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[Nov 29, 2019] Where s the Collusion

Highly recommended!
Now after her deposition Aaron should interview Fiona Hill. I would like to see how she would lose all the feathers of her cocky "I am Specialist in Russia" stance. She a regular MIC prostitute (intelligence agencies are a part of MIC) just like Luke Harding. And probably both have the same handlers.
Brilliant interview !
Harding is little more than an intelligence asset himself and his idea of speaking to "Russians" is London circle of Russian emigrants which are not objective source by any means.
He's peddling a his Russophobic line with no substantiation. In fact, the interview constitutes an overdue exposure of this pressitute.
Notable quotes:
"... He's little more than an intelligence asset himself if his idea of speaking to "Russians" is to go and speak to a bunch of people who most certainly have their own ties back to the western intelligence agencies. ..."
"... Also "well this is the kind of person Putin is" is a terrible argument. This isn't about either Putin or Trump really, its about the long history of US-Russia relations and all that has occurred. ..."
"... This interview is a wonderful illustration of everything that is horribly wrong with corporate media. I hope it goes viral. ..."
"... Very well put! Everything that is labeled as "conspiracy theory" when aimed towards the West, is "respectable journalism" when aimed at Russia. ..."
"... Navalny is a corrupt ex-politician just like his mentor that was caught red-handed taking a bribe from a German businessman "all on camera" at a restaurant. Most of corrupt politicians and businessmen that get caught by the Russian government always cry that they are politically repressed and the government is evil. ..."
"... Navalnys brother was the owner of a small transport company that Navalny helped secure contracts with government enterprises '' anywhere in the world that would be a conflict of interest" but that's not why he is in jail! His brother is in jail for swindling the postal service company for transportation costs. ..."
"... Aaron Mate is a brilliant interviewer. He keeps a calm demeanor, but does not let his guest get away with any untruths or non sequiturs. This one of the many reasons I love The Real News. I encourage anyone who appreciates solid journalism to donate to The Real News. ..."
"... GREAT follow up questions Aaron... Harding did not expect to get a real reporter... he obfuscates and diverts to other issues because he can not EVER provide any evidence... Going to Moscow will not tell you anything about whether or not the DNC server was hacked. ..."
"... Luke Harding is a complete and total idiot. He kept qualifying his arguments with "I've been to Moscow... I don't know if you know this, but I've been to Moscow..." and even at one point, "Some of my friends have been murdered." LOL, sure, whatever you say, Luke! Like you're so big time and such an all star journalist who isn't just trying to capitalize on the wild goose chase that is psychologically trapping leftists into delusions and wishful thinking. ..."
"... NSA monitors every communication over the internet. if the Russians hacked the DNC, there would be proof, and it would not take years to uncover. Look at the numbers: Clinton spent 2 billion, Russian "agents" spent 200k to "influence" the election. Great job Aaron for holding this opportunist's feet to the fire. Oh he's a story teller all right. You know a synonym of storyteller? LIAR!!!! ..."
"... Hes making so many factual wrong statements I don't know where to start here. ..."
"... His logic seems to be: Putin does things we don't like -> Trump getting elected is something we don't like -> Putin got Trump elected. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Our Hidden History , 4 days ago (edited)

That Harding tells Mate to meet Alexi Navalny, who is a far right nationalist and most certainly a tool of US intelligence (something like Russia's Richard Spencer) was all I needed to hear to understand where Luke is coming from.

He's little more than an intelligence asset himself if his idea of speaking to "Russians" is to go and speak to a bunch of people who most certainly have their own ties back to the western intelligence agencies. That's not how you're going to get the truth about Russia. He's all appeals to authority - Steele's most of all, even name dropping Kerry. To finally land on "oh well if you would read my whole book" is just getting to the silly season.

Also "well this is the kind of person Putin is" is a terrible argument. This isn't about either Putin or Trump really, its about the long history of US-Russia relations and all that has occurred. Also, the ubiquitous throwing around of accusations of the murder of journalists in Russia is a straw man argument, especially when it is just thrown in as some sort of moral shielding for a shabby argument.

Few in the US know about these cases or what occurred, or of the many forces inside of Russia that might be involved in murdering journalists just as in Mexico or Turkey. But these cases are not explained - blame is merely assigned to Putin himself. Of course if someone here discusses he death of Michael Hastings, they're a "conspiracy theorist", but if the crime involves a Russian were to assign the blame to Vladimir Putin and, no further explanation is required.

Elizabeth Ferrari , 4 days ago

This interview is a wonderful illustration of everything that is horribly wrong with corporate media. I hope it goes viral.

Esen B. , 3 days ago

He is far right, he is calling "cockroaches" Central Asian/ex-USSR workers coming to Moscow and in general his tone is quite ultra-nationalistic.

Lemmy Motorhead , 3 days ago

Very well put! Everything that is labeled as "conspiracy theory" when aimed towards the West, is "respectable journalism" when aimed at Russia.

Esen B. , 3 days ago

That is the video about fire arm legalization "cockroaches ", even if you are not Russian speaking it's pretty graphic to understand the idea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ILxqIEEMg

Esen B. , 3 days ago (edited)

And FYI - Central Asian workers do the low-wage jobs in Moscow, pretty like Mexicans or Puerto Ricans in US. Yet, that "future president" is trying to gain some popularity by labeling and demonizing them. Sounds familiar a bit?

trdi , 3 days ago (edited)

"definitelly ddissagree with that assertation about Alexei he's had nationalist views but he's definitely not far right and calling him a tool of US intelligence is pretty bs this is the exact same assertation that the Russian state media says about him."

I disagree that there is any evidence of Navalny being tool of US intelligence, but you are wrong for not recognizing that Navalny is ultranationalist. His public statements are indefensible. He is a Russian ultra nationalist, far right and a racist. Statements about cockroaches, worse than rats, bullets being too good etc - there is no way to misunderstand that.

Sendan , 3 days ago

Navalny is a corrupt ex-politician just like his mentor that was caught red-handed taking a bribe from a German businessman "all on camera" at a restaurant. Most of corrupt politicians and businessmen that get caught by the Russian government always cry that they are politically repressed and the government is evil.

Navalnys brother was the owner of a small transport company that Navalny helped secure contracts with government enterprises '' anywhere in the world that would be a conflict of interest" but that's not why he is in jail! His brother is in jail for swindling the postal service company for transportation costs.

MrChibiluffy , 3 days ago

I know he said that i agree he has those views but that was in 2010.

Yarrski , 3 days ago

@trdi I am a Russian. And I remember the early Navalny who made me sick to my stomach with absolutely disgusting, RACIST, anti-immigration commentaries. The guy is basically a NEO-NAZI who has toned down his nationalist diatribes in the past 10 or so years. Has he really reformed? I doubt it.

Mohamed Elmaazi , 2 days ago

This is a solid comment mate. Well thought out, with solid reasoning. How refreshing.

Nikita Gusarov , 2 days ago

MrChibiluffy, Navalny became relatively popular in Russia precisely at that time, especially during the White Ribbon protests in 2011/2012. I remember it very well myself.

I am Russian and I lived in Moscow at that time and he was the darling of the Russian opposition. He publicly defined his views and established himself back then and hasn't altered his position to this day.

What's more important is that around 2015 or so he made an alliance with the far-right and specifically Diomushkin who is a neo-nazi activist. I understand that people change their views, it's just that he hasn't.

MrChibiluffy , 2 days ago

Nikita Gusarov it still feels like the best chance for some form of populist opposition atm. Even though they just rejected him he has a movement. Would you rather vote for Sobchak?

annalivia1308 , 1 day ago

Yes. The US are looking to repeat Ukraine's regime change.

Ind Aus , 1 day ago

Lets not forget that one reason many voted for Trump was his rhetoric about improving the peace-threatening antagonism towards Russia, especially in order to help resolve the situation in Syria. It's not like it was secret he was trying to hide. He only moderated his views somewhat when the Democrat-engineered anti-Russian smear campaign took off and there was a concerted effort to tie him to Russia.

Is it crime surround yourself with people that will help you fullfill your pledges?

artemis12061966 , 1 day ago

Or the death of Gary Webb, prosecution of whistleblowers.....like Private Manning...

RipTheJackR , 9 hours ago

Our Hidden History... beautiful. Very well put mate :)

Gabriel Olsen , 3 hours ago

Yep, when he talked about murdering journalists, I paused the video and told my girlfriend about the murder of Michael Hastings. Oh an PS the USA puts journalists in Guantanamo. We play real baseball.

Luca Clemente , 4 days ago (edited)

Aaron Mate is a brilliant interviewer. He keeps a calm demeanor, but does not let his guest get away with any untruths or non sequiturs. This one of the many reasons I love The Real News. I encourage anyone who appreciates solid journalism to donate to The Real News.

TheJagjr4450 , 3 days ago

GREAT follow up questions Aaron... Harding did not expect to get a real reporter... he obfuscates and diverts to other issues because he can not EVER provide any evidence... Going to Moscow will not tell you anything about whether or not the DNC server was hacked.

dzedo53 , 4 days ago

Putin is a bad guy. Therefore he colluded with Trump back in 1987 to help Trump win the election in 2016. Why is that so hard to see?? LOL.

Noah , 14 hours ago

Luke Harding is a complete and total idiot. He kept qualifying his arguments with "I've been to Moscow... I don't know if you know this, but I've been to Moscow..." and even at one point, "Some of my friends have been murdered." LOL, sure, whatever you say, Luke! Like you're so big time and such an all star journalist who isn't just trying to capitalize on the wild goose chase that is psychologically trapping leftists into delusions and wishful thinking.

jodi houts , 4 days ago

Thank you Aaron Matθ for calling out the bullshit. The dem party is dead until they take care of their own espionage and corruption.

KAREN Nichols , 4 days ago

Thank you for "holding his feet to the fire"...I wish more media was more skeptical as well. Good work!

david ackerman , 4 days ago

NSA monitors every communication over the internet. if the Russians hacked the DNC, there would be proof, and it would not take years to uncover. Look at the numbers: Clinton spent 2 billion, Russian "agents" spent 200k to "influence" the election. Great job Aaron for holding this opportunist's feet to the fire. Oh he's a story teller all right. You know a synonym of storyteller? LIAR!!!!

shadex08 , 4 days ago

Great job Aaron, your work here makes me feel even better about my contribution to the real news.

95percent air , 4 days ago

Wow Aaron Matte NICE JOB. I'm only half through, I hope you don't make him cry. Do u make him cry? Did I hear this guy say he's ultimately a storyteller? Lol.

Mal c.H , 4 days ago

It may seem like Trump has an alarming amount of associations with Russia, because he does.. that's how rich oligarchs work. But it's all just SPECULATION still. Why publish a book on this without a smoking gun to prove anything? Collusion isn't even a legal term, it's vague enough for people to make it mean whatever they want it to mean. People investigating and reporting on this are operating under confirmation bias. Aaron, you're always appropriately critical and you're always asking the right questions. You seem to be one of the few sane people left in media. Trump is a disgrace but there still is no smoking gun.

jodi houts , 4 days ago

As he gets deeper in the weeds of speculation he starts attacking Aaron's credibility.

Fixel Heimer , 4 days ago

Omg a bunch of unproven conspiracy crap.. Hes making so many factual wrong statements I don't know where to start here.. How would anyone in the years before his candidacy have thought Trump would gain any political relevance. I mean even the pro Hillary media thought until the end, their massive trump coverage would only help to get him NOT elected, but the opposite was the case. This guy is a complete joke as are his theses. Actually reminding me of the guardian's so called report about Russian Hacking in the Brexit referendum. Look here if you want to have a laugh http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/12/how-097-changed-the-fate-of-britain-not.html

Hugh Mungus , 4 days ago

His logic seems to be: Putin does things we don't like -> Trump getting elected is something we don't like -> Putin got Trump elected.

Katie B , 4 days ago

Collusion Rejectionist! Ha Ha. Funniest interview ever. Well done Aaron. The Real News taking a stand for truth. So what's in the book if there's no evidence? Guardian journalism? Stop questioning the official narrative, oh and have you heard of Estonia. :)) ps that smiley face was not an admission of my working for the Kremlin.

Antman4656 , 4 days ago

Best interview ever. Aaron held him to his theories and asked what evidence or proof he had and he didn't come up with one spec of evidence only hearsay and disputed theories. What a sad indictment this is on America. 1 year on a sensationalized story and still nothing concrete. What a joke and proof of gullibility to anyone who believes this corporate media Narritive. I guess at least they don't have to cover policies like the tax theft or net neutrality. This is why we need The Real news.

maskedavenger777 , 4 days ago (edited)

I'd rather have American business making business deals with Russia for things like hotels, rather than business deals with the Pentagon to aim more weapons at the Russians. When haven't we been doing business with Russians? We might as well investigate Cargill, Pepsi, McDonald's, John Deere, Ford, and most of our wheat farmers.

[Dec 29, 2018] So Russian twits were a false flag operation

LinkedIn co-founder 'sorry' for funding fake Russian tweets for Democrats (RT video). Admiited producing 200 fake Russian twits.
Notable quotes:
"... Reid Hoffman is a Billionaire, who is a member of the Bilderburg Group, & is on the Council of Foreign Relations. Obviously 'above the law'. His sorry apology will be good enough. ..."
"... Oh he is only sorry after he got caught. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54IcPmfqHlo

sneekie pete , 1 day ago

Imagine that ?...we knew... They owe Putin and the Russian people a apology....hmmm...would rather send all demoncrats to Putin for their punishments...

NowisEvollovetion , 1 day ago

Everything is FAKE about the democrats. They are as dishonest as the day is long.

Annie , 1 day ago

SCUMBAG!!! 🤮🤢😬🐷👿

TheKeithvidz , 1 day ago

Huh. Blame everyone but America's leaders for the country's sorry state.

Main Character , 1 day ago

Are you kidding me?! Man and here I was starting to think democrats weren't as bad. As an American I feel bad for how bad many of my countrymen have tried to make Russia look bad...

tyronebiggums3 , 1 day ago

Democrats = Pure Evil

James Bruno , 1 day ago

why doesn't anyone boycott CNN?

2MauiAngels , 1 day ago

Reid Hoffman is a Billionaire, who is a member of the Bilderburg Group, & is on the Council of Foreign Relations. Obviously 'above the law'. His sorry apology will be good enough.

Nothing will happen to him, & RT is probably the only media outlet that will even tell Americans about this. THX RT. How about reposting 'Who owns the Media in less than 30 seconds'?

Are you updating the info because Rupert Murdoch sold his media corps to Bob Iger?? THAT was your BEST video Ever!! PLEASE REPOST IT!!

Jim NORRIS , 1 day ago

Oh he is only sorry after he got caught.

Star Dust , 1 day ago

how can saying sorry undo all the damages they have done ?

Olive Locutions , 1 day ago (edited)

Oy vey! They know it's not Russian bots now. I hope we are able to deflect this one onto the goy!

Robbi rob , 1 day ago

Honestly, who even believes in democracy anymore? It's just bullshit, and pandering.

Susan Gamble , 1 day ago

Everyone involved need to go to jail!!!!

TectonicTsunami , 1 day ago

LinkedIn needs to be linked-OUT.

James Rockford , 1 day ago

Let me guess, not one single MSM outlet, will discuss this?

Brian , 1 day ago

Seditious Conspiracy is the charge!

Barbara King , 1 day ago

Cheating is the only way Democrats won this election! Results should be vacated. New Election!

Burt Reynolds Corpse , 1 day ago

Correction, a joo is pretending to be sorry, only because he was caught misleading the nation ..

Reji Bae , 1 day ago

You can't trust anything coming out of the mouth of US politicians or organizations. The biggest troublemakers on this planet. Bunch of psychopaths.

An American , 1 day ago

Treason has death for a consequence. Fu... your apology.

Леди Неизвестность , 1 day ago

They create fakes themselves, investigate them themselves, and after finding the sources themselves they apologize. And we are "guilty" of everything ... You look and wonder!

J. Baker , 1 day ago

What do you expect from Motherless son's Fooling good human beings Burn is hell Bastards

Radhika Technical , 1 day ago

Russia is great nation...

Simi822 , 1 day ago

if that is fluent Russian then I am fluent in Chinese...

Alvaro Dussan , 1 day ago

This is collusion between Democrats and social media

Joanne Mercader , 1 day ago

Brought to you by the Democratic Party founder of the KKK and slavery.

High Tech Hillbilly , 1 day ago

Real News ... Thank you RT

Diji D , 1 day ago

Hillary Clinton recently tweeted "Actions have consequences.." I am excited to see the consequences for this failure. i know, there wont be any.

Jack Booted Hug , 1 day ago

I haven't been getting my russian bot payments. ruble up pute

clash man , 1 day ago

Marxist playbook 101, exactly what the democrats have been using on the American people. Accuse those of the very thing that they themselves are guilty of!👍

Willy Wonka , 1 day ago (edited)

That (((commie))) should be incarcerated...and he keeps peoples resumes safe and secure...how is he not charged with fraud....? (((Untrustworthy)))

Jens Brφcher , 1 day ago

He has to go to jail!

pasta noodle , 1 day ago

will cnn, MSNBC, and the whole trump hating media apologize and admit the real Russian collusion was with the democrats

dev0n james , 1 day ago

democrats always lie and always double down. never let them gaslight you.

Pete fromtheIsland , 1 day ago

Didn't Putin do it? Oh no!

Albert Einstein , 1 day ago

Haha this is the old way to accuse Russia BRITISH STYLE PROPAGANDA!!!! LOL

I love The USA , 1 day ago

Another FAKE democommunist trying to get attention

b b , 1 day ago

TREASON hang them all

saul romero , 1 day ago

the irony, when democrats blame republicans for working with russia

RIP Arthur Morgan , 1 day ago

Does Russia welcome American immigrants? Asking for a friend

Divergent Evolution , 1 day ago

So by attacking other nations for interfering in other nations elections, the USA is promising to stop doing it themselves?

eagle-6 , 1 day ago

the fake media has no shame at all

Ed Robbins , 1 day ago

There's no low too low for the Democratic Socialist Extortion Party. P O S libtards.

Francois Egregyi , 1 day ago

More (((Demo-commie))) anti-Russian propaganda!

Michel de Nostredame , 1 day ago

Should arrest the CEO and send to Russia litigation...

Derek Hajos , 1 day ago

Many criminals are sorry AFTER they get exposed.

Chris Edward , 1 day ago

When will CNN and MSNBC apologize?

Silver4Life 1230 , 1 day ago

Demorats are garbage

SOPHIA FILMS , 1 day ago

Is he one of ((them))?

Clint Chapman , 1 day ago (edited)

This comes as no surprise of course. But, when you apologise for meddling/interfering in a state and or a federal election, this is all one has to do, to not be charged for a possible crime, just apologise? Oh, and be a Democrat of course. Im an American. But why has no other country came out and stated, that the US meddled in their elections? At least have come out in the last 3 years and stated that? Most know, every country spies on and meddles in one anothers elections. It's not ok but, we know and it happens.

Flyingcrocodile46 , 1 day ago

Make this news viral

starlord , 1 day ago

Where is Mueller?

Bertin Bahaya , 1 day ago

WOW ! The Demon-rats are simply genius ! And The Republicans are simply stupid. Reps keep being Rhinos for Dems !

AJ Khan , 1 day ago

Hahaha, "SORRY"........

John Grytbakk , 1 day ago

The "liberal" Left can do whatever they want. ....no worries. All others do not get away with anything. If ever there was a double standard, there you have it.

avenging angel , 1 day ago

Dirty Democrats hardcore leftist are to blame for the division in America

avenging angel , 1 day ago

I'm not surprised by this story Democrats are the founders of slavery KKK and we're also against civil rights in the sixties

beo wulf , 13 hours ago

TREASON/SEDITION, TRIAL, CONVICTION, THE DITCH, '.22CAL CURE' ... 'NEXT!'

Edin , 1 day ago

Murad Gazdiev speaks with such conviction every time lol...power

Gary Thompson , 1 day ago

Dems are a very sorry excuse for people. I believe they are so brain damaged and brainwashed, they will never recover.

Paul Rexs , 1 day ago

Will he be arrested for tampering with elections?

Roger Jennings , 1 day ago

"Fake Russian Tweets" is gonna be the name of my next band.

Sea Bass , 1 day ago

"Funding for tweets" Wow I didn't know it costs money to write something on Twitter

squidly1117 , 1 day ago

This is election fraud and the FEC needs to take action!

tracycolorado , 1 day ago

Only sorry that He got caught

paula conley , 1 day ago

You left out that New Knowledge gave a report product to the dem's senate committee to prove there was Russia interference during election.

Shane Brbich , 1 day ago

LinkedIn The hardest social media program to get out of

Darko Fius , 1 day ago

Linkedin is also biassed, there is no middle ground...one can establish highly sophisticated network linking each individual and finding the most influentials...data is worth billions upon billions...and people, mainly highly educated and skilled do have Linkedin account...so there is no "honest business", the co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, is among ones that are not "honest"...big money, bigger lies...once one tells a lie, he, or she is alway liar...

2532robh1 , 1 day ago

Another tech CEO A-hole.

Haasenpad , 18 hours ago

well Reid Hoffman is a BILDERBERGER!!!

Nancy G , 1 day ago

Dump Linkin !!! Never use it.

Dowlphwin , 1 day ago

Well, false flagging IS a specialty of the Clinton Intel Agency. (Among others, but lately it's a trend and people need to wake up to that.)

Chickennugget , 1 day ago

Wow haven't even heard this on our MSM

Daniel Bell , 1 day ago

Bet this won't be on CNN.

Just happened to walk by , 1 day ago

As usual, just another something -man/Klein/Smith affiliated to AIPAC.

Jeremy Chase , 1 day ago

Lots of complete morons in the comments who believe in the fake two party paradigm. Both parties believe you should suffer at the dictates of multinational corporations and the banking industry.

carl westernut , 1 day ago

Arrest and gulag the bastards

SIGNALacquired , 19 hours ago

False-flag attack

Wilcox Wilcox , 1 day ago

Omg.... He sold his soul to the devil.

Pat Hacker , 1 day ago

Are we supposed to believe that?

Peter Panino , 1 day ago

I am getting a lot of SPAM from somebody who disguises himself as "RUSSIAN BOT" including Cyrillic characters in the message and also in the metadata (!). Does anybody know who this could be?

eloundainfo , 1 day ago (edited)

What a disgrace, the left has totally lost the plot! A world leader (Putin) should receive a groveling apology!

S B , 1 day ago

Good job.

MrMnmn911 , 1 day ago

"Sorry"? That's it?? MUELLER MUST INVESTIGATE!

Infidel Atheist , 1 day ago

Give him the Ceausescu quick trial and fill him full of lead.

VERBODE KENNIS , 1 day ago

YEP.....DONT FORGET THE GOLDEN SHOWERS.........EH??

Jacob Diaz , 1 day ago

Lmaoo you idiots in the comments didnt even listen to the video.

EveryCrazyDay , 1 day ago

Defending Roy Moore....lol also anyone see a conflict of interest when the Russian government funds this news program. And basically is putting a story saying that Russian bots are fake and paid by dems.

TotoNut , 19 hours ago

Cyber security companies create fake news, can be trusted with making accusations against Russia, China? Lol.

1990cwa81625 , 1 day ago

Seriously considering shutting down my Linked In account.

Charles McCarron , 1 day ago (edited)

When are arrests going to me made? We ALL know that the DNC is a criminal organisation and that the USA is on borrowed time. The farce of American Democracy is getting more obvious by the day. There just aren't anywhere near enough people, among the overall pool of American voters, that even know how their government is theoretically supposed to work to have a functional self-governing nation state. Morons don't pick good government!

Millenial Sunshine , 1 day ago

Roy Moore should have won...they use the same tactics every time. Sex bots and Russian bots...

Jessica Lubien , 1 day ago

I would watch this if it wasn't for the coked up guy!!! PLEASE FIRE HIM!!

Floyd Zepplin , 1 day ago

Where is Mueller?

Roland James , 1 day ago

If you want to know what your enemies are like, just listen to what they are accusing you of.

Tron Carter , 20 hours ago

Jimmy Dore goes in depth on this very story. Well worth a look.

Juniper lane , 1 day ago

This is nothing new. Democrats are using Russian propaganda and Republicans like to use China propaganda. Both parties are rothschild puppets and love to use propaganda for political agendas.

MaryMag & Martha , 1 day ago

I can not remember the guy's name, but the guest that was speaking on the MSNBC panel at the 2:11 mark was pro -Trump earlier this year. I remember him saying that he was former Secret Service or something to that effect on Youtube. Now, we see him on a panel alledging Russian speculation moving it's way to the White House. I guess he couldn't become famous as pro-Trump, so he's went to the dark side

Conrad Angel , 1 day ago

...or sorry he got caught! Just saying!

Terry Bonnell , 1 day ago

Alexandra Orcasio Cortez 2020 this woman has a higher IQ than most of the Democratic Party's combined

Angry Shamrock , 1 day ago

They're not sorry. They will do it again.

Shawn Hennessey , 19 hours ago

sorry for creating false evidence in a federal investigation is a huge crime and makes him a conspirator in coup to the takedown of the presidency of the US.

Terrell Riley , 1 day ago

He isn't a Democrat. But I know that Americans were using fake bots before, during, and after 2016. All Dems aren't Dems. All GOP aren't GOP. There are a lot of coming out the closet for politicians going on in this day and age. Why now are we hearing this? 2020. You are not dealing with dummy's just deviants.

Donald Ganley , 19 hours ago (edited)

What Hoffman did is totally understandable. I myself frequently donate $100,000 amounts to causes about which I know nothing. Especially when I know that a minuscule amount like that won't really have any real impact on a Congressional election. Kidding aside, may we look forward to indictments of Hoffman, New Knowledge, Morgan, and Fox in this matter -- a case of real tampering and collusion? Glad I dumped Facebook AND LinkedIn on the same day last year.

Yellow Bhee , 1 day ago

Another American doing , full of amusement, Hollywood ! Not to worry they also robbing their owned citizens.

nucdn , 1 day ago

A new low for Demorats? No such thing Murad - they live in the low.

Antony bro , 1 day ago

Criminal America ... nothing but Scoundrels ...

Dimash_Lilliana Corredor , 1 hour ago

Thanks RT. We can count on you and trust your news! 👍👏❤

Scott Ewing , 1 day ago

Won't be able to look at linkedin in the same light again.

Yammel Heylel , 1 day ago

Like anyone really thought it was true, well actually as if anyone who doesn't get the bulk of their news from CNN, MSNBC, and the like, really thought it was true. Funny part is those idiots (CNN ect. veiwers) were screaming about how Russia was tearing apart American society, and as though out the history of mankind, you only have yourselves to blame.

Line upon Line Precept upon Precept , 1 day ago

"Sorry I got caught" hahaha. What a looser.

x13x Monkeys , 21 hours ago

This is not new- how many other projects like this are going on.

LJ B , 13 hours ago

Another day, another false flag in the USSA

kii Kale , 21 hours ago

The only truly verifiable fake news is from centrist. But I am not shedding tear for judge MooKKKre.

Andrew S , 7 hours ago (edited)

Our situation is TRULY DIRE... when it is indeed necessary to switch to RT for an honest appraisal of what is happening in American politics!

Barry Soetorro , 1 day ago

Dem should hand the office to the republicans

Asma , 1 day ago

😱😱😱and still they blame RUS for meddling the US elections

Cannibal Shark , 22 hours ago

Well one thing is for sure they know how to drag out a story, even the UK give up with the skripal crap after a year.

Douglas Baer , 1 day ago

Roy must sue the dem party.

Daniel Bonner , 1 day ago

Proof Russia is on the side of right 👊🏿👊🏿👊🏿

True Tech , 1 day ago

No Moore being within 1000 ft of people under the age of 18 years old.

Backpack PePelon , 23 hours ago

Their effort backfired in more the one way. Now real people took pride in becoming a russian bot aka supporting russian.

Sampson X , 10 hours ago

"By way of deception, thou shalt do war." - ZioCons

Brennen Nelson , 1 day ago

Time to boycott Linkdin.......

Herr Wahnsinn , 1 day ago

When the Van Allen radiation belt starts to end, let the current carry me

Jim C , 1 day ago

Nothing new here.

avenging angel , 1 day ago

Lockup CNN fake news

Stable Genius , 1 day ago

TRUMP was right....lol🤣

Caesar , 1 day ago

Good job on coming forward

Uber Steve , 1 day ago

Corruption- Q is coming for you

Jeffness Stuff , 1 day ago

Linkedin BAN

Daniel Bonner , 1 day ago

Can't be wrong and strong 🔥🔥🔥

John Hadleigh , 1 day ago

We all fail, that makes Us human.

Randy Hartono , 1 day ago

New Knowledge again???

Gina Kay , 1 day ago

Total vindication.

Bike Stream , 1 day ago

Bye LinkedIn!

Leonard Carr , 1 day ago

Linkedin ✡️🙀👍

7seven7 , 1 day ago

Dang it where's Bob Mueller? Wonder why the special council couldn't find this out.

Visteo Bman , 1 day ago

FAKE NEWS!!!

Daniel Paul , 1 day ago

This is fake news

Hendrik Van der Merwe , 9 hours ago

No surprise, this is how Liberals "roll"!

Los Time , 1 day ago

Good reporting.

Viator Nadeak , 1 day ago

Idiot idiot

Willemijn Heukels , 1 day ago

RT is funded by the Russian government btw so of course they're saying this I hope you all stop letting hate anger anger control your life when it should be dragging your nuts across broken glass only to fart in a walkie talkie to have a spiritual enlightenment experience and see all that is true thank you

Asaresa M , 1 day ago

This report is not the whole truth of what happened. You should look up the facts of this case before you get all partisan happy. Or you can just be a traitor and take Russia's (RT) word on election tampering.

Hiram Rosa Jr , 1 day ago

This comming from a russian news channel lololol

shinobi 30 , 1 day ago

Putin is a little midget pub not a bear,

Tutty Masala , 1 day ago

RT is a Russia state sponsored channel. This is pure propaganda.

Everett Mccurdy , 1 day ago

This is fake of course you fools!

Joe Black , 1 day ago

It's just like that Ukrainian journalist who faked his assassination so the world would blame Russia.

2wheelvloggers , 1 day ago

Americans are a sick bunch, so sad...

Jefe Hoptosh , 1 day ago

Even Gazdiev is fake. RT PLEASE STOP THE INFOTAINMENT. Gazdiev wants to be in theatre. Don't hold him back. Get a journalist who can deliver the news without all the fake pauses and arm waving.

Lee Haiko , 15 hours ago

Ok I would ask for a Muller investigation here, but it would be a waste of money, just like another investigation...

JJ Says , 1 day ago

He's sorry??? Sorry doesn't get it. He financed the ruin of a man's career! Fry him for election fraud, lying leftist POS.

EBobby Sing , 1 day ago

Even Mueller Probe is based on FAKE NEWS PROPAGANDA.

Four Toes , 1 day ago

Disgusting! I will never use LinkedIn

Mr Timmy , 1 day ago

If you want to destroy the worlds SuperPower and know you can't do it military, then infiltration into the minds of its people is a perfect way to destroy them when clearly America has a dumbed down population.

Dra O , 1 day ago (edited)

"I'm sorry I attempted to rig the US elections (but I sure wish hilary would've won!)." What an idiot, along with Suckerberg. Shameful.

gord oland , 1 day ago

Disgusting but no surprising.

dmob d , 10 hours ago

No one believes your BS RT not outside Rusky land anyway you are the typical example of propaganda news.

Frederick Rhodes , 1 day ago

Kushner is responsible for setting up fake proTrump republican twitter accounts to help Trump get elected. Why would democrats want to help Trump? That's another republican lie to fool the sheeple.

[Dec 29, 2018] Reporting on the Integrity Initiative is spotty yet but I did come across the link below of an article by Max Blumenthal

Dec 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Dec 26, 2018 9:32:36 PM | link

Reporting on the Integrity Initiative is spotty yet but I did come across the link below of an article by Max Blumenthal....and promises of more.

Inside the Temple of Covert Propaganda: The Integrity Initiative and the UK's Scandalous Information War

[Dec 28, 2018] Western propaganda turn: from sucking to alcoholic Yeltsin to the rabit hate of sober Putin in just 20 years

Looks like Western attempts to weaken Russia will never stop.
Dec 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

localsavage, 18 minutes ago

Notice that there is no time given. The story would then fall apart in minutes.

Pussy Biscuit , 20 minutes ago

This Russia **** is a never ending nightmare.

I remember when the libtards were constantly sucking Russia's **** in the early 1990s.

[Dec 22, 2018] British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft by Craig Murray

Highly recommended!
Craig Murray is right that "As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier." Collapse of neoliberal ideology and rise of tentions in neoliberal sociarties resulted in unprecedented increase of covert and false flag operations by British intelligence services, especially against Russia, which had been chosen as a convenient scapegoat. With Steele dossier and Skripal affair as two most well known.
New Lady Macbeth (Theresa May) Russophobia is so extreme that her cabinet derailed the election of a Russian to head Interpol.
Looks like neoliberalism cannot be defeated by and faction of the existing elite. Only when shepp oil end mant people will have a chance. The US , GB and EU are part of the wider hegemonic neoliberal system. In fact rejection of neoliberal globalization probably will lead to "national neoliberals" regime which would be a flavor of neo-fascism, no more no less.
Notable quotes:
"... The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. ..."
"... I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign. ..."
"... It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia. ..."
"... the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it. ..."
"... By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building . It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London. ..."
"... Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence. ..."
"... I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills. ..."
"... I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information. ..."
"... one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day ..."
"... As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. ..."
"... You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy". ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

in Uncategorized by craig

The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple's Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger's entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue "holiday" cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye's official propaganda.

Some things don't change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
"I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I'll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser."

It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.

Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it.

The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the "Institute for Statecraft" to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).

By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.

Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.

Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.

I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.

But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.

As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier.

You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy".

As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity

[Dec 22, 2018] If Truth Cannot Prevail Over Material Agendas We Are Doomed by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In his just published book, War With Russia? ..."
"... To paraphrase Putin: "You are making Russia a threat by declaring us to be one, by discarding facts and substituting orchestrated opinions that your propagandistic media establish as fact via endless repetition." ..."
"... Cohen is correct that during the Cold War every US president worked to defuse tensions, especially Republican ones. Since the Clinton regime every US president has worked to create tensions. What explains this dangerous change in approach? The end of the Cold War was disadvantageous to the military/security complex whose budget and power had waxed from decades of cold war. Suddenly the enemy that had bestowed such wealth and prestige on the military/security complex disappeared. ..."
"... The New Cold War is the result of the military/security complex's resurrection of the enemy. In a democracy with independent media and scholars, this would not have been possible. But the Clinton regime permitted in violation of anti-trust laws 90% of the US media to be concentrated in the hands of six mega-corporations, thus destroying an independence already undermined by the CIA's successful use of the CIA's media assets to control explanations. Many books have been written about the CIA's use of the media, including Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalism," the English edition of which was quickly withdrawn and burned. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Dec 22, 2018 |

Throughout the long Cold War Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University was a voice of reason. He refused to allow his patriotism to blind him to Washington's contribution to the conflict and to criticize only the Soviet contribution. Cohen's interest was not to blame the enemy but to work toward a mutual understanding that would remove the threat of nuclear war. Although a Democrat and left-leaning, Cohen would have been at home in the Reagan administration, as Reagan's first priority was to end the Cold War. I know this because I was part of the effort. Pat Buchanan will tell you the same thing.

In 1974 a notorious cold warrior, Albert Wohlstetter, absurdly accused the CIA of underestimating the Soviet threat. As the CIA had every incentive for reasons of budget and power to overestimate the Soviet threat, and today the "Russian threat," Wohlstetter's accusation made no sense on its face. However he succeeded in stirring up enough concern that CIA director George H.W. Bush, later Vice President and President, agreed to a Team B to investigate the CIA's assessment, headed by the Russiaphobic Harvard professor Richard Pipes. Team B concluded that the Soviets thought they could win a nuclear war and were building the forces with which to attack the US.

The report was mainly nonsense, and it must have have troubled Stephen Cohen to experience the setback to negotiations that Team B caused.

Today Cohen is stressed that it is the United States that thinks it can win a nuclear war. Washington speaks openly of using "low yield" nuclear weapons, and intentionally forecloses any peace negotiations with Russia with a propaganda campaign against Russia of demonization, vilification, and transparent lies, while installing missile bases on Russia's borders and while talking of incorporating former parts of Russia into NATO. In his just published book, War With Russia? , which I highly recommend, Cohen makes a convincing case that Washington is asking for war.

I agree with Cohen that if Russia is a threat it is only because the US is threatening Russia. The stupidity of the policy toward Russia is creating a Russian threat. Putin keeps emphasizing this. To paraphrase Putin: "You are making Russia a threat by declaring us to be one, by discarding facts and substituting orchestrated opinions that your propagandistic media establish as fact via endless repetition."

Cohen is correct that during the Cold War every US president worked to defuse tensions, especially Republican ones. Since the Clinton regime every US president has worked to create tensions. What explains this dangerous change in approach? The end of the Cold War was disadvantageous to the military/security complex whose budget and power had waxed from decades of cold war. Suddenly the enemy that had bestowed such wealth and prestige on the military/security complex disappeared.

The New Cold War is the result of the military/security complex's resurrection of the enemy. In a democracy with independent media and scholars, this would not have been possible. But the Clinton regime permitted in violation of anti-trust laws 90% of the US media to be concentrated in the hands of six mega-corporations, thus destroying an independence already undermined by the CIA's successful use of the CIA's media assets to control explanations. Many books have been written about the CIA's use of the media, including Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalism," the English edition of which was quickly withdrawn and burned.

The demonization of Russia is also aided and abetted by the Democrats' hatred of Trump and anger from Hillary's loss of the presidential election to the "Trump deplorables." The Democrats purport to believe that Trump was installed by Putin's interference in the presidential election. This false belief is emotionally important to Democrats, and they can't let go of it.

Although Cohen as a professor at Princeton and NYU never lacked research opportunities, in the US Russian studies, strategic studies, and the like are funded by the military/security complex whose agenda Cohen's scholarship does not serve. At the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where I held an independently financed chair for a dozen years, most of my colleagues were dependent on grants from the military/security complex. At the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where I was a Senior Fellow for three decades, the anti-Soviet stance of the Institution reflected the agenda of those who funded the institution.

I am not saying that my colleagues were whores on a payroll. I am saying that the people who got the appointments were people who were inclined to see the Soviet Union the way the military/security complex thought it should be seen.

As Stephen Cohen is aware, in the original Cold War there was some balance as all explanations were not controlled. There were independent scholars who could point out that the Soviets, decimated by World War 2, had an interest in peace, and that accommodation could be achieved, thus avoiding the possibility of nuclear war.

Stephen Cohen must have been in the younger ranks of those sensible people, as he and President Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matloff, seem to be the remaining voices of expert reason on the American scene.

If you care to understand the dire threat under which you live, a threat that only a few people, such as Stephen Cohen, are trying to lift, read his book.

If you want to understand the dire threat that a bought-and-paid-for American media poses to your existence, read Cohen's accounts of their despicable lies. America has a media that is synonymous with lies.

If you want to understand how corrupt American universities are as organizations on the take for money, organizations to whom truth is inconsequential, read Cohen's book.

If you want to understand why you could be dead before Global Warming can get you, read Cohen's book.

Enough said.

[Dec 21, 2018] Similarities between neo-McCarthyism and anti-Semitism

Dec 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Theo , Dec 20, 2018 11:16:04 AM | link

As I wrote a comment on the German magazine"Die Zeit"praising Trump's decision to retreat from Syria my comment was deleted.I denounced the European whining and letting do the Americans their dirty work.Now the Europeans show their true colors.In Germany's MSM it doesn't seem to be allowed to take Trump's side.By the way -it's very good and well researched article.Thank you.

bevin , Dec 20, 2018 11:16:15 AM | 22 ">link

". If you want to blame "the Jews" for all the problems in the world, just remember that your doing so in this language actually strengthens the position of the Zionists. And you may want to consider that at least *some* of these Jew-bashing critiques of Israel on sites like Unz and others are most certainly written by paid propagandists of the state of Israel." WJ@ 14

Absolutely right. The routine way in which, all over the internet, the tired and discredited themes of the anti-Semites and, their soul sisters, the anti-Communists infect every serious discussion or sensible discourse is maddening.

There is not the tiniest doubt who benefits from this idiocy and it isn't the people of Palestine or the working people.

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times fraudulent election plot dossier escalates anti-Russia hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." ..."
"... The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The New York Times published a fraudulent and provocative "special report" Thursday titled "The plot to subvert an election."

Replete with sinister looking graphics portraying Russian President Vladimir Putin as a villainous cyberage cyclops, the report purports to untangle "the threads of the most effective foreign campaign in history to disrupt and influence an American election."

The report could serve as a textbook example of CIA-directed misinformation posing as "in-depth" journalism. There is no news, few substantiated facts and no significant analysis presented in the 10,000-word report, which sprawls over 11 ad-free pages of a separate section produced by the Times.

The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history."

Why does it "appear" to be the Kremlin? What is the evidence to support this claim? Among the 8.5 million inhabitants of New York City and another 700,000 in Washington, D.C., aren't there enough people who might despise Obama as much as, if not a good deal more than, Vladimir Putin?

This absurd passage with its "appeared" and "may well have" combined with the speculation about the Kremlin extending its evil grip onto "United States soil" sets the tone for the entire piece, which consists of the regurgitation of unsubstantiated allegations made by the US intelligence agencies, Democratic and Republican capitalist politicians and the Times itself.

The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times , polls have indicated that the charges of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 presidential election have evoked little popular response among the

[Dec 13, 2018] Brexit Endgame

Notable quotes:
"... Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ambrit , December 13, 2018 at 5:27 am

Hadrian also built a wall.

Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards.

Arguably, May is one of a generation of politicos in decline. Macron, (perhaps Merkel's hope of having a posterity,) has caved. Merkel has seen the face of her political mortality recently. May has her Pyrrhic victory.

The Clintons cannot even give tickets to their road show away. In all of these examples, the replacements waiting in the wings are, to be charitable about it, underwhelming. Brexit is but the opening act of a grand, worldwide crisis of governance.

How England muddles through this will be an object lesson for us all. We had better take notes, because there will be a great testing later.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

Impeccable summing up, if I might be so bold.

While the UK has rightly been the focus, I can't help wondering what the deeper feelings are across Europe. It's very hard to gauge how much thought the rest of Europe is giving to Brexit at this stage. The average punter seems very uninterested at this point, while a growing number (from what I'm reading from other sources) just wish they'd get it over with so the rest of Europe could be allowed to get on with its own internal concerns. I suspect the rest of the EU economies most affected must be putting their 'crash-out' plans into over-drive after this week's continuing escapades.

(Re: Sinn Féin. I was wondering if there was the remotest possibility that they would cross their biggest line just to help a Tory government, and a particularly vile Tory government from their standpoint. When speaking to veteran Belfast Republican during negotiations on the GFA (Good Friday Agreement), their viewpoint was that nearly everything could be negotiated but one thing was impossible: entering into a foreign London parliament. Symbolically and practically, it was a step beyond the pale. I also noticed lately that a couple of older Sinn Féin Republicans, who had to be persuaded into the negotiation camp all those years ago, are again contemplating running for local government positions in the North.)

PlutoniumKun , December 13, 2018 at 6:53 am

Everything I've read indicates that the rest of Europe has simply given up on Brexit – they are unwilling to expend any more energy or political capital on it. The leaders have much bigger things on their plates than Brexit, and the general population have lost interest – I'm told it rarely features much in reporting on the major media. I think they'll grant an extension purely to facilitate another couple of months preparation for a crash out, and thats it.

As for Sinn Fein, I get the feeling that after been caught on the hop by Brexit, they now see a crash out as an opportunity. NI looks likely to suffer more than anywhere else if there is a no-deal – there is hardly a business there that won't be devastated. But they are caught between trying to show their soft face in the south and their hardliner face in the North, and I think they are having difficulty deciding how to play it.

Ignacio , December 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

The British circus attracts interest and there is coverage on the motions and so on treated as UK internal politics. May and the ultra-brexiteers get almost all the attention. The only options mentioned are no deal and May's agreement.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

Hiya Ignacio,

Thanks for the info. Sounds like well balanced and realistic media coverage to me.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 7:05 am

I was wondering about deeper EU reactions: here from London based European diplomats.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/11/whats-happened-to-you-eu27-diplomats-watch-uk-tie-itself-in-brexit-knots

" European diplomats in London watching the government's Brexit agony have conveyed a mixture of despair, and almost ghoulish fascination, at the state of British politics, with one saying it is as melodramatic as a telenovela, full of subplots, intrigue, tragedy and betrayal

Although privately many diplomats would love Brexit to be reversed, and believe it could mark a turning point against populism, there was also a wariness about the disruption of a second referendum. One ambassador suggested the French realised that European parliamentary election campaign of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, would be damaged by the sight of furious British leave campaigners claiming they had been cheated of their democratic rights by an arrogant elite who refused to listen: "What is happening in France is potentially momentous. The social fabric is under threat, and this anger could spread across the continent," the ambassador said, referring to the gilets jaunes protests ."

[Dec 09, 2018] BREAKING: UK exhausted from endless stream of Brexit bollocks so here's a picture of some puppies.

Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Have I Got News For You @haveigotnews

BREAKING: UK exhausted from endless stream of Brexit bollocks so here's a picture of some puppies.

