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The Pentagon and the CIA Are in Charge

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | September 7, 2018

Yesterday, President Trump, yielding to the overwhelming power of the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA, announced that he has decided to keep U.S. troops in Syria indefinitely, thereby abandoning his intention announced last March to instead bring U.S. troops in Syria home. Of course, keeping the troops in Syria has been the position that the U.S. national security establishment has been demanding of Trump since the beginning of his presidency, especially since that increases the risk of confrontation with Russia, the decades-old enemy and rival of the U.S. national-security establishment.

What business does the U.S. government have in Syria? None. Just as it has no business in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Vietnam, Korea, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, and countless others. But that is what life is like under a governmental structure in which the military-intelligence establishment is in control. It calls the shots. Everyone else — the president, the Congress, the judiciary, and the American people — are expected to yield to its overwhelming power within the federal governmental structure and within American society.

It’s worth recalling that the American people in the late 1700s were ardently opposed to large, permanent military establishments. That’s why the Constitution instead called into existence a type of government known as a limited-government republic, one whose powers are few and limited.

That all came to a screeching halt after World War II, when Americans began living under a totally different type of governmental structure, one that is known as a national-security state. It is characterized by a massive, permanent, ever-growing military establishment, CIA, NSA, and a national police force known as the FBI, all of whose powers together are vast and unlimited, including the power of the government to assassinate its own people.

Why didn’t our American ancestors favor a national-security state instead of a limited-government republic? Because they knew that the military-intelligence component of the government would inevitably end up controlling and running the government and that the other parts of the government would inevitably yield to its overwhelming power. More important, they knew that that a government founded on a massive military-intelligence foundation would inevitably end up destroying their freedom, privacy, and well-being.

A book I highly recommend is National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon, professor of law at Tufts University. Glennon gets it, and he sets it forth perfectly in his book. The national-security establishment — or what many today are calling the deep state — is in charge of the federal government. As long as the other three branches understand that it’s calling the shots, it permits the other three branches to maintain the appearance of being in control. But as Glennon shows so well, it’s all just a façade. It’s the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA who are ultimately calling the shots, like with respect to Syria.

In fact, the South Korean people are also discovering this phenomenon in their country. In their attempt to arrive at a peaceful and satisfactory resolution of the civil war that has besieged Korea since 1950, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s president Kim Jong-un have been negotiating. In the process, they have agreed to work together to run a train between the two countries. The tracks were laid long ago and train stations along the way were built long ago. Now, it’s just a logistical problem of getting the train running between the two nations.

But it’s not going to happen. Why not? For the same reason that Trump isn’t going to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Because the Pentagon said no to South Korea, just as it said no to Trump. Here is how yesterday’s New York Times reported the matter: “Last month, American military commanders in Seoul stopped South Korea’s plan to send a train across the inter-Korean border and run it on a North Korean railway, to test the rails’ condition.”

What? Who’s in charge of the country — the South Korean government or the U.S. military? The answer is obvious: The U.S. military is in charge, just as it is here in the United States. Like President Trump, South Korean President Kim yielded to the orders and commands of his superiors in the U.S. national-security establishment. That’s why that train between South and North Korea isn’t running.

Look at the extent to which the U.S. national-security establishment has extended its tentacles throughout the federal bureaucracy. A general, not a civilian, is Secretary of Defense. A CIA Director is made Secretary of State. A general is White House chief of staff. An FBI director is appointed Special Counsel to target Trump with removal for befriending Russia. CIA assets in Congress, the mainstream press, and who knows where else. A large number of military and CIA veterans running for Congress. A vast number of cities and states fearfully dependent on military bases and projects.

President Eisenhower warned the American people of the danger of converting the federal government to a national-security state, which he called the military-industrial complex. He said that this new, radically different governmental structure posed a grave threat to the freedoms and democratic processes of the American people. But he did nothing about it except issue a warning.

The only president to ever take on the national-security establishment has been John F. Kennedy. He took them on directly, firmly, and unequivocally. Kennedy threw the gauntlet down on their militarist, imperialist, anti-communist, anti-Russia vision for the future of America. The result was an all-out war between Kennedy and the Pentagon and the CIA, a war that did not end up well for either Kennedy or the American people. (See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne and also my current video-podcast series on the JFK assassination.)

While there are some who thought that Trump was going to walk in the footsteps of President Kennedy and stand up to the national-security establishment, including bringing the troops home from the forever wars in which the Pentagon and the CIA have embroiled our nation, alas, it is not to be, as reflected by Trump’s buckling under to the national-security establishment with respect to Syria and even moving in an anti-Russia direction with his imposition of economic sanctions on Russia.

Responding to the Pentagon’s decision to prevent South Korea from running its train into North Korea, North Korea’s main state-run newspaper summed it up best. Pointing out that the United States was obstructing better relations between North and South Korea, the paper correctly described it a “dim and twisted” attitude. The paper continued: “The U.S. must realize that the more the inter-Korean relations improve, the better it will be for the U.S.” The problem, however, is that it would not be better for the U.S. national-security establishment, which necessarily depends on perpetual crises to sustain its ever-growing, taxpayer-funded largess, including those crises that it itself incites.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Iran, Russia can cooperate to contain US: Ayatollah Khamenei

Press TV – September 7, 2018

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the developments in Syria and the US defeat in the Arab country show that Washington can be contained.

The Leader made the remarks in a Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who traveled to Tehran to participate in a key trilateral summit on Syria, hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and also attended by Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Cooperation between Iran and Russia on the Syrian issue is a prominent example and a very good experience of bilateral cooperation,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the two countries can expand cooperation on global issues, saying, “One of the cases that the two sides can cooperate with each other is to contain the US, because it is a danger to humanity and it is possible to contain it.”

The Leader stated that the Americans suffered a real defeat in Syria and failed to achieve their goals.

Ayatollah Khamenei also said sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Russia and Turkey are a very strong common ground for strengthening cooperation, and urged Tehran and Moscow to develop political and economic relations and follow up on the agreements of the summit in Tehran.

The Leader stressed the importance of pursuing non-dollar transactions in trade.

Europeans did not fulfill JCPOA commitments: Ayatollah Khamenei

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran has so far remained committed to a multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

“But the Europeans did not carry out their duties, and it is not acceptable that we completely fulfill our commitments within the JCPOA while they don’t,” the Leader pointed out.

The Leader praised the Russian president’s approach to the nuclear deal, adding that the Islamic Republic would adopt a stance on the JCPOA which would meet its national interests.

Although the US now raises Iran’s missile program and regional developments, their problem with the Islamic Republic relates to issues beyond them, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader added that the US has been seeking to topple the Islamic Republic over the past 40 years, but Iran has managed to make substantial advancements during this period.

“The resistance of the Islamic Republic and its advances are another successful example that the US can be contained,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader also pointed to the deplorable situation of the Yemeni people and their killing at the hands of Saudi Arabia, adding, “The Saudis will definitely fail to achieve a result in Yemen and will not be able to bring the resilient Yemeni people to their knees.”

During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, the Russian president said he held very fruitful and good negotiations with President Rouhani on mutual issues of interest, including the situation in Syria.

Iran and Russia discussed the expansion of relations in all fields, particularly in the economic and trade sectors, Putin added.

He said the US is putting obstacles, including banking restrictions, in the way of the development of Tehran-Moscow relations, and added that Washington is making a strategic mistake by limiting financial transactions.

The Russian president expressed regret that the remaining sides to the JCPOA failed to fulfill their commitments under the deal after the US withdrawal.

He said although the Europeans announce that they are seeking ways to keep the nuclear accord alive, they are following the US due to their dependence on Washington.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Britain Should Be in the Dock Over Skripal Saga, Not Russia

Strategic Culture Foundation | 07.09.2018

The latest announcement by British authorities of two named Russian suspects in connection with the alleged poison assassination of a former Russian spy and his daughter is more absurd drama in a long-running tawdry saga.

No verifiable evidence is ever presented, just more lurid innuendo and more refusal by the British authorities to abide by any due process and international norms of diplomacy. It is all scurrilous sound and fury aimed at smearing Russia.

This week, Britain’s Metropolitan Police released video shots of two alleged Russian men purporting to show them arriving at London’s Gatwick airport on March 2. Other video shots purport to show the same men walking the streets of Salisbury on March 3, the day before former Russian Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were apparently stricken with a powerful nerve agent. The two would-be assassins then allegedly flew back to Moscow from London late on March 4.

One preposterous claim, among several by the British authorities, is that traces of the putative nerve poison Novichok were found in the London hotel room where the alleged Kremlin agents stayed. The incompetence of the two supposed super assassins beggars belief. More realistically clumsy, however, is the attempt by the British to lay an incriminating trail.

The day after the Met police announcement implicating the two Russian culprits, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May stood up in front of her parliament and claimed that the two individuals were members of Russian military intelligence, the GRU. Another British minister, Ben Wallace, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having personal responsibility for ordering the alleged assassination plot.

Then on Thursday Britain summoned the United Nations Security Council to hash over the lurid claims against Russia without providing any further substantiating details to back up the sensational accusations.

This is nothing other than more trial-by-media, a process of railroading allegations against Russia, not on any basis of legal due process, but simply by bluster and prejudice. The credulous British news media play a dutiful secondary role in giving the claims a semblance of credibility, instead of asking the gaping questions that are warranted.

As Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s envoy to the UN, remarked, the whole aim of the British claims is to whip up more international anti-Russia frenzy and hysteria. No sooner had Britain unleashed its latest allegations, a joint statement was released by the United States, Canada, Germany and France supporting the British claims.

Britain is now calling for more punitive sanctions against Moscow just as it had triggered earlier this year when the Skripals apparently fell ill on a park bench in the southern English town of Salisbury. Some 28 countries have expelled Russian diplomats over those earlier and as-yet unfounded claims. More expulsions can thus be expected, with the intended effect of framing Russia as a pariah state.

The timing of this week’s twist in the Skripal saga seems pertinent. The US, Britain and France are threatening to launch military strikes on Syria just as the Syrian army and its Russian ally move to defeat the last-remaining stronghold of NATO-backed terror groups in that country, potentially bringing an end to the Western-backed criminal war for regime change against the Assad government in Damascus.

Last month, too, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel held a productive, cordial summit with President Putin near Berlin, where the two leaders appeared to solidify a rapprochement over a crucial energy project between Russia the European Union.

The British government is also teetering on political implosion from the Brexit debacle and growing public contempt.

As Russia’s UN envoy Nebenzia further pointed out, how is it possible that the British prime minister can make the categorical claim that the two alleged Russian men in the video shots released this week are members of the GRU? Typically, she made the claim without providing any substantiating information.

This was the same kind of plucking from thin air that Theresa May performed only days after the Skripals were apparently poisoned in Salisbury on March 4. Again, back then, May stood in front of parliament and dramatically accused Russia of a state-sponsored assassination attempt. The British authorities have cast, and continue to cast, a verdict without any legal case. That verdict relies entirely on Russophobia and prejudice of Russian malfeasance.

Former British ambassador Craig Murray and other astute observers have noted that the latest video shots released by Britain’s counter-terrorism police are highly questionable. The images could have been easily fabricated with modern digital methods. They are not evidence of anything. Yet, suspiciously, the British authorities are in unseemly haste to make their sensational charges of Russian state culpability.

Moscow has condemned the reprehensible rhetoric used by the British prime minister and senior members of her cabinet in throwing grave allegations against the Russian leadership. Britain’s trashing of diplomatic norms is deplorable, befitting a rogue state that is itching for conflict.

The fact is that the British have spurned any normal legal attempt by Russia to access the supposed investigation in order to ascertain the nature of the alleged information incriminating Moscow. If Britain had a case, then why doesn’t it permit an independent assessment? Russia is being denigrated with foul accusations, and yet Moscow is denied the right to defend itself by being able to ascertain the information. The British technique is that of an inquisition making a mockery of legal standards.

Another salient fact is that the whereabouts of the Skripals is not known – six months after the alleged poisoning incident. Russia has been repeatedly denied consular contact with one of its citizens, Yulia Skripal, whose bizarre one-off appearance in a video, released by the British authorities three months ago, conveyed her wish to return to her homeland of Russia. Britain is violating the legal principle of habeas corpus.

Far from any evidence implicating Russia in a crime, the evidence so far points to the British authorities illegally detaining the Skripals for propaganda purpose. That nefarious purpose is clear: to demonize and delegitimize Russia as a sovereign state.

The Skripal saga and official British clowning around would be laughable if the consequences for international relations were not so dire.

The British authorities should be the ones in the dock, not Russia, to answer a case of forced abduction and incitement of international conflict.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Labour PM spearheading anti-Corbyn campaign faces deselection by local members

MEMO | September 7, 2018

Labour members have voted to oust the MP spearheading a campaign against the party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Enfield North PM Joan Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, lost the vote 95 to 92 yesterday and is likely to face deselection before the next election.

Labour members moved to remove Ryan due to her activities over the past few years, which they say have undermined the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn. Ryan has denounced Corbyn on several occasions while leading a very public campaign against him.

Writing for the Jewish Chronicle she said that Corbyn “appalled” her and his “behaviour” will get no better. Her article was viewed by many as a call to remove Corbyn as the Labour leader.

Ryan’s role as chair of Labour Friends of Israel has also brought her into conflict with her constituents. She was exposed in an undercover documentary by Al Jazeera of working with the Israeli embassy. She was seen falsely accusing another Labour member and a pro-Palestinian activist of being anti-Semitic.

Complaints raised against her in the Labour party disciplinary procedure said: “We believe our MP[Joan Ryan] has acted against decency, fairness and natural justice.” The motion was made in relation to Ryan’s false allegations against the pro-Palestinian activist.

Ryan’s false statement was caught on video and the whole incident was captured on camera by an undercover reporter working for Al Jazeera, and broadcast in the film “The Lobby” last year.

Ryan reacted to the no confidence vote with abusive comments directed at Labour members that had helped campaign for her and get her elected.

Her comments were widely criticised: “So you lost a vote and you use abusive terms to label those who no longer support you. I bet you didn’t have such contempt for members when they went out to get you re-elected. Genuine Labour members voted against you. Respect democracy” wrote one of Ryan’s followers on Twitter.

Ryan said she will not be resigning: “I am Labour through and through and I will continue to stand up and fight for Labour values” she said on Twitter.

Labour MP Gavin Shuker also revealed that he had lost a no confidence vote in his Luton constituency.

Read also:

BBC accused of lying in its anti-Corbyn campaign

Labour bows to pressure and adopts controversial code on anti-Semitism

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel bars Ahed Tamimi and her family from traveling abroad

Palestine Information Center – September 7, 2018

RAMALLAH – Israel has banned Ahed al-Tamimi, a Palestinian resistance icon, and her family from traveling abroad, her father said.

Basim al-Tamimi told Anadolu news agency that he and his family had planned to travel to Europe through Jordan in order to participate in some pro-Palestine events, but they were informed by the Palestinian authorities that Israel had banned them from traveling abroad.

They planned to leave Friday morning, he said, adding the Palestinian authorities did not provide a reason for the Israeli ban.

On July 29, the Israeli authorities released Ahed al-Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, after both had spent eight months behind bars.

The 17-year-old was arrested last December and was later sentenced to eight months in jail for slapping an Israeli soldier.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Deep State Refines Hit Job on Trump

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 07.09.2018

If this week’s media broadside on Trump were a Deep State hit job, then this is how it would proceed. First, an award-winning journalist of Bob Woodward’s august reputation publishes a searing book seemingly substantiating long-held accusations of “dysfunction” in the White House.

Then the next day to consolidate the book’s lurid claims, the New York Times, America’s so-called “paper of record” publishes an oped allegedly by an administration insider essentially “confirming” Woodward’s tell-all account.

What’s more, the sense of paranoia within the Trump administration will now be ratcheted up to levels which make normal staff working and communications almost paralyzed. It’s a perfect psy-ops to explode chaos and mistrust among Trump’s inner circle.

But who really is Bob Woodward? He is famed as one of the Washington Post reporters who exposed the Watergate affair in 1974 which forced then President Richard Nixon to quit office in ignominy. The exposé of Nixon’s wiretapping on Democrat rivals is commonly seen as the high-point of American journalism, and thus Woodward as a paragon of journalistic integrity.

But as Russ Baker contends in his groundbreaking book, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Watergate and Nixon affair is not all that it seems. And neither is Woodward. There is credible evidence that the American Deep State of the military-intelligence apparatus used the Watergate scandal as a way to get rid of Nixon whose febrile mental state was becoming a concern to them. Woodward, who had a background in Navy intelligence was suspiciously a prodigy journalist who rapidly rose to cover what became the scandal that ended Nixon’s presidency.

Woodward’s newly published book on the Trump White House makes a damning case of a president who is allegedly despised and feared by his inner circle. It claims that staff have engineered an “administrative coup” against Trump, preventing him from taking key decisions, and generally portraying him as a farcical figure. The book seeds the concept among the public of a necessary coup against Trump.

This is where Woodward’s prestigious Watergate reputation comes into play. His role in that affair as a supposed champion of truth and of holding power to account is then invoked to give the seal of accuracy to his book on Trump. If Woodward says the president is a basket case, then it must be so, so goes the anticipated general public reaction.

In order to drive the message home, the New York Times follows up with an oped claiming to be written by an anonymous official within the Trump administration who “confirms” what Woodward’s book is claiming.

When the Woodward book came out, there were staunch rebuttals of its claims from senior White House officials. In particular the Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was supposedly one of Woodward’s main sources, saying that Trump was an idiot who wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Mattis dismissed the book and its author as having a “rich imagination”. There were also similar putdowns from Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly and his ambassador the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Trump himself scorned Woodward’s book, ‘Fear’, as a shoddy “work of fiction”. Thanks to the publicity, the title has become a “best-seller” within days of being published.

The pushback from the Trump White House was of course to be expected, given the claims from such an imminent journalist. That’s why the New York Times oped is a crucial capping on the claims, especially since the oped is supposedly written by a senior administration official.

The New York Times says it knows the name of the official who wrote the piece. But it is not disclosing his or her identity, as the supposed author requests.

The public therefore can’t know the authenticity of the oped. Was it really written by a Trump administration senior official? Or some low-level staff? Or maybe not even an actual member of staff? The author of the oped claims: “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

But the main purpose is the sowing of grave doubt in the public mind and among Trump’s senior staff at the White House. The oped appears to confirm the claims made by Woodward about a dysfunctional president who is being handled by staff working in “resistance” to his “impetuousness” for the “safety of America”. It also goes further by saying that the dysfunction ultimately stems from Trump’s “immorality”.

Ultimately, it is virtually impossible to prove the veracity of Woodward’s book and the subsequent “confirmatory” article in the New York Times. Woodward’s book has been denied by supposedly “key sources”. The authenticity of the author of the New York Times oped is a matter of trust in that newspaper’s editors. The so-called paper of record has lately been a massive purveyor of baseless scare stories slandering Russia. For many critics it is not a reliable nor ethical source, as is claimed.

But the point is that a gravely damaging impact has been inflicted on the Trump presidency. His ability to rebuff critics with his customary braggadocio of slamming “fake news” appears this time to be mortally wounded.

This is not meant to be a defense of the Trump administration nor of this president. Trump’s White House certainly appears to be an unorthodox place, as indicated by the high turnover of senior staff over the past two years since his election.

Trump’s personality certainly comes across as impetuous and petty. His personal also life seems tainted with deceit and lewd scandals.

Nevertheless he is the president that Americans voted for. And so far, he has not done anything out of the ordinary for American presidents. He is the usual run-of-the-mill guardian of big business and the oligarch system of enriching the super wealthy. Trump, like most [?] of his predecessors, should also be prosecuted for war crimes over his bombing of Syria and Yemen. But all those misdemeanors and crimes are par for the course for US presidents.

The one thing that Trump has done out of the ordinary, as far as the Deep State opponents are concerned, is his refusal so far to ramp up aggression with Russia. That has always been the unacceptable problem with Trump as president for the unelected imperial planners of the Deep State.

The so-called “Russiagate” charade has failed to oust Trump due to its embarrassing dearth of evidence on alleged collusion with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The wider American public have simply not bought into that drama which has been concocted by political and media elites to nix Trump.

Given the futility of those efforts, the Deep State may have now found at last the effective instrument with which to eliminate Trump from the White House. You enlist a “star journalist” with yesteryear’s Deep State operative experience, get the supposed paper of record to quickly “confirm” the salacious details, and then wait for the desired “administrative coup” to become a popularly demanded reality.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

The New York Times as Iago

Undermining Peace Efforts by Sowing Suspicion

By Diana Johnstone • Unz Review • September 7, 2018

The New York Times continues to outdo itself in the production of fake news. There is no more reliable source of fake news than the intelligence services, which regularly provide their pet outlets (NYT and WaPo ) with sensational stories that are as unverifiable as their sources are anonymous. A prize example was the August 24 report that US intelligence agencies don’t know anything about Russia’s plans to mess up our November elections because “informants close to … Putin and in the Kremlin” aren’t saying anything. Not knowing anything about something for which there is no evidence is a rare scoop.

A story like that is not designed to “inform the public” since there is no information in it. It has other purposes: to keep the “Russia is undermining our democracy” story on front pages, with the extra twist in this case of trying to make Putin distrustful of his entourage. The Russian president is supposed to wonder, who are those informants in my entourage?

But that was nothing compared to the whopper produced by the “newpaper of record” on September 5. (By the way, the “record” is stuck in the same groove: Trump bad, Putin bad – bad bad bad.) This was the sensational oped headlined “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, signed by nobody.

The letter by Mister or Ms Anonymous is very well written. By someone like, say, Thomas Friedman. That is, someone on the NYT staff. It is very cleverly composed to achieve quite obvious calculated aims. It is a masterpiece of treacherous deception.

The fictional author presents itself as a right-wing conservative shocked by Trump’s “amorality” – a category that outside the Washington swamp might include betraying the trust of one’s superior.

This anonymous enemy of amorality claims to approve of all the most extreme right-wing measures of the Trump administration as “bright spots”: deregulation, tax reform, a more robust military, “and more” – cleverly omitting mention of Trump’s immigration policy which could unduly shock the New York Times’ liberal readers. The late Senator John McCain, the model of bipartisan bellicosity, is cited as the example to follow.

The “resistance” proclaimed is solely against the facets of Trump’s foreign policy which White House insiders are said to be working diligently to undermine: peaceful relations with Russian and North Korea. Trump’s desire to avoid war is transformed into “a preference for autocrats and dictators”. (Trump gets no credit for his warlike rhetoric against Iran and close relations with Netanyahu, even though they must please Anonymous.)

The purpose of this is stunningly obvious. The New York Times has already done yeoman service in rounding up liberal Democrats and left-leaning independents in the anti-Trump lynch mob. But now the ploy is to rally conservative Republicans to the same cause of overthrowing the elected President. The letter amounts to an endorsement of future President Pence. Just get rid of Trump and you’ll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President.

The Democrats may not like Pence, but they are so demented by hatred of Trump that they are visibly ready to accept the Devil himself to get rid of the sinister clown who dared defeat Hillary Clinton. Down with democracy; the votes of deplorables shouldn’t count.

That is treacherous enough, but even more despicable is the insidious design to destabilize the presidency by sowing distrust. Speaking of Trump, Mr and/or Ms Anonymous declare: “The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp – is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” (meaning peace with Russia).

This is the Iago ploy. Shakespeare’s villain destroyed Othello by causing him to distrust those closest to him, his wife and closest associates. Like Trump in Washington, Othello, the “Moor” of Venice, was an outsider, that much easier to deceive and betray.

The New York Times is playing Iago, whispering that Putin in the Kremlin is surrounded by secret “informants”, and that Trump in the White House is surrounded by people systematically undermining his presidency. Putin is not likely to be impressed, but the trick might work with Trump, who is truly the target of open and covert enemies and whose position is much more insecure. There is certainly some undermining going on.

Was the New York Times oped written by the paper’s own writers or by the CIA? It hardly matters since they are so closely entwined.

No trick is too low for those who consider Trump an intolerable intruder on THEIR power territory. The New York Times “news” that Trump is surrounded by traitors is taken up by other media who indirectly confirm the story by speculating on “who is it?” The Boston Globe (among others) eagerly rushed in, asking:

“So who’s the author of the op-ed? It’s a question that has many people poking through the text, looking for clues. Meanwhile, the denials have come thick and fast. Here’s a brief look at some of the highest-level officials in the administration who might have a motive to write the letter.”

Isn’t it obvious that all this is designed to make Trump distrust everyone around him? Isn’t that a way to drive him toward that “crazy” where they say he already is, and which is fallback grounds for impeachment when the Mueller investigation fails to come up with anything more serious than the fact that Russian intelligent agents are intelligent agents?

The White House insider (or insiders, or whatever) use terms like “erratic behavior” and “instability” to contribute to the “Trump is insane” narrative. Insanity is the alternative pretext to the Mueller wild goose chase for divesting Trump of the powers of the presidency. If Trump responds by accusing the traitors of being traitors, that will be final proof of his mental instability. The oped claims to provide evidence that Trump is being betrayed, but if he says so, that will be taken as a sign of mental derangement. To save our exemplary democracy from itself, the elected president must be thrown out.

The military-industrial-congressional-deep state-media complex is holding its breath to breathe that great sigh of relief. The intruder is gone. Hurrah! Now we can go right on teaching the public to hate and fear the Russian enemy, so that arms contracts continue to blossom and NATO builds up its aggressive forces around Russia in hopes that this may frighten the Russians into dumping Putin in favor of a new Boris Yeltsin, ready to let the United States pursue the Clintonian plan of breaking up the Russian Federation into pieces, like the former Yugoslavia, in order to take them over one by one, with all their great natural resources.

And when this fails, as it has been failing, and will continue to fail, the United States has all those brand new first strike nuclear weapons being stationed in European NATO countries, aimed at the Kremlin. And the Russian military are not just sitting there with their own nuclear weapons, waiting to be wiped out. When nobody, not even the President of the United States, has the right to meet and talk with Russian leaders, there is only one remaining form of exchange. When dialogue is impossible, all that is left is force and violence. That is what is being promoted by the most influential media in the United States.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 4 Comments

Does Twitter really care about pluralism and free speech? Let’s follow the money

RT | September 7, 2018

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has vigorously defended his platform as a place for free speech and political pluralism, but there’s one easy way to determine how much he really cares about all of that: Look at who Twitter gives money to.

In testimony to the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Dorsey proudly reminded senators that Twitter had last year banned advertising from RT and Sputnik. Then, presumably as some kind of gesture of apology, he said Twitter donated $1.9 million generated from RT and Sputnik advertising to “research” and “civil society” platforms working to counter Russian influence online.

When Twitter first announced that decision in October 2017, it said it was part of its “ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience” and admitted that it had made the decision in light of a US intelligence community report that concluded that Russia “attempted to interfere” with the 2016 presidential election. That report was widely panned as being extremely light on evidence, even by journalists who are generally highly critical of Moscow.

To put it simply, Dorsey admitted banning RT from advertising on its platform and then handing the money generated from previous advertising over to US government-funded think tanks. This kind of capitulation suggests that Dorsey believes free speech and pluralism is limited to how he treats Americans of different political persuasions on his platform, but not how he treats everyone else.

When Dorsey talks about giving everyone a fair shake on Twitter and ensuring that political bias does not get in the way of how Twitter functions, he seems to only ever be talking about the “health” of the debate and conversation when it comes to American political discourse — but not everyone using Twitter is an American politic worried about being “shadowbanned”.

In other words, he’s implying that while all American individuals should indeed be treated fairly, more broadly speaking, it’s totally fine to be openly and proudly biased in favor of American foreign policy, despite the fact that Twitter is supposed to be a global platform. Twitter is a tool of the US government in much the same way Facebook is. So let’s look at those organizations Dorsey has given money to:

The Atlantic Council

To see that Twitter has offered money to none other than the Atlantic Council to help “research” flimsy claims of election interference by Russia should immediately set off alarm bells.

The Atlantic Council has become widely regarded outside of Washington political and media circles as a vehicle for Western foreign policy promotion and propaganda. The Washington DC-based think tank is funded by a slew of American weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The Atlantic Council is also funded by both the US government and a number of other NATO countries through various government agencies. Facebook is also a donor.

Unsurprisingly, given its donors list, the AC has lobbied consistently in favor of US military interventions around the world and has taken an almost exclusively negative view of Russia in international affairs. Is this think tank, funded by NATO governments and weapons makers really the kind of organization that can be trusted to fairly assess claims of Russian interference in American elections?

EU Disinfolab

Similar to the Atlantic Council, the Brussels-based EU Disinfolab has focused a huge amount of its attention on countering Russia online in recent years. Its stated mission is to “fight disinformation with innovative methodology” — but it certainly does not focus its attention evenly when it comes to fighting disinformation.

Disinfolab has drawn much criticism last month when it attempted to brand French Twitter users posting about a national scandal involving President Emmanuel Macron’s former bodyguard as “Russophiles” who were part of the “Russian disinformation system”. More of Twitter’s “research” money well spent?

Disinfo lab is also partnered with the Brussels-based European Values think tank which made headlines last year when it published a list of 2,327 people who had appeared as guests on RT, branding them all “useful idiots”  for their appearances on the channel. Included on the list were the likes of journalist Bob Woodward, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, actors Denzel Washington and Pierce Brosnan and the late Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

Partners in fight against US ‘adversaries’, rather than ‘neutral arbiters’?

