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May 18, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.comNational-security officials may see themselves as patriots, but their methods set a dangerous precedent.
Back in my time in the CIA, there were two places in the headquarters building one could go that were free speech zones-places where it was safe to vent about senior management without necessarily being admonished or even reported. They were the Historical Intelligence Collection room off the library, where no one ever went to look at the books, and the office supplies storage room in the basement. The supplies room had a lot of dark corners and concealing shelves where it was possible to be anonymous and it was completely unsupervised in the belief that true-blue CIA officers would never stoop to taking even a single pencil more than was actually needed to get the job done.
I don't know if those rooms still exist, but I sometimes think of them when the subject of government conspiracies come up. I have this vision of two or three conspirators huddled in the corner behind the staplers back in 1975 discussing how one would go about eliminating the likes of Senator Frank Church, who at that time was heading a major congressional investigation into CIA improprieties.
If there had been such a gathering, I would imagine that the Washington Post would have found out about it on the next day as intelligence officers are gregarious and like to talk. This has been my principal problem with the debate in some quarters about the 9/11 Commission. Their report did indeed miss many important angles in order to protect certain governmental interests, but if there had been a genuine conspiracy involving what must have been hundreds of people to demolish the Twin Towers with explosives, it surely would have leaked long ago.
Two months ago, I would have dismissed as fantasy any thoughts of a conspiracy based in America's national security agencies to bring down Donald Trump. But now I am not so sure. Many of my friends who are former intelligence officers are increasingly asking questions. It is worth pointing out that none of us are fans of what the White House has been doing and saying-quite the contrary. Still, alerting the country to concerns over what might be a developing soft coup orchestrated by the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to nullify the results of a national election in no way equates to trying to protect Donald Trump and his uncouth and ill-informed behavior. It is rather a defense of the Constitution.
Donald Trump said on Wednesday that "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" He might be right. He was referring to Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein's appointment of the highly-respected Robert Mueller as independent counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."
Trump's bombast puts everyone but his most tone-deaf supporters on edge, but there are two points that he has been making repeatedly that are essential to any understanding of what is going on. First, the investigation into Russia and the Trumpsters has been a high priority at FBI and also in Congress for nearly a year. Yet so far no one has produced evidence that anyone broke any law or even that someone did something wrong. Second, and more importantly, the vilification of Trump and Russia has been driven by a series of leaks that come from the very top of the national security apparatus, leaks that appear not to have been seriously investigated.
This involvement of FBI and CIA in the campaign, whether inadvertently or by design, was particularly evident in the various reports that surfaced and were leaked to the press during the campaign and right up to the inauguration. The leaks of that type of information, to include technical intelligence and Special Access Program "codeword" material, require top-level access as well as the ability to arrange clandestine contacts with major players in the media, something far beyond the reach of most employees at CIA or the FBI.
Similar leaks have been appearing since that time. I confess to finding Monday's detailed account of what President Trump discussed with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, which included corroborating material that likely did more damage than the information that was actually shared, highly suggestive of the possibility that something like a conspiracy is, in fact, functioning. Given the really tight-security control of that transcript after it was determined that it contained sensitive information, one might reasonably assume that the leaks to the media came directly out of Donald Trump's own National Security Council or from the highest levels of the office of the DNI, CIA, or FBI.
Yesterday, the anonymous sources struck again, revealing that "Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race." That sort of information had to come from the top level of the FBI and would have been accessible to only a few, but even though the leaks of what constitutes highly-classified information have been recurring for many months, no one has been fired or arrested.
The emphasis on Russia derives from the government and media consensus that Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers that led to the exposure of what the DNC was doing to destroy the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. There is also a related consensus that the Russian hacking was intended to damage American democracy and also to help the Trump campaign, a narrative that the president has described as a "made-up thing," a view that I share. All of these assertions are regarded as unquestionably true as measured by inside-the-beltway groupthink, with even the White House now conceding that there was Russian interference in the election.
Sometimes the hysteria over Russia produces over-the-top stories in the mainstream media, including last week's completely speculative piece wondering whether the entourage of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during his White House visit. It was the type of tale that might have been inspired by a leak from someone in the National Security Council who personally observed the context of the meeting and was able to provide corroborating details.
Nevertheless, in spite of the overwhelming groupthink, it has been repeated ad nauseam by people like myself that no actual evidence has been produced to support any of the claims being made about Russia and Trump. There is more evidence that the White House was penetrated by Ankara-through the good services of Michael Flynn-than by Moscow, but Congress has not called for an investigation into Turkey's lobbying . Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA analyst, is even speculating that the Agency might have been the actual hacker into the DNC, leaving a trail behind that would have suggested that it was done by the Russians. His concern arises from the recent WikiLeaks revelation that the CIA had developed cyberwarfare capabilities to do just that.
McGovern, like myself, is also asking why former CIA Director John Brennan has not been summoned by the Senate Committee looking into Russia-gate. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified twice, while former FBI Director James Comey, current NSA Director Mike Rogers, and former Justice Department senior official Sally Yates have all appeared once. Brennan's absence is conspicuous as he was the senior national security official most closely tied to the Obama Administration, may have had the tools at hand to fake the Russian connection, and has also been plausibly linked to "encouraging" British Intelligence to provide damaging information on Michael Flynn.
I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. If that is true, I believe that they have been operating with that goal in mind for at least the past year. It is not a traditional conspiracy or cabal in that it does not meet and conspire together, but I suspect the members know what they are doing in a general sense and are intervening whenever they can to keep Trump off balance. Their program is simple: convince the nation that the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if demonstrable even if not necessarily true, would provide grounds for impeachment. They are motivated by the belief that removing Trump must be done "for the good of the country" and they are willing to do what they consider correcting a mistake made by the American voters. They are assisted in their effort by the mainstream media, which agrees with both the methods employed and the overall objective and is completely on board with the process.
Saving the country from Trump is certainly an attractive notion. I suspect the Comeys, Clappers, and Brennans, together with a host of former senior officers who appear regularly on television, if they were involved, see themselves as great patriots. But they must understand that the blunt instrument they are usingis far more dangerous than the current occupant of the White House. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more threatening to our democracy than anything Donald Trump or even the Russians can do.
Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.
Whine Merchant , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:20 pmI suggest that there are too many big egos involved to keep any 'conspiracy' quiet for long. Someone would post a status update on Facebook, with a photo tagging them all in their cloaks, brandishing daggers.Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:22 pmNothing could be more obvious than that the particular anonymous high level Deep State bureaucrats and the media that quotes them are attempting a coup.John_M , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm
Many of us have suspected we have been progressively disenfranchised, both economically and politically, by elite special interests for some time. If this oligarchy now get the coup they want, they will then have proven to most of us that democracy in America is a sham, no more than a cynical rigged show to deceive us that we the people are in control.No conspiracy is required. Trump went out of his way to antagonize the staff at CIA headquarters when he visited. We don't need to discuss how the 'Orange Blob' (As I understand he is frequently referred to within the FBI) antagonized the FBI.Marcion , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm
Leaks are endemic in DC. To have gone out of his way to antagonize the intelligence and security apparatus is the sign of a dangerous incompetent.
I expect the agencies to back to their old tricks / policies with respect to senate approvals – providing useful (damaging) background information on candidates they do not approve of to political opponents in the Senate.
But no conspiracy is required at all – just bureaucrats with information using it in what they take to be their organizational interest.
It has been so for a long time. You get less of it with competent leadership – and more with incompetent leadership.If the President hasn't done anything wrong, what does he have to hide?JLF , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:53 pmProof? Evidence? The absence of proof is proof of nothing.Joe the Plutocrat , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:00 am
So, smoking gun . . . or smoking pipe?fascinating stuff. which begs the question, where is the betting line or over/under for civil servants (especially those employed in the intelligence/national security space), between a sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution (via a 'conspiracy', which could also be described as a necessary and authorized 'operation'), and an a POTUS who despite his similar oath f office, lacks the capacity (legal, intellectual, emotional) ability to honor his oath? frankly, I'll take the "deep state" underdogs and the points.Uzback , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:37 amIf you really are concerned that the Intelligence Agencies are leaking to damage Trump then Trump needs to take advantage of his own resources and be more open about his information to take away their power.DonChi , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:14 am
- He needs to release his tax returns. This is incredibly important, and if he is hiding something then the IC has leverage in circumstantial evidence. If there is nothing there, then they lose power.
- Be in full support of any investigation. Let Flynn and others from the White House speak to Congress. Again, the leaks have no power if you already release information.
- Instead of putting out obvious lies like Spicer did on January 21st or misdirecting information, be as open as possible on basic things. Talk to the American people like the adults they are.
- Stop Tweeting. Full stop. No more, it just leads to bad things.
