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They Were All Lying

They Were All Lying

Rembrandt van Rijn  A woman bathing in a stream  1654

A dear friend the other day accused me of defending Trump. I don’t, and never have, but it made me think that if she says it, probably others say and think the same; I’ve written a lot about him. So let me explain once again. Though I think perhaps this has reached a “you’re either with us or against us’ level.

What I noticed, and have written a lot about, during and since the 2016 US presidential campaign, is that the media, both in the US and abroad, started making up accusations against Trump from scratch. This included the collusion with Russia accusation that led to the Mueller probe.

There was never any proof of the accusation, which is why the conclusion of the probe was No Collusion. I started writing this yesterday while awaiting the presentation of the Mueller report, but it wouldn’t have mattered one way or the other: the accusation was clear, and so was the conclusion.

Even if some proof were found though other means going forward, it would still make no difference: US media published over half a million articles on the topic, and not one of them was based on any proof. If that proof had existed, Mueller would have found and used it.

And sure, Trump may not be a straight shooter, there may be all kinds of illegal activity going on in his organization, but that doesn’t justify using the collusion accusation for a 2-year long probe. If Trump is guilty of criminal acts, he should be investigated for that, not for some made-up narrative. It’s dangerous.

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

WE Will Free The Press

WE Will Free The Press

William Hogarth Humours of an Election, Plate 2 1754

While we’re republishing articles about the newly arrested Julian Assange, in his honor, here’s one on the role the press has played in his ordeal. And will undoubtedly continue to play. What does it say about a society that you have to hold not only the government, but also the press to account?

We originally published this essay on August 17 2018.

Two thirds of Americans want the Mueller investigation (inquisition, someone called it) over by the midterm elections. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said that if Mueller wants to interview Trump, he’ll have to do so before September 1, because the Trump camp doesn’t want to be the one to unduly influence the elections. Mueller himself appears to lean towards prolonging the case, and that may well be with an eye on doing exactly that.

And there’s something else as well: as soon as the investigation wraps up, Trump will demand a second special counsel, this time to scrutinize the role the ‘other side’ has played in the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath. He’s determined to get it, and he’ll fire both Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein if they try to stand in his way.

There have of course been tons of signs that it’s going to happen, but we got two significant ones just the past few days. The first is the termination of John Brennan’s security clearance. It looks impossible that no additional clearances will be revoked. There are more people who have them but would also be part of a second special counsel’s investigation. That doesn’t rhyme.

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

Will US Troops Be At Greater Risk After Tit-For-Tat ‘Terrorist Org’ Designations With Iran?

Will US Troops Be At Greater Risk After Tit-For-Tat ‘Terrorist Org’ Designations With Iran?

Following the US decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, and Iran’s decision to do the same with US Central Command in response, Russia’s RT has suggested that the escalation in tensions may put American troops at greater risk while operating in the Middle East. 

For example, the 2016 detention of 10 US sailors who strayed into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf may have gone differently today than it did three years ago. 

“The approach will be much different… the American soldiers would be treated as terrorists and not as soldiers of a [state-run] army,” said Ali Rizk, a Middle East-based journalist and writer. 

Terrorism is a criminal offense under Iranian law, and so “Iran could have taken the toughest action, including imprisonment and a subsequent trial,”Vladimir Sazhin, senior research fellow at Russia’s Institute for Oriental Studies, stated. –RT 

And while National Security John Bolton is undoubtedly a huge fan of the new terrorist designation pissing match, the last two administrations were hesitant to do the same, according to the New York Times

The George W. Bush administration considered a range of tough actions on Iran during the Iraq war, but held back.

The potential blowback vastly outweighs the benefits,” said Jeffrey Prescott, a senior Middle East director under President Barack Obama.

Wendy R. Sherman, a former top State Department official, said the Obama administration considered designating the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization, but decided against it because there would be no practical payoff given the risks to Americans and the fact the group was already under other sanctions.

By designating a foreign military as a foreign terrorist organization, we were putting our troops at risk, particularly our troops in Iraq, next door to Iran,” she said.

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

Billions Dead: 5 Times Russia and America Nearly Started a Nuclear War

Billions Dead: 5 Times Russia and America Nearly Started a Nuclear War

Some history that should never be forgotten.

Each crisis was eventually resolved in favor of peace, but in every case both sides relied on gambles, and survived as much by luck as by strategy.

An international “crisis” is the anxious space between peace and war. It is defined by three things: time, threat, and the likelihood of violence. The shorter the time, the greater the sense of threat to important interests, and the greater the chance of physical harm, the more intense the crisis. By definition, it cannot go on indefinitely: like the analogous medical term, it’s the point at which things must get better or worse. The July crisis of 1914 lasted only weeks, for example, but plunged the Great Powers into their first global war.

During the Cold War, “crisis” had a special connotation, because each moment of political conflict raised the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Every confrontation carried the potential not only for war, but for the extermination of human civilization. While we look back on these periods now as something like curios in a museum, they were moments of existential fear for both American and Soviet leaders.

At least those days are over. Or maybe not: at this moment, Russian forces under the command of President Vladimir Putin are poised on the border of Ukraine. If they begin to move west, time, threat, and interest will collide once again. Europe, and the world, will be plunged into a real crisis, the likes of which we have not seen since the Cold War. Before the next crisis begins, it might worth reviewing the five worst crises of the Cold War before we find ourselves once more playing for time in the face of war.

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

Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgeoisie

Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgeoisie


This cartoon seems to me very apposite. The capacity of the mainstream media repeatedly to promote the myth that Russia caused Clinton’s defeat, while never mentioning what the information was that had been so damaging to Hillary, should be alarming to anybody under the illusion that we have a working “free media”. There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts, from every single one of the very biggest names in the Western media, which were predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States.

I genuinely have never quite understood whether the journalists who wrote this guff believed it, whether they were cynically pumping out propaganda and taking their pay cheque, or whether they just did their “job” and chose to avoid asking themselves whether they were producing truth or lies. 

I suspect the answer varies from journalist to journalist. At the Guardian, for example, I get the impression that Carole Cadwalladr is sufficiently divorced from reality to believe all that she writes. Having done a very good job in investigating the nasty right wing British Establishment tool that was Cambridge Analytica, Cadwalladr became deluded by her own fame and self-importance and decided that her discovery was the key to understanding all of world politics. In her head it explained all the disappointments of Clintonites and Blairites everywhere. She is not so high-minded however as to have refused the blandishments of the Integrity Initiative.

Luke Harding is in a different category. Harding has become so malleable a tool of the security services it is impossible to believe he is not willingly being used. It would be embarrassing to have written a bestseller called “Collusion”, the entire premiss for which has now been disproven, had Harding not made so much money out of it.

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

How Brzezinski’s Chessboard Degenerated Into Brennan’s Russophobia

How Brzezinski’s Chessboard Degenerated Into Brennan’s Russophobia

“Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as European. That’s why Russia proposes moving towards the creation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, a community referred to by Russian experts as ‘the Union of Europe’ which will strengthen Russia’s potential in its economic pivot toward the ‘New Asia.’” Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, February 2012

The allegations of ‘Russian meddling’ only make sense if they’re put into a broader geopolitical context. Once we realize that Washington is implementing an aggressive “containment” strategy to militarily encircle Russia and China in order to spread its tentacles across Central Asian, then we begin to understand that Russia is not the perpetrator of the hostilities and propaganda, but the victim. The Russia hacking allegations are part of a larger asymmetrical-information war that has been joined by the entire Washington political establishment. The objective is to methodically weaken an emerging rival while reinforcing US global hegemony.

Try to imagine for a minute, that the hacking claims were not part of a sinister plan by Vladimir Putin “to sow discord and division” in the United States, but were conjured up to create an external threat that would justify an aggressive response from Washington. That’s what Russiagate is really all about.

US policymakers and their allies in the military and Intelligence agencies, know that relations with Russia are bound to get increasingly confrontational, mainly because Washington is determined to pursue its ambitious “pivot” to Asia plan. This new regional strategy focuses on “strengthening bilateral security alliances, expanding trade and investment, and forging a broad-based military presence.”

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

Is the World Already Multi-Polar?

Is the World Already Multi-Polar?

A hefty case can be made that the Empire of Chaos currently has no allies; it’s essentially surrounded by an assortment of vassals, puppets and comprador 5th columnist elites professing varied degrees of – sometimes reluctant – obedience. 

The Trump administration’s foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy.

– Pepe Escobar, in his recent Consortium News piece: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive

While the U.S. empire’s existed in various states of decline for much of the 21st century, I’ve been opining on the topic with far more frequency and urgency since the election of Donald Trump. This isn’t because he’s fundamentally much different from the imperial managers (aka presidents) that came before him on foreign policy, but because his personality, style and overall boorishness serve to accelerate the pace of decline.

As many astute observers have noted, what really bothers establishment types on the “NeverTrump” right and the “Russiagate conspiracy theory” left is not so much what Trump does, but how he does it. These political cliques may disagree on many issues, but what they have in common — aside from Trump derangement syndrome — is a love affair with U.S. empire and an unwavering dedication to the maintenance of American geopolitical dominance at all costs.

Both the NeverTrump right and the Russiagate conspiracy theory left are concerned that Trump, unlike Obama, is a poor global salesman for empire. Obama had the rare quality of being able to bailout bankers and keep them out of prison, pass healthcare “reform” only an insurance company could love, and expand American wars across the globe and still be revered around much of the world and celebrated as a liberal at home. That’s the sort of person you need in charge to keep a corrupt and violent empire running smoothly.

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

Why Russia Is Dumping Dollars And Buying Gold At The Fastest Pace In Decades

Why Russia Is Dumping Dollars And Buying Gold At The Fastest Pace In Decades

Nine months ago, as US Treasury yields were drifting lower from a seven-year high reached in May of last year, we pointed out a curious development in the market for US sovereign debt that to our complete lack of surprise had been overlooked by the mainstream financial press: In April and May, Russia’s central bank liquidated $81 billion in Treasurys, nearly its entire holdings.

The drop was so significant, that Russia fell off the Treasurys list of the 30 or so largest Treasury holders. And in the months that have followed, as the US has imposed more economic sanctions and feuded with Putin over the fate of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, Vladimir Putin has turned instead to alternative reserves as the country’s de-dollarization push continued.

Over the same period of time, Russia was a conspicuously large buyer of Chinese yuan, as Goldman Sachs noted (and as we highlighted well earlier today), helping contribute to a spike in yuan buying by reserve managers last year, as the IMF pointed out in a recent report.

Reserves
Reserves

But given the yuan’s still-limited convertibility, it has its limitations as a reliable reserve for foreign central banks. Which is probably why Moscow has relied on another reserve option that’s popularity has endured for most of the history of human civilization: Gold.

Data from the Russian central bank cited by Bloomberg show that its gold reserves have nearly quadrupled over the past ten years, and that 2018 marked the most “ambitious year yet” for Russia gold-buying, which coincided with the Central Bank of Russia’s mass-dumping of its Treasury holdings.

Russia

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8 Historic Cases That Show the FBI and CIA Were Out of Control Long Before Russiagate

8 Historic Cases That Show the FBI and CIA Were Out of Control Long Before Russiagate

The survival of liberty depends on skepticism of government power—and make no mistake, that includes President Trump.

Conservatives tend to have two bad habits. First, they’re prone to viewing the past through a nostalgic lens. Second, they tend to instinctively give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt.

These tendencies help explain why conservatives for decades have been able to overlook the many abuses—constitutional, legal, and moral—of US intelligence agencies.

Government bureaucrats were out of control long before the 2016 presidential election.

Unlike some more seasoned media, conservatives have appeared genuinely shocked by revelations of the Trump-Russia saga: abuse of FISA warrants, classified leaksfrom top FBI brass,corruption, campaign moles, and an apparent plot to remove an elected president through undemocratic (and likely extra-constitutional) means.

These revelations are unique in that they have become highly public and involve a sitting president. However, an examination of the history of US intelligence agencies reveals government bureaucrats were out of control long before the 2016 presidential election.

