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VICE – The Dick Cheney/Rumsfeld Conspiracy

I went to go watch VICE – the story about how Dick Cheney took over the government with the aid of his wife – Lynne Cheney. Vice is a film that seeks to bring complicated information about the inner corruption in Washington and transform it into a digestible and entertaining format. There is no question that Christian Bale delivered a very impressive performance of how Dick Cheney really is – a secretive and distant man whose eyes were always filled with naked contempt. Amy Adams gave a fantastic performance as well and captured the real character of the former Second Lady Lynne Cheney who was very much like her husband – ambitious, and equally just as ruthless.

While the film captures the reality of what took place, it completely misses the real story behind the scenes as to even how Cheney came to be Vice President. The film shows that he was out of politics and had effectively retired for some time. It pretends that George Bush called him to be his Vice President and they negotiate that Cheney will have most of the power and Bush was too stupid to understand what he was agreeing to.

As always, for whatever reason, I seem to be always in the middle of just about every major event for the past 30+ years. I have stated before that I was asked to fly around the country and meet with Republicans who wanted to run for President. Prior to 1999, they were told I was there to advise them on the world economy and how it functioned. I have been to White House dinners and testified before Congress. I have taken calls from Washington in times of crisis. So meeting with people who wanted to run for President was nothing unusual for me.

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

This Isn’t News. This Is War Crimes Apologia.

This Isn’t News. This Is War Crimes Apologia.

The fact that George W Bush has given Michelle Obama two pieces of candy is once again making headlines in mainstream outlets like Time, The Hill, and Newsweek. He has not given her any new pieces of candy since the last time he did so at his father’s funeral. He also has not ceased to be the man who facilitated the murder of a million Iraqis and inflicted a whole new level of military expansionism and Orwellian surveillance upon our world. As near as I can tell, the only reason this story is once again making headlines is because Michelle Obama and the mainstream media have decided to bring it up again.

“He has the presence of mind and the sense of humor to bring me a mint, and he made it a point to give me that mint right then and there and that’s the beauty of George Bush,” Obama said of the war criminal in conversation at the SAP Center over the weekend, which we apparently need to know about because the news is telling us about it.

“We’re all Americans. We all care about our family and our kids, and we’re trying to get ahead,” Obama continued. “And that’s how I feel about [Bush]. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man.


I have always respected Michelle Obama. But continuing to glorify a mass murderer responsible for the death of over a million defenseless innocent civilians, reflects more on her own character than on that of that despicable war criminal.


If you’re starting to feel like attempts to rehabilitate George W Bush’s image are being aggressively shoved down your throat by the mass media at every opportunity, it’s because that is exactly what is happening.

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

The Counterinsurgency Paradigm: How U.S. Politics Have Become Paramilitarized

THE COUNTERINSURGENCY PARADIGM: HOW U.S. POLITICS HAVE BECOME PARAMILITARIZED

DONALD TRUMP RAN a campaign promising to refill the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” to “take out” the families of suspected terrorists, to ban Muslims from entering this country, and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Yet these policies didn’t start with Trump: Torture, indefinite detention, extraordinary renditions, record numbers of deportations, anti-Muslim sentiment, mass foreign and domestic surveillance, and even the killing of innocent family members of suspected terrorists all have a recent historical precedent.

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, continued some of the worst policies of the George W. Bush administration. He expanded the global battlefield post-9/11 into at least seven countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria. At the end of Obama’s second term, a reportby Council of Foreign Relations found that in 2016, Obama dropped an average of 72 bombs a day. He used drone strikes as a liberal panacea for fighting those “terrorists” while keeping boots off the ground. But he also expanded the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan. Immigrants were deported in such record numbers under Obama that immigration activists called him the “deporter-in-chief.” And then there were the “Terror Tuesday” meetings, where Obama national security officials would order pizza and drink Coke and review the list of potential targets on their secret assassination list.

