize. Norwegian media, however, reported in October 2020 that Gates and Epstein had met the Nobel Committee chair, which failed to make a splash in international media at the time. It is worth asking if Epstein managed to arrange such meetings with other individuals who also coveted Nobel Prizes and if any such individuals later received those prizes. If Epstein had such connections, it is unlikely that he would use them only once in the case of Bill Gates, given the vastness of his network, particularly in the tech and science worlds.

The year 2013 is also when Bill and Melinda Gates together met with Epstein at his New York residence, after which Melinda allegedly began asking her soon-to-be ex-husband to distance himself from Epstein. While the stated reason for this, in the wake of the Gateses' divorce announcement, was that Melinda was put off by Epstein's past and his persona, it could potentially be related to other concerns about Melinda's reputation and that of the foundation that shares her name.

Indeed, 2013 was also the year that the Gates mansion systems engineer, Rick Allen Jones, began to be investigated by Seattle police for his child porn and child rape collection, which contained over six thousand images and videos. Despite the gravity of his crime, when Jones was arrested at the Gates mansion a year later, he was not jailed after his arrest but was merely ordered "to stay away from children," according to local media reports. From Melinda's perspective, this scandal, combined with Bill Gates's growing association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may have posed a threat to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's reputation, well before Epstein's 2019 arrest.

2013 was also the year that the Maxwells become involved in the Clinton Foundation. That year, Ghislaine Maxwell's TerraMar Project, which officially supported UN Sustainable Development Goals as they relate the world's oceans, made a $1.25 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of an effort to form a Sustainable Oceans Alliance. TerraMar shut down shortly after Epstein's 2019 arrest.

Isabel Maxwell and Al Seckel at the World Economic Forum's 2011 Annual Meeting

Notably, Ghislaine's TerraMar Project was in many ways the successor to Isabel Maxwell's failed Blue World Alliance, which was also ostensibly focused on the world's oceans. Blue World Alliance was set up by Isabel and her now deceased husband Al Seckel, who had hosted a "scientific conference" on Epstein's island. The Blue World Alliance also went under the name Globalsolver Foundation, and Xavier Malina, Christine Maxwell's son, was listed as Globalsolver's liaison to the Clinton Foundation. He was previously an intern at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Malina later work ed in the Obama administration at the Office of White House Personnel. He now works for Google. It is also worth noting that during this same period, Isabel Maxwell's son, Alexander Djerassi , was chief of staff at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the Hillary Clinton–run State Department.

Gates Science and Epstein Science

While the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation intermingled, and the latter had ties to Epstein and Maxwell, it also appears that Epstein had significant influence over two of the most prominent science advisers to Bill Gates over the last fifteen years -- Melanie Walker and Boris Nikolic.

A screenshot from a 2019 presentation Melanie Walker gave for Rockefeller Foundation, where she is a fellow. Source: YouTube

Melanie Walker , now a celebrated neurosurgeon, met Jeffrey Epstein in 1992 soon after she graduated from college, when he offered her a Victoria's Secret modelling job. Such offers were often made by Epstein and his accomplices when recruiting women into his operation and it is unclear if Walker ever actually worked as a model for the Leslie Wexner-owned company. She then stayed at a New York apartment building associated with Epstein's trafficking operations during visits to New York, but it is unclear how long she stayed there or at other Epstein-owned properties. After she graduated from medical school in 1998, she became Epstein's science adviser for at least a year. By 1999, she had grown so close to Prince Andrew that she attended a Windsor Castle birthday celebration hosted by the Queen along with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. During this period, Melanie appears on Epstein's flight logs under her birth name , Melanie Starnes , though it looks like "Starves" on the flight logs.

The close relationship between Prince Andrew and Melanie Walker came under scrutiny after Epstein's former housekeeper at the Zorro Ranch property, Deidre Stratton, stated in an interview that Prince Andrew had been "given" a "beautiful young neurosurgeon" while he stayed at Epstein's New Mexico property. Given that only one neurosurgeon was both close to Prince Andrew and a part of Epstein's entourage at the time, it seems highly likely that this woman "gifted" to Andrew was Melanie Walker. According to Stratton, Andrew "kept company" with this woman for three days. The arrangement was set up by Epstein, who was not at the property at the time. The exact timing of the stay is uncertain, but it likely took place between 1999 and 2001.

Stratton said the following about the stay:

"At the time, Jeffrey had this, she supposedly was a neurosurgeon, quite young, beautiful, young and brilliant, and she stayed in the home with him At one point we had all these different teas and you could pick the teas that you wanted and she asked me to find one that would make Andrew more horny.

I'm guessing she understood her job was to entertain him because I guess, the fear, I don't know; the fear would be that Andrew would say, "No I didn't really find her that attractive." . . . He would tell Jeffrey that and then she would be on the ropes.

I'm guessing that, another theory is, that Jeffrey probably had her on retainer and she knew what her job would be, should be, to make these people happy. . . . Sex was all they thought about. I mean, I know for sure that Jeffrey would ideally like three massages a day."

Sometime later, Walker moved to Seattle and began living with then Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who now serves as a board partner at the venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz. Andreesen Horowitz notably backs Carbyne911, the Israel intelligence-linked precrime start-up funded by Epstein and his close associate, former prime minister of Israel Ehud Barak, as well as another Israeli intelligence-linked tech company led by Barak, called Toka . Toka recently won contracts with the governments of Moldova, Nigeria, and Ghana through the World Bank, where Melanie Walker is currently a director and a former special adviser to its president. It is unclear when, how and under what circumstances Walker met Sinofsky.

After moving to Seattle to be with Sinofsky and after a brief stint as a "practitioner in the developing world" in China with the World Health Organization, Walker was hired as a senior program officer by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006. Given that the main feature of Walker's resume at the time was having been a science adviser to another wealthy "philanthropist," Jeffrey Epstein, her hire by the Gates Foundation for this critical role further underscores how Bill Gates, at the very least, not only knew who Epstein was but knew enough about his scientific interests and investments to want to hire Walker. Walker went on to become deputy director for Global Development as well as a deputy director of Special Initiatives at the foundation. According to the Rockefeller Foundation , where she is a fellow, Walker later advised Gates on issues pertaining to neurotechnology and brain science for Gates's secretive company bgC3 , which Gates originally registered as a think tank under the name Carillon Holdings. According to federal filings, bgC3's focus areas were "scientific and technological services," "industrial analysis and research," and "design and development of computer hardware and software."

During her time at the Gates Foundation, Walker introduced Boris Nikolic, Gates's science adviser, to Epstein. Today, Melanie Walker is the cochair of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Neurotechnology and Brain Science, having previously been named a WEF Young Global Leader. She also advises the World Health Organization, which is closely linked to Bill Gates's "philanthropy."

At the WEF, Walker wrote an article in 2016 entitled " Healthcare in 2030: Goodbye Hospital, Hello Home-spital ," in which she discusses how wearable devices, brain-machine interfaces, and injectable/swallowable robotic "medicines" will be the norm by 2030. Years before COVID-19 and the Great Reset–inspired efforts to change health care in just this way, Walker wrote that while the dystopian scenario she was painting "sounds crazy . . . most of these technologies are either almost ready for prime time, or in development." Of course, a lot of those technologies took shape thanks to the patronage of her former bosses, Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Gates.

In the case of Boris Nikolic, after being introduced to Epstein through Walker, he attended a 2011 meeting with Gates and Epstein where he was photographed alongside James Staley, then a senior JP Morgan executive, and Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and a close Epstein associate. Nikolic was chief adviser for science and technology to Bill Gates at the time, advising both the Gates Foundation and bgC3. According to the mainstream narrative, this is supposed to be the first time that Gates and Epstein had ever met. In addition, this may have been when Epstein pitched the joint Gates Foundation–JP Morgan "global health charitable fund."

The 2011 meeting at Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan mansion attended by James E. Staley, Larry Summers, Jeffery Epstein, Bill Gates and Boris Nikolic

In 2014, Nikolic " waxed enthusiastic " about Epstein's supposed penchant for financial advice ahead of a public offering for a gene-editing company that Nikolic had a $42 million stake in . Notably, both Nikolic and Epstein were clients of the same group of bankers at JP Morgan, with Bloomberg later reporting that Epstein regularly helped those bankers attract wealthy new clients.

In 2016, Nikolic cofounded Biomatics capital, which invests in health-related companies at "the convergence of genomics and digital data" that are "enabling the development of superior therapeutics, diagnostics and delivery models." Nikolic founded Biomatics with Julie Sunderland, formerly the director of the Gates Foundation's Strategic Investment Fund.

At least three of the companies backed by Biomatics -- Qihan Biotech , eGenesis , and Editas -- were cofounded by George Church, a Harvard geneticist with deep ties to Epstein and also closely associated with the Edge Foundation. Biomatics investment in Qihan Biotech is no longer listed on the Biomatics website. Church's Qihan Biotech seeks to produce human tissues and organs inside pigs for transplantation into humans, while eGenesis seeks to genetically modify pig organs for use in humans. Editas produces CRISPR gene-editing "medicines" and is also backed by the Gates Foundation as well as Google Ventures.

Church has been accused of promoting eugenics as well as unethical human experimentation . Epstein's significant interest in eugenics was made public after his death, and Bill Gates, as well as his father William H. Gates II, have also been linked to eugenics movements and ideas.

After Epstein's death in 2019, it was revealed that Nikolic had been named the "successor executor" of Epstein's estate, further suggesting close ties to Epstein despite Nikolic's claims to the contrary. After details of Epstein's will were made public, Nikolic did not sign a form indicating his willingness to be executor and did not ultimately serve in that role.

The Epstein Cover-Up Continues

Despite the relatively abrupt shift in the mainstream media regarding what is acceptable to discuss regarding the Jeffrey Epstein–Bill Gates relationship, many of these same media outlets refuse to acknowledge much of the information contained in this investigative report. This is particularly true in the case of the Evening Standard article and Bill Gates's odd relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell's sister Isabel and CommTouch, the company Isabel previously led.

The likely reason for the continued cover-up of the true extent of Epstein's ties to Gates has much more to do with Gates's company Microsoft than with Bill Gates himself. While it is now permissible to report on ties that discredit Gates's personal reputation, the information that could tie his relationship with Epstein and the Maxwells to Microsoft has been omitted.

If, as the Evening Standard reported, Epstein did make millions out of his business ties with Gates prior to 2001 and if Gates's ties to Isabel Maxwell and the Israeli espionage–linked company CommTouch were to become public knowledge, the result could easily be a scandal on a par with the PROMIS software affair. Such a disclosure could be very damaging for Microsoft and its partner the World Economic Forum , as Microsoft has become a key player in the WEF's Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives that range from digital identity and vaccine passports to efforts to replace human workers with artificial intelligence.

There are clearly powerful actors with a vested interest in keeping the Epstein-Gates narrative squarely focused on 2011 and later -- not necessarily to protect Gates but more likely to protect the company itself and other top Microsoft executives who appear to have been compromised by Epstein and others in the same intelligence-linked network.

This is hardly an isolated incident, as similar efforts have been made to cover up (or memory hole) the ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to other prominent Silicon Valley empires, such as those led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk . One key reason for this is that the Epstein network's blackmail operation involved not only sexual blackmail but electronic forms of blackmail , something used to great effect by Robert Maxwell on behalf of Israeli intelligence as part of the PROMIS operation. Given its nature, electronic forms of blackmail through illegal surveillance or backdoored software can be used to compromise those in power with something to hide, but who were uninclined to engage in the exploitation of minors, such as those abused by Epstein.

That Isabel and Christine Maxwell were able to forge close business ties with Microsoft after having been part of the front company that played a central role in PROMIS-related espionage and after explicitly managing their subsequent companies with the admitted intention to "rebuild" their spy father's work and legacy, strongly points to the probability of at least some Microsoft products having been compromised in some fashion, likely through alliances with Maxwell-run tech companies. The lack of mainstream media concern over the documented ties of the Epstein network to other top Microsoft executives of the past, such as Nathan Myhrvold, Linda Stone, and Steven Sinofsky, makes it clear that, while it may be open season on the relationship between Bill Gates and Epstein, such is not the case for Microsoft and Epstein.

The ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to Silicon Valley, not just to Microsoft, are part of a broader attempt to cover up the strong intelligence component in the origin of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies. Much effort has been invested in creating a public perception that these companies are strictly private entities despite their deep, long-standing ties to the intelligence agencies and militaries of the United States and Israel . The true breadth of the Epstein scandal will never be covered by mainstream media because so many news outlets are owned by these same Silicon Valley oligarchs or depend on Silicon Valley for online reader engagement.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the military/intelligence origins and links to the current Silicon Valley oligarchy will never be honestly examined, however, is that those very entities are now working with breakneck speed to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which would make artificial intelligence, automation, mass electronic surveillance, and transhumanism central to human society. One of the architects of this "revolution," Klaus Schwab, said earlier this year that rebuilding and maintaining trust with the public was critical to that project. However, were the true nature of Silicon Valley, including its significant ties to serial child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein and his network, to emerge, the public's trust would be significantly eroded, thus threatening what the global oligarchy views as a project critical to its survival .

kapoore , says: June 6, 2021 at 2:48 am GMT • 1.3 hours ago

I'm always impressed with the vigorous detail and documentation in your articles. What a menace these philanthropic organizations are to the ordinary and lowly. These billionaire creeps never stop plotting and figuring out even more ways to stomp on people and push their creepy agendas, which remain forever hidden.

[May 28, 2021] Is The Pentagon's UFO PsyOps Fueling Russia, China War Risk by Finian Cunningham

May 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There are reasons to be skeptical. After decades of stonewalling on the issue, suddenly American military chiefs appear to be giving credence to claims of UFOs invading Earth.

Several viral video clips purporting to show extraordinary flying technology have been "confirmed" by the Pentagon as authentic. The Pentagon move is unprecedented.

The videos of the Unidentified Flying Objects were taken by U.S. air force flight crews or by naval surveillance and subsequently "leaked" to the public. The question is: were the "leaks" authorized by Pentagon spooks to stoke the public imagination of visitors from space? The Pentagon doesn't actually say what it believes the UFOs are, only that the videos are "authentic".

A Senate intelligence committee is to receive a report from the Department of Defense's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force next month. That has also raised public interest in the possibility of alien life breaching our skies equipped with physics-defying technology far superior to existing supersonic jets and surveillance systems.

Several other questions come to mind that beg skepticism. Why does the phenomenon of UFOs or UAP only seem to be associated with the American military? This goes back decades to the speculation during the 1950s about aliens crashing at Roswell in New Mexico. Why is it that only the American military seems privy to such strange encounters? Why not the Russian or Chinese military which would have comparable detection technology to the Americans but they don't seem to have made any public disclosures on alien encounters? Such a discrepancy is implausible unless we believe that life-forms from lightyears away have a fixation solely on the United States. That's intergalactic American "exceptionalism" for you!

Also, the alleged sightings of UFOs invariably are associated with U.S. military training grounds or high-security areas.

Moreover, the released videos that have spurred renewed public interest in UFOs are always suspiciously of poor quality, grainy and low resolution. Several researchers, such as Mick West, have cogently debunked the videos as optical illusions. That's not to say that the U.S. air force or naval personnel were fabricating the images. They may genuinely believe that they were witnessing something extraordinary. But as rational optics experts have pointed out there are mundane explanations for seeming unusual aerial observations, such as drones or balloons drifting at high speed in differential wind conditions, or by the crew mistaking a far-off aircraft dipping over the horizon for an object they believe to be much closer.

The military people who take the videos in good – albeit misplaced – faith about what they are witnessing are not the same as the military or intelligence people who see an opportunity with the videos to exploit the public in a psychological operation.

Fomenting public anxieties, or even just curiosity, about aliens and super-technology is an expedient way to exert control over the population. At a time when governing authorities are being questioned by a distrustful public and when military-intelligence establishments are viewed as having lost a sense of purpose, what better way to realign public respect by getting them to fret over alien marauders from whom they need protection?

There is here a close analogy to the way foreign nations are portrayed as adversaries and enemies in order to marshal public support or least deference to the governing establishment and its military. We see this ploy played over and over again with regard to the U.S. and Western demonization of Russia and China as somehow conveying a malign intent towards Western societies. In other words, it's a case of Cold War and UFOs from the same ideological launchpad, so to speak, in order to distract public attention from internal problems.

However, more worrying still is that there is a dangerous reinforcing crossover of the two propaganda realms. The fueling of UFO speculation is feeding directly into speculation that U.S. airspace is being invaded by high-tech weapons developed by Russia or China.

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the Pentagon about whether the aerial "encounters" are advanced weaponry from foreign enemies who are surveilling the American homeland at will. Some U.S. air force aviators have recently expressed to the media a feeling of helplessness in the face of seeming superior technology.

At a time of heightened animosity towards Russia and China and febrile talk among Pentagon chiefs about the possibility of all-out war, it is not difficult to imagine, indeed it is disturbingly easy to imagine, how optical illusions about alien phenomena could trigger false alarms attributed to Russian or Chinese military incursions.

The stoking of UFO controversy appears to be a classic psyops perpetrated by U.S. military intelligence for the objective of population control. Its aim is to corral the citizenry under the authority of the state and for them to accept the protector function of "our" military. The big trouble is that the psyops with aliens are, in turn, risking the exacerbation of fears and tensions with Russia and China.

With all the Pentagon-assisted chatter, it is more likely that an F-18 squadron could mistake an errant weather balloon on the horizon for an alien spacecraft. And amid our new Cold War tensions, it is but a small conceptual step to further imagine that the UFO is not from outer space but rather is a Russian or Chinese hypersonic cruise missile heading towards the U.S. mainland.

[May 28, 2021] More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

May 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

In January police in various countries took down the Emotet bot-network that was at that time the basic platform for some 25% of all cybercrimes.

Based on hearsay Wikipedia and other had falsely attributed Emotet to Russian actors. The real people behind it were actually Ukrainians :

The operating center of Emotet was found in the Ukraine. Today the Ukrainian national police took control of it during a raid (video). The police found dozens of computers, some hundred hard drives, about 50 kilogram of gold bars (current price ~$60,000/kg) and large amounts of money in multiple currencies.

bigger

Emotet had nothing to do with Russia.

Now the U.S. is accusing Russia of somehow having part in another cybercrime :

President Joe Biden said Monday that a Russia-based group was behind the ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.

The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.

"So far there is no evidence ... from our intelligence people that Russia is involved, although there is evidence that actors, ransomware is in Russia," Biden told reporters.

"They have some responsibility to deal with this," he said.

Three days after being forced to halt operations, Colonial said Monday it was moving toward a partial reopening of its 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of pipeline" the largest fuel network between Texas and New York.

Biden however is badly informed. There is no evidence that DarkSide has anything to do with Russia. It is, like Emotet, a commercial 'ransomware-as-a-service' criminal entity that wants to make money and does not care about geopolitics.

Yes, a version of the DarkNet software does exclude itself from running on system with specific language settings :

The DarkSide malware is even built to conduct language checks on targets and to shut down if it detects Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakh, Turkmen, Romanian, and other languages ...

That is a quite long list of east European languages and Russian is only one of it. Why the authors of DarkNet do not want their software to run on machines with those language settings is unknown. But why would a Russian actor protect machines with Ukrainian or Romanian language settings? Both countries are hostile towards Russia. To claim that this somehow points to Russian actors is therefore baseless.

Russia strongly rejected Biden's accusation:

The Kremlin has once again pointed out the importance of cooperation between Moscow and Washington in tackling cyberthreats amid a cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline, a US company. "Russia has nothing to do with these hacker attacks, nor with the previous hacker attacks," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Preskov assured reporters on Tuesday.

"We categorically reject any accusation against us, and we can only regret that the US is refusing to cooperate with us in any way to counter cyber-threats. We believe that such cooperation - both international and bilateral - could indeed contribute to the common struggle against this scourge [known as] cyber-crime," Peskov said.

The U.S. seems notoriously bad at attributing computer hacks. It claims that the recent SolarWinds attack which intruded several government branches was also done by Russia. But that attack required deep insider knowledge and access to SolarWinds' computers and processes :

The recently discovered deep intrusion into U.S. companies and government networks used a manipulated version of the SolarWinds Orion network management software. The Washington borg immediately attributed the hack to Russia. Then President Trump attributed it to China. But none of those claims were backed up by facts or known evidence.

The hack was extremely complex, well managed and resourced, and likely required insider knowledge. To this IT professional it 'felt' neither Russian nor Chinese. It is far more likely, as Whitney Webb finds, that Israel was behind it .

Indeed - the programmers of an Israeli company, recently bought up by SolarWinds, had all the necessary access for such a hack. However the U.S. sanctioned Russia over the SolarWinds hack without providing any evidence of its involvement.

If the U.S. continues to blame Russia without any evidence for each and every hack there may come a time when Russia stops caring and really starts to hack into or destroy important U.S. systems. The U.S. should fear that day.

Posted by b on May 11, 2021 at 17:31 UTC | Permalink


David G Horsman , May 11 2021 17:48 utc | 1

Thanks b. I don't think Russia is going to escalate destructive attacks any time soon. There's no upside.
They might even be reluctant to reveal their capabilities in the Ukraine.
For the moment, mockery is the best remedy while they up their game.
psychohistorian , May 11 2021 17:56 utc | 2
@ b who ended with
"
If the U.S. continues to blame Russia without any evidence for each and every hack there may come a time when Russia stops caring and really starts to hack into or destroy important U.S. systems.
"

How can you write such assertions that vary from the approach that both Russia and China are taking?....strong defense but no offense.

