Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are. Its passing into law – signed by President Trump this week – of sanctions to halt the Nord Stream-2 and Turk Stream gas supply projects is a naked imperialist move to bludgeon the European energy market for its own economic advantage.
The Guardian headline reads: “DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser.”
If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was.
Like the much-ballyhooed report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Horowitz report is a Rorschach test, in which partisans will find what they want to find.
Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz’s conclusion that there was no evidence of “political bias or improper motivation” in the FBI’s probe of Donald Trump’s Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had “authorized purpose” to conduct.
Horowitz uses phrases like “serious performance failures,” describing his 416-page catalogue of errors and manipulations as incompetence rather than corruption. This throws water on the notion that the Trump investigation was a vast frame-up.
However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose “serious” procedural problems and omissions of “significant information” in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).
Officials on the “Crossfire Hurricane” Trump-Russia investigators went to extraordinary, almost comical lengths to seek surveillance authority of figures like Trump aide Carter Page. In one episode, an FBI attorney inserted the words “not a source” in an email he’d received from another government agency. This disguised the fact that Page had been an informant for that agency, and had dutifully told the government in real time about being approached by Russian intelligence. The attorney then passed on the email to an FBI supervisory special agent, who signed a FISA warrant application on Page that held those Russian contacts against Page, without disclosing his informant
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What is much more common is a transition from existing, prevailing socioeconomic, political and military orders to new ones driven by new, emerging special interests. It can happen quickly and violently, or take place as a long-term process with ups and downs and both constructive and destructive processes intertwining.
For the United States, a massive nation with the third largest population on the planet, the largest military and still currently the largest economy, for it to suffer such full-spectrum defeat is impossible.
What is not impossible is for the small handful of special interests currently directing US policy foreign and domestic, to find itself displaced by a new order consisting of entirely different kinds of special interests and, hopefully, special interests that better reflect the best interests of the United States as a whole and function more sustainably among the nations of the world rather than hovering above them.
It is a process that is already ongoing.
America's Prevailing Order is Fading
The current special interests driving US foreign and domestic policy are centered around Wall Street and Washington and represent an increasingly unrealistic, unsustainable, archaic network based on traditional banking, energy and manufacturing monopolies.
Many of the tools used by these special interests to maintain and expand their power and influence including mass media, extensive lobbying, networks dedicated to political subversion abroad and political distractions at home find themselves increasingly ineffective as both the American people and nations around the globe become increasingly familiar with them and as they begin developing effective countermeasures.
While US special interests dedicate a seemingly immense amount of time countering "Russian" or "Chinese" "propaganda," it is primarily alternative media from the United States and its partner nations that have done the most to expose and diminish the unwarranted influence wielded from Wall Street and Washington. Wikileaks is a prime example of this.
As America's elite and their networks weaken, alternatives continue to grow stronger.
An unsustainable socioeconomic and political model, coupled with equally unsustainable military campaigns abroad along with a political and media strategy that is no longer even remotely convincing even to casual observers demarks what is an irreversible decline of America's current, prevailing order.
America's Elite Face Challenges from Within as Well as From Abroad
The topic of Chinese corporations out-competing long-established US monopolies has become an increasingly common topic across global media. It is indeed this process that has precipitated the seemingly pointless and futile US-led trade war against China, a futile exercise that seems to only highlight the decline of America's established elite rather than address it.
Corporations like Huawei, despite facing serious setbacks owed to US sanctions and efforts to undermine them, still move forward, while their US competitors continue to struggle. This is because despite setbacks, Huawei is built upon a solid foundation of business and economic fundamentals, while its American counterparts, despite their initial advantages owed to a lack of competition, have neglected and continue to neglect such fundamentals.
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A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here.
“Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter.
“I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct,” Haddad said. “I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action.”
Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.
“I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience,” Haddad said. “I will have some instability now but the truth is more important.”
This is the first direct insider report we’re getting on the mass media’s conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day. In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don’t have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he’s just the only one going public about it.
Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets, and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard. The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative, but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie’s piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat. Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication.
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It is supremely ironic that Pentagon officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution because they intentionally destroyed the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution when they set up their “judicial” system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In fact, the very reason the Pentagon established its system in Cuba, rather than the United States, was to circumvent and avoid the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Prior to the 9/11 attacks, whenever someone was charged with terrorism or any other criminal offense, U.S. officials would secure a grand-jury indictment and then prosecute him in a U.S. District Court. The accused in the federal court system is guaranteed certain procedural protections, many of which were carved out during centuries of resistance by British citizens to the tyranny of their own government. Our American ancestors demanded that many of those procedural protections be expressly enshrined in the Bill of Rights so that everyone would know that federal officials would have to abide by them whenever they charged people with federal crimes.
Examples of procedural guarantees include no cruel and unusual punishments, the right to confront adverse witnesses, the right to counsel, the right to due process of law, the right of trial by jury, the right to be presumed innocent, the right to remain silent, the right of speedy trial, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to be free of coerced confessions, and the right to counsel.
After 9/11, the Pentagon established its own “judicial” system at Gitmo to try terrorism cases, as an alternative to the federal judicial system in the United States. Yet, one searches in vain for any authority in the Constitution for the Pentagon to do that. When one reads the Constitution, the intent of the Framers is clear: one judicial system — the federal system — for trying all cases involving the commission of federal offenses.