For his liberal base, Obama sanitized a morally bankrupt expansion of war, and used Predator and Reaper drones strapped with Hellfire missiles to kill suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens stripped of their due process. The Obama administration harshly prosecuted whistleblowers in a shocking attack on press freedoms. By the end of his presidency, official numbers on civilian deaths by drone were underreported; we may never know the true cost of these wars, which continue today.

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

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

In order to understand today’s demonization of Vladimir Putin, one must go back to US President George W. Bush’s propaganda for “regime-change in Iraq” and demonization of Saddam Hussein at that time. The US regime now has come to recognize that with Putin’s high approval-ratings from the Russian public, the US aristocracy’s dream of fomenting Putin’s ouster by Russia’s voters will not work; and, so, all foreign leaders who cooperated with Russia, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Bashar al-Assad, were first targeted by the US regime for “regime-change,” so as to isolate Russia and soften it up for the demanded US-takeover (‘democracy’, ‘free market’, etc., which Russia actually now already has, at least as much as America does); and, then, since that hasn’t yet worked, came the US aristocracy’s campaign to ‘protect The West’ by NATO troops and weapons surrounding Russia and forcing regime-change in Russia. It has escalated now to the point where World War III is more likely than ever it was during the Cold War.

Regime-change in Russia will thus either occur by the democratic vote of the Russian public at some distant time and produce a Russian Government that’s likely to be against the US regime in every possible way (which the current Russian Government is not), or else it will require a US-and-allied invasion of Russia, and that would destroy the world (but the US aristocracy want it anyway).

However, America’s aristocracy (or as they call it when referring to the same thing in low-income countries, “oligarchs”) — basically just its billionaires — are very impatient; they want to control the entire planet during their own lifetimes, and care little (if at all) about what will happen to the planet after they’re gone.

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

Washington’s Matrix Is Closing Down Truth Throughout the Western World

Washington’s Matrix Is Closing Down Truth Throughout the Western World

For a number of years I have emphasized that 9/11 was used by Dick Cheney to significantly reduce the public’s, the judiciary’s, and Congress’ access to information about what the executive branch is doing, thereby preventing legal, legislative, and electoral action against the unlawful and unconstitutional behavior of the executive branch during the Cheney/Bush and Obama regimes.

Recently I discovered on my bookshelves Charlie Savage’s extraordinary book, Takeover (2007), which describes how Cheney and his minions, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and Shannen Coffin, used secret Department of Justice (sic) memos and executive orders from George W. Bush to prevent the release of any information that would get in the way of Cheney’s agenda for war in the Middle East and a police state at home. If Americans understood that an immigrant from Korea, John Yoo, wrote secret DOJ memos that shredded both the separation of powers and US civil liberties, there would be even more opposition to immigration of peoples who are not dedicated to our founding document, the US Constitution.

Ten years later David Ray Griffin’s 2017 book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, also documents how Dick Cheney fed the US Constitution into a shredder.

I intend to review these two books together so that you can see that there is nothing left of the United States as defined by the US Constitution. What has caused me to mention them now is The Saker’s interview with Michael Hoffman about Amazon’s use by the government as a proxy censor. In the name of private enterprise choosing what it wants to sell, the Amazon monopoly enables the government to censor without the government violating the First Amendment.

Read this: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50261.htm and you will see how non-enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act has enabled Washington to create private monopolies such as Amazon that do the dirty work for Washington that the First Amendment prevents.

Trump Minus Narrative Equals Bushbama

Trump Minus Narrative Equals Bushbama

Barack Obama is making headlines today. In a speech at the University of Illinois, Obama called out the “politics of fear” which are used by his successor and criticized an insufficient denunciation of “Nazi sympathizers” by the current administration.

“How hard can that be?” asked the former president. “Saying Nazis are bad?”

Also in the news, getting far less attention than the sparkly spectacle of Fauxgressive Jesus wagging his finger at Orange Hitler for being too nice to Nazis, is a report from the Washington Post (open it in a private browser to get around the paywall) that the Trump administration has done a complete 180 degree reversal of its prior position on Syria. And before you jump on me about believing anonymously sourced reports from an establishment outlet that is fully owned by a CIA contractor, this isn’t one of those: the sources are senior State Department officials who are named in the article.