Now if empire tried to hack into a Russian or Chinese system/network then appropriate takedowns of malicious systems/networks would seem logical....and I expect they know how...but will not do it on the basis of another avenue of empire lies and deceit.

anon48 , May 11 2021 18:20 utc | 3
You should have titled the post "Killing Two Birds With One Stone".
This pipeline is huge, running from Texas through the Southeast and all the way up to New England. It's condition is beyond awful with multiple leaks along the route some of which lose more than a million gallons per month and much more than can be determined since some of the gasoline / jet fuel went into the aquifers. These faults have been well known for decades and although some of the areas are heavily populated no remediation was done. The local outcry recently caught the attention of the press when kids reported a gasoline smell along the pipeline route to the police. The locals demanded the pipeline be closed for repairs and sought answers from state officials and Federal authorities as to why this situation was allowed. To blame the Russians for the closure of the pipeline which results in a surge in prices and limited availability of gas for the summer is an absolute stroke of genius.
https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/local/ncdeq-colonial-pipeline-spill-huntersville/275-70e16fb6-c945-4634-b933-3975d0573f2e
Ike , May 11 2021 18:27 utc | 4
Great article. Russia must be getting so pissed off with the idiots in Washington.The uninformed and easily manipulated Western people surely get the governments they deserve.
Paul Craig Roberts highlights this with another bit of truth telling from Tucker Carlson
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/05/11/the-proof-is-in-tony-fauci-is-responsible-for-the-creation-of-the-covid-19-virus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_proof_is_in_tony_fauci_is_responsible_for_the_creation_of_the_covid_19_virus&utm_term=2021-05-11
DG , May 11 2021 18:43 utc | 5
@all

I need to ask this: What do you think about the vaccination of children?

...

Josh , May 11 2021 18:44 utc | 6
It is odd that certain elements of the us intelligence community, along with negative factions within the us political establishment, continue to absolutely refuse to enter into verifiable and mutually binding international agreements on cyber security with exactly the nation states that they accuse (without evidence) of malicious activity in the same sphere, while at the same time operating in this field in an openly declared hostile manner under the secrecy deemed necessary for 'national security'.

[May 28, 2021] Was the Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attack a false flag operation ?

Probably it was not a false flag. First of all the state of IT security at Colonial Pipeline was so dismal that it was strange that this did not happened before. And there might be some truth that they try to exploit this hack to thier advantage as maintenance of the pipeline is also is dismal shape.
Notable quotes:
"... "As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone. ..."
"... I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens! ..."
"... an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/ ..."
"... Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.' ..."
"... 'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.' ..."
May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blackhat , May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

The Colonial Pipeline Co.,ransomware attack was a false flag. They wanted to blame Russian hackers so they could derail Nordstream II

It is common knowledge that the only real hackers that are able of such sabotage is CIA and Israeli. It's the same attack types they do to Iranian infrastructure on a regular basis.

The Russians are not that stupid to do something they know will be blamed on them and is of no political use to them. And could derail Nordstream2.

As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went. CEO is ultra corrupt. They never ever invested in their infrastructure so when it went down they came up with a profitable excuse. Just look at their financials/balance sheet over the years. No real investment in updating and maintaining infrastructure. Great false flag. Corruption and profiteering.


MarkU , May 19 2021 19:04 utc | 7

@ Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

"As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone.

james , May 19 2021 19:08 utc | 9

@ 6 blackhat..

I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens!

abee , May 19 2021 19:21 utc | 10

@ blackhat 6

an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/

vinnieoh , May 19 2021 20:05 utc | 15

Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

I'm not familiar with your handle - hello. IMO, it would be counterproductive for Russia to initiate such a hack. What really affects and debilitates US oil and gas interests is low prices, both at the pump and on the stock exchange. The hack helped jack up prices (which were already being jacked-up despite demand still lagging behind supply) which only HELPS those energy interests. It has long been known, the math isn't complicated, what level crude must trade at for US domestic oil & gas operations to be profitable. Remember that just as the pandemic was emerging Russia and Saudi Arabia once again sent the global crude market into the depths of despair.

I do agree the hack can be interpreted in light of the desperation of US energy interests to try to kill NS2. I have not yet read the recent articles discussing Biden's recent moves in that regard. If these moves are a recognition that US LNG to Europe (and elsewhere) are diametrically opposed to climate responsibility, I'd welcome those moves. As is usually the case though, environmental responsibility is probably the least likely reason.

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda. Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

Paul , May 19 2021 23:42 utc | 42

Posted By Oldhippy @28

Thanks for your comment.

Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.'

also

'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.'

see Australian Financial Review 6 days ago.

Koch may well own another multi million $ stake.

[May 24, 2021] Laurent Guy not makes a compelling case that both Kennedys were assassinated by Mossad

May 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , May 24 2021 1:39 utc | 103

Laurent Guyénot makes a compelling case that both Kennedys were assassinated by Mossad:

Did Israel Kill the Kennedys?

Robert would have become president, and then reopen the investigation into his brother's murder.

A generation later, JFK's son, John F. Kennedy, Jr, who was also undoubtedly heading toward the presidency or at least high politics, died when his small plane suddenly nose-dived into the ocean. The chain of potential justice has been successively cut off.

The Mossad fingerprints are all over Robert's death and also Oswald's. And the Israeli connection is conspicuously absent from the decades of conspiracy investigations that seem to have been deliberately led to the CIA - Michael Collins Piper being the notable exception who linked to Israel.

Dimona was the principal reason, says Guyénot, and shows that Lyndon Johnson put paid to all opposition to Dimona coming from the US.

~~

I am not a student of this affair, but I've never seen much made of the fact that JFK was already embarked upon issuing US currency directly - the USA Note rather than the Federal Reserve Note that we call dollars today. This was canceled under Johnson, of course.

Presidents don't get to issue greenbacks. We had already seen how that worked out for Lincoln.

Not a student of this, as I say. But I tend to see the world's power pyramid with debt-issuers at the top, and all the other factions on lower steps. So, Dimona, yes, the main incentive for Israel, and all the lesser motivations that caused rejoicing in many other groups - but the money control at the top, in my view, is the force that gives the nod to these various factions and approves the hit.


librul , May 24 2021 5:00 utc | 115

No one has asked but the most fascinating suspect in Dealey Plaza that fateful day was Lamar Hunt.

Yes, that Lamar Hunt. The Lamar Hunt Trophy is in honor of that very guy.

He was the son of H.L. Hunt the billionaire oilman who had his main offices in Dealey Plaza. Lamar Hunt was in his thirties at the time (31) and flew to Mexico minutes after the shooting (this is a matter of record).

Lamar was escorting two men around Dealey Plaza that day. One was arrested coming out of a building, arrested because he was reported/fingered as suspicious, someone that didn't belong there.

The guy said he was looking for a phone booth to call his mother. This was James Braden a known mafia hit man (who, by the way, was in the vicinity of the hotel where RFK was assassinated). Braden was detained and then released. The other person, that had arrived with Braden, checked out of his hotel minutes after the assassination and was gone.

Paul , May 24 2021 6:01 utc | 118

Posted by: Grieved | May 24 2021 1:39 utc | 103

Skiming through the JFK chapter of Guyenot's book, 'From Yahweh to Zion' it is obviously a number of compelling 'reasons' JFK and his brother were despised by the Zionists.

First was their father Joe Kennedy. Out with the Swiss Army Knife of words, again.

Dimona also figured large. This was also covered by Seymour Hirsh in, 'The Sampson Option., Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy.' Note, Hersh writes in the introduction, he refused to travel to the Bandit State because of the wall to wall censorship imposed on ALL journalists.

Importantly, JFK visited a Palestinian refugee camp in 1956 and 'expressed sympathy' for the Palestinians. The Zionists worst fears were his proposals to have them registered a Foreign Agents.

KFK also advocated UN resolution 194, The Right of Return.

_K_C_ , May 24 2021 6:21 utc | 122

Posted by: Paul | May 24 2021 6:01 utc | 118 - and others on the JFK thing

I think it was the detente he intended to enter into with the USSR in addition to a few other things.

For one, he wasn't murdered in Dallas, TX for no reason. That was the city where big oil co-joined with the newly powerful "intelligence" community of the Dulles and Bush families. The depletion allowance was a big deal and JFK was one of, if not the, first to suggest he might end it.

Then there was the Cuba situation.

Finally there was the infamous quote about rendering the CIA into a thousand shards and it blowing into the wind or something of that nature.

He managed to piss off and threaten all the main powers that be, including those with very high level mafia connections.

If anyone gets the chance to visit it, the museum in Dallas in the former book repository on the fifth (?) floor of that building is quite worth a visit. I thought I'd be bored as hell when my wife and her younger sister dragged me and the family there one Saturday afternoon, but it ended up being fascinating. That said, if I were a left-leaning or anti-corporate/oil president to this day I'd stay TF away from Dallas or Houston, TX save for an airfield-only visit. Well, until Iran can create the capability to murder our politicians/diplomats from the air with no repercussions (still, anyone heard from Ayatollah Mike in the last 6 months? Asking for a friend).

uncle tungsten , May 24 2021 8:10 utc | 127

Grieved #103

Re the Kennedy story ~ beware the US Navy.

Thank you, what a timely tale.

vato , May 24 2021 11:41 utc | 140

Posted by: Grieved | May 24 2021 1:39 utc | 103

Starter's reading list (a must list IMO for every American) for you in order to understand the Kennedy assassination (no, Israel had nothing to do with it):


James W. Douglass - JFK and the Unspeakable

David Talbot - Devil's Chessboard

James DiEugenio - Destiny Betrayed/ The JFK Assassination

Mark Lane - Rush to Judgement

Peter Dale Scott - Deep Politics and the Death of JFK

For more literature go to Our Hidden History which is a treasure trove of all things US Deep State politics from Heroin Trade in the Golden Triangle to Vietnam to JFK, to Watergate, Iran-Contra etc...


[May 16, 2021] Liz Cheney Lied About Her Role In Spreading The Discredited CIA -Russian Bounty- Story - ZeroHedge

May 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Liz Cheney Lied About Her Role In Spreading The Discredited CIA "Russian Bounty" Story BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2021 - 11:30 AM

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com ,

In an interview with Fox News ' Bret Baier this week, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) denied that she spread the discredited CIA "Russian bounty" story. That CIA tale, claiming Russia was paying Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was cooked up by the CIA and then published by The New York Times on June 27 of last year, right as former President Trump announced his plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The Times story, citing anonymous intelligence officials, was then continually invoked by pro-war Republicans and Democrats -- led by Cheney -- to justify their blocking of that troop withdrawal. The story was discredited when the U.S. intelligence community admitted last month that it had only "low to moderate confidence" that any of this even happened.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks to members of the media after she was removed of her leadership role as Conference Chair, following a Republican House caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

When Baier asked Cheney about her role in spreading this debunked CIA story, Cheney blatantly lied to him, claiming "if you go back and look at what I said -- every single thing I said : I said if those stories are true , we need to know why the President and Vice President were not briefed on them." After Baier pressed her on the fact that she vested this story with credibility, Cheney insisted a second time that she never endorsed the claim but merely spoke conditionally, always using the "if these reports are true" formulation. Watch Cheney deny her role in spreading that story.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fd6u_p0K9aE

Liz Cheney, as she so often does, blatantly lied. That she merely spoke of the Russian bounty story in the conditional -- " every single thing I said: I said if those stories are true" -- is completely and demonstrably false. Indeed, other than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) , there are few if any members of Congress who did more to spread this Russian bounty story as proven truth, all in order to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In so doing, she borrowed from a pro-war playbook pioneered by her dad, to whom she owes her career: the former Vice President would leak CIA claims to The New York Times to justify war, then go on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, as he did on September 8, 2002 , and cite those New York Times reports as though they were independent confirmation of his views coming from that paper rather than from him:

MR. RUSSERT: What, specifically, has [Saddam] obtained that you believe would enhance his nuclear development program? ..

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Now, in the case of a nuclear weapon, that means either plutonium or highly enriched uranium. And what we've seen recently that has raised our level of concern to the current state of unrest, if you will, if I can put it in those terms, is that he now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs.

MR. RUSSERT: Aluminum tubes.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Specifically aluminum tubes. There's a story in The New York Times this morning this is -- I don't -- and I want to attribute The Times . I don't want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it's now public that, in fact, [Saddam] has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge. And the centrifuge is required to take low-grade uranium and enhance it into highly enriched uranium, which is what you have to have in order to build a bomb.

So having CIA stories leak to the press that fuel the pro-war case, then having pro-war politicians cite those to justify their pro-war position, is a Cheney Family speciality.

On July 1, the House Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Cheney is a member, debated amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that authorized $740.5 billion in military spending. One of Cheney's top priorities was to align with the Committee's pro-war Democrats, funded by weapons manufacturers, to block Trump's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020 and to withdraw roughly 1/3 of the 34,000 U.S. troops in Germany.

To justify her opposition, Cheney -- contrary to what she repeatedly insisted to Baier -- cited the CIA's Russian bounty story without skepticism . In a joint statement with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, that Cheney published on her website on June 27 -- the same day that The New York Times published its first story about the CIA tale -- Cheney pronounced herself "concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces." There was nothing conditional about the statement: they were preparing to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited this story as proof that "Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan."

After today's briefing with senior White House officials, we remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces. It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan. We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces. Congress has no more important obligation than providing for the security of our nation and ensuring our forces have the resources they need.

An even more definitive use of this Russia bounty story came when Cheney held a press conference to explain her opposition to Trump's plans to withdraw troops. In this statement, she proclaimed that she "remains concerned about Russian activities in Afghanistan." She then explicitly threatened Russia over the CIA's "bounty" story, warning them that "any targeting of U.S. forces by Russians, by anyone else, will face a very swift and deadly response." She then gloated about the U.S. bombing of Russia-linked troops in Syria in 2018 using what she called "overwhelming and lethal force," and warned that this would happen again if they target U.S. forces in Afghanistan:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_NUXZog_Vf0

Does this sound even remotely like what Cheney claimed to Baier? She denied having played a key role in spreading the Russia bounty story because, as she put it, " every single thing I said, I said: if those stories are true." She also told him that she never referred to that CIA claim except by saying: "if these reports are true." That is false.

The issue is not merely that Cheney lied: that would hardly be news. It is that the entire media narrative about Cheney's removal from her House leadership role is a fraud. Her attacks on Trump and her party leadership were not confined to criticisms of the role played by the former president in contesting the validity of the 2020 election outcome or inciting the January 6 Capitol riot -- because Liz Cheney is such a stalwart defender of the need for truth and adherence to the rule of law in politics.

Cheney played the key role in forming an alliance with pro-war Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee to repeatedly defeat the bipartisan anti-war minority [led by Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)] to prevent any meaningful changes promised by Trump during the 2016 campaign to put an end to the U.S. posture of Endless War. As I reported about the House Armed Services Committee hearing last July, the CIA tale was repeatedly cited by Cheney and her allies to justify ongoing U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

Cheney is motivated by power, not ethics. In 2016, Trump ran -- and won -- by explicitly inveighing against the Bush/Cheney foreign policy of endless war, militarism and imperialism that Liz Cheney, above all else, still vehemently supports. What she is attempting to do is reclaim the Republican Party and deliver it back to the neocons and warmongers who dominated it under her father's reign. She is waging an ideological battle, not an ethical one, for control of the Republican Party.

That will be a debate for Republican voters to resolve. In the meantime, Liz Cheney cannot be allowed to distance herself from the CIA's fairy tale about Russians in Afghanistan. Along with pro-war Democrats, she used this conveniently leaked CIA story repeatedly to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. And just as her father taught her to do -- by example if not expressly -- she is now lying to distance herself from a pro-war CIA script that she, in fact, explicitly promoted.


For those who have not seen it, I produced a one-hour video report last July on how and why the House Armed Services Committee succeeded in enacting virtually every pro-war amendment they considered and how this was accomplished through an alliance between Liz Cheney and her neocon GOP allies on the one hand, and pro-war, Raytheon-funded Democrats on the other:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ejqYrzEX14E https://youtu.be/ejqYrzEX14E
play_arrow 1


rosalinda 8 hours ago

Circular politics, who knew? Happens all the time. 'Leak' a story to a paper that for sure will publish it, and quote that very same story to push whatever it is you, or more precisely, your backers, want. Nobody wants war, why is the US spending almost $1T on defense? Nobody else is spending that kind of money, the MIC is able to force down whatever it wants on the compliant press, and gullible public

Demologos 7 hours ago

Liz Cheney is carrying daddy's water. This is why there should have been war crimes trials for the fake wars promoted by the neocons for the benefit of the Wall Street/London/MIC complex. If Daddy Darth had swung from a rope we wouldn't be dealing with the current mess.

You can blame the fake news media for the lack of consequences. When they want to, they can take a thimble full of bad behavior and turn it into an Olympic size pool of condemnation and character assassination. They were given an Olympic size pool of outright lies and corruption related to the illegal wars and didn't see anything that offended their sense of human decency and justice. But a thug dies in the street and the fake news machine turns him into the national martyr for systemic racism.

vic and blood PREMIUM 7 hours ago remove link

Look at how many RINOs are swamp creatures who establish residency in lower population states, where campaign cash goes further.

**** Cheney was a swamp creature and fake Wyoming person, just like Liz Cheney.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy 7 hours ago

McCain did that in the 1970s. Abandoned his wheelchair-bound wife and his kids, then married a rich drug addict in a new State.

pndr4495 7 hours ago

As I have repeated many times here on ZH, a politician is not seriously concerned about representing the constituents. The politician is busy with reprenting his/her own interests, especially the financial interest.

vic and blood PREMIUM 7 hours ago remove link

Liz Cheney is a perfect example of how little the neocons differ from the neolibs. They are the same thing with different cynical marketing strategies.

HAL9000rev1 7 hours ago (Edited)

The roots of neocon philosophy is Trotskyism. Neocons are left/right agnostic, they latch on to which ever political party in power.

perpetual war/perpetual revolution is thier stratagy

freedommusic 8 hours ago (Edited)

Language was invented so people can lie.

Politics was invented so people can make a career out of lying.

Paul Bunyan 8 hours ago remove link

Language was invented to communicate, but yes, people take advantage.

Pretty Like an Ugly Girl 7 hours ago

I confess that in 2001, and until about 2008, I was part of the crowd that bought the whole ******* line. Then with Obama I fell for the ******** that it's better to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Then I started watching the countless documentaries on 911 that show the official 911 report is a bigger concoction of horse**** than the Warren Report. Here's the definitive documentary, for any searchers out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DOnAn_PX6M

The thing about Cheney back in the day is that he seemed like the most credible/reasonable man in government. I remember after he debated Joe Lieberman how everybody wished they were both at the tops of their tickets.

Bottom line is we believe what aligns with what we want to believe, and they know it, and they took down the towers knowing the majority of the US would be willing to go to war with the entire world if need be.

Folks who think the covid scam or the stolen election was the beginning of the breakdown haven't been paying attention. The people haven't been in control of their country for a long, long time, if ever.

Ms No PREMIUM 7 hours ago

There are anti-human mimicks born, psychopaths, that literally have to study human emotion, learn it and parrot it. That's why when one watches you, especially at first encounter, it's so intense.

They are analyzing your every facial crease and body language trying to decode the human and what it all means. When they lie they will sometimes pause to do this to see if it's fully taking. They often can't tell if what they are saying is too absurd, they wait for you to show them. They develop this skill over time.

What's even creepier, is that since they don't use empathy capacity and other human tendencies, that brain capacity becomes devoted to their predatory nature, analyzing, imitating and being phony. So they are damn near preternatural at it. They know your weaknesses and needs immediately.

In addition to their dead, intense analyzing stare, they don't recognize that their stare is too intense and that they often get too close. Like if this fatty had halitosis for example, she would always just be at least a little too close to you. They don't understand what it is about people that wants space They don't have that feeling either. When you squirm and try to get away, they won't notice or care, unless they are doing it on purpose to intimidate. They can also lie with ease, because they don't have any of those things that makes people moral. They are simply annoyances to them. It pisses them off that they have to pretend to care.

wellwaddyaknow 7 hours ago

So in other words, the CIA makes sht up, floats it out there in the direction of dumb gullible compromised power hungry members of congress, and then wait to see who picks it up and smells it.

[May 16, 2021] The Politics of Cultural Despair- A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology (California Library Reprint Series)- Stern, Fr

May 16, 2021 | www.amazon.com

4.0 out of 5 stars The roots of National Socialism in cultural criticism Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2019 Verified Purchase Written originally in 1961 as part of venerable scholar Fritz Stern's doctoral thesis The Politics of Cultural Despair is a classic study of the cultural criticism and irrational ideologies of three 19th and early 20th century German writers that helped pave the way for the rise of the Third Reich and the triumph of national socialism. The book traces the lives and works of the obscure German writers and scholars Lagarde, Langbehn, and Moeller to illuminate how ideas conducive to national socialism, including antisemitism, extreme German nationalism (volk movement), anti-liberalism, anti-intellectualism, the desire for an authoritarian Caesar or "Fuhrer", and the primacy of "the will", became pervasive in 19th and early 20th century Germany.

