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Trump assailed for phoning Putin, but feting blood-soaked Saudi dictator is OK

By Finian Cunningham | RT | March 22, 2018

Donald Trump sparked outrage this week in the US over his congratulatory phone call to Russian leader Vladimir Putin on his re-election. But his obscene indulgence of a Saudi despot in the White House hardly ruffled any concern.

How disconnected from reality can you get?

There was furious reaction across US media to news that Trump phoned Russia’s President Putin to congratulate him on his landslide election victory last weekend. Republicans and Democrats were up in arms about what is just basic protocol of one leader calling another to express customary election compliments.

After all, former president Barack Obama did the same when Putin won the previous 2012 presidential election.

This time, however, US-Russian relations have become toxic after a raft of unproven allegations against Moscow, including alleged meddling in the American presidential vote in November 2016 in which Trump was elected, and the latest row over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England.

All these anti-Russian claims are unsubstantiated, if not outlandish, but they are repeated often enough to cast a permanent cloud over international relations. Republican Senator John McCain was widely quoted by way of expressing the bipartisan outrage over Trump’s phone call. “An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators,” he said.

American critics of Russia’s Putin can quibble all they like about the merits of his re-election. They contend the vote was a foregone conclusion, rigged in his favor. But such sniping seems churlish against the overwhelming fact that Putin was supported by a huge majority of voters – nearly 77 percent.

In any case, another way of looking at this outpouring of American bile is to enquire just how credible are the detractors?

Their consternation with regard to Putin and Trump’s customary phone call seems way out of proportion, and strangely at odds with their relative silence over the visit in the same week to the White House by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

Bin Salman is the de facto leader of the desert kingdom in place of his ailing father, King Salman. The 32-year-old crown prince consolidated his autocratic power last year in a purge against other members of the House of Saud, in which hundreds of rivals where rounded up, detained, reportedly tortured, and shaken down for billions of dollars.

MBS was feted by Trump in the White House mainly because of the giant weapons purchases he has made since the American president visited the oil kingdom last year – which was Trump’s first official overseas visit.

In a bizarre photo-op, Trump held up gaudy cardboard posters proclaiming various multi-million-dollar arms sales to the Saudi regime. One such deal was depicted as being worth $525 million, to which the president quipped to his Saudi guest, “That’s peanuts to you.”

It was a grubby spectacle of just how sordid the decades-old relationship is between the US and its Arab client regime. All in the seeming salubrious setting of the Oval Office.

If the outrage over Trump’s perfunctory call to Putin had any principle over the matter of elections and autocratic rule, then the critics in Washington would have more than ample cause to fulminate against the Saudi Crown Prince being greeted in the White House. But there was barely any protest.

Admittedly, there was an attempt this week by some senators to pass a resolution limiting American military support for the Saudi war in Yemen. In the end though, the resolution was rejected by a majority of lawmakers.

However, aside from that minor show of dissent, in the scale of things the disconnect with reality in Washington and the US corporate media shows a grotesque distortion of moral priorities.

MBS was visiting Washington in the same week, marking three relentless years of US-backed Saudi slaughter in Yemen. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who also holds the position of defense minister, is the architect of the Saudi war in Yemen.

The United Nations has called the conflict in the Arab region’s poorest country “the worst humanitarian crisis in decades.”

Some eight million people – a third of the population – are facing starvation, largely because the Saudi-led war has blockaded the country from receiving food imports, medicines, and other humanitarian aid.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in airstrikes by Saudi warplanes that are supplied and refueled by the Americans, British and French. The Americans also share intelligence to direct the Saudi bombing campaign, which even pro-Western human rights groups have reported as being indiscriminate in striking civilian centers. In other words, the US and its NATO allies are fully complicit in this ongoing barbarity.

Saudi claims of fighting against Houthi rebels because the latter are orchestrated by Iran to destabilize the region are not credible. The war is all about trying to re-install a puppet leader, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was kicked out by rebel fighters in January 2015. The Saudis launched their war with Washington’s approval in March 2015, partly out of spite over the international nuclear accord that was being negotiated at the time. The Iran nuclear deal was finalized in July 2015. Trump wants to axe it to further placate his Saudi clients.

What is going on in Yemen is nothing short of a bloodbath. Arguably, it is a genocide, given the collective punishment imposed on the entire nation by the Saudi military coalition supported by Washington.

Trump’s hosting of the Saudi crown prince this week in the White House is an obscenity. Celebrating the sale of warplanes, tanks, missiles and other munitions was a macabre drooling over the slaughter of thousands of innocents.

Of course, Trump participated in the charade that the war in Yemen is a “just cause” to counter Iranian malign influence. Iran denies any involvement, as do the Yemeni rebels. There is no evidence to support the US-Saudi claim. Besides, how could Iran supply weapons to a country that is blockaded by land, air and sea?

What is truly disturbing is how little concern the US-enabled carnage in Yemen provokes in official Washington circles and among the corporate media. Millions of Yemeni children are dying from bombardments, hunger, and diseases. The horror is real and unalloyed, unlike the situation in Syria, where the Western media have distorted Syrian Army and Russian liberation of towns besieged by NATO-backed terrorists.

For Yemen, the official silence in Washington is astounding. The very personification of the Yemeni horror – a blood-soaked Saudi despot – is welcomed and cheered, with barely a murmur of protest in Washington or the mainstream news media.

Such people have no moral compass or integrity when all they seem concerned about is their president making a phone call to an elected Russian leader.

Thus, anything they have to say regarding Putin, Russia, its elections and foreign policy is best ignored. People with such a glaring disconnect from reality are impossible to reason with. They are beneath contempt.

Read more:

Army General admits US does not track weapons used to bomb Yemeni civilians

Shock horror! Trump congratulates Putin on election victory and media goes nuts

‘1st bomb took my leg’: Yemeni children tell RT of their suffering under Saudi-led strikes

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

March Madness Washington Style

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • March 22, 2018

For the past few days, the nation’s media and political class have been fixated on the firing of the No. 2 person in the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe became embroiled in the investigation of President Donald Trump because of his alleged approval of the use of a political dossier, written about Trump and paid for by the Democrats and not entirely substantiated, as a basis to secure a search warrant for surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser who once boasted that he worked for the Kremlin at the same time that he was advising candidate Trump.