Theresa May told to quit by Cabinet ministers if her Brexit deal falls and she fails to get better terms from EU Telegraph

No-deal Brexit: Disruption at Dover 'could last six months' BBC. I have trouble understanding why six months. The UK's customs IT system won't be ready and there's no reason to think it will be ready even then. I could see things getting less bad due to adaptations but "less bad" is not normal

The Great Brexit Breakdown Wall Street Journal. Some parts I quibble with, but generally good and includes useful historical detail.

British MP suggests threatening Ireland with food shortages over Brexit, Twitter outrage follows RT (kevin W)

It's crunch time for Labour. Empty posturing on Brexit will no longer do Guardian. Shreds the Corbyn op-ed we criticized yesterday.

[Dec 08, 2018] The zionized MIC and the "biased" truth about Russia's stance towards the West

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anya , Dec 6, 2018 11:32:15 AM | link

The zionized MIC and the "biased" truth about Russia's stance towards the West:
http://thesaker.is/why-russia-wont-invade-the-ukraine-the-baltic-statelets-or-anybody-else/

"Today, just like in 1911, Russia needs internal and external peace more than anything else, and that is not what she would get if she got involved in some foreign military adventure! In fact, attacking an alliance which includes three nuclear power would be suicidal, and the Russians are anything but suicidal."

The zionized MIC has been prevailing because of money. The uncounted and unaccountable money: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50711.htm

The practice of DoD "violates Article I Section 9 of the US Constitution, which stipulates that, "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time." ... The status quo has been generating ever-higher DoD budgets for decades...

The losers in this situation are everyone else. The Pentagon's accounting fraud diverts many billions of dollars that could be devoted to other national needs: health care, education, job creation, climate action, infrastructure modernization, and more. Indeed, the Pentagon's accounting fraud amounts to theft on a grand scale -- theft not only from America's taxpayers, but also from the nation's well-being and its future."

[Dec 08, 2018] The British, most directly, and then the US Brennan-Hayden (ok, he is no longer operational) CIA-Deep State are launching myriad ops to wedge Trump in (Khashoggi, current CentCom terror ops in Syria, and Ukraine now).

Notable quotes:
"... The British, most directly, and then the US Brennan-Hayden (ok, he is no longer operational) CIA-Deep State are launching myriad ops to wedge Trump in (Khashoggi, current CentCom terror ops in Syria, and Ukraine now). ..."
"... Ukrainian and British officials all agreed that a safe and secure Ukraine is necessary for the safety and security of Europe. The time for talk from Ukraine's so-called allies is long over. It's time to act." -- The article is otherwise full of juicy nonsense: I highly recommend it. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | thesaker.is

GeorgeG on November 28, 2018 , · at 11:27 am EST/EDT

Short overview as it looks from my current perch: Piggy Poro will go down in history , way down, that's for sure.

1. The British, most directly, and then the US Brennan-Hayden (ok, he is no longer operational) CIA-Deep State are launching myriad ops to wedge Trump in (Khashoggi, current CentCom terror ops in Syria, and Ukraine now). If the Trump-Putin meeting a G20 falls through, it would not necessarily be a definitive signal; if it does not fall through, that would be a definitive signal. Yes, MI-6 and the US cohorts are anxious about the "declassification" of FISA and other documents, both because of Russiagate as well as the definitive disenfranchisment it entails. That makes the timing of Piggy's Kerch fiasco important.

2. At the moment, the European or NATO response is not what the British or CIA expected or wanted.

a. Yesterday Ursula von der Leyen, German Defense Minster, spoke at a security conference covered by Sputnik (German): "Russia has Europe in check" was the headline, "check" as in chess, which in a chess game sometimes means not just a single check, but chasing the opponent with "checks" over the board until finally declaring "checkmate."

b. https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/jack-laurenson-in-this-dark-hour-where-are-ukraines-allies.html?cn-reloaded=1 In this dark hour, where are Ukraine's allies?, "The Kremlin wants to know how much it can get away with. If the response so far, in the last day or so, is a measure of that, then Moscow will likely feel emboldened to push even further. There is still time for NATO and the West to respond, but the question on everyone's lips is how and whether the political will and strength to do so exists." The end: "At Ukrainian Week in London this October, Ukrainian and British officials all agreed that a safe and secure Ukraine is necessary for the safety and security of Europe. The time for talk from Ukraine's so-called allies is long over. It's time to act." -- The article is otherwise full of juicy nonsense: I highly recommend it.

c. https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-russia-putin-is-in-control/ 'Putin is in control' Europe stands by as Russian president goes after Ukraine. "BERLIN -- Chalk another one up for Vlad." "To be perfectly honest, we don't have many options," a senior European official said. "We don't want to risk war, but Putin is already waging one. That makes us look weak." Given Europe's dearth of options, its leaders revert to hackneyed pronouncements about the importance of dialogue and, as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas put it, "de-escalation on both sides."

d. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/11/27/ukraines-new-front-is-europes-big-challenge/ Ukraine's New Front Is Europe's Big Challenge -- There's plenty Europe should do to push back against Russia's latest attack on Ukraine.
There's plenty Europe should do to push back against Russia's latest attack on Ukraine. By Carl Bildt, Nicu Popescu. -- Juicy nonsense galore, a plea sent into the winds.

e. http://time.com/5463988/russia-ukraine-trump-putin-g20/?utm_source=RC+Defense+Morning+Recon&utm_campaign=1f01df16ac-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_27_07_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_694f73a8dc-1f01df16ac-85033789 President Trump Could Help Stop a War Between Russia and Ukraine -- But Only If He Will Stand Up to Putin -- Admiral Stavridis (Ret.) was the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and is an Operating Executive at The Carlyle Group. "

f. https://www.afpc.org/publications/articles/why-is-the-sea-of-azov-so-important -- Atlantidc Council -- Stephen Blank -- Why Is the Sea of Azov So Important? "Moreover, even a casual examination of Russian actions reveals the deep and continuing parallels with China's equally illegitimate actions in the South and East China Sea. In the Asian case, the United States has mounted and continues to stage numerous Freedom of Navigation Operations to demonstrate to China that it will uphold the time-honored principle of the freedom of the seas. This principle is no less at stake in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Ideally, NATO, at Kyiv's invitation, should send a fleet to Mariupol to shatter the pretense of Russian sovereignty and show Putin that the invasion of Ukraine has brought NATO into Ukraine. This is precisely the outcome Russia aimed to avert."

And that is what, at the moment, "NATO" of "the Europeans" apparently do not want. Send a fleet to Mariupol? -- Ask the Germans: they have a few speed boats that might not get stuck.

Poroshenko seems to be on the way to demonstrating that NATO is irrelevant.

[Dec 07, 2018] Brexit Theresa May Goes Greek! by Brett Redmayne

Highly recommended!
" The Fleeting Illusion of Election Night Victory." that phrase sums up the situation very succinctly
Notable quotes:
"... " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," ..."
"... "Brexit means Brexit!" ..."
Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

It has become all too easy for democracy to be turned on its head and popular nationalist mandates, referenda and elections negated via instant political hypocrisy by leaders who show their true colours only after the public vote. So it has been within the two-and-a-half year unraveling of the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 that saw the subsequent negotiations now provide the Brexit voter with only three possibilities. All are a loss for Britain.

One possibility, Brexit, is the result of Prime Minister, Theresa May's negotiations- the "deal"- and currently exists in name only. Like the PM herself, the original concept of Brexit may soon lie in the dust of an upcoming UK Parliament floor vote in exactly the same manner as the failed attempt by the Greeks barely three years ago. One must remember that Greece on June 27, 2015 once voted to leave the EU as well and to renegotiate its EU existence as well in their own "Grexit" referendum. Thanks to their own set of underhanded and treasonous politicians, this did not go well for Greece. Looking at the Greek result, and understanding divisive UK Conservative Party control that exists in the hearts of PMs on both sides of the House of Commons, this new parliamentary vote is not looking good for Britain. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek! "deal" -- would thus reveal the life-long scars of their true national allegiance gnawed into their backs by the lust of their masters in Brussels. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

Ironically, like a cluster bomb of white phosphorous over a Syrian village, Cameron's Brexit vote blew up spectacularly in his face. Two decades of ongoing political submission to the EU by the Cons and "new" labour had them arrogantly misreading the minds of the UK voter.

So on that incredible night, it happened. Prime Minister David Cameron the Cons New Labour The Lib- Dems and even the UK Labour Party itself, were shocked to their core when the unthinkable nightmare that could never happen, did happen . Brexit had passed by popular vote!

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

After Brexit passed the same set of naïve UK voters assumed, strangely, that Brexit would be finalized in their national interest as advertised. This belief had failed to read Article 50 - the provisos for leaving the EU- since, as much as it was mentioned, it was very rarely linked or referenced by a quotation in any of the media punditry. However, an article published four days after the night Brexit passed, " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," provided anyone thus reading Article 50, which is only eight pages long and double-spaced, the info to see clearly that this never before used EU by-law would be the only route to a UK exit. Further, Article 50 showed that Brussels would control the outcome of exit negotiations along with the other twenty-seven member nations and that effectively Ms May and her Tories would be playing this game using the EU's ball and rules, while going one-on-twenty-seven during the negotiations.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the real game began in earnest. The stakes: bigger than ever.

Forgotten are the hypocritical defections of political expediency that saw Boris Johnson and then Home Secretary Theresa May who were, until that very moment, both vociferously and very publicly against the intent of Brexit. Suddenly they claimed to be pro- Brexit in their quest to sleep in Cameron's now vacant bed at No. 10 Downing Street. Boris strategically dropped out to hopefully see, Ms May, fall on her sword- a bit sooner. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

So, the plucky PM was left to convince the UK public, daily, as the negotiations moved on, that "Brexit means Brexit!" A UK media that is as pro-EU as their PM chimed in to help her sell distortions of proffered success at the negotiating table, while the rise of "old" Labour, directed by Jeremy Corbyn, exposed her "soft" Brexit negotiations for the litany of failures that ultimately equaled the "deal" that was strangely still called "Brexit."

Too few, however, examined this reality once these political Chameleons changed their colours just as soon as the very first results shockingly came in from Manchester in the wee hours of the morning on that seemingly hopeful night so long ago: June 23, 2016. For thus would begin a quiet, years-long defection of many more MPs than merely these two opportunists.

What the British people also failed to realize was that they and their Brexit victory would also be faced with additional adversaries beyond the EU members: those from within their own government. From newly appointed PM May to Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party to the New Labour sellouts within the Labour Party and the Friends of Israel , the quiet internal political movement against Brexit began. As the House of Lords picked up their phones, too, for very quiet private chats within House of Commons, their minions in the British press began their work as well.

Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

jim jones , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/12/04/uk-govt-forced-to-publish-full-brexit-legal-documents-after-losing-key-vote/

Brabantian , says: December 5, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
This article by Brett Redmayne is certainly right re the horrific sell-out by the Greek government of Tsipras the other year, that has left the Greek citizenry in enduring political despair the betrayal of Greek voters indeed a model for UK betrayal of Brexit voters

But Redmayne is likely very mistaken in the adulation of Jeremy Corbyn as the 'genuine real deal' for British people

Ample evidence points to Corbyn as Trojan horse sell-out, as covered by UK researcher Aangirfan on her blogs, the most recent of which was just vapourised by Google in their censorship insanity

Jeremy Corbyn was a childhood neighbour of the Rothschilds in Wiltshire; with Jeremy's father David Corbyn working for ultra-powerful Victor Rothschild on secret UK gov scientific projects during World War 2

Jeremy Corbyn is tied to child violation scandals & child-crime convicted individuals including Corbyn's Constituency Agent; Corbyn tragically ignoring multiple earnest complaints from child abuse victims & whistleblowers over years, whilst "child abuse rings were operating within all 12 of the borough's children's homes" in Corbyn's district not very decent of him

And of course Corbyn significantly cucked to the Israel lobby in their demands for purge of the Labour party alleged 'anti-semites'

The Trojan Horse 'fake opposition', or fake 'advocate for the people', is a very classic game of the Powers That Be, and sadly Corbyn is likely yet one more fake 'hero'

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT
My theory is, give "capitalism" and financial interests enough time, they will consume any democracy. Meaning: the wealth flows upwards, giving the top class opportunity to influence politics and the media, further improving their situation v.s. the rest, resulting in ever stronger position – until they hold all the power. Controlling the media and therefore the narrative, capable to destroy any and all opposition. Ministers and members of parliaments, most bought and paid for one way or the other. Thankfully, the 1% or rather the 0.1% don't always agree so the picture can be a bit blurred.

You can guess what country inspired this "theory" of mine. The second on the list is actually the U.K. If a real socialist becomes the prime minister of the U.K. I will be very surprised. But Brexit is a black swan like they say in the financial sector, and they tend to disrupt even the best of theories. Perhaps Corbin is genuine and will become prime minister! I am not holding my breath.

However, if he is a real socialist like the article claims. And he becomes prime minister of the U.K the situation will get really interesting. Not only from the EU side but more importantly from U.K. best friend – the U.S. Uncle Sam will not be happy about this development and doesn't hesitate to crush "bad ideas" he doesn't like.

Case in point – Ireland's financial crisis in 2009;

After massive expansion and spectacular housing bubble the Irish banks were in deep trouble early into the crisis. The EU, ECB and the IMF (troika?) met with the Irish government to discuss solutions. From memory – the question was how to save the Irish banks? They were close to agreement that bondholders and even lenders to the Irish banks should take a "haircut" and the debt load should be cut down to manageable levels so the banks could survive (perhaps Michael Hudson style if you will). One short phone call from the U.S Secretary of the treasury then – Timothy Geithner – to the troika-Irish meeting ended these plans. He said: there will be no haircut! That was the end of it. Ireland survived but it's reasonable to assume this "guideline" paved the road for the Greece debacle.

I believe Mr. Geithner spoke on behalf of the financial power controlling – more or less-our hemisphere. So if the good old socialist Corbin comes to power in the U.K. and intends to really change something and thereby set examples for other nations – he is taking this power head on. I think in case of "no deal" the U.K. will have it's back against the wall and it's bargaining position against the EU will depend a LOT on U.S. response. With socialist in power there will be no meaningful support from the U.S. the powers that be will to their best to destroy Corbin as soon as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 10:07 am GMT
My right wing friends can't understand the biggest issue of our times is class war. This article mentions the "Panama papers" where great many corporations and wealthy individuals (even politicians) in my country were exposed. They run their profits through offshore tax havens while using public infrastructure (paid for by taxpayers) to make their money. It's estimated that wealth amounting to 1,5 times our GDP is stored in these accounts!

There is absolutely no way to get it through my right wing friends thick skull that off-shore accounts are tax frauds. Resulting in they paying higher taxes off their wages because the big corporations and the rich don't pay anything. Nope. They simply hate taxes (even if they get plenty back in services) and therefore all taxes are bad. Ergo tax evasions by the 1% are fine – socialism or immigrants must be the root of our problems. MIGA!

Come to think of it – few of them would survive the "law of the jungle" they so much desire. And none of them would survive the "law of the jungle" if the rules are stacked against them. Still, all their political energy is aimed against the ideas and people that struggle against such reality.

I give up – I will never understand the right. No more than the pure bread communist. Hopeless ideas!

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
" This is because the deal has a provision that would still keep the UK in the EU Customs Union (the system setting common trade rules for all EU members) indefinitely. This is an outrageous inclusion and betrayal of a real Brexit by Ms May since this one topic was the most contentious in the debate during the ongoing negotiations because the Customs Union is the tie to the EU that the original Brexit vote specifically sought to terminate. "

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

What USA MSM told in the USA about what ordinary British people said, those who wanted to leave the EU, I do not know, one of the most often heard reasons was immigration, especially from E European countries, the EU 'free movement of people'.
"Real' Britons refusing to live in Poland.
EP member Verhofstadt so desperate that he asked on CNN help by Trump to keep this 'one of the four EU freedoms'.
This free movement of course was meant to destroy the nation states

What Boris Johnson said, many things he said were true, stupid EU interference for example with products made in Britain, for the home market, (he mentioned forty labels in one piece of clothing), no opportunity to seek trade without EU interference.
There was irritation about EU interference 'they even make rules about vacuum cleaners', and, already long ago, closure, EU rules, of village petrol pumps that had been there since the first cars appeared in Britain, too dangerous.
In France nonsensical EU rules are simply ignored, such as countryside private sewer installations.

But the idea that GB could leave, even without Brussels obstruction, the customs union, just politicians, and other nitwits in economy, could have such ideas.
Figures are just in my head, too lazy to check.
But British export to what remains of the EU, some € 60 billion, French export to GB, same order of magnitude, German export to GB, far over 100 billion.
Did anyone imagine that Merkel could afford closing down a not negligible part of Bayern car industry, at he same time Bayern being the Land most opposed to Merkel, immigration ?

This Brexit in my view is just the beginning of the end of the illusion EU falling apart.
In politics anything is connected with anything.
Britons, again in my opinion, voted to leave because of immigration, inside EU immigration.
What GB will do with Marrakech, I do not know.

Marrakech reminds me of many measures that were ready to be implemented when the reason to make these measures no longer existed.
Such as Dutch job guarantees when enterprises merged, these became law when when the merger idiocy was over.
The negative aspects of immigration now are clear to many in the countries with the imagined flesh pots, one way or another authorities will be obliged to stop immigration, but at that very moment migration rules, not legally binding, are presented.

As a Belgian political commentator said on Belgian tv 'no communication is possible between French politicians and French yellow coat demonstrators, they live in completely different worlds'.
These different worlds began, to pinpoint a year, in 2005, when the negative referenda about the EU were ignored. As Farrage reminded after the Brexit referendum, in EP, you said 'they do not know what they're doing'
But now Macron and his cronies do not know what to do, now that police sympathises with yellow coat demonstrators.

For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat Corbyn, in my opinion one of the many not too bright socialists, who are caught in their own ideological prison: worldwide socialism is globalisation, globalisation took power away from politicians, and gave it to multinationals and banks.
jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
@niceland The expression class war is often used without realising what the issue is, same with tax evasion.
The rich of course consume more, however, there is a limit to what one can consume, it takes time to squander money.
So the end of the class war may make the rich poor, but alas the poor hardly richer.

About tax evasion, some economist, do not remember his name, did not read the article attentively, analysed wealth in the world, and concluded that eight % of this wealth had originated in evading taxes.
Over what period this evasion had taken place, do not remember this economist had reached a conclusion, but anyone understands that ending tax evasion will not make all poor rich.

There is quite another aspect of class war, evading taxes, wealth inequality, that is quite worrying: the political power money can yield.
Soros is at war with Hungary, his Open University must leave Hungary.
USA MSM furious, some basic human right, or rights, have been violated, many in Brussels furious, the 226 Soros followers among them, I suppose.
But since when is it allowed, legally and/or morally, to try to change the culture of a country, in this case by a foreigner, just by pumping money into a country ?
Soros advertises himself as a philantropist, the Hungarian majority sees him as some kind of imperialist, I suppose.

Tyrion 2 , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Simon in London 90% Labour party members supported remain, as did 65% of their voters and 95% of their MPs.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT
For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

Well , I am reading " The occult renaissance church of Rome " by Michael Hoffman , Independent History and research . Coeur d`Alene , Idaho . http://www.RevisionistHistory.org
I saw about this book in this Unz web .

I used to think than the rot started with protestantism , but Hoffman says it started with catholic Renaissance in Rome itself in the XV century , the Medici , the Popes , usury

Mike P , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT
This whole affair illustrates beautifully the real purpose of the sham laughingly known as "representative democracy," namely, not to "empower" the public but to deprive it of its power.

With modern means of communication, direct democracy would be technically feasible even in large countries. Nevertheless, practically all "democratic" countries continue to delegate all legislative powers to elected "representatives." These are nothing more than consenting hostages of those with the real power, who control and at the same time hide behind those "representatives." The more this becomes obvious, the lower the calibre of the people willing to be used in this manner – hence, the current crop of mental gnomes and opportunist shills in European politics.

Wizard of Oz , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
I would only shout this rambling ignoramus a beer in the pub to stop his mouth for a while. Some of his egregious errors have been noted. and Greece, anyway, is an irrelevance to the critical decisions on Brexit.

Once Article 50 was invoked the game was over. All the trump cards were on the EU side. Now we know that, even assuming Britain could muster a competent team to plan and negotiate for Brexit that all the work of proving up the case and negotiating or preparing the ground has to be done over years leading up to the triggering of Article 50. And that's assuming that recent events leave you believing that the once great Britain is fit to be a sovereign nation without adult supervision.

As it is one has to hope that Britain will not be constrained by the total humbug which says that a 51 per cent vote of those choosing to vote in that very un British thing, a referendum, is some sort of reason for not giving effect to a more up to date and better informed view.

Stebbing Heuer , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Erm Varoufakis didn't knuckle under. He resigned in protest at Tsipras' knuckling under.
anon [108] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Hypothesis: The British masses would fare better without a privatized government.

"Corbyn may prove to be real .. .. old-time Labour platform [leadership, capable to].. return [political, social and financial] control back to the hands of the UK worker".. [but the privateers will use the government itself and mass media to defeat such platforms and to suppress labor with new laws and domestic armed warfare]. Why would a member of the British masses allow [the Oligarch elite and the[ir] powerful business and foreign political interests restrain democracy and waste the victims of privately owned automation revolution? .. ..

[Corbyn's Labour platform challenges ] privatized capitalist because the PCs use the British government to keep imprisoned in propaganda and suppressed in opportunity, the masses. The privateers made wealthy by their monopolies, are using their resources to maintain rule making and enforcement control (via the government) over the masses; such privateers have looted the government, and taken by privatization a vast array of economic monopolies that once belonged to the government. If the British government survives, the Privateers (monopoly thieves) will continue to use the government to replace humanity, in favor of corporate owned Robots and super capable algorithms.

Corbyn's threat to use government to represent the masses and to suppress or reduce asymmetric power and wealth, and to provide sufficient for everyone extends to, and alerts the masses in every capitalist dominated place in the world. He (Corbyn) is a very dangerous man, so too was Jesus Christ."

There is a similar call in France, but it is not yet so well led.

Michael Kenny , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
This sounds like a halfway house between hysterical panic and sour grapes. The author clearly believes that Brexit is going to fail.
T.T , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
Every working Dutch person is "owed" 50k euro from the bailout of Greece, not that Greece will ever pay this back, and not as if Greece ever really got the money as it just went straight to northern European banks to bail them out. Then we have the fiscal policy creating more money by the day to stimulate the economy, which also doesn't reach the countries or people just the banks. Then we have the flirting with East-European mobsters to pull them in the EU sphere corrupting top EU bureaucrats. Then we have all of south Europe being extremely unstable, including France, both its populations and its economy.

It's sad to see the British government doesn't see the disaster ahead, any price would be cheaper then future forced EU integration. And especially at this point, the EU is so unstable, that they can't go to war on the UK without also committing A kamikaze attack.

Brett Redmayne-Titley , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Brabantian Thank you for your comment and addition to my evaluation of Corbyn. I do agree with you that Corbyn has yet to be tested for sincerity and effectiveness as PM, but he will likely get his chance and only then will we and the Brits find out for sure. The main point I was hoping to make was that: due to the perceived threat of Labour socialist reform under Corbyn, he has been an ulterior motive in the negotiations and another reason that the EU wants PM May to get her deal passed. Yes, I too am watching Corbyn with jaundiced optimism. Thank you.

[Dec 07, 2018] An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

Che Guava , says: December 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm GMT

I agree Jilles, and with many other of the commenters.

Read enough to see that the article has many errors of fact and perception. It is bad enough to suspect *propaganda* , but Brett is clearly not at that level.

An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Yet strangely, to say anything about it only became acceptable when some numbers of the immigrants were fellow Europeans from within the EU, and most having some compatibility with existing ethnicity and previous culture.

Even people living far away notice such forced false consciousness.

As for Corbyn, he is nothing like the old left of old Labour. He tries to convey that image, it is a lie.

He may not be Blairite-Zio New Labour, and received some influence from the more heavily Marxist old Labour figures, but he is very much a creature of the post-worst-of-1968 and dirty hippy new left, Frankfurt School and all that crap, doubt that he has actually read much of it, but he has internalised it through his formal and political education.

By the way, the best translation of the name of North Korea's ruling party is 'Labour Party'. While it is a true fact, I intend nothing from it but a small laugh.

[Dec 06, 2018] Tom Kirkman

Notable quotes:
"... The psychological reason behind this trick has to do with "pattern recognition". Human beings – through evolution – have learned to identify a phenomenon as real and true because it repeats again and again and again ..."
"... The American knee-jerk reaction to the recent Kerch bridge incident is a case in point. Ignoring facts, people automatically placed Russian behavior in the "aggressive" category because they have been programed by constant repetition for many years to think this way. Not having been taught this trick of the mind even educated people buy into the narrative unaware that their schemata dictate that the belief must be reinforced. All experiences regarding Russia are simply put into one box labeled "aggressive behavior". ..."
"... Another psychological cause of why Americans buy into the "Russia is aggressive" narrative is due to "confirmation bias". For a variety of reasons many Americans demonize Russians. Part of this is due to the fact that people actually enjoy having a "bad guy" to hate. This is why outlaw cowboys and mafia gangsters are so popular in American culture. We love our "anti-heroes" as much if not more than our heroes. Putin, of course, is the prototypical "baddie". He's a real-life Boris from the Bullwinkle cartoon who satisfies our need to boo and hiss the proverbial bad guy. ..."
Dec 04, 2018 | community.oilprice.com

Tom Kirkman

Normally I don't quote entire articles, but this is a Panic Service Announcement (and a gentle ribbing).

My comment at the bottom, after the article.

The Psychological Origins of American Russophobia

The main reason so many Americans buy into the anti-Russian craze is not only due to what people are told by the government and media, but by how they think and process information. For if Americans were taught how to analyze and think properly they would not fall for the blatant propaganda.

For example, we are told that the Nazis discovered the secret of repetition as a means of programming people into believing something to be true, but we are not taught why this practice is so effective.

The psychological reason behind this trick has to do with "pattern recognition". Human beings – through evolution – have learned to identify a phenomenon as real and true because it repeats again and again and again. After a while, the mind interprets this consistent pattern as proof of truth value. In psychological terms, "schemata" are created by a layering of memories similar in nature over time so that all events associated with the phenomenon are perceived through a prism of previous repetitions. In other words, even if a certain type of behavior is different from the norm it will still be identified as belonging to the typical pattern regardless. It is literally a trick of the mind.

The American knee-jerk reaction to the recent Kerch bridge incident is a case in point. Ignoring facts, people automatically placed Russian behavior in the "aggressive" category because they have been programed by constant repetition for many years to think this way. Not having been taught this trick of the mind even educated people buy into the narrative unaware that their schemata dictate that the belief must be reinforced. All experiences regarding Russia are simply put into one box labeled "aggressive behavior".

Another psychological cause of why Americans buy into the "Russia is aggressive" narrative is due to "confirmation bias". For a variety of reasons many Americans demonize Russians. Part of this is due to the fact that people actually enjoy having a "bad guy" to hate. This is why outlaw cowboys and mafia gangsters are so popular in American culture. We love our "anti-heroes" as much if not more than our heroes. Putin, of course, is the prototypical "baddie". He's a real-life Boris from the Bullwinkle cartoon who satisfies our need to boo and hiss the proverbial bad guy.

To a certain extent, pattern recognition comes into play as well because in America TV shows and films over the past two decades evil Russian spies and mafia types have figured prominently. The repeating portrayals create schemata which then create stereotypes that frame how we think.

Russophobia, however, will not last forever because it is essentially based upon lies. Truth always wins out over time and fantasy gives way to reality. Despite the censorship on social media and the attempts to silence RT America the truth will eventually triumph.

For gagging the tongue of truth is always followed by a long-suppressed shout that echoes ever louder throughout the ages.

===============================

My comment:

The most basic form of mind control is repetition.
The most basic form of mind control is repetition.
The most basic form of mind control is repetition.
... ... ...
The most basic form of mind control is repetition.

Marina Schwarz
Well, Dr. Paul Whatshisname is obviously an agent of Putin. Did I even need to say this?

On a serious note, repetition works perhaps shockingly well. I was taught in my childhood that Germans are bad because Hitler and Russia was good because twice saviors. Simple and effective. However, with no social media at the time, critical thinking was also available so I could outgrow the propaganda.

A/Plague

... ... ...

Are you on a salary in "Russia Today" or a volunteer?

Tom Kirkman
On 12/5/2018 at 10:29 AM, A/Plague said: Are you on a salary in "Russia Today" or a volunteer?

I try to gently (and if possible, humorously) nudge people to question the "official narrative". CNN / WaPo is far worse propaganda than RT. RT is clearly biased, but they are open about their pro-Russia bias. CNN pretends to be objective "journalism".

And sometimes I feel like commenting in the same vein of this little guy, bouncing all over excitedly:

https://twitter.com/i/status/945219733464469504

Marina Schwarz
By the way, did you know RT was nominated for an Emmy this year? It actually has a few nominations. Shocking, right? I suspect a lot of the people who say "Ew, RT, propaganda," have never read anything from RT. I have. they regularly republish Reuters and the FT as well as major U.s. outlets. I don't know what to think about that, it's so confusing.
Tom Kirkman
16 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said: By the way, did you know RT was nominated for an Emmy this year? It actually has a few nominations. Shocking, right? I suspect a lot of the people who say "Ew, RT, propaganda," have never read anything from RT. I have. they regularly republish Reuters and the FT as well as major U.s. outlets. I don't know what to think about that, it's so confusing.

https://www.rt.com/about-us/

Dan Warnick
16 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said: By the way, did you know RT was nominated for an Emmy this year? It actually has a few nominations. Shocking, right? I suspect a lot of the people who say "Ew, RT, propaganda," have never read anything from RT. I have. they regularly republish Reuters and the FT as well as major U.s. outlets. I don't know what to think about that, it's so confusing.

When I read their articles I am mindful that they are Russian. Having said that, they seem to publish a lot of good content, and much of it is from Reuters and other (mostly) reputable sources. Editorials are free for anyone to research for themselves. Pretty much the same as other pubs.

Rodent
Laying conspiracy theories aside for one moment (and I do so love a good conspiracy theory), let's chat about this Russia panic.

I am not one to panic in general. Sure, I have a food, guns, and water stash in my basement. I'm generally well prepared. There are Russia-is-the-boogeyman theories, and then there are Russia-boogey-man-theories-are-silly theories. Of course they both can't be right.

But where do these theories come from?

I am sure I'm not going to do a very good job explaining my self in the rant that follows. But I'm going to give it a good college try.

I want to talk about the Russia Boogeyman theory. First, there's no way to explain this other than to divulge my age. So I'm just going to spit it out right here and get that out of the way. I'm 40. I've been 40 for approximately 5 years, stubbornly refusing to go further than that. There. I said it. Now that that's out of the way, it's important to note that children are sponges. As such, they are impressionable and in young childhood, traumatic events can have a profound and lasting effect, and even change how someone thinks.

When I was about 10ish, in about 1983, a movie came out. If you lived in America, and likely even if you didn't, and you're over the age of 40 (or if you've been 40 for a while), you've seen it. It's a movie called "The Day After". It was a huge production and it aired on television. The most watched TV movie ever. And ranked as one of the top 10 movies ever by several sources. You millennial whippersnappers will have no clue what I'm talking about. Read on anyway, if you'd like. I'm all inclusive.

The movie was about nuclear warfare, and most importantly, the aftermath. The setting was a small town in Kansas, I think. A small town that very closely resembled my home town, making it particularly impactful (I know that's not a word. Sue me.) to me at the time. In the movie, which although was a complete work of fiction was very realistic, Russia unleashed nuclear weapons. It was freaky. So eerily unsettling was it that I obsessed about it after I saw it. I thought about it every night. I remember being so afraid that in the event of a nuclear blast, I might be separated from my family. I remember pondering if I would rather be obliterated in the blast immediately, or whether I would prefer to be spared instant death only to survive without my family under horrid conditions. I also remember drills at school around that same time that were designed to get people prepared in the event of such a disaster. While it may have done so, it also solidified in my mind that there was a real possibility these events would unfold.

Nearly two years post-freaky-movie, Sting released it's "Russia" song, about Russians loving their children too. Although it was not talked about much at the time, since life proceeded as normal, in my mind I remember thinking that I didn't much care if the Russians loved their children, because they were looking to wipe us off the map. And I lived near the Soo Locks, and I distinctly remember knowing (but I don't have any idea where I came by this information) that the Locks would be a nuclear target in the event of a strike, since it is a main thoroughfare for ships.

You can't undo that kind of fear, no more than you can undo my fear of spiders. I know in my head that spiders, at least where I live, are not poisonous and they cannot harm me. I know it. But my head cannot eradicate the intense creepiness that even thinking about spiders conjures up. Likewise, no rational thought about Russia can completely undo a fear that was borne as a child.

There you have it. My Russia hysteria may be founded or unfounded--I know not. But I do not have the power within me to change this mindset.

Okay Russia-boogeyman-theories-are-silly promoters: fire away.

@Tom Kirkman @Marina Schwarz

Dan Warnick
Great description of what life was like back then, er, so I was told, by older people. Not those of us born in the 60's, er, I mean the 70's, er, the 80's. Yeah, that's it, the 80's!
Marina Schwarz
We had attack training at school in the 80s -- complete with gas masks and stuff -- on the other side of the Iron Curtain for when the imperialists invaded, what can I say. I was too distracted by everything to pay attention, though. @Rodent , your story tells me your propaganda was better than our propaganda, perish the thought. The Cold War was a blast, right?

P.S. Stephen King has done a really good overview of this stage in the U.S. entertainment industry, by the way. The stages of horror in movies. behind the curtain we only had heroic movies about the Second World War. I shall now hypothesize that the Soviet bloc lost the Cold War because its entertainment industry was absent. End of hypothesizing. Thank you for your attention.

Rodent
8 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said: We had attack training at school in the 80s -- complete with gas masks and stuff -- on the other side of the Iron Curtain for when the imperialists invaded, what can I say. I was too distracted by everything to pay attention, though. @Rodent , your story tells me your propaganda was better than our propaganda, perish the thought. The Cold War was a blast, right?

P.S. Stephen King has done a really good overview of this stage in the U.S. entertainment industry, by the way. The stages of horror in movies. behind the curtain we only had heroic movies about the Second World War. I shall now hypothesize that the Soviet bloc lost the Cold War because its entertainment industry was absent. End of hypothesizing. Thank you for your attention.

Makes sense. Not surprisingly the movie makers (supposedly) did not want to have Russia be the first striker in the movie, but they needed to borrow some footage from the DoD, and the govt. refused to play ball unless Russia struck first. The guy who made the movie, while he was making it, reportedly would go home at night literally sick to his stomach at the horrific nature of the movie. It went rounds and rounds with the censors who thought it might not be suitable for families.

Also interesting, speaking of Russia-led propaganda, and coming from someone who has dabbled a tiny bit in white-hatishness, if you google "The Day After Russia" as I did to inquire about the movie, there is actually a Russian movie titled "the day after" about zombies. Yup, let's just bury those search results! It's a conspiracy!!!

There is another interesting thread here about the different search results showing up for different people. What shows up when YOU google "The Day After"?

Rodent
You know, speaking of conspiracies, there is a fairly logical opinion that that movie was designed to scare the bajeezus out of people so they wouldn't vote for Reagan a second term.

[Dec 05, 2018] Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May is wailing loudly against a Trump threat to reveal classified documents relating to Russiagate by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Rather, they seem to appear to reveal a plot by the British intelligence and security services working in collusion with then CIA Director John Brennan to subvert the course of the 2016 election in favor of the Deep State and Establishment favorite Hillary Clinton. How did that one work out? ..."
Dec 05, 2018 | www.unz.com
121 Comments Reply

And there are other friends in unlikely places. Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May is wailing loudly against a Trump threat to reveal classified documents relating to Russiagate. The real problem is that the documents apparently don't expose anything done by the Russians.

Rather, they seem to appear to reveal a plot by the British intelligence and security services working in collusion with then CIA Director John Brennan to subvert the course of the 2016 election in favor of the Deep State and Establishment favorite Hillary Clinton. How did that one work out?

So how about it? Teenagers who get in trouble often have to ditch their bad friends to turn their lives around. There is still a chance for the United States if we keep our distance from the bad friends we have been nurturing all around the world, friends who have been convincing us to make poor choices. Get rid of the ties the bind to the Saudis, Israelis, Ukrainians, Poles, and yes, even the British. Deal fairly with all nations and treat everyone the same, but bear in mind that there are only two relationships that really matter – Russia and China. Make a serious effort to avoid a war by learning how to get along with those two nations and America might actually survive to celebrate a tricentennial in 2076.

The Alarmist , says: December 4, 2018 at 10:39 am GMT
You don't say; British Collusion to influence the 2016 US Presidential elections. Why, if the beneficiary was anyone other than a Democrat, much less one named Clinton, someone might actually appoint a Special Counsel to look into it, not to mention the misdeeds of the various agencies and departments who aided and abetted it.
anon [178] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
"You don't say; British Collusion to influence the 2016 US Presidential elections."

MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given. They later put Michael Steele onto the project; he was a guy with credible Russian contacts. Basically, the scam worked like this:

They funneled an MI6 intelligence file to Michael Steele (governments routinely keep such files on influential foreigners and what they are up to) so he could use his contacts to launder the information and make it appear that it came from sources within Russia; they then funneled the report back to elements of the FBI so they could use it to justify to the FISA court a spying campaign on Trump (the FBI illegally withheld the source of the document); they found nothing proving any Russian connection but they kept the spy program going; they tried justifying the spy program with a fake story involving a reliable asset that once passed information from Jimmy Carter's campaign to George H.W. Bush in an effort to help Reagan win the 1980 election; they later paid the asset nearly a quarter million dollars for his efforts using a fake "India-China" grant despite the grant running to 2018, the asset attempted to get a job in the Trump administration so he could act as a mole ; the Obama regime purposely mishandled information in regards to the spying program (ex: Michael Steele leaked his document to various news sources before the election and later lied to congress about it), ensuring it would leak to the press; the Obama regime illegally unmasked elements of Trump's personal contacts so they could clandestinely leak suggested targets off the record to the right people

They lost the election anyway, so they then planted dirt and negative press to make the document look legit – lies about Manafort meeting Assange (Guardian is funded by the British government to police the left), WaPo lies claiming a vast Russian conspiracy just as Trump came into office (it was an effort to delegitimize him and create calls for Hillary to take his place), leaking bank records, the special counsel .and leaking information on Trump policies to the media using a secret security clearance credentials program enacted by Obama. They also ran interference through CIA guys like Mark Warner in an effort to cover up the mole they planted; they falsely asserted this was a national security issue when the man's identity was well-known to the press and he was never an undercover spy like Jarret was, at least not in recent history.

To put this all into perspective, imagine the following scenario:

The government takes cctv footage of you at a grocery store; in the background there is an attractive woman. The woman then goes missing. The government illegally reads your emails and finds that you like sexual jokes. The government then interviews a friend of yours who claims that you once made a risque rape joke back in college. They also plant a mole in your workplace who befriends you and reports back all of your politically incorrect humor. Then the cops find the woman's body and the government claims that you killed her because you were in the area at the time and you make bad jokes, which has been confirmed by multiple credible people. You look guilty, don't you? The government 1) took information out of context 2) laundered circumstantial evidence through a credible witness when they originally obtained it elsewhere using nefarious sources. That's what they did to Trump, but much much much worse.

Johnny Walker Read , says: December 4, 2018 at 1:38 pm GMT
Like a friends divorce lawyer told him: You go to bed with a nasty bitch, you wake up with a nasty bitch.
Johnny Rottenborough , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm GMT
a plot by the British intelligence and security services to subvert the course of the 2016 election in favor of the Deep State and Establishment favorite Hillary Clinton. How did that one work out?

Deep State and Establishment stooge Donald Trump.

There is still a chance for the United States if we

declare independence from the Jewish Empire.

[Dec 05, 2018] Manufacturing Official Narrative by C.J. Hopkins

Guardian is just a propaganda outlet. That sad fact does not exclude the possibility of publishing really good articles, thouth. That still happens occasionally.
The fact that they follow MI6 and Foreign Office talking points in all foreign events coverage a is just a testament the GB is a "national security state". Nothing more, nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others). ..."
"... The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it. ..."
"... By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange. ..."
"... And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story. ..."
"... It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. ..."
"... Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so. ..."
"... The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. ..."
"... It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." ..."
"... The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts. ..."
"... Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts . ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

...First, let's look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing official narrative (aka "official truth" or "truth" -- note quotes ). I'm going to use The Guardian 's most recent blatantly fabricated article (" Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy ") as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by "respectable" outlets over the course of the last two years. The " Russian Propaganda Peddlers " story. The " Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton " story. The " Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid " story. The " Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape " story. The " Novichok Assassins " story. The " Bana Alabed Speaks Out " story. The " Trump's Secret Russian Server " story. The " Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis " story. The " Russians Orchestrated Brexit " story. The " Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms " story. The " Twitter Bots " story. And the list goes on.

I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others).

The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.

At this point, I imagine you're probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing "truth." Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the "truth" thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes' lies). Unfortunately, it isn't. Here is why.

Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

Nor are there many "truths" (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one "truth" the "official truth". The "truth" according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of "truth" was invented (i.e., to render any other "truths" lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some "objective truth" (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger's dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn't. The truth is just a story a story that is never our story.

The "truth" is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else's story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the "truth" of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their "truth" as heresy. They regard their "truth" as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.

For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or "fearless adversarial" outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.

Or all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian , or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can't afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.

Look, I'm not trying to argue that it isn't important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." People already know the truth the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.

As for Julian Assange, I'm afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn't left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can't have heretics of Assange's notoriety running around punching holes in their "truth" and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.

#

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

Manufacturing Truth

James Forrestal , says: December 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm GMT

Good piece. I think there's another layer, though.

The truth or falsehood of individual facts about the physical world can often be determined with near-certainty. But when it comes to history, or "news" about current events/ politics, reality is much too complex to address directly. Too many individual facts to be comprehensible, let alone useful.

We must pick, choose, emphasize, or ignore particular elements, and arrange them into some kind of structure, in order to form a useful narrative. Or in the case of "news," the legacy media oligarchy largely performs this function for us -- we simply passively accept/ adopt their narrative. Or, in many cases, "choose" between the closely-related variants of that narrative offered by the "liberal" vs. "conservative" press.

This process of abstraction, simplification, and organization inevitably involves data loss. So no narrative is "true" in the same sense that individual facts about the real world are true. But some narratives incorporate large amounts of "facts" that are demonstrably false, and some are more useful/ descriptive/ predictive than others. No one engaged in this process is "objective." They -- or we -- are all in some way part of the story. It should be self-evident that some narratives are more useful to the perceived interests of owners of major media outlets than others, and that these will assume a much more prominent place in their coverage than ones that are deleterious to those interests.

Ideally, most people would take these factors into account when evaluating the "news," and maintain a much more skeptical attitude than they typically do. But there are several factors that prevent this.

One is simply time/ efficiency. These individual narratives, taken together, support -- and are supported by -- our overall worldview. There aren't enough hours in the day to be constantly skeptical about everything, especially since the major tools of distortion involved in constructing mainstream narratives tend to be selection bias/ memory-holing, with obvious lies about known facts (like the Guardian story referenced here) used only sparingly. It's simply not practical to to constantly consider potentially "better" narratives, and to reevaluate one's worldview based on these.

And which narrative we believe often has more to do with perceived social pressure/ social acceptability than with "truth." As you put it,

Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Mass media pushing a common narrative creates an artificial perception of social consensus. Creating, or even finding, alternative narratives means fighting the inertia of this perceived consensus, and potentially suffering social costs for believing in the "wrong" one. The social role of narratives is largely independent of their "truth" -- if what you're "supposed" to believe is highly implausible, that actually gives it higher value as a signal of loyalty to the establishment.

It's probably best to maintain a resolutely agnostic attitude toward most "news" items, unless one is particularly interested in that particular event. " Why are they pushing this particular story?" "Why now ?" and " What are they trying to accomplish here?" are often more useful questions than "Is it true?"

It's not a new issue -- only exacerbated by the advent of mass visual media:
"Propaganda" -- Edward Bernays (1928)
"The Free Press"– Hilaire Belloc (1918)

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT
I get what Hopkins is trying to do here, but redefining terms (i.e., "truth") doesn't do what he thinks it does.

The truth is not ' what most people think '; it's not ' what we are told to believe '; it's not ' the official narrative '.

There is a useful cautionary tale embedded in Hopkins' piece, but he doesn't tease it out properly.

Take this excerpt:

The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

With significant caveats, it is a reasonable description of the way the political world works: if the political class decides that its interests are best served by declaring that a specific narrative X is 'true', it will obtain immediate compliance from about half the livestock, and can then rely on force (peer pressure; subsidy or taxation; state coercion) to get an absolute majority of the herd to declare that they accept the 'truth' of X .

If X is objectively false, too bad.

Try to run a legal argument based on the objective falsity of a thing that the political class has deemed to be true: you'll be shit outta luck.

This is highly relevant where I am sitting: here are two examples – one really obvious, one a bit less so (but far more important because of its radical implications).

Obvious Example: Drug Dogs

Recent research has shown that drug sniffing dogs give false positive signals between 60% and 80% of the time – i.e., in terms of identifying people who are in actual physical possession of drugs at any point in time, drug sniffing dogs perform worse than a coin toss.