All three authors relentlessly attacked liberal democracy, the enlightenment tradition, and the modern industrial society that had separated the German people from their "spiritual" and "pure" connection with the Germany's ancestral forests and countryside. They were, as Stern puts it, "Conservatives with nothing left to conserve". They viewed Germany's unification and the advancement of liberal democracy and modernity as a disastrous development that divided Germany's people and drained them of their spiritual essence. Their criticism also took on extreme antisemitism that egregiously blamed the Jewish people and portrayed them as conspiratorial outsiders who promoted capitalism and diluted Germany's ethnic purity. They also felt that traditional sources of authority, such as religion and the Bismarck nation state, were entirely inadequate and stale in the age of Nietzsche. Seeing Germany in crisis, and with no traditional political or cultural forces to turn to, all three authors became their own prophets of change. They expounded vague and irrational theories that found salvation in nationalists myths and desired a return to a illusory past where the German people lived in unified harmony and prosperity in their ancestral lands. The authors took on the delusional path from cultural critics to Nihilistic prophets. Starting from somewhat credible attacks on Germany's political and cultural shortcomings and transforming them into irrational and delusional political programs with little grasp on reality and dangerous support for authoritarian policies. Tragically, their works enjoyed a consistent level of support among Germany's population and influenced many philosophers and political theorists, such as Alfred Rosenberg, that would formulate the National Socialist ideology. While none of the three were Nazis, all of them clearly proliferated ideas central to the National Socialist program and advocated for a dangerous and authoritarian cultural regeneration.

Stern's work is classic in the sense that it represents the mid 20th century political and historical scholarly work that focuses on the impact of political ideologies and political ideas. While this focus on "ideas" is far less emphasized today in modern political science scholarship, the book reminds us that the rise of National Socialism and Fascism was far more than a reaction to Germany's disastrous defeat in World War I and the impact of the Versailles Treaty. Instead, the ideas of national socialism were deeply embedded in German society and represented a dangerous undercurrent acting against the forces of democratic liberalism, industrialization, and the enlightenment. In advocating a "politics of cultural despair" all three turned towards delusional, dangerous, and authoritarian solutions that could have only supported a political program as appalling and devastating as national socialism. As Stern reminds us, "the politics of cultural despair" can come from any region of the political spectrum where the most unwavering cultural critics can become "nihilistic" prophets who desire not just cultural change, but cultural and political regeneration based on a mythic and nonexistent past or promise a millenarian utopia . A statement that applies not only to Germany's lost 19th and 20th century conservatives, but to idealistic leftist terrorist groups in the 60s and 70s, and Islamic and right wing terrorist groups today. In summary, Stern reminds us not only that Fascism and National Socialism had deep roots in 19th and 20th century Germany, but also of the dangers of irrational and delusional political programs that depart from reality.

However, like any good skeptic, one has to wonder how important the cultural and political critiques and ideas of Stern's three authors really were. Modern political science has mostly moved beyond the focus on political ideas found in Stern's work and without concrete quantitative data, it is close to impossible to determine the impact of their work. The book also suffers from a narrow focus that makes it less approachable for the casual reader. Unlike other introductory works on Fascism and National Socialism, Stern writes for an expert audience that is expected to be well versed in 19th and 20th century German political, philosophical, and intellectual history. Readers less versed in these subjects may find the book less enjoyable and insightful. Although this work has probably been superseded by more modern works, it remains a classic in the field of intellectual and political history and represents classic political and cultural history at its best. I also recommend George Mosse's 1964 work "The Crisis of the German Ideology" that covers very similar ground, as well as Zeev Sternhell's "The Birth of Fascist Ideology" on the intellectual origins of Italian Fascism. >

DTC#

A presage of the rise of German National Socialism. Similarities to modern Islamic Radicalism.

4.0 out of 5 stars A presage of the rise of German National Socialism. Similarities to modern Islamic Radicalism. Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2006 Verified Purchase Stern's book gives us valuable insight into currents of German thinking from the 19th century up to the rise of National Socialism in the 20s and 30s. Stern's books focuses on the writings of Paul de Lagarde, Julius Langbehn, and Moeller van den Bruck.

Paul de Lagarde was a biblical scholar and a master of oriental languages like Aramaic and Persian. He was also a rabid Jew hater who openly called for extermination. He loathed classical Western liberalism, science, and capitalism. For him, these were all spiritless abstractions. For Lagarde, Western liberalism, capitalism, science, and the Jews where the monstrous embodiment of all he hated. He had a romantic notion of a mythical Germanic past, and he believed the Jews and the modern society of the West were conspiring to pollute and corrupt this pure German spirit. He advocated a Great Leader, a "purge the Jew" program, and a divinely inspired expansionist foreign policy to rekindle an authentic and noble Germanic way of life.

Lagarde despised bourgeois 19th century German Christianity, and he called for a "new" German religion that would purge all the Jewish elements of Christianity and become the unifying spiritual basis and justification for the new German state. This new religion would fuse the squabbling German factions and sects into a unified people and nation with one single will .... embodied in the form a "Great Leader."

Lagarde rejected the premise of general education, and instead, he proposed a totally new education system based on social status and intellectual promise. This new, state-run authoritarian education system would mold the leaders of the new German nation.

Julius Langbehn wrote a book that extolled the Dutch artist Rembrandt as an authentic "German man". If this sounds confusing, well ... it is ..., but recall that many years later the Nazis attempted to use Rembrandt as a cultural symbol to force a Dutch-German alliance after they occupied Holland during the war.

Like Lagarde, Langbehn hated the modern liberal society because of its mechanization, realism, bourgeois lifestyle, and commercialism. Like Hitler, Langbehn was an "artist"; he was anti-scientific, anti-Western, and anti-rational. He postulated a "cult of the young" (think Hitler Youth) and a "Hidden Emperor" (think Führer) who would emerge to unite the German people. Again like Lagarde, Langbehn hated the U.S.A because it was the embodiment of all he despised. He warned that Jews were destroying the German "Volk" by "worming" their way into German life. For Langbehn, modernity itself was the ultimate cause of German decay, and the Jews were to blame for bringing this modernity to German society. For Langbehn, the Jews were "democratically inclined; they have an affinity for the mob," and like Lagarde, Langbehn called for extermination of the Jews.

I won't go on about Moeller van den Bruck, because it is similar to Lagarde and Langbehn. One important footnote: The Nazi's got the term "The Third Reich" from one of Moeller's books.

In summary, we find a set of three German intellectual romantics who were alienated by modernism and who abhorred all that was new. They suffered from "cultural despair." For these three, the "Jews" were the immediate agents of corrupting change, and it was America that was the colossal embodiment of all they detested. For them, a pure and authentic German way of life was lost due to the conspiracy and confluence of these horrible forces of modernism. All of the ills and fractiousness and faithlessness of German society were attributable to Jews and liberal modernism (as exemplified by America).

These three sought to annihilate the bourgeois modern society they found themselves in and they sought to replace it with a utopian dream. Their utopia was a unified and harmonious German people -- purged of Jews -- who would be orderly, hierarchical, and authentic. This unified German nation would be led by a strong emperor who would perfectly embody the unified will of the people. They sought a "New German religion", free of Jewish influence, that would provide a unifying framework for this new society. They proposed state-controlled education and propaganda, leadership by a small elite, annexation and conquest of middle Europe, and they called for the extermination of Jews.

In short - these three "culturally despairing" egg heads predicted much of the horror of the Nazis. All three were widely read in German society at various points in time leading up to the rise of National Socialism.

We know that Hitler emphatically read Lagarde. For more on this, see "Hitler's Forgotten Library" in the May 2003 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, by Timothy W. Ryback. On p.295, Stern shows how Lagarde, Langbehn, and van den Bruck influenced other key Nazi ideologists like Alfred Rosenberg.

The book contains extensive footnotes and end notes, a large bibliography, and a good index. I have one gripe with the book. There are several book titles, quotes, and passages that are in German without English translation. I could not work them out with my meager German. I wish translations were provided. I also wish pictures or portraits of Lagarde, Langbehn, and van den Bruck were provided.

Finally, I'd like to add that many of the themes we see having emerged from Lagarde, Langbehn, and van den Bruck are similar to what is found the more recent work of the influential Islamic radical Sayyid Qutb. I strongly recommend the Paul Berman book "Terror and Liberalism" for a very readable and enlightening treatment of Qutb.

[May 12, 2021] Taibbi- Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It - ZeroHedge

May 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Taibbi: Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It BY TYLER DURDEN WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021 - 04:20 PM

Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News ,

What a difference a decade makes.

Former CIA director John Brennan was a media villain, now he's media himself.

Just over ten years ago, on July 25, 2010, Wikileaks released 75,000 secret U.S. military reports involving the war in Afghanistan . The New York Times, The Guardian , and Der Spiegel helped release the documents, which were devastating to America's intelligence community and military, revealing systemic abuses that included civilian massacres and an assassination squad, TF 373, whose existence the United States kept "protected " even from its allies.

The Afghan War logs came out at the beginning of a historic stretch of true oppositional journalism, when outlets like Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, The New York Times, and others partnered with sites like Wikileaks. Official secrets were exposed on a scale not seen since the Church Committee hearings of the seventies, as reporters pored through 250,000 American diplomatic cables, secret files about every detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and hundreds of thousands of additional documents about everything from the Iraq war to coverups of environmental catastrophes, among other things helping trigger the "Arab Spring."

There was an attempt at a response -- companies like Amazon, Master Card, Visa, and Paypal shut Wikileaks off, and the Pentagon flooded the site with a "denial of service" attack -- but leaks continued. One person inspired by the revelations was former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who came forward to unveil an illegal domestic surveillance program, a story that won an Oscar and a Pulitzer Prize for documentarian Laura Poitras and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. By 2014, members of Congress in both parties were calling for the resignations of CIA chief John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, both of whom had been caught lying to congress.

The culmination of this period came when billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar launched The Intercept in February 2014. The outlet was devoted to sifting through Snowden's archive of leaked secrets, and its first story described how the NSA and CIA frequently made errors using geolocation to identify and assassinate drone targets. A few months later, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden admitted, "We kill people based on metadata."

Fast forward seven years. Julian Assange is behind bars, and may die there. Snowden is in exile in Russia. Brennan, Clapper, and Hayden have been rehabilitated and are all paid contributors to either MSNBC or CNN, part of a wave of intelligence officers who've flooded the airwaves and op-ed pages in recent years, including the FBI's Asha Rangappa, Clint Watts, Josh Campbell, former counterintelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi and former deputy director Andrew McCabe, the CIA's John Sipher, Phil Mudd, Ned Price, and many others.

Once again, Internet platforms, credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard , and payment processors like PayPal are working to help track down and/or block the activities of "extremists." This time, they're on the same side as the onetime press allies of Wikileaks and Snowden, who began a course reversal after the election of Donald Trump.

Those outlets first began steering attention away from intelligence abuses and toward bugbears like Trumpism, misinformation, and Russian meddling, then entered into partnerships with Langley-approved facsimiles of leak sites like Hamilton 68 , New Knowledge , and especially Bellingcat , a kind of reverse Wikileaks devoted to exposing the misdeeds of regimes in Russia, Syria, and Iran -- less so the United States and its allies. The CIA's former deputy chief of operations for Europe and Eurasia, Marc Polymeropolous, said of the group's work, " I don't want to be too dramatic, but we love this ."

After the Capitol riots of January 6th, the War on Terror came home, and "domestic extremists" stepped into the role enemy combatants played before. George Bush once launched an all-out campaign to pacify any safe haven for trrrsts, promising to "smoke 'em out of their holes." The new campaign is aimed at stamping out areas for surveillance-proof communication, which CNN security analyst and former DHS official Juliette Kayyem described as any online network "that lets [domestic extremists] talk amongst themselves."

Reporters pledged assistance, snooping for evidence of wrongness in digital rather than geographical "hidey holes." We've seen The Guardian warning about the perils of podcasts , ProPublica arguing that Apple's lax speech environment contributed to the January 6th riot, and reporters from The Verge and Vice and The New York Times listening in to Clubhouse chats in search of evidence of dangerous thought. In an inspired homage to the lunacy of the War on Terror years, a GQ writer even went on Twitter last week to chat with the author of George Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech about imploring the "authorities" to use the "Fire in a Crowded Theater" argument to shut down Fox News.

Multiple outlets announced plans to track "extremists" in either open or implied cooperation with authorities. Frontline, ProPublica , and Berkley Journalism's Investigative Reporting Program used " high-precision digital forensics " to uncover "evidence" about the Boogaloo Bois, and the Huffington Post worked with the "sedition hunters " at the Twitter activist group "Deep State Dogs" to help identify a suspect later arrested for tasering a Capitol police officer. One of the Huffington Post stories, from February, not only spoke to a willingness of the press to work with law enforcement, but impatience with the slowness of official procedure compared to "sleuthing communities":

The FBI wants photos of Capitol insurrections to go viral , and has published images of more than 200 suspects. But what happens when online sleuthing communities identify suspects and then see weeks go by without any signs of action ? There are hundreds of suspects, thousands of hours of video, hundreds of thousands of tips, and millions of pieces of evidence the FBI's bureaucracy isn't necessarily designed to keep organized.

The Intercept already saw founding members Poitras and Greenwald depart, and shut down the aforementioned Snowden archive to, in their words, "focus on other editorial priorities" -- parent company First Look Media soon after launched a partnership with "PassionFlix," whose motto is, " Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series ." Last week, they announced a new project in tune with current media trends:

Are there legitimate stories about people with racist or conspiratorial views who for instance shouldn't be working in positions of authority, as cops or elected officials or military officers? Sure, and there's a job for reporters in proving that out, especially if there's a record of complaints or corruption to match. It gets a little weird if the newsworthiness standard is "person with a job has abhorrent private opinions," but it's not like it's impossible that a legit story could be found in something like the Gab archive, especially if it involves a public figure.

But that depends on the media people involved having a coherent standard for outing subjects, which hasn't always (or even often) been the case.

Here The Intercept is announcing it considers QAnon devotee Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alex Jones "violent white supremacists" -- they're a lot of things, but "violent white supremacists"? In the first piece about "extremists" on Gab, reporter Micah Lee claimed to have found an account belonging to a little-known conservative youth figure; the man's attorney later reached out to deny the account was his, leading to a correction . When asked about his process, Lee responded, sarcastically, that he "certainly wouldn't want to accidentally do investigative journalism about white supremacist domestic terrorists." When asked how he defined a terrorist, and if he'd be naming public figures only, the sarcastic answer this time was, "Of course I won't be naming anyone. Racist white people must be defended at all costs."

Greenwald left the organization among other things after an editor asked that he address the "disinformation issue" in a piece about Hunter Biden's laptop, a reference to a claim made by 50 intelligence officers that the story had "the classic earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign." He found it inappropriate then for a publication with The Intercept's history to be pushing an intelligence narrative, and the Gab project struck him in a similar way.

"The leap from disseminating CIA propaganda to doing the police work of security state agencies is a short one," says Greenwald, "and with its statements about what they are doing with this Gab archive, The Intercept and its trite liberal managers in New York have now taken it."

Read the rest here . .. play_arrow


safelyG 1 hour ago

we need to find a way to keep stories like this from being reported.

lovingly,
rachel maddow's wife

ted41776 1 hour ago remove link

they hate us for our freedumb

was anyone punished for that WMD lie that cause the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and a few thousand US troops?

i mean it is a widely accepted fact now, isn't it? that it was a lie that caused a genocide and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people?

where are the nuremberg trials? UN? anyone?

crickets

Lt. Shicekopf 1 hour ago

Operation Mockingbird has paid immense dividends, one of the most successful programs ever.

Maltheus 1 hour ago remove link

I dunno. What's the name of the program to infiltrate the schools? Gives Mockingbird a run for its money.

fishpoem 32 minutes ago

Use the titles of any of the books written by members of the Frankfurt School. Start with Marcuse. How such circular reasoning, boring prose, and patently bogus arguments became mandatory reading material in every college in America is a puzzle future historians will have to unravel.

Well, if the ruling Marxist Democrats allow historians to exist in the future...which they probably won't. Truth, in that era, will be what "art" became in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia: cliched state-worship.

Wait. Isn't that what we've already got?

Argon1 1 hour ago

https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/operation-mockingbird/

DesertEagle 37 minutes ago

Most of the "reporters" for the big media cartel were always enemies of the American people.

tedstr 57 minutes ago

News organizations have always been agents of the IC. Just as they are agents of Hollywood and the biz news are agents of corporations. They no longer have the staffs to truely "do news" so they rely on being spoon fed from their sources. they will never bite the hand.

Steve in Greensboro 1 hour ago remove link

Lee Smith on Bannon's Warroom 53 in December 2019.

Lee Smith: " Here's something that boggles me still that there are still people after what we have seen and after I've documented in the book what the press has become what the WaPo what the prestige brands of American journalism have become and nonetheless there are Republicans only blocks from here who are more than happy to treat whether it's the WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC as though these are regular news networks still. Even after three years of seeing them operate exactly like media operatives "

Steve Bannon: "You believe they are the opposition party media. Right?

Lee Smith: "It's not a media, it's a platform for intelligence operations. It's not media at all. This is like the Arab press."

Joe Davola 1 hour ago

Maybe a curious investigative reporter might look into why "financial services" companies jump right in whenever the deep state needs them.

NewMouldy 1 hour ago

Kabuki theatre..

College deans, professors, teachers were all bought and paid for decades ago by the deep state. The very people that educate upcoming politicians, reporters and scientists.

This is how we got to where we are now.

US Banana Republic 6 minutes ago

When media "personalities" like Cuomo, Madcow, and Cooper make more than $10 million dollars a year from corporate sponsors towing the corporate/government line then NOBODY want to be a hard hitting investigative reporter. Everybody wants to be a corporate/government boot licker.

As always, follow the money.

Isn't Life Gland 15 minutes ago

Ali Watkins is my favorite. "Worked" her way all the way up to the pinnacle gig at the New York Crimes..on her back.

[May 12, 2021] It is the corporations that work in the background that seem to be the real seat of power

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , May 12 2021 20:56 utc | 47

psychohistorian | May 12 2021 19:44 utc | 31

I'm not sure that it is global private finance that is the key. Although I used to.

Either we consider the Oligarchs (Bezos Zuckerberg) as the newest form of low life, or the Banking cartels and billionares are even lower.

BUT - There is a third class of Global financiers. That is "Corporations" (as a class). Corporations are immortal, and like a hydra, with many heads, have more arms than an "image of a covid-virus" ( Octopussii are simply too limited, although they are a good example of multi-brained resourceful animals ). They are also "persons" in front of the law, with all the protections and privilges that offers. On other occasions they are simply above the law (Twit-Facebook and free speech). The people running them are only occasionally reprimanded, but the "corporation" itself is never touched. *1*

They pay, sometimes, a bit of taxes, have different laws and have lobbies working in their favour. Can corrupt Politicians with the offer of directorships or whatever. They can even be "foundations" and pay no tax at all. They deal across many different National laws, obey what they will, and are extra terrritorial in scope. They can have a nominal "center", while decisions are made elsewhere. They are in fact a new type of alien supra-being .
Of course, the "leaders" of Corporations are rich, but they can be replaced by others at the wishes of "shareholders". Untouchable and unknown.

Very useful for storing wealth and speculating at the same time.

In spite of Musk and others taking all the limelight, it is the corporations that work in the background that seem to be the real seat of power.
---
*1* One of the last real actions taken against Corporate power was the breaking up of Rockefellers Standard Oil .

*****

*2* In the case of the "breakup" of either the US or the EU - would the corporations be touched (eliminated), or hailed as saving civilisation?

[May 09, 2021] Wokism and black and white mentality of new cultural revolution

Highly recommended!
This one-to-one replay of Red Guards - Wikipedia but with quite different sponsors ;-) "Hóng Wèibīng was a mass student-led paramilitary social movement mobilized and guided by Chairman Mao Zedong in 1966 through 1967, during the first phase of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Notable quotes:
"... there is an on-going effort to create fads/movements in which the public becomes caught-up and distracts the from reality. ..."
"... The more binary and controversial the better. Red/Blue. I used to be a big fan of sports but have the opinion it is a pointless waste of time and my life is better for that realization. ..."
"... Characteristics of the Woke: They always attack, especially with insults, like "paranoia nonsense". They never address the actual point made, instead they reinterpret the point to make it appear pure evil. Which allows them to attribute the worst possible motivations on the person they are attacking. Naturally they invent things the other person hadn't even mentioned, like climate change. ..."
"... Again the whole woke 'identity' culture that cancels dissent and promotes 'minorities' in positions of power is simply woke fascism. Just as military recruitment is about turning violent video games real for young men, so too is CIA recruitment about inviting the 'woke' for murder and mayhem in the name 'freedom' without which the woke could not wake. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , May 5 2021 16:50 utc | 49

I think that there is an on-going effort to create fads/movements in which the public becomes caught-up and distracts the from reality.

The more binary and controversial the better. Red/Blue. I used to be a big fan of sports but have the opinion it is a pointless waste of time and my life is better for that realization.

Additionally/tangentially, I feel there is a habit in the English language in particular to create new words to describe things these words are not well define and generate a lot of discussion and heat about things that nobody knows what they are actually talking about and end up arguing the meaning of the words.

People who don't know the new words must try to catch up or be left out of the discussion. I don't direct this at your discussion. I just wonder how we might see things if we were constrained to a limited vocabulary - as I am as a programmer of sorts.

