Military Spending Robs Workers and the Poor

Ike was unafraid of plain and cruel truths

W.J. Astore

Unless you’re working for Raytheon or some other weapons contractor, you’re being robbed whenever our government spends excessively on the military, which is always. $54 billion of your money was stolen from you and sent to Ukraine, with much of it going to Raytheon and similar merchants of death. More than $813 billion will be spent next year on the Pentagon, with roughly half of that being unnecessary for true national defense. Excessive military spending is a form of theft in which workers and the poor are the biggest victim.

My point here isn’t original. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said it nearly 70 years ago in 1953 in his brilliant “Cross of Iron” speech. In Ike’s words:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.  It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.

Ike, a Republican, a retired five-star general, told it like it was, is, and remains. Excessive military spending isn’t a left-right issue. It isn’t a Democrat-Republican issue. It’s a class issue. It’s a moral issue. Ike knew this and was unafraid to say it.

Ike said we are crucifying ourselves with this militarized way of life. He chose this image deliberately for its Christian meaning and moral power. He spoke openly of “plain and cruel truths.” Ike, a true public servant, wanted to make a better America. He had no fear of the military-industrial-Congressional complex because he knew it so well and could resist its old siren song of perpetual war as being somehow in our national interest. I salute him for his honesty and his wisdom.

What do we need to do? We need to reject militarism, we need to reinvest in America, we need to reanimate our democracy, and we need to restore peace. We need more Americans to run and work on these 4 Rs. America needs a thoroughgoing reformation now or, mark my words, as my dad used to say, we will soon experience something far more disruptive and unpleasant.

146 thoughts on “Military Spending Robs Workers and the Poor

  1. Ike was a truly popular President winning 55% of the vote in 1952 and 57% in 1956. Too bad we don’t have politicians like him now. Maybe we should only vote for politicians from Kansas.


    1. Yeah ALEX, those great Kansas Republican politicians! LOL

      Wiki- “The Kansas experiment refers to Kansas Senate Bill Substitute HB 2117, a bill signed into law in May 2012 by Sam Brownback, Republican governor of the state of Kansas.[1] It was one of the largest income tax cuts in the state’s history.[2] The Kansas experiment[3] has also been called the “Great Kansas Tax Cut Experiment,”[4] the “Red-state experiment,”[5] “the tax experiment in Kansas,”[6] and “one of the cleanest experiments for how tax cuts affect economic growth in the U.S.”[7] The cuts were based on model legislation published by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),[8][9][10][11] supported by supply-side economist Arthur Laffer,[12] and anti-tax leader Grover Norquist.[13] The law cut taxes by US$231 million in its first year, and cuts were projected to total US$934 million annually after six years,[14] by eliminating taxes on business income for the owners of almost 200,000 businesses and cutting individual income tax rates.[14]

      Brownback compared his tax policies with those of Ronald Reagan, and described them as “a real live experiment”,[15] which would be a “shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy”,[16] and predicted that by 2020 they would have created an additional 23,000 jobs.[2]

      By 2017 state revenues had fallen by hundreds of millions of dollars,[17] causing spending on roads, bridges, and education to be slashed.[18][19] With economic growth remaining consistently below average,[4] the Republican Legislature of Kansas voted to roll back the cuts; although Brownback vetoed the repeal, the legislature succeeded in overriding his veto.[20]

      Several reasons have together been given to explain its failure: tax cuts generate economic growth in the long term, not the short term,[21]: 1  most tax cuts only generate enough increased revenue (due to growth) at the new lower tax rates to offset 10-30% of the initial tax cut, necessitating spending cuts to avoid deficits,[3]: 1  and Kansas’ elimination of pass-through income (initially projected to apply to 200,000 taxpayers, but used by 330,000) created a loophole which allowed many taxpayers to restructure their employment to completely avoid income taxes, thereby additionally decreasing revenue.[22]: 1  [3]: 1 ”


        1. “Who really benefits from government spending? If you listen to Rush Limbaugh, you might think it was those blue states, packed with damn hippie socialist liberals, sipping their lattes and providing free abortions for bored, horny teenagers. …

          As it turns out, it is red states that are overwhelmingly the Welfare Queen States. Yes, that’s right. Red States—the ones governed by folks who think government is too big and spending needs to be cut—are a net drain on the economy, taking in more federal spending than they pay out in federal taxes. They talk a good game, but stick Blue States with the bill”


          1. That Atlantic article was from 2017. WalletHub’s March 15, 2022 article on the same subject is at .

            And that Atlantic article continued after the part that You quoted as follows:

            “Fair enough. That’s a catchy perspective. And there are few things more fun than exposing hypocrisy.

            “Alternatively, we could use the “state dependency” map as an opportunity to reflect on a different paradox—the long-standing role of the far-away federal government as an agent of community. Because of federal programs, people in places like South Carolina and Mississippi are getting a helping hand not from their neighbors a few blocks away or in the next county over, but from residents of Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska. Whether you like that idea depends, in part, on how you personally reconcile the tension between two long-cherished, core American values—our passion for individualism and our regard for community—and whether you see “community” as encompassing the whole country.

            “That’s a far more interesting thing to think about (though perhaps less viscerally satisfying) than which states are moochers or freeloaders and which are getting fleeced.”


            1. I wonder how much of the differential comes from Social Security and Medicare. People tend to retire to states with a low cost of living, I think. Too bad they don’t break down that information any more.


              1. What a surprise ALEX!
                A RepubliCON like you wondering what those nasty socialist Social Security and Medicare programs cost!
                Are you one of those strong individualist who sends his Social Security check back to the government?
                Yeah – I bet!


          1. Yeah America needs a good old Union busting President again!

            Right to Work’ legislation. Yeah, right on! Unions push for better health care coverage for workers as well as higher pay. The fact that states with Right-to-Work laws have workers with lesser wages is evidence that this is not beneficial to most of the working people of America. It allows non-members to get benefits for free. RTW laws allow employees who are not paying dues to enjoy the same benefits paying union members get but Unions will still be the ones negotiating and working for higher salaries, better working conditions and expanded benefits. With the existence of RTW, labor organizations which have fought for employees’ rights will be marginalized and result to lower wages and lesser benefits for the workforce. Another screw the workers deal eh ALEX!

            Privatization of public highways, – yeah another winner! Don’t want those dam hippie socialists driving on our roads for free! Sell em to Jeff Bezos, or the Chinese, who will then put tolls on driving.

            Yep, Mitch Daniels for sure man! I don’t think!


            1. When wages get too high jobs get shipped overseas. Do you think it’s a coincidence that China has ended up as our main manufacturer of consumer goods? The billionaires pushing for more unions are the same people whose factories are in China.


              1. You are so wrong on your reason why American jobs are shipped overseas Alex. But why should I be surprised at you taking a another opportunity to kick American workers in the guts. It seems you have never seen a piece of legislation that is anti-worker that you don’t like.
                But lets leave this topic for another blog eh.


              2. Whose wages are “too high” in America, Alex? I hope you don’t mean workers’ wages. Ever tried factory work? My father, who worked in factories for years, said he’d never worked so hard for so little.


                1. @WJASTORE
                  Wanna bet that our friend ALEX has never worked in a factory, let alone for minimum wage


              3. Ask Phillip Knight why his stuff isn’t made in the US, with good unionized workers. Ask Tim Cook.


                1. @ALEX, how do you think those two greedy bastads are going to answer?

                  Apple iphones, and Nike shoes are not sold on price. They could charge what ever they wanted for them because they are the best. The reason they are made in China is because the US government refuses to put Tariffs on them and promote FAIR trade instead of FREE trade.