Note that this is before considering that the dog's handler is often pointing the dog at a target that the handler thinks is likely to be carrying drugs. (Although in reality, drug dogs are paraded around at concerts and in public spaces, sniffing every passer-by).

However there is an Act of Parliament (capitalise all the magic words) that asserts that a signal from a drug sniffing dog is sufficient to qualify as what Americans call "probable cause" – i.e., reasonable suspicion for a search.

Does anyone think that evidence should be admissible if it results from a search conducted based on 'probable cause' derived from a method that produces worse outcomes than tossing a coin?

Judges will tie themselves into absolute epistemological knots to get that evidence admitted – and they will refuse to permit defence Counsel from adducing evidence about drug dog inaccuracy because since the defendant actually did have drugs in their possession, the dog didn't signal falsely.

In other words, the judge conflates posterior probability with prior probability; the prior probability that the dog is correct, is 10%-40%; this should not suffice to generate probable cause (or 'reasonable suspicion).

More Interesting Example: 'Representative' Democracy

In general, Western governments assert that their legitimacy stems from two primary sources: some founding set of principles (usually a constitution – written or otherwise), and 'representativeness' (including ratification of the constitution by a representative mechanism, for those places with written foundational documents).

The Arrow Impossibility Theorem [1,2] and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem [3,4], both show that there is no way of accurately determining group preferences using an ordinal voting mechanism.

What this boils down to, is that representativeness is a lie – and it's a lie before any consideration of voting outcomes ; it's a meta -problem (the problem that ordinal voting cannot do what it is claimed to do – viz ., accurately identify the 'will of the people'/'social preferences'/'what the people want').

Beyond the meta-problem, there is also the actual counting problem: no government has ever been elected having obtained the votes of an outright bare majority, i.e., 50%-plus-1 of the entire eligible franchise. (It's more like 25-35% for most parliamentary systems – for US presidential elections in the full-franchise period, the winner is voted for by 29% of the eligible population; you would be horrified to look at US Senate results).

So when the new unhappy lords (and their Little Eichmann bureaucrat enablers) promulgate laws based on assertions of legitimacy because of a constitutional Grundnorm and/or the representative nature of government both of those things are pretty obvious furphies; they are objectively not 'truth' and no amount of heel-clicking and wishing will make it so.

Which brings us to a key legal aphorism that has a jurisprudential history going back four centuries: Ratio legis est anima legis, et mutata legis ratione, mutatur ex lex – which dates from Milborn's case ( Coke 7a KB [1609]).

The reason for a law is the soul of the law, and if the reason for a law has changed, the law is changed .

What this means – explicitly – is that " no law can survive the [extinction of the] reasons on which it is founded ".

American courts re-expressed this as " cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex " (the reason for a law having ceased, the law itself ceases) – e.g., in Funk v. United States , 290 US 371 (1933) in which Justice Sutherland opined –

This means that no law can survive the reasons on which it is founded. It needs no statute to change it; it abrogates itself . If the reasons on which a law rests are overborne by opposing reasons, which in the progress of society gain a controlling force, the old law, though still good as an abstract principle, and good in its application to some circumstances, must cease to apply as a controlling principle to the new circumstances.

(Emphasis mine)

Again: try running this argument in a court: " The asserted basis for all laws promulgated by the government, is provably false. Under a doctrine with a 4-century jurisprudential provenance, the law itself is void ."

See how far you get.

So Hopkins makes a good-but-obvious point – power does not respect either rights or truth; as such it does you no good whatsoever to have the actual truth on your side. He should have made the point better.

References (links are to PDFs of each paper)

[1] Arrow (1950). " A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare " Journal of Political Economy 58 (4): 328–346

[2] Geanakoplos, John (2005). " Three Brief Proofs of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem " Economic Theory 26 (1): 211–215

[3] Gibbard (1973). " Manipulation of voting schemes: a general result " Econometrica 41 (4): 587–601.

[4] Satterthwaite (April 1975). " Strategy-proofness and Arrow's Conditions: Existence and Correspondence Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions " Journal of Economic Theory 10: 187–217.

Brabantian , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
C J Hopkins, despite some good quotes and insights above, regrettably falls into the trap of peddling Derrida-tier relativistic nonsense, playing a word game about 'truth', as if 'truth' was not real merely because most people have strong incentives to avoid being devoted to it

Where you stand depends upon where you sit, etc., Karl Marx's dictums about economic and power positions shaping consciousness, and of course the century-old classic:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

from Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Hopkins more or less repeats Sinclair when he says

Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Despite selling-out truth to the relativism devil in some passages, Hopkins nevertheless creates some quotable, including the particularly insightful:

The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative.

The following notion of Hopkins is seen now and then in the alt-sphere, but always bears repeating

It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution."

... ... ...

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Tulip

The coin of truth is iron and blood.

That's absolutely, 100% wrong.

Iron and blood are the tools used to force people to accept what isn't true. (Another way to tell: it was uttered by a fucking politician – a cunt who wanted to live in palaces paid for by the sweat of other people's brows).

Truth does not need violence to propagate itself: in a completely-peaceful system of free exchange, bad ideas (of which lies are a subset) will get driven out of the market place because they will fail to conform to ground truth.

Falsehood requires violence (arguably it is a form of violence: fraud is 'violent' because it causes its victims to misallocate their resources or to deform their preferences and expectations).

In a very real sense, truth does not need friends: all it requires is an absence of powerful enemies.

RobinG , says: December 4, 2018 at 12:21 am GMT
@James Forrestal

Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States

https://www.occupationmovie.org/

This film shows a great example of propaganda in action. Free to watch now and this link also includes a short version and a trailer.

Jett Rucker , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
When I tell any Truth, it is not for the sake of Convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who Do.

~ William Blake, 1810

polistra , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT
The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts.

But we CAN know the truth about our own situation, our own neighborhood, and our own families. The current riots in France are a concrete ASSERTION of local truth against the blatant and condescending official lies. The majority of France is getting poorer and suffering more from migrant crime. Macron insists that starvation is necessary to serve Gaia, and crime is necessary to serve Juncker. The people would prefer to have a leader that serves France.

The scalpel , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@FB Scientific truth is limited by two factors – assumptions, and hidden variables. For example, we might drop a brick in a vacuum and believe that it falls at 9.8 m/s squared. Here, we make the assumption that the force of gravity is constant. And for most of history we were unaware of the hidden variable of relativity to the speed of light.

So, assuming (LOL) that we are able to eliminate all assumptions and account for all hidden variables, there is a scientific truth. That is ASSUMING we are not just a simulation in someone elses computer!

Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts .

DFH , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
What is truth? – John 18:38
FB , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@The scalpel LOL and then there is the 'observer effect' also especially in good old quantum mechanics in the end scientific truth does boil down to what 'some can agree on'
Tulip , says: December 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@Kratoklastes Strength is the production of force over distance. That is to say, force is a quantifiable, physical phenomenon that, deconstruct it as much as you want, will hit you like a tsunami whether you believe it or not.

Force only works because there is a real world that transcends philosophical bullshit and marketing.

The subjective piece is will: victory is attained when the enemies will to resist is crushed. Through the repeated use of physical force, eventually any enemy can be worn down and vanquished.

The world is finite, desire is infinite, and for every desire and appetite, there is a will. As multiple wills will that they attain their infinite desires in a finite world, there will always be a conflict of will, which will always ultimately be resolved by force. Which means ultimately, despite the rich imaginations and appetites of humans, and their related striving, physical force will ultimately rule the day, and conquer, condition, and constrain the mental life of mankind.

Of course, desire and appetite will not take no for an answer, and in their frustration, they will imagine, fantasize, and conceptualize rationales for why this is not so. This is the nature of our desires, and in good times of prosperity and peace, they may even bend our reason in the direction of these appetites and fantasies, until the instincts for self preservation and endurance rust, and are even forgotten. But like the moon revealed by a passing cloud, the perpetual war of human existence will inevitably reassert itself, and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing.

TimothyPMadden , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
What is truth ?

Truth is a word .

After reading the article and the aggregate comments, I am strengthened in my belief that the physics analogy of Schrödinger's cat is among the most useful (and notwithstanding the otherwise valid criticism of it in the comments). In the same way that the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, does not purport to define a given word, per se , but rather gives a detailed description of how the word has in fact been used over the years and centuries.

I refer to my version of Schrödinger's cat as counter-sense words or oscillating-contradictions .

Oscillating contradictions and cogno-linguistic manipulation

The primary means by which corporate supremacy, for example, is achieved and maintained in practice is via the maintenance and use of a small arsenal of about two dozen critical counter-sense or yo-yo -like words/terms that are asserted or claimed to mean either "X" or "Minus-X" at the option of the decision-maker.

Among the most important and sui generis (in a class of its own) is the word person which is held to mean a living, breathing being of conscience (literally a being of equity) with the rights, powers and privileges of such being ("X"), or else it can mean a corporate entity which is a notional/inanimate item of property to be bought and sold and otherwise traded for profit in the stock and financial markets ("Minus-X").

By way of example/demonstration of the ongoing cognitive manipulation process, if someone had managed to hit the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court with a blast of truth-ray just before they announced their decision in Citizens United, here is what we may have got instead:

[MORE]

We here at the Supreme Court are part of what can be fairly and broadly referred to as an arm of the entrenched-money-power.

At certain times and under certain circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be natural-persons-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person or living being of conscience.

At other times and other circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be items of property that can be actively bought and sold and traded for profit in the stock and financial markets.

Your laughable naiveté is manifest in your expectation that you are going to receive a definitive answer from this Court, or even that it is possible for us to give you one. Among the foundational purposes of this Court is to actively prevent that question from being answered definitively at all. The instant we give a definitive answer, the game is over.

Whatever answer we give you must perpetuate the systematized delusion that the same concept (corporate personhood) can mean either X (a living being of conscience), or minus-X (an item of property), depending on the ever-changing needs of the decider.

So our current answer is that a corporation is a natural-person-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, except when it isn't. We'll let you know next time whether that situation has changed in the meantime.

Essentially all counter-sense words/terms follow that same template .

Notwithstanding that the respective concepts are logically and objectively mutually exclusive , the judges of the Courts (and the broadly-defined financial-world/social-control-structure) maintain that it can be either or both , and we'll let you know if and when it becomes important.

So a corporate person has a right of free speech when giving money to influence political parties, but not to object to itself being sold as a piece of property in the stock and financial markets or when it is acquired in a merger or takeover financed by its own assets. If a corporation has the legal capacity and rights of a natural person, then how can it be owned as the legal property of another? The purpose of the Courts is to ensure that that question is never presented in that way.

After person , the remaining most significant counter-sense or yo-yo -like words are (surprise surprise) essentially all money-and-finance-based, and the most important among these is the word principal and its role in facilitating illegal front-loading or ex-temporal fraud (interest illegally and unlawfully compounded in advance).

Is the amount of principal the actual or net amount advanced by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use and control?

Or is it the amount that the debtor agrees that they owe regardless of the amount received?

Is the amount of principal a question of fact ? Or of the agreement of parties ?

[Here is the premise / offer that is referenced immediately below:]

Lender (e.g., typical second-mortgage lender): "I will loan you $10,000 at 20% per annum provided that you sign and give to me a marketable security that claims or otherwise purports to evidence that I have loaned you $15,000 at 10% per annum, plus an undisclosed and unregistered side-agreement and cheque (check) back to me for a bonus or loan fee of $5,000 as a payment from the nominal proceeds."

In the process example used above, what is the principal amount of the loan? Is it $10,000 because that is the factual net amount invested by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use? Or is it $15,000 because that is the amount that the debtor is required to falsely agree that they have received and owe as a condition of the loan? Or is it $20,000 because that is the total cash-equivalent/money assets ($15,000 mortgage + $5,000 cheque) that the debtor has to give to the creditor?

Is it a noun/fact ? Or is it an adjective/opinion merely pretending to be a noun? All debt and therefore money in the world today depends on the answer to that question that theoretically cannot exist.

Principal is a special type (and most significant form) of counter-sense word or oscillating contradiction where dictionaries normally only give one sense, while commercial practice defines the contrary. It would be very difficult to put the Whatever-the-debtor-agrees-that-they-owe sense into a dictionary, because the fraud against meaning (as well as the criminal law) is manifest in spelling it out, and ever more so in more specialized financial dictionaries.

So virtually every legal, financial, accounting, and ordinary English dictionary and/or regulation defines it to the effect "The actual amount invested, loaned or advanced to the debtor/borrower net of any interest, discount, premium or fees", while virtually every financial security in the real world at least implicitly incorporates the fraudulent alternative/contrary meaning.

This in turn allows the academic world to function on the rational/factual definition, while the markets maintain a wholly contradictory deemed or pretended reality, while both remain oblivious to the contradiction.

Thus principal means the nominal creditor's actual and net investment, unless it doesn't .

With this class of counter-sense word where there is a necessary and definitive answer, the real job of the judges of the Courts becomes to make certain that the question is never officially asked, and under no circumstances is it to be definitively answered.

With just one of these words you can theoretically steal the Earth . With a financial system that is relatively saturated with them, such becomes child's play . With these rules a group of competently-trained chimpanzees otherwise pulling levers at random could do as well as the so-called wizards of Wall Street .

And significantly, these oscillating contradictions enable the judges to be self-righteous in the extreme on behalf of the entrenched-money-power, while looting the little people of the product of their labour.

As in: You have received the principal amount ($10,000) and you are going to pay back the principal amount ($15,000) plus the ever-accumulating (and super-leveraged) interest upon it according to your contract, while the meaning of the word oscillates between fact and opinion – between a noun and an adjective – according to what the judge needs it to mean (or accommodate) at any given instant in time.

It seems impossibly obvious in this simple example, but with several of them orchestrated simultaneously or sequentially, anything can truly be made to mean anything .

A partial list of the most critical oscillating-contradicitions includes: loan, credit, discount, interest, rate-of-interest, agreement, contract, security, repay, restitution, etc., all of which mean either "X" or its conceptual opposite "Minus-X" at the option of the entrenched-money-power whose vast financial fortunes are founded on such cogno-linguistic arbitrage .

Here are what I believe to be four essential tools needed to triangulate reality via congo-linguistic parallax . The first two are mine, and the last two are from the American and English Courts, respectively.

1. Humans are highly cogno-linguistic . We perceive reality very largely as a function of the language that we use to describe it. Most everyone inherently believes and presumes that you have to be able to think something before you can say it. The greater reality is that, above a certain base level of perception and communication, you have to have the words and language by which to say something before you can think it .

2. The world is ever-increasingly controlled and administered by people who genuinely believe whatever is necessary for the answer they need. Administrative agents of the entrenched-money-power have solved the criminal-law enigma of mens rea or guilty mind by evolving or devolving (take your pick) into professional schizophrenics who genuinely believe whatever they need to believe for the answer they need, and who communicate among themselves subconsciously by how they name things. They suffer a cogno-linguistically-induced diminished capacity that renders them incapable of perceiving reality beyond labels .

3. Their core business model or modus operandi is the systematized delusion :

"A "systematized delusion" is one based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion ; there being one central delusion, around which other aberrations of the mind converge." Taylor v. McClintock, 112 S.W. 405, 412, 87 Ark. 243. (West's Judicial Words and Phrases (1914)).

4.

One must not confuse the object of a conspiracy [to defraud] with the means by which it is intended to be carried out. Scott v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1974] 60 Cr. App. R. 124 H.L.

I have long since abandoned my search for truth, per se, since I came to realize that the best I can ever do is to constantly strive to move closer to it. With apologies to the physicists, Truth is the Limit of Infinite Good Faith .

The Scalpel , says: Website December 5, 2018 at 12:34 am GMT
@Tulip " which will always ultimately be resolved by force."

Right there is where you lost the plot. That statement is just your opinion and it cannot be proven true. The rest of your argument falls victim to this logical error.

" and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing."

Also, just your opinion. For example, the "dreamer" might die still comforted by his/her dreams, while the "prepper" might waste his life witing for the "inevitable' that never arrives.

redmudhooch , says: December 5, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT
Truth shall set you free.

For the First Time Since 9/11, Federal Gov't Takes Steps to Prosecute the Use of Explosives to Destroy WTCs

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/911-lawyers-petition-grand-jury-explosives/

In what can be described as a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth, a United States Attorney has agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers.

The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).

After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.

Some good documentary films here to watch for free:

http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

Heres a couple more. Occupation of the American Mind is very good. All of John Pilgers films are great.

James Forrestal , says: December 5, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz

My question/quibble relates to your objection to the use of sniffer dogs to establish probable cause for search because it is no better than a coin toss. That seems fallacious if, according to your figures, the dogs sniff 500 people and get excited by 10 of them of which 3 are correctly identified and 7 are false positives.

Yeah. The concepts of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value might be very helpful in assessing this.

[Dec 02, 2018] CIA Officials Continue Efforts To Marginalize President Trump

Dec 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Caius Keys , 6 hours ago link

CIA Officials Continue Efforts To Marginalize President Trump Via Washington Post

There is a particular transparency of motive which becomes clear, and reconciles all inquiry, when an interested observer accepts a particular media framework:

Hadenough1000 , 4 hours ago link

Arab brennan

was arab Obamas weaponizing king

dumbocrats you put Arabs in total power??? 😳😳

After the rapist Clinton's Arabs burned 3000 Americans to death???

what possibly could go wrong😜😜

Caius Keys , 4 hours ago link

Bushes love SA long time https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/12/its-time-to-stop-holding-saudi-arabias-hand-gcc-summit-camp-david/

CatInTheHat , 6 hours ago link

"the rout of Sunni jihadists in Syria by the combined forces of the Syrian government, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, it's clear that Islamic terrorism is no longer a threat that stirs the paranoia necessary to feed big military and intelligence budgets . For all the money they've spent, intelligence has done a terrible job of either anticipating terrorist strikes or defeating them in counterinsurgency warfare"

Excuse me,but WTF??

It's the US,NATO, Israhell and Saudis that created ISIS, with the above mentioned spending BILLIONS to combat ISIS in Syria.

The war on terror is a hoax. The lame exploitation of Arabs and Islam to manufacture consent for war on Iraq, starting with Mossad planting of low yield thermal nuke weapons that brought the Towers down..Saudis were the patsies.

All of this with blessing of Zionists banksters and US Treasury& Fed Reserve.

[Dec 02, 2018] MSM are the biggest tool of passive compliance and propagandizing by a relatively docile population

Dec 02, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

PAX November 30, 2018 at 10:34 am

A timely article. Main Stream Media (MSM) are the biggest tool of passive compliance and propagandizing by a relatively docile population. I open the CNN URL and it is like reading the neocon version of 1960's Pravda. The Australian government should be doing more to get Julian Assange out of his current predicament. The 4th Estate is withering on the vine to comply with lobby dictates.The Founders had a reason to mention this entity in the Constitution.
Fran Macadam , says: November 30, 2018 at 10:37 am
Donald Trump used to love Julian Assange's WikiLeaks media outlet. Said so over a hundred times. Sad!
Sid Finster , says: November 30, 2018 at 11:10 am
To be fair to the MSM, they know that they are safe from persecution, as they never print a word that the establishment does not want to see published.
Fran Macadam , says: November 30, 2018 at 4:50 pm
Now here are some purveyors of Fake News, all evidence-free assertions proven totally false:

"But the evidence increasingly points to Assange having made himself a willing tool of Russian Intelligence. There's a huge difference between pursuing the public's right to know and and acting as the clandestine agent of an adversarial foreign power."

"He's a spy, a saboteur and a rapist. I'm all in for the free and adversarial press but when a reporter is an actual criminal, lock him up."

Fran Macadam , says: November 30, 2018 at 4:54 pm
"I don't think that it's the content of his email release that got Assange in hot water. It was his calculated timing of the release to cause the most harm to a candidate's run for President."

Right, journalists should always withhold true information about a politician and the political processes they engage in from the public, so that the voters will remain deceived. Well, I guess, the politicians YOU favor.

polistra , says: November 30, 2018 at 5:47 pm
The press does not have to be afraid. The press is Deepstate. The Department of "Justice" is Deepstate. They are the same machine, working in beautiful synchrony to obliterate civilization.
SteveK9 , says: December 1, 2018 at 9:03 am
Peter the 'press' is obviously not worried about losing their ability to inform the public of the truth, because they no longer view that as their function. They are tools of propaganda for the oligarchs that rule America. There are a few people like yourself, who want to inform the public, but you represent a (shrinking) minority.
Bill Lawrence , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:05 am
It's funny how Ds claim Assange helped seal Hillary's fate by releasing the emails without recognizing the reality that the emails needed to exist in order to be released.

Why would you vote for someone who admitted to doing the things described?

BTW, should "John Doe" the leaker of the Panama Papers be tracked down?

Chef , says: December 1, 2018 at 4:08 pm
This conundrum is partially the result of picking and choosing the enforcement of laws based on political affiliation or beliefs.
We are not a republic now.
The individual has been declared an enemy of GovCo, the EstGOP and the Democrat People's Parties.

[Dec 01, 2018] Assange Never Met Manafort by Craig Murray

Notable quotes:
"... I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.

Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified "Russians" to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort's plea deal was over.

The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these "Russians" are in the visitor logs.

This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.

There were no exceptions. For an exception to be made for Manafort and the "Russians" would have had to be a decision of the Government of Ecuador, not of Wikileaks, and that would be so exceptional the reason for it would surely have been noted in the now leaked supposed Ecuadorean "intelligence report" of the visits. What possible motive would the Ecuadorean government have for facilitating secret unrecorded visits by Paul Manafort? Furthermore it is impossible that the intelligence agency – who were in charge of the security – would not know the identity of these alleged "Russians".

Previously Harding and the Guardian have published documents faked by the Moreno government regarding a diplomatic appointment to Russia for Assange of which he had no knowledge. Now they follow this up with more documents aimed to provide fictitious evidence to bolster Mueller's pathetically failed attempt to substantiate the story that Russia deprived Hillary of the Presidency.

My friend William Binney, probably the world's greatest expert on electronic surveillance, former Technical Director of the NSA, has stated that it is impossible the DNC servers were hacked, the technical evidence shows it was a download to a directly connected memory stick. I knew the US security services were conducting a fake investigation the moment it became clear that the FBI did not even themselves look at the DNC servers, instead accepting a report from the Clinton linked DNC "security consultants" Crowdstrike.

I would love to believe that the fact Julian has never met Manafort is bound to be established. But I fear that state control of propaganda may be such that this massive "Big Lie" will come to enter public consciousness in the same way as the non-existent Russian hack of the DNC servers.

Assange never met Manafort. The DNC emails were downloaded by an insider. Assange never even considered fleeing to Russia. Those are the facts, and I am in a position to give you a personal assurance of them.

I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services.

I am not a fan of Donald Trump. But to see the partisans of the defeated candidate (and a particularly obnoxious defeated candidate) manipulate the security services and the media to create an entirely false public perception, in order to attempt to overturn the result of the US Presidential election, is the most astonishing thing I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Plainly the government of Ecuador is releasing lies about Assange to curry favour with the security establishment of the USA and UK, and to damage Assange's support prior to expelling him from the Embassy. He will then be extradited from London to the USA on charges of espionage.

Assange is not a whistleblower or a spy – he is the greatest publisher of his age, and has done more to bring the crimes of governments to light than the mainstream media will ever be motivated to achieve. That supposedly great newspaper titles like the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post are involved in the spreading of lies to damage Assange, and are seeking his imprisonment for publishing state secrets, is clear evidence that the idea of the "liberal media" no longer exists in the new plutocratic age. The press are not on the side of the people, they are an instrument of elite control.

Assange Never Met Manafort

SporadicMyrmidon , says: December 1, 2018 at 7:47 am GMT

My opinions are conflicted, but I'd rather give Assange a Nobel Peace Prize than a criminal conviction. He definitely deserves a Nobel Prize more than Obama. I was in an eatery in Cambridge, MA, when I heard Obama's prize announced, and even there people where aghast and astounded.
jilles dykstra , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
The Guardian was bought by Soros, a few years ago.
Washpost, NYT and CNN, Deep State mouthpieces.
That the USA, as long as Deep State has not been eradicated completely from USA society, will continue to try to get Assange, and of course also Snowdon, in it claws, is more than obvious.
So what are we talking about ?
Assange just uses the freedom of information act, or how the the USA euphemism for telling them nothing, is called.
How Assange survives, mentally and bodily, being locked up in a small room without a bathroom, for several years now, is beyond my comprehension.
But of course, for 'traitors' like him human rights do not exist.
Bill Jones , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
I tried this in the Grauniad search box

Term: "Far Right" result: "About 1,400,000 results (0.23 seconds)"

Term : "Far Left" result: "About 7,310 results (0.22 seconds) "

Only Pol Pot is to the Left of that bird-cage liner.

anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:38 am GMT
"I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services."

These outfits are largely state-run at this point. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, a man with deep ties to the CIA through his Amazon company (which depends upon federal subsidies and has received security agency "support") and the Guardian is clandestinely funded through UK government purchases, among other things. MI6 has also effectively compromised the former integrity and objectivity of that outlet by threatening them with prosecutions for revealing MI6 spy practices. And the NYT has always been state-run. See their coverage of the Iraq War. The Israelis have bragged about having an asset at the Times. The American government has several.

Altai , says: December 1, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
It's amazing to see the obvious progression of the lies as they take hold in an anti-Trump elite who seem completely impervious to understanding his victory over Clinton. All these people who claim to be so cosmopolitan and educated seem to think Assange or Manafort would have any interest in meeting each other. (Let alone in the company of unspecified 'Russians'.)

At first it was that Assange was wrong to publish the DNC leaks because it hurt Clinton and thus helped Trump.

Then it was that Assange was actively trying to help Trump.

Now it's that Assange is in collusion with Trump and the 'Russians'.

The same thing happened with the Trump-Russian nonsense which goes ever more absurd as time goes on. Slowly boiling the frog in the public's mind. The allegations are so nonsensical, yet there are plenty of educated, supposedly cosmopolitan people who don't understand the backgrounds or motives of their 'liberal' heroes in the NYT or Guardian who believe this on faith.

None of these people will ever question how if any of this is true how the security services of the West didn't know it and if they supposedly know it, how come they aren't acting like it's true. They are acting like they're attempting to smear politicians they don't like, however.

Che Guava , says: December 1, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
Luke Harding is particularly despicable. He made his name as a journalist off privileged access to Wilkileaks docs, and has been persistently attacking Assange ever since the Swedish fan-girl farce.

Assange did make a mistake (of which I am sure he is all too aware now) in the choice to, rather than leave the info. open on-line, collaborate with the filthy Guardian, the sleazy NYT, and I forget dirty name of the third publication.

Big tactictal error.

Che Guava , says: December 1, 2018 at 12:05 pm GMT
@anon Since you are posting as Anon coward, I am not expecting a reply, but would be interested in (and would not doubt) state funding of the 'Guardian'?

As for the NYT, they are plainly in some sense state-funded, but the state in question is neither New York nor the U.S.A., but the state of Israel.

mike k , says: December 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
Only the thoroughly brainwashed can doubt the truths in this article. Unfortunately that includes a huge number of Americans.
Bill Jones , says: December 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Altai The one lesson that the left has learned is to double downin perpetuity.

Their invincible arragance is matched only by their stupidity.

Simon Tugmutton , says: December 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT
@Che Guava Perhaps he is referring to the sheer volume of ads the British government places for public sector appointments. As for the paper edition, most of it seems to be bought by the BBC!

[Dec 01, 2018] The New York Times As Corrupt Judge And Jury

Notable quotes:
"... We've seen it before : a newspaper and individual reporters get a story horribly wrong but instead of correcting it they double down to protect their reputations and credibility - which is all journalists have to go on - and the public suffers. ..."
"... Sometimes this maneuver can contribute to a massive loss of life. The most egregious example was the reporting in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Like nearly all Establishment media, The New York Times got the story of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- the major casus belli for the invasion -- dead wrong. But the Times , like the others, continued publishing stories without challenging their sources in authority, mostly unnamed, who were pushing for war. ..."
"... The Times' unsteady conviction is summed up in this paragraph, which the paper itself then contradicts only a few paragraphs later: "What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign." ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

We've seen it before : a newspaper and individual reporters get a story horribly wrong but instead of correcting it they double down to protect their reputations and credibility - which is all journalists have to go on - and the public suffers.

Sometimes this maneuver can contribute to a massive loss of life. The most egregious example was the reporting in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Like nearly all Establishment media, The New York Times got the story of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- the major casus belli for the invasion -- dead wrong. But the Times , like the others, continued publishing stories without challenging their sources in authority, mostly unnamed, who were pushing for war.

The result was a disastrous intervention that led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and continued instability in Iraq, including the formation of the Islamic State.

In a massive Times ' article published on Thursday, entitled, "A Plot to Subvert an Election: Unravelling the Russia Story So Far," it seems that reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti have succumbed to the same thinking that doubled down on Iraq.

They claim to have a "mountain of evidence" but what they offer would be invisible on the Great Plains.

With the mid-terms looming and Special Counsel Robert Mueller unable to so far come up with any proof of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 election -- the central Russia-gate charge -- the Times does it for him, regurgitating a Russia-gate Round-Up of every unsubstantiated allegation that has been made -- deceptively presented as though it's all been proven.

Mueller: No collusion so far.

This is a reaffirmation of the faith, a recitation of what the Russia-gate faithful want to believe is true. But mere repetition will not make it so.

The Times' unsteady conviction is summed up in this paragraph, which the paper itself then contradicts only a few paragraphs later: "What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign."

But this schizoid approach leads to the admission that "no public evidence has emerged showing that [Trump's] campaign conspired with Russia."

The Times also adds: "There is a plausible case that Mr. Putin succeeded in delivering the presidency to his admirer, Mr. Trump, though it cannot be proved or disproved."

This is an extraordinary statement. If it cannot be "proved or disproved" what is the point of this entire exercise: of the Mueller probe, the House and Senate investigations and even of this very New York Times article?

Attempting to prove this constructed story without proof is the very point of this piece.

A Banner Day

The 10,000-word article opens with a story of a pro-Russian banner that was hung from the Manhattan Bridge on Putin's birthday, and an anti-Obama banner hung a month later from the Memorial Bridge in Washington just after the 2016 election.

On public property these are constitutionally-protected acts of free speech. But for the Times , "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history."

Kremlin: Guilty, says NYT. (Robert Parry, 2016)

Why? Because the Times tells us that the "earliest promoters" of images of the banners were from social media accounts linked to a St. Petersburg-based click-bait farm, a company called the Internet Research Agency. The company is not legally connected to the Kremlin and any political coordination is pure speculation. IRA has been explained convincingly as a commercial and not political operation. Its aim is get and sell "eyeballs."

For instance the company conducted pro and anti-Trump rallies and social media messages, as well as pro and anti-Clinton. But the Times , in classic omission mode, only reports on "the anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia." Sharing with "millions" of people on social media does not mean that millions of people have actually seen those messages. And if they had there is little way to determine whether it affected how they voted, especially as the messages attacked and praised both candidates.

The Times reporters take much at face value, which they then themselves undermine. Most prominently, they willfully mistake an indictment for a conviction, as if they do not know the difference.

This is in the category of Journalism 101. An indictment need not include evidence and under U.S. law an indictment is not evidence. Juries are instructed that an indictment is merely an accusation. That the Times commits this cardinal sin of journalism to purposely confuse allegations with a conviction is not only inexcusable but strikes a fatal blow to the credibility of the entire article.

It actually reports that "Today there is no doubt who hacked the D.N.C. and the Clinton campaign. A detailed indictment of 12 officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, filed in July by Mr. Mueller, documents their every move, including their break-in techniques, their tricks to hide inside the Democrats' networks and even their Google searches."

Who needs courts when suspects can be tried and convicted in the press?

What the Times is not taking into account is that Mueller knows his indictment will never be tested in court because the GRU agents will never be arrested, there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Russia and even if it were miraculously to see the inside of a courtroom Mueller can invoke states secrets privilege to show the "evidence" to a judge with clearance in his chambers who can then emerge to pronounce "Guilty!" without a jury having seen that evidence.

This is what makes Mueller's indictment more a political than a legal document, giving him wide leeway to put whatever he wants into it. He knew it would never be tested and that once it was released, a supine press would do the rest to cement it in the public consciousness as a conviction, just as this Times piece tries to do.

Errors of Commission and Omission

There are a series of erroneous assertions and omissions in the Times piece, omitted because they would disturb the narrative:

Trump: Sarcastically calls on Russia to get Clinton emails.

Distorts Geo-Politics

The piece swallows whole the Establishment's geo-strategic Russia narrative, as all corporate media do. It buys without hesitation the story that the U.S. seeks to spread democracy around the world, and not pursue its economic and geo-strategic interests as do all imperial powers.

The Times reports that, "The United States had backed democratic, anti-Russian forces in the so-called color revolutions on Russia's borders, in Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004." The Times has also spread the erroneous story of a democratic revolution in Ukraine in 2014, omitting crucial evidence of a U.S.-backed coup.

The Times disapprovingly dismisses Trump having said on the campaign trail that "Russia was not an existential threat, but a potential ally in beating back terrorist groups," when an objective view of the world would come to this very conclusion.

The story also shoves aside American voters' real concerns that led to Trump's election. For the Times, economic grievances and rejection of perpetual war played no role in the election of Trump. Instead it was Russian influence that led Americans to vote for him, an absurd proposition defied by a Gallup poll in July that showed Americans' greatest concerns being economic. Their concerns about Russia were statistically insignificant at less than one percent.

Ignoring Americans' real concerns exposes the class interests of Times staffers and editors who are evidently above Americans' economic and social suffering. The Times piece blames Russia for social "divisions" and undermining American democracy, classic projection onto Moscow away from the real culprits for these problems: bi-partisan American plutocrats. That also insults average Americans by suggesting they cannot think for themselves and pursue their own interests without Russia telling them what to do.

Establishment reporters insulate themselves from criticism by retreating into the exclusive Establishment club they think they inhabit. It is from there that they vicariously draw their strength from powerful people they cover, which they should instead be scrutinizing. Validated by being close to power, Establishment reporters don't take seriously anyone outside of the club, such as a website like Consortium News.

But on rare occasions they are forced to take note of what outsiders are saying. Because of the role The New York Timesplayed in the catastrophe of Iraq its editors took the highly unusual move of apologizing to its readers. Will we one day read a similar apology about the paper's coverage of Russia-gate? Tags Politics

[Nov 30, 2018] Mueller Takes Aim, But Is Trump in Trouble by By Aaron Matι

Witch hunt has its own dynamics and it is not necessary to get any facts to inflict great damage. Mueller, the key person in 8/11 investigation, is first and foremost a loyal neocon/neolib establishment stooge, not so much a lawyer. So the shadow of McCarthyism fall on the Washitnton, DC.
Felix Sater was FBI asset from the very beginning.
Which such Byzantium politics in Washington and intrigues between almost identical parties worth of Madrid court it is not accidental that FBI coves with upper hand in its struggle with Russian intelligence, Russians can't get such training in viciousness, double dealing and false flag operations anywhere.
Notable quotes:
"... Disappearing for the midterms , Russiagate has re-emerged front and center. This week's barrage of developments in the cases of indicted Trump campaign figures Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and George Papadopoulos have renewed long-running declarations of a presidency in peril . ..."
"... They coincide with a fresh round of alarm over the fate of Mueller's investigation following Trump's ouster of attorney general Jeff Sessions and the installation of Matthew Whitaker in his place. ..."
"... Although Mueller's final report has yet to be released, the issue that sparked the FBI investigation he inherited has already been resolved. The FBI began eyeing potential Trump-Russia ties in July 2016 after getting a tip that unpaid campaign aide George Papadopoulos may have been informed that Russia was in possession of stolen Democratic Party emails well before WikiLeaks made them public. But that trail went cold. It turns out that a London-based professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos that the Russian government might possess thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails. ..."
"... The Russia probe's other instigating figure, Carter Page, was also a low-level, unpaid campaign official. The information that led to his investigation is even more suspect. ..."
"... But its a key source for that supposition turned out to be the Steele dossier -- the salacious, Democratic Party-funded opposition research compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. And while the FBI got Papadopoulos on lying to them, Page has not been accused of any crime... ..."
"... Just as the evidence used in Manafort's bank and tax fraud case underscored that he worked against Russian interests in Ukraine , Flynn's indictment turns up another inconvenient fact for the collusion hopeful: The foreign government that Flynn colluded with on Trump's behalf -- against the US government -- is not Russia, but Israel . ..."
"... Russians never signed on, and Cohen only grew increasingly frustrated with Sater's failure to live up to his lofty pledges. "You are putting my job in jeopardy and making me look incompetent," Cohen wrote Sater on December 31, 2015. "I gave you two months and the best you send me is some bullshit garbage invite by some no name clerk at a third-tier bank." ..."
"... It is also possible that Manafort's alleged lies have nothing to do with a Russia conspiracy; after all, his case, and that of his deputy Rick Gates, pertained not to Russia or the 2016 campaign, but instead to financial crimes during Manafort's lobbying stint in Ukraine. ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.thenation.com
Disappearing for the midterms , Russiagate has re-emerged front and center. This week's barrage of developments in the cases of indicted Trump campaign figures Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and George Papadopoulos have renewed long-running declarations of a presidency in peril .

They coincide with a fresh round of alarm over the fate of Mueller's investigation following Trump's ouster of attorney general Jeff Sessions and the installation of Matthew Whitaker in his place. Leading Democrats now see the probe as so paramount that, despite having re-captured the House running on health-care issues, protecting the investigation has been deemed "our top priority" (Representative Jerry Nadler) and "at the top of the agenda," (Representative Adam Schiff).

There is nothing objectionable about wanting to safeguard the Mueller investigation, nor about concerns that Trump's appointment of an unqualified loyalist may jeopardize it. Mueller should complete his work, unimpeded. The question is one of priorities. After all, the fixation on Mueller has not just raised anticipation of Trump's indictment, or even impeachment -- it has also overshadowed many of the actual policies that those seeking his political demise oppose him for. At this highly charged moment, it seems prudent to re-consider whether the probe remains worthy of such attention and high hopes.

Although Mueller's final report has yet to be released, the issue that sparked the FBI investigation he inherited has already been resolved. The FBI began eyeing potential Trump-Russia ties in July 2016 after getting a tip that unpaid campaign aide George Papadopoulos may have been informed that Russia was in possession of stolen Democratic Party emails well before WikiLeaks made them public. But that trail went cold. It turns out that a London-based professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos that the Russian government might possess thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails.

The FBI interviewed Mifsud in Washington, DC, in February 2017, but Mueller has never alleged that Mifsud works with the Russian government. Papadopoulos was ultimately sentenced to just 14 days behind bars for lying to the FBI about the timing and nature of his contacts with Mifsud. He reported to a federal prison on Monday.

The Russia probe's other instigating figure, Carter Page, was also a low-level, unpaid campaign official. The information that led to his investigation is even more suspect. In its October 2016 application for a surveillance warrant on Page, the FBI claimed it "believes that [Russia's] efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [the Trump campaign]." But its a key source for that supposition turned out to be the Steele dossier -- the salacious, Democratic Party-funded opposition research compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. And while the FBI got Papadopoulos on lying to them, Page has not been accused of any crime...

With the Russia investigation's catalysts coming up all but empty, there is little reason to expect that the remaining campaign members who face prison time will reverse that trend. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn awaits sentencing in the coming weeks on charges similar to Papadopoulos's. Just as the evidence used in Manafort's bank and tax fraud case underscored that he worked against Russian interests in Ukraine , Flynn's indictment turns up another inconvenient fact for the collusion hopeful: The foreign government that Flynn colluded with on Trump's behalf -- against the US government -- is not Russia, but Israel .

Despite much hoopla to the contrary, Muller's new indictment of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen contains more inconvenient facts. Cohen has pleaded guilty to a single count for lying to Congress about his role in a failed attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. According to the plea document, Cohen gave Congress false written answers in order to "minimize links," between the Moscow project and Trump, and to "give the false impression" that it was abandoned earlier than it actually was. Cohen told the court that he made these statements to "be loyal" to Trump and to be consistent with his "political messaging."

As I noted in The Nation in October 2017 , the attempted real-estate venture in Russia "does raise a potential conflict of interest" for Trump, who "pursued a Moscow deal as he praised Putin on the campaign trail." But nothing in Cohen's indictment incriminates Trump. Much of what it details was previously known, and rather than revealing an illicit, transatlantic collusion scheme, it reads more like a slapstick mafia buddy comedy. As Buzzfeed News reported in May , Cohen communicated extensively with Trump organization colleague Felix Sater -- identified in the Cohen plea as "Individual 2″ -- who had promised to secure Russian financing for the proposed Moscow project. But the Russians never signed on, and Cohen only grew increasingly frustrated with Sater's failure to live up to his lofty pledges. "You are putting my job in jeopardy and making me look incompetent," Cohen wrote Sater on December 31, 2015. "I gave you two months and the best you send me is some bullshit garbage invite by some no name clerk at a third-tier bank."

Cohen then took matters into his own hands. As was previously known, he did not have an email address for a Russian contact, so he wrote to a generic email address at the office of Dmitri Peskov, the press secretary for Vladimir Putin ("Russian Official 1," in the indictment). We now learn from Cohen that he managed to reach Peskov's assistant, who asked him "detailed questions and took notes." But as The New York Times noted when the Trump Moscow story first emerged: "The project never got [Russian] government permits or financing, and died weeks later." Sater tried to save the project. He discussed arranging visits to Russia by both Cohen and Trump, but Cohen ultimately backed out after allegations of Russian email hacking surfaced in June 2016. According to Buzzfeed , Sater even proposed giving Putin a $50 million penthouse as an enticement, but "the plan never went anywhere because the tower deal ultimately fizzled, and it is not clear whether Trump knew of "Sater's idea."

Cohen now claims that he spoke to Trump about the project more than the three times that he informed Congress about. For their part, Trump's attorneys do not seem concerned, saying that his recently submitted answers to Mueller align with Cohen's account. That Cohen perjured himself to Congress raises problems for him, but it is hard to see how his lies about a project that failed and a proposed trip to Russia that never happened can hurt Trump. That could only change if, as part of his new cooperation deal with Mueller, Cohen has more to give.

As for Manafort, his case took a major turn when Mueller canceled their cooperation agreement and accused him of "crimes and lies." The crucial questions are what does Mueller allege he lied to him about and what evidence is there to substantiate that charge. Mueller is expected to provide details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we can only speculate. The revelation that Manafort's lawyers shared information with Trump's attorneys even after the plea deal was struck in September has inevitably fueled speculation that Manafort is lying to benefit Trump, or even hide evidence of a Russia conspiracy. That is certainly possible. But theories that Manafort is then banking on a pardon from Trump do not square with the prevailing view that his agreement with Mueller -- which included admitting to crimes that could be re-charged in state court -- was " pardon proof ."

It is also possible that Manafort's alleged lies have nothing to do with a Russia conspiracy; after all, his case, and that of his deputy Rick Gates, pertained not to Russia or the 2016 campaign, but instead to financial crimes during Manafort's lobbying stint in Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal suggests that is the case, reporting that Manafort's alleged lies "don't appear to be central to the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election that Mr. Mueller is investigating." Earlier this month, ABC News claimed , citing "multiple sources," that Mueller's investigators are "not getting what they want" from Manafort's cooperation deal. When it comes to collusion, perhaps there is just nothing to get.

[Nov 28, 2018] Greenwald Goes Ballistic On Politico Theory Guardian's Assange-Manafort Story Was Planted By Russians

Nov 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Greenwald Goes Ballistic On Politico "Theory" Guardian's Assange-Manafort Story Was Planted By Russians

by Tyler Durden Wed, 11/28/2018 - 20:25 105 SHARES

After The Guardian attempted to shovel what appears to be a wholly fabricated story down our throats that Trump campaign manager met with Julian Assange at the London Embassy - Politico allowed an ex-CIA agent to use their platform to come up with a ham-handed cover story ever; Russia tricked The Guardian into publishing the Manafort-Assange propaganda.

To that end, The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald (formerly of The Guardian ) ripped Politico an entirely new oriface in a six-part Twitter dress down.

Greenwald also penned a harsh rebuke to the Guardian 's "problematic" reporting in a Tuesday article titled: "It Is Possible Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange. If True, There Should Be Ample Video and Other Evidence Showing This."

In sum, the Guardian published a story today that it knew would explode into all sorts of viral benefits for the paper and its reporters even though there are gaping holes and highly sketchy aspects to the story.

It is certainly possible that Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and even Donald Trump himself "secretly" visited Julian Assange in the Embassy. It's possible that Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un joined them.

And if any of that happened, then there will be mountains of documentary proof in the form of videos, photographs, and other evidence proving it . Thus far, no such evidence has been published by the Guardian. Why would anyone choose to believe that this is true rather than doing what any rational person, by definition, would do: wait to see the dispositive evidence before forming a judgment?

The only reason to assume this is true without seeing such evidence is because enough people want it to be true. The Guardian knows this. They knew that publishing this story would cause partisan warriors to excitedly spread the story, and that cable news outlets would hyperventilate over it , and that they'd reap the rewards regardless of whether the story turned out to be true or false. It may be true. But only the evidence, which has yet to be seen, will demonstrate that one way or the other. - Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

In short, The Guardian tried to proffer a load of easily disprovable claims - which if not true, are pure propaganda. Once it began to blow up in their face, Politico let an ex-CIA operative try to save face by suggesting Russia did it . Insanity at its finest.


zerofucks , 20 minutes ago link

loving the lies being drug into the light

anyone who believes the MSM about anything is a fool

and i am shocked an ex-CIA guy was behind the fake news

CatInTheHat , 20 minutes ago link

GG neatly tied in the nefarious connection between the CIA and the media together

This CIA a criminal organization that has lied us into every single war. Yet the Resistance upholds the CIA as beyond reproach.

