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Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth is a direct threat to democracy. Without journalistic integrity, there is no democracy as the average voter cannot make an informed choice. Inverted totalitarism won some time ago.

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal newspeak Recommended Links Fake News scare and US Neo-McCarthyism Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Demonization of Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Obama's Putin-did-it fiasco Media-Military-Industrial Complex Anti Trump Hysteria
Doublespeak Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers New American Militarism
Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Deception as an art form The Deep State National Security State Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair US and British media are servants of security apparatus The attempt to secure global hegemony American Exceptionalism Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Edward Lucas as agent provocateur Groupthink Soft propaganda
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' The Real War on Reality Nation under attack meme Bullshit as MSM communication method
Neo-fascism Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Big Uncle is Watching You What's the Matter with Kansas Media as a weapon of mass deception
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given,
rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content.
If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling neoliberal oligarchy far more readily than they used to do. The media establishment is populated by yes-men. I do not understand how any skeptical person can, in good conscience, trust a western MSM description of foreign events. You need a second source to compare coverage. The mainstream media gives us no real news. Just the regurgitation of  talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that 1984 dystopia was an understatement.  Truth killing is a meta-issue ( nationalinterest.org

The problem is fundamental, and relates to a broad spectrum of policy issues both foreign and domestic, because truth — factual reality — is a necessary foundation to consider and evaluate and debate policy on any subject. 

Crushing the truth means not just our having to endure any one misdirected policy; it means losing the ability even to address policy intelligently. 

To the extent that falsehood is successfully instilled in the minds of enough people, the political system loses what would otherwise be its ability to provide a check on policy that is bad policy because it is inconsistent with factual reality.

If you take in television news as truthful information, that's all a critically thinking person needs to know about you. In reality this is propaganda, pure and simple. Propaganda can be  defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism)  and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.  The key here is controlling the narrative.  For example, "fake news" hysteria is a perfect method of suppressing of dissent and questions about MSM ties to three-letter agencies: 

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful. Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

Simplifying, the US MSM foreign events media coverage (and large part of domestic coverage related to the opposition to neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization, see Anti Trump Hysteria during elections and immediately after them ) has little to do with the reality and is mostly a barometer of the paranoia of the US neoliberal elite.  It is 100% propaganda, or as CBS like to call it "fake news".

How does Fake History and Fake News in the US MSM gradually superseded their reality-based version (which never was perfect, and often quite distorted)  is a very interesting question but it is too big for this page. I would only say that this process is closely connected with the process of the neoliberalization of the US society which started in full force in late 70th (see also late Sheldon Wolin  notion of  Inverted Totalitarism) . We can take election of Reagan as a starting point although the process started immediately after WWII. From this point "fake news" were enforced on the US society as the only acceptable narrative? Which, is essence, is a real war on reality.

It also could be that the process started earlier, immediately after  WWII with the creation of CIA. The question whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable intelligence  agencies is another interesting question to ask.  At some point any society with powerful intelligence  agencies can come to the situation when the tail wags the dog. In the USA this probably happened  around 1963, with the JFK assassination.  In a way the USSR via Truman enforced its model of governance on the USA ;-). Creation of intelligence agencies by Truman was actually the act of the creation of national security state. Which could be  viewed as an official end of the US democracy and quick (less then two decades) rise to power of deep state (with the victory demonstrated to the US people in 1963).    With it the huge apparatus of state propaganda (and by extension means of suppressing of dissent) intelligence  agencies, which gradually acquired political power including considerable (but not yet absolute, that will come much later, after 9/11) level of control of MSM  (see Church Committee - Wikipedia ). 

After 1963, the level outrage in the society was such that there were some meek attempts to check this power, especially the power of intelligence agencies over the MSM (Church Committee - Wikipedia  was probably the most well known) but they lead to nowhere.

Another interesting  aspect of the current situation is the renaissance of witch hunt, the renaissance of McCarthyism . Which lasted more then a decade. McCarthyism was not exactly or only about Communists. It has elements of a more general framework of suppressing any "dissidents" who question "official narrative" and simultaneously served as the framework of brainwashing of population creating a stereotype of enemy, in best Bolsheviks, or, if you wish Nazi Germany, style. In other words, like in famous Orwell novel 1984, under McCarthyism questioning of official narrative has  become a "though  crime" (much like it was in the USSR, especially under Stalinism period).   And repressions were real, although far less extensive and brutal, than in the USSR in 30th.  Thousands of people lost jobs and were blacklisted. Many ostracized, especially from artistic circles, committed suicides.

While Senator McCartney has a certain gist for blackmailing people and, being an alcoholic, he probably would be a suitable candidate for high position in NKVD, he was not a pioneer. He was just a talented follower. This type of modern witch hunt was first implemented on large scale by Bolsheviks in Russia after 1917.  Actually Bolsheviks originated many modern methods of brainwashing of the population.  Which later were enhanced and further developed in Nazi Germany and than imported to the USA after WWII.

That all brings us to the concept of "deep state" and its control of MSM.  The problem with the "deep state" approach to governance is that it replicates Bolshevism on a new, more polished,  level, with high officials of intelligence agencies, Wall Street and  military industrial complex as a new Politburo.  Which is not elected but still controls that nations. So much for remnants of democracy in the USA.  That does not mean that some deviations from the "Party line" are impossible: the election of Trump is one  such event. But loop at the power of the reaction of the "deep state" on this event. Not that Trump (who can be viewed as some kind of Republican "Change we can believe in" Obama" ) was intended to follow his election promises in any case.  The level of vetting of candidates is two party system probably is higher then many of us suspect.

As currently there is no alternative to neoliberalism, the current situation will continue to exist. Notwithstanding  the fact that neoliberal ideology was discredited after 2008 financial crisis, much like Bolshevism in 60th. Bolshevism as a theocratic ideology was essentially dead after WWII (although it managed to kick the can down the road for another 45 years). After 60the Soviet people despite constant brainwashing started to have wide-ranging doubts about the communist state and communist ideology. Listening to state-sponsored propaganda radio-stations from the West such as BBC and Voice of America became national pasture of Soviet citizens, especially educated one. Despite all the jamming.  Similar situation happened with the USA after 2008, when citizen suddenly start showing some level of interest RT broadcasts and views on internal situation in the USA ;-). And, of cause, all this needs to be  stopped. In the name of the "health of the state", democracy be dumned (religious term which literally means "condemned to eternal punishment")

In this particular sense, imitating the enemy by the USA elite after WWII, which was done to fight communist  threat (which was overblown) was a very dangerous course with far reaching consequences.  The new level of this process of "imitating  the enemy" now started with the USA -- the rise of alternative press (kind of Samizdat replica from Soviet past) and clumsy attempt of the deep state to suppress it claiming that they are propagator of "fake news" with the subtext that they are Russian agents  (the campaign which spectacularly backfired: which the help of President Trump tweets this term now became the standard nickname of the "official" US MSM).  That brings us directly to revising Stalin's "Show trials" and corresponding witch-hunt in the USSR.  Appointing  Muller to investigate Trump for "Russian connection" (so called "Russiagate") replays favorite theme of accusing enemies of Stalin of being British agents.  On a new level incorporating set of political technologies of overthrowing the legitimate government commonly known  as "color revolution" technologies. But in both cases it is all about eliminating political rivals.

In broader context the current practice of manipulating population is similar to "high demand cults" style practice  -- Bolshevism actually can be best viewed as a religious cult merged with the political movement, much like political Islam today ( Belief-coercion in high demand cults ):

They use all of the techniques as "low demand" faith groups use: requiring members to accept a system of beliefs, conforming to certain behavioral norms; expecting them to involve themselves in the life of the congregation, etc. However, mind-control groups add many additional methods, and take them all to a much higher level. Some are:

Members are not physically restrained from leaving the group. They are not held prisoner. They can walk away at any time. But there are strong pressures to remain. If they left, all social and emotional support would disappear; they will often be shunned. Some groups teach that God will abandon or punish them if they leave. They may be told that they will die in the imminent war of Armageddon if they leave the protection of the group.

The main methods here always was the generation and totalitarian control of "suitable" narrative (that's why Sheldon Wolin called neoliberal society "inverted totalitarism"):

"The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an "official narrative" that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between "the truth" as defined by the ruling classes and any other "truth" that contradicts their narrative. "

Gerald Celente coined the  "presstitutes", which is obviously politically incorrect, but still reasonably precise term: presstitutes sell themselves to neoliberal establishment for access and governments to prosper financially and to keep their jobs. In the USSR journalist were called "soldiers of the Party" so in the less humiliating way we can call them "soldiers of neoliberal establishment" ;-). 

Due to the size an introductory article was converted to a separate page Neoliberal Propaganda


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"It tends to be all accurate, but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

"Citizens must be alert to propaganda and
glittering generalities is a type of propaganda
which often uses words such as freedom and patriotism."

"Civics in Practice". Page 274

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[Dec 18, 2017] The Scary Void Inside Russia-gate by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise. ..."
"... To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus "dossier" and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.) ..."
"... As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia. ..."
"... Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now. Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I've seen. ..."
"... I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime's propaganda. ..."
"... The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That's who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don't want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control. ..."
"... Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.'s parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems. ..."
"... Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Despite a lack of evidence at its core – and the risk of nuclear conflagration as its by-product – Russia-gate remains the go-to accusation for "getting" the Trump administration, explains Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen.

The foundational accusation of Russia-gate was, and remains, charges that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails and their public dissemination through WikiLeaks in order to benefit Donald Trump and undermine Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump and/or his associates colluded with the Kremlin in this "attack on American democracy."

As no actual evidence for these allegations has been produced after nearly a year and a half of media and government investigations, we are left with Russia-gate without Russia. (An apt formulation perhaps first coined in an e-mail exchange by Nation writer James Carden.) Special counsel Mueller has produced four indictments: against retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's short-lived national-security adviser, and George Papadopolous, a lowly and inconsequential Trump "adviser," for lying to the FBI; and against Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates for financial improprieties. None of these charges has anything to do with improper collusion with Russia, except for the wrongful insinuations against Flynn.

Instead, the several investigations, desperate to find actual evidence of collusion, have spread to "contacts with Russia" -- political, financial, social, etc. -- on the part of a growing number of people, often going back many years before anyone imagined Trump as a presidential candidate. The resulting implication is that these "contacts" were criminal or potentially so.

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus "dossier" and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.)

That said, the mainstream American media have been largely responsible for inflating, perpetuating, and sustaining the sham Russia-gate as the real political crisis it has become, arguably the greatest in modern American presidential and thus institutional political history. The media have done this by increasingly betraying their own professed standards of verified news reporting and balanced coverage, even resorting to tacit forms of censorship by systematically excluding dissenting reporting and opinions.

(For inventories of recent examples, see Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept and Joe Lauria at Consortiumnews . Anyone interested in exposures of such truly "fake news" should visit these two sites regularly, the latter the product of the inestimable veteran journalist Robert Parry.)

Still worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, where expressed disdain for "evidence" and "proof" in favor of allegations without any actual facts can sometimes be found. Nor are these practices merely the ordinary occasional mishaps of professional journalism.

As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia.

Flynn and the FBI

Leaving aside possible financial improprieties on the part of General Flynn, his persecution and subsequent prosecution is highly indicative. Flynn pled guilty to having lied to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on behalf of the incoming Trump administration, discussions that unavoidably included some references, however vague, to sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama in December 2016, just before leaving office.

Those sanctions were highly unusual -- last-minute, unprecedented in their seizure of Russian property in the United States, and including a reckless veiled threat of unspecified cyber-attacks on Russia. They gave the impression that Obama wanted to make even more difficult Trump's professed goal of improving relations with Moscow.

Still more, Obama's specified reason was not Russian behavior in Ukraine or Syria, as is commonly thought, but Russia-gate -- that is, Putin's "attack on American democracy," which Obama's intel chiefs had evidently persuaded him was an entirely authentic allegation. (Or which Obama, who regarded Trump's victory over his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, as a personal rebuff, was eager to believe.)

But Flynn's discussions with the Russian ambassador -- as well as other Trump representatives' efforts to open "back-channel" communications with Moscow – were anything but a crime. As I pointed out in another commentary , there were so many precedents of such overtures on behalf of presidents-elect, it was considered a normal, even necessary practice, if only to ask Moscow not to make relations worse before the new president had a chance to review the relationship.

When Henry Kissinger did this on behalf of President-elect Nixon, his boss instructed him to keep the communication entirely confidential, not to inform any other members of the incoming administration. Presumably Flynn was similarly secretive, thereby misinforming Vice President Pence and finding himself trapped -- or possibly entrapped -- between loyalty to his president and an FBI agent. Flynn no doubt would have been especially guarded with a representative of the FBI, knowing as he did the role of Obama's Intel bosses in Russia-gate prior to the election and which had escalated after Trump's surprise victory.

In any event, to the extent that Flynn encouraged Moscow not to reply in kind immediately to Obama's highly provocative sanctions, he performed a service to U.S. national security, not a crime. And, assuming that Flynn was acting on the instructions of his president-elect, so did Trump. Still more, if Flynn "colluded" in any way, it was with Israel, not Russia , having been asked by that government to dissuade countries from voting for an impending anti-Israel U.N. resolution.

Removing Tillerson

Finally, and similarly, there is the ongoing effort by the political-media establishment to drive Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from office and replace him with a fully neocon, anti-Russian, anti-détente head of the State Department. Tillerson was an admirable appointee by Trump -- widely experienced in world affairs, a tested negotiator, a mature and practical-minded man.

Originally, his role as the CEO of Exxon Mobil who had negotiated and enacted an immensely profitable and strategically important energy-extraction deal with the Kremlin earned him the slur of being "Putin's pal." This preposterous allegation has since given way to charges that he is slowly restructuring, and trimming, the long bloated and mostly inept State Department, as indeed he should do. Numerous former diplomats closely associated with Hillary Clinton have raced to influential op-ed pages to denounce Tillerson's undermining of this purportedly glorious frontline institution of American national security. Many news reports, commentaries, and editorials have been in the same vein. But who can recall a major diplomatic triumph by the State Department or a Secretary of State in recent years?

The answer might be the Obama administration's multinational agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear-weapons potential, but that was due no less to Russia's president and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provided essential guarantees to the sides involved. Forgotten, meanwhile, are the more than 50 career State Department officials who publicly protested Obama's rare attempt to cooperate with Moscow in Syria. Call it by what it was: the sabotaging of a president by his own State Department.

In this spirit, there are a flurry of leaked stories that Tillerson will soon resign or be ousted. Meanwhile, however, he carries on. The ever-looming menace of Russia-gate compels him to issue wildly exaggerated indictments of Russian behavior while, at the same time, calling for a "productive new relationship" with Moscow, in which he clearly believes. (And which, if left unencumbered, he might achieve.)

Evidently, Tillerson has established a "productive" working relationship with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the two of them having just announced North Korea's readiness to engage in negotiations with the United States and other governments involved in the current crisis.

Tillerson's fate will tell us much about the number-one foreign-policy question confronting America: cooperation or escalating conflict with the other nuclear superpower, a détente-like diminishing of the new Cold War or the growing risks that it will become hot war. Politics and policy should never be over-personalized; larger factors are always involved. But in these unprecedented times, Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. Apart, that is, from President Trump himself, loathe him or not. Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation , where a version of this article first appeared.

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

"Thanks to Flynn's indictment, we now know that the Israeli prime minister was able to transform the Trump administration into his own personal vehicle for undermining Obama's lone effort to hold Israel accountable at the UN. A clearer example of a foreign power colluding with an American political operation against a sitting president has seldom, if ever, been exposed in such glaring fashion.

"Kushner's deep ties to the Israeli right-wing and ethical breaches

"The day after Kushner was revealed as Flynn's taskmaster, a team of researchers from the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge found that the presidential son-in-law had failed to disclose his role as a co-director of his family's Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation during the years when his family's charity funded the Israeli enterprise of illegal settlements. The embarrassing omission barely scratched the surface of Kushner's decades long relationship with Israel's Likud-led government. [ ]

"A Clinton mega-donor defends Kushner's collusion

"So why isn't this angle of the Flynn indictment getting more attention? An easy explanation could be deduced from the stunning spectacle that unfolded this December 2 at the Brookings Institution, where the fresh-faced Kushner engaged in a 'keynote conversation' with Israeli-American oligarch Haim Saban. [ ]

""The spectacle of a top Democratic Party money man defending one of the Trump administration's most influential figures was clearly intended to establish a patina of bipartisan normalcy around Kushner's collusion with the Netanyahu government. Saban's effort to protect the presidential son-in-law was supplemented by an op-ed in the Jewish Daily Forward headlined, 'Jared Kushner Was Right To 'Collude' With Russia -- Because He Did It For Israel.'

"While the Israel lobby ran interference for Kushner, the favorite pundits of the liberal anti-Trump "Resistance" minimized the role of Israel in the Flynn saga. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who has devoted more content this year to Russia than to any other topic, appeared to entirely avoid the issue of Kushner's collusion with Israel.

"There is simply too much at stake for too many to allow any disruption in the preset narrative. From the journalist pack that followed the trail of Russiagate down a conspiracy infested rabbit hole to the Clintonites seeking excuses for their mind-boggling campaign failures to the Cold Warriors exploiting the panic over Russian meddling to drive an unprecedented arms build-up, the narrative must go on, regardless of the facts."

Michael Flynn's Indictment Exposes Trump Team's Collusion With Israel, Not Russia
By Max Blumenthal
https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/flynn-indictment-exposes-collusion-israel

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now. Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I've seen.

One quick example -- a few months ago the otherwise execrable Hannity actually had on his show the great Dennis Kucinich who railed against the deep state for attacking Trump b/c of his overtures toward peace with Moscow and how the deep state was using Russiagate to do it, etc. Kucinich was sensational. I doubt Maddow would ever have given him such a platform to voice the truth like Hannity did on this particular occasion.

Patrick Lucius , December 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I may have to take a look at Fox again–I bet you are right. Hannity as an arbiter of truth–oh my god

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

On this one particular issue, Hannity gets things right.

Rob , December 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

If Hannity ever reports a story correctly, it's only because it coincides with his deeply partisan interests. Being truthful is something about which he cares little, if at all.

Skip Scott , December 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Yeah Drew-

For years I railed against Fox, but nowadays they seem to be the relatively sensible ones. Tucker Carlson is exceptionally bright, and I have no idea what got into Hannity. I used to loathe him to no end. Him giving Dennis Kucinich a chance to speak his mind is something I never would have imagined.

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Isn't it something Mr. Scott?

Dave P. , December 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Drew and Skip Scott – Yes, I agree with you. I watched Dennis Kucinich too. Hannity and Carlson have been doing some very good reporting on these issues. It is amazing how the things have changed. Fox News was "No" for progressives to go to.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Prior to Trump's presidency I would never watch Fox News, but on this issue,, they are a more accurate source of information then any other broadcasting media. Rachel Maddow does nothing but rave, as if she had her own personal agenda, and maybe she does, ousting Trump, and that a woman didn't win the White House. I too saw the interview with Kucinich, and indeed it was a very good one.

RamboDave , December 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Tucker Carlson, on Fox (right before Hannity), has had Glenn Greenwald on several times.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

That basically maps directly onto the fact that Russia is the one issue Trump is right on.

Patrick Lucius , December 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Great article. Has America gone off the deep end? I just watched the first ten minutes of an anti-Putin and anti-Russian Frontline on television two nights ago. I have never seen more blatant or shameless propaganda. Because my mom watches tv all day and I am taking care of her, I see the same slop, drivel, and gibberish parroted all day long on the major news outlets. Perhaps I should state that more professionally: I see the same shameless propaganda parroted daily by the mainstream news media And it occurs to me–these young news commentators are not part of a conspiracy, willfully lying–they actually believe the propaganda. We are in trouble. I think as a group we act much more like bees in a hive or monkeys in a troop than we do as rational beings, and I mean no disrespect to bees or monkeys.

exiled off mainstreet , December 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm

I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime's propaganda.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Personally I believe that many do know that there is nothing to the Russia-gate story, but go along to get along, and they are no different then politicians, who bow before the Israeli Lobby, or NRA, or corporate groups to get reelected, and maintain their standing in their party. Another way of putting it, is to say they are willing to prostitute themselves. I can't see myself doing that.

occupy on , December 16, 2017 at 12:36 am

I, too, saw this scurrilous 'documentary' – "Putin's Revenge" – and made a point of writing down the names of a good number of those commentators moving the narrative along. All of them are well-known active Zionists or children of American Zionists who've helped create and ardently protect the State of Israel. I wish I could remember now at least some of the commentors' names. I didn't see Frontline' "Putin's Revenge" on PBS. It was on a National Geographic channel that traditionally shows those anthropological 'documentaries' about "Ancient Alien Visitors," "Gods from Outer Space, etc .pleasant programs to fall to sleep by. 'Putin's Revenge', however, was grotesque in its downright lies – making me furiously wide awake until I could google info on those names.

alley cat , December 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm

"Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?"

The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That's who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don't want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control.

exiled off mainstreet , December 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

This is a great article by one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable commentators on Russia remaining active despite the ongoing dangerous propaganda storm. Those responsible for this storm are threatening our continued existence. Because of this depressing salient fact, the democratic party, which has been fully on board with this, has totally sacrificed its legitimacy and degenerated to a clear and present existential danger. Clear thinking people have to view it as such and take necessary action based upon that fact, which is serious in its implications, since it is difficult in the extreme to supplant an existing party in a two party system (which has degenerated into a two faction one party state some time ago) in light of the media propaganda, intelligence and police control exercised by this odious system.

Bill , December 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Really glad, Mr, Cohen, to see your article in Consortium. Your voice is always a wise one. Weekly listener.

Very important and accurate information, for the most part, in my view, though I have a few caveats.

Unfortunately for our perception of the 'goodness' of those in power, I tend to think the level of knowledge and intention of those who spread Russiagate are more cynical than you imagine.

When we read certain articles from hardline think-tanks and serious political commentary from those publications and outlets which sustain the current 'scandal' we see a surprising awareness of Russia's true intentions and nature. Sober, and reasonable. The problem is that this commentary is not what is used to persuade any element of the public toward a certain view on Russia. You instead see it within the establishment essentially talking amongst themselves.

The problem, as I see it, is that these people are fully aware of the truth, as well as Russia's intentions. They are just quite simply spinning vast lies to the contrary whenever they speak to, or in front of, the public. For two main reasons:

The remainder of this piece refers to #2.

Russia is an 'enemy' now, more than anything else, because, for whatever it's self-interested motivations, it is a loud, prominent, powerful voice actively and methodically criticizing and opposing US imperial hypocrisy, double-standards, and deception.

Russia is a fake enemy, talked about in a fake way, by fake people in an increasingly fake democracy. Respectfully, Mr. Cohen, I don't think ideology is the problem. I don't think those at the helm of US foreign policy have had an ideology in a long, long time. I think they have, with few exceptions, a 'prime directive': The retention and expansion of Oligarchic corporate power.

Nowadays, fearmongering over immigrant crime, terrorists, non-state cyber-criminals, or whatever else conjured to make the extremely safe-from-foreign-threats (To this day no war on our soil since the Civil War. Itself a domestic threat) American people feel afraid, and thus controllable and ignorant, is no longer working. Only a big fish like Russia can even hope to do the job. Plus that big fish is one of the factors 'sowing chaos' by giving a voice to anti-imperialists in the West to spread the truth of the government we actually live under.

In short, Russiagate, and it's accompanying digital censorship efforts, are a desperate attempt to rest control back over the American people and away from honest, rational truth.

Even shorter, our rulers underestimated the power of the internet.

Kind regards,
Bill

Lois Gagnon , December 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Thank you. That is a really truthful post. It really is all about maintaining imperial hegemony at all costs. Unfortunately, the cost could be the end of life on Earth. These weasels controlling the machinery of state from the darkness must be exposed as the treacherous criminals they are.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:22 am

Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.'s parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems.

Jessica K , December 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times.

And Twitter is helping because western media sources will not tell the truth and people are taking to it to push back. I agree that at this time Fox is more interested in the facts than MSNBC, and particularly Tucker Carlson. (The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become. It is feminist McCarthyism, sadly, and I am glad Tavis Smiley is fighting back.)

Yesterday I had a conversation with a loud mouth believer of the "Putin did it" fable and told him some details, that outright it was a fabrication, and someone nearby in the coffee shop actually joined to support the pushback with other facts. So, I am hopeful that people are waking up. And Nikki Haley has just been called by people on Twitter for her lies about Iran provocation in Yemen. Plus documents on NATO expansion after Gorbachev was assured would not happen, have just been revealed. I do think people are waking up.

Bill , December 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Jessica,

That's what it takes. The political battle of our times. Good on you. I think you're right. The beginnings of which seem to have motivated Russiagate in the first place. I did a longer post on this above. Please keep spreading sense. I'll do the same.

Best wishes,
Bill

RnM , December 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm

It's good to be optimistc, but let us not forget the long history (short by Old World standards) of the oligarchy of doing anything and everything to get what they want.

The present cock-up of Russia-gate (Geez, I hate using that MSM concocted jingo term) points, not to the oligarchs losing their groove, but to an incompetent but persistent bunch of Clinton/Obama synchophants. Their days in any kind of power are, thankfully, numbered. But the snakes are lurking in the bushes, as are the deeper parts of the deep state. It's the long game that they are in for.

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Thanks, Jessica,
A hopeful comment! Here, too, I sense at least some more dissent among us citizens with the prevailing lies.
When the bubble bursts, the boy has cried and everyone "realises" the emperor is naked, I wonder, will our governments, politicians and media survive? Everyone, practically, is complicit.

Jessica K , December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Thanks, Bill, and I think we're at a profound crossroads in world history. I saw an interview on YouTube with young Americans who did not even know who won the Civil War nor why it was fought! We all must speak out with conviction and without anger.

Realist , December 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm

My parents always used to use the old argument to keep my thinking on track and avoid conforming to dangerous groupthink: "if everyone else decided to jump off the cliff, in the river or out the 10th floor window, would you just follow the crowd?" Professor Cohen is one of the rare little boys who either learned that lesson well or has always had strong innate instincts to avoid following the crowd or jumping on self-destructive bandwagons. Most of the readers of this site seem to have similar predilections and are among the very few Americans not being led by the Pied Pipers of all-encompassing self-destructive Russophobia. (Is there some common childhood experience or shared gene in our personal biographies that compel our rigorous adherence to the principles we all uphold?) As other posters have noted here, those few media personalities with a seeming immunity to the pathological groupthink now infecting most of America are indeed a very curious lot, with little else in the way of ideological conformity, but thank heavens for them for any restoration of mass sanity will surely have to originate from within their ranks, examples and leadership. I, for one, am pulling for Professor Cohen to be among those leading this country out of the wilderness of lock-step madness.

Bob Van Noy , December 15, 2017 at 3:47 pm

We remember an era before 11/22/1963

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Realist I'm glad you brought up the readers on consortiumnews, and their not falling for this Russia-Gate nonsense. People posting comments here in support of 'no Russian interference' have been accused of being Trump supporters, but that was never the case. No, instead many here just saw through the fog of propaganda, and certainly saw this Russia-Gate idiocy as it being nothing more than an instigated coup. This defense of Trump could have been for any newly elected president, but the division between Hillary supporters, and Trump backers, has been the biggest obstacle to overcome, while attempting to explain your thought. I truly think that if the shoe had been on the other foot, that the many posters of comments here on consortiumnews would have been on Hillary's side, if it had been the same kind of coup that had been put in place. It's time to tell John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Robert Mueller, to call Hillary and say, 'well at least we tried Madam Secretary', and then be done with it.

Dave P. , December 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Realist and Joe – I always enjoy reading your thoughtful comments. Those of us who have been reading professor Stephen Cohen's articles for more than four decades now , know that he is the foremost authority on Russia. Instead of being courted to give his valuable input into the relations with Russia, he and others like him are being vilified as Putin apologists. It is the sign of the times we live in now.

As many comments posters here on this site had noted, the Russia-Gate has been deliberately created to confront Russia at this time rather than later on. Russia is in the way for final push for World domination – the Neoliberal Globalization.

Nobody, in Washington or elsewhere in the Country seems to ask why and for whom they, The ruling Powers want to establish this World Empire at any cost – even at the risk of a nuclear war. This process of building an Empire has changed the country as I had seen it more than half a century ago.

NeoLiberal Globalization, building this World wide Empire during the last three or four decades had its real winners and losers. Lot of wealth has been created all over the World under neoliberal global economy.

The big time winners are top .01% and another about 10% are also in the winners category, and have accumulated lot of wealth. From all over the World; China, India . . . this top 10% class send their kids to the best universities in the West for professional education; Finance, High tech, Sciences, and other professions and they get the jobs all over in Silicon Valley, and big financial Institutions and other professional fields in U.S. , U.K., Australia Canada . . .

The losers are middle class in U.S. – whom Hillary called deplorables – especially in those once mighty Industrial States in the Midwest, and East. With my marriage here , I inherited lots of relatives more than forty five years ago, most of them in the Midwest. As somebody commented a few weeks ago on this site about these middle class people that their " Way of Life " has been destroyed. It is true. All these people voted for Trump. With the exception of two, all our relatives in the Midwest and elsewhere on my wife's side voted for Trump. They are good, hard working people. It is painful to look at those ruined and abandoned factories in those States and ruined lives of many of those Middle Class people. Globalization has been disastrous for the middle class people in U.S. It is a race to the bottom for those people.

Ask those relatives if they have ever read anything about Russia during 2016. Not one of them have ever read or listened to anything related to Russian media or other Russian source. They did not even know if anything like RT or Sputnik News ever existed. Most of them don't even know now. And it is true of the people we associate with here where we live. None of them have time to read anything let alone Russian Media. I came to know about RT during events in Ukraine in 2014, and about Sputnik News over a year ago when this Russia- Gate commotion began. And I had read lot of Russian literature in my young age.

As several articles on this website have pointed out those email leaks were an inside job. Russia-Gate is just a concocted scheme to bring down Trump. And to destabilize Russia – a hurdle to Globalization and West's domination.

Skip Scott , December 17, 2017 at 8:39 am

Dave P-

Yours is a very accurate portrayal of the heartland of America. I live in a very rural area of the southwest, and you describe reality there to a "T". They are much too busy trying to survive to dig too deeply into world affairs. Thank goodness at least they've got Tucker Carlson at Fox to contrast the propaganda spewers on the other networks. They know the latte sippers and their government has abandoned them, but they don't fully understand the PNAC empire's moves in pursuit of global domination, and many wind up in the military jousting at windmills.

Realist , December 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm

I totally concur, Dave. I'm 70 and well remember, as a little kid, as a teenager and as a young man, folks talking about a far-off ideal of world unity, wherein all people on earth would share in earth's bounty and have the same democratic rights. The UN was supposed to be one of the first steps in that general direction. However, nobody thought that the eventual outcome would be what the movement has transmogrified into today: neoliberal globalism in which a tiny fraction of the top 1% own and control everything, with the rest of us actually suffering a drastic drop in our standard of living and a blatant diminution of our political rights.

It's been fifty years since I lived in Chicago, and about 45 since I last lived in the Midwest, but I was born and raised there and well recognise everything you have said about the place and the people in your remark to be entirely correct. It's also true for most of the other regions of this country in which I have lived, but the "Rust Belt" has paid the price in spades to satiate the neoliberal globalist "free traders." (Remember when THAT catchphrase was first sold to the working classes by Slick Willie's DLC wing of the Democratic party? He and Al Gore basically ended up doubling the ranks of "Reagan Democrats" whether they intended to do so or not. And, Hillary was so delusional as to assume those people would be on her side!)

Dave P. , December 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Yes, Realist. That Slick Willie and Gore did the most damage to the working class than any other administration in the recent American history. And being progressive democrats, we worked hard for their election as volunteers registering voters. At that time Rolling Stone Magazine called them as Saviors after Reagan and Bush era of greed – as they called it. Clintons sold the Democratic Party to the Wall Street and to Neoliberal Globalization. Tony Blair did the same in U.K. to the Labor Party.

Then we put faith in Hopey changey Obama and worked for his election. And he turned out to be big fraud too. After his Libya intervention and then on to Syria, I finally got turned off from Democratic Party politics. My wife, and I had started with McGovern Campaign in 1972.

Talking about Chicago, I landed at O'Haire fifty two years ago during snowy Winter, with just a few hundred dollars in my pocket enough for one semester on my way to Graduate School. You can not do it these days. America was at it's best. Ann Arbor was a Republican town those days with very friendly people. Compared to Europe, and other cultures, I found Americans the least prejudiced people, very open to other cultures. The factories In Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana . . . were humming. Never on Earth, such a prosperous middle class on such a scale has ever been created; made of good, hard working people in those small and big towns. The workers were back bone of the Democratic Party. And every thing looked optimistic. I, and couple of my friends thought it can not get better than this on Earth.

And all this seems like a past history now. Life is still good but that stability and that optimism of 1960's is gone. I visited Wisconsin and Michigan last Spring and in Fall again this year. It is painful to look at those gigantic factories shut down and in ruins. I lived for a decade in Michigan. As I said in my comments above, the biggest loser in this NeoLiberal Globalization is American Middle Class.

Piotr Berman , December 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Jessica K: The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become.

One could say that there is nothing bad about a witch hunt, provided that it genuinely goes after evil witches. Perhaps the worst hitch hunt in my memory was directed at preschool teachers accused of sexual molestation and sometimes satanism. Probably we are not in this Animal Kingdom story (yet):

Denizens of AK see a hare running very fast and they ask "what happen?" Mr. hare answers "They are castrating camels!" "But you are a hare, not a camel!" "Try to prove that you are not a camel!".

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm

"In a dramatic development in the trial in Kiev of several Berkut police officers accused of shooting civilians in the Maidan demonstrations in February 2014, the defence has produced two Georgians who confirm that the murders were committed by foreign snipers, at least 50 of them, operating in teams. The two Georgians, Alexander Revazishvili and Koba Nergadze have agreed to testify [ ]

"This dramatic and explosive evidence was first brought to light by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin on November 16 in an article in the Italian journal Il Giornale and is again brought to the world's attention by a lawyer with some courage picking up on that report and speaking with the witnesses himself. These witnesses stated to Gian Micalessin, even more explosively, that the American Army was directly involved in the murders.

"The clear objective of the Maidan massacre in Kiev on February 20, 2014 was to sow chaos and reap the fall of the democratically elected, pro-Russian Yanukovych government. People were slaughtered for no other reason than to destroy a government the NATO powers, especially the United States and Germany, wanted removed because of its opposition to NATO, the EU, and their hegemonic drive to open Ukraine and Russia to American and German economic expansion. In other words, it was about money and the making of money.

"The western media and leaders quickly blamed the Yanukovych government for the killings during the Maidan demonstrations, but more evidence has become available indicating that the massacre in Kiev of police and civilians – which led to the escalation of protests, leading to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government – was the work of snipers working on orders of government opponents and their NATO controllers using the protests as a cover for a coup.

"One of the snipers already admitted to this in February 2015, thereby confirming what had become common knowledge just a few days after the massacre in Kiev and in a secretly recorded telephone call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reported to the EU head of Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, in early March 2014, that there was widespread suspicion that "someone from the new coalition" in the Kiev government may have ordered the sniper murders. In February 2016, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that in the course of the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. Bubenchik confirmed this in a film that gained wide attention.

'Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, at the University of Ottawa, published a devastating paper on the Maidan killings setting out in extensive detail the conclusive evidence that it was a false flag operation and that members of the present Kiev regime, including Poroshenko himself were involved in the murders, not the government forces. [ ]

"In the November 16 article in the Italian journal Il Giornale, and repeated on Italian TV Canale 5, journalist Gian Micalessin revealed that 3 Georgians, all trained army snipers, and with links to Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgian security forces were ordered to travel to Kiev from Tbilisi during the Maidan events. It is two of these men that are now being called to testify in Kiev."

The Maidan Massacre: US Army Orders: Sow Chaos
By Christopher Black
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/15/the-maidan-massacre-us-army-orders-sow-chaos/

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

The pretext for the western-supported overthrow of Ukrainian President Yanukovych was the massacre of more than a hundred protestors in Kiev in February 2014, which Yanukovych allegedly ordered his forces to carry out. Doubts have been expressed about the evidence for this allegation, but they have been almost entirely ignored by the western media and politicians.

Ukrainian-Canadian professor Ivan Katchanovski has carried out a detailed study of the evidence of those events, including videos and radio intercepts made publicly available by pro-Maidan sources, and eye witness accounts. His findings point to the involvement of far-right militias in the massacre and a cover-up afterwards:

– The trajectories of many of the shots indicate that they were fired from buildings that were then occupied by Maidan forces.
– Many warnings were given by announcers on the Maidan stage about snipers firing from those buildings.
– Several leaders of the then opposition felt secure enough to give speeches on the Maidan around the time that gunmen in nearby buildings were shooting protestors dead, and those leaders were not targeted by the gunmen .
– Many of the protesters were shot with an outdated type of firearm that was not used by professional snipers but was available in Ukraine as a hunting weapon.
– Recordings of all live TV and Internet broadcasts of the massacre by five different TV channels were either removed from their websites immediately after the massacre or not made publicly available.
– Official results of ballistic, weapons, and medical examinations and other evidence collected during the investigations have not been made public, while crucial evidence, including bullets and weapons, has disappeared.
– No evidence has been given that links the then security forces' weapons to the killings of the protesters.
– No evidence has been given of orders to shoot unarmed protestors even though the new government claimed that Yanukovych issued those orders personally.
– So far the only three people have been charged with the massacre, one of whom has disappeared from house arrest.

http://www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine

Bob Van Noy , December 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Thank you Abe that article could change everything

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Abe,
Thanks for advocating Dr Katchanovski! I have been reading some of his papers since a year or two and his work seems very thorough! He uses physical facts like trajectories of bullets to determine where shots originated.

Another expert in the field who knows Mr Katchanovski fully endorsed his academic work without any hesitation when I asked him recently. He is being published by publishers with the highest demands. His work can be found in academia.com or is it .org, login is free of charge.
His work deserves the attention of real journalists.

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Oh, sorry, I see u already mentioned academia.edu!
No harm repeating though.
And it is .edu. :)

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Ditto with the airliner shootdown.
Russia is accused and evidence is destroyed/suppressed.
The pattern is quite clear. Russiagate is merely an extension of the same pattern.
Remember those intelligence tests that consist of presenting a series of numbers, and the test taker has to figure out what the next number in the pattern is . . .
So, the Russiagate thing is merely the next item that continues the pattern of Maidan, plane shootdown and cover-up, shootdown of plane in Sinai, etc. etc. etc.
I think the deep state REALLY went apoplectic when Snowden escaped to Russia.

They will have their revenged, at any price, to the USA, to Russia, to the world. These are madmen.

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:32 am

It's prove Abe that 'only if you live long enough' applies to learning these newly uncovered facts regarding the Maiden Square riots. Let's hold out hope that the truth to MH17 comes out soon. Another thing, how can these sanctions against Russia stay in place while everything known as a narrative to that event comes unraveled.

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm

That's a good article , worth reading in its entirety. Thanks.

occupy on , December 16, 2017 at 1:23 am

Abe, thank you so much for this information. US fingerprints are all over Ukraine's sickening economic 'reforms', too! Have you read the House Ukraine Freedom Support Act – passed by both houses in the middle of the night Dec. 2014? I have. Wade through until nearly the end where it gives President Obama #1. the power to work toward US corporations exploring and developing Ukraine's natural resources (including fracking) once 'reforms' have been put in place (privatization); #2. the power to ask the World Bank to extend special loans for US corporations to develop those natural resources; #3. the power to install 'defensive' missile sites all along Russia's western borders; #4. the power to free US NGO's in Russia from their previously non-partisan restraints and allow them to work with anti-Putin political groups.

I urge you to google Dennis Kucinich/Ron Paul/Ukraine Freedom Support Act -2014. You won't believe how that bill got through the House of Representatives and Senate. And you'll have to laugh when you hear the word "democracy" in any context with "the USA".

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I also see the sexual allegations made against Trump, as another opportunity to oust him from his presidency. I in no way condone such behavior, but it's disturbing to think the main motivation driving this is another means of trying to oust him from his presidency. I don't believe, as these women claim, that they felt "left out", in the recent outings of men who have misused their positions of power to exploit women sexually.

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Yep, the Weinstein thing is being trumpeted and amplified to the extent that it synergizes wtih attempts to oust Trump. It is handy to the deep state. Trump qua political figure is being tarred with the Weinstein brush. That is the main reason we are seeing such a heavy dose of stories on male bad behavior. We would not be seeing this if Hillary were in power. Just a few stories but not full-court press. Because too many of these bad actors are actually in the Hillary camp. Like, most of Hollywood. The story wouldn't help her, politically, if she were in power. It only helps politically to drag down Trump. Before the Weinstein thing came along, we arleady had teh golden showers fairy tale. In fact it would not surprise me at all if Rose McGowan had some kind of political support and encouragement to "go public."
this is no way means that I think this kind of thing is OK. But, things are not straightforward in our world. It is a political as well as a "moral" or lifestyle story. One of the political targets is Trump. Notice that the heads of studios who knew all about this behavior and did nothing are not being forced to step down. Let's check out their political donations . . .

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:44 am

What if the 'Sexual Predator Purge' stories along with the 'Get Trump Out of Office' campaign were but two stories colliding into each other? I mean a reporter in our TMZ world we live in would need paid a handsome sum to continually stay quiet over a Harvey Weinstein kind of scoop, so eventually these scandals had to come out. And then there's hateable loud mouth the Donald, who must be stopped by any means. Put the two together, and hey with how all these big shot perv's are going down, why not corral Trump and force him to resign. It's even cheaper than impeachment.

So the conniving once again craft together a piece of fiction, mixed in with some reality, and take the American conscience off into another realm of fantasy. Hate can get anybody carted off to the guillotine, if the timings right.

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:55 am

Andrew Bacevich mentions the Weinstein scandal, and then goes on to suggest what the conversation should be.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48429.htm

Litchfield , December 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Bacevich is fine as far as he goes
But he never quite "turns the corner" himself in taking the story as far as it needs to be taken and laying out the conclusions that the public needs to grasp.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

Yes! That! Thank you, Litchfield.

Bacevich is knowledgeable and worth reading. But he never, afaik, ventures to look deeply enough into the imperial heart of darkness – "turn the corner", as you say.

Leslie F. , December 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

So the investigation isn't really about Russia. It is about corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc. All worthy of investigation. Not to mention the conspiracy to kidnap the Turkish cleric and collusion with Israel This investigation should not be shut down because the deep state and the press are in a conspiracy to blame it all on Russia. It is up to you guys in the press to convince your colleagues to call it what it really is, and expose those members who continue to misrepresent reality. The press, as a whole, has dropped the ball in a big way on this, but that is not Mueller's responsibility. The 4th estate is a mess and you should be trying to figure out how to clean it up without violating the constitution.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm

This is one of the reasons I no longer support Democracy Now. As Mr. Cohen said, " worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, "

God, help us, everyone including mental health professionals have no sense of professionalism, but they sure know how to make a buck, and try to undo a presidency.

"There are Thousands of Us": Mental Health Professionals Warn of Trump's Increasing Instability

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/8/there_are_thousands_of_us_mental

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Ditto, The Nation. See my post.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

I read your post, and of course I agree. Some of the allegations are so minor, as he hugged me and gave me a kiss on my mouth. He touched my breast. I was in the dressing room when he came in unannounced, and my hair was in curlers, and I was only wearing a robe, but I was nude underneath. Of course some were more disconcerting then those I mentioned, but all claim to be traumatized. I have no doubt their agenda is to bring him down and the whole thing has been orchestrated to do just that. Where is all the concern, and coverage of rape in this country where the estimates go from 300,000 to over a million women raped each year? Where are the stories about sexual trafficking of children, or the children who are sexually abused in their own homes? I've never seen coverage on these issues like what is happening now. That is another reason I find this whole thing appalling. Not to mention using sexual harassment as a political tool to bring down a president.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

So many examples of this. There's an alternative newspaper comic I used to like, "Tom the Dancing Bug" – smart, subversive, and "progressive". But the writer has completely bought into Scary Putin/Puppet Trump. It's depressing.

BobH , December 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

"unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous" sums it up nicely. It was also good to have Professor Cohen's endorsement of this website's courageous initiatives in combatting the Russia-gate farce.

Bob Van Noy , December 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

I'll happily second that thought BobH. And thanks

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Thank god Consortium News keeps up the pressure on the Russia-gate scam.
And glad to see Stephen Cohen published here.
Readers of this site need to keep reminding themselve of the basic background on this -- at least, I do -- in case opportunities comes along to deflate others' credulousness.

One question for Stephen Cohen:
Your wife is the editor of The Nation.
What has The Nation done to stop the madness?
Not enough. What's the story?
In fact, during the campaign and post-election, The Nation shamefully lent itself to the craziness on the left that sought to devalidate not only the results of the election but Trump himself qua human being. Nothing has been too far below the belt for Nation editors and writers to strike. I have had the ongoing impression that The Nation's editorial board really cannot see below the surface on any of this and have driven a very superficial anti-Trump, "resist" narrative dangerous in its implications. I think I have seen just one story, by a Patrick someone, that seriously questioned the russia-gate narrative. The Nation has fallen right in to the trap of "I hate Trump so much and am so freaked out by his election that I will make common cause with any one and any forces in our polity that will get rid of him somehow." The nation seems too scared of facing head on the reality of deep state actors in the USA. Or is too wedded to its version of reality to see what has become incraseingly clear to growing numbers of Americans.
As many an intelligent and more knowledgeable than I person has said: There is plenty to decry about Trump. But worse is the actions taken in the name of ridding the country of him and his presidency.
Because of this consistent cluelessness I have canceled all gift subscriptions to The Nation. I'll pay for my own sub, to see where this magazine goes, but others will have to pay their own way with The Nation if they so choose.
So, please clean up at home and get the act together on what is left of the left.
First.

Herman , December 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Thought the acronym PEPs was clever, Progressives Except for Palestine. Now it has morphed into PEPIRs pronounced Peppers, Progressives Except for Palestine, Iran and Russia. Actually could be PEPIRS adding Syria. If we added Iraq it could be PIEPIRS or Peepers. Actually, I have little regard for such people whose aims include killing and maiming for land and money.

Professor Cohen's credentials are very impressive and his voice and pen are badly needed. People like him are precious resources for America and the world.

Herman , December 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

PIEPIRS is incorrect with the I before the E making Pipers. So we have PEPs, Peppers and Pipers. Please excuse the frivolous comments but it feels good to try to expose their hypocrisy in any way you can, that is of the Peps, Peppers and Pipers.

Gregory Herr , December 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

What has really been astonishing to me -- beyond a lack of evidence for all the "Russia-gate" allegations–is the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative in the first place. Robert Parry has addressed this, but the voice of Stephen Cohen–with the perspective of specialized scholarship and experience vis-a-vis Russia–is a welcome voice indeed.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

The NY Times printed an allegedly explanatory graphic a couple of days ago showing the Trump/Russia "scandal" as a basically a proliferating root system descending from the central "collusion" premise, with the roots and rootlets branching down to encompass all the disjointed facts (and "facts") and allegations that have appeared in the media.

The graphic was unintentionally revealing of the phoniness of the whole business: instead of showing numerous observations leading to a deeper truth, it accurately depicted "Russia-gate" as a pre-existing (fact-free) conceit that has chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments. That's the definition of a weak and useless theory!

Gregory Herr , December 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

It seems to that as a representative of the incoming Administration's foreign policy team Flynn was just doing his job speaking with the Russian ambassador about the sudden and striking maneuvers of Obama during the transition. And in trying to defuse potential fallout and escalation due to those sanctions he was doing his job well. Was it not perfectly legal and well within the parameters of his duties to establish some baselines of discussion with counterparts?
Flynn's expression of thoughts on policy to counterparts were, to my mind, subject to the approval of the head of the incoming Administration -- namely Trump, and Trump only.

By the time the FBI questioned Flynn, he surely must have had an idea his conversation with the Ambassador had been under surveillance. What was the "lie"? Was he forgetful of a detail and just caught in a nitpicking technicality? Or did he deliberately manufacture a falsehood? When he gets past his legal entanglement, I sure hope he sits down to a candid interview. I'd like him to demystify me about all this.

I like your phraseology David this nonsense has been chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments!

David G , December 16, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Thanks, Gregory Herr. In your earlier comment that I replied to, you reference "the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative". That's not bad phraseology either.

And it also gets to something I've been thinking all along: I'd like to hear a "Russia-gate" proponent, such as an MSNBC host, actually supply what they consider a plausible narrative that fits all these breathless Trump/Russia "scoops".

I'm not demanding they prove anything, but just want to hear a story that makes sense. Because it seems to me that all the little developments they rush toward with their hummingbird attention spans don't fit together, *even if you concede all the dubious and debatable "facts"*.

dhinds , December 16, 2017 at 7:28 am

An important interview, for anyone that wants to understand Russia, today.

https://youtu.be/E_WPk6Rxx00

Megyn Kelly Interview Vladimir Putin

June, 2017

Damn good Interview (on the part of Putin – He said what was needed to be said. including "well, this is just more nonsense Have you lost your mind over there, or something)? He then continued to wrap it up, in a reasonable and and diplomatic manner.

Effectively, the USA continues locked into denial, refusing to accept responsibility for it's own current state of affairs. (The mass delusion is so thick you could eat it with a spoon, if it wasn't so putrid).

Warmongering, terrorist and refugee creating Regime Change and mass assassinations (with neither congressional oversight nor due process), arms and influence peddling profiteering, the creation of a mass surveillance society and militarized police state that kills minorities, the homeless and poor with impunity, mass incarceration in private for profit prisons, increasingly gross inequality and the excessive cost of health care and education; show the USA to be a society adrift and devoid of fundamental values. (And that's me talking, not Vladimir Putin)

The Clintons, Bush's and their supporters are to blame and should be held accountable, but mainly a new course for society must be charted and neither of the two corrupt major political parties is capable of that at this time.

A new coalition is called for.

James , December 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

Thank you Mr. Cohen for your ever insightful and reasoned commentary on this disturbing trend.

Clif , December 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Yes, thank you Dr. Cohen.

The lack of scrutiny is alarming. I'd like to offer Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan as possible figures who are working the lines and should be drawn into the light.

rosemerry , December 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Professor Cohen is one of the few who really knows about Russia, so of course so any of the Fawning Corporate Media (to quote Ray McGovern) denigrate his work. Even in GWBush's time he often explained "the Cold War is over", and Obama's intemperate rush to expel diplomats and push ahead the Russophobia after Trump's election had no basis in fact and just encouraged the Hillary-Dems and neocons to continue the unjustified destruction of the one aspect of Trump's "plan" that would have benefited the USA and peace.

Bill , December 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Do you really think that Obama was misled by others? I don't believe it. Obama and Hillary are the origin of the fabrications. Will anyone hold their feet to the fire?

Jerry Alatalo , December 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm

"It's the state-sponsorship of terrorism, stupid." The largest-scale, ongoing, organized war criminal operation in the history of the world has murdered millions.

