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Lunatic Politics (Part 1) – Russiagate is a Religion

Lunatic Politics (Part 1) – Russiagate is a Religion

As the Snowden documents and David Sanger’s great new book and other books make plain, and as U.S. officials are wont to brag, the U.S. intelligence services break into computers and computer networks abroad at an astounding rate, certainly on a greater scale than any other intelligence service in the world.  Every one of these intrusions in another country violates that country’s criminal laws prohibiting unauthorized computer access and damage, no less than the Russian violations of U.S. laws outlined in Mueller’s indictment…

It is no response to say that the United States doesn’t meddle in foreign elections, because it has in the past—at least as recently as Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Russian presidential election of 1996 and possibly as recently as the Hillary Clinton State Department’s alleged intervention in Russia’s 2011 legislative elections. And during the Cold War the United States intervened in numerous foreign elections, more than twice as often as the Soviet Union. Intelligence history expert Loch Johnson told Scott Shane that the 2016 Russia electoral interference is “the cyber-age version of standard United States practice for decades, whenever American officials were worried about a foreign vote.”  The CIA’s former chief of Russia operations, Steven L. Hall, told Shane: “If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all.” Hall added that “the United States ‘absolutely’ has carried out such election influence operations historically, and I hope we keep doing it.”

LawfareUncomfortable Questions in the Wake of Russia Indictment 2.0 and Trump’s Press Conference With Putin

Nothing gets the phony “Resistance,” corporate media and neocons more hysterical than when Trump isn’t belligerent enough while meeting with foreign leaders abroad. While the pearl clutching was intense during the North Korea summit, the reoccurring, systematic outrage spectacle was taken to entirely new levels of stupidity and hyperbole during yesterday’s meeting with Putin in Finland.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable

Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable

As we just discussed, some major news stories have recently dropped about what a horrible horrifying menace the Russian Federation is to the world, and as always I have nothing to offer the breathless pundits on CNN and MSNBC but my completely unsatisfied skepticism. My skepticism of the official Russia narrative remains so completely unsatisfied that if mainstream media were my husband I would already be cheating on it with my yoga instructor.

I do not believe the establishment Russia narrative. I do not believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election. I do not believe the Russian government did any election rigging for Trump to collude with. This is not because I believe Vladimir Putin is some kind of blueberry-picking girl scout, and it certainly isn’t because I think the Russian government is unwilling or incapable of meddling in the affairs of other nations to some extent when it suits them. It is simply because I am aware that the US intelligence community lies constantly as a matter of policy, and because I understand how the burden of proof works.

At this time, I see no reason to espouse any belief system which embraces as true the assertion that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections in any meaningful way, or that it presents a unique and urgent threat to the world which must be aggressively dealt with. But all the establishment mouthpieces tell me that I must necessarily embrace these assertions as known, irrefutable fact. Here are five things that would have to change in order for that to happen:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Silicon Valley Will Not Save You from the Surveillance State

Silicon Valley Will Not Save You from the Surveillance State

There was something quite odd about the very welcome news that some Google employees were objecting to a military contract, namely all the other Google military contracts. My sense of the oddness of this was heightened by reading Yasha Levine’s new book, Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet.

I invited Levine on my radio show (it will air in the coming weeks) and asked him what he thought was motivating the revolt over at Google. Were they objecting to a particular kind of weapon, in the manner that some people rather bizarrely object to drones only if they are automated but not if a human pushes the murder button? Were they actually clueless about their own company?

Levine’s answer requires investigation but certainly makes an interesting hypothesis. He said that all during the Obama years, the tech press and community aired no concerns whatsoever about militarism, whereas since the arrival of Trump such talk is to be heard and read. Levine maintains that Google employees do not object to militarism, they object to Trumpian militarism.

I had hoped for and wrongly predicted this phenomenon in the general public the moment Trump gained the throne. Is it possible that it’s finally begun, but begun in Silicon Valley?