TODAY THEY LOOK AS FOOLS.

nidaar , 25 minutes ago link

They jumped the shark. This show has its days numbered.

Chuckster , 30 minutes ago link

We don't need the Russians re-chewing our cabbage. We have enough natural born idiots to screw the facts up.

Hippocleides , 34 minutes ago link

Someone ate my sandwich out of the work fridge, God damn Russians!

The Terrible Sweal , 38 minutes ago link

It looks like Greenwald is just about at the point of capitulation and accepting that the entire MSM is utterly fraudulent.

Alternative , 42 minutes ago link

Up next: Guardian journos suffer from Novichik poisoning but survive this lethal nerve gas.

Badsamm , 45 minutes ago link

That still doesn't clear the Guardian from lawsuits.

xrxs , 39 minutes ago link

Maybe discovery will reveal their 'sources.'

Jung , 46 minutes ago link

Ever since Alan Rusbridger. left the Guardian as Chief Editor and made room for Assange and Snowden etc., it seems that they have been infiltrated by the CIA and Luke H. gets attention for his stories and Russia-hatred. The ENglish have been conditioned to hate Russia and the Guardian will do anything to discredit Russia with whatever silly stories. Now they are begging for money to survive: well, NO, because you went along with fake news to get some money: corrupt, unlike Alan Rusbridger, Assange, Manning and Snowden.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 49 minutes ago link

Up next: The Russians put up the Guardian to launch a slimy and obviously stupid defence to discredit them.

Later: The Russians are making my hands move on the keys and making me type this nonsense.

BankSurfyMan , 48 minutes ago link

when you masturbate on the HEDGE...

5onIt , 50 minutes ago link

Doesnt matter, 1/2 of our population is convinced, that our governmemt would never do to the USA. what they do to other countries for the past 60 years.

BankSurfyMan , 50 minutes ago link

Assange took another dump today, he is full of **** just like the rest of us ??? Doom 2019! Your *** is on FIRE! neXT!

bluebird100 , 54 minutes ago link

Wow Glenn is discovering that the Fake News is real after all! He's such a hack

JimmyJones , 34 minutes ago link

Yep, the Russian Collusion / interference is so weak. Look at this story, it's breaking and will be huge. Epstine's dirty details released, Muller looks pretty bad.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/11/robert-muellers-fbi-gave-orgy-island-billionaire-epstein-light-sentence-today-details-were-released-on-his-widespread-child-sex-abuse/

[Nov 27, 2018] 'Highly likely' that Magnitsky was poisoned by toxic chemicals on Bill Browder's orders

Highly recommended!
Skripal events probably helped to advance this line of investigation. So in a way UK intelligence services put their own stooge on the line of fire.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian prosecutors on Monday claimed that Magnitsky and several other people familiar with Browder's illicit activities in Russia may have been killed on his order. They said a new criminal case has been opened against Browder in Russia, and that Moscow will seek his extradition as an alleged ringleader of an international criminal enterprise involved in money laundering ..."
"... The prosecutors identified four people who were suspects in the Browder case, all of whom died over the course of less than two years as the investigation against him unfolded. Oktay Gasanov was the first of the four, dying in October 2007; while Magnitsky's death in November 2009 was the last. By the time of his death, Magnitsky had spent almost a year in pre-trial detention. The two others were Valery Kurochkin and Sergey Korobeinikov, who died in April 2008 and September 2008, respectively. ..."
"... Considering that the three individuals, with the exception of Magnitsky, died within months of each other while being investigated as part of Browder's case, "it is highly likely that they were killed to get rid of accomplices who could give an incriminating testimony against Browder," a senior official with the Russian General Prosecutor's office told journalists. The same may be true for Magnitsky, he said. The prosecutor stressed that Russia didn't conduct detailed studies into how the suspected poison affects living organisms, but several research institutions based in the US, France and Italy did. ..."
"... The prosecutors claim that Browder was the party who benefited most from the death of Magnitsky. They cited journalist Oleg Lurie, who shared a prison cell with Magnitsky before the latter's death. Speaking under oath during a court hearing in New York, Lurie said that his cellmate had complained to him that Browder's lawyers were pressuring him into signing a false statement. Magnitsky's testimony claimed that he had uncovered a conspiracy to embezzle taxpayers' money involving Russian officials. ..."
"... The Russian prosecutors said Browder allegedly wanted to silence his employee after obtaining the false claim. The statement itself was used to blame Russian officials for Magnitsky's death and accuse the Russian government of a cover-up. ..."
"... Described by critics as a 'vulture capitalist,' Browder seemed quite comfortable earning millions of dollars in the financial wild west. In 2005, as fallen oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was standing trial for tax evasion, Browder scolded him on the BBC for using personal wealth to grasp at political power, and for leaving "in his wake aggrieved investors too numerous to count." He was also a staunch public supporter of the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... The investor then reinvented himself as an anti-Putin figure, using the death of Magnitsky to lobby various countries to impose sanctions on the Russian officials he blamed for his employee's death. The US Magnitsky Act was passed in 2012, allowing people accused by Washington of human rights violations to be targeted. However, it is perceived by the Kremlin as just a tool to restrain Russia for the sake of global political and economic competition. ..."
"... Among Browder's latest exploits is playing a role in the 'Russiagate' story. A key part of the elusive search for collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government is a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. The meeting was apparently organized with a view to lobbying for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Its architect, Browder, has therefore been eager to lend his expertise on 'Russian machinations' to US lawmakers and media outlets. ..."
"... If you like this story, share it with a friend! ..."
Nov 19, 2018 | www.rt.com
Kremlin critic Bill Browder may have given the order for his employee Sergei Magnitsky to be poisoned with a rare toxin in a Russian prison cell, along with other suspects in a tax-evasion probe against him, prosecutors have said. British financier Browder was once a well-connected investor in post-Soviet Russia, but he became a fugitive from the law in the country after being accused of financial crimes. In the West, however, he is best known as the employer of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian accountant who died in police custody while being investigated in connection to the Browder case. Magnitsky's death became an international scandal, with Browder accusing Russian officials of killing him.

Russian prosecutors on Monday claimed that Magnitsky and several other people familiar with Browder's illicit activities in Russia may have been killed on his order. They said a new criminal case has been opened against Browder in Russia, and that Moscow will seek his extradition as an alleged ringleader of an international criminal enterprise involved in money laundering.

The prosecutors identified four people who were suspects in the Browder case, all of whom died over the course of less than two years as the investigation against him unfolded. Oktay Gasanov was the first of the four, dying in October 2007; while Magnitsky's death in November 2009 was the last. By the time of his death, Magnitsky had spent almost a year in pre-trial detention. The two others were Valery Kurochkin and Sergey Korobeinikov, who died in April 2008 and September 2008, respectively.

Korobeinikov died after falling off a high-rise building, while the others had health complications. The Russian prosecutors believe all four of them may have been killed with a rare water-soluble compound of aluminum. Each of the men showed symptoms consistent with being poisoned by the toxin prior to their deaths, while Korobeinikov had traces of it in his liver, according to a post mortem. An investigation into four possible murders has been opened.

Read more
UK 'fraudster' Browder briefly detained in Spain on Russian warrant, tweets from police car

Considering that the three individuals, with the exception of Magnitsky, died within months of each other while being investigated as part of Browder's case, "it is highly likely that they were killed to get rid of accomplices who could give an incriminating testimony against Browder," a senior official with the Russian General Prosecutor's office told journalists. The same may be true for Magnitsky, he said. The prosecutor stressed that Russia didn't conduct detailed studies into how the suspected poison affects living organisms, but several research institutions based in the US, France and Italy did.

The prosecutors claim that Browder was the party who benefited most from the death of Magnitsky. They cited journalist Oleg Lurie, who shared a prison cell with Magnitsky before the latter's death. Speaking under oath during a court hearing in New York, Lurie said that his cellmate had complained to him that Browder's lawyers were pressuring him into signing a false statement. Magnitsky's testimony claimed that he had uncovered a conspiracy to embezzle taxpayers' money involving Russian officials.

The Russian prosecutors said Browder allegedly wanted to silence his employee after obtaining the false claim. The statement itself was used to blame Russian officials for Magnitsky's death and accuse the Russian government of a cover-up.

Last year, Browder was sentenced by a Russian court to nine years in prison for tax evasion. The trial was held in absentia and Moscow failed to have him extradited to serve the term. The prosecutors said that they will renew attempts to get custody of Browder as part of the new criminal case, using a UN convention on fighting transnational crime to have him arrested.

Browder is a US-born British financier, whose change of citizenship had the benefit of allowing him to avoid paying tax on foreign earnings. However, he claimed the switch was prompted by his family being persecuted in the US during the McCarthyism witch hunt, while the UK seemed like the land of law and order.

Read more

Magnitsky Act mastermind seeks to stop Cyprus from revealing his offshore assets to Russia

He made a fortune in Russia during the country's chaotic transition to a market economy, having invested before there was a stock exchange in Moscow. His Hermitage Capital Management fund was a leading foreign investment entity in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Described by critics as a 'vulture capitalist,' Browder seemed quite comfortable earning millions of dollars in the financial wild west. In 2005, as fallen oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was standing trial for tax evasion, Browder scolded him on the BBC for using personal wealth to grasp at political power, and for leaving "in his wake aggrieved investors too numerous to count." He was also a staunch public supporter of the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The transformation of his public image from a financial shark into a human rights crusader started when Browder himself entered the spotlight of Russian law enforcement. In 2007, the foundation he ran was targeted by a probe into possible large-scale embezzlement of Russian taxpayers' money. Magnitsky, who worked for Browder and had knowledge of his firms' finances, was arrested and held in pre-trial detention until his death in November 2009. The British businessman insisted that the entire case was fabricated and that Magnitsky had been assassinated for exposing a criminal scheme involving several Russian tax officials.

The investor then reinvented himself as an anti-Putin figure, using the death of Magnitsky to lobby various countries to impose sanctions on the Russian officials he blamed for his employee's death. The US Magnitsky Act was passed in 2012, allowing people accused by Washington of human rights violations to be targeted. However, it is perceived by the Kremlin as just a tool to restrain Russia for the sake of global political and economic competition.

Browder's new-found status as a rights advocate and self-proclaimed worst enemy of Putin helps him deflect Russia's attempts to prosecute him. On several occasions, Russia filed international arrest warrants against him with Interpol, which even led to his brief detention in Spain last May.

Among Browder's latest exploits is playing a role in the 'Russiagate' story. A key part of the elusive search for collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government is a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. The meeting was apparently organized with a view to lobbying for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Its architect, Browder, has therefore been eager to lend his expertise on 'Russian machinations' to US lawmakers and media outlets.

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[Nov 27, 2018] US Foreign Policy Has No Policy by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's memo on the Saudis begins with the headline "The world is a very dangerous place!" Indeed, it is and behavior by the three occupants of the White House since 2000 is largely to blame. ..."
"... Indeed, a national security policy that sees competitors and adversaries as enemies in a military sense has made nuclear war, unthinkable since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, thinkable once again. ..."
"... George Washington's dictum in his Farewell Address , counseling his countrymen to "observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all." And Washington might have somehow foreseen the poisonous relationships with Israel and the Saudis when he warned that " a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification." ..."
"... Cautious optimism may be better than none, but futile nonetheless. Bullying, dispossession, slavery and genocide constitute the very bedrock, the essence and soul of the founding of our country. ..."
"... Truth be told we simply know of no other kinder, gentler alternatives to perpetual war and destruction as the cornerstone of our foreign policy. Normality? Not in my lifetime. ..."
"... Your CNI and 'If Americans Knew' informed me about Rand Paul's courageous move. I plan to call his office today to give him encouragement and call my Senators and Representative to urge them to support him (fat chance of that but I have to stick it in their face). ..."
"... America doesn't have a policy because America is no longer a real nation. It's an empire filled with diverse groups of peoples who all hate each other and want to use the power of the government for the benefit of their overseas co-ethnics. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Donald Trump's recent statement on the Jamal Khashoggi killing by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince might well be considered a metaphor for his foreign policy. Several commentators have suggested that the text appears to be something that Trump wrote himself without any adult supervision, similar to the poorly expressed random arguments presented in his tweeting only longer. That might be the case, but it would not be wise to dismiss the document as merely frivolous or misguided as it does in reality express the kind of thinking that has produced a foreign policy that seems to drift randomly to no real end, a kind of leaderless creative destruction of the United States as a world power.

Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister of Britain in the mid nineteenth century, famously said that "Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests."The United States currently has neither real friends nor any clearly defined interests. It is, however, infested with parasites that have convinced an at-drift America that their causes are identical to the interests of the United States. Leading the charge to reduce the U.S. to "bitch" status, as Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has artfully put it , are Israel and Saudi Arabia, but there are many other countries, alliances and advocacy groups that have learned how to subvert and direct the "leader of the free world."

Trump's memo on the Saudis begins with the headline "The world is a very dangerous place!" Indeed, it is and behavior by the three occupants of the White House since 2000 is largely to blame. It is difficult to find a part of the world where an actual American interest is being served by Washington's foreign and global security policies. Indeed, a national security policy that sees competitors and adversaries as enemies in a military sense has made nuclear war, unthinkable since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, thinkable once again. The fact that no one is the media or in political circles is even talking about that terrible danger suggests that war has again become mainstreamed, tacitly benefiting from bipartisan acceptance of it as a viable foreign policy tool by the media, in the U.S. Congress and also in the White House.

The part of the world where American meddling coupled with ignorance has produced the worst result is inevitably the Middle East...

... ... ...

All of the White House's actions have one thing in common and that is that they do not benefit Americans in any way unless one works for a weapons manufacturer, and that is not even taking into consideration the dead soldiers and civilians and the massive debt that has been incurred to intervene all over the world. One might also add that most of America's interventions are built on deliberate lies by the government and its associated media, intended to increase tension and create a casus belli where none exists.

So what is to be done as it often seems that the best thing Trump has going for him is that he is not Hillary Clinton? First of all, a comprehensive rethink of what the real interests of the United States are in the world arena is past due. America is less safe now than it was in 2001 as it continues to make enemies with its blundering everywhere it goes. There are now four times as many designated terrorists as there were in 2001, active in 70 countries. One would quite plausibly soon arrive at George Washington's dictum in his Farewell Address , counseling his countrymen to "observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all." And Washington might have somehow foreseen the poisonous relationships with Israel and the Saudis when he warned that " a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification."

George Washington or any of the other Founders would be appalled to see an America with 800 military bases overseas, allegedly for self-defense. The transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the military industrial complex and related entities like Wall Street has been catastrophic. The United States does not need to protect Israel and Saudi Arabia, two countries that are armed to the teeth and well able to defend themselves. Nor does it have to be in Syria and Afghanistan. And

If the United States were to withdraw its military from the Middle East and the rest of Asia tomorrow, it would be to nearly everyone's benefit. If the armed forces were to be subsequently reduced to a level sufficient to defend the United States it would put money back in the pockets of Americans and end the continuous fearmongering through surfacing of "threats" by career militarists justifying the bloated budgets.

... ... ...

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests inform@cnionline.org .


anon [355] Disclaimer , says: November 27, 2018 at 5:38 am GMT

US foreign policy is controlled by a few key ethnic groups and (to a lesser degree) the military-industrial complex.
Justsaying , says: November 27, 2018 at 6:04 am GMT

but even small steps in the right direction could initiate a gradual process of turning the United States into a more normal country in its relationships with the rest of the world rather than a universal predator and bully.

Cautious optimism may be better than none, but futile nonetheless. Bullying, dispossession, slavery and genocide constitute the very bedrock, the essence and soul of the founding of our country.

To expect mutations -- no matter how slow or fast in a trait that appears deeply embedded in our DNA is to be naive. Add to that the intractable stranglehold Zionists and organized world Jewry has on our nuts and decision making. A more congruent convergence of histories and DNAs would be hard to come by among other nations. Truth be told we simply know of no other kinder, gentler alternatives to perpetual war and destruction as the cornerstone of our foreign policy. Normality? Not in my lifetime.

Z-man , says: November 27, 2018 at 9:11 am GMT
Great article and I will spread it around.

Your CNI and 'If Americans Knew' informed me about Rand Paul's courageous move. I plan to call his office today to give him encouragement and call my Senators and Representative to urge them to support him (fat chance of that but I have to stick it in their face).

Hey, how about a Rand Paul-Tulsi Gabbard fusion ticket in 2024, not a bad idea, IMHO.

Going back to the Administration you can see the slimy Zionist hands of Steven Miller on all of those foreign policy statements. Trump is allowing this because he has to protect his flanks from Zionists, Christian or otherwise. He might be just giving Miller just enough rope to jettison him (wishful thinking on my part). Or he doesn't care or is unaware of the texts, a possibility.

anon [336] Disclaimer , says: November 27, 2018 at 9:26 am GMT
1. Because that defies human nature. See all of history if you disagree.

2. America doesn't have a policy because America is no longer a real nation. It's an empire filled with diverse groups of peoples who all hate each other and want to use the power of the government for the benefit of their overseas co-ethnics.

jilles dykstra , says: November 27, 2018 at 9:30 am GMT
The beginning of USA foreign policy for me is the 1820 or 1830 Monroe Declaration: south America is our backyard, keep out. Few people know that at the time European countries considered war on the USA because of this beginning of world domination. When I told this to a USA correspondent the reply was 'but this declaration still is taught here in glowing terms'.

What we saw then was the case until Obama, USA foreign policy was for internal political reasons. As Hollings stated in 2004 'Bush promising AIPAC the war on Iraq, that is politics'. No empire ever, as far as I know, ever was in the comfortable position to be able to let foreign policy to be decided (almost) completely by internal politics.

This changed during the Obama reign, the two war standard had to be lowered to one and a half. All of a sudden the USA had to develop a foreign policy, a policy that had to take into consideration the world outside the USA. Not the whole USA understands this, the die hards of Deep State in the lead.

What a half war accomplishes we see, my opinion, in Syria, a half war does not bring victory on an enemy who wages a whole war.
Assad is still there, Russia has airforce and naval bases in Syria.

Normally, as any history book explains, foreign policy of a country is decided on in secret by a few people. British preparations for both WWI and WWII included detailed technical talks with both the USA and France, not even all cabinet members knew about it. One of Trump's difficulties is that Deep State does not at all has the intention of letting the president decide on foreign policy, at the time of FDR he did what he liked, though, if one reads for example Baruch's memoirs, in close cooperation with the Deep State that then existed.

The question 'why do we not leave the rest of the world alone', hardly ever asked. The USA is nearly autarcic, foreign trade, from memory, some five percent of national income, a very luxurious position. But of course, leaving the rest of the world alone, huge internal consequences, as Hinckley explains with an example, politically impossible to stop the development of a bomber judged to be superfluous.

Barbara Hinckley Sheldon Goldman, American Politics and Government, Glenview Ill.,1990

Jim Christian , says: November 27, 2018 at 9:43 am GMT
Good luck. A fight over resources with the biggest consumer of resources, the People That Kill People and all their little buddies in the Alphabet Soup of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Depravity..

That could get a fella hurt. Ask Jack and Bob Kennedy.

Michael Kenny , says: November 27, 2018 at 10:10 am GMT
"The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Russia is now worse than it was towards the end of the Cold War". Classic American cold warrior mentality. The present-day Russian Federation is assimilated to the former Soviet Union.
Johnny Rottenborough , says: Website November 27, 2018 at 11:31 am GMT
Tragically for America, and the West in general, President Trump is unrecognizable from candidate Trump :

'This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government. The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry Their financial resources are virtually unlimited, their political resources are unlimited, their media resources are unmatched, and most importantly, the depths of their immorality is absolutely unlimited.'

[Nov 25, 2018] A new type of US disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this comment

Notable quotes:
"... Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment ..."
Nov 25, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

What else is amazing about her emails @leveymg

is how no one really talked about their content, eh? We learned that she rigged the primary against Bernie and then everyone started talking about Russia ! Just as she and Podesta wanted.

#1
Amazing how elusive they are (scrubbed from the State Dept website) and how they have never been picked up on by most of the corporate media.

up 8 users have voted. --

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

[Nov 25, 2018] Doubling Down on Mueller by Kimberley A. Strassel

When McCarthyism ghost is out it is difficult to suppress it. The bottom feeder from Democratic Party have no other viable agenda that demonizing Russia and presenting it as the the root cause of 2016 fiasco, which actually are result of their neoliberal transformation under Bill Clinton. CIA democrats are now married to Russiagate.
Nov 25, 2018 | www.wsj.com

The Mueller probe has lost its political potency, as Democrats acknowledged on the midterm trail. They didn't win House seats by warning of Russian collusion. They didn't even talk about it. Most voters don't care, or don't care to hear about it. A CNN exit poll found 54% of respondents think the Russia probe is "politically motivated"; a 46% plurality disapprove of Mr. Mueller's handling of it.

That hasn't stopped Democrats from fixating on it since the election, in particular when President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and named Matthew Whitaker as a temporary replacement. The left now insists the appointment is unconstitutional or that because Mr. Whitaker once voiced skepticism on the Russia-collusion narrative, he is unfit to oversee the Mueller investigation and must recuse himself.

The joke here is that neither Mr. Whitaker nor anybody else is likely to exercise any authority over Mr. Mueller -- and more's the pity. The probe has meandered along for 18 months, notching records for leaks and derivative prosecutions, though all indications are it has accomplished little by way of its initial mandate.

As a practical matter, Mr. Mueller should have been brought to heel some time ago. As a political matter, that won't happen. The administration has always understood that such a move would provoke bipartisan political blowback, ignite a new "coverup" scandal, and maybe trigger impeachment. It's even more unlikely officials would risk those consequences now, as Mr. Mueller is said to be wrapping up.

Democrats know this, as does the grandstanding Sen. Jeff Flake. Yet they demand a Whitaker recusal and are again pushing legislation to "protect" the special counsel's probe. Senate Republicans rightly blocked that bill this week, partly on grounds that it is likely unconstitutional. They also made the obvious point that if Mr. Trump intended to fire Mr. Mueller, he'd have done so months ago and wouldn't need to ax Mr. Sessions to do it. And while the president tweets ceaseless criticism of the probe, he has never threatened to end it.

Democrats are nonetheless doubling down on the probe for political advantage. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared members of his caucus will demand that language making it more difficult to fire Mr. Mueller be included in a spending bill that needs to pass before the end of the current legislative session. Mr. Flake is offering an assist, saying that he will block any judicial nominees in committee until a Mueller protection bill gets a Senate floor vote. Over in the House, incoming Democratic committee chairmen, led by soon-to-be Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, are vowing an investigation blitz focused on collusion with Russia.

Mr. Schumer's last shutdown -- a year ago -- was a bust even though it was waged over the emotionally compelling issue of Dreamers, illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children. He now proposes shutting down the government over a probe few people outside of Washington care about. Mitch McConnell should be so lucky.

Mr. Flake, should he run for president, will struggle to explain to conservative voters his obstruction of Trump judicial nominees, who'll be confirmed in 2019 anyway when the Republicans expand their Senate majority.

Democrats' other problem is that this strategy hinges in large degree on an expectation that Mr. Mueller ultimately finds something. There's no reason to believe he has turned up any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

Sure, he's secured convictions against longtime Beltway bandits for long-ago lobbying. He's squeezed the ole standby lying-to-investigators plea out of a few targets. He's indicted a squad of Russian trolls, who will never be brought to trial and who even Mr. Mueller's office admits had nothing to do with the Trump team. And while it seems likely his report to the Justice Department will criticize Mr. Trump, it's improbable it will contain proof of collusion.

And then? The president will have a field day. He will claim vindication and mercilessly drive home that the investigation was a waste and a witch hunt. And he will have a point. Two years of Democratic hyperbole will be undercut by the special counsel they've held out as the ultimate sleuth. They'll have to decide whether to deride Mr. Mueller's findings as insufficient to justify continuing their own probes.

Maybe Mr. Mueller has something. We'll see. But if the reporting is correct that he's wound up high and dry, Democrats will end up there with him.

[Nov 24, 2018] MI6 Scrambling To Stop Trump From Releasing Classified Docs In Russia Probe

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Telegraph adds that the UK's dispute with the Trump administration is so politically sensitive that staff within the British Embassy in D.C. have been barred from discussing it with journalists. Theresa May has also "been kept at arms-length and is understood to have not raised the issue directly with the US president ." ..."
"... In September , we reported that the British government "expressed grave concerns" over the material in question after President Trump issued an order to the DOJ to release a wide swath of materials, "immediately" and "without redaction." ..."
"... Trump walked that order back days later after the UK begged him not to release them. ..."
"... MI6 agents have a reputation for writing fiction. Ian Fleming comes to mind. Its is interesting to reflect on the similarities of fiction and so called intelligence. ..."
"... Six U.S. agencies created a stealth task force, spearhead by CIA's Brennan, to run domestic surveillance on Trump associates and possibly Trump himself. ..."
"... To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ ..."
"... The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates. ..."
"... GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates. ..."
"... The illegal wiretaps were initiated months before the controversial Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. ..."
"... The Justice Department and FBI set up the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner with controversial Russian officials to make Trump's associates appear compromised. ..."
"... Following the Trump Tower sit down, GCHQ began digitally wiretapping Manafort, Trump Jr., and Kushner. ..."
"... After the concocted meeting by the Deep State, the British spy agency could officially justify wiretapping Trump associates as an intelligence front for NSA because the Russian lawyer at the meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya was considered an international security risk and prior to the June sit down was not even allowed entry into the United States or the UK, federal sources said. ..."
"... By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant. While it is illegal for U.S. agencies to monitor phones and emails of U.S. citizens inside the United States absent a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to do so. Even if the GCHQ was tapping Trump on U.S. soil at Fort Meade. ..."
"... The wiretaps, secured through illicit scheming, have been used by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, even though the evidence is considered "poisoned fruit. ..."
"... Add: GCHQ (UK NSA) was in agreement with HilBarry Inc to block the US 2016 election for U.K. candidate Hillary aka Clinton 'Rhodes scholar' Brit colonial agent. Study who 'Rhodes' was. CIA and MI6 are UK siblings. Note nickname for CIA is "Langley" = 'The English' in French L'Anglai. Trump Tower - Russkie atty Natalia met with Simpson GPS Fusion to debrief before & after meeting. Natalia was granted US entry by Mueller Spec Counsel teamster Preet Baharara (conflict in that Preet is compromised witness and also SC "investigator"). Russkie Ahkmedishin met with Obama WH in prep for meeting (see Jan 2016 WH log). The 'translator' at meeting was Obama WH translator. ..."
"... The evidence for false Trump Russkie bank connections is a phony server set up by CIA agent McMullen that robo scammed Russian Alfa Bank to robo talk to the phony server the CIA named with miss-spell Trump OrGAINization. See godaddy domain registration. Hillary slandered Trump with this scam on Twitter Oct 31, 2016 - her witchy day. ..."
"... Obama used the intelligence agencies to spy on all political opponents, not just the Trump campaign and eventually the administration. NSA databases were being queried by Democrat contractors with content feed to Obama's National Security staff where communications were "unmasked" by Rice and others. Rodgers shut down the scheme. So much Marxist criminality and fraud left unpunished. ..."
"... George Papadopoulos was not the reason the FBI opened their 2016 Counterintelligence Investigation into the Trump Campaign. John Brennan was the reason. ..."
"... Brennan was the man pushing the entire Russian Narrative that consumed Washington D.C. – and ultimately led to the Mueller Investigation. He did this based on little or no evidence. The Electronic Communication should prove interesting. John Brennan's Role in the FBI's Trump-Russia Investigation ..."
"... In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with then-CIA Head John Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump Campaign and Moscow. ..."
"... @Chupacabra-322 URL s/b " https://themarketswork.com/2018/04/09/john-brennans-role-in-the-fbis-trump-russia-investigation/ " ..."
"... The Trump Team was being surveiled the entire time by Breanan via the GCHQ. The CIA are Analysts. That's it. They had to involve the FBI to begin the Surveillance & Criminal Investigation into the Counter Intelligence Operation. Thus, Criminal at Large Breanan's trip up to Capital Hill to meet with Harry Reid to brief him on Steele. Brennan the "Puppet Master" has been quarter backing the entire Deep State Intelligence Psychological Operation & Parallel Construction Surveillance from the very start. ..."
"... They've been reverse engineering their lies ever since they lost the election to cover their tracks and use the excuse of "Plausible Deniability" as the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the CIA always claim. ..."
"... Why get a FISA warrant for Cater Paige after he left the Trump Team? Because folks, the FISA Warrant is RETROACTIVE. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation, according to The Telegraph , stating that any disclosure would "undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers."

Trump's allies, however, are fighting back - demanding transparency and suggesting that the UK wouldn't want the documents withheld unless it had something to hide.

The Telegraph has talked to more than a dozen UK and US officials, including in American intelligence, who have revealed details about the row.

British spy chiefs have "genuine concern" about sources being exposed if classified parts of the wiretap request were made public, according to figures familiar with discussions.

" It boils down to the exposure of people ", said one US intelligence official, adding: " We don't want to reveal sources and methods ." US intelligence shares the concerns of the UK.

Another said Britain feared setting a dangerous "precedent" which could make people less likely to share information, knowing that it could one day become public. - The Telegraph

The Telegraph adds that the UK's dispute with the Trump administration is so politically sensitive that staff within the British Embassy in D.C. have been barred from discussing it with journalists. Theresa May has also "been kept at arms-length and is understood to have not raised the issue directly with the US president ."

In September , we reported that the British government "expressed grave concerns" over the material in question after President Trump issued an order to the DOJ to release a wide swath of materials, "immediately" and "without redaction."

Trump walked that order back days later after the UK begged him not to release them.

Mr Trump wants to declassify 21 pages from one of the applications. He announced the move in September, then backtracked, then this month said he was "very seriously" considering it again. Both Britain and Australia are understood to be opposing the move.

Memos detailing alleged ties between Mr Trump and Russia compiled by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer , were cited in the application, which could explain some of the British concern. - The Telegraph

The New York Times reported at the time that the UK's concern was over material which " includes direct references to conversations between American law enforcement officials and Christopher Steele ," the former MI6 agent who compiled the infamous "Steele Dossier." The UK's objection, according to former US and British officials, was over revealing Steele's identity in an official document, "regardless of whether he had been named in press reports."

We noted in September, however, that Steele's name was contained within the Nunes Memo - the House Intelligence Committee's majority opinion in the Trump-Russia case.

Steele also had extensive contacts with DOJ official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie , who - along with Steele - was paid by opposition research firm Fusion GPS in the anti-Trump campaign. Trump called for the declassification of FBI notes of interviews with Ohr, which would ostensibly reveal more about his relationship with Steele. Ohr was demoted twice within the Department of Justice for lying about his contacts with Fusion GPS.

Perhaps the Brits are also concerned since much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016 . Recall that Trump aid George Papadopoulos was lured to London in March, 2016, where Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud fed him the rumor that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton. It was later at a London bar that Papadopoulos would drunkenly pass the rumor to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer (who Strzok flew to London to meet with).

Also recall that CIA/FBI "informant" (spy) Stefan Halper met with both Carter Page and Papadopoulos in London.

Halper, a veteran of four Republican administrations, reached out to Trump aide George Papadopoulos in September 2016 with an offer to fly to London to write an academic paper on energy exploration in the Mediterranean Sea.

Papadopoulos accepted a flight to London and a $3,000 honorarium. He claims that during a meeting in London, Halper asked him whether he knew anything about Russian hacking of Democrats' emails.

Papadopoulos had other contacts on British soil that he now believes were part of a government-sanctioned surveillance operation. - Daily Caller

In total, Halper received over $1 million from the Obama Pentagon for "research," over $400,000 of which was granted before and during the 2016 election season.

Papadopoulos, who was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying about his conversations with a shadowy Maltese professor and self-professed member of the Clinton Foundation , has publicly claimed he was targeted by UK spies, and told The Telegraph that he demands transparency. Trump's allies in Washington, meanwhile, have suggested that the facts laid out before us mean that the ongoing Russia investigation was invalid from the start .

In short, it's understandable that the UK would prefer to hide their involvement in the "witch hunt" of Donald Trump since much of the counterintelligence investigation was conducted on UK soil. And if the Brits had knowledge of the operation, it will bolster claims that they meddled in the 2016 US election by assisting what appears to have been a set-up from the start .

Steele's ham-handed dossier is a mere embarrassment, as virtually none of the claims asserted by the former MI6 agent have been proven true.

Steele, a former MI6 agent, is the author of the infamous and unverified anti-Trump dossier. He worked as a confidential human source for the FBI for years before the relationship was severed just before the election because of Steele's unauthorized contacts with the press.

He shared results of his investigation into Trump's links to Russia with the FBI beginning in early July 2016.

The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to fill out applications for four FISA warrants against Page. Page has denied the dossier's claims, which include that he was the Trump campaign's back channel to the Kremlin. - Daily Caller

That said, Steele hasn't worked for the British government since 2009, so for their excuse focusing on the former MI6 agent while ignoring the multitude of events which occurred on UK soil, is curious.


Anunnaki , 3 minutes ago link

Trump talks the talk but so far no walking of the walk. Not falling for it anymore, Tyler. No Swamp Draining from Pres. Cheeto anymore than we got Hope or Change from Superfly

Kefeer , 28 minutes ago link

When fraud is coming to light, the cockroaches scramble. The so-called intelligence agencies have run amuck for way too long and leave a trail of lies, murder and deception.

custard , 1 hour ago link

That is the reason Obama and Clinton went to New Zealand and Australia. They have access to the Five Eyes network in New Zealand and Australia without their requests being recorded whereas if they had asked in the US their requests and all documents given to them would have been recorded. . They are both traitors to not only the sitting President and the US people but also to the United States.

Synoia , 1 hour ago link

That said, Steele hasn't worked for the British government since 2009, so for their excuse focusing on the former MI6 agent while ignoring the multitude of events which occurred on UK soil, is curious.

MI6 agents have a reputation for writing fiction. Ian Fleming comes to mind. Its is interesting to reflect on the similarities of fiction and so called intelligence.

STONEHILLADY , 1 hour ago link

I think we all know now that the UK not Russia was the dirtbags working for Obama/HRC to trap Trump. Release the declass Trump and let's start cleaning up the swamp. Let the SHTF those Brits have never been friends to freedom.

fleur de lis , 1 hour ago link

@European American,

If they released audio-video evidence of public officials indulging in cannibalistic pedophilia at their state desks, they would still get off the hook.

Their MSM fiends oops I meant friends would scramble to the rescue and create another AV to counter the actual one, and their idiot Democrat audiences would fall for it.

No matter what is exposed on 5 December the perps will get off the hook.

Chupacabra-322 , 2 hours ago link
StarGate , 1 hour ago link

Add: GCHQ (UK NSA) was in agreement with HilBarry Inc to block the US 2016 election for U.K. candidate Hillary aka Clinton 'Rhodes scholar' Brit colonial agent. Study who 'Rhodes' was. CIA and MI6 are UK siblings. Note nickname for CIA is "Langley" = 'The English' in French L'Anglai. Trump Tower - Russkie atty Natalia met with Simpson GPS Fusion to debrief before & after meeting. Natalia was granted US entry by Mueller Spec Counsel teamster Preet Baharara (conflict in that Preet is compromised witness and also SC "investigator"). Russkie Ahkmedishin met with Obama WH in prep for meeting (see Jan 2016 WH log). The 'translator' at meeting was Obama WH translator.

GPS Fusion wrote the Dossier with UK spy Steele and was paid by Hillary/DNC.

The evidence for false Trump Russkie bank connections is a phony server set up by CIA agent McMullen that robo scammed Russian Alfa Bank to robo talk to the phony server the CIA named with miss-spell Trump OrGAINization. See godaddy domain registration. Hillary slandered Trump with this scam on Twitter Oct 31, 2016 - her witchy day.

https://mobile.twitter.com/hillaryclinton/status/793234169576947712?lang=en

WorkingFool , 1 hour ago link

Obama used the intelligence agencies to spy on all political opponents, not just the Trump campaign and eventually the administration. NSA databases were being queried by Democrat contractors with content feed to Obama's National Security staff where communications were "unmasked" by Rice and others. Rodgers shut down the scheme. So much Marxist criminality and fraud left unpunished.

Chupacabra-322 , 2 hours ago link

George Papadopoulos was not the reason the FBI opened their 2016 Counterintelligence Investigation into the Trump Campaign. John Brennan was the reason.

Brennan was the man pushing the entire Russian Narrative that consumed Washington D.C. – and ultimately led to the Mueller Investigation. He did this based on little or no evidence. The Electronic Communication should prove interesting. John Brennan's Role in the FBI's Trump-Russia Investigation

April 9, 2018 by Jeff Carlson, CFA

In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with then-CIA Head John Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump Campaign and Moscow.

That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs. The meeting between Hannigan and Brennan appears somewhat unusual.

The US and the UK are two of the so-called Five Eyes -- along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- that share a broad range of intelligence through a formalized alliance.

The GCHQ is responsible for Britain's Signals Intelligence. The NSA is responsible for the United States' Signals Intelligence. Hannigan's U.S. counterpart was not CIA Director Brennan. Hannigan's U.S. counterpart was NSA Director Mike Rogers. Luke Harding of the Guardian originally reported the meeting in an April 13, 2017 article on Britain's spy agencies early role in the Trump-Russia investigation:

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious "interactions" between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump's inner circle and Russians.

https://www.themarketswork.com/2018/04/09/john-brennans-role-in-the-fbi

StarGate , 1 hour ago link

See above about phony robot "suspicious communications" set up by CIA McMullen to smear Trump with Trump Tower falsely named server and data created in robo call response with Russian Alfa bank.

Russian "communications" was e-data of the Russkie Bank and the non-Trump server named "Trump OrGAINization". It was just two robo-computers pinging back and forth.

smacker , 1 hour ago link

@Chupacabra-322 URL s/b " https://themarketswork.com/2018/04/09/john-brennans-role-in-the-fbis-trump-russia-investigation/ "

Chupacabra-322 , 2 hours ago link

The Trump Team was being surveiled the entire time by Breanan via the GCHQ. The CIA are Analysts. That's it. They had to involve the FBI to begin the Surveillance & Criminal Investigation into the Counter Intelligence Operation. Thus, Criminal at Large Breanan's trip up to Capital Hill to meet with Harry Reid to brief him on Steele. Brennan the "Puppet Master" has been quarter backing the entire Deep State Intelligence Psychological Operation & Parallel Construction Surveillance from the very start.

They've been reverse engineering their lies ever since they lost the election to cover their tracks and use the excuse of "Plausible Deniability" as the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the CIA always claim.

Feb 13th, Don Bongino Podcast.

"I'll include an article from NPR. NPR, not a by any stretch a right Wing outlet. Ok? But it's actually a decent piece. Now, it describes the three hop rule. It's from 2013, but it describes it very shortly & ce scintillating in about 400 words. And it's done well so I'll include it in todays show notes.

Remember, It's now the "Two Hop Rule" but you just have to know what a "Hop" is to understand how dangerous this is.

Here's how they explain it.

It says, "testimony before Congress on Wednesday, remember this is written in 2013 Joe. Showed how easy it is for Americans, with no connection to Terrorism to unwittingly have their calling patterns analyzed by the Government." This is really wacko stuff. It hinges on what is known as a "Hop."

Or chain analysis. When the NSA identifies a suspect, it can look not just at his phone records Joe, but also the records of everyone he calls, everyone who calls those people and everyone who calls those people." Chain Migration.

You ain't kidding! Right!? Chain spying!

It goes on...though....this is good.

"If the average person Joe, called 40 unique people. "Three Hop Analysts" would allow the Government to mine the records....this is a staggering number...of 2.5 Million Americans when investigating one suspected terrorist."

"Holy Moly!" Holly Moly is right.

Why get a FISA warrant for Cater Paige after he left the Trump Team? Because folks, the FISA Warrant is RETROACTIVE.

All the the emails he sent in the past to Trump Team members, combine that with "Two Hops" you basically have everybody in the known universe that could of ever contacted the Trump Team.

Paige sends an email, whatever to Kushner. I don't know who he sends emails to. He probably didn't. But you get the point. Then you go to another "Hop." Kushner, who'd he send an email to? Now you got the while Trump Team.

That's the whole point. That's why I constantly say to you that they were trying to put a legal face on this thing after they realized the election was coming up and they could lose.

They were like. Man, we've been spying on these people the whole time. We already got most of their emails and their communications. How do we legally do it now?

Oh, we get a FISA Warrant, we use couple of "Hops" and we're Golden."

[Nov 24, 2018] Anonymous Exposes UK-Led Psyop To Battle Russian Propaganda

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs , while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by Anonymous, the Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and the MENA region ..."
"... The work done by the Initiative - which claims it is not a government body, is done under "absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however, admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies." ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The hacking collective known as "Anonymous" published a trove of documents on November 5 which it claims exposes a UK-based psyop to create a " large-scale information secret service " in Europe in order to combat "Russian propaganda" - which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to US President Trump winning the 2016 US election.

The primary objective of the " Integrity Initiative " - established in 2015 by the Institute for Statecraft - is "to provide a coordinated Western response to Russian disinformation and other elements of hybrid warfare."

And while the notion of Russian disinformation has become the West's favorite new bogeyman to excuse things such as Hillary Clinton's historic loss to Donald Trump, we note that "Anonymous" was called out by WikiLeaks in October 2016 as an FBI cutout, while the report on the Integrity Initiative that Anonymous exposed comes from Russian state-owned network RT - so it's anyone's guess whose 400lb hackers are at work here.

Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs , while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

The UK establishment appears to be conducting the very activities of which it and its allies have long-accused the Kremlin, with little or no corroborating evidence. The program also aims to "change attitudes in Russia itself" as well as influencing Russian speakers in the EU and North America, one of the leaked documents states. - RT

The Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by Anonymous, the Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and the MENA region .

The work done by the Initiative - which claims it is not a government body, is done under "absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however, admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies."

The initiative has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department , the documents allege.

Some of its purported members include British MPs and high-profile " independent" journalists with a penchant for anti-Russian sentiment in their collective online oeuvre, as showcased by a brief glance at their Twitter feeds. - RT

Noted examples of "inedependent" anti-Russia journalists:

Spanish "Op"

In one example of the group's activities, a "Moncloa Campaign" was successfully conducted by the group's Spanish cluster to block the appointment of Colonel Pedro Banos as the director of Spain's Department of Homeland Security. It took just seven-and-a-half hours to accomplish, brags the group in the documents .

"The [Spanish] government is preparing to appoint Colonel Banos, known for his pro-Russian and pro-Putin positions in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, as Director of the Department of Homeland Security, a key body located at the Moncloa," begins Nacho Torreblanca in a seven-part tweetstorm describing what happened.

Others joined in. Among them – according to the leaks – academic Miguel Αngel Quintana Paz, who wrote that "Mr. Banos is to geopolitics as a homeopath is to medicine." Appointing such a figure would be "a shame." - RT

The operation was reported in Spanish media, while Banos was labeled "pro-Putin" by UK MP Bob Seely.

In short, expect anything counter to predominant "open-border" narratives to be the Kremlin's fault - and not a natural populist reflex to the destruction of borders, language and culture.

[Nov 24, 2018] British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" ..."
"... "The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016." ..."
"... "Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..." ..."
"... this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war ..."
"... Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK. ..."
"... The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth ..."
"... British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me ..."
"... It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations ..."
"... A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants? ..."
"... I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins. ..."
"... The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval. ..."
"... Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda ..."
"... This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap. ..."
"... Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification ..."
"... It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling ..."
"... As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love? ..."
"... They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites. ..."
"... The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation. ..."
"... Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power. ..."
"... Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government. ..."
"... William Browder ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns Steveg , Nov 24, 2018 11:43:44 AM | link

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

The ' Integrity Initiative ' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

On June 7 it took the the Spanish cluster only a few hours to derail the appointment of Perto Banos as the Director of the National Security Department in Spain. The cluster determined that he had a too positive view of Russia and launched a coordinated social media smear campaign (pdf) against him.


bigger

The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the 'Anonymous' label at cyberguerrilla.org .

The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft . Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:

The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.

It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" and promises that:

Cluster members will be sent to educational sessions abroad to improve the technical competence of the cluster to deal with disinformation and strengthen bonds in the cluster community. [...] (Events with DFR Digital Sherlocks, Bellingcat, EuVsDisinfo, Buzzfeed, Irex, Detector Media, Stopfake, LT MOD Stratcom – add more names and propose cluster participants as you desire).

The Initiatives Orwellian slogan is 'Defending Democracy Against Disinformation'. It covers European countries, the UK, the U.S. and Canada and seems to want to expand to the Middle East.

On its About page it claims: "We are not a government body but we do work with government departments and agencies who share our aims." The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative's funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the 'contact persons' for creating 'clusters' in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a 'civil society' NGO.

The organisation is led by one Chris N. Donnelly who receives (pdf) £8,100 per month for creating the smear campaign network.


Chris Donnelly - Pic via Euromaidanpress

From its 2017/18 budget application (pdf) we learn how the Initiative works:

To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence in Europe by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it .

The Initiative has a black and white view that is based on a "we are the good ones" illusion. When "we" 'educate the public' it is legitimate work. When others do similar, it its disinformation. That is of course not the reality. The Initiative's existence itself, created to secretly manipulate the public, is proof that such a view is wrong.