Jessica K , December 17, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Vox has an article "The Left Shouldn't Make Peace With Neocons -- Even to Defeat Trump", by Robert Wright. Bill Kristol of American Conservative and many other neocons including Robert Kagan have dual US-Israel citizenship, and they push the MICC toward war. They'll be pushing for war with Iran and maybe Russia.

Tim , December 18, 2017 at 10:13 am

Sadly, quite a concise, clear picture of the muddy waters called Russia-gate, Intel's baby, and the faint possibilities of Tillerson and Lavrov holding fast against sabotage. Let's hope against all hope.

[Dec 18, 2017] Kellyanne Conway Says Fix Was In Against Trump In Fox News Interview That Alleged FBI Texts Evidence Of Coup

Notable quotes:
"... Watters' World, ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | www.yahoo.com

Conway appeared on Jesse Watters program, Watters' World, to talk about the newly revealed content of text messages sent between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

When asked what she thought they meant when they said "they need to protect America from Trump and need to have an insurance policy against his presidency," Conway tore into the investigation's credibility.

Trending: Trump and Putin Keep Calling Each Other for Praise, Discuss North Korea and Terrorism

"The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary. We understand that people have political views but they are expressing theirs with such animus and such venom towards the now president of the United States they can't possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair," she said.

As she spoke, the banner below Conway and Watters screamed "A COUP IN AMERICA?"

Watters proceeded to ask "how dangerous" Conway thought it was that people were "plotting what appears to be some sort of subversion campaign" against Trump.

"It's toxic, it's lethal, and it may be fatal to the continuation of people arguing that that matter is since behind us, he won he's the president, and the Mueller investigation is something separate," she answered.

Conway then slammed critics for defending the integrity of the probe by alleging that Trump is against the FBI, repeating the claim that he isn't under investigation, "we're told."

Released on Tuesday, Strzok and Page's messages referred to Trump as an "idiot" and "douche. At one point, Strzok told Page he was considering "an insurance policy" if Trump were elected. Page had also told Strzok that maybe he was meant to "protect the country from that menace," according to records reviewed by Politico.

Watters assessed the texts as evidence of a coup, or sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from the government, in America.

"The investigation into Donald Trump's campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America," he said.

[Dec 18, 2017] Russia-Gate Is State-Sponsored Paranoia by Gilbert Doctorow

It's pretty interesting fact: "Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID."
Notable quotes:
"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."
"... Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin. ..."
"... There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News ..."
"... Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ..."
"... The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria." ..."
"... Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID. ..."
"... And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests ..."
"... JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. ..."
"... The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States. ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | russia-insider.com

"The two (Trump and Clinton) cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room."

"Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: Disgrace!"

- Vladimir Zhirinovsky - prominent Russian politician, leader of a major party in parliament.

The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large.

This time the generalized paranoia started under the nominally left of center administration of Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency. It has been fanned ever since by the centrists in both Democratic and Republican parties who want to either remove from office or politically cripple Donald Trump and his administration, that is to say, to overturn the results at the ballot box on November 8, 2016.

Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin.

Americans are wont to forget that there is a world outside the borders of the USA and that others follow closely what is said and written in our media, especially by our political leadership and policy elites. They forget or do not care how the accusations and threats we direct at other countries in our domestic political squabbling, and still more the sanctions we impose on our ever changing list of authoritarians and other real or imagined enemies abroad might be interpreted there and what preparations or actions might be taken by those same enemies in self-defense, threatening not merely American interests but America's physical survival.

In no case is this more relevant than with respect to Russia, which, I remind readers, is the only country on earth capable of turning the entire Continental United States into ashes within a day. In point of fact, if Russia has prepared itself for war, as the latest issue of Newsweek magazine tells us, we have no one but our political leadership to blame for that state of affairs. They are tone deaf to what is said in Russia. We have no concern for Russian national interests and "red lines" as the Russians themselves define them. Our Senators and Congressmen listen only to what our home grown pundits and academics think the Russian interests should be if they are to fit in a world run by us. That is why the Senate can vote 98-2 in favor of making the sanctions against Russia laid down by executive order of Barack Obama into sanctions under federal legislation as happened this past summer.

There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News stands out for its courage and dogged fact-checking and logic-checks. Others on the side of the angels include TruthDig.com and Antiwar.com .

The Russia-gate story has permutated over time as one or another element of the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Kremlin has become more or less promising. But the core issue has always been the allegation of Russian hacking of DNC computers on July 5, 2016 and the hand-over of thousands of compromising documents to Wikileaks for the purpose of discrediting putative Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and throwing the election to Donald Trump, who had at that time nearly clinched the Republican nomination.

Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ("Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence") on July 24, 2017.

The VIPS material was largely ignored by mainstream media, as might be expected. An editorial entitled "The unchecked threat from Russia" published by The Washington Post yesterday is a prime example of how our media bosses continue to whip up public fury against collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin even when, by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."

The VIPS piece last July was based on the laws of physics, demonstrating that speed limitations on transfer of data over the internet at the time when the crime is alleged to have taken place rendered impossible the CIA, NSA and FBI scenario of Russian hacking In what follows, I will introduce a very different type of evidence challenging the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking and meddling in general, what I would call circumstantial evidence that goes to the core issue of what the Kremlin really wanted. Let us consider whether Mr. Putin had a motive to put his thumb on the scales in the American presidential election.

In the U.S., that is a slam-dunk question. But that comes from our talking to ourselves in the mirror. My evidence comes precisely from the other side of the issue: what the Kremlin elites were saying about the US elections and their preferred candidate to win while the campaign was still going on. I present it on a privileged basis because it is what I gathered on my several visits to Moscow and talks with a variety of insiders close to Vladimir Putin from September through the start of November, 2016. Moreover, there is no tampering with this evidence on my part, because the key elements were published at the time I gathered them, well before the US election. They appeared as incidental observations in lengthy essays dealing with a number of subjects and would not have attracted the attention they merit today.

* * * *

Political talk shows are a very popular component of Russian television programming on all channels, both state-run and commercial channels. They are mostly carried on prime time in the evening but also are showing in mid-afternoon, where they have displaced soap operas and cooking lessons as entertainment for housewives and pensioners. They are broadcast live either to the Moscow time zone or to the Far East time zone. Given the fact that Russia extends over 9 time zones, they are also video recorded and reshown locally at prime time. In the case of the highest quality and most watched programs produced by Vesti 24 for the Rossiya One channel, they also are posted in their entirety and in the original Russian on youtube, and they are accessible worldwide by anyone with a computer or tablet phone using a downloadable free app.

I underline the importance of accessibility of these programs globally via live streaming or podcasts on simple handheld gadgets. Russian speaking professionals in the States had every opportunity to observe much of what I report below, except, of course, for my private conversations with producers and panelists. But the gist of the mood in Moscow with respect to the US elections was accessible to anyone with an interest. As you know, no one reported on it at the time. American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking.

The panelists appearing on these different channels come from a rather small pool of Russian legislators, including chairmen of the relevant committees of the Duma (lower house) and Federation Council (upper house), leading journalists, think tank professors, retired military brass. The politicians are drawn from among the most visible and colorful personalities in the Duma parties, but also extend to Liberal parties such as Yabloko, which failed to cross the threshold of 5% in legislative elections and received no seats in parliament.

Then there are very often a number of foreigners among panelists. In the past and at the present, they are typically known for anti-Kremlin positions and so give the predominantly patriotic Russian panelists an opportunity to cross swords, send off sparks and keep the audience awake. These hostile foreigners coming from Ukraine or Poland are Russian speakers from their childhood. The Americans or Israelis who appear are generally former Soviet citizens who emigrated, whether before or after the fall of Communism, and speak native Russian.

"Freshness" is an especially valued commodity in this case, because there is a considerable overlap in the names and faces appearing on these talks whatever the channel. For this there is an objective reason: nearly all the Russian and even foreign guests live in Moscow and are available to be invited or disinvited on short notice given that these talk programs can change their programming if there is breaking news about which their audiences will want to hear commentary. In my own case, I was flown in especially by the various channels who paid airfare and hotel accommodation in Moscow as necessary on the condition that I appear only on their shows during my stay in the city. That is to say, my expenses were covered but there was no honorarium. I make this explicit to rebut in advance any notion that I/we outside panelists were in any way "paid by the Kremlin" or restricted in our freedom of speech on air.

During the period under review, I appeared on both state channels, Rossiya-1 and Pervy Kanal, as well as on the major commercial television channel, NTV. The dates and venues of my participation in these talk shows are as follows:

For purposes of this essay, the pertinent appearances were on September 11 and 26. To this I add the Sixty Minutes show of October 20 which I watched on television but which aired content that I believe is important to this discussion.

My debut on the number one talk show in Russia, Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, on September 11 was invaluable not so much for what was said on air but for the exchange I had with the program's host, Vladimir Soloviev, in a five minute tête-à-tête in the guests' lounge before the program went on air.

Soloviev obviously had not yet read his guest list, did not know who I am and stood ready to respond to me when I walked up to him and unceremoniously put to him the question that interested me the most: whom did he want to see win the US presidential election. He did not hesitate, told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to see Trump win because the man is volatile, unpredictable and weak. Soloviev added that he and others do not expect anything good in relations with the United States in general whoever won. He rejected the notion that Trump's turning the Neocons out of government would be a great thing in and of itself.

As I now understand, Soloviev's resistance to the idea that Trump could be a good thing was not just an example of Russians' prioritizing stability, the principle "better the devil you know," meaning Hillary. During a recent chat with a Russian ambassador, someone also close to power, I heard the conviction that the United States is like a big steamship which has its own inertia and cannot be turned around, that presidents come and go but American foreign policy remains the same. This view may be called cynical or realistic, depending on your taste, but it is reflective of the thinking that comes out from many of the panelists in the talk shows as you will find below in my quotations from the to-and-fro on air. It may also explain Soloviev's negativism.

To appreciate what weight the opinions of Vladimir Soloviev carry, you have to consider just who he is. That his talk show is the most professional from among numerous rival shows, that it attracts the most important politicians and expert guests is only part of the story. What is more to the point is that he is as close to Vladimir Putin as journalists can get.

In April, 2015 Vladimir Soloviev conducted a two hour interview with Putin that was aired on Rossiya 1 under the title "The President." In early January 2016, the television documentary "World Order," co-written and directed by Soloviev, set out in forceful terms Vladimir Putin's views on American and Western attempts to stamp out Russian sovereignty that first were spoken at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007 and have evolved and become ever more frank since.

Soloviev has a Ph.D. in economics from the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was an active entrepreneur in the 1990s and spent some time back then in the USA, where his activities included teaching economics at the University of Alabama. He is fluent in English and has been an unofficial emissary of the Kremlin to the USA at various times.

For all of these reasons, I believe it is safe to say that Vladimir Soloviev represents the thinking of Russian elites close to their president, if not the views of Putin himself.

On September 27 , I took part in the Sixty Minutes talk show that was presented as a post mortem of the first Trump-Clinton debate the day before. I direct attention to this show because it demonstrates the sophistication and discernment of commentary about the United States and its electoral process. All of this runs against the "slam-dunk" scenario based on a cartoon-like representation of Russia and its decision makers.

The show's hosts tried hard to convey the essence of American political culture to their audience and they did some effective research to this end. Whereas French and other Western media devoted coverage on the day after the debates to the appearance of the American presidential candidates and especially to Hillary (what else attracts comment from the male world of journalism if not a lady's hair styling and sartorial choices), 'Sixty Minutes' tweaked this aspect of the debates to find politically relevant commentary.

To make their point, presenter Yevgeny Popov came on stage in a blue suit and blue tie very similar in coloring to Trump's, while his wife and co-presenter Olga Skabeyeva was wearing a garment in the same red hue as Hillary. They proceeded to note that these color choices of the candidates represented an inversion of the traditional colors of the Democratic and Republican parties in American political tradition. And they took this a step further by declaring it to be in line with the inversion of policies in the electoral platforms of the candidates. Hillary had taken over the hawkish foreign policy positions of the Republicans and their Neoconservative wing. Donald had taken over the dovish foreign policy positions normally associated with Democrats. Moreover, Donald also had gone up against the free trade policies that were an engrained part of Republican ideology up until now and were often rejected by Democrats with their traditional financial backers from among labor unions. All of these observations were essentially correct and astute as far as the campaigns went. It is curious to hear them coming from precisely Russian journalists, when they were largely missed by West European and American commentators.

As mentioned above, foreigners are often important to the Russian talk shows to add pepper and salt. In this case, we were largely decorative. The lion's share of the program was shared between the Russian politicians and journalists on the panel who very ably demonstrated in their own persona that Russian elites were split down the middle on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was their preferred next occupant of the Oval Office

The reasons given were not what you heard within the USA: that Trump is vulgar, that Trump is a bigot and misogynist. Instead the Russian Trump-skeptics were saying that he is impulsive and cannot be trusted to act with prudence if there is some mishap, some accidental event occurring between US and Russian forces in the field, for example. They gave expression to the cynical view that the positions occupied by Trump in the pre-election period are purely tactical, to differentiate himself from all competitors first in his own party during the primaries and now from Hillary. Thus, Trump could turn out to be no friend of Russia on the day after the elections.

A direct answer to these changes came from the pro-Trump members of the panel. It was best enunciated by the senior politician in the room, Vyacheslav Nikonov. Nikonov is a Duma member from Putin's United Russia party, the chair of the Education Committee in the 6th Duma. He is also chair of a government sponsored organization of Russian civil society, Russian World, which looks after the interests of Russians and Russian culture in the diaspora abroad.

Nikonov pointed to Trump's courage and determination which scarcely suggest merely tactical considerations driving his campaign. Said Nikonov, Trump had gone up against the entire US political establishment, against the whole of corporate mainstream media and was winning. Nikonov pointed to the surge in Trump poll statistics in the couple of weeks preceding the debate. And he ticked off the 4 swing states which Trump needed to win and where his fortunes were rising fast. Clearly his presentation was carefully prepared, not something casual and off-the-cuff.

During the exchange of doubters and backers of Trump among the Russians, one doubter spoke of Trump as a "non-systemic" politician. This may be loosely interpreted a meaning he is anti-establishment. But in the Russian context it had an odious connotation, being applied to Alexei Navalny and certain members of the American- and EU-backed Parnas political movement, and suggesting seditious intent.

In this connection, Nikonov put an entirely different spin on who Trump is and what he represents as an anti-establishment figure. But then again, maybe such partiality runs in the family. Nikonov is the grandson of Molotov, one of the leading figures who staged the Russian Revolution and governed the young Soviet state.

Who won the first Trump-Clinton debate? Here the producers of Sixty Minutes gave the final verdict to a Vesti news analyst from a remote location whose image was projected on a wall-sized screen. We were told that the debate was a draw: Trump had to demonstrate that he is presidential, which he did. Clinton had to demonstrate she had the stamina to resist the onslaught of 90 minutes with Trump and she also succeeded.

The October 20 program Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, which I watched on television from abroad, was devoted to the third Clinton-Trump debate. My single most important conclusion from the show was that, notwithstanding the very diverse panel, there was a bemused unanimity among them regarding the US presidential electoral campaign: that it was deplorable. They found both candidates to be disgraceful due to their flagrant weaknesses of character and/or records in office, but they were also disturbed by the whole political culture. Particular attention was devoted to the very one-sided position of the American mass media and the centrist establishments of both parties in favor of one candidate, Hillary Clinton. When Russians and former Russians use the terms "McCarthyism" and "managed democracy" to describe the American political process as they did on the show, they know acutely well whereof they speak.

Though flamboyant in his language the nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR Party, touched on a number of core concerns that bear repeating extensively, if not in full:

"The debates were weak. The two cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room.

Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: disgrace! This is the worst electoral campaign ever. And mostly what we see is the style of the campaign. However much people criticize the USSR – the old fogies who ran it, one and the same, supposedly the conscience of the world.

Now we see the same thing in the USA: the exceptional country – the country that has bases everywhere, soldiers everywhere, is bombing everywhere in some city or other. They are making their 'experiments.' The next experiment is to have a woman in the White House. It will end badly.

Hillary has some kind of dependency. A passion for power – and that is dangerous for the person who will have her finger on the nuclear button. If she wins, on November 9th the world will be at the brink of a big war "

Zhirinovsky made no secret of his partiality for Trump, calling him "clean" and "a good man" whereas Hillary has "blood on her hands" for the deaths of hundreds of thousands due to her policies as Secretary of State. But then again, Zhirinovsky has made his political career over more than 30 years precisely by making outrageous statements that run up against what the Russian political establishment says aloud. Before Trump came along, Zhirinovsky had been the loudest voice in Russian politics in favor of Turkey and its president Erdogan, a position which he came to regret when the Turks shot down a Russian jet at the Syrian border, causing a great rupture in bilateral relations.

The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria."

This being Russia, one might assume that the deeply negative views of the ongoing presidential election reflected a general hostility to the USA on the part of the presenter and panelists. But nothing of the sort came out from their discussion. To be sure, there was the odd outburst from Zhirinovsky, who repeated a catchy line that he has delivered at other talk shows: essentially that the USA is eating Russia and the world's lunch given that it consumes the best 40% of what the world produces while it itself accounts for just 20% of world GDP. But otherwise the panelists, including Zhirinovsky, displayed informed respect and even admiration for what the United States has achieved and represents.

The following snippets of their conversation convey this very well and do not require attribution to one or another participant:

"America has the strongest economy, which is why people want to go there and there is a lot for us to borrow from it. We have to learn from them, and not be shy about it."

"Yes, they created the conditions for business. In the morning you file your application. After lunch you can open your business."

"America is a very complex country. It does not pay to demonize it. We have to understand precisely what we like and do not like. On this planet there is no way to avoid them. Whoever becomes president of the USA, the nuclear parity forces us to negotiate and reach agreement."

"The US has opened its doors to the most intelligent people of the world, made it attractive for them. Of course, this builds their exceptionalism. All directors, engineers, composers head there. Our problem is that we got rid of our tsar, our commissars but people are still hired hands. The top people go to the States because the pay is higher."

How are we to understand the discrepancy between the very low marks the panelists gave the US presidential race and their favorable marks for the US as an economic and military powerhouse. It appears to result from their understanding that there is a disconnect between Washington, the presidency and what makes the economy turn over. The panelists concluded that the USA has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world. On this point, I expect that many American readers of this essay will concur.

* * * *

Ever since his candidacy took off in the spring of 2016, both Liberal Interventionists and Neoconservatives have been warning that a Donald Trump presidency would mean abandonment of US global leadership. They equated Donald's "America First" with isolationism. After all, it was in the openly "isolationist period" of American political history just before the outbreak of WWII that the original America First slogan first appeared.

However, isolationism never left us, even as the United States became engaged in and eventually dominated the world after the end of the Cold War. Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID.

And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests do not exist on the same high plateau as American lives, concerns and interests. It is not that we are all Ugly Americans, but we are too well insulated from the travails of others and too puffed up with our own exceptionalism.

It is not surprising that in the US foreign policy is not a self-standing intellectual pursuit on a chessboard of its own but is strictly a subset of domestic policy calculations, and in particular of partisan electoral considerations. Indeed, that is very often the case in other countries, as well. The distinction is that the US footprint in the world is vastly greater than that of other countries and policy decisions taken in Washington, especially in the past 20 years of militarized foreign-policy making, spell war or peace, order or chaos in the territories under consideration.

As regards the Russian Federation, the ongoing hysteria over Russia-gate in particular, and over the perceived threat Russia poses to US national interests in general, risks tilting the world into nuclear war.

It is a luxury we manifestly cannot afford to indulge ourselves.

TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 9:59 AM

But we all have to agree that the USA is the more infantile of all The Nations, and since the end of the last war they have made no effort to grow up. They have created Russia Gate where no other nation would Dream up such Trivia.

Kjell Hasthi -> TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 1:50 PM

JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. When the American president is enemy, you are not American

Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:22 AM

As shown in this article, the American media has a long track record of misreporting key news items:

https://viableopposition.bl...

The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States.

tom -> Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:23 AM

"Remember the Maine!"

GKW -> tom , December 17, 2017 2:13 PM

Don't forget the Turner Joy and the gulf of Tonkin.

John Tosh , December 17, 2017 9:47 AM

Can someone tell the big fat cowards exercising around North Korea to please shut the hell up? Cowards make a lot of noise. When Libya was invaded there were no exercises, when Iraq was invaded there were no exercises...... when Vietnam was invaded there were no exercises....

It is obvious to the world that the fat cowards cannot attack a nuclear armed country. They are too yellow bellied to do anything but beat their chest like some stupid gorilla in an African jungle.

Please cut out the announcements of exercises after exercises, it is clogging the airwaves. We are all tired of your stupid exercises... if you want to attack go ahead and get your fat asses whipped like a slave running away from its masters.

Shameless cowards are now becoming highly annoying... it can be called Propaganda terrorism. Cut that nonsense out. You cannot beat North Korea, you know it, the rest of the world knows it. You cannot fight China or Russia, the rest of the world knows it ... so please shut up once and for all.

You are terrorizing the airwaves with your exercise after exercise after exercise. Practice control of the ships that are becoming a maritime hazzard to commercial ships. That is what you need to practice.

Nobody is impressed with your over-bloated expensive war equipment which fail under war conditions. Cut out the exercises before we start turning off our ears for your propaganda.

YELLOW BELIED COWARDS!!!!! Go poison an innocent person or kill a child....it may make you feel better... Big fat cowards.!

Guy John Tosh , December 17, 2017 1:16 PM

I am also very tired of the bluster . They flap their gums and taunt. Enough already . You have made fools of yourselves in the eyes of the world .

All the while the real diplomacy is going on between South Korea and China with North Korea paying close attention, I am sure.The Russian / Chinese proposal of a rail system from South Korea through North Korea and into China connecting to the connection grid of all of Asia is a far greater prospect for the peace initiative than the saber rattling presently outwardly being displayed.

ALTERNATE HISTORY John Tosh , December 17, 2017 6:15 PM

They keep raising the ante, and the North Koreans keep calling their bluff. They are made to look ridiculous as they don't have a winnable hand and the North Koreans know it.

tom , December 17, 2017 9:39 AM

"American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking".

Reminds me of the classic American boss's remark:

"Any time I want your opinion, I'll tell you it".

Emmet Sweeney , December 17, 2017 4:31 PM

The whole thing is orchestrated by the Zionist state within a state which controls not only America but most of the West - and own the entire mainstream media. They cannot forgive Trump for wanting to make peace with Russia. Their hatred of Christian Russia is visceral and unhinged.

tom , December 17, 2017 9:20 AM

'...by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."'

This is actually quite a neat and elegant example of the kind of deceptive language routinely used by politicians and the media.

It is, of course, entirely true that no conclusive proof has surfaced. Indeed, that must follow from the equally true and indisputable fact that no proof of any kind has surfaced. Actually, nothing even vaguely resembling proof has surfaced. There is no evidence at all - not the slightest scrap.

But by slipping in that little adjective "conclusive" the journalist manages to convey quite a strong impression that there is proof - only not quite conclusive proof.

It is just as dishonest and cynical as Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign remark, "I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience".

CaperAsh tom , December 17, 2017 4:17 PM

Yes, but R's comment was delightfully witty, and a great 'high ground manoeuvre.'

John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 7:20 AM

Russiangate is concocted BS, to keep the ignorant American sheep , from understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".
That American children are murdering innocent children in foreign lands, for the benefit of, not Israel, it is just a figment of the imagination, as the USSR was, and the USA is, but the owners of Israel, City of London, Usury bankers.
Pedophile scum!

Kjell Hasthi John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 1:43 PM

- understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".

The fraud is in every election district. Israel cannot afford the bussing of Liberals. This is too large for some poor nation like Israel. You are making up "Israel", just like Gordon Duff. It tells me you are the same as Gordon Duff.

rosemerry , December 17, 2017 3:29 PM

What an excellent article. If only people who have a very small knowledge of Russia/USA relations would bother to read this and reflect upon it, a lot of misconceptions could be cleared up if goodwill is part of the picture.

thomas malthaus , December 17, 2017 2:11 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/poli...

It appears Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump are cooperating on terrorism. Specifically, the threats regarding St. Petersberg, Russia.

A liberal nutcase might call this collusiion; others would describe it as cooperation.

Common sense or reason triumphs!

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch thomas malthaus , December 17, 2017 2:56 PM

Sure is "interesting" that the CIA knows exactly where the "terrorists" are in Russia.

So "nice" of them to inform their "partner" right before the attack.

How "pragmatic" of the Russians to enthuse thanks and offer support to Daddy.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what really went down, although the numpty RF leadership can't seem to stop falling over itself thanking Uncle Sham.

thomas malthaus Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 4:08 PM

I think at times the CIA is actually assisting the Russian security services with terror operations. I realize it doesn't make sense with Langley assisting ISIS in Syria, but that's the world we appear to have: selective cooperation.

I don't know if the FSB has the levels of electronics signals intelligence the US has, I do know the US and Russia may have cooperated in raids resulting in deaths of two Caucaus Emirates leaders in 2014-2015. I believe that group has since disbanded and members probably blended into other terror groups.

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch thomas malthaus , December 18, 2017 12:18 AM

Stupid is as stupid does.

rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 2:03 PM

The thing that is absolutely ridiculous is that the American media and Deep State are what is causing this trouble. I don't know why they want to have a World War so badly, but the only thing keeping our two countries from destruction is Vladimir Putin's hard work and good nature, and Trump's defiance of his "staff." These Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes they can run to in case of the unthinkable, but they couldn't care less about the people of the US--let alone Russia. Their day is coming, and they'll be praying for their mountains to fall on them when it does. Anyone in the US that's paying any attention at all knows the real story on this, and none of those who do are blaming anyone in Russia. If the day ever comes that the US Deep State takes to their bunkers, they better be prepared to stay in there--Balrogs or no Balrogs--because those of us who manage to survive above will be looking for their sorry azzes when they come out!!!

You can call me Al rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 5:59 PM

I think that is a great comment.

Just to take your comment a little further ;- get to know every plumber and builder in your area as I am, get on a friendly basis and ask about these "Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes" over a pint or two.

Then I am starting a crowdfunding fund to bring in "hundreds of thousands" to pay them to screw up their sewage facilities in their hidey-holes SO THEY CAN down in their own BS.

Mahmood Mandhrani , December 18, 2017 12:56 AM

Hy Friends I am Khan.All Famous news Paper columns,editorials and Blogs in my Blog pleez come and read many Things.
http://kingt20.blogspot.com

Stop Bush and Clinton , December 17, 2017 8:41 PM

After Uranium One, it would make sense to assume Russia would have preferred Hitlery in the White House - Uranium One gives Russia something they know all the details of and something they know the US public won't take lightly, so they could easily have blackmailed Hitlery with leaking those details.

Of course they also know Hitlery is a massive warmongering Nazi terrorist, but then again, looks like Trump doesn't differ very much from her on that.

Kjell Hasthi Stop Bush and Clinton , December 17, 2017 10:29 PM

Trump is doing something that scares the elite more than another bloody war. If Trump succeed US public will be brought into shock, and go nuts (we will all be scared to death if we see some alien sitting beside News anchor. The children will go pale)

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 2:54 PM

No need for paranoia, it is a veritable American love fest at the Kremlin, RIA, etc., ever since the CIA informed Moscow that they had "information" on an imminent attack in Russia.

Funny how the CIA has better intel on terrorism in Russia than the Russians do, even stranger than the RF leadership doesn't seem to question the situation what so ever.

Got to hand it to the Americans, a couple of months ago Putin joked about RF "cells" in the USA and now the CIA hands the RF a real cell all ready to go murder some Russians.

Some people talk a good game while some people actually take action.

MJM , December 17, 2017 2:41 PM

Vladimir Zhirinovsky is a great politician.

Guy , December 17, 2017 1:07 PM

For those of you that have some video viewing time available , you will probably enjoy the lecture at the National Press Club , not nearly well attended I might add for this quality venue, of Gilbert Doctoro.
http://www.informationclear...
I would highly recommend his latest book also .I am approx half way already and well worth the read.

Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 11:12 AM

New legatum prosperity index is up: Europeans enjoy the greatest quality of life worldwide, Russians fall into more impoverishment and low quality of life.

Its no secret that, for the past 150 years, Russian's wealth, quality of life and life expectancy is unacceptably low for European standards</strong).>Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden Netherlands and Denmark occupying the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th places respectively.

View Hide
Kjell Hasthi Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 1:37 PM

- low for European standards ... </strong)> .... Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden Netherlands and Denmark

When you do copyworks, include your source. RI is not for illiterate globalist bots who cannot read an answer. The quality of trolls is now too low. The globalists are now hiring junk?

"German media reported on Saturday that BND covertly provided a number of journalists with information containing criticism of Russia before the data were disclosed by the agency."

Superior Europe is employed by Zionist BND?

You can call me Al Kjell Hasthi , December 17, 2017 6:03 PM

I have him/it blocked, but I have never heard of that name before, so him/it has changed it.

I am glad and amazed you saw it with more knowledge than me it seems - HTF do you do that ?.

Superior Europe Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 11:15 AM

Of course what you can expect from the morally and politically bankrupted Russia where:

--First moral bankruptcy: Hunting down journalists
--Second moral bankruptcy: Hunting down LGBT people
--Third moral bankruptcy: Unacceptably low life expectancy (for the western standards) due to alcoholism and street violence
--Fourth moral bankruptcy: Poverty and impoverishment, with lowest income being BELOW the poverty line
--Fifth moral bankruptcy: So many Russian women exercising the "world's oldest profession" in Europe...

According to the index:

View Hide

[Dec 17, 2017] Nikki Haley Is Not Good At Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Reza Marashi is director of research at the National Iranian American Council. He came to NIAC after serving in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets. Follow Reza on Twitter: @rezamarashi ..."
"... At least since 1980, millions of bombs have been dropped on the people of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Libya, all 'Made in USA' or 'Made in England': directly sold by Americans and the British and mostly dropped by the American/British pilots, but none has ever been displayed with such a vigor and moral concern and called for the international community to come forward to confront or condemn the manufacturer or the perpetrators who had used them against the civilians. ..."
"... What 'international' law/obligation is this that grants the US the monopoly and full rights to continue to arm criminal regimes in the Middle East and to shamelessly support them, but the same 'international obligation' requires Iran to refrain from any military or even moral support for the victims and demands that Iran must remain an observer of the US-Saudi-UAE mass murder in Yemen?! For how many more years and decades the people in the Middle East are supposed to accept such a contemptible hypocrisy and double standards! ..."
"... You diplomatically brought in the key motivation behind the show – political ambitions. She knows she needs 'name recognition' and seems determined to get it, no matter how. ..."
"... Ever since you left DOS, US' core policy on Iran has not been changed. As a matter of fact ever since the revolution, US Iran policy has not changed an iota, Nicki Healy, Samantha Powers, and Collin Powell and many others that came and gone are all the same, firmly anti- Iran and Iran in as long as Iran and Iranians maintains their nationalistic independence policy. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | lobelog.com

Nikki Haley is not good at foreign policy. With few discernible achievements to speak of after one year as America's envoy to the UN, her most noteworthy moments have been two incoherent diatribes on Iran. The first -- an airing of grievances passed off as justification for killing the Iran nuclear deal -- came and went with little fanfare. Yesterday, she doubled down with a speech trying to make the case that Iran is, among other things, supplying Houthis in Yemen with ballistic missiles and "fanning the flames of conflict in the region." There are a variety of problems with Haley's assertions. Three in particular stand out.

First, Haley cited a UN report in her claim regarding Iranian missile transfers to the Houthis. Of course, the UN has reached no such conclusion. Instead, a panel of experts concluded that fired missile fragments show components from an Iranian company, but they have "no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier." Asked about Haley's claim that Iran is the culprit, Sweden's ambassador to the UN said, "The info I have is less clear." Analysts from the U.S. Department of Defense speaking to reporters at Haley's speech openly acknowledged that they do not know the missiles' origin. Perhaps most surreal is the very same UN report cited by Haley also says the missile included a component that was manufactured by an American company. Did she disingenuously omit that inconvenient bit from her remarks, or fail to read the entire UN report? The world may never know.

If Iran is arming the Houthis, it is a terrible policy that Iranian officials should reverse. All countries should stop arming the various factions in Yemen. Tehran is no exception. But neither is Washington. It was therefore appalling to see that Haley's speech reference Yemen and not include a single word about America's ongoing military, intelligence, and logistical support for the Saudi-led humanitarian catastrophe taking place. If she wanted to focus on facts regarding Iran and Yemen, she should have explained to reporters that, in addition to bolstering Iran's influence in country where it was previously negligible, the Saudi-led debacle has also empowered al-Qaeda -- the same al-Qaeda that attacked the United States on 9/11 with 15 Saudi nationals, and continues to plot attacks on America today.

There is also a stunning lack of foreign policy sophistication in Haley's prevailing assumption regarding Iran and missiles. Not only do we recklessly arm despots in the world's most volatile region with missile of their own, we also provide the Iranian government with a pretext to further develop its missile program -- and cite American and European military sales to an increasingly aggressive Saudi Arabia and UAE as justification for doing so. "Do as I say, not as I do" is a slogan, not a strategy. And if it remains the status quo, so too will the growth of Iran's missile program.

The most inexplicable part of Haley's charade is her insistence on talking about Iran rather than talking to Iran. The only thing stopping her from sitting down one on one with her Iranian counterpart at the UN to respectfully discuss these matters is her own shortsighted ideological rigidity. Frankly, the track record is clear. Talking about Iran produced more missiles under the Bush administration. Talking to Iran eventually produced compromises on missiles under the Obama administration. Haley should spend less time using the UN ambassadorship to boost her domestic political ambitions, and more time actually conducting diplomacy on behalf of the United States.

If Haley is truly concerned about Iran's missile program and regional activities, she can take three immediate steps to demonstrate her seriousness: First, immediately halt all American military, intelligence, and logistical support for the Saudi-led humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. If the war ends, concerns about Iran in Yemen recede. Second, freeze all missile sales to Middle Eastern countries. If Saudi Arabia and the UAE aren't armed to the teeth with missiles they don't know how to use, Iran's threat perception and missile development reduces accordingly. Third, immediately offer bilateral and multilateral dialogue with the Iranian government on all issues of contention -- with no preconditions. The JCPOA is proof that sustained diplomacy with Iran can produce favorable outcomes for American interests.

Haley's dearth of foreign policy experience is no excuse for her shambolic performance yesterday. Rather than displaying the dignity and poise of America's face to the United Nations, she had her Colin Powell 2003 moment, demonstrating that too many of our leaders have still not learned the lessons of the Iraq war disaster. At best, this is willful ignorance on Haley's part. At worst (and more likely), she cherry-picked intelligence in a fashion eerily reminiscent of the 2002-2003 push for invading Iraq. It's not too late for Haley to salvage her tenure at the UN, but it will require listening more to the professional staff of career government officials she inherited rather than the motley crew of Republican operatives she brought with her to New York.

Reza Marashi is director of research at the National Iranian American Council. He came to NIAC after serving in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets. Follow Reza on Twitter: @rezamarashi

Khosrow, December 15, 2017

At least since 1980, millions of bombs have been dropped on the people of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Libya, all 'Made in USA' or 'Made in England': directly sold by Americans and the British and mostly dropped by the American/British pilots, but none has ever been displayed with such a vigor and moral concern and called for the international community to come forward to confront or condemn the manufacturer or the perpetrators who had used them against the civilians.

But why this time? Because this time the butcher of the world has found his buddy on the receiving end!

Kooshy, December 15, 2017
"Nikki Haley Is Not Good At Foreign Policy"

That's exactly why she was chosen by gods of Mount Zion for this job at UN, for constantly bashing Iran there is no need for expertise in FP.

Khosrow, December 15, 2017
"If Iran is arming the Houthis, it is a terrible policy that Iranian officials should reverse. All countries should stop arming the various factions in Yemen".

Mr Marashi, you speak from the safety of your office/country: Where the American armed and trained Saudi and Emirati forces and pilots viciously attack defenseless civilians in Yemen that has so far left more than 10,000 killed and 8 million near starvation, it is our moral obligation to support the oppressed Yemenis, not to leave them at the mercy of the Saudi savage air attacks – the Yemenis should not be denied support just as we Iranians were denied arms by the civilized world while we had come under Saddam's savage military attack in the 1980s.

What 'international' law/obligation is this that grants the US the monopoly and full rights to continue to arm criminal regimes in the Middle East and to shamelessly support them, but the same 'international obligation' requires Iran to refrain from any military or even moral support for the victims and demands that Iran must remain an observer of the US-Saudi-UAE mass murder in Yemen?! For how many more years and decades the people in the Middle East are supposed to accept such a contemptible hypocrisy and double standards!?

James Canning, December 15, 2017

Nikki Haley's record at the UN is pathetic, unless the measure in question is degree of gratification provided to the ISRAEL LOBBY.

david wright, December 15, 2017

'Nikki Haley is not good at foreign policy.'

Not good at it; even worse for it. But following in the hallowed tradition of Bush the Son's representative, Colin Powell. Let's hope that even the British have figured out what's going on this time, and will not behave like Lapdog Blair.

Given no excuse at all for waging war, the US will invent one. Past time it was called on this, by the the other 192 nations in the UN

Nona, December 17, 2017

"If Iran is arming the Houthis, it is a terrible policy that IRan should reverse."

WHY is it terrible? Someone should and MUST help the Houthis / Yemen PATRIOTS! No one else is helping them, NOT the U.N .and certainly, what use are they, if they don't prevail on the Saud.Arab. to stop the war.
Not even the Russians are helping the Yemenis.

It isn't even a war, because a war means two sides fighting, but in the case of Yemen, it's a matter of the Yemenis defending themselves. And it's the innocent civilians, women and children, as well as the civilian men, suffering and dying.

So the matter at hand is the Arab invasion, NOT where the missile came from.

The whole thing is a U.S. distraction from the Saudi invasion. And Haley frothing at the mouth, does a good job of distraction.

James Larrimore, December 17, 2017

Great article, Reza.

You diplomatically brought in the key motivation behind the show – political ambitions. She knows she needs 'name recognition' and seems determined to get it, no matter how.

She was mentioned to replace Tillerson as Sec of State, probably at her instigation. She knows T loves her style so she can do as she pleases, like flying with fanfare to see IAEA DG Amano in Vienna – where there is still no Ambassador. But you can bet her ambition is to be the first US woman President, to show the Clinton clan how that is done.

Unfortunately but necessarily, it will be important to 'put her in her place' in as many media fora as possible. Reza, you made a good contribution!

Kooshy, December 16, 2017

Mr. Marashi

Ever since you left DOS, US' core policy on Iran has not been changed. As a matter of fact ever since the revolution, US Iran policy has not changed an iota, Nicki Healy, Samantha Powers, and Collin Powell and many others that came and gone are all the same, firmly anti- Iran and Iran in as long as Iran and Iranians maintains their nationalistic independence policy.

As Mr. Zarif has said, we all have seen this show before and are not impressed with it. Noticeably, what has really been changed is yours and NIAC' analysis and opinions on US policies, especially ever since the failure of US' green color revolution back in 09.

However, IMO, you and NIAC, owe an explanation on what made you change your opinion of US intentions for Iran, after you left the DOS, if you seek support of expatriate Iranians for your efforts.

Jen, December 16, 2017

"Nikki Haley is not good at foreign policy "

I'd nominate this as the understatement of the year for 2017. But someone's got to point out the obvious and Reza Marashi nailed it.

Pity I can't link to a couple of articles on Haley's past incarnations as Governor of South Carolina or accountant to her parents' clothing boutique business so that readers can see Haley's talent for being truly abysmal at whatever she turns her hand to.

Mimo hard, December 16, 2017

Thank you Donald trump for uniting the arab dictators against you and the ugly apartheid state.

[Dec 17, 2017] Congress hearing reveal t>he attempt to defeat and then depose Trump by employers of FBI, CIA and the Department of Justice

Set of YouTube video on the subject. Some exchanges (especially the first two) are very interesting indeed. Although Rosenstein mostly ignored the questions.
There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his administration the Special Prosecutor.
From the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI it looks like that those institutions are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.
In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of national security state.
Dec 16, 2017 | youtube.com

[Dec 17, 2017] Identity politic is and attempt to swipe under the carpet contradictions based on money and economics power issues and replace them with something else like race, gender, age, etc.

Dec 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

JBird , December 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Yes, it can be used for that , but often the goal is to channel, and contain the thinking from or to whatever, not degrade. Using modern neoliberal economics as an example. The older 19th and early 20th century mainstream political economy were deeper, more comprehensive, and often better at explaining economics. It was also called political economy, and not just economics for that reason.

There was a real financed campaign to narrow the focus on what we call economics today. Part of that effort was to label people very narrowly as just economic beings, which is what libertarianism is, and to label economic thought outside of it as socialism/communism, which is Stalinism, which is the gulag, which is bad thought. The economists studying this were just as intelligent, thoughtful, and incisive, but the idea, the worm of people=money=economics created a thought stop, or an an un-acknowledgment of anything else, the inability to even see anything else.

I sometimes think some are against the masses getting any higher education because one is exposed to other ways of thinking, and believing. A student might never change their beliefs, but the mind is expanded for considering the possibilities and at looking at where others are coming from. Those mindworms are also more obvious, and less useful.

So you could be ninety year blockhead, but if you are willing to listen, to think on what you are exposed to in college, your mind is expanded and strengthen. Which is perhaps the main goal of a liberal arts education. Even a very hard college education will still have some of the same effect.

Plenue , December 16, 2017 at 6:45 pm

"The economists studying this were just as intelligent, thoughtful, and incisive, but the idea, the worm of people=money=economics created a thought stop, or an an un-acknowledgment of anything else, the inability to even see anything else."

So would you say identity politics is the same thing in reverse? Intelligent people looking at issues from every perspective but that of money and economics?

JBird , December 16, 2017 at 7:41 pm

Yes, as it is used now. It can be very important, but what I have against identity politics as it is done today is that it is the first and last answer to everything. Many people can see, they just think one's identity is paramount. MLK said it best when he talked about being judged for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

Please keep in mind that the identity being used could anything. Your sex, gender, orientation, age, class, religion, anything.

Today it's skin color, tomorrow?

[Dec 17, 2017] President Trump: I'm Not Considering Firing Robert Mueller, But It's Not Looking Good

This is a political battle between two faction of oligarchy. Mueller represents Clinton wing: neoliberal globalists and neocons.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
rumors , denials, whistleblowers , backlash , demands, threats, lies , bias, and anti-bias surrounding Robert Mueller and his investigation, President Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing the Special Counsel.

"No, I'm not," Trump told reporters, when asked if he intended to fire Mueller, according to Politico .

The president was returning to the White House from a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Trump's allies complained this weekend about the way Mueller's team went about obtaining from the presidential transition. Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr said Sunday that the office had followed appropriate steps to obtain the transition emails. Pro-Trump lawmakers and pundits also have accused the special counsel's office of bias after it was revealed that two FBI officials who previously served on Mueller's team had exchanged anti-Trump text messages.

And while Trump said "I'm not," Axios notes that he did criticize the fact that Mueller accessed "many tens of thousands" of emails from the presidential transition, saying it was "not looking good."

Son of Loki -> DingleBarryObummer , Dec 17, 2017 6:46 PM

Who is Seth Rich?

jeff montanye -> Son of Loki , Dec 17, 2017 8:45 PM

seth? he was the guy that stole the dnc and podesta emails (well at least the dnc emails) and got them to julian assange. after he was murdered (well at least shot twice) on the streets of d.c. (he actually died in a hospital; probably bears some looking into), julian offered a reward for info on it, making many believe he was wiki's source.

seymour hersh, who followed the case closely, thinks the same, but agrees with the d.c. police that he was just mugged, not shot by say hillary and podesta using imran awan or something. http://archive.is/lD4BV if so, for a lucky lady that hillary clinton has some real bad luck. but it is poetically fitting that someone who actually killed dozens of people as a private citizen (and maybe a million as a public servant), would be convicted in the public's eye of the one she didn't really do.

first as tragedy, then as farce.

azusgm -> shitshitshit , Dec 17, 2017 8:47 PM

YO!!! TYLERS!! OVER HERE.

Looks like Andrew McCabe may be a double agent!!!!!

https://truepundit.com/comey-mueller-ignored-mccabes-ties-to-russian-cri...

grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:16 PM

Mueller WANTS Trump to fire him.

It's Mueller's only face-saving way out of this cluster fuck.

Kayman -> grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:17 PM

Mueller has painted himself into a cesspool that is exploding. If he had an ounce of sense or honor he would get the eff out before he has to start covering his own tracks. But don't bet on Mueller doing the right thing. His pals in politics and the press have made him out to be some kind of saint when he really is all t'aint, no saint (don't ask me what t'aint is, ask someone else.)

Don't fire Mueller now- the cesspool is bursting at the seems and Mueller is standing right under it.

grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:14 PM

Robert Mueller is D.C.'s Tomás de Torquemada.

Mzhen , Dec 17, 2017 8:04 PM

It makes little sense to me that if Seth Rich was an idealistic young man, standing on principle and conviction, who along with his brother contacted WikiLeaks and arranged to give it evidence of Hillary's and Debbie's treachery against Sanders, why he would then have been reported to be looking forward to joining the Hillary campaign staff in the Brooklyn headquarters.

CrowdStrike (run by Shawn Henry, who is a former FBI official, promoted by Mueller), which provided the narrative to the DNC that the "Russians did it," has never been independently verified in their conclusions by the FBI. Or Mueller. Pull that thread and the sweater starts to unravel.

Kelley , Dec 17, 2017 9:26 PM

Mueller doesn't have it in him to step aside. Therefore he needs to be indicted for prosecutorial abuse. Slap his ass down hard. Handcuffs would be a nice touch.

Mueller didn't oppose the raid of Paul Manafort at 5 a.m. in the morning with guns drawn. Sounds like a good law enforcement technique for the buzzard.

[Dec 17, 2017] The FBI Is Not Your Friend by Sheldon Richman

Notable quotes:
"... ask that Russia not escalate tensions ..."
"... Russia not vote to condemn Israel ..."
"... What about the Logan Act ? The Act, enacted in 1799, around the time of the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, prohibits private citizens from unauthorized "correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both." ..."
"... Right off the bat, the Act appears to violate freedom of speech. And as Parry writes, "That law was never intended to apply to incoming officials in the transition period between elected presidential administrations." ..."
"... I hold no brief for Flynn, whose conduct while working for Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan, his dubious efforts on behalf of Turkey's strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his apparent financial conflicts of interest are enough to make anyone cringe. But that cannot justify what the FBI did in this plea case. ..."
"... Government law-enforcement agencies should not be allowed to administer credibility tests to Americans or others. If they have evidence of real ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
One of the unfortunate ironies of the manufactured "Russiagate" controversy is the perception of the FBI as a friend of liberty and justice. But the FBI has never been a friend of liberty and justice. Rather, as James Bovard writes , it "has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that 'the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.' This has practically been the Bureau's motif since its creation in 1908 . The FBI has always used its 'good guy' image to keep a lid on its crimes."

Bovard has made a vocation of cataloging the FBI's many offenses against liberty and justice, for which we are forever in his debt.

Things are certainly not different today. Take the case of Michael Flynn, the retired lieutenant general who spent less than a month as Donald Trump's national-security adviser. Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection with conversations he had with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, between Trump's election and inauguration. One need not be an admirer of Flynn – and for many reasons I certainly am not – to be disturbed by how the FBI has handled this case.

One ought to be immediately suspicious whenever someone is charged with or pleads guilty to lying to the FBI without any underlying crime being charged. Former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew C. McCarthy points out :

When a prosecutor has a cooperator who was an accomplice in a major criminal scheme, the cooperator is made to plead guilty to the scheme. This is critical because it proves the existence of the scheme. In his guilty-plea allocution (the part of a plea proceeding in which the defendant admits what he did that makes him guilty), the accomplice explains the scheme and the actions taken by himself and his co-conspirators to carry it out. This goes a long way toward proving the case against all of the subjects of the investigation.

That is not happening in Flynn's situation. Instead, like [former Trump foreign-policy "adviser" George] Papadopoulos, he is being permitted to plead guilty to a mere process crime.

When the FBI questioned Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak, it already had the transcripts of those conversations – the government eavesdrops on the representatives of foreign governments, among others, and Flynn had been identified, or "unmasked," as the ambassador's conversation partner. The FBI could have simply told Flynn the transcripts contained evidence of a crime (assuming for the sake of argument they did) and charged him with violating the Logan Act or whatever else the FBI had in mind.

But that's not what happened. Instead, the FBI asked Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak, apparently to test him. If he lied (which would mean he's pretty stupid since he once ran the Defense Intelligence Agency and must have known about the transcripts!) or had a bad memory, he could have been charged with lying to the FBI.

As investigative reporter Robert Parry explains :

What is arguably most disturbing about this case is that then-National Security Adviser Flynn was pushed into a perjury trap by Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department who concocted an unorthodox legal rationale for subjecting Flynn to an FBI interrogation four days after he took office, testing Flynn's recollection of the conversations while the FBI agents had transcripts of the calls intercepted by the National Security Agency.

In other words, the Justice Department wasn't seeking information about what Flynn said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – the intelligence agencies already had that information. Instead, Flynn was being quizzed on his precise recollection of the conversations and nailed for lying when his recollections deviated from the transcripts.

For Americans who worry about how the pervasive surveillance powers of the US government could be put to use criminalizing otherwise constitutionally protected speech and political associations, Flynn's prosecution represents a troubling precedent.

Why didn't the FBI charge Flynn with an underlying crime? It might be because his conversations with Kislyak were not criminal. McCarthy writes:

A breaking report from ABC News indicates that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians – initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a "collusion" case arising out of Russia's election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime – he'd be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy.

David Stockman shows that the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller themselves indicate the Flynn-Kislyak conversations contained no evidence of criminal behavior.

Flynn spoke to Kislyak to ask that Russia not escalate tensions after President Obama imposed sanctions last December for the alleged election meddling and to ask that Russia not vote to condemn Israel , via a UN Security Council resolution, for its illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land. In other words, not only were Flynn's discussions with Kislyak unexceptional – presidential transition-team foreign-policy officials have spoken with representatives of other governments in the past – but the content of those discussions should have raised no suspicions. Would non-escalation of the sanctions controversy or a UN veto have undermined Obama's foreign policy? I don't see how. (True, the Obama administration abstained on the resolution, but would Obama have objected had Russia vetoed it? By the way, Russia voted for it, and the resolution passed, as it should have.)

The Flynn plea certainly does nothing to indicate "collusion" with the Russians. For one thing, the conversations were after the election. And perhaps more important, Kislyak was not looking for favors from Flynn; on the contrary, Flynn was lobbying the Russians (successfully on the sanctions – Vladimir Putin did not retaliate – and unsuccessfully on the UN resolution.) Where's the evidence of Russian influence on the Trump team? There was foreign influence, but it was from Israel, a regular meddler in the American political process . All indications are that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Trump son-in-law and special envoy to everywhere Jared Kushner to lobby the world to defeat the UN resolution. Kushner, who has helped finance illegal Israeli settlements , then directed Flynn to call every Security Council member, not just Russia.

