Trump Treason?

Here we go again. Trump is being impeached over his dealings with Ukraine, even as he accuses Democrats like Adam Schiff of treason. This sordid spectacle will doubtless dominate the news for the next few months, and probably longer. Impeachment, as they say, is a political process, and thus partisanship will reign supreme, fueled by Trump’s temper tantrums and his rhetoric of coups and civil wars.

Trump is, simply put, constitutionally unsuited to be president. Not just because he doesn’t know the U.S. Constitution: he doesn’t have a public service bone in his body. It makes perfect sense to him to use his position and its powers for his own personal gain. He’s been doing that his entire life, so why stop now? Trump also sees himself as a victim — the biggest victim in all of history. He reminds me of the comedian Rodney Dangerfield, whose shtick was about how he got no respect.

It’s all so sad and depressing, and it’s only just begun.

Bracing Views

soccer Trump gets a soccer ball from Putin.  A win-win?

W.J. Astore

America’s MAGA President, Donald Trump, has generated enormous criticism for his news conference with Vladimir Putin.  Typical of this is James Fallows at The Atlantic, who wrote that “Never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people.”  A “national nightmare,” opined The Washington Post.  A “train wreck,” said NBC News, that made Russians “gleeful.”

Is Trump advancing the interests of Russia?  Is this an example of high crimes and misdemeanors, perhaps even rising to treason?

Methinks not.  Trump, if he is advancing Russian interests, is doing so indirectly.  Because only one thing matters to Trump: his own interests.  With Trump, it really is all about him.

Consider the accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016…

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68 thoughts on “Trump Treason?

  1. As I understand treason it pertains only to making war on the United States or giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. My question is “Who is an enemy of the United States?” Does the “enemy” have to be identified by a declaration of war? Does the enemy have to be a country? Can an individual person “levy war” on the United States? I am not educated enough on this issue to know these answers but I am willing to learn.


    1. Hi Ken: I think Trump uses it in the sense of personal disloyalty, which is the wrong sense, but that’s Trump.

      To me, treason is betraying the American people, putting them at risk. So, for example, if I betrayed military secrets to a foreign entity that put U.S. personnel in harm’s way, that’s treason. We can think of infamous examples from history, like Benedict Arnold or Quisling.

      Did Edward Snowden commit treason? Or was he a patriot? He did reveal secrets, but very carefully, and no U.S. personnel to my knowledge were harmed. He revealed the U.S. government was spying on Americans, hence he served the American people rather than betraying them. I put Snowden in the category of a whistleblower motivated by patriotism.

      To my knowledge, neither Trump nor Schiff nor anyone else has committed treason. Trump may have done illegal things, he may have done things that prove to be unconstitutional, but he hasn’t done treasonous things.


      1. Best line I’ve heard is before all of us were cognisant. A sarcastic USSR Envoy said at the UN in the 60’s: “Ukraine is Soviet’s SICILY!” Of course a blow to ‘Western Democracy’ fantasies, but today proves he was right on!


  2. ‘We get the leaders we deserve.’

    Why do we deserve them?

    Because we put them there.

    Who’s ‘we’?

    We the people.

    We the people are responsible for what our leaders do in our name. Even if we did not vote for that particulars person, we are members of a society that put them there.

    If we want better leaders, elect ’em.

    If we have rotten leaders, get rid of ’em.


  3. I want to see everything and everyone having anything to do with the U.S.-Ukraine “relationship” openly investigated before the American public. Let the proverbial “chips” fall where they may. Towards that end, perhaps some background history might help dispel at least a little of the Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification spewing like clouds of acidic fog and dust from all orifices of the current (and in the U.S., increasingly desperate) corporate media-circus. From The Moon of Alabama blog (October 3, 2019) [emphasis added]:


    For the last 75 years Eastern Europe and much of Western Europe has relied on a constant flow of cheap hydrocarbon fuel from Russia. Russia has made huge efforts to guarantee the reliability of this supply. For most of the time Eastern Europe received this energy practically for free. In Western Europe reliable Russian natural gas supplies have enabled the phasing out of high-CO2 coal and even of nuclear energy. In Ukraine and the rest of the Soviet Union gas replaced firewood. This enabled urbanization and turning most land over to agriculture.

    The United States has done everything possible to try to disrupt or stop this energy flow. In the early 1980s sanctions were imposed on West European companies involved in the construction of the Trans-Siberian Pipeline that now passes through Ukraine. Recent achievements include blocking SouthStream and delaying NordStream2. Modern propaganda speaks of “European energy dependence on Russia” and “Gazprom’s gas monopoly”. The alternative demanded by the US: build enormously expensive LNG terminals and import bottled LNG from USA. This American surplus gas would be produced by fracking.

    The main geopolitical aim of the [Obama/Clinton sponsored] Maidan coup was to disrupt the gas flow on the trans-Ukrainian pipelines. Simply blowing up the pipelines was not possible, as Ukraine was dependent on Russian gas imports. By making Ukraine self-sufficient on energy, even temporarily, would enable the US to dismantle the gas pipelines. The solution to fast but unstable gas supplies is fracking. Fracked oil and gas wells produce most of their output in the first year and quickly run out, but leave permanent damage to the environment.

    Burisma was the gas company chosen for the implementation of the fracking plan. Biden’s son Hunter was placed on the board, not as a form of bribery but because of the importance of this geopolitical project. The largest gas reserves in Ukraine for fracking are in the east, in the fully Russian parts of the Ukraine. A central point of the fracking operation was to be Slavyansk on the former Donetsk Oblast.

    Fear of fracking [and its poisoning of agricultural lands] played a major part in the opposition to the Maidan coup in Kiev. The armed uprising against the new rulers started in Slavyansk on April 8, 2014. By May 2014 the Donetsk People’s Republic had been established in a referendum.

    It would really help the quality of discussion if those engaged in it would do a little bit of research into the forces, motives, and actors only barely glimpsed behind the increasingly tattered veil of “horse race” (a.k.a., which rat leads the pack at the moment) corporate media “coverage.”


  4. More research from this morning while waiting for the furniture store to deliver a new mattress and some computer chairs. History and context from someone who knows better than most. See:Unasked Questions About US-Ukrainian Relations
    Is US national security being trumped by loathing for Trump?
    , by Stephen F. Cohen, the Unz Review (October 3, 2019).

    The transcript of President Trump’s July 25 telephone conversation with Ukraine’s recently elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has ignited the usual anti-Trump bashing in American political-media circles, even more calls for impeachment, with little, if any, regard for the national security issues involved. Leave aside that Trump should not have been compelled to make the transcript public and ask: Which, if any, foreign leaders will now feel free to conduct personal telephone diplomacy with an American president directly or indirectly, of the kind that helped end the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, knowing that his or her comments might become known to domestic political opponents? Consider instead only the following undiscussed issues:

    § Even if former vice president Joseph Biden, who figured prominently in the Trump-Zelensky conversation, is not the Democratic nominee, Ukraine is now likely to be a contested, and poisonous, issue in the 2020 US presidential election. How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine’s torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion, as some of us who opposed that folly back in the 1990s warned would be the case, and not only in Ukraine. The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country’s constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass. All those fateful events infused the Trump-Zelensky talk, if only between the lines.

    § Russia shares centuries of substantial civilizational values, language, culture, geography, and intimate family relations with Ukraine. America does not. Why, then, is it routinely asserted in the US political-media establishment that Ukraine is a “vital US national interest” and not a vital zone of Russian national security, as by all geopolitical reckoning it would seem to be? The standard American establishment answer is: because of “Russian aggression against Ukraine.” But the “aggression” cited is Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for anti-Kiev fighters in the Donbass civil war, both of which came after, not before, the Maidan crisis, and indeed were a direct result of it. That is, in Moscow’s eyes, it was reacting, not unreasonably, to US-led “aggression.” In any event, as opponents of eastward expansion also warned in the 1990s, NATO has increased no one’s security, only diminished security throughout the region bordering Russia.

    § Which brings us back to the Trump-Zelensky telephone conversation. President Zelensky ran and won overwhelmingly as a peace-with-Moscow candidate, which is why the roughly $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine, authorized by Congress, figured anomalously in the conversation. Trump is being sharply criticized for withholding that aid or threatening to do so, including by Obama partisans. Forgotten, it seems, is that President Obama, despite considerable bipartisan pressure, steadfastly refused to authorize such military assistance to Kiev>/b>, presumably because it might escalate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict (and Russia, with its long border with Ukraine, had every escalatory advantage). Instead of baiting Trump on this issue, we should hope he encourages the new peace talks that Zelensky has undertaken in recent days with Moscow, which could end the killing in Donbass. (For this, Zelensky is being threatened by well-armed extreme Ukrainian nationalists, even quasi-fascists. Strong American support for his negotiations with Moscow may not deter them, but it might.)

    § Finally, but not surprisingly, the shadow of Russiagate is now morphing into Ukrainegate. Trump is also being sharply criticized for asking Zelensky to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the origins of Russiagate, even though the role of Ukrainian-Americans and Ukraine itself in Russiagate allegations against Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton in 2016 is now well-documented.
    We need to know fully the origins of Russiagate, arguably the worst presidential scandal in American history, and if Ukrainian authorities can contribute to that understanding, they should be encouraged to do so
    . As I’ve argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security. Imaging, for example, a Cuban missile–like crisis somewhere in the world today where Washington and Moscow are militarily eyeball-to-eyeball, directly or through proxies, from the Baltic and the Black Seas to Syria and Ukraine. Will Trump’s presidential legitimacy be sufficient for him to resolve such an existential crisis peacefully, as President John F. Kennedy did in 1962?


  5. Still more from this morning’s research, this time from a Russian military analyst who has lived and worked in the United States for decades. See: Saker rant: reaction to the Dems attempt to impeach Trump, The Vineyard of the Saker (September 24, 2019). Just a few excerpts of a longer article:

    I think that most readers know that I am not a fan of Trump or the Republican Party.  But I have to say that compared to the Democrats, the folks at the GOP are quasi decent; not very bright and only decent in comparison with the Dems, but still.

    I have always maintained that the Neocons will try to impeach Trump and that he was what I called a “disposable” President the Neocons will use for dumb shit like moving the US embassy to al-Quds [i.e., “Jerusalem”] before jettisoning him, but I never thought that the Dems would have the chutzpah to pull off exactly the same trick TWICE!

    What do I mean by that?

    Look at that sequence:

    Hillary does something dumb and insiders at the DNC leak documents.  What do the Dems do?  Invent the entire Russiagate charade.

    This time around:

    The Bidens do something dumb and somebody finds out.  What do the Dems do?  Invent a brand new “Ukrainegate”!

    Exact same trick.  Twice!

    And since chances are that the Senate will never impeach Trump, the real reason they are now talking about impeachment is just to help Biden and his campaign.  In other words, the Dems are doing exactly what they are accusing Trump of doing: they are trying to use a foreign power to interfere in US elections.

    [end excerpt]


  6. Added to my research reading for this morning, consider this hilarious bit of history, from and expatriate Russian engineer, houseboat designer, and author of many books on the collapse of Empire: Look who’s not laughing! , by Dmitry Orlov, Club Orlov (September 30, 2019). A true gem in the annals of “It hurts so bad, I’ve just got to laugh” category. A lot of interesting and useful history of Russia and the Ukraine in this article, but I’ll just excerpt the more salient parts relating to the significantly notorious telephone call:

    But [Ukrainian President] Zelensky isn’t laughing; in fact, seated next to Trump, he projected abject misery. Why is that? The reasons are clear. By publishing the transcript of their telephone conversation, Trump treated him as a nonentity to whom the usual rules of secrecy governing private communications between leaders of sovereign nations do not apply. And then upon reading the transcript it becomes clear that Zelensky had grovelled shamefully before Trump, had bad-mouthed Merkel and Macron and had generally made a fool of himself. The context in which the transcript was released thrust Zelensky into the middle of a bitter partisan fight within the United States, in which he has no good moves: if he refuses to investigate Burisma Holdings, which is at the heart of the Biden scandal, Trump will never talk to him again; if he allows the investigation to proceed, Trump’s sworn enemies will go after his scalp.

    And then there is the fact that Trump, in a few short sentences, completely demolished the entire political construct of modern Ukraine. For Trump, it was an Obama/Clinton legacy project, and, as with everything those two had ever touched, a failure and an embarrassment. Therefore, Trump’s message is, you are dismissed, and if you want help, then talk to the Europeans (whom you just insulted). Then, Trump wants good relations with Russia and has no need for a Russophobic Ukraine remote-controlled by elements of the [U.S.] Deep State. In telling Zelensky to go and talk to Putin, Trump stymied an entire unproductive and harmful direction of US foreign policy. The fallout was quick: US special envoy to the Ukraine Kurt Volker swiftly resigned.

    Zelensky is now completely isolated. He can’t talk to Trump because Trump isn’t interested. He can’t talk to the Europeans because he had just insulted them. And he’s been told to talk to Putin… except he can’t. First, Putin has been endlessly painted as the image of the enemy in the Ukrainian press, and if Zelensky tries to make peace with Putin he will be made to look like a traitor and may face rebellion from within his own ranks.

    Second, Putin has made it clear that there is nothing for them to discuss until Zelensky fulfills his promises, as spelled out in the Minsk agreements. Namely, the Ukrainian side has to stand down militarily and pass legislation to put in place a federalized structure in which Donetsk and Lugansk, and other regions if they so wish, are granted wide autonomy. But if this were to happen, then the Ukraine, in its current conception as a monoethnic unitary state, will cease to exist because there is no common ground between the pro-Western Nazis and the Russians in the east.

    Oh, yes. I want anything and everything about the U.S. and Ukraine investigated, but I already know a significant amount by completely tuning out the concentrated conglomerate corporate media mouthpieces while reading a few knowledgeable authors over a few hours one morning waiting for a furniture delivery.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the research, Mike. What a tangled web they weave.

    Hunter Biden: $50K a month, and for what? But when you’re talking about billions of dollars in the energy sector, our boy Hunter sold himself cheap.

    As usual, Trump “crimes,” such as they are, are much less egregious than the apparent cover-ups and his nasty rhetoric about coups and civil wars.

    What this latest impeachment kerfuffle truly reveals is how bankrupt both political parties are.

    Bernie Sanders is right: time for a political revolution. It’s fascinating to witness how Bernie and Tulsi are attacked by the mainstream media, even as candidates like Warren and Harris and Biden are celebrated.