EoinW , May 5 2021 16:57 utc | 52

NonPartisanRinsed | May 5 2021 16:03 utc | 30

Characteristics of the Woke: They always attack, especially with insults, like "paranoia nonsense". They never address the actual point made, instead they reinterpret the point to make it appear pure evil. Which allows them to attribute the worst possible motivations on the person they are attacking. Naturally they invent things the other person hadn't even mentioned, like climate change.

gottlieb , May 5 2021 17:06 utc | 54

Again the whole woke 'identity' culture that cancels dissent and promotes 'minorities' in positions of power is simply woke fascism. Just as military recruitment is about turning violent video games real for young men, so too is CIA recruitment about inviting the 'woke' for murder and mayhem in the name 'freedom' without which the woke could not wake.

psychohistorian , May 5 2021 17:17 utc | 55

I will believe that any of this is worth a shit when Snowden wades in with his opinion...until then its just another distraction

The CIA is why we can't have "wokeism" about the right issue like global private/public finance.....where is Occupy 2.0?

The current wokeism is like the pet rocks of old days.....would want folks to focus that woke on the inherited class structure of the private property West, would we?

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[May 03, 2021] US generals to the Director of DNA: Either supply the facts or shut up

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Apr 28 2021 18:38 utc | 18

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

Look, The generals and the intelligence agencies haven't won a war for a long time. So now they will fight each other . At least ONE of them will win this time ! Success.

[May 03, 2021] The NYT is simply a propaganda organ of the corporate oligarchy. Whenever the US does something bad, it is always "alleged". When opponents of US hegemony are accused of doing something bad, it is never "alleged"

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Gerald Smith , Apr 27 2021 9:00 utc | 7

The NYT is simply a propaganda organ of the corporate oligarchy. Whenever the US does something bad, it is always "alleged". When opponents of US hegemony are accused of doing something bad, it is never "alleged" - for example, you won't read about the "alleged Douma chemical attack" in the NYT.

Just a small point about English grammar: "alleged burglar", "alleged miracle" and "alleged conspiracy" are all correct, because "alleged" is being used here as an adjective. "Alleged antique vase", on the other hand, is incorrect because what is being alleged is not that the object is a vase; what is being alleged is that the vase is antique. Because it is being used to describe an adjective (antique), it is being used adverbially: therefore the correct usage is "allegedly antique vase".

This reminds me of John Michael Greer's formulation: the "allegedly smart phone". I use it all the time, to imply that intensive users of mobile devices may not be quite as intelligent as is generally believed. Note that what is being is alleged is not that it's a phone, but that it's smart!

Otter , Apr 27 2021 12:10 utc | 20

NYT does use "alleged" correctly. In the land of truth, one need merely state one's statement. In the land of lies, one must insert "alleged", so that others know the statement is truth.

There was a Soviet aphorism to this effect.

[May 03, 2021] The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media... Now The CIA Is The Media by Caitlin Johnstone,

Apr 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone,

Back in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

me data-google-container-id=

Analysis: US blinks first on Russia-Ukraine tensions

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called “Bountygate†story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan.

“One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed ‘intelligence officials’) say today that it was a CIA claim,†Greenwald tweeted .

“So media outlets - again - repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all.â€

Indeed, NYT’s original story made no mention of CIA involvement in the narrative, citing only “officials,†yet this latest article speaks as though it had been informing its readers of the story’s roots in the lying, torturing , drug-running , warmongering Central Intelligence Agency from the very beginning. The author even writes “The New York Times first reported last summer the existence of the C.I.A.’s assessment,†with the hyperlink leading to the initial article which made no mention of the CIA. It wasn’t until later that The New York Times began reporting that the CIA was looking into the Russian bounties allegations at all.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382793565714153472&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This would be the same “Russian bounties†narrative which was discredited all the way back in September when the top US military official in Afghanistan said no satisfactory evidence had surfaced for the allegations, which was further discredited today with a new article by The Daily Beast titled “ U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops â€.

The Daily Beast , which has itself uncritically published many articles promoting the CIA “Bountygate†narrative, reports the following:

It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game†in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate†confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven â€" and possibly untrue.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382769897420296194&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

So the mass media aggressively promoted a CIA narrative that none of them ever saw proof of, because there was no proof, because it was an entirely unfounded claim from the very beginning. They quite literally ran a CIA press release and disguised it as a news story.

This allowed the CIA to throw shade and inertia on Trump’s proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Germany, and to continue ramping up anti-Russia sentiments on the world stage , and may well have contributed to the fact that the agency will officially be among those who are exempt from Biden’s performative Afghanistan “withdrawal†.

In totalitarian dictatorships, the government spy agency tells the news media what stories to run, and the news media unquestioningly publish it. In free democracies, the government spy agency says “Hoo buddy, have I got a scoop for you!†and the news media unquestioningly publish it.

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “ The CIA and the Media †reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media is meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC’s Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382777804014641152&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This isn’t Operation Mockingbird. It’s so much worse. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA doing something to the media. What we are seeing now is the CIA openly acting as the media. Any separation between the CIA and the news media, indeed even any pretence of separation, has been dropped.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Democracy has no meaningful existence if people’s votes aren’t being cast with a clear understanding of what’s happening in their nation and their world, and if their understanding is being shaped to suit the agendas of the very government they’re meant to be influencing with their votes, what you have is the most powerful military and economic force in the history of civilization with no accountability to the electorate whatsoever. It’s just an immense globe-spanning power structure, doing whatever it wants to whoever it wants. A totalitarian dictatorship in disguise.

And the CIA is the very worst institution that could possibly be spearheading the movements of that dictatorship. A little research into the many, many horrific things the CIA has done over the years will quickly show you that this is true; hell, just a glance at what the CIA was up to with the Phoenix Program in Vietnam will.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382856410443186179&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

There’s a common delusion in our society that depraved government agencies who are known to have done evil things in the past have simply stopped doing evil things for some reason. This belief is backed by zero evidence, and is contradicted by mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for literally no other reason.

The CIA should not exist at all, let alone control the news media, much less the movements of the US empire. May we one day know a humanity that is entirely free from the rule of psychopaths, from our total planetary behavior as a collective, all the way down to the thoughts we think in our own heads.

May we extract their horrible fingers from every aspect of our being.

* * *

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix .

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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19,360 115

[May 03, 2021] Why George W. Bush Was a Horrible President

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente. ..."
"... Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well. ..."
"... the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc). ..."
"... In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP). ..."
"... Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so. ..."
"... I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever. ..."
"... Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil ..."
"... you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way. ..."
"... albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission. ..."
"... Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable. ..."
"... Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama. ..."
"... As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award. ..."
"... When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it. ..."
"... The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass. ..."
"... Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal! ..."
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm ..."
"... It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security. ..."
"... and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time. ..."
"... Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed. ..."
"... People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior. ..."
"... We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. ..."
"... We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany. ..."
"... Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. ..."
"... We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 25, 2021 by Lambert Strether

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Recently, the political class has been working hard to rehabilitate George W. Bush into an elder statesman, no doubt to continue the liberal Democrat conversion of suburban Republicans, with headlines like " George Bush reborn as the nation's grandfather " (the London Sunday Times, but you know it will migrate over here), " George W Bush is back "" but not all appreciate his new progressive image " (Guardian), " Bush calls on Congress to tone down "˜harsh rhetoric' about immigration " (CNN), and "George W Bush reveals who he voted for in 2020 election "" and it wasn't Biden or Trump " (the Independent. Bush wrote in Condaleeza Rice, who Exxon once named a tanker for). I could go on. But I won't. These stories from major outlets seem to be erasing early coverage like " The 7 worst moments of George W. Bush's presidency " (WaPo, 2013), " The blood on George W Bush's hands will never dry. Don't glorify this man " (The Guardian, 2017), " Reminder: George W. Bush Is Still Very, Very Bad " (Vice, 2018), " Seth Meyers: Don't Let Trump Make You Forget How Awful George W. Bush Was " (Vanity Fair, 2020), and " We Shouldn't Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President : (Jacobin, 2020). That's unfortunate, because George W. Bush (hereafter "Bush"; the "W" distinguishes him from his spook Yankee patrician Dad, oil bidnessman George H.W. Bush). As with so much else that is fetid in the miasmic air of our current liberal Democrat dispensation, Bush's rehabilitation begins with the Obamas, in this case Michelle Obama, in this iconic photo:

(The backstory: " Michelle Obama Reveals What Really Happened During Her Sweet Exchange With George W. Bush ," and "Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is "˜my partner in crime'[1] and "˜I love him to death' ").

Bush became President in the year 2000. That was "" let me break out my calculator "" 2021 "" 2000 = 21 years ago. It occurs to me that our younger readers, born in 2000, or even 1990, may not know how genuinely horrid Bush was, as President.

I was blogging even back then, and I remember how horrid Bush was; certainly worse than Trump, at least for Trump's first three years in office, until the Covid pandemic. To convey the full horror of the Bush years would not a series of posts, but a book. The entire experience was wretched and shameful.

Of the many horrors of the Bush years, I will pick three. (I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina , the Plame Affair , Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force , that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face , Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records , Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. And I didn't even get to 9/11, " You've covered your ass ," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.) I'm afraid my recounting of these incidents will be sketchy: I lived and blogged in them, and the memories of the horror well up in such volume and detail that I lose control of the material. Not only that, there was an actual, functioning blogosphere at that time, which did great work, but unfortunately most of that work has succumbed to link rot. And my memory of events two decades ago is not as strong as it could be.

The White House Iraq Group

Here I will rely on excerpts from Colonel Sam Gardiner's (PDF) "Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II" (2003), whose introduction has been saved from link rot by the National Security Archive and a full version by the University of Leeds . I would bet, long forgotten even by many of those who blogged through those times. ("Gulf II" is what we refer to as the "War in Iraq.") Quoting from the full version:

You will see in my analysis and comments that I do not accept the notion that the first casualty of war is truth. I think we have to have a higher standard. In the most basic sense, Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions. Truth became a casualty. When truth is a casualty, democracy receives collateral damage.

Seems familiar. (Gardiner's report can be read as a brilliant media critique; it's really worth sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading it all.)[2] More:

My research suggests there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people . I'll cover most in this report. At the end, I will also describe some stories that seem as if they were part of the strategic influence campaign although the evidence is only circumstantial.

What becomes important is not each story taken individually. If that were the case, it would probably seem only more of the same. If you were to look at them one at a time, you could conclude, "Okay we sort of knew that was happening." It is the pattern that becomes important. It's the summary of everything. To use a phrase often heard during the war, it's the mosaic. Recognizing I said I wouldn't exaggerate, it would not be an exaggeration to say the people of the United States and UK can find out more about the contents of a can of soup they buy than the contents of the can of worms they bought with the 2003 war in the Gulf.

The White House was, naturally, at the center of the operation:

One way to view how the US Government was organized to do the strategic communications effort before, during and after the war is to use the chart that was used by the Assistant Deputy Director for Information Operations. The center is the White House Office of Global Communications, the organization originally created by Karen Hughes as the Coalition Information Office. The White House is at the center of the strategic communications process"¦.

Handy chart:

And:

Inside the White House there was an Iraq Group that did policy direction and then the Office of Global Communications itself.

Membership of the White House Iraq Group:

So, in 2020 Bush's write-in vote for President was Condi Rice, the [x] Black [x] woman who helped run a domestic disinformation campaign for him in 2003, to sell the Iraq War to the American people. Isn't that"¦. sweet?

Of course, I was very naive at that point. I had come up as a Democrat, and my first real political engagement was the Clinton impeachment. Back in 2003, I was amazed to discover that there was a White House operation that was planting fake stories in the press "" and that I had been playing whackamole on them. At a higher level, I was disturbed that "Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions." Now it all seems perfectly normal, which is sad.

Torture at Abu Ghraib

There are a lot of images of our torture prison in Iraq, Abu Ghraib. This one ( via ) is not the most famous , but to me it is the most shocking:

What kind of country sets dogs on a naked prisoner? Well, my kind of country, apparently. (Later, I remember discussing politics with somebody who came from a country that might be considered less governed by the rule of law than my own, and they said: "Abu Ghraib. You have nothing to say." And they were right.)

For those who came in late, here's a snapshot (the detail of the story is in fact overwhelming, and I also have pity for the poor shlubs the brass tossed into that hellhole[3].) From the Los Angeles Times, " Few have faced consequences for abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq " (2015):

[A] 44-year-old Al Jazeera reporter named Salah Ejaili, said in a phone interview from Qatar that he was arrested in 2003 while covering an explosion in the Iraqi province of Diyala. He was held at Abu Ghraib for 48 days after six days in another facility, he said.

"Most of the pictures that came out in 2004, I saw that firsthand "" the human pyramid where men were stacked up naked on top of each other, people pulled around on leashes," he said in the interview, with one of his attorneys translating. "I used to hear loud screams during the torture sessions."

Ejaili says he was beaten, left naked and exposed to the elements for long periods, and left in solitary confinement, among other acts.

"When people look at others who are naked, they feel like they're animals in a zoo, in addition to being termed as criminals and as terrorists," he said. "That had a very strong psychological impact."

The plaintiffs also say they suffered electric shocks; deprivation of food, water and oxygen; sexual abuse; threats from dogs; beatings; and sensory deprivation.

Taha Yaseen Arraq Rashid, a laborer, says he was sexually abused by a woman while he was cuffed and shackled, and also that he was forced to watch a female prisoner's rape.

Ejaili said that his face was often covered during interrogations, making it difficult for him to identify those involved, but that he was able to notice that many of the interrogators who entered the facility wore civilian clothing.

His attorneys, citing military investigations into abuses at Abu Ghraib and other evidence, say the contractors took control of the prison and issued orders to uniformed military.

"Abu Ghraib was pretty chaotic," said Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought suits against CACI and L-3 Services. "They were involved in a conspiracy with the military police to abuse our clients.""¦. Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted in military trials of crimes related to the humiliation and abuse of the prisoners.

(So Abu Ghraib is a privatization story, too. Oddly, whoever signed the contract never ended up in court.) All this seemed pretty shocking then. But now we know that the Chicago Police Department ran a torture site at Homan Square while Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, was Mayor , so perhaps this is all perfectly normal too.

Warrantless Surveillance and the Destruction of the Fourth Amendment

Here is the wording of the Fourth Amendment :

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers , and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If our legal system had the slightest shred of integrity, it would be obvious to the Courts, as it is to a six-old-child, that what we laughingly call our "personal" computers and cellphones contain "paper," not in the tediously literal sense of a physical material made from wood fibre, but in the sense of content . Bits and bytes are 20th Century paper, stored on silicon and hard disk platters. Of course a warrant should be needed to read what's on my phone, ffs.

That Fourth Amendment common sense did not prevail is IMNSHO due in large part to Bush's program of warrantless surveillance, put in place as part of the Global War on Terror. Here again, the complexity is overwhelming and took several years to unravel. I'm afraid I have to quote Wikipedia on this one :

A week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which inaugurated the "War on Terror". It later featured heavily in arguments over the NSA program.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks President Bush established the President's Surveillance Program. As part of the program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program was established pursuant to an executive order that authorized the NSA to surveil certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant (see 50 U.S.C. § 1802 50 U.S.C. § 1809). The complete details of the executive order are not public, but according to administration statements, the authorization covers communication originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations or their affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US.

In October 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the administration broad powers to fight terrorism. The Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISC and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda via a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an "apparently accidental" "glitch" resulted in the interception of communications that were between two U.S. parties. This act was challenged by multiple groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The precise scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications between the nation's largest telecommunication companies' major interconnected locations, encompassing phone conversations, email, Internet activity, text messages and corporate private network traffic .

Of course, all this is perfectly normal today. So much for the Fourth Amendment, good job. (You will note that the telcos had to be in on it; amusingly, the CEO of Qwest, the only telco that refused to participate, was charged and convicted of insider trading, good job again.) The legal aspects of all this are insanely complex, but as you see from my introduction, they should be simple.

Conclusion

Here's a video of the Iraqi (now in Parliament) who threw shoes at Bush (who got off lightly, all things considered):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM3Z_Kskl_U

We should all be throwing shoes at Bush, seriously if not literally. We should not be accepting candy from him. We should not be treating him as an elder statesman. Or a "partner in crime." We should not be admiring his paintings. Bush ran a bad, bad, bad administration and we are living with the consequences of his badness today. Bush is a bad man. We are ruled by bad people. Tomorrow, Obama!

NOTES

[1] Indeed.

[2] For example, I vividly remember playing whack-a-mole as a blogger with the following WMD stories: Drones, weapons labs, WMD cluster bombs, Scuds, nuclear materials from Niger, aluminum tubes, and dirty bombs. They one and all fell apart on close inspection. And they were only a small part of the operation, as Gardiner shows in detail.

[3] My personal speculation is that Dick Cheney had a direct feed from the Abu Ghraib torture chambers to the White House, and watched the proceedings live. Some of the soldiers burned images of torture onto CDs as trophies, and the prison also had a server, whose connectivity was very conveniently not revealed by the judge in a lawsuit I dimly remember being brought in Germany. So it goes.


flora , April 25, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Does anyone believe that W, son of H. W. Bush, H. W. son of Senator Prescott Bush, would have been been pres without that familial lineage and its important govt connections? The pity is W wasn't smart enough to grasp world politics and the US's importance as an accepted fulcrum in same beyond his momentary wants. imo. Brent Scowcroft and others warned him off his vain pursuits. The word "squander" come to mind, though I wish it did not.

flora , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

See for example Kevin Phillips' book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush . ( Kevin Phillips is a great modernist American historian, imo, who saw the rise of Nixon before anyone else.)

Teejay , April 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

" saw the rise of Nixon"? Phillips worked on the '68 campaign.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well.

He did what he set out to do, no doubt with careful guidance from that sh!t of a father (magically turned into a laid-in-state "statesman") and mother-of-string-of-pearls, and of course Cheney and the rest of the corpo-gov policy gang.

The Consent Manufacturers are whitewashing an evil man and his slicker but equally evil successor and his glamorous spouse.

Helluva job, Georgie! Full marks for kicking the world a long way down a dark road.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc).

see Pelosi's daughter's film of his campaign trail. He's no Angel Merkel, but sly enough for politics in this country and most third world corruptocracies.

In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP).

Tom Stone , April 25, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so.
And it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

ambrit , April 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm

You actually "˜blogged' back when we had to use punch cards to program our PCs? How oh how did you clamber on up out of "the Well" so many times a week? I am somewhat convinced that the Hollerith Cards Protocol was the origin of the Twitter 140 character limit.

I also "lived through" the "˜Reign of "W""˜ and see it as a Time of Prophecy. Most of the things we are now staring down the barrel of were effectuated then.

I may be foilly, (may be? who am I kidding,) but I view the 2000 election as a major turning point of American history.

albrt , April 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever.

Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:08 am

So was the 1963 " election at Dealey Plaza". Very pivotal.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 1:56 pm

I go with JFK's assassination too. But little George is a close second.

Paul Whalen , April 26, 2021 at 6:42 am

you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 6:59 am

All the pomp and circumstance surrounding the personage of the President serves to conceal the people behind the scenes who vetted and groomed said president, and actively advise him while in office. It's in this way that a Jimmy Carter may be viewed as a gentle soul so far as presidents go, but he was actually vetted by Brzezinski on behalf of the CFR goons. Once in office he was then advised by Brzezinski and Volcker, among other assorted lunatics. And he gladly took their advice the entire time. That's how he came to be president in the first place. And so it goes.

Ashburn , April 26, 2021 at 4:29 pm

albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission.

Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable.

km , April 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama.

Tom Doak , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

That gives W too much credit. Obama continued the legacy of Cheney.

John Wright , April 25, 2021 at 9:58 pm

Could you explain your view that Obama and Trump are "worse than that" (Bush-Cheney).?

As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award.

Obama did push for military action in Libya, but at least held back from Syria.

The administrations after Bush "kicked the can down the road" but he initiated the events they simply continued. And Trump did attempt to pull troops back from Bush initiated wars. How is Trump worse than Bush? What are your metrics?

drumlin woodchuckles , April 25, 2021 at 10:04 pm

I am just a commenter here, but I would say that . . .

When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it.

He did some other things like that which I don't have time to mention right now. Maybe others will beat me to it.

Most of all, by slickly conning or permitting to self-con numbers of people about "hope and change" to come from an Obama Administration, he destroyed all hope of hope. He destroyed hope itself. Hope is not a "thing" any more in this country, thanks to Obama.

He may also have destroyed black politicians' dreams of becoming America's " Second Black President" for several decades to come. Been there, done that. Never Again. But since I am not Black, that is not my problem. That is something Black America can thank Obama for, if they decide to wake up to the fact of that reality.

Of course , if the Evil Countess Draculamala becomes President after Biden, then I guess I will be proven wrong about that particular observation.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Bush was the set up guy, Obama was the closer

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 6:51 am

The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass.

Last, does any single person with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, bear so much responsibility for the election of Trump?

quackery , April 26, 2021 at 7:57 am

When Obama campaigned for president he claimed he wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons. Instead, he upgraded the nuclear arsenal.

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:28 am

It is ironic that the far right views Obama as the antichrist but they benefited from all of his policies.

Cat Burglar , April 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

Remember that Obama voted in favor of FISAA, the bill that immunized Bush and his flunkies from prosecution for their felony FISA violations, as a senator, not long before the presidential election. It was impossible to make myself vote for him after that.

Hotei , April 25, 2021 at 11:53 pm

Excellent documentation of that lineage here: http://www.obamatheconservative.com/

Norm Norton , April 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

"Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair?" If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama."

