Tag Archives: New York Times

How the Deep State ‘Justifies’ Itself in America, by Eric Zuesse

The Deep State is just a group of dedicated public servants. It’s primary cocnern is always the safety and welfare of the American people. From Eric Zuesse at strategic-culture.org:

On October 30th, there was a panel discussion broadcast live on C-Span from the National Press Club and the Michael V. Hayden Center. The discussants were John Brennan, Michael McCabe, John McGlaughlin, and Michael Morrell. They all agreed with the statement by McLaughlin (former Deputy CIA Director) “Thank God for the ‘Deep State’”, and the large audience there also applauded it — nobody booed it. John Brennan amplified upon the thought, and there was yet more applause. However, that thought hadn’t been invented by McLaughlin; it instead had evolved recently in the pages of the New York Times. Perhaps the discussants had read it there. Instead of America’s ‘news’-media uncritically trumpeting what government officials assert to be facts (as they traditionally do), we now have former spooks uncritically trumpeting what a mainstream ‘news’-medium has recently concocted to be the case — about themselves. They’ve come out of the closet, about being the Deep State. However, even in that, they are lying, because they aren’t it; they are only agents for it.

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Latest Russian spy story looks like another elaborate media deception, by Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi punctures yet another mainstream media fabrication. From Taibbi at substack.com:

The tale of Oleg Smolenkov is just the latest load of high-level BS dumped on us by intelligence agencies

When I was 20, I studied at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute, in the waning days of the Soviet empire. Most of the Russians I met were amusingly free of stress caused by following news. Why would they bother? Bull-factories like Rossiskaya Gazeta and Leningradsaya Pravda were basically collections of dreary government news releases rewritten to sound like news reports.

I saw newspapers in Leningrad shredded into slivers of toilet paper, used in place of curtains in dorm rooms, even stuffed into overcoat linings as insulation. But I can’t recall a Russian person actually reading a Soviet newspaper for the content. That’s how useless its “news” was.

We’re headed to a similar place. The cable networks, along with the New York Times and Washington Post increasingly act like house organs of the government, and in particular the intelligence agencies.

An episode this week involving a tale of a would-be American spy “exfiltrated” from Russia solidifies this impression. Seldom has a news story been more transparently fraudulent.

The story was broken by CNN Monday, September 9th, under the headline, “Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017”:

In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.

CNN’s lede relayed multiple key pieces of information, not one of which was really emphasized in the main of its unconfirmable story:

  • America not only had a spy inside Russia’s government, it had multiple spies, with the subject of this particular piece being merely one of America’s “highest level” sources
  • The “extraction” was completed “successfully”
  • The sources are “multiple Trump administration officials”

The story told us our spy agencies successfully penetrated Russian government at the highest levels (although apparently not well enough to foresee or forestall the election interference campaign the same agencies spent the last three years howling about).

We were also told the agencies saved an invaluable human source back in 2017, and that the story came from inside the Trump administration. But the big sell came in the second and third paragraphs (emphasis mine):

The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.

The disclosure to the Russians by the President, though not about the Russian spyspecifically, prompted intelligence officials to renew earlier discussions about the potential risk of exposure…

So great was this spy of ours, we were told, that he had “access to Putin” and “could even provide images of documents on the Russian leader’s desk.” This was “according to CNN’s sources,” an interesting attribution given passages like this:

The source was considered the highest-level source for the US inside the Kremlin, high up in the national security infrastructure, according to the source familiar with the matter and a former senior intelligence official.

It’s a characteristic of third world countries to have the intelligence world and the media be intertwined enough that it’s not always clear whether the reporters and the reported-about are the same people. When you turn on the TV in Banana Republics, you’re never sure which group is talking to you.

We’re now in that same paradigm in America. CNN has hired nearly a dozen former intelligence or counterintelligence officials as analysts in the last few years. Their big get was former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, but they also now have former deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe, former FBI counsel James Baker, and multiple former CIA, NSA, and NSC officials.