If any more evidence was needed that Twitter happily acts as a vehicle for US government propaganda, the Senate hearing on Wednesday provided it in abundance. When Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arizona) asked Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, who was also present to give testimony on behalf of Facebook, if they would ever take any kind of action that would favor or “privilege” a “hostile foreign power” over the United States or its military, both Dorsey and Sandberg said no, they would not. It was only when Cotton asked “Do you prefer to see America remain the world’s dominant global superpower?” that Dorsey declined to answer directly, offering: “I prefer that we continue to help everywhere we serve.”

Cotton later suggested to Dorsey and Sandberg that Facebook and Twitter should be actively working on behalf of the US government and not acting as “even handed or neutral arbiters”.

The subdued responses from Sandberg and Dorsey to Cotton’s questions, clearly both afraid to say anything that would suggest their platforms are not there to serve US government interests, seemed to suggest that they have little interest in challenging the assumption that their job is to work on behalf of the White House against “bad actors” around the world.

During the hearing Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) told Sandberg and Dorsey that while they had come a “long way” in recognizing the threat posed by Russia’s “malicious activities” on their platforms, there was still “a lot of work to do”. Warner said it was unlikely that Facebook and Twitter could combat Russia alone without some action from Congress itself, declaring that the “era of the wild west in social media is coming to an end”.

It looks like when it comes to censorship and US government influence over social media platforms, this is just the beginning.

Read more:

Twitter permanently bans Alex Jones and Infowars for ‘abusive behavior’

Zuckerberg admits social media is a weapon, says Facebook in ‘arms race’ against ‘bad actors’

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Russian senator slams proposed blacklisting of RT & Sputnik in France

RT | September 6, 2018

A report authored by two government-linked think tanks that calls on the authorities to deny accreditation to RT and Sputnik reveals the West’s fear of the freedom of speech, a Russian senator has argued.

The Institute for Strategic Research of the French Defense Ministry (IRSEM) and The Centre for Analysis, Planning and Strategy (CAPS), linked to the French Foreign Ministry, issued on Wednesday a joint paper on the spread of disinformation and how to combat it.

The report urges the French government to “name and isolate” news outlets that are deemed “foreign propaganda organs.” Citing comments by President Emmanuel Macron, who accused RT and Sputnik of acting as “bodies for influence and false propaganda,” the report advises: “It is necessary not to grant [these organizations] accreditation and not to invite them to press conferences for journalists.”

Responding to the paper’s remarkable recommendations, Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Upper House Committee for International Relations, noted that perhaps France has forgotten what free press looks like.

“After all, this is now a general trend in the West: Democracies proud of their freedom of speech have started to become seriously afraid of it. Decades of the unanimous mainstream seem to have relaxed both journalists and their audience, who are simply not ready for real competition of opinions (and it’s about opinions, not facts – because ‘highly likely’ in a normal situation is not considered to be ‘a fact’),” Kosachev wrote on his official Facebook page.

The report also offers a helpful list of ways to detect and counter information “threats” posed by undesirable communities. But weeding out dissent seems more suited for an authoritarian state, Kosachev reminded.

“Apparently, this is what we are talking about: they need to promote the ‘only true’ point of view at any cost (the European Commission even suggested introducing media literacy courses in schools – evidently to start to scare children with terrible RT and Sputnik), and to simplify the task they resort to the beloved instrument of authoritarian states – prohibitions on dissenting media. Somewhere we have already seen all this … Is this the ‘European USSR’?”

Moscow has already pledged to respond if the proposed blacklist was put into effect. Andrey Klimov, the head of the Federation Council’s Commission for State Sovereignty Protection, warned that targeting RT and Sputnik would likely affect “sensitive” spheres within Russian-French relations. However, he emphasized that he hoped that common sense will prevail.

The latest French report also foresaw possible questions that may come to one’s mind – what about mainstream media? The paper accepts that any media can freely defend its point of view and even admits that Al-Jazeera, CNN, BBC or France 24 contribute to the influence of Qatar, the US, the UK and France, respectively. However, it argues, that there is “benign misinformation” and that false information is not in itself problematic. The attention should focus on those “that have a negative effect or at least a hostile intent,” the paper said.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | | Leave a comment