Collusion Takes Many Forms

W.J. Astore

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:


The supposed big news here is that Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, didn’t know about President Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin to visit the White House this fall.

The real story is in plain sight: all the corporate sponsors of the Aspen Security Forum, including Lockheed Martin, the nation’s leading weapons maker.  I like the way the logo for Lockheed Martin hovers just above Dan Coats’s head.  Who works for whom here?

(Other military contractors with prominent logos included Symantec, which specializes in cybersecurity, and MITRE, which technically is a not-for-profit corporation that works mainly with the Department of Defense; I worked with MITRE engineers when I was in the Air Force.)

The other obvious story: the mainstream media’s cozy relationship to those in power.  Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Coats is downright chummy.  It’s all very polite and non-confrontational, with Mitchell hinting we all should be very concerned and nervous about Trump negotiating alone with Putin.

Perhaps so, perhaps not.  But I am concerned about all those cozy relationships within and across the national security state, and the way our media eagerly joins in on the fun.  Collusion takes many forms; let’s not focus so tightly on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that we miss what’s in clear sight in photos and videos such as this.

Update (7/22/18): Is the mainstream media focusing on cozy relationships and possible collusion among the various players at Aspen?  You know, the military-industrial complex, the government and its seventeen intelligence agencies, universities and think tanks and the media, i.e. the usual suspects?  Of course not.  At ABC News, they’re focusing on whether Dan Coats’s chuckle and off-the-cuff remarks about Putin’s proposed visit to the White House were disrespectful to Trump.  And there you have it.

8 thoughts on “Collusion Takes Many Forms

  1. Two of my favorite quotes from the late Gore Vidal:

    (1) “Americans are among the most easily frightened people on earth.”

    (2) “There is only one political party in the United States: the Property Party, and it has two right wings.”

    For decades now, if not for the last century, we Americans have heard a lot of fevered warnings from both Republicans and Democrats about something called a “Left” in the United States. Today, that must mean Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, and perhaps Noam Chomsky. A truly powerful and threatening line up, someone wants us to believe. In fact, politics in the United States comes down to a lavish Kabuki puppet show wherein one of the oligarchy’s right wing factions calls the other right wing faction “Leftist,” sort of like Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun taunting each other by calling the other one “civilized.” Meanwhile the ones turning out all the bows and arrows, swords and spears, become rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Three guesses who puts on the puppet show. As a matter of fact, the Ruling Corporate Oligarchy will tolerate no genuine politics left of right in the United States, or anywhere else, for that matter.

    And speaking of this latest Aspen Security (for financial stock speculators) Forum, my favorite youtube news source has a preety good run-down on the essence of it. See Jimmy Dore (July 21, 2018):
    FBI Chief: CHINA Our Biggest Threat

    Some excerpts:

    Jimmy Dore: “If you’re afraid of anybody else, you’re wrong, because it’s Russia. They spend almost 45 billion dollars a year on their military, which we spend in about 5 seconds. … I wonder if the “intelligence community” wants to keep us in a state of perpetual fear, let’s see …” [emphasis added]

    [later in the program]

    Steph Zamorano: I have a question. Since we got into war, I thought China bankrolled our war for us. So, how are we so worried about China?”

    Jimmy Dore: “… They’re the ones buying all our bonds, floating our debt, for all that stuff [we buy from them]. … They’re financing our military-industrial complex.”

    Steph Zamorano: “So, are they going to finance a war against themselves? … According to this one article, China has consistently held more than one trillion in U.S. debt every year since 2010.”

    Jimmy Dore: “We’re a bunch of capitalists borrowing money from a bunch of communists so we can bring democracy to a bunch of Muslims who don’t even fucking want it. And we’re not bringing democracy to them, we’re bringing Corporatism. That’s what we’re trying to install in Afghanistan. We’re not trying to install anything else. We’re not even trying to install anything. We’re just occupying that place, forever. Why? Because there’s a lot of money in it. … A lot of money in occupation. So, there you go. Stay afraid. Always. I’m the F.B.I. [emphasis added]

    And finally, from Ron Placone:

    Go home and shit your pants..”

    Gore Vidal would understand completely.


    1. There will always be an enemy, right, Mike? If not Russia, China. If not China, Afghanistan. If not Afghanistan, Iran. If not Iran, terrorists here, there, everywhere.


  2. You may want to review this Aspen Web Site on an empty stomach.

    From their Web Site, “The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.” >> (Side Bar – I wonder who funds this out fit – old saying – Whose bread I eat his song I sing.) <<

    “As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

    I cannot imagine what IKE, would think of America 2018.


    1. Ike was, in sense, a product of the military-industrial complex. But he also rose above it. He had the decency of a citizen-soldier from the heartland. And he was a true public servant. We could use a man (or woman) like Ike again.


  3. PS WJAstore: Your last post’s comment on Hillary’s short lived “Grandma” campaign, was stabbed to death by a (Woman!) NYC fashion “victim” journalist, who identified the coat as a 13,000€ Armani creation! Some ‘grandma’….
    Moving on, why I like this post is because I was never in the Military, yet many here are/was. I learn something! The frightful photograph of a US bureaucrat in front of a Lockheed Martin logo ie militaristic. In my day, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, spent a lot money in Life, Look, Time, etc. bragging about their newest commercial jets: not wars, but CONSUMERS! (Military ads were in trade journals.) Hot delicious food! Smooth ride! Etc.
    Sounds corny, until you view what Western War intervention has wrought: unlivable cities where w



  4. PS Didn’t finish my reply; something wrong with internet tonight.
    Anyway, “Sounds corny, until you view what Western War intervention has wrought: unlivable cities where water supplies & sewage are better on a 747.”


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