    If Bernie or Tulsi don’t win the nomination, I think we’re going to see four more years of Trump. That’s how incompetent (and corrupt) the DNC is.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Peter Van Buren makes good points here:

    The last thing Joe Biden needed was more baggage. It’ll take awhile for him to realize it, but he’s done, doomed by kompromat never actually found. Impeachment will so dominate the media that no one will listen to whatever the other primary Dems have to say. Kamala Harris in the midst of all this was so desperate for attention she was still trying to drum up support for impeaching Brett Kavanaugh. Elizabeth Warren will emerge as the nominee. Goodbye then to all the minor Dems, see you in 2024, perhaps running against Mike Pence after Trump’s second term.

    The case is weak, though with their House majority, that might not stop the Dems from impeaching a president just months ahead of an election based on a partisan interpretation of a few words to a minor world leader. Impeachment didn’t even come up in the last Democratic debate, yet heading into the early caucuses, the faces of the party will be Adam Schiff and the agita-driven Hillary. Democrats are taking that road instead of talking about jobs, health care, immigration, or any of the other issues voters do care about.


  9. As Eugene Debs said,

    “The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to labor.”

    I have little doubt in my mind that Corporate Joe Biden greased the wheels for his son, Hunter to get a cushy job sitting on the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings in Ukraine in 2014. $50K a month may look like chump change to some. It is about twice as much as most people get in a year on Social Security.

    The New York Post has an interesting article dated March 15, 2018: Inside the shady private equity firm run by Kerry and Biden’s kids.

    Of course the line being used by the Corporate Press on behalf of Corporate Joe Biden: > There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.<<

    Or as Debs also said,
    "The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles."

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Trump seems to have been placed in office as a sort of lightning rod to attract the people’s anger; while behind his back those who put him there are consolidating their real power.
    Maybe the US will get its military dictatorship after all.


    1. In attempting to explain Donald Trump and the Death Match he has stumbled into versus the FBI/CIA/Corporate-oligarchy Borg, we can proceed in a calm, serious, academic way; or we can attend the latest showing of the updated Rocky Horror Picture Show and do it the sarcastic, cynical, satirical way. First, the former. Then, the latter in a follow-up comment.

      Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! asked America’s leading public intellectual, Noam Chomsky, to explain Donald Trump. He did so (and on my mother’s birthday, too). See: Noam Chomsky: Democrats May Have Handed Trump the 2020 Election , Democracy Now (April 22, 2019).

      The interview took place before Robert “WMD” Mueller imploded while attempting to testify before a House committee, taking the whole “Russia-gate” hoax back with him to the senility wing of the FBI/CIA/Democratic party asylum from whence it came. None the less, Professor Chomsky’s analysis remains timely and unaffected by the real life events that have validated it.

      [Begin Transcript]

      AMY GOODMAN: Can you share your analysis of President Trump? You have lived through so many presidents. Explain President Trump to us and assess the massive response to him.

      NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Trump is—you know, I think there are a number of illusions about Trump. If you take a look at the Trump phenomenon, it’s not very surprising. Think back for the last 10 or 15 years over Republican Party primaries, and remember what happened during the primaries. Each primary, when some candidate rose from the base, they were so outlandish that the Republican establishment tried to crush them and succeeded in doing it—Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum. Anyone who was coming out of the base was totally unacceptable to the establishment. The change in 2016 is they couldn’t crush him.

      But the interesting question is: Why was this happening? Why, in election after election, was the voting base producing a candidate utterly intolerable to the establishment? And the answer to that is—if you think about that, the answer is not very hard to discover. During the—since the 1970s, during this neoliberal period, both of the political parties have shifted to the right. The Democrats, by the 1970s, had pretty much abandoned the working class. I mean, the last gasp of more or less progressive Democratic Party legislative proposals was the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act in 1978, which Carter watered down so that it had no teeth, just became voluntary. But the Democrats had pretty much abandoned the working class. They became pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans shifted so far to the right that they went completely off the spectrum. Two of the leading political analysts of the American Enterprise Institute, Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein, about five or 10 years ago, described the Republican Party as what they called a “radical insurgency” that has abandoned parliamentary politics.

      Well, why did that happen? It happened because the Republicans face a difficult problem. They have a primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get votes. What do you do to get votes? This was begun by Richard Nixon with the Southern strategy: try to pick up racists in the South. The mid-1970s, Paul Weyrich, one of the Republican strategists, hit on a brilliant idea. Northern Catholics voted Democratic, tended to vote Democratic, a lot of them working-class. The Republicans could pick up that vote by pretending—crucially, “pretending”—to be opposed to abortion. By the same pretense, they could pick up the evangelical vote. Those are big votes—evangelicals, northern Catholics. Notice the word “pretense.” It’s crucial. You go back to the 1960s, every leading Republican figure was strongly, what we call now, pro-choice. The Republican Party position was—that’s Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, all the leadership—their position was: Abortion is not the government’s business; it’s private business—government has nothing to say about it. They turned almost on a dime in order to try to pick up a voting base on what are called cultural issues. Same with gun rights. Gun rights become a matter of holy writ because you can pick up part of the population that way. In fact, what they’ve done is put together a coalition of voters based on issues that are basically, you know, tolerable to the establishment, but they don’t like it. OK? And they’ve got to hold that, those two constituencies, together. The real constituency of wealth and corporate power, they’re taken care of by the actual legislation.

      So, if you look at the legislation under Trump, it’s just lavish gifts to the wealth and the corporate sector—the tax bill, the deregulation, you know, every case in point. That’s kind of the job of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, those guys. They serve the real constituency. Meanwhile, Trump has to maintain the voting constituency, with one outrageous position after another that appeals to some sector of the voting base. And he’s doing it very skillfully. As just as a political manipulation, it’s skillful. Work for the rich and the powerful, shaft everybody else, but get their votes—that’s not an easy trick. And he’s carrying it off.

      And, I should say, the Democrats are helping him. They are. Take the focus on Russiagate. What’s that all about? I mean, it was pretty obvious at the beginning that you’re not going to find anything very serious about Russian interference in elections. I mean, for one thing, it’s undetectable. I mean, in the 2016 election, the Senate and the House went the same way as the executive, but nobody claims there was Russian interference there. In fact, you know, Russian interference in the election, if it existed, was very slight, much less, say, than interference by, say, Israel. Israel, the prime minister, Netanyahu, goes to Congress and talks to a joint session of Congress, without even informing the White House, to attack Obama’s policies. I mean, that’s dramatic interference with elections. Whatever the Russians tried, it’s not going to be anything like that. And, in fact, there’s no interference in elections that begins to compare with campaign funding. Remember that campaign funding alone gives you a very high prediction of electoral outcome. It’s, again, Tom Ferguson’s major work which has shown this very persuasively. That’s massive interference in elections. Anything the Russians might have done is going to be, you know, peanuts in comparison. As far as Trump collusion with the Russians, that was never going to amount to anything more than minor corruption, maybe building a Trump hotel in Red Square or something like that, but nothing of any significance.

      The Democrats invested everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election. That’s just a—that’s a matter of being so unwilling to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on the side that will somehow give political success. The real issues are different things. They’re things like climate change, like global warming, like the Nuclear Posture Review, deregulation. These are real issues. But the Democrats aren’t going after those. They’re looking for something else—the Democratic establishment. I’m not talking about the young cohort that’s coming in, which is quite different. Just all of that has to be shifted significantly, if there’s going to be a legitimate political opposition to the right-wing drift that’s taking place. And it can happen, can definitely happen, but it’s going to take work.

      [End Transcript]

      Part Two to follow.


      1. And now for the really ugly stuff:

        Trumpenstein Must be Destroyed!, by C.J. Hopkins, the Unz Review (October 4, 2019)

        [Begin Transcript]

        So here we go. Like a 1960s straight-to-drive-in Hammer Film Production, the 2020 campaign season has begun. Dig into your bucket of popcorn, pop the flap on your box of Good & Plenty, turn off your mind, and enjoy the show. From the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be a doozy.

        That’s right, folks, it’s the final installment of the popular Trumpenstein horror movie series, TRUMPENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED! It will be playing, more or less around the clock, on more or less every screen in existence, until November 3, 2020 … or until Trump takes that lonely walk across the White House lawn to the Marine One chopper and flies off to Mar-a-Lago in disgrace.

        Here’s a quick recap of the series so far, for those who may be joining us late.

        When we last saw Trumpenstein he was out on the balcony of the White House South Portico in his Brioni boxers, ripped to the gills on Diet Coke and bellowing like a bull elephant seal. Having narrowly survived the Resistance’s attempts to expose him as a Russian intelligence asset (and the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler), he was pounding his chest and hollering angry gibberish at the liberal media like the Humongous in the second Mad Max movie.

        The liberal mob was standing around with their torches and pitchforks in a state of shock. Doctor Mueller, the “monster hunter,” had let Trumpenstein slip through his fingers. The supposedly ironclad case against him had turned out to be a bunch of lies made up by the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media.

        Russiagate was officially dead. The President of the United States was not a Russian secret agent. No one was blackmailing anyone with a videotape of Romanian prostitutes peeing on a bed where Obama once slept. All that had happened was, millions of liberals had been subjected to the most elaborate psyop in the history of elaborate deep state psyops … which, ironically, had only further strengthened Trumpenstein, who was out there on the Portico balcony, shotgunning Diet Cokes with one hand and shaking his junk at the mob with the other.

        It wasn’t looking so good for “democracy.”

        Fortunately, even though Russiagate had blown up in the Resistance’s faces and Trumpenstein could no longer be painted as a traitorous Russian intelligence asset (or as Vladimir Putin’s homosexual lover), he was still the reanimated corpse of Hitler, so they went balls out on the fascism hysteria, which kept the Resistance alive through the summer.

        Which was all they really needed to do. Because these last three years were basically just a warm-up for the main event, which was always scheduled to begin this autumn. Russiagate, Hitlergate, and all the rest of it … it was all just a prelude to these impeachment hearings, and to the mass hysteria surrounding same, which the global capitalist ruling classes, the Intelligence Community, and the corporate media will be barraging us with until November 2020. The details don’t really matter that much. They were always going to impeach him for something, and they were always going to do it now, and throughout the 2020 campaign season. [emphasis added]

        You do not honestly believe they are going to let him serve a second term, do you? He took them by surprise in 2016. That isn’t going to happen again [emphasis added]. Seriously, take a moment and reflect on everything we’ve been subjected to since Hillary Clinton lost the election … the unmitigated insanity of it all. The Russiagate hysteria. The Russian hacker hysteria. The Russian Facebook mind-control hysteria. The Hitler hysteria. The mass fascism hysteria. The anti-Semitism hysteria. The concentration camp hysteria. The white supremacist terrorism hysteria. Russian spy whales. Perfume assassins. The endless stream of fabricated “news” stories pumped out by the corporate media. Best-selling books, based on nothing. Comedians singing hymns to former FBI directors on national television. Celebrities demanding CIA coups. Papers of record like The New York Times coordinating blatant propaganda campaigns. The list goes on, and on, and on.

        All of this because one billionaire ass clown won an election without their permission? [emphasis added]

        No, this was never just about Donald Trump, repulsive and corrupt as the man may be. The stakes have always been much higher than that. What we’ve witnessed over the the last three years (and what is about to reach its apogee) is a global capitalist counter-insurgency, the goal of which is (a) to put down the ongoing populist rebellion throughout the West, and (b) to crush any hope of resistance to the hegemony of global capitalism … in other words, a War on Populism [emphasis added].

        Not that Donald Trump is a populist hero. Far from it. Trump is a narcissistic clown. He has always been a narcissistic clown. All he really cares about is seeing his face on television and plastering his name on everything in sight, preferably in huge gold letters. He got himself elected president by being cunning enough to recognize and ride the tsunami of populist anger that was building up in 2016, and that has continued to build throughout his presidency. It is not going away, that anger [emphasis added]. The Western masses are no more thrilled about the global capitalist future today than they were when voted for Brexit, and Trump, and various other “populist” and reactionary figures.

        Which is precisely why Trumpenstein must be destroyed, and why Brexit must not be allowed to happen … or, if it does, why the people of the United Kingdom must be mercilessly punished. It is also why the Gilets Jaunes are being brutally repressed by the French police, and disappeared by the corporate media (while the Hong Kong protesters garner daily headlines), and why Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party must be smeared as a hive of anti-Semites, and Tulsi Gabbard as an Assad-apologist, and why Julian Assange must be smeared and destroyed, and why Bernie Sanders must also be destroyed [emphasis added], and why anyone of any ilk (left, right, it doesn’t matter) riding that wave of populist anger or challenging the hegemony of global capitalism and its psychotic, smiley-face ideology in any other way must be destroyed.

        2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or … God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years? [emphasis added]

        They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster … not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism) [emphasis added]. They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war in order to prevent civil war. And, if that doesn’t work, and Trump gets reelected (or if it looks like he’s going to get reelected), they’ll probably have to just go ahead and kill him.

        One way or another, this is it. This is the part where the global capitalist ruling classes teach us all a lesson. The lesson they intend to teach us is the same old lesson that masters have been teaching slaves since the dawn of slavery. The lesson is, “abandon hope.” The lesson is, “resistance is futile.” The lesson is, “shut up, eat your tofu, get back to work at your three gig jobs, service your school loans and your credit card debt, vote for who and what we tell you, and be grateful we don’t fucking kill you [emphasis added]. Oh, yeah … and if you want to rebel against something, feel free to take up identity politics, or to march around town with posters of Saint Greta demanding that we stop destroying the planet. We’ll get right on that, don’t you worry.”

        What? You thought this had a happy ending, that Trumpenstein and the Bride of Trumpenstein were going to ride off into the orange sunrise at Mar-a-Lago in a Trump-branded golf cart, having made America great again … or that Bernie was going to storm the castle, vanquish Trumpenstein, and set up something resembling basic social democracy?

        I told you it was a horror film, didn’t I?

        [End Transcript]

        So, there we have it all laid out for us. Personally, I want to see the FBI, CIA, and Joined Chefs of Stuff abolished, just for starters. I never did care for J. Edgar Hoover, Allan Dulles, or any Army General beginning with William Westmoreland. I hope this bloody charade explodes in the faces of anyone and everyone flogging it in hopes of scoring some points with the ruling corporatist oligarchs who might throw a few crumbs their way for “services rendered.”