Meanwhile, former CIA director John Brennan has an MSNBC/NBC gig, as does former CIA and DOD chief of staff Jeremy Bash, and several other ex-spooks. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who doubles as the CEO of one of America’s largest intelligence contractors.

This odious situation is similar to 2003-2004, when cable networks were tossing contributor deals to every ex-general and ex-spook they could find while they were reporting on the Iraq invasion. At one point, FAIR.org found that 52 percent of the sources in network newscasts were current or former government officials.

The numbers now aren’t quite that skewed, but CNN and MSNBC both employ former senior intelligence officials who comment upon stories in which they had direct involvement, especially the Russia investigation.

The CNN piece about the exfiltrated spy quotes a “former senior intelligence official,” a ubiquitous character that has become modern America’s version of the Guy Fawkes mask. I asked the network what their position was on whether or not they felt obligated to make a disclosure when (or if) a source was one of their own employees. They haven’t responded.

Within hours after the CNN report broke, the New York Times had a triple-bylined piece out entitled, “C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades.” Written by three of their top national security writers, Adam Goldman, Julian Barnes and David Sanger, the story repeated the CNN information, but with a crucial difference:

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns…

CNN reported (and continues to report) that the “decision” to remove the spy came “soon after a May 2017 meeting.” The Times, based on interviews with its own batch of “current and former officials,” insisted the “arduous decision” came in “late 2016.” The Times noted the source “at first refused” to be extracted, explaining the delay in his removal.

How to understand all of this? A Washington Post story by Shane Harris and Ellen Nakashima released at 6:06 the next morning, “U.S. got key asset out of Russia following election hacking,” came up with the final formula. To see the complex, absurd rhetorical construction in full, one unfortunately has to quote at length:

In 2017, the United States extracted from Russia an important CIA source…

The exfiltration took place sometime after an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, when President Trump revealed highly classified counterterrorism information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador…

That disclosure alarmed U.S. national security officials, but it was not the reasonfor the decision to remove the CIA asset, who had provided information to the United States for more than a decade, according to the current and former officials.

The old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials used the tagline, “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter.” This Post story is, “You got your 2016 decision in my 2017 exfiltration!”

The paper brazenly fuses two unconnected narratives, telling us that a spy who had provided valuable information in 2016 was extracted in early 2017, after the Trump-Lavrov meeting. While that sequence may be chronologically correct, the story’s own authors say the Trump-Lavrov meeting was “not the reason” for the exfiltration. So why mention it? Moreover, who was this person, and what was the real reason his removal from Russia was necessary?

On Tuesday, September 10th, the Russian newspaper Kommersant* disclosed the name of the spy. They identified him as a mid-level Foreign Ministry official named Oleg Smolenkov.

Was Smolenkov a “very valuable agent”? Maybe, but Kommersant – amusingly, playing the same role as transparent mouthpiece for security organs – said no. They quoted a Russian foreign ministry official saying, “Let the CIA prove this.” As to Trump disclosing secrets to Lavrov in that meeting, the official told the Russian paper, “CNN never before thought up such nonsense,” adding that it was “pure paranoia.”

Kommersant further related that Russians instituted a murder case over the disappearance of Smolenkov and his family in 2017.

Disappear, however, Smolenkov did not. He went from Russia to Montenegro in 2017, then ended up in Virginia, where he and his family bought a house in Stafford, Virginia in January of 2019, in his own name! This is the same person about whom the Times this past Monday wrote:

The person’s life remains in danger, current and former officials said, pointing to Moscow’s attempts last year to assassinate Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian intelligence official who moved to Britain as part of a high-profile spy exchange in 2010…

Smolenkov was so afraid for his safety, he put his family in a house the FSB could see by clicking on Realtor.com! That’s “tradecraft” for you.

To recap: U.S. officials decided to exfiltrate a spy capable of transmitting pictures from Vladimir Putin’s desk (why are we telling audiences this, by the way?) because… why? Although all three of the initial major American news stories about this referenced Trump’s May 2017 meeting with Sergei Lavrov, the actual reason was buried in the text of all three pieces:

In the Times:

But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction.