What about the Logan Act ? The Act, enacted in 1799, around the time of the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, prohibits private citizens from unauthorized "correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

Right off the bat, the Act appears to violate freedom of speech. And as Parry writes, "That law was never intended to apply to incoming officials in the transition period between elected presidential administrations."

Note also that only two indictments have been brought in 218 years: in 1803 and 1852. Both cases were dropped. Far more serious contacts with foreign governments have occurred. In 1968 Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon (with help from Henry Kissinger who was working in the Johnson administration) had a representative persuade the president of South Vietnam to boycott the peace talks President Lyndon Johnson had been arranging with North Vietnam. That decision most likely prolonged the Vietnam war and resulted in combat deaths that would not have occurred. Unlike the Flynn case, Nixon's action undercut the sitting president's policy and, more important, the interests of the American people.

I hold no brief for Flynn, whose conduct while working for Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan, his dubious efforts on behalf of Turkey's strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his apparent financial conflicts of interest are enough to make anyone cringe. But that cannot justify what the FBI did in this plea case.

Government law-enforcement agencies should not be allowed to administer credibility tests to Americans or others. If they have evidence of real offenses against persons and property, bring charges. Otherwise, leave us all alone.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute , senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman , published by the Foundation for Economic Education , and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation . His latest book is America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited .

[Dec 17, 2017] Mission Creep Mueller Grand Jury Fishing for Evidence Unrelated to Russian Interference Probe

As "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation" does not have time frame they are not limited to election campaign and allow fishing expedition into Trump business dealings.
Notable quotes:
"... any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; ..."
"... any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; ..."
Aug 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

After this striking admission, in effect acknowledging the weakness of the "Russian collusion" narrative more than year into the investigation and media hysteria, CNN goes on to report that these claimed grand jury subpoenas extend completely outside the scope of the supposed "Russia" investigation. CNN describes some subpoenas as "unconnected to the 2016 elections" and gives examples, including the tenant lists of Trump Organization properties and documents related to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

For the record, according to his order of appointment , Mueller's independent investigation was to be limited to:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. §600.4(a).

Regulation 28 C.F.R. §600.4(a) is part of the federal regulations authorizing special counsels. It expands a special counsel's jurisdiction to crimes, such as perjury or obstruction of justice, that interfere with his original named responsibility.

[Dec 17, 2017] Senator John Cornyn Questions Legitimacy of Robert Mueller Probe

Notable quotes:
"... Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) caused a stir late Friday when he questioned the legitimacy of the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) caused a stir late Friday when he questioned the legitimacy of the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Cornyn spoke out via Twitter, in response to a tweet by former Attorney General Eric Holder, who defended Mueller against criticism and against efforts to urge the president to remove him from his post.

Speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the American people, Republicans in Congress be forewarned:any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated.These are BS attacks on him/his staff that are blatantly political-designed to hide the real wrongdoing. Country not party

-- Eric Holder (@EricHolder) December 14, 2017

In response, Cornyn tweeted to Holder, "You don't" (referring to Holder's claim to be speaking "on behalf of the vast majority of the American people."

He added later that "Mueller needs to clean house of partisans," referring to reports that FBI agent Peter Strzok had been removed from the investigation due to anti-Trump texts, and that other lawyers on the Mueller team have expressed strongly anti-Trump feelings or supported the campaign of his 2016 opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Later, asked by the Washington Post 's in-house liberal columnist, Greg Sargent, whether he would accept the legitimacy of Mueller's investigation, Cornyn suggested that would depend on the outcome:

Makes sense to me to wait to see what they are first https://t.co/9lCqpYujKN

-- Senator JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 16, 2017

The left-wing HuffPost translated that remark as meaning that Cornyn would only consider the probe legitimate if "if Republicans like his findings."

However, a more generous interpretation would be that Cornyn would wait to see if Mueller remained within his mandate, or used his sweeping powers to investigated unrelated matters.

[Dec 17, 2017] Rosenstein watches as Mueller's witch hunt veers out of control by Sean Hannity

Dec 17, 2017 | www.foxnews.com

The Russia investigation being overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is beyond corrupt, beyond political and has now turned into an open-ended fishing expedition.

Rosenstein, who like Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has glaring, inexcusable conflicts of interest in the case, insisted to Fox News' Chris Wallace that he will keep Mueller from expanding his s not on a witch hunt.

"If he finds evidence of a crime that's within in the scope of what Director Mueller and I have agreed is the appropriate scope of this investigation, then he can," Rosenstein said on "Fox News Sunday." "If it's something outside that scope, he needs to come to the acting attorney general, at this time me, for permission to expand his investigation."

Rosenstein says he won't let the special counsel turn into a fishing expedition? It already has. The whole investigation was supposed to be about President Trump's campaign supposedly colluding with the Russians. This has gone on 11 months, no smoking gun proving it ever surfaced.

Yet, instead of ending it there, Mueller is reportedly now looking into the finances of President Trump and the Trump Organization and associates of President Trump. He has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., where the president got a little over four percent of the vote.

What Rosenstein really said was that he has now given Mueller the green light to do whatever he wants. Even respected legal scholar Jonathan Turley, a Democrat, has said Rosenstein needs to recuse himself.

After all, Rosenstein is likely going to be a witness in the investigation that he himself caused because he took the lead in writing the letter to President Trump on why former FBI Director James Comey should be fired. Mueller reportedly regards that as possible obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein is also the guy who appointed Robert Mueller and apparently either didn't know or didn't care about the fact that the day before he was named special counsel, Mueller interviewed with President Trump for the FBI director's job. You can't make this up.

Rosenstein has sat by while Mueller, with an unlimited budget, has assembled a team of 16 lawyers. Half have made political donations, shockingly, all to Democrats. How is that OK? If the tables were turned, would a Democrat allow a special counsel to only appoint Republican donors?

It all comes down to this: Does Rod Rosenstein know what is going to happen if Mueller's mission creep continues to go unchecked? How does he think voters are going to feel? How many Trump supporters will feel robbed of their right and their vote in the free election of the president of the United States?

That would be bad for the country. It would be bad for the system of justice. And it would be bad for anyone who believes in a constitutional republic.

Adapted from Sean Hannity's monologue on "Hannity," Aug. 7, 2017

Sean Hannity currently serves as host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) Hannity (weekdays 9-10PM/ET) . He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Sean

[Dec 17, 2017] Fox News' Jesse Watters We May Have an Anti-Trump 'Coup on Our Hands in America'

Robert Mueller does have massive conflict of interest -- Strzok-gate proves his inability to run a dispassionate investigation
Notable quotes:
"... we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America." ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Waters said, "The investigation into Donald Trump's campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America."

[Dec 17, 2017] Unlike Nixon, Trump will not go quietly

Notable quotes:
"... Flynn asked Kislyak for help in blocking or postponing a Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, and to tell Vladimir Putin not to go ballistic over President Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. This is what security advisers do. Why Flynn let himself be ensnared in a perjury trap, when he had to know his calls were recorded, is puzzling. ..."
"... Second, it is said Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey for refusing to cut slack for Flynn. But even Comey admits Trump acted within his authority. And Comey had usurped the authority of Justice Department prosecutors when he announced in July 2016 that Hillary Clinton ought not to be prosecuted for having been "extremely careless" in transmitting security secrets over her private email server. We now know that the first draft of Comey's statement described Clinton as "grossly negligent," the precise statute language for an indictment. ..."
"... Comey has also admitted he leaked to The New York Times details of a one-on-one with Trump to trigger the naming of a special counsel -- to go after Trump. And that assignment somehow fell to Comey's predecessor, friend, and confidant Robert Mueller. Mueller swiftly hired half a dozen prosecutorial bulldogs who had been Clinton contributors, and Andrew Weinstein, a Trump hater who had congratulated Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to carry out Trump's travel ban. FBI official Peter Strzok had to be been removed from the Mueller probe for hatred of Trump manifest in emails to his FBI lady friend. Strzok was also involved in the investigation of Clinton's email server and is said to have been the one who persuaded Comey to tone down his language about her misconduct, and let Hillary walk. ..."
"... There are other reasons to believe Trump may survive the deep state-media conspiracy to break his presidency, overturn his mandate, and reinstate a discredited establishment. Trump has Fox News and fighting congressmen behind him and the mainstream media is deeply distrusted and widely detested. And there is no Democratic House to impeach him or Democratic Senate to convict him. Moreover, Trump is not Nixon, who, like Charles I, accepted his fate and let the executioner's sword fall with dignity. If Trump goes, one imagines, he will not go quietly. ..."
"... I think the surprise is the degree and extent to which he is surrounded by hostile elements pretending to be disloyal and even when revealed like Comey and Sessions and Rosenstein they cannot be dislodged without great cost. ..."
"... The balance of evidence does not fall on Trump. The preponderance of evidence from Wasserman Schultz and her Pakistani technicians, from rigging the DNC against Sanders, from the McCain/FBI Dossier to justify wiretapping the RNC candidate, the pay for play Clinton Foundation and Clinton bankrolling the DNC in exchange for full control of the party, murdered members of the DNC like Seth Rich, the collusion between the CIA, FBI, DOJ, IRS, State Department and White House, etc etc etc. ..."
"... Beyond the Mueller investigation is the character assassination which has also backfired proving there are far more democrats and democratic donors engaged in rape, pedophilia and sexual harassment which is more of the same type of character assassination Hillary used by calling Trump and his base deplorables. ..."
"... People in the DNC and the Federal Govt were scared of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Obama but I truly think the DNC is under-estimating the degree they should be afraid of Trump. ..."
"... Of course, in reality there was NO hack. The emails were LEAKED by someone within the DNC who was utterly disgusted with the corruption and the sabotaging of Sanders nomination campaign to prevent any threat to the coronation of Empress Shrillary. ..."
"... IMHO its very likely that the leaker was indeed Seth Rich. Does anyone really believe in a "botched robbery" were the thief didn't steal his wallet or phone or watch? ..."
"... At this point there is an ocean of evidence that says Russia did NOTHING at all. More and more the revelations are that the Clinton slime machine moved on from Bernie Sanders to Trump without breaking stride. ..."
"... The Mueller shenanigans have for months been laid out for all to see by Andrew C. McCarthy, who ironically is a confirmed Putin-hater. More recently Victor Davis Hanson weighed in at long last, and it was a doozy. ..."
"... The Muller team is loaded with rabid Trump haters, which implies he either biased and out to get Trump, or just dumb. It has been very obvious from the moment Trump won the election that a large contingent of the government establishment has been determined to find a way to force him from office. ..."
"... My primary complaint with Trump is that in foreign policy, he has done nothing but endorse and continue the murderous and shameful policies of his predecessors: back Israel unequivocally, in spite of their record of aggression, back Saudi Arabia, ignoring the absolute evil of their country, pretend that Russia and Iran are the greatest evil in the world, with no evidence to support it. If there is a behind the scenes deep state, it consists of those who manage to continue this pattern, no matter if the president is an Evangelical or a Marxist. Foreign policy aside, he does have the interests of the common man at heart, and a very enthusiastic backing from "Joe six-pack" America, the America the left loathes. ..."
"... Listen to the speakers at political rallies, if they are only demonizing the other side in an unfocussed and vague way, this is what they are doing. It is a strategy of "divide and conquer." ..."
"... Those, who vote for one party or the other above all else, no matter whom the party nominates or what the party does, lawful or not, are engaging in the same political factionalism, about which Washington warned. Both parties have to be made to protect the Constitution and respect the rule of law. That is much more important than which party wins. At this point, neither party gives much of a damn about the Constitution or the law. The only goal is to win at any cost, vying for the attention of their globalist string-pullers. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Flynn asked Kislyak for help in blocking or postponing a Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, and to tell Vladimir Putin not to go ballistic over President Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. This is what security advisers do. Why Flynn let himself be ensnared in a perjury trap, when he had to know his calls were recorded, is puzzling.

Second, it is said Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey for refusing to cut slack for Flynn. But even Comey admits Trump acted within his authority. And Comey had usurped the authority of Justice Department prosecutors when he announced in July 2016 that Hillary Clinton ought not to be prosecuted for having been "extremely careless" in transmitting security secrets over her private email server. We now know that the first draft of Comey's statement described Clinton as "grossly negligent," the precise statute language for an indictment.

We also now know that helping to edit Comey's first draft to soften its impact was Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. His wife, Jill McCabe, a candidate for state senate in Virginia, received $467,000 in campaign contributions from the PAC of Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Comey has also admitted he leaked to The New York Times details of a one-on-one with Trump to trigger the naming of a special counsel -- to go after Trump. And that assignment somehow fell to Comey's predecessor, friend, and confidant Robert Mueller. Mueller swiftly hired half a dozen prosecutorial bulldogs who had been Clinton contributors, and Andrew Weinstein, a Trump hater who had congratulated Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to carry out Trump's travel ban. FBI official Peter Strzok had to be been removed from the Mueller probe for hatred of Trump manifest in emails to his FBI lady friend. Strzok was also involved in the investigation of Clinton's email server and is said to have been the one who persuaded Comey to tone down his language about her misconduct, and let Hillary walk.

In Mueller's tenure, still no Trump tie to the hacking of the DNC has been found. But a connection between Hillary's campaign and Russian spies -- to find dirt to smear and destroy Trump and his campaign -- has been fairly well established.

By June 2016, the Clinton campaign and DNC had begun shoveling millions of dollars to the Perkins Coie law firm, which had hired the oppo research firm Fusion GPS, to go dirt-diving on Trump. Fusion contacted ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who had ties to former KGB and FSB intelligence agents in Russia. They began to feed Steele, who fed Fusion, which fed the U.S. anti-Trump media with the alleged dirty deeds of Trump in Moscow hotels. While the truth of the dirty dossier has never been established, Comey's FBI rose like a hungry trout on learning of its contents. There are credible allegations Comey's FBI sought to hire Steele and used the dirt in his dossier to broaden the investigation of Trump -- and that its contents were also used to justify FISA warrants on Trump and his people.

This week, we learned that the Justice Department's Bruce Ohr had contacts with Fusion during the campaign, while his wife actually worked at Fusion investigating Trump. This thing is starting to stink.

Is the Trump investigation the rotten fruit of a poisoned tree? Is Mueller's Dump Trump team investigating the wrong campaign?

There are other reasons to believe Trump may survive the deep state-media conspiracy to break his presidency, overturn his mandate, and reinstate a discredited establishment. Trump has Fox News and fighting congressmen behind him and the mainstream media is deeply distrusted and widely detested. And there is no Democratic House to impeach him or Democratic Senate to convict him. Moreover, Trump is not Nixon, who, like Charles I, accepted his fate and let the executioner's sword fall with dignity. If Trump goes, one imagines, he will not go quietly.

In the words of the great Jerry Lee Lewis, there's gonna be a "whole lotta shakin' goin' on."

LouisM December 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Trump has had to work with corrupt officials in govt, overwhelming bureaucracy, unions, media and criminal elements. All present in anti-Trump DC.

I think the surprise is the degree and extent to which he is surrounded by hostile elements pretending to be disloyal and even when revealed like Comey and Sessions and Rosenstein they cannot be dislodged without great cost.

The balance of evidence does not fall on Trump. The preponderance of evidence from Wasserman Schultz and her Pakistani technicians, from rigging the DNC against Sanders, from the McCain/FBI Dossier to justify wiretapping the RNC candidate, the pay for play Clinton Foundation and Clinton bankrolling the DNC in exchange for full control of the party, murdered members of the DNC like Seth Rich, the collusion between the CIA, FBI, DOJ, IRS, State Department and White House, etc etc etc.

There is no equivalent trail of collusion, corruption, fraud, slander, sedition etc from Trump, the GOP or the Conservative Party while the DNC and the Mueller investigation reeks.

Beyond the Mueller investigation is the character assassination which has also backfired proving there are far more democrats and democratic donors engaged in rape, pedophilia and sexual harassment which is more of the same type of character assassination Hillary used by calling Trump and his base deplorables.

I think Trump is playing nice and being patient. He is fighting back but with great restraint. I don't think Trump has pulled out all guns. My guess, if and when this does not work, then Sessions and Rosenstein will be fired and replaced with people who will have special prosecutors investigate the Mueller investigation, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama, the FBI and the DOJ. Imagine how devastating it would be to release information proving Bill Clintons rapes and murders. Hillary may be a master at deflection and obfuscation but Trump will scorch and burn. Of this I have no doubt. Infact, it would not surprise me if Trump has someone in the intelligence community reporting directly to him and covertly performing these investigations so Trump can either scorch and burn in the media, in the press room or to appoint special counsels for what I cited above.

People in the DNC and the Federal Govt were scared of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Obama but I truly think the DNC is under-estimating the degree they should be afraid of Trump.

Gazza , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:27 am
"In Mueller's tenure, still no Trump tie to the hacking of the DNC has been found."

Of course, in reality there was NO hack. The emails were LEAKED by someone within the DNC who was utterly disgusted with the corruption and the sabotaging of Sanders nomination campaign to prevent any threat to the coronation of Empress Shrillary.

IMHO its very likely that the leaker was indeed Seth Rich. Does anyone really believe in a "botched robbery" were the thief didn't steal his wallet or phone or watch?

Dan Green , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:18 am
The media tells us this administrations support is waning, so impeachment is a hot topic. I am not convinced the American people en mass will support the process.
SteveK9 , says: December 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm
Most of these comments are almost as ridiculous as 'RussiaGate' itself. One must have a very strong bias to believe any of this (I am a lifelong Democrat, but I'm still able to think).

At this point there is an ocean of evidence that says Russia did NOTHING at all. More and more the revelations are that the Clinton slime machine moved on from Bernie Sanders to Trump without breaking stride.

Ken Zaretzke , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm
"Unfortunately, your nay-sayers seem confined to calling you a "Do-Do Head" and other remarks more suited to a preschool classroom."

Amen to that. They might be willfully ignorant. The Mueller shenanigans have for months been laid out for all to see by Andrew C. McCarthy, who ironically is a confirmed Putin-hater. More recently Victor Davis Hanson weighed in at long last, and it was a doozy.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454543/mueller-investigation-too-many-anti-trump-coincidences

Saying Robert Mueller is a pillar of integrity is like saying George Will is a brilliant thinker–it's Beltway bushwa.

Honorable Shark , says: December 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm
The neocons forgot that Richard Nixon saved Israel in the 1973 war. He emptied the NATO reserves to replenish their lost weapons. Had he not done this, maybe a negotiated peace based on a fair fight would have negated many of the problems we face today? Then Ford came along and they realized Oops! A mistake has been made. Carter stopped drinking the neocon KoolAide when the facts became irrefutable. Comparing Nixon to Trump is a non-starter. Nixon had an incredibly high-IQ and he was pro-America first, second, .nth.
EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 11:10 pm
I remain a huge fan of Pres Nixon. I often think he should have fought it out. Having chosen not to do so – he did indeed go quietly. And he did so for reasons unrelated to Watergate.

He also remains one of the most astute and intelligent men we have ever had in the WH. Had he been an insider, he would not have had faced the storm that came by way a lot of hyperbolic nonsense. It easy to forget how much he and his admin accomplished despite the period.

I remain supportive of Pres. Trump and despite areas of disagreement, I have yet to see any evidence that would even hint that he should resign. I don't think there's any evidence that the country is uniquely on a path to destruction from Pres Trump admin.

-- -- -- -- -- --

"4 indictment and or guilt pleas. Nothing there you say?"

I don't think you grasp the breadth that a SP has. It is virtually limitless. That means one can indicted for something that is accused years before and totally unrelated to the original purposes of the appointment. It was that breadth that bothered Pres. Nixon. And as it turned out he was concerned with good reason.

-- -- -- -- -- -

"Middle East was causing a huge recession that led to Democratic wave in 1974."

The die were cast, despite all of the issues, Pres Nixon out maneuvered and outsmarted his critics on the issues and they bit one card, charges of misbehavior on the heels of a very contentious foreign policy. He could have only survived had he just chosen to readily give on the plotters and moved on. Pardoning them later.

His choice to protect his legacy in its entirety -- led to bad decisions, that fed the appearance of guilt -- when the tapes came out --

it was done, despite little of anything incriminating on them. He chose to depart quietly. And in the end, so nil was his accusations that he has had his tenure revived and I suspect with time, that will continue.

Molière , says: December 16, 2017 at 10:10 am
Here's a list of confirmed fake news concerning the "russiagate" (of course all going in the same direction):
  1. Trump team received access to DNC WikiLeaks files before they were released (CNN).
  2. Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post).
  3. An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post).
  4. WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian).
  5. A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate).
  6. RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune).
  7. Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike).
  8. Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security).
  9. Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN).

Glenn Greenwald made an article about it. When we dig deep into the Russiagate it's not trump that we find but Brzezinski doctrine.

Peace from France

Stephen , says: December 16, 2017 at 10:13 am
The Muller team is loaded with rabid Trump haters, which implies he either biased and out to get Trump, or just dumb. It has been very obvious from the moment Trump won the election that a large contingent of the government establishment has been determined to find a way to force him from office.

This is an obvious truth, whether you want to call it a deep state conspiracy or something else. Trump is an imperfect man, but he has good ideas and plans for improving the life of the ordinary citizen.

One of the ways I know he is essentially decent is the hysterical hatred the left has for him. The left is the true enemy of this country, not Russia or radical Islam. In the past 50 years they have done great harm to this country.

The Conservative establishment has been utterly ineffective at stopping the destructive onslaght of the left, and in matters of foreign policy, have proven to be thoroughly corrupt and dishonest.

My primary complaint with Trump is that in foreign policy, he has done nothing but endorse and continue the murderous and shameful policies of his predecessors: back Israel unequivocally, in spite of their record of aggression, back Saudi Arabia, ignoring the absolute evil of their country, pretend that Russia and Iran are the greatest evil in the world, with no evidence to support it. If there is a behind the scenes deep state, it consists of those who manage to continue this pattern, no matter if the president is an Evangelical or a Marxist. Foreign policy aside, he does have the interests of the common man at heart, and a very enthusiastic backing from "Joe six-pack" America, the America the left loathes.

If Trump is successfully removed from office, I predict a breakout of serious unrest from the people.

DB , says: December 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm
Mr. Buchanan,

Do you have multiple personalities? One moment you are defending true conservatism and the next you seem to be supporting somebody because they have an R next to their name. Trump is a serious danger to our country. Far more than ISIS or any Muslim terrorists.

George Washington wrote a letter of farewell to the American People in 1796, in which he warned against the corruption of self-interested political parties. He called them political factions, but he is referring to the corruption and treasonous tendencies of the Democrat and Republican Parties of today, who are much more interested in the advancement of their party than the well-being of the Country, the protection of the Constitution or the rule of law.

Both of these now treasonous parties are funded and controlled by much the same global financial interests and are currently more loyal to their foreign paymasters -- which includes many foreign despots -- than they are to our country. The corruption of each of the two major political parties feeds on that of the other. Both parties have grown into foreign-controlled monsters. Individual Congressmen take orders from the party leadership, the lapdogs of their party bosses, instead of serving the interests of the nation.

The extreme partisanship and generalized demonization of members of the other party is a form of brainwashing that keeps Democrats and Republicans voting for their respective parties, no matter how corrupt the politicians of their own party have become. Listen to the speakers at political rallies, if they are only demonizing the other side in an unfocussed and vague way, this is what they are doing. It is a strategy of "divide and conquer." People should concentrate on specific misdeeds of individuals and not just be the cheerleaders of their own party. Both parties are parasitical entities feeding on the rotting carcass of America, which they have created.

Those, who vote for one party or the other above all else, no matter whom the party nominates or what the party does, lawful or not, are engaging in the same political factionalism, about which Washington warned. Both parties have to be made to protect the Constitution and respect the rule of law. That is much more important than which party wins. At this point, neither party gives much of a damn about the Constitution or the law. The only goal is to win at any cost, vying for the attention of their globalist string-pullers.

https://stop-obama-now.net/washingtons-farewell/

[Dec 17, 2017] Dr. Stephen Cohen on Tucker Carlson Empty Accusations of Russian Meddling Have Become Grave National Security Threat

Notable quotes:
"... Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of détente or cooperation with Russia. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

With eyebrows suspiciously furrowed, Tucker Carlson sat down tonight with NYU Professor of Russian Studies and contributor to The Nation , Stephen Cohen, to discuss the 35 page #FakeNews dossier which has gripped the nation with nightmares of golden showers and other perverted conduct which was to be used by Russia to keep Trump on a leash.

The left leaning Cohen, who holds a Ph.D. in government and Russian studies from Columbia, taught at Princeton for 30 years before moving to NYU. He has spent a lifetime deeply immersed in US-Russian relations, having been both a long standing friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and an advisor to President George H.W. Bush. His wife is also the editor of uber liberal " The Nation," so it's safe to assume he's not shilling for Trump - and Tucker was right to go in with eyebrows guarded against such a heavyweight.

Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of détente or cooperation with Russia.

Cohen believes that these dangerous accusations attempting to brand a US President as a puppet of a foreign government constitute a "grave American national security threat."

At the very end of the interview, Tucker's very un-furrowed eyebrows agreed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtwFEA4dM18

Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

[Dec 17, 2017] Whither the Anti-war Movement by Daniel Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The antiwar movement could not survive the end of the draft. One most Americans did not have to worry about their kids being sent in harm's way, when minorities became soldiers for the pay, the enthusiasm waned. It was other people's kids that did the fighting and the dying. None of your concern. ..."
"... Initiatives of the Military-Industrial-Complex are well-planned, well-funded, and have paid staff to keep the interests of the corporate sector healthy and powerful. ..."
"... The Pentagon knows that as long as we have a volunteer army and outsource much of the nasty side of conflict to contractors, the volunteer peace activists don't stand a chance against their wealthy corporate allies. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The duopoly succumbed to the war machine, while organized resistance got pushed to the fringe

Veterans For Peace rally in Washington, less than a month after 9/11. Credit: Elvert Barnes/Flickr

"Imagine there's no heaven and no religion too."

A more useful line when it comes to our current wars may be "Imagine there's no duopoly." It's hard to fault John Lennon for his idealism, of course. In his day, many blamed religion on the wars of history. But a much bigger obstacle right now, at least in the U.S., is partisanship. The two major political parties, in power and out, have been so co-opted by the war machine that any modern anti-war movement has been completely subsumed and marginalized -- even as American troops and killer drones continue to operate in or near combat zones all over the world.

Aside from the very early days of the Iraq war, the anti-war movement has been a small, ineffectual pinprick on the post-9/11 landscape. A less generous assessment is that it's been a bust. After liberals helped elect the "anti-war" Barack Obama, the movement all but disappeared, even though the wars did not. By putting a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Democratic face on his inherited wars, Obama expanded into new conflicts (Libya, Syria, Yemen) with little resistance, ultimately bombing seven different countries during his tenure. By 2013, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin lamented , "We've been protesting Obama's foreign policy for years now, but we can't get the same numbers because the people who would've been yelling and screaming about this stuff under Bush are quiet under Obama."

It's easy to blame the military-industrial complex, the corporate media, and the greed and malleability of politicians. But what about the anti-war movement itself? Why has it failed so miserably, and can it revive as President Donald Trump continues the wars of his predecessors and threatens new ones?

The rallies and protests in the early 2000s attracted significant numbers but they were weighed down by far-left organizations like the World Workers Party, which brought with them myriad other issues beyond war like global warming and poverty. There was also long-held and fairly broad skepticism about the intentions of United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which organized most of the big protests over the last 17 years. This was due to the "big tent" affiliations of some of their steering committee members, which critics say led to a dilution of the message and drove the anti-war movement further from the mainstream.

Perhaps the movement's biggest weakness was that it shied away from directly attacking its own -- the liberal Democrats who voted for the war in Congress.

In a sense, Democrats did emerge as the de facto anti-war party during the Iraq war, but that was only because a Republican -- George W. Bush -- was commander-in-chief. And what of the Democrats who voted for the war and continued to fund it? Out of 77 senators who supported the resolution authorizing military force against Iraq in 2002, 20 are still in office and roughly half are Democrats, while out of the 296 votes in favor in the House, 90 are still in office and 57 of them are Democrats. Some of them, like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, went on to become party leaders. Two others, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, went on to become secretaries of state and their party's nominees for president in 2004 and 2016 respectively. All went on to support new military interventions and regime changes, albeit under a new, liberal interventionist, Democratic banner.

Conversely, steadfast non-interventionist Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who voted against the resolution, failed badly in both his 2004 and 2008 attempts at his party's presidential nomination. Bottom line: Support for the war was hardly a deal-breaker for voters, any more than opposition to it was a dealmaker.

Reaction to war is just a microcosm of the political landscape, a manifestation of partisan-driven, short-term memory. Sure there might have been momentary disapproval, but when it came time to decide whether supporters of the war stayed or went, the sins of one's party leaders meant very little in the zero-sum game of electoral politics. Parties outside the duopoly be damned.

The same thing happened to the anti-war right, as the Ron Paul movement took off in 2008 with an immense level of grassroots energy. One of the singular successes of his movement was the ability to reach people on an intellectual and practical level about the folly of our foreign interventions and the waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars. Paul didn't shy from criticizing his own party's leaders and actions. He explained the Federal Reserve's relationship to the monetary costs of war.

Ultimately, media blackouts and distortion of Paul's message (for example, conflating his non-interventionist foreign policy views with "isolationism") helped kill his campaign. After Paul's 2008 defeat, conservative political activists seized upon the Texas congressman's libertarian-leaning revolutionary momentum and channeled it into the Tea Party -- while leaving the non-interventionist impulses behind. By 2011, national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin acknowledged , "On foreign policy probably the majority [of Tea Party Patriots] are more like [hawks] Michele Bachmann or Newt Gingrich."

And don't underestimate how the escalation of drone warfare during the Obama presidency muted the anti-war effort. Drone attacks made fewer headlines because they supposedly caused less collateral damage and kept U.S. troops out of harm's way, which was portrayed by administration officials and the war establishment in Washington as progress.

What the drone program did, in essence, was to create the illusion of "less war." Nevertheless, studies showing an increase of terrorism since the beginning of the "war on terror" indicate precisely the opposite: Civilian drone deaths (not always reported) create more enemies, meaning more of our troops will be put in harm's way eventually.

So where should the anti-war movement go from here? Perhaps it should begin by tempering its far-left impulses and embracing its allies on the right who have been made to feel unwelcome. They could take a lesson from right-leaning places like Antiwar.com and TAC that have long been open to writers and activists on the left.

Meanwhile, flying "Resist Trump" signs at rallies not only misses the mark by suggesting that our needless wars aren't a bipartisan, systemic problem, but creates a non-inclusive atmosphere for anti-war Trump voters. Ironically, not much "resistance" was heard when Democrats recently helped pass Trump's $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and failed to repeal the original post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, as was advocated for by Senator Rand Paul this year.

In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution. Most people are willing to accept that there's a big difference between that and the terrible waste and tragedy that comes with waging unnecessary wars overseas.

They are also averse to their lawmakers doing favors for special interests. Focusing on the money and influence that giant defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have on Capitol Hill -- essentially making war a business -- makes the anti-war point by raising the issue of crony capitalism and the cozy relationship between politicians and big business, which increasingly leaves the American public out of the equation.

These corporations, along with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, have accounted for $42 million in contributions to congressional candidates since 2009, with $12 million in the 2016 cycle alone. The majority of these funds have targeted Armed Services Committee members, such as perennial war hawk John McCain. In addition, influential neoconservative think tanks have received millions in grants over the years from "philanthropic" organizations such as the Bradley Foundation and the Olin Foundation, which have corporate backgrounds in the defense industry. The conservative Heritage Foundation is reportedly considering the vice president of Lockheed as its new president.

Furthermore, mantras and slogans like, "you're either with us or against us" and "support our troops" have been used as powerful psy-ops to create a false dichotomy: you either support the war policy or you're not patriotic. Debunking this by pointing out how these wars profit the elite while serving as a pipeline that puts more American military servicemembers -- often from working-class backgrounds -- into harm's way should appeal to the current populist spirit on both sides of the political fence. In fact, it could begin to draw new, disenchanted voters into the movement.

Americans today are tired of war, which is good, for now. Unfortunately, without a strong anti-war movement, there won't be much resistance when the next "big threat" comes along. The two major parties have proven to be false friends when it comes to opposing war -- they only do it when it suits them politically. Moving beyond them and becoming stronger with allies and numbers -- imagine, there's no parties -- is the best way to build a real opposition.

Daniel Martin is an anti-war activist, musician, and rock journalist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter @MartysInvasion .

Youknowho December 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

The antiwar movement could not survive the end of the draft. One most Americans did not have to worry about their kids being sent in harm's way, when minorities became soldiers for the pay, the enthusiasm waned. It was other people's kids that did the fighting and the dying. None of your concern.
Whine Merchant , says: December 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm
The so-called 'anti-war' or 'peace' movement is mostly a genuine grass roots phenomenon that relies upon volunteers and ordinary people taking time out of their busy lives to become active. The energy and drive are hard to sustain on a volunteer basis.

To a great extent, motivation for activism is a reaction to something egregious, not a planned and sustained response to an on-going situation. Despite the power of social media, reactively movements lead by well-intentioned amateurs cannot martial prolonged support.

Initiatives of the Military-Industrial-Complex are well-planned, well-funded, and have paid staff to keep the interests of the corporate sector healthy and powerful. The activism that pulled the US out of SE Asia in the 70s took 10 years to build strength against a what was less organised and planned war machine than we see today. The Pentagon knows that as long as we have a volunteer army and outsource much of the nasty side of conflict to contractors, the volunteer peace activists don't stand a chance against their wealthy corporate allies.

Thank you –

Fran Macadam , says: December 14, 2017 at 11:19 pm
The tragedy yet to be is that the business of war and its boosterism only ends when the suffering of war comes upon the nation whose leaders make it. It might be different if the population were inclined against it, but there is a widespread belief in U.S. Exceptionalism and a belief that it is America's birthright to rule the world by military force if required. And ruling peoples against their wills does require force.

The consistency of human nature does not promise any respite from the propensity to make war, as has occurred throughout all known history. Those wars will be waged with ever greater and even world-ending technology – there never has been a weapon created that was not used, and every one of them has proliferated.

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:20 am
This makes sense to me. There has to be a coalition of anti interventionists across the political spectrum because the two parties are dominated by warmongers. On foreign policy I am closer to many of the conservatives here than to many or most liberals I know in real life or online. I have never heard a liberal in my real life mention Yemen or drones unless I bring it up. Syria was never seen as a place where our support for " moderate" rebels kept the killing going. A friend of mine has become outraged when I tell him our support for the Saudis in Yemen is much more important than Russiagate. So Russiagate matters more than our complicity in a crime against humanity.

Mainstream liberals simply don't care about our stupid wars unless there is a large American death toll and it can be blamed solely on a Republican. I am not saying conservatives are better. The ones here are better.

Zebesian , says: December 15, 2017 at 2:43 am
I hope that the anti-war movement grows again, and persists throughout the probable Democratic Presidency in 2020. There's such little a single person can do, though.

Maybe Trump will keep his anti-war promises?

collin , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:03 am
There is probably a multiple issues here but:

1) Most military is below the headlines and it is hard to protest here. There several thousands troops in Africa and hardly anybody knows it.
2) The last 7 Prez elections, 6 doves (2004 exception and yes Bush pretended to the dove in 2000.) won and yet the dovish winner is more hawkish in the White House. So it is hard not to use the military and it would wise to answer that question,
3) Anti-War conservatives only had modest support when Obama signed the nuclear deal or avoided bombing in Syria. Where were the 'Ron Paul' voters there to support the President making dovish choices? Sure Syria was handled poorly but if we heard more support it might change things.
4) And it is true the hard left is very-war but focused on other agenda. Witness Bernie Sanders was unable to beat HRC because he is dove complaining about Cold War battles that is past history. And watch out Matt Duss is writing his speeches and Bernie is taking them seriously.

Robert E. , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:25 am
I'm a liberal democrat and certainly would agree that President Obama was culpable for destroying our anti-war movement. It was one of my grievances with him from the very beginning, as nothing about his rhetoric was ever about peace. It was only till the very end of his last term that he ever learned any lessons on caution in intervention (But never about the folly of drone striking civilians), and by then, it was too late.

Neo-militarism, which is where the costs of war are separated from engagement with it in order to reduce civil unrest over military actions, wasn't something Obama created though. It was a reaction to the Vietnam War that was thoroughly ingrained in the conscience of both parties. The only lesson they learned from that war is that if Americans see and hear of the suffering of their soldiers, they won't be supportive of military pork and intervention.

And so we live in a really weird culture now where most people don't even know a soldier, where our soldiers are off to forever war and in the system they are in is so distant that they don't understand civilian society either, and where the costs of war are hidden. There is a political problem certainly, but the root of it is a cultural problem. We are fed patriotic myths of American invincibility and Spartanism, and militarism has become one of the only unifying threads in being an "American", even though most Americans have not even the faintest clue of how the military operates or what soldiers are like.

You can gather up all the anti-war activists across the political spectrum, and you still aren't going to find enough people for a successful movement. And I'm not entirely sure how you can change the culture on this issue, as it would require undoing a lifetime worth of programming and propaganda in every citizen.

It may take another cultural trauma from a war so disastrous that even the worst chicken hawks have to say, "Wow, we really ruined everything here" for Americans to finally learn a lesson beyond how to sweep the nasty parts of war under the rug so the public doesn't see them. I suppose North Korea is looking promising on that front.

EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:49 am
I dislike the term anti-war. It sounds too much akin to a pacifists pose. I don't have any issues with people who are sincerely pacifists. But there are times when war is required. And sometimes in my view, that includes the use of force for humanitarian purposes.

I rest on the views that push the "clear and present danger" as old as it may be. And I do so without being ignorant of my own concerns about the strategic threats that abound or potentially abound in the future, near and far.

Where's the anti-war movement -- they are in think tanks, congress, and CEO corporate positions seeking to atone for the mess they made of our communities, country and veterans since the the misguided anti-war slogans of the late '60's and early '70's.

The consequence of an all volunteer military separates the community from a national sense of risk. I will dare utter, the unspoken, Vietnam was not about some just cause or care about the Vietnamese or the national conscience. It was the basic fear of personal sacrifice – period.

Ohh it was nicely clothed in all kinds of rhetorical discourse about war, peace loving Vietnamese, peace-love and understanding, free speech, anti-colonialism . . . blah and blah.

As Dr. King would soon discover, lending his intellect to young white kids fears, sabotaged the real retrenchment of the consequence of the nation's hypocrisy.

It takes a moral courage that has been bled out because there is in my view essentially no risk individual national investment. If x hundred thousand are willing to sign-up for defense --

that is a choice of no account to citizens who don't.

There is a war going on and its right here at home.

Myles Hagar , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm
If we want the freedom to comfortably drive to the convenience store to buy more plastic products from China, we must have war to secure the oil, flow of foreign goods and exploitation of foreign labour necessary to maintain our predatory and non-productive way of life. Peace requires a transformation of consciousness with the resultant total rejection of consumerism. The personal sacrifice required for peace is the missing element.
Kent , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm
"a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution."

I take strong exception to this. The second amendment

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Unlike what most people think, the "free State" mentioned here represents the 13 original states. Their "well regulated Militia"'s could not be disarmed because that would allow the federal military to take away their sovereign freedom. The federal government was never intended to be more powerful than the individual state's militias.

And Section 8 Clause 12 of the Constitution when describing Congress' responsibilities:

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

The Constitution assumed that Congress would only raise an army when at war, and it would be dismantled almost immediately, hence the "two Years" limit on funding the military.

The Constitution assumes a very weak defensive posture, and the continued massive military system of the USA is the most unconstitutional thing we do. By a million miles.

john , says: December 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm
As long a there is a volunteer military there will not be a strong anti war movement. Remember, the sixties and that so called anti war movement which turned out to be nothing more that an anti draft movement. As soon as the military draft stopped those so called activists shaved their beards, got a haircut, took a bath, and along with those who came back from Canada went on to join daddy's business or law firm, with many migrating to wall street, eventually becoming the chicken hawks of the current era.There would never have been an invasion of Iraq or the perpetual war if every family shared the burden of sending one of their sons or daughters to act as cannon fodder. With the poverty draft only five percent of the younger generation are doing the fighting and dying. Americans will not even give up attending football games where disrespect for the military takes the form of disrespecting the flag, let alone join the military or put one of their children in harms way.
EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm
"The Constitution assumes a very weak defensive posture, and the continued massive military system of the USA is the most unconstitutional thing we do. By a million miles."

I guess if one skips the preamble one might come to that conclusion. But the Purpose of the Constitution establishing a nation spells out in very clear terms --

" . . . provide for the common defense . . ."

That is not a weak posture in any sense of the word. And no founder of government not those that followed understood that said union was to be weak. Avoiding unnecessary wars or conflicts does not mean a weak defense. What they pressed was a weak federal systems that would subvert internal freedoms for states and individuals.

It's hard to argue that no established international defense was sought -- when it states in very clear terms -- the nation is created for the very purpose of defending it's existence.

A strong defense does not require a an over aggressive posture, but existence requires an ability to defend it. And right now nothing more threatens our existence as much as weak immigration enforcement.

And I think the evidence for that is overwhelming. Most poignantly demonstrated by the events of 9/11. And there christians of many brands are a threat to the US by aiding and abetting the violations of that sovereignty and using Christ as the excuse to do so, even as that defense undermines their fellow citizens. That breed of christian ethos is certainly not new nor are its tentacles of hypocrisy.

What I object to among both interventionists is that they both don't mind giving people in the country illegally a pass despite their mutual claims of legal moral high bround.

David Swanson , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Biggest sign of how weak we are in this article is the assumption built into this: "In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution." I mean the assumption that one cannot oppose the whole institution for the overwhelming secular empirical reasons that it endangers us, destroys our environment, impoverishes us, erodes our liberties, militarizes our localities, degrades our culture, poisons our politics. See the case made at World Beyond War's website.
Glenn , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Superb article by Daniel Martin. The first step out of this mess is to fully acknowledge the scope of the mess: Democrats and Republicans -- who squabble about many things -- unite to give bipartisan support for American militarism.
Honorable Shark , says: December 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm
The anti-war movement is not listened to. In SF during a bombardment of Gaza, there were hundreds of anti-war protesters at City Hall. The most liberal deliberative body in the US looked stone-faced and emotionless. When they finished, if on a cue, a Jewish member of the Board tabled the agenda item, and it was never heard from again. Not one of these eleven lawmakers even asked a question. Who said you cannot fight City Hall? They were right.
balconesfault , says: December 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm
A lot of Dems stepped forward to oppose the Iraq War and they got plowed over for it politically.

I fully expect the same to happen to any Dems who divert their attention from stopping the other budget busting, middle-class harming, anti-environmental, anti-women measures the GOP is currently pushing to make a futile attempt to stop whatever Trump decides to do with our military.

You guys elected Donald J. Trump. You own him.

cka2nd , says: December 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm
The argument that there can be no anti-war movement without a draft to drive it is belied by the fact that no war in our history generated more protests than the Bush Administration's build-up towards the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Where the mass base of any anti-war movement seems to draw the line is not specifically at their kids but at the possibility of significant American casualties, period. Hence, the absence of mass protest against drone warfare on the one hand, and the immediate and decisive push back by the public against Congress authorizing Obama to "put boots on the ground" in Syria on the other.

My friends in the International Bolshevik Tendency ( http://bolshevik.org/ ) argue for the classic united front in their anti-war organizing. Everyone opposed to War X should march together but retain their right to free speech at the march and on the podium. So the official call for the march is not a laundry list, but marchers and speakers are not subject to censorship or being shut down if they want to make connections that discomfit some Democratic politician or movement hack. It makes more sense to me than either the single-issue, "we must ALL stay ON point" model or the multi-issue, excessively intersectional and virtue-signaling one that arose in reaction to it.

MKBrussel , says: December 16, 2017 at 12:19 am
No one seems to mention the power and importance of the mainstream, corporatized, media, which has supported all our wars and associated aggressions in recent times, and which ignores and suppresses antiwar sentiments and opinion writers, as well as inconvenient facts. This holds for the NYT, the WP, the WSJ and client newspapers as well as the TV news channels. The internet is evidently not powerful enough to offset this national bias. Antiwar periodicals tend to be on the fringe in terms of mass circulation.
It also takes money in this society to get things done, and the anti-war "left"(or right) , in addition to having organizational problems, lacks those resources. An antiwar super billionaire, if that is not a contradiction in terms, might make a dent by creating/promoting TV and news channels.

A usefull discussion.

Fran Macadam , says: December 16, 2017 at 4:26 am
EliteCommInc., be assured you will get your wars. Also be assured that they won't accomplish the aims they will be sold to accomplish. Some of those who know the real reasons may well accomplish their private goals for a season. One day, the real cost to be paid will come due, and it may not be a rude awakening, but nuclear death. So by all means, continue not to be against war, against all the evidence. We are predisposed to war because our fallen nature leads us to dream of it.
balconesfault , says: December 16, 2017 at 6:02 am
@Glenn

Democrats and Republicans -- who squabble about many things -- unite to give bipartisan support for American militarism.

That is because, sadly, American voters demand it.

As I've observed before – if you place a candidates militarism on a spectrum of 0 (Ghandi) to 100 (Hitler) American voters are conditioned to prefer a candidate with a score 20 points higher than theirs to a candidate 5 points lower.

Fear is a powerful tool.

Dieter Heymann , says: December 16, 2017 at 7:26 am
Kent makes a very good point. Yet this baby nation was somewhat torn between a Scylla and Charybdis of military readiness. The Scylla was the fear of a "European" track that is to say the evolution into a Monarchy anchored on a powerful national army. The Charybdis was the potential invasions by the powerful European states of Great Britain and Spain.
Dave Sullivan , says: December 16, 2017 at 8:14 am
The opinion that anti-war people, particularly from the Vietnam era, did so because they didn't want to sacrifice is ludicrous. It displays an ignorance of the sacrifices made, and the success of the war party to paint them in this manor. Veterans are appointed a myriad of benefits, a plethora of memorials,holidays, endless honorable mentions. For the war resistors, nothing, unless one could count the kind of scorn I see here, on an antiwar site ! It is not "selfish" to look both ways before crossing the street, and perhaps choosing not to if it appears the risk is not worth the reward. In fact, this behavior defines "conservative". Militant societies require centralization. The key to modern centralized militant power, is nuclear war. The existence of these weapons produces a huge secrecy, and internal security state. They produce an insane populace whom believe the state is protecting them from annihilation. Know this, our militant masters love that North Korea has the bomb. Sleep tight.

[Dec 16, 2017] Former US attorney says FBI wants to frame the President

Highly recommended!
Pretty interesting and revealing video of the interview...
There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the assistance of foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump or to provide a basis for his impeachment should he win.
From the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI it looks like that those institutions protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.
In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of tyranny.
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

William Branstetter , 9 hours ago

Treason is exactly what these people have committed! They should be tried, if convicted hung by the neck until dead or firing squad their choice!

Scott SonofJohn , 9 hours ago

"Comey sold his soul to the devil."

[Dec 16, 2017] Mohammed bin Salman's ill-advised ventures have weakened Saudi Arabia, by Patrick Cockburn - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... We are the ones who have been fomenting destabilization all throughout the region some of whom would have been allies of the Saudis in some common cause. ..."
"... I think there are more effective choices concerning Yemen and Qatar. But figuring out what the choices are is not going to be easy. And harder still perhaps is implementing them. As for backfire -- we are just not in a position to judge, at the moment. Anyone hoping that another major state collapses in that region is probably miscalculating the value of instability. ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted Middle East man of the year, but his great impact stems more from his failures than his successes. He is accused of being Machiavellian in clearing his way to the throne by the elimination of opponents inside and outside the royal family. But, when it comes to Saudi Arabia's position in the world, his miscalculations remind one less of the cunning manoeuvres of Machiavelli and more of the pratfalls of Inspector Clouseau.

Again and again, the impulsive and mercurial young prince has embarked on ventures abroad that achieve the exact opposite of what he intended. When his father became king in early 2015, he gave support to a rebel offensive in Syria that achieved some success but provoked full-scale Russian military intervention, which in turn led to the victory of President Bashar al-Assad. At about the same time, MbS launched Saudi armed intervention, mostly through airstrikes, in the civil war in Yemen. The action was code-named Operation Decisive Storm, but two and a half years later the war is still going on, has killed 10,000 people and brought at least seven million Yemenis close to starvation.

The Crown Prince is focusing Saudi foreign policy on aggressive opposition to Iran and its regional allies, but the effect of his policies has been to increase Iranian influence. The feud with Qatar, in which Saudi Arabia and the UAE play the leading role, led to a blockade being imposed five months ago which is still going on. The offence of the Qataris was to have given support to al-Qaeda type movements – an accusation that was true enough but could be levelled equally at Saudi Arabia – and to having links with Iran. The net result of the anti-Qatari campaign has been to drive the small but fabulously wealthy state further into the Iranian embrace.

Saudi relations with other countries used to be cautious, conservative and aimed at preserving the status quo. But today its behaviour is zany, unpredictable and often counterproductive: witness the bizarre episode in November when the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned to Riyadh, not allowed to depart and forced to resign his position. The objective of this ill-considered action on the part of Saudi Arabia was apparently to weaken Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon, but has in practice empowered both of them.

What all these Saudi actions have in common is that they are based on a naïve presumption that "a best-case scenario" will inevitably be achieved. There is no "Plan B" and not much of a "Plan A": Saudi Arabia is simply plugging into conflicts and confrontations it has no idea how to bring to an end.

MbS and his advisers may imagine that it does not matter what Yemenis, Qataris or Lebanese think because President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, are firmly in their corner. "I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing," tweeted Trump in early November after the round up and confinement of some 200 members of the Saudi elite. "Some of those they are harshly treating have been 'milking' their country for years!" Earlier he had tweeted support for the attempt to isolate Qatar as a supporter of "terrorism".

But Saudi Arabia is learning that support from the White House these days brings fewer advantages than in the past. The attention span of Donald Trump is notoriously short, and his preoccupation is with domestic US politics: his approval does not necessarily mean the approval of other parts of the US government. The State Department and the Pentagon may disapprove of the latest Trump tweet and seek to ignore or circumvent it. Despite his positive tweet, the US did not back the Saudi confrontation with Qatar or the attempt to get Mr Hariri to resign as prime minister of Lebanon.

For its part, the White House is finding out the limitations of Saudi power. MbS was not able to get the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to agree to a US-sponsored peace plan that would have given Israel very much and the Palestinians very little. The idea of a Saudi-Israeli covert alliance against Iran may sound attractive to some Washington think tanks, but does not make much sense on the ground. The assumption that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the promise to move the US embassy there, would have no long-term effects on attitudes in the Middle East is beginning to look shaky.

It is Saudi Arabia – and not its rivals – that is becoming isolated. The political balance of power in the region changed to its disadvantage over the last two years. Some of this predates the elevation of MbS: by 2015 it was becoming clear that a combination of Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey was failing to carry out regime change in Damascus. This powerful grouping has fragmented, with Turkey and Qatar moving closer to the Russian-backed Iranian-led axis, which is the dominant power in the northern tier of the Middle East between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean.