If its work were as legit as it wants to be seen, why would the Foreign Office run it from behind the curtain as an NGO? The Initiative is not the only such operation. It's applications seek funding from a larger "Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme" run by the Foreign Office.

The 2017/18 budget application sought FCO funding of £480,635. It received £102,000 in co-funding from NATO and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. The 2018/19 budget application shows a planned spending (pdf) of £1,961,000.00. The co-sponsors this year are again NATO and the Lithuanian MoD, but also include (pdf) the U.S. State Department with £250,000 and Facebook with £100,000. The budget lays out a strong cooperation with the local military of each country. It notes that NATO is also generous in financing the local clusters.

One of the liberated papers of the Initiative is a talking points memo labeled Top 3 Deliverable for FCO (pdf):

  • Developing and proving the cluster concept and methodology, setting up clusters in a range of countries with different circumstances
  • Making people (in Government, think tanks, military, journalists) see the big picture, making people acknowledge that we are under concerted, deliberate hybrid attack by Russia
  • Increasing the speed of response, mobilising the network to activism in pursuit of the "golden minute"

Under top 1, setting up clusters, a subitem reads:

- Connects media with academia with policy makers with practitioners in a country to impact on policy and society: ( Jelena Milic silencing pro-kremlin voices on Serbian TV )

Defending Democracy by silencing certain voices on public TV seems to be a self-contradicting concept.

Another subitem notes how the Initiative secretly influences foreign governments:

We engage only very discreetly with governments, based entirely on trusted personal contacts, specifically to ensure that they do not come to see our work as a problem, and to try to influence them gently, as befits an independent NGO operation like ours, viz;
- Germany, via the Zentrum Liberale Moderne to the Chancellor's Office and MOD
- Netherlands, via the HCSS to the MOD
- Poland and Romania, at desk level into their MFAs via their NATO Reps
- Spain, via special advisers, into the MOD and PM's office (NB this may change very soon with the new Government)
- Norway, via personal contacts into the MOD
- HQ NATO, via the Policy Planning Unit into the Sec Gen's office.
We have latent contacts into other governments which we will activate as needs be as the clusters develop.

A look at the 'clusters' set up in U.S. and UK shows some prominent names.


bigger

Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.


bigger - bigger

A ' Cluster Roundup ' (pdf) from July 2018 details its activities in at least 35 countries. Another file reveals (pdf) the local partnering institutions and individuals involved in the programs.

The Initiatives Guide to Countering Russian Information (pdf) is a rather funny read. It lists the downing of flight MH 17 by a Ukranian BUK missile, the fake chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun and the Skripal Affair as examples for "Russian disinformation". But at least two of these events, Khan Sheikun via the UK run White Helmets and the Skripal affair, are evidently products of British intelligence disinformation operations.

The probably most interesting papers of the whole stash is the 'Project Plan' laid out at pages 7-40 of the 2018 budget application v2 (pdf). Under 'Sustainability' it notes:

The programme is proposed to run until at least March 2019, to ensure that the clusters established in each country have sufficient time to take root, find funding, and demonstrate their effectiveness. FCO funding for Phase 2 will enable the activities to be expanded in scale, reach and scope. As clusters have established themselves, they have begun to access local sources of funding. But this is a slow process and harder in some countries than others. HQ NATO PDD [Public Diplomacy Division] has proved a reliable source of funding for national clusters. The ATA [Atlantic Treaty Association] promises to be the same, giving access to other pots of money within NATO and member nations. Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.

The programme has begun to create a critical mass of individuals from a cross society (think tanks, academia, politics, the media, government and the military) whose work is proving to be mutually reinforcing . Creating the network of networks has given each national group local coherence, credibility and reach, as well as good international access. Together, these conditions, plus the growing awareness within governments of the need for this work, should guarantee the continuity of the work under various auspices and in various forms.

The third part of the budget application (pdf) list the various activities, their output and outcome. The budget plan includes a section that describes 'Risks' to the initiative. These include hacking of the Initiatives IT as well as:

Adverse publicity generated by Russia or by supporters of Russia in target countries, or by political and interest groups affected by the work of the programme, aimed at discrediting the programme or its participants, or to create political embarrassment.

We hope that this piece contributes to such embarrassment.

Posted by b on November 24, 2018 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

Comments Perfidious ALbion!

When will we learn?


pretzelattack , Nov 24, 2018 11:44:00 AM | link

Coincidentally, or not, i just saw this article at the guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/23/robert-mueller-profile-donald-trump-russia-investigation.
Anya , Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM | link
The British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-23/mi6-scrambling-stop-trump-releasing-classified-docs-russia-probe

"The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016."

A Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-dots-do-they-connect/

"Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."

For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

james , Nov 24, 2018 11:58:02 AM | link
thanks b....

this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war.. i guess the idea is to get the ordinary people to think in terms of hating another country based on lies and that this would be a good thing... it is very sad what uk / usa leadership in the past century has come down to here.... i can only hope that info releases like this will hasten it's demise...

Ingrian , Nov 24, 2018 12:03:55 PM | link
Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK.

The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth

james , Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | link
@6 ingrian... things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit Russia fully, as they'd intended...
et Al , Nov 24, 2018 12:20:09 PM | link

Let the Doxx wars begin! Sure, Anonymous is not Russian but it will surely now be targeted and smeared as such which would show that it has hit a nerve. British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me.

I think we've all noticed the euro-asslantic press (and friends) on behalf of, willingly and in cooperation with the British intelligence et al 'calling out' numerous Russians as G(R)U/spies/whatever for a while now yet providing less than a shred of credible evidence.

It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations.

Meanwhile in Brussels they are having their cake and eating it, i.e. bemoaning Europe's 'weak response' to Russian propaganda:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/experts-lament-underfunding-of-eu-task-force-countering-russian-disinformation/

BTW, did anyone read Wired UK's current advertorial (nov 14) by Carl Miller for Brigade 77?

Forthestate , Nov 24, 2018 12:26:09 PM | link
"A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants?
worldblee , Nov 24, 2018 12:33:05 PM | link
Yet another example of the pot calling the kettle black when in fact the kettle may not be black at all; it's just the pot making up things. "These Russian criminals are using propaganda to show (truths) like the fact the DNC and Clinton campaigns colluded to prevent Sanders from being nominated, so we need to establish a clandestine propaganda network to establish that the Russians are running propaganda!"
psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 12:34:32 PM | link

....full cluster of smear merchants". May all the clusters of smear merchants be exposed to the public as the acolytes of evil they are.

plantman , Nov 24, 2018 12:36:48 PM | link
"In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream."

I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins.

The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval.

Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda

BUT...the author assures us that the "deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow" Huh?? In other words, the fix is in. Mueller will pardon Trump on collusion charges but the propaganda campaign against Russia will continue...with the full support of both parties. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it...

m , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:07 PM | link
This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap.

A lot of sour grapes with this so-called 'integrity initiative', IMO. BP was behind a lot of this, I would also think. When Assad pulled the plug on the pipeline through the Levant in 2009, the Brits hacked up a fur ball. It's gone downhill for them ever since. Couldn't happen to a nicer lot. If you can't invade or beat them with proxies, you can at least call them names.

Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:58 PM | link
Anya

Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification: THE CHIMERA OF DONALD TRUMP, RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERER :

If Trump was taking dirty money or engaged in criminal activity with Russians then he was doing it with Felix Sater, who was under the control of the FBI... And who was in charge of the FBI during all of the time that Sater was a signed up FBI snitch? You got it -- Robert Mueller (2001 thru 2013) ...

It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling, including:

Steele dossier: To create suspicion in government, media, and later the public

Leaking of DNC emails to Wikileaks (but calling it a "hack"): To help with election of Trump and link Wikileaks (as agent) to Russian election meddling

Cambridge Analytica: To provide necessary reasoning for Trump's (certain) win of the electoral college.

Note: We later found that dozens of firms had undue access to Facebook data. Why did the campaign turn to a British firm instead of an American firm? Well, it had to be a British firm if MI6 was running the (supposed) Facebook targeting for CIA.

As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job.
Cyril , Nov 24, 2018 1:10:13 PM | link
The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love?
Russ , Nov 24, 2018 1:16:21 PM | link
Posted by: james | Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | 7

"things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of russia after the fall of the soviet union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit russia fully, as they'd intended..."

They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites.

The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation.

GeorgeV , Nov 24, 2018 1:34:08 PM | link
Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power.
Sasha , Nov 24, 2018 1:38:39 PM | link
Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government...and in this context, new empowerished sovereign governemts into the EU should consider the possibility expelling these traitors as spies of the UK....

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204051.html

Some of the "clusters" unmasked here....some, like Ignacio Torreblanca in Spain, are related to the CFR....

https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:12:45 PM | link
Country list of agents of influence according to the leak:
Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:13:28 PM | link
cresty , Nov 24, 2018 2:18:30 PM | link
Thank you very much for going through all the files, b. Will share far and wide

[Nov 24, 2018] When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots psyops, you tend to come up with plots for psyops . The word entrapment comes to mind. Probably self-serving also.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots "psyops", you tend to come up with plots for "psyops". The word "entrapment" comes to mind. Probably "self-serving" also. ..."
"... Anti-Russian is just a code word for Globalist, Internationalist. ..."
"... This is such BS. Since when does Russia have the resources to pull all this off? They have such a complex program that they need the coordinated efforts of all the resources of the WEST? This is nuts. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

HowdyDoody , 7 hours ago link

One of the documents lists a series of propaganda weapons to be used against Russia. One is use of the church as a weapon. That has already been started in Ukraine with Poroshenko buying off regligious leader to split Ukraine Orthodoxy from Russian Orthodoxy. It also explicitly states that the Skripal incident is a 'Dirty Trick' against Russia.

activisor , 10 hours ago link

The British political system is on the verge of collapse. BREXIT has finally demonstrated that the Government/ Opposition parties are clearly aligned against the interests of the people. The EU is nothing more than an arm of the Globalist agenda of world domination.

The US has shown its true colours - sanctioning every country that stands for independent sovereignty is not a good foreign policy, and is destined to turn the tide of public opinion firmly against global hegemony, endless wars, and wealth inequity.

The old Empire is in its death throes. A new paradigm awaits which will exclude all those who have exploited the many, in order to sit at the top of the pyramid. They cannot escape Karma.

smacker , 11 hours ago link

The Western world needs to come to terms with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. Today, Russia is led by Putin and he obviously has objectives as any national leader has.

Western "leaders" need to decide whether Putin:

  1. Is trying to create Soviet Union 2.0, to have a 2nd attempt at ruling the world thru communism and to do this by holding the world to ransom over oil/gas supplies. OR
  2. Is wanting Russia to become a member of the family of nations and of a multi-polar world to improve the lives of Russian people, but is being blocked at every twist and turn by manufactured events like Russia-gate and the Skripal affair and now this latest revelation of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns being coordinated and run out of London.

Both of the above cannot be true because there are too many contradictions. Which is it??

Lokiban , 13 hours ago link

Yes because imagine that that we lived in 1940 without any means to inform ourselves and that media was still in control over the information that reaches us. We would already be in a fullblown war with Russia because of it but now with the Internet and information going around freely only a whimpy 10% of we the people stand behind their desperately wanted war. Imagine that, an informed sheople.
Can't have that, they cannot do their usual stuff anymore.... good riddance.

LOL123 , 14 hours ago link

"250,000 from the US State Department , the documents allege."....... Interesting.

"During the third Democratic debate on Saturday night, Hillary Clinton called for a "Manhattan-like project" to break encrypted terrorist communications. The project would "bring the government and the tech communities together" to find a way to give law enforcement access to encrypted messages, she said. It's something that some politicians and intelligence officials have wanted for awhile,"........

***wasn't the Manhatten project a secret venture?????? Hummmmm"

Hillary Clinton has all of our encryption keys, including the FBI's . "Encryption keys" is a general reference to several encryption functions hijacked by Hillary and her surrogate ENTRUST. They include hash functions (used to indicate whether the contents have been altered in transit), PKI public/private key infrastructure, SSL (secure socket layer), TLS (transport layer security), the Dual_EC_DRBG NSA algorithm and certificate authorities.

The convoluted structure managed by the "Federal Common Policy" group has ceded to companies like ENTRUST INC the ability to sublicense their authority to third parties who in turn manage entire other networks in a Gordian knot of relationships clearly designed to fool the public to hide their devilish criminality. All roads lead back to Hillary and the Rose Law Firm."- patriots4truth

artistant , 14 hours ago link

But, but some people keep getting away with it.

hooligan2009 , 15 hours ago link

When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots "psyops", you tend to come up with plots for "psyops". The word "entrapment" comes to mind. Probably "self-serving" also.

larryriedel , 15 hours ago link

FBI/Anonymous can use this story to support a narrative that social media bots posting memes is a problem for everybody, and it's not a partisan issue. The idea is that fake news and unrestricted social media are inherently dangerous, and both the West and Russia are exploiting that, so governments need to agree to restrict the ability to use those platforms for political speech, especially without using True Names.

Baron Samedi , 15 hours ago link

Oilygawkies in the UK and USSA seem to be letting their spooks have a good-humored (rating here on the absurd transparency of these ops) contest to see who can come up with the most surreal propaganda psy-ops.

But they probably also serve as LHO distractions from something genuinely sleazy.

headless blogger , 15 hours ago link

Anti-Russian is just a code word for Globalist, Internationalist. Anything that is remotely like Nationalism is the true enemy of these Globalist/Internationalists, which is what the Top-Ape Bolshevik promoted: see Vladimir Lenin and his quotes on how he believed fully in "internationalism" for a world without borders. Ironic how they Love the butchers of the Soviet Union but hate Russia. It is ALL ABOUT IDEOLOGY to these people and "the means justify the ends".

They are frightening people.

Push , 15 hours ago link

Basically, if one acquires factual information from an internet source, which leads to overturning the propaganda to which we're all subjected, then it MUST have come from Putin. This is the direction they're headed. Anyone speaking out against the official story is obviously a Russian spy.

Xena fobe , 15 hours ago link

"Instutute for Statecraft"? Seriously?

OverTheHedge , 11 hours ago link

"Substitute for Statecraft"

Fify ;-)

koan , 16 hours ago link

The UK is waging psyop against their own people using the Russians as an excuse to further oppress the population, especially the white population.

FIFY.

East Indian , 16 hours ago link

Never thought Putin would be the symbol of free speech! The totalitarian EU and Deep State can come out of closet and denounce their predecessors.

brewing_it , 17 hours ago link

If you call ******** on the whole Russia cyberscare, you will be labeled a puppet of Putin.

The establishment is afraid of free thinking men and women that can call ******** when they see and hear it.

AriusArmenian , 17 hours ago link

Better to call it the Anti-Integrity Initiative. UK cretins up to their usual dirty tricks - let them choke on their poison. The judgement of history will eventually catch up with them.

Mike Rotsch , 17 hours ago link

A good 'ole economic collapse will give western countries a chance to purge their crazy leaders before they involve us all in a thermonuclear war. Short everything with your entire accounts.

RealistDuJour , 17 hours ago link

This is such BS. Since when does Russia have the resources to pull all this off? They have such a complex program that they need the coordinated efforts of all the resources of the WEST? This is nuts.

Isn't it just as likely someone in the WEST planted this cache, intending Anonymous to find it?

HRClinton , 18 hours ago link

When two sides fight - especially white v white - the hidden 3rd party (((instigator))) wins.

How dumb and mallaleable can these goys be? Pretty dumb and mallaleable, it seems.

J S Bach , 18 hours ago link

Any propaganda coming from the UK or US is strictly zionist. EVERYTHING they put out is to the benefit of Israel and the "lobby". Russia isn't perfect, but if they're an enemy of the latter, then they should NOT be considered a foe to all thinking and conscientious people.

OverTheHedge , 11 hours ago link

Yesterday, the BBC had a thing on Thai workers in Israel, and how they keep dying of accidents, their general level of slavery etc. Very odd to have a negative Israel story, so I wonder who upset whom, and what the ongoing status will be.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-46311922/thai-labourers-in-israel-tell-of-harrowing-conditions

Thai labourers in Israel tell of harrowing conditions

A year-long BBC investigation has discovered widespread abuse of Thai nationals living and working in Israel - under a scheme organized by the two governments.

Many are subjected to unsafe working practices and squalid, unsanitary living conditions. Some are overworked, others underpaid and there are dozens of unexplained deaths.

Herdee , 18 hours ago link

England and the U.S. don't like their very poor and rotten social conditions put out for the public to see. Both countries have severely deteriorating problems on their streets because of bankrupt governments printing money for foreign wars.

Quadruple_Rainbow , 18 hours ago link

More of the same fraudulent duality while alleged so called but not money etc continues to flow (everything is criminal) and the cesspool of a hierarchy pretends it's business as usual.

This isn't about maintaining balance in a lie this is about disclosing the truth and agendas (Agenda 21 now Agenda 2030 = The New Age Religion is Never Going To Be Saturnism). The layers of the hierarchy are a lie so unless the alleged so called leaders of those layers are publicly providing testimony and confession then everything that is being spoon fed to the pablum puking public through all sources is a lie.

Herdee , 18 hours ago link

They're afraid of stories like this: https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

HRClinton , 17 hours ago link

Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of (((local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics))).

The (((team))) is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs, while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

gatorengineer , 18 hours ago link

Do Neocons get time and half for Overtime, they sure have been putting in a bunch lately.

[Nov 23, 2018] Kunstler Exposes The Core Truth Of The 2016 Russia Collusion Story

Notable quotes:
"... For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth. ..."
"... For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth. ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler Exposes "The Core Truth" Of The 2016 Russia Collusion Story

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/23/2018 - 15:25 23 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, Holiday Doings And Undoings

Somehow I doubt that this Christmas will win the Bing Crosby star of approval. Rather, we see the financial markets breaking under the strain of sustained institutionalized fraud, and the social fabric tearing from persistent systemic political dishonesty. It adds up to a nation that can't navigate through reality, a nation too dependent on sure things, safe spaces, and happy outcomes. Every few decades a message comes from the Universe that faking it is not good enough.

The main message from the financials is that the global debt barge has run aground, and with it, the global economy. That mighty engine has been chugging along on promises-to-pay and now the faith that sustained those promises is dissolving. China, Euroland, and the USA can't possibly meet their tangled obligations, and are running out of tricks for rigging, gaming, and jacking the bond markets, where all those promises are vested. It boils down to a whole lot of people not getting paid, one way or the other -- and it's really bad for business.

Our President has taken full credit for the bubblicious markets, of course, and will be Hooverized as they gurgle around the drain. Given his chimerical personality, he may try to put on an FDR mask -- perhaps even sit in a wheelchair -- and try a few grand-scale policy tricks to escape the vortex. But the net effect will surely be to make matters worse -- for instance, if he can hector the Federal Reserve to buy every bond that isn't nailed to some deadly derivative booby-trap. But then he'll only succeed in crashing the dollar. Remember, there are two main ways you can go broke: You can run out of money; or you can have plenty of worthless money.

On the social and political scene, I sense that some things have run their course. Is a critical mass of supposedly educated people not fatigued and nauseated by the regime of "social justice" good-think, and the massive mendacity it stands for , starting with the idea that "diversity and inclusion" require the shut-down of free speech. The obvious hypocrisies and violations of reason emanating from the campuses -- a lot, but not all of it, in response to the Golden Golem of Greatness -- have made enough smart people stupid to endanger the country's political future. A lot of these formerly-non-stupid people work in the news media. It's not too late for some institutions like The New York Times and CNN to change out their editors and producers, and go back to reporting the reality-du-jour instead of functioning as agit-prop mills for every unsound idea ginned through the Yale humanities departments.

Shoehorned into the festivity of the season is the lame-duck session in congress, and one of the main events it portends is the end of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The Sphinx-like Mueller has maintained supernatural silence about his tendings and intentions. But if he'd uncovered anything substantial in the way of "collusion" between Mr. Trump and Russia, the public would know by now, since it would represent a signal threat to national security. So it's hard not to conclude that he has nothing except a few Mickey Mouse "process" convictions for lying to the FBI. On the other hand, it's quite impossible to imagine him ignoring the well-documented evidence trail of Hillary Clinton colluding with Russians to influence the 2016 contest against Mr. Trump -- and to defame him after he won. There's also the Hieronymus Bosch panorama of criminal mischief around the racketeering scheme known as the Clinton Foundation to consider. Do these venal characters get a pass on all that?

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has announced plans to call Federal Attorney John Huber (Utah District) to testify about his assignment to look into these Clinton matters. It's a little hard to see how that might produce any enlightenment, since prosecutors are bound by law to not blab about currently open cases. The committee has also subpoenaed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and others who have some serious 'splainin' to do. But if both Huber and Mueller come up empty-handed on the Clintons it will be one of the epic marvels of official bad faith in US history.

There is a core truth to the 2016 Russia collusion story, and the Clintons are at the heart of it. Failure to even look will have very dark consequences for the public interest.


XWeatherman , 40 seconds ago link

It ought to be obvious to just about everyone who is paying attention and not a Corporate-Whore Democrat that the "The Russians Did It" delusion and the accompanying Mueller "investigation" is only a distraction to draw attention away from the obvious and numerous crimeS of H. Clinton, including running an electronic drop-box for U.S. state secrets using a server in her basement, charity fraud, pay-to-play bribe-taking, the uranium to Russia case, etc. And, that's not counting the inexcusable Unprovoked War of Aggression WAR CRIME against Libya. (Of course, she had an excuse: "Destroy a country in order to save a few "protesters".

Mueller is the Deep State (Corporations [especially Military Industrial Complex Death-Merchants, who direct the politicians and foreign policy actions (continual War-For-Humongous-Profits that has taken and takes multiple trillions of dollars away from potential domestic programs & Wall Street bankster-fraudsters who bankrupted the country with the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial fiasco and who sent U.S. industrial production jobs to other countries] and Oligarchs who reap the profits of such crimes and their results) operative who apparently was brought in the head the FBI to fail to prevent and to coverup the real actors and actions that occurred in association with the downing of buildings at the New York City World Trade center on 9/11.

Hapa , 5 minutes ago link

Sorry, nobodies going to jail and all will be swept under the rug. We will have war to cover their tracks along with all the other frauds. The political buddy buddy system at the upper levels is set up to protect the guilty, and nobody has to pay the price lest the whole thing crumble. It's built that way.

Our only way out is a crash and a reset, with no guarantee what happens on the other side.

I used to be optimistic, but the level of lies, double speak and university factories pumping out marxist leftists portends a bleak future. How anyone thinks we can reason our way out of this situation is fooling themselves about human nature.

SantaClaws , 6 minutes ago link

Nice to see Kunstler focusing on some serious issues like the Uranium One scandal for a change. He seems to be on the concluding end of a cold-turkey or other rehab from some long-term unholy influence. As a result, he has been producing increasingly readable articles for the past several months. Congratulations are due him but with the warning that recovery is always one day at a time.

VWAndy , 7 minutes ago link

Did the Clintons go on a world tour like some kinda rockstars selling us all out?

An nobody said ****!

He–Mene Mox Mox , 14 minutes ago link

" Remember, there are two main ways you can go broke: You can run out of money; or you can have plenty of worthless money". Both pretty much sums up America's predicament. Americans are deep in debt, and their money is worthless.

MarsInScorpio , 1 minute ago link

OK.let's try this for speculative prediction:

Mueller isn't going to touch the Clintons - they have way too much criminal dirt on him. And Huber is an unknown lightweight with no Malicious Seditious Media support.

Sooooo . . . there is only one thing to do once the new Congress takes its oath: Trump gets DOJ Acting AG to appoint the long-awaited Special Prosecutor.

There are more than enough recognized felonies to go after - unlike the Mueller fishing expedition. That will put the Democrat investigation on ice - mainly because lots of Demo chairs and members will be part of the investigation.

"Yes Virginia, Hillary is going to prison . . .:"

navy62802 , 34 minutes ago link

Any serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation would reveal that "Russian Collusion" has everything to do with distraction from the crimes of the Clinton family. The fact that Bill and Hillary have escaped accountability for their heinous crimes is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in US history. It is truly quite frightening.

The Merovingian , 34 minutes ago link

There is a reason why the DOJ, Congress (both parties), MSM, the MIC, the Deep State don't want ANYONE to look into corruption ... because they are ALL ******* guilty as sin and buried neck deep in ****. Its long past time for the whole ******* thing to come down. We're all fucked.

Jim in MN , 13 minutes ago link

Weiner laptop For The Win. Give us that hard drive, Mr. President! We'll have it all analyzed in one weekend.

Meanwhile, Seth Rich awaits Mueller's OH SO DILIGENT investigation.

Can you believe that the 'core' of Mueller's 'case' ends up being about WIKILEAKS?

What the serious ****.

If he's done zero serious looks at Seth Rich all Mueller's work will just be thrown out of court anyway.

Ham sandwich my fat turkey-enriched ***.

For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth.

chippers , 40 minutes ago link

This guy is dreaming if he thinks anything is going to happen to the clintons, the MSM/DOJ is protected those 2 scumbags with the line that if they are investigated trump is going after his political opponents, just like a banana republic. But truthfully nothing reaks more of banana repubicism more then letting the high and mighty of on crimes.

chunga , 12 minutes ago link

I'd like to give a shout out to the "opposition" red team that has sat by and done nothing for more than 30 years.

And for you dopes in Rio Linda, that doesn't mean I'd rather have Honest Hill'rey, for crying out loud.

Bricker , 41 minutes ago link

Theres only one truth...Hillary and Co (CIA) colluded to bring down Trump and Trump kicked the **** out of her.

If we had a true republic, Hillary, Holder, Lynch, Obama, Clapper, Brennan, Lerner would all be under indictment. I mean the ******* list is long

pissonmefico , 19 minutes ago link

If they weren't all on the same side, that of the international bankster cabal, Trump would order his justice department to prosecute those people you mentioned.

The purpose of the Russia investigation is to fool you into thinking there are two sides, and to demonized Russia to create public opinion in favor of attacking Russia because it is not on board with the jwo totalitarian world government. WTFU.

navy62802 , 28 minutes ago link

For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth.

Teamtc321 , 24 minutes ago link

Mueller long ago gave up the fruitless hunt for Russian collusion involving President Trump and is now desperately seeking overdue library books or unpaid parking tickets on anyone remotely connected to President Trump to justify his mooching taxpayer dollars.

[Nov 21, 2018] I've been rolling on the floor with uncontrollable laughter (between episodes of schizoid lamentation) listening to Russophobes (e.g., David Sanger of the NYT) rant on in alarmism about the perils of RUSSIAN COLLUSION, all the while ignoring the elephant from Israel standing right next to their shoulders.

Nov 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

cassandra , says: November 20, 2018 at 6:59 pm GMT

Registering Israel's Useful Idiots

This is long overdue for so many reasons, but the corruption is so pervasive that reform is nigh impossible (which I'm sure will reassure certain hearts).

I've been rolling on the floor with uncontrollable laughter (between episodes of schizoid lamentation) listening to Russophobes (e.g., David Sanger of the NYT) rant on in alarmism about the perils of RUSSIAN COLLUSION, all the while ignoring the elephant from Israel standing right next to their shoulders.

Seriously, who can coherently argue that any hazard to democracy posed by Russia's election influence was remotely comparable to the interference of Israel and Britain? And why should the latter 2′s intentions any more than the former's?

[Nov 17, 2018] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity US Midterms Expose Russia Hacker Myth

Nov 17, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

< Older US Midterms Expose Russia Hacker Myth Written by Finian Cunningham Wednesday November 14, 2018

Don't hold your breath for it, but there should be an abject apology coming from US politicians, pundits, media and intelligence agencies.

For months leading up to the midterm elections held last week, we were told that the Kremlin was deviously targeting the ballot, in a replay of the way Russian hackers allegedly interfered in the 2016 presidential race to get Donald Trump into the White House.

Supposedly reliable news media outlets like the New York Times and heavyweight Senate panels were quoting intelligence sources warning that the "Russians are coming – again".

So what just happened? Nothing. Where were the social media campaigns of malicious Russian-inspired misinformation "sowing division"? Whatever happened to the supposed army of internet bots and trolls that the Kremlin command? Where are the electoral machines tampered with to give false vote counts?

Facebook said it had deleted around 100 social media accounts that it claimed "were linked" to pro-Russian entities intent on meddling in the midterms. How did Facebook determined that "linkage"? It was based on a "tip-off" by US intelligence agencies. Hardly convincing proof of a Kremlin plot to destabilize American democracy.

If elusive Russian hackers somehow targeted the midterm Congressional elections they certainly seem to have a convoluted objective. Trump's Republican party lost the House of Representatives to Democrat control. That could result in more Congressional probes into his alleged collusion with Russia. It could also result in Democrats filing subpoenas for Trump to finally disclose his personal tax details which he has strenuously refused to do so far.

Moreover, having lost control of one of the two Congressional chambers, Trump will find his legislative plans being slowed down and even blocked.

Thus, if Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin are the purported "puppet masters" behind the Trump presidency, they have a very strange way of showing their support, as can be seen from the setbacks of the midterms.

A far simpler, more plausible explanation is that there was no Russian hacking of the midterms, just as there wasn't in the 2016 presidential election. Russian interference, influence campaigns, malign activity, "Russia-gate", and so on, are nothing but myths conjured up by Trump's domestic political opponents and their obliging media outlets.

Now that all the dire warnings of Russia hacking into the midterms have been shown to be a mirage, the US intelligence agencies seem to be adopting a new spin on events. We are told that they "prevented Russian interference".

In a Bloomberg article headlined 'One Big Loser of the Midterms – Russian Hackers', it is claimed: "Security officials believe [sic] they prevented cyberattacks on election day." However, they added, "it's hard to tell."

In other words, US security officials have no idea if putative Russian hackers were targeting the elections. The contorted logic is that if there were no hacking incidents, then it was because US cybersecurity prevented them. This is tantamount to invoking absence to prove presence. It's voodoo intelligence.

President Trump has a point when he lambastes Democrats and their supportive media for crying foul only when they lose an election. In various midterm races, it was apparent that Democrats would protest some alleged electoral discrepancy when their candidate lost against a Republican. But when Democrats came out on top, there were no irregularities.

One can imagine therefore that if the Democrats had failed to win control over the House of Representatives, then they and their intelligence agency and media supporters would have been clamoring about "Russian interference" to help Republicans retain the House.

As it turned out, the Democrats won the House, so there is no need to invoke the Russian bogeyman. In that case, it is claimed, Russian hackers "did not succeed" to penetrate the electoral system or pivot social media.

Nonetheless, there was indeed rampant interference in the recent US election. For one thing, some 28 pro-Israeli Political Action Committees and wealthy individuals spent around $15 million to promote 80 candidates in the Congressional elections, according to the organization If Americans Knew. This foreign influence on US voters in favor of Israeli interests is nothing new. It is standard practice in every election.

During the presidential campaign in 2016, the Israeli-American billionaire Sheldon Adelson reportedly donated $25 million to Trump's campaign. Undoubtedly that legalized bribery is why Trump on becoming president has pushed such a slavishly pro-Israeli Middle East policy, including his inflammatory declaration of Jerusalem as the sole capital of the Zionist state.

But there is no outcry about "Israeli influence campaigns" and "hacking" from the US media or from Democrats over this egregious interference in American democracy. No, they prefer to obsess about the phantom of Russian meddling.

Another evident source of electoral hacking was of the homegrown variety. There seem to be valid grievances among ordinary American voters about gerrymandering of electoral districts by incumbent parties, as well as voter disenfranchisement, especially among poor African-American and Latino communities. There were also reported cases of phone canvassers making malicious calls to discredit candidates, as was claimed by the beaten Democrat contenders in Florida and Georgia.

Clearly, there are huge flaws in the US electoral system. Most glaringly, the gargantuan problem of campaign funding by corporations, banks and other representatives of the oligarchic system.

A further chronic problem is yawning voter apathy. The recent midterms were said to have seen a "record turnout" of voters. The official figure is that only 48 per cent of voters exercised their democratic right. That is, over half the voting population view the ballot exercise as not worth while or something worse. This is a constant massive disavowal of American democracy expressed in every US election.

The midterm elections demonstrate once again that American democracy has its own inherent failings. But the political establishment and the ruling oligarchy are loathe to fix a system from which they benefit.

When the system becomes unwieldy or throws up results that the establishment does not quite like – such as the election of uncouth, big mouth Trump – then the "error" must be "explained" away by some extraneous factor, such as "Russian hacking".

However, the latest exercise in American democracy, for what it is worth, gave the salutary demonstration of the myth of Russian interference – at least for those who care to honestly see that.

Another valuable demonstration was this: if supposedly reliable news media and an intelligence apparatus that is charged with national security have been caught out telling spectacular lies with regard to "Russian hacking", then what credibility do they have on a host of other anti-Russia claims, or, indeed, on many other matters?

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Nov 12, 2018] Protecting Americans from foreign influence, smells with COINTELPRO. Structural witch-hunt effect like during the McCarthy era is designed to supress decent to neoliberal oligarcy by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is something very, very COINTELPRO about the idea of "protecting" Americans from "foreign influence", and that should give liberals the heebie-jeebies. There is also an ongoing structural witch-hunt effect, unchanged from the McCarthy era, when internet firm heads are called to testify before congress. ..."
"... Bottom line - the Russians may have had no more effect on the election than the loose change in your house has on your salary. ..."
"... "Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it." ..."
"... "While the extortionate salaries commanded by the BBC's biggest stars are justified by "market rates," this underlying premise is never challenged by the women who are leading the gender pay fight. They don't oppose the capitalist market; they just want a bigger slice of the pie, with the working class footing the bill via contributions to the £4 billion annual license fee." - BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women ..."
"... The greater the inequality, the greater the lie to enforce it. ..."
"... While WSWS was uniquely correct in exposing Bush, Powell, and the ruling-elite structure of the U.S. as using deceit and lies to start an 'aggressive war' (the ultimate war crime), your description of this corrupt system of global power headquartered in the U.S. did not fully diagnose and expose it for what it was; a disguised global capitalist EMPIRE. ..."
"... Your description could have more effectively warned American citizen/'subjects' and the world that "Rather, it is a war of colonial (Empire) conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global (Empire, not merely) hegemony." ..."
"... In any case, Andre and Joseph, thanks for reminding readers of this dark and deceitful moment of U.S. history in starting another 'aggressive war' almost two decades ago --- which wars will unfortunately continue until Americans themselves expose and ignite an essential Second America "Revolution Against Empire" [Justin duRivage] ..."
"... The Anglo-American-Israelite Empire is globally entrenched and enjoying expansion since 1945 ..."
"... I must admit myself I am disturbed by the sheer volume of unchallenged propaganda regarding these claims in the past few months. The media talking heads and various analysts don't ever really say what the implication of what their claims really mean-war. We are in an age of new mccarthyism ..."
"... What was amazing about Powell's charade was that even if Old Bad Ass as I call Saddam had had some Wombars of Mass Destruction they posed no danger whatsoever! It was obvious 9/11 had put the masses into a tizzy and they would have attacked Mars if told to! ..."
"... Yes, the "New Pearl Harbour" called for and carried out by the authors of the "Project for a New American Century" worked as planned. ..."
"... Quite right. My late father was a structural design engineer, specializing in large steel structures like the WTC and he called it as soon as the buildings imploded! ..."
"... Yes, Michael, the 'media/propaganda-sector' of this seven-sectored Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is currently the most effective sector --- but the other six; corporate, financial, militarist, extra-legal, CFR 'Plot-Tanks', and of course the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the 'rougher-talking' neocon 'R' Vichy Party and the 'smoother-lying' neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party are all helping to keep the Empire sound, hidden, and empowered over the only American citizen/'subjects' who could possibly form a "Political Revolution against Empire" ..."
"... While it is true that D.C. is run by delusional psychotics that does not mean they are irrational as far as their greed is concerned. ..."
"... As R. Luxemburg pleaded that WWI was not "our" war but war of bunch of aristocrats wanting to divide colonies and bunch of bankers wanted their bad speculative loans repaid, using working class flesh and blood. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Wnt1 • a month ago

This is one of the most sensible editorials on the Russia issue I've seen, and it is true, insofar as it goes. There is something very, very COINTELPRO about the idea of "protecting" Americans from "foreign influence", and that should give liberals the heebie-jeebies. There is also an ongoing structural witch-hunt effect, unchanged from the McCarthy era, when internet firm heads are called to testify before congress.

That said, I wouldn't dismiss the effect of the Russian involvement, or the relevance of the charges against Trump and his people. Bear in mind that the Party of McCarthy has been all about spying on its opponents from the days of HUAC. Nixon's break-in at the Watergate Hotel didn't singlehandedly decide the election ... but who would believe that was the only underhanded tactic he used? Republicans believe that if you're not cheating, you're not trying -- holding out for any ethical standard makes you inherently disloyal and unworthy of support. Something like Kavanaugh's involvement in the hacking of Democrats in 2003 ( http://www.foxnews.com/poli... ) should be no surprise; neither should the "Guccifer" hack that put the Democrats' data in the hands of Wikileaks. (Their subsequent attempts to demand Wikileaks not publish such a newsworthy leak, of course, is the sort of thing that undermines their position with me!)

Bottom line - the Russians may have had no more effect on the election than the loose change in your house has on your salary.

But if you go back in your house after the Republicans were minding it, don't be surprised if together with the missing couch change you notice some missing silverware, your kitchen tap has been sawed off, and the laptop is short half its RAM. By the time you've catalogued everything missing, the stolen brass part from the gas main downstairs might have blown you to smithereens.

Greg • 8 months ago
"Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it."

There are many reasons the bourgeoisie is unfit to rule. Each one of them is bound up with the lies required to enforce its rule. The greater its unfitness, "the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it.

"While the extortionate salaries commanded by the BBC's biggest stars are justified by "market rates," this underlying premise is never challenged by the women who are leading the gender pay fight. They don't oppose the capitalist market; they just want a bigger slice of the pie, with the working class footing the bill via contributions to the £4 billion annual license fee." - BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women

The greater the inequality, the greater the lie to enforce it.

Alan MacDonald • 8 months ago
While WSWS was uniquely correct in exposing Bush, Powell, and the ruling-elite structure of the U.S. as using deceit and lies to start an 'aggressive war' (the ultimate war crime), your description of this corrupt system of global power headquartered in the U.S. did not fully diagnose and expose it for what it was; a disguised global capitalist EMPIRE.

Your description could have more effectively warned American citizen/'subjects' and the world that "Rather, it is a war of colonial (Empire) conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global (Empire, not merely) hegemony."

In any case, Andre and Joseph, thanks for reminding readers of this dark and deceitful moment of U.S. history in starting another 'aggressive war' almost two decades ago --- which wars will unfortunately continue until Americans themselves expose and ignite an essential Second America "Revolution Against Empire" [Justin duRivage]

Ambricourt -> Alan MacDonald • 8 months ago
The Anglo-American-Israelite Empire is globally entrenched and enjoying expansion since 1945. It is time radical critiques of its values, power and methods should call it by its right name.
Bob Marley • 8 months ago
I must admit myself I am disturbed by the sheer volume of unchallenged propaganda regarding these claims in the past few months. The media talking heads and various analysts don't ever really say what the implication of what their claims really mean-war. We are in an age of new mccarthyism
michaelroloff • 8 months ago
What was amazing about Powell's charade was that even if Old Bad Ass as I call Saddam had had some Wombars of Mass Destruction they posed no danger whatsoever! It was obvious 9/11 had put the masses into a tizzy and they would have attacked Mars if told to!
Terry Lawrence -> michaelroloff • 8 months ago
Yes, the "New Pearl Harbour" called for and carried out by the authors of the "Project for a New American Century" worked as planned.
michaelroloff -> Terry Lawrence • 8 months ago
don't tell me that you think that the blow-back that was 9/11 is a conspiracy - if you do, be so kind as to mention specific conspirators!
Terry Lawrence -> michaelroloff • 8 months ago
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, are a few obvious ones, . . . and that famous CIA asset, Bin Laden, to recruit the expendable hijackers.
michaelroloff -> Terry Lawrence • 8 months ago
just because it was a convenient act for them to do what they wanted in conquering iraq is not reason that idiots like that are capable of planning and concealing the numerous co-conspirators to arrange something like 9..11. imperialism can always count on blowback to have occasion for further crimes. there is the slim chance that they knew what was being planned and that they let it happen - except that none of those folks is evil enough for that. not even dick cheney. what i love about all conspiracy theories of the american kind is that they never nam or show an actual conspirator conspiring. look at one of the truly great failed conspiracy, that of the 20th july 1944 in germany that was meant to kill hitler and how many people were arrested in no time at all and executed..
Terry Lawrence michaelroloff • 8 months ago
A "conspiracy" is just any two or more people getting together to discuss something affecting one or more other people without them being party to the discussion. Like a surprise birthday party, for instance. Obviously the "official" version of the 9/11 events is also a "conspiracy theory" that 19 mostly Saudi Arabians led by a guy hiding in a cave in Afghanistan conspired to carry out co-ordinated attacks that just happened to coincide with most of the USAF being conveniently off in Alaska and northern Canada on an exercise that day, and another "coinciding exercise" simulating a multiple hijacking being carried out in the northeast US thereby confusing the Air Traffic Controllers as to whether the hijackings were "real world or exercise", significantly delaying the response, among other things.

Do you really believe that WTC 7, a steel frame building which was not adjacent to WTC 1 & 2, and was NOT hit by any airplanes, coincidentally collapsed due to low temperature paper and furniture office fires? Something that has never happened before or since? Or that such low temperature fires would cause the massive heavily reinforced concrete central core/elevator shaft to collapse first, pulling the rest of the building inward onto it in classic controlled demolition technique?

It is getting more difficult to find the videos showing that now as Google, as with WSWS articles, is pushing them off the front pages of results, while Snopes has put out a some very misleading reports that set up false "straw man" claims and then "disprove" them. Even the "disproofs" are false.

For instance, a Snopes report on the WTC 7 collapse states: "relied heavily on discredited claims, none of which were new, including:

Jet fuel cannot melt steel beams (This claim is misleading, as steel beams do to not need to melt completely to be compromised structurally).

A sprinkler system would have prevented temperatures from rising high enough to cause to cause structural damage. (This claim ignores the fact that a crash from a 767 jet would likely destroy such a system.)

The structural system would have been protected by fireproofing material (similarly, such a system would have been damaged in a 767 crash). "

Jet fuel, which is Kerosene, burns at around 575Ί in open air, which was the case in WTC buildings 1 & 2. Most of it was vaporized by the impact with the buildings and burned of within minutes. At any rate, 575Ί is far below the point at which structural steel specifically designed to withstand high temperature fires like that used in the World Trade Centre buildings is weakened.

All of which is irrelevant, as are the other "points" made by Snopes, because Building 7 was not hit by an airplane and there was no jet fuel involved. Something conveniently "overlooked" by Snopes and other similar misleading "disproofs". Not to mention that the Intelligence establishment is busy putting out false trails constantly which use, for instance, obviously faked photos or videos of the three WTC buildings collapsing to discredit the real videos and photos by setting up "straw men" they can then "disprove" and point to as "evidence" that people who don't believe the official version are "creating fake news".

liz_imp Terry Lawrence • 8 months ago
Brilliant points!! :)
Carolyn Zaremba Terry Lawrence • 8 months ago
Quite right. My late father was a structural design engineer, specializing in large steel structures like the WTC and he called it as soon as the buildings imploded!
Terry Lawrence michaelroloff • 8 months ago
"The perpetrators and their conspiracy is not a theory since it has been proved."

By "proved" I assume you are referring to "proofs" such as the fantastical claim that Mohammed Atta's passport was allegedly and fortuitously "found" when it supposedly survived the 600 mph impact of the 767 he was supposedly piloting with a huge steel and concrete building, survived the huge fireball it was supposedly in the middle of unscorched, and conveniently fluttered to the ground intact to land at the feet of an FBI agent who immediately realized it must have belonged to one of the hijackers!

Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

Carolyn Zaremba michaelroloff • 8 months ago
See my comment above. It is the "official" explanation that is a fantasy.
michaelroloff Carolyn Zaremba • 8 months ago
the best that conspiracy theorist can do is, invariably, to call proven facts "just another theory " which only proves that they are actually aware that they are full of hot air! zarembas father as a structural engineer unless a fantasy is certainly better off among the dead than among the living and perpetrating his ignorance of steel and weight and fire onto the world!
clubmarkgirard michaelroloff • 8 months ago
Just because all the details aren't known as to who conspired and why there's enough holes in the "official conspiracy theory" of 19 hijackers to conclude that this could not have been pulled off without some conspiring on the American side. Certainly the the neocons benefited greatly from these attacks. So motive is there for sure.
Alan MacDonald michaelroloff • 8 months ago
Yes, Michael, the 'media/propaganda-sector' of this seven-sectored Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is currently the most effective sector --- but the other six; corporate, financial, militarist, extra-legal, CFR 'Plot-Tanks', and of course the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the 'rougher-talking' neocon 'R' Vichy Party and the 'smoother-lying' neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party are all helping to keep the Empire sound, hidden, and empowered over the only American citizen/'subjects' who could possibly form a "Political Revolution against Empire"
Kalen • 8 months ago
While it is true that D.C. is run by delusional psychotics that does not mean they are irrational as far as their greed is concerned.

There is nothing to win in global nuke war, all know it while the outcome would be surely the current global oligarchy loosing grip on population destroying the system that works for them so well giving chance to what they dread socialist revolution they would have been much weaker to counter.