The Post:

In January 2017, the Obama administration published a detailed assessment that unambiguously laid the blame on the Kremlin…

“It’s quite likely,” the official continued, “that the U.S. intelligence community would already be taking a hard look at extracting any U.S. assets who would have been subject to increased levels of scrutiny” after the assessment’s publication.

CNN:

A US official said before the secret operation there was media speculation about the existence of such a covert source, and such coverage or public speculation poses risks to the safety of anyone a foreign government suspects may be involved. This official did not identify any public reporting to that effect at the time of this decision and CNN could not find any related reference in media reports.

That last passage by CNN, in which the network claimed it could not find “any related reference” to a secret source in media reports, is laughable.

Unnamed “senior intelligence officials” spent much of the early months of the Trump administration bragging their faces off about their supposed penetration of the Kremlin. Many of their leaks were designed to throw shade on the new pompadour-in-chief, casting him as a Putin puppet. A January 5, 2017 piece in the Washington Post is a classic example:

Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.

We’re constantly told the intelligence agencies can’t reveal classified details out of fear of disclosing “sources and methods,” but this story revealed a very specific capability. If that “Russians celebrating Trump’s win” tale came from a person, it wouldn’t be long before the source’s head would be found in Park Sokolniki.

A more revealing Washington Post piece came in June, 2017. It was called “Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin’s Election Assault.” In that article, we’re told at length about how Brennan secured a “feat of espionage,” obtaining sourcing “deep within the Russian government” that provided him, Brennan, with insights into Russian’s electoral interference campaign.

Brennan, the Post said, considered the source’s intel so valuable that he reportedly hand-delivered its “eyes only” bombshell contents directly to Barack Obama in summer of 2016. This was before the story was told to the whole world less than a year later.

In that Post article, it was revealed that the October 2016 assessment of Russia’s role in an electoral interference campaign initially was directly tied to Putin, but Putin’s name was removed because it might “endanger intelligence sources and methods.”

Taken in sum, all of these facts suggest it wasn’t at all Donald Trump’s meeting with Sergei Lavrov that necessitated the “exfiltration.

(Side note: many of these spy stories are larded with Tom Clancy-style verbiage to make the reader feel sexier and more in the know. The CNN story, for instance, ludicrously told us that a covert source was also “known as an asset.” Derp – thanks!).

What is this all really about? We have an idea only because Brennan and Clapper aren’t the only ex-spooks pipelining info to friendlies in the media.

As noted by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and others, Attorney General William Barr earlier this year directed the Justice Department and former Connecticut Attorney General John Durham to investigate the intelligence agencies. In June, the New York Times wrote:

Mr. Barr has been interested in how the C.I.A. drew its conclusions about Russia’s election sabotage, particularly the judgment that Mr. Putin ordered that operatives help Mr. Trump by discrediting his opponent, Hillary Clinton, according to current and former American officials.

The Times quoted former CIA officials who expressed “anxiety” about this inquiry:

While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny.

We know, because it was bragged about at length in hagiographic portrayals in papers like the Washington Post, that John Brennan was the source of the conclusion that Putin directed the interference. We were even told that the determination of Putin’s involvement was too dangerous to publish in late 2016, because it would compromise Brennan’s magical Kremlin mole.

Now, suddenly, we’re treated to a series of stories that try to assert that the mole was removed either completely or in part because of Trump.

Maybe there’s an element of truth there. But it’s astonishing that none of the major news outlets bothered, even as an insincere gesture to convention, to address this story’s obvious counter-narrative.

If the mole was even that important, which I’m not convinced of – as McGovern told me this week, “They make stuff up all the time” – it seems more than possible we lost this “asset” because our intelligence chiefs felt it necessary to spend late 2016 and early 2017 spilling details about our capabilities in the news media.

This story wasn’t leaked to tell the public an important story about a lost source in the Kremlin, but more likely as damage control, to work the refs as investigators examine the origins of the election interference tale.

In 2017-2018, the likes of Brennan and Clapper were regularly feeding bombshell news stories to major papers and TV stations, usually as unnamed sources. The ostensible subject of these tales was usually Russian interference or collusion, but the subtext was a squalid power struggle between the enforcement bureaucracy and its loathed new executive, Trump.

After this “exfiltration story” broke, Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce, a colleague with whom I’ve sadly disagreed about this Russia business, wrote a poignant piece called “The Spies Are Acting as a Check on Our Elected Leaders. This Is Neither Healthy Nor Sustainable.”

In it, Charlie said something out loud that few have been willing to say out loud:

My guess is that the leak of this remarkable story came from somewhere in the bowels of the intelligence community…

The intelligence community is engaged in a cold war of information against the elected political leadership of the country, and a lot of us are finding ourselves on its side. This is neither healthy nor sustainable.

I personally don’t see myself as being on either side of this Cold War, but his point is true. He’s thinking about the country, but there’s the more immediate question of our business. A situation where the newspapers and airwaves are not for relaying facts but for firing sorties in an internecine power struggle really is unsustainable.

It won’t be long before audiences realize they’re not reading true news stories but what the Russians call versii, or “versions.” Whether it’s the pro-Trump wasteland of Fox or the Brennan-Clapper government-in-exile we see on MSNBC and CNN and in the Washington Post, the news has become two different nations, both intensely self-interested, neither honest. If this continues, it won’t be long before we’re filling overcoats and bird cages with things we used to read.


* Full disclosure: I wrote for Kommersant a few times in 2003-2004, in an unsuccessful effort to try to write humorously about American politics for Russians.

 

Who’s Afraid of William Barr? by Stephen Cohen

A lot of stalwart establishment-types are afraid of stalwart establishment-type Attorney General William Barr since he started investigating the origins of the Russiagate investigation. From Stephen Cohen at lewrockwell.com:

William Barr, a two-time attorney general who served at the CIA in the 1970s, would seem to be an ultimate Washington insider. According to his Wikipedia biography, he has—or he had—“a sterling reputation” both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I, too, have explored.

As Barr explained, “What we’re looking at is: What was the predicate for conducting a counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign.… How did the bogus narrative begin that Trump was essentially in cahoots with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election?” Still more, Barr, who is empowered to declassify highly sensitive documents, made clear that his primary focus was not the hapless FBI under James Comey but the CIA under John Brennan. Evidently this was too much for leading Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who assailed Barr for having “just destroyed…the scintilla of credibility that he had left.” Not known for a sense of irony, Schumer accused Barr of using “the words of conspiracy theorists,” as though Russiagate itself is not among the most malign and consequential conspiracy theories in American political history.

More indicative is the reaction of the generally liberal pro-Democratic New York Times and Washington Post, the country’s two most important political newspapers, to Barr’s investigation. Leaning heavily on the “expert” opinion of former intelligence officials and McCarthy-echoing members of Congress such as Adam Schiff, both papers went into outrage mode. The Times bemoaned Barr’s “drastic escalation of [Trump’s] yearslong assault on the intelligence community” while rejecting “the president’s unfounded claims that his campaign had been spied on,” even though some forms of FBI and CIA infiltration and surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign are now well documented. (See, for example, Lee Smith’s reporting.)

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Losing Income Tax Privacy Is a Real Danger, by Ron Paul

The IRS has engaged in all sorts of political abuse. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Last week the New York Times published some of President Trump’s 1980s and 1990s tax returns information. The information detailed President Trump’s financial difficulties during that time. While you would not know it from reading some media reports, this is old news. In fact, President Trump openly discussed his financial difficulties on his popular reality television show.

What should be of great concern is the possibility that the person who leaked the returns — who the paper says has legal access to President Trump’s tax records — is an IRS employee seeking to undermine the president. This would hardly be the first time an IRS employee has leaked confidential information because he disagreed with the taxpayer’s politics. In 2014 the agency had to pay the National Organization for Marriage 50,000 dollars after an IRS employee gave names of the group’s donors to the group’s opponents.