Levine’s book describes Google and other internet corporations as major military and spy contractors from the beginning. Google partnered with Lockheed Martin on parts of the war on Iraq and is a major partner of the military, the CIA, the NSA, etc. Surveillance Valley goes back to the post-WWII origins of today’s military madness. Military experiments as preparation for war, “field tested” in Vietnam, and supported by President Kennedy as appropriately hi-tech and modern, were actually war and developed into one of the worst wars ever seen. Vietnam was mass-surveilled — or the attempt was made and foiled with bags of urine and other low-tech tricks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Eagle-meets-Bear and the Syria tug-of-war

Eagle-meets-Bear and the Syria tug-of-war

Trump and Putin are likely to discuss the tricky situation in southern Syria when they meet; while the US president says he wants US forces back home, the CIA, Pentagon and Israel may be happier to see them stay so the war-torn state remains unstable

Syrian government tanks and soldiers take positions in the town of Western Ghariyah, about 15km east of the southern embattled city of Daraa. Photo: AFP/ SANA handout released on June 30, 2018.

Syrian government tanks and soldiers take positions in the town of Western Ghariyah, about 15km east of the southern embattled city of Daraa. Photo: AFP/ SANA handout released on June 30, 2018.

The Two Superpowers: Who Really Controls the Two Countries?

The Two Superpowers: Who Really Controls the Two Countries?

Among the ruling interests in the US, one interest even more powerful than the Israel Lobby—the Deep State of the military/security complex— there is enormous fear that an uncontrollable President Trump at the upcoming Putin/Trump summit will make an agreement that will bring to an end the demonizing of Russia that serves to protect the enormous budget and power of the military-security complex.

You can see the Deep State’s fear in the editorials that the Deep State handed to the Washington Post (June 29) and New York Times (June 29), two of the Deep State’s megaphones, but no longer believed by the vast majority of the American people.  The two editorials share the same points and phrases.  They repeat the disproven lies about Russia as if blatant, obvious lies are hard facts.

Both accuse President Trump of “kowtowing to the Kremlin.”  Kowtowing, of course, is not a Donald Trump characteristic.  But once again fact doesn’t get in the way of the propaganda spewed by the WaPo and NYT, two megaphones of Deep State lies.

The Deep State editorial handed to the WaPo reads: “THE REASONS for the tension between the United States and Russia are well-established. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine, instigated a war in eastern Ukraine, intervened to save the dictatorship of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, interfered in the U.S. presidential election campaign to harm Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump, poisoned a former intelligence officer on British soil and continues to meddle in the elections of other democracies.”

The WaPo’s opening paragraph is a collection of all the blatant lies assembled by the Deep State for its Propaganda Ministry.  There have been many books written about the CIA’s infiltration of the US media.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“They’re Trying To Deceive Us” – North Korea Adding To Nuclear Stockpiles, Satellite Photos Reveal

In what appears to be the latest indication that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s talk about abandoning the country’s nuclear arsenal is disingenuous, US intelligence believes Kim has increased nuclear enrichment activities at several “secret” facilities in recent months, even after securing a major concession from the US and South Korea to cancel their upcoming joint military exercises.

North

According to NBC News, the intelligence assessment appears to contradict President Trump’s declaration that the North is “no longer a nuclear threat,” and analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies agree.


Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!


Instead, the intelligence community sees the North’s overtures as part of a scheme to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration, while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival. Notably, the report comes just two weeks after the historic Singapore summit that produced a vague agreement between the two sides to “work toward” denuclearization.

While the North has stopped its nuclear tests, its enrichment activities have only accelerated.

In recent months, even as the two sides engaged in diplomacy, North Korea was stepping up its production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, five U.S. officials say, citing the latest intelligence assessment. North Korea and the U.S. agreed at the summit to “work toward” denuclearization, but there is no specific deal. On Trump’s order, the U.S. military canceled training exercises on the Korean peninsula, a major concession to Kim.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why You Should Be Intensely Skeptical Of Everything You Hear About Iran Protests

Why You Should Be Intensely Skeptical Of Everything You Hear About Iran Protests

Every few weeks I switch from being accused by pro-establishment Democrats of writing propaganda for Putin and Assad to being accused by pro-Trump Republicans of writing propaganda for the Iranian government, all because I am opposed to US-led regime change intervention in both Syria or Iran. Whichever country the US war machine is roaring loudest at on a given day, that’s the country I’m writing propaganda for, because somehow the social engineers have succeeded in turning regime change interventionism in Iran vs. regime change interventionism in Syria into a partisan wedge issue.

Couldn’t possibly just be that I know the US intelligence community lies constantly about such things.



Today there are reports being triumphantly bandied about by neoconservative pundits everywhere (often hilariously using pictures of the MEK terror cult) that some Iranian protesters have been recorded chanting “Death to Palestine” and “Death to the dictator” and carrying signs which admonish the Iranian government to pull its troops out of Syria. All of which just so happen to play nicely into the pro-regime change narratives of America’s defense and intelligence agencies.

“To reporters everywhere: Please pay attention to what is happening in Iran now,” said the Bush administration’s Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in a viral tweet about the new reports. “I know foreign bureaus are almost non-existent these days, but keep a close eye on this story – and report it.”

So naturally I am being accused by Trump supporters on social media of being a paid propagandist for the leaders of the Iranian government.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Did James Comey Issue “Stand Down” Order On Imminent Deal With Julian Assange?

A “stand down” order given by James Comey to kill an imminent deal between the US Government and Julian Assange preceded the largest leak in CIA history, known as “Vault 7,” reports John Solomon of The Hill. Assange was willing to redact the names of CIA employees, and also offered to provide technical evidence which would rule out “certain parties” (such as Russia) in the DNC email hack.

In short, Comey killed advanced negotiations with the WikiLeaks founder that would have safeguarded the lives of CIA agents who are now at risk, while also providing key evidence in the ongoing Russia investigations. For the longer version, keep reading.

In January of 2017, Julian Assange’s legal team approached Clinton-linked D.C. lobbyist Adam Waldman to reach out and see if anyone in the Trump administration would negotiate with the WikiLeaks founder.

Waldman, who acted as an intermediary from 2009 – 2011 between Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and the FBI, worked for Assange pro bono. Assange’s bargaining chip was a massive trove of CIA technical documents known as “Vault 7,” which detailed the agency’s massive cyber-warfare arsenal.

After Assange’s team made contact, Waldman reached out to Bruce Ohr – a DOJ official who would later be demoted in December, 2017 for failing to disclose secret meetings with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Bruce’s wife, Nellie Ohr was hired by Fusion GPS as part of an ongoing anti-Trump effort. Fusion also produced the 35-page “Steele Dossier,” written by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele.

[As an aside, Waldman also promised Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) access to Steele in late March of 2017, which fell through weeks later after Steele got cold feet. So Waldman is a “deep-state middleman” of sorts.]

Waldman and Ohr would meet in person on Feb. 3, 2017 in Washington, while Waldman and Assange met three times in London.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Anyone Promoting Regime Change In Iran Is An Evil Piece Of Shit

Anyone Promoting Regime Change In Iran Is An Evil Piece Of Shit

I have been saying all year that the 8chan phenomenon known as “QAnon” is bogus, and as time has gone on the evidence has become overwhelming that it is an establishment psyop designed to herd the populist right into accepting the narratives and agendas of the establishment orthodoxy. Whether they’re claiming that every capitulation the Trump administration makes to longstanding neoconservative agendas is actually brilliant 4-D chess strategy, or saying that Julian Assange isn’t really trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy, QAnon enthusiasts are constantly regurgitating talking points which just so happen to fit in very conveniently with the interests of America’s defense and intelligence agencies.

A recent “Q drop” (a fancy name for an anonymous user posting text onto a popular internet troll message board with zero accountability) makes this more abundantly clear than ever, with text reading as follows:

Free Iran!!!
Fight
Fight
Fight
Regime change.
People have the power.
We stand with you.
Q

Once you’re cheering for a longtime neoconservative agenda to be accomplished in one of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” countries, you are cheering for the establishment. Or, to put it more clearly to Q followers, you are cheering for the deep state.

So now you have conspiracy-minded populist right wingers being manipulated into supporting the same standard Bush administration globalist agendas that Alex Jones built his career on attacking. The support for regime change interventionism in Iran isn’t limited to the QAnon crowd, having now gone fully mainstream throughout Trump’s base, and I’d like to address a few of the arguments here that they have been bringing to me:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

DOJ Indicts “Vault 7” Leak Suspect; WikiLeaks Release Was Largest Breach In CIA History

A 29-year-old former CIA computer engineer, Joshua Adam Schulte, was indicted Monday by the Department of Justice on charges of masterminding the largest leak of classified information in the spy agency’s history.

Schulte, who created malware for the U.S. Government to break into adversaries computers, has been sitting in jail since his August 24, 2017 arrest on unrelated charges of posessing and transporting child pornography – which was discovered in a search of his New York apartment after Schulte was named as the prime suspect in the cyber-breach one week after WikiLeaks published the “Vault 7” series of classified files. Schulte was arrested and jailed on the child porn charges while the DOJ ostensibly built their case leading to Monday’s additional charges.

[I]nstead of charging Mr. Schulte in the breach, referred to as the Vault 7 leak, prosecutors charged him last August with possessing child pornography, saying agents had found 10,000 illicit images on a server he created as a business in 2009 while studying at the University of Texas at Austin.

Court papers quote messages from Mr. Schulte that suggest he was aware of the encrypted images of children being molested by adults on his computer, though he advised one user, “Just don’t put anything too illegal on there.” –New York Times

Monday’s DOJ announcement adds new charges related to stealing classified national defense information from the Central Intelligence Agency in 2016 and transmitting it to WikiLeaks (“Organization-1”).

The Vault 7 release – a series of 24 documents which began to publish on March 7, 2017 – reveal that the CIA had a wide variety of tools to use against adversaries, including the ability to “spoof” its malware to appear as though it was created by a foreign intelligence agency, as well as the ability to take control of Samsung Smart TV’s and surveil a target using a “Fake Off” mode in which they appear to be powered down while eavesdropping.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ecuador Continues Playing Hardball With Assange

Ecuador Continues Playing Hardball With Assange

A day after she was elected president of the UN General Assembly, the Ecuadorian foreign minister said Julian Assange would remain incommunicado in Ecuador’s London embassy, as James Cogan explains.


On Monday Ecuadorian Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa was elected to a one-year term as president of the United Nations General Assembly. On Tuesday she declared that her government would continue blocking WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from all communications and deny him any personal visitors. On Wednesday it became 10 weeks since Ecuador’s government deprived Assange of his rights, which it is obliged to honor after granting him political asylum in its London embassy in 2012.

The General Assembly vote in support of Espinosa was a substantial: 128 votes for 62 votes for the other nominee, Honduras’s UN ambassador, Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake. There were two abstentions. Washington was believed to favor Honduras because its right-wing government supported the provocative relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. After the vote, Espinosa again hinted that Ecuador is working to force Assange out of the embassy into the clutches of waiting police and the prospect of extradition to the United States on charges of espionage. She stated she was in discussion with both British authorities and Assange’s lawyers. “I think all parties are interested in finding an outlet, a solution, to this complex situation,” she declared.

Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno last year slandered Assange as a “hacker” and described the granting of political asylum to him by the previous president as an “inherited problem.”

Washington is demanding Assange’s head. Then CIA director Mike Pompeo, now U.S. secretary of state, asserted last year that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence agency,” due to its publication of documents exposing the operations of U.S. intelligence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Clapper: The U.S. Meddled In Foreign Elections And Conducted Regime Change In The “Best Interests Of The People”

Former head of US Intelligence James Clapper just admitted that the United States was simply looking out for citizens of various countries “when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments,” a statement directly at odds with the moral high ground claimed by President Obama and other US officials on the topic of Russian election meddling.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Tobin Harshaw published Saturday, Clapper – who is promoting his new book “Facts and Fears,” said “I guess the way I think about that is that through our history, when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments, it was done with the best interests of the people in that country in mind,’ adding that the US has a “traditional reverence for human rights.”

According to a February 2016 report by Dov H. Levin, the United States has engaged in over 80 instances of election meddling or regime change between 1946 and 2000, while a February analysis by the New York Times notes that election meddling is hardly unprecedented.

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”NYT

We’ve been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947,” said Loch K. Johnson, a University of Georgia professor who began his career in the 1970s investigating the CIA for the Senate.