Regional conflicts are just positioning of oligarchy for management of global oligarchic country club while strict class morality is maintained.

What I do not we are conditions for war (split of global ruling elites) while what I see is broad propaganda of war as a excuse to clamp down on fake enemy in order to control respective populations while there is factual unity among world oligarchy.

As R. Luxemburg pleaded that WWI was not "our" war but war of bunch of aristocrats wanting to divide colonies and bunch of bankers wanted their bad speculative loans repaid, using working class flesh and blood.

She died abandoned by those on the left who embraced the war for their political aspirations, she was murdered for her true internationalism i.e. No war fought between working people of one country and working people of another country.

Alan MacDonald Kalen • 8 months ago
Kalen, it's only effective to use the correct and understandable term 'Empire' in exposing, warning, and motivating average Americans --- since very few even know what words like; oligarchy, plutocracy, fascism, authoritarianism, corporate-state, or Wolin's 'inverted totalitarianism' mean --- let alone could ever serve as rallying cries for the coming essential Second American Revolution against EMPIRE.

As Pat would have shouted if Tom had taken the Paine to edit his call, "Give me Liberty over EMPIRE, or Give me Death!"

Carolyn Zaremba Alan MacDonald • 8 months ago
Do you really believe that average Americans are that stupid? Shame on you!
Alan MacDonald Carolyn Zaremba • 8 months ago
"Sweet Carolyn" OH OH OH --- Yes, only a very small percentage of Americans understand that our former country, the U.S. of America, is categorically, provably, and absolutely a new form of Empire, and is inexorably the first in world history an; 'effectively-disguised', 'truly-global', 'dual-party Vichy', and 'capitalist-fueled' EMPIRE --- an EMPIRE, really just an EMPIRE!

Just do an honest survey, "Sweet Carolyn", yourself, and if you're not a "Sweet Liarlyn", you will have to admit that essentially ZERO of the first 1000 people you ask, will say --- "Oh ya, Carolyn, of course I know that this whole effin 'system' that others less informed may still be so stupid that they think they live in a real country, when I (enter their name) do solemnly swear is just an effin EMPIRE, which is so well disguised, that these few idiots who don't understand that they are just citizen/'subjects' of this monsterous EMPIRE."

Do the survey, "Sweet Carolyn" and if you don't lie to yourself --- which maybe you do, because HELL, your job is to lie to others (so it's quite likely that you'll lie about anything) --- you'll find that exactly zero average Americans have the effin slightest idea in the world that their great 'country' is actually an effin EMPIRE.

HELL, Carolyn, almost half the Americans repeatedly yell, "We're number ONE", "We're number ONE", that their brains would rather rattle themselves to death than even let logic, history, knowledge, or anything into their addled and propaganda filled heads!

liz_imp Alan MacDonald • 8 months ago
Personal attacks are not allowed on this site.
Alan MacDonald liz_imp • 8 months ago
Sorry, Liz-imp, are you a friend of "Sweet Carolyn" --- or some other relation? Perhaps working together?
dmorista • 8 months ago
Excellent article, and it did a particularly good job of tying together the foreign policy and domestic policy stratagems of a major faction of the U.S. ruling class. I, for one, do not doubt that the Russians conduct some sort of cyber warfare against the U.S.; but that must be understood by considering the fact that every major governmental, political, military, and business organization on the face of the Earth must now operate in this manner. A friend of mine's son, who was in the Army, pointed out that the big players, by a wide margin, in spying on and to some degree interfering in the U.S. domestic scene are China and Israel. Kevin Barrett has written and said on various radio shows that much of what is attributed to the "Russians" are actually the actions of Russian/Israeli dual citizens, many of whom move freely between the U.S., Russia, and Israel. And, of course, the U.S. runs major spy and manipulation operations in more countries than any other nation of Earth, and U.S. based corporations are busy both inside the U.S. and in foreign places in similar activities.

It is clearly a desire of significant sectors, of the Capitalist rulers of the U.S., to repress dissent and political activities that oppose their agendas. It took them a few years to realize that their old methods using TV, hate radio, magazines, direct mail, and newspapers were losing their effectiveness. They have been increasing their attacks on leftist websites, hacking into websites, closing websites using phonied-up "national security" justifications, employing numerous trolls, and establishing and funding more far right websites, such as Breitbart and Infowars. These efforts are most effective when they are not overpowering and heavy handed.

The classic book on this was the 1988 book "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" by Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann. Rob Williams has updated the concept for the internet age in
<http: www.vermontindependent.org ="" the-post-truth-world-reviving-the-propaganda-model-of-news-for-our-digital-age=""/>.

The strategy is nothing new, the methods are merely updated and use the latest technologies.

Maxwell dmorista • 8 months ago
Superb post.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that rigging elections through byzantine electoral laws and billion dollar corporate slush funds is a thing of the past. All you need now is 13 amateur IT goomba's with a marketing scheme and twitter accounts. Well, sure is a fragile "World's Sole Superpower" we got here. Go Team?

[Nov 12, 2018] Trump Or Cheney WSJ Asks Who's The Real American Psycho

Notable quotes:
"... "Would you rather have a professional assassin after you or a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver? I'd rather have a maniac with a meat cleaver after me, so I think Cheney is way worse. And also, if you look at the body count, more than 600,000 people died in Iraq. It's not even close, right? ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Wall Street Journal's Maureen Dowd appears to have had enough of the hyperbole, hyper-short-memories, and hyped up virtue-signaling from the establishment. Reflecting on Adam McKay's new movie "Vice" with Christian Bale playing Dick Cheney, Dowd gently nudges America back from the edge of the divisive Midterms to remember that much evil has come before...

Donald Trump is running wild - and running scared.

He's such a menace that it's tempting to cheer any vituperative critic and grab any handy truncheon. But villainizing Trump should not entail sanitizing other malefactors.

And we should acknowledge that the president is right on one point: For neocons, journalists, authors, political hacks and pundits, there is a financial incentive to demonize the president, not to mention an instant halo effect. Only Trump could get the pussy-hat crowd to fill Times Square to protest Jeff Sessions's firing.

We make the president the devil spawn and he makes us the enemy of the people and everybody wins. Or do they? To what extent is lucrative Trump hysteria warping our discourse?

Trump may not be sweaty and swarthy, but he makes a good bad guy. As with Nixon and Watergate, the correct moral response and the lavish remunerative rewards neatly dovetail.

Even for Washington, the capital of do-overs and the soulless swamp where horrendous mistakes never prevent you from cashing in and getting another security clearance, this is a repellent spectacle. War criminals-turned-liberal heroes are festooned with book and TV contracts, podcasts and op-ed perches.

Those who sold us the "cakewalk" Iraq war and the outrageously unprepared Sarah Palin and torture as "enhanced interrogation," those who left the Middle East shattered with a cascading refugee crisis and a rising ISIS, and those who midwifed the birth of the Tea Party are washing away their sins in a basin of Trump hate.

The very same Republicans who eroded America's moral authority in the 2000s are, staggeringly, being treated as the new guardians of America's moral authority.

They bellow that Trump is a blight on democracy. But where were these patriots when the Bush administration was deceiving us with a cooked-up war in Iraq?

Michelle Obama has written in her memoir that she will never forgive Trump for pushing the birther movement. Yet the Pygmalions of Palin, who backed Trump on the birther filth, are now among the most celebrated voices in Michelle's party.

The architects and enablers of the Iraq war and Abu Ghraib are still being listened to on foreign policy, both inside the administration (John Bolton and Gina Haspel) and out. NeverTrumper Eliot Cohen wrote the Washington Post op-ed after the election telling conservatives not to work for Trump; Max Boot, who urged an invasion of Iraq whether or not Saddam was involved in 9/11, is now a CNN analyst, Post columnist and the author of a new book bashing Trump; John Yoo, who wrote the unconstitutional torture memo, is suddenly concerned that Trump's appointment of his ghastly acting attorney general is unconstitutional.

MSNBC is awash in nostalgia for Ronald Reagan and W.

So it's a good moment for Adam McKay, the inventive director of "The Big Short," to enter the debate with a movie that raises the question: Is insidious destruction of our democracy by a bureaucratic samurai with the soothing voice of a boys' school headmaster even more dangerous than a self-destructive buffoon ripping up our values in plain sight?

How do you like your norms broken? Over Twitter or in a torture memo? By a tinpot demagogue stomping on checks and balances he can't even fathom or a shadowy authoritarian expertly and quietly dismantling checks and balances he knows are sacred?

McKay grappled with the W.-Cheney debacle in 2009, when he co-wrote a black comedy with Will Ferrell called "You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush." In the Broadway hit, Ferrell's W. dismissed waterboarding as a Bliss spa treatment and confided that he had once discovered Cheney locked in an embrace with a giant goat devil in a room full of pentagrams.

When McKay was home with the flu three years ago, he grabbed a book and began reading up on Cheney. He ended up writing and directing "Vice," a film that uses real-life imagery, witty cinematic asides and cultural touchstones to explore the irreparable damage Cheney did to the planet, and how his blunders and plunders led to many of our current crises.

With an echo of his Batman growl, Christian Bale brilliantly shape-shifts into another American psycho, the lumbering, scheming vice president who easily manipulates the naïve and insecure W., deliciously played by Sam Rockwell. While W. strives to impress his father, Cheney strives to impress his wife, Lynne, commandingly portrayed by Amy Adams.

Before we had Trump's swarm of bloodsucking lobbyists gutting government regulations from within, we had Cheney's. Before Trump brazenly used the White House to boost his brand, we had Cheney wallowing in emoluments: He let his energy industry pals shape energy policy; he pushed to invade Iraq, giving no-bid contracts to his former employer, Halliburton , and helping his Big Oil cronies reap the spoils in Iraq.

The movie opens at Christmas, but it's no sugary Hallmark fable. It's a harrowing cautionary tale showing that democracy can be sabotaged even more diabolically by a trusted insider, respected by most of the press, than by a clownish outsider, disdained by most of the press.

After a screening of "Vice" Thursday, I asked McKay which of our two right-wing Dementors was worse, Cheney or Trump.

"Here's the question," he said.

"Would you rather have a professional assassin after you or a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver? I'd rather have a maniac with a meat cleaver after me, so I think Cheney is way worse. And also, if you look at the body count, more than 600,000 people died in Iraq. It's not even close, right? "

[Nov 02, 2018] The Russian meddling fraud Weapons of mass destruction revisited by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

20 February 2018
Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared, "The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise." ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... While the present campaign over Russian "meddling" has much in common with the claims about "weapons of mass destruction," the implications are far more ominous. The "war on terror" is exhausted, in part because the US is allied in Syria and elsewhere with the Islamic fundamentalist organizations it was purportedly fighting. ..."
"... The Mueller indictment is intended to provide an appropriate "narrative" for military aggression motivated by different aims. At the same time, it serves as a ready-made pretext for censorship and domestic repression that goes far beyond the extraordinary measures adopted under the framework of the "war on terror." Russia, the American people are supposed to believe, uses domestic social opposition to weaken the United States, rendering political dissent effectively treasonous. ..."
"... Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it. The target of the repressive measures is not Russia, but the American working class. The ruling elite is well aware that as it plots war abroad, it stands upon a social powder keg at home. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The working class must draw the necessary conclusions from its past experiences. In 2003, the Democratic Party supported the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and provided it with the necessary political cover. Now, the Democrats, along with their appendages among the organizations of the upper-middle class, are at the forefront of the campaign for war, employing neo-McCarthyite tactics to criminalize opposition while seeking to subordinate all popular opposition to the Trump administration to its right-wing and militarist agenda.

The urgent task is to mobilize the working class, in the United States and internationally, against the entire apparatus of the capitalist ruling elite. The fight against war and dictatorship is at the same time the fight against inequality and exploitation, for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a global socialist society.

Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

[Nov 02, 2018] MUST WATCH Shocking Video by Comedian Bill Maher - Russia Delusion Still Raging Among US Liberals

Nov 02, 2018 | russia-insider.com

MUST WATCH: Shocking Video by Comedian Bill Maher - Russia Delusion Still Raging Among US Liberals Richard Brandt 10 min ago | 600 words 10 131 RussiaHoax Bill Maher outdid himself recently with this video, but in doing so, he inadvertently showed how out of touch the Jewish Hollywood liberal elites like Maher are with most of the country, and even more so with the rest of the world.

Take the 5 minutes to watch the video, it is an eye-opener. Bullet points follow below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QhJIt4uv9x4

Somehow, Maher managed to pack the following into his monologue:

[Nov 01, 2018] Angela Merkel Migrates Into Retirement The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Her announcement on Monday that she will vacate the leadership of Germany's ruling center-right Christian Democrats marks the culmination of what has been a slow denouement of Merkelism. ..."
"... Long the emblematic figure of "Europe," hailed by the neoliberal Economist as the continent's moral voice, long the dominant decider of its collective foreign and economic policies, Merkel will leave office with border fences being erected and disdain for European political institutions at their highest pitch ever. In this sense, she failed as dramatically as her most famous predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl, succeeded in their efforts to make Germany both important and normal in the postwar world. ..."
"... "We can do this!" she famously declared. Europe, she said, must "show flexibility" over refugees. Then, a few days later, she said there was "no limit" to the number of migrants Germany could accept. At first, the burgeoning flood of mostly young male asylum claimants produced an orgy of self-congratulatory good feeling, celebrity posturing of welcome, Merkel greeting migrants at the train station, Merkel taking selfies with migrants, Merkel touted in The Economist as "Merkel the Bold." ..."
"... The euphoria, of course, did not last. Several of the Merkel migrants carried out terror attacks in France that fall. (France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls remarked pointedly after meeting with Merkel, "It was not us who said, 'Come!'") Reports of sexual assaults and murders by migrants proved impossible to suppress, though Merkel did ask Mark Zuckerberg to squelch European criticism of her migration policies on Facebook. Intelligent as she undoubtedly is (she was a research chemist before entering politics), she seemed to lack any intellectual foundation to comprehend why the integration of hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim world might prove difficult. ..."
"... Merkel reportedly telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to ask how Israel had been so successful in integrating so many immigrants during its brief history. There is no record of what Netanyahu thought of the wisdom of the woman posing this question. ..."
"... In any case, within a year, the Merkel initiative was acknowledged as a failure by most everyone except the chancellor herself. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Her refugee blunder changed the European continent in irreversible ways for decades to come. By Scott McConnell • November 1, 2018

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Drop of Light/Shutterstock Whatever her accomplishments as pathbreaking female politician and respected leader of Europe's dominant economic power, Angela Merkel will go down in history for her outburst of naivete over the issue of migration into Europe during the summer of 2015.

Her announcement on Monday that she will vacate the leadership of Germany's ruling center-right Christian Democrats marks the culmination of what has been a slow denouement of Merkelism.

She had seen the vote share of her long dominant party shrink in one regional election after another. The rebuke given to her last weekend in Hesse, containing the Frankfurt region with its booming economy, where she had campaigned extensively, was the final straw. Her CDU's vote had declined 10 points since the previous election, their voters moving toward the further right (Alternative fur Deutschland or AfD). Meanwhile, the further left Greens have made dramatic gains at the expense of Merkel's Social Democrat coalition partners.

Long the emblematic figure of "Europe," hailed by the neoliberal Economist as the continent's moral voice, long the dominant decider of its collective foreign and economic policies, Merkel will leave office with border fences being erected and disdain for European political institutions at their highest pitch ever. In this sense, she failed as dramatically as her most famous predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl, succeeded in their efforts to make Germany both important and normal in the postwar world.

One can acknowledge that while Merkel never admitted error for her multiculti summer fling (beyond wishing she had communicated her goals better), she did manage to adjust her policies. By 2016, Germany under her watch was paying a healthy ransom to Turkey to keep would-be migrants in camps and preventing them from sailing to Greece. Merkel's departure will make the battle to succeed her one of the most watched political contests in Europe. She has turned migration into a central and quite divisive issue within the CDU and Germany, and the party may decide that it has no choice but to accommodate, in one way or another, the voters who have left them for the AfD.

Related to the issue of who should reside in Europe (objectively the current answer remains anyone who can get there) is the question of how are such questions decided. In July 2015, five years after asserting in a speech that multiculturalism has "utterly failed" in Germany (without addressing what policies should be pursued in an increasingly ethnically diverse society) and several weeks after reducing a young Arab girl to tears at a televised forum by telling her that those whose asylum claims were rejected would "have to go back" and that "politics is hard," Merkel changed course.

For those interested in psychological studies of leadership and decision making, it would be hard to imagine a richer subject. Merkel's government first announced it would no longer enforce the rule (the Dublin agreement) that required asylum claimants to be processed in the first country they passed through. Then she doubled down. The migrants fleeing the Syrian civil war, along with those who pretended to be Syrian, and then basically just anyone, could come to Germany.

"We can do this!" she famously declared. Europe, she said, must "show flexibility" over refugees. Then, a few days later, she said there was "no limit" to the number of migrants Germany could accept. At first, the burgeoning flood of mostly young male asylum claimants produced an orgy of self-congratulatory good feeling, celebrity posturing of welcome, Merkel greeting migrants at the train station, Merkel taking selfies with migrants, Merkel touted in The Economist as "Merkel the Bold."

The Angela Merkel Era is Coming to an End The Subtle Return of Germany Hegemony

Her words traveled far beyond those fleeing Syria. Within 48 hours of the "no limit" remark, The New York Times reported a sudden stirring of migrants from Nigeria. Naturally Merkel boasted in a quiet way about how her decision had revealed that Germany had put its Nazi past behind it. "The world sees Germany as a land of hope and chances," she said. "That wasn't always the case." In making this decision personally, Merkel was making it for all of Europe. It was one of the ironies of a European arrangement whose institutions were developed in part to transcend nationalism and constrain future German power that 70 years after the end of the war, the privately arrived-at decision of a German chancellor could instantly transform societies all over Europe.

The euphoria, of course, did not last. Several of the Merkel migrants carried out terror attacks in France that fall. (France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls remarked pointedly after meeting with Merkel, "It was not us who said, 'Come!'") Reports of sexual assaults and murders by migrants proved impossible to suppress, though Merkel did ask Mark Zuckerberg to squelch European criticism of her migration policies on Facebook. Intelligent as she undoubtedly is (she was a research chemist before entering politics), she seemed to lack any intellectual foundation to comprehend why the integration of hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim world might prove difficult.

Merkel reportedly telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to ask how Israel had been so successful in integrating so many immigrants during its brief history. There is no record of what Netanyahu thought of the wisdom of the woman posing this question.

In any case, within a year, the Merkel initiative was acknowledged as a failure by most everyone except the chancellor herself. Her public approval rating plunged from 75 percent in April 2015 to 47 percent the following summer. The first electoral rebuke came in September 2016, when the brand new anti-immigration party, the Alternative fur Deutschland, beat Merkel's CDU in Pomerania.

In every election since, Merkel's party has lost further ground. Challenges to her authority from within her own party have become more pointed and powerful. But the mass migration accelerated by her decision continues, albeit at a slightly lower pace.

Angela Merkel altered not only Germany but the entire European continent, in irreversible ways, for decades to come.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars .

[Nov 01, 2018] Lame Duck Merkel Has Only Her Legacy On Her Mind

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, President Trump is pushing Merkel on policy on Russia and Ukraine that furthers the image that she is simply a stooge of U.S. geopolitical ambitions. Don't ever forget that Germany is, for all intents and purposes, an occupied country. So, what the U.S. military establishment wants, Merkel must provide. ..."
"... But Merkel, further weakened by another disastrous state election, isn't strong enough to fend off her emboldened Italian and British opposition (and I'm not talking about The Gypsum Lady, Theresa May here). ..."
"... Merkel is a lame-duck now. Merkelism is over. Absentee governing from the center standing for nothing but the international concerns has been thoroughly rebuked by the European electorate from Spain to the shores of the Black Sea. ..."
"... Germany will stand for something other than globalism by the time this is all over. There will be a renaissance of culture and tradition there that is similar to the one occurring at a staggering pace in Russia. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped down as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, the party she has led for nearly two decades. Yesterday's election in Hesse, normally a CDU/SPD stronghold was abysmal for them.

She had to do something to quell the revolt brewing against her.

Merkel knew going in what the polls were showing. Unlike American and British polls, it seems the German ones are mostly accurate with pre-election polls coming close to matching the final results.

So, knowing what was coming for her and in the spirit of trying to maintain power for as long as possible Merkel has been moving away from her staunch positions on unlimited immigration and being in lock-step with the U.S. on Russia.

She's having to walk a tightrope on these two issues as the turmoil in U.S. political circles is pulling her in, effectively, opposite directions.

The globalist Davos Crowd she works for wants the destruction of European culture and individual national sovereignty ground into a paste and power consolidated under the rubric of the European Union.

They also want Russia brought to heel.

On the other hand, President Trump is pushing Merkel on policy on Russia and Ukraine that furthers the image that she is simply a stooge of U.S. geopolitical ambitions. Don't ever forget that Germany is, for all intents and purposes, an occupied country. So, what the U.S. military establishment wants, Merkel must provide.

So, if she rejects that role and the chaos U.S. policy engenders, particularly Syria, she's undermining the flow of migrants into Europe.

This is why it was so significant that she and French President Emmanuel Macron joined this weekend's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

It ended with an agreement on Syria's future that lies in direct conflict with the U.S.'s goals of the past seven years.

It was an admission that Assad has prevailed in Syria and the plan to atomize it into yet another failed state has itself failed. Merkel has traded 'Assad must go' for 'no more refugees.'

To President Trump's credit he then piggy-backed on that statement announcing that the U.S. would be pulling out of Syria very soon now. And that tells me that he is still coordinating in some way with Putin and other world leaders on the direction of his foreign policy in spite of his opposition.

But the key point from the Istanbul statement was that Syria's rebuilding be prioritized to reverse the flow of migrants so Syrians can go home. While Gilbert Doctorow is unconvinced by France's position here , I think Merkel has to be focused on assisting Putin in achieving his goal of returning Syria to Syrians.

Because, this is both a political necessity for Merkel as well as her trying to burnish her crumbling political throne to maintain power.

The question is will Germans believe and/or forgive her enough for her to stay in power through her now stated 'retirement' from politics in 2021?

I don't think so and it's obvious Davos Crowd boy-toy Macron is working overtime to salvage what he can for them as Merkel continues to face up to the political realities across Europe, which is that populism is a natural reaction to these insane policies.

Merkel's job of consolidating power under the EU is unfinished. They don't have financial integration. The Grand Army of the EU is still not a popular idea. The euro-zone is a disaster waiting to happen and its internal inconsistencies are adding fuel to an already pretty hot political fire.

On this front, EU integration, she and Macron are on the same page. Because 'domestically' from an EU perspective, Brexit still has to be dealt with and the showdown with the Italians is only just beginning.

But Merkel, further weakened by another disastrous state election, isn't strong enough to fend off her emboldened Italian and British opposition (and I'm not talking about The Gypsum Lady, Theresa May here).

And Macron should stop looking in the mirror long enough to see he's standing on a quicksand made of blasting powder.

This points to the next major election for Europe, that of the European Parliament in May where all of Merkel's opposition are focused on wresting control of that body and removing Jean-Claude Juncker or his hand-picked replacement (Merkel herself?) from power.

The obvious transition for Merkel is from German Chancellor to European Commission President. She steps down as Chancellor in May after the EPP wins a majority then to take Juncker's job. I'm sure that's been the plan all along. This way she can continue the work she started without having to face the political backlash at home.

But, again, how close is Germany to snap elections if there is another migrant attack and Chemnitz-like demonstrations. You can only go to the 'Nazi' well so many times, even in Germany.

There comes a point where people will have simply had enough and their anger isn't born of being intolerant but angry at having been betrayed by political leadership which doesn't speak for them and imported crime, chaos and violence to their homes.

And the puppet German media will not be able to contain the story. The EU's speech rules will not contain people who want to speak. The clamp down on hate speech, pioneered by Merkel herself is a reaction to the growing tide against her.

And guess what? She can't stop it.

The problem is that Commies like Merkel and Soros don't believe in anything. They are vampires and nihilists as I said over the weekend suffused with a toxic view of humanity.

Oh sure, they give lip service to being inclusive and nice about it while they have control over the levers of power, the State apparatus. But, the minute they lose control of those levers, the sun goes down, the fangs come out and the bloodletting begins.

These people are vampires, sucking the life out of a society for their own ends. They are evil in a way that proves John Barth's observation that "man can do no wrong." For they never see themselves as the villain.

No. They see themselves as the savior of a fallen people. Nihilists to their very core they only believe in power. And, since power is their religion, all activities are justified in pursuit of their goals.

Their messianic view of themselves is indistinguishable to the Salafist head-chopping animals people like Hillary empowered to sow chaos and death across the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade.

Add to this Merkel herself who took Hillary's empowerment of these animals and gave them a home across Europe. At least now Merkel has the good sense to see that this has cost her nearly everything.

Even if she has little to no shame.

Hillary seems to think she can run for president again and win with the same schtick she failed with twice before. Frankly, I welcome it like I welcome the sun in the morning, safe in the knowledge that all is right with the world and she will go down in humiliating defeat yet again.

Merkel is a lame-duck now. Merkelism is over. Absentee governing from the center standing for nothing but the international concerns has been thoroughly rebuked by the European electorate from Spain to the shores of the Black Sea.

Germany will stand for something other than globalism by the time this is all over. There will be a renaissance of culture and tradition there that is similar to the one occurring at a staggering pace in Russia.

And Angela Merkel's legacy will be chaos.

* * *

Join my patreon because you hate chaos.

[Oct 28, 2018] Twitter was too busy banning 'Russians' to notice #MAGAbomber's threats

Notable quotes:
"... Whether Twitter had made an honest mistake, or scrambled to engage in damage control, is sort of immaterial at this point. Some of his posts have been archived , but not responses to them. All that suspending his account accomplished is to make it more difficult to parse the Florida man's motives. By the way, Sayoc's Facebook page was likewise taken down on Friday. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from RT . ..."
Oct 28, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The history of criminal behavior and online threats by Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man charged with sending suspicious packages to prominent Democrats, somehow went ignored by both government and social media police.

Sayoc, 56, was arrested on Friday, and stands accused of sending pipe bombs - 14, as of the last count - to former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, actor Robert De Niro, billionaire Democrat donors George Soros and Tom Steyer, and several Democrat lawmakers.

Federal authorities have refused to speculate on the suspect's motives, but news outlets quickly pored over Sayoc's social media feeds , finding photos and videos of pro-Trump memes, Trump rallies, and abusive language towards Democrats. A van in which he reportedly lived, after losing his home to foreclosure, was covered in pro-Trump decals. Twitter #Resistance activists, who had already coined the term "MAGAbomber" to describe the suspect, rejoiced.

It was Sayoc's prior run-ins with the law that allowed the FBI to find him, matching a fingerprint and DNA from some of the packages to samples they had on file. His criminal record shows charges of grand theft, misdemeanor theft, battery, felony steroid possession, and even threatening a bomb attack in 2002 - leaving an open question of how he kept getting away with it all, over and over again.

Then there is the matter of Sayoc's social media accounts. Over the past two years, under intense pressure by Democrats and drummed-up charges of "Russian meddling," Twitter and Facebook have cracked down on users left and right . Time and again, people engaging in protected free speech have been " shadowbanned " or suspended, permanently or until they deleted posts someone reported as "offensive."

Yet when Democratic strategist Rochelle Ritchie actually reported Sayoc's account to Twitter two weeks ago, over a threat she received from him after appearing on a Fox News show, Twitter did not find the post objectionable .

Richie then received an email from Twitter saying the previous response to her complaint had been "an error."

Whether Twitter had made an honest mistake, or scrambled to engage in damage control, is sort of immaterial at this point. Some of his posts have been archived , but not responses to them. All that suspending his account accomplished is to make it more difficult to parse the Florida man's motives. By the way, Sayoc's Facebook page was likewise taken down on Friday.

Both Twitter and Facebook claim they are trying to improve "conversations" on their platforms, and that their purges are nonpartisan. While technically correct, that's misleading. Establishment figures and outfits somehow always skate, while both critics of Clintonism on the left and Trump Republicans end up under the banhammer.

Meanwhile, the social media giants continue to insist they are not publishers, and delegate the dirty work of policing to quasi-NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy and the Atlantic Council . They end up deciding who's a "Russian bot" or "Iranian troll" based on arbitrary criteria, which the mainstream media repeats uncritically.

That someone like Sayoc ended up under the radar of both the authorities and social media police suggests that he was either deliberately tolerated, or that their "defense of democracy" is a sham. It is perhaps fitting that none of Sayoc's bombs actually exploded; the only thing they blew up in the end seems to be some illusions.

Reprinted with permission from RT .

[Oct 24, 2018] 10-3-18 Gareth Porter on Trump and the American Empire

Notable quotes:
"... Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare ..."
"... This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs , by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; Zen Cash ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; and TheBumperSticker.com . ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | libertarianinstitute.org

Gareth Porter is interviewed on his article for Truthdig, " Can Trump Take Down the American Empire? " Porter talks about revelations in the Bob Woodward book "Fear", about the Trump presidency, and how they may pertain to the American Empire. Porter also talks about the Trump presidency, North Korea, and Iran.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth's previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

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

[Oct 23, 2018] Putin's Puppet Advances Nuclear Missile Escalations Against...Putin by Caitlin Johnstone

Oct 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Yesterday the news broke that Swamp Monster-In-Chief John Bolton has been pushing President Trump to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the 1988 arms control agreement between the US and the Soviet Union eliminating all missiles of a specified range from the arsenals of the two nuclear superpowers. Today, Trump has announced that he will be doing exactly as Bolton instructed.

This would be the second missile treaty between the US and Russia that America has withdrawn from since it abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. John Bolton, an actual psychopath who Trump hired as his National Security Advisor in April, ran point on that move as well back when he was part of the increasingly indistinguishable Bush administration.

me title=

"This is why John Bolton shouldn't be allowed anywhere near US foreign policy," tweeted Senator Rand Paul in response to early forecasts of the official announcement.

"This would undo decades of bipartisan arms control dating from Reagan. We shouldn't do it. We should seek to fix any problems with this treaty and move forward."

"This is the most severe crisis in nuclear arms control since the 1980s," Malcolm Chalmers, the deputy director general of the Royal United Services Institute, told The Guardian .

"If the INF treaty collapses, and with the New Start treaty on strategic arms due to expire in 2021, the world could be left without any limits on the nuclear arsenals of nuclear states for the first time since 1972."

"A disaster for Europe," tweeted Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald. "The treaty removed Cruise & Pershing missiles, and Soviet ss20's from the continent. Now, you will most likely see Russia launch a major build up in Kaliningrad & the US push into Poland. So you're back to 1980, but the dividing line is closer to Moscow."

"Russia has violated the agreement. They've been violating it for many years and I don't know why President Obama didn't negotiate or pull out," Trump told reporters in Nevada.

"We're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and do weapons and we're not allowed to. We're the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we've honored the agreement but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement so we're going to terminate the agreement, we're going to pull out."

What Trump did not mention is that the US has indeed been in violation of that agreement due to steps it began taking toward the development of a new ground-launched cruise missile last year. The US claims it began taking those steps due to Russian violations of the treaty with its own arsenal, while Russia claims the US has already been in violation of multiple arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements.

me title=

So, on the one front where cooler heads prevailing is quite literally the single most important thing in the world, the exact opposite is happening. Hotter, more impatient, more violent, more hawkish heads are prevailing over diplomacy and sensibility, potentially at the peril of the entire world should something unexpected go wrong as a result. This is of course coming after two years of Democratic Party loyalists attacking Trump on the basis that he has not been sufficiently hawkish toward Russia, and claiming that this is because he is Putin's puppet.

In response to this predictable escalation the path for which has been lubricated by McResistance pundits and their neoconservative allies, those very same pundits are now reacting with horror that Putin's puppet is now dangerously escalating tensions with Putin.

"BREAKING: Trump announces that the United States will pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that the US has been in for 31 years," exclaimed the popular Russiagater Brian Krassenstein in a tweet that as of this writing has over 5,000 shares. "Welcome back to the Cold War. This time it's scarier And no, It's not Obama, or Hillary or the Democrat's fault. It's ALL TRUMP!"

"Hilarious to listen to all this alarmed screaming about US withdrawal from INF Treaty emanating from those who for 2 years have been demanding that Trump get tough with Russia," tweeted George Szamuely of the Global Policy Institute. "Now that they've got their arms race I hope they are pleased with themselves."

"Are those who have spent the past two years warning of a Trump-Kremlin conspiracy & cheering confrontation w/ Russia ready to shut the fuck up yet?" asked Aaron Maté, who has been among the most consistently lucid critics of the Russiagate narrative in the US.

me title=

Are they ready to shut the fuck up? That would be great, but this is just the latest escalation in a steadily escalating new cold war, and these blithering idiots didn't shut the fuck up at any of the other steps toward nuclear holocaust.

They didn't shut the fuck up after Trump's capitulation to the longstanding neoconservative agenda to arm Ukraine against Russia.

They didn't shut the fuck up after Americans killed Russians in Syria as part of their regime change occupation of that country .

They didn't shut the fuck up when this administration adopted a Nuclear Posture Review with greatly increased aggression toward Russia and blurred lines between when nuclear strikes are and are not appropriate.

They didn't shut the fuck up when Trump started sending war ships into the Black Sea "to counter Russia's increased presence there."

They didn't shut the fuck up when this administration forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents.

They didn't shut the fuck up when this administration helped expand NATO with the addition of Montenegro, at the assigning of Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, at the shutting down of a Russian consulate in San Francisco and throwing out Russian diplomats in August of last year, when Trump threw out dozens more diplomats in response to shaky claims about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, or when he implemented aggressive sanctions on Russian oligarchs .

Why would they shut the fuck up now?

As signs point to Mueller's investigation wrapping up in the near future without turning up a single shred of evidence that Trump colluded with the Russian government, it's time for everyone who helped advance this toxic, suicidal anti-Russia narrative to ask themselves one question: was it worth it? Was it worth it to help mount political pressure on a sitting president to continually escalate tensions with a nuclear superpower and loudly screaming that he's a Putin puppet whenever he takes a step toward de-escalation? Was it worth it to help create an atmosphere where cooler heads don't prevail in the one area where it's absolutely essential for everyone's survival that they do? Or is it maybe time to shut the fuck up for a while and rethink your entire worldview?

* * *

Thanks for reading! 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 my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , checking out my podcast , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

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[Oct 23, 2018] Russiagate 2.0 Now with more stupid

Notable quotes:
"... I've come to the realization that the MSM and our government are using a very different definition of "democracy" and "democratic institutions" than the one in the dictionary. Their version of "democracy" is all about national security and financial interests, and have very little to do with elections and popular will. ..."
"... ideas and opinions ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
"... ideas and opinions ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
"... @enhydra lutris ..."
"... @enhydra lutris ..."
"... @enhydra lutris ..."
"... @The Liberal Moonbat ..."
"... , surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges ..."
"... "There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn't," said Dubelier, who added that Mueller's office alleged a "made-up crime to fit the facts they have." ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | caucus99percent.com
gjohnsit
We can soon forget Russia's "meddling" in the 2016 election (or lack of meddling ), because the Justice Department is already throwing down indictments for meddling in the 2018 midterm elections.
Russians working for a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin are engaging in an elaborate campaign of "information warfare" to interfere with the American midterm elections next month, federal prosecutors said on Friday in unsealing charges against a woman whom they labeled the project's "chief accountant."

Information warfare? That sounds serious. So what exactly is her objectives?

But this time, prosecutors said the operatives appeared beholden to no particular candidate. Russia's trolls did not limit themselves to either a liberal or conservative position, according to the complaint. They often wrote from diverging viewpoints on the same issue.

Uh, that's called trolling, and if trolling is against the law then 4Chan should watch out.
It seems that trolling now equals fraud .

It isn't just Russia. China and Iran are meddling as well.

In a joint statement, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security said they "do not have any evidence" that foreign countries have disrupted the voting process or changed any tallies , but that the campaigns have spread "disinformation" and "foreign propaganda."

"We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies," the statement said. "These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections."

So how exactly are they defrauding the American public? As for "undermine confidence in democratic institutions", we already know that we are an oligarchy , not a democracy. So I think the burden of evidence is on our government to prove otherwise, not on Russia.

I've come to the realization that the MSM and our government are using a very different definition of "democracy" and "democratic institutions" than the one in the dictionary. Their version of "democracy" is all about national security and financial interests, and have very little to do with elections and popular will.

Leftists aren't cooperating on Russiagate

You would think from the MSM that Russiagate is "liberals" versus Trump, and that everyone on "the left" is OK with this.
But even some in the media have noticed that leftists that don't identify as Democrats are Russiagate skeptics.

Why Are So Many Leftists Skeptical of the Russia Investigation?

Why the left needs to wise up to the growing Trump-Russia scandal

and of course TOP is fully onboard

The Voice In th... on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 4:28pm
So what specifically was illegal?

@gjohnsit
AFAIK, all those facebook posts would be legal if posted by someone in the USA.
Are foreign ideas illegal now? are ideas and opinions illegal?

You would think from the MSM that Russiagate is "liberals" versus Trump, and that everyone on "the left" is OK with this.
But even some in the media have noticed that leftists that don't identify as Democrats are Russiagate skeptics.

Why Are So Many Leftists Skeptical of the Russia Investigation?

Why the left needs to wise up to the growing Trump-Russia scandal

and of course TOP is fully onboard

gjohnsit on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 5:33pm
Consider Russia's "crimes" with RT

@The Voice In the Wilderness
This is supposed to be bad from the official report

RT aired a documentary about the OccupyWall Street movement on 1, 2, and 4 November. RT framed the movement as a fight against "the ruling class" and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations.

RT advertising for the documentary featured Occupy movement calls to "take back" the government. The documentary claimed that the US system cannot be changed democratically, but only through "revolution." After the 6 November US presidential election, RT aired a documentary called "Cultures of Protest," about active and often violent political resistance

RT's reports often characterize the United States as a "surveillance state" and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use

RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. Some of RT's hosts have compared the United States to Imperial Rome and have predicted that government corruption and "corporate greed" will lead to US financial collapse

#1 AFAIK, all those facebook posts would be legal if posted by someone in the USA. Are foreign ideas illegal now? are ideas and opinions illegal?

Linda Wood on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 11:19pm
Oh, come on.

@gjohnsit

alleged Wall Street greed

Alledged Wall Street greed?

leveymg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 5:49pm
This criminalizes a practice that is commonplace and legal

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness
when carried out by employees of thousands of foreign-owned companies from countries other than Russia.

Basically, this Russian woman is being indicted for doing the books for a Russian entity that incorporated a number of US businesses. These businesses had persons write and post under pen names a number of articles dealing with political subjects. That has been interpreted by the Special Counsel as a conspiracy to violate a federal campaign law that forbids contributions to US election campaigns. That's right, the indictment construes written opinion to be the same as money contributions.

The case would probably be thrown out -- nobody has been prosecuted for this before -- however the woman indicted will never be in court to defend herself, as the prosecutor and FBI know. Mueller is getting desperate to come up with indictments to fill in his jig saw puzzle.

enhydra lutris on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:27pm
The supremes, infamusly, ruled that miney is speech. Hence,

@leveymg
speech must be money, n'est ce pas?
/s

leveymg on Sun, 10/21/2018 - 1:09pm
SCOTUS also found in the same case that even foreign corporate

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris speech is constitutionally protected and can't be limited by campaign finance legislation. Mueller appears to have decided on his own to abrogate the Citizens United decision.

That would be okay, if he applied it to prosecute political mouthpieces such as AIPAC, along with corporate fronts owned by the Saudis, Chinese, British and 100 other countries who similiarly post anonymously.

It's now undeniable: Mueller is the prosecutorial weapon of a very selective political vendetta.

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:51pm
This is from your first link

@gjohnsit

But somewhere on the left, right around the fault line where Barack Obama is deemed to have been a bad president, opinion turns back again toward skepticism.

It gets worse from there. I'm betting that this was written by someone from the Atlantic Council or maybe Friedman's twin brother. This person sure went to a lot of work to deride anyone who doesn't believe in Russia Gate didn't he?

Facebook has almost admitted that they are censoring people and websites because of Russia's ads on it that they say affected the election. BTW. Didn't Obama also use Cambridge Analytics during his campaign and did the same things that Trump did? Pretty sure that he did. But I guess that was different because of reasons. Yep. That's why.

You would think from the MSM that Russiagate is "liberals" versus Trump, and that everyone on "the left" is OK with this. But even some in the media have noticed that leftists that don't identify as Democrats are Russiagate skeptics.

Why Are So Many Leftists Skeptical of the Russia Investigation?

Why the left needs to wise up to the growing Trump-Russia scandal

and of course TOP is fully onboard

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 5:25pm
For gawd's sake!
We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,

First off the GOP is doing a hell of a job undermining confidence in democratic institutions and the voting process by its gerrymandering and its voter ID policies. Look at what's happening in Georgia (?) where the guy running is in charge of the voting policies and is kicking thousands of people off the voting rolls.

Influence government policies you say? If millions of Americans can't do that then how could a foreign country do it? BTW. This is already happening what with all the lobbyists and super PACs. But sure. Let's blame the 3 countries that they want to war with. Anyone who believes this shit ... well I'll not finish this sentence.

gjohnsit on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 6:00pm
Russiagate is useful for crushing dissent

@snoopydawg
Look at this hit piece on Jill Stein

Months before the 2016 election they were already calling Jill Stein a "Nader spoiler" ( here , here , and here )

Funny how 3rd parties are demonized in this "democracy"

We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,

First off the GOP is doing a hell of a job undermining confidence in democratic institutions and the voting process by its gerrymandering and its voter ID policies. Look at what's happening in Georgia (?) where the guy running is in charge of the voting policies and is kicking thousands of people off the voting rolls.

Influence government policies you say? If millions of Americans can't do that then how could a foreign country do it? BTW. This is already happening what with all the lobbyists and super PACs. But sure. Let's blame the 3 countries that they want to war with. Anyone who believes this shit ... well I'll not finish this sentence.

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 6:35pm
Ugh!

@gjohnsit

There is so much BS in that article it's hard to choose which one is the worst but I'm going with this one.

But Stein's willingness to praise Russian propaganda outlets and push Kremlin talking points didn't end in Moscow. Indeed, she challenged – and arguably surpassed – Trump in crafting the most Moscow-friendly campaign of 2016.

For instance, Stein made the strange claim multiple times that NATO had "surrounded" Russia with nuclear weapons. As she told The Intercept, "This is the Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse, on steroids – in fact, on crack." (Less than 10 percent of Russia's land border touches any NATO member-states.) She also said last year that NATO is only fighting "enemies we invent to give the weapons industry a reason to sell more stuff."

This is what she actually said about NATO and Russia.

Stein: I think this is an issue where something does need to be said--but it's important to understand where they are coming from. The United States, under Bush 1, had an agreement when Germany joined NATO--Russia agreed with the understanding that NATO would not move one inch to the east. Since then NATO has pursued a policy of basically encircling Russia--including the threat of nukes and drones and so on.

Okay and this one too.

Likewise, Stein claimed that Ukraine's 2014 revolution was, in reality, a "coup" that the U.S. "helped foment." Only two other leaders have described Ukraine's toppling of former president Viktor Yanukovych as a "coup": Putin and Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose country remains a security ally of Russia. Stein even spent time last year saying that "Russia used to own Ukraine."

Pretty sure that during Obama's presidency the Ukraine government was overthrown by this country and now we're arming neo Nazis with some very bad weapons.

ThinkProgress says it's being targeted by ad networks for producing 'controversial political content'. I'm thinking it's more because they lie their asses off to people who read its website. This is the most blatant lying I've seen from a website. How many people believed every word written there?

divineorder on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:08pm
FWIW Jill Stein out campaigning for Greens

@gjohnsit

Join us on Sunday 10/28 to meet Jill Stein and Alameda/SF County Green candidates: Laura Wells, Saied Karamooz, Aidan Hill and Mike Murphy. to support our candidates. People,... https://t.co/EtWyo6fism

-- Santa Clara Greens (@SCCGreens) October 19, 2018

Deja on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:05pm
You left out the D establishment

@snoopydawg

First off the GOP is doing a hell of a job undermining confidence in democratic institutions and the voting process by its gerrymandering and its voter ID policies.

I agree with your whole comment. Just wanted to make sure we don't leave out the monster that is the Dem establishment, aka the other half of the single body that screws us every chance it gets. Supposed differences are only spoken, especially in election years. When it gets down to the meat and potatoes, our representatives are one big symbiotic meal -- the kind that gives you the shits until you're dead.

We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,

First off the GOP is doing a hell of a job undermining confidence in democratic institutions and the voting process by its gerrymandering and its voter ID policies. Look at what's happening in Georgia (?) where the guy running is in charge of the voting policies and is kicking thousands of people off the voting rolls.

Influence government policies you say? If millions of Americans can't do that then how could a foreign country do it? BTW. This is already happening what with all the lobbyists and super PACs. But sure. Let's blame the 3 countries that they want to war with. Anyone who believes this shit ... well I'll not finish this sentence.

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:24pm
Not for that comment

@Deja

The GOP has made it so that over 10% of the population can't vote this year. I think it's in Georgia where thousands are being kicked off the voting rolls almost every day by the dude that is in charge of it and he is also running for an office. They have been gerrymandering the country and other things. Of course the democrats don't seem to be doing much to make it easier for people to vote. But yeah, both parties are just as corrupt.

boriscleto on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 9:36pm
Georgia has purged 340,000

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

Illinois purged 550,000...Indiana purged 20,000...etc...