If the US and Saudi Arabia wanted to do anything about this new alignment, they have left it too late. Other states in the Middle East are coming to recognise that there are winners and losers, and have no wish to be on the losing side. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a meeting this week in Istanbul of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, to which 57 Muslim states belong, to reject and condemn the US decision on Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia only sent a junior representative to this normally moribund organisation. But other state leaders like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, King Abdullah of Jordan and the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, among many others, were present. They recognised East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and demanded the US reverse its decision.

MbS is in the tradition of leaders all over the world who show Machiavellian skills in securing power within their own countries. But their success domestically gives them an exaggerated sense of their own capacity in dealing with foreign affairs, and this can have calamitous consequences. Saddam Hussein was very acute in seizing power in Iraq but ruined his country by starting two wars he could not win.

Mistakes made by powerful leaders are often explained by their own egomania and ignorance, supplemented by flattering but misleading advice from their senior lieutenants. The first steps in foreign intervention are often alluring because a leader can present himself as a national standard bearer, justifying his monopoly of power at home. Such a patriotic posture is a shortcut to popularity, but there is always a political bill to pay if confrontations and wars end in frustration and defeat. MbS has unwisely decided that Saudi Arabia should play a more active and aggressive role at the very moment that its real political and economic strength is ebbing. He is overplaying his hand and making too many enemies.

Svigor , December 16, 2017 at 6:24 am GMT
The only hope someone as cloistered as a Saudi crown prince can have of being an effective ruler is either by being an extraordinary person (very curious, love learning for its own sake, etc), or be at least moderately intelligent, and listen to consensus.

For its part, the White House is finding out the limitations of Saudi power. MbS was not able to get the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to agree to a US-sponsored peace plan that would have given Israel very much and the Palestinians very little.

Lies and Jew-hatred. Everyone knows that despite their infamous sharpness in business dealings, the world's longest history of legalism, a completely self-centered and ethnocentric culture, and their longstanding abuse of the Palestinians, every single deal the Jews try to sign with the Palestinians heavily favors the Palestinians, and the only reason the Palestinians won't sign is because they're psychotic Jew-haters.

The idea of a Saudi-Israeli covert alliance against Iran may sound attractive to some Washington think tanks, but does not make much sense on the ground. The assumption that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the promise to move the US embassy there, would have no long-term effects on attitudes in the Middle East is beginning to look shaky.

Hey, you skipped the part where you did anything to support the idea that a Zionist-Saudi alliance doesn't make sense.

K, let's all wait for Art Deco to come in and spew some Hasbara then tell us he's not a Zhid.

Avery , December 16, 2017 at 6:28 am GMT
{Mohammed Bin Salman's Ill-Advised Ventures Have Weakened Saudi Arabia}

GREAT news. Hopefully the evil, cannibalistic terrorism spreading so-called 'kingdom' of desert nomads will continue on its path of self destruction, and disappear as a functioning state.

Tammy , December 16, 2017 at 9:51 am GMT
Once more a Saudi Firster was detained in KSA. This time the owner of Arab Bank, a Jordanian with dual Jordan and KSA citizenship. Saad Hariri a Lebanese was the first one who was dual Lebanon and KSA citizens and who lost his diplomatic immunity in KSA.

I wonder if the Israel Firster who are dual citizens are now sweating? Wonder, if Netanyahu is still an USA citizen? Happy days are coming back .

Jake , December 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT
"Saudi relations with other countries used to be cautious, conservative and aimed at preserving the status quo. But today its behaviour is zany, unpredictable and often counterproductive:"

Saudis allied with Israelis, backed by the wealth and might of the US? Guaranteed to bring out the worst in Saudis (which is bad enough at base) and Israelis and Americans.

cbrown , December 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm GMT
Machiavellian skills really ? I'd see 6 months ahead if this was true. MBS just made a show that they are a de facto Mafia not a businessman to the whole world. I'd bet he just quashed a lot of efforts and money spent on raising the racing horses of the saud monarch and in turn destroyed some serious connection that were vital but aren't readily available to them. Just how potent money they thought it would be ? Sure all is businesses and it will work so long you can pay the right person. The problem is where to find the right person.
Joe Hide , December 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT
Come on Cockburn, look at the Big Picture, not the little one. This the old fallacy of looking at the trees and not seeing the forest. What is happening in Saudi Arabia is a piece of the much bigger puzzle being put together over years, decades, and maybe generations.

The psychopaths at the top of the power pyramid have been engaged in this hidden global game for generations, it's always been part of their longterm strategy.

Very recently Highly intelligent, realistic, morally and ethically centered, and practically oriented individuals, have also formed secret powerful groups to arrive at beneficial goals for humanity. These truly Good Guys have learned that the criminal, murderous, lecherous, degenerate, deviate, psychopaths in positions of great power are irredeemable and should be eliminated where possible. What you see in Saudi Arabia is merely a tree, not the forest. Just the same, to the author, keep writing but research the subject much much more before you put pen to paper, as you do have apersuasive and talented style.

EliteCommInc. , December 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT
I am going to come to the defence here.

1. We have been screaming about the unintended consequences of Saudi giving to charities since 2004.

2. We removed the buffer of Iraq from Iranian ambitions (as unclear as it may be debated) creating issues not only for Saudi Arabia, but others in the region as well.

3. We are the ones who have been fomenting destabilization all throughout the region some of whom would have been allies of the Saudis in some common cause.

4. No one is escaping the negative consequences of our Iraq invasion.

5. We have been complaining about rogue and irresponsible wealthy Muslims ad naseum.

Now when someone steps up the plate to meet the challenges many caused by the US – our first complaint is not astute counsel but rather a series of articles highlighting failure. I would not contend that I support every choice. But I think we should at least take a wait and see perspective. He is operating in a region rife with intrigue and ambitions, not to mention -- Muslims bent on spreading Islam as one would expect a muslim to do. Frankly I am not sure how one governs in the arena of the middle east – especially now – it's a region in major shift.

I think there are more effective choices concerning Yemen and Qatar. But figuring out what the choices are is not going to be easy. And harder still perhaps is implementing them. As for backfire -- we are just not in a position to judge, at the moment. Anyone hoping that another major state collapses in that region is probably miscalculating the value of instability.

DESERT FOX , December 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm GMT
The Saudis are the U.S. and ISISRAELS puppet, they do what the Zionist neocons tell them to do, which is to be the Zionist agent provocateur in the Mideast.

The Saudis have helped the U.S. and ISISRAEL create and finance ISIS aka AL CIADA and for this the Saudis can rot in hell, and by the way the reason for the attack on Yemen is that the Saudis oil reserves are diminishing and so the Saudis figured they would take Yemens oil.

The main creators of ISIS aka AL CIADA are the U.S. and ISISRAEL and BRITAIN ie the CIA and the MOSSAD and MI6.

Anon , Disclaimer December 16, 2017 at 4:55 pm GMT
The irony is that Saudis, before MbS and during his dominance, are making exactly the same suicidal blunders as the US. No enemy could have damaged the US and its positions in the world more than its Presidents and the Congress in the last 17 years. The same is true for KSA, with the same mistakes being made: undermining the financial system of the country, global over-reach that forces all opposition to unite, crazy military expenses, etc.
Art , December 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT
Sorry, but these people dressed in 14 century robes and garb, cannot be taken seriously. They look like play-people feigning a furious grandeur. Without their petrochemicals – they would be laughed at by everyone – including their own kind. They should not be respected because they are religious – they are old world tribalist thugs hiding behind a religion. They use and abuse their people – holding them back from modernity.

Think Peace -- Art

Anon , Disclaimer December 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT
@Z-man

Thing is, Saudi regime was rotten through and through before MbS, remains rotten under his rule, and will remain rotten when some other jerk kicks him out and establishes himself at the helm.

neutral , December 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm GMT
It does not matter how smart Saudi Arabia is with their foreign policy now, they became allies with Israel, that means Saudi Arabia can never claim to be a power working for the interests of Islam. MBS is a marked man, no matter how many purges he undertakes in his army, or even if he just hires Pakistani soldiers, if he has Muslims fighting in his army he will always be carrying the risk of being assassinated by somebody who has seen him cross the red line and become pro jewish.
Svigor , December 16, 2017 at 6:51 pm GMT
I don't really understand the constant hopes that the Saudi regime will fall. How is that any different from cheering Bush's disastrous regime change in Iraq? How will the fallout be any better in Arabia than it was in Iraq, Libya, etc?
cbrown , December 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Svigor

It's not that there's a constant hope it's just they'd fall in the near future and fortunately it will balance the geopolitical power in the future. Their fallout aren't going to be as bad unless the people pulling their string persistent in keeping them in power.

neutral , December 16, 2017 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Svigor

It will be better because it means Israel loses an ally, also with the Saudis gone Egypt will also be unable to keep their population in check. The fall of the Saudis means that Israel will be surrounded by regimes that oppose it...

someone , December 17, 2017 at 12:14 am GMT
Another Junior Gaddafi that is going to ruin his entire nation while intoxicated with NYT or other Western media coverage. He talks of corruption after spending 1.1 Billion dollars on a yacht and a painting.
Netenyahu is much the same. He has weakened Israel immensely by playing the scary wolf.
anon , Disclaimer December 17, 2017 at 12:33 am GMT
@neutral

South Africa was never in danger from their hostile neighbors . They committed suicide. Egypt cannot control its own territory let alone start wars , ditto for Syria and Lebanon. Jordan is a client state of Israel and lacks a functioning army. ...

[Dec 16, 2017] Sessions Balks At Second Special Counsel Says Recent FBI Bombshell May Have Innocent Explanation Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... House and Senate Committees are also trying to get to the bottom of a report last Monday by Fox News which revealed that recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS - the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier. It was also later uncovered by internet sleuths that Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group at a 2010 working group on organized crime, which she participated in along with her husband Bruce and Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. ..."
"... Last Tuesday, FBI Deputy Director McCabe unexpectedly cancelled a scheduled testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee -- thought to be related to the Fox report on Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Text messages between Strzok and Page were released the same day . ..."
"... Of course he won't, yet those who still support Trump will continue to perform mental gymnastics to explain why. Trump picked Sessions, just like he picked Cohn, Munchkin, Pence, etc. ..."
"... I've always been very uncomfortable with the nearly unlimited mandate afforded Special Prosecutors. Arguments that Mueller has exceeded his mandate and is now on a fishing expedition show a complete disregard for the law. Mueller is allowed to do that, just as Ken Starr was. That's the problem. Mueller hasn't done anything unlawful and nobody has seriously alleged that he has. The problem is that the law allows him to do whatever he wants. ..."
"... If by "insurance policy" Strzok meant the dossier, which was the basis for a FISA warrant, I'd say they were outside the law. ..."
"... Have you noticed that everyone with these impeccable, beyond reproach, do it by the book reputations are all really nothing more than reptilian scumbags? Comey, Mueller, McCain, Sessions....... ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

In November. Sessions pushed back on the need for a special counsel to investigate a salacious anti-Trump dossier paid for in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, and whether or not the FBI used the largely unverified dossier to launch the Russia investigation. Sessions told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that it would take "a factual basis that meets the standard of a special counsel," adding "You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires. I would say, 'looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel "

http://players.brightcove.net/1077863425/HyenjoxZ3b_default/index.html?videoId=5646148989001

A flood of GOP lawmakers along with President Trump's outside counsel Jay Sekulow have renewed calls for a separate special counsel investigation of the Department of Justice and the FBI amid revelations that top FBI officials conspired to tone down former FBI Director James Comey's statement exonerating Hillary Clinton - altering or removing key language which effectively "decriminalized" Clinton's beahvior. The officials implicated are former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Strzok's supervisor E.W. "Bill" Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson .

Also under recent scrutiny are a trove of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page showing extreme bias against then-candidate Trump, while both of them were actively engaged in the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. GOP lawmakers claim the FBI launched its investigation into Russian collusion based on the 34-page dossier created by opposition research firm Fusion GPS - which hired the CIA wife of a senior DOJ official to assist in digging up damaging information on 5then-candidate Trump .

A particularly disturbing text message between Strzok and Page was leaked to the press last week referencing an " insurance policy " in case Trump were to be elected President. Strzok wrote to Page: " I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk ." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.... "

House and Senate Committees are also trying to get to the bottom of a report last Monday by Fox News which revealed that recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS - the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier. It was also later uncovered by internet sleuths that Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group at a 2010 working group on organized crime, which she participated in along with her husband Bruce and Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.

Bruce and Nellie Ohr

Last Tuesday, FBI Deputy Director McCabe unexpectedly cancelled a scheduled testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee -- thought to be related to the Fox report on Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Text messages between Strzok and Page were released the same day .

So with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying things may have "more innocent explanations" here are some specific questions for the AG to answer:

18 U.S. Code ' 793 "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" specifically uses the phrase "gross negligence." Had Comey used the phrase, he would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law.

The list goes on and on, but hey: sometimes things that might appear to be bad in the press have more innocent explanations...

So Close -> Automatic Choke , Dec 16, 2017 6:31 PM

No! The true explanation cuts across the grain of the existing miasma currently being perpetrated as truth by the senior management at the FBI. One being ignored and covered up by the mainstream media. We have senior management at the top federal law enforcement agency that has willfully chosen to elevate their personal political opinion and beliefs above their sworn duty to uphold constitutional law. And this "explanation" is just the latest attempt to reinforce a violently shaking house of cards. The question that presents itself is whether we have the moral backbone as a country to correct our course. The outcome is questionable. And yet there is room for hope.

SWRichmond -> So Close , Dec 16, 2017 6:43 PM

Is Sessions the insurance policy?

Buckaroo Banzai -> Muddy1 , Dec 16, 2017 7:06 PM

"Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake" Appointing a second Special Counsel could be interpreted as an interruption. I'm not defending Sessions here, he simply might be doing exactly what his boss is asking him to do.

LetThemEatRand -> chunga , Dec 16, 2017 7:05 PM

Of course he won't, yet those who still support Trump will continue to perform mental gymnastics to explain why. Trump picked Sessions, just like he picked Cohn, Munchkin, Pence, etc.

veritas semper ... -> fx , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM

"The AAZ Empire the Judiciary domain is like central banking and media a goy-free zone. All lawyers, attorneys, judges, etc. are members of the BAR association, a private, Zion controlled monopoly, whose internal rules and regulations, that all BAR members are sworn to, supersedes the constitutions and laws of all nation states."

This quote is not mine,but it reflects exactly what I think. If you do not believe this,do a search about BAR association.

Look at this judge : https://fair.org/home/judge-tells-jury-informing-public-may-be-criminal-...

Look at her picture. You know she's a "chosen",even without knowing her name

Sessions is a gatekeeper. Like the Donald.

The simple fact that Hillary Clinton is not in jail, with the OVERWHELMING evidence we have against her, that the Weiner lap top has disappeared with all 650 000 incriminating e-mails, that all the Clinton dead pool is OVERFLOWING, including with the recent death of Dr. Dean Lorich, who had knowledge about the Clinton Foundation doings in Haiti, Seth Rich's death, etc. ALL THESE are proofs that we do not have a DOJ, an AG(which are named by the EXECUTIVE branch) .

This leads to only one conclusion=there is one party, having two wings ,to create an illusion of "democracy" and that voting matters.

stocktivity -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:36 PM

I can't stand Sessions but in this one instance, he is correct.

swmnguy -> stocktivity , Dec 16, 2017 6:59 PM

Yes, the full-court press is on to end the Special Prosecutor investigation, and maybe even the entire law authorizing it. There appear to be no legal grounds for any of this. This seems to be pure politics and PR manipulation attempts.

I've always been very uncomfortable with the nearly unlimited mandate afforded Special Prosecutors. Arguments that Mueller has exceeded his mandate and is now on a fishing expedition show a complete disregard for the law. Mueller is allowed to do that, just as Ken Starr was. That's the problem. Mueller hasn't done anything unlawful and nobody has seriously alleged that he has. The problem is that the law allows him to do whatever he wants.

And investigators are allowed to communicate with each other. They shouldn't have affairs with each other, but they do. Nobody serious, in a position to say or do anything that counts, alleges that they did anything unlawful, or anything that should be handled any other way than the way it was handled, which is a job reassignment and possible termination. Prosecutors are biased against the people they investigate. That's their job. I don't like that either, but that's the deal.

I'd have a lot more respect for Sessions if he didn't blather on about the Constitution and State's Rights and Freedom, and then cheerlead enthusiastically for a violent police state and suspension of the rule of law for profit. But as you say, in this situation, he is indeed correct.

And the fatuousness of the campaign to discredit Mueller, which assiduously avoids any legitimate political argument, is a very bad sign. President Trump's attorneys are in way over their head and they're panicking. Perhaps with good reason. But it would be better for America if Trump could have retained any competent representation. Clearly all the good lawyers decided they wanted no part of him as a client.

lew1024 -> swmnguy , Dec 16, 2017 7:07 PM

No, you are wrong about a full-court press to end the special prosecutor.

He is ending himself just fine. Also, the IG's work is not yet done, how dirty are the other lawyers working for Mueller?

Note that all of the Clinton's oppo research didn't find anything serious enough to use on Trump? No matter how much they paid?

Akzed -> swmnguy , Dec 16, 2017 7:20 PM

Nobody serious, in a position to say or do anything that counts, alleges that they did anything unlawful

If by "insurance policy" Strzok meant the dossier, which was the basis for a FISA warrant, I'd say they were outside the law.

wcole225 -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:43 PM

Have you noticed that everyone with these impeccable, beyond reproach, do it by the book reputations are all really nothing more than reptilian scumbags? Comey, Mueller, McCain, Sessions.......

ZH Snob -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:48 PM

all benefit of the doubt has been exhausted. they obviously have something on Sessions, or he's been a deep stater all along.

[Dec 16, 2017] Mueller Improperly Obtained Tens of Thousands Of Trump Transition Emails

And the coup attempt continues...
Notable quotes:
"... And the coup attempt continues... ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 5:35 PM

Wake me up when Mueller starts working with Wiener's 600,000 strong kiddie porn email collection.

He might want to look at the Cankles erasure collection, as well as the Huma / Aswan Back Up Collection of dirty laundry as well.

just the tip -> SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 5:39 PM

don't say that. we won't ever wake you.

Hal n back -> just the tip , Dec 16, 2017 6:44 PM

I have been Ill the last several weeks: who are the criminals?

toady -> Hal n back , Dec 16, 2017 7:32 PM

It's SO important to have all the supeanas in place before collecting any documents. I'm in the middle of a suit and people keep trying to rush... "I'm just gonna go over there and get a copy...."

"No, not until the lawyer says so!"

Apparently D.C. works by a different set of rules.... and they're blaming the idiots who gave up the documents, not the ones who are, and continue, to use them illegally. Alternate universe!

The Management -> toady , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM

At this point Jeff Sessions is going to go down as literally the biggest fucking douche bag in history if he doesnt do something - i mean ANYTHING - shuffle his feet / look busy ... get the group coffee & doughnuts - i'd settle for anything really...

Chuck Walla -> Hal n back , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM

"Cooperating"? I bet they were fucking gleeful in their wet dreams to remove Trump.

GUS100CORRINA -> SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 5:43 PM

Observation: RULE OF LAW is under assault.

R USSIAN COLLUSION has been proven false. Therefore, Mueller's job is DONE!!!

END this charade and this witchhunt!!! Open all sealed indictments and proceed forward with arrests.

Chupacabra-322 -> GUS100CORRINA , Dec 16, 2017 5:48 PM

@ GUS,

"Rule of Law under assault?"

Check the scoreboard. Their currently isn't any rule of law among Criminals. We're

Tyrannically Lawless.

Chupacabra-322 -> kellys_eye , Dec 16, 2017 7:38 PM

Here's the short list of Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Hillary Clinton's Crimes.

As a reminder, all the data to date suggests that Hillary broke the following 11 US CODES. I provided the links for your convenience. HRC needs to STAND DOWN.

CEO aka "President" TRUMP was indeed correct when he said: "FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!"

18 U.S. Code § 1905 - Disclosure of confidential information generally
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1905

18 U.S. Code § 1924 - Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1924

18 U.S. Code § 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

26 U.S. Code § 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7201

26 U.S. Code § 7212 - Attempts to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7212

18 U.S. Code § 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1343

18 U.S. Code § 1349 – Attempt and Conspiracy
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1349

18 U.S. Code § 1505 - Obstruction of Proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1505

18 U.S. Code § 1621 - Perjury generally (including documents signed under penalty of perjury)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1621

18 USC Sec. 2384?TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE?PART I - CRIMES?CHAPTER 115 - TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
http://trac.syr.edu/laws/18/18USC02384.html

18 U.S. Code § 2381 - Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381

The Preponderance of Evidence suggests that she broke these Laws, Knowingly, Willfully and Repeatedly. This pattern indicates a habitual/career Criminal, who belongs in Federal Prison.

If Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Many if not all of the High Crimes, Crimes & sexual perversion's we see coming to Light never would have been known off.

The Tyrannical Lawlessness we see before our eyes never would have seen the light of day.

And, here's the Dark Humor in this. I'm not an Agent / Esq. Attorney from The City of London. This is common knowledge anyone could Investigate for themselves.

Americans have always been fascinated with the Law. It's the reason some of the highest rated Tee Vee shows we're all based on Law or the presumption of it. Show such as "Law & Order" & CSI. Christ Sakes, look at the OJ Trail ratings.

We're now a Nation of Men, not Law. Thus, to my point.

We're now absolutely, completely, open in your Face

Tyrannically Lawless.

Everybodys All ... -> SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 6:13 PM

Mueller is doing more harm to the fbis already terrible reputation every day this sham is extended another day. When Mueller is done with this he better watch his backside is all I can say because many people are pissed at what he has put this country through.

bh2 , Dec 16, 2017 5:43 PM

Curious. Whatever transpired during the transition about "contact" with "Russians" would have been within the authority of the president-elect or his staff.

Why then would emails during transition be subject to review by Congress (or anyone else) with respect to alleged "collusion" between the campaign and foreign government officials? And why did not Trump just assert privilege and tell Congress to pound sand?

This is beginning to look like a snipe hunt which is being extended to provide political eyewash to blind the public to the reality there was no "there" there.

Kayman , Dec 16, 2017 5:40 PM

Mueller is dirty. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not the dirt we see on the surface, it is the dirty hidden below the cesspool of the Washington Mob.

Stan Smith , Dec 16, 2017 5:41 PM

It really is a soft coup by the FBI, CIA, DNC, among others. What a disgrace. These are the same people who want to be taken seriously. We'll take them seriously once they become serious. Which is likely no time soon.

chunga -> Stan Smith , Dec 16, 2017 5:58 PM

All these agencies are wacked right out. What we need is one moar... the Bureau of Pissed Off Citizens With Pitchforks. The Imperial City is out of control.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fyr0zbaFyE

MuffDiver69 , Dec 16, 2017 5:50 PM

Yep...Now the Fake News has all the Trump transition emails and gossip. This entire operation was a data mining expedition for the DNC and democrats. If you want to know a mans motives look at who he hires and Mueller has 3/4 partisan left wing hacks working for him. The fact they think this is ok and no big deal tells you all one needs to know and if it's proven they have been leaked, then shut this shit show down..This country is a disgrace.

RussianSniper , Dec 16, 2017 6:08 PM

The left and right establishment of DC, the Intelligence agencies, the fake news, and the Department of Justice have undertaken an overthrow of the constitutionally elected President of the United States.

This is treason.
This is sedition.

People need to answer for their crimes and should be punished severely.

Justice in the USA is not a thing of the past....

No matter what the previous criminal administrations wish you to believe.

Manaze , Dec 16, 2017 6:09 PM

This article never did say what the unlawful conduct was in obtaining the emails. GSA has no choice in cooperating with Mueller. He has been given broad authority.

I wish there was more objectivity on zerohedge. Mostly it is right extremist hate mongers who are besotted with one-sided cool aid. They just decide who to hate then lambast them without looking at all the facts. Nobody would call that smart.

Irish Yoga , Dec 16, 2017 6:12 PM

No mention of Bill, Hillary, Awans, Debbie, Seth, Huma, Carlos (perv husband of Huma the Hummer), Chelsea, and many other things too long to list. Hmmm... maybe the FBI should be chasing real criminals. But they are merely guardians of the old guard these days. Investigation was long ago deleted from their mandate.

"Rebellion to t... , Dec 16, 2017 6:20 PM

The sad fact of the matter is that all those involved in this overthrow, fully understand, their actions and behavior up to and including the spying on, the unmasking, the leaking of classified information, the slanderous and disinformation shit out by the fake news, etc., would eventually be exposed.

Those complicit did not care!

They'd rather destroy the nation than relinquish their unchecked power and ill gotten wealth.

We are on the verge of the fight of our lives.

US patriots will soon be in the field of battle with the deep state/shadow government/evil empire.

When the dust settles, no Bush, Clinton, or Obama family member or administration team should walk free.

The intelligence agencies need to be broken down.

Traitors need to answer for their crimes.

Those convicted must pay the ultimate price.

Pigeon -> "Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God."-ThomasJefferson , Dec 16, 2017 6:30 PM

"would eventually be exposed."

No, they did not. Because Hillary was rigged to win.

Honest John , Dec 16, 2017 7:05 PM

But they still can't get Hillary's e mails. Mueller is obviously a Clinton stooge.

ErostheDog , Dec 16, 2017 7:06 PM

And the coup attempt continues...

I Write Code , Dec 16, 2017 7:15 PM

Of course if anybody put anything sensitive in any email - without serious extra encryption - then they deserve whatever comes.

Neochrome , Dec 16, 2017 7:21 PM

This whole thing started out of nothing, or rather from a planted lie, as losers refused to accept the outcome of the election they thought they have sufficiently gamed. Meanwhile we have DNC testifying that they don't give a shit about democracy as they can do as they please as a "private" organization, including sabotaging their own candidates, but yawn to that. We have a testimony that connects DNC to the murder of Seth Rich, testimony obstructed from proper investigation by the highest law enforcement agency in the country itself. We have bureaucrat insurrection, from lowest clerks and judges to highest government officials, aimed at undermining the duly elected POTUS. This is a revolution in reverse, where ruling class is trying to overthrow the will of the people. And who is in the forefront of this fascist takeover and trampling of democracy: exactly the agencies that suppose to protect the country from that scenario - CIA and FBI. Finally the veil of "democracy has slipped and we can all see the ugly truth behind it...

[Dec 16, 2017] Strzok and Ohr as two new important players in Steele dossier saga

Notable quotes:
"... It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign in July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched. ..."
"... The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. ..."
"... Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier. ..."
"... It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons involved in the election campaign of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump. ..."
"... Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans. ..."
"... There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the FBI and the Justice Department to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas. ..."
"... As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been provided with the Trump Dossier ..."
"... As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame narrative when questioning witnesses about their role in Russiagate. ..."
"... These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain the surveillance warrants it obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards. ..."
"... Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there has also to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year. ..."
"... On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's opponent ..."
"... Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive to draw attention away from their own activities. ..."
"... Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March . Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed . When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair. ..."
"... Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel. ..."
"... There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | The Duran

... ... ...

Extracted from Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up by Alexander Mercouris

It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign in July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched.

Whilst there is some confusion about whether the FBI actually paid Steele for his information, it is now known that Steele was in contact with the FBI throughout the election and after, and that the FBI gave credence to his work.

Recently it has also come to light that Steele was also directly in touch with Obama's Justice Department, a fact which was only disclosed recently. The best account of this has been provided by Byron York writing for The Washington Examiner

The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016, Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.

Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier.

Word that Ohr met with Steele and Simpson, first reported by Fox News' James Rosen and Jake Gibson, was news to some current officials in the Justice Department. Shortly after learning it, they demoted Ohr, taking away his associate deputy attorney general title and moving him full time to another position running the department's organized crime drug enforcement task forces.

It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons involved in the election campaign of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.

In response to subpoenas issued at the instigation of the Congressman Devin Nunes the FBI has recently admitted that the Trump Dossier cannot be verified.

However the FBI and the Justice Department have so far failed to provide in response to these subpoenas information about the precise role of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate investigation.

The FBI's and the Justice Department's failure to provide this information recently provoked an angry exchange between FBI Director Christopher Wray and Congressman Jim Jordan during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

During that hearing Jordan said to Wray the following

Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.

In response Wray refused to say whether or not the Trump Dossier played any role in the FBI obtaining the FISA warrants, even though it was previously disclosed that it did. This is despite the fact that this information is not classified and ought already to have been provided in response to Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the FBI and the Justice Department to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say

Here's what I think -- I think Peter Strozk (sic) Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened, if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets

Peter Strzok is the senior FBI official who is now known to have had a leading role in both the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's misuse of her private server and in the Russiagate investigation.

Strzok is now also known to have been the person who changed the wording in Comey's statement clearing Hillary Clinton for her misuse of her private email server to say that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless'" as opposed to "grossly negligent".

Strzok – who was the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence – is now also known to have been the person who signed the document which launched the Russiagate investigation in July 2016.

Fox News has reported that Strzok was also the person supervised the FBI's questioning of Michael Flynn. It is not clear whether this covers to the FBI's interview with Flynn on 24th January 2017 during which Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador. However it is likely that it does.

If so then this is potentially important given that it was Flynn's to the FBI during this interview which made up the case against him to which he has now pleaded guilty, and given the indications that Flynn's interview with the FBI on 24th January 2017 was a set-up intended to entrap him .

As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been provided with the Trump Dossier.

Recently it has been disclosed that Special Counsel Mueller sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation supposedly after it was discovered that Strzok had been sending anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair.

These messages were sent by Strzok to his lover during the election, but apparently only came to light in July this year, when Mueller supposedly sacked Strzok because of them.

It seems that since then Strzok has been working in the FBI's human resources department, an astonishing demotion for the FBI's former deputy director for counter-intelligence who was apparently previously considered the FBI's top expert on Russia.

Some people have questioned whether the sending of the messages could possibly be the true reason why Strzok was sacked. My colleague Alex Christoforou has reported on some of the bafflement that this extraordinary sacking and demotion has caused.

Business Insider reports the anguished comments of former FBI officials incredulous that Strzok could have been sacked for such a trivial reason. Here is what Business Insider reports one ex FBI official Mark Rossini as having said

It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according to their own political preferences. FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.

This is obviously right. Though the ex-FBI officials questioned by Business Insider are clearly supporters of Strzok and critics of Donald Trump, the same point has been made from the other side of the political divide by Congressman Jim Jordan

If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more

Adding to the mystery about Strzok's sacking is why the FBI took five months to confirm it.

Mueller apparently sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation in July and it was apparently then that Strzok was simultaneously sacked from his previous post of deputy director for counter-espionage and transferred to human resources. The FBI however only disclosed his sacking now five months later in response to demands for information from Congressional investigators.

There is in fact an obvious explanation for Strzok's sacking and the strange circumstances surrounding it and I am sure that it is the one Congressman Jordan was thinking during his angry exchanges with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Recently the FBI admitted to Congress that it has failed to verify the Trump Dossier.

I suspect that Congressman Jordan believes that the true reason why Strzok was sacked is that Strzok's credibility had become so tied to the Trump Dossier that when its credibility collapsed over the course of the summer when the FBI finally realised that it could not be verified his credibility collapsed with it. If so then I am sure that Congressman Jordan is right.

We now know from a variety of sources but first and foremost from the testimony to Congress of Carter Page that the Trump Dossier provided the frame narrative for the Russiagate investigation until just a few months ago.

We also know that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report about supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of the year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.

The June 2017 article in the Washington Post (discussed by me here ) also all but confirms that it was the Trump Dossier that provided the information which the CIA sent to President Obama in August 2016 alleging that the Russians were interfering in the election.

As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame narrative when questioning witnesses about their role in Russiagate.

These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain the surveillance warrants it obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards.

Strzok's position as the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence makes it highly likely that he was amongst those senior FBI and US intelligence officials who gave the Trump Dossier credence, whilst his known actions during the Hillary Clinton private server investigation and during the Russiagate investigation make it highly likely that it was he who was the official within the FBI who sought and obtained the FISA warrants.

Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there has also to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year.

This once again points to the true scandal of the 2016 election.

On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's opponent .

Given the hugely embarrassing implications of this for the FBI, it is completely understandable why Strzok, if he was the person who was ultimately responsible for this debacle – as he almost certainly was – and if he was responsible for some of the leaks – as he likely also was – was sacked and exiled to human resources when the utter falsity of the Trump Dossier could no longer be denied.

It would also explain why the FBI sought to keep Strzok's sacking secret, so that it was only disclosed five months after it happened and then only in response to questions from Congressional investigators, with a cover story about inappropriate anti-Trump messages being spread about in order to explain it.

This surely is also the reason why in defiance both of evidence and logic the Russiagate investigation continues to grind on.

Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive to draw attention away from their own activities.

Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March . Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed . When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair.

That always struck me as misconceived not because there may not be things to investigate in the Uranium One case but because the focus of any new investigation should be what happened during the 2016 election, not what happened during the Uranium one case.

Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel.

In truth there should be no second Special Counsel. Since there is no Russiagate collusion to investigate the Russiagate investigation – ie. the investigation headed by Mueller – should be wound up.

There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier.

I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2017 DRN MEDIA PLC.

[Dec 16, 2017] Trump's doubts about NATO, including his demands that European members pay more, are presented as evidence (it is hinted) of his collusion with the evil Putin.

Notable quotes:
"... History is bunk, as ol' Henry Ford said: Americans live in the eternal now. Our PDS (Putin Derangement System) journos insist that Putin is bad to the bone, as all Russkis are, and there's just no reason for it except for their dark slavic hearts which contrast so painfully with our bright pure red white 'n blue ones. :-( ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , , December 15, 2017 at 7:26 am

Nice timing for the release of these archives on Dec 12th. Yesterday the WaPo posted an article "based on interviews with more than 50 current and former U.S. officials" titled "Doubting the Intelligence: Trump Pursues Putin and Leaves a Russian Threat Unchecked":

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/donald-trump-pursues-vladimir-putin-russian-election-hacking/

Axiomatic to the WaPo hacks authors is that NATO ranks right up there with the 1776 Declaration and the Constitution as a bedrock US principle. Trump's doubts about NATO, including his demands that European members pay more, are presented as evidence (it is hinted) of his collusion with the evil Putin.

Naturally the new archives released by GWU play no part in the WaPo story two days later, since they aren't "fitted to the narrative."

History is bunk, as ol' Henry Ford said: Americans live in the eternal now. Our PDS (Putin Derangement System) journos insist that Putin is bad to the bone, as all Russkis are, and there's just no reason for it except for their dark slavic hearts which contrast so painfully with our bright pure red white 'n blue ones. :-(

[Dec 16, 2017] Any time you hear or read a Russian conspiracy theory in the MSM or elsewhere, substitute the words "Jews" for "Russians" and the words "International Jewry" for "Russia". Then re-read the sentence.

Dec 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sid Finster , , December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Any time you hear or read a Russian conspiracy theory in the MSM or elsewhere, substitute the words "Jews" for "Russians" and the words "International Jewry" for "Russia". Then re-read the sentence.

See how ugly that sentence now looks?

So why should we rightfully decry such racism against Jews or others, but applaud the same sort of racism when it is directed against Russians?

[Dec 16, 2017] Brexit, Trump, and the Dangers of Global 'Jihad' HuffPost by Ben Railton

For 1995 the book Jihad vs. McWorld was really groundbreaking.
Also the concept of "Neoliberal jihad is valid, but it is better to call it Neoliberal World revolution as it was borrowed from Trotskyism
Notable quotes:
"... Jihad vs. McWorld ..."
"... In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. ..."
"... Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. ..."
"... Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.huffingtonpost.com

In his ground-breaking 1995 book Jihad vs. McWorld , political scientist Benjamin Barber posits that the global conflicts of the early 21st century would be driven by two opposing but equally undemocratic forces: neoliberal corporate globalization (which he dubbed "McWorld") and reactionary tribal nationalisms (which he dubbed "Jihad"). Although distinct in many ways, both of these forces, Barber persuasively argues, succeed by denying the possibilities for democratic consensus and action, and so both must be opposed by civic engagement and activism on a broad scale.

In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. Case in pitch-perfect point: the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Yet despite his use of the Arabic word Jihad, Barber is clear that reactionary tribalism is a worldwide phenomenon -- and in 2016 we're seeing particularly striking examples of that tribalism in Western nations such as Great Britain and the United States.

Britain's vote this week in favor of leaving the European Union was driven entirely by such reactionary tribal nationalism. The far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and its leader Nigel Farage led the charge in favor of Leave , as exemplified by a recent UKIP poster featuring a photo of Syrian refugees with the caption " Breaking point: the EU has failed us ." Farage and his allies like to point to demographic statistics about how much the UK has changed in the last few decades , and more exactly how the nation's white majority has been somewhat shifted over that time by the arrival of sizeable African and Asian immigrant communities.

It's impossible not to link the UKIP's emphases on such issues of immigration and demography to the presidential campaign of the one prominent U.S. politician who is cheering for the Brexit vote : presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. From his campaign-launching speech about Mexican immigrant "criminals and rapists" to his proposal to ban Muslim immigration and his "Make American Great Again" slogan, Trump has relied on reactionary tribal nationalism at every stage of his campaign, and has received the enthusiastic endorsement of white supremacist and far-right organizations as a result. For such American tribal nationalists, the 1965 Immigration Act is the chief bogeyman, the origin point of continuing demographic shifts that have placed white America in a precarious position.

The only problem with that narrative is that it's entirely inaccurate. What the 1965 Act did was reverse a recent, exclusionary trend in American immigration law and policy, returning the nation to the more inclusive and welcoming stance it had taken throughout the rest of its history. Moreover, while the numbers of Americans from Latin American, Asian, and Muslim cultures have increased in recent decades, all of those communities have been part of o ur national community from its origin points . Which is to say, this right-wing tribal nationalism isn't just opposed to fundamental realities of 21st century American identity -- it also depends on historical and national narratives that are as mythic as they are exclusionary.

Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. Although Trump rallies have featured troubling instances of violence, and although the murderer of British politican Jo Cox was an avowed white supremacist and Leave supporter, the right-wing Islamic extremism of groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram rely far more consistently and centrally on violence and terrorism in support of their worldview and goals. Such specific contexts and nuances are important and shouldn't be elided.

Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. From ISIS to UKIP, Trump to France's Jean-Marie Le Pen, such reactionary forces have become and remain dominant players across the world, influencing local and international politics, economics, and culture. Benjamin Barber called this trend two decades ago, and we would do well to read and remember his analyses -- as well as his call for civic engagement and activism to resist these forces and fight for democracy.

Ben Railton Professor & public scholar of American Studies, Follow Ben Railton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AmericanStudier

[Dec 16, 2017] The U.S. Is Not A Democracy, It Never Was by Gabriel Rockhill

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The problem, however, is that there is no contradiction or supposed loss of democracy because the United States simply never was one. This is a difficult reality for many people to confront, and they are likely more inclined to immediately dismiss such a claim as preposterous rather than take the time to scrutinize the material historical record in order to see for themselves. Such a dismissive reaction is due in large part to what is perhaps the most successful public relations campaign in modern history. ..."
"... Second, when the elite colonial ruling class decided to sever ties from their homeland and establish an independent state for themselves, they did not found it as a democracy. On the contrary, they were fervently and explicitly opposed to democracy, like the vast majority of European Enlightenment thinkers. They understood it to be a dangerous and chaotic form of uneducated mob rule. For the so-called "founding fathers," the masses were not only incapable of ruling, but they were considered a threat to the hierarchical social structures purportedly necessary for good governance. In the words of John Adams, to take but one telling example, if the majority were given real power, they would redistribute wealth and dissolve the "subordination" so necessary for politics. ..."
"... When the eminent members of the landowning class met in 1787 to draw up a constitution, they regularly insisted in their debates on the need to establish a republic that kept at bay vile democracy, which was judged worse than "the filth of the common sewers" by the pro-Federalist editor William Cobbett. The new constitution provided for popular elections only in the House of Representatives, but in most states the right to vote was based on being a property owner, and women, the indigenous and slaves -- meaning the overwhelming majority of the population -- were simply excluded from the franchise. Senators were elected by state legislators, the President by electors chosen by the state legislators, and the Supreme Court was appointed by the President. ..."
"... It is in this context that Patrick Henry flatly proclaimed the most lucid of judgments: "it is not a democracy." George Mason further clarified the situation by describing the newly independent country as "a despotic aristocracy." ..."
"... When the American republic slowly came to be relabeled as a "democracy," there were no significant institutional modifications to justify the change in name. In other words, and this is the third point, the use of the term "democracy" to refer to an oligarchic republic simply meant that a different word was being used to describe the same basic phenomenon. ..."
"... Slowly but surely, the term "democracy" came to be used as a public relations term to re-brand a plutocratic oligarchy as an electoral regime that serves the interest of the people or demos . Meanwhile, the American holocaust continued unabated, along with chattel slavery, colonial expansion and top-down class warfare. ..."
"... In spite of certain minor changes over time, the U.S. republic has doggedly preserved its oligarchic structure, and this is readily apparent in the two major selling points of its contemporary "democratic" publicity campaign. The Establishment and its propagandists regularly insist that a structural aristocracy is a "democracy" because the latter is defined by the guarantee of certain fundamental rights (legal definition) and the holding of regular elections (procedural definition). This is, of course, a purely formal, abstract and largely negative understanding of democracy, which says nothing whatsoever about people having real, sustained power over the governing of their lives. ..."
"... To take but a final example of the myriad ways in which the U.S. is not, and has never been, a democracy, it is worth highlighting its consistent assault on movements of people power. Since WWII, it has endeavored to overthrow some 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected. ..."
"... It has also, according the meticulous calculations by William Blum in America's Deadliest Export: Democracy , grossly interfered in the elections of at least 30 countries, attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, dropped bombs on more than 30 countries, and attempted to suppress populist movements in 20 countries. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Gabriel Rockhill via Counterpunch.org,

One of the most steadfast beliefs regarding the United States is that it is a democracy. Whenever this conviction waivers slightly, it is almost always to point out detrimental exceptions to core American values or foundational principles. For instance, aspiring critics frequently bemoan a "loss of democracy" due to the election of clownish autocrats, draconian measures on the part of the state, the revelation of extraordinary malfeasance or corruption, deadly foreign interventions, or other such activities that are considered undemocratic exceptions . The same is true for those whose critical framework consists in always juxtaposing the actions of the U.S. government to its founding principles, highlighting the contradiction between the two and clearly placing hope in its potential resolution.

The problem, however, is that there is no contradiction or supposed loss of democracy because the United States simply never was one. This is a difficult reality for many people to confront, and they are likely more inclined to immediately dismiss such a claim as preposterous rather than take the time to scrutinize the material historical record in order to see for themselves. Such a dismissive reaction is due in large part to what is perhaps the most successful public relations campaign in modern history.

What will be seen, however, if this record is soberly and methodically inspected, is that a country founded on elite, colonial rule based on the power of wealth -- a plutocratic colonial oligarchy, in short -- has succeeded not only in buying the label of "democracy" to market itself to the masses, but in having its citizenry, and many others, so socially and psychologically invested in its nationalist origin myth that they refuse to hear lucid and well-documented arguments to the contrary.

To begin to peel the scales from our eyes, let us outline in the restricted space of this article, five patent reasons why the United States has never been a democracy (a more sustained and developed argument is available in my book, Counter-History of the Present ).

To begin with, British colonial expansion into the Americas did not occur in the name of the freedom and equality of the general population, or the conferral of power to the people. Those who settled on the shores of the "new world," with few exceptions, did not respect the fact that it was a very old world indeed, and that a vast indigenous population had been living there for centuries. As soon as Columbus set foot, Europeans began robbing, enslaving and killing the native inhabitants. The trans-Atlantic slave trade commenced almost immediately thereafter, adding a countless number of Africans to the ongoing genocidal assault against the indigenous population. Moreover, it is estimated that over half of the colonists who came to North America from Europe during the colonial period were poor indentured servants, and women were generally trapped in roles of domestic servitude. Rather than the land of the free and equal, then, European colonial expansion to the Americas imposed a land of the colonizer and the colonized, the master and the slave, the rich and the poor, the free and the un-free. The former constituted, moreover, an infinitesimally small minority of the population, whereas the overwhelming majority, meaning "the people," was subjected to death, slavery, servitude, and unremitting socio-economic oppression.

Second, when the elite colonial ruling class decided to sever ties from their homeland and establish an independent state for themselves, they did not found it as a democracy. On the contrary, they were fervently and explicitly opposed to democracy, like the vast majority of European Enlightenment thinkers. They understood it to be a dangerous and chaotic form of uneducated mob rule. For the so-called "founding fathers," the masses were not only incapable of ruling, but they were considered a threat to the hierarchical social structures purportedly necessary for good governance. In the words of John Adams, to take but one telling example, if the majority were given real power, they would redistribute wealth and dissolve the "subordination" so necessary for politics.

When the eminent members of the landowning class met in 1787 to draw up a constitution, they regularly insisted in their debates on the need to establish a republic that kept at bay vile democracy, which was judged worse than "the filth of the common sewers" by the pro-Federalist editor William Cobbett. The new constitution provided for popular elections only in the House of Representatives, but in most states the right to vote was based on being a property owner, and women, the indigenous and slaves -- meaning the overwhelming majority of the population -- were simply excluded from the franchise. Senators were elected by state legislators, the President by electors chosen by the state legislators, and the Supreme Court was appointed by the President.

It is in this context that Patrick Henry flatly proclaimed the most lucid of judgments: "it is not a democracy." George Mason further clarified the situation by describing the newly independent country as "a despotic aristocracy."

When the American republic slowly came to be relabeled as a "democracy," there were no significant institutional modifications to justify the change in name. In other words, and this is the third point, the use of the term "democracy" to refer to an oligarchic republic simply meant that a different word was being used to describe the same basic phenomenon. This began around the time of "Indian killer" Andrew Jackson's presidential campaign in the 1830s. Presenting himself as a 'democrat,' he put forth an image of himself as an average man of the people who was going to put a halt to the long reign of patricians from Virginia and Massachusetts. Slowly but surely, the term "democracy" came to be used as a public relations term to re-brand a plutocratic oligarchy as an electoral regime that serves the interest of the people or demos . Meanwhile, the American holocaust continued unabated, along with chattel slavery, colonial expansion and top-down class warfare.

In spite of certain minor changes over time, the U.S. republic has doggedly preserved its oligarchic structure, and this is readily apparent in the two major selling points of its contemporary "democratic" publicity campaign. The Establishment and its propagandists regularly insist that a structural aristocracy is a "democracy" because the latter is defined by the guarantee of certain fundamental rights (legal definition) and the holding of regular elections (procedural definition). This is, of course, a purely formal, abstract and largely negative understanding of democracy, which says nothing whatsoever about people having real, sustained power over the governing of their lives.

However, even this hollow definition dissimulates the extent to which, to begin with, the supposed equality before the law in the United States presupposes an inequality before the law by excluding major sectors of the population: those judged not to have the right to rights, and those considered to have lost their right to rights (Native Americans, African-Americans and women for most of the country's history, and still today in certain aspects, as well as immigrants, "criminals," minors, the "clinically insane," political dissidents, and so forth). Regarding elections, they are run in the United States as long, multi-million dollar advertising campaigns in which the candidates and issues are pre-selected by the corporate and party elite. The general population, the majority of whom do not have the right to vote or decide not to exercise it, are given the "choice" -- overseen by an undemocratic electoral college and embedded in a non-proportional representation scheme -- regarding which member of the aristocratic elite they would like to have rule over and oppress them for the next four years. "Multivariate analysis indicates," according to an important recent study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, "that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination [ ], but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy."

To take but a final example of the myriad ways in which the U.S. is not, and has never been, a democracy, it is worth highlighting its consistent assault on movements of people power. Since WWII, it has endeavored to overthrow some 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected.

It has also, according the meticulous calculations by William Blum in America's Deadliest Export: Democracy , grossly interfered in the elections of at least 30 countries, attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, dropped bombs on more than 30 countries, and attempted to suppress populist movements in 20 countries. The record on the home front is just as brutal. To take but one significant parallel example, there is ample evidence that the FBI has been invested in a covert war against democracy. Beginning at least in the 1960s, and likely continuing up to the present, the Bureau "extended its earlier clandestine operations against the Communist party, committing its resources to undermining the Puerto Rico independence movement, the Socialist Workers party, the civil rights movement, Black nationalist movements, the Ku Klux Klan, segments of the peace movement, the student movement, and the 'New Left' in general" ( Cointelpro: The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom , p. 22-23).

Consider, for instance, Judi Bari's summary of its assault on the Socialist Workers Party: "From 1943-63, the federal civil rights case Socialist Workers Party v. Attorney General documents decades of illegal FBI break-ins and 10 million pages of surveillance records. The FBI paid an estimated 1,600 informants $1,680,592 and used 20,000 days of wiretaps to undermine legitimate political organizing."

... ... ...

[Dec 16, 2017] The Real Crimes of Russiagate by Patrick J. Buchanan

In five month is is clear how wrong Pat Buchanan was. I expected from him a much better analysis with less prejudies. But he is absolutely right about leaks. Actually now it is clear that one of the requests from Trump team to Russian ambassador was about help Israel in UN, so this not a Russiagate. There is also suspection that Strzok was the person who had thrown Flynn under the bus and propagated Steele dossier within FBI. May be acting as Brennan agent inside FBI.
Notable quotes:
"... Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn. ..."
"... Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia's hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1 ..."
"... Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality. ..."
"... Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted. ..."
"... Do the American people not have a "right to know" who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out? ..."
"... Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic? ..."
"... Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck. ..."
"... People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for. ..."
"... Sure, the media today are more deranged than ever. Media are also more cynical and in the control of globalists. But they got nothing on Russia. They have the cry of Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, but unless they can provide solid evidence, this is nothing. ..."
"... Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's. "Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks." What reason do we have to believe this, other than the worthless word of these perpetually lying creeps? ..."
"... No it's not. The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. This ends with the barbarians moving in to assume all the trappings of being a Roman but lead the empire to a final crushing defeat at the hands of worse barbarians. ..."
"... There's still no need, unless Buchanan knows something a lot more significant than what he covers here, to give any credence whatsoever to the "Russia influencing the US election" black propaganda campaign. It should still be laughed at, rather than given the slightest credibility, whilst, as Buchanan does indeed do repeatedly, turning the issue upon the true criminals – those in US government circles leaking US security information to try to influence US politics. ..."
"... If there was any attempt by Russia to "influence" the US election it was trivial, and should be put into context whenever it is mentioned. That context includes the longstanding and ongoing efforts by the US to interfere massively in other countries' (including Russia's) elections and governments, and the routine acceptance of foreign interference in US politics by Israel in particular. ..."
"... If Trump and his backers really wanted to put a halt to this laughable nonsense about foreign influence, he should start a high profile investigation of the nefarious "influencing" of US politics by foreign "agents of influence" in general, specifically including Israel and staffed by men who are not sympathetic to that country. ..."
Jul 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC? And until last week, the answer was "no."

As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark."

Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians -- in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign. While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.

And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it -- Russiagate.

This reality underscores a truth of our time. In the 19th century, power meant control of the means of production; today, power lies in control of the means of communication.