        1. Hmm, I wonder. Trumpenstein, one has to admit, is a survivor. Will he emerge even stronger from all this?


        2. And the DIA too. Or the Marine Corps Intelligence. So many military intelligence agencies, really wasteful.


          1. Yes, of course it’s wasteful Oyster, but if you’re Deep State, and US taxpayers pay the bills, it’s great! It confuses everyone whose paying the bills, US taxpayers.
            I knew all about Booz Allen Hamilton in the 60’s. It was a ‘public relations’ firm: they did things we in advertising didn’t know how to do. Say the CEO of Gerber Baby Foods, pins a diaper on a stripper in LV; photos splashed in National Enquirer. Shit! We’ve got a huge campaign! Cancel? VERY expensive in cancellation charges of publication ‘space’ (pages). So we’d hire BAH. They’d race around in their limos, bend arms, blackmail, publications reminding them we also had Ford, Chase, etc. “Write a retraction! Slam NE!” They’d go along!
            But in those days, it was petty capitalists scams. When you think about it, it was the CEO’s wife’s problem, not the quality of the product for babies. Fake News is born!
            Companies like BAH & MANY OTHERS today suck off on US Government “intelligence”. It’s a gravy train on trouble; something I never imagined in my youth….and obviously far more profitable…..


          2. Speaking of intelligence agencies – this whole Trump charade is beginning to look like a fight between intelligence agencies.

            Say for instance the DIA & friends brought Trump to power, because Flynn was upset for having been removed as head of the agency – but there’s no smoke without a fire so he must have done something and he was offered a “honorable discharge” into retirement only he didn’t take it – and that is probably the reason we’ve been seeing so much demonization of the CIA and other rivals. Flynn started rumors about the Obama administration, his son started Pizzagate.. the Flynn’s are good at starting rumors. Their Russian and Hungarian friends kept beating the Rothschild and Soros horse and voila.. Trump is elected.

            And on the other side say the CIA and friends who are tired of being dragged through the mud non stop and they want to put a stop to it, and who can blame them, and perhaps know a thing or two. President Agent Orange has been a national embarrassment indeed and the question is who benefits from that.


      2. Very interesting how Russia seems to be liked by both leftists and conservatives, and even the neo-Nazis.


        1. I don’t think it’s about “liking” Russia or Putin specifically. It’s about not hating them for no good reason.

          Think of that old Sting song, “Russians,” from the Reagan years. Sting took a lot of flak for his “naive” lyrics, supposedly pro-Russian. But I’d call them pro-human.

          The neo-Nazis? They seem to like Russia because it’s a “White” country, which shows you how much they know about Russia and its diversity.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Great post WJAstore! Russia is HARDLY ‘NeoNazi’! The entire country lost 25M+ people to Hitler Nazism. OK, they returned to Communism after, but we must remember: A country that gave so much sacrifice for the HOMELAND! No one: Napoleon, Churchill, etc. ever broke it up.
            I’ll have to check outs Stings “Russians”. When I was young it was only disco music I loved!


          2. Indeed. Except perhaps for a little unifying factor: all the alt-right leaders have some sort of Russian connection, whether a wife, or funding from the Kremlin, or paramilitary training in Russia. The KGB has a long history of working with fringe groups, they share a common ideology of hatred and contempt for the rest of the world.

            And I would say that the other factor which makes even conservatives and leftists agree on this one curious subject of liking Russia is the very effective propaganda of the Russian state. There are many reasons why the Russians should not be trusted, yet those are usually swept under the carpet in the counterattack by Russia apologists. The entire campaign is run military style, by military people (or imitations of them) and it works so well that the democratic institutions of the West will soon be destroyed by Westerners themselves before they even realize what they’re doing.

            The fact that those institutions have been compromised by corrupted people is not a reason to look to Russia for leadership. Its reality is dismal. The West must try to fix its own problems, because there are no good guys in this fight.


      3. Chomsky nails it. Where are the Democrats on the “real issues”? Climate change, nuclear weapons, health care, true tax reform for the working classes, ending the wars, a $15 minimum wage, and so on. Where’s the fire on those issues? Where’s Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Hanging with their corporate masters, that’s where.


  11. It is funny in a gallows humor sense about all the people in a lather about President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence leaning on the Ukraine for some quid pro quo as if this is some new phenomenon in American politics.

    There is probably a wall somewhere in the dark recesses of the Security-Miltary-Industrial Complex of a list of countries where coups, and assassinations aided and abetted some multi-national corporation to retain control of the banana forests, pineapple crops or fossil fuels and precious metals.

    What a marvelous way (Impeachment) to divert the masses attention and wear them down so by the time 2020 comes along political exhaustion has set in.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The media should insist the White House to release all the transcripts of the Putin-Trump discussions.
    The White House shouldn’t be afraid to do it if they got nothing to hide.


    1. Transparency is good. But leaders do need to be able to speak privately and confidentially, without fear that all their words will be released. A balance needs to be struck.


  13. Wanted to share this video that I just saw. Bernie is the real deal. If the DNC screws him again, I hope he runs as a third-party candidate.


    1. The revelation of a heart problem – “a cardiac issue” – combined with his age and the Great Unwashed’s general ignorance regarding the difference between socialism and communism probably sinks Bernie’s chances of a nomination with Those Who Really Decide Such Things in the DNC. And I should think whoever does get the nomination will be encouraged to find a younger and healthier VP candidate. Some of his ideas may be co-opted, but his health will be “a legitimate concern” and been seen as reason enough to say him nay.


      1. Yes — his minor heart issue, together with his age, will be used against him. And democratic socialism, as usual, will be equated with confiscatory communism. Welcome to Amerika!


  14. As part of my ongoing research effort over the past several days, I’ve had to spend many hours laboriously typing up transcripts of video programs that I felt had a lot to contribute to an understanding of where we find ourselves today. I have posted several of these home-made transcripts in my comments above for those who don’t have the time or inclination to do that themselves. As well, I have posted links to, and transcripts of, other Internet articles supportive of these video transcripts. I will continue to do this and then, later, draw upon such material for my own comments and observations.

    For today’s initial transcript offering, I have to congratulate Tucker Carlson of Fox Noise for going after the CIA and its corporate media apologists in a forthright, if not ruthless, manner. Good for him. Someone had to do it. About time, too. The video appears embedded in an article by Seraphim Hanisch, The Duran (October 5, 2019), entitled, Tucker Carlson unleashes severe criticism of US Intel Community

    [Begin Transcript of the Tucker Carlson Video]

    Looking back, January of 2017, seems like another age. So much has happened in the years since then. But in other ways, not that much has changed at all. Donald Trump had not even taken the oath of office yet, but by the first week of the new year of 2017, in case you don’t remember, Permanent Washington had already committed to destroying his presidency. And Trump seemed to know it. A little after 8 pm on January 3 2017, the Presient-elect wrote a tweet, He took a veiled dig at U.S. intelligence agencies for their handling of the then newly initiated “Russia” investigation. At pretty much the same moment, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York was arriving at MSNBC’s mid-town Manhattan studios. He went to the set, and the anchor of the show he was on that night, Rachel Maddow, pulled up Trump’s tweet on a screen, live on TV, and asked Chuck Schumer to comment on that tweet.

    Donald J. Trump: “The “intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time was needed to build a case. Very strange

    Now Schumer hadn’t seen the tweet before, of course, and couldn’t have known it was coming. For one of the most calculating politicians in Washington, it was a rare, unscripted moment. And so for the first time in a long time Chuck Schumer just went with the unvarnished truth. Watch what he said.

    “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back attcha. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

    So, Schumer went on to say that he didn’t know what the spy agencies would do to Donald Trump as punishment for being “dumb” enough to criticize them in public. But, he warned, and this is a verbatim quote:

    “From what I am told, they are very upset about how he has treated them and talked about them.”

    Very upset. Got it? There’s no mistaking what that was. That’s a threat. Issued on live television with grave seriousness by a politician who has been in Washington long enough to know that it’s absolutely real. In the end, Donald Trump ignored it. Or, more likely, he decided to defy it. Day after day, he gave the finger to the permanent Washington establishment; often on Twitter, sometimes at press conferences, but always with unmistakable relish. Trump acted like a man who had won an election in a democratic country. He seemed to feel free to say exactly what he really thought. He didn’t appear to believe that the “intelligence” agencies had veto-power over his agenda. In a thousand different ways, the New President refused to bow. And for that crime, more than any other crime, he was punished, most recently by the manufactured Ukraine scandal.

    The Intel world, meanwhile, has become increasingly defiant. Just yesterday former CIA director, John Brennan expressed outrage that anyone would dare impose oversight of the intelligence agencies that secretly oversee our lives.

    “I am supposedly going to be interviewed by Mr Durham as part of this non-investigation. I remember William Barr, when he was testifying in front of Congress, said that “he didn’t understand the predication of the counter-intelligence investigation that was launched into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. I don’t understand the predication of this world-wide effort to try to uncover dirt, either real or imagined, that would discredit that investigation in 2016 into Russian interference.”

    John Brennan is a naked partisan. And he’s a liar. He has acted in ways that would have shocked and horrified previous CIA directors, and that’s saying a lot. But John Brennan is not ashamed. Far from it. He’s proud. And so are his many acolytes in Washington. Phil Mudd is a former CIA employee. Like so many partisans from the intelligence world, he’s now a contributor at CNN. Last night Mudd sent an on-air warning to the President and his lawyer. “Back off, or prepare to get hurt.”

    Mudd: I spent a lot of time in government. There are State Department officials who will testify, intel guys, DOD, Department of Defense people. All of us are sort of a brotherhood and sisterhood. Rudy Giuliani, he parachutes in from Mars. The people who will testify are going to look at him, including State Department Officials, and say: “I don’t have to protect that guy. He didn’t operate by the rules. He didn’t do what you’re supposed to do in government. I suspect he’s worried about what the Congress would do. If I were him, I’d be worried that people in government are going to stick a shiv in his back. He’s in trouble.”

    So it’s a brotherhood, says Phil Mudd of the CIA. A brotherhood that will stab you to death if you disobey. What Phil Mudd is describing is not a conventional government agency. It’s nothing like most of us imagine when we think about what Washington is doing on our behalf. The CIA of John Brennan and Phil Mudd does not exist for our benefit. It exists solely for the benefit of the people who work there. We pay for the whole thing, but they do what they want. And they punish anyone who criticizes them. They brag about that. Now that’s scary, of course. That’s a perversion of democracy. It’s exactly what the people who created the CIA feared most. But also, if we’re going to be honest, it’s annoying.

    Because for all of the hype, the CIA, in the end, isn’t even very good at its job. Now remember, this is an “intelligence” agency. So it’s fair to judge their performance against whether or not they predicted crucial events over the past seventy years. And again and again, they didn’t. The CIA, for example, was shocked by the Korean War. It didn’t predict the Soviet atomic bomb. Not a small thing. It missed the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. It spent decades trying to bring down Fidel Castro, to kill Fidel Castro. So, naturally, his regime never fell. Castro lived into his nineties. Meanwhile the CIA spent decades propping up the Shah of Iran, so naturally he tumbled from power. They didn’t even provide a warning before that happened because they had no idea it was going to happen. When the Iron Curtain finally fell in 1989, the CIA was completely blindsided by it. They thought, they had just predicted in fact, that the Soviet Union was as strong as ever. And things didn’t get better after that. The CIA had no idea that Saddam Hussein planned to invade Kuwait the next year, in 1990. They were totally surprised by India’s atomic bomb test eight years later. By 2003 they were totally confidant that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. In fact, their biggest success in the past 50 years may have been in creating the Taliban.

    If John Brennan had been working for a non-profit business, there would have been a shareholder revolt a long time ago. Probably criminal charges. He would have been John DeLorean. But because it’s a secretive government agency, the CIA has not been restrained. It has only become more powerful and more autonomous. Powerful enough to take down a President? We’ll see.

    One reason that permanent Washington is so powerful, so resistant to change or oversight is that it makes alliances with some of the least impressive but most ambitious members of Congress [show’s picture of Representative Adam Schiff.] Just days ago, for example, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff claimed his office had no contact, whatsoever, with the CIA whistle blower. [shows video of Schiff saying that “we have not spoken with the whistle blower. We would like to.”]

    Schiff also claimed to know nothing about what was in the whistle blower’s complaint before it came out. But yesterday the New York Times revealed that these claims were lies. Schiff apologized in a way, saying that he “should have been much more clear.” Right. Schiff now admits that his office spoke to the whistle blower who we learn, by the way, is a registered Democrat, but insists that his office did nothing to shape the complaint itself. Why would we believe that at this stage?

    [End Transcript of Tucker Carlson Video]

    The article itself makes good reading, especially with the opening graphic showing a shadowy President Trump surrounded by a host of pistols pointed at his head, each one having an identifiable source in the Borg collective. So now I find myself in agreement with Tucker Carlson who — along with Jimmy Dore — has also had Tulsi Gabbard and true CIA whistle blower John Kiriakou on his show. Strange political bedfellows, indeed; but I hate, loathe, and despise the FBI and CIA so much that I’ll take help in combatting them anywhere I can find it. These motherless cretins have got to go.


    1. As a follow-up to the Duran article featuring the Tucker Carlson video, I’d like to post something relevant that I found yesterday: a review of two books concerned with the creation of the CIA and its awful history beginning in the aftermath of the Second World War. See: The Dulles Brothers and Their Legacy of Perpetual War:
      A Brief Review of Two Essential Recent Books
      , by Dan Sanchez, (Mar 3, 2016)

      [Begin Review]

      I was intrigued by the 2015 release of David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. But it also reminded me of a 2014 book I had been wanting to read titled The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War by Stephen Kinzer. Since the earlier book covered both important brothers — the younger Allen who was Director of Central Intelligence and the elder John Foster who was Secretary of State — I decided to go with Kinzer.

      As it turned out, I was so fascinated by Kinzer’s discussion of the Dulleses that after finishing he Brothers, I dove right into Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard. I am so glad that I did. While there is some unavoidable overlap, reading the two books in quick succession is not at all redundant. In fact, they are such splendid complements of each other, that one almost wonders if the two authors coordinated.