According to the State Department’s James Jeffrey and Joel Rayburn, the Trump administration has now abandoned its previous goal of pulling out of Syria as soon as possible. The conditions for ending the US military’s illegal occupation of a sovereign nation now reportedly include “the exit of all Iranian military and proxy forces from Syria, and establishment of a stable, nonthreatening government acceptable to all Syrians and the international community,” which is another way of saying that the occupation will continue indefinitely and regime change is back on the table.


Trump agrees to an indefinite military effort and new diplomatic push in Syria, U.S. officials say https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-a-shift-trump-approves-an-indefinite-military-and-diplomatic-effort-in-syria-us-officials-say/2018/09/06/0351ab54-b20f-11e8-9a6a-565d92a3585d_story.html?utm_term=.a1f0e9e79154  by @karendeyoung1

Trump agrees to an indefinite military effort and new diplomatic push in Syria, U.S. officials say

The shift stems from concerns about Russia and a desire to eject Iranian military and proxy forces.

washingtonpost.com


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

Tenth Anniversary Of Financial Collapse, Preparing For The Next Crash

Tenth Anniversary Of Financial Collapse, Preparing For The Next Crash

Ten years ago, there was panic in Washington, DC, New York City and financial centers around the world as the United States was in the midst of an economic collapse. The crash became the focus of the presidential campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain and was followed by protests that created a popular movement, which continues to this day.

Banks: Bailed Out; The People: Sold Out

On the campaign trail, in March 2008, Obama blamed mismanagement of the economy on both Democrats and Republicans for rewarding financial manipulation rather than economic productivity. He called for funds to protect homeowners from foreclosure and to stabilize local governments and urged a 21st Century regulation of the financial system. John McCain opposed federal intervention, saying the country should not bail out banks or homeowners who knowingly took financial risks.

By September 2008, McCain and Obama met with President George W. Bush and together they called for a $700 billion bailout of the banks, not the people. Obama and McCain issued a joint statement that called the bank bailout plan “flawed,” but said, “the effort to protect the American economy must not fail.” Obama expressed “outrage” at the “crisis,” which was “a direct result of the greed and irresponsibility that has dominated Washington and Wall Street for years.”

By October 2008, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), or bank bailout, had recapitalized the banks, the Treasury had stabilized money market mutual funds and the FDIC had guaranteed the bank debts. The Federal Reserve began flowing money to banks, which would ultimately total almost twice the $16 trillion claimed in a federal audit. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that the Federal Reserve gave over $29 trillion to the banks. These are historically these are signs of a coming recession.

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

Coming Attraction: Lunatic Loose in West Wing

Coming Attraction: Lunatic Loose in West Wing

As Uber-Hawk John Bolton prepares to take over as national security adviser on Monday, Ray McGovern looks back at when Bolton was one of the “crazies” in the George W. Bush administration.


John Bolton’s March 22 appointment-by-tweet as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser has given “March Madness” a new and ominous meaning.  There is less than a week left to batten down the hatches before Bolton makes U.S. foreign policy worse that it already is.

During a recent interview with The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill  (minutes 35 to 51) I mentioned that Bolton fits seamlessly into a group of take-no-prisoners zealots once widely known in Washington circles as “the crazies,” and now more commonly referred to as “neocons.”

Beginning in the 1970s, “the crazies” sobriquet was applied to Cold Warriors hell bent on bashing Russians, Chinese, Arabs — anyone who challenged U.S. “exceptionalism” (read hegemony).  More to the point, I told Scahill that President (and former CIA Director) George H. W. Bush was among those using the term freely, since it seemed so apt.  I have been challenged to prove it.

I don’t make stuff up.  And with the appointment of the certifiable Bolton, the “the crazies” have become far more than an historical footnote.  Rather, the crucible that Bush-41 and other reasonably moderate policymakers endured at their hands give the experience major relevance today.  Thus, I am persuaded it would be best not to ask people simply to take my word for it when I refer to “the crazies,” their significance, and the differing attitudes the two Bushes had toward them.