Who controls the media spotlight controls what people talk about and think about. And mainstream media are determined to keep that spotlight on Trump-Russia, and as far away as possible from their agenda -- breaking the Trump presidency and bringing him down.

Almost daily, there are leaks from the investigative and security arms of the U.S. government designed to damage this president.

Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn.

An Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister in which Trump disclosed that Israeli intelligence had ferreted out evidence that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners was leaked. This alerted ISIS, damaged the president, and imperiled Israeli intelligence sources and methods.

Some of the leaks from national security and investigative agencies are felonies, not only violations of the leaker's solemn oath to protect secrets, but of federal law.

Yet the press is happy to collude with these leakers and to pay them in the coin they seek. First, by publishing the secrets the leakers want revealed. Second, by protecting them from exposure to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they are committing.

The mutual agendas of the deep-state leakers and the mainstream media mesh perfectly.

Consider the original Russiagate offense.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. And who was the third and indispensable party in this "Tinker to Evers to Chance" double-play combination?

The media itself. While deploring Russian hacking as an "act of war" against "our democracy," the media published the fruits of the hacking. It was the media that revealed what Podesta wrote and how the DNC tilted the tables against Bernie Sanders.

If the media believed Russian hacking was a crime against our democracy, why did they publish the fruits of that crime?

Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia's hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1?

Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality.

Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted.

Some journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues' "sources" as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope.

And thus does democracy die in darkness.

Do the American people not have a "right to know" who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out?

Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic?

Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck.

People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for.

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2017 Creators.com. ← Russia Baiters and Putin Haters Category: Ideology Tags: American Media , Donald Trump , Russia

NoseytheDuke , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 5:27 am GMT

Pat, you are again presenting yourself to be a disinformation asset and are truly undermining your credibility here. The DNC and Podesta emails were leaked not hacked. Please write this out in full a hundred times on the blackboard or whiteboard of your choice. Maybe then it will sink in.
Priss Factor , Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 5:57 am GMT
There is nothing there. Let the media cry Russia Russia Russia forever. Trump can do other things. People will lose interest in this. This is different from Watergate because there really was a burglary and a coverup. There's nothing remotely like this here.

1. If Russians really did it, they did it on their own. Trump team had nothing to do with it.

2. If Russians didn't do it, this is just the media wasting its resources and energy on nothing.

Let the media keep digging and digging and digging where they is no gold. Let them be distracted by Trump does something real. Because Buchanan lived through Watergate, I think he's over-thinking this. It's like dejavu to him. Sure, the media today are more deranged than ever. Media are also more cynical and in the control of globalists. But they got nothing on Russia. They have the cry of Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, but unless they can provide solid evidence, this is nothing.

vinteuil , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 8:43 am GMT
Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's. "Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks." What reason do we have to believe this, other than the worthless word of these perpetually lying creeps?
The Alarmist , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

No it's not. The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. This ends with the barbarians moving in to assume all the trappings of being a Roman but lead the empire to a final crushing defeat at the hands of worse barbarians.

Randal , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT
Buchanan still being too reasonable towards the enemies of US democracy (the Democrats and their neocon Republican allies trying to undermine and overthrow the elected US President), imo.

There's still no need, unless Buchanan knows something a lot more significant than what he covers here, to give any credence whatsoever to the "Russia influencing the US election" black propaganda campaign. It should still be laughed at, rather than given the slightest credibility, whilst, as Buchanan does indeed do repeatedly, turning the issue upon the true criminals – those in US government circles leaking US security information to try to influence US politics.

Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?

Clearly not, as far as anybody knows based upon information in the public domain. There's no evidence Russia's government hacked anything anyway. A meeting by campaign representatives with Russians claiming to have dirt on Trump's rival is not evidence of collusion in hacking.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks.

Again, Buchanan seems to be needlessly conceding ground to known liars and deluded zealots.

If there was any attempt by Russia to "influence" the US election it was trivial, and should be put into context whenever it is mentioned. That context includes the longstanding and ongoing efforts by the US to interfere massively in other countries' (including Russia's) elections and governments, and the routine acceptance of foreign interference in US politics by Israel in particular.

If Trump and his backers really wanted to put a halt to this laughable nonsense about foreign influence, he should start a high profile investigation of the nefarious "influencing" of US politics by foreign "agents of influence" in general, specifically including Israel and staffed by men who are not sympathetic to that country.

That would quickly result in the shutting down of mainstream media complaints about foreign influence.

Gg Mo , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Yup, His name was Seth Rich . (and let us never forget Michael Hastings and the Smith Mundt Modernization Act put in place for a Hillary win/steal.)

Gg Mo , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT
Yipes -- What is the matter with Buchanan? Is he taking weird prescription drugs for Alzheimers ?

He seems to be a bit of an apologist for KNOWN liars and he doesn't seem to understand that the MSM is absolutely the mouthpiece for these agencies, populated with agents like Cooper and Mika etc etc etc

Andrei Martyanov , Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm GMT

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

It already didn't end well and it pains me to say this. What it may become only is worse. At this stage I don's see any "better" scenarios. The truth has been revealed.

[Dec 16, 2017] Seth Rich murder: The facts so far by Kit

Aug 11, 2016 | OffGuardian

Last month Seth Rich, a data analyst who worked for the DNC, was shot near his home in Washington DC. He was on the phone to his girlfriend when it happened. Police were called to the scene and discovered the young man's body at roughly 4.20am. It was reported that Rich was "covered in bruises", shot "several times" and "at least once in the back".

The New York Daily News reported:

" police have found little information to explain his death. At this time, there are no suspects, no motive and no witnesses in Rich's murder.

While initial theories were that the killing was robbery or mugging gone wrong, the Washington Post said:

" There is no immediate indication that robbery was a motive in the attack but it has not been ruled out as a possibility."

Rich's family have also reported that nothing was taken:

" [Rich's] hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything."

On August 9th Julian Assange gave an interview on Dutch television in which he seemed to imply that Rich's death was politically motivated, and perhaps suggest he had been a source for the DNC e-mail leak:

That same day wikileaks tweeted that they were offering a $20,000 dollar reward for information on the killing of Mr Rich.

These are the facts of the case, so far. And they are undisputed.

I'm not going to take a position on the motive for Mr Rich's killing, or possible suspects. But I do want to point out the general level of media silence. Take these facts and change the names – imagine Trump's email had been hacked, and then a staffer with possible ties to wikileaks was inexplicably shot dead. Imagine this poor young man had been a Kremlin whistleblower, or a Chinese hacker, or an Iranian blogger.

If this, as yet unsolved, murder had ties to anyone other than Hillary Clinton, would it be being so ritually and rigourously ignored by the MSM?

[Dec 16, 2017] Attorney Lisa Bloom BUSTED arranging payment for Trump accusers days before election 12-15-17 - YouTube

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Jc 2015 , 10 hours ago

Lisa bloom you are sick for doing this !

Lillian Nardone , 9 hours ago

,Lisa bloom is the daughter of Gloria Alfred. Like mother and daughter!!!! CRAZY LADIES

Rizzle Dizzle , 9 hours ago

The fact Lisa bloom even worked with harvey weinstein proves she's a fraud. Apparently he was paying her well and they he was helping he with a movie or something.

[Dec 16, 2017] Canada takes initiative among NATO countries in deciding to provide heavy weapons to Ukraine

Dec 16, 2017 | www.newcoldwar.org

Canada has taken a lead among NATO countries in approving heavy weapons sales to the government and armed forces of Ukraine. The Liberal Party government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision on December 13.

The U.S. government is poised to make a similar decision .

The decision by Washington's junior partner in Ottawa is a blow to human rights organizations and others in the U.S. and internationally who argue that increasing the arms flow to the regime in Kyiv will only escalate Ukraine's violence against the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine was compelled to sign the 'Minsk-2' ceasefire and peace agreement on Feb 12, 2015. Germany and France endorsed the agreement and have pretended to stand by it. But Ukraine has violated Minsk-2 ( text here ) ever since its signing, with impunity from Kyiv's allies in western Europe and North America.

Minsk-2 was endorsed by the UN Security Council on Feb 17, 2015. That shows the regard which NATO members such as the U.S. and Canada attach to the world body -- the UN it is a useful tool when it can be manipulated to serve their interests, otherwise it is an annoyance to be ignored. Witness their boycotting of the UN General Assembly discussion (and eventual adoption) on July 7, 2017 of the Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons .

[Dec 16, 2017] The Trump team definitely colluded with a foreign power Just not the one you think by Aaron Maté

Notable quotes:
"... Published in The Nation on Dec 5, 2017 ..."
"... ccording to the charge sheet , Flynn first made contact with Kislyak to discuss the Israel vote. We found out this weekend his reason for doing so. "[Special counsel Robert] Mueller's investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel," ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... In short, the first known contact between the Trump campaign and Russia after the election occurred in the service of a different foreign power, Israel, and was ultimately fruitless. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... * Aaron Maté is a host/producer for The Real News Network. ..."
"... Published in www.newcoldwar.org (New Cold War: Ukraine and Beyond) ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Published in The Nation on Dec 5, 2017

Why are the media paying scant attention to Michael Flynn's admissions about Israel?

The indictment of former national-security adviser Michael Flynn on December 1 has confirmed that Donald Trump's inner circle colluded with a foreign power before entering the White House -- just not the foreign power that has been the subject of our national fixation for the past year. To be sure, the jury is still out on Russia, though there are new grounds for questioning the case for a plot tying the Kremlin to Trump Tower. But with Flynn's plea, we can now say for certain that the Trump team did collude -- with Israel.

To recap, Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his conversations with then–Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the period after Trump's November 2016 victory. As Foreign Policy previously reported , Flynn reached out to Kislyak as part of "a vigorous diplomatic bid" to undermine President Obama's decision to allow a December 2016 Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlement building in the Occupied Territories. The indictment fills in some details.

According to the charge sheet , Flynn first made contact with Kislyak to discuss the Israel vote. We found out this weekend his reason for doing so. "[Special counsel Robert] Mueller's investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel,"

The New York Times reported after Flynn's court appearance on Friday. "Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and [Trump son-in-law Jared] Kushner took the lead in those efforts" -- efforts which failed to change a single vote, including Russia's, which backed the measure in defiance of the Trump-Netanyahu subversion attempt.

In short, the first known contact between the Trump campaign and Russia after the election occurred in the service of a different foreign power, Israel, and was ultimately fruitless.

The next contact between Flynn and Kislyak was more productive. In late December, Obama imposed new sanctions on Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election. A day later, Flynn called the Russian ambassador to request that the Kremlin, according to the plea document, "only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner." Flynn's overture came after a Trump transition colleague told him that the incoming administration "did not want Russia to escalate the situation." By all accounts, Russia complied.

Read also: Turkish Fears

Whatever one thinks about this covert attempt to reduce tensions with a nuclear-armed power, it demonstrates an effort by the Trump transition, as with the Israel vote, to undermine the outgoing administration's policy. Trump critics have seized on that as a violation of the Logan Act, which bars citizens from having unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments in a dispute with the United States. But the Logan Act has seldom been used except as a partisan talking point , not a prosecutable offense. More importantly, there's the question as to whether Flynn's overture on sanctions prove a quid pro quo [a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something].

Notwithstanding the post-election contact with Flynn, not only has Russia failed to gain a reduction in sanctions but its relations with Washington have deteriorated. In early August, Trump signed new sanctions on Russia overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The administration recently presented lawmakers with a list of targets that "reads like a who's who of the Russian defense and intelligence sectors," The New York Times noted. In September, Trump shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in New York City and Washington, DC. Just last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denounced Russia's "malicious tactics" against the West and vowed that sanctions imposed over Russian's role in Ukraine "will remain in place until Russia reverses the actions that triggered them."

Meanwhile, Trump has enlarged NATO over Russia's objections, carried out the "biggest military exercise in Eastern Europe since the Cold War" on Russia's border, appointed several anti-Russia hawks to key posts, and continues to deliberate over whether to supply Ukraine with a weapons package that Obama himself rejected out of fear it would worsen the country's civil war.

In the latest flare-up, Russia has ordered international media outlets to register as foreign agents in retaliation for the Justice Department first doing so to Washington-based RT America .

It is, of course, possible that all of this is an elaborate ruse to mask the secret, as yet unproven, conspiracy that many insist will lead to Trump's downfall. The fact that Flynn is now a cooperating witness has refueled hopes that this day is finally approaching. After all, why would Flynn lie about his contacts with Russia if he did not have something to hide? And why would Mueller offer him a plea deal if Flynn wasn't offering him a bigger fish to fry? (One plausible motive, as Buzzfeed notes , is that Flynn may have lied to hide his potential Logan Act violation.)

Read also: Trump and the Terrorists Support Le Pen

Only time will tell whether Flynn has something to offer Mueller, or whether Mueller has gotten from him what he can. In the meantime, more than a year after the election, we still have exactly zero evidence of any cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government -- nor, it must be repeated, any evidence to back up U.S. intelligence officials' claims that the Russian government meddled in the election. We do have instances of Trump campaign figures' -- namely, Donald Trump Jr. and low-level adviser George Papadopoulos -- making contact with people that they thought were Russian government intermediaries. But whatever they were told or believed, there is still no proof that their contacts led to an actual Kremlin connection.

What we do have is evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Israel to subvert the U.S. government's official position at the United Nations Security Council. Yet reaction to that news has been quite a departure from the standards of Russiagate when it comes to foreign meddling.

The contrast was put on stark display on Sunday, when Jared Kushner appeared with billionaire Israeli-American media tycoon Haim Saban at the latter's annual forum on U.S.-Israel relations. Saban took a moment to thank Kushner for his role in the subversion effort that Flynn admitted to have undertaken on Israel's behalf. "To be honest with you, as far as I know there's nothing illegal there," Saban told his stage companion. "But I think that this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much."

For all of the fears of Russian oligarchs' having influence over Trump, the comment from this American oligarch reveals a great deal about who really influences practically everyone in Washington, Republican or Democrat. Saban was not a Trump donor. He is, in fact, Bill and Hillary Clinton's top all-time financial supporter, to the tune of more than $25 million ; a benefactor whose generosity has helped build not just the Clinton Library but also the Democratic National Committee's headquarters.

Read also: The real Marine Le Pen: Α Warrior against Islam, like the "Fake pacifist" Trump?

But there has been no outrage from democracy-defending #Resistance stalwarts over Saban's comments (and the Israeli subversion effort he endorsed). The same for news of Kushner's failure to disclose his leadership of a group that funded the illegal Israeli settlements that he tried to protect at the United Nations. And now we await to see how those who agonize over foreign influence on Trump will respond to his reported plans to move the American embassy to Jerusalem -- "a decision that would break with decades of U.S. policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East," as Haaretz notes .

It is unlikely that Trump will be challenged on Israel, because his approach is harmonic with a bipartisan consensus cemented in large part by the financial contributions of billionaires like Saban and his Republican pro-Israeli government counterpart, Sheldon Adelson. Hence, there are no editorials or opinion pieces denouncing Israel's ' Plot Against America ' or ' War on America ', or warnings that ' Odds Are, Israel Owns Trump ', or explorations of ' What Israel Did to Control the American Mind '. Likewise, there will be no new groups forming dubbed the ' Committee to Investigate Israel ' or the ' Tel Aviv Project '. In fact it is more than likely that, going forward, the media will give Israelgate the same treatment as cable's top Russiagate sleuth, MSNBC 's Rachel Maddow, gave during her exhaustive Flynn coverage so far, which is to not even mention it.

This weekend furnished us with another important contrast. Flynn's indictment was followed hours later by the passage of the Senate Republican tax bill, which stands to be one of the largest upward transfers of wealth in U.S. history. If protecting democracy is our goal, we may want to tune out the Russia-obsessed pundits and look closer to home.

* Aaron Maté is a host/producer for The Real News Network.

Published in www.newcoldwar.org
(New Cold War: Ukraine and Beyond)

[Dec 15, 2017] Rise and Decline of the Welfare State, by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Petras did not mention that it was Carter who started neoliberalization of the USA. The subsequent election of Reagan signified the victory of neoliberalism in this country or "quite coup". The death of New Deal from this point was just a matter of time. Labor relations drastically changes and war on union and atomization of workforce are a norm.
Welfare state still exists but only for corporation and MIC. Otherwise the New Deal society is almost completely dismanted.
It is true that "The ' New Deal' was, at best, a de facto ' historical compromise' between the capitalist class and the labor unions, mediated by the Democratic Party elite. It was a temporary pact in which the unions secured legal recognition while the capitalists retained their executive prerogatives." But the key factor in this compromise was the existence of the USSR as a threat to the power of capitalists in the USA. when the USSR disappeared cannibalistic instincts of the US elite prevailed over caution.
Notable quotes:
"... The earlier welfare 'reforms' and the current anti-welfare legislation and austerity practices have been accompanied by a series of endless imperial wars, especially in the Middle East. ..."
"... In the 1940's through the 1960's, world and regional wars (Korea and Indo-China) were combined with significant welfare program – a form of ' social imperialism' , which 'buy off' the working class while expanding the empire. However, recent decades are characterized by multiple regional wars and the reduction or elimination of welfare programs – and a massive growth in poverty, domestic insecurity and poor health. ..."
"... modern welfare state' ..."
"... Labor unions were organized as working class strikes and progressive legislation facilitated trade union organization, elections, collective bargaining rights and a steady increase in union membership. Improved work conditions, rising wages, pension plans and benefits, employer or union-provided health care and protective legislation improved the standard of living for the working class and provided for 2 generations of upward mobility. ..."
"... Social Security legislation was approved along with workers' compensation and the forty-hour workweek. Jobs were created through federal programs (WPA, CCC, etc.). Protectionist legislation facilitated the growth of domestic markets for US manufacturers. Workplace shop steward councils organized 'on the spot' job action to protect safe working conditions. ..."
"... World War II led to full employment and increases in union membership, as well as legislation restricting workers' collective bargaining rights and enforcing wage freezes. Hundreds of thousands of Americans found jobs in the war economy but a huge number were also killed or wounded in the war. ..."
"... So-called ' right to work' ..."
"... Trade union officials signed pacts with capital: higher pay for the workers and greater control of the workplace for the bosses. Trade union officials joined management in repressing rank and file movements seeking to control technological changes by reducing hours (" thirty hours work for forty hours pay ..."
"... Trade union activists, community organizers for rent control and other grassroots movements lost both the capacity and the will to advance toward large-scale structural changes of US capitalism. Living standards improved for a few decades but the capitalist class consolidated strategic control over labor relations. While unionized workers' incomes, increased, inequalities, especially in the non-union sectors began to grow. With the end of the GI bill, veterans' access to high-quality subsidized education declined ..."
"... With the election of President Carter, social welfare in the US began its long decline. The next series of regional wars were accompanied by even greater attacks on welfare via the " Volker Plan " – freezing workers' wages as a means to combat inflation. ..."
"... Guns without butter' became the legislative policy of the Carter and Reagan Administrations. The welfare programs were based on politically fragile foundations. ..."
"... The anti-labor offensive from the ' Oval Office' intensified under President Reagan with his direct intervention firing tens of thousands of striking air controllers and arresting union leaders. Under Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and William Clinton cost of living adjustments failed to keep up with prices of vital goods and services. Health care inflation was astronomical. Financial deregulation led to the subordination of American industry to finance and the Wall Street banks. De-industrialization, capital flight and massive tax evasion reduced labor's share of national income. ..."
"... The capitalist class followed a trajectory of decline, recovery and ascendance. Moreover, during the earlier world depression, at the height of labor mobilization and organization, the capitalist class never faced any significant political threat over its control of the commanding heights of the economy ..."
"... Hand in bloody glove' with the US Empire, the American trade unions planted the seeds of their own destruction at home. The local capitalists in newly emerging independent nations established industries and supply chains in cooperation with US manufacturers. Attracted to these sources of low-wage, violently repressed workers, US capitalists subsequently relocated their factories overseas and turned their backs on labor at home. ..."
"... President 'Bill' Clinton ravaged Russia, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Somalia and liberated Wall Street. His regime gave birth to the prototype billionaire swindlers: Michael Milken and Bernard 'Bernie' Madoff. ..."
"... Clinton converted welfare into cheap labor 'workfare', exploiting the poorest and most vulnerable and condemning the next generations to grinding poverty. Under Clinton the prison population of mostly African Americans expanded and the breakup of families ravaged the urban communities. ..."
"... President Obama transferred 2 trillion dollars to the ten biggest bankers and swindlers on Wall Street, and another trillion to the Pentagon to pursue the Democrats version of foreign policy: from Bush's two overseas wars to Obama's seven. ..."
"... Obama was elected to two terms. His liberal Democratic Party supporters swooned over his peace and justice rhetoric while swallowing his militarist escalation into seven overseas wars as well as the foreclosure of two million American householders. Obama completely failed to honor his campaign promise to reduce wage inequality between black and white wage earners while he continued to moralize to black families about ' values' . ..."
"... Obama's war against Libya led to the killing and displacement of millions of black Libyans and workers from Sub-Saharan Africa. The smiling Nobel Peace Prize President created more desperate refugees than any previous US head of state – including millions of Africans flooding Europe. ..."
"... Forty-years of anti welfare legislation and pro-business regimes paved the golden road for the election of Donald Trump ..."
"... Trump and the Republicans are focusing on the tattered remnants of the social welfare system: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. The remains of FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society -- are on the chopping block. ..."
"... The moribund (but well-paid) labor leadership has been notable by its absence in the ensuing collapse of the social welfare state. The liberal left Democrats embraced the platitudinous Obama/Clinton team as the 'Great Society's' gravediggers, while wailing at Trump's allies for shoving the corpse of welfare state into its grave. ..."
"... Over the past forty years the working class and the rump of what was once referred to as the ' labor movement' has contributed to the dismantling of the social welfare state, voting for ' strike-breaker' Reagan, ' workfare' Clinton, ' Wall Street crash' Bush, ' Wall Street savior' Obama and ' Trickle-down' Trump. ..."
"... Gone are the days when social welfare and profitable wars raised US living standards and transformed American trade unions into an appendage of the Democratic Party and a handmaiden of Empire. The Democratic Party rescued capitalism from its collapse in the Great Depression, incorporated labor into the war economy and the post- colonial global empire, and resurrected Wall Street from the 'Great Financial Meltdown' of the 21 st century. ..."
"... The war economy no longer fuels social welfare. The military-industrial complex has found new partners on Wall Street and among the globalized multi-national corporations. Profits rise while wages fall. Low paying compulsive labor (workfare) lopped off state transfers to the poor. Technology – IT, robotics, artificial intelligence and electronic gadgets – has created the most class polarized social system in history ..."
"... "The collaboration of liberals and unions in promoting endless wars opened the door to Trump's mirage of a stateless, tax-less, ruling class." ..."
"... Corporations [now] are welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up ..."
"... Corporations not only continuously seek monopolies (with the aid and sanction of the state) but they steadily fine tune the welfare state for their benefit. In fact, in reality, welfare for prols and peasants wouldn't exist if it didn't act as a money conduit and ultimate profit center for the big money grubbers. ..."
"... The article is dismal reading, and evidence of the failings of the "unregulated" society, where the anything goes as long as you are wealthy. ..."
"... Like the Pentagon. Americans still don't readily call this welfare, but they will eventually. Defense profiteers are unions in a sense, you're either in their club Or you're in the service industry that surrounds it. ..."
Dec 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973. Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state.

Between the mid 1970's to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing have been gutted. ' Workfare' (under President 'Bill' Clinton) ended welfare for the poor and displaced workers. Meanwhile the shift to regressive taxation and the steadily declining real wages have increased corporate profits to an astronomical degree.

What started as incremental reversals during the 1990's under Clinton has snowballed over the last two decades decimating welfare legislation and institutions.

The earlier welfare 'reforms' and the current anti-welfare legislation and austerity practices have been accompanied by a series of endless imperial wars, especially in the Middle East.

In the 1940's through the 1960's, world and regional wars (Korea and Indo-China) were combined with significant welfare program – a form of ' social imperialism' , which 'buy off' the working class while expanding the empire. However, recent decades are characterized by multiple regional wars and the reduction or elimination of welfare programs – and a massive growth in poverty, domestic insecurity and poor health.

New Deals and Big Wars

The 1930's witnessed the advent of social legislation and action, which laid the foundations of what is called the ' modern welfare state' .

Labor unions were organized as working class strikes and progressive legislation facilitated trade union organization, elections, collective bargaining rights and a steady increase in union membership. Improved work conditions, rising wages, pension plans and benefits, employer or union-provided health care and protective legislation improved the standard of living for the working class and provided for 2 generations of upward mobility.

Social Security legislation was approved along with workers' compensation and the forty-hour workweek. Jobs were created through federal programs (WPA, CCC, etc.). Protectionist legislation facilitated the growth of domestic markets for US manufacturers. Workplace shop steward councils organized 'on the spot' job action to protect safe working conditions.

World War II led to full employment and increases in union membership, as well as legislation restricting workers' collective bargaining rights and enforcing wage freezes. Hundreds of thousands of Americans found jobs in the war economy but a huge number were also killed or wounded in the war.

The post-war period witnessed a contradictory process: wages and salaries increased while legislation curtailed union rights via the Taft Hartley Act and the McCarthyist purge of leftwing trade union activists. So-called ' right to work' laws effectively outlawed unionization mostly in southern states, which drove industries to relocate to the anti-union states.

Welfare reforms, in the form of the GI bill, provided educational opportunities for working class and rural veterans, while federal-subsidized low interest mortgages encourage home-ownership, especially for veterans.

The New Deal created concrete improvements but did not consolidate labor influence at any level. Capitalists and management still retained control over capital, the workplace and plant location of production.

Trade union officials signed pacts with capital: higher pay for the workers and greater control of the workplace for the bosses. Trade union officials joined management in repressing rank and file movements seeking to control technological changes by reducing hours (" thirty hours work for forty hours pay "). Dissident local unions were seized and gutted by the trade union bosses – sometimes through violence.

Trade union activists, community organizers for rent control and other grassroots movements lost both the capacity and the will to advance toward large-scale structural changes of US capitalism. Living standards improved for a few decades but the capitalist class consolidated strategic control over labor relations. While unionized workers' incomes, increased, inequalities, especially in the non-union sectors began to grow. With the end of the GI bill, veterans' access to high-quality subsidized education declined.

While a new wave of social welfare legislation and programs began in the 1960's and early 1970's it was no longer a result of a mass trade union or workers' "class struggle". Moreover, trade union collaboration with the capitalist regional war policies led to the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of workers in two wars – the Korean and Vietnamese wars.

Much of social legislation resulted from the civil and welfare rights movements. While specific programs were helpful, none of them addressed structural racism and poverty.

The Last Wave of Social Welfarism

The 1960'a witnessed the greatest racial war in modern US history: Mass movements in the South and North rocked state and federal governments, while advancing the cause of civil, social and political rights. Millions of black citizens, joined by white activists and, in many cases, led by African American Viet Nam War veterans, confronted the state. At the same time, millions of students and young workers, threatened by military conscription, challenged the military and social order.

Energized by mass movements, a new wave of social welfare legislation was launched by the federal government to pacify mass opposition among blacks, students, community organizers and middle class Americans. Despite this mass popular movement, the union bosses at the AFL-CIO openly supported the war, police repression and the military, or at best, were passive impotent spectators of the drama unfolding in the nation's streets. Dissident union members and activists were the exception, as many had multiple identities to represent: African American, Hispanic, draft resisters, etc.

Under Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, the EPA and multiple poverty programs were implemented. A national health program, expanding Medicare for all Americans, was introduced by President Nixon and sabotaged by the Kennedy Democrats and the AFL-CIO. Overall, social and economic inequalities diminished during this period.

The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the American militarist empire. This coincided with the beginning of the end of social welfare as we knew it – as the bill for militarism placed even greater demands on the public treasury.

With the election of President Carter, social welfare in the US began its long decline. The next series of regional wars were accompanied by even greater attacks on welfare via the " Volker Plan " – freezing workers' wages as a means to combat inflation.

Guns without butter' became the legislative policy of the Carter and Reagan Administrations. The welfare programs were based on politically fragile foundations.

The Debacle of Welfarism

Private sector trade union membership declined from a post-world war peak of 30% falling to 12% in the 1990's. Today it has sunk to 7%. Capitalists embarked on a massive program of closing thousands of factories in the unionized North which were then relocated to the non-unionized low wage southern states and then overseas to Mexico and Asia. Millions of stable jobs disappeared.

Following the election of 'Jimmy Carter', neither Democratic nor Republican Presidents felt any need to support labor organizations. On the contrary, they facilitated contracts dictated by management, which reduced wages, job security, benefits and social welfare.

The anti-labor offensive from the ' Oval Office' intensified under President Reagan with his direct intervention firing tens of thousands of striking air controllers and arresting union leaders. Under Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and William Clinton cost of living adjustments failed to keep up with prices of vital goods and services. Health care inflation was astronomical. Financial deregulation led to the subordination of American industry to finance and the Wall Street banks. De-industrialization, capital flight and massive tax evasion reduced labor's share of national income.

The capitalist class followed a trajectory of decline, recovery and ascendance. Moreover, during the earlier world depression, at the height of labor mobilization and organization, the capitalist class never faced any significant political threat over its control of the commanding heights of the economy.

The ' New Deal' was, at best, a de facto ' historical compromise' between the capitalist class and the labor unions, mediated by the Democratic Party elite. It was a temporary pact in which the unions secured legal recognition while the capitalists retained their executive prerogatives.

The Second World War secured the economic recovery for capital and subordinated labor through a federally mandated no strike production agreement. There were a few notable exceptions: The coal miners' union organized strikes in strategic sectors and some leftist leaders and organizers encouraged slow-downs, work to rule and other in-plant actions when employers ran roughshod with special brutality over the workers. The recovery of capital was the prelude to a post-war offensive against independent labor-based political organizations. The quality of labor organization declined even as the quantity of trade union membership increased.

Labor union officials consolidated internal control in collaboration with the capitalist elite. Capitalist class-labor official collaboration was extended overseas with strategic consequences.

The post-war corporate alliance between the state and capital led to a global offensive – the replacement of European-Japanese colonial control and exploitation by US business and bankers. Imperialism was later 're-branded' as ' globalization' . It pried open markets, secured cheap docile labor and pillaged resources for US manufacturers and importers.

US labor unions played a major role by sabotaging militant unions abroad in cooperation with the US security apparatus: They worked to coopt and bribe nationalist and leftist labor leaders and supported police-state regime repression and assassination of recalcitrant militants.

' Hand in bloody glove' with the US Empire, the American trade unions planted the seeds of their own destruction at home. The local capitalists in newly emerging independent nations established industries and supply chains in cooperation with US manufacturers. Attracted to these sources of low-wage, violently repressed workers, US capitalists subsequently relocated their factories overseas and turned their backs on labor at home.

Labor union officials had laid the groundwork for the demise of stable jobs and social benefits for American workers. Their collaboration increased the rate of capitalist profit and overall power in the political system. Their complicity in the brutal purges of militants, activists and leftist union members and leaders at home and abroad put an end to labor's capacity to sustain and expand the welfare state.

Trade unions in the US did not use their collaboration with empire in its bloody regional wars to win social benefits for the rank and file workers. The time of social-imperialism, where workers within the empire benefited from imperialism's pillage, was over. Gains in social welfare henceforth could result only from mass struggles led by the urban poor, especially Afro-Americans, community-based working poor and militant youth organizers.

The last significant social welfare reforms were implemented in the early 1970's – coinciding with the end of the Vietnam War (and victory for the Vietnamese people) and ended with the absorption of the urban and anti-war movements into the Democratic Party.

Henceforward the US corporate state advanced through the overseas expansion of the multi-national corporations and via large-scale, non-unionized production at home.

The technological changes of this period did not benefit labor. The belief, common in the 1950's, that science and technology would increase leisure, decrease work and improve living standards for the working class, was shattered. Instead technological changes displaced well-paid industrial labor while increasing the number of mind-numbing, poorly paid, and politically impotent jobs in the so-called 'service sector' – a rapidly growing section of unorganized and vulnerable workers – especially including women and minorities.

Labor union membership declined precipitously. The demise of the USSR and China's turn to capitalism had a dual effect: It eliminated collectivist (socialist) pressure for social welfare and opened their labor markets with cheap, disciplined workers for foreign manufacturers. Labor as a political force disappeared on every count. The US Federal Reserve and President 'Bill' Clinton deregulated financial capital leading to a frenzy of speculation. Congress wrote laws, which permitted overseas tax evasion – especially in Caribbean tax havens. Regional free-trade agreements, like NAFTA, spurred the relocation of jobs abroad. De-industrialization accompanied the decline of wages, living standards and social benefits for millions of American workers.

The New Abolitionists: Trillionaires

The New Deal, the Great Society, trade unions, and the anti-war and urban movements were in retreat and primed for abolition.

Wars without welfare (or guns without butter) replaced earlier 'social imperialism' with a huge growth of poverty and homelessness. Domestic labor was now exploited to finance overseas wars not vice versa. The fruits of imperial plunder were not shared.

As the working and middle classes drifted downward, they were used up, abandoned and deceived on all sides – especially by the Democratic Party. They elected militarists and demagogues as their new presidents.

President 'Bill' Clinton ravaged Russia, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Somalia and liberated Wall Street. His regime gave birth to the prototype billionaire swindlers: Michael Milken and Bernard 'Bernie' Madoff.

Clinton converted welfare into cheap labor 'workfare', exploiting the poorest and most vulnerable and condemning the next generations to grinding poverty. Under Clinton the prison population of mostly African Americans expanded and the breakup of families ravaged the urban communities.

Provoked by an act of terrorism (9/11) President G.W. Bush Jr. launched the 'endless' wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and deepened the police state (Patriot Act). Wages for American workers and profits for American capitalist moved in opposite directions.

The Great Financial Crash of 2008-2011 shook the paper economy to its roots and led to the greatest shakedown of any national treasury in history directed by the First Black American President. Trillions of public wealth were funneled into the criminal banks on Wall Street – which were ' just too big to fail .' Millions of American workers and homeowners, however, were ' just too small to matter' .

The Age of Demagogues

President Obama transferred 2 trillion dollars to the ten biggest bankers and swindlers on Wall Street, and another trillion to the Pentagon to pursue the Democrats version of foreign policy: from Bush's two overseas wars to Obama's seven.

Obama's electoral 'donor-owners' stashed away two trillion dollars in overseas tax havens and looked forward to global free trade pacts – pushed by the eloquent African American President.

Obama was elected to two terms. His liberal Democratic Party supporters swooned over his peace and justice rhetoric while swallowing his militarist escalation into seven overseas wars as well as the foreclosure of two million American householders. Obama completely failed to honor his campaign promise to reduce wage inequality between black and white wage earners while he continued to moralize to black families about ' values' .

Obama's war against Libya led to the killing and displacement of millions of black Libyans and workers from Sub-Saharan Africa. The smiling Nobel Peace Prize President created more desperate refugees than any previous US head of state – including millions of Africans flooding Europe.

'Obamacare' , his imitation of an earlier Republican governor's health plan, was formulated by the private corporate health industry (private insurance, Big Pharma and the for-profit hospitals), to mandate enrollment and ensure triple digit profits with double digit increases in premiums. By the 2016 Presidential elections, ' Obama-care' was opposed by a 45%-43% margin of the American people. Obama's propagandists could not show any improvement of life expectancy or decrease in infant and maternal mortality as a result of his 'health care reform'. Indeed the opposite occurred among the marginalized working class in the old 'rust belt' and in the rural areas. This failure to show any significant health improvement for the masses of Americans is in stark contrast to LBJ's Medicare program of the 1960's, which continues to receive massive popular support.

Forty-years of anti welfare legislation and pro-business regimes paved the golden road for the election of Donald Trump

Trump and the Republicans are focusing on the tattered remnants of the social welfare system: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. The remains of FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society -- are on the chopping block.

The moribund (but well-paid) labor leadership has been notable by its absence in the ensuing collapse of the social welfare state. The liberal left Democrats embraced the platitudinous Obama/Clinton team as the 'Great Society's' gravediggers, while wailing at Trump's allies for shoving the corpse of welfare state into its grave.

Conclusion

Over the past forty years the working class and the rump of what was once referred to as the ' labor movement' has contributed to the dismantling of the social welfare state, voting for ' strike-breaker' Reagan, ' workfare' Clinton, ' Wall Street crash' Bush, ' Wall Street savior' Obama and ' Trickle-down' Trump.

Gone are the days when social welfare and profitable wars raised US living standards and transformed American trade unions into an appendage of the Democratic Party and a handmaiden of Empire. The Democratic Party rescued capitalism from its collapse in the Great Depression, incorporated labor into the war economy and the post- colonial global empire, and resurrected Wall Street from the 'Great Financial Meltdown' of the 21 st century.

The war economy no longer fuels social welfare. The military-industrial complex has found new partners on Wall Street and among the globalized multi-national corporations. Profits rise while wages fall. Low paying compulsive labor (workfare) lopped off state transfers to the poor. Technology – IT, robotics, artificial intelligence and electronic gadgets – has created the most class polarized social system in history. The first trillionaire and multi-billionaire tax evaders rose on the backs of a miserable standing army of tens of millions of low-wage workers, stripped of rights and representation. State subsidies eliminate virtually all risk to capital. The end of social welfare coerced labor (including young mother with children) to seek insecure low-income employment while slashing education and health – cementing the feet of generations into poverty. Regional wars abroad have depleted the Treasury and robbed the country of productive investment. Economic imperialism exports profits, reversing the historic relation of the past.

Labor is left without compass or direction; it flails in all directions and falls deeper in the web of deception and demagogy. To escape from Reagan and the strike breakers, labor embraced the cheap-labor predator Clinton; black and white workers united to elect Obama who expelled millions of immigrant workers, pursued 7 wars, abandoned black workers and enriched the already filthy rich. Deception and demagogy of the labor-

Issac , December 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm GMT

"The military-industrial complex has found new partners on Wall Street and among the globalized multi-national corporations."

"The collaboration of liberals and unions in promoting endless wars opened the door to Trump's mirage of a stateless, tax-less, ruling class."

A mirage so real, it even has you convinced.

whyamihere , December 12, 2017 at 4:24 am GMT
If the welfare state in America was abolished, major American cities would burn to the ground. Anarchy would ensue, it would be magnitudes bigger than anything that happened in Ferguson or Baltimore. It would likely be simultaneous.

I think that's one of the only situations where preppers would actually live out what they've been prepping for (except for a natural disaster).

I've been thinking about this a little over the past few years after seeing the race riots. What exactly is the line between our society being civilized and breaking out into chaos. It's probably a lot thinner than most people think.

I don't know who said it but someone long ago said something along the lines of, "Democracy can only work until the people figure out they can vote for themselves generous benefits from the public treasury." We are definitely in this situation today. I wonder how long it can last.

Disordered , December 13, 2017 at 8:41 am GMT
While I agree with Petras's intent (notwithstanding several exaggerations and unnecessary conflations with, for example, racism), I don't agree so much with the method he proposes. I don't mind welfare and unions to a certain extent, but they are not going to save us unless there is full employment and large corporations that can afford to pay an all-union workforce. That happened during WW2, as only wartime demand and those pesky wage freezes solved the Depression, regardless of all the public works programs; while the postwar era benefited from the US becoming the world's creditor, meaning that capital could expand while labor participation did as well.

From then on, it is quite hard to achieve the same success after outsourcing and mechanization have happened all over the world. Both of these phenomena not only create displaced workers, but also displaced industries, meaning that it makes more sense to develop individual workfare (and even then, do it well, not the shoddy way it is done now) rather than giving away checks that probably will not be cashed for entrepreneurial purposes, and rather than giving away money to corrupt unions who depend on trusts to be able to pay for their benefits, while raising the cost of hiring that only encourages more outsourcing.

The amount of welfare given is not necessarily the main problem, the problem is doing it right for the people who truly need it, and efficiently – that is, with the least amount of waste lost between the chain of distribution, which should reach intended targets and not moochers.

Which inevitably means a sound tax system that targets unearned wealth and (to a lesser degree) foreign competition instead of national production, coupled with strict, yet devolved and simple government processes that benefit both business and individuals tired of bureaucracy, while keeping budgets balanced. Best of both worlds, and no military-industrial complex needed to drive up demand.

Wally , Website December 13, 2017 at 8:57 am GMT
"President Obama transferred 2 trillion dollars to the ten biggest bankers and swindlers on Wall Street " That's twice the amount that Bush gave them.
jacques sheete , December 13, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT

The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973. Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state.

Wrong wrong wrong.

Corporations [now] are welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up, and welfare for them started before 1935. In fact, it started in America before there was a USA. I do not have time to elaborate, but what were the various companies such as the British East India Company and the Dutch West India Companies but state pampered, welfare based entities? ~200 years ago, Herbert Spencer, if memory serves, pointed out that the British East India Company couldn't make a profit even with all the special, government granted favors showered upon it.

Corporations not only continuously seek monopolies (with the aid and sanction of the state) but they steadily fine tune the welfare state for their benefit. In fact, in reality, welfare for prols and peasants wouldn't exist if it didn't act as a money conduit and ultimate profit center for the big money grubbers.

Den Lille Abe , December 13, 2017 at 11:09 am GMT
Well, the author kind of nails it. I remember from my childhood in the 50-60 ties in Scandinavia that the US was the ultimate goal in welfare. The country where you could make a good living with your two hands, get you kids to UNI, have a house, a telly ECT. It was not consumerism, it was the American dream, a chicken in every pot; we chewed imported American gum and dreamed.

In the 70-80 ties Scandinavia had a tremendous social and economic growth, EQUALLY distributed, an immense leap forward. In the middle of the 80 ties we were equal to the US in standards of living.

Since we have not looked at the US, unless in pity, as we have seen the decline of the general income, social wealth fall way behind our own.
The average US workers income has not increased since 90 figures adjusted for inflation. The Scandinavian workers income in the same period has almost quadrupled. And so has our societies.

The article is dismal reading, and evidence of the failings of the "unregulated" society, where the anything goes as long as you are wealthy.

wayfarer , December 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

Between the mid 1970's to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing have been gutted. 'Workfare' (under President 'Bill' Clinton) ended welfare for the poor and displaced workers. Meanwhile the shift to regressive taxation and the steadily declining real wages have increased corporate profits to an astronomical degree.

source: http://www.unz.com/jpetras/rise-and-decline-of-the-welfare-state/

What does Hollywood "elite" JAP and wannabe hack-stand-up-comic Sarah Silverman think about the class struggle and problems facing destitute Americans? "Qu'ils mangent de la bagels!", source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_them_eat_cake

... ... ...

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 13, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT
@Greg Fraser

Like the Pentagon. Americans still don't readily call this welfare, but they will eventually. Defense profiteers are unions in a sense, you're either in their club Or you're in the service industry that surrounds it.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm GMT
As other commenters have pointed out, it's Petras curious choice of words that sometimes don't make too much sense. We can probably blame the maleable English language for that, but here it's too obvious. If you don't define a union, people might assume you're only talking about a bunch of meat cutters at Safeway.

The welfare state is alive and well for corporate America. Unions are still here – but they are defined by access and secrecy, you're either in the club or not.

The war on unions was successful first by co-option but mostly by the media. But what kind of analysis leaves out the role of the media in the American transformation? The success is mind blowing.

America has barely literate (white) middle aged males trained to spout incoherent Calvinistic weirdness: unabased hatred for the poor (or whoever they're told to hate) and a glorification of hedge fund managers as they get laid off, fired and foreclosed on, with a side of opiates.

There is hardly anything more tragic then seeing a web filled with progressives (management consultants) dedicated to disempowering, disabling and deligitimizing victims by claiming they are victims of biology, disease or a lack of an education rather than a system that issues violence while portending (with the best media money can buy) that they claim the higher ground.

animalogic , December 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm GMT
@Wally

""Democracy can only work until the people figure out they can vote for themselves generous benefits from the public treasury." We are definitely in this situation today."

Quite right: the 0.01% have worked it out & US democracy is a Theatre for the masses.

Reg Cćsar , December 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

They elected militarists and demagogues as their new presidents.

Wilson and FDR were much more militarist and demagogic than those that followed.

Reg Cćsar , December 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@whyamihere

I don't know who said it but someone long ago said something along the lines of, "Democracy can only work until the people figure out they can vote for themselves generous benefits from the public treasury."

Some French aristocrat put it as, once the gates to the treasury have been breached, they can only be closed again with gunpowder. Anyone recognize the author?

phil , December 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
The author doesn't get it. What we have now IS the welfare state in an intensely diverse society. We have more transfer spending than ever before and Obamacare represents another huge entitlement.

Intellectuals continue to fantasize about the US becoming a Big Sweden, but Sweden has only been successful insofar as it has been a modest nation-state populated by ethnic Swedes. Intense diversity in a huge country with only the remnants of federalism results in massive non-consensual decision-making, fragmentation, increased inequality, and corruption.

HallParvey , December 13, 2017 at 4:57 pm GMT
@Anonymous

The welfare state is alive and well for corporate America. Unions are still here – but they are defined by access and secrecy, you're either in the club or not.

They are largely defined as Doctors, Lawyers, and University Professors who teach the first two. Of course they are not called unions. Access is via credentialing and licensing. Good Day

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 13, 2017 at 4:57 pm GMT
@Linda Green

Bernie Sanders, speaking on behalf of the MIC's welfare bird: "It is the airplane of the United States Air Force, Navy, and of NATO."

Elizabeth Warren, referring to Mossad's Estes Rockets: "The Israeli military has the right to attack Palestinian hospitals and schools in self defense"

Barack Obama, yukking it up with pop stars: "Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming."

It's not the agitprop that confuses the sheep, it's whose blowhole it's coming out of (labled D or R for convenience) that gets them to bare their teeth and speak of poo.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT
@HallParvey

What came first, the credentialing or the idea that it is a necessary part of education? It certainly isn't an accurate indication of what people know or their general intelligence – although that myth has flourished. Good afternoon.

Logan , December 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Realist

For an interesting projection of what might happen in total civilizational collapse, I recommend the Dies the Fire series of novels by SM Stirling.

It has a science-fictiony setup in that all high-energy system (gunpowder, electricity, explosives, internal combustion, even high-energy steam engines) suddenly stop working. But I think it does a good job of extrapolating what would happen if suddenly the cities did not have food, water, power, etc.

Spoiler alert: It ain't pretty. Those who dream of a world without guns have not really thought it through.

Logan , December 13, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@phil

It has been pointed out repeatedly that Sweden does very well relative to the USA. It has also been noted that people of Swedish ancestry in the USA do pretty well also. In fact considerably better than Swedes in Sweden

[Dec 15, 2017] Sic Semper Tyrannis Watergate Deja Vu and Fake News by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. Hardly anyone in the media, mainstream or fringe, are writing about this fact and trying to rally public support for action. What is one to say when confronted with the fact that the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump that was initially commissioned by the Clinton campaign. And who is the FBI Agent paying for the dossier? Why a fellow now revealed as a Clinton partisan. ..."
"... How much of what we see is the real DJT and how much is a projected public persona? ..."
"... DJT's threat to "drain the swamp" has created fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the swamp folk. They naturally fight back. By definition, all swamp critters must toe the neocon line else they would have been fired by previous incumbents. They are all therefore fair game for DJT. ..."
"... I admire your persistence and agree with the points you make in this and your other posts on the topic of Trump. This is an extremely important subject matter. A President was elected, lawfully, and a bunch of stupid ninnies got their panties in a knot over that and are therefore more or less willing to support a Borgist ("deep state", if you prefer) coup d'état. Said ninnies are immune to the rational arguments you present because they are not intelligent, they are hyper emotional and many of them belong to a cult called "[neo]liberalism" (or the "progressive movement", if you prefer). ..."
"... You mention briefly the Steele affair. I still find it difficult to believe that an ex-UK Intelligence Officer can get mixed up in American politics to this extent and scarcely an eyebrow raised. Surely someone's asking questions somewhere about this? The facts are clear enough, for once. ..."
"... And, off stage, a slow but powerful campaign exposing many of Trumnp's enemies as corrupt, perverted hypocrites. And, from time to time, unexpected presents like Brazile's book. But faster please ..."
"... I agree about the Trump Derangement Syndrome that has afflicted the media. I think they are suffering from O.C.T.D.: Obsessive Compulsive Trump Disorder. There are some in the media who are of the opinion that this may not be working with most Americans. ..."
"... The crucial point is not about respect for the man. It is respect for the office. All men are flawed, and high position exposes additional flaws. It is evident, to this outside observer, that Trump won "fair and square" according to the established procedures. The variety of "dirty tricks" used against him, both before the election and after, is astounding. There was a "back room" negotiation on election eve, visible in public as the long delay in final over-the-top results, and Trump's apology to his supporters for the delay, "it was complicated". ..."
"... He was smart enough to get elected, defeating a dozen professional republicans and the Democratic machinery along with the MSM. "In the end you will see that he does not live up to your expectations." I thought he was a boor and a mediocre showman. In that regard he's exceeded mine by surviving this long. ..."
"... You are correct that there is no public source yet confirming the FBI paid Steele. However, the FBI's refusal to turn over relevant documents regarding their relationship with Steele tells me there was money paid. What is indisputable is that the information in the dossier was used as a predicate to seek permission from a FISA court to go after Trump and his team. That is outrageous. ..."
"... Hillary, Bush, Obama and "the establishment" knew unconsciously not to "rock the boat". Trump was seen as too independent and uneducated in the ways of The Borg to be trusted. He had un-borg-like views like "..what the hell are we doing supporting Al Quida?" "...grab her in the pussy.." "..lets make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.." "lets get along with Russia.." "..the Media is fake and biased.." all very un-PC and un-borg-like positions. Too disruptive of the status quo. Might actually solve some problems and reduce the importance of government. ..."
"... I think the Borg determined he was N.O.K. (Not Our Kind). And he has royally pissed off the Media and he is in a death fight with the Media. ..."
"... This is increasingly my take as well -- the FBI, CIA and NSA do seem to have "conspired" to destroy Donald Trump. I finger Brennan, Clapper, Susan Rice, Benjamin Rhodes, and maybe Samantha Power as being involved in the flood of illegal leaks earlier in the year that did so much to pave the way for Mueller's appointment. ..."
"... Are you aware that the Office of Inspector General has been investigating politicization of the FBI and DOJ for 11 months now? The investigation was brought about at the recommendation of certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe. Among the allegations being looked into is that DOJ/FBI have highly political agents that should have at least recused themselves from certain investigations and that their politics may have influenced the course of the investigations. ..."
"... Given the revelations around Strzok, Rhee and Weissman, on Mueller's team, you'd think we'd be hearing more about OIG case. IMO, we are about to though. ..."
"... I'm also stunned by the stupidity of the Democrats. Any liberal who believes the intelligence agencies is a fool. They've just shown us their true nature by blocking the release of several thousand pages of records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. ..."
"... If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would in 2017 consider Fox News to be the most reliable MSM news outlet, I would have rolled around on the ground laughing hysterically. Yet it is true. I am not quite sure what I should deduce from this but I think it is something along the lines of "one cannot be too cynical about the news media". ..."
"... He certainly gives them plenty of ammunition. However, I believe a great deal of the vituperative outrage directed at him has much (possibly primarily) to do with exactly whom he bested in the general election. Not to pile on, but see David E. Solomon's comments on this thread. ..."
"... One can't underestimate the cult of personality that was so carefully crafted around Hillary Clinton for the past two decades. Their chosen strategy of identity politics only kicked it into hyper-drive over the past eight years. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

That sure sounds a lot like the current state of the media. We have witnessed this type of hysteria ourselves in just the last two days. First there was the Brian Ross debacle, which entailed Ross peddling the lie that Trump ordered Flynn to contact the Russians. That "fake news" elicited an emotional orgasm from Joy Behar on The View. She was on the verge of writhing on the floor as she prematurely celebrated what she thought would seal the impeachment of Donald Trump. Whoops. Ross had to retract that story.