      Both books are essential reading to understand, not only these two fascinating figures, but the U.S. itself from the post-World War II era to today. The Dulles brothers rose to power at a pivotal moment in American history. The great nations of Europe and East Asia were devastated by the War and for the most part lay prostrate at the feet of the American collossus. Together John Foster and Allen seized the day and fastened the U.S. government upon the world as a hyperactive, ruthless empire committed to perpetual war. In doing so, they also helped fasten an equally hyperactive and ruthless garrison state upon the American people themselves [emphasis added].

      This interventionism was framed under the rubric of the Cold War: an all-encompassing struggle pitting the “forces of freedom” against revolutionary communism and Soviet imperialism. In reality it was all about Washington’s own global hegemony, which was advanced especially for the sake of the elite corporate interests that the Dulles brothers had served all throughout their careers [emphasis added].

      As the nation’s top diplomat, John Foster established implacable hostility toward the communist bloc as an unshakable tenet of U.S. foreign policy. And for him, even worse than the communists were the “neutralists” who “immorally” refrained from picking sides in the Cold War. These neutralists were even more of a threat because they threatened to defuse what he saw as a necessary conflict. Thus he framed the diverse anti-colonial independence movement sweeping the third world after World War II as little more than a communist plot.
      It was Allen’s CIA that gave teeth to his brother’s policy. Allen completed the transformation of the agency from the intelligence clearinghouse envisioned by President Harry Truman to the clandestine paramilitary force that it is today. This transition was deliberately enabled by President Dwight D. Eisenhower who saw covert action as a relatively bloodless way to achieve geopolitical aims. In this estimation, he did not factor the blood of foreigners that spilled amid the chaos his interventions engendered
      emphasis added].

      Under Allen, the CIA became a perpetual covert war machine. Even during “peacetime,” the agency would ceaselessly scheme to subvert and ultimately overthrow any foreign government not in the orbit of the U.S. Behind the Iron Curtain, this only worsened the plight of those suffering under communism by goading their Soviet overlords to paranoid extremes. And elsewhere, it only served to drive neutral governments into alliance with the Soviets for the sake of protection from the “Yankee imperialists” [emphasis added].

      Kinzer is more thorough than Talbot about the brothers’ childhood and early career, telling of the formative influence of their diplomat grandfather John Watson Foster, as well as the brothers’ years in private law practice as international fixers and power brokers for the American corporate elite. Kinzer also goes into more detail about the politics, the personalities, and the plight of the countries targeted by the Dulles’s for regime change.
      However, Talbot is more complete than Kinzer regarding Allen’s dark doings. He goes into far more horrifying detail about Project MKUltra (the CIA torture/mind control program). He relates whole stories missed by Kinzer about Allen’s collaboration with Nazi war criminals. And he delves deeply into the issue of Allen’s possible involvement in the Kennedy assassination, which Kinzer only briefly mentions.

      Scholarly Kinzer’s chief weakness is a certain lack of cynicism about the Dulleses and what drives them, especially in his concluding passages. Talbot, on the other hand, brilliantly cites C. Wright Mills to depict John Foster as an unctuous servant of the power elite, and perceptively cites Carl Jung to analyze Allen (who actually was psychoanalyzed by Jung) as a manipulative sociopath.

      Left-liberal Talbot’s chief weakness is his rather evident fondness for Democratic presidents (especially Franklin D. Roosevelt) which mars several chapters. For example, Talbot’s indictment of Allen’s World War II career rings less true than his other critiques because it largely rests on his agreement with FDR’s monstrous war-extending insistence on unconditional surrender

      Together, the Dulles brothers inaugurated the perpetual war that has extended from the Cold War to today’s Terror War. It is a vitally important tale, and one masterfully told by both Kinzer and Talbot [emphasis added].

      [End of Review]

      Also published at

      Dan Sanchez is a contributing editor at and an independent journalist for Follow him via Twitter, Facebook, or TinyLetter.

      Related: The Cold War on the Gray Zone


    2. Also supportive of those who fear and loathe our grievous situation vis-a-vis the Corporate Totalitarian State and its so-called “security” agencies: FBI, CIA, DOD, etc., the excellent series of videos featuring Jimmy Dore and Aaron Maté continue with one that I may have quoted from above and/or in the “Impeachment” thread. See: FULL Story: Trump/Biden-Ukraine Corruption & Impeachment Media Ignores w/Aaron Maté, The Jimmy Dore Show (September 27, 2019)

      [The especially relevant final three paragraphs]:

      [Begin Quote]
      Jimmy Dore: “There are text messages from the Deputy FBI director saying that ‘we’re going to stop Trump from being President.’ Right?”

      Aaron Maté: “Yes, there are, and you know, from people who do not want to see Trump re-elected, we could say, ‘Well, all right, we don’t want to see Trump re-elected, but we also do not agree on unelected intelligence officials abusing their power to undermine an election. We actually want to defeat Trump at the ballot box and coming up with better policy. The problem is, as we talked about, the Democratic party leadership doesn’t really care about developing a policy alternative. They also support this insane for-profit health care system that we have right now. So they would rather rely on intelligence officials, venerate them and have them do the job. And it’s just not going to work. It has failed so far with Russia-gate. I agree with you that I think it will fail again with Ukraine-gate. But we’ll see.

      Jimmy Dore: “A lot of people would say: ‘So what, Jimmy. If you were at the FBI, wouldn’t you want to stop Trump?’ “No, I wouldn’t go against my Constitutional sworn oath. No. I wouldn’t do that. And the reason you want to make a big deal out of this, is because the FBI does this against progressive candidates way more than they do it to conservative candidates. In fact, I have a video tape that I play on this show of the former Directer of the FBI admitting that when he came to the FBI that used to be their job, to make sure progressive politicians didn’t get into power. And how did they do it? By smear campaigns, putting fake articles in the paper, using their connections to smear. That’s how they do this stuff, and so I don’t want an unelected FBI agent or CIA agent doing that kind of determining who’s going to be in elected office, whether its Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, or anybody in the middle. I don’t want unelected intelligence officers having that kind of power. And when they do exercise that power, they should be fired and jailed for treason.”
      [End Quote]

      Yes. Jimmy Dore has the danger perfectly well understood. The FBI and CIA always attempt to infiltrate and undermine any popular movement which the rabid and reactionary ruling oligarchy considers “leftist” in any way, shape, or form. You know: Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Anti-War, Working-Class, anything even remotely progressive and conducive to the welfare of the general working population. So for self-styled “Democrats” to idolize and venerate secretive thug agencies like the FBI and CIA, well, that constitutes stupidity bordering on the suicidal.

      The “Empire” has run up against its natural limits — the blowback it has itself engendered — and has begun its inevitable decline. Whether we will survive its violent and nasty death throes seems like the overriding question to me.


  15. Another article of interest from a knowledgeable former CIA counter-terrorism official. See: The Ukraine Impeachment Fiasco: Both Republicans and Democrats Being Manipulated by the Deep State , by Philip Giraldi, <Information Clearing House (October 2, 2019)

    The first two paragraphs give the background context and timeline of events leading up to the “Russia” and “Ukraine” hysteria masquerading as “political debate” today [emphasis added]:

    The problem with the current imbroglio over Ukraine is that the discussion does not begin where it should. Here is the timeline: the United States decided to make a serious effort to bring about regime change in Ukraine under the Obama Administration after that country’s election on June 2010 returned Viktor Yanukovych, who sought closer ties with Russia rather than Europe, as president. The White House claimed that the election results were fraudulent, even though international observers disagreed, and decided to intervene. The job was given to noted Democratic Party-linked neoconservative Victoria Nuland, who had been appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in May 2013. One might recall that she and other intense Russophobes like Senator John McCain would appear in Kyiv in late 2013 after the Maidan protests began, handing out cookies and giving advice to dissidents, suggesting that the United States would support a popular uprising. The uprising did indeed come in February 2014, to include still mysterious snipers who shot into a crowd of demonstrators, and Yanukovych was forced to step down.

    Nuland immediately stepped into the void. On February 4, 2014, a Russian intercepted recording of a phone call between Nuland and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, that took place a week earlier was published. In their phone conversation, Nuland and Pyatt considered how they would arrange for their candidate Arseniy Yatsenyuk to become the new prime minister after the government collapse. They discussed specifically what would have to be offered to other candidates to have them step aside and set up a meeting with a number of political leaders to make arrangements. Their conniving was successful and Yatsenyuk became prime minister of Ukraine on February 27, 2014. During the phone discussion, Nuland famously dismissed the European Union as a possible mediator for the Ukrainian government transition saying, “Fuck the EU.”

    And the last two paragraphs summarize the essence of where we stand today with an anonymous CIA leaker and “gossip” blower casting the latest stones at President Donald Trump:

    The involvement of the leadership of the intelligence community in certifying a whistleblower complaint that was not legitimate under its own statutory obligations again suggests a Deep State hand. And, of course, there is a long history of attempts to first vilify candidate Trump and then destroy his presidency from inside after he was elected and inaugurated. One need only cite the names of former Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence head James Clapper, all of whom conspired against Donald Trump [emphasis added].

    Finally, even if we Americans are witnessing a Deep State operation to free itself of Trump, there is certainly plenty of blame to go around for how the president has been handling the issue. One wishes that he would keep his mouth shut and let the facts speak for themselves. Lashing out in the ubiquitous tweets and labeling opponents as “treasonous” or as “spies” while hinting at the death penalty for their sins and raising the specter of civil war in America is not likely to generate much broad-based support for an embattled leader. But this has been Donald Trump’s problem all along and if he persists, he might find that former friends have decided to keep their distance from him, which could very well lead to his downfall.

    Both right-wing factions of the Corporate Property Party will seek to opportunistically benefit from whichever way the public wind blows in the year ahead. I just hope that whoever comes out on top takes John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Victoria Nuland down in the process. That would do for starters.


  16. I spent another couple of hours listening to and transcribing the following podcast interview by Scott Horton and Daniel Lazare that I found on the website. The so-called “foreign policy establishment” has desperately wanted to gin up and exploit a new Cold War 2.0 but since I lived through Cold War 1.0 and found it hot enough for me in Southeast Asia, I do not wish to see the government of my country do any such damn thing ever again. So I found the radio interview worth typing up for future reference. It goes on for quite some time, so in the interest of keeping the length at least somewhat manageable, I’ll just quote it in parts, the first part in this comment, and then the other parts of the interview in following comments. See: [or, Listen to]: 9/27/19 Daniel Lazare on What Trump-Ukraine Is Really Aboutby Scott (Sept 30, 2019) | Interviews


    Daniel Lazare rehashes some of the details of “Russiagate,” focusing on the obvious media malfeasance and bias against President Trump, and the theory that the so-called “intelligence community” was doing everything they could to sabotage him. The latest episode in this conspiracy is the Ukraine impeachment inquiry, which democrats seem to have taken up full bore, while acting as if the Russia collusion issue never happened at all.
    Discussed on the show:

    • “Another Day, Another Scandal. What the ‘Trump-Ukraine Collusion’ Is Really About” ( Original)
    • “The Plan to Trip Up Trump” (Consortium News)
    • “The Newburgh Sting (2014)” (IMDb)

    [author biographical data]

    Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the constitution is Paralyzing Democracy and a regular contributor at Consortium News. Find all of his work at his website and follow him on Twitter @dhlazare.

    [Begin Transcript Part One – emphasis added]

    Scott Horton: “How come the CIA hates Donald Trump so much?

    Daniel Lazare: “The Ukraine was a big battleground in 2016. Trump deviated from the official line quite radically regarding two countries: Ukraine and Syria. He challenged the official line and the establishment was furious. The U.S. wasn’t at war with Putin over the Ukraine, but it was kind of at semi-war. Relations had plunged to a real low. The U.S. was furious at the way Putin had screwed up its plans for Ukraine. And it was mobilizing, a full bore diplomatic mobilization to isolate Putin and to force him to retreat politically.

    And then along comes Trump who announces his candidacy in June 2015 and indicates that as far as he’s concerned, Putin’s activities, including the takeover of Crimea was not an especially big deal as far as he was concerned. So this made the foreign policy establishment really, seriously angry.

    Scott Horton: “And in all these things, he is in the right. And they’re the ones who have started this current Cold War for no good reason.

    Daniel Lazare: “And there was also Syria. And Trump also broke ranks on Syria.

    Scott Horton: “Because he was listening to Mike Flynn, who was telling him: ‘Actually, we hate Al Qaeda more.” And Trump was saying, “Yeah, that sounds right to me.”

    Daniel Lazare: “Yes. Flynn was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which in August of 2012 put out a report saying that Al Qaeda was dominating the anti-Assad opposition.

    Scott Horton: “And here’s a guy who was horrible on Iran, too. But he wasn’t so horrible on Iran that he wanted to see Al Qaeda defeat [Iran’s] friends in Syria.

    Daniel Lazare: “So Trump said the battle against Al Qaeda should take precedence over the battle to overthrow Assad. This also made the establishment seriously angry.

    Scott Horton: “Let me ask you this, though. What about the power factions and all that?. Obviously the Israelis love him. And you look at the Yemen war and the rest of the escalations, it doesn’t seem like the military industrial complex, as an organism, is really against him. Maybe he plays favorites between Lockheed and Boeing from time to time and this kind of thing. But it probably doesn’t seem like they have much reason to be too dissatisfied with him. Or maybe you disagree with that. Or is it just the state agencies themselves, more than it is bankers or oil men or arms dealers or any kind-of outside power or faction?.

    Daniel Lazare: “Well, you’re right. The Israelis love Trump, or Netanyahu does, I should say. And the arms manufacturers are quite happy with him pushing U.S. arms sales in the Middle East. So they’re not displeased. But bear in mind, U.S. imperialism is grossly over-extended, and it’s in serious trouble. And Trump is really a manifestation of that trouble. So they see Trump as undercutting the Empire in two all-important arenas. They want to re-stabilize the Empire and therefore, they want Trump out. They’re seriously angry at how he has undercut them. And they want to get rid of him.

    Scott Horton: “I mean, you look at the U.N. speech the other day where he just rails against globalism or nationalism. I mean, Dick Cheney could have given the same speech, right? Where nationalism means globalism and it’s all based out of D.C. instead of based out of New York City or Brussels or someplace like that, right?

    Daniel Lazare: “I suppose so, but …

    Scott Horton: He’s really an “isolationist,” like me.

    Daniel Lazare: “He’s not really an isolationist. He’s of two minds, actually six or eight minds. But he’s ambivalent about the question of Empire. One day he’s for it. Another day he’s against it. And in two crucial areas he really went against the grain. And so therefore the neocons, the Empire, is furious.