The dossier itself and whatever was learned from the surveillance formed the basis for commencing the investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia by the Obama Department of Justice, which is now being run by special counsel Robert Mueller and has been expanded into other areas. The surveillance of the Trump campaign based on arguably flimsy evidence put McCabe into President Trump’s crosshairs. Indeed, Trump attacked McCabe many times on social media and even rejoiced when Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him at 10 p.m. last Friday, just 26 hours before his retirement was to have begun.

Why the fixation on this? Here is the back story.

After the unlawful use of the FBI and CIA by the Nixon administration to spy on President Nixon’s domestic political opponents, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978. This statute outlawed all domestic surveillance except that which is authorized by the Constitution or by the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

That court, the statute declared, could authorize surveillance of foreigners physically located in the United States on a legal standard lesser than that which the Constitution requires. Even though this meant Congress could avoid the Constitution — an event that every high school social studies student knows is unconstitutional — the FISC enthusiastically embraced its protocol.

That protocol was a recipe for the constitutional crisis that is now approaching. The recipe consists of a secret court whose records and rulings are not available to the public. It’s a court where only the government’s lawyers appear; hence there is no challenge to the government’s submissions. And it’s a court that applies a legal standard profoundly at odds with the Constitution. The Constitution requires the presentation of evidence of probable cause of a crime as the trigger for a search warrant, yet FISA requires only probable cause of a relationship to a foreign power.

In the years in which the FISC authorized spying only on foreigners, few Americans complained. Some of us warned at FISA’s inception that this system violates the Constitution and is ripe for abuse, yet we did not know then how corrupt the system would become. The corruption was subtle, as it consisted of government lawyers, in secret and without opposition, persuading the FISC to permit spying on Americans.

The logic was laughable, but it went like this: We need to spy on all foreigners, whether they’re working for a foreign government or not; we need to spy on anyone who communicates with a foreigner; and we need to spy on anyone who has communicated with anyone else who has ever communicated with a foreigner.

These absurd extrapolations, pressed on the FISC and accepted by it in secret, turned FISA — a statute written to prevent spying on Americans — into a tool that facilitates it. Now, back to McCabe.

Though the use of FISA for domestic spying on ordinary Americans came about gradually and was generally known only to those in the federal intelligence and law enforcement communities and to members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, by the time McCabe became deputy director of the FBI, this spying was commonplace. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (is it really a court, given that its rulings are secret and it hears only the government and it rejects the constraints of the Constitution?) has granted 99.9 percent of government surveillance requests.

So when McCabe and his colleagues went to the FISC in October 2016 looking for a search warrant to conduct surveillance of officials in the Trump campaign, they knew that their request would be granted, but they never expected that their application, their work and the purpose of their request — as far removed as it was from the original purpose of FISA — would come under public scrutiny.

Indeed, it was not until the surveillance of Trump and his colleagues in the campaign and the transition came to light — with McCabe as the poster boy for it — that most Americans even knew how insidiously governmental powers are being abused.

The stated reason for McCabe’s firing was not his abuse of FISA but his absence of candor to FBI investigators about his use of FISA. I don’t know whether those allegations are the true reasons for his firing or McCabe was sacrificed at the altar of government abuse — because those who fired him also have abused FISA.

But I do know that there are lessons to learn in all this. Courts are bound by the Constitution, just as are Congress and the president. Just because Congress says something is lawful does not mean it is constitutional. Secret courts are the tools of tyrants and lead to the corruption of the judicial process and the erosion of freedom.

And courts that hear no challenge to the government and grant whatever it wants are not courts as we understand them; they are government hacks. They and the folks who have facilitated all this have undermined personal liberty in our once free society.

The whole purpose of the Constitution is to restrain the government and to protect personal liberty. FISA and its enablers in both major political parties have done the opposite. They have infused government with corruption and have assaulted the privacy of us all.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , | Leave a comment

The Deep State Breaks Surface

By Craig Murray | March 22, 2018

I confess I found it difficult to get worked up about the Cambridge Analytica affair. My reactions was “What awful people. But surely everybody realises that is what Facebook does?”. It seemed to me hardly news, on top of which the most likely outcome is that it will be used as yet another excuse to introduce government controls on the internet and clamp down on dissenting views like those on this website, where 85% of all traffic comes through Facebook or Twitter.

But two nights ago my interest was piqued when, at the height of Cambridge Analytica’s domination of the news cycle, the BBC gave it considerably less airtime than the alcohol abuse problems of someone named Ant. The evening before, the BBC had on Newsnight given the CEO of Cambridge Analytica the most softball interview imaginable. If the BBC is obviously downplaying something, it is usually defending a deep British Establishment interest.

It took me a minute to find out that Cambridge Analytica is owned by a British company, SCL Ltd, which in effect does exactly the same activities in the UK that Cambridge Analytica was undertaking in the US. I then looked up SCL on Bloomberg.

The name which jumped out at me of course was Lord Ivar Mountbatten, direct descendant of Queen Victoria and scion of the family closest friends with that of the UK’s unelected monarch. The only person listed by Companies House as having “significant control” – ie over 25% of the shares – is Roger Gabb, the wine merchant known for large donations to the Tory Party. I have now spoken to people who know him fairly well who, I must note in fairness, universally say he is a kind and very bright man, but with no technical input in the kind of work performed by SCL/Cambridge Analytica.

SCL is as Establishment as a company can get. The most worrying aspect of this is that SCL is paid by the British government to manipulate public opinion particularly in the fields of “Security” and “Defence”, and still more worryingly SCL – this group of ultra Tory money men seeking to refine government propaganda at the expense of you, the taxpayer – is cleared by the MOD to access classified government information.

I then did a news search on google for “Mountbatten” and “SCL” and it brought up zero results from corporate and state media. I then did a wider search not just of news sites, and found this excellent article from Liam O’Hare on Bella Caledonia. It said everything I had been planning to write, and probably says it better. Please do read it. Liam has actually done this to me before, getting there first. I suspect we may be the same person. Come to think of it, I have never seen a photo of us together.

PS Everyone of my generation will remember this joke. “What’s white and flies across the sea at 300mph?” We had a more robust attitude to free speech in the 70’s, and the maudlin deference to the “Royal family” had much less hold on the population.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | March 19, 2018

What prompted former CIA Director John Brennan on Saturday to accuse President Donald Trump of “moral turpitude” and to predict, with an alliterative flourish, that Trump will end up “as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history”? The answer shines through the next sentence in Brennan’s threatening tweet: “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe [former FBI Deputy Director fired Friday night] but you will not destroy America… America will triumph over you.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan

It is easy to see why Brennan lost it. The Attorney General fired McCabe, denying him full retirement benefits, because McCabe “had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.” There but for the grace of God go I, Brennan must have thought, whose stock in trade has been unauthorized disclosures.