... ... ...

Watergate and "Russiagate" do share a common trope. During Watergate the Washington Post was mostly a lone voice covering the story. Washington Post publisher at the time, Kate Graham, reportedly remarked that she was worried that none of the other papers were covering the story. And it was an important story. It exposed political corruption and abuse of power and a threat to our democracy.

How is that in common with Russiagate? The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. Hardly anyone in the media, mainstream or fringe, are writing about this fact and trying to rally public support for action. What is one to say when confronted with the fact that the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump that was initially commissioned by the Clinton campaign. And who is the FBI Agent paying for the dossier? Why a fellow now revealed as a Clinton partisan.

Publius Tacitus , 05 December 2017 at 11:52 PM
It is a shame you wanted to start the discussion with such a stupid comment. I have made no representation whatsoever about the intelligence or lack of intelligence of Trump. I have expressed nothing regarding "my expectations" for him or his policies. I get it. You don't like the man and want to grind a meaningless axe.
EEngineer said in reply to David E. Solomon... , 06 December 2017 at 01:12 AM

How much of what we see is the real DJT and how much is a projected public persona?

There's truth and lies, but then there's just plain old bullshit which has nothing to do with either. He seems to throw a ton of it around as a diversionary tactic. I understand the technique, but I can't see through the smoke screen to divine what he's up to or who he really is. So I continue to dispassionately observe.

walrus , 06 December 2017 at 01:49 AM
DJT's threat to "drain the swamp" has created fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the swamp folk. They naturally fight back. By definition, all swamp critters must toe the neocon line else they would have been fired by previous incumbents. They are all therefore fair game for DJT.
sbjonez , 06 December 2017 at 02:36 AM
Maybe a citation could be offered here, but there does not appear to be any support for the assertion made by the author of this piece that "...the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump...".There were reports that the FBI 'considered' paying Steele to continue his work, ( a not altogether uncommon practice), yet within the more responsibly researched reports it was also clearly stated that in the end the FBI did not in fact pay Steele anything for any work at all.
Dr. George W. Oprisko , 06 December 2017 at 03:32 AM
As it happens the FBI and most probably the others were created by executive order.

Perhaps it's time to end them by executive order.......

INDY

Eric Newhill said in reply to Publius Tacitus ... , 06 December 2017 at 03:32 AM
PT,
I admire your persistence and agree with the points you make in this and your other posts on the topic of Trump. This is an extremely important subject matter. A President was elected, lawfully, and a bunch of stupid ninnies got their panties in a knot over that and are therefore more or less willing to support a Borgist ("deep state", if you prefer) coup d'état. Said ninnies are immune to the rational arguments you present because they are not intelligent, they are hyper emotional and many of them belong to a cult called "[neo]liberalism" (or the "progressive movement", if you prefer).

When you belong to a cult, you must suspend reason; make it subordinate to the hive mind. You lose all perspective. They believe all kids of ridiculous notions that fail to withstand the most basic rational scrutiny; like Islam and feminism can be allies, socialism would work if only it were applied correctly, if a man puts on a dress he has actually become a woman and that such a person would make a good 11 series in the military, low skill/low IQ immigrants - legal or otherwise - are actually good for the country......so of course they believe that a coup d'état is appropriate when the target is Trump. In their madness they have convinced themselves that Trump is uniquely dangerous. He is going to destroy the world via ignoring global warming, tax cuts, immigration reform, pushing the nuclear button just for fun; all of the above and maybe more. You know this, of course. You did mention "Trump Derangement Syndrome".

As for the rest of the subject matter, personally, I feel that what with all that has been revealed about the FBI, CIA and NSA, someone should be bringing the involved members of these agencies up on charges related to treason, sedition or whatever legal terms are correct. Actually, these people should have their doors kicked down and be brought out in hand cuffs. Death sentences should be on the table and should be applied when legally possible.

This is no more Watergate than a man in a dress is a woman.

The depths to which the govt, populace and values of this country have degenerated have never been more on display than in this witch hunt. We are in very bad shape. The media is thoroughly scurrilous. Officials in bureaucracies are treasonous and have no respect for the rule of law. Half of the citizens are insane and support the media and the traitors.

If someone doesn't at least just pull the plug on this "investigation", it's going to ruin what's left of this country. It may be too late. A lot of ninnies are going to wake up to a very harsh reality.

Peter Reichard , 06 December 2017 at 05:21 AM
From day one the Republicans were trying to impeach Bill Clinton by investigating every dark corner of the Clintons' past and present until they could find something that would stick. Same thing with Trump except this time it goes far beyond the opposition party to include elements of the government, most of the media and even leading members of his own party. Elections be damned, we have an empire to maintain and he is seen by the establishment as too impulsive, unstable and so far uncontrollable to be allowed to stay in power. While no threat to the sacred cows of Wall Street and Israel or even to drain the swamp they are terrified of his unpredictability, hence the full court press unprecedented in American history to remove him from office. My very low opinion of Trump doesn't blind me to the dangers inherent in this effort. \
English Outsider -> Publius Tacitus ... , 06 December 2017 at 05:45 AM
PT - Isn't the point you've just made central? The issues here are far more important than the personalities?

I like what I've seen of our PM, Mrs May. Nice person, to my outsider's way of thinking. Doesn't alter the fact that I consider her policies and philosophy to be hopeless. And since we're never going to meet her in the pub that's what counts. Would it not be possible to separate things out in the same way with Trump? Set on one side the partisan arguments about his personality - politics is not a TV show - and consider him on the basis of what he may or may not do or be able to do?

You mention briefly the Steele affair. I still find it difficult to believe that an ex-UK Intelligence Officer can get mixed up in American politics to this extent and scarcely an eyebrow raised. Surely someone's asking questions somewhere about this? The facts are clear enough, for once.

JMH said in reply to David E. Solomon... , 06 December 2017 at 07:29 AM
Actually, I think he shares many of Bismark's qualities: "a political genius of a very unusual kind [whose success] rested on several sets of conflicting characteristics among which brutal, disarming honesty mingled with the wiles and deceits of a confidence man. He played his parts with perfect self-confidence, yet mixed them with rage, anxiety, illness, hypochrondria, and irrationality. ... He used democracy when it suited him, negotiated with revolutionaries and the dangerous Ferdinand Lassalle, the socialist who might have contested his authority. He utterly dominated his cabinet ministers with a sovereign contempt and blackened their reputations as soon as he no longer needed them. He outwitted the parliamentary parties, even the strongest of them, and betrayed all those ... who had put him into power. By 1870 even his closest friends ... realized that they had helped put a demonic figure into power.[6]"-wiki

Bernie can be Lasalle.

Patrick Armstrong , 06 December 2017 at 07:55 AM
I think, I hope, I believe, I persuade myself that all is unfolding as it should. Mueller turns up nothing but further examples of officials pimping themselves out to foreign governments; meanwhile revelations of bias on his team; meanwhile chewing away at the Fusion GPS thing (one of the key pillars); meanwhile investigation of the FBI. And, off stage, a slow but powerful campaign exposing many of Trumnp's enemies as corrupt, perverted hypocrites. And, from time to time, unexpected presents like Brazile's book. But faster please
Martin Oline , 06 December 2017 at 08:02 AM
I agree about the Trump Derangement Syndrome that has afflicted the media. I think they are suffering from O.C.T.D.: Obsessive Compulsive Trump Disorder. There are some in the media who are of the opinion that this may not be working with most Americans. I saw two pieces this morning from BBC and The New York Times:

Perhaps this is the start of a change or a recognition that the MSM's habitual crying wolf behavior is not resonating with Main Street. I can only hope, but I stopped watching the national news long ago.

Ken Roberts , 06 December 2017 at 08:30 AM
The crucial point is not about respect for the man. It is respect for the office. All men are flawed, and high position exposes additional flaws. It is evident, to this outside observer, that Trump won "fair and square" according to the established procedures. The variety of "dirty tricks" used against him, both before the election and after, is astounding. There was a "back room" negotiation on election eve, visible in public as the long delay in final over-the-top results, and Trump's apology to his supporters for the delay, "it was complicated".

That truly is water under the bridge, and at least must be so, if you wish to preserve your republic. You all have the right to withhold consent and trash what you and your fathers and grandfathers have achieved. Most will not like the outcome. But I sincerely hope that you, each and collectively, instead will choose the positive aspects of this model:

"... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Best wishes,
kr

Greco , 06 December 2017 at 08:56 AM
The ABC story had to be "clarified" given they originally reported Flynn had contacted the Russians DURING the election when in fact it was AFTER the election. The story had consequences on the stock market: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4129355-cost-fake-news-s-and-p-500 This all happened on the eve of the passage of Trump's tax cuts and it seemed timed to hurt the stock market. It may even possibly have torpedoed the tax cuts by putting into question Trump's legal standing as president.
jdledell , 06 December 2017 at 10:04 AM
I detest Trump as a person but still acknowledge that he is our current President. I will continue to fight against the implementation of his policies and work hard to to try to insure he does not win a second term. Other than that in 3 more years the American people will have an opportunity to judge his performance and make a decision on his worthiness to continue as President. That is as it should be.

Trump has taken some hard shots, some deserved and some not. That is the nature of our current political system. When Trump traveled the nation proclaiming Obama was not American born and thus an illegitimate President is also an example of "all is fair in War and politics".

Fred -> David E. Solomon... , 06 December 2017 at 10:20 AM
David,

He was smart enough to get elected, defeating a dozen professional republicans and the Democratic machinery along with the MSM. "In the end you will see that he does not live up to your expectations." I thought he was a boor and a mediocre showman. In that regard he's exceeded mine by surviving this long.

Publius Tacitus -> sbjonez... , 06 December 2017 at 10:35 AM
You are correct that there is no public source yet confirming the FBI paid Steele. However, the FBI's refusal to turn over relevant documents regarding their relationship with Steele tells me there was money paid. What is indisputable is that the information in the dossier was used as a predicate to seek permission from a FISA court to go after Trump and his team. That is outrageous.
rjj said in reply to JMH... , 06 December 2017 at 11:19 AM
is this doom-and-gloom or hope-assaulting-experience? Am guessing that the only thing he has shares with Old Otto is a preference for the classic method of donning trousers.

OOPS! there's this (was reminded of it by the hyperventilatory "breaking news" about Blackwater/Erik Prince):

Bismarck held von Holstein in high esteem, and when the latter went to him with his plan for establishing a vast organization of almost universal spying, the Chancellor of the new German Empire immediately grasped the advantages he could obtain from it. ....

Von Holstein ... had one great ambition; that of knowing everything about everybody and of ruling everybody through fear of the disclosures he could make were he at any time tempted to do so. ....

The German Foreign Office knew everything and made use of everything .... In the Prussian Intelligence Department as Holstein organized it there was hardly a person of note or consequence in Europe about whom everything was not known, including, of course, his weaknesses and cupboard skeletons. And this knowledge was used when necessary without any compunction or remorse. ....

His first care, whenever an individual capable at a given moment of playing a part, no matter how humble, in the great drama attracted his attention, was to ferret out all that could be learned about him or her. With few exceptions he contrived to lay his finger on a hidden secret. Once this preliminary step had been performed to his satisfaction, the rest was easy. The unfortunate victim was given to understand that he would be shamed publicly at any time, unless . . . unless . . .

https://archive.org/details/firebrandofbolsh00radz

As this has been the SOP of Karl Rove (presumably), of Jedgar, and before that [__fill in the blanks___], the only thing unprecedented about the Prince/Blackwater story is the disregard for omerta.

DISCLAIMER: The Princess Radziwill who published the passage on von Holstein was an opportunistic swashbucklereuse type and [guessing] would have been so even in less horrifically interesting times.

walter , 06 December 2017 at 12:06 PM
My humble opinion on what is going on. "The Borg" are individuals whose self-interest is tied to perpetuating "business as usual" in Washington DC. FBI agents, CIA, NSA need domestic and foreign conflict to aggrandize and justify their positions. They do not want our national problems solved...god forbid, budgets, salaries, bonuses, future contracting and consulting jobs might be reduced or eliminated.

Hillary, Bush, Obama and "the establishment" knew unconsciously not to "rock the boat". Trump was seen as too independent and uneducated in the ways of The Borg to be trusted. He had un-borg-like views like "..what the hell are we doing supporting Al Quida?" "...grab her in the pussy.." "..lets make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.." "lets get along with Russia.." "..the Media is fake and biased.." all very un-PC and un-borg-like positions. Too disruptive of the status quo. Might actually solve some problems and reduce the importance of government.

I think the Borg determined he was N.O.K. (Not Our Kind). And he has royally pissed off the Media and he is in a death fight with the Media.

Sid Finster , 06 December 2017 at 12:16 PM
I find the whole idea that "Deutsche Bank has branches in Russia and lends money to Russian borrowers, therefore Russians control Deutsche Bank" idea to be comical.

I have clients who also regularly borrow money from Deutsche Bank. Are they now Russians? Are they controlled now by Russians? Do Russians control them? What role does DB play in all this web of control?

If I have my mortgage at the same bank as a slum lord/toxic waste generator/adult bookstore owner/CIA operative, am I now his puppet?

Asking for a friend.

Does nobody understand how banking law works? (in Germany and the US, banks are forbidden to lend to any client or client group in an amount that would give the borrower de facto control over the operations of the bank). Of course the smarter conspiracy theorists understand this. Any stick to beat a dog.

Sid Finster said in reply to English Outsider ... , 06 December 2017 at 12:18 PM
The difference is that the establishment/Deep State/Borg/whatever you want to call it approves of Steele's activities.
Dr. Puck said in reply to Dr. George W. Oprisko ... , 06 December 2017 at 12:27 PM
FYI History of the FBI. www.fbi.gov/history/brief-history
Sylvia 1 , 06 December 2017 at 12:48 PM
This is increasingly my take as well -- the FBI, CIA and NSA do seem to have "conspired" to destroy Donald Trump. I finger Brennan, Clapper, Susan Rice, Benjamin Rhodes, and maybe Samantha Power as being involved in the flood of illegal leaks earlier in the year that did so much to pave the way for Mueller's appointment.

What I fail to understand is why Democrats are sitting back and cheering as these agencies work together to destroy a duly elected President of the USA. Does anyone really believe that if these agencies get away with it this time they will stop with Trump?
All these agencies are out of control and are completely unaccountable.

Eric Newhill , 06 December 2017 at 12:51 PM
PT,

Are you aware that the Office of Inspector General has been investigating politicization of the FBI and DOJ for 11 months now? The investigation was brought about at the recommendation of certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe. Among the allegations being looked into is that DOJ/FBI have highly political agents that should have at least recused themselves from certain investigations and that their politics may have influenced the course of the investigations.

Given the revelations around Strzok, Rhee and Weissman, on Mueller's team, you'd think we'd be hearing more about OIG case. IMO, we are about to though.

Peter VE said in reply to Sylvia 1... , 06 December 2017 at 05:05 PM
I'm also stunned by the stupidity of the Democrats. Any liberal who believes the intelligence agencies is a fool. They've just shown us their true nature by blocking the release of several thousand pages of records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. If they can't allow the truth to come out after 54 years, they surely can't be trusted to be truthful about today's information.
Cvillereader said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 06 December 2017 at 06:54 PM
Fox News, which has been fairly reliable of late, reported last night that the FBI OIG report will be finalized and made public sometime in the next 4-5 weeks.
blue peacock , 07 December 2017 at 12:18 AM
Publius Tacitus
The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump.

How can this conspiracy be investigated? Who could do it? Clearly not anyone from the DoJ, FBI, CIA and NSA as they are fully compromised.

JamesT -> Cvillereader... , 07 December 2017 at 12:48 AM
If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would in 2017 consider Fox News to be the most reliable MSM news outlet, I would have rolled around on the ground laughing hysterically. Yet it is true. I am not quite sure what I should deduce from this but I think it is something along the lines of "one cannot be too cynical about the news media".
Imagine , 07 December 2017 at 12:50 AM
Real News: Outstanding official independent post-mortem of Charlottesville. Includes maneuver tactics, I think y'all will like it.

http://www.charlottesville.org/home/showdocument?id=59615

AK said in reply to English Outsider ... , 07 December 2017 at 04:06 AM
English Outsider,

"Any idea why?"

He certainly gives them plenty of ammunition. However, I believe a great deal of the vituperative outrage directed at him has much (possibly primarily) to do with exactly whom he bested in the general election. Not to pile on, but see David E. Solomon's comments on this thread.

One can't underestimate the cult of personality that was so carefully crafted around Hillary Clinton for the past two decades. Their chosen strategy of identity politics only kicked it into hyper-drive over the past eight years.

Still, this phenomenon existed long before Trump, The Politician, and even before Obama and his own cult. Many of these people were able to put their expectations on hold for eight long years. Obama was a result they could at least live with temporarily - " Just eight more years, and then they owe her. "

They had their very structures of reality built around a certain outcome, which didn't come to pass. So, the disappointment was all the more bitter when they realized that their waiting was in vain. That's a tidal wave of cognitive dissonance unleashed by that unimaginable (for some) occurrence of her defeat. He didn't put paid to Martin O'Malley or even Bernie Sanders. He vanquished The Queen. That sort of thing never goes down lightly.

AK said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 07 December 2017 at 04:23 AM
Richardstevenhack,

" As I've said before, I think Trump only ran for President for 1) ego, and 2) he knows he will have access to billions of dollars of business deals once he leaves office, with the cachet of having been President.

You might as well assert that lions only hang out around watering holes because 1) there's water there, and 2) gazelles and zebras have to drink water. Can you point me to one President from living memory who did not 1) run for the Office at least partially out of ego, and 2) take advantage in his subsequent "private life" of these exact perks of having held the Office? I ask seriously, because it seems you are pining for a nobility in presidential politics which to my recollection hasn't existed for at least three generations. Cincinnatus, they ain't. Maybe Ike, but anyone else is a real stretch.

[Dec 15, 2017] Andrew Weissmann, Mueller's Legal Pit Bull

Notable quotes:
"... But many defense lawyers have chafed at what they see as a scorched-earth approach, forged in Brooklyn while facing down Mafia members and refined on the government's unit of Enron superprosecutors, which left a mixed legacy of high-profile successes, overturned convictions and one unanimous defeat at the Supreme Court. ..."
"... Then came the shock-and-awe raid of Mr. Manafort's home - a Weissmann special, both admirers and critics recognized - the Zorro "Z" to announce his presence in the case. ..."
nytimes.com

top lieutenant to Robert S. Mueller III on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. Significantly, Mr. Weissmann is an expert in converting defendants into collaborators - with either tactical brilliance or overzealousness, depending on one's perspective.

If Mr. Mueller is the stern-eyed public face of the investigation, Mr. Weissmann, 59, is its pounding heart, a bookish, legal pit bull with two Ivy League degrees, a weakness for gin martinis and classical music and a list of past enemies that includes professional killers and white-collar criminals.

... ... ...

But many defense lawyers have chafed at what they see as a scorched-earth approach, forged in Brooklyn while facing down Mafia members and refined on the government's unit of Enron superprosecutors, which left a mixed legacy of high-profile successes, overturned convictions and one unanimous defeat at the Supreme Court.

... thousands of dollars in past donations from Mr. Weissmann to Democrats, including former President Barack Obama.

...Then came the shock-and-awe raid of Mr. Manafort's home - a Weissmann special, both admirers and critics recognized - the Zorro "Z" to announce his presence in the case.

"There's a name," the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh warned listeners last week, recapping the "intimidating technique" afoot. "Weissmann."

... ... ...

whose work has been taken up by Trump allies like Newt Gingrich. (In 2015, Ms. Powell criticized Mr. Weissmann in an article for The New York Observer - which was owned by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law - after Mr. Weissmann was named to lead the Justice Department's criminal fraud section.)

[Dec 15, 2017] Wikileaks has offered a reward to speed up a search for the Seth Rich murderers, whereas DNC did nothing. Nothing! But the DNC was very active when certain Mr. Awan needed legal protection

Notable quotes:
"... How is your Debbie Wasserman doing -- did not she threatened the DC police investigator for doing his job of investigating the Awan affair? Debbie has been a major protector of the Awan family that accomplished the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity. And how is your Nobel Peace Laureate doing -- collecting nice fees from banksters for his betrayal of democracy in the US? ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:27 am

Are you shocked about Seth Rich murder? Wikileaks has offered a reward to speed up a search for the murderers, whereas DNC did nothing. Nothing! But the DNC was very active when certain Mr. Awan needed legal protection.

How is your Debbie Wasserman doing -- did not she threatened the DC police investigator for doing his job of investigating the Awan affair? Debbie has been a major protector of the Awan family that accomplished the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity. And how is your Nobel Peace Laureate doing -- collecting nice fees from banksters for his betrayal of democracy in the US?

[Dec 15, 2017] The underlying problem of Trump vs. Hillary choice is the problem of the degradation of the US elite, a slide to gerontocracy which reminds me the deterioration of Soviet elite. At this point people do not respect their leaders. Much like was the case in the USSR after 1960

Dec 09, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Internet-is-Beast -> Ms No , Dec 9, 2017 3:25 AM

I acknowledge what you are saying. However, I have learned that when one is in the midst of a pessimistic scenario, one tends to develop tunnel vision and assume that the future will be like the present, only worse. Though I despise psychology as a science, this is a very psychological phenomenon. Granting what you say about Trump and the false optimism he generated, I voted for him not because I hated Trump less, but that I hated Hillary more.

Nevertheless, notwithstanding, in spite of all this, I do have a certain optimism about the American people, as a rayon de lumičre in a gloomy prospect.

Davidduke2000 -> Internet-is-Beast , Dec 9, 2017 3:05 AM

keep the blinders on, even better yet wear the virtual reality goggles of MAGA while the country is living off a never ending fraud.

Every part of the us government is a fraud, the money is a fraud, wall street is a fraud, 99% of the food you eat is kosher fraud and you pension is fraud as the money is not there to allow you to collect your pension yet most people are paying dearly for their pension and the money goes to either israel or the profiteers of the war machine.

Clock Crasher -> Ms No , Dec 9, 2017 12:57 AM

They are toast. The leaks are not going to stop. Once the baby boom generation dies off completely the next generations will clean up their mess. The baby boom can't see past their own prosperity. But everyone else is ready for reform.

(trying to throw a little optimism into the mix)

Think about it.. when you look at the electoral map by county HRC was thoroughly crushed. Is DJT a SomaSalesMan aka Mega Psyop.. who the fuck knows. The awakening is happen Chinese water torture style.

This is a lot like being a Gold perma Bull. We want to come into the forums every day and write about how hopeless the situation is (a lot like what I do here everyday).

Just remember this.. Even Mao's wife had to stand trial for crimes against the populace. In 20 years the babyboomers will be out of the way and we can get onto bigger and better things.

Davidduke2000 -> Clock Crasher , Dec 9, 2017 2:58 AM

the biggest problems come from the millennial who grew up with bullshit, baby boomers lived threw a lot of american bullshit and they are the ones like PCR are warning the youngs that america's days are numbered . even Deagel.com predict that the us population in 2025 will dwindle from 325 million to only 55 millions, where do you think the 275 million will go? nuclear war will take care of them.

http://www.deagel.com/country/forecast.aspx

the corruption is so great that every single new weapon does not work and all these weapons are built at a great cost. The bulk of the left activists are millennials , the same with the super left, yet on the right the millennials are busy filing their nails, surfing and buying bitcoin for a quick profit.

I am Canadian, I am an outsider and see clearly as I am not part of the system, I see a country where the leaders convinced the population that they are exceptional but the people took it as a compliment, it was meant to fool them into a sense of being above the rest of the world, yet most americans do not know the capital of florida, california, mississippi, alabama yet they are in their own country.

This exceptionalism is preventing them from understanding the danger they are in.

For the first time I see a consensus on zerohedge that PCR is 100% right and the posters are worried what will become of america if israel is left with a huge hold on all us presidents and on the political infrastructure of the us and they agree with PCR on the list of propaganda the us have been telling the citizens to keep them distracted from knowing that their days are numbered when the Russians might attack thinking america wants to annihilate them.

FredFlintstone -> Ms No , Dec 9, 2017 5:55 AM

Damnit! I just wanted to retire quietly to a golf course.

veritas semper ... , Dec 9, 2017 12:27 AM

Pax Britannica<< Pax Americana<< Pax Judaica.

We are in the late stages of Pax Judaica. They, through their money magic,usury,fiat printing,and the bought/paid for/bribed/blackmailed sycophants,rule almost the whole world.The West entirely.

They have push so much,on all aspects of the society,that the recoil is going to be devastating.We started seeing this with the Jerusalem f*ck up.

US can not be saved at this point. It is at the Event Horizon already. I don't know what will be left of it: a few 4th world small countries ,where warlords kill each other? Americans love violence.

I absolutely sure IS...RA...EL is NOT going to survive. Neither Saudi Barbaria. Especially after this last blunder.

Will they go into the dustbin of history gracefully,without destroying the whole world in the process?

I don't think so,they are psychopaths.They do not like to lose or to be exposed for what they really are.

PCR makes a valid point. The Russians are patient ,balanced, intelligent people,but if they sense they are dealing with irrational ones ,they will not take a chance. The Russians have already said that US is not agreement capable, a great insult in their view.

Internet-is-Beast -> veritas semper vinces , Dec 9, 2017 2:46 AM

Referencing your first line, there's also "army intelligence" "Long Island expressway" to cite a couple of other examples of the same wordplay.

HRClinton -> veritas semper vinces , Dec 9, 2017 3:44 AM

Pax Iudaea. Delenda est.

Hostis humani generis. Delenda est.

roddy6667 -> JibjeResearch , Dec 9, 2017 1:06 AM

In America everybody has their labels (businessman, Libertarian, Democrat, Republican) so they can all fight with each other better. The country is so Balkanized that cannot function as a whole any more. I guess that was the plan all along.

IDESofMARCH , Dec 9, 2017 1:07 AM

Peace and truth are not welcome at the Whitehouse which should be painted BLOOD RED. Politicians are a greedy bloodthirsty criminals, That includes Trump. If you want to save the world from WW3 which we are watching incubate. ALL current crop of politicians have to be thrown out of government. YOU NEED A BLOODY REVOLUTION and throw these criminals into maximum security with the killers and molestors to do as they wish with them.

Without public revolt we'll just keep seeing, hearing and swallowing fake news after fake news brain wash and send our children to kill the innocent in WAR after WAR.

Walt , Dec 9, 2017 1:28 AM

Private interests and agendas have control over the US government. As in (((Private interests and agendas))) have control over the US government.

Seasmoke , Dec 9, 2017 1:34 AM

Don't forget the biggest lie. Even bigger than 9/11. That in the mid 2000s millions of deadbeats all decided to buy houses that they could not afford. What a joke of a country. Land of the fee. Home of the Slave.

Moe Howard , Dec 9, 2017 1:46 AM

"What Mueller is doing is so corrupt that he really should be arrested and renditioned to Egypt." Best line of the whole piece. Love it. We are not, however, "Walking Into Armageddon" Rather, we are "Slouching into the Apocolypse"

I am ENTERTAINED.

Ivan de beers , Dec 9, 2017 2:05 AM

Trump handing Jerusalem to israel is just the first step in setting up the rise of Israel and the fall of America. It is a symbolic transfer of power. All is left is world war 3 and the financial system collapse.

GardenWeasel , Dec 9, 2017 2:57 AM

PCR is way off this time. Flynn is acting as bait, and the swamp critters went for it. Trump and Bannon are playing the ol' rope-a-dope rather well. After the Dems and Deep Staters wear themselves out throwing all of these ineffective punches they will take them out.

ProsperD9 -> GardenWeasel , Dec 9, 2017 3:56 AM

You might be on to something...as the Dems and Deep State reveal themselves for what they really are, it makes it easier for Trump to go in for the kill....! They are getting more and more careless and their corruption and stupidity revealed more and more each day. I hope Trump be able to pave the way to cleaning up America and getting it back on its feet....we will see...!

jafo2me , Dec 9, 2017 3:01 AM

As many of you either know or have heard...

"THE" controllers of the puppet politicans, bankers and world leaders "WANT YOU TO LIVE IN FEAR." All the reasons stated by PCR are valid but not one of them is a reason to go out and get drunk tomorrow. Either you believe in your own fate and the actions which control the fate which you harvest "OR YOU DON'T."

Why would I worry about things I have zero control over, especially when I "KNOW" "THEY" live off of that fear? I will live every moment of my life in the joy and happiness which is this blessing to be alive "AND" will live in fear of no one. If you live your life this way they lose and you get to appreciate a gift which is greater then any material object on the planet.

The worse which they can do when you decide to refuse to live in fear of "THEM" is to take your life which they have no power to do either.. Put up your middle finger to all of them, smile and move on and enjoy what time you have here to make it the best you can do.

Choose not to live in fear of them..

We all fear death and question our place in the universe. The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. ... Ernest Hemingway

slicktroutman -> jafo2me , Dec 9, 2017 8:40 AM

And then he killed himself.....l...

Conscious Reviver , Dec 9, 2017 3:08 AM

Two interesting pieces of news out of moonofalabama.org

First b says the real buyer of the fake $450M fake DaVinci is MbS, the KSA crown prince. Second, MbS just fired his Zino-friendly, Jared-friendly foreign minister.

jafo2me , Dec 9, 2017 3:23 AM

As for Flynn...

The rumors early on were that Flynn knew who all the pedophiles were in Washington, wanted to go after them "AND" would not back down. Trump's VP was included on that list and played a part in the decision to move him out of the public eye and into the position he currently occupies behind the scenes.

Interestingly enough it was supposedly this stupid explanation of him not telling Pence about his meeting with the Russian Ambassador which was the excuse as to why he had to be removed. On face value, think about how ridiculous this is. A decorated General who answers to the President withheld information on a meeting which is fairly typical military procedure.

"IT'S CALLED THE NEED TO KNOW." HELLO....

Trump could have simply stated that Flynn was not under orders from Pence and was acting under a protocol common to members within the Military but not common to politicians. If Pence wanted to know anything about what people within my Administration are doing he is always welcome to discuss it with me. PERIOD...

THE ENTIRE EXCUSE IS TOTAL BS AND THE WEAKNESS OF THAT EXCUSE GIVES ME SUSPICION TO BELIEVE THAT THE ORIGIONAL RUMORS WERE ACCURATE.

JailBanksters , Dec 9, 2017 3:29 AM

America Isn't "Walking Into Armageddon", America Is "Pushing for Armageddon"

Conscious Reviver -> JailBanksters , Dec 9, 2017 4:46 AM

The Fascist Tom Cotton with his hair on fire leading the charge. Metaphorically leading the charge to our own destruction. He would never get himself involved in any genuine battle charge. Russia is not my enemy or adversary.

JailBanksters -> Conscious Reviver , Dec 9, 2017 5:11 AM

Has Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Russia, China, North Korea ever done any physical harm to the USA ? No ... How about the reverse ? Mmm, it appears the only ones that have attacked the USA are Saudi Arabia and Israel. But America does not attack them, instead it only attacks the countries that have never attacked the USA.

Is that wierd or what ?, it's almost as if there is another agenda at play.

slipreedip , Dec 9, 2017 4:57 AM

US foreign Policy in a nutshell. Its war...one way or another.

Stan Derdissue -> Tellthetruth , Dec 9, 2017 6:25 AM

You mean the Islam that allows grandads to marry and abuse 10 year olds. Husbands to beat up their wives, hang gay teenage boys off cranes in public squares. Whip 12 year old girls in public for wearing western tight jeans ( underneath their hijab may I add). Satan would approve of this sadistic protocol.

free corn , Dec 9, 2017 5:59 AM

it's amazing to see so much naivety here. People seems to believe that America/Russia are bad/good. But people it's not just imperialism anymore it's globalism. Therefore it's not about interests of countries but rather the ones of oligarchs. And oligarchs interests are international, so why would they be interested in Armageddon? Earth belong to them, why would they want to damage their wealth so much? i think we'll see busyness as usual - small wars, removing obstacles for transnationals, concentration of wealth and power and social engineering on global scale.

Conscious Reviver -> free corn , Dec 9, 2017 7:00 AM

The NWO globalism program failed already. Now we are on to something else.

slicktroutman -> Conscious Reviver , Dec 9, 2017 8:30 AM

Can you explain how it failed already? Be specific.

WTFUD -> free corn , Dec 9, 2017 7:23 AM

Naive, ha ha! Take a look at Libya, the War Crimes & Genocide, overseen by the US & Vassals and talk about Good/Bad, NO SON, we're talking Class A EVIL here, and in the other Regime Change Neocon Playbook. How many Foreign Bases/Entanglements are Russia involved in, outside of Russia? In their Only ME base/port in Syria the US tried to fuck them over. Now Russia has half a dozen strategic Bases ( including a meeting of minds with Egypt, Qatar, Libya, Turkey, Sudan ) to eliminate DAESH/al-CIAd'uh (US Constructs).

Lastly, Only through Threat and Intimidation can the US keep these Vassals on board. Have you not noticed how the Geopolitical Landmark is changing with Sovereigns flocking far and wide to Moscow, for an ALTERNATIVE to the Vassal Prisoner Status offered up by Vichy DC.

Naive Son? Z/Hedgers will call out Russia if they deviate from the Path of Righteousness.

No Russia didn't displace, maim, murder, tens of millions of citizens in the ME, VICHY DC did.

Dark star , Dec 9, 2017 6:46 AM

I read somewhere that the Ukrainian Army has changed its rule book to allow soldiers to wear beards. The inference from this is that those ISIS members rescued by the Americans are being shipped to Ukraine to fight with the Nazis against those in the East who object to Kiev's desire to genocide ethnic Russians. It would appear that, not content with arming Nazis and putting them in Ukraine's Government, the US is now putting an armed ISIS into Eastern Europe. Does anybody have more detail?

WTFUD -> Dark star , Dec 9, 2017 6:59 AM

Airlifting them from Der el Zor ( and inevitable destruction at the hands of Syrian/Hezbollah Bravehearts ) onto the demarcation line in the Donbass? Good luck with that Chestnut! What are the Jihadi's wearing, 3 SETS OF THERMALS? Let's put it this way, no matter how many Jihadi proxy scum/Advisers they airlift into Donbass there will be 10 times more FOREIGN FREEDOM-FIGHTERS (ok mainly Russian, but from Everywhere ) ready to join that gig, me included.

Death to ZATO!

WTFUD , Dec 9, 2017 6:47 AM

How convenient that Trump gets to play the Good Guy, supposedly fingers tied at every turn by Deep State, preventing him from reaching out.

There's not a shred of evidence that he's intervened to mend relations with Russia and if there is can someone shed light on this?

First up he has a filthy Neocon POS in Nikki Haley in the UN, the Only one on the Security Council who's a War Hawk (including the Palestinian fiasco ).

Did he intervene in the ILLEGAL eviction of Russian Diplomatic Quarters? Has he worked diligently with China & Russia to resolve DPRK or contributed to the Neocon war-drum beat with more bluster? Has he increased or defused tension in the ME by withdrawing US Troops or has he added to Obama's clandestine proxy jihadi recruitment programme by sending moar ADVISERS?

They say Tillerson's on his way out, to be replaced by a Neocon war-hawk in Mike Pompeo who's current charge of al-CIAd'uh covert operations is a continuation of the Obama failings.

Unlike Obama ( one of his few credits in 8 years ) Trump's Encouraging Netanyahu's Deviancy?

I've read over at the Saker/Other that behind the scenes Vichy DC could step up the supply of WMD's/Advisers to Kiev.

The US Coalition Forces in Syria (minus the US, lol), like their Iraqi counterparts (the Kurds in the main ) are at least talking with Russia/Government to thwart, long-term US Military Bases on Syrian soil. Obviously the US is unhappy about this with their Partition ambitions.

FUCK VICHY DC & EVERYONE IN IT!

Conscious Reviver -> WTFUD , Dec 9, 2017 7:05 AM

When Vicky Nuland's relatives ran Russia. https://youtube.com/watch?v=pRfY8CwjXvY

Able Ape , Dec 9, 2017 8:15 AM

The US suffers from MIC Induced Psychosis - the only cure is stop funding the military!...

"Rebellion to t... , Dec 9, 2017 8:33 AM

Pope John Paul II, Gorbachev, and Reagan, together, ended the Cold War. HW Bush is the architect on how the USA kept its military industrial complex intact. The USA no longer had an existential threat, and no longer a reason to maintain a multiple tens of billions annual defense budget. So HW Bush picked an enemy and started a global war, that continues to this day. The British military map makers, redrew much of the middle east, after WWI.

The state of Israel was already in the works, long before the story of the holocaust, some 20 years later. Anyway, Sadaam Hussein, leader of Iraq, and US ally, spoke to the Bush administration about Kuwait; and taking back for Iraq, what Sadaam believed the British map makers took away in 1917. Saddam was fooled, and the Bush administration had a reason to keep the military industrial complex intact. The globalism/new world order, that US and EU government officials speak of, is simply another way of saying that no one has any civil liberties and everyone is being monitored.

This dangerous game was effective and working for quite a while. A great deal of wealth and power transferred to a select few. The strategy went sideways when Mr Putin said enough is enough, in roughly 2011.

Now, freedom fighters have joined Mr Putin, such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Barrett Brown, Manning, Glenn Greenwald, Sarah Carter,and many other, to restore freedom and honor back to the people of the world by shining light on all of the corruption.

It will take Trump and Sessions some time to restore trust and to root out the corruption.

The bottom line is that there are good people out there, who will never let this criminal behavior and corruption to be hidden from the unwashed masses.

Sudden Debt , Dec 9, 2017 9:01 AM

America is just looking for an excuse to send their young kids to war to get shot to pieces and get mentally fucked up so the drug industry can profit, the war industry can profit, the banks can profit...

in all...

It's clear that it's the patriotic thing to do.

[Dec 15, 2017] James Clapper Corrects Left's Narrative On Russia Election Interference 'Not All 17' Intel Agencies Affirmed

Notable quotes:
"... Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " ..."
"... Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ..."
"... ." Follow him on ..."
"... Twitter @AaronKleinShow. ..."
"... Follow him on ..."
"... With research by Joshua Klein. ..."
May 09, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

During yesterday's Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, put the kibosh on a major anti-Donald Trump talking point that 17 federal intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

That talking point was amplified last October, when Hillary Clinton stated the following at the third presidential debate: "We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing."

Clinton was referring to an October 7, 2016 joint statement from the Homeland Security Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence claiming, "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."

The statement was followed by a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report assessing Russian intentions during the presidential election.

While the U.S. Intelligence Community is indeed made up of 17 agencies, Clapper made clear in his testimony yesterday that the community's assessments regarding alleged Russian interference were not the product of all seventeen agencies but of three – the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Referring to the assessments, Clapper stated : "As you know, the I.C. was a coordinated product from three agencies; CIA, NSA and the FBI, not all 17 components of the intelligence community. Those three under the aegis of my former office."

Later in the hearing, Clapper corrected Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) when Franken claimed that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia attempted to influence the election.

Here is a transcript of that exchange :

FRANKEN: And I want to thank General Clapper and – and Attorney General Yates for – for appearing today. We have – the intelligence communities have concluded all 17 of them that Russia interfered with this election. And we all know how that's right.

CLAPPER: Senator, as I pointed out in my statement Senator Franken, it was there were only three agencies that directly involved in this assessment plus my office

FRANKEN: But all 17 signed on to that?

CLAPPER: Well, we didn't go through that – that process, this was a special situation because of the time limits and my – what I knew to be to who could really contribute to this and the sensitivity of the situation, we decided it was a constant judgment to restrict it to those three. I'm not aware of anyone who dissented or – or disagreed when it came out.

The January 6 U.S. intelligence community report is titled, "Background to 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections': The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."

The report makes clear it is a product of three intelligence agencies and not 17.

The opening states: "This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies."

Following Clinton's presidential debate claim about "17 intelligence agencies," PolitiFact rated her statement as "true."

However, within its ruling, PolitiFact conceded:

We don't know how many separate investigations into the attacks there were. But the Director of National Intelligence, which speaks for the country's 17 federal intelligence agencies, released a joint statement saying the intelligence community at large is confident that Russia is behind recent hacks into political organizations' emails.

PolitiFact's "true" judgement was the basis for a USA Today piece titled, "Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking."

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

With research by Joshua Klein.

[Dec 15, 2017] Republican Rep. Jim Jordan Get a special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton right now by Chris Pandolfo

Fusion GPs is an interesting part of the whole puzzle.
Notable quotes:
"... On Wednesday morning, Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' unclear position on appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton's ties to Fusion GPS and Russia and the Uranium One deal orchestrated by the Clinton State Department during the Obama administration. ..."
"... "It needs to be about everything, including Mr. Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation in 2016," Jordan said. "The inspector general is looking into that right now. We're going to look into it as a congressional committee, but it needs to be the full gambit because frankly it's all tied together, and we think in many ways Mr. Rosenstein and many ways Mr. Mueller is compromised; they're not going to look at some of these issues." ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.conservativereview.com

On Wednesday morning, Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' unclear position on appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton's ties to Fusion GPS and Russia and the Uranium One deal orchestrated by the Clinton State Department during the Obama administration.

Jordan, appearing on "Fox & Friends," said the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the full breadth of Clinton's potentially illegal activities "needs to happen."

"It needs to be about everything, including Mr. Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation in 2016," Jordan said. "The inspector general is looking into that right now. We're going to look into it as a congressional committee, but it needs to be the full gambit because frankly it's all tied together, and we think in many ways Mr. Rosenstein and many ways Mr. Mueller is compromised; they're not going to look at some of these issues."

"But the biggest part, I do believe, is the dossier," Jordan stressed. "The fact, as I said yesterday, the fact that a major political party can finance this dossier at the same time it looks like Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was being paid by the FBI."

"So are they complicit in putting together this dossier, which was National Enquirer baloney, turning it into an intelligence document, getting a warrant, and spying on Americans? If that happened in this great country, that is just so wrong. That's why it warrants a special examination of this whole issue."

Asked by Ainsley Earhardt why the Department of Justice hasn't asked for a special counsel yet, Jordan said he thinks it's because "some of the career people at the Justice Department just don't want to go there." Jordan also said that Attorney General Sessions, who is "a good man," may feel compromised by his recusal from some aspects of the Russia investigation and therefore unwilling to push hard against those who don't want to go after Clinton.

On Tuesday, the attorney general testified before the House Judiciary Committee. When asked by Rep. Jordan if he would appoint a special counsel to investigate Clinton, Sessions demurred.

[Dec 15, 2017] Was Steele dossier the "insurance policy" to derail Trump the Strzok mentioned

Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

In a recently released Aug. 15, 2016 text message from Peter Strzok, a senior FBI counterintelligence official, to his reputed lover, senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok referenced an apparent plan to keep Trump from getting elected before suggesting the need for "an insurance policy" just in case he did.

A serious investigation into Russia-gate might want to know what these senior FBI officials had in mind.

[Dec 15, 2017] FBI Edits To Clinton Exoneration Go Far Beyond What Was Previously Known; Comey, McCabe, Strzok Implicated Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... In addition to Strzok's "gross negligence" --> "extremely careless" edit, McCabe's damage control team removed a key justification for elevating Clinton's actions to the standard of "gross negligence" - that being the " sheer volume " of classified material on Clinton's server. In the original draft, the "sheer volume" of material "supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information." ..."
"... It's also possible that the FBI, which was not allowed to inspect the DNC servers, was uncomfortable standing behind the conclusion of Russian hacking reached by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Johnson's letter also questions an " insurance policy " referenced in a text message sent by demoted FBI investigator Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, which read " I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40...." ..."
"... One wonders if the "insurance policy" Strzok sent to Page on August 15, 2016 was in reference to the original counterintelligence operation launched against Trump of which Strzok became the lead investigator in "late July" 2016? Of note, Strzok reported directly to Bill Priestap - the director of Counterintelligence, who told James Comey not to inform congress that the FBI had launched a counterintelligence operation against then-candidate Trump, per Comey's March 20th testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. (h/t @TheLastRefuge2 ) ..."
"... That's not to say Hillary shouldn't have been prosecuted. But what we're seeing here looks like perfectly normal behavior once the decision has been made not to prosecute; get the statements to be consistent with the conclusion. In a bureaucracy, that requires a number of people to be involved. And it would necessarily include people who work for Hillary Clinton, since that's whose information is being discussed. ..."
"... And the stuff about how a foreign power might have, or might possibly have, accessed her emails is all BS too. We already know they weren't hacked, they were leaked. ..."
"... Maybe people who don't understand complicated organizations see something nefarious here, but nobody who does will. Nothing will come of this but some staged-for-TV dramatic pronouncements in the House, and on FOX News, and affiliated websites. There's nothing here. ..."
"... Debatable re. biggest story being kept quiet. The AWAN Brothers/Family is a Pakistani spy ring operating inside Congress for more than a decade, and we hear nothing. They had access to virtually everything in every important committee. They had access to the Congressional servers and all the emails. Biggest spy scandal in our nations hsitory, and........crickets. ..."
"... They have had a year to destroy the evidence. Why should the CIA controlled MSM report the truth? ..."
"... Precisely. That's actually a very good tool for decoding the Clintons and Obama. "You collaborated with Russia." Means "I collaborated with Saudi Arabia." It takes a little while and I haven't fully mastered it yet, but you can reverse alinsky-engineer their statements to figure out what they did. ..."
"... And get this, Flynn was set up! Yates had the transcript via the (illegal) FISA Court of warrant which relied on the Dirty Steele Dossier, when Flynn deviated from the transcript they charged him Lying to the FBI. Comey McCabe run around lying 24/7. Their is no fucking hope left! The swamp WINS ALWAYS. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI Edits To Clinton Exoneration Go Far Beyond What Was Previously Known; Comey, McCabe, Strzok Implicated Tyler Durden Dec 15, 2017 10:10 AM 0 SHARES detailed in a Thursday letter from committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok

The letter reveals specific edits made by senior FBI agents when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey's statement with senior FBI officials , including Peter Strzok, Strzok's direct supervisor , E.W. "Bill" Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) - in what was a coordinated conspiracy among top FBI brass to decriminalize Clinton's conduct by changing legal terms and phrases, omitting key information, and minimizing the role of the Intelligence Community in the email investigation. Doing so virtually assured that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted.

Heather Samuelson and Heather Mills

Also mentioned in the letter are the immunity agreements granted by the FBI in June 2016 to top Obama advisor Cheryl Mills and aide Heather Samuelson - who helped decide which Clinton emails were destroyed before turning over the remaining 30,000 records to the State Department. Of note, the FBI agreed to destroy evidence on devices owned by Mills and Samuelson which were turned over in the investigation.

Sen. Johnson's letter reads:

According to documents produced by the FBI, FBI employees exchanged proposed edits to the draft statement. On May 6, Deputy Director McCabe forwarded the draft statement to other senior FBI employees, including Peter Strzok, E.W. Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an employee on the Office of General Counsel whose name has been redacted. While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey's statement in at least three respects .

It was already known that Strzok - who was demoted to the FBI's HR department after anti-Trump text messages to his mistress were uncovered by an internal FBI watchdog - was responsible for downgrading the language regarding Clinton's conduct from the criminal charge of "gross negligence" to "extremely careless."

"Gross negligence" is a legal term of art in criminal law often associated with recklessness. According to Black's Law Dictionary, gross negligence is " A severe degree of negligence taken as reckless disregard ," and " Blatant indifference to one's legal duty, other's safety, or their rights ." "Extremely careless," on the other hand, is not a legal term of art.

According to an Attorney briefed on the matter, "extremely careless" is in fact a defense to "gross negligence": "What my client did was 'careless', maybe even 'extremely careless,' but it was not 'gross negligence' your honor." The FBI would have no option but to recommend prosecution if the phrase "gross negligence" had been left in.

18 U.S. Code § 793 "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" specifically uses the phrase "gross negligence." Had Comey used the phrase, he would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law.

In addition to Strzok's "gross negligence" --> "extremely careless" edit, McCabe's damage control team removed a key justification for elevating Clinton's actions to the standard of "gross negligence" - that being the " sheer volume " of classified material on Clinton's server. In the original draft, the "sheer volume" of material "supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information."

Also removed from Comey's statement were all references to the Intelligence Community's involvement in investigating Clinton's private email server.

Director Comey's original statement acknowledged the FBI had worked with its partners in the Intelligence Community to assess potential damage from Secretary Clinton's use of a private email server. The original statement read:

[W]e have done extensive work with the assistance of our colleagues elsewhere in the Intelligence Community to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the private email operation.

The edited version removed the references to the intelligence community:

[W]e have done extensive work [removed] to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the personal e-mail operation.

Furthermore, the FBI edited Comey's statement to downgrade the probability that Clinton's server was hacked by hostile actors, changing their language from "reasonably likely" to "possible" - an edit which eliminated yet another justification for the phrase "Gross negligence." To put it another way, "reasonably likely" means the probability of a hack due to Clinton's negligence is above 50 percent, whereas the hack simply being "possible" is any probability above zero.

It's also possible that the FBI, which was not allowed to inspect the DNC servers, was uncomfortable standing behind the conclusion of Russian hacking reached by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

The original draft read:

Given the combination of factors, we assess it is reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's private email account."

The edited version from Director Comey's July 5 statement read:

Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal e-mail account.

Johnson's letter also questions an " insurance policy " referenced in a text message sent by demoted FBI investigator Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, which read " I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40...."

One wonders if the "insurance policy" Strzok sent to Page on August 15, 2016 was in reference to the original counterintelligence operation launched against Trump of which Strzok became the lead investigator in "late July" 2016? Of note, Strzok reported directly to Bill Priestap - the director of Counterintelligence, who told James Comey not to inform congress that the FBI had launched a counterintelligence operation against then-candidate Trump, per Comey's March 20th testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. (h/t @TheLastRefuge2 )

Transcript , James Comey Testimony to House Intel Committee, March 20, 2016

The letter from the Senate Committee concludes; "the edits to Director Comey's public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton's conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI's public evaluation of the implications of her actions . This effort, seen in the light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an "insurance policy" against Mr. Trump's election, raise profound questions about the FBI's role and possible interference in the 2016y presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of President Trump ."

