Category Archives: History

The Curious Case of Bill Browder, by Tom Luongo

Bill Browder has a story to tell about his Russian misadventures. It’s full of holes, but it serves Deep State purposes. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

“Deserve’s got nuthin’ to do with it.”
— William Munny, Unforgiven

A couple of weeks ago I told you the first U.S. Civil War was here.

What I didn’t tell you was the face of that Civil War is Bill Browder.

Browder was responsible for The Magnitsky Act. It handed our government insane sanctions powers on individuals and companies in the name of punishing rogue, evil regimes who torture innocents.

His story is the thing of spy novels.  It reeks of power politics, market collusion and psychopathology.

And if only half of it is true, he and his associates deserve a fate worse than anything dreamed up by Dante and his Inferno.

Putin tried him in absentia for $230 million in tax evasion. Browder talks about Putin’s global reach, but men like him are the real power brokers: shaping policy, moving markets and destroying lives the world over.

Their current target is President Trump.

Let’s connect some dots:

First, Facebook, to salvage its stock price, finds new “PROOF” of Russian election meddling, from the same troll farm Robert Mueller indicted in February.

Second, two days later, Lindsay Graham has a shiny new sanctions bill to get ‘tough on Putin to stop meddling.’

Graham‘s bill will:

1) Cut Russia off from selling sovereign debt,
2) Stop them from funding any energy project the world over
3) Force a two-thirds majority vote before the Trump can pull the U.S. out of NATO.

All to stop election meddling?????

That last part is “curious.” 

Trump hasn’t talked about leaving NATO. So, why is Lindsay got his panties in a bunch over this?

This bill blatantly interferes with the President’s job to pursue foreign policy.

It is unconstitutional and, ultimately, unenforceable.

Graham knows this.  He and McCain will ram it through committee anyway.

There’s a second bill ordering Trump to sanction all companies working on the Nordstream 2 pipeline.

Because Russia isn’t allowed to get rich and Europe isn’t allowed to be free of NATO’s control.

This is Congress over-stepping their bounds to implement a soft coup against the President.

This is espionage, if not treason.

To continue reading: The Curious Case of Bill Browder

 

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The Deep State’s Long Enmity Towards Iranians, by Jacob Hornsberger

After three-quarters of a century, the Deep State can still not either forget or forgive the Iranians their wretched ingratitude when the US and Britain got rid of the Iranians freely elected ruler with their own puppet, the Shah. From Jacob Hornsberger at fff.com:

The U.S. deep state’s hatred of the Iranian people goes back a long way, at least as far back as 1953. That was the year that the CIA, which was called into existence in 1947 when the U.S. government was being converted to a national-security state, targeted Iran with its first regime-change operation. And guess who paid the price for that operation. Yes, the people of Iran.

The Iranian Parliament had elected a man named Mohammad Mossadegh to be their prime minister. Mosaddegh would later be named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” As many government officials around the world have done, Mosaddegh nationalized the country’s oil industry, arguing that natural resources belonged to the nation.

The oil companies that bore the brunt of the nationalization were British-owned. Not surprisingly, they, along with British public officials, were livid over having the oil wells nationalized. British officials turned to the CIA for help.

The CIA asked President Truman for permission to initiate a coup to help the British oil companies, which the CIA knew would destroy the Iranian people’s experiment with democracy. To his everlasting credit, Truman said no. That didn’t stop the CIA however. As soon as President Eisenhower became president in 1952, the CIA renewed its request for a coup, arguing that Mossadegh was a “communist.”

Why did that make a difference? Because by this time, the U.S. deep state had launched its Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, which was run by a communist regime. Americans were inculcated with the fear that the communists were coming to get us, take over the federal government, and turn America Red. Thus, anyone labeled a “communist” automatically became a threat to U.S. “national security.”

Ike gave the go-ahead to the Iranian coup. In a brilliantly cunning plan, the CIA successfully toppled Mosaddegh but, surprisingly, left him alive. The CIA then vested the unelected Shah of Iran with total dictatorial power over the Iranian people. The Shah restored oil rights to the British petroleum countries.

To continue reading: The Deep State’s Long Enmity Towards Iranians

The Enemy of the People, by Justin Raimondo

Sometimes Trump’s tweets hit the nail right on the head. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Last night before I put down The Star Beast and fell into dreamland I wondered to myself: “What will I write about tomorrow?” There didn’t seem to be anything especially pressing or interesting: and then I thought, “Oh, don’t worry, he’ll tweet something that’ll have them frothing at the mouth before dawn breaks.”