In fact, Brennan can take but small, short-lived consolation in the fact that he succeeded in leaving with a full government pension. His own unauthorized disclosures and leaks probably dwarf in number, importance, and sensitivity those of McCabe. And many of those leaks appear to have been based on sensitive intercepted conversations from which the names of American citizens were unmasked for political purposes. Not to mention the leaks of faux intelligence like that contained in the dubious “dossier” cobbled together for the Democrats by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times and Washington Post. (At one point, the obvious whispering reached the point that the Wall Street Journal saw fit to complain that it was being neglected.) The leaking can be traced way back — at least as far as the Clinton campaign’s decision to blame the Russians for the publication of very damning DNC emails by WikiLeaks just three days before the Democratic National Convention.

This blame game turned out to be a hugely successful effort to divert attention from the content of the emails, which showed in bas relief the dirty tricks the DNC played on Bernie Sanders. The media readily fell in line, and all attention was deflected from the substance of the DNC emails to the question as to why the Russians supposedly “hacked into the DNC and gave the emails to WikiLeaks.”

This media operation worked like a charm, but even Secretary Clinton’s PR person, Jennifer Palmieri, conceded later that at first it strained credulity that the Russians would be doing what they were being accused of doing.

Magnificent Diversion

On April 6, 2017 I attended a panel discussion on “Russia’s interference in our democracy” at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress Fund. In my subsequent write-up I noted that panelist Palmieri had inadvertently dropped tidbits of evidence that I suggested “could get some former officials in deep kimchi – if a serious investigation of leaking, for example, were to be conducted.” (That time seems to be coming soon.)

Palmieri was asked to comment on “what was actually going on in late summer/early fall [2016].” She answered:

“It was a surreal experience … so I did appreciate that for the press to absorb … the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb….

“But then we go back to Brooklyn [Clinton headquarters] and heard from the — mostly our sources were other intelligence, with the press who work in the intelligence sphere, and that’s where we heard things and that’s where we learned about the dossier and the other story lines that were swirling about; and how to process … And along the way the administration started confirming various pieces of what they were concerned about what Russia was doing. … So I do think that the answer for the Democrats now … in both the House and the Senate is to talk about it more and make it more real.”

So the leaking had an early start, and went on steroids during the months following the Democratic Convention up to the election — and beyond.

As a Reminder

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison.

But she lost. And a month ago, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet, indicating that there could be legal consequences, for example, for officials who misled the FISA court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and associates. His words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of yet other miscreants. “If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial,” he said. “The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created.”

John Brennan is widely reported to be Nunes’s next target. Does one collect a full pension in jail?

Unmasking: Senior national security officials are permitted to ask the National Security Agency to unmask the names of Americans in intercepted communications for national security reasons — not for domestic political purposes. Congressional committees have questioned why Obama’s UN ambassador Samantha Power (as well as his national security adviser Susan Rice) made so many unmasking requests. Power is reported to have requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans, most of them in the final days of the administration, including the names of Trump associates.

Deep State Intimidation 

Back to John Brennan’s bizarre tweet Saturday telling the President, “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe but you will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.” Unmasking the word “America,” so to speak, one can readily discern the name “Brennan” underneath. Brennan’s words and attitude are a not-so-subtle reminder of the heavy influence and confidence of the deep state, including the media — exercised to a fare-thee-well over the past two years.

Later on Saturday, Samantha Power, with similar equities at stake, put an exclamation point behind what Brennan had tweeted earlier in the day. Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is “not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday’s lead article conveys the intended message: “Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. ‘This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI’s going to win,’ said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. ‘You can’t fight the FBI. They’re going to torch him.’” [sic]

The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline “Trump escalates attacks on FBI” as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday’s lead article.

Putting Down a Marker

It isn’t as though Donald Trump wasn’t warned, as are all incoming presidents, of the power of the Deep State that he needs to play ball with — or else. Recall that just three days before President-elect Trump was visited by National Intelligence Director James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Michael Rogers, Trump was put on notice by none other than the Minority Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer.  Schumer has been around and knows the ropes; he is a veteran of 18 years in the House, and is in his 20th year in the Senate.

On Jan. 3, 2017 Schumer said it all, when he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, that President-elect Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities:

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.” Did Maddow ask Schumer if he was saying President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community? No, she let Schumer’s theorem stand.

With gauntlets now thrown down by both sides, we may not have to wait very long to see if Schumer is correct in his blithe prediction as to how the present constitutional crisis will be resolved.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He served as a CIA analyst under seven Presidents and nine CIA directors and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

McCabe: A War on (or in) the FBI?

By Coleen Rowley | Consortium News | March 18, 2018

The explanation from Andrew McCabe that he was fired merely due to his staunch support of his former boss and mentor, FBI Director James Comey, and the “Russiagate” investigation, does not pass the smell test.

Similar to the one that mainstream corporate media is spinning, McCabe’s explanation almost totally ignores the fact that it was the relatively independent Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) and the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR internal affairs) who recommended firing McCabe for his “lack of candor” on (the totally unrelated issue of) granting improper press access to the Wall Street Journal during ongoing FBI investigations of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s emails.

While the exact specifics of McCabe’s “lack of candor” – which McCabe denies – haven’t been released by the IG, it’s my own personal opinion that such official briefing of the press should not necessarily be a fireable offense as long as it’s justified to correct faulty media reporting and was not covertly done for improper political reasons. But technically, firing for “lack of candor” has long been the FBI’s “bright line” policy, ever since former FBI Director Louis Freeh tried to “clean up” the FBI in the mid-1990s when so many agents, including Special Agents in Charge, were caught lying about sex affairs, improper government credit card charges and drunk driving incidents – some amounting to reckless homicides.

But of course Freeh was rather hypocritical as he was himself involved in several instances of “lack of candor” including appointing his friend, Larry Potts, as Deputy Director. This, despite the fact that Potts had covered up his own role in substituting “rules of engagement” for the FBI’s “deadly force policy” during the Ruby Ridge standoff with (the arguably unconstitutional) “rules” directing the shooting on sight of any armed male.