The leaks work because knowledge is power, and this Administration is thinking that by not giving a straight answer they can control the knowledge, which is completely not true.Many smart, good, fair people have such a visceral dislike of Trump that they lose their virtues and succumb to hysteria. But it's worse than that. Blindly supporting a soft coup is morally tantamount to treason.Johnny F. Ive , says: May 19, 2017 at 6:35 am
I know it's hard to swallow–because you hate Donald Trump so much–but it's true."Saving the country from Trump is certainly an attractive notion. I suspect the Comeys, Clappers, and Brennans, together with a host of former senior officers who appear regularly on television, if they were involved, see themselves as great patriots."Centralist , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:18 am
They must be out of touch with reality. If they were patriots they would have got rid of Bush II and Cheney before the Iraq War of 2003! This is just to keep the American Empire on its present course of decline. There is no sign of anything noble going on here.I think the majority of the so called conspiracies are individuals or small groups operating on their own with a common goal without any active cooperation mainly because they know talking about it will lead to them facing greater problems later on.John S , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:39 am
The majority of the leakers are likely people that honestly believe they are doing the right thing and act on it. It is not like people go into the Intelligence or Law Enforcement because they are anti-authority. They are normally men and women with a dedication to the United States and its principles so when they feel other are violating that they act. For many Trump while he is the President fails to act as such and not only that has called in to question the competency of these people and their loyalty. After having read "The Art of the Deal" I am surprised he has not tried to be more vicious to these people. Trump has a strong streak of personal loyalty and from what I gather only believes in it. The Men and Women that make up the Law Enforcement and Intelligence do not give up personal loyalty to one politician or one faction they are loyal to the United States. This is something a man who has only ever worked in family business does not seem capable to understand. His experience and training always taught him if you work for him you are suppose to be loyal to him. That is not how these organizations operate. The "deep state" is more reflective of our own polarization along party and ideologue lines. The fact an organization can people that work both sides seems crazy to many that only operate in left or right no middle. I in sad to say the longer I am alive the more I think the draft is needed not because of the need for soldiers but rather for the propose of forcing people to work in an organization that is dedicated to a common goal with individuals from all over the nation with different beliefs and experiences. Otherwise we are just going to have people that are stuck and leading to further divisions. As a note I have never served in the military my jr year of college I received an injury that disqualified me from service. I attended though one of the six senior military colleges with the intention of serving.Is this the same Philip Giraldi who has written odes to Wikileaks? Public has a right to know,etc.?Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:53 amPhilip Giraldi "I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. If that is true, I believe that they have been operating with that goal in mind for at least the past year."Chris Chuba , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:20 am
Decades-long Princeton/NYU Professor of Russian studies Stephen Cohen agrees with Mr. Giraldi's assessment (May 15, Fox):
If you had asked me a few days ago "What's the number one threat to the United States today?" I would have said, "International terrorism." Today I would say, "It's this assault on President Trump." Because it's been going on a year. And can we be clear? What he's being accused of is treason. This has never happened in America – that there's a Russian agent in the White House. And we've had a whole array of allegations: From Putin helped him get in the White House, to his associates are doing wrong things with Russians, that Flynn did something wrong – his former National Security Advisor – did something wrong in talking to the Russian ambassador. There's no evidence that there was any wrong-doing and, indeed, Flynn should have talked to the Russian ambassador. That was his job. So, this is beyond belief now and has become – by this I mean this assault on Trump and his loyalty – this has become a national security threat to us in-itself There has long been in Washington a powerful – let's call it The Fourth Branch of Government, the intelligence services, who have opposed any rapprochement or cooperation with Russia. Remember, in 2016 President Obama worked out a deal with President Putin for military cooperation in Syria. He said he was going to share intelligence with Russia – just the way Trump and the Russians were supposed to do the other day. Our Department of Defense said it wouldn't share intelligence. And a few days later, they killed Syrian soldiers, violating the agreement, and that was the end of that. So, we can ask: "Who is making our foreign policy in Washington today?" Are there really three branches of government, or is there a fourth branch of government – these intel services? What we know as a fact is that Obama tried – not very hard, but he tried – for a military alliance with Putin in Syria against terrorism, and it was sabotaged by the Department of Defense and its allies in the intelligence services. Trump says, he said on the campaign trail: "Wouldn't it be great to cooperate with Russian?" My answer is: It would be great. And Trump seems to want that to happen. But he's being thwarted. Every time he gets close, we get a new leak, of a story.I'm certain that everyone who launched a coup in a third world country thought they were patriots as well. The comment 'if he has nothing to hide is chilling' because it ignores the nature of these attacks. These are not really leaks, they are anonymous hit and run attacks designed to leave an impression in a way that is impossible to refute.G Harvey , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:51 am
1. CIA leak, 'portions of the Russian Dossier have been confirmed'. Perhaps some trivial facts were confirmed but people will think of the sensational parts of the dossier.
2. Mattis flat out denies that 'methods and sources' were given to the Russians but the leaker gives specifics to the MSM. Perhaps the leaker, knowing the topic of the meeting went above and beyond knowing that the WH is not going to give out a full transcript of the meeting.
These guys are playing a very dangerous game. This is the same CIA group that is arming rebels in Syria. They know better than us. Anyone who questions them is a traitor in their eyes.The answer is: Yes.Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:53 am
Paul Craig Roberts has an article up that I think should be read. As I do not know if this site allows the posting of links or even article names, I will provide neither.Philip Giraldi "Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA analyst, is even speculating that the Agency might have been the actual hacker into the DNC, leaving a trail behind that would have suggested that it was done by the Russians. His concern arises from the recent Wiki Leaks revelation that the CIA had developed cyber warfare capabilities to do just that. McGovern, like myself, is also asking why former CIA Director John Brennan has not been summoned by the Senate Committee looking into Russia-gate. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified twice, while former FBI Director James Comey, current NSA Director Mike Rogers, and former Justice Department senior official Sally Yates have all appeared once. Brennan's absence is conspicuous as he was the senior national security official most closely tied to the Obama Administration, may have had the tools at hand to fake the Russian connection, and has also been plausibly linked to 'encouraging' British Intelligence to provide damaging information on Michael Flynn."Vitaly , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
Brennan was chosen by Obama to head the CIA and was sworn in as Director on March 8, 2013. At the swearing-in ceremony, rather than placing his hand on a Bible, Brennan chose to place his hand on an original draft of the Constitution that had George Washington's personal handwriting and annotations on it, dating from 1787. Somewhat worthy of note is the fact that the 1787 draft of the Constitution does not contain the Bill of Rights.
But Obama White House Press spokesman Josh Earnest said Brennan requested that particular draft of the US Constitution because he "wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office as director of the CIA."
"Commitment to the rule of law"? Brennan?The scandal in Washington, DC is profound to be explained by petty considerations. It requires metaphysical language.p3cop , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:45 am
The sad fact is that We-the-People were unable to keep our Republic as Benjamin Franklin advised us to do. Founding Fathers had tried hard to protect Republic against mob. The last thing they could imagine was that mentality of instant gratification that define mob will morph into top echelon of ruling class. If history provide any lessons the first was given by Moses when he descended from Mount Sinai with 10 commandments. That lesson was repeated multiple times with the same results. History is littered with faded memories of failed empires, which reduced multidimensional colored world to lust for Golden Calf. Under no circumstances the US will be exception for signs of decay are everywhere.
I am also sure that majority of commentators on this "conservative" site are to busy with trivia to comprehend reality they are facing in very near future.How is it that the leakers are not identified, fired and prosecuted? When there are five people in a room when a secret is told, and that secret gets leaked, one of those five people are guilty. If you can't tell which one, fire them all. Are there no detectives in D.C.? It ain't rocket science.Dan Green , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:32 amI think we should be reminded , as we witness this circus. Those thousands who work in the swamp, are experts at what they do. I would admit Trump needs to slack off his rhetoric, but I have to hand it to the Democrats. Getting Trump impeached or to resign is their new platform to get the ruling class back in the saddle.Joe the Plutocrat , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:24 am@Dan Green, maybe so, but the real question is, why did Americans elect a POTUS who is NOT an "expert" at what the POTUS does? Deep State, Establishment, or whatever you title you choose, one does not survive in a swamp without mastering or adapting the skills necessary to this may sound silly, survive in a swamp. This is the difference between fake news and real news. This is the difference between television and reality television. And finally, this is the difference between a true populist, and a self-described 'billionaire' populist – who inherited millions and grew it (sic) to billions via debt and bankruptcy. None of this should surprise Americans, progressive or 'deplorable'. It certainly did not surprise those sworn to defend the Constitution.Adriana I Pena , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:45 amThey say that extraordinary circumstances make bad law.Johann , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:48 am
But extraordinary circumstances have to be addressed.
A man-child with no impulse control in charge of foreign policy and they nuclear arsenal qualifies as extraordinary circumstances.
As Cavafy said "the gods should have bothered"The leaks are selective dirty trick mountain-out-of-molehill spoil sport partisan cry baby sore loser propaganda. If they are successful in circumventing our democracy, they and all of us will reap the whirlwind.bkh , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:12 pmI hope so! We need a good shake-up in DC to save TV ratings and sell papers. Can also add all the advertising dollars available with media clicks. And the hostility and deadlock has to continue so we can slip through some wonderful legislation to take away more wealth and rights from the dumb sheep on both sides. I am sure NetFlix or Amazon or some other Cable channel can't wait for the rights to this. "Orange is the New Nixon"P Tocco , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:34 pm
They got it figured out to where they can get the SJWs and the left to turn out for the death of the right. They will then turn the guns on "their own" because those sheep are just as deplorable. Burn it down! Tear it apart! Show your true selves for the devils you are.Today's soft coup plotters may indeed be breaking the law. Didn't American colonial coup plotters also break the law? I.e. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Paine, all committed hanging offenses. We are in their debt.Brian W , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm14.05.2017 International Cyber Attack: Roots Traced to US National Security AgencyIron Felix , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:20 pm
Over 45,000 ransomware attacks have been tracked in large-scale attacks across Europe and Asia - particularly Russia and China - as well as attacks in the US and South America.