George H. W. Bush and I had a longstanding professional and, later, cordial relationship.  For many years after he stopped being president, we stayed in touch — mostly by letter.  This is the first time I have chosen to share any of our personal correspondence.

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

Trump Presidency = Bush’s 3rd Term

Trump Presidency = Bush’s 3rd Term

Trump rightly criticized George W. Bush for getting us into the disastrous Iraq war.

But now Trump’s presidency is turning into Bush’s third term …

Trump is appointing John Bolton as his National Security Adviser.

Who’s Bolton?

He’s one of the key architects of the Iraq war, who  previously admitted that the Iraq war was about oil, not protecting the United States from weapons of mass destruction. And see this.

He has also openly called for partition of Iraq and Syria into a number of different countries … as Bolton’s beloved Neocons have been planning for over 20 years.

Slate notes:

John Bolton’s appointment as national security adviser—a post that requires no Senate confirmation—puts the United States on a path to war. And it’s fair to say President Donald Trump wants us on that path.

***

Bolton has repeatedly called for launching a first strike on North Korea, scuttling the nuclear arms deal with Iran, and then bombing that country too. He says and writes these things not as part of some clever “madman theory” to bring Kim Jong-un and the mullahs of Tehran to the bargaining table, but rather because he simply wants to destroy them and America’s other enemies too.

His agenda is not “peace through strength,” the motto of more conventional Republican hawks that Trump included in a tweet on Wednesday, but rather regime change through war. He is a neocon without the moral fervor of some who wear that label—i.e., he is keen to topple oppressive regimes not in order to spread democracy but rather to expand American power.

***

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

How They Sold the Iraq War

How They Sold the Iraq War

Photo by Taymaz Valley | CC BY 2.0

The war on Iraq won’t be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as “weapons of mass destruction” and “rogue state” were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don’t need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair’s plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student’s website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister’s bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair’s speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don’t explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

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Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

In the past, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) justified its militarization of large swaths of Eastern Europe by pointing to the omnipresent threat of terrorism, or some ‘rogue’ foreign state, inherently understood to be Iran. Today the mask has slipped and it is no longer denied that NATO’s primary target is Russia.

But first, a trip down nightmare lane. The road to ruin – at least as far as US-Russia relations were concerned – began immediately following the 9/11 terror attacks. Three months after that fateful day, in December 2001, George W. Bush informed Vladimir Putin that the US was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a strange move considering that the treaty had kept the peace between the nuclear superpowers since 1972. This geopolitical “mistake,” as Putin rightly defined it, allowed the US to begin the process of deploying a missile defense system, smack on the border with Russia, allegedly to shield the continent against an attack by Iran. Never mind the fact that Tehran had absolutely no reason, not to mention the wherewithal, to carry out such a suicidal mission. But Washington has never been one to let facts get in the way of a forced move on the global chess board.

Thus, the Bush administration advocated on behalf of a land-based missile defense system with interceptors based in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. However, due to serious objections from Russia, not to mention the apprehensive citizens of the host countries, the plan had reached an impasse in 2008 – just as Obama was replacing Bush in the White House. Some would call that impeccable timing. What happened next can only be described as a devious sleight of hand on the part of Washington.

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NSA “Sincerely Regrets” Deleting All Bush-Era Surveillance Data It Was Ordered To Preserve

There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy.

As Philip Giraldi notes, up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.

Nowhere is that “independence” of the ‘state within a state’ more evident than in the blatant and egregious news this week that The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the steps it told a federal court it had taken to make sure the information wasn’t destroyed, according to recent court filings.

As Politico reports, the agency tells a federal judge that it is investigating and “sincerely regrets its failure.”

Since 2007, the NSA has been under court orders to preserve data about certain of its surveillance efforts that came under legal attack following disclosures that President George W. Bush ordered warrantless wiretapping of international communications after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. In addition, the agency has made a series of representations in court over the years about how it is complying with its duties.

However, the NSA told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in a filing on Thursday night and another little-noticed submission last year that the agency did not preserve the content of internet communications intercepted between 2001 and 2007 under the program Bush ordered. To make matters worse, backup tapes that might have mitigated the failure were erased in 2009, 2011 and 2016, the NSA said.