The cover-up of Potts’ mishandling of Ruby Ridge came to light during the criminal investigations and prosecution of the FBI sniper who had subsequently shot and killed Randy Weaver’s wife while aiming at someone else. When Pott’s role was revealed, Freeh had to censure and demote his Deputy Director; but even then Potts wasn’t actually fired.

So it may well be that “lack of candor” sets too high a standard that no one, not even the angels, let alone FBI agents and their managing officials can live up to. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ lofty statement that the FBI’s integrity is its brand, may be nice, wishful thinking but like other self-promoting speeches going back to J. Edgar Hoover, it has never rung true based on the hundreds of unethical actions I witnessed or was made aware of.

A number of OPR officials themselves were always getting caught in various unethical, deceitful (and sometimes even illegal) actions, including their long systemic practice of employing “double standards” in recommending disciplinary actions, i.e. top ranking officials received light discipline while lower ranking agents got far more severe punishments for similar wrongdoing. In 2001, some of the FBI’s internal affairs supervisors became whistleblowers and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the FBI’s disciplinary “double standards.” Although some remedies were eventually put into place, the IG also had to investigate some retaliatory fall-out.

In any event, McCabe’s calling his firing a “war on the FBI” doesn’t make sense considering it was the FBI’s own internal affairs office that recommended he be fired. (Note that DOJ IG Michael Horowitz was appointed by President Obama in 2012 and the FBI’s OPR is run by a career official originally appointed to that position in 2004 by then FBI Director Robert Mueller.)

Perhaps it would be more apt if McCabe had called it a war inside the FBI (and in Washington as a whole). Could the obvious chaos – some would say “bloodbath” – at all levels of government also be part of the “blowback” from 16 years of waging “perpetual war” (and from attendant war crimes and the internal corruption by which all empires rot)? As author Viet Thanh Nguyen noted about the 2016 election: “That sickness is imperialism… America is an imperial country, and its decay might now be showing. Empires rot from the inside even as emperors blame the barbarians.” Remember how wars have a way of migrating home.

Don’t forget that McCabe’s mentor, James Comey, as Assistant Attorney General had signed off on the Bush-Cheney Administration’s torture tactics. Special Counsel Robert Mueller (said to be “joined at the hip” with Comey) dutifully looked the other way, as then FBI Director, when the CIA’s torture program was instituted, allowing the atrocities to continue. It should also be recalled that Mueller helped the Bush-Cheney Administration to lie us into the Iraq War.

In early January, 2017 CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, NSA Director Michael Rogers and National Director of Intelligence James Clapper briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump on their “Intelligence Community Assessment” by which their agencies’ “hand-picked analysts” accused Russia of meddling in the election and which also included former MI6 spy Chris Steele’s “salacious dossier” accusing Trump’s campaign of colluding with the Russians.

By prior plan, the three other intelligence directors left Comey alone in the room with Trump for Comey to confront the President-elect with the damning summary of Steele’s dossier (which Comey admitted was not verified) and, as icing on the cake, also warning Trump that these accusations would probably appear soon in the media.

Forgetful Democrat Party loyalists also should be reminded that John Brennan was termed the drone assassination and “kill list” czar (before being named CIA Director). As CIA Director, Brennan was hellbent on covering up and promoting CIA torture.

James Clapper, also not known for candor in having previously misled Congress about the NSA’s massive spying on Americans, has even been reported to be the source of the leak to CNN about the Obama intelligence directors’ January briefing that focused on the Steele dossier. It sure looks like there is plenty “lack of candor” to go around!  And plenty for these officials to continue covering up. But as Cicero observed hundreds of years ago, “the law falls silent in time of war.” At very least everyone should be wary of partisan media spin since all of these war crimes and other deceitful, illegal actions made possible by the wars are fully bipartisan.

The real problem that most of the mainstream media don’t want to even mention is how unprecedented it was to have both Presidential campaigns under serious criminal investigation in the weeks before the 2016 election! In all fairness, even if these now-fired FBI Directors were trying to do the right thing – which would not be in line with their rather sordid track records – it wouldn’t really be possible to walk that political mine field without a faux pas one way or the other. Seen in that light, it’s possible to even sympathize a little with any FBI Director when the public corruption at the highest levels in Washington DC has become so bad (and fully bipartisan), that it’s hard to know where to start.

Coleen Rowley is a retired FBI special agent, division legal counsel and law enforcement ethics instructor who testified in connection with the 9-11 Joint Intelligence Committee’s Inquiry, the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation and Department of Justice Inspector General’s investigation, exposing some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002.

March 18, 2018 Posted by | Corruption | , , , | Leave a comment

US Political Meddling is Very Real, Spans the Globe

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 13.03.2018

The United States has spent over a year now leveling accusations against the Russian Federation regarding alleged political meddling during the 2016 US elections. While accusations range from everything including “fake news” spread across the Internet to direct ties to the administration of US President Donald Trump used to assist him into power, no evidence has yet to surface to prove Russia has meddled at all in America’s internal political affairs.

And while Russia certainly possesses a large and growing presence across the international media, concerted attacks against this presence stems more from the fact that decades of uncontested control over global public opinion by the US and Europe is now shifting toward a multipolar balance of power in information space.

In stark contrast to the whispers of shadows cited by the US and Europe regarding Russia, to begin understanding the scope of US political meddling abroad, one needs only to visit the US State Department and corporate-funded National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) own website.

Industrial-Scale Meddling 

US meddling is so extensive that NED is broken into multiple subsidiaries (National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House) which in turn, are joined by parallel organizations such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, USAID, the UK’s DFID and many more.

The NED website is broken into several regions including:

Central and Eastern Europe;
Latin America and Caribbean and;
Middle East and Northern Africa.

Within each region, NED lists its extensive funding for organizations and fronts in over 100 different nations around the globe.

Within each nation, NED funds between a handful to several dozen organizations posing as legal firms, media platforms, environmental groups and human rights advocates. They collectively create the components of a political machine used to pressure incumbent governments to heed US interests, or overthrow them if they fail to.

Because the NED and recipients of its funding are increasingly exposed as a form of political subversion, NED has opted to list its funding in some nations in very general terms, never revealing the actual organizations or individuals receiving US money. Many organizations in targeted nations refuse to disclose their funding to the public. Many even possess the gall to solicit public donations despite receiving (and concealing) extensive funding from the US government.


Entire opposition parties have been created by NED. One example is that of the current government in Myanmar headed by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD). From the party’s senior leadership, down to its rank and file, many NLD members are the direct recipients of indoctrination and training provided by programs funded by the US NED.