1. That Time the CIA Considered Bombing Miami and Blaming It on Castro

It’s no secret that the US government sought to assassinate Fidel Castro for years. Less well known, however, was that part of their regime-change plot included a plan to blow up Miami and sinking a boat-full of innocent Cubans.

The plan, which was revealed in 2017 when the National Archives declassified 2,800 documents from the JFK era, was a collaborative effort that included the CIA, the State Department, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that sought to brainstorm strategies to topple Castro and sow unrest within Cuba. One of those plans included Operation Northwoods, submitted to the CIA by General Lyman Lemnitzer on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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

Stay Out Of Western Hemisphere! Bolton Warns Russia Over Troops In Venezuela

Stay Out Of Western Hemisphere! Bolton Warns Russia Over Troops In Venezuela

The White House has dramatically stepped up its rhetoric threatening action against Russia’s military presence in Venezuela after the Kremlin deployed a troop contingency to Caracas last Saturday.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton took tensions to a new level, on Friday issuing a new Monroe doctrine of sorts, telling Moscow any attempt to establish or expand military operations in the western hemisphere constitutes a “provocative” and “direct threat” to international peace and security in the region. Russia sent two planes with dozens of soldiers and military advisers to Venezuela’s capital last weekend, via Reuters.

“We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations,” Bolton said in a statement.

“We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region,” he added. This follows the president’s own warning on Wednesday that “all options” are on the table regarding potential expanding Russian presence in Venezuela. 

Two Russian aircraft carrying about 100 servicemen and 35 tons of cargo arrived in Caracas last Saturday, led by Russian General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, identified as chief of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces and First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia.

This prompted Trump’s Wednesday warning to Russia against involvement in the Latin American nation; he told reporters in the Oval Office that:

Russia has to get out.”

Kremlin officials responded by explaining that it deployed military specialists merely to service preexisting arms contracts with Venezuela, and that Russia is not interfering in the Latin American country’s internal affairs. 

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday when asked how long the Russian troop contingency led by a high ranking general will stay:

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

A Real-Life Game of Risk: Why Civilizationism Is Biggest Threat to Human Rights in the 21st Century 

Hungary Israel

A Real-Life Game of Risk: Why Civilizationism Is Biggest Threat to Human Rights in the 21st Century 

True liberal values and human rights face their largest threat to date, a rapidly growing system of global governance based on opportunistic alliances rooted in populism and an unfettered bid for power argues Dr. James Dorsey.

Many have framed the battle lines in the geopolitics of the emerging new world order as the 21st century’s Great Game. It’s a game that aims to shape the creation of a new Eurasia-centred world, built on the likely fusion of Europe and Asia into what former Portuguese Europe minister Bruno Macaes calls a “supercontinent.”

For now, the Great Game pits China together with Russia, Turkey and Iran against the United States, India, Japan and Australia. The two camps compete for influence, if not dominance, in a swath of land that stretches from the China Sea to the Atlantic coast of Europe.

The geopolitical flashpoints are multiple. They range from the China Sea to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Central European nations and, most recently, far beyond with Russia, China and Turkey supporting embattled Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

On one level, the rivalry resembles Risk, a popular game of diplomacy, conflict and conquest played on a board depicting a political map of the earth, divided into forty-two territories, which are grouped into six continents. Multiple players command armies that seek to capture territories, engage in a complex dance as they strive for advantage, and seek to compensate for weaknesses. Players form opportunistic alliances that could change at any moment. Potential black swans threaten to disrupt.

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

Pompeo Demands Moscow “Cease Unconstructive Behavior” In Venezuela

Pompeo Demands Moscow “Cease Unconstructive Behavior” In Venezuela 

As we predicted a number of times before, a proxy war between Russia and the United States appears now heating up in Venezuela — this after over the weekend Russia sent a military transport plane filled with Russian troops commanded by First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia Gen. Vasily Tonkoshkurov, which landed in Caracas Saturday. We also reported the major development this morning that new satellite images reveal a major deployment of S-300 air defense missile systems to a key airbase south of Caracas.