We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

May You Live in Stupid, Corrupt and yet Fascinating Times

May You Live in Stupid, Corrupt and yet Fascinating Times

In the old days, America’s top spies would complete their tenures at the CIA or one of the other Washington puzzle palaces and segue to more ordinary pursuits. Some wrote their memoirs. One ran for president. Another died a few months after surrendering his post. But today’s national-security establishment retiree has a different game plan. After so many years of brawling in the shadows, he yearns for a second, lucrative career in the public eye. He takes a crash course in speaking in soundbites, refreshes his wardrobe and signs a TV news contract. Then, several times a week, waits for a network limousine to shuttle him to the broadcast news studios where, after a light dusting of foundation and a spritz of hairspray, he takes a supporting role in the anchors’ nighttime shows.

PoliticoThe Spies Who Came in to the TV Studio

May you live in stupid, corrupt and yet fascinating times.

– Me, paraphrasing a Chinese curse

I’ve been away the past couple of weeks taking a break with my family. I paid attention to the news, but from a distance. As usual, there’s plenty to talk about.

In the last 24 hours alone, we’ve seen political chaos erupt in Italy and hordes of pundits simultaneously lose their minds over the murder of a prominent Russian journalist that never happened. Such is the world we live in. Stupid, corrupt, yet fascinating.

Of all the things I could’ve written about, you may be surprised by today’s selection. It’s a clip many of you probably saw where Richard Stengel (who was Time Magazine’s managing editor from 2006-2013) admits he approves of government propagandizing its own citizens during a Council on Foreign Relations forum. Here’s the clip.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State

Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State

Since the “Russiagate” probe began, US president Donald Trump and his supporters have used lots of bandwidth raging against what they refer to as the “Deep State.” Does the Deep State exist? If so, what is it, and are its forces arrayed specifically against Donald Trump and  his administration?

Yes, the Deep State exists — probably more so at one end of its numerous definitions and less so at the other, but to some degree at both ends.

At the seemingly more benign end, the Deep State is simply what one might think of as the “permanent government” — the army of bureaucrats and functionaries whose careers span multiple administrations. Like all career employees of large organizations as groups, they tend to fear and resist change, and their sheer mass has an inertial effect. They energetically do things the old way and drag their feet on new things.

At the end dismissed by mainstream commentators as “conspiracy theory,” the Deep State is an invisible second government which acts in a coordinated manner to protect its prerogatives and advance its interests and favored policies versus changes supposedly demanded by “the people” via their elected representatives in Congress and the presidency. The premier example of this view is the claim that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA and the military industrial complex because (in one version) he was about to get the US out of Vietnam.

If that end of the spectrum sounds crazy to you, consider:

Former FBI attorney Lisa Page and former FBI deputy counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok, while working on a pre-election investigation into alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, exchanged text messages with incendiary content such as “there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy Is Slipping Off

The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy Is Slipping Off

Gina Haspel has been confirmed as America’s new CIA Director, fulfilling her predecessor Mike Pompeo’s pledge to turn the CIA into “a much more vicious agency”. “Bloody Gina” has reportedly been directly involved in both torturing people and destroying evidence of torture in her long and depraved career, which some say hurts the CIA’s reputation.

Others say it just makes it more honest.

The lying, torturing, propagandizing, drug trafficking, coup-staging, warmongering Central Intelligence Agency has done some of the most unspeakably horrific things to human beings that have ever happened in the history of our species. If you think I’m exaggerating, do your own research into into some of the CIA’s activities like the Phoenix Program, which used “Rape, gang rape, rape using eels, snakes, or hard objects, and rape followed by murder; electric shock (‘the Bell Telephone Hour’) rendered by attaching wires to the genitals or other sensitive parts of the body, like the tongue; the ‘water treatment’; the ‘airplane’ in which the prisoner’s arms were tied behind the back, and the rope looped over a hook on the ceiling, suspending the prisoner in midair, after which he or she was beaten; beatings with rubber hoses and whips; the use of police dogs to maul prisoners,” and “The use of the insertion of the 6-inch dowel into the canal of one of my detainee’s ears, and the tapping through the brain until dead. The starvation to death (in a cage), of a Vietnamese woman who was suspected of being part of the local political education cadre in one of the local villages…The use of electronic gear such as sealed telephones attached to…both the women’s vaginas and men’s testicles [to] shock them into submission.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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