    [End Transcript Part One — continued in Part Two]

    So much for the primary motivation behind the neoliberal/neocon attempt to rid the U.S. “government” [i.e., Empire] of Donald Trump.


  17. The Scott Horton – Daniel Lazare Interview continued

    [Begin Transcript Part Two – emphasis added]

    Scott Horton: “Alright, so we saw and as you’ve covered, I totally agree with your narrative, or meta-explanation of Russia-gate was an FBI/CIA plot against the Republican nominee for President, and then the President-Elect, and then the President himself.

    Daniel Lazare: “Yes, I think that is really quite clear. In 2009 there was an amazing case, a criminal case pursued by the FBI against the Newburgh Four. Newburgh is a town an hour and a half north of New York City. And these were four black guys who were set up: an FBI informant, a Pakistani guy with a long history of criminal misdeeds, essentially enlisted these guys in a plot to blow up two synagogues and shoot down military aircraft.

    Scott Horton: “These are the guys where the older one owned a pizza place, right?

    Daniel Lazare: “No. These guys were penniless.”

    Scott Horton: “There are so many of these entrapment jobs that I keep mixing them together.”

    Daniel Lazare: “It was an amazing entrapment case because the FBI supplied the idea of the plot, supplied the explosives, lured them in with promises of $250,000 cash and an all-expense-paid vacation in Puerto Rico; drove them around; bought the weapons; bought the explosives. These guys were no more than passive onlookers. Yet they were sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. There’s a very good documentary on them called the Newberg Sting. There’s actually a new movie out based on this story. And so it’s clear that the FBI was following similar entrapment strategy with regard to the Trump campaign. They wanted to somehow entrap this nice young kid George Papadopolous, a naive young guy who signed up as a volunteer for the Trump campaign. And somehow get him to admit to working with the Russians. They threw women at him. They threw drinks and meals at him. They flew him to London. They asked him all sorts of leading questions. And he didn’t go for the bait. But if he had gone for the bait; if he had said something stupid; if he had bragged about his Russian contacts, for example, to make himself seem like a big shot, they would have nabbed him. And then they would have forced him to wear a wire. And bring down other guys in the Trump campaign. The strategy seems to be quite clear. And they didn’t succeed in doing that. But they kept building up this case against Trump in an attempt to pull a Newburgh Four on an infinitely grander scale in which Trump would be brought down.”

    Scott Horton: “In your article here at Consortium News, they pulled that same scam on Trump himself in the Trump Tower meeting. Actually, in two different Trump Tower meetings. Which was sponsored by the coup-plotters in the first place to entrap his son, and later [James] Comey’s meeting with Trump.

    Daniel Lazare: “You have the June 16 meeting in the Trump Tower in which Trump, Jr., Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer named Velniskaya took place. And Velniskaya claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trump, Jr. sent off the famous e-mail saying” “I love it.” And the meeting came to nothing. It lasted twenty minutes. They obviously had no information to pass along. And that was the end of that. But this was the meeting that spawned ten thousand news articles.

    [13:15] “But there was a second meeting in Trump Tower on January 6, 2017 when Jim Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan met with Trump to inform him of their forthcoming report finding that Russia had interfered in the 2016 campaign. And after they finished with their presentation, Jim Comey stayed behind to inform Trump about the Steele Dossier and famous “Golden Showers” escapade. Is there anyone in America who doesn’t know what that “Golden Showers” escapade is about?

    But what we know now from a report by the Department of Justice by Michael Horowitz is that the purpose of that meeting was to see how Trump would react and to see if he would do something or say something that would permit the FBI to widen its investigation so that it would focus in on the President Elect himself.

    Scott Horton: “And I forgot if it was you or something I read the other day that said they had that dossier and had been meeting with Steele for six months before that meeting at Trump Tower. Plenty of time. More than plenty of time for the FBI to completely debunk that completely false dossier.

    Daniel Lazare: “Yes. Glenn Simpson testified before a Congressional committee that in late June or early July 2016, Christopher Steele, the British intelligence agent was meeting with the FBI to acquaint them with his findings. That is a full six months prior to this meeting in Trump Tower. Now, six months is more than enough time to get a handle, get some idea about this incredible story about the golden showers escapade in the Moscow Ritz Carlton has any truth to it. But clearly Comey was less interested in that question than he was in the question of Trump’s reaction. And if Trump had said the wrong thing, I mean, what if he had laughed and smiled or told some sort of crude joke. What if he had said, “Yeah the babes in Moscow are really hot.” What if he had said that? The FBI would have said, “Oh my god. This investigation is now going to focus in on the President elect himself and two weeks later the President of the United States.” This is completely, inappropriately outrageous and undemocratic.

    [End Transcript Part Two — continued in Part Three]

    So much for the Furtive Bungling Imbeciles trying to run an entrapment scam on President Elect Trump, before he even takes office.


  18. Scott Horton – Daniel Lazare Interview continued

    [Begin Transcript Part Three]

    [16:42 ] Scott Horton: “As you’ve pointed out and as others have pointed out, too, that Comey “briefing,” quote-endquote” threatening, revealing this so-called information to Trump at that time is what made it newsworthy, that Buzzfeed would go ahead and publish it under the excuse that “Now that that’s out,” that they had talked to Trump about it. Before, it was just some unverified stuff they couldn’t publish because of how unverified it was. Now there was a story about it, itself, in a larger sense, so they could get away with publishing the details themselves. Then, instead of doing their job and falsifying it — It was all false — All the reporters in D.C. [collectively] decided to glom onto the thing and pretend to believe it was all real and see what of it they could try to hold up.”

    Daniel Lazare: “This is the heart of the Russia-gate investigation. So after this meeting, then, goes to his waiting limo where his colleagues had a dedicated laptop waiting for him and he jotted down his notes on this meeting. And in his notes he says that he told Trump that the information in the Steele dossier was being kept on a “close hold.” They didn’t want it leaking to the press. And he assured him that it would not leak to the press. Yet he knew that by meeting with Trump, that very act would provide the Press the news hook it needed to go public with this dossier. And, sure enough, four days later, Buzzfeed published it. So either Comey is a complete idiot or he’s simply lying.

    [18:36] “And this dossier is what blew up Russia-gate three months later. Two months later. The House Intelligence Committee’s Adam Schiff at a public hearing gave a thirty-minute talk in which he essentially quoted line-by-line from the Steele Dossier. And proclaimed it to be the Gospel truth.

    Scott Horton: “While the FBI is pretending to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court: “Yeah, maybe Carter Page was promised a zillion dollar stake in a Russian-government owned oil company.”

    Daniel Lazare: “Has that guy apologized to Carter Page yet? For turning his life upside down?

    Scott Horton: “Being in government means never having to say you’re sorry.

    Daniel Lazare: “Completely ruining him, this nice, inoffensive guy. But I do agree with you that the reporting was amazingly incompetent. Any decent reporter would have asked: “Well, who leaked it? Why did they leak it? What is the purpose of leaking this? And when you ask that question, it leads you down a different avenue. And that was the question that no one wanted to ask.

    Scott Horton: “What we really need is a master list of all the bad stories here because there are the bad government claims that “We’re pretending to be concerned that maybe something untoward happened when the Russian ambassador visited Senator Jeff Sessions’s office with all of his former military officer staff standing right there. And this kind of garbage which, of course, didn’t go anywhere because there was nothing to it. But there was also a few hundred probably stories in the media that didn’t necessarily come straight from the FBI, but maybe a DHS story about hacking some state computer voter rolls, or hacking the electric grid or Rachel Maddow speculation that maybe the CEO of Exxon got the job as secretary of state wasn’t because the State Department was actually built on Exxon, Standard Oil of New Jersey’s global business practices after World War II. No, it couldn’t have anything to do with that. It was Putin. And Russia. And Putin was also responsible for why Tillerson got fired. Because he was so good on Russia. And Trump is such a […]. And there’s a million of ‘em. And I know there have been a few good attempts to write a master list of them all but I’ll bet if you put them together there’s probably a few hundred of these things. None of which went anywhere.”

    [21:23] ] Daniel Lazare: “Actually. According to the White House the Four Horsemen of the Russia-gate Apocalypse: CNN, MSNBC, the Washinton Post, and the New York Times, published eight thousand five hundred news articles on the collusion theme.

    Scott Horton: “And many of them with specific false claims in them.”

    Daniel Lazare: “And never once did those four publications, never once did they open their pages, or their websites, in any way, to any contrary, skeptical point of view. Not once. It was an amazing media barrage. ”

    [End of Transcript Part Three — continued in Part Four]

    So much for the hysterical, stampeding media herd group-thinking their way to three years of undiluted bullshit about “Russia” and some stuff pertaining to other stuff that somebody heard someone else say about Vladimir Putin.


  19. Scott Horton – Daniel Lazare Interview continued

    [Begin Transcript Part Four]

    Scott Horton: “And here’s our segue back to the topic of Ukraine where everybody has already assumed their conclusion before the transcript or the pseudo-transcript before the whistle-blower complaint was out: they’re already jumping the gun over that. And, in fact, there is even an NBC story that the Democrats are certain that what they want to do is to drop Russia-gate cold and just forget about that and go with the Ukraine-gate thing instead. In other words: There never was anything to their false accusations of high treason against the President of the United States. And so: “Oh, well. Anyway. Found a new thing and we’re going to try and hang him with that. What do you think of that?”

    Daniel Lazare: “It’s a herd of dependent minds. Its political classes have just collapsed. We are seeing a case of mass hysteria seizing the nation’s capital. It’s really quite amazing. And for the life of me, I can’t exactly see what Trump did that was wrong. Yes, it’s weird pushing for an investigation, and it’s weird bringing in his personal attorney to take charge of this thing. That’s kind of strange. Pushing the envelope. But he didn’t ask Zelensky to get dirt on Biden. He simply asked him to investigate. That’s something that the U.S. does all the time. And Biden’s activities in the Ukraine fairly cry out for an investigation. There is a significant public interest in finding out what really happened. And the Ukraine, as you know, is an incredibly murky place. It’s one of the most corrupt countries on the face of of the earth. And it’s really hard to figure out. And the official explanation that ‘Of course Joe Biden was not trying to protect his son by pushing for the dismissal of Victor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, but there is a reason to look into that more deeply to find out if it’s true.”

    [24:32] Scott Horton: “Right, so I’m glad you brought that up again, because this is something that has been a major part of both side’s narrative. For example, Jim Risen, former New York Times reporter at the Intercept, is saying, “Look. This is debunked, like the CIA coming at you six ways from Sunday. Forget about it. And it’s obvious that Biden was saying “This prosecutor is corrupt and he’s not doing enough to bring down corruption and as you put it earlier, “Even if the new guy goes after my son’s company, good. If that’s what it takes” kind of attitude. Which, as you said, you know, as a deniability counter narrative, it kind of makes sense. My friend […] at the National Interest had a quote from another former Obama official … saying this, man, trust me. The whole […] agency wanted to get rid of this prosecutor. He was terrible and Biden was not the driving force behind that. I mean that is totally plausible to me [??]. At the same time they’re saying that whatever investigation had already been shut down. But you know, I’m reading in The Hill this morning, John Solomon has a thing saying that that’s not true. There were three sort of sub-investigations. And one of the three had been shut down, I think on the tax evasion question. There’s still two more. And as I think that you pointed out, or was it him, that the New York Times had said that this company was quite relieved when they found out that the prosecutor had been fired. They were looking at this as a great opportunity to try and work things out in a more beneficial way. It sure looks like a positive thing from their point of view.

    [26:26] Daniel Lazare: “Yes. And the company did then reach an amicable settlement with the Poroshenko government. And this is a very murky place. Poroshenko was a guy who was installed by the U.S. to clean things up. And he turned out to be just as corrupt as Yanokovich if not more. And so if Poroshenko appointed Shokin and suddenly Shokin is the fall guy, Shokin’s really a bad guy and everyone wants him out, and of course it has nothing to do with Hunter Biden’s job at Burisma Holdings. It’s not impossible. I don’t have the answer. I do think that there is a significant public interest in learning the answer.

    [27:34 ]Scott Horton: “Even if you take their best case spin scenario, “We’re trying to clean up corruption in a government they installed after a violent coup. And they overthrew a democratically elected government in 2014. So, we’re going to clean up the corruption in this new coup d’etat government that we installed.

    Daniel Lazare: “Yes, so the whole thing is very murky. What was the U.S. really doing? Was it blocking with certain factions in the Ukraine. The fact that the U.S. and the E.U. agreed that Shokin had to go, that’s monumentally unimpressive. And Zelinsky is a guy from outside the establishment and if he does mount an honest investigation, which is possible and fascinating, and I’d love to see what he comes up with … [more murky] that I don’t understand and I think the public should have a better idea of what it’s about.”

    [28:27] Scott Horton: I gotta say the whole irony here, I was even joking around that I really believe this, but you could see how this thing could be a Roger Stone or Karl Rove kind of dirty trick: How do we get the Democrats to make Joe Biden’s corruption the center of their whole narrative? Hey, Joey. Come here. Do you want to be a whistle blower? Here’s what we’re going to do. And then you get the whole thing to leak out and the Democrats to say “Hunter Biden can make all the money off foreign governments that he wants while his father is the Vice President and you shut up about that.” Right. These are the same people who want to abolish your right to give your house to your son” You know. But anyway ,…

    Daniel Lazare: “Leaving the inheritance tax aside. The whole thing with Hunter Biden has now been officially dismissed as a “conspiracy theory. And anybody who looks into it is obviously some kind of whacko.” Even if Biden’s story is correct, he’s still guilty of massive conflict of interest. And it’s outrageous that his son did get this job.

    Scott Horton: “There have been plenty of public interest professors at colleges, people who very much lean Democrat saying “Actually, this is very much against the ethics rules, blah, blah. A very black and white kind of thing.”

    Daniel Lazare: “Joe Biden is kaput. He’s finished. The guy is massively corrupt.”

    Scott Horton: “And just wait till the impeachment hearings. Republicans aren’t going to bring this stuff up at the hearings? They’re not going to fight about all of this? Demand that this Hunter testify? And all the rest? Oh, yes. And listen, The Impeachment hearings are a godsend to the Republicans, because they’ll have a ball. And Trump will love it as well. This is Br’er Rabbit saying “Don’t throw me into that Briar Patch.