In 2014-2017, my Campaign for Liberty group was repeatedly threatened by the IRS because it refused to give the agency the names of and other information about its top supporters. Fortunately, the IRS rescinded the regulation forcing groups like Campaign for Liberty to violate supporters’ privacy or face legal penalties. However, campaign finance reform legislation that recently passed in the House of Representatives would require the IRS to resume collecting this information, and the New York attorney general is suing the IRS to force the agency to reinstate the regulation.

The right of groups like Campaign for Liberty to protect their supporters’ privacy was upheld by the Supreme Court in NAACP v. Alabama. As Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote, “Inviolability of privacy in group association may in many circumstances be indispensable to preservation of freedom of association, particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs.”

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New York Times Editorial On Vaccines: A Pseudoscience Mess! by Dr. Brownstein

Those concerned with vaccine safety are no longer relegated to the fringes—it’s something to be concerned about—but you’d never know it from the New York Times. From Dr. Brownstein at drbrownstein.com:

(Note: My wife vetoed my initial headline: Failing New York Times Op-Ed Full of Fake Vaccine News.  She claims that my sense of humor does not translate to all.)

The lead New York Times (NYT) editorial today is titled, “Know The Enemy.” According to the NYT, the “enemy” is anyone who questions the safety and efficacy of any vaccine.

I guess that makes me the enemy. I thought I was a board-certified physician trying to read and decipher the research on vaccines to help guide my patients on how to make their best health care decisions.

The NYT states, “Leading global health threats typically are caused by the plagues and perils of low-income countries — but vaccine hesitancy is as American as can be.” Both parts of that sentence are correct.

In the early 20th Century, infection was the number one killer of Americans and it killed a high percentage of our youth. However, by the 1950’s infection rates for nearly every childhood vaccine- preventable illness (as well as other infectious illnesses like scarlet fever) had drastically declined—BEFORE vaccines were developed and mandated. In fact, for the major vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles, mumps, diphtheria, and pertussis, the death rate declined well over 90% BEFORE vaccines were mandated. How did that occur? The death rate from infectious diseases declined not by vaccination, but by public health measures. This includes providing clean water to our houses and safely removing waste products.

Did vaccines lower the death rate for their respective illnesses? We don’t know since the rates were already declining dramatically before the mass vaccination program began. To imply that vaccines were responsible for this dramatic decline in pediatric infectious deaths in the 20th Century is nothing more than FAKE NEWS!

One of the best indicators of the health of a country is the infant mortality rate. Researchers correlated the number of vaccines given to infants and the mortality rate for ages five and under. Guess who gave the most vaccines and guess who had the highest infant mortality rate? If you guessed the US, you win.

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The New York Times Smears the President, by David Stockman

The New York Times continues to abase itself and it’s somewhat illustrious history. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:

The Donald has been on a red hot twitter rampage, and he’s completely justified. Actually, we didn’t think the Russian Collusion Hoax could get any stupider until we saw the New York Times’ Friday evening bushwhack.

The trio of authors, apparently self-tortured victims of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, actually had the gall to print a story in the once and former Gray Lady of journalistic rectitude which was nothing more than an ugly smear on the sitting President of the United States—one that would have done Joe McCarthy proud:

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

It doesn’t get lower than that. The only thing that they didn’t mention was presidential Treason, but it’s hard to say that “working in behalf of Russia against American interests” would constitute anything less.

So exactly what did the trio of wet behind the ears nincompoops at the New York Times—Adam Goldman, Michael Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos—dig up from the diarrhetic bowels of the FBI that warranted the above characterization?

Why, it is apparently the following, which is surely a red hot smoking gun. That is, one that condemns the FBI, not Trump; and shows that the NYT, which once courageously published the Pentagon Papers and had earned the above sobriquet for its journalistic stateliness, sense of responsibility and possession of high virtue, has degenerated into a War Party shill—not to say the journalistic equivalent of a comfort woman: Mr. Trump had caught the attention of FBI counterintelligence agents when…

…he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

Well, for crying out loud!