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

Donald Trump didn’t create danger of presidential dictatorship, he inherited it

Donald Trump didn’t create danger of presidential dictatorship, he inherited it

Sen. Warren says Trump is losing to the Constitution — but is he?

Those who denounce Trump’s constitutional depredations and anti-democratic pronouncements are clueless about the real threat.

Americans nowadays have a bad attitude towards presidents. Many people are denouncing Donald Trump as a dictator. But the real problem in this nation is the dictatorial illiteracy that has allowed modern presidents to commandeer far too much power.

Trump’s saber rattling, rude outbursts and rancorous tweets have spooked folks far and wide. But most Americans are not sufficiently informed on recent history to recognize where Trump poses dire threats beyond the usual Washington machinations. Most citizens are unaware that both political parties have perennially championed bureaucratic aggrandizement over civil liberties.

Many of the experts who have condemned Trump are also clueless about how far federal control has stretched. Yale professor Samuel Moyn and Oxford professor David Priestland recently declared in a New York Times op-ed that “there is no real evidence that Mr. Trump wants to seize power unconstitutionally, and there is no reason to think he could succeed.”

But violating the Constitution is practically the job description for modern presidents. It was George W. Bush’s White House, not Trump, that asserted a “commander-in-chief override” entitling presidents to ignore the law and the Bill of Rights. Congress utterly failed to thwart that outrageous claim.

Presidents have amassed vast authority because they are judged on their rhetoric and purported goals, not on their constitutional fidelity. Former president Barack Obama’s drone assassinations of U.S. citizens were non-issues because observers think he “meant well.”

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Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech

Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech

US authorities are reported to have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. This overreach of US government toward a publisher, whose principle is aligned with the U.S. Constitution, is another sign of a crumbling façade of democracy. The Justice Department in the Obama administration could not prosecute WikiLeaks for publishing documents pertaining to the US government, because they struggled to determine whether the First Amendment protection applied in this case. Now, the torch of Obama’s war on whistleblowers seems to have been passed on to Trump, who had shown disdain toward free speech and even calledthe U.S. media as “enemies of the people”.

Earlier this month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo vowed to end WikiLeaks, accusing the whistleblowing site as being a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia”. He also once called Edward Snowden a traitor and claimed that he should be executed. This declaration of war against WikiLeaks may bring a reminiscence of George W. Bush’s speech in the aftermath of 9-11, where he said, ‘either you are with us or against us’, and urged the nation to side with the government in his call to fight global ‘war on terror’.

In a recent interview on DemocracyNow!, journalist at The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald put this persecution of WikiLeaks in the context of a government assault on basic freedom. He spelled out their tactics, noting how the government first chooses a target group that is hated and lacks popular support, for they know attacking an idea or a group that is popular would meet resistance. He explained:

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This is How the U.S. Government Destroys the Lives of Patriotic Whistleblowers

This is How the U.S. Government Destroys the Lives of Patriotic Whistleblowers

We live in a time and within a culture where the best amongst us are thrown in jail, demonized or destroyed, while the worst are celebrated, promoted and enriched. Nothing more clearly crystalizes this sad state of affairs than the U.S. government’s ruthless war on whistleblowers who expose severe constitutional violations by those in power. This war knows no political affiliation, and has been waged with equal vigor by the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama.

Earlier this morning, I read one of the most enlightening articles on the subject to-date. It was published back in May, and should be read by every single American citizen. We need to admit to ourselves what we have become before we can make changes.

What follows are excerpts from the Guardian piece, How the Pentagon Punished NSA Whistleblowers, but you should really take the time to read the entire thing.

If you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed.

Drake was fired, arrested at dawn by gun-wielding FBI agents, stripped of his security clearance, charged with crimes that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life, and all but ruined financially and professionally. The only job he could find afterwards was working in an Apple store in suburban Washington, where he remains today. Adding insult to injury, his warnings about the dangers of the NSA’s surveillance program were largely ignored.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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