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Defence Ministry Dismisses NYT Report on Russia ‘Bombing’ Syrian Refugee Camp in August

Sputnik – December 2, 2019

The NYT wrote 1 December that “eyewitness photos and videos, flight logs and cockpit tapes obtained by The Times enabled reporters to trace an airstrike on a Syrian camp for displaced families to a Russian pilot.”

The Russian Defence Ministry dismissed a report by The New York Times (NYT) about Russia’s Aerospace Forces’ alleged bombing of a Syrian refugee camp in August.

“Like a month and a half ago, the ridiculous accusations by the authors of the fake are based on a video of unknown origin with swindlers from the White Helmets against the backdrop of buildings of the ‘refugee camp’; pictures of the blue sky in which a Russian plane was supposed to be and fragments of Russian phrases, allegedly belonging to the Russian Aerospace Forces pilots”, ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov added that to the disappointment of those who ordered the fake, the ministry is forced to recall again that the transfer of the coordinates of targets to the pilots of Russian bombers or reports on the fulfilment of their tasks are not carried out by voice on the air openly.

The comment comes as the NYT ran an article claiming that a Russian pilot conducted an airstrike on a refugee Syrian camp.

Russia’s Role in Syria

Since 2017, Russia has been one of the three guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, which has been engulfed in a civil war for years. The Russian armed forces have been providing military assistance to Damascus throughout the conflict, while also carrying out regular humanitarian operations across the country.

Russia is now assisting Syria in the post-war reconstruction and the return of refugees.

The Russian military police are currently engaged in patrolling Syria’s provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa along the border with Turkey as part of the Russia-Turkey deal over the buffer zone in northern Syria.

Following talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Russian-Turkish memorandum was signed on 22 October in Russia’s Sochi, which stipulates conditions for the peaceful withdrawal of Kurdish militants in Syria to a distance of 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from the border with Turkey.

The 10-point document envisions a variety of patrol missions carried out by the Russian military contingent in Syria, Syrian border guards, and Turkish troops in order to ensure the implementation of the deal.

December 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Iraq invasion ‘Godfather’ berates Trump for not thinking of NEXT WAR in Syria

By Helen Buyniski – RT – November 22, 2019

Unreconstructed neocon Paul Wolfowitz has slammed President Donald Trump for ‘abandoning’ the Kurds, insisting the US will need them next time there’s a war in Syria. Trump’s blunder, then, is thinking wars can “end.”

The man once described by CNN as “the heart and soul of the Iraq war” points out in an op-ed in the New York Times on Thursday that decades of meddling in the Middle East have made the US some friends in the region – namely, the Kurds. Casting them aside, he says, will make future meddling much more difficult.

The failed war’s mastermind reminds Trump that because the US’ Kurdish and Arab allies were gracious enough to serve as cannon fodder in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq, the US lost just six soldiers, compared to 11,000 from the US-backed opposition. A less belligerent mind might see this as exploitation, rather than alliance – but friendship means never having to say “sorry I turned your homeland into a hotbed of sectarian conflict.”

When the next war comes around – and Wolfowitz assures us there will be a next war – the US will be sorry it spurned its Kurdish friends, he warns. The inveterate warmonger calls Trump short-sighted for viewing all engagement in the Middle East through the lens of the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires, and holds up a failed Shiite uprising against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as a cautionary tale of what happens when the US isn’t lurking in the shadows ready to play World Police at the drop of a shell – but glosses over the fact that every war Wolfowitz has backed in his lengthy career has ended with the “liberated” country all but turned to dust.

In Wolfowitz’s view, there is no “right” way to leave a war. “Walking away from [the Middle East] has a way of sucking America back in,” he warns – as if the power vacuum he warns will develop in the absence of a firm American hand to guide backward local politicos is an actual literal vacuum, capable of sucking American troops through space. The only way to prevent this is to prop up US “allies” at the helm of these countries and surround them with American “advisers” so they don’t make the mistake of listening to their people.

But even as he warns against allowing power vacuums to develop, he tears into former President Barack Obama for not backing the Syrian opposition’s efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, lamenting that a bit of support in the right place could have “toppled the regime… with little risk to Americans.” Apparently, some power vacuums are more dangerous than others.

Wolfowitz admitted in 2013 that the Iraq War was a disaster, but insisted this was only because he wasn’t actually its “architect,” all CNN plaudits aside – he had wanted Iraqi leadership from the start, rather than the embarrassingly colonialist look of having American “viceroy” Paul Bremer running the show. Americans would still be behind the scenes pulling the strings, however – he has bemoaned the lack of “leadership qualities” in Iraqi politicians as recently as 2017, insisting the US must maintain a presence in the country to keep it from “going to hell literally.” For a man who spends so much time mouthing platitudes about democracy, he is wildly allergic to self-rule by Middle Eastern peoples. Had the Bush Administration simply done things according to his plan – adopted the properly colonialist model of backing one group of Iraqis against the others – everything would have been peachy.

That complete lack of insight has made Wolfowitz one of the loudest cheerleaders for any and all wars since his tenure. He was a big fan of invading Libya, and wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal begging Trump to bomb Syria (which Trump did). It’s astonishing that any serious politician still listens to the man who infamously promised in 2003 that the Iraqi people “would greet [American troops] as liberators,” obviating the need for a heavy troop presence in the country. Trump’s repeated attempts at leaving Syria have all crumbled in the face of opposition from the entrenched interests that Wolfowitz represents. But if he stops even trying to pull Americans out of the region, Wolfowitz will be right – these wars will keep happening.

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 21 Comments

When Did Ukraine Become a ‘Critical Ally’?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • November 15, 2019

On hearing the State Department’s George Kent and William Taylor describe President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine, The New York Times summarized and solemnly endorsed their testimony:

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the President, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally, under constant assault by Russian forces.”

“‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country, and have been for four years,’ Taylor said. ‘I saw this on the front line last week; the day I was there a Ukrainian soldier was killed and four more wounded.’”

Kent compared Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s intervention on the side of the Donbass secessionists to “our own Minutemen in 1776.”

“More than 13,000 Ukrainians have died on Ukrainian soil defending their territorial integrity and sovereignty from Russian aggression. … American support in Ukraine’s own de facto war of independence has been critical.”

Kent went on:

“The American colonies may not have prevailed against British imperial might without help from transatlantic friends after 1776. In an echo of Lafayette’s organized assistance to General George Washington’s army and Admiral John Paul Jones’ navy, Congress has generously appropriated over $1.5 billion over the past five years in desperately needed train and equip security assistance to Ukraine…”

“Similar to von Steuben training colonials at Valley Forge, U.S. and NATO allied trainers develop the skills of Ukrainian units at Yavoriv near the Polish border, and elsewhere. They help rewrite military education for Ukraine’s next generation, as von Steuben did for America’s first.”

“One would think, listening to this,” writes Barbara Boland, the American Conservative columnist, “that the U.S. had always provided arms to Ukraine, and that Ukraine has relied on this aid for years. But this is untrue and the Washington blob knows this.”

Indeed, Ukraine has never been a NATO ally or a “critical ally.”

Three decades ago, George H.W. Bush implored Ukraine not to set out on a course of “suicidal nationalism” by declaring independence from the Russian Federation. Despite constant pressure from Sen. John McCain and our neocons to bring Ukraine into NATO, wiser heads on both sides of the Atlantic rejected the idea.

Why? Because the “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of Ukraine is not now and has never been a vital interest of ours that would justify a U.S. war with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Instead, it was the avoidance of such a war that was the vital interest that nine U.S. presidents, from Truman to Bush I, secured, despite such provocations as the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and the building of the Berlin Wall.

In February 2014, the elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown by U.S.-backed protesters in Maidan Square, cheered on by McCain. This was direct U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Victoria Nuland of the State Department conceded that we had dumped billions into Ukraine to reorient its regime to the West.

To Vladimir Putin, the Kyiv coup meant the loss of Russia’s historic Black Sea naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea. Rather than let that happen, Putin effected an uprising, Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, and the annexation by Russia. In eastern Ukraine, the pro-Russian Donbass rose up in rebellion against the pro-NATO regime in Kyiv.

Civil war broke out. We backed the new regime. Russia backed the rebels. And five years later, the war goes on. Why is this our fight?

During the Obama years, major lethal aid was denied to Ukraine.

The White House reasoned that arming Ukraine would lead to an escalation of the war in the east, greater Russian intervention, defeat for Kyiv, and calls for the U.S. to intervene militarily, risking a war with Russia.

Not until Trump became president did lethal aid begin flowing to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.

So where are we?

Despite dramatic depictions of Ukraine as our embattled ally, Ukraine has never been an ally. We are not now nor have we ever been obligated to fight for its sovereignty or territorial integrity. Efforts to bring Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia into NATO have been repeatedly rebuffed in the United States and by our European NATO allies.

Kent and Taylor are honorable men. But they are career diplomats of the Department of State and veteran advocates of a foreign policy that sees Russia as an enduring aggressor and Ukraine as a fighting ally entitled to U.S. military assistance.

They have, in the old phrase, gone native. They champion the policies of yesterday and the embattled countries to which they are accredited and to whose causes they have become converted.

But Trump was elected to overturn the interventionist policies America has pursued since the century began. He was elected to end Cold War II with Russia, to reach a modus vivendi as Reagan did, and to extricate us from the endless wars into which Presidents Bush and Obama plunged the nation.

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

November 15, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

The Bolivian Coup Is Not a Coup—Because US Wanted It to Happen

By Alan MacLeod | FAIR | November 11, 2019

Army generals appearing on television to demand the resignation and arrest of an elected civilian head of state seems like a textbook example of a coup. And yet that is certainly not how corporate media are presenting the weekend’s events in Bolivia.

No establishment outlet framed the action as a coup; instead, President Evo Morales “resigned” (ABC News11/10/19), amid widespread “protests” (CBS News11/10/19) from an “infuriated population” (New York Times11/10/19) angry at the “election fraud” (Fox News11/10/19) of the “full-blown dictatorship” (Miami Herald11/9/19). When the word “coup” is used at all, it comes only as an accusation from Morales or another official from his government, which corporate media have been demonizing since his election in 2006 (FAIR.org5/6/098/1/124/11/19).

The New York Times (11/10/19) did not hide its approval at events, presenting Morales as a power-hungry despot who had finally “lost his grip on power,” claiming he was “besieged by protests” and “abandoned by allies” like the security services. His authoritarian tendencies, the news article claimed, “worried critics and many supporters for years,” and allowed one source to claim that his overthrow marked “the end of tyranny” for Bolivia. With an apparent nod to balance, it did note that Morales “admitted no wrongdoing” and claimed he was a “victim of a coup.” By that point, however, the well had been thoroughly poisoned.

CNN (11/10/19) dismissed the results of the recent election, where Bolivia gave Morales another term in office, as beset with “accusations of election fraud,” presenting them as a farce where “Morales declared himself the winner.” Time’s report (11/10/19) presented the catalyst for his “resignation” as “protests” and “fraud allegations,” rather than being forced at gunpoint by the military. Meanwhile, CBS News (11/10/19) did not even include the word “allegations,” its headline reading, “Bolivian President Evo Morales Resigns After Election Fraud and Protests.”

Delegitimizing foreign elections where the “wrong” person wins, of course, is a favorite pastime of corporate media (FAIR.org5/23/18). There is a great deal of uncritical acceptance of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) opinions on elections, including in coverage of Bolivia’s October vote (e.g., BBC11/10/19Vox11/10/19Voice of America11/10/19), despite the lack of evidence to back up its assertions. No mainstream outlet warned its readers that the OAS is a Cold War organization, explicitly set up to halt the spread of leftist governments. In 1962, for example, it passed an official resolution claiming that the Cuban government was “incompatible with the principles and objectives of the inter-American system.” Furthermore, the organization is bankrolled by the US government; indeed, in justifying its continued funding, US AID argued that the OAS is a crucial tool in “promot[ing] US interests in the Western hemisphere by countering the influence of anti-US countries” like Bolivia.

In contrast, there was no coverage at all in US corporate media of the detailed new report from the independent Washington-based think tank CEPR, which claimed that the election results were “consistent” with the win totals announced. There was also scant mention of the kidnapping and torture of elected officials, the ransacking of Morales’ house, the burning of public buildings and of the indigenous Wiphala flag, all of which were widely shared on social media and would have suggested a very different interpretation of events.

Words have power. And framing an event is a powerful method of conveying legitimacy and suggesting action. “Coups,” almost by definition, cannot be supported, while “protests” generally should be. Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, a conservative US-backed billionaire, has literally declared war on over a million people demonstrating against his rule. Corporate media, however, have framed that uprising not as a protest, but rather a “riot” (e.g., NBC News, 10/20/19Reuters11/9/19Toronto Sun11/9/19). In fact, Reuters (11/8/19) described the events as Piñera responding to “vandals” and “looters.” Who would possibly oppose that?

Morales was the first indigenous president in his majority indigenous nation—one that has been ruled by a white European elite since the days of the conquistadors. While in office, his Movement Towards Socialism party has managed to reduce poverty by 42% and extreme poverty by 60%, cut unemployment in half and conduct a number of impressive public works programs. Morales saw himself as part of a decolonizing wave across Latin America, rejecting neoliberalism and nationalizing the country’s key resources, spending the proceeds on health, education and affordable food for the population.

His policies drew the great ire of the US government, Western corporations and the corporate press, who function as the ideological shock troops against leftist governments in Latin America. In the case of Venezuela, Western journalists unironically call themselves “the resistance” to the government, and describe it as their No. 1 goal to “get rid of Maduro,” all the while presenting themselves as neutral and unbiased actors.

The media message from the Bolivia case is clear: A coup is not a coup if we like the outcome.

November 12, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

John Brennan’s CIA Trump Task Force

Could it become Obamagate?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 12, 2019

There is considerable evidence that the American system of government may have been victimized by an illegal covert operation organized and executed by the U.S. intelligence and national security community. Former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director Jim Comey appear to have played critical leadership roles in carrying out this conspiracy and they may not have operated on their own. Almost certainly what they may have done would have been explicitly authorized by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his national security team.

It must have seemed a simple operation for the experienced CIA covert action operatives. To prevent the unreliable and unpredictable political upstart Donald Trump from being nominated as the GOP presidential candidate or even elected it would be necessary to create suspicion that he was the tool of a resurgent Russia, acting under direct orders from Vladimir Putin to empower Trump and damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Even though none of the alleged Kremlin plotters would have expected Trump to actually beat Hillary, it was plausible to maintain that they would have hoped that a weakened Clinton would be less able to implement the anti-Russian agenda that she had been promoting. Many observers in both Russia and the U.S. believed that if she had been elected armed conflict with Moscow would have been inevitable, particularly if she moved to follow her husband’s example and push to have both Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, which Russia would have regarded as an existential threat.

Trump’s surprising victory forced a pivot, with Clapper, Brennan and Comey adjusting the narrative to make it appear that Trump the traitor may have captured the White House due to help from the Kremlin, making him a latter-day Manchurian Candidate. The lesser allegations of Russian meddling were quickly elevated to devastating assertions that the Republican had only won with Putin’s assistance.

No substantive evidence for the claim of serious Russian meddling has ever been produced in spite of years of investigation, but the real objective was to plant the story that would plausibly convince a majority of Americans that the election of Donald Trump was somehow illegitimate.

The national security team acted to protect their candidate Hillary Clinton, who represented America’s Deep State. In spite of considerable naysaying, the Deep State is real, not just a wild conspiracy theory. Many Americans nevertheless do not believe that the Deep State exists, that it is a politically driven media creation much like Russiagate itself was, but if one changes the wording a bit and describes the Deep State as the Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country becomes much more plausible.

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. It also operates through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed.

Nevertheless, some might even argue that having a Deep State is a healthy part of American democracy, that it serves as a check or corrective element on a political system that has largely been corrupted and which no longer serves national interests. But that assessment surely might have been made before it became clear that many of the leaders of the nation’s intelligence and security agencies are no longer the people’s honorable servants they pretend to be. They have been heavily politicized since at least the time of Ronald Reagan and have frequently succumbed to the lure of wealth and power while identifying with and promoting the interests of the Deep State.

Indeed, a number of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directors have implicitly or even directly admitted to the existence of a Deep State that has as one of its roles keeping presidents like Donald Trump in check. Most recently, John McLaughlin, responding to a question about Donald Trump’s concern over Deep State involvement in the ongoing impeachment process, said unambiguously “Well, you know, thank God for the ‘deep state’… With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else. This is the institution within the U.S. government… is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth — it’s engraved in marble in the lobby.”

Well, John’s dedication to truth is exemplary but how does he explain his own role in support of the lies being promoted by his boss George “slam dunk” Tenet that led to the war against Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster ever experienced by the United States? Or Tenet’s sitting in the U.N. directly behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the debate over Iraq, providing cover and credibility for what everyone inside the system knew to be a bundle of lies? Or his close friend and colleague Michael Morell’s description of Trump as a Russian agent, a claim that was supported by zero evidence and which was given credibility only by Morell’s boast that “I ran the CIA.”

Beyond that, more details have been revealed demonstrating exactly how Deep State associates have attempted, with considerable success, to subvert the actual functioning of American democracy. Words are one thing, but acting to interfere in an electoral process or to undermine a serving president is a rather more serious matter.

It is now known that President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan fabricated the narrative that “Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.” Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the “evidence” produced to support that claim was and still is weak to nonexistent.

The Russian “election interference” narrative went on steroids on January 6, 2017, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, when an “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) orchestrated by Clapper and Brennan was published. The banner headline atop The New York Times, itself an integral part of the Deep State, on the following day set the tone for what was to follow: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.”

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and Brennan were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by “all 17 intelligence agencies” (as first claimed by Hillary Clinton). After several months, however Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique,” adding later that “It’s in their DNA.”

Task Force Trump was kept secret within the Agency itself because the CIA is not supposed to spy on Americans. Its staff was pulled together by invitation-only. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and administrative personnel were recruited, presumably based on their political reliability. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did because it came with promises of promotion and other rewards.

And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force with the approval of then Director James Comey. Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele’s FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been one of those detailed to the Trump Task Force. Steele, of course, prepared the notorious dossier that was surfaced shortly before Donald Trump took office. It included considerable material intended to tie Trump to Russia, information that was in many cases fabricated or unsourced.

So, what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities that would implicate Trump and his associates in illegal activity. And there is evidence that John Brennan himself would contact his counterparts in allied intelligence services to obtain their discreet cooperation, something they would be inclined to do in collegial fashion, ignoring whatever reservations they might have about spying on a possible American presidential candidate.

Trump Task Force members could have also tasked the National Security Agency (NSA) to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in complicated covert actions that would further set up and entrap Trump and his staff in questionable activity, such as the targeting of associate George Papadopoulos. If he is ever properly interviewed, Maltese citizen Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed him on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. It is highly likely that Azra Turk, the woman who met with George Papadopoulos, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, sometimes using press or social media placements to disseminate fabrications about Trump and his associates. Information operations is a benign-sounding euphemism for propaganda fed through the Agency’s friends in the media, and computer network operations can be used to create false linkages and misdirect inquiries. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 may have been a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what has been learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them secretly after he was seconded to the National Security Council. All the CIA and FBI officers involved in the Task Force had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, but nevertheless were involved in a conspiracy to first denigrate and then possibly bring down a legally elected president. That effort continues with repeated assertions regarding Moscow’s malevolent intentions for the 2020 national elections. Some might reasonably regard the whole Brennan affair, to include its spear carriers among the current and retired national security state leadership, as a case of institutionalized treason, and it inevitably leads to the question “What did Obama know?”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why the Only Thing Democrats Will Succeed in Impeaching Is Their Own Integrity

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 8, 2019

Last week’s impeachment headlines show why. If all you read is the New York Times, you’d think that the dump-Trump movement was going swimmingly. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, it announced that Congressman Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the impeachment charge, had landed a key witness, a decorated army officer willing to testify that Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.” Two days later, the Times dropped another bombshell, the news that neocon regime-change advocate John Bolton, furious at Trump for firing him as national security adviser two months ago, might testify as well.

“Many Democrats regard Mr. Bolton as the perfect witness,” it said, “a respected conservative national security hawk who was nonetheless incensed by the how the president and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, and who broke sharply with the president upon his departure from the White House.”

Finally, another epic disclosure came on Friday. Yet another National Security Council official, the Times said, had “confirmed a key episode at the center of the impeachment inquiry, testifying that a top diplomat working with President Trump told him that a package of military assistance for Ukraine would not be released until the country committed to investigations the president sought.”

Wow! Two star witnesses plus confirmation, even if only second hand, that the president was guilty of a quid pro quo. Send up the flares — impeachment was on the way.

Except that it wasn’t. The Times was only telling half the story while trying desperately to keep the other half, far less favorable to the Democrats, under wraps.

Take the Oct. 29 article announcing Schiff dramatic new witness, a National Security Council staffer named Alexander S. Vindman. Deep inside was a curious tidbit:

“Because he emigrated from Ukraine along with his family when he was a child and is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, Ukrainian officials sought advice from him about how to deal with [Trump attorney Rudy] Giuliani, though they typically communicated in English.”

The Times began to hem and haw as soon as conservatives seized on the item. “We have a US national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest,” laughed Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “And, usually, they spoke in English. Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?” When rightwing internet activist Jack Posobiec tweeted that Vindman was trying “to counter President Trump’s foreign policy goals” and then cited the Times as the source, the paper declared huffily that, “in fact, the Times reported no such thing.”

But it did. Indeed, a subsequent Times piece was even more explicit. “During a May meeting in Ukraine to mark Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration,” it said, “the colonel advised him to try to avoid becoming ensnared in politics in the United States” by stonewalling Trump’s request for an investigation into corruption and Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

If this wasn’t counseling a foreign government about how to counter White House policy, then what is? As the always provocative Moon of Alabama website pointed out, Vindman’s statement to Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee, conveniently leaked to the press, was revealing in other ways as well.

“[A] strong and independent Ukraine,” it said, “is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.… The US government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.” But, it continued, “outside influencers [are] promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency.”

References to a US government policy community should have raised all sorts of alarms. After all, what is such a community and who on earth appointed it? Who gets to decide what the consensus view is? How do we know outside influencers are promoting a false narrative – because the consensus says so?

What Vindman doesn’t understand is that in order to set policy, you’ve got to get elected, something Trump is – if only by the Electoral College – and something that self-appointed foreign-policy experts are not. Trump can seek policy advice from whatever source he wants, and it’s not up to some NSC flunky to tell him otherwise.

The other big news that the Times managed to ignore last week was the disclosure that the whistleblower who kicked off the furor over the Trump-Zelensky phone call is a 33-year-old CIA agent named Eric Chiaramella, an Obama holdover who advised Joe Biden on the Ukraine and who worked with a Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, whose job was to meet with Ukrainian officials and dig up dirt on Trump.

Paul Sperry’s report in RealClearInvestigations.com – which Chiaramella’s attorneys have so far failed to deny – is a big deal because of what it says about the infighting between Trump and Obama loyalists that is now tearing Washington apart. Chiaramella also turns out to be a member of Washington’s self-appointed policy community who thinks that Trump’s job is to do as he’s told. As an unnamed White House official told Sperry:

“My recollection of Eric is that he was very smart and very passionate, particularly about Ukraine and Russia. That was his thing – Ukraine. He didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do with Ukraine and Russia, and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.”

So Chiaramella reported his findings to Adam Schiff, who agreed right off the bat to prosecute the president for daring to set a new course. This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame.

Of course, the Times is to blame as well. It twisted the news so as to cheer on such misbegotten policies just as it cheered on the twin invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq a dozen years or so earlier. This is why it’s furious with Trump for holding Democrats to account and why it now fills its pages with endless blather about quid pro quo’s just as it once did about Russian collusion.

But it won’t work. The only thing Democrats will succeed in impeaching is their own integrity.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

The Media’s Obsession With Personalities

By Joe Lauria  | Consortium News | November 5, 2019

Jury selection began Tuesday in Washington in the trial of political operative Roger Stone on charges of obstructing justice and lying to Congress. But instead of focusing on those narrow charges, the corporate media is trying to make this about Stone’s personality while attempting to revive the discredited allegation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The media has a long history of putting personality above facts. Judgement should be reserved to what people say and what they do. Instead we’ve seen character assassination of many people, including imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, rather than a truthful examination of his actions and the dangerous charges against him for practicing journalism. There is the same obsession with the personalities of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, for instance, rather than objectively examining their actions, particularly on foreign policy. In the same way, Barack Obama’s personality was elevated to cover up for his foreign policy disasters in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and Yemen and in building tensions with Russia.

Now Stone, by all appearances a sleazy operative in a town full of sleazy operatives for both parties, is portrayed by The New York Times as a “swashbuckling and abrasive political trickster for decades” and “eccentric and flamboyant.” Stone is still innocent until proven otherwise. It’s becoming harder to find, but serious reporting about a person on trial would ditch the adjectives.

The reporting on Stone has little to do with the actual charges against him, but rather serves the purpose of reviving a narrative the media falsely pushed for two years: that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to turn the 2016 election.

Newsweek reported Tuesday:

“Stone, 67, is at the center of the question of whether the Trump campaign conspired or cooperated with WikiLeaks or Russia to leak stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 election.”

At least The New York Times admitted,

“Mr. Mueller’s investigation found insufficient evidence to charge anyone tied to the Trump campaign with criminally conspiring with WikiLeaks or the Russians to damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. But as documents released last week by the Justice Department underscore, Trump campaign aides were elated when WikiLeaks began publishing emails that the Russians stole from Democrats.”

Of course they were elated as any campaign would be if such damaging, and true, information came out about its opponent. Is elation now a crime?

The Democrats’ and the media’s allegation against Stone, though it is not in his indictment, is that he somehow knew about coming WikiLeaks releases and told Trump about them. Even if he did, is it a crime if he had nothing to do with obtaining the emails? Stone knew about the coming WikiLeaks releases because Assange had already announced they were coming. The Times reported: “Mr. Stone later insisted that he never had any inside information from WikiLeaks, and his claims were simply ‘posture, bluff and hype.’”

The Only Russiagate Crime

Aside from the technical charges against Stone on lying and obstructing justice regarding his alleged efforts to learn what WikiLeaks was preparing to release, the only crime in this whole story is the stealing of the DNC and Podesta emails. It has never been proven in court who did it, and probably never will, despite the Times and other corporate media saying flatly that Russia did it.

Earlier in Stone’s legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That’s because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That’s why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others. Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this “collusion” disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats’ lost cause.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Nasty Russians harassed a sick American diplomat? That’s ‘fake news’ says Foreign Ministry

RT | November 3, 2019

The New York Times has spun a tale of Russian treachery based on its usual anonymous sources. Though the Russian Foreign Ministry stepped in to correct the record, the paper didn’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

According to the Times, the debacle kicked off in August, when Russian officials delayed a sick American envoy from leaving Moscow for treatment, part of a Cold War-style “harassment campaign” against US diplomats.

The man in question, a military attache at the American embassy in Moscow, fell ill and needed evacuation to Germany for hospital treatment. According to the NYT, his plane was delayed “for hours for no apparent reason,” despite protests from embassy officials and the State Department in Washington.

The story ticks all the ‘Russiagate’ boxes. Neither the State Department or the Pentagon would give details of the incident, so anonymous “officials” were quoted instead. The paper also fitted the story into a wider anti-Russia conspiracy, calling it “the latest episode of a long-running campaign of harassment against American diplomats in Russia.”

Even the newspaper’s subhead proclaimed that “Russian intimidation of American officials has reached levels unseen since the Cold War.” Evidently, delayed flights are comparable to the world’s biggest superpowers threatening each other with nuclear war.

A bold statement, were it true. In a response to the Times, sent before publication but selectively clipped, the Russian Foreign Ministry explained that five and a half hours before the attache’s flight, the airline announced a one hour delay. Upon arrival at the airport, the sick man’s entourage were fast-tracked through security, and were then found to have the wrong papers, due to an error with their earlier charter flight.

The paper mix up – which had the entourage identified as crew instead of passengers – was resolved in 20 minutes, and the flight took off five minutes before its scheduled departure time.

Little of this official explanation was included in the story, and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova again decried the article on Sunday, calling it “fake news,” and “a scandal; a forgery in its purest form.”

And of course, a good Russia yarn wouldn’t be complete without some conspiracy-peddling from former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

“When I was ambassador, we felt like we were under siege all the time,” McFaul told the Times. He said that delaying a medical flight would be “the kind of classic harassment that for many years now, our people have been putting up with. It’s inexcusable, it’s horrible.”

This is the same Michael McFaul who once compared Russians purchasing Facebook ads in the runup to the 2016 election to the 9/11 attacks, warned American tourists to steer clear of Russia, in case they be jailed for spying, and penned a research paper in 2005 advocating American-led regime change in Moscow. Anti-Russia protestations are also big money for McFaul, who wrote a book lambasting Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin last year, while ‘Russiagate’ hysteria was at its height.

In her response, Zakharova reminded the NYT about the time a Russian diplomat in Washington was tasked with bringing cancer medicine to Moscow for former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov some time before 2015. The diplomat was detained by American intelligence and had his belongings seized. The medicine was only delivered to Moscow when the then-Secretary of State John Kerry intervened.

“Relations between Washington and Moscow remain generally hostile,” the NYT’s article claims. That may be true, but the paper’s writers clearly didn’t pause to think that presenting Cold War spy fiction as news might just have something to do with it.

November 3, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 3 Comments

The “Deep State” Has Been Redefined as Career Bureaucrats Doing Their Patriotic Duty

By Edward J. Curtin | Behind the Curtain | October 31, 2019

It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There’s something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of “conspiracy theorists” is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a “deep state” that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing and keeping their jobs.

This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations.  In its September/October 2017 edition of its journal Foreign Affairs, Jon D. Michaels, in “Trump and the Deep State: The Government Strikes Back,” writes:

Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the “deep state,” a conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursuing their own agenda. The concept of a deep state is valuable in its original context, the study of developing countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, where shadowy elites in the military and government ministries have been known to countermand or simply defy democratic directives. Yet it has little relevance to the United States, where governmental power structures are almost entirely transparent, egalitarian, and rule-bound.

The White House is correct to perceive widespread resistance inside the government to many of its endeavors. But the same way the administration’s media problems come not from “fake news” but simply from news, so its bureaucratic problems come not from an insidious, undemocratic “deep state” but simply from the state—the large, complex hive of people and procedures that constitute the U.S. federal government.

Notice how in these comical passages about U.S. government transparency and egalitarianism, Michaels slyly and falsely attributes to Trump the very definition – “unelected bureaucrats” – that in the next paragraph he claims to be the real deep state, which is just the state power structures. Pseudo-innocence conquers all here as there is no mention of the Democratic party, Russiagate, etc., and all the machinations led by the intelligence services and Democratic forces to oust Trump from the day he was elected. State power structures just move so quickly, as anyone knows who has studied the speed which bureaucracies operate. Ask Max Weber.

Drip by drip over the past few years, this “state bureaucracy” meme has been introduced by the mainstream media propagandists as they have gradually revealed that the government deep-staters are just doing their patriotic duty in trying openly to oust an elected president.

Many writers have commented on the recent New York Times article, Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him asserting that the Times has finally admitted to the existence of the deep state, which is true as far as it goes, which is not too far. But in this game of deceptive revelations – going shallower to go deeper – what is missing is a focus on the linguistic mind control involved in the changed definition.

In a recent article by Robert W. Merry, whose intentions I am not questioning – New York Times Confirms: It’s Trump Versus the Deep State – originally published at The American Conservative and widely reprinted, the lead-in to the article proper reads: “Even the Gray Lady admits the president is up against a powerful bureaucracy that wants him sunk.” So the “powerful bureaucracy” redefinition, this immovable force of government bureaucrats, is slipped into public consciousness as what the deep state supposedly is. Gone are CIA conspirators and evil doers. In their place we find career civil servants doing their patriotic duty.

Then there is The New York Times’ columnist James Stewart who, appearing on the Today Show recently, where he was promoting his new book, told Savannah Guthrie that:

Well, you meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he’s right. There is a deep state… there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. They do not work for the President. They work for the American people. And, as Comey told me in my book, ‘thank goodness for that,’ because they are protecting the Constitution and the people when individuals – we don’t have a monarch, we don’t have a dictator – they restrain them from crossing the boundaries of law. What Trump calls the deep state in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It’s a positive thing in this sense.

So again we are told that the deep-state bureaucracy is defending the Constitution and protecting the American people, as James Comey told Stewart, “in my book, ‘thank goodness for that,’” as he put it so eloquently. These guys talk in books, of course, not person to person, but that is the level not just of English grammar and general stupidity, but of the brazen bullshit these guys are capable of.

This new and shallow deep state definition has buried the old meaning of the deep state as evil conspirators carrying out coup d’états, assassinations, and massive media propaganda campaigns at home and abroad, and who, by implication and direct declaration, never existed in the good old U.S.A. but only in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan where shadowy elites killed and deposed leaders and opponents in an endless series of coup d’états. No mention in Foreign Affairs, of course, of the American support for the ruthless leaders of these countries who have always been our dear allies when they obey our every order and serve as our servile proxies in murder and mayhem.

Even Edward Snowden, the courageous whistleblower in exile in Russia, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan, repeats this nonsense when he says the deep state is just “career government officials” who want to keep their jobs and who outlast presidents. From his own experience, he should know better. Much better.

Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don’t hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda’s endless reiterations.

To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda.

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Democrats Cheer ‘Hillary Unplugged’ After Clinton Labels Gabbard A Russian Asset

SHADOWPROOF | October 22, 2019

Numerous Democrats and liberal pundits have come to Hillary Clinton’s defense as she faces a backlash from everyone from President Donald Trump to Senator Bernie Sanders for her suggestion that Representative Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset.

Lisa Lerer, a New York Times reporter, celebrated Clinton as a “master troll” who “picked a fight” with Gabbard. She’s “living her best life,” as she spreads rumors that a sitting congresswoman is likely an agent of a foreign power. “Welcome to Hillary Unplugged.”

She wrote an article for the Times before the October 15 debate, “What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?” It freely cast aspersions on Gabbard for not dropping out of the presidential race and followed a template prevalent in the United States media since Gabbard declared her candidacy.

Zac Petkanas, who was the rapid response director for the Clinton campaign, quipped that it took awhile for Gabbard to react to Clinton because she had to run her response by Vladimir Putin first. “Honestly, it probably sounded better in the original Russian.”