Any journalist worth his salt would know that Trump’s July 2016 shout-out to the Russians was a campaign joke. At best, it was merely an attempt to cleverly state in one more way the running GOP theme about Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails. How many times before that had Sean Hannity delivered his riff about Hillary’s alleged hammer-smashing of 13 devices and acid-washing with BleachBit of the missing emails?

More importantly, how in the world of constitutional government, free speech, and contested elections does Trump’s refusal to criticize a foreign leader that we we’re not at war with constitute something worthy of a counter-intelligence investigation by the FBI?

Indeed, in the case of the Ukraine resolution at the GOP convention, the issue was about making the GOP’s prior pro-Ukraine platform even more hawkish, which Trump thought was a bad idea on policy grounds.

Besides, the Democratic platform ended up more dovish than the GOP’s final wording. And, no, the FBI didn’t think to investigate the Dems for being squishy soft on support for the crypto-Nazi’s who took control of Ukraine during an illegal, US funded/supported coup on the street of Kiev in 2014.

What we are saying is that the trio pictured here—one of whom graduated from Harvard in 2015 and the other two not much older—don’t seem to even know that foreign policy is a debatable issue. Or that the American people actually voted into office a candidate who took the other side of Imperial Washington’s unwarranted demonization of Putin and made no bones about his desire for a rapprochement with Russia.

Actually, as to pursuing rapprochement, so did:

  • JFK, after the near catastrophe of the Cuban Missile Crisis;
  • Lyndon Johnson, after the Seven Days War during his meeting with Kosygin at Glassboro NJ;
  • Richard Nixon, with the ABM Treaty, detente and his visit with Brezhnev in Moscow;
  • Jimmy Carter, when he signed the SALT-II agreement;
  • Ronald Reagan, when he went to Moscow to virtually end the Cold War; and
  • Bill Clinton, when he sent a multi-billion IMF aid package to Yeltsin to help him get re-elected in 1996.

The fact is, all of the above presidential policy initiatives were heatedly debated in Washington during a period when the US and Soviet Union each had roughly 9,000 nuclear warheads pointed at the other. But that did not lead to FBI counter-intelligence investigations of politicians—to say nothing of sitting Presidents—who took the “wrong” side of these thoroughly democratic debates.

And that includes the outright “peace” candidacies of Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy in 1968 and George McGovern in 1972. Indeed, shortly thereafter it was the Church Committee in the US Senate that aggressively investigated the CIA and FBI, not the incipient Deep State which investigated the elected politicians of that era.

Stated differently, Senator Lloyd Bentsen would have to said to the trio pictured below, “I knew Neil Sheehan, David Halberstam and Seymour Hersh—and you are no Sheehan/Halberstam/Hersh!”

In that regard, your editor did not know the latter three personally back in the day. But those of us on the anti-war barricades during the Vietnam era read them assiduously; and we did not mistake their honest journalistic coverage of that calamitous foreign policy episode for Robert McNamara’s lie-filled talking points and genocidal “body counts”.

Indeed, back in those days mainstream journalists tended to be the nemesis of the Deep State (yes, it has existed ever since WWII), not its handmaid.

For instance, in the 1980s Congressman Ed Boland’s amendment stopped the effort of neocons in the Reagan Administration to undermine the duly elected “Sandinista” government of Nicaragua. But back then, the press went after the meddlers and interventionists in the national security bureaucracy, not Congressman Boland and the Congressional majority which voted to shackle the Deep State.

In fact, several of the Reagan meddlers went to prison—not to sinecures at CNN or NBC.

Moreover, the alleged “communist” threat in those days was on America’s doorstep in central America, not thousands of miles away on Russia’s doorstep, as in the case of the Ukraine and Crimea.

Have the three knuckleheads ever read a history book?

Do they not know, for instance, that there are virtually no Ukrainians in Crimea (the population is mainly Russian, Tartar etc.); that the latter was a integral province of Mother Russia for 171 years after it was purchased from the Ottomans by Catherine the Great in 1783; and that Crimea only was added as a territorial appendage to the Socialist Republic of the Ukraine in 1954 by the order of the Soviet Presidium as a door prize to the comrades in Kiev who had supported their favorite son, Nikita Khrushchev, in the bloody battle for Stalin’s succession?