Contrary to what some people maintain, terrorism is not an act of war. It is a federal criminal offense. That’s why it’s listed in the U.S. Code, which enumerates federal criminal offenses. It’s also why terrorism cases have long been tried in federal district court. It’s also why the Pentagon is prosecuting terrorism defendants in its “judicial” system in Cuba.
The establishment of the Pentagon’s system now enables federal officials the option of sending people who are accused of terrorism into two different systems — one run by the federal courts and the other run by the Pentagon. Thus, if two different people are charged with participating in the same terrorism offense, one can be sent into the federal court system and the other can be sent into the Pentagon’s system.
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A nation that's no longer capable of naming names and reporting what actually happened richly deserves an economic and political collapse to match its moral collapse.
You've probably heard of the Truth Commissions held in disastrously corrupt and oppressive regimes after the sociopath/kleptocrat Oligarchs are deposed. The goal is not revenge, as well-deserved as that might be; the goal is national reconciliation via the only possible path to healing: name names and tell the plain, unadorned truth, stripped of self-serving artifice, spin, propaganda and PR.
Is such a stripped-of-spin truthful account of names and events even possible in the U.S.? Sadly, there is precious little evidence that a Truth Commission in the U.S. would be anything more than a travesty of a mockery of a sham, a parade of half-truths, misdirections, falsehoods and fabrications, all aimed at one goal: protecting the powerful from the consequences of their decisions and actions.
Sadly, we've lost the capacity to simply tell the truth: everything, and I mean everything, is crafted to protect the guilty, polish the putrid decay of legalized looting, defraud the unwary, ease the most venal, power-mad sociopaths into positions of unparalleled power, sell low-quality goods and services nobody needs or would even want if the marketing weren't so Orwellian, persuade debt-serfs to borrow more and bamboozle voters into further enriching the few at the expense of the many.
The truth is no match for greed is good and don't be evil, unless it's incredibly profitable, in which case, go for it but cover your tracks (here's looking at you, Big Tech). Outrage is reserved for whistleblowers who name names and reveal the sordid truths that the status quo has expended the nation's treasure to protect from the light of day.
This is the pathetic state of America: our outrage is reserved for those telling the truth, not for the legions who lie, cheat, steal and prevaricate to conceal the truth at all costs.
Are You Tired Of The Lies And Non-Stop Propaganda?
The so-called gatekeepers are all corrupt and self-serving, minions of the Intelligence Community, corporate overlords, billionaires or the interest groups that fund their studies, departments, think tanks and "research" (the conclusions are established first and the "research" follows accordingly).
Who has earned our trust by refusing to toe the line of an approved narrative? Who's left who isn't blinded by hatred, bought off by billionaires or fearful of retribution from America's disastrously corrupt and oppressive regime, rightfully fearing being fired, demoted, marginalized, demonetized, disappeared from public view via being de-platformed or permanently disappeared via "accident" or "suicide"?
We've been so jaded by all the lies, all the legal looting, all the rigged statistics, and yes, all the convenient "accidents" that we no longer trust anyone to simply report the names and events. We now assume that everyone has an ax to grind and is likely being handsomely rewarded to sharpen the ax without appearing to do so too blatantly.
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Now that Mike Bloomberg has made his vanity presidential campaign official, it is worth reviewing his foreign policy record to understand why he is such a terrible candidate. Mehdi Hasan reminds us that Bloomberg was a conventional hawkish Republican until not that long ago, and his foreign policy views haven’t noticeably improved since he left the GOP:
Bloomberg, though, has been an abject failure on each of these issues. Take the war in Iraq. The then-Republican mayor of New York not only backed the illegal invasion and occupation in March 2003, but he also supported perhaps the most egregiously dishonest and bizarre justification for the war: that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. This, of course, was a brazen lie told by the likes of Dick Cheney and Fox News. But it was also publicly endorsed by Bloomberg.
I mentioned Bloomberg’s disgraceful propagandizing on behalf of Bush and the Iraq war in an earlier post, and this was just the most memorable part of his poor record. It isn’t surprising that someone who presents himself as a “centrist” should hold such hawkish views, since that hawkishness is usually an integral part of “centrist” posturing. Just as Bloomberg has no interest in challenging concentrated wealth and power in domestic affairs, he has no desire to challenge the status quo in foreign affairs, either. His foreign policy is to Washington’s militarism what his domestic views are to plutocracy. Bloomberg manages to have a lot of the same foreign policy baggage that Hillary Clinton had while still having no foreign policy experience. There are many reasons why Bloomberg is an awful fit with the Democratic Party, but on foreign policy he is particularly out of step and out of touch with where Democratic voters want to go. As we can see from recent surveys of public opinion, he is also out of step with a majority of all Americans.
Democratic voters are increasingly sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians and there is much more pressure for candidates to be willing to criticize and penalize Israel when it commits crimes against them. Bloomberg has nothing to offer such voters. Hasan comments:
You might argue that Bloomberg was only parroting the standard liberal defense of Israel but, no, he went much further than that. During the 2014 bombardment of Gaza, in which more more than 500 Palestinian kids were killed, Bloomberg told CBS News that Israel “cannot have a proportional response” when fighting Hamas.
The absurdly anti-Iranian line from Bloomberg’s editorial page also reflects the former mayor’s own views. Back in 2015 when the JCPOA was still being debated, Bloomberg wrote an opinion piece in his own name decrying the Obama administration’s alleged “demonization” of critics of the deal. His complaints about the deal might have come from any other Iran hawk:
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