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/14/international-cyber-attack-roots-traced-us-national-security-agency.htmlThe US is effectively an empire, not a republic. Empires are always fighting wars to maintain and expand. Russia is viewed not as just a large influential country, but an obstacle to expansion of the empire. This is the view of the Deep State which defends the interests of the US ruling class, the finance capitalist class. It runs a worldwide imperialist system.Stop the agony , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm
Trump has no interest in empire. Sure, he will go to war against individual countries which he believes are encroaching on US interests, but he defines these interests more narrowly as the republic being cheated or taken advantage of by other states. He has no interest in sitting before a map like Halford Mackinder and moving pieces around the chess board. Trump would probably not be too interested in running off to Myanmar like Obama because it was a pawn on the geopolitical chess board.
This is an intolerable situation for the masters of the empire. Getting rid of Trump is the solution. Pence will be the empire's servant.
The Democrats hold contradictory views here. On the one hand, they are salivating because they believe that anyone who doesn't have Hillary Clinton's baggage they nominate for 2020 would beat Trump, so they want him wounded but still in office. Note that it was reported that some Democrats cautioned against a rush to impeachment. Pence would be a far more formidable opponent in 2020.
The Republicans know this too. The Republican establishment would like to be rid of Trump as it considers him an albatross. They probably believe that Pence would be a stronger candidate. On the other hand, Trump is immensely popular among the Republican base. If Republican Congresspeople and Senators get on the anti-Trump bandwagon, there will be hell to pay. Trump could go around the country packing stadiums, financing primary campaigns, and maybe even run for President in 2020 as an independent or, if he is somehow disallowed because he is an impeached president, he could support a proxy. The establishment, Democrat and Republican, would be making a massive mistake underestimating Donald Trump.This is pretty elaborate. Occam's razor dictates that the simplest explanation is typically the right one. In this case, Trump clearly treats his staff like rented mules, ritualistically ignoring their recomendations, belittling their capabilities, and throwing them under the bus whenever possible. Is it any wonder that they would leak to whomever will listen? As to the reality of the Russia conspiracy, there is a bit more evidence than Giraldi admits most glaringly in the Administration's repeated and politically inexplicable attempts to treat the Kremlin like a long and trusted ally. Also, it wasn't so much the DNC hack as the wikileaks hack that was problematic in the election. But for all that, I do agree that Flynn was clearly on the payroll of Turkey, and that he should be prosecuted accordingly. I just don't think the rest of the Administration was involved. But there is clearly more than just Flynn eating out of Putin's hand.Chris Chuba , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:41 pmIt's not easy finding who leaked it because it doesn't have to be anyone who was in the room.Brendan Sexton , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm
The meeting transcript is archived, so who ever records the meeting, has access to the archive of the meeting, or who is in the Intel community and knows that Trump talked to the Russians about airline security could have leaked this to the press. There is also the universe of politicians if they were briefed on the meeting, but I am thinking this to be a long shot in this case.Crooks and cheats always scream loudest about and direct their most intense anger at the 'squealers' who get them in trouble. (Of course it is their own behavior that gets them in trouble, really, but their egos will not allow admitting that.)Tim D. , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm
But, any cop will tell you we would have very few successes in the justice system at all if it were not for these 'squealers." Either their direct evidence itself, or the investigative leads their information provides, make most cases, especially the cases in which there is little physical evidence.
So it is here, with Giraldi joining in with the Trump cabal to raise a stink about the leaks and the leakers.
Informants are very rarely seen in a positive light, even by the side using them (the cops, in my analogy), but what turns out to matter is the crime itself. In this case, maybe there is no crime–as Giraldi suggests–but to even find that out we will get there by using the info, or at least starting with the info that these leaks are providing.The U.S. isn't just governed by laws, but by norms too. Trump isn't given the benefit of the doubt not only by institutions housed within the executive branch, but by the judicial branch too. The blunt truth is people's refusal to acknowledge that Trump is unqualified for the presidency, mentally unsound, and a national security liability. What we're seeing now is how aspects of government work when confronted with such a situation.Robert Charron , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:57 pmThe word "conspiracy" literally means breathing together. A conspiracy doesn't require clandestine meetings, but essentially arises from individuals "breathing" together.Aegis , says: May 19, 2017 at 2:05 pmGiven that Trump's administration leaks more in one day than Obama's administration leaked in eight years we must assume that the real problem here is President Trump. Perhaps if the man could inspire loyalty in his troops this problem would never exist. Obviously numerous very powerful and knowledgeable individuals are in a panic over Trump's presidency. That is not a good sign and we all should be very worried about what is really going on in the White House.Brendan Sexton , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:21 pmAegis puts his finger on it: "Perhaps if the man could inspire loyalty in his troops this problem would never exist." Yes–a leader must *inspire* loyalty, not demand it over dinner at the White House.KennethF , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Trump inspires, at the best, nervous regard. At the worst, worse. He is not much of a leader–rather a whiner and the like. How much loyalty would YOU pledge to a petulant five-year-old?Step back for a moment. Trump is a man who, after losing the popular vote by 3 million, suddenly declares there were 3 million illegal votes for Hillary. That statement is so preposterous that it is perfectly reasonable to call it insane (yet the GOP will still form a committee to look into it). He utters many such insane statements.
Trump clearly does not understand the Constitution that he's sworn to uphold. His ignorance and ineptitude are on the public record simply by reviewing his speeches and tweets - no mainstream media required.
Are there so-called "Deep Staters" out to get Trump for the wrong reasons? Sure. But there are so many right reasons to get rid of him that it's safe to assume that many of the leakers are Republicans who happen to love their country more than they love their party. Cheers for everyone doing their part to prove how dangerous Trump is to national security. (With luck, someone will dig up the tax returns that he's unconscionably withheld).
As others have said, Trump's problem is of Trump's making.
May 19, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
The Special Counsel Comes to Town: It's the Moscow Trials, Revisited
The witch-hunt beginsDonald Trump ran on a platform of improving relations with Russia: his victory was a mandate for that policy. Yet the real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box, and that reality was brought home when the Justice Department appointed a "special counsel" to investigate " any links and/or coordination with the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump ."
After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real.
Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible – and Trump's goal of "getting along with Russia" will surely not be implemented now that the regime of the special counsel has trumped him – but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive, and perhaps prosecute him for "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the process.
No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic. Because the warning to our politicians could not be clearer: So you want to effect a fundamental change in US foreign policy? You dare to question the permanence of NATO? Let this be a lesson to you.
This goes way beyond the Trump administration: the potential targets of the investigation are potentially unlimited. Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein's letter to the Special Counsel – Bush era FBI Director Robert Mueller – also states that the counsel's purview includes "any matters that arose directly from the investigation," as well as "any other matters within the scope of 28 CFR 600.4 (a) ," which refers to anyone who might conceivably be involved in obstructing the Special Counsel's probe.
In short, Mueller has virtually unlimited power to expand his investigation, and, given the history of Special Counsels, you can be sure that this one will wander far afield and become a general probe into "Russian influence" on the election – a matter already taken up by at least two congressional committees.
Any politician, especially one who supported Trump, who advocates peaceful and productive relations with Russia is a likely target. The War Party has already got Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) in its sights for his fearless questioning of the anti-Russian propaganda campaign.
Furthermore, any media outlets that either supported Trump, had a good word to say about Trump, and/or dissented from the Russophobic hysteria that has gripped the "mainstream" media are liable to be scrutinized. Journalists with "Russian ties" – no matter how tenuous – will be caught up in the witch-hunt. The Washington Post gave front page prominence to a group of anonymous "researchers" that calls itself " PropOrNot ," which has compiled a lengthy list of "pro-Russian" media outlets and web sites – including the Drudge Report, and Antiwar.com.
The dynamics of the witch-hunt will play out in the manner in which it has operated up until this point, only more so: the "mainstream" media will act as the research department of DOJ investigators, "uncovering" the "pro-Russian" network in the US, inviting Mueller to move in for the kill. Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for "Putin's puppets."
We haven't seen this kind of thing since the 1950s. Indeed, the history of these political lynchings goes all the way back to the Moscow Trials conducted by Stalin and his henchmen, who consolidated their power by prosecuting "Trotskyite wreckers" and other "enemies of the people" – to the applause of Western "liberals."
What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States. Yet it is more – and worse – than that.
This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war. It is, in effect, political terrorism – that is, an attempt to achieve political-ideological goals by the threat of force, i.e. the threat of State coercion. The police state methods utilized by law enforcement agencies in this country since 9/11 – universal surveillance, and the whole menu of cyber-spying techniques exposed by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks – will be deployed. And it won't just be our own American spooks doing the eavesdropping.
The involvement of the British and other European intelligence agencies in this regime-change operation on American soil is well-known : it was a "former" MI6 agent, one Christopher Steele , who authored and circulated the infamous "dirty dossier" on Trump. The Ukrainians, in particular, are in the forefront of this campaign: their targeting of Paul Manafort is out in the open . And a recent article in the Washington Post which relates a conversation between GOP House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and others, has McCarthy saying he thinks both Trump and Rep. Rohrabacher are "paid by Putin." The exchange took place on Capitol Hill, after a meeting with the Ukrainian envoy – and the Post , in a story datelined Kiev, reports that it was "recorded." So who did the recording? My bet is on the Ukrainians.
... ... ...
May 19, 2017 | www.foxnews.com
The truth is, what's really putting our nation is risk is the flagrant leaking from within the federal bureaucracy – those who oppose President Trump who are breaking the law when they leak classified materials.
President Trump's critics and opponents – including many in the news media – claim this faux story about President Trump providing classified material to the Russians puts the United States at risk.
The truth is, what's really putting our nation is risk is the flagrant leaking from within the federal bureaucracy – those who oppose President Trump who are breaking the law when they leak classified materials.
The real story – the real crisis – is the ongoing leak of classified information. That is serious and something that the Trump Administration must address without delay. How this latest "story" unfolded has become all too common in Washington. It's a manufactured crisis that puts our national security at risk.
Let's hope Attorney General Sessions has impaneled a grand jury to investigate these troubling leaks. These leakers need to face criminal charges and face prosecution.
The Trump Administration needs to send a strong message. It's time to seek out and prosecute those who are criminally leaking classified material.
The fact is that many of those working to derail the Trump Administration work inside the federal government. They are part of the bureaucratic "swamp" and in many cases are loyal to President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton
They don't like the way the election turned out. And they really don't like that President Trump is in the Oval Office.
There's no question that there's a deep state shadow government at work here. What we're experiencing is an unprecedented bureaucratic soft coup undermining our security.
The Obama Administration took action to empower the entrenched bureaucracy to subvert our national security right before leaving office. It has led to dangerous leaks, criminal violations of the Espionage Act, and the creation of a shadow government to sabotage the new Administration.
At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're directly engaged in half a dozen lawsuits to expose the shadow government and stop these dangerous national security leaks.
It's time to plug the leaks and punish those who are responsible for leaking classified information.
Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law. He's a New York Times bestselling author. Jay's latest book – "Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World" – is available now. He hosts "Jay Sekulow Live"-- a daily radio show which is broadcast on more than 850 stations nationwide as well as Sirius/XM satellite radio. Follow him on Twitter @JaySekulow .
May 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.comPAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that a memo written by James Comey states that President Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into General Flynn. Now, this was all about Flynn's contacts with the Russians. He had attended an RT � the Russian television network � dinner in Moscow, he apparently held some discussions there, he was paid for attending that dinner. He also did some lobbying on behalf of Turkey and was paid for that, and the investigation also has to do with whether Flynn has something to do with the alleged interference of the Russians in the American elections. And this is a big breach of etiquette for a president to More than etiquette, I suppose � protocol, even the law � to tell an FBI director not to investigate something. I guess that's illegal. Trump, of course, and the White House denies this.
But underlying all of this, and all the furor, is a fundamental assumption. It's a term that's used constantly in the media and by the various political pundits on the media, which is "Russia is our adversary." You have to basically assume that the adversary, Russia, has an antagonistic relationship with the United States, and then underneath all of that, then you have Flynn and Comey investigation and so on. Because if Russia isn't the great adversary, then it's unlikely there'd be such a to-do about all of this.
Now joining us to talk about the Comey affair, the Trump affair, and just what is the issues in terms of the US-Russia relationship, is Robert English. Robert is a professor of international relations at the University of Southern California. He specializes in Russian and post-Soviet politics, US-Russian relations, and national security policy. He formerly worked for the US Department of Defense and the Committee for National Security, and has published widely in both academic and policy journals. Thanks very much for joining us, Robert.
ROBERT ENGLISH: Happy to be here.
PAUL JAY: Okay, so every day another storm, another drama. First of all, what do you make of Maybe the most interesting thing in all of this Comey thing today isn't Trump asking him to stop the investigation; that's not a great shocker. The more interesting thing is somebody at the FBI who has access to the Comey memo reads it to a journalist at the New York Times. There's a lot of people out to get Trump here.
ROBERT ENGLISH: Yeah, you're pointing to this larger problem, which is this chaos, this infighting, and not just in a sort of careerist bureaucratic way, but a kind of serious pitched battle between different factions � in this case, between those in the Trump administration who seem to want a fresh start with Russia, to try to begin cooperation on things like Syria, terrorism, and so forth, and those dead set against it, who are now using leaks and so forth to In part, to fight their battles. And so the bureaucratic, the nasty, the backstabbing, the leaking, is one area of issues, but you're pointing to this larger fundamental. Can we get along with Russia? Is it worth trying to reset relations? And even if he's not the best executor so far � and he's not � is Trump's basic idea of "We can get along with Russia, let's give it a try" a good one? And I happen to think it is; it's just being carried out awfully clumsily.
PAUL JAY: Yeah, I think one needs to separate the intent of Trump for wanting better relation with Russia, which one can analyze, and the policy itself. The policy of having a détente, although why there even needs to be a détente is kind of a question mark But why is so much of the American foreign policy establishment, the political class, the military leadership, the vast majority of that whole stratum wants to maintain a very antagonistic position towards Russia, and why?
ROBERT ENGLISH: You know, four or five reasons that all come together, pushing in this Russophobic direction. We've always had sort of unreconstructed Cold Warriors, people who never were easy with the new Russia, right? Zbigniew Brzezinski and people of that ilk, who wanted to just push Russia in a corner, take advantage of its weakness, never give it a chance. Then you have people in the military-industrial complex, for lack of a better term, whose vested interests lie in a continued rivalry, and continued arms-racing, and continued threat inflation. You have other people who normally would be liberal progressive, but they're so angry at Hillary Clinton's loss, they're so uncomprehending of how someone they see as vulgar and unqualified as Trump could get elected, that they're naturally unwilling to let go of this "the Russians hacked our election, the Russians got Trump elected" theme, and therefore, Russia is even bigger enemy than they would be otherwise. These and other strains all come together in a strange way. Some of this is the hard right, all right? Some of it is from the left, some is from the center. And across the board, we have ignorance. Ignorance of Russia.
PAUL JAY: Now, in an article you wrote recently, you went through some of the history, and we're going to do another segment that digs into this history more in depth, but when you look at the history of the '90s, and Yeltsin, and the whole role of the United States in helping bring down the Soviet Union, the whole point of bringing down the Soviet Union, and standing Yeltsin up, and interfering in Russian elections to make sure Yeltsin wins, and so on, was to open Russia for privatization for American oligarchs. I don't think the idea was to do it for Russian oligarchs, but that's how it turned out. Is that part of what is making this section of the American oligarchs so angry about it all?
ROBERT ENGLISH: You know, when people look at Russia today, they try to explain it in terms of one evil man, Putin, and that sort of conceals an assumption that if we could just get rid of Putin, everything would be better, and that Putin is the way he is � anti-American � because he's from the KGB. You don't need to go back to his youth or his time in intelligence to understand why he's very skeptical, why we have bad relations with Putin and all those around him. You don't have to go back to the '50s or '40s. You can go back just to the '90s, when we interfered in Russia, when we foisted dysfunctional economic policies on them, when we meddled in their elections repeatedly, and basically for an entire decade, we were handmaidens to a catastrophe � economic, political, social � that sowed the seeds of this resentment that continues to this day. It's a-
PAUL JAY: Yeah, you mention in your article that the consequences of the '90s depression in Russia far surpassed anything in the '07-'08 recession in the United States.
ROBERT ENGLISH: They far surpassed that. They even far surpassed anything in our own Great Depression of the early 1930s, of '29, '30, '31 � you know, the Great Depression, under Hoover and then Roosevelt. At that time, our economy contracted by about a quarter, and the slump lasted about three years before growth resumed. Russia's economy contracted almost by half, and the slump lasted an entire decade, and it resulted not just in widespread poverty, but millions of excess deaths, of suicides, of people dying of despair, of heart disease, of treatable illnesses caused by the strains, the This deep, unbelievable misery of that decade. It's no wonder that there is deep resentment towards the US, and this underlies a lot of the Putin elites' attitudes towards us. It's not something pathological, Putin being a bad guy. If you got rid of Putin tomorrow, the next guy who came along, the person most Russians would probably elect in democratic elections, wouldn't be so different. It wouldn't be another Yeltsin or pro-Western liberal, believe me.
PAUL JAY: Well, even if everything they say about Putin is true, and I doubt and Quite sure not everything is true. If he is such a dictator, United States foreign policy has never had any trouble with dictators, as long as they're our dictators, so the thing drips with hypocrisy.
ROBERT ENGLISH: Hypocrisy and double standards all around are what Russians see, okay? I mean, where do you begin? Look at the recent The vote, the referendum in Crimea to secede from Ukraine, and of course, then Russia annexed it into Russian territory, and we find that outrageous, a violation of international law, and the Russians say, "Yeah, and what did you engineer in Kosovo? You yanked Kosovo out of Serbia, you caused Kosovo to secede from Serbia with no referendum, no international law. How is that different? Right? When it's your client state it's okay, but when it's ours, it's not?" And of course the list is a long one; we could spend all afternoon going through them. So the first thing we need to do is stop the sanctimony, and deal with Russia as an equal great power.
But, you know, can I say one more thing about the '90s that connect it with what's going on today? In 1991, we had George Herbert Walker Bush in the White House. It was still the Soviet Union, Gorbachev was still in power for the rest of the year, and a warning came from our ambassador in Moscow, Jack Matlock, which was passed on to the White House. He had inside information from sources, from confidential sources, that a coup attempt was being planned. And, by the way, of course it happened in August of that year. That information came from our Ambassador Matlock, from his sources in Moscow, to the White House. George Bush had been instructed that this was highly sensitive, do not reveal the source of the information, keep it confidential. Bush fouled up, and within hours, he got on the phone to Moscow, a line that was open, monitored by the KGB, trying to reach Gorbachev, and he revealed the information, and he revealed the source, which went straight to the KGB. This was an unbelievable breach of confidentiality, dangerous, potentially deadly results, and the greatest irony is that George Herbert Walker Bush had been Director of the CIA before.
Now, why am I telling this story? Obviously, my first point is, presidents have fouled up, and have declassified unwittingly, or sometimes for political purposes, highly sensitive information all the time. I'm not excusing what Trump did � it looks like he was very sloppy � but the first thing to note is it's not unusual, this happens a lot. The second thing, and let's talk about this, is sharing information intelligence with the Russians. Guys, we've been doing this for nearly 20 years. After 9/11, the Russians offered us valuable intelligence on the Taliban, on Afghanistan, to help us fight back against bin Laden, and we've been exchanging intelligence on terrorists ever since. A lot of people wish we'd exchange more information; we might have prevented the Boston bombing. So this hysteria about sharing intelligence with our adversary, no, we are cooperating with Russia because we have a common enemy.
PAUL JAY: Now, I said in the beginning that I thought we should separate Trump's intent from a policy, which seems more rational, not to treat Russia as such an adversary, and try to work both in Syria and other places, negotiate more things out. But when you do look at the side of intent, I don't think you can negate or forget about the kind of historic ties that Trump has with Russian oligarchs. Some people suggest Russian Mafia. Tillerson's energy play, they would love sanctions lifted on Russia, and I'm not suggesting they shouldn't be lifted, but the motive here is they want to do a massive play in the energy sector. So it's not I don't think we should forget about what drives Trump and his circle around him, which is they have a very big fossil fuel agenda and a money-making agenda. On the other hand, that doesn't mean the policy towards Russia isn't rational. I mean, what do you I don't know if you agree or not.
ROBERT ENGLISH: You know, yeah, you're right, those are important points, and whether you agree or not with people ranging from Ron Wyden to Lindsey Graham, they're all saying "follow the money," and in this case, I think they're right. All these probes, and all these suspicions that the Trump team colluded with Russian intelligence to throw the election, that they were cooperating, even coordinating with the Russians on the hacking, and then the release, I don't believe it. It could be true � you know, I don't have access to the evidence � but to me, it seems much more likely that what will turn up instead are financial crimes or malfeasance. People taking speaker's fees, people consulting with oligarchs, people aiding You know, helping with the elections with shady people, and depositing the money in the Cayman Islands or in Cypriot banks, not declaring income. I think that's what we're likely to find; I think that's probably what Flynn is guilty of. But the more serious charge of collusion with an adversary, even of treason to undermine our election, I doubt it very much. You're right to look at the energy business money, and sort of big-business oligarchic efforts to just get rich together.
PAUL JAY: Yeah, because this is so much tied up with partisan politics. The Democratic Party leadership, you know, Schumer types, they just want to wound Trump any way they can, and this is a good way to cut some knives there, to get their knives out. But the real story is the financial shenanigans, and maybe Flynn was on to that. I'm not Excuse me, not Flynn, Comey. Maybe Comey was on to that, and maybe that's where this thing will lead. That's where Trump needs to fear, not the Flynn stuff.
ROBERT ENGLISH: I think you're probably right, and again, I can only infer what might be going on, what evidence there might be, based on the subpoenas that are going out, but what we've heard says yeah, financial records, all these documents, evidence of I mean, let's go back to this issue that was the scandal of the week about five scandals ago, which means five days ago, and that was that The reason that Flynn was fired, you'll recall that after the election but before the inauguration, he met with the Russian ambassador, and they discussed all kinds of policy issues, including the possibility of moving towards removing the sanctions. When he got back to the White House, apparently he told Pence that they talked about other things, but he didn't admit that the sanctions subject had come up. Therefore, he lied; therefore, he was fired. And Sally Yates, right, the From the Attorney General's office, has made an important point that she briefed the White House on this, she warned that Flynn had been compromised, because the Russians had something on him now.
Okay, technically they did, but come on, guys, hold on a second. Trump was about to be inaugurated, right? It wasn't as if he somehow � Flynn � could undermine a policy of Obama's when there were about five minutes left in the Obama administration. Secondly, the Russians and the Trump administration wanted openly � it was no secret � to move towards a removal of sanctions if they could find cooperation on Ukraine, cooperation on terror in the Middle East. There's no secret here. Therefore, what did the Russians have on Flynn that they could have blackmailed him with? How was he compromised? Yeah, because they'd caught him in a fib, but big deal. You see how these things are being exaggerated. No doubt Flynn broke the rules, he told a lie, but it's not a lie It's not the kind of information in the Russians' possession that's the equivalent of catching him in bed with another woman, or [inaudible 00:16:53].
PAUL JAY: And you have to even believe that he did tell the lie, because we're being told he didn't tell Pence. We don't know if he's falling on his sword to some extent here in order to protect Pence. I mean, who knows the truth of any of that? And the rest of what he did, as far as we know, with the Russians is all public. There's a video of him speaking at an RT interview in Moscow that took place at the same time as this dinner that he was paid to attend on the 10th anniversary of RT, where he sits near Putin. There's nothing secret about any of this; this stuff's been out on YouTube for, like, ages.
ROBERT ENGLISH: So what you have here when you add them up is a sequence of events or small misdeeds: telling a fib about this here, Trump leaking classified information there. None of them are of the magnitude that they're being portrayed with in the media, but when you string them together, it sounds like a hysterical series of
PAUL JAY: So I can understand the Democratic Party, but in terms of what people call the permanent state, the deep state, they're very engaged in this. The leaks from the FBI We still don't, I don't think, unless I missed something, this thing where he Trump talks to the Russian ambassador and the Foreign Minister, Lavrov, and gives this Reveals this intelligence. Well, how do we know that? I mean, who's in that room that leaked that? Or, apparently, after it took place in Washington, some White House staffers phone the NSA and the CIA. Well, you think they've got to call the heads of these organizations at this kind of level of information. So who's leaking that stuff? The state apparatus � CIA, FBI, maybe NSA � they're really antagonistic to this Trump administration. What is that about?
ROBERT ENGLISH: Again, that's where we started, with not only the battle over "Should we try to improve relations with Russia, or are they incorrigible foes?" That's one thing, but now this sort of bureaucratic infighting, the use of leaks, of innuendo. And again, Trump gives them the fuel to do so with these continual misdeeds and misstatements. That's another whole arena of battle, and it's not healthy, right, to have And it's his fault too. He went to war with the intelligence community on day one. But this is so dysfunctional. It's causing us much more harm than the Russians ever could, and
PAUL JAY: We're going to keep this conversation going in a future segment. I do want to add Anyone who watches The Real News knows this already. I mean, I think the Trump/Pence administration is going to prove to be more dangerous than the Bush/Cheney. I think it's extremely dangerous what they have in mind in terms of foreign policy. But all that being said, let's concentrate on the real stuff. Trump's in Saudi Arabia, and they're planning some bad stuff in the Middle East, and targeting of Iran, and back here, we're focusing on really what should be a sideline soap opera.
ROBERT ENGLISH: Yeah. The series, the daily scandals that we're talking about � the Comey letter today, the leak to the Russians yesterday, on and on � are kind of distracting us from the bigger picture. Not only the question of, you know, what are our common interests, if any, with Russia, and can we seriously work towards them, but also, what are we going to do in the Middle East, and what are we doing in East Asia? These pivotal foreign policy strategic issues aren't getting much attention because of the daily soap opera. You're absolutely right.
Let me just add at the end here � I know we're running out of time � I've noted the accidental clumsy careless leak that could've had tragic consequences of the first Bush president. We might also note that the second Bush presidency, that administration leaked like a sieve from, you know, exaggerated false intelligence on Iraq to the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, when it suited their purposes. And the Obama administration wasn't a lot better. People like McCain and others were furious at some of the leaks, whether it was the Stuxnet cyber war tactic that was used against Iran, to a whole series of other military facts that were leaked selectively by the Obama administration to serve their purposes. Let's just remember this context. Mistaken leaks, strategic leaks, dishonest leaks go on all the time in Washington, and against that backdrop, let's not fall off the cliff here over Trump sharing some intel about terror attacks with the Russians, about our common enemy, the Islamic State in Syria.
PAUL JAY: All right, thanks very much for joining us, and thank you for joining us on The Real News Network. Anonymous , May 17, 2017 at 2:09 am
Some issues that are not mentioned. First, the 100 billion dollar a year cost of sanctions which gives Putin and the oligarchs incentive to do a lot of things. Second, the track record of journalists, human rights advocates and attorneys being killed in Russia. Third, the funds paid to Trump from oligarchs via over priced real estate deals.
Guess they all fall into the "strategic issues aren't getting much attention".
If the Putin administration or oligarchs are found to have acted illegally in the US it will be a different discussion.
Apr 01, 2017 | www.economicprincipals.comMarch 26, 2017
Having spent the last six months preparing a history of Harvard University's mission to Moscow in the 1990s and the scandal that ensued (to appear sometime this summer), I have often been reminded of William Faulkner's apothegm : "The past is never dead. It's not even past." This is as true of the Trump-Russia story as it is of the larger and more intricate realm of US-Russia relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Holman Jenkins, Jr., the least predictable columnist at The Wall Street Journal , noted last week (subscription required) that Watergate analogies in the Trump Russia controversy are beside the point. What is wanted, he wrote, is a Pentagon Papers-style history of US policy, "an emptying out of the files" necessary to illuminate the "awkward, contradictory and humiliating straddles" of Western governments over the last twenty-five years.
Alas, we are unlikely to get that kind of retrospective from WikiLeaks. What is required instead is a great deal of shoe-leather reporting. An especially good example was to be found ten days ago in The Rich Refugees Who Saved Trump , by Caleb Melby and Keri Geiger, with Michael Smith, Alexander Sazenov, and Polly Mosendz, writing in Bloomberg Businessweek .
When Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza began construction two decades ago as the tallest residential building in the country (90 stories), its most expensive floors attracted wealthy people getting their money out of what had been the Soviet Union. Trump needed the big spenders. He was renegotiating $1.8 billion in junk bonds for his Atlantic City resorts, and the tower was built on a mountain of debt owed to German banks.
The story is the most plausible account I've yet seen of what Trump's oldest son, Donald Jr., may have meant when he said, in 2008, "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." In the earlier case reported by BBw , the deluge occurred at a most propitious time, in the late 1990s, when Trump's business was stretched thin and under stress.
Trump broke ground on the building in October 1998, across the street from the United Nations headquarters. After several years of boisterous churn and at long last some growth, the Russian economy was in crisis. The ruble had collapsed in August; the government had defaulted on its domestic debt. Savvy Russians had scrambled to get their money out of the country. From the article:
Real Estate provides a safe haven for overseas investors. It has few reporting requirements and is a preferred way to move cash of questionable provenance. Amid the turmoil, buyers found a dearth of available projects. Trump World Tower, opened in 2001, became a prominent depository of Russian money.
Others who bought units in the building, with its 72 constructed floors and 90 stories listed on its elevator panels, included New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, Bill Gates, Harrison Ford, Sophia Loren, and Kellyanne Conway and her husband, according to Wikipedia. BBw reported that
The very top floors remained unsold for years but a third of the units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability corporations connected to Russia and neighboring states, a Bloomberg investigation shows. The reporting involved more than two dozen interviews and a review of hundreds of public records in New York.
Trump scholars gradually will determine how material was the sales boost in the complicated ups-and-downs of Trump's financial position in those days. For an explication of some of the favors owed, which in one case went back to 1976, see the current article . This much is indelibly clear: the president has seen Russia as a prime source of revenue, if not investment, for twenty years. Again, BBw:
Simultaneous with when the tower was going up, developer Gil Dezer and his father, Michael, were building a Trump-backed condo project in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. "Russians love the Trump brand," [Dezer] says, adding that Russians and Russian Americans bought some 200 of the 2,000 units in Trump buildings he built. They flooded into Trump projects from 2001 to 2007, helping Trump weather the real estate collapse, he says.
A similar situation, this one involving a troubled midtown Manhattan building owned by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a billionaire Chinese would-be investor, was covered in some detail earlier this month by The New York Times and the WSJ (subscription required). The next step is to follow Bloomberg's team in tracing Trump's dealings with Russians back in time.
My hunch is that the WSJ's Jenkins is right, that the 2016 campaign-collusion story will turn out to be a dead end. Much more interesting is the saga of the formation of Trump's views of Russia over the last twenty-five years
Feb 27, 2017 | www.breitbart.comRogue bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security have leaked an "incomplete" report critical of President Trump's executive order that temporarily blocked the issuance of visas to seven Middle Eastern countries that previous administrations had declared "sponsors of state terrorism" or countries of concern.
Based on that leaked document, the Associated Press published a story on Friday with the headline "AP Exclusive: DHS report disputes threat from banned nations."
WASHINGTON (AP) - Analysts at the Homeland Security Department's intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump's travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.
A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an "unlikely indicator" of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria's civil war started in 2011.
Click here to see the leaked document. ... ... ...
Last week, Breitbart News reported that David Grannis, Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, is a holdover Obama bureaucrat who President Trump could remove from his position immediately:
A lifelong Democrat, "[p]rior to joining DHS, Mr. Grannis served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) from 2009 through 2014 and as the Minority Staff Director for 2015. During this time, he served as the principal intelligence advisor to SSCI Chairman Dianne Feinstein and SSCI Members and led the Committee's efforts to produce and enact annual Intelligence Authorization Act from 2010 through 2016 and the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, according to the DHS website.
He has spent his career working for partisan Democratic members of Congress:
He previously served as a staff designee to Senator Feinstein on the SSCI from 2005 until 2009 with a varied portfolio of committee responsibilities. Mr. Grannis worked on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security with responsibilities for intelligence, aviation security, and science and technology from 2003 to 2005 and was Senior Policy Advisor to Representative Jane Harman on matters of national security from 2001 to 2003.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security would neither confirm nor deny that Grannis was the author of, or had reviewed, the leaked draft document, though it did appear to be authored by someone associated with his area of responsibility within DHS.
Feb 19, 2017 | theinternationalreporter.orgApril 6, 2016
IS YOUR COUNTRY MARKED FOR A COLOR REVOLUTION? Democratic change has been demanded across the Middle East. But was what seems like a spontaneous revolution actually a strategically planned event, fabricated by 'revolution consultants' long in advance?
from Journeyman Pictures, Global Research:
Revolution consultants are the worst nightmare of every regime. Srdja Popovic was a founder of the organisation 'Otpor', a revolution training school. It was instrumental in the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s and has now inspired a new generation of activists.
Political commentators like William Engdahl are convinced Otpor is being financed by the USA.
"The people from Otpor gave us a book in which they described all their strategies", says Ezzedine Zaatour of the Tunisian uprising. That book was written by an American, Gene Sharp, and is now considered the "revolution guide book", being used by opposition movements worldwide.
As Optor release their latest gadget, a resistance training computer game sponsored by American organisations, world leaders are voicing their concerns. "This is called a gentle coup!", insists Hugo Chavez.
Script: Revolution 00:01
Democracy awakens In the Middle East. But what seems like a spontaneous revolution was actually a strategically planned event, fabricated by professional consultants long in advance.
00:11 IV William Engdahl (Sound bite English)
These revolution consultants are the worst nightmare of every regime.
00:21 IV Hugo Chavez
Here you can see the symbol of the resistance!
These revolution consultants are funded and supported by American organisations.
00:28 IV Srdja Popovic (Sound bite English)
These revolution consultants mainly operate in countries in which the western world has a clear interest. Hardly a coincidence it seems.
00:42 IV Gene Sharp (sound bite English)
Cairo in early February: The sudden appearance of the wild horseman at this demonstration shocked the world over. These aggressors on their horses stormed into the crowd and split the peaceful demonstration apart. What seemed like a brutal attack by representative of the old Mubarak regime was actually a staged affair. It was intended for the national and international Media. The Message: Egypt is in a state of Chaos.
Provoked by these false attacks, demonstrators reacted with violence and so the situation escalated. Always at the forefront: the members of �The Movement of the 6th of April. These men have been carefully trained for tenuous situations like this.
Right from the start the revolution consultants follow a specific strategy. A strategy developed by the Serbian Otpor organisation. The Organisation responsible for the downfall of Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic. This strategy, successful in Serbia in the 90s, became a blueprint. It proved successful once again when used for the revolution in Egypt.
IV OT Mohamed Adel, Activist, �the movement of the 6th of April�
Otpor organised workshops in the outskirts of Cairo. In these workshops we were trained in the art of peaceful resistance. We had to learn that the police are not our enemy and that we must try to get them on our side. We had to impress people with the idea of non-violent resistance.
Opposition movements from all over the world come to the Serbian Capital of Belgrade to be educated in the art of overthrowing a dictatorship. The Serbs succeeded with their own revolution 12 years ago. They now use their experience for their revolution training school �the centre of strategy for non violent resistance� or for short Canvas.
Chief instructor Srdja Popovic is one of the few Canvas members who would show his face publicly in front of the camera. It was in his office where the Egyptian revolution was planned.
03:14 IV Srdja Popovic , Revolution Trainer (Soubite English)
It wasn�t just Egyptians that trained here. Revolution training is high in demand these days.
03:31 IV Srdja Popovic (English sound bite)
In the 90�s, Srdja Popovic organised street demonstrations against Milosevic. He started Otpor as a youth movement with some of his fellow students.
From these beginnings, he was able to mobilise millions of people with his impressive enterprises. The financial support is coming from the USA.
Film: �Bringing down a Dictator�
Add: I had already tried everything to get rid of him. Now I found something that does the trick.
Here, in front of the Belgrade parliament was the trial run for Otpor with many other Revolutions to follow.
04:49 question Reporter (in English)
04:52 IV, Srdja Popovic Democracy Activist (sound bite English)
After Milosevic�s downfall, Otpor became an international phenomenon. The symbol of the fist reappears all over the world as the signature of the revolution makers.
Established in Serbia, the fist re-emerged in Kumara, Georgia, followed by Oborona in Russia, then in Venezuela and Iran, and at last it was used by the opposition groups in Egypt.
The American author and Princeton University Lecturer, William Engdahl, has written for over 30 years about Washington�s secret geo-politics. He has established a widespread information network that extends deep into America�s secret service. He is convinced – Otpor is not acting alone.
05:59 IV William Engdahl, Author (Soundbite English)
In New York we are meeting again with Srdja Popovic. We want to find out if the Otpor organisation is actually following a secret agenda of the United States.
But to our disappointment Popovic is reluctant to talk about his arrangements with American organisations.
The Otpor movement was indeed financed by American tax money during the Serbian revolution. A fact that only became public knowledge after Milosevic�s downfall. This chapter however is one that Otpor is keen to close.
07:13 IV Srdja Popovic, revolution �trainer (soundbite English)
Columbia University invited Popovic as a guest lecturer.
08;15 Srdja Popovic (Sound bite English)
The guest from Serbia enlightens the students on the truth behind the changes in the Middle East. Who was actually behind it all? Popovic himself knew for years, but only now can he talk about it publicly.
08:39 IV Srdja Popovic (Soundbite English)
The old city of Tunis. The Tunisians were the first in the Arab world to overthrown their government. Yet the euphoria about their dictators downfall was hardly noticeable. The uncertainty of the political future leaves the Tunisian population anxious.
For decades the people of Tunisia were oppressed by Ben Ali�s totalitarian ruling. These days the capital seems to be dominated by a loud and harsh atmosphere. Its people agitated yet overwhelmed by their freedom. The centre of the town appears like a Roman forum: everywhere heated discussions about politics.
The new generation wants change. Most of the young people are well educated; they see themselves as westerners.
Until recently scenes like this were thought impossible. Suddenly the fear is gone � at least during the moment of revolt. The people are standing up; finally the world recognises the desperate political situation of their State.
Amine Ghali has been an activist from the start. He shows us the photographs of a meeting in Morocco which was the beginning of a long hoped for change in Tunisian history.
10`16 IV Amine Ghali, Freedom House, Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center, Tunis (Soundbite English)
The time was ripe for a �revolution test run�. Discontentment with the political situation had been growing amongst the population for years. Life in the slums had become desperate. Lack of food and medical care left the people without any perspective for a better future. With living conditions going from bad to worse, the Tunisians could hide their anger no more The activists saw their opportunity, they used this anger to achieve their goal: the overthrowing of Ben Alis regime.
OT Ezzedine Zaatour, U.G.E.T. Student Union, Tunis
In a way we have done the same that they did In Belgrade in the 90s. Non-violent resistance, the ridicule of the regime. There was no violence on the street even when the police intervened, we did not fight. The people from Otpor gave us a book in which they described all their strategies, how you have to proceed when you want to overthrow a regime.
That book, which is used by opposition movements worldwide, was actually written in Boston USA. Here is one of the intellectual centres of democracy activists.
The book �From Dictatorship to Democracy� is considered the Bible of the non-violent resistance.
The author of this �revolution guide book� lives in one of the working class neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Boston.
83 year old Gene Sharp wrote this masterpiece. It contains 198 methods of non-violent action.
12:26 IV Gene Sharp, Author (Soundbite English)
Gene Sharp taught many years at Harvard University. His work describes various strategies from Hunger Strike to the unmasking of intelligence officials.
His assistant, Jamila Rqip, has the main duty to distribute Sharpe's work. His Book �From Dictatorship to Democracy� has been translated into 34 languages.
13:13 IV Jamila Raqip, Albert � Einstein -Institute. (Soundbite English)
Sharpe�s ?guide to Revolution� is feared by Dictators around the world. Venezuela�s president Chavez called Sharp a rabble rouser in the service of the CIA. In Russia the possession of the Book is considered a hostile act against the government.
13:52 IV Gene Sharp, Albert �Einstein-Institute (Soundbite English)
14:27 With Internet anybody has access to Sharps revolution strategies.
14:34 IV William Engdahl, Author (Soundbite English)
Are all these revolutions actually initiated by the Americans?
We can look back at what happened during the �Orange Revolution� in the Ukraine for evidence. One has to acknowledge that the events that took place in Kiev in 2005 appear to endorse this assumption. Traditionally Ukraine was part of Russia, but by the end of 2004 the tide turned. The United Stated pumped millions of dollars into the countries opposition movements in the favour of regime change.
We are meeting with the two former leaders of the Ukraine revolution. Just by being a member of the opposition movement �PORA� they received significant sums of money, together with training in civil disobedience. Finally they were given a book.
IV Mychailo Swystowitsch, former ukraine activist
Oh yes, the book by Gene Sharp. We all used it. And it connected us with everybody, with Otpor in Serbia, the opposition movement in Belarus and Kmara in Georgia.
It was in November 2004 when hundreds of thousands of people flooded Independence Square in Kiev and demanding Viktor Yushchenko for their president. 16:10 At the end of the Revolution the crowd got what they demanded. Yushchenko become president due to the massive support he received from the western world.
16:19 Soundbite Dmytro Poteschin, political consultant (Soundbite English)
The Revolution as a happening, a celebration, this is the spirit of Gene Sharp. Every movement becomes a brand with its own symbolism: oranges in Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Tulip revolution Kyrgyzstan in, the Denim Revolution in Belarus, all different symbols but the same concept and the same sponsor: The United States of America.
16:51 IV Dmytro Potechin, Political Consultant (soundbite English)
16;58 Question reporter (English)
16:59 IV Dmytro Potechin , (Soundbite English)
After the Revolution in Ukraine, Dmytro Potechin made a career from being a former activist; he works now as well as a revolution trainer. From his flat he instructs the opposition movements in Iran, Russian, Belarus, and Egypt. Via Skype he is able to stay in touch with all his clients.
17:44 IV Dmytro Potechin , trainer for nonviolent resistance (Soundbite English)
An Activist of the opposition movement in Belarus is online. Dmytro is planning a work shop over there, which is not without difficulties as he is labelled Persona non grata by the Belarus government
18:11 IV Dmytro Potechin , trainer for nonviolent resistance (Soundbite English)
Back in Belgrade, Otpor Trainer Ivan Marvic proudly presents his new gadget for the resistance training. It�s a computer game that simulates the fight against the power of state. Ivan is sure with that game will make his training much more effective.
Sponsorship for the development of the game came from American organisations.
19:04 Soundbite Ivan Marovic, Co-founder of Otpor (Soundbite English)
Marovic declares, the new generation doesn�t want to read books, they would prefer to play video games, and it�s far more effective.
19:58 Soundbite Ivan Marovic, (Soundbite English)
20:03 Soundbite Ivan Marovic, (Soundbite English)
20:08 Soundbite Ivan Marovic, (Soundbite English)
20:14 Soundbite Ivan Marovic, Otpor trainer (Soundbite English)
Despite the Internet the Revolution trainers spend most of their time travelling to countries in need of a well organised resistance. Just In the past year Srdja Popovic alone flew over 100.000 miles. His inside knowledge and experience is his capital.
20:49 Soundbite Srdja Popovic, Otpor-founder Soundbite English
The Egyptians followed Srdja's rules exactly and succeeded.
The whole world was watching as the people celebrated on Tahrir Square. The regime was powerless; if it had reacted with violence it would have lost its face in front of the whole international media.
21:52 Soundbite William Egdahl, Author (Soundbite English)
22:23 George W. Bush former US – President 20th January 2004 (Soundbite English)
22:28 Hillary Clinton US foreign �Minister 13th April 2011 (Soundbite English)
22:32 George W. Bush former US � President 19th September 2006 (Soundbite English)
22:36 William Hague, foreign secretary 8th February 2011 (Soundbite English)
22:47 George W. Bush former US � President (Soundbite English)
Guido Westerwelle, German foreign Minister 6th February 2011
You must not get the impression that what happens in the Streets of Cairo at the moment is initiated by the Western world or other foreign states.