Johnson then asks the FBI to answer six questions:

  1. Please provide the names of the Department of Justice (DOJ) employees who comprised the "mid-year review team" during the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton's use of a private email server.
  2. Please identify all FBI, DOJ, or other federal employees who edited or reviewed Director Comey's July 5, 2016 statement . Please identify which individual made the marked changes in the documents produced to the Committee.
  3. Please identify which FBI employee repeatedly changed the language in the final draft statement that described Secretary Clinton's behavior as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless. " What evidence supported these changes?
  4. Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to remove the reference to the Intelligence Community . On what basis was this change made?
  5. Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to downgrade the FBI's assessment that it was "reasonably likely" that hostile actors had gained access to Secretary Clinton's private email account to merely that than [sic] intrusion was "possible." What evidence supported these changes?
  6. Please provide unredacted copies of the drafts of Director Comey's statement, including comment bubbles , and explain the basis for the redactions produced to date.

We are increasingly faced with the fact that the FBI's top ranks have been filled with political ideologues who helped Hillary Clinton while pursuing the Russian influence narrative against Trump (perhaps as the "insurance" Strzok spoke of). Meanwhile, "hands off" recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions and assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein don't seem very excited to explore the issues with a second Special Counsel. As such, we are now almost entirely reliant on the various Committees of congress to pursue justice in this matter. Perhaps when their investigations have concluded, President Trump will feel he has the political and legal ammunition to truly clean house at the nation's swampiest agencies.

swmnguy -> 11b40 , Dec 15, 2017 4:42 PM

All I see in this story is that the FBI edits their work to make sure the terminology is consistent throughout. This is not a smoking gun of anything, except bureaucratic procedure one would find anywhere any legal documents are prepared.

That's not to say Hillary shouldn't have been prosecuted. But what we're seeing here looks like perfectly normal behavior once the decision has been made not to prosecute; get the statements to be consistent with the conclusion. In a bureaucracy, that requires a number of people to be involved. And it would necessarily include people who work for Hillary Clinton, since that's whose information is being discussed.

Now, if Hillary hadn't been such an arrogant bitch, we wouldn't be having this conversation. If she had just take the locked-down Android of iOS phone they issued her, instead of having to forward everything to herself so she could use her stupid Blackberry (which can't be locked down to State Dep't. specs), everything would have been both hunky and dory.

And the stuff about how a foreign power might have, or might possibly have, accessed her emails is all BS too. We already know they weren't hacked, they were leaked.

Maybe people who don't understand complicated organizations see something nefarious here, but nobody who does will. Nothing will come of this but some staged-for-TV dramatic pronouncements in the House, and on FOX News, and affiliated websites. There's nothing here.

youarelost , Dec 15, 2017 8:59 AM

What did Obozo know and when did he know it

E.F. Mutton -> youarelost , Dec 15, 2017 9:04 AM

False Flag time - distraction needed ASAP

Bigly -> E.F. Mutton , Dec 15, 2017 9:14 AM

We need to look for this as there are a LOT of people who need to be indicted and boobus americanus needs distraction.

My concern is that there are not enough non-corrupts there to handle and process the swamp as Trump did not fire and replace them 10 months ago.

shitshitshit -> Bigly , Dec 15, 2017 9:16 AM

I wonder how high will this little game go...

That obongo of all crooks is involved is a sure fact, but I'd like to see how many remaining defenders of the cause are still motivated to lose everything for this thing...

In other terms, what are the defection rates in the dem party, because now this must be an avalanche.

cheka -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 9:45 AM

applied neo-bolshevism

macholatte -> cheka , Dec 15, 2017 10:23 AM

I am tired of this shit. Aren't you?

Please, EVERYONE with a Twitter account send this message Every Day (tell your friends on facebook):

Mr. President, the time to purge the Obama-Clinton holdovers has long passed. Please get rid of them at once. Make your base happy. Fire 100+ from DOJ - State - FBI. Hire William K. Black as Special Prosecutor

send it to:

@realDonaldTrump
@PressSec
@KellyannePolls
@WhiteHouse


Does anybody know how to start an online petition?
Let's make some NOISE!!

Bay of Pigs -> macholatte , Dec 15, 2017 12:02 PM

Sadly, I don't see this story being reported anywhere this morning. Only the biggest scandal in American history. WTF?

11b40 -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 1:22 PM

Debatable re. biggest story being kept quiet. The AWAN Brothers/Family is a Pakistani spy ring operating inside Congress for more than a decade, and we hear nothing. They had access to virtually everything in every important committee. They had access to the Congressional servers and all the emails. Biggest spy scandal in our nations hsitory, and........crickets.

Of course, they may all be related, since Debbie Wasserman-Shits brought them in and set them up, then intertwined their work in Congress with their work for the DNC.

grizfish -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 1:53 PM

They have had a year to destroy the evidence. Why should the CIA controlled MSM report the truth? It's just like slick willy. Deny. Deny. Deny.

ThePhantom -> grizfish , Dec 15, 2017 3:35 PM

The Media is "in on it" and just as culpabale.... everyone's fighting for their lives.

grizfish -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 4:29 PM

Just more theater. Throwing a bone to the few citizens who think for themselves. Giving us false hope the US legal system isn't corrupt. This will never be prosecuted, because the deep state remains in control. They've had a year to destroy the incriminating evidence.

Lanka -> macholatte , Dec 15, 2017 2:27 PM

Tillerson is extremely incompetent in housecleaning. He needs to be replaced by Fred Kruger, Esq.

TerminalDebt -> cheka , Dec 15, 2017 12:43 PM

I guess we know now who the leaker was at the FBI and on the Mule's team

Joe Davola -> TerminalDebt , Dec 15, 2017 1:27 PM

I'm guessing the number of leakers is bigger than 1

eclectic syncretist -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 10:01 AM

What's next? The FBI had Seth Rich killed? Is that why Sessions and everyone else appears paralyzed? How deep does this rabbit hole go?

Overfed -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 10:58 AM

I'm sure that Chaffets and Gowdy will hand down some very stern reprimands.

Mr. Universe -> Overfed , Dec 15, 2017 11:24 AM

Ryan and his buddies in Congress will make strained faces (as if taking a dump) and wring their hands saying they must hire a "Special" Investigator to cover up this mess.

Duane Norman -> Mr. Universe , Dec 15, 2017 11:31 AM

http://fmshooter.com/claiming-fbis-reputation-integrity-not-tatters-comp...

Yeah, but it won't make a difference.

Gardentoolnumber5 -> Overfed , Dec 15, 2017 3:12 PM

Chaffets left Congress because he couldn't get any more help from Trump's DOJ than he did from Obama's. Sad, as he was one of the good guys. imo

ThePhantom -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 3:38 PM

did you notice the story yesterday about "Russian hacker admits putin ordered him to steal dnc emials" ? someones worried about it....

grizfish -> ThePhantom , Dec 15, 2017 4:38 PM

They tweet that crap all the time. Usually just a repeat with different names, but always blaming a Ruskie. About every 6 months they hit on a twist in the wording that causes it to go viral.

Bush Baby -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 11:37 AM

Before Trump was elected , I thought the only way to get our country back was through a Military Coup, but it appears there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

eclectic syncretist -> Bush Baby , Dec 15, 2017 11:57 AM

I wonder if that light is coming from the soon to be gaping hole in the FBI's asshole when the extent of this political activism by the agency eventually seeps into the public conciousness.

rccalhoun -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 12:43 PM

you can't clean up a mess of this magnitude. fire everyone in washington---senator, representative, fbi, cia, nsa ,etc and start over---has NO chance of happenning

the only hope for a non violent solution is that a true leader emerges that every decent person can rally behind and respect, honor and dignity become the norm. unfortunately, corruption has become a culture and i don't know if it can be eradicated

Lanka -> rccalhoun , Dec 15, 2017 2:31 PM

Just expose the Congress, McCabe, Lindsey, McCabe, Clinton, all Dem judges, Media, Hollywood, local government dems as pedos; that will half-drain the swamp.

shankster -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 4:11 PM

Does the US public have a consciousness?

lew1024 -> Bush Baby , Dec 15, 2017 2:54 PM

If Trump gets the swamp cleaned without a military coup, he will be one of our greatest Presidents. There will be people who hate that more than they hate being in jail.

checkessential -> BennyBoy , Dec 15, 2017 1:00 PM

And they say President Trump obstructed justice for simply asking Comey if he could drop the Michael Flynn matter. Wow.

TommyD88 -> checkessential , Dec 15, 2017 1:09 PM

Alinsky 101: Accuse your opponent of that which you yourself are doing.

Overfed -> redmudhooch , Dec 15, 2017 2:47 PM

Getting rid of the FBI (and all other FLEAs) would be a good thing for all of us.

A Sentinel -> TommyD88 , Dec 15, 2017 2:13 PM

Precisely. That's actually a very good tool for decoding the Clintons and Obama. "You collaborated with Russia." Means "I collaborated with Saudi Arabia." It takes a little while and I haven't fully mastered it yet, but you can reverse alinsky-engineer their statements to figure out what they did.

lurker since 2012 -> checkessential , Dec 15, 2017 4:09 PM

And get this, Flynn was set up! Yates had the transcript via the (illegal) FISA Court of warrant which relied on the Dirty Steele Dossier, when Flynn deviated from the transcript they charged him Lying to the FBI. Comey McCabe run around lying 24/7. Their is no fucking hope left! The swamp WINS ALWAYS.

Ramesees -> BaBaBouy , Dec 15, 2017 9:31 AM

I have - it's was NBC Nightly News - they spent time on the damning emails from Strozk. Maybe 2-3 minutes. Normal news segment time. Surprised the hell out of me.

A Sentinel -> Ramesees , Dec 15, 2017 2:14 PM

Someone probably got fired for that.

ThePhantom -> Ramesees , Dec 15, 2017 3:41 PM

the "MSM" needs to cover their own asses ...like "an insurance policy" just in case the truth comes out... best to be seen reporting on the REAL issue at least for a couple minutes..

[Dec 15, 2017] Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times continues its sorry pattern of falsifying the record on Russia-gate, giving its readers information that the newspaper knows not to be true, reports Robert Parry. ..."
"... Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative. ..."
"... The only acceptable conclusion, it seems, is "Russia Guilty!" ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The New York Times continues its sorry pattern of falsifying the record on Russia-gate, giving its readers information that the newspaper knows not to be true, reports Robert Parry.

If Russia-gate is the massive scandal that we are told it is by so many Important People -- across the U.S. mainstream media and the political world -- why do its proponents have to resort to lies and exaggerations to maintain the pillars supporting the narrative?

A new example on Thursday was The New York Times' statement that a Russian agency "spent $100,000 on [Facebook's] platform to influence the United States presidential election last year" – when the Times knows that statement is not true.

According to Facebook, only 44 percent of that amount appeared before the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (i.e., $44,000) and few of those ads addressed the actual election. And, we know that the Times is aware of the truth because it was acknowledged in a Times article in early October.

As part of that article, Times correspondents Mike Isaac and Scott Shane reported that the ads also covered a wide range of other topics: "There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads."

As nefarious as the Times may think it is for Russians to promote a Facebook page about "adorable puppies," the absurdity of that concern – and the dishonesty of the Times then "forgetting" what it itself reported just two months ago about the timing and contents of these "Russian-linked ads" – tells you a great deal about Russia-gate.

On Thursday, the Times chose to distort what it already knew to be true presumably because it didn't want to make the $100,000 ad buy (which is not a particularly large sum) look even smaller and less significant by acknowledging the pre-election total was less than half that modest amount – and even that total had little to do with the election.

Why would the Times lie? Because to tell the truth would undercut the narrative of evil Russians defeating Hillary Clinton and putting Donald Trump in the White House – the core narrative of Russia-gate.

Another relevant fact is that Facebook failed to find any "Russian-linked" ads during its first two searches and only detected the $100,000 after a personal visit from Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leading legislator on Internet regulation.

In other words, Facebook's corporate executives dredged up something to appease Warner. That way, Warner and the Democrats could blame Russia for the Trump presidency, sparing further criticism of Clinton's dreadful campaign (in which she labeled half of Trump's voters "deplorables") and her neo-liberal economic policies (and neo-conservative foreign policies) that have alienated much of America's working class as well as many progressives.

Leaving Out Context

The Times also might have put the $100,000 in "Russian-linked" ads over a two-year period in the context of Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue, but the Times didn't do that – apparently because it would make even the full $100,000 look like a pittance.

Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative.

Ironically, the Times' latest false depiction of the $100,000 in ads as designed "to influence" the 2016 election appeared in an article about Facebook determining that other Russian-linked ads, which supposedly had a powerful effect on Great Britain's Brexit vote, totaled just three ads at the cost of 97 cents. (That is not a misprint.)

According to Facebook, the three ads, which focused on immigration, were viewed some 200 times by Britons over four days in May 2016. Of course, the response from British parliamentarians who wanted to blame the Brexit vote on Moscow was to assert that Facebook must have missed something. It couldn't be that many Britons had lost faith in the promise of the European Union for their own reasons.

We have seen a similar pattern with allegations about Russian interference in German and French elections, with the initial accusations being widely touted but not so much the later conclusions by serious investigations knocking down the claims. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com's " German Intel Clears Russia on Interference. "]

The only acceptable conclusion, it seems, is "Russia Guilty!"

These days in Official Washington, it has become almost forbidden to ask for actual evidence that would prove the original claim that Russia "hacked" Democratic emails, even though the accusation came from what President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged were "hand-picked" analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

These "hand-picked" analysts produced the evidence-lite Jan. 6 "assessment" about Russia "hacking" the emails and slipping them to WikiLeaks – a scenario denied by both WikiLeaks and Russia.

When that "assessment" was released almost a year ago, even the Times' Scott Shane noticed the lack of proof, writing : "What is missing from the [the Jan. 6] public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

But the Times soon "forgot" what Shane had inconveniently noted and began reporting the Russian "hacking" as accepted wisdom.

The 17-Agencies Canard

Whenever scattered expressions of skepticism arose from a few analysts or non-mainstream media, the doubts were beaten back by the claim that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" concurred in the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. And what kind of nut would doubt the collective judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies!

Though the 17-agency canard was never true, it served an important purpose in establishing the Russia-gate groupthink. Wielding the "all 17 intelligence agencies" club, the U.S. mainstream media pounded politicians and policymakers into line, making any remaining skeptics seem more out of step and crazy.

So, in May 2017, when Clapper (along with former CIA Director John Brennan) admitted in congressional testimony that it wasn't true that all 17 agencies concurred in the Russian hacking conclusion, those statements received very little attention in the mainstream media.

The New York Times among other major news outlets just continued asserting the 17-agency falsehood until the Times was finally pressured to correct its lie in late June , but that only led to the Times shifting to slightly different but still misleading wording, citing a "consensus" among the intelligence agencies without mentioning a number or by simply stating the unproven hacking claim as flat fact.

Even efforts to test the Russian-hack claims through science were ignored or ridiculed. When former NSA technical director William Binney conducted experiments that showed that the known download speed of one batch of DNC emails could not have occurred over the Internet but matched what was possible for a USB-connected thumb drive -- an indication that a Democratic insider likely downloaded the emails and thus that there was no "hack" -- Binney was mocked as a "conspiracy theorist."

Even with the new disclosures about deep-seated anti-Trump bias in text messages exchanged between two senior FBI officials who played important early roles in the Russia-gate investigation, there is no indication that Official Washington is willing to go back to the beginning and see how the Russia-gate story might have been deceptively spun.

In a recently released Aug. 15, 2016 text message from Peter Strzok, a senior FBI counterintelligence official, to his reputed lover, senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok referenced an apparent plan to keep Trump from getting elected before suggesting the need for "an insurance policy" just in case he did. A serious investigation into Russia-gate might want to know what these senior FBI officials had in mind.

But the Times and other big promoters of Russia-gate continue to dismiss doubters as delusional or as covering up for Russia and/or Trump. By this point – more than a year into this investigation – too many Important People have bought into the Russia-gate narrative to consider the possibility that there may be little or nothing there, or even worse, that it is the "insurance policy" that Strzok envisioned.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

WC , December 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/taking-liberty/

Sally Snyder , December 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Here is an article that looks at how Google is proposing to "protect us" from all things Russian:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.lt/2017/11/how-google-manages-fake-news.html

George Orwell was right, he was just a few decades ahead of his time. Non-government actors in the United States, including Google, have learned an important lesson from the 2016 election and we can pretty much assure ourselves that the next election will see significant massaging when it comes to what we read and hear.

ranney , December 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Lately I've heard on PBS and other news shows that Russia "invaded Ukraine" and also attacked Crimea and essentially stole the island back to Russia. I forget the exact words used about Crimea but that was the gist. I have heard several times people on PBS using the the words Russia "invaded Ukraine" to describe what happened there. Like the N.Y.T. PBS is supposed to be the go to place for unbiased news and now they are blatantly lying to the public – and have been lying certainly as far back as 2014, if not before.

It's very discouraging to know that there are so few places where one can go to get actual facts. Consortium is one and, surprisingly RT is often another – at least RT tells us about stuff going on in other parts of the world that we never hear about in the MSM. Boy! talk about being an insular country! America is the most isolated country in the world when it comes to knowledge about other lands. We go on about how narcissistic Trump is, but the fact is that our whole government and our MSM is totally narcissistic and has been for quite a while – all we think about is us- and our government is willing to kill and lay waste anyone or any country that doesn't do exactly what we want, even when what we want is disasterous for not only other countries, but also disasterous for our own country. We are so narcissistic that we can't see it.

Padtie , December 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Well ranney, while I look at and read this site regularly, I gotta say that Trump is merely a doppelgänger for our country's collective psyche. This country is off the rails in every way possible. Yes, that includes those bad apples of the deep state AND compliant hamster citizens who vote and are currently scurrying about on the wheel of capitalism in pursuit of the Christmas Machine. All the hand wringing done on this web-site ain't gonna change any of it.

Mr. Parry would do everyone justice by taking his excellent skills and expanding his writing repertoire beyond Russia-gate. I'm seriously beginning to wonder what's up with him that he repeatedly beats the same old sorry drum- like the MSM- only on the opposite side. It's getting tiresome. How about proposing solutions to what ails us?

Sorry to ruin everyone's party.

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

"major media outlets have made humiliating, breathtaking errors on the Trump-Russia story, always in the same direction, toward the same political goals. Here is just a sample of incredibly inflammatory claims that traveled all over the internet before having to be corrected, walked back, or retracted -- often long after the initial false claims spread, and where the corrections receive only a tiny fraction of the attention with which the initial false stories are lavished:

– Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
– An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
– WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
– A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
– RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
– Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
– Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
– Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN) [ ]

"But what it means most of all is that when media outlets are responsible for such grave and consequential errors as the spectacle we witnessed yesterday, they have to take responsibility for it by offering transparency and accountability. In this case, that can't mean hiding behind P.R. and lawyer silence and waiting for this to just all blow away.

"At minimum, these networks -- CNN, MSNBC, and CBS -- have to either identify who purposely fed them this blatantly false information or explain how it's possible that 'multiple sources' all got the same information wrong in innocence and good faith. Until they do that, their cries and protests the next time they're attacked as 'Fake News' should fall on deaf ears, since the real author of those attacks -- the reason those attacks resonate -- is themselves and their own conduct."

The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
By Glenn Greenwald
https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/

JOHN L. OPPERMAN , December 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Hilary gave it away, as the (anti-democratic)"Democratic Party" gave it all away and has been doing it for decades.
Whereas the right has wisely (for it's purposes) built long term infrastructure of funded think tanks, media, fundamentalist ideologists, etc; the Democratic Establishment has dumped on it's base at practically ever turn, never really showing actual support for it's public community, and has joined with the right to destroy all attempt to build an actual peoples' political party.
I just turned 84 and have witnessed the ever-growing weakness and right-leaning of the Party" since I was a little kid and have seen it only become more disgustingly lame and disingenuous in all these years since, with extended travel, 20-year military service and work around the world, in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
And we are largely to blame, being humans and Americans, we sit back-busy with our lives, and neglect our responsibilities to our fellow man and community.
Get up off your ass, guys

JOHN L. OPPERMAN , December 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm

I must add, the so-called Party has quite consistently ACTIVELY fought against labor, consumers, t's own loyal public.

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Among the many great comments posted here I find in your resume Mr Opperman a ton of experienced words worth listening too. In fact, it is people such as yourself that I feel our younger generation should be learning from. Your traveling, and working for the government has given you an insight that many of us do not have, nor will get since we are all not like you John. So keep posting, and tell us what you think America should do next, as we go forward. Thank you for your remarks, they are respected for what you have earned. Joe

Padtie , December 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for this post John.

Skip Scott , December 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm

In the end, this whole RussiaGate scandal may actually have a positive impact if it can be proven that it was a conspiracy cooked up by the "Deep State" as insurance in case of a Trump victory. If this is proven and actually becomes common knowledge, people like Brennan and Clapper, and their MSM mouthpieces, will never be trusted again. Though heads didn't roll after the exposure of the "weapons of mass destruction" lie, this one might tip the balance. Their argument that the "intelligence was mistaken" won't fly, as RussiaGate is so obviously a purposely constructed lie. It would be even greater if this led to a counter-investigation where all the perps were exposed and publicly prosecuted, and the Intelligence Agencies were "broken into 1000 pieces." Maybe while they were at it, they could get around to auditing the Pentagon. I like to dream big.

My hope is that websites like this one can continue to build an audience and speak truth to power now that net neutrality appears dead.

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Funny how the NYT will try and make hay with a collection of various Russian disjointed ads on Facebook with an investment of $44,000.xx out weights the 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage the MSM gave Trump through the whole 2016 presidential campaign, and nobody thinks nothing of it. If there was any type of collusion to help Trump win the White House then why not question this free media give away?

As a side note, should we investigate Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn for colluding with Israel?

Senator Mark Warner plays the part of the inquisitor well, and for that reason he has loss my respect, if he ever had it to begin with. Enough of covering up for Hillary's guilt complex to why she loss the election. Someone should just tell her, that even though she has done everything there is in her power to take Putin out of power, that her presidential loss is all on her. Putin didn't need to interfere, since by Hillary just being Hillary was enough to keep her out of reach of the Oval Office.

I hope that in the coming year, that by some stroke of luck, that William Binney will get the praise he deserves. We need more people like Binney working in our government, and without him we all are left vulnerable to the many who don't represent our citizen values. I thought the MSM's treatment of William Binney was disgraceful, to say the least.

Lastly, I would only hope that whoever it was that started this Russia-Gate nonsense would be revealed, but hope doesn't prosecute anyone, but knowledge at least allows you too see who and what is behind the curtain.

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

" a collection of various Russian disjointed ads on Facebook with an investment of $44,000.xx .."

Yes , it was amazing that Russia was able to control our election so cheaply , but really , that was nothing. They swung the UK Brexit vote with Facebook ads costing them only 97 cents ! :

http://russia-insider.com/en/brilliant-russians-engineered-brexit-97-cents-facebook-ads/ri21937

mike k , December 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

This whole Russiagate fraud could serve to awake a lot of Americans, if they would only look into it. You are not going to find a more blatant example of fake news by every major media, and also those supposedly upstanding Senators and Representatives, FBI and Justice Icons. If the public ignores opportunities to wake up to this outrageous scam being perpetrated on them now, there is little hope that they ever will. I try to get my friends interested in researching Russiagate, and a few of them have become curious and started asking questions – that's how awakening begins .

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Agreed. It's important to have just one or a few topics at most that you can suggest to your uninformed friends as being worthy of their own time to research , with the ultimate goal of " waking up ". Russia-gate is perfect. The Syrian War is another good one.

Pablo Diablo , December 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Also, a convenient excuse to discredit the "Special Counsel" Mueller investigation. "Witch hunt", "Fake News", which will come in handy if any real crimes are exposed. Reminds me of one criminal mob taking over territory from the current bunch of criminals.
Sad to see. The definition of "government" is that it represents "the people". Yet, I wonder if any government on Earth does represent "the people".

Brendan , December 15, 2017 at 6:02 pm

In spite of all the blatant lies that it publishes, the New York Times is still highly regarded by the political and media establishment, even in Europe.

In Hamburg on 3 December 2017, the NYT was awarded the Marion Dönhoff Prize for International Understanding and Reconciliation. In his presentation speech, the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the NYT as an authority of enlightenment and a beacon of reason.

Steinmeier even managed to sneak in some fake news when he said "We are paying tribute to a flagship of freedom of the press in an age in which independent newspapers are branded as foreign agents in Russia".
http://www.bundespraesident.de/SharedDocs/Reden/EN/Frank-Walter-Steinmeier/Reden/2017/12/171203-Doenhoff-Prize.html

In fact, none of the media outlets that were recently declared foreign agents by Moscow is either independent or a newspaper. That list consists only of the US government financed VOA and RFE/RL and a number of websites and broadcasters that VOA and RFE/RL control.

Apart from that, the Russian "foreign agents" list is just a direct retaliation against Washington for doing exactly the same thing to RT and Sputnik, who were forced to register as foreign agents. Apparently the "freedom of the press" isn't so important when it applies to Russian media organisations working in the USA.

[Dec 15, 2017] With US forces on the borders of North Korea, China, and Russia on a hair-trigger, the continuous assertion of ever greater war-making powers to the military brass massively increases the danger that a miscalculation, misunderstanding, or accident could quickly lead to full-scale nuclear war.

Notable quotes:
"... "Meanwhile, figures posted by the Pentagon last month -- with little media attention -- revealed that the number of US troops deployed in the Middle East as a whole had soared by 33 percent over the previous four months, with the sharpest increases taking place in a number of Persian Gulf countries, indicating advanced preparations for a new US war against Iran. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , December 14, 2017 at 8:01 am

The Russia-gate 'scandal' sideshow provided a very useful diversion while military preparations were advanced:

"While still on the books, the War Powers Act has long ago been turned into a dead letter by the quarter century of US wars of aggression that have followed the Stalinist bureaucracy's dissolution of the Soviet Union, all waged without a declaration of war by Congress.

"Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have willingly acquiesced in the de facto concentration of dictatorial power in the hands of the 'commander in chief' in the all-important matter of the waging of foreign wars.

"The latest letter from the Trump administration, however, represents another qualitative step in this protracted degeneration of American democracy and the elimination of the last pretenses of civilian control over the military. [ ]

"The Trump White House has removed caps imposed on troop levels under the Obama administration, leaving it up to the military commanders to escalate US deployments at will. Obama's caps themselves were routinely circumvented through so-called temporary deployments that saw far more troops sent into US wars than were officially on the books.

"The secrecy surrounding troop deployments has been highlighted in recent months [ ] the so-called slip of the tongue by the commander of US special operations forces in Iraq and Syria who told a Pentagon press conference that 4,000 US troops were on the ground in Syria. He quickly caught himself and repeated the official figure of 500. Subsequently, the Pentagon allowed that the real number was over 2,000.

"Meanwhile, figures posted by the Pentagon last month -- with little media attention -- revealed that the number of US troops deployed in the Middle East as a whole had soared by 33 percent over the previous four months, with the sharpest increases taking place in a number of Persian Gulf countries, indicating advanced preparations for a new US war against Iran.

"These deployments are kept secret or effectively concealed not out of any concern about 'tipping off the enemy,' which in virtually every case is well aware of the level of US military aggression against their countries. Rather, it is aimed at keeping the information from the American people, which has no interest in continuing the ongoing military interventions in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa, much less launching new and potentially world catastrophic wars against Iran, North Korea and even China and Russia.

"In terms of the waging of semi-secret wars abroad, as with attacks on democratic rights and the social conditions of the working class at home, Trump represents not an aberration, but rather the culmination of protracted processes that have unfolded under both Democratic and Republican administrations, which have ceded ever greater power over US foreign policy to US military commanders. This trend has only deepened under Trump, with an active duty general serving as national security advisor, and two recently retired Marine generals filling the posts of defense secretary and White House chief of staff.

"With US forces on the borders of North Korea, China, and Russia on a hair-trigger, the continuous assertion of ever greater war-making powers to the military brass massively increases the danger that a miscalculation, misunderstanding, or accident could quickly lead to full-scale nuclear war.

"Trump's further assault on the War Powers Act has elicited no protest from the Democrats in Congress. They are not opposed to the government's domination by the military or the drive to war. Their differences are merely of a tactical character, expressed in a campaign of anti-Russia hysteria waged in collaboration with sections of the US military and intelligence apparatus in preparation for a new and far more terrible conflagration."

Washington's secret wars
By Bill Van Auken
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/13/pers-d13.html

[Dec 15, 2017] Possible MI6 links to Strzokgate and Steele dossier

Notable quotes:
"... Sir Andrew Wood is a close friend of Christopher Steele (of the Steele Dossier) and an associate of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd., which is Steele's private spy agency. [Does Steele still work for the British SIS, MI6?] "Before the election Steele had gone to Wood and shown him the dossier." (p.38). Wood is wired into the arch-NWO Chatham House, which is home to The Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), the companion organization of which is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). (q.v. "Tragedy and Hope" by Carrol Quigley; "The Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations & United States foreign Policy" by Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter; "Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2104" by Laurence H. Shoup). ..."
"... I am starting to wonder if Luke Harding might be MI6 with journalism for a cover. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Dunno , December 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Lately, I have been reading Luke Harding's "Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win." Harding is a journalist who works as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian newspaper. His book draws heavily upon the "Steele Dossier." (q.v. Wikipedia: Donald Trump-Russian Dossier) Harding's Wikipedia page is also very interesting, as is some of the information that he generously supplies in "Collusion." For example, on pp.37-38, Harding describes a three-day event in November of 2016 that was sponsored by the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, N.S. Harding describes the objective of the gathered international group as making sense of the world in the aftermath of Trump's stunning victory. Interestingly, Senator John McCain was one of the delegates; however, the participation of Sir Andrew Wood, a former Ambassador to Russia from 1995-2000 is perhaps even more interesting. Wood and McCain were participants in the Ukraine panel.

Sir Andrew Wood is a close friend of Christopher Steele (of the Steele Dossier) and an associate of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd., which is Steele's private spy agency. [Does Steele still work for the British SIS, MI6?] "Before the election Steele had gone to Wood and shown him the dossier." (p.38). Wood is wired into the arch-NWO Chatham House, which is home to The Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), the companion organization of which is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). (q.v. "Tragedy and Hope" by Carrol Quigley; "The Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations & United States foreign Policy" by Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter; "Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2104" by Laurence H. Shoup).

At this conference in Halifax, Harding reports that Wood briefed McCain about the contents of the Steele Dossier [rattle-tat-tattle-tale MI6's "ScuttleTrump" operation seems to proceeding swimmingly at this point]. The senile senator from Arizona evidently decided that " the implications [of the dossier] were sufficiently alarming to dispatch a former senior U.S. official to meet with Steele and find out more." The emissary, David Kramer, is currently a senior director at the McCain institute for International Leadership: Kramer was formerly the President of the highly questionable Freedom House, a nest of NWO neocons and neoliberals. (q.v. Wikipedia article, Freedom House, especially the section on Criticism/Relationship with the U.S. Government.) Please, recall McCain's role in the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014.

I am starting to wonder if Luke Harding might be MI6 with journalism for a cover. Then there is the bizarre case of Carter Page, the former U.S. Marine intelligence officer and purported lover of all things Russian and of Putin. This obsessive enthusiast is beginning to remind me of another obsessive Russian enthusiast, U.S. Marine, and defector to the soviet Union; Patsy Oswald. I am starting to look at this Trump-Russia fraud as more than a takedown of the crooked Don. It seems to be an ingenious way of further demonizing Putin and the Russians, and, if so, it is working like a charm. The MSM echo chamber cannot get enough of it. and neither can the NWO.

[Dec 15, 2017] Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it masks their corruption and their collusion with Israel

Notable quotes:
"... Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it side-steps their collusion with Israel. It serves the Republicans less because of collusion with corporations in the effort to destroy democracy and the social programs of the New Deal, and Russia is in on it. What is the purpose of all this collusion? It's to bring Iran, North Korea, and Cuba into the New World Order. ..."
"... Washington Post today, in another story relying solely on anonymous sources, breathlessly states: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president -- and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality -- have impaired the government's response to a national security threat." Objective reality? ..."
"... The "Red Herring" is a major distraction to what is fundamentally a very corrupted election process from within and non-action by both parties to pursue fair, transparent "un-rigged" elections, taking the money out of the elections, getting rid of the electoral college, ranked voting and more. ..."
"... "Israel's collusion with the Trump presidential transition team points to more than just Trump, Kushner, and Flynn violating the Logan Act of 1799, an arcane law prohibiting American citizens from engaging in their own foreign policies. By convincing Trump, Kushner, and Flynn that Obama was behind Resolution 2443, Israel co-opted the Trump transition team to do its bidding. The Logan Act is immaterial when Trump, Kushner, Flynn, and others committed virtual treason against their own country to further the political aims of Israel. ..."
"... "The phoniest aspect of so-called 'Russiagate' is that the political scandal involving Trump, Kushner, Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and others hardly involves the Russian government. Instead, Eastern European-Israeli oligarchs, along with their thousands of offshore shell corporations located in places as far-ranging as the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Jersey to the Marshall Islands and Seychelles, along with well-placed American agents-of-influence for Israel, are front-and-center in the scandal that now threatens to bring down the Trump administration." ..."
"... Mueller Names Trump's Foreign 'Colluding' Power: Israel By Wayne Madsen ..."
"... Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Gregory Kruse , December 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it side-steps their collusion with Israel. It serves the Republicans less because of collusion with corporations in the effort to destroy democracy and the social programs of the New Deal, and Russia is in on it. What is the purpose of all this collusion? It's to bring Iran, North Korea, and Cuba into the New World Order.

China and Russia are only nominal adversaries in the world economy. They also want to impoverish the majority of the world's population even at the cost of enriching some individuals to the point of becoming gods. In a sense, this is what liberals have wanted, to level the field that the poor people of the world exist on.

jaycee , December 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Washington Post today, in another story relying solely on anonymous sources, breathlessly states: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president -- and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality -- have impaired the government's response to a national security threat." Objective reality?

Colleen O'Brien , December 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

All the layers of deceit, denial and distraction bode ill for the Democratic Party and MSM. Thank you Robert Parry for standing up to all this disinformation & propaganda. The "Red Herring" is a major distraction to what is fundamentally a very corrupted election process from within and non-action by both parties to pursue fair, transparent "un-rigged" elections, taking the money out of the elections, getting rid of the electoral college, ranked voting and more.

Reforming our election process is the most important issue because what we have now and what came before is because of the money which owns the politicians and who no longer represent the American People! Nothing will change until we fix this!

Abe , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm

"Israel's collusion with the Trump presidential transition team points to more than just Trump, Kushner, and Flynn violating the Logan Act of 1799, an arcane law prohibiting American citizens from engaging in their own foreign policies. By convincing Trump, Kushner, and Flynn that Obama was behind Resolution 2443, Israel co-opted the Trump transition team to do its bidding. The Logan Act is immaterial when Trump, Kushner, Flynn, and others committed virtual treason against their own country to further the political aims of Israel.

"There has never been a successful prosecution under the Logan Act and likely there will never be one. However, those who possessed access to classified information – Trump, Kushner, Flynn, Haley, and others – who were simultaneously taking orders from Israel on matters of US national security, could be found guilty of violating the US Espionage Act. Israel's 'Greek Chorus' of supporters in the US news media and Congress brought up the Logan Act to minimize the damage caused by collusion between Israel's skink-like ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Netanyahu, Kushner, Flynn, Trump, and Haley to kill the resolution. If the Logan Act had any enforcement teeth, it would have been used a long time ago to indict George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Paul Singer, and other pro-Israeli billionaire influence-peddlers, who represent the interests of other nations and engage in their own foreign policies.

"The phoniest aspect of so-called 'Russiagate' is that the political scandal involving Trump, Kushner, Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and others hardly involves the Russian government. Instead, Eastern European-Israeli oligarchs, along with their thousands of offshore shell corporations located in places as far-ranging as the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Jersey to the Marshall Islands and Seychelles, along with well-placed American agents-of-influence for Israel, are front-and-center in the scandal that now threatens to bring down the Trump administration."

Mueller Names Trump's Foreign 'Colluding' Power: Israel By Wayne Madsen https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/04/mueller-names-trump-foreign-colluding-power-israel.html

mike k , December 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course.

Mild -ly - Facetious , December 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

... The new Reunion of Ismael and Issac

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/13/trump-netanyahu-mohammad-bin-salman-destroyers-neoliberal-world-order.html

Mild -ly - Facetious , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

To whom it may concern: Forgive me, this isn't meant to be Hasbara .

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/30/us-foreign-policy-another-trump-organization-inc-property.html

[Dec 14, 2017] Was Peter Strzok the principal FBI liaison to CIA Director John Brennan?

Highly recommended!
That question arise during recent senate session of Rosenstein
It's been suggested that Strzok's job as counterintelligence deputy would have made him the principal FBI liaison to CIA Director Brennan.
Notable quotes:
"... Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post paid any price for their promotion of the invasion and destruction of Iraq. They might not get off as easy this time. One can hope. ..."
"... I can add one more. It's been suggested that Strzok's job as counterintelligence deputy would have made him the principal FBI liaison to CIA Director Brennan. At least this point was made explicitly in a recent LarouchePAC Live broadcast on Youtube (perhaps Will Wertz's presentation at last Saturday's Manhattan Project event) though I don't know what their evidence is. So we can ask: Was Peter Strzok the principal FBI liaison to CIA Director John Brennan? ..."
consortiumnews.com

Zachary Smith , December 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm

I've been seeing all sorts of places where this fellow Strzok's name pops up. Things like a FISA judge recusing himself. Things like him possibly arranging things so Hillary was able to continue her run for President. At a super-right-wing site I found these "questions".

  1. Did Peter Strzok receive the Steele Dossier from Hillary Clinton on July 4th when he interviewed her?
  2. If Hillary didn't give Strzok the dossier, who did?
  3. Did Peter Strzok put together the FISA Court material, which included the Steele Dossier?
  4. Did Peter Strzok go to the FISA Court and ask for the surveillance of the Trump team based on the Steele Dossier?
  5. Did James Comey assign Peter Strzok to the Clinton email case?
  6. Did James Comey assign Peter Strzok to the Trump surveillance case?
  7. Did James Comey know that Peter Strzok was compromised when he sent him to interview Michael Flynn (where surveillance was used to interview him based on the Steele Dossier that was presented to the FISA Court that Strzok put together?)

Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post paid any price for their promotion of the invasion and destruction of Iraq. They might not get off as easy this time. One can hope.

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 8:36 am

I can add one more. It's been suggested that Strzok's job as counterintelligence deputy would have made him the principal FBI liaison to CIA Director Brennan. At least this point was made explicitly in a recent LarouchePAC Live broadcast on Youtube (perhaps Will Wertz's presentation at last Saturday's Manhattan Project event) though I don't know what their evidence is. So we can ask: Was Peter Strzok the principal FBI liaison to CIA Director John Brennan?

[Dec 14, 2017] The Foundering Russia-gate 'Scandal' Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency. ..."
"... As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump. ..."
"... In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here." ..."
"... Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." ..."
"... The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President. ..."
"... After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia. ..."
"... And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis. ..."
"... Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "] ..."
"... If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump. ..."
"... That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump. ..."
"... But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after ..."
"... Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest. ..."
"... Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity. ..."
"... Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times. ..."
"... Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier. ..."
"... Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course. ..."
"... That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi. ..."
"... "Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question. ..."
"... Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries. ..."
"... Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology. ..."
"... the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory ..."
"... So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated. ..."
"... It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either. ..."
"... Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1. ..."
"... There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think? ..."
"... "Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever. ..."
"... Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today. ..."
"... Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since. ..."
"... Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on. ..."
"... Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort. ..."
"... Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/ ..."
"... It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. ..."
"... Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker? ..."
"... The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire. ..."
"... RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort. ..."
"... Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations? ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: Taking on water from revealed FBI conflicts of interest, the foundering Russia-gate probe – and its mainstream media promoters – are resorting to insults against people who note the listing ship, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency.

Peter Strzok, who served as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, second in command of counterintelligence.

As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump.

In one Aug. 6, 2016 text exchange, Page told Strzok: "Maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace." At the end of that text, she sent Strzok a link to a David Brooks column in The New York Times, which concludes with the clarion call: "There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you're not in revolt, you're in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame."

Apparently after reading that stirring advice, Strzok replied, "And of course I'll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps."

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized Strzok's boast that "I can protect our country at many levels." Jordan said: "this guy thought he was super-agent James Bond at the FBI [deciding] there's no way we can let the American people make Donald Trump the next president."

In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here."

Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk."

Strzok added, "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event that you die before you're 40."

It's unclear what strategy these FBI officials were contemplating to ensure Trump's defeat, but the comments mesh with what an intelligence source told me after the 2016 election, that there was a plan among senior Obama administration officials to use the allegations about Russian meddling to block Trump's momentum with the voters and -- if elected -- to persuade members of the Electoral College to deny Trump a majority of votes and thus throw the selection of a new president into the House of Representatives under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment .

The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President.

After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia.

In one of her text messages to Strzok, Page made reference to a possible Watergate-style ouster of Trump, writing: "Bought all the president's men. Figure I needed to brush up on watergate."

As a key feature in this oust-Trump effort, Democrats have continued to lie by claiming that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred" in the assessment that Russia hacked the Democratic emails last year on orders from President Vladimir Putin and then slipped them to WikiLeaks to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign.

That canard was used in the early months of the Russia-gate imbroglio to silence any skepticism about the "hacking" accusation, and the falsehood was repeated again by a Democratic congressman during Wednesday's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

But the "consensus" claim was never true. In May 2017 testimony , President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that the Jan. 6 "Intelligence Community Assessment" was put together by "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

Biased at the Creation

And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis.

Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "]

If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump.

Though Democrats and the Clinton campaign long denied financing the dossier – prepared by ex-British spy Christopher Steele who claimed to rely on second- and third-hand information from anonymous Russian contacts – it was revealed in October 2017 that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign shared in the costs, with the payments going to the "oppo" research firm, Fusion GPS, through the Democrats' law firm, Perkins Coie.

That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump.

Bruce Ohr has since been demoted and Strzok was quietly removed from the Russia-gate investigation last July although the reasons for these moves were not publicly explained at the time.

Still, the drive for "another Watergate" to oust an unpopular – and to many insiders, unfit – President remains at the center of the thinking among the top mainstream news organizations as they have scrambled for Russia-gate "scoops" over the past year even at the cost of making serious reporting errors .

For instance, last Friday, CNN -- and then CBS News and MSNBC -- trumpeted an email supposedly sent from someone named Michael J. Erickson on Sept. 4, 2016, to Donald Trump Jr. that involved WikiLeaks offering the Trump campaign pre-publication access to purloined Democratic National Committee emails that WikiLeaks published on Sept. 13, nine days later.

Grasping for Confirmation

Since the Jan. 6 report alleged that WikiLeaks received the "hacked" emails from Russia -- a claim that WikiLeaks and Russia deny -- the story seemed to finally tie together the notion that the Trump campaign had at least indirectly colluded with Russia.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

This new "evidence" spread like wildfire across social media. As The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald wrote in an article critical of the media's performance, some Russia-gate enthusiasts heralded the revelation with graphics of cannons booming and nukes exploding.

But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after WikiLeaks released the batch of DNC emails, not Sept. 4. It appeared that "Erickson" – whoever he was – had simply alerted the Trump campaign to the public existence of the WikiLeaks disclosure.

Greenwald noted , "So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all."

Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest.

The Times' lead editorial on Wednesday mocked reporters at Fox News for living in an "alternate universe" where the Russia-gate "investigation is 'illegitimate and corrupt,' or so says Gregg Jarrett, a legal analyst who appears regularly on [Sean] Hannity's nightly exercise in presidential ego-stroking."

Though briefly mentioning the situation with Strzok's text messages, the Times offered no details or context for the concerns, instead just heaping ridicule on anyone who questions the Russia-gate narrative.

"To put it mildly, this is insane," the Times declared. "The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."

The Times fumed that "roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election – a fact that is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including the nation's intelligence community." (There we go again with the false suggestion of a consensus within the intelligence community.)

The Times also took to task Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, for seeking "a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 – not just Trump and Russia." The Times insisted that "None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith."

But what are the Times editors so afraid of? As much as they try to insult and intimidate anyone who demands serious evidence about the Russia-gate allegations, why shouldn't the American people be informed about how Washington insiders manipulate elite opinion in pursuit of reversing "mistaken" judgments by the unwashed masses?

Do the Times editors really believe in democracy – a process that historically has had its share of warts and mistakes – or are they just elitists who think they know best and turn away their noses from the smell of working-class people at Walmart?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

mike k , December 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

The NYT is just another tool of the multi-billionaire oligarchs who rule this USA from the shadows. They fear nothing more than the light. When that investigative light gets strong enough, more and more ordinary folks will begin to awake to the massive fraud that has been perpetrated at their expense. And when that happens, we will finally see the Oligarchy begin to crumble under the pressure of the 99%. The truth will out, then heads will roll ..

mike k , December 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Keep up the pressure – get your friends interested, tell them about CN, Counterpunch, Strategic-Culture, Chris Hedges, etc. Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:04 am

How about also including RT in your list? It's a news and commentary site with strong journalistic values and credibility, notwithstanding what the Administration or the MSM may say or imply.

T.J , December 14, 2017 at 8:45 am

If RT didn't have the qualities you describe, attempts by the Administration and the MSM to discredit it would have been successful. However they will attempt to silence it by other means.

Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

Very true TJ. I found counterpunch when wapo / propornot blacklisted them. Gave 'em creds imo. I also like mint press, occupy, naked capitalism, **world socialist website**, disobedient media, truthout, some of Glenns work on the Intercept and my youtube subs include: wearechange, **anonymous Scandinavia**, **the jimmy dore show**, RT America, TeleSUR English*, Zoon Politikon, **democracy at work**, HA Goodman, theRealNews*, mintpressnews, watching the hawks, secular talk, laura kinhtlinger, judicial watch, empire files, redacted tonight, TBTV, a little from Julian Assange's twitter.

tina , December 14, 2017 at 11:06 pm

what about Al-Jazeera?

Erik G , December 14, 2017 at 8:03 am

Good suggestion; in such persuasion, one must respectfully suggest better sources and avoid any conflict.

Mr. Parry has well summarized for beginners these essential counterpoints to the mass media propaganda.

Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

Amyg , December 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

I like this use of "awakened," in contrast to the establishment culture's fascination with "woke." People don't need to get woke. They need to become awakened. Thanks to Robert Parry.

Walter Devine , December 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm

I thought we were waiting to hear what the evidence is found. The lack of discussion about what they have uncovered seems to me to speak of a professional operation. Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose. As for Bias, that exists in everyone to some extent or another, where was the moral outrage from the Republicans charging this today when the Benghazi investigation was being conducted by folks with known axes to grind themselves? It is the Washington hypocrisy machine at its most obvious. As for the media, print or otherwise, they are just preaching to their choirs in order to sell whatever their particular consumers are buying. Frankly I have come to expect more from you than this article Mr. Parry, here's hoping

Robert Gardner , December 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm

I've been skeptical out the Russian conspiracy so far, but I agree with what Walter Devine wrote.

tina , December 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm

I am still waiting . Mr. Parry can ride on his story back in the 1980's. We are in 2017, The internet is good. What did those people in Washington do today? get rid of net neutrality? Love you all people on CN, Happy Hanukah Merry Christmas, and Kwanzaa, And the winter solstice. Peace to all. Love, tina everyone is going to believe that they want to believe.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

Are you kidding about Benghazi? Obviously you have still not informed yourself about the egregious security breakdown of the Administration or how the Benghazi facility factored into the CIA's proxy war in Syria. (And, btw, where was Hillary "Rod up her Hiney" Clinton when that '3AM call' came in at 4pm?

Larco Marco , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

Hillary Rodham Clinton AND William Hamrod Clinton

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 12:56 am

Thank you for bringing attention to the Benghazi scandal: "FBI Chief Instructed Agents To Lie About Benghazi To Protect Hillary" http://yournewswire.com/fbi-lie-benghazi-hillary/

"By placing the interests of the Obama administration over the public's interests, the order is yet another data point highlighting the politicization of the FBI: After the September 11, 2012 attack against U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration peddled a lie, telling the public that the attack was related to Muslims who had become enraged at an anti-Islam YouTube video, and not a planned act of terrorism – despite Hillary Clinton emailing Chelsea Clinton from her unsecure @clintonemail.com server the night of the attack to say exactly that."

-- On a topic of evidence: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/anti-trump-texts-between-fired-fbi-agents-having-extramarital-affair-leak-and-theyre "

In 2016, [the FBI] received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" The "dossier" was a compendium of allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times.

Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.

-- More evidence" "FBI Texts Reveal "Insurance Policy" To Prevent Trump Presidency" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency

-- Have you noticed the numbers for payments? The bank records? The names? -- these are the evidence. Or you believe that there a Bias against the miserable Steele?

bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course.

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm

That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi.

Jon Adams , December 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm

"Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question.

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries.

Thus, the CIA kept being surprised that its powerful weapons kept ending up in ISIS hands but kept doing the same over and over: oops an oversight mistake, oops and another one, oops one more, and another one, . the two hundredth one

https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/blowback-isis-got-a-powerful-missile-the-cia-secretly?utm_term=.joevpx9dG#.lxegj54A7

Adrian Engler , December 14, 2017 at 3:44 am

Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology.

I wonder how long this can go on. So far, the indictments of the Muller team have had nothing to do with the Russiagate conspiracy theory. Paul Manafort was indicted for tax evasion related to lobbying business with Ukraine, mostly years ago. Michael Flynn was indicted because when he reported a call from his holidays to the Russian ambassador to the FBI more than three weeks later, he left out two elements (the FBI had the recordings from the NSA, anyway, so they wouldn't have had to ask him about the telephone call). There was nothing illegal about the contents of the telephone call (the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory). It seems quite plausible that Flynn just forgot these two elements of a telephone call in which quite a large number of points was raised and that he pleaded guilty because of a plea deal (otherwise he might have been indicted in connection with his lobbying work for Turkey). Superficially, the closest to the idea of Russiagate is the indictment of Papadopoulos, someone who played a minor role in the Trump campaign and was looking for contacts with Russians, but, as it seems did not get very far (for some reasons he seemed to think a Russian woman he was talking with was a relative of Putin). His actions may have been naïve or misguided, but nothing about them was illegal, like in the case of Michael Flynn, he is only accused of lying to the FBI about normal, legal actions.

So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated.

The question is how they will wind down. If they just say that apart from things like Manafort's possible tax evation and Flynn's lobbying for Israel, they have not found anything – certainly nothing that confirms the Russiagate conspiracy theory -, that will be quite difficult, people will demand that it is investigated how it came about that such a conspiracy was spread and played such an influential role in political discourse for some time. It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either.

Antiwar7 , December 14, 2017 at 7:24 am

How long should we wait until we hear of ONE, that's right, ONE piece of evidence backing these claims up? Please answer: 2 years? 10 years? The only evidence so far amounts to "trust us".

And that's ignoring the monumental number of pieces of false evidence that have been put forward. That in itself makes the whole "investigation" suspicious. On top of the long, documented history of the CIA planting false stories in the press.

bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

I don't know. How long did it take the Dutch to cook the evidence to condemn Russian partisans for the downing of the Malaysian airliner -- with Ukraine holding a gun to their heads.