    Daniel Lazare: “Trump will be in his element, and the Republicans will have ample opportunity to bring all this up. And to press for a true investigation of what happened under Obama’s watch in Ukraine which, as we know, is very strange, hard to figure out. Victoria Nuland is passing out cookies to neo-Nazis seeking to overthrow Yanukovich. And anyone who dared to point out that there are neo-Nazis spearheading these demonstrations, well, that person was seen as a “Russian agent” or “conspiracy theorist” or whatever.”

    [End Transcript of interview with Scott Horton and Daniel Lazare]

    A pretty good recap of the timeline, motives, and actors in this ongoing farce of an “Congressional inquiry,” meaning yet another click-bait witch hunt looking for a warlock in one of the larger Imperial pig pens.


  20. Mike Murry: Indeed, being in the high ranks of the intelligence “community” means never having to say you’re sorry.

    Imagine getting the collapse of the Soviet Union all wrong, then missing the 9/11 attacks, and getting more money and power as a result! It’s Orwellian: Failure is success.

    Trump has had little use, and at times naked contempt, for the intelligence “community.” And elements of the IC are returning the favor.

    Of course, Trump doesn’t help himself with all his talk of coups, civil wars, and all the rest. He whirls and spins like the Tasmanian Devil.

    I do think, however, that Trump’s attack on Joe Biden has sunk whatever slim chance Uncle Joe had for the nomination. With Bernie recovering from a minor heart attack, Elizabeth Warren is emerging as the big winner. Meaning Trump’s reelection in 2020.


    1. I once got banned from the website of a retired U.S. Army colonel who objected when I repeated what my mother had always said about military intelligence: namely, that “military intelligence is to intelligence as military music is to music.” He accused me of mocking him. I thought about asking him what he had against military music, but I didn’t think he would get the joke.

      And then we have the CIA who didn’t even have an up-to-date map of Belgrade, Serbia when our spooks gave President Bill Clinton bombing co-ordinates for the Chinese embassy, resulting in the deaths of several Chinese citizen diplomats. The Chinese took this poorly, to say the least. For weeks afterwards I watched enraged mobs of Chinese throwing stones at the U.S. embassy in Beijing. I hadn’t seen anything like it since Tet of 1968 where we saw pictures on TV of the US Ambassador leaning out of an embassy window with a smoking pistol in one hand and a stream of blood trickling down his forehead wondering in stunned amazement, “Where did all those Vietnamese shooting at us come from?” The sudden shock of reality after all the years of scripted lies knocked any remaining domestic support for the “Vietnam” episode of the Perpetual War into the trash can of history. [Other episodic sequels would follow, of course]

      Then Bubba Bill Clinton got his feelings hurt when he tried to phone the Chinese government and they wouldn’t return his calls. Jay Leno of the Tonight Show started cracking jokes that “C.I.A.” stood for “Can’t Identify Anything.” Still one of my favorites, along with “Furtive Bungling Imbeciles” for the FBI. James Comey fits that label perfectly, as Scott Horton and Daniel Lazare discuss at length in their interview which I posted above. After Bill Clinton’s savage, 78-day bombing of Belgrade, Serbia (which soured relations with Russia, probably forever) even I got into the sardonic act, writing in one of my epic narrative poems:

      And Bubba Bill just couldn’t get
      The Chinese point of view
      They had so many people and
      He’d only killed a few
      So why, since he “felt so much pain,”
      Could he not cause some, too?

      At any rate, I couldn’t care less about the “horse race” coverage of political rat-race campaigns, especially months and years in advance of any voting. I want to see the FBI and CIA severely de-populated, if not abolished. Towards that end, I encourage the wide dissemination of any and all factual reporting of their legendary incompetence, venality, and malfeasance. No more phony “leakers” and “gossip blowers” such as Representative Adam Schiff and some unelected coup-plotters have created and tried to foist upon us. The Democrats have hoist themselves on their own petard (blown up by their own booby trap) but perhaps, unwittingly, their jaded jihad against “Orange Man Bad” might result in a real investigation by the Justice Department leading to the long-overdue fumigation of a “Deep State” bureaucracy whose arrogant capacity for duplicity and deceit know no bounds.

      Given a “choice” between political syphilis and gonorrhea, the American electorate will select an STD, as usual. We really do not have any actual alternatives to induced infection. But I sure want to see John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and a host of other motherless miscreants behind bars and detailed to wash and dry Chelsea Manning’s underwear. At least one true whistle blower should get something after all the abuse heaped upon her by a ludicrous imitation of a “lawful” government.


  21. As received wisdom teaches us, “a week is an eternity in politics.”

    The Democratic party primary has several months to go before the first voting, and the general election remains over a year away. In all that time, of course, any number of things could happen. My wife says that the Democrats complaining of “Russia” and “Ukraine” sound like a guy going around bitching that “the neighbors are interfering with my marriage.” Which usually receives the unsympathetic reply: “So?” — And we’ve got another whole year of “So?” to endure?

    I didn’t get to bed until just before midnight, staying up to finish typing my transcript of the latest video conversation between Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris of The Duran. Of all the commentary I’ve seen online over the past week or so, they seem to me the best informed and able to articulate their point of view. I won’t post the entire transcript here to save space but I highly recommend watching it. See: DEMS & their media puppets, having hard time keeping Ukraine hoax believable (Video), The Duran Quick Take: Episode 328 (October 6, 2019)

    For the present, I’ll just post a few quotes from Alexander Mercouris, (a British expert on legal matters) that sum up the essence of the disintegrating farce:

    … “they [the Democrats] have no crime. They’re rigging the process, because they want to conceal the fact that they don’t have a crime. The narrative they’re peddling is false. And they’re trying to restrict access to the witnesses and just freeze House Republicans out of the process.

    “They’re getting this wrong from every possible angle, but they’re too deep in. If they pull back now, after all they’ve said, the way they’ve primed the media, they’ve got no one to blame this time. They can’t say, “Well, that doddering Mueller didn’t quite get it all together,” because it was they, themselves, who rushed to set up this inquiry, this impeachment inquiry, before the actual facts were known.”

    Personally, I want to see what Attorney General Barr and John Durham uncover and whom they choose to charge with crimes and prosecute. That will tell us if the United States actually has any laws worth mentioning. Until Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden walk free again, Orwell’s depiction of 1984 seems only too operative: “In Oceania, there is no law.”


    1. “Law” is what the powerful say it is.

      Think of all those lawsuits where banks, corporations, etc. pay huge settlements even as they admit no wrongdoing. It’s an abomination of the law. Sometimes they force people to sign confidentiality agreements, basically bribing them to keep their mouths shut about how they’ve been screwed. Naturally, all of this is “legal.”

      It reminds me of the infamous saying of Leona Helmsley that only little people pay taxes. The “suckers.” The rich find ways to avoid them while also establishing their own system of “justice.”


  22. Matt Taibbi has finally weighed in on this CIA leaker and gossip-blower so instantly beloved of a corporate media that wouldn’t let a real whistle blower get close enough to breathe on them, let alone tell their story of incompetence, deception, venality, and malfeasance in the self-described “intelligence community.” As Taibbi says: “It’s an insult to real whistleblowers to use the term with the Ukrainegate protagonist.” See: The ‘Whistleblower’ Probably Isn’t, Rolling Stone (October 6, 2019). Real journalism doesn’t get much better than this. And when it comes to expository prose style, Taibbi makes a worthy successor to Hunter S. Thompson, if not George Orwell.

    [Begin Quote]

    Start with the initial headline, in the story the Washington Post “broke” on September 18th:


    The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn’t sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn’t wipe its ass with a real whistleblower.

    Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.

    Drake, who was the first to expose the NSA’s secret surveillance program, seems to have fared better than most. He ended up working in an Apple Store, where he ran into Eric Holder, who was shopping for an iPhone.

    I’ve met a lot of whistleblowers, in both the public and private sector. Many end up broke, living in hotels, defamed, (often) divorced, and lucky if they have any kind of job. One I knew got turned down for a waitressing job because her previous employer wouldn’t vouch for her. She had little kids.

    The common thread in whistleblower stories is loneliness. Typically the employer has direct control over their ability to pursue another job in their profession. Many end up reviled as traitors, thieves, and liars. They often discover after going public that their loved ones have a limited appetite for sharing the ignominy. In virtually all cases, they end up having to start over, both personally and professionally.

    With that in mind, let’s look at what we know about the first “whistleblower” in Ukrainegate:

    • He or she is a “CIA officer detailed to the White House”;
    • The account is at best partially based upon the CIA officer’s own experience, made up substantially by information from “more than a half dozen U.S. officials” and the “private accounts” of “my colleagues”;
    • “He or she” was instantly celebrated as a whistleblower by news networks and major newspapers.

    That last detail caught the eye of Kiriakou, a former CIA Counterterrorism official who blew the whistle on the agency’s torture program.

    “It took me and my lawyers a full year to get [the media] to stop calling me ‘CIA Leaker John Kirakou,” he says. “That’s how long it took for me to be called a whistleblower.”

    Kirakou’s crime was talking to ABC News and the New York Times about the CIA’s torture program. For talking to American journalists about the CIA, our federal government charged Kiriakou with espionage. That absurd count was ultimately dropped, but he still did 23 months at FCI Loretto in Western Pennsylvania.

    When Kiriakou first saw the “whistleblower complaint,” his immediate reaction was to wonder what kind of “CIA officer” the person in question was. “If you spend a career in the CIA, you see all kinds of subterfuge and lies and crime,” he says. “This person went through a whole career and this is the thing he objects to?”

    It’s fair to wonder if this is a one-person effort. Even former CIA official Robert Baer, no friend of Trump, said as much in an early confab on CNN with Brooke Baldwin:

    BAER: That’s what I find remarkable, is that this whistleblower knew about that, this attempt to cover up. This is a couple of people. It isn’t just one.

    BALDWIN: And on the people point, if the allegation is true, Bob, what does it say that White House officials, lawyers, wanted to cover it up?

    BAER: You know, my guess, it’s a palace coup against Trump. And who knows what else they know at this point.

    That sounds about right. Actual whistleblowers are alone. The Ukraine complaint seems to be the work of a group of people, supported by significant institutional power, not only in the intelligence community, but in the Democratic Party and the commercial press.
    In this century we’ve lived through a president lying to get us into a war (that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and the loss of trillions in public treasure), the deployment of a vast illegal surveillance program, a drone assassination campaign, rendition, torture, extralegal detention, and other offenses, many of them mass human rights violations.
    We had whistleblowers telling us about nearly all of these things. When they came forward, they desperately needed society’s help. They didn’t get it. Our government didn’t just tweet threats at them, but proceeded straight to punishment.

    Bill Binney, who lost both his legs to diabetes, was dragged out of his shower by FBI agents. Jeffrey Sterling, like Kiriakou, was charged with espionage for talking to a reporter. After conviction, he asked to be imprisoned near his wife in St. Louis. They sent him to Colorado for two years. Others tried to talk to congress or their Inspectors General, only to find out their communications had been captured and cc’ed to the very agency chiefs they wanted to complain about (including former CIA chief and current MSNBC contributor John Brennan).

    The current “scandal” is a caricature version of such episodes. Imagine the mania on the airwaves if Donald Trump were to have his Justice Department arrest the “whistleblower” and charge him with 35 years of offenses, as Thomas Drake faced. Trump incidentally still might try something like this. It’s what any autocrat of the Mobute Sese Seko/Enver Hoxha school would do, for starters, to mutinying intelligence officials within his own government.
    Trump almost certainly is not going to do that, however, as the man is too dumb to realize he’s the titular commander of an executive branch that has been jailing people for talking too much for over a decade. On the off chance that he does try it, don’t hold your breath waiting for news networks to tell you he’s just following an established pattern.

    I have a lot of qualms about impeachment/“Ukrainegate,” beginning with this headline premise of the lone, conscience-stricken defender of democracy arrayed against the mighty Trump. I don’t see it. Donald Trump is a jackass who got elected basically by accident, campaigning against a political establishment too blind to its own unpopularity to see what was coming.

    In 2016 we saw a pair of electoral revolts, one on the right and one on the left, against the cratering popularity of our political elite. The rightist populist revolt succeeded, the Sanders movement did not. Ukrainegate to me looks like a continuation of Russiagate, which was a reaction of that defeated political elite to the rightists. I don’t feel solidarity with either group.

    The argument that’s supposed to be galvanizing everyone right now is the idea that we need to “stand up and be counted,” because failing to rally to the cause is effectively advocacy for Trump. This line of thinking is based on the presumption that Trump is clearly worse than the people opposing him.

    That might prove to be true, but if we’re talking about the treatment of whistleblowers, Trump has a long way to go before he approaches the brutal record of the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, as well as the cheerleading Washington political establishment. Forgetting this is likely just the first in what will prove to be many deceptions about a hardcore insider political battle whose subtext is a lot more shadowy and ambiguous than news audiences are being led to believe.

    [End Quote]


    1. From Wikipedia:

      The Star Chamber was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.

      I can’t hope to compete with Matt Taibbi when it comes to expository prose writing, but I can possibly add a little in the way of PTSD verse polemic:

      Star Chamber, Incorporated

      Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
      Jailed as twin examples for the proles:
      “Look what happens if you publish secrets:
      More totalitarian controls.”

      In Chinese: “Kill the Chicken scare the Monkey.”
      Rat-out your colleagues. Do not Power tempt.
      Or otherwise the judges and grand juries
      Will hold you in what lawyers call “contempt.”

      A strange word-choice, indeed, by Power’s minions
      Who spend careers perfecting rank abuse.
      For them I’d have to feel respect much greater
      Before that is the word that I would use.

      I’ve nothing good to say for prosecutors.
      Some say I wish to “damn them with faint praise.”
      But I reply: “You praise with faint damnation.
      So which of us has coined the the better phrase?”

      Despicable, the treatment of these heroes.
      The US and UK have sunk so low.
      Still, Julian and Chelsea have together
      More balls than these two governments can grow.

      No matter, they have passed into the ages.
      Already they have earned a fair renown.
      Each day they live defiant, undefeated,
      They rise as jailers try to put them down.

      As JFK once said of his elite class:
      “The ship of state leaks mainly from the top.”
      But if some lowly, powerless, poor person
      Tries that, they’ll feel the lash. No truth. Now stop!

      To scare a monkey, kill another monkey.
      If not, the monkeys learn impunity.
      While eating KFC they ask, obtusely:
      “What has a chicken got to do with me?”