And, lo and behold, I was right! It was 4:30 in the morning, with most of the country asleep, but there was Trump tweeting truth to power:

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

Oh my goodness, how the Fake News crowd hated that one! From left to right, from Chuck Todd to Chris Wallace, how they howled and screamed in pain! Because the truth hurts. Where was Chuck Todd during the run up to the Kosovo war – in a Trappist monastery? He can’t be unaware of the catalytic role played by CNN in ginning up that conflict.

Yet that’s nothing compared to the chutzpah of Chris Wallace, who demanded to know “What wars have we started?” The truth is that it’s hard to list any recent wars Fox News hasn’t had a huge hand in starting, beginning with Kosovo and going on down the line – from Gulf War I to the invasion of Iraq to Libya, Syria, and all the way to the present day, where fresh calls for new conflicts are too commonplace to even be noted.

My favorite response to Trump’s tweet, however, came from Bill Kristol, who tweeted a quote from Thomas Jefferson lauding the freedom of the press – and is anyone surprised that the leading advocate of militarism in the US is hailing the First Amendment because it protects the media’s “right” to lie us into war.

Trump is correct about the dangers posed by our media – not any and all media, per se – which has nearly always been in the War Party’s pocket. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out, war serves their purposes both ideologically and in terms of the bottom line.

To continue reading: The Enemy of the People

There Will Be No American-Russian Alliance Against China, by James George Jatras

Russia and China are more natural allies with each other than either one would be with the US. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

Since 1991 and the formal end of the first Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the world has experienced an American “unipolar moment” as the bipartisan US policy establishment sought to consolidate and perpetuate its hegemonic control over the entire plant. Doomed to fail even before it received its fullest articulation in 1996 by neoconservative ideologists William Kristol and Robert Kagan (misleadingly billed as “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy”), that misbegotten moment thankfully is coming to an end.

The main question today is whether the grinding to a halt of a quest so foolish and destructive can peacefully devolve into a tripolar entente among the US, Russia, and China – or whether the entrenched Washington establishment will, Sampson-like, crash everything down in a desperate but futile attempt to hang on to its power and privileges. We appear to be approaching the cusp at which that question will be resolved one way or the other. What the Trump Administration does next with respect to Iran will be a key, perhaps decisive, indicator.

However, of late there has emerged an alternative concept that may be seen as a middle way between America’s stubbornly hanging onto our diminishing hegemony versus working out a new Concert of Powers with the two countries the Trump Administration has dubbed rivals in a new “great power competition.” This concept suggests that the United States should play odd-man-out, teaming up with one of the other two powers against the third. Such a triangulation conceivably could perpetuate and enhance America’s global dominance (it is assumed the other nation would be the junior partner) while limiting the influence of the designated adversary.

To continue reading: There Will Be No American-Russian Alliance Against China

How Inflation Destroys Civilization, by Nick Giambruno

Nick Giambruno connects the dots between inflation and the desire for socialism. From Giambruno at internationalman.com:

Yesterday I told you about the unstoppable trend towards more socialism in the US.

I think inflation is the primary factor driving this trend. Americans feel squeezed because the cost of rent, medical insurance, and tuition, as well as other basic living expenses, is rising much faster than their wages.

This creates very real problems for ordinary people. In response, more and more turn to Santa Claus politicians that promise supposed freebies, like a $15 minimum wage or universal basic income.

Why the Cost of Living Has Exploded

This is all a predictable consequence of the US abandoning sound money.

By every measure—including stagnating wages and rising costs—things have been going downhill for the American middle class since the early 1970s.

August 15, 1971, to be exact. This is the date President Nixon killed the last remnants of the gold standard.

Since then, the dollar has been a pure fiat currency. This allows the Fed to print as many dollars as it pleases. And—without the discipline imposed by some form of a gold standard—it does precisely that. The US money supply has exploded 2,106% higher since 1971.

The rejection of sound money is the primary reason inflation has eaten up wage growth since the early 1970s—and the primary reason the cost of living has exploded.

The next chart illustrates this dynamic. It measures US hourly wages priced in gold grams (the number of gold grams the average person’s hourly income could buy).