Phillippe Reines, a former Clinton spokesperson, later added, “In three tweets, [Gabbard] called Hillary worse than she has ever called Assad or Putin. If Russian-compromised Trump and third-party menace Jill Stein had a child, it would be Tulsi Gabbard.”

Clinton Democrats have long believed, absent any proof, that the Green Party presidential candidate was a Russian agent whose role in the 2016 election was to ensure Clinton lost to Trump. And Clinton said Russia may want Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate but that depends on whether Stein will give up her role in the party.

Adam Parkhomenko, founder of the Ready For Hillary super PAC, reacted, “Tulsi Gabbard (R-Moscow) is back on the clock,” and, “Tulski Gabbard is wide awake at almost midnight local time in Moscow. For those that want to support the American running against her and lift up our efforts to elect him, let’s add another 250 contributions to his campaign now.”

When Sanders came to Gabbard’s defense, he viscerally reacted, “Fuck Bernie. I’d forgotten how much I despise that asshole. Thanks for the reminder.

Zerlina Maxwell, a former Clinton campaign official and director of SiriusXM’s progressive programming, said she “didn’t go far enough, and we have to decide whether or not we’ll listen to Hillary Clinton.” She added, “In 2016, anchors literally laughed at Hillary Clinton when she said it was Russia” targeting her campaign.

Back in March, it was Maxwell who lied about one of the first speeches Sanders delivered as part of his 2020 presidential campaign. She said he did not mention race or gender until 23 minutes into the speech.

Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin, hosts of “The View,” applauded Clinton and described Gabbard as a “useful idiot” and a “Trojan horse” candidate.

“She told us about Russia, she told us about the probable interference,” Hostin remarked. “She was secretary of state. She has deep world knowledge of world issues. I thought, where’s the lie?”

Similarly, Terry McAuliffe promoted the viewpoint that the public should trust Clinton. Maybe she knows something more that she is not sharing at this moment.

“This is something that she’s been reading a lot about. I don’t know whether Tulsi Gabbard is connected with the Russians,” McAuliffe said on CNN. “But the Russian state media has been very favorable toward her. She won’t come out and really go after [Bashar] Assad, who is a genocidal dictator.”

Media hucksters have tried to play dumb, pretending it was never confirmed that Clinton was referring to Gabbard.

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart said on MSNBC that Clinton had not named names. However, Gabbard was like, “‘Me! Me! Me! Me!’” (In 2016, Capehart spread false accusations that Sanders shared “fake photos” of himself engaged in civil rights activism.)

As NBC News reporter Jonathan Allen put it, Clinton said there was a Russian asset, didn’t name anybody, and yet Gabbard reacted, “How dare you call me a Russian asset?”

But Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill told reporters, “If the nesting doll fits,” and confirmed she was referring to Gabbard.

Kimberly Atkins, a senior news correspondent for WBUR, appeared on MSNBC’s “Up with Gura” on October 19 and said Gabbard “never denied being a Russian asset.” The panel erupted into nasty laughter.

Behar also said, “She hasn’t denied it. She hasn’t said anything in her tweets. ‘How dare you? It’s outrageous. Of course, I’m not.’ She didn’t say that. She’s just going after Hillary.”

The Daily Beast poured sprinkles on top of this McCarthyist sundae with an article headlined, “The Kremlin’s Strategy For the 2020 U.S. Election: Secure the Base, Split the Opposition.” Though it did not specifically highlight Clinton’s attack on Gabbard, it sought to lend credence to the thrust of what she claimed.

“Russia’s propagandists will seek agents-of-influence, individuals inside the American government and media able to influence national policy,” Daily Beast contributor Clint Watts wrote. “And the agents they seek this time around will largely be across the political left, seeking to amplify and connect their preferred Kremlin message with that of the right.”

It was Clinton and her supporters in and outside of the press, who went after Gabbard and sowed discord. Yet, based upon widespread delusions, many Democrats and liberal pundits would have the public believe this is exactly what Putin wants. He is pleased that Trump, Sanders, and various other Democratic presidential candidates are condemning the presidential nominee Trump defeated.

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

A Call for a Coup Plus a Week Like No Other for Tulsi Gabbard

Clinton, McRaven and Pelosi all are featured

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • October 22, 2019

There was what might be described as an extraordinary amount of nonsense being promoted by last week’s media. Unfortunately, some of it was quite dangerous. Admiral William McRaven, who commanded the Navy Seals when Osama bin Laden was captured and killed and who has been riding that horse ever since, announced that if Donald Trump continues to fail to provide the type of leadership the country needs, he should be replaced by whatever means are necessary. The op-ed entitled “Our Republic is Under Attack by the President” with the subtitle “If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office” was featured in the New York Times, suggesting that the Gray Lady was providing its newspaper of record seal of approval for what might well be regarded as a call for a military coup.

McRaven’s exact words, after some ringing praise for the military and all its glorious deeds in past wars, were that the soldiers, sailors and marines now must respond because “The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.”

McRaven then elaborated that “These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’”

It is a call to arms if there ever was one. Too bad Trump can’t strip McRaven of his pension and generous health care benefits for starters and McRaven might also consider that he could be recalled to active duty by Trump and court martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And the good admiral, who up until 2018 headed the state university system in Texas, might also receive well merited pushback for his assessment of America’s role in the world over the past two decades, in which he was a major player, at least in terms of dealing out punishment. He wrote ““We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.”

Utter bullshit, of course. The United States has been acting as the embodiment of a rogue nation, lashing out pointlessly and delivering death and destruction. If McRaven truly believes what he says he is not only violating his oath to defend the constitution while also toying with treason, he is an idiot and should never have been allowed to run anything more demanding than a hot dog stand. Washington has been systematically blowing people up worldwide for no good reasons, killing possibly as many as 4 million mostly Muslims, while systematically stripping Americans of their Bill of Rights at home. “Good guys” and “champions of justice” indeed!

And then there is the Great Hillary Clinton caper. In an interview last week Hillary claimed predictably that Donald Trump is “Vladimir Putin’s dream,” and then went on to assert that there would be other Russian assets emerging, including nestled in the bosom of her own beloved Democratic Party. She said, clearly suggesting that it would be Tulsi Gabbard, that “They’re also going to do third-party again. I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

Clinton explained how the third-party designation would work, saying of Jill Stein, who ran for president in 2016 as a Green Party candidate, “And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”

Tulsi responded courageously and accurately “Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”

Tulsi has in fact been attacked relentlessly by the Establishment since she announced that she would be running for the Democratic nomination. Shortly before last Tuesday’s Democratic candidate debate the New York Times ran an article suggesting that Gabbard was an isolationist, was being promoted by Russia and was an apologist for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. In reality, Gabbard is the only candidate willing to confront America’s warfare-national security state.

The Hillary Clinton attack on Gabbard and on the completely respectable Jill Stein is to a certain extent incomprehensible unless one lives in the gutter that she and Bill have wallowed in ever since they rose to prominence in Arkansas. Hillary, the creator of the private home server for classified information as well as author of the catastrophic war against Libya and the Benghazi debacle has a lot to answer for but will never be held accountable, any more than her husband Bill for his rapes and molestation. And when it comes to foreign interference, Gabbard is being pilloried because the Russian media regards her favorably while the Clinton Foundation has taken tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments and billionaires seeking quid pro quos, much of which has gone to line the pockets of Hillary, Bill and Chelsea.

Finally, one comment about the Democratic Party obsession with the Russians. The media was enthusing last Friday over a photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi standing up across a table from President Trump and pointing at him before walking out of the room. The gushing regarding how a powerful, strong woman was defying the horrible chief executive was both predictable and ridiculous. By her own admission Pelosi’s last words before departing were “All roads lead to Putin.” I will leave it up to the reader to interpret what that was supposed to mean.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

October 21, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

Ms. Pumpkin Head for President: A Nightmare

By Edward Curtin | Behind the Curtain | October 20, 2019

A few weeks ago I had a terrifying nightmare, so gruesome was it that I awoke screaming and had to run to the bathroom to vomit in the toilet. In this dark horror show, I was carving a pumpkin for Halloween.  The cap came off easily and I disemboweled the slimy interior quickly, but as I did, I felt a strange sensation on my hand, as if a tongue were biting it. When I was finishing carving the face, however, the trouble really started. The pumpkin head came alive as the eyes and mouth moved and then it started speaking in a voice that was familiar but one I couldn’t place. Blond hair started sprouting from its head as it started shrieking and bouncing on the table in an hysterical manner. I jumped back in fear and trembling as it started cackling, “I running, I running.” Blood ran from between the carved teeth and the blue eyes pulsated with the mania of a serial killer in a horror movie.

I awoke with a scream when I realized it was Hillary Clinton.

So hideous was this night terror that I kept it to myself. But a week later when the next Democratic pseudo-debate was being promoted, I said to my wife that something told me that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee and the debates were a sideshow. She said she thought that would never happen and that Clinton was now hated and done for. I disagreed without recounting my nightmare because to describe it at that point would have induced more retching at the thought of the night monster.

Then this past week during the Democratic debate, the courageous Tulsi Gabbard put the lie to the murderous militarism of U.S. foreign policy and its regime change operations with its use of American supported terrorists in Syria and throughout the world. She calmly and eloquently denounced the militarist positions of the other candidates standing beside her, as they listened disquieted and disturbed to a patriotic American speaking truth that they dare not even think, so bought and sold are they.

She was a woman alone among a cast of sycophants denouncing the murderous policies carried out by presidents Democratic and Republican and foisted on the American people through a vast network of propaganda, appealing to their worst instincts. It was a stunning few minutes, for it is so rare, almost unheard of, for a politician to tell Americans the brutal truth about their government.

To many it was a sign of hope, but to the evil forces that run this country, Rep. Gabbard had gone too far and the knives came out in force, this time led by the pumpkin-headed Hillary Clinton and her accomplices at The New York Times and The Washington Post, who have consistently trashed Tulsi Gabbard in an effort to destroy her candidacy.

I felt my dream was prophetic when Clinton, in her slimy manner, attacked Tulsi Gabbard, without naming her, by saying,

I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve [The Russians] got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.

Well, I ain’t making any prediction either; I’m leaving that up to my nightmare to do my talking.

It tells me that Hillary-O-Lantern, spitting blood, is running and gunning again.

She’s the favorite of the CIA and the military industrial complex and all those who profit from war and live off the deaths of victims everywhere. They have bunches of sites and bots and fake news conspirators and all sorts of ways of supporting her, which they have been doing for many years, straight through their constructed Russia-gate and Ukraine-gate conspiracies and her barbaric support for wars everywhere, including the destruction of Libya and her joyful response to the fiendish death of Muammar Gaddafi, among so may atrocities.

Tulsi, never cowered, said it straight and true in response:

Great, Thank you. You the Queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.

She later said, “I stand against everything she represents.”

Halloween is the time for masks and dissembling. Hillary Clinton is a figure straight out of a grotesque Halloween party, as are her clones in the Democratic party. Tulsi Gabbard was not invited to their party but came anyway, and came to tell the truth about the masquerade.

She has torn off Clinton’s mask and asks the American people to see the true face of Clinton and all her minions, who represent the triumph of war and death, and the sick play we have been living through, an endless war on terror justified by endless lies.

Norman O. Brown so well describes our stage set:

Ancestral voices prophesying war; ancestral spirits in the danse macabre or war dance; Valhalla, ghostly warriors who kill each other and are reborn to fight again. All warfare is ghostly, every army an exercitus feralis (army of ghosts), every soldier a living corpse.

Lying is the leading cause of living death in the United States.

Tulsi Gabbard has told the truth.

Like me, I am sure you don’t want your nightmares to become reality. Let’s live in the truth.

October 20, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 5 Comments