Current Minister of Information Pe Myint, was trained in a US NED-funded program hosted by the Bangkok-based Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), which the FCCT would later deny despite evidence appearing on their own website confirming otherwise.

Elsewhere in Asia, the current anti-government opposition in Thailand consists of a small network of NED-funded organizations which dovetail into the US and European media organizations operating out of Bangkok. Small protests consisting of only 5-10 individuals are transformed into international headlines by NED’s army of media fronts including Prachatai, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, the Cross-Cultural Foundation and their partners in the US and European press as well as Western diplomats who all openly collaborate and coordinate daily across social media.

When agents of foreign interests are arrested, they are often accompanied by US, British, Canadian and European Union diplomatic staff to police stations.

In next door Cambodia, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is led by Kem Sokha who previously and repeatedly traveled to Washington to openly conspire against the government in Phnom Penh before being arrested by Cambodian authorities. Ironically, while the US punishes Russia for mere allegations of political interference, it demands Cambodia release opposition members caught openly discussing their plans with opposition media to overthrow their own nation with America’s assistance.

Hong Kong, since returning to China after an extended period of occupation by the British, is also home to a large network of US NED-funded opposition aimed at Beijing. A similar hypocrisy is demonstrated by Washington as it protests the exposure and disruption of these foreign-funded networks of subversion Washington itself would never tolerate upon its own shores.

The Middle East 

It is a fact, admitted by prominent US media platforms such as the New York Times, that the entire 2011 Arab Spring was a result of extensive preparations directed by the NED, its partners and subsidiaries.

After helping create the conflicts currently consuming the Middle East, NED now funds a variety of activities in nations like Syria to help prolong the conflicts. This is done by aiding and abetting militants fighting Damascus under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. It also includes assisting in the administration of territory seized by militants from Damascus’ control.

The nation of Iran, yet to be consumed by the violence sweeping across Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, is host to networks of both NED-funded and CIA-backed groups ranging from supposed activists, to militant groups aimed at the violent overthrow of the government in Tehran.

Eastern Europe 

It was in Eastern Europe that NED perfected what is now called the “color revolution.” It is now admitted that the US NED and other US agencies played a pivotal role in overthrowing the governments of Georgia, Ukraine and Serbia. It was in fact the US-backed overthrow of the Serbian government in 2000 that Cambodia’s Kem Sokha cited as a model to replicate in Southeast Asia with US assistance.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NED’s color revolutions swept through Eastern Europe like a plague, consuming national sovereignty and bending the former Soviet territories to new masters in Washington, London and Brussels.

More recently, as Russia has begun to reassert itself and court nations in both Eastern and Western Europe, NED has stepped in once again to oust leaders who refuse to reduce or eliminate economic, military and diplomatic ties with Russia at Washington’s behest. A prime example of this includes the 2013-2014 Euromaiden protests in Ukraine. During 2013-2014, US senators including John McCain would literally take to the protest stages in Kiev to offer direct political support for the unrest which was spearheaded by Neo-Nazi political circles.


Remarkably, as Washington accuses Russia of political meddling within the United States, the NED openly lists nearly 100 subversive activities or organizations they are funding inside of Russia itself. Beyond what is listed on NED’s website is support the US and Europe is providing unpopular opposition figures like Alexei Navalny, the now deceased Boris Nemtsov, Yevgeniya Chirikova (NED-funded Strategy 31), Lev Ponomarev (NED-funded Moscow Helsinki Group), Liliya Shibanova (NED-funded GOLOS) and many others who have been repeatedly caught conspiring with American diplomats and financiers backing their subversive activities.

Were evidence to surface that Russia did any of the above forms of meddling, including maintaining entire stables of opposition figures who regularly filter in and out of the Russian Embassy in a targeted nation, it would be categorically condemned by Washington. Yet Washington flagrantly engages in overt political subversion, not just in Russia, but in (at least) 100 other nations around the globe, including nations the US is currently, outright occupying militarily.

For empire, what it fears the most is competition. It seeks to be the sole hegemon with all else beneath it. The US does not oppose political meddling in a sovereign nation’s affairs, it opposes the obstruction of its own meddling worldwide and seeks to eliminate others offering better alternatives to coercive subjugation by Washington, thus why it has singled out nations like Russia, China and others who are increasingly successful in doing just that.

For those tempted to join the bandwagon in condemning nations like Russia and China of political meddling, first they must recognize and account for the industrial scale meddling the US and its European partners are engaged in.

For those who are taking NED money worldwide in the belief that they are somehow advancing a liberal progressive agenda, particularly democracy, they must ask themselves what about a foreign nation meddling in their nation’s political affairs is “democratic” or conducive to the principles of self-determination democracy is built upon? One cannot honestly conclude that NED money is meant to support a nation’s capacity to determine its own destiny when clearly Washington is spending these vast amounts of money in order to determine it for that nation.

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia leads flood of arms imports to Middle East: Study

Press TV – March 12, 2018

A study shows weapons imports to the Middle East and Asia have soared over the past five years, with Saudi Arabia leading the steep rise amid its bloody war on Yemen.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), arms imports to the Middle East between 2013 and 2017 jumped by 103 percent compared with the previous five-year period.

Saudi Arabia is now the world’s second largest importer of arms after India. The kingdom registered a 225-percent rise in military purchases – almost all from the US and Europe – during the period, the study released on Monday said.

American weapons constitute 61 percent of arms imports to Saudi Arabia and British weapons 23 percent. During the period, the Saudis received 78 combat aircraft, 72 combat helicopters, 328 tanks and 4,000 vehicles, the SIPRI noted.

The same period, it said, saw Israel increasing its arms exports by 55 percent.

“The US and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia,” it said.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia signed a preliminary deal to buy 48 Typhoon jets worth as much as $10 billion.

Saudi Arabia already operates more than 70 Typhoon jets. They have been used extensively in the Yemen war, and the deal is likely to spark outrage among rights groups and campaigners.

Arms remain the main component of UK-Saudi trade and the UK government has approved the export of $6.4 billion in weapons since the start of the war in Yemen, despite allegations that Saudi-led forces have committed war crimes.

The United Kingdom has increased its weapons sales by around 500 percent since March 2015, The Independent reported last November.

Last May, US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia in his first foreign visit, signing a $110-billion deal to sell weapons to the kingdom.

“Widespread violent conflict in the Middle East and concerns about human rights have led to political debate in Western Europe and North America about restricting arms sales,” said senior SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman.

“Yet the US and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia.”

More than 13,600 people have died since the Saudi-led invasion began, and Yemen has turned into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Establishment alarmed as Trump threatens to gut US ‘democracy promotion’ racket

RT | March 7, 2018

The foreign policy establishment in Washington is crying foul after the Trump administration proposed to cut funding for organizations responsible for “promoting democracy abroad,” often in the guise of color revolutions.

The 2019 State Department budget request cuts the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) budget and separates it from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). Funding for the institutes would be moved to the State Department, where NDI and IRI would have to compete with private contractors, according to the Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, who described the proposal as “an assault not only on their organizations but also on the pro-democracy mission they are dedicated to.”

“If implemented, the proposal would gut the program, force crippling layoffs and the symbolic meaning would also be shattering, sending a signal far and wide that the United States is turning its back on supporting brave people who share our values,” NED President Carl Gershman told Rogin.

“The work our government does to promote democratic values abroad is at the heart of who we are as a country,” Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), chairman of the IRI’s board of directors, told Rogin. The NDI board is chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

McCain actually wrote a letter protesting the proposal to the Office of Management and Budget in December. It was signed by four other senators, including McCain’s close ally Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

Trump’s people “just don’t believe it’s America’s business to push democracy abroad,” Rogin concluded.

His article quickly made the rounds of the Washington establishment circles, where it received praise from former CIA agent and failed presidential candidate Evan McMullin and New Republic columnist Jeet Heer. Nicholas Burns, who served as State Department spokesman under Albright, said the revelations will “make your blood boil.”

.@joshrogin: The Trump administration’s assault on democracy promotion can be expected to continue. Dictatorships are presenting their model as preferable for the developing world. Human rights abuses are rising. Basic freedoms are under attack.

— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) March 5, 2018

It was Burns’s tweet in particular that attracted derision from critics of US foreign policy, such as journalists Glenn Greenwald, Chris Floyd and Jon Schwarz, and former diplomat Peter Van Buren:

This is the kind of blatant, jingoistic historical revisionism that the Trump era has made fashionable again. The idea that the US had been devoted to “democracy promotion” before Trump – and that this was pioneered by tyrant-hugging Reagan – is simply laughable:

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 6, 2018

The confusing thing about Harvard, Yale, etc. is that the job of people working there in the hard sciences actually is to describe reality accurately, whereas the job of many humanities professors like Nicholas Burns is to lie about reality

— Jon Schwarz (@schwarz) March 6, 2018

As well as a number of rank-and-file Twitterati:

The NED was founded in 1983, under the Reagan administration. It is theoretically a non-governmental organization, though the bulk of its funding is provided by the US government and American taxpayers. The status has given NED and its institutes plausible deniability against accusations that the US has been meddling in the politics of other countries.

“A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” one of the endowment’s founders, Allen Weinstein, told the Washington Post in September 1991.

One example is the wave of “color revolutions,” starting from Serbia in 2000 to the “Arab Spring” revolts of 2011. Ukraine was subjected to this twice, in 2004 and in 2014. During the unrest in Kiev in November 2004, The Guardian’s Ian Traynor described the process, while heaping praise on the people behind it.

“The operation – engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience – is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people’s elections,” Traynor wrote. “The Democratic party’s National Democratic Institute, the Republican party’s International Republican Institute, the US state department and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros’s open society institute.”

Though campaigns funded by all these external actors are more astroturf than grassroots, there were few objections, as it was all in the name of democracy.

Traynor concluded his 2004 story by saying the “places to watch” were Moldova and Central Asia. Sure enough, the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan went through a “Pink revolution” in February 2005, while the “Grape revolution” took place in Moldova in April 2009.

The Washington establishment’s obsession with democracy may also be explained by the belief that any non-democratic government is automatically anti-Western, as Luis Fleischman of the neoconservative Center for Security Policy argued last month.

If the regime is pro-American, however, it doesn’t matter whether it’s actually democratic or not. On Tuesday, the director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Mark Dubowitz tweeted that “inclusive authoritarianism” might be a better fit for Middle Eastern countries, as long as they were “tolerant, respectful of individual liberties & minority rights & pro-American.”

Btw, I said a more “inclusive authoritarianism” *might* be better alternative. Tolerant, respectful of individual liberties & minority rights & pro-American. I suggested should be discussed. So spare me the invective & explain why worse than failed M/E democracies.

— Mark Dubowitz (@mdubowitz) March 7, 2018

Read more:

‘US is allowed to meddle’: Democracy promotion is ‘US policy’, TV panel concludes

March 8, 2018 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , | Leave a comment

AIPAC Returns to Washington

Who is interfering with American democracy?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 6, 2018

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is back in Washington for its annual summit. Or at least it used to be called a summit but now it is referred to as a policy conference, which is perhaps a bit of very welcome transparency as if there is one thing that AIPAC is good at it is using its $100 million budget and 300 employees to harass lawmakers on Capitol Hill and generate policy for the United States to adhere to. Eighteen thousand supporters have gathered at the city’s Convention Center to hear speeches by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Vice President Mike Pence, plus Senators Marco Rubio, Robert Menendez, Tom Cotton and Ben Cardin. My personal favorite is Maryland Congressman and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer who has visited Israel so many times he might as well move there and who can be relied on to deliver a loud sucking noise as he enthuses over the many wonders of the Jewish state. And for a little foreign flair there is the disheveled French “philosopher” Bernard-Henri Levy, who has described the brutal Israeli Army of occupation as the “most moral in the world.”

If you want to get some idea of the money and political power represented at AIPAC this year I would recommend going through the speakers’ list, a dazzling display of precisely why the United States is in bondage to Israel and its interests. The heavyweight speakers and other attendees will be joined by hundreds more Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, and senior government officials as well as a heavy dose of “experts” from the usual Jewish-dominated pro-Israel think tanks that have sprouted up like mushrooms along K Street, including luminaries like John Bolton, Victoria Nuland, Bill Kristol, Elliot Abrams and Eric Cantor. Those participants coming from the government will, of course, be ignoring their oaths of office in which they swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States against “all enemies domestic and foreign,” but it doesn’t matter as everyone performs proskynesis for Israel.

The slogan of this year’s gather is “Choose to Lead,” an interesting objective for an organization that has led successive presidents since Bill Clinton by their respective noses. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing indictment back home, will also be in town and will meet with President Donald Trump. He might just decide to stay awhile as one thing that Israel is particularly good at is trying, convicting and imprisoning its corrupt leaders.