      And so the Corporation-State must silence
      Reports of its incompetence and crime.
      If citizens knew what it did they’d order
      Its dissolution. Now. And just in time.

      Historically, they called it the Star Chamber
      A secret court designed to thwart the king.
      But power then perverted it to serve him.
      Grand juries in the US, same damn thing.

      They now indict ham sandwiches routinely
      With no protection for the innocents.
      Presumed as guilty, evidence not needed.
      Conviction guaranteed. No court repents.

      A judge may do whatever he determines
      He can. So levy fines. Coerce. Demand
      On penalty of prison, testimony
      Against oneself, alone upon the stand.

      “Democracy” is just a euphemism
      If citizens allow this to proceed.
      Orwellian: first Hate then Fear of Goldstein.
      Two Minutes, daily. Really, all you need.

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2019


    2. Matt Taibbi nails it. My guess is Trump gets impeached, the Senate acquits, and Trump wins in 2020.

      Tom Mueller’s new book on whistleblowers confirms what Taibbi says. Whistleblowers are usually treated like lepers; they are often prosecuted and lose almost everything. It’s very strange in this case to see such “respect” for the whistleblower — and now there are apparently two whistleblowers, both from the intelligence “community.”

      Skepticism is warranted.


    3. Robert Baer? Jez this site brings up memories! My Dad was in Beirut 15, 16 times, working for AIG. Baer was CIA in Lebanon. If they met, he never told me, though I wouldn’t have been interested then anyway. (I’m sure they did!) My Dad complained about CIA operatives in the company all over the world: spending money like water, and knowing little about insurance. He was not high enough on the ladder to know CIA was probably reimbursing these thugs via US Gov’t.
      So comes Baer. He seemed very upset Israel didn’t overthrow Lebanon as quickly as CIA thought (AIG’s offices were quickly flown out; it was ME’s central office.) But worse in 2006, my Dad long retired. ‘Hezbollah’ arrived, turning Israeli tanks over barehanded. My Dad always wondered why US & allies kept OFFICIAL Lebanese troops so weak, thus the ‘gorilla groups’ strength today. Today, we know the answer: to facilitate Israel, with UK & US sponsors to overtake the ME. The recent border squeamish with Israel ended in days: with Hezbollah REALLY fighting terrorists in Syria, they won again, and took US/Western supplied weapons along… point at Israelis. LOL!
      Baer to me is ‘Deep State’, another well paid loser.
      Does this tie into Ukraine/Trump/Biden/ blah blah blah? Of course it does. We are NOT a military or government family! Just businessmen & women. Tired of these schemes that all fail. Empty promises. Trump is NOT an honest businessman! 4 bankruptcies? Screwing the little guys? Get real! Billary no better: a thief who used her office of SoS to shake down Oligarch’s & Dictators – neither ONE a true ‘capitalist’!
      I’m getting to hate the “Pantiesgone” 4* Generals & State Dept. Biggest hate saved for Christine LeGarde, who broke all rules go to IMF loaning Gangsters money they still owed honest Russia-$3Bil.
      Better shut-up. But think about it….


  23. There is practically no limit to Trump & co’s betrayals, yet somehow there are always apologists for his behaviour – and the funny thing is they are not even his supporters. Or so they say.
    If there was any need to have another proof of Trump’s treasonous ways, now he is helping Turkey (Russia’s ally) against the Kurds, betraying the Kurds.


    1. Is Turkey “Russia’s ally”? They are part of NATO. Trump’s deferring to them is a way to keep them in NATO’s orbit.

      Is it “treasonous” for Trump to “betray” the Kurds? Seems like cynical power politics. How is getting U.S. troops out of Syria “treasonous”?

      Trump’s a disaster as president, but that doesn’t mean everything he does is treasonous or a betrayal. He does enough disastrous stuff, for which we should criticize him.


      1. The movie Predator offers us an explanation: Dutch:
        What happened to you, Dillon? You used to be someone I could trust.

        I woke up. Why don’t you? You’re an asset. An expendable asset. And I used you to get the job done, got it?

        So in the case of the Kurds, they are an expendable asset, just like the Hmong people in Laos and Montagnards in Vietnam.

        Given President Agent Orange he can always reverse course and say he never ordered a pull-out.


      2. Is this the behaviour of a NATO member ?

        Turkey bought Russian S-400 missiles designed to down NATO planes. For the US, that’s a problem

        Every country which gets in Russia’s orbit immediately becomes unreliable. Like for instance Hungary, which now has a program of secret visas for the Russians who are not allowed into the EU because of the sanctions, including FSB and GRU operatives.

        Both Turkey and Hungary are playing a dangerous game doing Russia’s bidding. Hungary’s Orban is better at it having had more experience, but Erdogan needed to be buttered up more to do it. They are both pushing the limits: Orban is pushing the limits of the EU’s acceptance, and Erdogan those of NATO’s.


        1. A brief search of the Internet reveals the following:

          “The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been a thorn in Turkey’s side for decades. The group, which has Marxist-Leninist roots, was formed in the late 1970s and launched an armed struggle against the Turkish government in 1984, calling for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey.”

          Now Turkey doesn’t want to see itself dismembered by its Kurdish minority (and its US/Saudi/Apartheid Zionist backers) and will do whatever necessary to remain intact and sovereign. If NATO members like the US do not want to honor their commitment to fellow member Turkey, then Turkey will insist on its sovereign rights and will make whatever arrangements it considers necessary. If this means making win-win deals with the Russian Federation concerning energy, trade, and actually functioning air-defense systems, then Turkey will proceed as its national interests dictate. If the U.S. doesn’t like that, then the U.S. can go pound sand. Having established that its own “exceptionalism” allows it to flout the so-called “Rules Based Order” whenever it pleases, the U.S. can now hardly complain when other nations follow suit and declare themselves “exceptional,” too. Follow the leader.

          The Syrian Arab Army, along with the Russian Aerospace Forces, Lebanese Hezbollah, and some Iranian forces, have pretty much defeated Al Qaeda or Al Nusra or “ISIS” or whatever these Saudi/US proxy head-choppers call themselves. Mopping up operations continue in the Northwest of Syria’s Idlib province. When these conclude, only the Northeastern corners of Syria (with Syria’s oil wells) will remain in the hands of foreign invaders like the US military and its local Kurdish proxy forces. The U.S. has essentially gotten squeezed out and had better haul ass while it still can. The Kurds had their chance to accept some local autonomy in a federal arrangement under Syrian government auspices but they thought they had a better deal with the US promising them their own country carved out of Syria and right on Turkey’s border. They chose wrongly and will now find themselves with no bargaining leverage at all. Too bad for them but they asked for it.

          You might want to get caught up on the true situation in Syria, Mollusk. President Obama arrogantly commanded: “Assad must go.” But Assad has stayed the course and Obama has gone. Obama and You-Know-Her thought they could cheaply pick off Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base in Syria, just like they thought they could pick off Sevastopol in Crimea. They failed miserably in both cases and now the U.S. finds itself facing an even stronger and self-confident Russian Federation whose capable President Vladimir Putin recently joked at the yearly Valdai conference: “We will certainly interfere in [the US] 2020 [elections], but don’t tell anyone.” And the whole world laughed. As Alexander Mercouris of the Duran has noted:

          Every world leader is saying to themselves two things: Firstly, that the United States has gone stark raving bananas. Some of them, like Putin, are going to tease and joke about it because, of course, Putin, through no wish of his own, but that’s how he has become, he is now known as an adversary of the United States. Not an enemy of the United States, but an adversary. He’s been demonized. His country, Russia, has been sanctioned. He’s been accused of all sorts of things. So he is enjoying all the chaos in Washington, which he hasn’t created. The Democrats are creating all this chaos. Other world leaders are going to be absolutely horrified, but probably by now they’re going to be saying to themselves, “Well, the United States is just politically falling apart.” And they’ve probably been thinking that already. Because, let’s face it, Russia-gate was already pretty crazy. This may be a level of insanity even beyond Russia-gate. But, they’ve had three years to realize how utterly dysfunctional and crazy this system is. But beyond that, and I want to repeat this, no world leader now can telephone the President of the United States and feel confident that what he and she says to the President of the United States is not going to be leaked to the American media and used in American political battles. That is true, whether the President is Donald Trump or someone else. Because once this is done, once this precedent of using private comments in diplomatic conversations is broken in this way, it is impossible to put it all back together.”

          As Edward Fitzgerald wrote in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

          The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ,
          Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
          Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
          Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

          And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
          Whereunder crawling cooped we live and die,
          Lift not your hands to It for help–for It
          As impotently moves as you or I.

          The world has moved on and The Empire continues to crumble. President Donald Trump seems to sense this, although he must pander to his “base” that just wants to see “the establishment” humiliated, as they feel humiliated, regardless of any other concerns, in the way that Noam Chomsky outlined in the quote I posted above. Meanwhile, the batshit-nuts neocons and neoliberals in the CIA, FBI, NSA, DOD, and Concentrated Corporate Media try and undermine even the few sane policies he has proposed, like getting out of these stupid and debilitating imperial wars. And so far, no matter what he proposes to do, he winds up getting bullied into doing just the opposite. No wonder the world at large — which has real and significant problems — considers the U.S. an insane asylum with the inmates in “command and control.”


    2. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayep Erdogan announced his intention to settle up to two million refugees now living in Turkey into northern Syria. “We aim to accelerate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes,” says Erdogan.

      Turkey hopes to transfer Syrian Arabs to an area inhabited for centuries by Kurds. It plans to create a militarily controlled “safe zone,” which would stretch along 300 miles of the Turkish-Syrian border and eighteen miles deep into northern Syria.

      Turkey claims such a massive population transfer will lead to the defeat of the Kurdish militia, People’s Protection Units, which it falsely labels as a terrorist group.

      According to Sezgin Tanrikulu, a human rights lawyer and member of the Turkish parliament from the opposition Republican People’s Party, the government is embarking on an “Arabization” program similar to what Syria tried to do in the 1950s and 60s, to displace the Kurds.


  24. Meanwhile, FP: Foreign Policy has this snippet:

    A group of businessmen with ties to President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, attempted to steer contracts at Ukraine’s state gas company, Naftogaz, to companies controlled by Trump allies, the AP reports. That effort was underway as Giuliani was attempting to pressure the Ukrainian government to open an investigation of Trump’s political adversaries.

    Among the officials pushing for changes at Naftogaz was Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Politico reports.


  25. And in the “things can always get uglier” department:

    See: Hillary’s 2nd chance?, by Serban V.C. Ernache, The Duran (October 7, 2019)

    [Begin quote]

    Let’s explore the likelihood of Hillary Clinton trying a second time to become the first woman POTUS. She refused to endorse any politician for 2020 and said “I’m not going to.” She’s planned a big fundraiser for the DNC on October the 16th, “Dinner and conversation at the home of Hillary Rodham Clinton.” Entry tickets are priced as high as $50,000. She’s been holding fundraisers last year as well. Joe Biden is too old, too weak, and swamped with a full on corruption scandal of trans-national proportions… Bernie Sanders was recently hospitalized for heart surgery, and he’s out of the campaign trail until further notice. Elizabeth Warren [Pocahontas] remains the DNC’s only hope against Trump; because they’re never going to pick Gabbard – a politician able to rally progressives, liberals, moderates, and conservatives, and nationalists. Still, Clinton is a much better pick for the DNC [which is struggling to raise money], its corporate donors, and the Deep State.

    [End quote]

    I knew Tricky Dick Nixon’s corpse would not lie quietly in its grave for long. Because, as we all know: “The Clinton’s are always there when they need you.”

    The DNC Democrats may not have listened to Tulsi Gabbard, but it looks like Donald Trump has. He promised to get the U.S. out of its many foreign regime-change wars, but he has not delivered. Too weak and easily bullied. Tulsi Gabbard, on the other hand, could deliver on those promises. Therefore, she worries Trump far more than Alzheimer’s Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren ever could. This means, naturally, that the Democrats will not win with Tulsi but will lose again to Trump, especially if he can rightfully claim to have gotten the U.S. out of at least one stupid military misadventure. A real withdrawal from either Syria or Afghanistan — even better, both — will probably clinch the deal for him. The Democrats will attack him from even further to the right, just as they did in 2016. They will once again side with the FBI, CIA, and other coup-plotters in the “intelligence” community hoping to keep the U.S. mired in stupefyingly idiotic military blunders in perpetuity.

    At any rate, the U.S. military will leave Syria and Afghanistan one way or another. The sooner the better for world Peace and Stability, and the better for President Trump if he hopes for re-election. Historic developments have already seen to the ultimate consequences of criminal imperial militarism. So once again we have the U.S. military trademark refrain:

    Another Catastrophic Success

    With their tails tucked proudly ‘tween their legs
    Advancing towards the exit march the dregs
    Of empire, whose retreat this question begs:
    “No promised omelet? Just the broken eggs?”

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2011

    Just Get It Done, Mr President. Just Get It Done.


  26. Again and again, the truly corrupt scheming for corporate stockholder dollars appears to motivate President Trump in his dealings with the world. Asia Times online notes, simply, that Trump’s recent agreement with Turkey “comes as US leader tries to revive F-35 manufacturing cooperation and keep Ankara on Patriot system.”

    Just more grubbing after money and political support from the military-industrial-corporate-Congressional complex. Trump will boast to his “base” about all the “jobs” that he claims these weapons sales — of not even very good weapons — will bring to the United States’ moribund manufacturing sector. Turkey, for its part, might buy a few of these token White Elephants, but will also purchase superior Russian aircraft and air defense systems now that Saudi Arabia has demonstrated which systems — the U.S. ones — couldn’t even defend the corrupt “Kingdom” from Yemen’s Houthi drones and infantry ground forces.

    Personally, I have no love lost for the Kurds and I don’t think most of the world’s leadership does, either. I just want to see U.S. military forces out of Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, just for starters. If President Trump can extricate our uniformed war-workers — the dogs-of-war mercenaries can fend for themselves — from even a few of these worthless criminal blunders, then I will wish him good luck with that.

    I also prefer purified drinking water to raw sewage, which I suppose President Trump does, too. This mutual agreement doesn’t make me a “Trump supporter,” just a purified drinking water supporter. The same logic applies to other areas where common sense might dictate agreement between what I want to see my government do and what my government — in admittedly rare cases — might actually do for the benefit of the general citizenry. Getting the U.S. military out of stupid foreign quagmires would qualify as a good thing, in my estimation.