                  Between 1861 and 1933, the US had one of the highest average tariff rates on manufactured imports in the world. And from 1935 on Tariffs became unfashionable and with Free Trade Laws have continued to be a declining percentage of Federal tax income and been the cause of the deindustrialization of the US.

                  Wiki – According to the Economic Policy Institute, free trade has created a large trade deficit in the United States for decades, leading to the closure of many factories and cost the United States millions of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Trade deficits replaces well-paying manufacturing jobs with low-wage service jobs. Moreover, trade deficits lead to significant wage losses, not only for workers in the manufacturing sector, but also for all workers throughout the economy who do not have a university degree. For example, in 2011, 100 million full-time, full-year workers without a university degree suffered an average loss of $1,800 on their annual salary.[85] [86]

                  Indeed, these workers who have lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector and who have to accept a reduction in their wages to find work in other sectors, are creating competition that reduces the wages of workers already employed in these other sectors. In addition, the threat of relocation of production facilities leads workers to accept wage cuts to keep their jobs.[86]

                  According to the EPI, free trade agreements have not reduced trade deficits but rather increased them. The growing trade deficit with China comes from China’s manipulation of its currency, dumping policies, subsidies, trade barriers that give it a very important advantage in international trade. In addition, industrial jobs lost by imports from China are significantly better paid than jobs created by exports to China. So even if imports were equal to exports, workers would still lose out on their wages.[87]

                  The manufacturing sector is a sector with very high productivity growth, which promotes high wages and good benefits for its workers. Indeed, this sector accounts for more than two thirds of private sector research and development and employs more than twice as many scientists and engineers as the rest of the economy. The manufacturing sector therefore provides a very important stimulus to overall economic growth. Manufacturing is also associated with well-paid service jobs such as accounting, business management, research and development and legal services. Deindustrialisation is therefore also leading to a significant loss of these service jobs.

                  Deindustrialization thus means the disappearance of a very important driver of economic growth.”

                  Instead of FREE Trade, America badly needs revised legislation promoting FAIR trade. Tariffs should be part of any Trade Agreement.


  2. i appreciate very clearly where You are coming from on this, Colonel; but I just gotta say…

    re: Ike’s “no fear of the military-industrial-Congressional complex.” Why would he fear it? He had spent a lifetime in it and was very comfortably retired as a result of his service to it.

    The question is: How much did Ike “resist the siren song of perpetual war” when it was his watch?

    Under whose watch did the US first kick start it’s planned war in Vietnam with “Assistance and Advisors” after Dien Bien Phu?

    Who was Prez when the US overthrew the democratically-elected Presidents of Guatemala and Iran?

    It’s a shame he didn’t make his MICC speech early in his first term, and then lived up to it.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes Jeff,
          as an American history rank amateur, I always wondered about Ike and his speech – seeming as his whole career was spent feeding at the trough of the MIC? Maybe I need to read Howard Zinn on this to get a better perspective eh? Or do you or the Lt.Col have any links of internet discussions’ of Ike’s hypocrisy?


          1. Zinn will give You a different perspective, for sure, Dennis. Whether or not it’s “better” is a completely separate issue.


            1. Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America
              by Mary Grabar

              “Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has sold more than 2.5 million copies. It is pushed by Hollywood celebrities, defended by university professors who know better, and assigned in high school and college classrooms to teach students that American history is nothing more than a litany of oppression, slavery, and exploitation.

              Zinn’s history is popular, but it is also massively wrong.

              Scholar Mary Grabar exposes just how wrong in her stunning new book Debunking Howard Zinn, which demolishes Zinn’s Marxist talking points that now dominate American education”


          2. I think Ike’s MIC warning speech was more of an unwitting apology for having given the Dulles bros. so much power. Doesn’t excuse him, of course.


  3. “Objection your honor”!
    “He chose this image deliberately for its Christian meaning…”
    “Objection Upheld”. LOL
    As a “true” American public servant – Ike could not make decisions based on any religion.
    Am I off base Lt.Col?


  4. You asked, Colonel: “What do we need to do?”

    That is The DFQ-of-the-Day, no doubt. Maybe even of the decade.

    The follow-up Damn Fine Questions are:

    1. Who exactly is this “We” that needs to do all this?

    2, How exactly is this We to do all this? Specifically:

    a. Exactly How are American Citizens to “reject” their government’s perpetual militarism?
    b. Specifically Which parts of America need to be “reinvested” in?
    c. Approximately When was our democracy last “animated”?
    d. What “peace” is there to be “restored”? And from exactly When?
    e. And finally: Whose proposed “reformation” ~ from the Trumpatistas to the Sandersistas or someplace in between ~ does America need?

    3. So What and Now What?


    1. Jeff: the “we” is “as many of us as possible.” We need publicly-funded elections. We need more choices at the polls. We need protest movements with teeth. Like the 1960s, when democracy had some spine.

      I think we know roughly what we need. We need a people’s movement, Main Street instead of Wall Street.

      The problem is, wait for it, corporate fascism and all the powers arranged to preserve the status quo.

      If we stay where we’re at, we’re going down in a very messy imperial collapse.

      We can do nothing or we can act, each in our own way, and together, to change things. Surrender, or fight. Which will “we” choose?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i would say that America has been in the midst of an ever-accelerating, “very messy imperial decline” for quite some time now, Colonel. At least since 9/11, if not Operation Desert Storm.

        And be careful what You wish for when it comes to a “people’s movement.” Is that not exactly what TRUMPATISMO is? Just the wrong kind of people and a wrong kind of movement, tho.

        i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: THE PROBLEM confronting America is a system of government and governance that is built, maintained, and sustained to enable selected special interests to have unfettered access to the power and authority of government to manage, manipulate, and/or control national foreign and domestic military, political, economic, social, and cultural policies and programs. All to and for ~ primarily ~ the benefit of those special interests. Any benefit “The People” or “Nation” might derive from all this is purely collateral and generally unintentional.

        And any “Regime Change” in DC at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue does not change that one bit.

        That is what Corporatist Fascism is, and has ever been; and publicly-funded elections would not change that one bit.

        Just like Slavery, the opportunities for special interest control of the government were built into the original Constitution, and those folks have seldom missed an opportunity to take full advantage of the possibilities presented. The Anti-Federalists warned us about all this back then, but to no avail.

        Unless and until that Problem is addressed, nothing is going to change.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As my wife likes to say, we’ve already struck the iceberg. The question is how long it’ll take us to sink. And those in steerage are pretty much f*cked as the rich commandeer the lifeboats.

          Will the captain go down with the ship? Hell no! The captain and crew will be helicoptered to safety.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. So Jeff, with your follow-up Damn Fine Questions are you putting your doom and gloomer hat on again? LOL
    Suggesting that there are no answers to these 3 questions maybe
    But who cares eh? You have been sharing with us all your links showing that the USA may end with the cancellation of the mid term elections. So these questions are meaningless.


    1. On the contrary, Dennis. i think there very definitely Are answers to these questions. But first, somebody has to ask them.

      And You are correct: If the midterms are cancelled, these are meaningless questions, indeed.

      And to be perfectly blunt, whether the elections are cancelled or not, it is highly unlikely that enough Americans will start asking themselves and each other these questions to make any difference at all before it is entirely too late.

      i’ll leave up to You to decide whether that is Cynicism, Pessimism, or Realism.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. On the other hand, if these Questions aren’t asked and answered by both the candidates and the voters, then the election will be what is meaningless.


  6. As long as congress is for sale to the highest bidder, we will make no progress with democracy, militarism, climate change or anything else. We have normalized congressional bribery to the point where every member is completely beholden to the dollar and the average citizen has absolutely no influence or even a voice.

    If we do not get campaign finance costs under control, we are DONE .

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great essay! Unfortunately, trying to rein in the self sustaining Pentagon will never happen in my lifetime as best I can determine. Since the dissolution of the military draft the American people have little interest in what happens in the “5 sided building” in DC” and how they spend our money. One Administration after another blessed by our bought & paid for Congress continues to “feed” the MICC sort of like drone bees fatten up their queen. I see it as a sad state of affairs with no end in sight.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear fellow Bracing Views Readers/Commenters,
    As often happens I am commenting in the evening after others have spoken, but may I say
    that Col. Bill’s column today directly reflects my, and my Father’s, beliefs–he was an Eisenhower
    Republican, a WWII Pacific Fleet young officer, small town attorney after the war, who held me up to
    hear Ike talk on a whistlestop tour in 1952 (I was 9) and subsequently he and I left the Repubs
    after Sen Goldwater’s tirade–to his credit he became a moderate Democrat and I became a progressive Democrat–I’m a retired physician, a Vietnam combat Veteran (non-combatant, Navy Battalion Surgeon
    w/Marine Corps 1969-70).
    I have read and followed Col. Astore’s posts, and commented in the past on my own views about
    the need for a fundamental retrenching of our military, and the militarization of our foreign policy and
    domestic (policing) policies. I too believe we could reduce our DOD budget by fully 50 %, over say
    10 year’s time, redirecting the DOD personnel to domestic and international environmental and
    local cultural improvements ( my grandfather was a local leader — County Engineer– in the CCC
    in the Great Depression)–without significantly reducing the Almighty National Security…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Steve. It’s refreshing to read a positive comment that isn’t trying to provoke me or question me or attack me. You and your dad were and are right.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bill (if I may move to a first name greeting),
      I read and reflect on every Bracing Views column as well as TomDispatch’s,
      don’t always agree with every post but admire and respect the consistent journalistic
      ethical integrity of both publications.


  9. The area where I disagree with Chomsky is that he attributes war policy to the “rich”. It’s a knee-jerk reaction for him. But take a look at what’s happening now. Have you seen the stock market lately? Russian sanctions are causing inflation and recession and are causing the rich to become much less rich. So the rich don’t benefit from the sanctions policy. So who benefits? The people who are driving policy. The State Department, NATO, the CIA, and the government bureaucracies who get more power and more tax money for themselves and their run-the-world projects. Look at where the $40 billion “Ukraine” package goes to. Weapons replacement sure (we’re giving ours away to Ukraine after all), but also our NATO structure, the State Department, etc. That’s really the point of the package. But those people aren’t rich. Well, not as rich as “the rich” anyway. But they’re the ones who benefit. The rest of us lose. Including the rich. Rich people don’t need wars. War hawks in government need wars. The Blob. Watch out for the Blob.


    1. The rich are so rich that they only become less rich. If I have $100 million and I lose $23 million due to stocks declining and so forth, I still have $77 million. And the billionaires — well, they all want more more more, but they’re not really hurt by inflation and a recession (stagflation again?).

      But the rich will act to protect their interests. If Joe and the Blob keep screwing the pooch, so to speak, time for Trump & Co. to put Wall Street first, second, and last. That’s MAGA!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Alex, both Chomsky and You need to define exactly who You mean by “the rich.” Because some of those people [however defined] do indeed need War. That’s how they got “rich,” in the first place; and stay rich, in the second.

      And if civilian and military War Hawks in government need wars, the corporatists running our MICC need War Hawks in government. And they have their ways of ensuring that exactly that happens. It’s called $ 1 = 1 Vote.

      And Swampland’s civilian and military bureaucracies are of course profiting from all this in terms of more money and power, and new, exciting things to try. Just like they did after 9/11. Just like they did with Saddam’s WMDs.

      But who else besides the folks in DC are profiting? And beyond just the MICC or the Secrecy-Surveillance-Security Panopticon, out into the rest of the Deep State: Big Oil, Big Food, Big Banks, and Big Media, for starters.

      Any of those folks enjoying this dandy little war?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most of our super rich got rich in technology or finance. They make up the big donor base of the Democratic Party, which politicians spend much of their time railing against the rich. Isn’t that interesting? Then these billionaires “donate” billions to their named tax-exempt foundations which they control and which tax-exempt status is never challenged, congratulate themselves on their generosity, and jet off to Switzerland to meet with their politicians to decide how to change the world to their liking. War of course being one of their hobbies.


        1. And who makes up the big donor base of the Republican Party?

          And it’s only Democrat-supporting super-rich who fly off to Davos and plot and plan how to change the world?

          And War is a “hobby” for just those Democrat-supporting super-rich?

          Well, You ~ or Chomsky ~ still haven’t identified specifically Who it is You are talking about when You talk about “the rich.”

          What Top Percentile of Wealth are we talking about? The Top 10%? Top 1%? Top 0.001%?


          1. We should ask the people who campaign against the rich who they think the rich are. Nancy? Elizabeth? Bernie? So who are the rich, you three? Oh, they never say, do they? Just keep it vague.


            1. So who ARE “the rich,” Alex? You never seem to say any more than those three do, either.


  10. Yes, well, this war on Russia is being brought to us by a group of politicians who are distinctly non-MAGA. You don’t see Donald Trump glad-handing Zelenskyy but you do see Nancy Pelosi etc. Randolph Bourne famously said, “War is the health of the state”. Exactly so. More war means a more powerful state, which is why the state craves it. If we want less war we need to have a less powerful state. But the state will look after its own interests, to the detriment of the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I’d just add “corporate” and “military” to the state. Hence the national security state, the 4th and most powerful branch of the U.S. government. More war is indeed healthy for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My guess is that if Trump were President, and his owners and operators determined that a war with Russia in Ukraine was necessary for the next step, he would be glad-handing Zelensky just like the rest of them. Either that, or he would have been replaced.

      And like the Colonel said: War is the health of the State AND the Corporatist Fascists who own, operate, script write, and handle the elected politicians, the entrenched civilian and military bureaucrats, and the anointed political appointees that run that State on a day-to-day basis.

      But You are absolutely correct when You say that “If we want less war we need to have a less powerful state.”

      The State ~ ie, the systems of government and governance ~ is the ONLY reason why wars CAN happen.

      Without the authority and power of The State to threaten and use force against their citizens to fight and/or pay for all these wars, War would not be the great investment opportunity that it has always proven to be to those pushing the buttons.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lt. Col, reading all the comments in the thread this morning I’m thinking that this would be a good time to read Chalmers Johnson trilogy again -Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire. The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic. Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.

    “History teaches us that the capacity of things to get worse is limitless. Roman history suggests that the short, happy life of the American republic may be coming to its end… the US will probably maintain a facade of constitutional government and drift along until financial bankruptcy overtakes it.”
    Chalmers Johnson


    1. Yes. Sometimes I think I’m just repeating things that Chalmers Johnson said 20-25 years ago.


  12. ……”maintain a facade of constitutional government”…….. is that were we are now?


  13. Although most Americans may be largely ignorant of what was, and still is, being done in their names, all are likely to pay a steep price-individua lly and collectively-fo r their nation’s continued efforts to dominate the global scene.
    Chalmers Johnson


  14. Every Bracing Views reader needs to take the 1-hour to watch this video today.
    Indeed every American as well.


  15. The most frightening thing he says in this video is…”It’s possible the Military could take over – as happened to the Romans!”


    1. In a way, the military already has. It consumes more than half of federal discretionary spending, it enjoys strong and unwavering bipartisan support for colossal budgets, and it remains America’s most respected institution despite a woeful record since World War II.

      The last president I can think of who challenged the MIC was Carter. Clinton was given a quick lesson when he tried to change the policy on homosexuals openly serving in the early 1990s. No president since Carter has cancelled a huge weapon system like the B-1, and Carter caved as well, boosting defense spending big time before he lost to Reagan.

      The last commander-in-chief who truly stood up to the military was JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The next year, he gave his peace speech. A few months later, he was dead.


  16. Wow Bill!
    JFK killed by the military…
    People blow Oliver Stone off as a conspiracy nut!


    1. Now, now, Dennis. I left a few dots. It was you who connected them and drew that conclusion.

      The grassy knoll. Remember the grassy knoll.


      1. I’ve never gone down that rabbit hole. But I don’t think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone; that’s why he was killed so quickly by Jack Ruby.

        I just read this in an article about Ruby: “In 1979 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a report that Kennedy was ‘probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy’ that may have involved multiple gunmen.”

        The Warren Commission was a rush job that convinced few. Will we ever know for sure? Perhaps Oswald took the truth to his grave.


        1. Railroad worker on the overpass saw the shooter on the grassy knoll behind the fence. . .that Railroad worker dies in a “car accident” shortly after.


          1. I did not know that.

            I have seen documentaries that almost conclusively prove there’s no way Oswald was the only shooter.


            1. I proffered…..”It’s possible the Military could take over – as happened to the Romans!”
              You answered “In a way, the military already has”
              And offered as proof “The last commander-in-chief who truly stood up to the military was JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The next year, he gave his peace speech. A few months later, he was dead.
              So my conclusion is that you strongly believe the military killed JFK.


              1. Pattern? I don’t see a pattern.

                I just stated some facts, Dennis. I’d say that perhaps you strongly believe it! 🙂


                1. As a rank amateur historian on American history, who reads way too much on the internet, I don’t know what I belief about the truth of the JFK assignation. I am a bit of a fan of Oliver Stone.
                  I’m wondering what the rest of your esteemed readers think. Perhaps they will chime in if this is not getting too far off topic.


        2. Isn’t it interesting that there was no “rush job” on 9/11? That “Investigation” didn’t start until the end of November, 2002: fourteen and a half months after the deed.

          On the other hand, it took LBJ one week to establish the JFK Assassination Commission. And it took Reagan five days to establish the Challenger Disaster Commission.

          Why did it take Cheney and his lap dog W so long? Any thoughts?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “It’s a pity that the committees were, on a few matters, rolled by the White House, and that Bush has gotten away with concealing from the public what he knew and when, and what he did (or did not do) about a serious threat to the nation. But for seven months, the joint inquiry has been engaged in trench warfare with the Administration over the declassification of this report”



            1. Cover-up and conspiracy: The Bush administration and September 11
              WSWS Editorial Board
              18 May 2002
              “The World Socialist Web Site has been at the forefront of the critical analysis and exposure of the September 11 attacks, warning that the Bush administration and the media were deliberately concealing from the American people the real circumstances of the terrorist action and the imperialist objectives of the US war in Afghanistan. More than four months ago, we published a four-part series entitled, “Was the US government alerted to September 11 attack?”


              1. Wiki – “The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States was established on November 27, 2002, by President George W. Bush and the United States Congress, with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger initially appointed to head the commission.[2] However, Kissinger resigned only weeks after being appointed, to avoid conflicts of interest.[3] Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell was originally appointed as the vice chairman, but he stepped down on December 10, 2002, not wanting to sever ties to his law firm.[4] On December 15, 2002, Bush appointed former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean to head the commission.[5]
                By the spring of 2003, the commission was off to a slow start, needing additional funding to help it meet its target day for the final report, of May 27, 2004.[6] In late March, the Bush administration agreed to provide an additional $9 million for the commission, though this was $2 million short of what the commission requested.[7] The first hearings were held from March 31 to April 1, 2003, in New York City.[8]

                Conclusion Bush and Cheney deliberately did everything they could to delay this investigation.
                Why did it take Cheney and his lap dog W so long? Is a good question Jeff. Why did they? Please tell us.


                1. i believe there are a couple of reasons, Dennis.

                  1. The Cheney administration did not want the American People to get distracted about happened back on 9/11 when they needed to stay focused on Saddam’s WMDs and his alleged role in 9/11. After all, that “smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud,” she said.

                  2. They did not want the American People to get used to asking too many questions ~ and expecting answers ~ about 9/11. Like: Exactly HOW did it happen? Exactly WHO made it happen? Given all the failures that day and before, WHO enabled it to happen? WHO ordered it to happen? And WHO paid for it to happen?

                  And they particularly did not want to have to explain the collapses of the Towers, particularly WTC-7. Which, 20 years later, they still haven’t.

                  That’s why it took so long to have an “investigation” of 9/11.

                  And when they finally agreed to an investigation, the Mushroom Cloud Lady’s lap dog Phillip Zelikow was placed in charge of the whole proceedings; particularly the final contents and editing of the “Final Report.”

                  And given the fact that there is still a great deal that the American government knows about 9/11 that the American People still do not know, the 9/11 Commission accomplished exactly what it was supposed to accomplish. Sort of like the fact that there is still information about the JFK Assassination that the American government knows and that the American people still don’t know.

                  Did You ever wonder Why that is?


                2. I’m pretty slow Jeff…. but I’m getting it! LOL
                  The gubmint does not want us to know a lot of stuff!
                  Did I get it right?
                  ( Can we add Pearl Harbor to your list?)


                3. Which “list” is that, Dennis? The one that lists all the times the American government has lied to the American People and the Planet in order to have itself another War?

                  Does “Tonkin Gulf” or the “Kuwaiti Incubator Babies” ring a bell? How about “The Lusitania” and “The Maine”?

                  There is a great deal of evidence that Washington knew that Pearl harbor was going to happen and, in fact, desperately needed Something to happen to enable America to honorably get into WW II. Which is the only way it was going to get out of the Depression.


                4. Phew – this is too depressing!
                  I think I’ll go back to only reading Sports stuff on the internet!
                  This geo-political stuff is wearing me out!


                5. Heh. That’s what a lot of Americans say. And that is exactly why Swampland is able to get away with all the bullshit that it does.


                6. This is not endemic to America though eh?
                  Does this not happen in all countries irrespective of governance type?
                  It would be naïve to think that the New Zealand government tells us everything – right?
                  Its just that the hegemonic US’s interference in the World has so much bigger consequences.


                7. i can’t prove it, but my hunch is that the more powerful a government is, and the more direct and indirect control that it has over the lives, life styles, and especially, the livelihoods of its citizenry, the more necessary it is for them to lie to their citizens and to the entire world.

                  But the far more interesting question is: Why do governments find it necessary to keep so many secrets from their Citizens? The fact is that it is a lot easier to lie and get away with lying about things that are kept secret.


  17. “There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state. The other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.” -Commander William Adama, Battlestar Galactica, 2003.


  18. The only video on YouTube that exist on Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower’s speech that I can find..


      1. Bill, the more I study Ike today in my Google history classes I am tending to disagree with esteemed fellow poster JG MOEBUS that ……Ike was a “bullshitting hypocrite” . From what he read, despite being a career militarist, he knew exactly that the military was leading the US down the garden path, and was sincere in trying to stop that. And noteworthy – Chalmers Johnson spoke well about Ike.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Whether or not he was “sincere,” Dennis, the fact of the matter is that he was the President who sent the first “Assistance and Advisors” when the US began what became what the Vietnamese People term “The American War” after the fall of Dien Bien Phu.

          He was also the President when the US overthrew the democratically-elected governments of Guatemala and Iran. Setting the stage for all kinds of fun and games in Central America and the Middle East.

          And when America lost its colony south of Miami to Fidel and Da Gang, Ike was the President who set about launching America’s 60+ year War against the People and Nation of Cuba.

          He may have been “sincere” in whatever efforts he did make to derail the War Train, but he was a failure. And when it came to the MICC and what he said about it ~ as opposed to he actually did about it ~ he was a hypocritical bullshitter, indeed and in deed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ike sent fewer than 1000 advisors to South Vietnam. You could call that a token force. Kennedy upped it to 24,000 – no longer a token force. Johnson of course got it into the hundreds of thousands of troops. Ike negotiated an armistice in Korea at a time when his advisors were telling him to take a stronger stand against the communists. He strongly opposed military action by France/England/Israel after Nasser seized the Suez Canal, a stance that put him on the side of the UN and the Soviet Union. In other words his actions were mixed and moderate. We could use some more moderates in this government.


            1. From the day he was inaugurated until the day Dien Bien Phu fell, Alex, Eisenhower continued to bankroll and support France’s failed effort to take back its colonies in Indochina. He then refused to sign the Geneva Accords that ended that war, installed Diem, and began the process of waiting for Ho Chi Minh to take the next step, and begin what the Vietnamese term “The American War” to get rid of the New Colonizer.

              And given that the only option his advisors could offer about Korea was to nuke China, i suppose we should be eternally grateful. But it planted the seed for the spawn of a now-70+ year War that has always given our MICC something else to spend money on in East Asia.

              One wonders: Did Truman or Ike ever bother to explain exactly what were we doing in Korea, in the first place? Given that they did what they did without ever bothering to get a Congressional Declaration of War, apparently they never felt the need to.

              And his role in the 1956 Suez Crisis was a little more complicated and involved than merely opposing Israel [with British and French help] seizing first the Sinai, and then the Canal. This article from The Bill of Rights Institute does an excellent job of exploring the complexity of that whole event:

              And, finally: Don’t forget our activities in Guatemala, Iran, and Cuba that he oversaw mentioned earlier. Were they “mixed and moderate,” as well?


            2. “I like Ike” — but I don’t love him.

              In the climate of McCarthyism and the hysteria that generated, Ike performed well. It’s too bad he felt obligated to carry Nixon as his VP for eight years; Nixon was a sort of inoculation against charges that Ike was too liberal. If only Ike had dumped Nixon before that idiotic Checkers speech.

              All in all, Ike was a man of real achievements. He was also a fine writer and a careful thinker.

              Let’s not blame him for all the bad decisions of 1953-1960.


              1. But, but, but…. doesn’t “The Buck Stops Here”? Oh wait….

                So of which of all the bad decisions that were made at that level between 1953 and 1961 is he to be exonerated?


              2. And Ike had no choice about Nixon. Nor about his Secretary of State or several other key slots in the regime.


              3. We have come here not to praise Ike but to bury him, eh, Jeff?

                I’m too tired to pick up a shovel — or a knife.


                1. Neither, Colonel. The attempt is to simply place his role in America’s history since 1953 in a different and more balanced and accurate perspective.

                  i believe that an examination of that history will find that Eisenhower the Candidate and then President set the stage for the ultimate emergence of the MICC as a ~ if not The ~ major and dominant political force in Washington, DC, and then ultimately, the nation.


  19. Sorry Lt. Col the military brass says it has every intent on continuing to rob the workers and the poor – measured in year!

    Gen. Milley Says ‘Numbers Clearly Favor the Russians’ in Ukraine
    Despite Ukraine’s setbacks, the US is prepared to support the war for years
    by Dave DeCamp Posted on June 15, 2022
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday that the “numbers” favor Russia in Ukraine as Russian forces continue to make slow but steady gains against Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region.

    “I would say the numbers clearly favor the Russians, in terms of artillery,” Milley said at a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “In terms of artillery, they do outnumber, they out-gun and out-range.”

    Ukrainian officials have admitted in recent weeks that they are out-gunned in the east as they are pleading with the West to send more heavy weapons. The US pledged a new $1 billion aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday, but there is the matter of the time it will take to get more arms to the battlefield as Ukrainian forces still need to be trained…….

    ….Despite Ukraine’s setbacks, the US appears ready to support the war for the long term, and Ukrainian leaders still insist that their goal is to drive Russia out of all the territory it has captured. Earlier in the war, Milley said he expected a “protracted conflict” that will be measured in years.


  20. Once again, the Lady Caitlin nails it… .

    THE MAINSTREAM WORLDVIEW IS SELF-EVIDENTLY BULLSHIT: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix by Caitlin Johnstone

    They’ve lied about every war, and they’ve openly acknowledged lying about this very war, but you’re a Kremlin agent if you say they’re lying to us about this war.

    The mainstream worldview is self-evidently bullshit. If our media and education systems were telling us the truth about the world and our “democratic” systems actually worked, our society would be arranged to serve the interests of the many rather than an elite few.

    You can tell the mainstream worldview is bullshit just by looking at its fruits. We’re killing our biosphere to serve an economic system that’s creating greater and greater inequality while wars rage and nuclear brinkmanship threatens to wipe us all out and corruption rules the earth.

    The world is as it is because the way the majority of people in the most influential nations think, act and vote is being continuously manipulated by the powerful, for the powerful. The mainstream worldview is just a giant bundle of power-serving lies and manipulations.

    Continued at

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jeff, these views that Ms Johnstone, yourself, and I include Chris Hedges, ALWAYS point out the problem.
    But they NEVER offer any solutions.
    Hedges mumbles on about there needs to be a revolution. Yeah right!
    Where can we advise our kids to look to for great thinkers who have solutions?
    Or are future generations doomed?


    1. “Are future generations doomed?”

      The short answer, Dennis, is as follows: If there is no change in how this Nation and this Planet are run by The Ruling Elite, then Yes: future generations are indeed doomed. And current generations may be doomed, as well.

      The problem with every so-called “solution” offered by virtually everybody today [and throughout history] is that it inevitably starts with: “Replace the current Ruling Elite with a New Ruling Elite. Give US the power to use Government to advance OUR agenda, instead of the Old Elite’s agenda.”

      That’s what “revolution” is all about, isn’t it?

      The problem with that is that The Real Problem is not which Ruling Elite gets to call the shots as to how the Government is run, and what it can, could, and should do. As i have already stated it a couple of times:

      “THE PROBLEM confronting America [and the Planet] is a system of government and governance that is built, maintained, and sustained to enable selected special interests to have unfettered access to the power and authority of government to manage, manipulate, and/or control national foreign and domestic military, political, economic, social, and cultural policies and programs. All to and for ~ primarily ~ the benefit of those special interests. Any benefit “The People” or “Nation” [or Planet] might derive from all this is purely collateral and generally unintentional.

      “And in the United States, just like Slavery, the opportunities for special interest control of the government were built into the original Constitution, and those folks have seldom missed an opportunity to take full advantage of the possibilities presented. The Anti-Federalists warned us about all this back then, but to no avail.”

      That is what Corporatist Fascism is, has ever been, and ever will be. And unless and until that Problem is addressed, nothing is going to change.

      And that is where any “Solution” to this situation is going to come from. By people asking themselves and each other the following simple questions:

      1. What is the purpose and function of government? Why do Humans have Governments? What are Governments supposed to do in order to demonstrate, explain, and justify their existence?

      2. Is the government of the United States performing that function and fulfilling that purpose?

      3. If not, WHY not?

      Those are the sort of Questions that the Parents and Grandparents [real and potential] of those “future generations” need to start asking themselves while they still have the opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The issue here is not what is “in the heart of every human being.”

      The issue is what that human being does in the real world by word and deed to other humans and to the rest of nature.


    2. Thank You for sharing this, Dennis. That is the first time i’ve heard and seen Solzhenitsyn speak. And i see that there is a great deal more to explore in Webworld.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that amazing that the SecDef is so pleased to announce more weapons going to Ukraine? Almost giddy!

      Black faces in high places — that’s Lloyd Austin’s “diversity.” Otherwise he thinks and acts exactly like a White Neo-con. Like Condi Rice. No diversity in outlook. Same old tired militarism.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. General/Secretary Austin had a marvelous precursor, model, and mentor: That Trailblazing War Criminal, Colin Powell,

        As both the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, Colin Powell was a “legendary trailblazer” indeed, as the all the main stream pundits and propagandists have put it. But he was also among America’s Ruling Elite’s world-class War Criminals.

        It was Colin Powell who, as Bush the Lesser’s Secretary of State, lied through his teeth to the American people and the United Nations when convincing the nation and world that Saddam Hussein did indeed have Weapons of Mass Destruction, and that therefore, the United States was justified in invading and occupying Iraq. Those WMDs have yet to have been found.

        But this is not the only incident of that nature that even he acknowledged was a “blot” on his record.

        Before that, it was the same Secretary of State Powell who promised the world and America “absolute, incontestable, beyond any reasonable doubt” evidence and proof that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda did in fact perpetrate the Terror Event of September 11, 2001, and that therefore, the United States was justified in invading and occupying Afghanistan, and launching its whole so-called “Global” so-called “War On” so-called “Terrorism.” That evidence and proof has yet to have been provided.

        And before that, it was Colin Powell in his incarnation as Bush The Elder’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who oversaw Operation Desert Storm, the so-called “liberation” of Kuwait, and who sat by paternally proud as his Navy and Air Force jet fighter bombers mercilessly slaughtered thousands (if not tens of thousands or more) of retreating, fleeing Iraqi soldiers and civilians attempting to get out of Kuwait on the infamous “Highway of Death,” in what one Top Gun American pilot enthusiastically chortled was “like shooting fish in a barrel.”

        But it was before that ~ long before all that ~ when Colin Powell earned his place as a candidate for a top spot in the corporation by showing just how much a team player he was prepared to be. As a staff officer for Plans and Operations in the parent command of the infantry platoon that executed the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968 during the American War in Viet Nam, Powell was an active and willing participant in the initial attempts by his command and then the Army to cover-up the Massacre and then stonewall any investigation..

        So there you have it: Colin Powell, War Criminal. Not just once, but four times over. Starting all the way back in Viet Nam.

        It is criminally obscene that none of the original architects and engineers of America’s “Forever War” ~ like Powell or his partners-in-crime Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, W, and so forth, or any of their successors under Obama and Trump ~ will ever be held accountable for what they did to this planet and nation after 9/11.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Tucker Carlson on Foxnews has been anti-war since the beginning of the war. He has been called a Putin stooge more times than he can count I think. I know it’s not fashionable in some circles to cite Foxnews but Tucker really has been the lone anti-war voice on mainstream TV. The rest of Fox has been predictably pro-war, as has the rest of mainstream TV, but Tucker apparently thinks for himself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alex, I don’t think its the case that Tucker thinks for himself. He is just the front man who reads the script. And does a great job of it. There are a whole staff at Fox that research’s and writes Carlson’s stuff. Indicating to me that the owners and top brass at Fox support Carlson’s views, and do not support Biden’s proxy war on Russia.


        1. The rest of Fox is hawkish which tells me the top brass is also hawkish. Tucker is the exception. He has the top cable news show so they let him say pretty much what he wants to.


  23. And next week there is going to be a panel discussion on MSNBC
    Featuring Lloyd Austin, William Astore and William Hartung.
    Hosted by Machel Maddow!
    In our dreams eh Bill?


    1. Ha! No, I don’t play in that world. Rachel Maddow makes $30 million because she’s an attractive “diverse” face for U.S. empire. Lloyd Austin makes a bit less money but he has more power and is another attractive “diverse” face. They are reliable shills and drones.

      Bill Hartung has a bigger platform than I do, i.e. the Quincy Institute. He’s a good guy, very knowledgeable, but you won’t see him on any of the major networks. He’s an independent thinker with integrity, so no mega-millions for him.

      I’m a one-person shop, just a blogger, really, trying to change the world one reader at a time. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. MSNBC is part of my trip line. When the Biden administration, CNN, and MSNBC all say the same thing then I know it’s a lie.


      1. ALEX, this writer is alluding to your comment. If they all say the same thing then I know its a lie.

        “If the “deep state” is willing to murder a president, out in the open, in public, and then murder – again in public and live on national television – his alleged assassin, and then after all that to ALL tell the same story about what happened and to foist on the public the ridiculous narrative of “lone assassins” firing a “magic bullet” only to be murdered by another “lone assassin” who just happens to be a Mafioso, and after that, to have the national media – three television networks, radio, and newspapers at the time – all suspiciously publish and push that same identical narrative on the people, then that tells us that nothing, really, has changed. If they can murder a president, then murder his alleged assassin, and then concoct a crazy narrative and use the media to sell the story, they can certainly commit massive election fraud.”

        Oh dear!


        1. I was young and I don’t recall how the media treated JFK’s killing. But I very much know how they’re treating Ukraine/Russia. It’s scary. Ellul’s book helps a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. In the three years after the murders of President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, eighteen materials witnesses had died; six by gun fire, three in motor accidents, two by suicide, one from a cut throat, one from a karate chop to the neck, three from heart attacks, and two by natural causes.

              An actuary engaged by the London Sunday Times concluded that on November 22, 1963, the odds of these witnesses being dead by February 1967 were 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.


  24. Well, if nothing else, it’s certainly comforting to know that our leaders on The Hill can put aside their differences when it comes to things that REALLY matter, eh?

    SENATORS BRING BIDEN’S 2023 MILITARY BUDGET REQUEST TO $857 BILLION; Biden Requested $813 Billion by Dave DeCamp

    The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday released its version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would authorize $857.6 billion in military spending for the 2023 fiscal year, a massive increase from the $813 billion President Biden requested.

    Out of the $857.6 billion, about $817.3 billion will go to the Pentagon, $29.7 billion will go to the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons program, and $10.6 billion is allocated for military-related spending outside of the NDAA.

    The Committee, which has 13 Republicans and 13 Democrats, approved the massive spending bill in a vote of 23-3. The increase from what Biden requested was expected as lawmakers wanted to tack on a 3-5% increase over inflation. Biden’s initial $813 billion request was a 4% increase from what was authorized for 2022.

    Continued at


    1. Just think: If things heat up over in East Asia, maybe they can figure out how to add an additional $143 Billion and hit $1 TRILLION for FY 2023. Not that would be truly Exceptionable, eh?


  25. Lt.Col, you and our esteemed fellow commentor JG MOEBUS paint a very bleak picture of a future for our kids and grandkids in America.

    As I have said in these forums, ad nauseam, to me it seems that any America seeking a better future for themselves and their family needs to thinking seriously about emigrating. And it makes me very sad to say that. I emigrated to the US from NZ in 1974 and had a great life and opportunities I could never experienced in my home country. Now, retired to NZ, it seems like the World has turned upside down.

    “Corporate Fascism”, the Anti-Federalists warned about, I like to think has not taken hold over NZ, a little country of 5-million people. But I am very leery about knocking American Exceptionalism in favour of New Zealand Exceptionalism. From my experience that would be dumb.


  26. This YouTube video is really depressing to me.
    I spent many wonderful years working on construction projects in these wonderful cities.


  27. And so the American government’s WAR ON TRUTH continues:

    JULIAN ASSANGE’S EXTRADITION FROM UK TO US APPROVED BY HOME SECRETARY; Appeal Likely After Priti Patel Gives Green Light To Extradition Of Wikileaks Co-Founder by Jamie Grierson and Ben Quinn

    Priti Patel has approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US, a decision the organisation immediately said it would appeal against in the high court.

    The case passed to the home secretary last month after the supreme court ruled there were no legal questions over assurances given by US authorities over how Assange was likely to be treated.

    While Patel has given a green light, WikiLeaks immediately released a statement to say it would appeal against the decision.

    “Today is not the end of fight,” it said. “It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the high court.”

    The statement said anyone who cared about freedom of expression should be “deeply ashamed” that the home secretary approved Assange’s extradition.



    Continued at

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Just think of how much better it would have been if the $60-billion spent on the Ukrainian War had been spent on these cities. And in my dreams 25% of the military budget as well. – I know, I’m preaching to the choir on this site.



    With the recent decision by British Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, it is now a virtual certainty that Assange will soon be brought to the U.S. for trial.

    Let’s hope that he uses the opportunity to put the Pentagon and the CIA on trial. Yes, I know that whichever federal judge is appointed to preside over the trial will do his best to not permit that to happen, but what’s wrong with a little civil disobedience in what will inevitably be a rigged kangaroo court whose outcome of guilt will be preordained?


    In a just society, the people who disclose criminal conduct would be hailed as heroes and the people who engage in criminal conduct would be going to jail. But in the Bizarro world of a national-security state, it’s the exact opposite — the criminals are the accusers and jailers and the opponents of their criminal conduct are the ones who are punished, tortured, and sent to jail.

    One of the big things that Assange’s attorneys could do during the trial is to restate and reemphasize every dark-side action in which U.S. personnel engaged that WikiLeaks disclosed, plus ones that WikiLeaks did not disclose. While that wouldn’t necessarily change the outcome of the kangaroo proceeding, at least it would show the world why they are going after Assange.

    When the U.S. government was converted from its founding structure of a limited-government republic to a national-security state to fight the Cold War against “godless communism” and the Soviet Union as part of the extreme anti-Russia animus of that era, THERE WAS AN IMPLICIT BARGAIN STRUCK BETWEEN THE NATIONAL-SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT AND AMERICAN PEOPLE: THE PENTAGON, THE CIA, AND THE NSA WOULD BE EMPOWERED TO ENGAGE IN TOTALITARIAN-LIKE DARK-SIDE POWERS BUT THEY WOULD KEEP THEIR UNSAVORY ACTIONS SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO THAT PEOPLE’S CONSCIENCES WOULDN’T BE BOTHERED.

    Assange interfered with that pact by disclosing to the world some of those dark-side practices. For that matter, so did Edward Snowden. For that, they both needed to be punished, if for no other reason than to send a message to everyone else: This is what will happen to you if you reveal our dark-side criminal practices to the world.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if he’ll ever be extradited.

      What I mean is this: the goal as I see it is to make Assange suffer while deterring others from following his example. That goal has already been (mostly) accomplished.

      I see a chance that Assange will not be extradited since it would be a tricky situation to try him in the U.S., thereby possibly giving him a platform.

      So, U.S. extradition attempts may finally fail with the last appeal, ensuring Julian will spend another year or two in prison, if not more. And if in the meantime he kills himself in despair, all the better for the U.S. government.


      1. How difficult do You think it would be for the American government to arrange for Assange’s “suicide,” Colonel?

        In any event, whether he is extradited or he isn’t, Glenn Greenwald’s take on all this is hard to ignore:

        THE UK’S DECISION TO EXTRADITE ASSANGE SHOWS WHY THE US/UK’S FREEDOM LECTURES ARE A FARCE: The Assange Persecution Is The Greatest Threat To Western Press Freedoms In Years. It Is Also A Shining Monument To The Fraud Of American And British Self-Depictions by Glenn Greenwald

        The eleven-year persecution of Julian Assange was extended and escalated on Friday morning. The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, approved the U.S.’s extradition request to send Julian Assange to Virginia to stand trial on eighteen felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and other statutes in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents showing widespread corruption, deceit, and war crimes by American and British authorities along with their close dictatorial allies in the Middle East.

        This decision is unsurprising — it has been obvious for years that the U.S. and UK are determined to destroy Assange as punishment for his journalism exposing their crimes — yet IT NONETHELESS FURTHER HIGHLIGHTS THE UTTER SHAM OF AMERICAN AND BRITISH SERMONS ABOUT FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND A FREE PRESS.



        Continued at


  30. The Julian Assange case is going to be recorded in history as the worst case of persecution of a citizen by the Free World ever. All Americans, Britons, Swedes, and particularly gutless Australians whose government never lifted one finger to rescue one of its own citizens, should bow their heads in shame.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. A comment on the Consortium News Article on this……

        “To myself and to many of my fellow British citizens, this decision of our apology for a government shows the absolute depths of corruption that a government can descend to. I have lost all faith in the honesty and fairness of our legal system, our government has shown utter contempt for the law while the judges concerned have behaved corruptly dishonestly and have sneered at every tradition that we, as citizens, have been proud of. This will go down in history as the most despicable disregard for justice and will far eclipse the Dreyfus case. This is so obviously a political affair that is barred by our treaty with America that all concerned are in fact, criminals. I am ashamed of being British.”


  31. ECONOMIC CRISIS: The Founders Warned Us by Michael Boldin, Executive Director, 10th Amendment Center

    Did Thomas Jefferson call the economic crisis?

    “Every thing predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. we are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper as we were formerly by the old Continental paper.”

    That’s from a letter to Thomas Cooper in January 1814. And while it sure seems to apply today, Jefferson was actually observing – and predicting – the depression of 1815-21, and the Panic of 1819.

    While the 1815 panic was considered the start of several years of just mild depression, a major financial crisis – the Panic of 1819 – followed. It featured widespread foreclosures, bank failures, unemployment, a collapse in real estate prices, and a slump in agriculture and manufacturing.

    In other words, Jefferson called it.

    At the height of the 1819 crisis, Jefferson replied to a letter from John Adams, warning that things would never change if people didn’t understand cause and effect:

    “The evils of this deluge of paper money are not to be removed until our citizens are generally and radically instructed in their cause & consequences.”

    Jefferson and Adams were also discussing Chapter 6 of the 1817 Treatise on Political Economy by Destutt de Tracy, with Adams citing a passage calling the printing of fiat paper money more ruinous and a greater theft than empires of old shaving off a little gold from their coins and passing them off as full-weight.

    “A theft of greater magnitude & still more ruinous is the making of paper. It is greater because in this money there is absolutely no real value. It is more ruinous because by its gradual depreciation during all the time of its existence it produces the effect which would be produced by an infinity of successive deteriorations of the coin.”

    Few people understand the root cause of the economic troubles we face, but the founding generation knew the situation well. For many, the “evils of paper money” were tyrannical and despotic. Or, as George Washington warned, it would “ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open a door to every species of fraud and injustice.”

    You might be surprised to hear that Adams agreed, and actually took a stronger position than Tracy, writing to Jefferson:

    “That is to say an infinity of successive felonious larcenies. If this is true as I believe it is we Americans are the most thievish people that ever existed, we have been stealing from each other for an hundred & fifty years.”

    If the American people were “the most thievish” ever in 1819 – just imagine what they’d think of us today.

    Rather than learn from history – “we the people” have almost totally ignored it, rejecting so many foundational principles, including what qualifies as money.

    Jefferson put it this way in 1788: “paper is poverty … it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself.”

    Here, Jefferson echoed Thomas Paine, writing 2 years earlier: “Money is Money, and Paper is Paper. All the invention of man cannot make them otherwise.”

    Richard Henry Lee agreed. In a 1787 letter to James Madison (who also opposed fiat, funny money): “Knaves assure, and fools believe, that calling paper money, and making it tender, is the way to be rich and happy”

    Money is money – and paper is paper.

    That cannot be repeated often enough.

    As we’re ruined today by yet another “deluge of bank paper” we shouldn’t be surprised about the economic crisis that’s coming clear all around us.

    Patrick Henry was so opposed to this kind of monetary system that in the Virginia Ratifying Convention he said “paper money would be the bane of this country. I detest it.”

    Like Jefferson, Patrick Henry predicted what happened in 1819 – and what is still happening today.

    Until the people, as Jefferson noted, understand the “cause & consequences” – this will never stop happening.

    George Washington understood this as well. Here, from a 1787 letter to Rhode Island Superior Court Judge and former Deputy Governor Jabez Bown: “Paper money has had the effect in your State that it ever will have, to ruin commerce – oppress the honest, and open a door to every species of fraud and injustice.”

    Thomas Paine may have summed it up best: “The evils of paper money have no end.”

    As noted above, I covered all this in much more detail on an episode of our Path to Liberty Podcast. We’ve got video and audio-only versions on a bunch of platforms – plus reference links for you to read much more – here:


  32. @JG MOEBUS,
    Jeff I have been worrying a little bit lately that some of us posters are risking turning this forum into a keyboard warrior circle jerk bashing America. I am as guilty of it as you. I’m wondering if this is what the Lt. Col wants. And if it drives away prospective commentors. Look at this thread. The topic is military overspending robbing workers and the poor. And do you agree that we posters have turned it into a free-for-all bashing American governance and its political disfunctions.

    Just a thought my friend. Hope things are copacetic in Sitka.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for bringing this up. Yes, to be honest, I would prefer less bashing, especially when off-topic.

      It gets repetitive and can be strident. I think we call know America has its faults. We don’t need to air them all, over and over again.


    2. Heh. i guess i assumed that examining “military overspending that robs workers and the poor” required exploring the American system of mal-governance, and how it is directly linked to America’s recent and current military, political, economic, and social disfunctions and failures.

      But i get Your and the Colonel’s point.


  33. Yep, there is no cost to being the Worlds policeman. No US workers and poor are derived benefits because of this move……yeah right!

    “The United States is planning to establish a co-operation framework next week with New Zealand, Japan, Australia and other countries to strengthen ties with Pacific nations, US National Security Council (NSC) Indo-Pacific Affairs Co-ordinator Kurt Campbell revealed during a virtual conference.

    The move is intended to form multilateral co-operation to present a united front in deterring China’s attempts to expand its military footholds in the South Pacific.

    The framework is to be led by the United States.

    Campbell said the Pacific region is “an area of enormous strategic importance to the US” during the Centre for a New American Security’s National Security Conference on Thursday (Friday NZT).”


  34. Are Washington’s Economic Sanctions on Russia a Success or Failure? And how are they robbing Workers and the Poor?

    1. The Russian currency (the Ruble) has rallied to a five-year high.
    2. Russia’s commodities are raking in windfall profits.
    3. Russia’s trade surplus is projected to hit a record high this year.
    4. Russia’s oil and gas sales have risen sharply.

    Meanwhile, elsewhere, the Sanctions have:

    1. Triggered the worst global inflation in 40 years.
    2. Caused major disruptions in global supply-lines.
    3. Greatly increased food shortages and the likelihood of famine.
    4. Precipitated a severe slowdown in the global economy.

    From “Meet the New Boss; Putin Reroutes Critical Hydrocarbons Eastward Leaving Europe High-and-Dry”


      1. Heh. Not exactly.

        With regard to Russia and Ukraine, all that Biden is doing is continuing what Trump did; which was to continue what Obama did; which was building on what Bush II and Clinton did after winning Cold War I, particularly re expanding NATO.

        Makes one almost suspect that perhaps there was some sort of “Master Plan” behind all this, doesn’t it?

        That Russia would eventually recover from the collapse of the USSR and European Communism to present a new, viable “threat” to America’s global unipolar hegemony after that victory was an assumed given. As was the ultimate recovery of China from the madness of Mao to present an even more and real actual threat to that hegemony.

        And in the meantime, we had our Forever War as a halftime show between the two Cold Wars.

        And now here we are with our very own 21st century version of Orwell’s Eurasia, Eastasia, and Oceania.

        Yeah…. . It really does make one wonder about some sort of “Master Plan,” doesn’t it?

        Or is that just the paranoid “Conspiracy Theorist” speaking?

        Or just a diehard Realist and Skeptic?


  35. ‘Why Russian Intellectuals Are Hardening Support for War in Ukraine’

    Horrified by the invasion, centrist elites like Dmitri Trenin nonetheless sense the US is using the conflict to destroy their country.
    Trenin writes:

    The US and its allies have set much more radical goals than the relatively conservative containment and deterrence strategies used toward the Soviet Union. They are in fact striving to exclude Russia from world politics as an independent factor, and to completely destroy the Russian economy. The success of this strategy would allow the US-led West to finally resolve the “Russia question” and create favorable prospects for victory in the confrontation with China.
    Such an attitude on the part of the adversary does not imply room for any serious dialogue, since there is practically no prospect of a compromise, primarily between the United States and Russia, based on a balance of interests.
    The new dynamic of Russian-Western relations involves a dramatic severance of all ties, and increased Western pressure on Russia (the state, society, economy, science and technology, culture, and so on) on all fronts.

    It is Russia itself that should be at the center of Moscow’s foreign policy strategy during this period of confrontation with the West and rapprochement with non-Western states. The country will have to be increasingly on its own…”Re-establishing” the Russian Federation on a politically more sustainable, economically efficient, socially just and morally sound basis becomes urgently necessary.

    We have to understand that the strategic defeat that the West, led by the United States, is preparing for Russia will not bring peace and a subsequent restoration of relations. It is highly probable that the theatre of the “hybrid war” will simply move from Ukraine further to the east, into the borders of Russia, and its existence in its current form will be contested…
    In the field of foreign policy, the most pressing objective is clearly to strengthen the independence of Russia as a civilization…In order to achieve this objective in the current conditions – which are more complex and difficult than even recently – there is a need for an effective integrated strategy – general political, military, economic, technological, informational and so on.
    The immediate and most important task of this strategy is to achieve strategic success in Ukraine within the parameters that have been set and explained to the public…………………………..

    I understood that was the US plan long before I read this article!

    Liked by 1 person

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