There has been some informed speculation that Trump will unveil during their meeting a “two state solution” peace plan for Israel-Palestine, but as it will possibly require Israel to withdraw from much of the large chunks of the West Bank that it has “settled,” it will not be received favorably by Netanyahu. Israel is certainly vulnerable to possible pressure coming from the White House to impose a solution, but as Trump has proven unable or unwilling to punish an out-of-control Netanyahu in any way up until this point, it has to be considered unlikely that he will change course this time around.

AIPAC must be particularly pleased since Israel has had a sweet ride with the Trump Administration in place in Washington. The greatest gift to Netanyahu has been the Administration’s recognition of all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital together with a commitment to move the U.S. Embassy to that city. No other country currently has its embassy in an internationally disputed Jerusalem though Guatemala has followed Washington’s lead and has stated that it also intends to physically move its diplomatic facility.

The original State Department relocation plan was to phase the embassy move while a new building is being constructed, but the White House recently accelerated the process, reportedly under pressure from Jewish billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, and will open a temporary facility in May to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. Netanyahu has asked Trump to appear at the embassy opening ceremony and also to assist in the celebration of the founding.

Israel has also benefited from a Trump Middle East team that is all Jewish and committed to Israel. It is headed by his son-in-law Jared Kushner and includes former bankruptcy attorney Ambassador David Friedman, who has financially supported Israel’s illegal settlements, and Jason Greenblatt, the Trump Organization corporate lawyer, as Special Representative for International Negotiations. In addition, Kushner is reportedly personally advised by a group of Orthodox Jews that he knows from his Synagogue and through his business interests.

The outcome deriving from the all-Jewish team determining Middle Eastern policy combined with a benign White House is predictable, and it just as clearly does not include any benefits for the United States. Israel has been able to dramatically expand its settlements on stolen Palestinian land and is instigating several new wars in its region without any pushback coming from Washington. Quite the contrary as the United States has proven to be an enabler for new conflicts with Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Several Senators who have recently returned from Israel claim that an invasion of Lebanon is coming because of allegations that Hezbollah is constructing an Iranian-supplied factory to build sophisticated missiles, yet another phony narrative depicting Israel as the perpetual victim of its brutal and threatening neighbors when in reality the reverse is true. This animosity towards Iran and its allies is particularly dangerous as it could produce a new war that might spin dangerously out of control as third countries like Russia and China get involved to protect their own interests.

The reality is that it is a militarily dominant Israel that has been regularly bombing targets alleged to be Iranian or Hezbollah in Syria as well as Syrian military installations. It has threatened to bomb Lebanon back into the “stone age,” which leads one to ask what have those nations done to provoke the wrath of Zion? Close to nothing. An alleged Iranian drone reportedly launched from Syria wandered into the airspace over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights before being shot down. How many Israeli drones have flown over Lebanon and Syria? Hundreds if not thousands.

And when Israeli planes flew deep into Syria to bomb what was claimed to be the base that the drone flew from, one was shot down by a Syrian air defense missile. Israel then launched a major bombing campaign against Syrian military targets and was only dissuaded from doing far, far worse by Vladimir Putin, who warned Netanyahu against broadening the conflict. Note that it was Russia that made Bibi back down, not Washington. The United States was meanwhile busy in trying to justify its continued presence in Syria, also at the urging of Israel and AIPAC.

Every American president has to bow before Jewish power in the United State and you better believe that both AIPAC and the hundreds of other Jewish and Christian-Zionist organizations that exist at least in part to nurture and protect Israel know it. Even Barack Obama, who had an openly frosty relationship with Netanyahu knew the score and gave the Jewish state $38 billion. He opposed Israel’s expansion into the formerly Palestinian West Bank but never did one thing to stop it until the end of his final term in office when he had the U.S. abstain on a U.N. vote condemning the illegal settlements, a pointless gesture.

Demands that AIPAC, an echo chamber for Israeli interests, should be required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 have been ignored by various Attorneys General since the time of John F. Kennedy, who tried to get AIPAC’s predecessor organization the American Zionist Council to comply. He was killed soon after, though I am not necessarily trying to imply anything even though Jack Ruby does come to mind.

Here at home “The Lobby” has also been successful in 2017, with 23 states having now passed laws making it illegal to boycott Israel if one wishes to have dealings with the local or state government. Three months ago, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act was approved by the House of Representatives with 402 affirmative votes and only two libertarian-leaning congressmen voting “no.” The Israel Anti-Boycott Act that is also currently making its way through a Senate committee would set a new standard for deference to Israeli interests on the part of the national government. It would criminalize any U.S. citizen “engaged in interstate or foreign commerce” who supports a boycott of Israel or who even goes about “requesting the furnishing of information” regarding it, with penalties enforced through amendments of two existing laws, the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export-Import Act of 1945, that include potential fines of between $250,000 and $1 million and up to 20 years in prison. According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, the Senate bill was drafted with the assistance of AIPAC.

And there’s lots more to come in 2018. Lindsey Graham and Chris Coons were two of the senators who have just returned from the taxpayer funded “fact finding” trip to Israel and warned about a new war breaking out. And beyond that, what other “fact” did they find? Apparently that Israel needs more money from the U.S. taxpayer. Here is what was reported:

“… they considered the provision of $38 billion over 10 years, ‘a floor.’ Graham [also] said during a meeting with reporters that he thought provisions in the agreement phasing out an arrangement in which Israel could spend U.S. funds on its own defense industry and the provision of just $500 million in missile defense funding were ‘short-sighted.’ Coons said tensions in the broader region supported the idea of more funding for Israel, citing the ongoing war in Syria and Iran’s recent use of a stealth drone.”

So, we can look forward to Congress voting another half billion or so for Israel and the money can be spent on building up Israel’s own defense industry, which competes with that of the U.S. Currently most of the largess has to be spent on U.S.-made weapons, but clearly that will be changed to benefit Israel. You can always count on Congress pretending to do the right thing by the American people and it is good to know that the folks at AIPAC, gathered in their thousands this week and including both Senators Graham and Coons, are smiling.

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 6 Comments

NYPD Exposed: Hundreds of Officers Who Lied, Assaulted People Kept Jobs

Sputnik – 05.03.2018

Secret files leaked from the New York Police Department (NYPD) have revealed that more than 300 NYPD officers who lied, cheated, stole from or assaulted civilians from 2011 through 2015 were allowed to stay on the force.