And for Obama, Trump!

upstater , April 25, 2021 at 7:42 pm

Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal!

Jason , April 25, 2021 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Lambert. I'd add that the intelligence being sent to the "White House Iraq Group" was being manufactured by the Office of Special Plans (OSP) which was set up and run by Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. Following Feith's history and connections alone is a fruitful endeavor for those so inclined.

Among other things, Feith co-authored, along with Richard Perle and David Wurmser, the A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm paper prepared for the prime minister of a certain foreign country. This is back in 1996. Around the same time the PNAC boys were formed by Kagan and Kristol and started selling the same policy prescriptions vis a vis Iraq to the pols and public here.

Feith was also fired from the NSC back in the early 80's for passing classified information to some little country. Fast forward to his OSP days and, lo and behold, his employee Larry Franklin is convicted of the same thing, along with Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC.

That's just a taste of the malfeasance.

John , April 25, 2021 at 8:26 pm

I guess sometimes people need to be reminded that water is wet. The Buddhists say that ignorance is the root poison. True dat. Especially in Amrika.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:56 pm

This stuff has gone on forever. What amount of ventilation is needed to blow this kind of dung out of the Augean stables of geopolitics? Not much chance of that anyway, given all the incentives and and interests"

Is it luck that Putin and Xi might be a little less monstrous?

Elizabeth , April 25, 2021 at 10:20 pm

It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security.

His eight years as president, for me, was a horror show. What really bothers me is that he got away with all of it "" and now he's hailed as an eminence gris. I can't help but think that his rehabilitation is to remind us all of how bad Orange Man was "" Obama was just as bad because he cemented everything W did "" and more.

Thanks for the horrible memories.

Joe Hill , April 25, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I understand you disagree with the policies of Mr Bush, but war crimes?

Please describe what charges would be brought against him if you were to prosecute at a war crimes tribunal.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 3:23 am

That is an assignment, which is a violation of our written site Policies. This applies to reader comments when you could easily find the answer in less than 30 seconds on Google rather than being a jerk and challenging a reader (or even worse, me derivatively) on bogus grounds.

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 1:57 am

> For me, [W's] election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country.

At this moment I'm writing it is still early days for this thread: there are only 24 comments. In these comments are named many bad people. However, one name that does not (yet) appear is "˜Clinton'. W was a monster as president (and likely remains a monster as a human being) but surely Billy Jeff needn't yield to him in his contempt for the rule of law.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 2:29 am

I loathe Bill Clinton but nothing he did approaches the Iraq War in the level of damage to the US and many foreign countries"¦.starting with Iraq.

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 3:52 am

Quite right, of course. My comment was specifically in regard to his disdain for and abuse of the rule, and rôle, of law in the American polity, e.g., his perjury > disbarment. Sort of like the famous photograph of Nelson Rockefeller who, while serving as VP, was captured giving the finger to a group of protestors; Clinton also oozed that kind of hubristic impunity.

Alex Cox , April 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Regarding Clinton, the damage he caused to his own country and the world was substantial. The destruction of Yugoslavia caused considerable mayhem "" in addition to bombing and breaking apart a sovereign nation, it enabled "liberals" to feel good about war again, and paved the way for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.

And the damage done by NAFTA was enormous "" in terms of leading to deaths of despair in both the US and Mexico I suspect NAFTA has a higher domestic "body count" than any of the subsequent forever wars.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:33 pm

and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time.

little known covered up crime from his ARK days is the selling of HIV tainted blood (taken from prisoners) to Canada, among other things.

yet another who had credible rape allegations. which damages our image at home and abroad.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:36 pm

Total Information Awareness https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/preemption/tia.html

Adm. John Poindexter"¦ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/08/us/poindexter-is-found-guilty-of-all-5-criminal-charges-for-iran-contra-cover-up.html
yep, that one"¦

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:14 am

I read that for the very briefest time, somebody or other was selling Total Information Awareness memorabilia with the Total Information Awareness symbol on it. I wish I had thought to buy a Total Information Awareness mug.

I imagine knockoffs and parodies exist, but I am not sure the real thing is findable any more.

Darius , April 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

After Dennis Rader, the Wichita serial killer, murdered someone, the cops always found his semen on the floor next to the mutilated victim. He got sexual pleasure out of gruesome murder. This is how I always pictured Cheney's attitude toward torture. Well. I tried not to actually picture it.

Kevin Carhart , April 26, 2021 at 12:06 am

Bush also whipped votes for Kavanaugh, during the cuddly years.

https://theweek.com/speedreads/798796/george-w-bush-reportedly-working-phones-kavanaugh

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:26 am

Thank you, KC.

Kavanaugh accompanied Bush fils on his state visit to the UK. Even then, Kavanaugh was being touted as a future Supreme Court judge.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 3:48 am

Talk about your target rich environment. Where do you even start? Where do you begin? A serial business failure, draft dodger, military deserter, drunk driver "" and all that was before he became President. A man so incurious about the world "" just like Trump "" that he never even owned a passport until he actually became President and who never knew that Islam (prior to the Iraq invasion) , for example, was just not one religion but was divided into Sunni and Shia in the same way Christianity is divided into "" mostly "" Protestant and Catholics. But to me he was always the "Frat Boy President". His family always protected him from his many flaws and he never had to grow up like his father had to in WW2. Even as President he never grew into the job, again, just like Trump.

Lambert gives a few good reminders but there were many others and these are just the top of my head. He cared little for the US Constitution and called it nothing more than a goddamn scrap of paper. He officially made the US a torture nation, not only by pretending that US laws did not apply in Guantanamo bay but also aboard US Navy ships for which laws definitely did apply. As part of a movement to make America an oil-fueled hegemony for the 21st century, he invaded Iraq with the firm intention on invading Iran next so that Washington would have a firm grip on the fuel pump of the world. As he said "" "America is addicted to oil." He dropped the ball on 9/11 through over-obsessing on Iraq and in the immediate aftermath sent jets around the country "" when all jets were grounded "" to fly Saudi royalty back to Saudi Arabia before the FBI could interrogate them about all their knowledge of the attack. All this to hide his very deep connections with the Saudis.

I could go on for several more paragraphs but what would be the point? For the neocons he was a great fronts-man to be followed by a even greater one. I sometimes think that if Biden was a "˜real' Republican, then he would have been a great vice-president for Bush. And now the establishment and their trained seals in the media are trying to make him out as "America's Favourite Uncle" or something so that when he dies, he will have the same sort of funeral as John McCain did. And I predict that tens of thousands of veterans around the country will then raise their glasses to him "" and then pour the contents on the ground.

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:22 am

Thank you, Lambert.

W's rehab continues in the UK MSM, not just the Independent. The worst offenders are probably the Grauniad and Channel 4, both Blairite.

The rehab mirrored the rise of Trump. His lack of interest in war upset these preachy imperialists.

Using Michelle Obama to facilitate the rehab brought id pol into the equation and made it easier. It was remarkable how often the above photo is used in the neo liberal and neo con media.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 5:43 am

Thank you, Colonel. That foto is remarkable and I suspect that the origins for the idea for it may lay on the other side of the pond as it seemed so familiar-

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/celebrity/article/3110070/netflixs-crown-shows-how-princess-diana-chose-her-own

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 5:36 am

There is a blog called Rigorous Intuition 2.0. Many of its blogposts are about the Bush period and Bush related subjects and events. ( Many others are not). The sections on 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina probably have the highest percent of Bush-related blogposts, in case one is interested.

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 7:26 am

Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed.

Tony massey , April 26, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Who needs to make shit up during those years?
The facts"¦the shit he actually did, was glossed over or simply forgotten.
If shit was made up about his sorry ass i didn't bother checking, Sir.
I just assumed it was true.
Bushies destroyed the country. If there's a country in 100 years they'll be paying for those years.
And then came obama and big Mike

jackiebass63 , April 26, 2021 at 6:14 am

People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior.

Some scholars like Noam Chomsky write about our real history. Unfortunately most people don't read this material. They are content with our glossed over shining star version of US history that unfortunately continues to be taught in our educational system , starting in elementary school continuing through a 4 year college education. Our system of government is so corrupted , I don't believe it can be fixed.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 7:17 am

Arguing over degrees of presidential evil. Perfect.

farmboy , April 26, 2021 at 8:03 am

Nixon was rehabbed so he could open China, Kissinger got to keep his mantle. W portrayed by Josh Brolin pretty good take. Nice to see dunking on GW, but the cycle of rehabilitation is due. The question is can he do some good or is there too much mud on his boots. Can't see W as a new Jimmy Carter. Glossing over history begins the moment it's made. Makes me miss LBJ

Carlos Stoll , April 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

Between 1998 and 2000, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, about 1000 prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison were executed and buried in mass graves. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_prison How many Abu Ghraib prisoners did the US army execute?

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 9:48 am

Tell me again how many Iraqis were killed by the US Army because they were doing their own version of "Red Dawn"? And that tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive if Saddam was simply left in place. Here is a video to watch while you have a little think about it-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfvFpT-iypw (17:46 mins)

Phil in KC , April 27, 2021 at 8:02 am

We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. It's a useful idea in that it calls us to be different and better than the average nation, and certainly different and better than a cruel dictatorship. But it's also a dangerous idea because too many of us actually believe it to be true. Our atrocities are different in kind, but the scale is the same.

We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany.

Deschain , April 26, 2021 at 10:55 am

"(I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina, the Plame Affair, Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force, that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face, Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records, Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. An I didn't even get to 9/11, "You've covered your ass," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.)"

You left out the housing bubble and the GFC!

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:58 am

Agree with all the criticism of Bush, Cheney, Obama. On a lighter note, my father-in-law is a high tech oil prospector in W Texas, much of it in Midland, overlapping in time with W. Both members of the Petroleum Club (been there once, very stuffy) and worked out at the same gym. Naturally, my wife asked if he had ever seen W naked. Her dad wouldn't answer, but did turn beet red. We take this as confirmation.

Phil in KC , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. Chomsky could not have imagined the future sequence of presidents from that point forward, but certainly they did not break the chain of criminality. My point is that Bush is not unique in the type of crimes, just the enormity of them. But I also believe he set new standards (lower) for shamelessness. Remember his smirk?

But also remember Obama joking about killing people.

John Wright , April 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Remember the comedy skit in which GWB "looked" for Iraq WMD's in the Oval office as part of the White House Correspondent's dinner?

Anyone with any sense of decency would have refused to do this skit, but Bush apparently followed his handlers' advice to get some laughs. That the USA was led by someone of such limited talent for 8 years speaks volumes. Years ago, a New York Times reader wrote that Hillary Clinton is a "well-connected mediocrity".

That comment may be true for ALL of the recent political candidates, from both parties, for a great many years.

LBJ was definitely not mediocre (civil rights/war on poverty), and would be viewed far more favorably, maybe as great, if he had pulled out of Vietnam rather than escalating. Carter in his post presidency has much to recommend. Post presidency Bush is painting his portraits rather than having any retrospective regrets for the harm he did.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 2:27 pm

We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. How did our ideology become so inept? And everything I have read about our failures over the years is contrasted with what might have been. We have operated under a system that could not function without extraction. There was always a sell-by date on the cover; one that we tried to ignore. There's no doubt in my mind that it has finally failed completely. Ignominiously. But we have also learned and come to admit certain realities. The most important one is that there can be no more war; civilization cannot survive a modern war. So, ironically, our advanced warfare might well bring a peaceful world without world war. And our advances in science (mostly militarily inspired) will help us now survive.

Sue inSoCal , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Lambert, thank you for this piece. I won't repeat what others have opined. I've had a real problem with Michelle Obama being the rehabilitation cheerleader leader for Dubya. Imho, we lost all of our rights under the odious Patriot Act, which was pre-written. Russ Feingold was the lone Senate holdout. And I recall Byrd's ire and rant at the tome they had no time to read, but he caved. It went downhill from there. The links below, (apologies, I don't know how to fashion a hot link..) are about Bush's crimes and Amnesty International's exhaustive investigation of them.

I don't have the citation anymore, and I've knocked myself out trying to find it. But there exists a UN human rights commission memo suggesting (?) Obama to do a number of things: hold Bushco accountable for war crimes etc, as well as address what is termed as "systematic racism" in incarceration (and more). I had printed it out a number of years ago and can't find it.)
I'm not buying that Bush fils is any elder statesman. He and his cronies used torture, extreme rendition, hired mercenaries and completely destabilized the Middle East. We still don't have our rights back, and I'm betting the Patriot Act will never go away. (Nor will data mining under the guise of "targeted advertising" and sold to..the military.) The NYT's link is how Obama elected to rug sweep and just move ahead! I look forward to Lambert's take on the Obama administration..

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html

techpioneer , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Finally, someone has the courage to point out the obvious. An excellent article, well researched and nicely nuanced.

I'm disappointed with the remedy proposed, however. Throwing shoes is not enough; it's merely symbolic. The potential crimes committed here, including lying us into war, the extent of torture committed, and practices that violate international military norms and intelligence require a transparent and impartial investigation. One possible venue is the International Criminal Courts in the Hague.

I've been told many times that sunlight can be an effective deterrent against disease.

[May 03, 2021] U.S. Four Star Generals Ask DNI To Stop Lying

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Dear Director of National Intelligence, ..."
"... we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents. ..."
"... We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments ..."
"... Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide. ..."
"... You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress . ..."
"... Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors. ..."
"... Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things. ..."
"... They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries. ..."
"... Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET. ..."
"... We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. * ..."
"... PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

The above may well have been a draft for the letter behind this report :

America’s top spies say they are looking for ways to declassify and release more intelligence about adversaries’ bad behavior, after a group of four-star military commanders sent a rare and urgent plea asking for help in the information war against Russia and China.

The internal memo from nine regional military commanders last year, which was reviewed by POLITICO and not made public, implored spy agencies to provide more evidence to combat "pernicious conduct."

Only by "waging the truth in the public domain against America’s 21st century challengers†can Washington shore up support from American allies, they said. But efforts to compete in the battle of ideas, they added, are hamstrung by overly stringent secrecy practices.

“We request this help to better enable the US, and by extension its allies and partners, to win without fighting, to fight now in so-called gray zones, and to supply ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives," the commanders who oversee U.S. military forces in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, as well as special operations troops, wrote to then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire last January.

“Unfortunately, we continue to miss opportunities to clarify truth, counter distortions, puncture false narratives, and influence events in time to make a difference," they added.

The generals must have been seriously miffed to write such a letter. There have been a number of published intelligence judgments where the NSA had expressed low confidence in conclusions made mainly by the CIA. The NSA is part of the military.

Between two bureaucracies such an accusing letter or internal memo is the equivalent of a declaration of war. It is doubtful that the intelligence folks would win that fight.

That gives some hope that the Office of the DNI and the agencies below it will now lessen their production of nonsensical claims.

Posted by b on April 28, 2021 at 15:49 UTC | Permalink


Josh , Apr 28 2021 16:02 utc | 1

Right on man.
Thank You.
Kartoschka , Apr 28 2021 16:04 utc | 2
I hope you're right.
It could go the other way.
They will produce more "evidence"
psychohistorian , Apr 28 2021 16:12 utc | 3
Thanks for that b....is it rubber meets the road time?

I just read that the US is getting all its ambassadorial folk out of Afghanistan....maybe somebody is believing May 1 is a firmer deadline than the Biden 9/11 myth.

The shit show is about to crash, IMO, but if it is in slow motion, this crazy could go on for a while....what geo-political straw will break the camel's back?

Caliman , Apr 28 2021 16:25 utc | 4
Lewis Black, a pretty good US comedian, used to have a bit in the mid-2000's where he would ask the W administration flacks why they didn't just make up evidence about the Iraq WMDs after they "found out" that there were no weapons in the country. Black would tell them just make it up; we're used to it. Just give us an excuse to believe in the BS for God's sake; we'll do it!

I feel it's the same with our satrap nations around the world. At this time, is there anyone who does not understand that US foreign policy is conducted for and by MICIMATT (look it up)? So the generals have got nothing to worry about: keep pounding out that BS; there's a willing, able, and ready corps of salesmen and women in the media who will make enough of the public believe it for "democracy's" purposes.

Serg , Apr 28 2021 16:29 utc | 5
General Mackenzie who testified before the US House Armed Services Committee said Iran’s widespread use of drones means that the US is operating without complete air superiority for the first time since the Korean War.

Iran has time and again stated that its military capabilities are merely defensive and are designed to deter foreign threats.

https://politnew.com/politics/4796-gen-kenneth-mckenzie-iran-possesses-one-of-most-capable-militaries-in-the-middle-east.html

librul , Apr 28 2021 16:30 utc | 6
General Flynn had been head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (military).
The CIA was out to get him. It took a while but they eventually hamstrung him good.
gottlieb , Apr 28 2021 16:36 utc | 7
"Dear Generals, who haven't won a war in 75 years, so much for the DIA huh? We'd love to share our intelligence with you, our evidence showing the overwhelming and egregious misdeeds of our hateful, spiteful disgusting enemies, whose questioning of our Word should be met with charges of treason, but to give you evidence on top of our own unquestionable and 100% correct threat estimations, would compromise our Intelligence Gathering Methods which are of the strictest security and would threaten the ongoing ability of this Agency to gather and disseminate the unquestionable facts that without fear of contradiction we know is the truth. In short, dear Generals - work on winning a war, any war, and don't meddle in places that befuddle your ability to follow orders. Hooah! The CIA."
librul , Apr 28 2021 16:51 utc | 8
This fight has been ongoing for years.
Bottom line: The CIA wants to control the messages and narrative.

Article from 2013, great lead photo. Robert Mueller, James Clapper, John Brennan
and General Flynn all seated near each other.

https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2013/07/intel-wars-dia-cia-and-flynns-battle-consolidate-spying/66716/
Headline and subtext:

Intel Wars: DIA, CIA and Flynn’s Battle to Consolidate Spying
The Defense Department wants in on the spying game. But will the CIA block their efforts?


The CIA essentially absorbed the Pentagon’s only military-wide spying agency seven years ago [2006]
when the Defense HUMINT Service was dismantled -- and now, the Pentagon wants it back.

The CIA is quietly pushing the Armed Services committees along, hoping that Flynn’s DCS will be remembered by history as a failed power grab.

Canadian Cents , Apr 28 2021 17:10 utc | 11

The CIA/FBI/17+ known/unknown agencies are clearly a security apparatus that's gone out of control when even the USA's "nine regional [four-star general] military commanders" are out of the loop and pleading to be better informed. Worryingly, though, they ask for "ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives," which they apparently are ready to go right along with.

Western news media, of course, has become but a compliant weaponized appendage of that security apparatus, and democracy, which depends on informed voters, is nowhere in control of any of this.

Down this slippery slope, lies fascism.

rgl , Apr 28 2021 17:31 utc | 13

I do not see how this is possible. Every major event, from Vietnam, to JFK, to 9-11, and a myriad of others, had US lies baked into the cake. If the US ceased to lie, it would cease to function as America functions today. It would be incapable of empire.

The US establishment, from the President on down, is based on lies. They cannot survive on truth.

No. Nothing is going to change in this regard.

librul , Apr 28 2021 17:48 utc | 15

b ended his post with: " lessen their production of nonsensical claims."

"Nonsensical" misses the mark. They are *agenda-driven* claims.
I don't believe the Generals care one whit whether the spineless jellyfish pols
in other countries see through our lies. The Generals want the Pentagon to
have more participation in shaping the agenda and it's attendant narrative.

m , Apr 28 2021 18:13 utc | 17

The military used to be that part pf the US government apparatus ("deep state") that emphasized the value and importance of allies the most.

IMHO what is happening here is that the generals sense the imcreasing cracks in the US-centered alliance system. They attribute it to the work of the intelligence community, which is certainly a contributing factor, but thr real cause is the relative decline in US power and general unreliability due to political instability. The USA is less and less attractive as a partner. When the generals ask another country for a favour as they had been used to for decades they increasingly often get just questions and excuses in return.

Erelis , Apr 28 2021 20:31 utc | 26

Is this a sign of a struggle between the CIA and Pentagon as to who is the boss of foreign and war policy? Anybody remember when CIA supported jihadists were fighting Pentagon supported groups (were they jihadists?) in Syria. Seems like the Pentagon is the one deciding on relations with the Syrian Kurds, and not the CIA. Flynn was actively helping the Damascus with info about the CIA backed jihadists.

I would rather have the Pentagon win as they are not all that hot-to-trot for actual wars. The CIA should just go back to running US media, law makers, corporation and ruining civil liberties.

K_C_ , Apr 28 2021 22:26 utc | 28

Isn't it safe to assume that *anything* the CIA says publicly, either through direct channels or their co-opted corporate media, is false? Cue the Mike Pimpeo quote: "We lied, we cheated, we stole..." and of course the entire history of that useless agency, lol.

[May 03, 2021] Shhhh, They’re Listening †Inside the Coming Voice-Profiling Revolution

May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. This article confirms my prejudices about the importance of avoiding those spying home assistants at all costs. And it takes a bit of effort to try to thwart financial institutions’ efforts to use your voiceprint as an ID (I tell them they need to note any recording as invalid because I have my assistants get through the phone trees for me, and if they try taking a voiceprint, it won’t be of the right voice. That seems to put them on tilt).

But the notion of using voice patterns to guess at health issues or psychological profiles or product reactions sounds like 21st century phrenology. Although a lot of consultants will rake in a lot of dough selling these unproven schemes.

By Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Media Systems & Industries, University of Pennsylvania. Originally published at The Conversation

You decide to call a store that sells some hiking boots you’re thinking of buying. As you dial in, the computer of an artificial intelligence company hired by the store is activated. It retrieves its analysis of the speaking style you used when you phoned other companies the software firm services. The computer has concluded you are “friendly and talkative.” Using predictive routing, it connects you to a customer service agent who company research has identified as being especially good at getting friendly and talkative customers to buy more expensive versions of the goods they’re considering.

This hypothetical situation may sound as if it’s from some distant future. But automated voice-guided marketing activities like this are happening all the time .

If you hear “This call is being recorded for training and quality control,” it isn’t just the customer service representative they’re monitoring.

It can be you, too.

When conducting research for my forthcoming book, “ The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet ,” I went through over 1,000 trade magazine and news articles on the companies connected to various forms of voice profiling. I examined hundreds of pages of U.S. and EU laws applying to biometric surveillance. I analyzed dozens of patents. And because so much about this industry is evolving, I spoke to 43 people who are working to shape it.

It soon became clear to me that we’re in the early stages of a voice-profiling revolution that companies see as integral to the future of marketing.

Thanks to the public’s embrace of smart speakers, intelligent car displays and voice-responsive phones â€" along with the rise of voice intelligence in call centers â€" marketers say they are on the verge of being able to use AI-assisted vocal analysis technology to achieve unprecedented insights into shoppers’ identities and inclinations. In doing so, they believe they’ll be able to circumvent the errors and fraud associated with traditional targeted advertising.

Not only can people be profiled by their speech patterns, but they can also be assessed by the sound of their voices â€" which, according to some researchers , is unique and can reveal their feelings, personalities and even their physical characteristics.

Flaws in Targeted Advertising

Top marketing executives I interviewed said that they expect their customer interactions to include voice profiling within a decade or so.

Part of what attracts them to this new technology is a belief that the current digital system of creating unique customer profiles â€" and then targeting them with personalized messages, offers and ads â€" has major drawbacks .

A simmering worry among internet advertisers, one that burst into the open during the 2010s , is that customer data often isn’t up to date, profiles may be based on multiple users of a device, names can be confused and people lie.

Advertisers are also uneasy about ad blocking and click fraud , which happens when a site or app uses bots or low-paid workers to click on ads placed there so that the advertisers have to pay up.

These are all barriers to understanding individual shoppers.

Voice analysis, on the other hand, is seen as a solution that makes it nearly impossible for people to hide their feelings or evade their identities.

Building Out the Infrastructure

Most of the activity in voice profiling is happening in customer support centers, which are largely out of the public eye.

But there are also hundreds of millions of Amazon Echoes, Google Nests and other smart speakers out there. Smartphones also contain such technology.

All are listening and capturing people’s individual voices. They respond to your requests. But the assistants are also tied to advanced machine learning and deep neural network programs that analyze what you say and how you say it

Amazon and Google â€" the leading purveyors of smart speakers outside China â€" appear to be doing little voice analysis on those devices beyond recognizing and responding to individual owners. Perhaps they fear that pushing the technology too far will, at this point, lead to bad publicity.

Nevertheless, the user agreements of Amazon and Google â€" as well as Pandora, Bank of America and other companies that people access routinely via phone apps â€" give them the right to use their digital assistants to understand you by the way you sound . Amazon’s most public application of voice profiling so far is its Halo wristband, which claims to know the emotions you’re conveying when you talk to relatives, friends and employers.

The company assures customers it doesn’t use Halo data for its own purposes . But it’s clearly a proof of concept â€" and a nod toward the future.

Patents Point to the Future

The patents from these tech companies offer a vision of what’s coming.

In one Amazon patent , a device with the Alexa assistant picks up a woman’s speech irregularities that imply a cold through using “an analysis of pitch, pulse, voicing, jittering, and/or harmonicity of a user’s voice, as determined from processing the voice data.” From that conclusion, Alexa asks if the woman wants a recipe for chicken soup. When she says no, it offers to sell her cough drops with one-hour delivery.

An Amazon patent depicts a device picking up a woman’s cough â€" and then asking if she wants a recipe for chicken soup. Google Patents

Another Amazon patent suggests an app to help a store salesperson decipher a shopper’s voice to plumb unconscious reactions to products. The contention is that how people sound allegedly does a better job indicating what people like than their words.

And one of Google’s proprietary inventions involves tracking family members in real time using special microphones placed throughout a home. Based on the pitch of voice signatures, Google circuitry infers gender and age information â€" for example, one adult male and one female child â€" and tags them as separate individuals.

The company’s patent asserts that over time the system’s “household policy manager” will be able to compare life patterns, such as when and how long family members eat meals, how long the children watch television, and when electronic game devices are working â€" and then have the system suggest better eating schedules for the kids, or offer to control their TV viewing and game playing.

Seductive Surveillance

In the West, the road to this advertising future starts with firms encouraging users to give them permission to gather voice data. Firms gain customers’ permission by enticing them to buy inexpensive voice technologies.

When tech companies have further developed voice analysis software â€" and people have become increasingly reliant on voice devices â€" I expect the companies to begin widespread profiling and marketing based on voice data. Hewing to the letter if not the spirit of whatever privacy laws exist, the companies will, I expect, forge ahead into their new incarnations, even if most of their users joined before this new business model existed.

This classic bait and switch marked the rise of both Google and Facebook . Only when the numbers of people flocking to these sites became large enough to attract high-paying advertisers did their business models solidify around selling ads personalized to what Google and Facebook knew about their users.

By then, the sites had become such important parts of their users’ daily activities that people felt they couldn’t leave , despite their concerns about data collection and analysis that they didn’t understand and couldn’t control.

This strategy is already starting to play out as tens of millions of consumers buy Amazon Echoes at giveaway prices .

The Dark Side of Voice Profiling

Here’s the catch: It’s not clear how accurate voice profiling is, especially when it comes to emotions.

It is true, according to Carnegie Mellon voice recognition scholar Rita Singh , that the activity of your vocal nerves is connected to your emotional state. However, Singh told me that she worries that with the easy availability of machine-learning packages, people with limited skills will be tempted to run shoddy analyses of people’s voices, leading to conclusions that are as dubious as the methods.

She also argues that inferences that link physiology to emotions and forms of stress may be culturally biased and prone to error. That concern hasn’t deterred marketers, who typically use voice profiling to draw conclusions about individuals’ emotions, attitudes and personalities.

While some of these advances promise to make life easier , it’s not difficult to see how voice technology can be abused and exploited. What if voice profiling tells a prospective employer that you’re a bad risk for a job that you covet or desperately need? What if it tells a bank that you’re a bad risk for a loan? What if a restaurant decides it won’t take your reservation because you sound low class, or too demanding?

Consider, too, the discrimination that can take place if voice profilers follow some scientists’ claims that it is possible to use an individual’s vocalizations to tell the person’s height, weight, race, gender and health.

People are already subjected to different offers and opportunities based on the personal information companies have collected. Voice profiling adds an especially insidious means of labeling. Today, some states such as Illinois and Texas require companies to ask for permission before conducting analysis of vocal, facial or other biometric features.

But other states expect people to be aware of the information that’s collected about them from the privacy policies or terms of service â€" which means they rarely will . And the federal government hasn’t enacted a sweeping marketing surveillance law.

With the looming widespread adoption of voice analysis technology, it’s important for government leaders to adopt policies and regulations that protect the personal information revealed by the sound of a person’s voice.

One proposal: While the use of voice authentication â€" or using a person’s voice to prove their identity â€" could be allowed under certain carefully regulated circumstances, all voice profiling should be prohibited in marketers’ interactions with individuals. This prohibition should also apply to political campaigns and to government activities without a warrant.

That seems like the best way to ensure that the coming era of voice profiling is constrained before it becomes too integrated into daily life and too pervasive to control.


fred , April 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

Very interesting. However, I want Fidelity to use voice printing when I call for banking services. I was impressed when they implemented the technology, and I’m happy they’re using it to identify and prevent bad actors.

lyman alpha blob , April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Until someone gets a small sample of your voice, uses it to create a fake of you, who then asks Fidelity to withdraw all your money â€"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgYPv8tb6A

Moar tech is not going to solve all our problems.

fred , April 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

Very interesting. However, I want Fidelity to use voice printing when I call for banking services. I was impressed when they implemented the technology, and I’m happy they’re using it to identify and prevent bad actors.

lyman alpha blob , April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Until someone gets a small sample of your voice, uses it to create a fake of you, who then asks Fidelity to withdraw all your money â€"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgYPv8tb6A

Moar tech is not going to solve all our problems.

Josef K , April 29, 2021 at 11:00 am

I was thinking of trying to acquire one of those gadgets you see in the crime-oriented moving picture shows that alters the voice to sound deep and harsh. Use it to answer any call from an unknown number. Have a little fun freaking them out (momentarily) while preventing voice profiling. I wonder if there’s an app for that by now…the Kermit setting could be fun too.

.Tom , April 29, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Looks like there are smartphone apps that will change your voice on a phone call. That could be useful. I don’t know if any of them work well.

Ofc that can only help when the listening device is on the other end of a phone call. Not much use when, for example, conversing in person with someone who has a phone that’s listening all the time.

lordkoos , April 29, 2021 at 12:27 pm

There is an effect, the Eventide Harmonizer, that is sometimes used to alter voices (Darth Vader’s voice in Star Wars for example). It’s an expensive audio device mostly used in recording studios, but nowadays I’m sure there is some app that can do similar things.

Gc54 , April 29, 2021 at 4:44 pm

For pc use consider Clownfish Voice Changer. Has DV and many other voices.

Sue inSoCal , April 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

“Don’t get on the ship! That book? It’s a….cookbook!!” Thanks for that; it’s a classic I’ll never forget.

It seems we’ve got weirder stuff now. For whatever reason, those automatic answering programs do not understand me. I’ve found if you get scrappy with them (such as Joseph K suggests babbling some nonsense) they throw up their robotic hands and they get you to a person.

Someone once advised me to shut up through the whole menu thing and they get you to a human. But many companies are on to this. Unfortunately. You may want to stick with insane babbling.

Josef K , April 29, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Yes, silence used to work. Now, sounding like a) a ferinner, b) an oldster without dentures c) someone with special needs, or any other demographic AI can’t handle yet, means that regrettably the human of last resort is going to have to be tasked, and paid. So far, mixing up “aeuieueooeiueoueuoiueuiahh!” with “aeuieuueiahh!” and ““uoiueuiahh!” etc works. So far. Next may have to be Darth Vader voice.

shinola , April 29, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Not so long ago, most people would be outraged if they discovered someone had planted eavesdropping devices in their home. Now some tech. co’s have persuaded people to pay to “bug” themselves!

I have to (grudgingly) admit that’s an amazing bit of marketing/salesmanship.

Mantid , April 29, 2021 at 12:11 pm

A few times over recent years, I’d been prompted by computerized voices to speak slowly and answer prompts such as “What is your destination?”. Even simple prompts had me suspicious as in “Say yes to confirm or no if you would like something else”. In a previous life as an audio engineer, I knew they could analyze the wave form and deduce many things. So, I would gargle, yodel, or sing falsetto my response. I have never put financial or personal information on line and wasn’t about to through audio. At this point, I use a Harmon or cup mute to speak to institutions via the phone.

This sentence from the article gave me a laugh: “it’s important for government leaders to adopt policies and regulations that protect the personal information…..”. No, I think most of us are so enamoured by the new, shiny toys that we have lost our way and have nowhere to turn. My latest bumper sticker idea: “Eschew Convenience”.

Hepativore , April 29, 2021 at 2:57 pm

The problem is, that the companies that have developed these voice-profiling and facial recognition are probably talking to interested parties in the Department of Homeland Security, and it is probably matter of time before the TSA adopts facial recognition and voice scanning as a requirement of flight boarding much like they did with bodyscanners.

I doubt any degree of protest or backlash would be able to change Washington’s mind.

cnchal , April 29, 2021 at 10:41 pm

> Amazon ’s most public application of voice profiling so far is its Halo wristband, which claims to know the emotions you’re conveying when you talk to relatives, friends and employers.

The company assures customers it doesn’t use Halo data for its own purposes . But it’s clearly a proof of concept â€" and a nod toward the future.

Amazon “spokespeople” are lying sacks of shit. Not one word they say has an iota of truth.

Know what else this portends? Moar power sucking data centers to store all the gibberish Amazon, Googlag and the rest of the digital creeps collect. And because they use so much electricity they get it super cheap instead of being charged triple retail to discourage the gargantuan waste. All to sell you moar garbage that you don’t need. What a waste of a STEM education. That’s what so called “data scientists” signed up for?

I’m glad I have no children to suffer in the digital hellhole being built by these creeps.

Brooklin Bridge , April 30, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Naturally I wonder if smart phones and their various apps don’t already do this, not to mention desk and lap tops; all of which are equipped with mikes. And of course Ma Bell and Verizon and on and on get our voices all the time. What are the laws that protect the user from those behemoths? Are what ever is left of privacy laws strong enough to dampen the enthusiasm of companies like Google or Amazon who seem to consider laws like taxes; quaint vestiges of once upon a time nation states?

tegnost , April 30, 2021 at 2:10 pm

yes to this
they’ll do whatever they can’t be actively prevented from doing. If it’s illegal they call it data research then start lobbying congress to write laws to accommodate what ever grift they can mine from the mountain of said data. No need for facial recognition, the camera on your phone has given them a detailed three dimensional you, your location, your habits, and if you like brunettes. I still think back to when the somehow I think it was the nsa revealed googles offshore data shenanigans and am sure google was all “hey, we would have given you all that data! why did you tell everyone we’re collecting it! And now bezos is consulting the pentagon. At this point I truly feel the only thing that could stop the path we’re on is a massive economic crash due to an unexpected event, hurricanes, earthquake or a pandemic that kills lots more people than covid.

[May 03, 2021] Economic policy after the pandemic " Crooked Timber

May 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

Economic policy after the pandemic

by JOHN QUIGGIN on APRIL 30, 2021

I’m racing to get a draft manuscript of The Economic Consequences of the Pandemic , not helped by the fact that Biden keeps doing pretty much what I think he should do. More of the fold. Comments greatly appreciated, as always.

Like Keynes’ Londoner in the aftermath of the Great War, we are emerging from the pandemic into a world where the certitudes of the past have crumbled into dust. Balanced budgets, free trade, credit ratings, financial markets, above all free markets; these ideas have ceased to command any belief.

The failure of these ideas evident since the GFC and, in many respects, since the beginning of the 21st century. It have sunk in gradually as the neoliberal political class formed in the 1980s and 1990s has passed from the scene, replaced by younger people whose experience of financialised capitalism is almost entirely negative.

But it is only with the shock of the pandemic that the thinking of the past has completely lost its grip on the great majority. The absence of any serious resistance to Biden’s stimulus and infrastructure package reflects the fact that hardly anyone seriously believes the old verities of balanced budgets and free markets

Yet the fundamental realities of economic life remain unchanged. We can collectively consume or invest what we produce, nothing more and nothing less. And our productive capacity is constrained by resources and technology, as it always has been. One way or another we need to decide what goods and services will be produced and who will get to consume them.

What has changed is that the economic system we have used to allocate resources and investments for the last forty years is no longer fit for purpose. Financial markets are not repositories of wisdom and market discipline; rather they are, in Keynes words, gambling houses where ‘enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation.’ And as Keynes said ‘When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.’.

Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.

How should we respond? The answer must be a combination of past, present and future. First, we need to look at the institutions of the 20th century Golden Age, and ask which can be revived and refurbished to address our current problems. Second, we must consider what elements of the neoliberal era are worth saving. Finally we must consider our future options in a world unlike anything that has come before.

The first step must be to look back at the institutions of the postwar Golden Age. Not all of these will turn out to be useful in our current situation, and some were inappropriate even at the time they operated. Nevertheless, taken all in all, the mixed economy of the mid-20th century worked much better than the system of financialised capitalism that prevailed in the era of neoliberalism.

Most of the policy program announced by the Biden Administration can be understood as a return to Golden Age policies wound back or abandoned in the neoliberal era. Examples include explicit support for unions, investment in physical infrastructure, partial repeal of the 2017 tax cuts, and free community college.

Unions, progressive taxes, expanding education â€" the case for all of these is as strong or stronger as it was in the aftermath of the Great Wars. Similarly, the need for public investment in physical infrastructure, after years of neglect, is evident. Biden’s measures so far are steps in the right direction, but much more remains to be done.

The innovations of the neoliberal era have mostly been negative. But there have been some positive developments. The movement towards racial and gender equality, which began in the 1960s continued, if slowly and with occasional reversals, through the neoliberal area. And some more specifically neoliberal policy innovations such as the earned income credit and emissions taxes have been value. Similarly, while most financial innovations have been harmful, there have been exceptions such as the rise of venture capital.

Looking to the future, the shift from an industrial to an information economy requires fundamentally new approaches to economics. We are still at the beginning of understanding what is needed here; but it is already obvious that the combination of financialized capitalism and Big Tech is not working out well as a solution.

GM and Google

The archetypal product of the 20th century industrial economy was the motor car, the archetypal technology was the production line and the archetypal firm was General Motors. Each car that rolled off GM’s production line embodied a set of physical and labour inputs; steel for the body, parts supplied by a network of subcontractors, the work of a large body of skilled and semi-skilled workers. Dealers and finance providers distributed the cars to buyers, who then owned and uses the products. Our thinking about how an economy works still reflects this model.

A 20th century firm like General Motors can easily be understood in terms of the economic categories of mainstream classical and neoclassical economists, beginning with Adam Smith. The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP, was developed to deal with such firms.

But consider a firm like Google. Google doesn’t produce a physical good1; it doesn’t even generate the information that is at the core of its business. Rather, it indexes the information generated by others, with or without their permission, then allows users to search those indexes, with advertising attached.

Google doesn’t fit at all comfortably into the categories of traditional economics. Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it. This hasn’t stopped Google making massive profits, or attaining a stratospheric market valuation. On the other hand, it is far from obvious that this is the best way of making the information resources of the Internet available to everyone.

1 Except for a relatively modest business producing tablet computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Tim Worstall 04.30.21 at 12:39 pm ( 1 )

This is true:

“Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.â€

This connects with this:

“The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP,â€

At which point we’ve a certain problem using measures like GDP to discuss the success and or failure of neoliberalism or even financialised capitalism. Because we’re already insisting that the archetypal firms of the neoliberal era aren’t well measured by GDP.

So insistences that growth was faster back in that Golden Age and so on become a little more difficult. So too insistences that living standards rose faster and all that.

We also end up with difficulties over something like this:

“Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.â€

OK, Facebook, monopoly and all that. But increases in productivity? WhatsApp. You can talk to 1 billion people for free. OK, people might not say very much but still. There’s nothing of this in GDP â€" there’s no fee nor even advertising. Last time I asked Facebook about this they said “couple of hundred engineers†work on this. So, we’ve the costs of a couple of hundred engineers â€" $100 million including stock awards and office space? â€" in the national accounts. We’ve no corresponding output. This is a reduction in productivity.

But we’ve 1 billion people getting telecoms for free and this is a reduction in productivity?

Precisely because you’re saying that GDP doesn;t measure all this new economy stuff well it becomes very difficult to insist that this new economy stuff hasn;t worked well if the measure is going to be GDP…..

John Quiggin 05.01.21 at 12:35 am ( 2 )

That’s a problem with posting extracts. I’m well aware of these points and will deal with them. No time to respond in detail now, as I need to submit ASAP.

J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (no link)

Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.

So from this point of view Google’s product is already priced in the price of the stuff that is sold after being advertised through Google (directly or indirectly).

The people who pay money to Google are the advertisers. What they are paying Google for is advertising space. So Google’s product is advertising space. They create advertising space and sell it. Advertising space generally has a price. It is the price paid by advertisers to whomever it is that provides the advertisers with the advertising space. That’s not something new. It works for Google the same way it works, for example, for commercial free-to-air television and radio broadcasters. Their viewers and listeners are not the people who pay them for their product (just as Google users are not the people who pay Google); the advertisers are the people who pay them, and they pay them for the use of the advertising space which they have produced.

likbez 05.02.21 at 3:45 am (no link)

@J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (5)

So Google’s product is advertising space.

No only. Google was/is an integral part of PRISM. So mass surveillance is probably another major product and like Facebook it has several “facesâ€. With one is being a government sponsored surveillance company with Gmail and Android as the major franchises.

Any site that have Google advertisement can be considered as monitored by Google as Google essentially replicates Web logs via its advertising inserts. In this sense Google is an essential part of NSA.

They now try to diversify and get some foothold in the cloud but that’s also fit surveillance company profile.

All is all the old question “Is Google evil?†is an interesting one. IMHO it needs to be split into several companies.

>

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[Apr 27, 2021] Bounties- What Bounties

Notable quotes:
"... When truth is marginalized, the fringe is the only place where it’s to be found. ..."
Apr 27, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org

When truth is marginalized, the fringe is the only place where it’s to be found.

So it looks like Russia didn’t pay the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers after all.