Has it not occurred to them that when the scourge and historical anomaly of the Soviet Empire finally slithered off the pages of history that untangling the utterly artificial borders that had enslaved 350 million people might be a tad messy, and that the rump-state of Russia had a valid security interest in the manner in which it unfolded?

Likewise, did they perchance ever read the strident warnings of the father of Soviet containment and NATO, Professor George Kennan, about the foolishness of extending NATO to the very borders of Russia; and especially after Bush the Elder and his Secretary of State, James Baker, had promised Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for his acquiescence to unification of Germany that NATO would not be extended by “a single inch” to the east?

In fact, have they ever bothered to contemplate why NATO even exists any longer; or the anomaly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization sending troops to the Hindu Kush to make war upon the Taliban tribesman who had actually defeated the Soviet Empire—and 27 years after the Soviet Union was no more?

That is to say, in the whole ragged to-and-fro of post-Soviet eastern Europe and Washington’s arrogant claim to sole superpower status, is it really so hard to see that there are two sides to the debate; and that dissent from Washington’s hegemonic claim to say what can and can’t happen in Kiev, the Donbas and Crimea is actually the more rational course, and certainly not tantamount to treason?

Or consider what happened to Ronald Reagan’s misbegotten infatuation with the Star Wars will-o-wisp of a nuclear shield. The latter had the military-industrial complex drooling over the implied trillions (in today’s $) of funding, and the Deep State giddy

with the thought that the putative Star Wars shield would unleash it from the bonds of MAD (mutual assured destruction) and thereby open the path t0 US global hegemony.

Needless to say, the intrepid mainstream journalists of the 1980’s still had the Sheehan/Halberstam/Hersh investigative spirit and courage about them. It did not take too many years for their exposes to make Star Wars the laughingstock it actually was, and for their rebukes to the Deep State narrative to embolden the bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill to essentially shut it down.

At the end of the day, there is no other way to say it. The Goldman/Schmidt/Fandos types of the present era are not journalists at all; they are lazy, intellectually corrupted, mendacious stenographers of Imperial Washington’s oppressive group think.

After all, only a decade or two ago any journalist who typed the words “….whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence” would have suffered tremors and palpitations for the very phrasing of it.

Don’t these kids know them thar words is McCarthyite code for unmasking commie traitors?

Here’s the thing. Until the groupthink of the Imperial City congealed into what amounts to worship of the Warfare State after 9/11, any self-respecting journalist who discovered that the FBI had opened a counter-intelligence investigation of a sitting president for the preposterous reasons outlined in the NYT story would have been all over this insidious affront to constitutional government like a screaming banshee.

That is, under what imaginable constitutional scheme does a second tier law enforcement agency have the prerogative to investigate the duly elected President because he fired the FBI director for good cause; rejected the prevailing anti-Russia foreign policy for solid reasons of national interest; and knew that the Russian collusion meme was Democrat sour grapes for loosing the election and said so publicly, loudly and frequently, as is his prerogative?

In the old days, journalists often had the integrity and summoned the courage to speak truth to power. By contrast, the trio of sanctimonious brats pictured above were too lazy, stupid or mendacious to even connect the dots.

That is, this ballyhooed counter-intelligence investigation was launched the very next day after Comey was fired by two of the most compromised people in the entire Obama Administration posse of anti-Trump election meddlers–if not criminals—led by former CIA director John Brennan.

We are referring to the acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, later fired for leaking to the media and lying about it and his legal council, Lisa Page. After the release of literally tons of anti-Trump SMS messages with her lover-boy, the FBI agent Peter Strzok, over the past 12 months what kind of self-respecting journalists would not see the red flags flying in every direction?

By now any one who knows how to Google, also knows or should know that Strzok and Page sent text messages that suggest they were discussing opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Trump even before Comey’s firing. And when it happened, their exchanges left no doubt:

“And we need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting,” Strzok wrote to Page on the day of Comey’s ouster.