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 10:16pm
Thanks for the numbers and the links

@boriscleto

Isn't it Brian Kemp who is not only running for office, but he is also in a position to purge the voting rolls? This is a huge conflict of interest and some judge should have stopped him from being able to do that. I guess that's what people are suing him for?

Close to 500,000 people were not able to vote in one of the states that Trump won in. Not sure if they were Hillary's or Trump's voters though.

BTW. People are upset with Jill Stein because they think that her votes cost Hillary the election when the libertarian candidate got more votes than Jill did. And yet he's not blamed for her loss. I wonder why that is?

dervish on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 11:46pm
It's because they're sexist. n/t

@snoopydawg

#2.2.1.1

Isn't it Brian Kemp who is not only running for office, but he is also in a position to purge the voting rolls? This is a huge conflict of interest and some judge should have stopped him from being able to do that. I guess that's what people are suing him for?

Close to 500,000 people were not able to vote in one of the states that Trump won in. Not sure if they were Hillary's or Trump's voters though.

BTW. People are upset with Jill Stein because they think that her votes cost Hillary the election when the libertarian candidate got more votes than Jill did. And yet he's not blamed for her loss. I wonder why that is?

lotlizard on Sun, 10/21/2018 - 2:03am
The Dems only kick people off voting rolls in *primaries*

@Deja
That makes it all okay for "lesser of two evils" voters.

#2

First off the GOP is doing a hell of a job undermining confidence in democratic institutions and the voting process by its gerrymandering and its voter ID policies.

I agree with your whole comment. Just wanted to make sure we don't leave out the monster that is the Dem establishment, aka the other half of the single body that screws us every chance it gets. Supposed differences are only spoken, especially in election years. When it gets down to the meat and potatoes, our representatives are one big symbiotic meal -- the kind that gives you the shits until you're dead.

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 5:34pm
From the ToP link
Robert Mueller's indictment of the Russians who interfered in our election is a milestone in an ongoing investigation. The charges focus on the Russians who used online social networking platforms to divide voters and disrupt the electoral process.

Changed any votes? Party affiliations? Removed people from the voting rolls? Closed down voting precincts? Didn't supply enough voting machines for high voting areas? Nope. Nope. Nope and nope. Just placed a few ads on Fakebook and most of them after the election was over. It's taken Mueller two years to look into this? If he hasn't found any evidence yet then why waste time and money worrying about China and Iran doing anything? I'm thinking that Mueller is just pretending to be investigating, but he's really spending his time golfing or whatever his favorite activities are.

Bisbonian on Sun, 10/21/2018 - 10:20am
No kidding

@snoopydawg , its like a nuclear submarine calling the teapot black.

Robert Mueller's indictment of the Russians who interfered in our election is a milestone in an ongoing investigation. The charges focus on the Russians who used online social networking platforms to divide voters and disrupt the electoral process.

Changed any votes? Party affiliations? Removed people from the voting rolls? Closed down voting precincts? Didn't supply enough voting machines for high voting areas? Nope. Nope. Nope and nope. Just placed a few ads on Fakebook and most of them after the election was over. It's taken Mueller two years to look into this? If he hasn't found any evidence yet then why waste time and money worrying about China and Iran doing anything? I'm thinking that Mueller is just pretending to be investigating, but he's really spending his time golfing or whatever his favorite activities are.

Bollox Ref on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 6:16pm
Remember all those wonderful presents

we were going to receive at Fitzmas? Hoping the Establishment is going to finally reveal its sausage-making, really is a flight of fancy. McSausage for the McResistance. The Public are to be seen at voting stations, and not heard.

divineorder on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 6:28pm
Great essay. Thanks!

Hell I am surprised they even mentioned that first part.

In a joint statement, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security said they "do not have any evidence" that foreign countries have disrupted the voting process or changed any tallies,

At any rate cracked up when I read Caitlin on FB this morning:

Politico Report Says Russiagaters Should Prepare To Kiss My Ass

"In a just world, everyone who helped promote this toxic narrative would apologize profusely and spend the rest of their lives being mocked and marginalized." #Mueller #TrumpRussia https://t.co/eN349xhjG3

-- Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 20, 2018

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:28pm
In case you missed it

@divineorder

We had Great discussion about Caitlin's article. Lots of good comments.

Hell I am surprised they even mentioned that first part.

In a joint statement, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security said they "do not have any evidence" that foreign countries have disrupted the voting process or changed any tallies,

At any rate cracked up when I read Caitlin on FB this morning:

Politico Report Says Russiagaters Should Prepare To Kiss My Ass

"In a just world, everyone who helped promote this toxic narrative would apologize profusely and spend the rest of their lives being mocked and marginalized." #Mueller #TrumpRussia https://t.co/eN349xhjG3

-- Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 20, 2018

MrWebster on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 7:04pm
We are looking at the terminus point of the Russian hysteria.

Actually, I am thinking nuclear war with Russia may be the terminus point, but in terms of propaganda we are seeing it. I have followed the Russia hysteria since 2015 when it was in its infant stage here in the States, but advancing in Europe.

There are still some charges that Russians broke into certain accounts as Microsoft has claimed a few months back, but the claims go no where as they have to admit they had absolutely no proof. And the story fades away until a new charge is made, and those now are hard to make up.

As previous posters before in have commented above, basically the terminus point is ascribing all dissent within the Western powers as Russian created. In this charge it is impossible to to argue as no proof is needed except for the existance of dissent. No more charges which can be proved such as an actual hack. And that dissent can be for or against an issue. All issues lead to Moscow.

The huge censorship of various sites done by Facebook and Twitter begin and are justified by the Russia hysteria and "fan news".

divineorder on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 8:19pm
Aside from in your comment though, plenty wrong with Dems?

@MrWebster @snoopydawg

The long con that is #RussiaGate . https://t.co/HvTHam5Rlb pic.twitter.com/nxlRpYH26b

-- John "Squinty Forehead Man" Graziano (@jvgraz) October 18, 2018

Actually, I am thinking nuclear war with Russia may be the terminus point, but in terms of propaganda we are seeing it. I have followed the Russia hysteria since 2015 when it was in its infant stage here in the States, but advancing in Europe.

There are still some charges that Russians broke into certain accounts as Microsoft has claimed a few months back, but the claims go no where as they have to admit they had absolutely no proof. And the story fades away until a new charge is made, and those now are hard to make up.

As previous posters before in have commented above, basically the terminus point is ascribing all dissent within the Western powers as Russian created. In this charge it is impossible to to argue as no proof is needed except for the existance of dissent. No more charges which can be proved such as an actual hack. And that dissent can be for or against an issue. All issues lead to Moscow.

The huge censorship of various sites done by Facebook and Twitter begin and are justified by the Russia hysteria and "fan news".

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 10:27pm
And the Vermont electrical grid that Russia hacked into the

@MrWebster

computer that wasn't even hooked up to the internet. Brennan said that Russia tried to meddle in 21?state's voting rolls, but the states said that never happened. But just like people are still saying that all 17 intelligence (3) agencies agree that Russia interfered with the election people still think that the other stuff is true. This is why spreading propaganda is so powerful. The lies are what they remember, not the retractions if they're ever given.

About those FB ads that swayed the election ...

The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn't align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election. https://t.co/2dL8Kh0hof

-- Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018

Actually, I am thinking nuclear war with Russia may be the terminus point, but in terms of propaganda we are seeing it. I have followed the Russia hysteria since 2015 when it was in its infant stage here in the States, but advancing in Europe.

There are still some charges that Russians broke into certain accounts as Microsoft has claimed a few months back, but the claims go no where as they have to admit they had absolutely no proof. And the story fades away until a new charge is made, and those now are hard to make up.

As previous posters before in have commented above, basically the terminus point is ascribing all dissent within the Western powers as Russian created. In this charge it is impossible to to argue as no proof is needed except for the existance of dissent. No more charges which can be proved such as an actual hack. And that dissent can be for or against an issue. All issues lead to Moscow.

The huge censorship of various sites done by Facebook and Twitter begin and are justified by the Russia hysteria and "fan news".

Bisbonian on Sun, 10/21/2018 - 10:25am
by the way

@snoopydawg , there are only sixteen intelligence agencies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Intelligence_Community

#6

computer that wasn't even hooked up to the internet. Brennan said that Russia tried to meddle in 21?state's voting rolls, but the states said that never happened. But just like people are still saying that all 17 intelligence (3) agencies agree that Russia interfered with the election people still think that the other stuff is true. This is why spreading propaganda is so powerful. The lies are what they remember, not the retractions if they're ever given.

About those FB ads that swayed the election ...

The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn't align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election. https://t.co/2dL8Kh0hof

-- Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018

The Liberal Moonbat on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 8:38pm
NOT FROM THE ONION - oh, wait, yes it is...wait, what?

Who's on first...?

https://www.theonion.com/mueller-ready-to-deliver-major-parts-of-finding...

Bisbonian on Sun, 10/21/2018 - 10:33am
I like the comment from the Lobster Murderer the best.

@The Liberal Moonbat

Who's on first...?

https://www.theonion.com/mueller-ready-to-deliver-major-parts-of-finding...

snoopydawg on Sat, 10/20/2018 - 11:06pm
Remember the Russian agencies that Mueller charged?

He still doesn't want to give their attorneys the evidence he has against them.

Judge Orders Mueller To Prove Russian Company Meddled In Election

A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller's team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg.

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. - one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling , surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges . Mueller's team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request - effectively telling prosecutors 'well, they're here.'

* Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier - a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as "make believe," arguing on Monday that Mueller's indictment against Concord "doesn't charge a crime."

"There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn't," said Dubelier, who added that Mueller's office alleged a "made-up crime to fit the facts they have."

Concord is one of the corporations that Mueller said placed ads on FB to sway people's opinion on Trump and Hillary. The ads that most were placed after the election.

[Oct 22, 2018] There will be no Brexit in economic or political reality. It isn't even remotely possible, even in the unlikely event the EU collapses in the short term. There may be a pseudo "Brexit" for political face-saving purposes

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Oct 21, 2018 11:17:43 AM | link

Noirette @ 3

Not to worry. Brexit is rather a textbook example of the political/economic dichotomy to which I speak @ 5.

There will be no Brexit in economic or political reality. It isn't even remotely possible, even in the unlikely event the EU collapses in the short term. There may be a pseudo "Brexit" for political face-saving purposes, true, which will consist of a similar sales effort as Trump is making to hold onto his own age-depressed plebes in flyover USArya.

"Brexit is coming! Brexit is coming! Tariffs are easy! Tariffs are easy! Hold on a bit longer, we are just trying to get it right for you little people not to suffer anymore." Lol.


dh , Oct 21, 2018 10:58:45 AM | link

@6 "Sadly many left wing ppl prefer EU neoliberal anti democratic, corrupt rule over their own sovereign democratic institutions."

I see it more as a neoliberal desire to belong to some vague bigger global entity. Plus the fact that since WW2 nationalism has become equated with fascism.

Britain has never been totally part of Europe....geographically or politically.

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Oct 21, 2018 10:16:20 AM | link
@dh-mtl: True that. Sadly many left wing ppl prefer EU neoliberal anti democratic, corrupt rule over their own souvereign democratic institutions. It was the national state (with its additional regional democratic institutions) that brought us democracy, not the neolibs EU. But that truth hurts, and many prefer empty slogans against the evil national state over a honest analysis.

@B: Inoreader cant find new feeds for some days, something is broken!

dh-mtl , Oct 21, 2018 9:36:55 AM | link
@2 Noirette wrote: 'England prefers a return to some mythical sovereignity / nationalism'.

The alternative to sovereignty is dictatorship from abroad. And a foreign dictatorship is never good for a country or its people.

You only need to look at Greece to see the results of 'dictatorship' by the EU. And Italy is currently fighting this dictatorship (see https://gefira.org/en/2018/10/19/the-european-financial-establishment-has-just-declared-war-on-italy/), in order to arrest the continuing destruction of Italy and the impoverishment of its citizens under E.U. rule.

With Brexit, the U.K. is trying to save itself before it collapses to a state similar to Greece.

The E.U., because it is essentially a financially based dictatorship, and is fatally flawed, will break apart. And, in this sense, I agree with you that the U.K. is ahead of the curve.

laserlurk , Oct 21, 2018 9:36:46 AM | link
Abandoning nuclear treaty is just a diversion to steer away eyes off Khashoggi case, latter being even more important as it wedges in the very depth of an internal US political demise.
UK barks there on Russia to steer its own downfall into spotlight of an importance on a world stage that is close to null. UK didn't even sign anything with Russia as basically nobody else did from within NATO, so one can render that INF as outdated and stale.
Will they come up with a new one that suits all or we will just let it go and slip into unilateral single polarity downfall of West? Answers are coming along real soon.

Right now US and a few vasal allies left are getting into dirty set of strategic games opposing far more skilled opponents and it will come around at a really high price. EU has lost many contracts lately in mid east due to America First, so a lots of sticks in US wheels are coming up. It is going to be a real fun watching all that and reading b. and others on MoA..

Noirette , Oct 21, 2018 8:41:29 AM | link
The UK will most likely crash out of the EU. Of course, one can't exclude that some last minute holding action, temp. solution, or reversal can be found - but I doubt it.

Northern Ireland will break away. The analysis of the vote has been very poor, and based on an 'identity politics' and slice-n-dice views. Pensioners afraid to lose their pension, deplorables, victims of austerity, lack of young voter turnout, etc.

NI and Scotland are ruled by a tri-partite scheme: 'home rule', 'devolution' - Westminster - and the EU. The two peripheral entities prefer belonging to and participating in the larger group (see also! reasons historical and of enmity etc.) which has on the whole been good for them. England prefers a return to some mythical sovereignity / nationalism, getting rid of the super-ordinate power, a last desperate stab at Britannia (hm?) rules the waves or at least some bloody thing like traffic on the Thames, labor law, etc. The UK had no business running that referendum - by that I mean that in the UK pol. system Parliament rules supreme, which is antithetical to the referendum approach (in any case the result is only advisory) and running it was a signal of crack-up. By now, it is clear that the UK political / Gvmt. system is not fit for handling problems in the years 2000.

Why NI and not Scotland (which might split as well ..)? From a geo-political pov, because geography bats last - yes. And also because NI is the much weaker entity. EU has stated (Idk about texts etc.): if and when a EU member conquers, annexes, brings into the fold some 'other' territory, it then in turn becomes part of the EU. Ex. If Andorra chose to join Spain it would meld into Eurolandia, with time to adjust to all the rules. Perhaps Macron would no longer be a Prince!

However, Catalonia *cannot* be allowed to split from Spain (affecting Spanish integrity and the EU) and if it did it would crash out of the EU, loosing all, so that doesn't work. Scotland is not Catalonia. NI has had a special status in many ways for a long time so it is easier to tolerate and imagine alternatives. The EU will pay for NI...

The UK is losing power rapidly and indulging in its own form of 're-trenchment' (different from the Trumpian desired one) - both are nostalgic, but the British one is more suicidal.

The only alternative interpretation I can see (suggested by John Michael Greer) is that the UK is ahead of the curve: a pre-emptive collapse (rather semi-collapse) now would put it in a better position than others 20 years or so hence. That would also include a break-up into parts.

[Oct 19, 2018] Brexit Knives Out for Theresa May (Again) Over Extending Transition Period

UK as US hand grenade tossed at EU ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road. ..."
"... Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike. ..."
"... DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock . ..."
"... Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited". ..."
"... Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative ..."
"... Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise." ..."
"... Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU) 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. ..."
"... It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road.

As we'll get to later in this post, the press has filed more detailed reports on the EU's reactions to May's "nothing new" speech at the European Council summit on Wednesday. The reactions seem to be more sober; recall the first takes were relief that nothing bad happened and at least everyone was trying to put their best foot forward. Merkel also pressed Ireland and the EU to be more flexible over the Irish border question but Marcon took issue with her position. However, they both then went to a outdoor cafe and had beers for two hours .

May's longer transition scheme vehemently criticized across Tory factions and by the DUP . Even pro-Remain Tories are opposed. The press had a field day. From the Telegraph :

Theresa May was on Thursday evening increasingly isolated over her plan to keep Britain tied to the EU for longer as she was savaged by both wings of her party and left in the cold by EU leaders

The move enraged Brexiteers who said it would cost billions, and angered members of the Cabinet who said they had not formally agreed the plan before she offered it up as a bargaining chip. Mrs May also faced a potential mutiny from Tory MPs north of the border, including David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, who said the proposal was "unacceptable" because it would delay the UK's exit from the hated Common Fisheries Policy.

From The Times, Revolt grows over Theresa May's handling of Brexit talks :

Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike.

And Politics Home, DUP reject moves to extend Brexit transition period in fresh blow for Theresa May Politics Home:

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock .

His comments came after Tory MPs on all wings of the party also rejected extending the transition period.

Former minister Nick Boles, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, told the Today programme: "I'm afraid she's losing the confidence now of colleagues of all shades of opinion – people who've been supportive of her throughout this process – they are close to despair at the state of this negotiation."

Brexiteer MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Back in July, myself and 36 colleagues signed a letter to the Prime Minister setting out our red lines – and that was one of them. It's completely ridiculous."

Scottish Tories say they would veto an extension to the Brexit transition period in support of their fisherman.

And apparently the European Council didn't take the extension idea seriously. City AM reported that European Council president Donald Tusk said it wasn't discussed after May left .

And members of the hard-core Brexit faction are also up in arms about May conceding that an Irish border backstop can't be time limited. From The Sun :

Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited".

But a fudge could cost Mrs May two eurosceptic Cabinet ministers, with Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom threatening to resign if there's not a set end date.

Merkel pushes for more Brussels-Ireland flexibility while Macron disagrees . I am at risk of seeming unduly wedded to my priors, but Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative . While Merkel is correct to point out that no-deal = hard Irish border, an outcome no one wants, she does not appear to comprehend that the "sea border," which is politically fraught for the UK, is the only alternative that does not create ginormous problems for the EU. Merkel's seeming lack of comprehension may reflect the fact that EU nations don't handle trade negotiations. From the Financial Times :

At an EU summit dinner and in later public remarks, the German chancellor expressed concerns about the bloc's stand-off with the UK over the Irish "backstop", a fallback measure intended to ensure no hard border divides Ireland if other solutions fail. This has become the biggest outstanding issue in the talks.

Three diplomats said that at the Wednesday night dinner Ms Merkel indicated that the EU and the Republic of Ireland should rethink their approach on Northern Ireland to avoid a fundamental clash with London.

Ms Merkel also signaled her concerns in a press conference on Thursday, highlighting that if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal a hard border for Northern Ireland could be inevitable.

"If you don't have an agreement you don't have a satisfactory answer [to the border issue] either," she said, noting that on Northern Ireland "we all need an answer" .

Diplomats said the German chancellor was more forceful about the issue at the Brexit dinner, although some other leaders remained puzzled about the chancellor's intentions.

The Financial Times also said that the UK and Germany would meet Thursday to "discuss a way out of the Brexit impasse." Given that Barnier has offered a lot of new ideas in last month, it is hard to see how anything new could be cooked up, unless the UK hopes to sell Germany on its already-rejected techno vaporware idea.

Macron made clear he was not on the same page. Again from the Financial Times:

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise."

Vardakar also made a statement after the dinner that reaffirmed the importance of the EU affirming the principles of the single market. From The Times :

The European Union would have "huge difficulties" in agreeing to extend the Northern Irish backstop to the rest of the UK, the taoiseach has warned. Leo Varadkar said he did not think "any country or union" would be asked to sign up to an agreement that would give the UK access to the single market while also allowing it to "undercut" the EU across a range of areas including state aid competition, labour laws and environmental standards.

"I would feel very strongly about this, as a European as well as an Irishman: you couldn't have a situation whereby the UK had access to the single market -- which is our market -- and at the same time was able to undercut us in terms of standards, whether they were environmental standards, labour laws, or state aid competition. I don't think any country or any union would be asked to accept that," Mr Varadkar said in Brussels.

Robert Peston deems odds of crash out high; sees only escape route as "customs union Brexit" . Robert Peston, who is one of the UK's best connected political reporters, described in a new piece at ITV how May has at best a narrow path to avoiding a disorderly Brexit, and that is what he calls a "customs union" Brexit. I am sure if Richard North saw that, he'd be tearing his hair, since he has been describing for months why a customs union does not solve the problem that virtually everyone who talks in up in UK thinks it solves, namely, conferring "frictionless trade".

One key point in his analysis is that the UK will also have to accept "a blind Brexit," meaning a very fuzzy statement of what the "future relationship" will be. The EU had offered that in the last month or so, presumably as a fudge to allow May to get the various wings of her coalition to agree to something. But Peston says it's too late to do anything else. From ITV :

Hello from Brussels and the EU Council that promised a Brexit breakthrough and delivered nothing.

So on the basis of conversations with well-placed sources, this is how I think the Brexit talks are placed (WARNING: if you are fearful of a no-deal Brexit, or are of a nervous disposition, stop reading now):

1) Forget about having any clue when we leave about the nature and structure of the UK's future trading relationship with the EU. The government heads of the EU27 have rejected Chequers. Wholesale. And they regard it as far too late to put in place the building blocks of that future relationship before we leave on 29 March 2019. So any Political Declaration on the future relationship will be waffly, vague and general. It will be what so many MPs detest: a blind Brexit. The PM may say that won't happen. No one here (except perhaps her own Downing St team) believes her.

Erm, that alone may be a deal killer. We quoted this section of a Politico article on October 10 :

5. Future relationship – Blind Brexit

Opposed: Brexiteers, Tory Remainers, the Labour Party, Theresa May

I'll let our astute readers give their reactions to Peston's recommendation to May:

3) There is no chance of the EU abandoning its insistence that there should be a backstop – with no expiry date – of Northern Ireland, but not Great Britain, remaining in the Customs Union and the single market. That would involve the introduction of the commercial border in the Irish Sea that May says must never be drawn.

4) All efforts therefore from the UK are aimed at putting in place other arrangements to make it impossible for that backstop to be introduced.

5) Her ruse for doing this is the creation of another backstop that would involve the whole of the UK staying in something that looks like the customs union.

6) But she feels cannot commit to keeping the UK in the customs union forever, because her Brexiter MPs won't let her. So it does not work as a backstop. And anyway the Article 50 rules say that the Withdrawal Agreement must not contain provisions for a permanent trading relationship between the whole of the UK and the EU. Which is a hideous Catch 22.

7) There is a solution. She could ignore her Brexiter critics and announce the UK wanted written into the Political Declaration – not the Withdrawal Agreement – that we would be staying permanently in the customs union. This is one bit of specificity the rest of the EU would allow into the Political Declaration. And it could be nodded at in the Withdrawal Agreement.

8) But if she announces we are staying in the Customs Union she would be crossing her reddest of red lines because she would have to abandon her ambition of negotiating free trade deals with non-EU countries. Liam Fox would be made redundant.

9) She knows, because her Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins has told her, that her best chance – probably her only chance of securing a Brexit deal – is to sign up for the customs union.

10) In its absence, no-deal Brexit is massively in play.

11) But a customs-union Brexit deal would see her Brexiter MPs become incandescent with fury.

12) Labour of course would be on the spot, since its one practical Brexit policy is to stay in the Customs Union.

13) This therefore is May's Robert Peel moment. She could agree a Customs Union Brexit and get it through Parliament with Labour support – while simultaneously cleaving her own party in two.

Finally, in an elegiac piece, Richard North contends that the UK didn't need to wind up where it is:

A reader takes me to task for making comparisons between the Brexit negotiations and the Allied invasion of Normandy

Yet it is precisely because Mrs May seems to have chosen an adversarial route rather than a consensual process that I have projected her failings in militaristic terms..

In reality, it would have been best to approach the Brexit process not so much as the end of a relationship as a redefinition, where the need to continue close cooperation continues, even if it is to be structured on a different basis

Here, though, lies the essential problem. The EU, as a treaty-based organisation, does not have the flexibility to change its own rules just to suit the needs of one member, and especially one which is seeking to leave the Union. Yet, on the other hand, the UK government has political constraints which prevent it making concessions which would allow the EU to define a new relationship

But, having put herself in a position where she is demanding something that the EU cannot give, she herself has no alternative but to adopt an adversarial stance – if for no other reason than to show her own political allies and critics that she is doing her best to resolve an impossible situation.

If there is a light at the end of this tunnel, it sure looks like the headlight of an oncoming train, the Brexit end date bearing down on the principals.


PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

I can't help but wonder whether the proposed time extension was proposed mischievously by EU negotiators precisely to set off divisions among the Tories. While Barniers no.1 aim is a deal, the close to no.2 aim must surely be to ensure that in the event of no deal (or a clearly clapped together bad interim deal), 100% of the blame goes to London. So far, they are doing a good job with that.

Its a little concerning that Merkel was so off-message, even though she is obviously correct that a no-deal means a hard border, which is a failure by any standard. I'm pretty sure we won't see any overt disagreements among the EU 27 as they won't want to give the UK the satisfaction of having sown dissent. However, that doesn't mean there won't be frantic background pressure from some (probably pushed by business) to do some sort of deal, even a bad one. That will inevitable mean leaning heavily on Dublin, if it is seen as the last obstacle. Any such pressure will be private, not public I'm sure.

vlade , October 19, 2018 at 7:33 am

The damage limitation is there, for sure, but it's always aimed on rest of the world (i.e. all but the UK, where the EU will be target in any outcome). TBH, I'm not sure how much that's needed now..

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:10 am

I wonder if the various negotiating teams are reminded of that nursery rhyme I learned as a child -- "and the wheels on the bus go round and round ".

As line one of section one of Article 50 explicitly states (and would therefore be given substantial weight in any reading of the Article itself):

Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU)
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

The U.K. government cannot change the constitutional settlement for Northern Ireland without the agreement of the people of the six counties and the Republic and the rest of the U.K. "Nothing about us, without us" in popular parlance. And Republicans need to give their consent for any change affecting devolved matters (which is enforceable via a Petition of Concern). EU laws and directives are devolved matters. Constitutionally, no one can force anything on anyone in the province.

What the EU is asking the U.K. to do is impossible.

What the U.K. is asking the EU to do is impossible.

A hard border is also impossible, both as an outcome of treaty obligations and also as a practical matter.

Therefore a no-deal Brexit is inevitable. Therefore, so is a hard border. Which is an impossibility -- politically and operationally.

No wonder this can got kicked down the road last December. But now we have, oh, look, what's this here? Who left this can lying around?

David , October 19, 2018 at 7:27 am

I'm not sure. I had always read that sentence as meaning "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements for withdrawing from treaties in general" ie much more narrowly focused. Normally, any government has a sovereign right to withdraw from treaties, but it could be the case, for example, that in some countries parliament has to be informed, debates have to be held etc, and that's the case that's being covered here. Not to say that my interpretation (if correct) makes the situation any easier.
I posted a long comment on the French media reporting of Wednesday's talks yesterday. If I have a moment, I'll look to see if there's anything fresh today. One thing to look out for will be signs of tension between Paris and Brussels.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:41 am

I would need a lawyer well versed in international treaty interpretations to give a proper opinion and ultimately a court to rule on this.

What the wording definitely does not say (we can all read it for ourselves) is anything along the lines of " may initiate " or " may invoke its right to withdraw " or suchlike followed by the bit about constitutional adherences. Thus the requirements to act constitutionally must likely be expected to apply to Article 50 in their entirety. Apart from any lawyerly parsing, this is also common sense.

The section says a Member State may withdraw and it has to (this is so stating the obvious the treaty drafting must have had this specifically in mind to mention it) be constitutional about it. The EU cannot ask a Member State to conduct its withdrawal unconstitutionally.

disillusionized , October 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

No, that's not what it means – what it means is that as far as EU law is concerned, EU law ends there. It's wholly up to the withdrawing state to define and consider.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:50 am

Yes, and the Member State can't act unconstitutionally in respect of its own withdrawal proceedings. The EU is reserving the right not to accept any instruction in the matter of a withdrawal from the EU from the said Member State which is unconstitutional for that Member State. Nor can the EU foist unconstitutional acts onto a Member State in respect of the withdrawal. Its a basic principle of any legal system and any law and any jurisprudence that Party A cannot induce Party B to break the law as a result of an agreement between them and for that agreement to then remain valid.

As a simpler example, I draw up an agreement that says you'll pay me £100 in a week's time and you must get the money by whatever means possible. Fast forward a week and you don't have the £100. I can't use our agreement as an excuse for you to commit an unlawful act (say, go and steal someone's wallet) "because we've got an agreement you'll pay me, so that makes it okay no matter what, so long as you give me the money". Nor can you use your being party to the agreement to say "sorry, I don't have the money, but you can steal it from my Aunt Flossie, she's never gonna know you took it".

David , October 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

I have a suspicion we are (nearly) saying the same thing. See the separate thread below. A country that signs the Lisbon Treaty accepts that any decision to withdraw will have to be taken according to its own constitutional arrangements. This is a national obligation, but I don't see how the EU could refuse to accept the notification on the basis that it had been unconstitutionally arrived at, or what standing they would have. I've never heard of anything similar happening elsewhere.
To rephrase your example. My partner and I lend you £100 and you say that we can have it back any time we want. I ask for it back, and you refuse to give it to me on the basis that, in your view, this has to be a joint request from my partner and me.

vlade , October 19, 2018 at 7:32 am

I buy this only partially, as Scotland has some freedom to set taxes, and NI has also diverged from other UK laws (the infamous abortion rights).

Of course, from that, to staying in single market is quite a jump, but one could argue that since majority of the NI voted "remain" (by some margin) they clearly DO wish to stay in the single market.

Also the "the rest of the UK" is dubious – it's really "without the say so from the Westminster Parliament". See Scottish Indy referendum – I didn't notice they run it in England as well? (if they did, I suspect Scots could have been independend by now).

That said, even the above can still be done by a single poll that NI republicans actually already called for i.e. if there's a hard-border Brexit, NI should get a reunification vote.

TBH, that's MY suggestion to the impasse. The backstop becomes a reunification referendum. Not time limited – once the transition period is done, it's done, nor really challengable. You want SM, you go European, or you stay within the UK. I'd like to see DUP to froth on that..

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:57 am

It's stated right at the top of the Good Friday Agreement absolutely explicitly:

It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other.

Treaty texts rarely get so unarguably clear.

This is why I suspect there was such a push in February to get Stormont up and running again. Without it, everything was stuck in constitutional limbo and lacking any possibility of constitutionally-authenticated approvals. Similar any possibility of a border poll. Without a vote in the Assembly, how can the U.K. government have any pretence (that would withstand a UKSC challenge) that it was responding to a democratic imperative issued by NI?

Of course, the U.K. government could do whatever the heck it likes by a reintroduced Direct Rule. At which point the Good Friday Agreement is toast (and the Republic would have to explicitly buy-in to Direct Rule being initiated). This must be one of the DUP's main game plans. They really don't care that much about borders in the Irish Sea if they can get rid of the Good Friday Agreement. The DUP would be quite happy to paint the Garvaghy Road emerald green from end to end if they could rip that up for good.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:23 am

An additional complication to this though is the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference , which explicitly gives the Irish government a say in non-devolved matters, including the Common Travel area and EU matters. So at least in theory, the British government must (if the Irish government insists on reconstituting the Council, which they haven't so far) engage with the Irish government for any change – including Brexit – to be constitutional.

Its been speculated here that Varadkar has not called for the BIIC to be held in order not to inflame matters with the DUP.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

Yes, I think this holds a lot of water. Especially since the Republic amended its constitution to facilitate the GFA, it shows how seriously it took the matter. While politically it may be gruesome for the U.K. to contemplate that it would not be possible to leave the EU without as a minimum consulting the Republic, I too think there is at least a possibility it was in fact legally obligated via the GFA to do exactly that.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

I read that entirely differently again – my (completely laymans) interpretation is that it means a countries request for withdrawal must be internally constitutionally based. In other words, a rogue leader can't simply say 'I'm launching A.50' in defiance of his own Parliament or courts. Or put another way – the EU can refuse to accept an A.50 application if it can be argued that it was not generated legally in the first place.

David , October 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

I think that's right, though most treaties like this contain some ambiguity in their wording. Interestingly, the French text gives a slightly different impression.
"Tout État membre peut décider, conformément à ses règles constitutionnelles, de se retirer de l'Union," which would be translated as "Any member state may decide, in accordance with its constitutional provisions, to leave the Union." The commas make it clear that, in French at least, the only decision that has to be taken constitutionally under the Treaty, is the decision to leave (alinea 1). Once that decision is taken the states has to inform the EU (alinea 2). Of course, there's a standing general requirement on governments to behave constitutionally, but that would be a matter for the domestic courts, not the EU. It must also be true that they should respect their constitutional rules during the negotiation process. Interestingly, Art 46 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties deals exactly with your point from the other end – what happens if a state signs a treaty without going through the proper procedures. I've seen some suggestions on specialist blogs that Art 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was inspired by the arguments about this point.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:57 am

Agreed, except it would be a matter for the CJEU if it was the EU (e.g. the Commission) which was doing the asking (or telling) of the Member State.

jabbawocky , October 19, 2018 at 8:24 am

The answer to your question has to be those that voted Leave in the referendum left the can lying around.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

Rubbish. The U.K. government had every right to hold a referendum. It was advisory of course. But Parliament had every right to invoke A50 as a result of the result.

What the U.K. government had no right whatsoever to do was to pretend that the Good Friday Agreement obligations could or should be fudged away. Nor that the EU or the Republic should tolerate this or go along with it. The fact that they did is, well, their bad. I'm still shaking my head as to why Barnier et al were dumb enough to go along with it at the time. There's probably a good reason we're not privy to.

Phillip Allen , October 19, 2018 at 9:29 am

There's probably a good reason we're not privy to.

Now there's some optimism and faith. Our erstwhile leaders have done very little to justify it, in my completely jaded and cynical option.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

I was being perhaps overly generous -- there's also an awful lot of bad reasons I can think of, too.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 10:46 am

A year or so ago there was a little discussion of this in some parts of the Irish media. The thinking seemed to be that the government at the time (pre-Varadkar) had calculated that it was too divisive (in terms of the potential impact on NI politics) to be seen to be taking too aggressive a stance over Brexit (with hindsight, this was very naive, the DUP don't need outside help to be divisive).

FG was also very worried about giving any electoral help to Sinn Fein.

With hindsight, I think this was a major miscalculation on a number of levels – I don't think they anticipated that the stupidity of the London government would force them to take such a strong stance on the border issue, they thought it could be finessed by way of taking a more neutral stance.

begob , October 19, 2018 at 11:22 am

I think these are May's options:
1. Canada+++ with backstop – the DUP say NO! and she loses a vote of confidence.
2. EFTA + EEA without CU – she comes back in triumph – "No CU!" – but she loses DUP and Ultras so needs Corbyn, who will probably cry "No CU!" with contrary sentiment.
3. CU with backstop – Labour says it fails test #2 (at least), but she hopes their remainers defy the whip.

Peston is at option 3, but omits the backstop.

bold'un , October 19, 2018 at 7:22 am

Labour could help vote through a {blind brexit' with an extended Transition} in exchange for a post-deal General Election. This could suit May in that it would be risky for the Tories to change leaders in an election atmosphere. The British Public can then decide WHO best can negotiate the future Trade relationship (though sadly not the WHAT as it must be negotiated).

The Rev Kev , October 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

You wonder what is in it for May to stay in her job as Prime Minister. All indications are that she is a perfect example of the Peter Principle which is how she ended up with the job. You think too that she would be tempted to chuck the whole business and say "Here Boris – it's all yours!" with all the joy of throwing a live grenade. Maybe, in the end, it is like Milton had Satan say once – "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven".

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:14 am

An Irish politician once said that she was advised by an experienced colleague 'your worst day in government is better than your best day in opposition' . This is why politicians are so often incapable of turning down offers of coalition.

I don't believe it has occurred to May for one minute to resign or step aside. Power is what drives people like her (i.e. almost all politicians). Its the nature of the beast.

David , October 19, 2018 at 9:13 am

Macron's official statement after the European Council is here Interestingly, only about a third of the text was devoted to Brexit, and much of that was in turn a restatement of EU priorities – especially unity and the Single Market – and confidence in Barnier. All the technical solutions are known, said Macron, and it is for the UK to come up with some new ideas for compromises. The hope was to reach an agreement in the next few weeks, including "necessary guarantees for Ireland." The French media has essentially confined itself to reporting what Macron said.
What this shows, I think, is an increasing irritation among European leaders that Brexit, which should have been sorted out long ago, has been taking up the time that should really have been devoted to more important subjects, like migration and the deepening of economic and financial cooperation The British are regarded as a major irritant, incapable of behaving like a great power, paralysed by internal political splits and capable of doing a lot of collateral damage. The EU seems increasingly unwilling to devote any more time to Brexit until the UK comes up with some genuinely useful ideas – hence the cancellation of the November summit.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

Thats probably true, but if so, its very shortsighted. If the UK crashes out, for several months there will be nothing else on the plate of western Europe to deal with, there will be deep implications certainly from Germany to Spain. And if it causes more wobbles in the already very wobbly Italian banks, it'll be even more of a headache, to put it mildly.

David , October 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I agree, but I think it's at least partly the UK's doing. A modicum of common sense and political realism could have avoided this situation. The problem is that Brexit, as a subject, has the nasty twin characteristics of being at once extremely complicated and politically lunatic. I think EU leaders are focusing on the second, and in some ways May has become almost light relief. But jokes stop being funny after a while, and I think Macron is reflecting a wider belief among national leaders that only the UK can sort this out: you broke it, you fix it.

If there were issues which, whilst difficult, were potentially fixable then I think a lot more effort would have gone into the negotiations from EU leaders. But they must feel they are trapped in some Ionesco farce or (to vary the metaphor) trying to negotiate with the Keystone Cops.

Except the Keystone Cops happen to be playing with hand grenades. There's no doubt that European leaders are taking a crash-out seriously (the French have published a draft bill giving the government emergency powers to deal with such a situation) but I think there's a also widespread sense of helplessness. What can the EU actually do that it hasn't already done? All they can hope for is an outbreak of common sense in London, and I think we all know how likely that is. In the circumstances, you might as well concentrate on subjects where progress is actually possible.

MichaelSF , October 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

A reader takes me to task for making comparisons between the Brexit negotiations and the Allied invasion of Normandy

Would Dunkirk be a better comparison?

[Oct 12, 2018] 'Land of censorship home of the fake' Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter's crackdown

Normal people do not browse Facebook, anyway.
Notable quotes:
"... "misleading users." ..."
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history." ..."
"... "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." ..."
"... "eyes and ears" ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.rt.com

Alternative voices online are incensed after Facebook and Twitter closed down hundreds of political media pages ahead of November's crucial midterm elections. Facebook says they broke its spam rules, they say it's censorship. Some 800 pages spanning the political spectrum, from left-leaning organizations like The Anti Media, to flag-waving opinion sites like Right Wing News and Nation in Distress, were shut down. Other pages banned include those belonging to police brutality watchdog groups Filming Cops and Policing the Police.

Even RT America's Rachel Blevins found her own page banned for posts that were allegedly "misleading users."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history."

In America, Conservatives were the first to complain about unfair treatment by left-leaning Silicon Valley tech giants. However, leftist sites have increasingly become targets in what Blumenthal calls "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." In identifying enemies in this "war," Facebook has partnered up with the Digital Forensics Lab, an offshoot of NATO-sponsored think tank the Atlantic Council. The DFL has promised to be Facebook's "eyes and ears" in the fight against disinformation (read: alternative viewpoints).

[Oct 12, 2018] The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election by Gareth Porter

Russians under each Facebook account
Oct 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
adopted false US personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)

Whether those efforts even came close to swaying US voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.

Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.

Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA's efforts on Facebook. "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media," they wrote, "the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone."

Then, to dramatize that "eventual audience" figure, they observed, "That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections."

But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don't really indicate an effective attack on the US election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.

A Theoretical Possibility

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.

The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.

Thus each piece of IRA content in a twitter feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.

That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 , Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

Facebook did conduct research on what it calls "civic engagement" during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the "reach" of the content shared by what they called "fake amplifiers" was "marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the US elections." That reach, they said, was "statistically very small" in relation to "overall engagement on political issues."

Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans extremely misleading.

Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint

Shane and Mazzetti's treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly "interacted with 1.4 million Americans." Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.

Twitter's own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.

Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.

Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from US localities or mostly non-political "hashtag games", and the final third were on "right" or "left" populist themes in US society.

Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those "right" and "left" Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.

The Mysterious 50,000 'Russia-Linked' Accounts

Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets – about one percent of the total number election-related tweets of during the period.

But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn't indicate that at all. Twitter's Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account". Twitter considered an account to be "Russian" if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.

Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.

Twitter also observed that "a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks ("VPNs") and proxy servers," which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of use of such networks and servers.

Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.

Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls "Russia-linked" and .62 percent of her "likes" from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.

Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total "likes" and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 "Russia-linked" accounts.

The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times' reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the US political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it's in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Oct 12, 2018] if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat? Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake October 5, 2018 at 4:07 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/string-of-own-goals-by-russian-gru-spies-reveals-new-trend-of-sloppiness

The secretive, daring GRU seems to have lost its way in the age of internet search

//if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat?
//Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 4:15 am
Because it is dangerous in its incompetence?
yalensis October 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm
There is nothing more dangerous than a monkey armed with a hand grenade(?)
kirill October 5, 2018 at 6:02 am
As pointed out elsewhere there is no such agency called the GRU. Like there is no agency called the KGB. This in itself demonstrates that NATzO is spreading pure propaganda.
Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:14 am
It's probably not sloppiness, per se; it's more that Britain has reached a new level of dazzling investigative brilliance, so that normal GRU tradecraft can no longer withstand its piercing eye.

[Oct 09, 2018] Brexit Crunch Is the EU Trying to Save the UK from Itself Is That Even Possible

Oct 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Brexit Crunch: Is the EU Trying to Save the UK from Itself? Is That Even Possible? Posted on October 8, 2018 by Yves Smith The UK press is all over the map on the state of Brexit. That makes making sense of things even harder than usual.

At a minimum, it show that the EU's thumping of May at last month's Salzburg conference has led to an uptick in activity, as the EU27 leaders set an earlier deadline for the UK to serve up something realistic than the UK had previously thought it had (October versus November).

But it's far from clear that all the thrashing around and messaging amounts to progress. As we'll discuss, some press reports claim the EU is showing more flexibility, but the changes appear to be almost entirely cosmetic. If so, it would represent a cynical calculation that MPs are so illiterate about technical details that adept repackaging will get the dog to eat the dog food.

Another thing to keep in mind is that negotiators are always making progress until a deal is dead. The appearance of momentum can create actual momentum, or at least buy time. But here, time is running out, so the question is whether either side has made enough of a shift so as to allow for a breakthough.

One thing that may have happened, and again this is speculative, is that more key players in the EU are coming to realize that a crash out will inflict a lot of damage on the EU. A transition period is actually much more beneficial to the EU than the UK. It would not only allow the EU more time to prepare, but also enable it to better pick the UK clean of personnel and business activities that can move to the Continent in relatively short order.

By contrast (and not enough people in the UK appear to have worked this out), the UK will crash out with respect to the EU in either March 2019 or the end of December 2020. There's no way the UK will have completed a trade deal with the EU by then, unless it accedes to every EU demand. Recall that the comparatively uncomplicated Canada trade agreement took seven years to negotiate and another year to obtain provisional approval. And Richard North points out another impediment to negotiations: " .the Commission has to be re-appointed next year and, after Brexit, it will not be fully in operation until the following November." Now there are still some important advantages to securing a transition agreement, and they may be mainly political (who wants to be caught holding that bag?) but the differences may not be as significant for the EU as the UK. The UK will wind up having the dislocations somewhat spread out, first having to contend with falling out of all the trade deals with third countries that it now has through the EU in March 2019, and then losing its "single market" status with the EU at the end of 2020. But will the UK also be so preoccupied with trying to stitch up deals with the rest of the world that it loses its already not great focus on what to do with the EU?

That isn't to say there won't be meaningful benefits to the UK if it can conclude a Withdrawal Agreement with the EU and win a transition period. For instance, it has a dim hope of being able to get its border IT systems upgraded so as to handle much greater transaction volumes, a feat that seems pretty much unattainable by March 2019.

Two more cautionary note regarding these divergent news stories. The first is that we've seen this sort of thing before and generally, the optimistic reports have not panned out. However, they have generally ben from unnamed sources. While we do have a very thin BBC article with Jean-Claude Junkcer saying the odds of a deal had improved and Tusk making cautiously optimistic noises, Leo Vardarkar was more sober and the piece even admitted, "However, there is still no agreement on some issues, including how to avoid new checks on the Irish border."

Second, they appear to be mainly about claimed progress or deadlocks on the trade front. Recall that Article 50 makes only a passing reference to "the future relationship," which is only a non-binding political declaration. However, these issue seems to have assumed more importance than it should on the UK end, because it has become a forcing device for the coalition to settle on what sort of Brexit it wants .and it remains fundamentally divided, as demonstrated by last week's Conservative Party conference. By contrast, there seems to be little news on the real sticking point, the Irish border.

So to the rumors:

The EU has offered the UK a "Canada plus plus plus" deal . Even if you take the Guardian story at face value, there is less there there than the breathless reactions in the UK would lead you to believe.