    And as for the shameless scheming and plotting of You-Know-Her for a “surprise” comeback during the second round of voting at the Democratic party’s nominating convention next year — thanks to the “establishment” super delegates — I will do my best to see that her fetid fantasies come to nothing, as they usually — and deservedly — do.


    1. “Getting the U.S. military out of stupid foreign quagmires would qualify as a good thing, in my estimation.”

      Yep. It would allow Russia and China free reign in all those places.


  27. Moon of Alabama chips in on the current Syrian situation:

    [Begin quote]

    This [Trump policy vis-a-vis Turkey in Syria] actually is not a surprise. Trump had tried several times to remove the U.S. from Syria and was only held back by the Borg. Last December then Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned when Trump ordered the troops to leave Syria. I do not expect anything similar to happen now.

    Turkey long wanted to move into the Syrian border area east of the Euphrates. It sees the YPG resistance group, with whom the U.S. allied to go after ISIS [and the Assad government], as a threat to its country. That view is justified.

    Erdogan wants to take a 30 kilometer deep strip including the M4 highway which runs west to east in that area.

    But the border area Erdogan marked is quite populated with some 850,000 people living there. Most of them are Kurds.

    Turkey wants to replace those Kurds with the Syrian mob that it armed and supported against the Syrian government troops. These people and their families currently live in Turkey. To move them into north Syria would be one of the largest ethnic cleansing operation the world has seen in recent times.

    A saying goes “The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” But there are no mountains in Syria’s north east. While the YPG might want to fight off a Turkish invasion they have little chance to succeed. The land is flat and the YPG forces only have light arms.

    There is only one solution for them. They will have to call up the Syrian government and ask it to come back into the north east. That would remove the Turkish concerns and would likely prevent further Turkish moves.

    The second part of Trump’s statement, that Turkey will take responsible for imprisoned ISIS fighters and families, can not be taken seriously. Those camps are far beyond the border zone Erdogan seeks.

    It was long predicted that the Kurds will become the biggest losers of the war on Syria. They already lost Afrin in the north west to a Turkish invasion.  Will they again resist to submit to the central government and repeat that mistake? One would hope that they are smarter than that but I would not bet on it.

    [End quote]

    The Kurds can rejoin Syria, on whatever terms Syria will grant, or get wiped out by Turkey. Pretty much a no-brainer, but then, expecting the Kurds to exercise reasonable judgment has not proven a good bet, principally because the U.S., Sordid Arabia, and the AZE (Apartheid Zionist Entity) thought they could leverage the Kurds into fucking with Russia and Iran for the greater expansion their own imperial “interests.”

    Way past time for the U.S. to cut the middle-eastern Bad Puppets loose to straighten out their own tribal animosities and territorial lusts. The U.S. military just makes things worse. The Russian Federation and China, presently, seem agreeable to making things a bit better through win-win energy, technology, and trade deals. President Trump has proven that he can tear up existing deals, but he has not shown much ability to make any new and better ones. The neocons and neoliberals of the “Deep State” Borg want instability and chaos from which they think they can profit. Therefore, they want President Trump to fail in probably the only area where the people of the United States need for him to succeed. They want President Trump and the American working class to drink raw sewage like the Iraqis, Libyans, and Afghans have to do after having had American “help” them. Such “help” no sane person should wish to receive, obviously. Purified drinking water — like Peace — makes for a much healthier United States and World.


  28. That was fast. How quickly the war-agitating crowd-think narrative adjusts from “withdrawing” U. S. war-workers from Syria, to just “moving” them around a bit.

    These heavily armed thugs have illegally invaded and occupied areas of a UN member state in blatant contravention of the UN Charter which the Senate of the United States ratified, making that charter a part of the U.S. Constitution itself. The presidentially pimped-out U.S. military has no legal basis for its presence in Syria and any violence that it inflicts upon the Syrian people constitutes a war crime. Still, the bipartisan right-wing hysteria over even a modest “suggestion of a redeployment in a retrograde direction” has bordered on the clinically insane. See: Washington Loses its Mind Over Announcement to Move Troops in Syria: Republicans and Democrats Come Together in Support of Endless War , by Dave DeCamp, (October 7, 2019)

    I’ll post the entire article here, intact, and add some of my own thoughts in follow-up comments on the bovine bunch of browbeaten buffaloes babbling bullshit about what they do not in the least understand. Anyway …

    [Begin Quote — emphasis added]

    Since the surprise announcement from the White House that said U.S. troops will be withdrawing from areas of Kurdish-held northeast Syria to avoid a planned Turkish assault, an onslaught of U.S. politicians spoke out against the decision. Members of Congress from both parties used the same talking points to argue for a continued U.S. presence in northeast Syria.

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went on a tirade on twitter and appeared on Fox and Friends Monday morning. His main argument against the move is that ISIS would reemerge in areas where they were defeated. “I feel very bad for the Americans and allies who have sacrificed to destroy the ISIS Caliphate because this decision virtually reassures the reemergence of ISIS. So sad. So dangerous,” Graham tweeted. Graham also said that any incursion into Northern Syria by Turkey [a NATO ally] “should be met with most severe sanctions against Turkey’s military and economy.”

    Hilary Clinton also took to Twitter to voice her concern over the announcement and said, “Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russia over our loyal allies and America’s own interests. His decision is a sickening betrayal both of the Kurds and his oath of office.”

    Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley said, “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

    Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement that said, “The President’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Northern Syria is a deeply disturbing development that betrays our Kurdish allies who have been instrumental partners in our mission to eradicate ISIS.”  

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also released a statement that said, “A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

    Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said, “Withdrawing US forces from Northern Syria is a catastrophic mistake that puts our gains against ISIS at risk and threatens US security.”
    Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) said, “This President’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in Northern Syria is ultimately a victory for Assad, Russia, Iran, and ISIS.”
    Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted, “We degraded ISIS using Kurd’s as the ground force. Now we have abandoned them & they face annihilation at the hands of the Turkish military.”

    Even some progressives in Congress who have supported ending U.S. involvement in Syria came out against the announcement. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said, “Trump’s move will not put an end to endless wars. What it *will* do is reward Russia, Iran, and ISIS.”
    Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) tweeted, “I have long believed the U.S. must responsibly end our military interventions in the Middle East. But Trump’s abrupt announcement to withdraw from northern Syria and endorse Turkey’s incursion is extremely irresponsible. It is likely to result in more suffering and instability.”

    President Trump defended his decision and said, “I was elected on getting out of these ridiculous endless wars, where our great Military functions as a policing operation to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA.” But Trump also seemed to agree with Graham about sanctioning Turkey and later tweeted, “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)”

    It is still not clear if Trump plans a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria or if they are just going to relocate. A full withdrawal of U.S. troops would allow the Syrian government to step in and help the Kurds. When Trump announced his unfulfilled plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria back in December 2018, the Kurds asked the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for protection from a possible Turkish invasion.

    [End quote]

    From the comments section:

    Caliman • 7 minutes ago

    “Residents of the capital are the last to hear the news of the end of the empire and react with great dismay. They will get over it, as the residents of Paris and London have.”


    1. Sorry for not closing the tag, but no matter. I really meant to emphasize the first and last paragraphs along with a few selected statements from both Republican and Democratic office-holders, but not, most assuredly, any remarks by the undead, snake-haired Medusa with the dead NAFTA albatross hanging around her sagging neck: You know: … her. As far as her corrupt political career as One-Half-Of-Bill goes: “She came. We saw. She died.” Now, if only she would have the rare good grace to just stay dead with her lips sewed shut, the Democratic party might begin to find a reputable standard bearer — I nominate Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who genuinely does want to end, terminate, bring to a close, conclude, wrap up, you know: … FINISH! these damnable, disgraceful imperial crimes against humanity.

      Sorry, but not surprised to learn of Bernie Sanders falling for the same old imperial “responsibility” crap. He claims not to like these stupid perpetual wars but, on the other hand, he just can’t bring himself to terminate them “precipitously,” “abruptly,” “too fast,” “too rapidly,” etc, without ever bothering to stipulate precisely how long he thinks the illegal war crimes should continue. In other words, he would like someone else to conclude these U.S. initiated disasters, just not in his political lifetime. What a fucking, opportunistic coward.

      And from Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) [the unregenerate 1980’s-era red-baiter] we have: “This President’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in Northern Syria is ultimately a victory for Assad, Russia, Iran, and ISIS.”

      Make up your “mind”, Mitt, you moron. EITHER ISIS can claim victory OR Assad, Russia, and Iran can. And since it looks like ISIS has lost and President Trump has taken credit, you have gotten the defeat of ISIS that you say you wanted, right? So Assad, Russia, Iran, and Lebanese Hezbollah have taken care of that for you. Mission Accomplished! Time to go home.

      And this ridiculous remark from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who tweeted: “We degraded ISIS using Kurd’s as the ground force. Now we have abandoned them & they face annihilation at the hands of the Turkish military.”

      No, little Marco, they don’t necessarily face that prospect. The Kurds could face “ethnic cleansing” by the jihadi fanatics that Turkey used as proxy ground forces to attempt the overthrow the Assad government, and, having failed at that, now wishes to use as proxy ground forces to rid Turkey of its Kurdish terrorist problem.

      Or, the Kurds face survival through re-integration into to a federal Syrian state. Their choice. No skin off America’s national interest, either way.

      Then we have more Peak Ignorance and Stupidity from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who said: “Trump’s move will not put an end to endless wars. What it *will* do is reward Russia, Iran, and ISIS.”

      President Trump does not have to put an end to all endless wars, just the ones that the United States has initiated, continued, and refuses to FINISH. Other nations can end their own endless wars, or not, but their inability to conclude such disasters does not require the United States to involve itself one way or another. But ending any endless war beats ending none of them and ending them one at a time begins the process of ending even more of them. You’ve got to start somewhere. So just get started where you can.

      And, of course, like Senator Mitt Romney, Ms Omar apparently doesn’t know that Russia and Iran have done the lion’s share, along with the Syrian Arab Army and Lebanese Hezbollah, of wiping out ISIS (or Al Qaeda, or Al Nusra) in Syria. So why would anyone not wish to reward Russia and Iran for disposing of those fanatical jihadi head-choppers whom the U.S. claims it wants to kill, too? What a bird brain. Or else a world-class liar.

      Where does the United States get these imbeciles?

      Anyway, as I like to say: “You can’t do a wrong thing the right way.” And: “If they knew what to do, they’d have done it already. If they could have, they would have; but they didn’t, so they can’t. Time’s up.”


  29. Not being possessed of Final Wisdom, I speak only for myself:
    More damage has been done to America – the land and people – in the last three years by the current Administration and Congress than can and will ever be done to the country by ISIS, the Taliban, or any other pissant “terrorist threat” to “our way of life, our values, our rightful place as God’s own.”
    As far as the Kurds are concerned, the last time I checked, Turkey was a sovereign nation (and a member of NATO). What happens within its borders – unless it spills over into neighboring countries – is its own concern. If you’ve got a problem with that, take it to NATO or the UN.
    And this: You can’t betray a “cause” – however righteous – you have no business being involved in in the first place. Or have we forgotten the lessons of Vietnam?
    SIDEBAR: I would suggest Turkey – or any nation – can buy arms from whomever they wish. I’m not a weapons expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I should think Russian anti-aircraft missiles/rockets would work – if they work – just as well against against any aircraft, regardless of country – or military alliance – of origin.

    Finally, as regards next year’s election: the DNC has fulfilled its imagined “obligation” to trot out non-traditional presidential candidates. Having covered minorities with Barack Obama and women with Hillary Clinton, no other faction/group has enough votes for the DNC to concern themselves with (the myth of “the Youth Vote” was dispelled after McGovern’s humiliation in ’72).
    In that case, who will get the nod next year? Someone safe, someone who plays ball. Loath as I am to repeat myself, the old Chicago assessment holds true: People love pain-in-the-ass reformers, but they don’t vote for them.
    No matter who heads the Republican ticket, it will be business as usual with the Democrats in 2020.


    1. Good comments.

      But as to learning the lessons of Vietnam — i.e., “Don’t Do That Again, Ever!” — the career U.S. military and Deep State Cold-warrior class would have none of that learning business. They think of hard-won wisdom as a symptom of a sickness, or “syndrome.” By the early 1990s the first president Bush had, by his own joyful proclamation, “kicked that [Lesson-Learning Disease] once and for all.” There followed 24 years of Clinton, Baby Bush, and Obama learning-impairment regimes, so by the time our corrupt and bankrupt system vomited up Donald Trump and the current crop bipartisan right-wingers in Congress, there remained much less of America to loot. Still some table scraps left for the upper middle class plantation overseers but the working class wage-slaves have largely reverted to near Third World status.

      As Gore Vidal pointed out long before anyone thought of Donald Trump as a political leader [or mis-leader]: “America has only one party, The Property Party, and it has two right wings.” As if to prove Vidal’s aphorism, both of these right-wing factions (The “R” varsity and “D” junior varsity) have now united in condemnation of President Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. military might possibly begin moving in a retrograde redeployment somewhere in the direction of an exit from its overextended and untenable position in Northwest Syria.

      As you say about your “old Chicago assessment,” Machiavelli said long ago in The Prince:

      “It must be realized that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more uncertain of success, or more dangerous to manage than the establishment of a new order of government; for he who introduces it makes enemies of all those who derived advantage from the old order and finds but lukewarm defenders among those who stand to gain from the new one.”

      “Such a lukewarm attitude grows partly out of fear of the adversaries, who have the law on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men in general, who actually have no faith in new things and until they have been proved by experience. Hence it happens that whenever those in the enemy camp have a chance to attack, they do so with partisan fervor, while the others defend themselves rather passively, so that both they and the prince are endangered.”

      Now we shall see if President Donald Trump truly can “establish a new order of government,” and whether the vast, self-serving, bi-partisan interests arrayed against him will permit this. I have to say that, in this regard at least, I hope that he succeeds. I had rather hoped that Tulsi Gabbard would lead the United States out of these imperial disasters, but the Democratic party shows every determination not to let that happen. So it looks like either President Trump or the FBI, CIA, Republicrat Congress, and Concentrated Corporate Media will prevail in this death struggle. Not good odds for President Trump, but stranger things have happened — like his 2016 election to the U.S. presidency in the first place.

      Again, thanks for your comments.


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