So there you have it. McCabe, Strzok and Page are Deep Staters if the term has any meaning at all. Yet here is why Lisa Page thought Trump was such a threat to national security that she and her colleagues were justified in unilaterally suspending the constitution and prosecuting the elected President of the people because they disagreed with his foreign policy positions.

Indeed, by her own closed door testimony to the House committee (now leaked) it is obvious that Lisa Page is a light-weight numbskull when it comes to thinking about national security. For it turns out, she doesn’t even claim that Russia is a military threat to America or that Putin has aggressive intents for territorial conquest.

No, it seems his sin is that he doesn’t embrace Washington’s self-conferred role as the Indispensable Nation and may even be in mind of thwarting Washington’s noble effort to spread “our democratic ideals” and bring the blessings of Coca-Cola, long pants and the ballot box to the otherwise benighted peoples of the planet.

You only need a decent regard for the mayhem that the Washington War party has brought to the world—from the jungles of the Mekong Valley, to the Hindu Kush, to Mesopotamia, the Levant, North Africa and Latin America, too—to say are you f*cking kidding?

‘In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself, you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability, America’s ability and the West’s ability to spread our democratic ideals,’ Lisa Page, a former bureau lawyer, told House investigators in private testimony reviewed by The Times….. ‘That’s the goal, to make us less of a moral authority to spread democratic values,’ she added. Parts of her testimony were first reported in the Epoch Times.

Many involved in the case viewed Russia as the chief threat to American democratic values.

‘With respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life,’ Ms. Page told investigators for a joint House Judiciary and Oversight Committee investigation into Moscow’s election interference.

As to the last bolded line, we will not bother to wonder how a pint-sized economy of $1.5 trillion compared to America’s $20 trillion and all of NATO’s $36 trillion, with a military budget of $61 billion compared to NATO $1.05 trillion, is going to do what Khrushchev failed to do—bury us!

So we fully appreciate why the Donald is on the rampage, and in this instance, couldn’t more wholeheartedly agree.

‘Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!’ the president tweeted.

‘Funny thing about James Comey,’ he continued. ‘Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie).’

‘the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America.’

“He was a Crooked Cop,” Saturday’s tweetstorm concluded, “who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats – leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!”

 

Russia and Iran Hate Us for Our Freedoms, by Kurt Nimmo

Can Trump’s many enemies ride the Russiagate concoction all the way to suppression of the alternative media and President Trump’s impeachment? From Kurt Nimmo at kurtnimmo.blog:

It’s easy to detect fake news. I don’t need a fact checker or a laboratory at a globalist think tank to clue me in. 

Here’s the latest fake news. 

Both Russia and Iran want to influence the midterm elections. 

It’s lunacy to believe this would make a difference, even if it were true. 

The story was posted at one of the more notorious fake news sites—The New York Times, the folks who sold you WMDs and the invasion of Iraq. 

Facebook passed this info on to the Gray Lady of Propaganda. 

Facebook said it had identified a new political influence campaign on its platform that appeared intended to disrupt the midterm elections. The social network found and took down 652 fake accounts and pages that were trying to sow discord around social issues… Some of the accounts in the new influence campaign originated in Iran and Russia, Facebook said.

This latest threat by people who hate us for our freedoms—as George W. Bush so pointedly phrased it—follows a similar claim last month. 

The campaign’s scale exceeded that of another influence operation that Facebook revealed last month, in which the company said it detected and removed 32 pages and fake accounts that had engaged in activity around divisive social issues ahead of the midterms.

Elections always arouse heated discussion on divisive issues and have done so since the founding of the (former) republic. Establishment Republicans and Democrats use the media as an influence tool and it is accepted as normal behavior. Billions are spent every election cycle to influence voters one way or the other. 

The revelations underscore how Facebook continues to be used as a weapon by others to try to influence the American electorate.

Others. It’s not simply Russia and Iran trying to take down America. It’s unspecified others. It is more than obvious who these others are despite the vagueness of the above sentence. 

To continue reading: Russia and Iran Hate Us for Our Freedoms