Last summer, the New York Times announced in a front-page story that “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants killing coalition forces in Afghanistan â€" including targeting American troops.â€

The article rang with certainty. “Some officials have theorized that the Russians may be seeking revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria in which the American military killed several hundred pro-Syrian forces, including numerous Russian mercenaries,†it said. The operation, it went on, appears to be “the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the GRU. … Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination.â€

This was red meat for congressional Democrats eager to tar Trump with whatever brush was at hand. Nancy Pelosi issued a call to arms, declaring: “Congress and the country need answers now.†Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer adopted a tone of mock disbelief: “Russia gives bounties to kill Americans and the administration does nothing? Nothing? Donald Trump, you’re not being a very strong president here as usual.†Joe Biden called the report “horrifying†and said “there is no bottom to the depth of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s depravity if it’s true.â€

Except that it isn’t true now that we know that U.S. intelligence agencies, according to the White House, view the report with only “low to moderate confidence†â€" which, in layman’s language, either means that it could be true â€" kind of, sort of, maybe â€" or that it’s pure baloney. In any event, it’s hardly reason to accus a sitting president of “a betrayal of every single American family with a loved one serving in Afghanistan or anywhere overseas,†as Biden did the day after the story broke.

Charlie Savage, whose byline appears on a number of last summer’s pieces, offered a series of mealy-mouthed excuses for how he and his fellow Times reporters managed to get it so wrong. “Former intelligence officials … have noted that it is rare in the murky world of intelligence to have courtroom levels of proof beyond a reasonable doubt about what an adversary is covertly doing,†he said . He described the original intelligence findings as “muddied†because a key figure in the alleged plot “had fled to Russia â€" possibly while using a passport linked to a Russian spy agency.â€

So it isn’t the Times’s or the CIA’s fault, you see â€" it’s merely a hazard of the trade. But isn’t it’s curious how words like “murky†and “muddied†never cropped up last summer when the Times was busily egging Democrats on with stories charging that the bounties had led to “at least one U.S. troop death†or maybe even three ? “Father of Slain Marine Finds Heartbreak Anew in Possible Russian Bounty,†a Times headline declared. “American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account,†another claimed .

All of which was nonsense, as is now clear. Yet not only has the Times failed to apologize but White House spokesman Jen Psaki managed to spin the story last week so that it’s still Moscow’s fault and “there are [still] questions to be answered by the Russian government.â€

Although the corporate media dutifully echoed the Times, a few skeptics did get it right. Ray McGovern, an ex-CIA official who now heads a group calling itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, called the story “dubious†right off the bat. Scott Ritter, the ex-UN weapons inspector who blew the cover off charges that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was bristling with weapons of mass destruction, wrote that “there is no corroboration, nothing that would allow this raw ‘intelligence’ to be turned into a product worthy of the name.†Caitlin Johnstone, who covers U.S. politics from Australia yet still does a better job of it than most stateside reporters, denounced the entire affair as a “malignant psyop,†adding: “It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the western world will uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.â€

Then there’s someone named Dan Lazare who had pointed out a few obvious facts in Strategic Culture a few days after the supposed Times scoop came out:

“But the report doesn’t even make sense. Not only have the Taliban been at war with the United States since 2001, they’re winning. So why should Russia pay them to do what they’ve been happily doing on their own for close to two decades? Contrary to what the Times wants us to believe, there’s no evidence that Russia backs the Taliban or wants the U.S. to leave with its tail between its legs. Quite the opposite as a quick glance at a map will attest. Given that Afghanistan abuts the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan and is less than a thousand miles from Chechnya, where Russia fought a brutal war against Sunni Islamist separatists in 1999-2000, the last thing it wants is a Muslim fundamentalist republic in the heart of Central Asia.â€

The fact that the New York doesn’t even consider†the broad geopolitical backdrop, the article added, “makes its reporting seem all the more dubious†â€" words that are as appropriate now as they were then.

None of this matters, however, because Strategic Culture, it turns out, is “controlled by Russian intelligence†and publishes “fringe voices and conspiracy theories.†Yes, that’s what the Times says , and its source, as usual, is nothing more than unnamed U.S. government sources whispering in its ear. But if Strategic Culture is so marginal, how is it that it got the story right while the Times’s own conspiracy tales turned out to be false?

When truth is marginalized, the fringe is the only place where it’s to be found.

[Apr 27, 2021] The CIA Used to Infiltrate the Media " Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Daily Beast ..."
"... The Daily Beast ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix ..."
"... Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
"... This article was re-published with permission. ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of ..."
"... Consortium News. ..."
Apr 27, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

The CIA Used to Infiltrate the Media April 20, 2021 Save

Now the CIA is the media. This isn’t Operation Mockingbird, writes Caitlin Johnstone. It’s much worse.

(Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

B ack in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called Bountygate story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

“One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed ‘intelligence officials’) say today that it was a CIA claim,†Greenwald tweeted . “So media outlets â€" again â€" repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all.â€

Indeed, the NYT’s original story made no mention of CIA involvement in the narrative, citing only “officials,†yet this latest article speaks as though it had been informing its readers of the story’s roots in the lying, torturing , drug-running , warmongering Central Intelligence Agency from the very beginning. The author even writes “The New York Times first reported last summer the existence of the C.I.A.’s assessment,†with the hyperlink leading to the initial article which made no mention of the CIA. It wasn’t until later that The New York Times began reporting that the CIA was looking into the Russian bounties allegations at all.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382793565714153472&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This would be the same “Russian bounties†narrative which was discredited all the way back in September when the top U.S. military official in Afghanistan said no satisfactory evidence had surfaced for the allegations, which was further discredited today with a new article by The Daily Beast titled “ U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops .“

The Daily Beast , which has itself uncritically published many articles promoting the CIA “Bountygate†narrative, reports the following:

“It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game†in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate†confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unprovenâ€"and possibly untrue.â€

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382769897420296194&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

So the mass media aggressively promoted a CIA narrative that none of them ever saw proof of, because there was no proof, because it was an entirely unfounded claim from the very beginning. They quite literally ran a CIA press release and disguised it as a news story.

This allowed the CIA to throw shade and inertia on Trump’s proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Germany, and to continue ramping up anti-Russia sentiments on the world stage , and may well have contributed to the fact that the agency will officially be among those who are exempt from Biden’s performative Afghanistan “withdrawal.â€

In totalitarian dictatorships, the government spy agency tells the news media what stories to run, and the news media unquestioningly publish it. In free democracies, the government spy agency says “Hoo buddy, have I got a scoop for you!†and the news media unquestioningly publish it.

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “ The CIA and the Media †reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media is meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on U.S. intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol.

Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans such as John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC’s Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382777804014641152&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This isn’t Operation Mockingbird. It’s so much worse. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA doing something to the media. What we are seeing now is the CIA openly acting as the media. Any separation between the CIA and the news media, indeed even any pretence of separation, has been dropped.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Democracy has no meaningful existence if people’s votes are cast without a clear understanding of what’s happening in their nation and their world. When their understanding is being shaped to suit the agendas of the very government they’re meant to be influencing with their votes, what you have is the most powerful military and economic force in the history of civilization with no accountability to the electorate whatsoever. It’s just an immense globe-spanning power structure, doing whatever it wants to whoever it wants. A totalitarian dictatorship in disguise.

And the CIA is the very worst institution that could possibly be spearheading the movements of that dictatorship. A little research into the many, many horrific things the CIA has done over the years will quickly show you that this is true; hell, just a glance at what the CIA was up to with the Phoenix Program in Vietnam will.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382856410443186179&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

There’s a common delusion in our society that depraved government agencies who are known to have done evil things in the past have simply stopped doing evil things for some reason. This belief is backed by zero evidence, and is contradicted by mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for literally no other reason.

The CIA should not exist at all, let alone control the news media, much less the movements of the US empire. May we one day know a humanity that is entirely free from the rule of psychopaths, from our total planetary behavior as a collective, all the way down to the thoughts we think in our own heads.

May we extract their horrible fingers from every aspect of our being.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her new book, Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix , and her other books: Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Wiffle , April 22, 2021 at 17:36

Go to any platform and 98% of commentators’ “opinions†are exact duplicates of what the unholy intel/press partnership has trained them to say.


Hot Dog
, April 21, 2021 at 19:00

Douglas Adams, brilliant author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, invented the Infinite Improbability Drive to cross vast intersteller distances in a mere nothingth of a second without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace. Following in his footsteps I adopted the Infinite Improbability Filter, which I use to parse every statement from governments. I recommend it. Afghans have to be paid by Russians to shoot the invaders and occupiers of their country ?? Infinitely improbable. Saddam Hussein had nuclear bombs in aluminum tubes that he could fly over US cities ?? ?? Infinitely improbable. A bunch of guys in a cave can knock down a skyscraper in Manhattan ?? Infinitely improbable. Joe Biden will put an end to war ?? ?? Infinitely improbable. The USA is spreading democracy in oil producing nations ??? Infinitely improbable. Russia won the 2016 election ??? Infinitely improbable. The CIA are the good guys ??? Infinitely improbable. Believe the corporate media ??? ??? Infinitely improbable. (hXXp://www.earthstar.co.uk/drive.htm). RIP Adams.

Rex Williams , April 21, 2021 at 18:52

“Drug-running�

Well done, Caitlin.First time I have seen any indication of that in the media and even I have known about it for a decade. Not just drug-running, but the world control of heroin. Australian soldiers filling in the role of protector of the crops in Afghanistan and also killing innocent civilians, a matter now under investigation but proven already.

Thankfully, when you list the past members of that infamous group and the controlling role they enjoy in today’s media, one should not forget the contributions made by many ex-CIA personnel seen on the pages of Consortium News and what a valuable contribution they have made to this publication. Many thanks to them.

I am sure that there will be many comments on this subject today.

rosemerry , April 21, 2021 at 15:22

Using the word “intelligence†for the nonsense that the USA collects and tries to get us to believe is pathetic!! Use your brains, US people and do not assume that because YOUR leaders want to attack and destroy designated enemies all over the globe,that other people are just like you. You are NOT in existential danger from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea- YOU are the ones doing the threatening, the attacking, the lying, the sanctions, the offensive descriptions of leaders with no attempt to be diplomatic and certainly no effort to understand the points of view of anyone outside your little circle of “élite†elected or appointed or bought rich men and women living in the Cold War years and educated into violent hatred of anyone different.


robert e williamson jr
, April 22, 2021 at 12:54

Hot Dog, I could not agree more, but Hot Damn there is more so much more. Is it possible that the revelations in this book I discuss might free Julian? The book proves miss use of secrecy classifications that were used to cover up an act of executive action with extreme prejudice

The pivotal events that allow the re-opening of the JFK murder case are exposed in Josiah Thompson’s “LAST SECOND IN DALLASâ€.

Like I have stated already please don’t take my word for this. Read the book thanks to the Zapruder film and the recordings taken that day of police radios being still of a quality to allow top notch analysis of them, irrefutable evidence has been verified. The story of facts have changed the nature of what we now know to be true. Facts that are provided with their mathematical proof.

If you believe in science, especially science as pursued in this investigation by individuals of exculpatory character and honesty you will learn the latest scientific interpretations of the evidence analysis.

Something that, as it turn out cannot be said about the Ramsey Panel.

Thompson’s investigation has neutered the Warren Commission and other various government attempts, see the House Select Committee effort and the Ramsey Panel’s efforts to cover up the truth.

This results in exposing the lies the CIA committed to trying to cover up their involvement. Lies ironically exposed by individuals investigating the murder, lies discovered in part by the release of JFK documents in 2017. Why did CIA lie from day one, Nov. 22,1963?

DECLASSIFY, DECLASSIFY, DECLASSIFY, Jimm you got it, and the curtain has been pulled back slightly if not more by this investigation.

Time for all to pressure CIA for the truth.

Thanks CN
PEACE


Anonymot
, April 21, 2021 at 10:11

Yes, excellent about the media, but there’s a far greater importance than that; the CIA IS, yes IS the American government. Certainly, it manages the public through its controlling influence on the MSM, but its controlling interest in foreign affairs has been followed by its creeping increasingly into the domestic field, also. It has been fighting for supremacy over both the State Department and the FBI for years and won the former hands down via the Bush and Obama years. Hillary at the State Department was the CIA’s dream! The devastation that followed, from the burning of everything from Libya to the Ukraine was their wildest wishes come true.

Trump ran on the idea that the intelligence agencies were too invasive and he battled with them from the beginning, but the CIA knows where everyone’s skeletons are hidden and Trump has a pile of them. What the CIA then did was point out to him that he had little room to squiggle or they would put him in jeopardy. As a sop, they allowed him to spend four years not hating Russia and instead, hating China, climate change, the EU, etc. while he allowed them to dictate what the CIA wanted done domestically, pipelines, the border, etc. That made them tower over the FBI.

Now that the CIA helped dump Trump with their media control, they are back in the saddle with Biden, Russia, the CIA’s favorite target for WW III, is back on the front burner with its usual hocus pocus stories about the Ukraine, Iran is heating up and so is China.
But America is now the mosquito attacking the elephant and the CIA with all of its ignorance and incompetence is back, leading the dance with their partners in the military and the military industrial complex.

It will be great fun to go out with a bang.

Philip Reed , April 21, 2021 at 10:08

Whatever happened to Carl Bernstein? Where is that guy from Watergate and Mockingbird? Now turned into a CNN shill.
Sad. Thanks Caitlin for reiterating what most of us know but always needs your persistent clarification.
Just a short beef with your article. Why did you feel it necessary to include Tucker in your list of CIA connected media personalities? Especially based on a link to an article that was an obvious hit piece on Tucker. Tucker has morphed into one of the only MSM personalities who attacks hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle. He reports on subjects that none of the other corporate media outlets won’t touch out of pure political felty to the Democratic Party. He used to take sides years ago. No longer the case. He often has Glenn Greenwald on in recent times and they are obviously simpatico with each other. Give Tucker a break Caitlin. He’s the only one on MS corporate media who dares to deviate from the “ chosen narrative “.

Stevie Boy , April 21, 2021 at 08:02

Unfortunately, this is also true of all the members of the ‘Five Eyes’ sewer.
In the UK, MI6, MI5, GCHQ and the other related institutions infest the MSM. The BBC and the Guardian being two obvious direct mouthpieces for the security services. And, the CIA run their operations directly out of RAF bases (Eg. Anne Sacoolas and her husband).
During the World Wars, the security services maybe had a legitimate role in fighting obvious enemies. However, now we are the enemy !
Can this sewer ever be drained ?


Donald Duck
, April 21, 2021 at 06:19

A slow-burning coup has been emerging in the West since the 1990s.; it is now reaching its full fruition. Political parties, the MSM, the military and spook organisations, state and corporate bureaucracies, a trillionaire class, film and entertainment industries have congealed into a massive technocratic centrist blob. Orthodox politics and ideology is now a thing of the past. These now are the controlling force behind a quasi-religious narrative that now seems unassailable. Where this is taking us in anybody’s guess. Maybe into the eugenicist Brave New World or of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s dystopian novel ‘We’ first published in 1924.

Well we’d better wake up soon, or we are not going to wake up at all.

John Hagan , April 21, 2021 at 03:32

Tumour: A ‘body’ can be 99 percent healthy yet one cancerous cell can cause much damage growing into a tumour. Although it realizes that by destroying the very body it feeds on it is also destroying itself yet that end does not prevent its greed for reproduction. Most US citizens are well aware where the tumour lies and its progress.
For those who have the interest I made a short video illustrating the thesis above regarding the possibility that US is suffering a malignant tumour in three areas.The three areas are the war machine, wall street, education. It can be found on YouTube. John Hagan.

Dave , April 20, 2021 at 21:17

Ms Johnstone is spot on, as usual. The CIA â€" aka the Christian Investment Authority â€" is no longer needed. Of course, it never was needed, given that the USA taxpayer funds more than fifteen other “intelligence†agencies, including State Dept. intelligence, the FBI, the various military intelligence groups, etc. The CIA was from its beginning an extra-legal, law-breaking, and often illegal operative group representing the filth, the sleaze of America’s corporate and banking empires. If the CIA is defunded, don’t worry about its work force. They will re-emerge in the media, the think-tanks, the corporate bureaucracies, the military-industrial complex, and foreign government sinecures. Anyway, good riddance to bad rubbish…at least an honest and responsible American can hope the CIA is disbanded as soon as possible.

S.P. Korolev , April 22, 2021 at 04:17

Haven’t heard that acronym before, excellent! My favourite is ‘Capitalism’s Invisible Army’…


[Apr 24, 2021] The State-Corporate Convergence In Our State Of Emergency - ZeroHedge

Apr 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The enrollment of corporations in the scheme to vaccinate the population and to require such vaccinations for social participation should not be considered in terms of the prerogatives of private organizations but as part of the incursions of the state into private industry. What we are witnessing, and should be resisting, is a merger into a corporate-government complex, wherein government can bypass the legislative branch and enforce unpopular mandates by colluding with corporations and other organizations to make "policy."

Perhaps the most egregious element of this corporate-state stranglehold on the population is the participation of Big Digital and the mainstream media. Big Digital conglomerates eliminate media outlets and voices that challenge the official covid narrative, including information about lockdowns, masking, and vaccinations, although the official narrative has not only changed willy-nilly but also has been proven factually wrong, as well as socially devastating. Big Digital and the media serve both the state and Big Pharma by eliminating oppositional views regarding the lockdowns, masks, and vaccines, and by pushing fear-inducing propaganda about the virus and its ever-proliferating variants.

As I have written in Google Archipelago , Big Digital must be considered an agent of a leftist authoritarian state -- as a " governmentality " or state apparatus functioning on behalf and as part of the state itself. "Governmentality" is a term that should become well known in the coming days and weeks. I adopted the term from Michel Foucault and have emended it to refer to corporations and other nonstate actors who actively undertake state functions. These actors will be doing this in droves with vaccine passports, which will vastly augment state power under a state-corporate alliance.

Similarly, other major corporations perform state-sanctioned roles by echoing and enforcing state-approved ideologies, policies, and politics: indoctrinating employees, issuing woke advertisements, policing the opinions of workers, firing dissidents, and soon demanding vaccine passports from employees and customers.

The overall tendency, then, is toward corporate-state monopolization over all aspects of life, with increasing control by approved principals over information and opinion, economic production, and the political sphere. As the consolidation accelerates, the broad global state will require the elimination of noncompliant, disaffected, and "untrustworthy" economic and political actors. In the United States, with the elimination of political opposition, the tendency is toward uniparty rule, and with it, the merging of the party and state into a singular organ.
play_arrow


PGR88 2 hours ago (Edited)

The only way the fascist deep state ends is with a currency collapse. That could be effected immediately - arrest the members of the Federal Reserve. Without a printed, fiat dollar, and the illusion that $30 Trillion in debt will repaid - the leftist, DC deep state collapses immediately.

BDB 13 hours ago remove link

The US govt is a corporation.

We as a central banking nation have an economic and political monopoly that is trying really hard to maintain fascist control.All the big multinationals are owned by the banksters too.

Psyop covID19 and man's co2 emissions causes climate change are both lies pushing a political agenda

https://notpublicaddress.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/how-to-create-your-own-novel-virususing-computer-software/

trailer park boys 12 hours ago

" Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Benito Mussolini

HonorSeeker 11 hours ago (Edited)

Under Fascism, the government wrote the rules. Under our corporatist system, it's the corporations. At least that's what I would say the difference is.

DesertEagle 9 hours ago

We're under the boot heel of billionaire oligarchs and big corporations that are their handmaidens. They are toxic and will never take their boot off of our neck unless they are forced to.

[Apr 24, 2021] Top US Banks Deploy AI Surveillance To Monitor Customers, Workers

Apr 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Several US banks have employed AI surveillance systems as a big-brother-type instrument to analyze customer preferences, monitor workers, and even detect nefarious activities near/at ATMs, according to a dozen banking and technology sources who spoke with Reuters .

Sources said City National Bank of Florida, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Wells Fargo & Co are conducting trials of AI surveillance systems which offers a rare view into what could soon become standard for corporate America.

Bobby Dominguez, the chief information security officer at City National, told Reuters the bank would begin to "leverage" facial recognition technology to identify customers at teller machines and employees at branches. The trial will be conducted at 31 sites and include high-tech software that could spot people on government watch lists.

In Ohio, JPMorgan is already conducting AI surveillance trials at a small number of branches. Wells Fargo wouldn't discuss its use of AI technology to monitor customers and employees.

The corporate world is quickly embracing the effectiveness and sophistication of these systems after governments such as China, the UK, Germany, Japan, and the US have used AI surveillance to track their citizens and non-nationals for years.

"We're never going to compromise our clients' privacy," Dominguez said. "We're getting off to an early start on technology already used in other parts of the world and that is rapidly coming to the American banking network."

As early as 2019, JPMorgan began evaluating the potential of AI surveillance systems to analyze archived footage from Chase branches in New York and Ohio.

"Testing facial recognition to identify clients as they walk into a Chase bank, if they consented to it, has been another possibility considered to enhance their experience," a current employee involved in the project told Reuters.

Another source said a Midwestern credit union last year tested facial recognition for client identification at four locations before terminating the program over cost concerns.

City National's Dominguez said the bank's branches use computer vision to detect suspicious activity outside.

Given the current state of AI surveillance and the speed of development, top banks are already testing these surveillance tools in various forms. Despite a potential backlash from the public, an Orwellian dystopia via AI surveillance will be fully embraced by corporate America in the coming years.

It was the virus pandemic that allowed the surveillance state to expand across the government and corporations rapidly. We're being tracked more than ever.