BuzzFeed News published an expose Monday based on information garnered from filtering through hundreds of pages of secret international NYPD files that were leaked to the news organization by an anonymous source. The file content was fact-checked by making more than 100 phone calls, interviewing prosecutors, reviewing court records and even visiting officers’ homes.

At least 50 staffers allegedly lied on official reports or under oath and 38 were found guilty of using excessive force by an internal police tribunal. In addition, 57 staffers were found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and 71 were charged with ticket-fixing, a practice in which public officials dismiss or destroy traffic tickets to help family members or friends. One officer even threatened to kill someone, while another sexually harassed a fellow officer. At least 24 of the staffers were allegedly involved in harassing students or selling drugs in schools.

According to BuzzFeed, one officer in the Bronx was accused of atrociously beating a man with his police baton after the victim verbally insulted him in 2009. The man ended up with a deep wound that required 12 staples to close. The same officer was also accused of wrongly arresting another individual, assaulting a third and falsifying evidence against a fourth. In response to his actions, the officer was forced to forgo 45 vacation days. However, he remains on patrol, earning close to $120,000 a year.

In fact, all of the cops who faced disciplinary hearings for their actions were allowed to keep their jobs at their regular salaries, only being assigned “dismissal probations” by police commissioners, making them ineligible for promotion. However, that probation period usually lasted for only a year, according to the documents. Bill Bratton and Ray Kelly were named as the NYPD commissioners between 2011 and 2015.

According to BuzzFeed, the documents were kept out of the public record through the use of a state law to protect “personal records.”

New York is one of only three states, along with Delaware and California, that has such a law allowing police misconduct records to remain hidden from the public.

“The department is not interested in terminating officers that don’t need to be terminated. We’re interested in keeping employees and making our employees obey the rules and do the right thing,” Kevin Richardson, deputy commissioner of the department advocate’s office, told BuzzFeed News in a recent statement.

“But where there are failing that we realize this person should be separated from the department, this police commissioner and the prior police commissioner have shown a willingness to do that,” he added.

Richardson also added that since he joined the department in 2014, he has tried to improve the process by reassessing the penalties given to officers guilty of misconduct.

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Corruption | , | 5 Comments

More Korean War is “Worth it?” To Whom?

By Thomas L. Knapp | The Garrison Center | March 3, 2018

Speaking to CNN on the possibility of resuming hostilities in the nearly 70-year-old Korean War (in uneasy ceasefire since 1953), US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says “all the damage … would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security.”

Worth it, Senator Graham? To whom?

The last period of open war on the Korean peninsula cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 million lives, including nearly a million soldiers on both sides (36,516 of them American) and 2.5 million civilians in the North and South.

What did the American taxpayer get in return for three years of fighting, tens of thousands of Americans dead, and nearly $700 billion (in 2008 dollars)?

Well, that taxpayer’s government got to decide who’s in charge of part of the Korean peninsula, which, last time I checked, is not a US state or territory.

And that taxpayer’s government got the opportunity to spend hundreds of billions of dollars more of that taxpayer’s money to garrison the North-South border along the 38th Parallel for 65 years. That excludes the off-peninsula costs of the US “security umbrella” covering other Pacific Rim nations.

And that taxpayer’s government got a convenient bugaboo to scare the bejabbers out of that taxpayer with any time peace threatened to break out.

Stability? Well, sure, if what we’re talking about is guaranteeing that the welfare checks continue to reliably arrive in the American military industrial complex’s mailboxes. But apart from that, continued saber-rattling on either side of some of the most militarized acreage on Earth — the so-called “Demilitarized Zone” — is pretty much the definition of instability.

National security? Not so much, if for no other reason than that North Korea never has represented and does not now represent a credible military threat to the United States. If it ever does come to represent such a threat, it will be because the US continues, at the urging of demagogues like Lindsey Graham, to involve itself in the affairs of people thousands of miles away who do not welcome such involvement.

So far, the Korean War hasn’t delivered any benefit of note to the American people, especially in the areas of “stability” or “national security.”

America’s long misadventure on the Korean peninsula has only been worth it to US “defense” contractors and the politicians they own. Yes, Senator Graham, I’m looking at you.

The sooner the US government notifies the South Korean government that America is going home, the better.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (

March 4, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 3 Comments

Pentagon wants more money to develop its own hypersonic nukes, just like Russia’s

RT | March 3, 2018

The Pentagon may not be surprised by the new Russian hypersonic missiles – but why not use them as a pitch for more money? A military budget about 10 times that of Russia is not enough, according to the DARPA director.

Asked by a gathering of journalists on Thursday if the United States is spending enough on its own hypersonic missile program, Steven Walker, the director of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), replied, “I would say no.”

“The dollars that were allocated in this budget were great, but they were really focused on adding more flight tests and getting some of our offensive abilities further down the line into operational prototypes,” he said. “We do need an infusion of dollars in our infrastructure to do hypersonics.”

Separate statements made on the same day by Pentagon spokesman Dana White exuded a bit more confidence – and far less concern – about how well the US arsenal stacks up against Russia’s.

“We’ve been watching Russia for a long time. We’re not surprised,” White said, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation address, which highlighted Russia’s new nuclear arsenal – including hypersonic missiles that have a nearly unlimited range and are capable of outmaneuvering missile defense systems.

“America is moving forward to modernize our nuclear arsenal and make sure our capabilities aren’t being matched,” White insisted.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump, with help from the Republican-controlled Congress, has added more than $200 billion to the projected levels of defense spending for fiscal years 2017 through 2019 – a sum more than twice the size of Russia’s entire defense budget, which totalled an estimated at $69.2 billion in 2016. Washington’s projected military expenditures for fiscal year 2018 is set at $700 billion.

A fair part of that money apparently gets lost to wasteful spending and sloppy accounting. An internal audit leaked to the press in February found that a large Pentagon agency failed to properly keep track of more than $800 million in constructions projects. Plans for a full audit will set the department back another $367 million in 2018.

In 2016, it was reported that the Pentagon had intentionally buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste amid fears Congress would use the explosive findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget.

And while Pentagon officials beg for more money to counter Russian hypersonic technology, there seems to be plenty of cash – $1.4 trillion, to be exact – to pay for Lockheed Martin’s defect-riddled F-35.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , | Leave a comment