Russia’s highly visible deployment of a small troop contingency along with a reported 35 tons of cargo has resulted in a direct and firm response from Washington as on Monday morning the US Secretary of State called on Russia to “cease its unconstructive behavior”.Pompeo has been touring the Middle East over the past days. Image source: Reuters

According to Reuters Pompeo conveyed the message directly via a phone call with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Spokesman Robert Palladino addressed the phone call in the following statement:

The secretary told Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov that the United States and regional countries will not stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions in Venezuela.

Palladino added that Pompeo specifically condemned Russian military support for the “illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro.” 

Pompeo had earlier this month vowed to continue to put “unconstrained” pressure on the Maduro regime after it became apparent that all internal coup attempts by the Juan Guaido-led opposition had failed. 

As we reported previously this week’s tensions follows a high-level meeting in Rome last week, during which Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied – thus it appears Russia is taking no chances with its South American ally.

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

Venezuela Military Deploys S-300 Missiles Following Russian Troop Arrival

Venezuela Military Deploys S-300 Missiles Following Russian Troop Arrival

Following the major weekend development of Moscow unambiguously asserting its ‘red line’ concerning potential US military intervention in Venezuela, for which Russia sent a military transport plane filled with Russian troops which landed in Caracas Saturday, new satellite images reveal a major deployment of S-300 air defense missile systems to a key airbase south of Caracas.Image via AMN News

Crucially the Russian An-124 transport plane which touched down in Caracas on Saturday carried no less than Russian General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, identified as chief of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces and First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia, accompanied by 99 servicemen and 35 tons of cargo.

As we reported the flight came just days after a high-level meeting in Rome last week, during which Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied – thus it appears Russia is taking no chances with its South American ally.

One of those warnings delivered directly by Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov to US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

And just a day following the contingency of Russia troops landing in Caracas, Maduro’s National Bolivarian Armed Forces have reportedly activated S-300 missiles after completing military drills that previously took place in February

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

Russian Troops, Aid Arrive In Venezuela After Delivering Red Line Warning To Trump

Russian Troops, Aid Arrive In Venezuela After Delivering Red Line Warning To Trump

Just days after a high-level meeting in Rome this week, during which Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied – it appears Russia is taking no chances with its South American ally.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly:

“We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand.

“No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

And now, according to journalist Javier I. Mayorca, Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces – First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia, arrived in Venezuela.

The Russian general arrived in the Bolivarian Republic accompanied by 99 servicemen. On board the An-124 delivered 35 tons of cargo.

“LAST MINUTE This afternoon a delegation of 99 Russian soldiers arrived at the Maiquetia airport, under the command of the defense minister of the largest country Vasilly Tonkoshkurov. They were received on the presidential ramp by the VA Marianny Mata, dir International Affairs and Integration (1/2)

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

The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.

The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.

The Robert Mueller investigation which monopolized political discourse for two years has finally concluded, and his anxiously awaited report has been submitted to Attorney General William Barr. The results are in and the debate is over: those advancing the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government were wrong, and those of us voicing skepticism of this were right.

The contents of the report are still secret, but CNN’s Justice Department reporter Laura Jarrett has told us all we need to know, tweeting, “Special Counsel Mueller is not recommending ANY further indictments am told.” On top of that, William Barr said in a letter to congressional leaders that there has been no obstruction of Mueller’s investigation by Justice Department officials.

So that’s it, then. A completely unhindered investigation has failed to convict a single American of any kind of conspiracy with the Russian government, and no further indictments are coming. The political/media class which sold rank-and-file Americans on the lie that the Mueller investigation was going to bring down this presidency were liars and frauds, and none of the goalpost-moving that I am sure is already beginning to happen will change that.

Say it again: Mueller has indicted *zero* Americans for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election, which was central impetus for the Special Counsel in the first place. Anyone who denies this is an abject liar https://twitter.com/lauraajarrett/status/1109210442864439299 …Replying to @LauraAJarrett

It has been obvious from the very beginning that the Maddow Muppets were being sold a lie. In 2017 I wrote an article titled “How We Can Be Certain That Mueller Won’t Prove Trump-Russia Collusion“, saying that Mueller would continue finding evidence of corruption “since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish”, but he will not find evidence of collusion.

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

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