[Apr 19, 2021] No one fact check's the claims made by the intelligent agencies

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ~attributed to Voltair
Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Dennis18 , Apr 19 2021 19:13 utc | 25

No one fact check's the claims made by the intelligent agencies. Bernie was told the Russians wanted him to win the election and he jump right in the laps of the liars. Trump knew more before he was president than he did once he was elected. That is why General Flynn was removed under false charges. He knew what was what. I remember the head of the CIA told Trump that the Russian has killed ducks and poison children. Trump fell for the lie hook line and casino
Now we have a president that has mental issues and already believes the Russian are dirty What could go wrong?

[Apr 19, 2021] It's not only that USians are unaware of much of what's happening in other countries, it's the fact they are completly misinformed and misled about current events in foreign countries and deliberatly so

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

norecovery , Apr 17 2021 20:23 utc | 25

@ pnyx -- It's not only that USians are unaware of much of what's happening in other countries, it's the fact they are misinformed and misled about current events by propaganda. This is also the case in Europe because their MSM also have been co-opted by the coordinated Intelligence Apparatus (CIA - MI6 - FiveEyes) that controls the flow of information in the U.S. MSM. We are witnessing censorship/control of Social Media, Search Engines, and formerly independent websites as well.

This is an all-out effort of Class War. One aspect of this is to broadcast a hidden personal message that if I feel oppressed, "it must be my own fault" because "success" supposedly is within everyone's grasp (note the emphasis on celebrity 'culture').

[Apr 19, 2021] McEnany torches liberal media's 'heinous' coverage of Russia bounty story - YouTube

Apr 19, 2021 | www.youtube.com


Rickey Johnson , 2 days ago

They investigated Trump with no evidence when Biden had evidence against him but would not be investigated

Captain_ Shredder , 1 day ago

"All I want to say is that they don't really care about us" - Michael Jackson

Abdul Jabars , 1 day ago

Apologize will come flowing thru today..... You're out of your mind if you think any of them will apologize for this cause they knew what they were doing

FactsNotFeelings , 1 day ago

i got to say i love how when Kayley isn't talking, she has that very intense look on her face of listening and paying attention of what others are saying that is so dang cute. Got to love the most beast press secretary of all times! Im glad to see her on fox semi regularly now.

Guru of Love , 1 day ago

She can't get enough of fighting the gall because there is so much of it. It's vexing. Good for her.

Alabama Mothman , 2 days ago

There is literally NO agency in our government that supports the American People.

Mark H , 22 hours ago

Anything they can say to deflect from their incompetence and lies, lies upon lies to deflect from the lies. Wow, it makes my head hurt.

Malone Mantooth , 1 day ago

When are "news" companies going to start being held accountable? They are the number one agitators of the U.S right now.

Greg Marchegiani , 1 day ago

Kaley is articulated and concise, on point, because what she says is the product of her own intellect, not a script well studied (Psaki). That the core of the difference in my opinion.

[Apr 19, 2021] What Does Google Do With My Data

Apr 19, 2021 | www.avast.com

More than most companies today, Google understands that information is power. But how much does Google know about you? Here, we'll unpack Google's privacy policy, so that you know what data gets tracked, how Google uses your data, and how to manage your online privacy. How_Google_uses_your_data-Hero

If you use a Google service or product (and you probably do), it's important to educate yourself about how Google uses your data so you can make smart, informed decisions that keep you in control of your privacy. Every step you take, every purchase you make -- Google could be watching you.

This article contains:

Is Google really spying on me?

The simple answer is yes: Google collects data about how you use its devices, apps, and services. This ranges from your browsing behavior, Gmail and YouTube activity, location history, Google searches, online purchases, and more. Basically, anything that's connected to Google is likely used to collect data on your activity and preferences.

Many people have questions about Google collecting data and how it gathers information. In particular, people worry about voice-activated products like Google Home and Google Assistant being used to listen to more than just requests to buy toilet paper or play music in the living room.

Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see.

While the security risks of smart home devices are real, Google using your home assistant to record your private conversations isn't one of them. You might feel like you're being spied on, but the reality is that Google sees only the information you have voluntarily entered or allowed them to access .

It's tempting to cast Google as a villain in this scenario, but Google data collection isn't unique. Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see. Still, it might surprise you how much data Google actually tracks and the less obvious ways it keeps tabs on you.

Why does Google want my data?

You might be thinking, "Fine, Google knows a lot about me. But what does Google do with my data?" According to Google, they use all this data to deliver better services, make improvements, and customize your experience . In other words, all this information helps Google make its services more useful for you.

With data about your behavior and preferences, Google can deliver better, more personalized services. Google uses data about your behavior and preferences to deliver better or more personalized services.

Of course, there's a very thin line between useful and creepy -- and sometimes businesses make the mistake of taking it too far by hoovering up excessive amounts of data. For many companies, more data collection means more profit. Here are a few ways in which Google data collection can impact your digital lifestyle.

Targeted advertising

With all the data Google gathers about you -- across all of its platforms, services, products, and devices -- it can build a detailed advertising profile, including your gender, age range, job industry, and interests. This helps them use targeted advertising to serve you Google ads that align with your personal tastes.

Let's say you search for a place to rent skis. Afterward, you start seeing ads for related products like ski jackets on other websites you visit around the web -- these are targeted ads . If you want to see what Google thinks it knows about you, you can go to your Google account settings , click on Data & personalization in the left navigation panel, and view your advertising profile.

Location tracking

Where you go, Google goes. Whether you're looking for the quickest way to get to a meeting, searching for a nearby cafe, or trying to find the closest bus stop, Google uses your location to offer personalized suggestions that are more relevant to your situation. For instance, maybe you'd like to see a movie after work. If you search Google for listings, you might see the showtimes for movies playing at theaters close to your office.

Improving usability

The more data, the better the quality of the service. Google uses all the data it collects to improve usability -- and your information alone can't do all the work. Google also analyzes billions of other people's data across different apps to make its services more useful for everyone.

For example, when you use Google Maps (or Waze -- yes, it's also part of the Google family), your location is anonymously sent back to Google and combined with data from people around you to create a picture of current traffic patterns. Have you ever been rerouted around an accident or a traffic jam while driving? You can thank your data and all the data from the people driving around you.

Tweaking algorithms

Google's search algorithms -- the rules that determine the results you see and the order they're listed in -- are continually changing. In 2019, the company reported more than 3,500 improvements to Google search -- that's an average of nearly 10 every day.

Google uses data about what people search for, what results are relevant, and the quality of the content and sources to determine the results you see. And their engineers adjust and refine Google's search algorithms to make searching on Google more useful , such as generating useful featured content snippets from relevant third-party websites to provide quick answers to questions right at the top of the search results page.

Trendspotting and analysis

Your search results also power Google Trends , a Google website that tracks and analyzes the top search queries across services like Google Search, YouTube, and more. You can see the most popular search terms from multiple countries and languages, helping you discover the latest trends, topics, and stories across different regions and over different time periods.

To be clear, no one outside of Google (and maybe even no one inside) truly knows how this data is processed and used. But they don't hide what they collect and how they do it. Google's privacy policy is written clearly and easy to understand.

... ... ...

[Apr 12, 2021] Google's Secret 'Project Bernanke' Revealed in Texas Antitrust Case

Apr 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

By Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey Updated April 11, 2021 11:41 am ET

Listen to this article 6 minutes 00:00 / 05:50 1x

Google for years operated a secret program that used data from past bids in the company's digital advertising exchange to allegedly give its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors, according to court documents filed in a Texas antitrust lawsuit.

The program, known as "Project Bernanke," wasn't disclosed to publishers who sold ads through Google's ad-buying systems. It generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the company annually, the documents show. In its lawsuit, Texas alleges that the project gave Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOG 0.90% an unfair competitive advantage over rivals.

Google's Ad Machine
Online ads are typically sold in auctions that happen in an instant, when a user's webpage is loading. Google dominates at virtually every step of the process. In an antitrust lawsuit, Texas alleges that Google's secret "Project Bernanke" allowed the company to use knowledge it gained running its ad exchange to unfairly compete against rivals. Here's how the digital advertising machine works:

THE SELL SIDE: PUBLISHERS

AD SPACE

FOR SALE

When a user visits a large online publisher's website or app, the publisher uses an ad server to sell ad space on its pages.

The publisher also gives the exchange information about the reader -- their age, income, browsing history and interests, for example.

In this example, the publisher uses Google's DoubleClick for Publishers, the leading ad-serving tool.

The tool puts the publisher's ad space up for sale on exchanges , marketplaces where transactions happen in real-time between sellers ( publishers ) and buyers ( advertisers ).

REAL-TIME

AUCTION HOUSES

Google has the largest such marketplace, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, or AdX.

THE BUY SIDE: ADVERTISERS

An advertiser, representing its clients' products, uses sophisticated buying tools to purchase ads.

In this example, an advertiser uses Google's buying tool, DV360, the industry leader.

The advertiser can specify the types of audiences it wants to target -- such as location, gender or age of user -- and the price of their offer.

To get its ad in front of the user, the advertiser places bids in the auction marketplace -- the highest bidder wins.

Once a match is made on the exchange, an ad pops up on users' screens.

The documents filed this week were part of Google's initial response to the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit , which was filed in December and accused the search company of running a digital-ad monopoly that harmed both ad-industry competitors and publishers. This week's filing, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, wasn't properly redacted when uploaded to the court's public docket. A federal judge let Google refile it under seal.

Some of the unredacted contents of the document were earlier disclosed by MLex, an antitrust-focused news outlet.

The document sheds further light on the state's case against Google, along with the search company's defense.

Much of the lawsuit involves the interplay of Google's roles as both the operator of a major ad exchange -- which Google likens to the New York Stock Exchange in marketing documents -- and a representative of buyers and sellers on the exchange. Google also acts as an ad buyer in its own right, selling ads on its own properties such as search and YouTube through these same systems.

Texas alleges that Google used its access to data from publishers' ad servers -- where more than 90% of large publishers use Google to sell their digital ad space -- to guide advertisers toward the price they would have to bid to secure an ad placement.

Google's use of bidding information, Texas alleges, amounted to insider trading in digital-ad markets. Because Google had exclusive information about what other ad buyers were willing to pay, the state says, it could unfairly compete against rival ad-buying tools and pay publishers less on its winning bids for ad inventory .

The unredacted documents show that Texas claims Project Bernanke is a critical part of that effort.

TECH FRENEMIES

How tech giants are both cooperating while competing in hardware, software and technology services

Google acknowledged the existence of Project Bernanke in its response and said in the filing that "the details of Project Bernanke's operations are not disclosed to publishers."

Google denied in the documents that there was anything inappropriate about using the exclusive information it possessed to inform bids, calling it "comparable to data maintained by other buying tools."

Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman, said the complaint "misrepresents many aspects of our ad tech business. We look forward to making our case in court." He referred the Journal to an analysis conducted by a U.K. regulator that concluded that Google didn't appear to have had an advantage.

The Texas attorney general's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google's outsize role in the digital-ad market is both controversial and at times murky.

In some instances, "we're on both the buy side and the sell side," Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said at a 2019 antitrust conference held by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Asked how the company managed those roles, Mr. Varian said the topic was "too detailed for the audience, and me."

[Apr 07, 2021] This use of "crony this" and "crony that" needs to stop. It is fascism. Not communism, not socialism...

Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Foe Jaws 8 hours ago

The globalists are behaving just like the Bolsheviks of old. It is down right scary to see this happen in America. We lost the major cities 40 or 50 years ago and now the entire country (except that 1 percent stealing all the money) is on the verge of going 3rd world banana republic.

drjd 6 hours ago

If this was truly "communism", would 1% be stealing all the money? Why don't we just call it what it really is: "globalist crony capitalism."

YuriTheClown 2 hours ago

The internationalists are behaving just like the Bolsheviks of old.

You must not know your history. High powered US bankers prop up the big Bolshevik names in New York until it was time to loose them on Russia. Then they financed the whole operation.

And who is financing the Bolsheviks in the USA now???

artless 1 hour ago remove link

The word you are looking for is fascism. This use of "crony this" and "crony that" along with ANY use of the word capitalism-because their is nothing capitalist about any of this- needs to stop. It is fascism. Not communism, not socialism...

words matter.

[Apr 04, 2021] Modern day journalists are actually lobbyists: A lobbyists who try influence public opinion through mainstream media in favor of special interest groups by Udo Ulfkotte

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Back then, I didn't know how contemptuously intelligence agencies spoke about journalists. "You can get a journalist for less than a good whore, for a few hundred dollars a month." These are the words of a CIA agent, as quoted by the Washington Post editor Philip Graham. The agent was referring to the willingness and the price journalists would accept to spread CIA propaganda reports in their articles. ..."
"... I inevitably found out during my decades abroad, almost every foreign reporter with an American or British newspaper was also active for their national intelligence services. That's just something to keep in mind whenever you think you've got "neutral" reporting by the media in front of you. I remember when I got involved with the Federal Academy for Security Politics, with their close ties to intelligence agencies. This was encouraged by my employer. ..."
Apr 04, 2021 | www.amazon.com

Looking back, I was a lobbyist. A lobbyist tries to, for example, influence public opinion through mainstream media in favor of special interest groups. I did that.

Like for the German Foreign Intelligence Service. The FAZ expressly encouraged me to strengthen my contact with the Western intelligence services and was delighted when I signed my name to the pre-formulated reports, at least in outline, that I sometimes received from them.

Like many of the reports I was fed by intelligence services, one of many examples I can remember well was the expose, "European Companies Help Libya Build a Second Poison Gas Factory" from March 16, 1993. Needless to say, the report caused a stir around the world.

However, I watched as two employees of the German Federal Intelligence Service (the German CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND), drafted it in a meeting room of the FAZ offices at Hellerhofstrasse 2 in Frankfurt. In other words: They basically told me what to write, paragraph for paragraph, right there in the FAZ editorial offices and then the article was published. One of the duties of these two BND employees was writing reports for large-circulation German newspapers. According to employee accounts, the BND fed reports to many German newspapers at the time - with the knowledge of their publishing houses.

The Federal Intelligence Service even had a little front company with an office directly above a shop on the Mainzer Landstrasse in Frankfurt, only two blocks away from the FAZ's main office. In any case, they had classified materials there that came from the BND.

Once you became a "player" on the team that drafted such articles, this was followed by the next level of "cooperation": You would be given stacks of secret documents that you could evaluate at your leisure. I remember we brought in a steel filing cabinet just for all the secret reports at the FAZ. (When I was visiting colleagues at a magazine in Hamburg, I saw that they'd done the same thing in their editorial offices).

Back then, I didn't know how contemptuously intelligence agencies spoke about journalists. "You can get a journalist for less than a good whore, for a few hundred dollars a month." These are the words of a CIA agent, as quoted by the Washington Post editor Philip Graham. The agent was referring to the willingness and the price journalists would accept to spread CIA propaganda reports in their articles. Of course, this was also with the approval of their employers, who knew about and encouraged all of this.

In Germany, the Federal Intelligence Service was the extended arm of the CIA, basically a subsidiary. I was never offered money by the Federal Intelligence Service, but they never even had to. I, like many of my German colleagues, found it thrilling to be a freelance writer for an intelligence agency or to be allowed to work for them in any capacity at all.40

... ... ...

During the summer of 2005 when I was the "chief correspondent" of the glossy magazine Park Avenue, I had a phone call with the Director of the CIA James Woolsey, which lasted more than an hour. His wife is active in the transatlantic propaganda organization German Marshall Fund (but we'll touch on this later). Sitting in my Hamburg office at Griiner + Jalir publishing, I was amazed that I didn't lose the connection, because at the beginning of our conversation Woolsey was sitting in his office in Virginia, then he was in a limousine and after that in a helicopter. The connection was so good, it was as if he was sitting right next to me. We spoke about industrial espionage. Woolsey wanted me to publish a report through Griiner + Jahr that would give the impression that the USA doesn't carry out any industrial espionage in Germany through their intelligence services. For me, the absurd thing about this conversation wasn't its content, which was fortunately never printed. What I really found absurd was that after the conversation, Griiner + Jahr sent the CIA henchman Woolsey's secretary in Virginia a bouquet of flowers after the call, because someone at Griiner + Jahr wanted to keep the line to the CIA open.

Moreover, don t forget that in addition to 6,000 salaried employees, the Federal Intelligence Service has around 17,000 more "informal" employees. They have completely ordinary day jobs, and would never openly admit that they also work for the Federal Intelligence Service. It is the same all over the world. As I inevitably found out during my decades abroad, almost every foreign reporter with an American or British newspaper was also active for their national intelligence services. That's just something to keep in mind whenever you think you've got "neutral" reporting by the media in front of you. I remember when I got involved with the Federal Academy for Security Politics, with their close ties to intelligence agencies. This was encouraged by my employer.

I also remember that in the late summer of 1993 I was given time off to accept a six-week invitation from the transatlantic lobbying organization, the German Marshall Fund of the United States. All of this surely affected my reporting. The German Marshall Fund sent me to New York, and I did a night shift with police officers in the Bronx. I wrote an article for the FAZ about this titled: "The toughest policemen in the world go through these doors." It was one of many positive articles I wrote about the USA - discreetly organized by the German Marshall Fund.

It may be hard to believe, but I was actually given a loaded firearm in New York. There's even a photo of the New York City Police Department handing it to me. The reader didn't learn anything about what was going on behind the scenes, behind this favorable reporting in the FAZ. They also didn't find out about the discreet contacts I made during my stay in the US. These included a

[Apr 04, 2021] John-Paul Leonard foreword to Dr. Udo Ulfkotte famous book

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... his original title Bought Journalists (Gekaufte Journalisten) was kinder and more modest than my more sensational Presstitutes -- but as he had a pithy sense of humor, ..."
"... There is no free speech protection for setting fire to a crowded theater! In my book ISIS IS U.S., in fury at the fakery of these warmongers, I castigate the mainstream media, the MSM, as the МММ: the Mass Murdering Media, as well as the Military-Monetary- Media complex. Notice how the media only point the finger at the military and industry, but mum's the word about the money masters and the media manipulators, they who control the nerve system of the zombie nation, military-industrial complex and all? ..."
"... Sharmine Narwani is right. These are media combatants, these are war criminals, the lowest circle of hell in the ranks of crimes. ..."
Apr 04, 2021 | www.amazon.com

What Is Freedom of the Press? Can censorship be freedom of the press? Legal minds favoring the interests of capital may be quick to claim that newspaper owners and editors have a freedom-of-speech right to print what they think is fit to print. They affirm a right of censorship or advocacy, above the duty to hew the line of objective reporting. Business, but not government, they say, may restrict press freedom.

However, this attitude confuses two very distinct classes of law, the Bill of Rights and civil contract law. The First Amendment merely forbids the government from infringing on freedom of expression. Thus if communist and nationalist parties each wish to publish their own books or newspapers, congenial to their respective viewpoints, the state should not intervene. Most newspapers, however, claim to be independent, objective or non- partisan. Thus there is an implied contract to provide an information service to readers. Advertising in the paper should be clearly labeled as such. Truly independent media are a public service entrusted with a fiduciary duty, similar to civil servants. The power and influence of their office is under their care, it is not theirs personally. Thus arises the temptation of corruption, of selling favors. For a large corporation, the financial value of a decision by an official or a newspaperman may easily dwarf the salary of the poor fellow, who may sell himself for pennies on the dollar.

A paper that claims to be independent when it actually serves hidden interests is guilty of fraud. That of course comes under another branch of law, the criminal code.

We hear much more about political corruption, but media corruption may actually be worse. Media reporters are our eyes and ears. What if our senses didn't reflect what is happening around us, but instead some kind of fantasy, or even remote programming? (Which sounds a lot like TV;-) If our eyes fooled us like that, we would be asleep and dreaming with eyes open, or disabled, hospitalized for hallucinations. We could never be masters of our own affairs, without a reliable sensorium. So the media must serve the nation just as our senses must faithfully serve each one of us. But they serve themselves. With the media we have, we are a zombie nation. Of course, it's hard to be objective on topics like politics which are matters of opinion. That's what the op-ed page is for. The problem is systematic bias, when money talks in the news pages.

As a freshman in college, I once volunteered to be a stringer on the college paper, and was sent out to interview some subjects on a campus controversy. I didn't seem to be cut out for a hard hitting journalist either! The episode always reminds me of a Mulla Nasrudin story.

Mulla was serving as judge in the village, holding court in his garden. The plaintiff came and pleaded his case so convincingly, that the Mulla blurted out. By Allah, I think you are right! His assistant demurred, But Mullah, you haven't heard the other side yet! So now the defendant entered his plea, with even greater vigor and eloquence. Once again, the Mulla was so impressed, he cried out, By Jove, I believe you are right! And once again his clerk protested: But Mulla, they can't both be right! Oh my God, exclaimed the Mulla, I guess you are right, too!

My junior high school journalism teacher never tired of telling us. Journalism is a business. In theory it's a public trust, but money makes the world go round. We all have to please the boss to keep our job. We are all bought one way or another. As Ulfkotte points out, there are thousands of journalists looking for a job, not the other way about. So his original title Bought Journalists (Gekaufte Journalisten) was kinder and more modest than my more sensational Presstitutes -- but as he had a pithy sense of humor, I think he would have liked it anyway. The "privished" edition title Journalists for Hire seems to downplay the matter a shade though. It's perfectly normal to be hired as a journalist, isn't it?

Perhaps we have to escalate the term to investigative journalist, because a journo is just somebody who writes things down.

In an interview ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/1