First, recall that "Canada plus plus plus" has long been derided by the EU as yet another way for the UK to try to cherry pick among the possible post-Brexit arrangements. Boris Johnson nevertheless talked it up as a preferred option to May's too-soft Chequers scheme at the Tory conference . and May did not mention Chequers . Did EU pols take that to mean May had abandoned Chequers to appease the Ultras?

However, as we read things (and we need to watch our for our priors), Donald Tusk appears to be mouthing a pet UK expression to convey a different idea:

Tusk said the EU remained ready to offer the UK a "Canada-plus-plus-plus deal" – a far-reaching trade accord with extra agreements on security and foreign policy.

That reads as a Canada style free trade agreement plus additional pacts on non-trade matters. That is not what "Canada plus plus plus" signified on the UK side: it meant the UK getting a free trade deal with other (typically not specified) goodies so as to make it "special" and more important, reduce friction.

The Ultras were over the moon to have Tusk dignify Johnson's blather, even as the very next paragraph of the Guardian story revealed the outtrade over what "Canada plus plus plus" stands for:

Boris Johnson and other hard Brexit Tories seized on Tusk's remarks, arguing they showed it was time for May to immediately switch tack and abandon her Chequers proposals for remaining in a customs union for food and goods. "Tusk's Canada-plus-plus-plus offer shows there is a superb way forward that can solve the Irish border problem and deliver a free-trade-based partnership that works well for both sides of the channel," Johnson said.

If you managed to get further into the story, it sounded more cautionary notes:

Some Brexiters overlook that the EU's version of a so-called Canada deal incorporates a guarantee to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, which would keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union and single market. "Canada plus-plus-plus" is also a fuzzy concept that has no formal status in EU negotiating documents. Michel Barnier, the bloc's chief negotiator, mentioned the idea in an interview with the Guardian and other papers last year.

"I don't know what Canada-plus-plus-plus means, it is just a concept at this stage," Varadkar said, adding that it did not negate the need for a "legally binding backstop" – a guarantee to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland if there is no agreement on the future trading relationship.

EU to let UK super fudge on "future relationship." Another Guardian story reported that the EU might let the UK sign an even less committal version of the "future relationship" section , allowing the UK to "evolve" [gah] its position during the transition period. Frankly, this seems to be allowing for a change in government. I don't see this as that meaningful a concession, since this statement was never legally binding. However, given that Parliament must ratify the final agreement, formally registering that that section isn't set in stone probably would facilitate passage as well as any future change in direction. And if you suspect this is a big dog whistle to Labour, you be right:

An EU source said: "The message to Labour is that the UK could move up Barnier's stairs if the British government changes its position in the transition period. Voting in favour of the deal now would not be the last word on it."

May whips Labour for Chequers . You thought May gave up on Chequers? Silly you! She just had the good sense to go into her famed submarine mode while Boris was having yet another turn in the limelight. From the Telegraph :

Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs to force through Theresa May's Chequers Brexit deal risking open warfare with the party's own MPs.

The Government's whips' office has spent recent months making contact with the MPs as a back-up option for when Theresa May's Brexit deal is put to a vote in Parliament in early December, The Daily Telegraph has been told.

News of the wooing operation has infuriated Eurosceptic Tory MPs who are now threatening to vote against elements of the Budget and other "money bills" to force Mrs May to drop her Chequers plan.

If true, this is very high stakes poker. Brexit Central says there are 34 Tory MPs who have already declared they will oppose any "deal based on Chequers". And, to change metaphors, they appear ready to go nuclear if they have to. From the Times:

Brexiteers have issued a last-ditch threat to vote down the budget and destroy the government unless Theresa May takes a tougher line with Brussels -- amid signs that she is on course to secure a deal with the European Union.

Leading members of the hardline European Research Group (ERG) last night vowed to vote down government legislation after it was claimed the prime minister will use Labour MPs to push her plan through the Commons.

I turned to Richard North's site after I had pretty much finished this post, and he finds the Telegraph story as peculiar as I do :

Reporting of the key issue of our times gets more bizarre by the day. The latest contribution to the cacophony is the Telegraph, telling us that Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs "to force through Theresa May's Chequers Brexit deal".

That approaches are being made to Labour MPs is not news, but the idea that attempts to sell them the Chequers deal confounds recent indications that the prime minister is preparing to roll out "Chequers II", with enough concessions to all the Commission to conclude a withdrawal agreement.

If we are looking at such a new deal, then it cannot be the case that anyone is attempting to convince Labour MPs of the merits of the old deal. And, even if Ministers succeeded in such a task, it would be to no avail. Chequers, as such, will never come to parliament for approval because it will never form the basis of a deal that can be accepted by Brussels.

That should consign the Telegraph story to the dustbin now piled high with incoherent speculation, joining the steady flow of reports which are struggling – and failing – to bring sense to Brexit.

EU to announce "minimalist" no-deal emergency plans . Interestingly, the Financial Times has not had any articles in the last few days on the state of UK/EU negotiations. It instead depicted the EU as about to turn up the heat on the UK by publishing a set of "no deal" damage containment plans. I've never understood the line of thought, which seems to be taken seriously on both sides of the table, that acting like a responsible government and preparing for a worst-case scenario was somehow an underhanded negotiation ploy. 1 The pink paper nevertheless pushes that notion:

Brussels is planning to rattle the UK by unveiling tough contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit that could force flight cancellations and leave exporters facing massive disruption if Britain departs the EU without an exit agreement in March.

Subtext: it's the EU's fault all those bad things could happen .when it is the UK that is suing for divorce. Back to the story:

Against expectations in London, the plan is likely to encompass a limited number of initiatives over a maximum of eight months, diplomats who have seen the document told the Financial Times.

Notably, the EU is not planning special arrangements for customs or road transport and only limited provisions for financial services -- a decision that, if seen through, would cause long queues and operational difficulties at ports and airports.

The minimalist emergency plan, designed to be rolled out should there be no breakthrough in Brexit talks, would increase the pressure over already fraught negotiations between the UK and the EU ahead of a summit on 17 October. EU plans would then be firmed up by December .

The commission has thus far resisted outlining details of its plans for a no-deal Brexit for fear it would disrupt tense negotiations. But with just six months to go before Brexit, EU member states have pressed Brussels to speed up its preparations in case no deal is agreed in time.

Brussels will outline general principles for deciding the fields requiring special measures, which must only mitigate significant disruptions in areas of "vital union interest". The measures would be applied by the EU until the end of 2019 on a unilateral basis. They could be revoked with no notice, according to diplomats.

The plans are intended to enable basic air services, allowing flights to land and fly straight back to the UK, and to extend air safety certificates and security exemptions for UK travellers in transit. Visa-free travel is envisaged for British citizens, as long as it is reciprocated

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The commission has thus far resisted outlining details of its plans for a no-deal Brexit for fear it would disrupt tense negotiations. But with just six months to go before Brexit, EU member states have pressed Brussels to speed up its preparations in case no deal is agreed in time.

Brussels will outline general principles for deciding the fields requiring special measures, which must only mitigate significant disruptions in areas of "vital union interest". The measures would be applied by the EU until the end of 2019 on a unilateral basis. They could be revoked with no notice, according to diplomats.

The plans are intended to enable basic air services, allowing flights to land and fly straight back to the UK, and to extend air safety certificates and security exemptions for UK travellers in transit. Visa-free travel is envisaged for British citizens, as long as it is reciprocated.

And then we have the stories that are head-scratchers. The Sun reports that Barnier says a deal is nigh .based on:

Hopes of progress have been fuelled by expectations that Theresa May has come forward with a compromise solution to the Irish border.

The PM will propose keeping the whole of the UK in a customs union as a final fallback but allowing Northern Ireland to stick to EU regulations.

The EU has rejected having the UK collect EU customs post Brexit. Moreover, a customs union, as we've said repeatedly, does not give the UK its keenly-sounght frictionless trade. Making Northern Ireland subject to EU regulations means accepting the jurisdiction of the ECJ, since compliance is not a matter of having a dusty rule book, but of being part of the same regulatory apparatus. Aside from the fact that this solution won't be acceptable to the DUP, it would also result in a hard land border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. So are we to take this as incomprehension on the part of the Sun's reporters, or that the Government's negotiators continue to be as thick as a brick? Sadly, the Guardian tells a similar tale :

Ministers expect to discuss Brexit in a week's time when some hope that officials will have clarified how the UK proposes to handle cross-border regulatory checks if no progress is made on agreeing a free trade deal with the EU.

There has been speculation that this solution could involve the whole of the UK agreeing to be part of a common customs area with the EU in order to avoid the possibility of an invisible border separating Northern Ireland from Great Britain, in the event that no long-term deal is signed.

Richard North has the best take. He points the rumors from the UK side come from people who present themselves as being on the inside but probably aren't, or not enough to have a good feel, and continues :

Yet nothing seems to be leaking from No.10, with officials saying merely that proposals would emerge "soon". Says the Guardian, these are likely to form the basis of technical negotiations with Brussels "as officials scramble to find a form of words for the withdrawal agreement that the UK proposes to sign with the EU".

Any such timing will, of necessity, rule out any formal consideration by the October European Council. Those who understand the detail will know that, before anything can be considered by the European Council, it must first be agreed by the General Affairs Council, meeting as 27.

Currently, this is scheduled for 16 October (Tuesday week) – a day before the Article 50 European Council which starts its two-day session on the 17th. On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be enough time to factor in any last-minute proposals from London, especially as details must first be circulated to Member State capitals for comment.

This does nothing, though, but confirm that which we already know – that if there is to be a final showdown, then it is going to come at the special meeting in November (if this actually happens), or even the meeting scheduled for 13-14 December.

Even the rumor mills don't give much reason to think there is a solution to the Irish border. If May really hasn't abandoned Chequers, all the fudging to come up with a content-free "future relationship" section will be to the detriment of UK citizens, since the Government will keep holding on to a Brexit plan that the EU will never accept. But the best interests of ordinary people have gotten short shrift all along.

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security ..."
"... "The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance. ..."
"... One thing that did ..."
"... US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point. ..."
"... My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection." ..."
"... All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. ..."
"... the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ] ..."
"... It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. ..."
"... it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools. ..."
"... My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese? ..."
"... The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations? ..."
"... That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget. ..."
"... What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes. ..."
"... Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same. ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com

Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."

There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.

"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.

One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.

John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.

US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.

My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]

The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.

All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]

It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.

Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?

The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.

Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
  3. The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
  4. Something else.

That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.

Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.

&

(kaspersky)

I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.

Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.

But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.

EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.

This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]

Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.

Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.

From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."

The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.

In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.

Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.

So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.

The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.


Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]

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

Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.

We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"

WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]

Comments
  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.

  2. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.

  3. Cat Mara says

    October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.

    The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).

    I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anything, more subtle than the Russians.

    The Chinese attitude, as expressed to me by someone who might be a credible source is, "why are you picking a fight with us? We don't care, you're too far away for us to threaten you, we both have loads of our own fish to fry. To them, the US is young, hyperactive, and stupid.

    The FBI is not competent, at all, against old-school humint intelligence-gathering. Compared to the US' cyber-toys, the old ways are probably more efficient and cost effective. China's intelligence community is also much more team-oriented than the CIA/NSA; they're actually a disciplined operation under the strategic control of policy-makers. That, by the way, is why Russians and Chinese stare in amazement when Americans ask things like "Do you think Putin knew about this?" What a stupid question! It's an autocracy; they don't have intelligence operatives just going an deciding "it's a nice day to go to England with some Novichok." The entire American attitude toward espionage lacks maturity.

    On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

    That as an exciting time. We were downstream from University of Maryland, which got hit pretty badly. Pete Cottrel and Chris Torek from UMD were also in on Bostic's dissection. We were doing uucp over TCP for our email (that changed pretty soon after the worm) and our uucp queue blew up. I cured the worm with a reboot into single-user mode and a quick 'rm -f' in the uucp queue.

  5. Bob Moore says

    October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Thanks. I appreciate your measured analysis and the making explicit of the bottom line: " agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence."

[Oct 05, 2018] Wilderness of mirrors MI6, the Cold War, spies and traitors from Gordievsky to Skripal -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... What could possibly go wrong? ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

Which brings me to the Skripal affair.

That the USSR was an existential threat to Western capitalism and colonialism and war – of one kind or another – between these two camps was logical and inevitable. But the Soviet Union is 30 years dead.

Indeed, Gordievsky through Macintyre can – if he's telling the truth – claim that he helped bring about the (brief) end of history and the "final" victory. His claimed role in the rise and rise of Gorbachev's relationship with Mrs Thatcher and, by extension, President Reagan certainly hastened the downfall of the USSR.

But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets.

Why was Britain still fighting the Cold War against Russia in 1996, and why is it still fighting the Cold War against Russia now?

Just this week, the rather effete British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson – a former fireplace salesman – said he was sending 800 shivering British soldiers to the Arctic to be ready to fight Russia there. Amidst the snow. And the ice.

As both Napoleon and Hitler must have said: " What could possibly go wrong? "

[Oct 05, 2018] Opinion Russian Meddling Is a Symptom, Not the Disease - The New York Times

Oct 05, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Given the credible evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, it's only natural that Americans are concerned about the possibility of further foreign interference, especially as the midterms draw closer.

But I worry that we're focusing too much on the foreign part of the problem -- in which social media accounts and pages controlled by overseas "troll factories" post false and divisive material -- and not enough on how our own domestic political polarization feeds into the basic business model of companies like Facebook and YouTube.

It's this interaction -- both aspects of which are homegrown -- that fosters the dissemination of false and divisive material, and this will persist as a major problem even in the absence of concerted foreign efforts.

Consider some telling exchanges from this year's Senate hearings involving high-level executives from Facebook and Twitter. (Google, which owns YouTube, didn't bother sending a comparable representative.) In April, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, pressed Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, on how much money the company had made by ads placed by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll factory. Mr. Zuckerberg replied that it was about $100,000 -- a negligible amount of money for the company.

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Last month, Ms. Harris further grilled Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, on this point, demanding to know how much inauthentic Russian content was on Facebook. Ms. Sandberg had her sound bite ready, saying that "any amount is too much," but she ultimately threw out an estimate of .004 percent, another negligible amount.

The exchange made for good viewing: a senator asking tough questions, chastised executives being forced to put exact numbers on the table. But the truth is that paid Russian content was almost certainly immaterial to Facebook's revenue -- and the .004 percent figure, though almost certainly rhetorical, does capture the relative insignificance of the paid Russian presence on Facebook.

Contrast this, however, with another question from Ms. Harris, in which she asked Ms. Sandberg how Facebook can "reconcile an incentive to create and increase your user engagement when the content that generates a lot of engagement is often inflammatory and hateful." That astute question Ms. Sandberg completely sidestepped, which was no surprise: No statistic can paper over the fact that this is a real problem.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have business models that thrive on the outrageous, the incendiary and the eye-catching, because such content generates "engagement" and captures our attention, which the platforms then sell to advertisers, paired with extensive data on users that allow advertisers (and propagandists) to "microtarget" us at an individual level.

Traditional media outlets, of course, are frequently also cynical manipulators of sensationalistic content, but social media is better able to weaponize it. Algorithms can measure what content best "engages" each user and can target him or her individually in a way that the sleaziest editor of a broadcast medium could only dream of.

... ... ...

It is understandable that legislators and the public are concerned about other countries meddling in our elections. But foreign meddling is to our politics what a fever is to tuberculosis: a mere symptom of a deeper problem. To heal, we need the correct diagnosis followed by action that treats the underlying diseases. The closer our legislators look at our own domestic politics as well as Silicon Valley's business model, the better the answers they will find.

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) is an associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, the author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest" and a contributing opinion writer.

[Oct 05, 2018] What I want and I am completely serious is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market

Oct 05, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin: What I want – and I am completely serious – is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market. I want the domestic political squabbles in the United States to stop ruining Russia-US relations and adversely affecting the situation in the world.

[Oct 05, 2018] How The U.S. Runs Public Relations Campaigns - Trump Style - Against Russia And China

Notable quotes:
"... I agree with Hoarsewhisperer that the elite are showing desperation but look at the sheer volume of BS they can spew out that is all over the map. ..."
"... The ... West is doubling down on Psychological Projection . Works like a charm with most peoples in the affected areas. ..."
"... A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty. ..."
"... This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations. ..."
"... Russia has tried to negotiate with the US to avoid cyberspace being turned into another area of conflict. The US has rebuffed these requests. Likely too much money to be made by the MIC in another theater of warfare with that extortion racket called NATO and too much promise of the NSA scooping up even more data and adding it to the data already collected by the 5 eyes. ..."
"... Didn't WikiLeaks disclosed the fact that NSA can disguise any hack to look like some other actor was the culprit? All this shouting that Russia and China did these terrible deeds is to hide the fact that the west does this all the time as disclosed by WikiLeaks? And the Germans complaining? I hope they have improved security for the Chancellor's phone. Russia is a member of OPWC. Why do they have to sit out in cars in the parking lot of OPCW headquarters to hack into OPCW? Why not from the comfort of their office in the building. What is of more importance to me is an upcoming vote in the OPCW about investigation reports laying blame in the future. That will be a game changer in the false flag chemical attack be it Syria or the UK. currently reports don't lay blame. ..."
"... Going by the squealing noises coming out of the US and loyal vassals, the yanks are probably just pissed that they can't get into Russia or China's secure communications. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims:

The Foreign Office attributed six specific attacks to GRU-backed hackers and identified 12 hacking group code names as fronts for the GRU – Fancy Bear, Voodoo Bear, APT28, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berku, BlackEnergy Actors, STRONTIUM, Tsar Team and Sandworm."

The "hacking group code names" the Guardian tries to sell to its readers do not refer to hacking groups but to certain cyberattack methods . Once such a method is known it can be used by any competent group and individual. Attributing such an attack is nearly impossible. Moreover Fancybear, ATP28, Pawn Storm, Sofacy Group, Sednit and Strontium are just different names for one and the same well known method . The other names listed refer to old groups and tools related to criminal hackers. Blackenergy has been used by cybercriminals since 2007. It is alleged that a pro-Russian group named Sandworm used it in Ukraine, but the evidence for that is dubious at best. To throw out such a list of code names without any differentiation reeks of a Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt (FUD) campaign designed to dis-inform and scare the public.

The Netherland for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

The anti-Russian campaign came just in time for yesterday's NATO Defense Minister meeting at which the U.S. 'offered' to use its malicious cyber tools under NATO disguise:

Katie Wheelbarger, the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, said the U.S. is committing to use offensive and defensive cyber operations for NATO allies, but America will maintain control over its own personnel and capabilities.

If the European NATO allies, under pressure of the propaganda onslaught, agree to that, the obvious results will be more U.S. control over its allies' networks and citizens as well as more threats against Russia:

NATO's chief vowed on Thursday to strengthen the alliance's defenses against attacks on computer networks that Britain said are directed by Russian military intelligence, also calling on Russia to stop its "reckless" behavior.

The allegations against Russia over nefarious spying operations and sockpuppet campaigns are highly hypocritical . The immense scale of U.S. and British spying revealed by Edward Snowden and through the Wikileaks Vault 7 leak of CIA hacking tools is well known. The Pentagon runs large social media manipulation campaigns. The British GHCQ hacked Belgium's largest telco network to spy on the data of the many international organizations in Brussels.

International organizations like the OPCW have long been the target of U.S. spies and operations. The U.S. National Security Service (NSA) regularly hacked the OPCW since at least September 2000 :

According to last week's Shadow Brokers leak, the NSA compromised a DNS server of the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in September 2000, two years after the Iraq Liberation Act and Operation Desert Fox, but before the Bush election.

It was the U.S. which in 2002 forced out the head of the OPCW because he did not agree to propagandizing imaginary Iraqi chemical weapons:

José M. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who was unanimously re-elected last year as the director general of the 145-nation Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was voted out of office today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down because of his "management style." No successor has been selected.

The U.S. arranged the vote against Bustani by threatening to leave the OPCW. Day's earlier 'Yosemite Sam' John Bolton, now Trump's National Security Advisor, threatened to hurt José Bustani's children to press him to resign:

"I got a phone call from John Bolton – it was first time I had contact with him – and he said he had instructions to tell me that I have to resign from the organization, and I asked him why," Bustani told RT. "He said that [my] management style was not agreeable to Washington."
...
Bustani said he "owed nothing" to the US, pointing out that he was appointed by all OPCW member states. Striking a more sinister tone, Bolton said: "OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are. "

According to Bustani, two of his children were in New York at the time, and his daughter was in London.

Russia's government will need decades of hard work to reach the scale of U.S./UK hypocrisy, hacking and lying.


The propaganda rush against Russia came on the same day as a similar campaign was launched against China. A well timed Bloomberg story, which had been in the works for over a year, claimed that Chinese companies manipulated hardware they manufactured for the U.S. company SuperMicro. The hardware was then sold to Apple, Amazon and others for their cloud server businesses.

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies :

Nested on the servers' motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn't part of the boards' original design.

Both Apple and Amazon denied the story with very strong statements . The Bloomberg tale has immense problems. It is for one completely based on anonymous sources, most of them U.S. government officials:

The companies' denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who -- in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration -- detailed the discovery of the chips and the government's investigation.

The way the alleged manipulation is described to function is theoretical possible , but not plausible . In my learned opinion one would need multiple manipulations, not just one tiny chip, to achieve the described results. Even reliably U.S. friendly cyberhawks are unconvinced of the story's veracity. It is especially curious that such server boards are still in use in security relevant U.S. government operations:

Assuming the Bloomberg story is accurate, that means that the US intelligence community, during a period spanning two administrations, saw a foreign threat and allowed that threat to infiltrate the US military. If the story is untrue, or incorrect on its technical merits, then it would make sense that Supermicro gear is being used by the US military.

There might be financial motives behind the story:

Bloomberg reporters receive bonuses based indirectly on how much they shift markets with their reporting. This story undoubtedly did that.

When the story came out SuperMicro's stock price crashed from $21.40 to below $9.00 per share. It now trades at $12.60:

The story might be a cover-up for a NSA hack that was accidentally detected. Most likely it is exaggerated half truth, based on an old event , to deter the 'western' industry from sourcing anything from producers in China.

This would be consistent with other such U.S. moves against China which coincidentally (not) happened on the same day the Bloomberg story was launched.

One is a very hawkish speech U.S. Vice President Pence held yesterday :

Vice President Mike Pence accused China on Thursday of trying to undermine President Donald Trump as the administration deploys tough new rhetoric over Chinese trade, economic and foreign policies.
...
Sounding the alarm, Pence warned other nations to be wary of doing business with China, condemning the Asian country's "debt diplomacy" that allows it to draw developing nations into its orbit.

Pence also warned American businesses to be vigilant against Chinese efforts to leverage access to their markets to modify corporate behavior to their liking.

Another move is a new Pentagon report warning against the purchase of Chinese equipment and launched via Reuters in support of the campaign:

China represents a "significant and growing risk" to the supply of materials vital to the U.S. military, according to a new Pentagon-led report that seeks to mend weaknesses in core U.S. industries vital to national security.

The nearly 150-page report, seen by Reuters on Thursday ahead of its formal release Friday, concluded there are nearly 300 vulnerabilities that could affect critical materials and components essential to the U.S. military.
...
"A key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security," the report said.

The Bloomberg story, the Pence speech and the Pentagon report 'leak' on the same day seem designed to scare everyone away from using Chinese equipment or China manufactured parts within there supply chain.

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.
...
Mr Reed writes that the software "was programmed to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds".

Wikileaks list 27 cases of U.S. supply chain manipulation of computer hardware and software. A search for "supply chain" in the Snowden archives shows 18 documents describing such 'projects'.


The U.S. government under Trump - and with John Bolton in a leading position - copied Trump's brutal campaign style and uses it as an instrument in its foreign policy. Trump's victory in the 2016 election proves that such campaigns are highly successful, even when the elements they are build of are dubious or untrue. In their scale and coordination the current campaigns are comparable to the 2002 run-up for the war on Iraq.

Then, as during the Trump election campaign and as now, the media are crucial to the public effect these campaigns have. Will they attempt to take the stories the campaigns are made of apart? Will they set them into the larger context of global U.S. spying and manipulation? Will they explain the real purpose of these campaigns?

Don't bet on it.

Posted by b on October 5, 2018 at 08:27 AM


Timothy Hagios , Oct 5, 2018 8:52:41 AM | link

IMO the US Government's propaganda is structured to along the lines of a fantasy novel. The propaganda is designed to convince the public of two inherently contradictory ideas:

1) that the country is surrounded on vast sides by vast hostile empires that threaten everything we hold dear and

2) despite these dire threats, the country cannot really be harmed because of "our freedoms."

Like with a fantasy novel, the reader gets all the thrills of an epic battle while being certain that the evil empires will never triumph. An attractive form of propaganda, to be certain.

Steve , Oct 5, 2018 12:09:45 PM | link
Well, so far the propaganda is having very minor effect on the ordinary people. If you read the comment section of most of the corporate media you will see that people are just not buying the BS.
Hausmeister , Oct 5, 2018 12:22:26 PM | link
Steve | Oct 5, 2018 12:09:45 PM | 16

Indifference of the ordinary people does not mean much. Just that there is such indifference. The arguments against that claimed Chinese hardware hack are meta-arguments.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 5, 2018 12:25:28 PM | link
...
Got to wonder what the end game is here. WW3? Or up they expecting the Russian people to come begging for an end to sanctions?
Posted by: dh | Oct 5, 2018 11:49:07 AM | 11

Good question.

It's not WWIII. Putin has already said that if WWIII goes Nuclear, survival will be a lottery. Imo the Christian Colonial West, hypnotised by 30 years of its own bs and busily patting itself on the back and performing Victory Laps on the world stage, has been caught napping (asleep at the wheel) and now needs time to ponder the downside.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 5, 2018 12:48:30 PM | link
Imo this latest drivel-fest stems from the fact that Russia is now/again militarily unassailable. That doesn't mean that Russia can't be attacked but it does mean that anyone who tries it will wish they hadn't.

And it's driving the defunct Masters Of The Universe insaner.

psychohistorian , Oct 5, 2018 1:08:44 PM | link
Excellent journalism b....thanks

I agree with Hoarsewhisperer that the elite are showing desperation but look at the sheer volume of BS they can spew out that is all over the map.

The Supreme Court justice debacle is another example of so riling up the forces around the sex issue so that the rest of his moral standing that effects all of us is ignored.....the sex issue is marginalized and pop goes the weasel onto the Supreme Court to bring the US closer to feudalism.

notheonly1 , Oct 5, 2018 1:09:01 PM | link
The ... West is doubling down on Psychological Projection . Works like a charm with most peoples in the affected areas.

Although it is practically a symptom of a deeper sitting mental illness, it is still treated as some sort of cavalier's delinquency. Like it is to be expected that the rulers of said West resort to this kind of projection.

The only interesting part though - one that is next to never really understood by the gullible masses - is the Projection part of it. Because it means nothing else than the fact that the projector is the one who is perpetrating the crimes and malevolent activities it accuses the 'enemy'/opposing side of.

The West is mentally ill. Nothing new, the Eastern sages pointed to that a long time ago. Very much like the Native American Indians were flabbergasted by the moronity and cruelty the invaders displayed. The one that has adhered to my memory like fusion is: Only paleface would set a river on fire.

Last but not least, Nazi is as Nazi does. As can be verified perusing the story of this Nazi that never had to fear repercussions for his crimes against humanity. For the simple reason that the U.S. protected him to gain his knowledge about advanced biological and chemical warfare. The Nazi was Kurt Blome .

b , Oct 5, 2018 1:09:38 PM | link
@CE - There is no problem with the logo on the server side and with the clients I use. Suggestion: clear your cache.
AntiSpin , Oct 5, 2018 1:20:00 PM | link
And that's not all . . .

In early morning broadcasts yesterday, BBC and NPR accused China and Russia of projecting positive images of their countries, and of acting in accordance with their national interests.

I am so proud that my own country – USA – would never do either one of those things!

denk , Oct 5, 2018 1:33:47 PM | link
"On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland."

Gen William Looney, first gulf war.... "If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs [surface-to-air missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need. [1]"

------------------------------------------------------

Trump the anti establishment maverick...

We'r a rule based system, Here'r the rules. We decide..... who'r terrorists, who'r 'freedom fighters. Whats a fair election, whats a farce. Whats a genocide, whats legit police action. Whats R2p, whats unprovoked aggression. Who can do biz with whom. Who's the right man for your prez. We own you. MAGA.

[1]
I dont like to use wiki but that's the only place I could retrieve this quote, they'r wiping the net clean, even images, videos.

Better be mentally prep for the day you wake up in the morning and cant find MOA,

Anya , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:06 PM | link
Back to sanctioning Russian under the flimsy pretext of Skripals' poisoning. The US has been poisoning Georgians (some died) and this is well documented. Are the UK prudes ready to sanction the US for the crime?

http://dilyana.bg/us-diplomats-involved-in-trafficking-of-human-blood-and-pathogens-for-secret-military-program/

"The US Embassy to Tbilisi transports frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program. Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia's capital Tbilisi.

The Pentagon projects involving ticks coincided with an inexplicable outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) which is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus. In 2014 34 people became infected (amongst which a 4-year old child). A total of 60 cases with 9 fatalities have been registered in Georgia since 2009."

The above is an honest journalism and not some presstituting production by the eunuchs Luke Harding and George Monbiot. And don't forget Luke & George's comrade-in-arms, the "phenomenal expert" Eliot Higgins (a former salesman of ladies underwear and college dropout) who has zero training in engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, ballistics, foreign languages, biology, history and basically in any field of research. Zero. This is why Higgins is the best expert at the the ziocon Atlantic Council made of the scoundrels of the same caliber.

"This is a man who, with his agency Bellingcat, will absolutely always back the position of western governments, and powerful western organisations."

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2016/02/28/eliot-higgins-of-bellingcat-who-is-he-everything-you-need-to-know/

chet380 , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:53 PM | link
A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty.

This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations.

As any reference to this case can't seem to be found, can anyone help with info as to the present status of the case?

Fran , Oct 5, 2018 2:01:34 PM | link
Funny how lowkey this topic is handled. It appeard in The Times. As the Times article is behind a paywall. I am linking to the Irish Times: MI5 can authorise agents to commit crimes, tribunal told . Maybe the UK should be sanctioned.

Makes my fantasy go a little wild and wonder if there might be any connection to Skripal.

Noirette , Oct 5, 2018 2:11:45 PM | link
For those who missed May's latest Brexit speech (which had zero content), here she is jiving to Dancing Queen by Abba for her glorified entrance. No need to make caricatures, she does it herself. Free of charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbCDFNRA-Wo&frags=pl%2Cwn

The USA + GB have become totally unhinged. Seeking a 'safe' enemy *without* - as the Deplorables or Brexiteers *within* don't hit the spot, for many reasons - .. to explain and cover up Hillary's loss and the ugly Brexit mess with its clueless posturing pols, is one thing.

To continue to provoke Russia and China, particularly Russia, in this way is now skirting with danger beyond the .. ? Containable, ignorable, what ..?

Plus, the MSM, lousy as it is and was, has spinned off into even further mad realms, seemingly forced into a hyper, over-blown anti-Russian hysteria. Often far more strongly so than the pols. / others they seemingly quote.

This is all becoming seriously alarming. I'm getting very bad feelings.

karlof1 , Oct 5, 2018 2:22:25 PM | link
Seems like another episode of False Friday to bury all the crap made public during the week while pushing other news aside. Much of it's recycled crap from Obama's term and just as false.
Tent-A-Cles , Oct 5, 2018 3:03:03 PM | link
During the Cold War, the West contolled some 2/3 of the global economy.

If they again bring a "Free World" protective curtain down around themselves in defensive retrenchment, what percent would they control now? Which countries would be guaranteed to be inside the tent pissing out, and which would be outide the tent pissing in? And who would be non-aligned (with the exception of their military purchases.)

Pakistan, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Africa, etc. -- Where would the dominos fall? Is this what they are trying to accomplish? If you are not with us, you are against us, as the ever eloquent G. W. Shrub might have said. Any predictions?

james , Oct 5, 2018 3:44:18 PM | link
thanks b.. excellent information and insights as usual..

of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of.. the use of propaganda has gone into overdrive and is now an accepted policy of the west.. screw facts.. who needs facts when you have a war to pursue... and that is just what it looks like to me, as there is no end in sight to any of this western madness...

the financial sanctions have not worked.. that much is clear.. another approach via propaganda is to be the new regular feature.. claim all sorts of lies and supposition on russia, china, iran, north korea, venezuela or any country that dares to get out of line with the official ''coalition'' and you will be targeted with propaganda and or worse..

is there a way to create an alternative internet??

Peter AU 1 , Oct 5, 2018 4:05:02 PM | link
Looking around the MSM, MH17 also comes into it. Dutch are accusing Russia of trying to hack the MH17 sham investigation. This propaganda attack comes only a week or two after Russia tracked the missile parts numbers, supplied by JIT, through records which led to Ukraine.
Tom , Oct 5, 2018 4:19:51 PM | link
Russia has tried to negotiate with the US to avoid cyberspace being turned into another area of conflict. The US has rebuffed these requests. Likely too much money to be made by the MIC in another theater of warfare with that extortion racket called NATO and too much promise of the NSA scooping up even more data and adding it to the data already collected by the 5 eyes.

Canada is being pressured into not buying Chinese for its military civilian hardware. Scare the politicians into buying US goods that have a backdoor for the CIA to use. Canada shouldn't complain. The Canadian government hacked into the Brazilian government computers for the benefit of Canadian mining interests.

Didn't WikiLeaks disclosed the fact that NSA can disguise any hack to look like some other actor was the culprit? All this shouting that Russia and China did these terrible deeds is to hide the fact that the west does this all the time as disclosed by WikiLeaks? And the Germans complaining? I hope they have improved security for the Chancellor's phone. Russia is a member of OPWC. Why do they have to sit out in cars in the parking lot of OPCW headquarters to hack into OPCW? Why not from the comfort of their office in the building. What is of more importance to me is an upcoming vote in the OPCW about investigation reports laying blame in the future. That will be a game changer in the false flag chemical attack be it Syria or the UK. currently reports don't lay blame.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/03/us-responsible-cyberspace-becoming-war-domain-instead-of-area-cooperation.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/arctic-patrol-ships-chinese-content-1.4849562

Jen , Oct 5, 2018 5:14:15 PM | link
Timothy Hagios @ 1:

An element of the Skripal poisoning saga in Britain (the Novichok) was lifted from the TV series "Strikeback" screening in the country in November 2017 and February 2018. I have seen something on the Internet (but can't find the link) that said the subplot with the abandoned perfume bottle that contained poison was also taken from a TV show.

Prepare to be unsurprised then when the people who write propaganda for The Powers That Should Not Be turn out to be the same people who write scripts for Hollywood films and TV shows. A lot of these people also write novels or teach creative writing courses.

We really do seem to be living in a society where mythology and fantasy are becoming more prominent than facts and analysis in decision-making.

Virgile , Oct 5, 2018 5:16:34 PM | link
Wherever it is the Russian government responsible or not, the UK and the Nederlands are admitting that they are impotent in front of attacks in the cyberworld. That wifi can be sniffed so easily at international organizations show total irresponsibility. These cyberattacks are simply humiliating for these countries as it shows that despite their military power, they are highly vulnerable. To dispel the humiliation, they respond aggressively by accusing countries, not to individuals, and they accuse the current boogeyman, Russia.

Maybe NATO's budget should be cut down on murdering weapons and allocate to Cyber Defense as this seems to become the new way of war.
In view of the lack of proper cyber defense worldwidee, anybody, any country can hack and play around with others. I would be surprised if Israel, the USA and the UK China are not stiffing in other countries organizations. They have not been found because they are the 'good' sniffers while Russia, Iran, China are the "bad' sniffers

Cold war is on with new technology, It is time for countries to realize that.

Considering what the military war has cost in money, death toll and destruction, maybe cold war would be less costly in human toll.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 5, 2018 8:01:47 PM | link
China has set up quantum internet via optic fiber linking a number of government departments.

Going by the squealing noises coming out of the US and loyal vassals, the yanks are probably just pissed that they can't get into Russia or China's secure communications.

[Oct 05, 2018] The USA + GB have become totally unhinged.

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Oct 5, 2018 2:11:45 PM | link

For those who missed May's latest Brexit speech (which had zero content), here she is jiving to Dancing Queen by Abba for her glorified entrance. No need to make caricatures, she does it herself. Free of charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbCDFNRA-Wo&frags=pl%2Cwn

The USA + GB have become totally unhinged. Seeking a 'safe' enemy *without* - as the Deplorables or Brexiteers *within* don't hit the spot, for many reasons - .. to explain and cover up Hillary's loss and the ugly Brexit mess with its clueless posturing pols, is one thing.

To continue to provoke Russia and China, particularly Russia, in this way is now skirting with danger beyond the .. ? Containable, ignorable, what ..?

Plus, the MSM, lousy as it is and was, has spinned off into even further mad realms, seemingly forced into a hyper, over-blown anti-Russian hysteria. Often far more strongly so than the pols. / others they seemingly quote.

This is all becoming seriously alarming. I'm getting very bad feelings.

[Sep 23, 2018] European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed Theresa May appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a "soft Brexit."

Sep 23, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 22, 2018 at 11:49 am

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/22/euro-s22.html

From the Super Schadenfreude Press:

"UK Prime Minister Theresa May suffered political humiliation in Salzburg, when European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed her appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a "soft Brexit."

May was given only 10 minutes to address EU heads of state Wednesday, after dinner at the informal summit, during which she appealed to her audience, "You are participants in our debate, not just observers."

She said she had counted on at least supportive noises for her "serious and workable" plan, given that she was seeking to head off a potential challenge from the "hard-Brexit"/Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party. She warned that the UK could be torn apart -- with respect to Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as by social tensions; that if her government fell, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party could win a general election; and cited the potential damage to the EU itself of lost trade, investment and military support from the UK.

Instead, her address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be "unworkable.

No matter how these conflicts play out, Britain and the whole of Europe face a worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU apart. The growth of both inter-imperialist and social antagonisms found dramatic form in Brexit, which the dominant sections of the City of London, big business, all the major parties and Britain's allies in the US and Europe all opposed. Yet two years later, May is fighting a desperate struggle against her anti-EU "hard-Brexit" faction, the US is led by a president who has declared his support for the breakup of the EU, and numerous far-right governments have taken power in part by exploiting popular hostility to EU-dictated austerity."

"worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU-(and hence NATO)- apart. " .

:O)

[Sep 22, 2018] A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington

Sep 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Euractiv with AFP: Belgian inquest implicates UK in phone spying
https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/belgian-inquest-implicates-uk-in-phone-spying/

A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington, it was revealed on Thursday (20 September).

The report, which summarises a five-year judicial inquiry, is almost complete and was submitted to the office of Justice Minister Koen Geens, a source close to the case told AFP, confirming Belgian press reports

The matter will now be discussed within Belgium's National Security Council, which includes the Belgian Prime Minister with top security ministers and officials.

Contacted by AFP, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office and the cabinet of Minister Geens refused to comment .
####

NO. Shit. Sherlock.

So the real question is that if this has known since 2013, why now? BREXIT?

[Sep 21, 2018] On Brexit, UK Negotiators Have Adopted a Hard Bargaining Strategy

Notable quotes:
"... The EU is not perfect and has costs, but measured against what it has achieved, it is a great success. ..."
"... The EU has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful). ..."
"... You're funny. The EU makes war by other means. The burden of disease in Greece, health loss, risk factors, and health financing, 2000–16: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(18)30130-0.pdf ..."
"... The mortality rate for Greece is up approximately 50,000. All so Merkel in Germany, and Sarkozy and Hollande didn't have to go before their electorates and admit they were bailing out French and German banks through the backdoor. ..."
"... I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia and Bosnia and such, are not wars -- but then those are layable at the feet of NATO (that collection, as I recall it, of what, now, 29 member countries including all the Great Powers of the West) and the US imperium. ..."
"... The NATO establishment is about "making war," ..."
"... All of which is linked in significant ways to the economic "health" of the EU, from which lots of weapons flow in exchange for favors and money from the Destabilizers. ..."
"... In the meantime, the various stages are set, the players in the game of statism and nationalism and authoritarianism and neoliberalism are on their marks, the house lights are going out, and the long slow rise of the curtain is under way ..."
"... The period from the end of WWII to the Balkan Wars is still the longest period of peace since the Romans. I doubt you have ever lived through a war so I can't expect you to appreciate the difference between the Horrors of the Brussels Bureaucracy and the Horrors of Shelling and Bombing. ..."
"... I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it. ..."
"... in the real world ..."
"... in the real world ..."
"... Ultimately, it's that simple. Merkel, Sarkozy, Hollande, and whoever else among the EU elites who chose to be complicit in killing substantial numbers of people so they could maintain themselves in power are scum. They are scum. They are scum. ..."
"... Fine, our elected leaders are all scum, but why does this mean that the EU is evil specifically. Why single it out? Why not advocate the overthrow of all centralized or unifying government? Move out to Montana to a cult and buy lots of guns or something. ..."
"... Ons should be very aware that EU directives comes mainly from the member states and that especially bad things that would never fly past an election could – and often is – spun by local government as "Big Bad Bruxelles is forcing poor little us to do this terrible thing to you poor people". Ala the British on trade deal with India and immigration of east-european workers. ..."
"... The EU does not have that much in the way of enforcement powers, that part is down-sourced to the individual member states. When a member state doesn't give a toss, it takes forever for some measure of sanctioning to spin up and usually it daily fines unto a misbehaving government, at the taxpayers expense (which of course those politicians who don't give a toss, are fine with since most of their cronies are not great taxpayers anyway). ..."
"... The solution is, patently, Tories out of power. Which I think will happen, certainly between now and 31 March 2019. Now would be better. Anyone thinking strategically in other parties in the UK (an oxymoron of a formulation, to be sure) would call for a no confidence vote the instant May's feet are on British soil. ..."
"... I doubt that this is personal, but what do I know. May is a nincompoop. The other heads of state patently, and quite rightly, don't respect her. Her presence has been useful to them only insofar as she could deliver a deal. ..."
"... I'd agree with your analysis of what happened – just glancing through the news today it seems that Macron in particular just lost patience, and the other leaders were happy to help him put the boot in. The EU has been trying to shore May up for a long time – the December agreement was little more than an attempt to protect her from an internal heave. This is a common dynamic in the EU – however much the leaders may dislike each other, they will usually prefer the person at the seat than the potential newcomer. ..."
"... But I think the EU has collectively decided that May is simply incapable of delivering any type of agreement, so there is no point in mincing words. They simply don't care any more if the Tory government collapses, or if they put Rees Mogg or Johnson in power. It makes absolutely zero difference to them. In fact, it might make it easier for the EU if the UK goes politically insane as they can then wash their hands of the problem. ..."
"... A colleague told me today he knows of several Northern Irish Republicans who voted leave, precisely because they thought this would create constitutional havoc and lead to a united Ireland. It seems at least some people were thinking strategically . ..."
"... British politicians apparently were supposed to negotiate Brexit among themselves. And once they had reached a (tentative) consensus the foreigners (the EU) were apparently supposed to bow down and accept the British proposal. ..."
"... Which means I never understood why the British media was treating the Chequers proposal as a serious proposal? And spending lots of time and articles discussing on how to convince the EU / the member states. ..."
"... As a Scot can I point out that it is English politicians who are responsible for this mess? ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. While the specific observations in this post will be very familiar to readers (you've said the same things in comments!), I beg to differ with calling the Government's Brexit negotiating stance a strategy. It's bad habit plus lack of preparation and analysis.

And the UK's lack of calculation and self-awareness about how it is operating means it will be unable to change course.

By Benjamin Martill, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Dahrendorf Forum where he focuses on Europe after Brexit. He is based at LSE IDEAS, the London School of Economics's foreign policy think tank. The Dahrendorf Forum is a joint research venture between LSE and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Originally published at openDemocracy

But is this the best strategy for advancing British interests? Here is the argument based on the findings of a recent Dahrendorf Forum working paper .

All eyes in British politics are on the negotiations between the UK and the EU over the terms of the forthcoming British withdrawal from the Union, or Brexit. Surprisingly, questions of bargaining strategy – once the preserve of diplomats and niche academic journals – have become some of the most defining issues in contemporary British politics.

The New Politics of Bargaining

Cabinet disagreements over the conduct of the negotiations led to the resignation of David Davis and Boris Johnson in early July 2018 and the issue continues to divide the ruling Conservative party. Theresa May's most recent statements have all addressed the question of how hard she has pushed Brussels in the talks.

But is the hard bargaining strategy appropriate, or will it ultimately harm the UK? The salience of this question should occasion deeper analysis of the fundamentals of international bargaining, given the extent to which the course of British politics will be determined by the government's performance (or perceived performance) in the Brexit talks.

Driving a Hard Bargain

A hard-bargaining strategy isn't necessarily a poor one. To the extent it is workable, it may even represent the sensible option for the UK.

Hard bargaining is characterised by negative representations of negotiating partners, unwillingness to make concessions, issuance of unrealistic demands, threats to damage the partner or exit the negotiations, representations of the talks in zero-sum terms, failure to provide argumentation and evidence, and withholding of information. From diplomats' portrayal of the EU as an uncooperative and bullying negotiating partner to a set of demands recognised as unrealistic in Brussels and Britain alike, the UK's approach to the Brexit negotiations scores highly on each of these measures.

The consensus in the academic literature is generally that hard bargaining works only where a given party has a relative advantage . Powerful states have an incentive to engage in hard bargaining, since by doing so they will be able to extract greater concessions from weaker partners and maximise the chance of achieving an agre