23:07 The Iranian government produced this propaganda video.
The video is apparently unmasking a US conspiracy group. Part of this secret gathering is Gene Sharp; author of the guide book �From Dictatorship to Democracy�. The video shows Iran is acutely aware of just how much of a threat Gene Sharp and his strategies are to their rule.
23:33 Venezuela�s President Hugo Chavez also voices his concerns.
Soundbite Hugo Chavez
Mr Cameraman come close, here the Symbol from Serbia and here the same in Venezuela in 2007.
23:50 This is called a gentle coup!
Cairo after the Revolution. The City seems quiet, apart from some religious upheaval. Remarkably few police or military forces are present. But everyday life is hard for the Egyptians. The constant fear of a counter-revolution is always at the forefront of their minds. Anyone and everyone is a suspect – a potential counter-revolutionary, who wants to bring back the old regime.
The old city is as vibrant as ever, only the tourist are missing. The people thoughts revolve around their immediate future � the upcoming elections. What will democracy bring for them? The established political parties? The military? Or the Islamic brotherhood? And then, what will be left from the spirit of the revolution � the hopes and dreams of the people of Egypt?
The people that suggest that there was a big master plan behind this revolution; they don�t know what was going on in the streets of Egypt. We have witnessed what our country had become. We wanted the changes, and we wanted them to come from our midst. We want to be the creators of our own destinies, to fight for our rights. I cannot believe that the Americans can influence millions of people.
The people of Tunisian still enjoy the new freedom. For the first time they are able discuss publicly what has troubled them for decades � their former leader�s lies, the corruption, the unfair distribution of wealth. They are unsettled however, by the recent arrests of civilians and the curfews. Also the economy is a major concern for them. Tourism is slow and foreign investors see Tunisia as a risky endeavour.
26:08 Soundbite Ghali (Soundbite English)
We are scared, especially if we are looking at the example of Romania. There was a revolt against their regime, but then the old potentate�s came back into power. We fear that something similar could happen over here. There have been talks about a counter revolution. We therefore request that everybody from the old regime who had been involved in criminal activities must now be brought to justice.
The revolutionary road to democracy is one filled with many obstacles. Once the overthrowing of a government is accomplished the hard work starts for these revolution activists. Civil liberties must be established and defended. For the revolution consultants this has become a very lucrative business.
Journeyman Pictures is your independent source for the world's most powerful films, exploring the burning issues of today. We represent stories from the world's top producers, with brand new content coming in all the time. On our channel you'll find outstanding and controversial journalism covering any global subject you can imagine wanting to know about. For downloads and more information visit: http://journeyman.tv/62012/short-film
Feb 19, 2017 | off-guardian.orgvia The Duran
Long thought of as being the 'godfather' of Color Revolutions, elderly Gene Sharp is stepping aside in favor of a much younger spiritual successor, John Carlarne.
Color Revolutions are the epitome of post-modern warfare, and they've been successfully applied to devastating effect everywhere from Serbia to Syria. Whether as stand-alone regime change operations such as the one in 2003 Georgia or the catalyst to a Hybrid War like in 2011 Libya, Color Revolutions have arguably emerged as one of the US' preferred strategies of choice in destabilizing targeted states.
The architect behind this new method of warfare is Gene Sharp, an expert in "non-violent resistance" strategies and the founder of the " Albert Einstein Institution ". He's published such works as " From Dictatorship To Democracy " and " There Are Realistic Alternatives ", both of which have been instrumental in honing Color Revolution organizational strategies and applied tactics. Largely credited with sparking the "Arab Spring" theater-wide Color Revolutions, Sharp is a 'god among men' when it comes to asymmetrical warfare methods, but his elderly age means that someone else must pick up the torch and continue his work once he inevitably passes away.
A New Leader Rises
Enter John Carlarne, an up-and-coming Color Revolution strategist from The Ohio State University's Mershon Center for International Security Studies . His publicly available CV indicates that he has a wealth of experience that's particularly relevant for this field. From serving around the world as a Commissioned Officer in the British Army from 1990-1995 to being the Vice-President of the Peace Brigades International (PBI) from 1997 to the present, Carlarne has been able to combine his military training with broad NGO activity in spearheading the new tactic of "protective accompaniment".
PBI describes this concept as "send[ing] teams of volunteers backed up by an international support network to accompany human rights defenders and communities in areas of conflict", which basically boils down to using Western "volunteers" as literal human shields in protecting "democracy" and "human rights" (Color Revolution) activists during their provocations. Undoubtedly, Carlarne's military experience helped to optimize this strategy while his leadership role as the organization's Vice-President ensured that it would be rolled out, tested, and perfected in all of the countries where the group is active.
PBI's activity in identity-diverse countries such as Kenya and Nepal dovetails nicely with Carlarne's educational interest in Anthropology, in which he received both a master's degree (1996) and a Ph.D. (2008). During his two-year time as the Associate Director of the University of South Carolina's Rule of Law Collaborative from 2009-2011, some of his self-declared responsibilities included "liaising with government, academic, practitioner and policy maker communities – both in the US and in Europe" and "advising government officials on working with nongovernmental organizations in post-conflict settings", both of which clearly gave him an impressive list of professional contacts that he would later leverage.
Crafting The Color Revolution
Right after serving at the Rule of Law Collaborative, Carlarne became the Peace Studies Coordinator at The Ohio State University in 2011, a position that he retains to this day alongside his Vice-Presidential one with the PBI. The Mershon Center describes a research project that Carlarne is leading called " Training To Talk Peace: Experimental Analysis Of Non-Violent Communication Workshops ", which utilizes local diaspora communities to "act as a proxy for populations in their countries of origin" in assessing the effect that an extensive six-week "non-violent communication curriculum" has on the participants' "identity structure, interpersonal reactivity, and views on the use of coercive or punitive methods in a divisive political dispute."
The purpose of the experiment is to gauge the effectiveness of Color Revolution information campaigns in recruiting regime change cells inside of the targeted country and in magnifying the sense of identity-separateness that varied demographics feel towards the said diverse state. To put it in a simpler way, Carlarne tests the applicability of fomenting identity conflict all across the world, likely in accordance with " The Law Of Hybrid War " which states that "the grand objective behind every Hybrid War is to disrupt multipolar transnational connective projects through externally provoked identity conflicts (ethnic, religious, regional, political, etc.) within a targeted transit state."
His anthropological expertise is then harnessed in judging whether the experiment's results indicate that a given strategy should move forward, and if such a determination is made, then the PBI begins in-field testing against the target. Although the PBI's front page says that it only has "current field projects in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and Nepal", its section about Country Groups notes that "many countries do not have an official PBI Country Group but have small networks of individuals that may be able to help." To elaborate, one of the key functions of a Country Group "is developing and activating support networks that provide a vital lifeline if the human rights defenders PBI accompanies are threatened", which "consists of high-level contacts such as diplomats, members of government, and officials, and well-known personalities."
If the Country Group's responsibilities make it sound an awful lot like an intelligence agency, it's because it essentially is, and it's reasonable to conclude that the PBI might actually be a CIA front organization. Carlarne's extensive contacts "with government, academic, practitioner and policy maker communities – both in the US and in Europe" and the government officials that he has formerly advised enable him to provide a wide range of relevant policy influencers and decision makers with the results of his field data, thus establishing a valuable Color Revolution feedback mechanism that seamlessly integrates theoreticians, practitioners, and policy makers. Carlarne's multi-layered regime change platform surpasses the precedent that was set by Gene Sharp and demonstrates how academia, private sector "volunteers", and government agencies can all be fused together in an effective operational mix.
Training The Next Generation
Carlarne's activities are also very forward-looking, not just in the sense of fomenting Color Revolutions and Hybrid Wars in targeted states, but in training a new generation of strategists to join his PBI organization and/or the American Intelligence Community. He presently teaches a class at The Ohio State University called " Applied Nonviolence ", where he writes that students "will select candidate countries for nonviolent transition" and "then apply the principles, concepts and practices of nonviolence within a notional setting in order to explore the strengths and limitations of nonviolence as a method for effecting long-term change within specific regimes."
This program amounts to a series of targeted simulations in which Carlarne uses students as unwitting research assistants for his work while simultaneously seeking to indoctrinate future recruits with his Color Revolution ideology. He's currently building the " Peace Education And Training Repository " (PETR), "an online data portal designed to document peace education training curricula and materials from around the world" and which "combines information about global research, education, and peace-building programs that affect community, national and international peace and security."
The end vision is that "the repository will form the core resource for lifelong peace leadership education", with one of the key objectives being to "attract participation from practitioners, researchers and policy makers alike". In other words, Carlarne is constructing a Color Revolution factory that aims to continually produce strategists, activists, and policy facilitators in order to dish out a never-ending stream of "democratic" and "human rights" destabilization anywhere in the world. Needless to say, PETR is on track to become the new-and-improved version of the "Albert Einstein Institute", and John Carlarne is already a lot more successful than Gene Sharp ever was in directly cultivating Color Revolution networks, fielding experimental techniques in practice, and coordinating his activities with the military-intelligence community.
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