Dunno , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Dear Mr. 7, I have come to the grudging conclusion that Russia-gate is and has always been more about Russia and Putin than about the crooked Don. If we stop to think about it, Trump has succumbed to the deep control of the Deep-State colossus. Russia evil; Israel good! Got it? When the pathetic wiener & crotch-grabber isn't bitchin' for Bibi and doing little pooch tricks for Israel, he is being programmed by the pentagon and the Deep State, and making sure that the super-rich get super richer. His own SOS Tillerson called him an effin' moron. Enough said!

Therefore, 7, Russia-gate is all about keeping the pot boiling for the presidential election in Russia next year. Demonizing Putin and Russia is the new great game of our era. The NWO Nebula lusts after Russia's geostrategic location and its abundant resources. It's 1905-1925 all over again. Read the book, "Wall Street and the Russian Revolution 1905-1925" by Richard B. Spence and also take a gander at Trine Day books' website of suppressed books. The deep-state Plutocrats and their secret societies hatch their evil little plots, while trying to keep the rest of us in the dark. Right now, Trump is a convenient platform for anti-Russian propaganda.

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1.

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:10 am

Once more the standard troll line about being a prior supporter, which plainly "Devine" is not.
We are well over a year into this matter with nothing but speculation and manufactured claims.
It is clear that Russia-gate = Israel-gate, a diversion from zionist control of the DNC.
Where is the concern of "Devine" for the lack of investigation of control of elections and mass media by Israel?
Why does he seek to cover up the complete destruction of democracy by the foreign power Israel?

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Oliver Stone had this to say on the matter on FaceBook. If you're on FB, here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=oliver%20stone

Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

facts don't show bias walt. yeah, media sells to the public, but they're also selling (or trading narratives for access) to the gov't. Wikileaks exposed the MSM – DNC collusion and we've witnessed the leaks and anonymous sources from the IC. Trust the CIA?

There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think?

I personally believe that progressive hope dies at the DNC and exposing the party's lies (their private and public views) and undemocratic practices (preliminary process, fundraising) is the best thing for the country. It brings us one step closer to potentially building a third party that represents the proletariat and petty bourgeois classes.

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

I agree with your sentiment, but I'm finding it disturbing how many so called progressives are convinced beyond any doubt, despite the evidence I produce to instill doubt, that Russia interfered in "our democracy."

They have come unglued to the point of idiocy over Trump. They are firmly in the clutches of the CIA Deep State apparatus.

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Hey, Walter Devine, here is more for your whining about evidence: There are plenty of evidence when the disgusting clintonistas are concerned: http://theduran.com/fusion-gps-admits-that-it-hired-wife-of-doj-official-to-investigate-then-candidate-trump/

"Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever.

Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

@ Walter Devine: "Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose."

But overlook that the Democrats and mainstream media are doing the opposite? It seems to me that this is precisely the point that Mr. Parry's reporting has been aimed at, that the Democrats and mainstream media are jumping enormously to RussiaGate conclusions without disclosing any evidence to back up their incredibly dangerous claims and that there *is* very strong evidence of ulterior motives.

Gregory Herr , December 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since.

Peter de Klerk , December 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

I had great respect Parry's earlier writing which had a healthy dose of MSM skepticism (albeit largely for personal reasons). This whole business of jumping to conclusions on the Russia meddling has put me off him totally. All the reporting seems to be in service of defending a forgone conclusion. I wonder if this has anything to do with fundraising.

falcemartello , December 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm

This whole Russia ate my lunch has entered the realm of alternate truth. The MSM are now actually stating that the Russian hacking the 2016 election as fact. Just like all the other false and fabricated statements of world events in the last 20 years . Fro Yugoslavia, Milosovic exonerated for the falsely laid charges of genocide . How convenient after his death . Qadaffi murdering and slaughtering his own people hence RPL interventionist and voila the highest standard of living in the African continent is now reduced to takfiri heaven for the NATO proxy army recruiting centre. MH17 disaster is still being paroled as Russian deliberate murder. No facts no evidence that would stand even in a Stalinist show trial. Assad gassing his own people. More than debunked by multiple sources and US academics to boot no still being paroled as fact by western MSM.

The whole charade post 9/11 has gone into this Orwellian nightmare that just keep on growing and news and information has become pure Hollwoodian fantasy that the sheeple are sleep walking into this futuristic hell hole that these vile masters of the universe will not be able to back track without losing face and without causing the populace to stand up and be counted and kick tjhese vile players out for good.

john wilson , December 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

Take heart Falcemartello, its not all bad. Over here in the Britain RT has its own free to view TV channel which sits next to the BBC news and the parliament programme. It is now widely watched by the public and has millions of viewers with many using RT as their main news source. The fact that the American deep state criminals have made things difficult for RT America in the US, is a clear indication that the fake news masters otherwise known as the MSN, and their handlers in the deep state are rattled by the ever growing alternative voice. Its up to you, me and the rest of the posters on CN to tell our friends colleagues and others about CN, RT etc. If only one percent take a look then alternative opinion will start to filter through and more importantly, show the public what liars and criminals are in charge of their country.

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:15 am

Thanks for the info John. I am really glad that at least Britain has a reasonable degree of freedom of the press. If it spreads across Europe, the USA may eventually find itself so isolated by its own propaganda that the whole evil empire scheme will implode, and we will have to learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. That is my Christmas wish.

BobS , December 14, 2017 at 11:36 am

It's not difficult to get RT in the US- I watch it regularly on Dish Network. Youtube is another option- I'm guessing it's big and rich enough to survive any changes in net neutrality that will result from the Trump/Pai FCC (of course, Obama and Clinton were just as bad, DEEP STATE!!!!, etc.).
If you're going to tout conspiracies, get your facts straight.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm

John Pilger has an article in counterpunch explaining the importance of documentaries (not just his!). It is notable that his first one, on Cambodia, in 1970, was shown free to air on TV in the UK and thirity other countries, with huge audience impact, but refused by PBS as too disturbing!!

The free press in the USA is in tune with the ptb.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

I see the Pilger article is here on consortiumnews. It is worth a read, like the rest here!

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

What you wrote john wilson is simply not the complete truth, although I wish it was. It is true that RT UK has its own terrestrial digital TV channel. It appears that Margarita Simonyan bid for such channel at an auction when Britain was converting from analogue to digital TV and got it. Thus, the British TV viewers can now see RT without any subscription or special equipment, "next to BBC" as you optimistically say.

What you did not mention john wilson is that the British Government regulator Ofcom is putting severe pressure on RT because their news offered an alternative view to the British propaganda. They rinse and repeat the same biased-news allegations almost every year, keeping RT UK under constant threat of the loss of its broadcasting licence due to "breach of truth standards" = "fake news". They even banned the lightbox, radio and other media advertising campaign of RT in Britain, the so called "RT is the second opinion", only because the campaign claimed that if RT existed before UK attack on Iraq in 2003, Tony Blair may have not been successful in passing the war resolutions through the parliament.

What most people do not appreciate is that the methods of suppression are not the same in all Western countries, and why should they be? Simonyan got a terrestrial TV channel and the broadcasting licence because of the British propaganda hubris – the British still believed that their post-imperial propaganda is the best in the World, just because it was the best in the world during the empire. They simply never expected the Russians to be so successful, just the same as US.

In summary:
US => force RT to register as a foreign agent to force reporting of every little detail of its operations; refuse journalistic credentials to Congress etc to disadvantage its reporting
UK => keep constant threat of the loss of broadcasting licence to skew the reporting towards the British Government version of the news

I post the links relevant to what I wrote here separately to avoid being put on hold.

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

https://secondopinion.rt.com/

https://www.rt.com/about-us/press-releases/rt-uk-second-opinion/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/nov/10/russia-today-ofcom-sanctions-impartiality-ukraine-coverage

https://theintercept.com/2015/03/02/uk-media-regulator-threatens-rt-bias-airing-anti-western-views/

Joe Tedesky , December 13, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Philip Giraldi writes about a shift occurring over at the CIA in Trump's favor, Politico's interview with a somewhat repentant Trump hater Mike Morell now saying 'maybe our plan wasn't that well thought out' , and now these MSM Russia Gate screwups coupled with a discovery of FBI Trump haters, is a result of Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as it being Israel's capital? Just say'n.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on.

BobH , December 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Amen

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Spot on Bob, the unfortunate and idealistic Mr Seth Rich became the DNC's bottom line, the shining example of its "anything goes as long as we have friends in the right places" (FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc etc).

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Agreed. Let's not forget Process Server for the DNC Fraud Lawsuit Shawn Lucas who died mysteriously 2 weeks after serving the DNC either.

I never would have believed the rot in the Democratic Party establishment would rival the Republicans, but here we are.

Anon , December 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

"Tina" is a troll assigned to CN to claim extremism, and never presents evidence or argument.

Steven A , December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

This is another great review by Robert Parry. However, he again uses the formulation that "WikiLeaks published" and "WikiLeaks released" purloined DNC emails on September 13, 2016. Greenwald and the Washington Post have stated, more carefully, that WikiLeaks "promoted" the data source of these emails by means of a Tweet on that date.

Adam Carter noted in a comment under Parry's previous article that the DNC emails in question are the NGP/VAN files associated with Guccifer 2.0's pre-announced "hack" on July 5, 2016 and reportedly released by him on Sept 13, 2016.

In fact, they are certainly not part of WikiLeak's official archive. One can see from their website that they published nothing between the times of the DNC emails release of July 22, 2016 and the Podesta emails release of October 7. So "published" is clearly the wrong word.

Whether or in what sense it may fairly be stated that WikiLeaks "released", "promoted" or "uploaded" (as according to the Erickson email, which probably represents nothing more than an outsider's impression) the September 13 files needs to be cautiously assessed. Their Tweet did include an access key, as did the Erickson email, and the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks.

Did Guccifer 2.0 himself upload the files to mega.nz? Did he play Kim Dot Com to use the latter's association with Wikileaks to get Wikileaks itself to put out the Sept 13 Tweet advertising the data release? I'm not sure how this all worked, but it seems that it is misleading to simply refer to this set of emails as having been "published" by Wikileaks.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:12 am

Didn't you read the VIPS analyses of the DNC leaks?

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

Yes, I did, but not while writing my comment above. Do they say anything relevant to the question of whether it is accurate to correct the false media report that the Trump campaign was given access to the NGP/VAN DNC emails before WikiLeaks published them with a "corrected" statement that the Trump campaign was notified (but may never have noticed) of a link to those files by a random member of the public _after WikiLeaks had already published them_? As I recall, the original VIPS memo was itself somewhat confused about the distinction between the NGP/VAN material and the five DNC documents made public by "Guccifer 2.0" on June 15, 2016, so I'm not sure one will find anything relevant to my question there.

While it is true that the "correction" here is _much_ closer to the truth than the original misinformation, the underlined part at the end of my question still seems misleading in that the "publication" is attributed to WikiLeaks without qualification. And it seems Parry is not the only one to make this mistake. As Adam Carter pointed out two days ago, he was very surprised that almost no one has been noticing that the files in question came from "Guccifer 2.0" and not from WikiLeaks. While Parry's attribution misleading, I am still not clear in my own mind about precisely what did happen, i.e. how WikiLeaks came to "promote" the release of the files and whether in some loose or indirect sense WikiLeaks did "release" them.

mike k , December 14, 2017 at 11:08 am

Is there really any other purpose in your involved questioning but seeking to cloud and confuse the obvious issues in the "Russia hacked" affair?

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

How is it clouding the issue to suggest, as Adam Carter did, that one element in Parry's (and others') description of the facts in an otherwise excellent article seems to be misleading?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

@ "the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks."

Kim Dot Com's relationship with Mega was already extremely strained by the time of the Guccifer leaks and to the extent he ever had control of the company it had apparently ended. See e.g., https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-warns-mega-users-to-backup-their-files-160421/

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm

These are the sort of details I haven't been familiar with and about which I was hoping to learn more – so thanks! I was relying on a vague impression from memory when I made the link between the "mega.nz" address seen in the email from Erickson and Kim Dot Com.

Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort.

A contemporary article says this about the release: "'Guccifer 2.0' released over 670 megabytes of documents at a cybersecurity conference in London Tuesday . The documents were released on a file storage system and not on WikiLeaks or on Guccifer 2.0's website." https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hacker-guccifer-2-0-releases-more-dnc-docs-including-tim-n647921

Thus the statement that "WikiLeaks published" the files in question (repeated by Parry, Justin Raimondo and others) appears to be false. I share the surprise expressed by Adam Carter (under Parry's previous piece) that few appear to have noticed or bothered to correct this error – even though they were on target in exposing the main part of the latest MSM lie.

robjira , December 14, 2017 at 12:17 am

Great related reporting on BAR.
https://www.blackagendareport.com/entire-russian-hacking-narrative-invalidated-single-assange-tweet
https://www.blackagendareport.com/russsiagate-and-collapse-obamas-war-against-syria

Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Excellent links, robjira. Thanks.

Karl Sanchez , December 14, 2017 at 12:57 am

Those of us who live within the Outlaw US Empire have been seduced by lies Big and small since we could understand language. RussiaGate is an example of a Big Lie, just as the Outlaw US Empire being a democracy is a Big Lie–both are indoctrinational. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin, Sand Man, Cupid, et al are other excellent examples of indoctrinational Big Lies. One of the most severe is the maxim delivered from parents: You must share and play nice, when the real world acts in the exact opposite fashion. What's more, RussiaGate serves as a cover-up for several major crimes–some by Clinton, some by DNC, some by FBI, some by Justice Department, and some by CIA: None of them are being actively investigated despite there being lots of evidence existing in the public domain, which is why we know those crimes occurred.

I very highly suggest reading this article, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/13/the-u-s-is-not-a-democracy-it-never-was/

Marko , December 14, 2017 at 2:22 am

The last great hope for the Dems :

"A Russian hacker accused of stealing from Russian banks reportedly confessed in court that he hacked the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and stole Hillary Clinton's emails under the direction of agents from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB)"

PUTIN ORDERED THEFT OF CLINTON'S EMAILS FROM DNC, RUSSIAN HACKER CONFESSES
BY CRISTINA MAZA ON 12/12/17

http://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555

irina , December 14, 2017 at 4:03 am

And on PBS tonite the author of this Atlantic article got to put in her two cents about Putin:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/putins-game/546548/

in which she stated that not only did Putin 'annex Crimea' but also invaded Ukraine, among other things. None of her statements were backed up by any facts, which apparently are irrelevant anymore. Wikipedia has an interesting bio on her.

Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

Thank you irina for that "catch". I'm a long time reader of "The Atlantic Magazine" well aware of its long, liberal history and was surprised to find David Frum reporting there. David was a speech writer for W. Bush and apparently came up with the infamous "Axis of Evil" tag for President Bush's State Of The Union speech. I'll link the Wikipedia page below for those interested. I'm concerned that propaganda has spread far and wide

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_of_evil

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:56 am

Despite its extremely conclusive title and substance, the Newsweek article later admits the extremely suspect nature of the accusation, and the lack of any evidence whatsoever:

"Andrei Soldatov an expert on Russian cybersecurity, said he believes Kozlovsky invented the story about his direction from the FSB for personal gain. 'I've been communicating with [Kozlovsky] for four months, and he has failed to give me any proof or answer my questions," Soldatov told Newsweek .'He was put in jail by these guys so it could be out of revenge, or he wanted to make a deal with the FSB,'"

Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/

Perhaps another quasi-religious CIA front like Fethullah Gulen's madrassas in Turkey and across central Asia.

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm

They keep publishing the same horseshit just like Pravda did in the Soviet era and just like the Voelkischer Beobachter and Stuermer did during the Nazi era. I guess the uninformed hoi polloi get so used to it in these situations that they accept the situation, like ducks and frogs accept watery ponds as their environments.

Manfred Whimplebottem , December 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm

I think I heard a similar story from newsweek months ago, looks like someone took the deal(?).

FBI Probe Into Clinton Emails Prompted Offer of Cash, Citizenship for Confession, Russian Hacker Claims

"On October 5, 2016, days before U.S. intelligence publicly accused Russia of endorsing an infiltration of Democratic Party officials' emails, Nikulin was arrested in Prague at the request of the U.S. on separate hacking charges. Now, Nikulin claims U.S. authorities tried to pin the email scandal on him."

"ikulin's lawyer, Martin Sadilek, [claims] that the FBI visited him at least a couple of times, offering to drop the charges and grant him U.S. citizenship as well as cash and an apartment in the U.S. if the Russian national confessed to participating in the 2016 hacks of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta's emails in July."

"[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton's inbox for [U.S. President Donald Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Nikulin wrote"

http://www.newsweek.com/fbi-investigation-clinton-emails-russia-hack-607538

Wm. Boyce , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 am

I'm curious as to why this is still an issue. Here's a link to an article from last August:
http://www.businessinsider.com/top-fbi-investigator-peter-strzok-steps-away-from-russia-probe-2017-8

At that time, it wasn't known why Mr. Strzok was transferred/whatever from counter-intelligence, but since then it has been revealed that Mr. Mueller did so for his ( Strzok) political opinions. That would seem a fair thing to do. What's the problem? Might be right-wing fear.

Marko , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 am

" What's the problem? "

C'mon , man. Given Strzok's position and his influence on Russiagate AND the earlier Hillarygate investigations , the fact that he was transferred in July is of little comfort. Any damage he could do he'd already done by then. Jim Jordan will explain it to you , in six minutes :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=69&v=cShxjlUfmhk

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

The problem is that when that story first appeared, nothing else was disclosed. The damning material took months to emerge, as did Strzok's links to the Clinton coverups and the links to the fake dossier and the FBI's "anti-Trump" insurance policy. Those who want to believe the regime's falsehoods can always come up with rationales such as "I guess the government people know best" which was typical of the answers to sceptics against the Viet Nam war in the mid '60s.

Realist , December 14, 2017 at 2:43 am

It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. Instead, we get nothing but one set of sensational fake headlines unsupported by any actual facts time and again, all in an attempt to fool the mentally-challenged public. Yet the NYT and the rest of the yellow press continue to insist that the evidence continues to mount against Trump. What a laugh. Moreover, these deceivers are the people that want what they define as "fake news" to be systematically rooted out and stricken from the public record so no thinking person can ever see it. And, they tell us this is a free and democratic country. Got any more jokes?

Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:48 am

Totally agree. And it reminds me of some reality "quest" shows about finding Bigfoot or the Oak Island treasure, etc.

If those were actually found, it would be reported a day or two later, unless every single one of the producers, actors, workers, etc. were under an NDA enough to wait until some season finale a year or two later. Ridiculous. If Bigfoot exists that will come to us on news, and big news, international. It won't come on a 4th season of some Bigfoot-finding show.

So yeah, season two of the Trump-Russia whatever.

Maddow/MSNBC and the likes have gone utterly insane. Bigfoot behind every door. Scant or zero facts, who cares. This isn't like Benghazi or White Water or Bush's air service this is 24/7 inane terrible journalism from nearly every journalist publisher in the US.

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:30 am

I think that the new evidence discussed provides Trump the cover to pull the plug on the whole Mueller operation despite the Alabama debacle. Sure the media talkers would compare it to the Saturday Night Massacre, but the proven falsity of the whole absurd circus renders risible such comparisons. While I don't expect much out of Trump, the championing of this absurd theory by the mainstream democrats renders them an existential threat to civilization itself based on the fact that enmity with Russia seems to be their be-all and end-all. It is all not only criminal but profoundly stupid.

Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:40 am

"The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."

1. How is Russia an "adversary"? And even if Russia is, that's weasel-words and subjective. Is Turkey a foreign adversary? Is Israel? China? Mexico?

2. Why wasn't there decades ago a special Election Panel looking into foreign influence? I guess it just started to happen in this last election though .Only with Putin!

3. "more plausible" .this fucking idiot. After a year of headlines of "this is what will finally take down Trump" and such, all with zero reasons, zero facts .Is naught more plausible than naught?

4. I detest Trump. I more detest hypocrites and idiots.

But sure, "blah blah more possible take trump down" says some idiot or collective NYT idiocy. Bore me more your next op-ed, you partisan morons.

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Yes, the NYT is mere propaganda. We already know that "a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election" because Clinton's top ten donors were all Zionists, and she supported all wars for Israel.

Rich Monahan , December 14, 2017 at 3:57 am

Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker?

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire.

RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort.

M C Martin , December 14, 2017 at 6:08 am

Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations?

While I can't endorse our government's illegal and immoral collection and storing of virtually all communications among people, if the store is there and is used against petty criminals, why couldn't or shouldn't it be used to detect and prove the illegal acts of our government power brokers?

What's good for the goose

[Dec 14, 2017] Tech Giants Trying to Use WTO to Colonize Emerging Economies

Notable quotes:
"... The initiative described in this article reminds me of how the World Bank pushed hard for emerging economies to develop capital markets, for the greater good of America's investment bankers. ..."
"... By Burcu Kilic, an expert on legal, economic and political issues. Originally published at openDemocracy ..."
"... Today, the big tech race is for data extractivism from those yet to be 'connected' in the world – tech companies will use all their power to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or localisation. ..."
"... One suspects big money will be thrown at this by the leading tech giants. ..."
"... Out of idle curiosity, how could you accurately deduce my country of origin from my name? ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

December 14, 2017 by Yves Smith Yves here. Notice that Costa Rica is served up as an example in this article. Way back in 1997, American Express had designated Costa Rica as one of the countries it identified as sufficiently high income so as to be a target for a local currency card offered via a franchise agreement with a domestic institution (often but not always a bank). 20 years later, the Switzerland of Central America still has limited Internet connectivity, yet is precisely the sort of place that tech titans like Google would like to dominate.

The initiative described in this article reminds me of how the World Bank pushed hard for emerging economies to develop capital markets, for the greater good of America's investment bankers.

By Burcu Kilic, an expert on legal, economic and political issues. Originally published at openDemocracy

Today, the big tech race is for data extractivism from those yet to be 'connected' in the world – tech companies will use all their power to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or localisation.

n a few weeks' time, trade ministers from 164 countries will gather in Buenos Aires for the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11). US President Donald Trump in November issued fresh accusations of unfair treatment towards the US by WTO members , making it virtually impossible for trade ministers to leave the table with any agreement in substantial areas.

To avoid a 'failure ministerial," some countries see the solution as pushing governments to open a mandate to start conversations that might lead to a negotiation on binding rules for e-commerce and a declaration of the gathering as the "digital ministerial". Argentina's MC11 chair, Susana Malcorra, is actively pushing for member states to embrace e-commerce at the WTO, claiming that it is necessary to " bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots ".

It is not very clear what kind of gaps Malcorra is trying to bridge. It surely isn't the "connectivity gap" or "digital divide" that is growing between developed and developing countries, seriously impeding digital learning and knowledge in developing countries. In fact, half of humanity is not even connected to the internet, let alone positioned to develop competitive markets or bargain at a multilateral level. Negotiating binding e-commerce rules at the WTO would only widen that gap.

Dangerously, the "South Vision" of digital trade in the global trade arena is being shaped by a recent alliance of governments and well-known tech-sector lobbyists, in a group called 'Friends of E-Commerce for Development' (FED), including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and, most recently, China. FED claims that e-commerce is a tool to drive growth, narrow the digital divide, and generate digital solutions for developing and least developed countries.

However, none of the countries in the group (apart from China) is leading or even remotely ready to be in a position to negotiate and push for binding rules on digital trade that will be favorable to them, as their economies are still far away from the technology revolution. For instance, it is perplexing that one of the most fervent defenders of FED's position is Costa Rica. The country's economy is based on the export of bananas, coffee, tropical fruits, and low-tech medical instruments, and almost half of its population is offline . Most of the countries in FED are far from being powerful enough to shift negotiations in favor of small players.

U.S.-based tech giants and Chinese Alibaba – so-called GAFA-A – dominate, by far, the future of the digital playing field, including issues such as identification and digital payments, connectivity, and the next generation of logistics solutions. In fact, there is a no-holds-barred ongoing race among these tech giants to consolidate their market share in developing economies, from the race to grow the advertising market to the race to increase online payments.

An e-commerce agenda that claims unprecedented development for the Global South is a Trojan horse move. Beginning negotiations on such topics at this stage – before governments are prepared to understand what is at stake – could lead to devastating results, accelerating liberalization and the consolidation of the power of tech giants to the detriment of local industries, consumers, and citizens. Aware of the increased disparities between North and South, and the data dominance of a tiny group of GAFA-A companies, a group of African nations issued a statement opposing the digital ambitions of the host for MC11. But the political landscape is more complex, with China, the EU, and Russia now supporting the idea of a "digital" mandate .

Repeating the Same Mistakes?

The relationships of most countries with tech companies are as imbalanced as their relationships with Big Pharma, and there are many parallels to note. Not so long ago, the countries of the Global South faced Big Pharma power in pharmaceutical markets in a similar way. Some developing countries had the same enthusiasm when they negotiated intellectual property rules for the protection of innovation and research and development costs. In reality, those countries were nothing more than users and consumers of that innovation, not the owners or creators. The lessons of negotiating trade issues that lie at the core of public interest issues – in that case, access to medicines – were costly. Human lives and fundamental rights of those who use online services should not be forgotten when addressing the increasingly worrying and unequal relationships with tech power.

The threat before our eyes is similarly complex and equally harmful to the way our societies will be shaped in the coming years. In the past, the Big Pharma race was for patent exclusivity, to eliminate local generic production and keep drug prices high. Today, the Big Tech race is for data extractivism from those who have yet to be connected in the world, and tech companies will use all the power they hold to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or data localization.

Big Tech is one of the most concentrated and resourceful industries of all time. The bargaining power of developing countries is minimal. Developing countries will basically be granting the right to cultivate small parcels of a land controlled by data lords -- under their rules, their mandate, and their will -- with practically no public oversight. The stakes are high. At the core of it is the race to conquer the markets of digital payments and the battle to become the platform where data flows, splitting the territory as old empires did in the past. As the Economist claimed on May 6, 2017: "Conflicts over control of oil have scarred the world for decades. No one yet worries that wars will be fought over data. But the data economy has the same potential for confrontation."

If countries from the Global South want to prepare for data wars, they should start thinking about how to reduce the control of Big Tech over -- how we communicate, shop, and learn the news -- , again, over our societies. The solution lies not in making rules for data liberalization, but in devising ways to use the law to reduce Big Tech's power and protect consumers and citizens. Finding the balance would take some time and we are going to take that time to find the right balance, we are not ready to lock the future yet.

Jef , December 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

I thought thats what the WTO is for?

Thuto , December 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm

One suspects big money will be thrown at this by the leading tech giants. To paraphrase from a comment I made recently regarding a similar topic : "with markets in the developed world pretty much sewn up by the tripartite tech overlords (google, fb and amazon), the next 3 billion users for their products/services are going to come from developing world". With this dynamic in mind, and the "constant growth" mantra humming incessantly in the background, it's easy to see how high stakes a game this is for the tech giants and how no resources will be spared to stymie any efforts at establishing a regulatory oversight framework that will protect the digital rights of citizens in the global south.

Multilateral fora like the WTO are de facto enablers for the marauding frontal attacks of transnational corporations, and it's disheartening to see that some developing nations have already nailed the digital futures of their citizens to the mast of the tech giants by joining this alliance. What's more, this signing away of their liberty will be sold to the citizenry as the best way to usher them into the brightest of all digital futures.

Mark P. , December 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

One suspects big money will be thrown at this by the leading tech giants.

Vast sums of money are already being thrown at bringing Africa online, for better or worse. Thus, the R&D aimed at providing wireless Internet via giant drones/balloons/satellites by Google, Facebook, etc.

You're African. Possibly South African by your user name, which may explain why you're a little behind the curve, because the action is already happening, but more to the north -- and particularly in East Africa.

The big corporations -- and the tech giants are competing with the banking/credit card giants -- have noted how mobile technology leapt over the dearth of last century's telephony tech, land lines, and in turn enabled the highest adoption rates of cellphone banking in the world. (Particularly in East Africa, as I say.) The payoffs for big corporations are massive -- de facto cashless societies where the corporations control the payment systems –and the politicians are mostly cheap.

In Nigeria, the government has launched a Mastercard-branded national ID card that's also a payment card, in one swoop handing Mastercard more than 170 million potential customers, and their personal and biometric data.

In Kenya, the sums transferred by mobile money operator M-Pesa are more than 25 percent of that country's GDP.

You can see that bringing Africa online is technically a big, decade-long project. But also that the potential payoffs are vast. Though I also suspect China may come out ahead -- they're investing far more in Africa and in some areas their technology -- drones, for instance -- is already superior to what the Europeans and the American companies have.

Thuto , December 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Thank you Mark P.

Hoisted from a comment I made here recently: "Here in South Africa and through its Free Basics programme, facebook is jumping into bed with unsuspecting ISPs (I say unsuspecting because fb will soon be muscling in on their territory and becoming an ISP itself by provisioning bandwidth directly from its floating satellites) and circumventing net neutrality "

I'm also keenly aware of the developments in Kenya re: safaricom and Mpesa and how that has led to traditional banking via bank accounts being largely leapfrogged for those moving from being unbanked to active economic citizens requiring money transfer facilities. Given the huge succes of Mpesa, I wouldn't be surprised if a multinational tech behemoth (chinese or american) were to make a play for acquiring safaricom and positioning it as a triple-play ISP, money transfer/banking services and digital content provider (harvesting data about users habits on an unprecedented scale across multiple areas of their lives), first in Kenya then expanded throughout east, central and west africa. I must add that your statement about Nigeria puts Mark Zuckerberg's visit there a few months back into context somewhat, perhaps a reconnaissance mission of sorts.

Out of idle curiosity, how could you accurately deduce my country of origin from my name?

Mark P. , December 14, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Out of idle curiosity, how could you accurately deduce my country of origin from my name?

Though I've lived in California for decades, my mother was South African and I maintain a UK passport, having grown up in London.

Mark P. , December 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm

As you also write: "with markets in the developed world pretty much sewn up by the tripartite tech overlords (google, fb and amazon), the next 3 billion users for their products/services are going to come from developing world."

Absolutely true. This cannot be stressed enough. The tech giants know this and the race is on.

Mattski , December 14, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Been happening with food for 50 years.

[Dec 14, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States. The Trump administration said no

Highly recommended!
Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:
Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
"... Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all: ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed

With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 14, 2017] Trump Should Go F Himself - Texts Leak From FBI Agents On Russia Probe, Hillary Emails Investigation

Dec 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Fox reporter Shannon Brem tweeted that Fox News producer Jake Gibson has obtained 10k texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, one of which says "Trump should go f himself," and "F TRUMP."

... ... ...

In another tweet posted by Bream, Peter Strzok says "I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer ," and "I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!"

Page responds "I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."

... ... ...

In another tweet posted by Bream, Peter Strzok says "I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer ," and "I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!"

Page responds "I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."

... ... ...

The messages between Strzok and Page make it abundantly clear that the agents investigating both candidates for President were extremely biased against then-candidate Trump, while going extremely easy on Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.

... ... ...

The messages sent between Strzok and Page, as well as Strzok's conduct in the Clinton investigation and several prior cases are now under review for political bias by the Justice Department . Furthermore, the fact that the reason behind Strzok's firing was kept a secret for months is of keen interest to House investigators. According to Fox News two weeks ago :

"While Strzok's removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators."

"Responding to the revelations about Strzok's texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray." -Fox News

Strzok also relied on the Trump-Russia dossier created by opposition research firm Fusion GPS. In August, 2016 - nine months before Robert Mueller's Special Counsel was launched, the New York Times reported that Strzok was hand picked by FBI brass to supervise an investigation into allegations of Trump-Russia collusion . The FBI investigation grew legs after they received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and decided to act on its salacious and largely unproven claims, According to Fox News

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. - Fox News

Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier - which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials.

... ... ...

When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times .

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

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

Did you catch that? Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team . Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.

There's more - according to journalist Sara Carter there are more anti-Trump messages exchanged between other members of Mueller's team

Sean Hannity: I'm hearing rumors all over the place Sara Carter that there are other anti-Trump text-emails out there. And we know about them.

Sara Carter: I think you're hearing correctly Sean and I think a lot more is going to come out. In fact, I know a lot more is going to come out based on the sources I've spoken to.

... ... ...

The text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are highly compromising , and prove that both FBI investigations into Clinton and Trump were headed by a man, aided by his mistress, who did not want to see Trump win the White House. Furthermnore, if anti-Trump text messages were exchanged between other members of Robert Mueller's special counsel, which are apparently on deck for later this month or January, it's hard to imagine anyone taking anything concluded by this dog-and-pony show seriously.

Mr. Universe -> Slack Jack , Dec 13, 2017 11:46 AM

So let's see here, I'm looking for the parts about the FBI?/special investigation, or even anything relevant to the subject matter in your post Jack. Nope nothing there except a speculation about something that has long since passed and with no real way to determine actual facts. But hey thanks for taking up all the unused space here on the forum.

Back to revelant speculation...

Melissa Hodgman is the wife of the FBI scum. Guess what she does? She is head of the SEC enforcement division. I guess that's where 'ol Pete learned how to turn "grossly negligent" into "extremely careless". I guess that's good enough for the SEC so it should be good enough for the Effing Bee Eye.

silverserfer -> Joe Davola , Dec 13, 2017 12:20 PM

funny how two libtards who are cheating on their partners, can have the audacity to believe theyre the intelligent ones. Lost, hollow, carcases of human beings they are.

Sherpa Bill -> Pandelis , Dec 13, 2017 9:24 AM

You can not be serious. A FBI investigator can't let any bias influence their investigations regardless of their personal feelings one way or the other. This Agent saying that he was in a position to protect the country from Trump puts his bias on full display. I expect FBI agents to be all Joe Friday all of the time.

Ex-Oligarch -> Theosebes Goodfellow , Dec 13, 2017 1:21 PM

Smoking gun:

"protect the country" = sabotage the election and transition processes to preserve establishment dominance

thepigman -> overbet , Dec 13, 2017 8:59 AM

Strzok smoking-gun text:

" I can protect our country at many levels ."

RumpleShitzkin -> thepigman , Dec 13, 2017 9:34 AM

Close 2nd place...
Page responds "I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."

100% proof of Conspiracy to commit treason
And naked Sedition
Prosecute. Slam dunk.

Watch a million assholes across DC pucker.

eclectic syncretist -> RumpleShitzkin , Dec 13, 2017 11:31 AM

Yes......the personal explanation of those comments should provide a great popcorn moment in this sideshow of what was once a great country.

Thought Processor -> jcaz , Dec 13, 2017 8:30 AM

Who killed Seth Rich? ...

NumberNone -> Thought Processor , Dec 13, 2017 10:11 AM

When law enforcement is taking pro-active actions to protect Hillary and insure her presidency...should anyone be shocked that a 'rat' inside her campaign gets murdered and no one cares?

... ... ...

Thought Processor -> NumberNone , Dec 13, 2017 12:34 PM

Sexual Blackmail rings have been around forever. Every 1st world clandestine intel agency has long since perfected these types of traps. Starts with basic Honey Traps and goes to kids and much worse crimes than sexual misconduct (think the Godfather when the Senator was set up at the Brothel and you get a good idea).

Before someone becomes a dependable tool you need to have them by the balls. It has been estimated that 1 in 3 politicians in D.C. are comprimised this way at some point during their career. This is how the CIA controls politicians outside the US. It gets quid pro quo from other intel agencies for internal control (Mossad, MI6, or other). It's an old game. Epstein is Mossad. The island is a trap outside of U.S. Why would alan dershowitz go there? Simple he was lured and trapped. Think about it, if you are in this dirty business, how do get a good Lawyer? Good lawyers who are 'committed' to your cause always come in handy.

This is how real power is and has been aquired. With power comes control.

putaipan -> Thought Processor , Dec 13, 2017 1:29 PM

donald rumsfeld- "The only things that are lasting are conflict, blackmail, and killing."

number of blackmail cases revealed, ever? none. if you wanna clear the swamp, it sounds like a good place to start.

awakeRewe -> jcaz , Dec 13, 2017 9:01 AM

"Two more Walmart greeters......"

You must be missing the point - these are some of the most intelligent investigators the world has to offer /s

Even a deplorable like me knew more that 15 years ago to never use work emails for anything personal. These people are arrogant clowns.

Kayman -> awakeRewe , Dec 13, 2017 9:22 AM

Of course, at the FBI, 2 agents having a covert affair, wouldn't rise to a real issue like providing fodder for blackmail by a foreign government.

The head of the FBI snake needs to be chopped off.

Criminal and disgusting.

how_this_stuff_works -> bobdog54 , Dec 13, 2017 9:49 AM

"Somebody, anybody PLEASE tell me how someone who can earn a JD, AND an attorney for the FBI, such as Lisa Page, can be a Clinton supporter?"

Oh, easy. People like Strzok and Page feel they are "above" the law, like the Clintons. And as lawyers, it is THEY who interpret the law.

Problem is, we just don't know--nor appreciate--the good they do on our behalf. /s

Son of Loki -> lester1 , Dec 13, 2017 8:39 AM

Fuck "demoted."

Fire them and promptly arrest them!

Chupacabra-322 -> lester1 , Dec 13, 2017 8:42 AM

@ Lester,

They cannot. The Criminal Deep State & their Presstitute Criminal appendages will pull out the "Dictators" Scripted False Narrative / PsyOp.

They're eating their own. Trump is giving these Criminals just enough rope to hang themselves with under their own Hubris.

This is Death by one thousand paper cuts.

unplugged -> Chupacabra-322 , Dec 13, 2017 8:51 AM

dead-on bro

they are backing themselves into a corner for which there is no escape except confession and a lighter sentence

Trump is the chess master

the swamp truely is fucked

lovin' it !

Chupacabra-322 -> unplugged , Dec 13, 2017 9:29 AM

@ unplugged,

They're "going all in." Doesn't matter what Hand the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the Deep State & their cohorts have been dealt.

Win, stolen or lost. They were going & are going "all in" with the PsyOp, Scripted False Narrative of Russia hacking the Elections / Russia / Putin / Trump Propaganda gone full retard via the Deep States Opeatives in the Presstitute Media.

The misconception is that individuals believe we are dealing with normal, sane human beings. We're not. Far from it. What we are dealing with are sick, twisted, Pure Evil Criminal, Psychopathic, Satanic / Lucerferian elements from the CIA / Pentagram Temple of Set Scum literally making Hell on Earth.

What's at Stake is the Deep State Global network of MultiNational Central Banking, Espionage, Murder, War, Torture, Destabilization Campaigns, BlackMail, Extortion, Child / Human Trafficking, Drug / Gun Running, Money Laundering, Corruption, NSA spying, Media control & control of the 17 Intelligence Agencies.

Most importantly, The Deep State controls all the distribution lines of the aforementioned. Especially the Coaxial Cable Communication lines of Espionage spying & Surveillance State Apparatus / Infrastructure.
Agencies all built on the British Model of Intelligence. Purely Evil & Highly Compartmentalized Levels which function as a Step Pyramid Model of Authority / Monarch Reign Pyramid Model of Authority.

That's what's at Stake. How this plays out is anyone's guess. The Pure Evil Criminal Psychopath Rogue elements of the Deep State will not go quietly. If not dealt with now, they'll disappear only to resurface at a later date with one objective:

Total Complete Full Spectrum World Domination they seek through Power & Control.

It's those Select Highly Compartmentalized Criminal Pure Evil Rogue Elements at the Deep State Top that have had control since the JFK Execution that have entrenched themselves for decades & refuse to relinquish Control.

This impure evil has been running the world since the time of the Pharoahs, it's ancient Babylonian mysticism/paganism and it is nothing more than the worship of Lucifer; it has never died out, it just re-emerges as something far more wicked, vile and sinister. They are all the sons and daughters of satan and do what he does - kill, steal and destroy.

It would be Nieve to think that hundreds of thousands of years of control over mankind be simply turned over by the Criminal Pure Evil Psychopathic Elite.
The Deep State will always exist.

However, the Pure Evil Criminal Psychopathic Highly Compartmentalized Rogue Levels of it are being delt with. Which is what the World is witnessing.

Trogdor -> lester1 , Dec 13, 2017 1:17 PM

"President Trump needs to do mass firings at the corrupt FBI/DOJ"

Firings? Firings are for Starbucks employees who dip into the cash register. When people afforded this level of "trust" and responsibility show how deeply corrupt they are - in that they openly aid and abet horrific criminals (HRC et al) they need to go to JAIL. FOREVER. And their supervisors - who goddamn well knew what the fuck they were doing - need to be their cellmates.

The FBI and DOJ have lost ALL integrity, honor, and moral authority. At this point, if I saw an FBI agent on fire, I wouldn't piss on him to put him out.

Disgusting.

[Dec 13, 2017] Jared Kushner is wreaking havoc in the Middle East by Moustafa Bayoumi

While Israel is a US ally, violating UN resolutions by Trump is a dangerous and reckless game. Trump as geopolitical cowboy. One day the USA elite might regret their behaviour since 1991.
What is interesting is that the USA foreign policy is practically independent of who is elected as a Present. It has its own independence dynamics and string continuity. In a sense the President is just a figurehead. That said "Kushner is totally out of his depth and playing with fire. The damage done by the shambolic Trump maladministration will take years, if not decades, to repair. "
Notable quotes:
"... The 36-year-old is a Harvard graduate who seems to have a hard time filling in forms correctly . ..."
"... He is also said to have told Michael Flynn last December to call UN security council members to get a resolution condemning Israeli settlements quashed. Flynn called Russia. ..."
"... Days before bin Salman's unprecedented move, Kushner was with the crown prince in Riyadh on an unannounced trip. The men are reported to have stayed up late, planning strategy while swapping stories. We don't know what exactly the two were plotting, but Donald Trump later tweeted his "great confidence" in bin Salman. ..."
"... But the Kushner-bin Salman alliance moves far beyond Riyadh. The Saudis and Americans are now privately pushing a new "peace" deal to various Palestinian and Arab leaders that is more lop-sided toward Israel than ever before. ..."
"... Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian parliamentarian in the Israeli Knesset, explained the basic contours of the deal to the New York Times: no full statehood for Palestinians, only "moral sovereignty." Control over disconnected segments of the occupied territories only. No capital in East Jerusalem. No right of return for Palestinian refugees. ..."
"... But it's not just Israel, either. Yemen is on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster largely because the country is being blockaded by Saudi Arabia. Trump finally spoke out against the Saudi measure this week, but both the state department and the Pentagon are said to have been privately urging Saudi Arabia and the UAE to ease their campaign against Yemen (and Lebanon and Qatar) for some time and to little impact. Why? Because Saudi and Emirati officials believe they "have tacit approval from the White House for their hardline actions, in particular from Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner," journalist Laura Rozen reported . ..."
"... The Kushner-bin Salman alliance has particularly irked secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Kushner reportedly leaves the state department completely out of his Middle Eastern plans. Of special concern to Tillerson, according to Bloomberg News , is Kushner's talks with bin Salman regarding military action by Saudi Arabia against Qatar. The state department is worried of all the unforeseen consequences such a radical course of action would bring, including heightened conflict with Turkey and Russia and perhaps even a military response from Iran or an attack on Israel by Hezbollah ..."
"... What about the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia? That seat's also vacant. And the US ambassador to Jordan, Morocco, Egypt? Vacant, vacant, and vacant. What about assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, a chief strategic post to establish US policy in the region? No one's been nominated. Deputy assistant secretary for press and public diplomacy? Vacant ..."
"... It's partly this vacuum of leadership by Tillerson that has enabled Kushner to forge his powerful alliance with bin Salman, much to the detriment of the region. And in their zeal to isolate Iran, Kushner and bin Salman are leaving a wake of destruction around them. ..."
"... The war in Yemen is only intensifying. Qatar is closer to Iran than ever. A final status deal between Israel and the Palestinians seems all but impossible now. The Lebanese prime minister went back on his resignation. And the Saudi state must be paying the Ritz-Carlton a small fortune to jail key members of the ruling family over allegations of corruption. ..."
"... There's a long history of American politicians deciding they know what's best for the Middle East while buttressing their autocratic allies and at the expense of the region's ordinary people. ..."
"... The US has honestly broken many Palestinians into pieces. Where do you think all those fighter jets, tanks and gun boats come from ..."
"... In 1948 my father, who knew the Middle East well, said of the creation of Israel 'it will never work'. Of course, throwing thousands of people off their land is not the best way to create a peaceful country. And, while the Western guilt about the Holocaust furthered the creation of a homeland for the Jews, the plight of the Palestinians was completely neglected. ..."
"... The Trump administration has certainly increased tensions in the area...significantly. Much of this seems to have to do with challenging Iran's influence in the area. I suspect that is why Saudi Arabia and Trump are in cahoots. Saudi Arabia wants to be the new dominant country in the region and Iran is their main competitor. I expect a new war in the region against Qatar/Iran and Yemen. And we all know where Kushner will place his allegiance. ..."
"... The book Allies for Armageddon by Victoria Clark states that right-wing Israeli political groups exploit the Christian Fundamentalists in American into giving Israel their support and funding, as the latter believe Israel's full control of Jerusalem etc will bring forth the rapture. ..."
"... Good questions. Trump has declared that the department should be reduced significantly. The vacant posts are partly due to that and partly due to the fact that Tillerson has rejected most of the administration's recommendations because of their being political picks. ..."
"... Tillerson in the mean time seems to have barricaded himself behind a very few loyal lieutenants. He has not been able or interested in enabling or supporting the rest of the department ..."
"... Trump constantly ridicules Tillerson, privately and publicly and Tillerson called Trump a moron after a meeting in which Trump expressed his desire to increase our nuclear arsenal 10 times. ..."
"... Until the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital the US could at least pretend to be an honest peace broker in the ME/Palestine issue - they have now dropped even this. The Palestinians have always considered the US to be biased against their interests and pro-Israel and this confirms it, why should they listen to the people who want to achieve a Palestine State by peaceful means when they kicked in the teeth at every twist and turn? The militants have just gained a brigade of new volunteers and elsewhere Daesh/Isis will be rubbing their hands at this propaganda gift. ..."
"... Tillerson and co represent the continuation of the NeoCon doctrine of Cheney and Rumsfeld. Its foreign policy lead by oil and gas interests. Trump really is busy shoring up his constituency base for the future with tax cuts for old money and oligarchs, while the right wing christian brigade which is also seriously loaded (its big business) are of cause delighted with the Jerusalem embassy decision. It also helps an embattled Likud establishment which is under the kosh and faces huge challenges to get reelected. ..."
"... Standard Republican playbook: when things are going badly at home, pick a fight in the middle east. This was timed to distract from Deutsche Bank releasing Trump's financial records to Muller. Expect Trump to escalate as Muller closes in - my guess is he'll bomb Iran, but who knows... ..."
"... There is one benefit from Trump's decision. It is now fully clear that the USA is foursquare behind the Israelis and has always been so. Far from being and "honest broker" for peace they haveaccepted for 40 years any initiative the Israelis have made to ectend theor land area. ..."
"... Large parts of West Jerusalem were occupied by Zionist militias in 1948. Including the most expensive neighborhoods today, Qatamon, Talbiyeh, Baqa. All ethnically cleansed. The rest of the city was occupied by force in 1967. Jerusalem has been an Arab city for centuries, Muslim Jewish and Christian. European settlers have very little to do with it. ..."
"... Apart from all the other reasons for Kushner not having the leading role in the middle east, his financial support to settlers should automatically rule him out of any participation in brokering deals between Palestine and Israel. How can someone who is actively supporting illegal settlements have any semblance of being neutrality? However, in terms of the ethics of the Trump administration, it is simply business as usual. ..."
"... But what underlies all this is waning US and Saudi power in the region. They might burn the place down but they cannot remake it. The Saudis have devastated Yemen, killed thousands of children, and overseen a cholera epidemic. And still they can't defeat the Houthis. Their proxies have been routed in Syria and Iraq. The Qatar blockade has failed. So has the gambit to reshape Lebanon. ..."
"... Kushner is a toady duplicitous operator no doubt, but the whole American Israeli Saudi vision for the region is a nightmare that has no chance of success. ..."
"... Trump's announcement in recognising Jerusalem as Israeli capital shows his cunning strategic genius. It has united the governments of the Muslim Middle East in coming together and made it more unlikely that Saudi Arabia could align with Israel in triggering a wider conflict with Iran without incurring huge public disapproval within the country. ..."
"... The Guardian also ran an overly-reverential article about the Saudi crown prince a while back. It's worrying that they and the Americans are doing all of this with hardly a murmur of disapproval. Where's the UN resolution and sanctions? Where's the sanctions from the EU? America will veto everything at the UN and the EU mostly does what America wants it to do. Shows how useless the major organisations really are. I used to think that the EU was a good counter to American power, but they seem to have joined forces with the US recently, which is worrying when you have an unpredictable American president like Trump. ..."
"... Kushner is totally out of his depth and playing with fire. The damage done by the shambolic Trump maladministration will take years, if not decades, to repair. ..."
"... He wanted to tick off a box on his lunatic list of campaign pledges before Christmas. Consequences schmonsequences. I think he's also a willing tool of the end of times, rapture crazy Christian fundamentalists. ..."
"... I assume the announcement that the US now recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was more to do with Trump attempting to deflect interest away from Mueller now that he, his family and other chums in the administration are coming under financial scrutiny by the inquiry. At a stroke its certainly made Kushner's job in the Middle East much-harder if not impossible and surely makes him a target for every disaffected Palestinian. ..."
Dec 13, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

he entire Middle East, from Palestine to Yemen, appears set to burst into flames after this week. The region was already teetering on the edge, but recent events have only made things worse. And while the mayhem should be apparent to any casual observer, what's less obvious is Jared Kushner's role in the chaos.

Kushner is, of course, the US president's senior advisor and son-in-law. The 36-year-old is a Harvard graduate who seems to have a hard time filling in forms correctly .

He repeatedly failed to mention his meetings with foreign officials on his security clearance and neglected to report to US government officials that he was co-director of a foundation that raised money for Israeli settlements, considered illegal under international law. (He is also said to have told Michael Flynn last December to call UN security council members to get a resolution condemning Israeli settlements quashed. Flynn called Russia.)

In his role as the president's special advisor, Kushner seems to have decided he can remake the entire Middle East, and he is wreaking his havoc with his new best friend, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old who burst on to the international scene by jailing many members of his country's ruling elite, including from his own family, on corruption charges.

Days before bin Salman's unprecedented move, Kushner was with the crown prince in Riyadh on an unannounced trip. The men are reported to have stayed up late, planning strategy while swapping stories. We don't know what exactly the two were plotting, but Donald Trump later tweeted his "great confidence" in bin Salman.

But the Kushner-bin Salman alliance moves far beyond Riyadh. The Saudis and Americans are now privately pushing a new "peace" deal to various Palestinian and Arab leaders that is more lop-sided toward Israel than ever before.

Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian parliamentarian in the Israeli Knesset, explained the basic contours of the deal to the New York Times: no full statehood for Palestinians, only "moral sovereignty." Control over disconnected segments of the occupied territories only. No capital in East Jerusalem. No right of return for Palestinian refugees.

This is, of course, not a deal at all. It's an insult to the Palestinian people. Another Arab official cited in the Times story explained that the proposal came from someone lacking experience but attempting to flatter the family of the American pre