Measured in gold, wages in the US have fallen over 84% since 1971. That’s an astounding drop.

The next chart measures the federal minimum wage in terms of gold grams. Priced in gold, the minimum wage has fallen 87% since 1968.

Note that the federal minimum wage was $1.60 in 1968. It’s $7.25 today, or 353% higher in dollar terms.

But that $7.25 buys 87% less than $1.60 did back in 1968. That’s the story you won’t hear from the mainstream press.

This is why millennials and millions of others are gravitating toward socialism.

To continue reading: How Inflation Destroys Civilization

Pakistan’s ‘Jack Kennedy’, by Eric Margolis

Pakistan is an important country—if for no other reason than it’s a nuclear power—in an important part of the world, but it receives little attention in the US. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

The words ‘hope’ and ‘Pakistan’ do not often appear together.  Pakistan, a sprawling nation of 205 million, is hard to govern, even harder to finance, and seething with tribal or religious violence and discord.

But Pakistan, which for me is one of the most interesting and important nations on earth, is by far the leading nation of the Muslim world and a redoubtable military power.  Created in 1947 from former British India as a haven for oppressed Muslims, Pakistan has been ruled ever since by military juntas or by slippery and often corrupt civilian politicians.

After decades of dynastic politics under the Bhutto and Sharif families, there is suddenly hope that newly elected cricket star Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) may – just may – tackle Pakistan’s four biggest problems: endemic corruption, military interference, political tribalism, and a half-dead economy.

Former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, appears to be headed for jail over a corruption scandal unless he is allowed to go into exile in London. The exiled former military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, is hiding out in Dubai awaiting charges of treason.

I spent a good deal of time with Pakistan’s former leaders, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq and his bitter foe, Benazir Bhutto, both of whom were later murdered.  Neither Musharraf nor Nawaz measured up to these colorful personalities in political skills, vision, or personality.

Imran Khan is sometimes called ‘Pakistan’s Jack Kennedy’ for his movie-star good looks, charisma and zesty love life.  He no longer plays professional cricket though he is still idolized in Pakistan and, interestingly, bitter foe India.

Khan (who is of Pashtun tribal blood) is also a philanthropist and respected thinker.  He says he is determined to begin rooting corruption out of Pakistan and to revivify its ailing economy.  Pakistan’s GDP is only $1,641 per person compared to India’s $2,134.  The illiteracy rate is about 40%, notably among women who are the primary teachers of the young.

As Imran Khan is about to take office, Pakistan’s coffers are almost empty.  Islamabad has had to take 12 loans from the International Monetary Fund in the last 40 years, in part to pay for its oil imports.

To continue reading: Pakistan’s ‘Jack Kennedy’ 

VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the group that warned George W. Bush that the Iraq intelligence was cooked, is issuing a similar warning to Trump concerning the Iran intelligence. From VIPS at consortium news.com:

As drums beat again for war — this time on Iran—-the VIPS’ warning is again being disregarded as it was before the Iraq debacle and this time VIPS fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: 
Intelligence on Iran Fails the Smell Test

Mr. President:

As the George W. Bush administration revved up to attack Iraq 15 years ago, we could see no compelling reason for war.  We decided, though, to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the chance he had been sandbagged by Vice President Dick Cheney and others.  We chose to allow for the possibility that he actually believed the “intelligence” that Colin Powell presented to the UN as providing “irrefutable and undeniable” proof of WMD in Iraq and a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

To us in VIPS it was clear, however, that the “intelligence” Powell adduced was bogus.  Thus, that same afternoon (Feb. 5, 2003) we prepared and sent to President Bush a Memorandum like this one, urging him to seek counsel beyond the “circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

We take no satisfaction at having been correct — though disregarded — in predicting the political and humanitarian disaster in Iraq. Most Americans have been told the intelligence was “mistaken.” It was not; it was out-and-out fraud, in which, sadly, some of our former colleagues took part.

Five years after Powell’s speech, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee minced few words in announcing the main bipartisan finding of a five-year investigation. He said:  “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.  As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

Iran Now in Gunsight

As drums beat again for a military attack — this time on Iran, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and other experienced, objective analysts are, by all appearances, being disregarded again.  And, this time, we fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC — in comparison with the catastrophe of Iraq.

To continue reading: VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC