Monday, October 16, 2017

Today's Link

Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress, 60 Minutes ("must see")

Whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi says drug distributors pumped opioids into U.S. communities -- knowing that people were dying -- and says industry lobbyists and Congress derailed the DEA's efforts to stop it

In the midst of the worst drug epidemic in American history, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to keep addictive opioids off U.S. streets was derailed -- that according to Joe Rannazzisi, one of the most important whistleblowers ever interviewed by 60 Minutes. Rannazzisi ran the DEA's Office of Diversion Control, the division that regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical industry. Now in a joint investigation by 60 Minutes and The Washington Post, Rannazzisi tells the inside story of how, he says, the opioid crisis was allowed to spread -- aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today's Links

1--The Elites “Have No Credibility Left" (must read)

An interview with journalist Chris Hedges

2--The Legacy of Reagan’s Civilian ‘Psyops’ Robert Parry

3--Decision time in Deir Ezzor - TTG

4--The Unraveling of American/Russian Relations, PCR

1992 NYTs: 

WASHINGTON, March 7 In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting phase, the Defense Department asserts that America’s political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to ensure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territories of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy.

5--IMF Calls for Reforms as Global Central Bankers Battle Weak Wage Growth

6--Bibi cheers Trump Iran decision

7--How Gore, Kerry and Clinton Put Trump in the White House

8--Washington’s Frozen War Against Russia 2014

In a speech to leading CEOs on December 3, Obama said the sanctions were intended to change Putin’s “mindset”, but didn’t think this would succeed. He is waiting for “the politics inside Russia” to “catch up with what’s happening in the economy, which is why we are going to continue to maintain that pressure.” This was another way of saying that stealing Russia’s natural gas market, forcing Europe to enact sanctions, and getting Washington’s bigoted stooges in Saudi Arabia to bring down petroleum prices by flooding the market, are all intended to make the Russian people blame Putin enough to get rid of him. Regime change, in short.

On December 4, the U.S. House of Representatives officially exposed the U.S. motive behind this mess by adopting what must surely be the worst piece of legislation ever adopted: Resolution 758.   The Resolution is a compendium of all the lies floated against Vladimir Putin and Russia over the past year. Never perhaps have so many lies been crammed into a single official document of that length. And yet, this war propaganda was endorsed by a vote of 411 to 10. If, despite this call for war between two nuclear powers, there are still historians in the future, they must judge this resolution as proof of the total failure of the intelligence, honesty and sense of responsibility of the political system that Washington is trying to force on the entire world

The House calls on European countries to “reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries” and “urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries”.
The Congress is ready to risk and even promote nuclear war, but when it comes to the “bottom line”, it is a matter of stealing Russia’s natural gas market by what so far is a bluff: shale gas obtained by U.S. fracking.

9--Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law Suppressed 200,000 Votes in 2016 (Trump Won by 22,748)

A new study shows how voter-ID laws decreased turnout among African-American and Democratic voters....

. According to federal court records, 300,000 registered voters, 9 percent of the electorate, lacked strict forms of voter ID in Wisconsin. A new study by Priorities USA, shared exclusively with The Nation, shows that strict voter-ID laws, in Wisconsin and other states, led to a significant reduction in voter turnout in 2016, with a disproportionate impact on African-American and Democratic-leaning voters. Wisconsin’s voter-ID law reduced turnout by 200,000 votes, according to the new analysis. Donald Trump won the state by only 22,748 votes.
The study compared turnout in states that adopted strict voter-ID laws between 2012 and 2016, like Wisconsin, to states that did not. ...

While states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin’s turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%. If turnout had instead increased by the national no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016.
This reduction in turnout particularly hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The lost voters skewed more African-American and more Democrat. For example, Wisconsin’s 2016 electorate was 6.1% more Republican, and 5.7% less Democrat, than the group of ‘lost voters’. Furthermore, the WI electorate was 3.7% more White and 3.8% less African American than the group of ‘lost voters.’ This analysis suggests that the 200,000 lost voters would have both been more racially diverse and have voted more Democratic.
(Priorities USA is a progressive advocacy group and Super PAC that supported Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012. The study was conducted by Civis Analytics, a data science firm founded by the chief analytics officer for Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012.)
Though Wisconsin saw the most dramatic reduction in turnout among voter-ID states, it was reflective of a worrisome broader national trend.
In states where the voter identification laws did not change between ’12 and ’16, turnout was up +1.3%. In states where ID laws changed to non-strict (AL, NH, RI) turnout increased less, and was only up by +0.7%. In states where ID laws changed to strict (MS, VA, WI) turnout actually decreased by – 1.7%.

This study provides more evidence for the claim that voter-ID laws are designed not to stop voter impersonation fraud, which is virtually nonexistent, but to make it harder for certain communities to vote. This matters greatly today, because 87 bills to restrict access to the ballot have been introduced in 29 states this year, including voter-ID laws in 19 states. Arkansas and Iowa have already passed strict voter-ID laws in 2017.

“Americans’ fundamental right to vote is under attack by Republican governors and state legislatures around the country,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “Under the false pretense of combating voter fraud, Republicans are passing laws that make it more difficult and time-consuming for average citizens to participate in the democratic process.”

10--New Voting Restrictions in America 2010

After the 2010 election, state lawmakers nationwide started introducing hundreds of harsh measures making it harder to vote. The new laws range from strict photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to registration restrictions.
Overall, 20 states have new restrictions in effect since then — 10 states have more restrictive voter ID laws in place (and six states have strict photo ID requirements), seven have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions.
In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. Those 14 states were: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin

11--Why did Trump win? More whites — and fewer blacks — actually voted.

if groups had gone to the polls at the same rates as in 2012, Clinton would likely have won Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in 2016 — though in the last two cases by razor-thin margins....what’s clear is that the jump in white turnout in key swing states and drop in black turnout may well have handed the presidency to Trump.

Using data from the voter file vendor Catalist and information from the U.S. Census Bureau, we examine the change in turnout rates for different racial/ethnic groups between 2012 and 2016. Black turnout declined dramatically; white turnout increased noticeably; and Latino and Asian American turnout went up even more. In the key swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, those shifts were especially strong. How strong? Without those shifts in turnout from various racial and ethnic groups, these pivotal states might have gone not to Trump but to Clinton — giving Clinton an electoral college victory...

Voter turnout among whites — the racial/ethnic group most strongly in Trump’s corner — increased by 2.4 percentage points in 2016 compared to 2012. In stark contrast, turnout among African Americans — the group most loyal to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party — fell by 4.7 percentage points nationally. Latinos and Asian Americans, both groups that are generally Clinton supporters, were more likely to vote — by 3.8 and 3.0 percentage points, respectively.
These national averages obscure important patterns. Here’s what stands out: while the decline in black turnout was stark across the board, it was sharpest, on average, in the states that determined the outcome of the election. Black turnout fell by 4.3 percentage points in non-battleground states in 2016 compared to 2012. But it fell by 5.3 percentage points in states where the election was decided by a margin of less than 10 points.

As you can see, the national average hides dramatic differences among states. For example, as we’ve said, the African American turnout rate fell by 4.7 points nationally. But in Michigan and Wisconsin — two key Midwestern states where, to analysts’ surprise, Trump won — black turnout fell by more than 12 points.
Similarly, overall white turnout increased by only 2.5 points nationally. But in several states it surged by more than 5 points. In the critical battleground state of Florida, white voter turnout jumped by 4 points — and black turnout fell by 4 points. Trump won Florida by a margin of just 1.2 points.

12--Here’s How the 2018 Midterm Elections Could Be Fatally Undermined

In 2013, the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder effectively gutted the Voter Rights Act, permitting Republicans to employ a variety of voter-suppression methods that have since proved invaluable to their campaigns. These tactics will not only remain a factor working in their favor in 2018; they are very likely to significantly expand under the leadership of a man obsessed with the specter of “massive voter fraud,” ...

One method we should expect to see employed, and expanded, is the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, more commonly known simply as Crosscheck. This system, designed with the ostensible purpose of combating voter fraud, operates by cross-referencing names on the rolls of a given state against those on the rolls of other states. If the same combination of name and birth-date occurs in two states, those votes are stricken from the rolls. This system has been known to disproportionately impact minority voters by targeting names common to specific demographics, notably Hispanic and black voters, who have traditionally voted Democratic.

13--Russia hacking, The Nation

In Russiagate, unverified claims are reported with little to no skepticism. Comporting developments are cherry-picked and overhyped, while countervailing ones are minimized or ignored. Front-page headlines advertise explosive and incriminating developments, only to often be undermined by the article’s content, or retracted entirely. Qualified language—likely, suspected, apparent—appears next to “Russians” to account for the absence of concrete links. As a result, Russiagate has enlarged into a storm of innuendo that engulfs issues far beyond its original scope...

Then there is Facebook’s disclosure that fake accounts “likely operated out of Russia” paid $100,000 for 3,000 ads starting in June 2015. The New York Times editorial board described it as “further evidence of what amounted to unprecedented foreign invasion of American democracy.” A $100,000 Facebook ad buy seems unlikely to have had much impact in a $6.8 billion election. According to Facebook, “the vast majority of ads…didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate” but rather focused “on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum—touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.” Facebook also says the majority of ads, 56 percent, were seen “after the election.” The ads have not been released publicly. But by all indications, if they were used to try to elect Trump, their sponsors took a very curious route.
The ads are commonly described as “Russian disinformation,” but in the most extensive reporting on the story to date, The Washington Post adds multiple qualifiers in noting that the ads “appear to have come from accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency,” itself a Kremlin-linked firm (emphasis added).

The Post also reveals that an initial Facebook review of the suspected Russian accounts found that they “had clear financial motives, which suggested that they weren’t working for a foreign government.” Furthermore, “the security team did not find clear evidence of Russian disinformation or ad purchases by Russian-linked accounts.” ...
Other election threats loom. A recent front-page New York Times article linking Russian cyber operations to voting irregularities across the United States is headlined, “Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny.” But read on and you’ll discover that there is no evidence of “Russian election hacking,” only evidence-free accusations of it....

The evidence-free concern over Russian hacking expanded in late September when the Department of Homeland Security informed 21 states that they had been targeted by Russian cyber-operations during the 2016 election. But three states have already dismissed the DHS claims, including California, which announced that after seeking “further information, it became clear that DHS’s conclusions were wrong.”
Recent elections in France and Germany saw similar fears of Russian hacking and disinformation—and similar results. In France, a hack targeting the campaign of election winner Emmanuel Macron ended up having “no trace,” of Russian involvement, and “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone,” the head of French cyber-security quietly explained after the vote. Germany faced an even more puzzling outcome: Nothing happened. “The apparent absence of a robust Russian campaign to sabotage the German vote has become a mystery among officials and experts who had warned of a likely onslaught,” the Post reported in an article headlined “As Germans prepare to vote, a mystery grows: Where are the Russians?” ...

Linking Russia to right-wing American racists contrasts with just a few months prior, when it was fashionable to tie Russia to the polar opposites. In March, intelligence-community witnesses soberly testified to Congress that Russia’s “21st-century cyber invasion” has “tried to sow unrest in the U.S. by inflaming protests such as Occupy Wall Street and the Black Lives Matter movement.” The evidence presented for this claim was that both movements were covered by the Russian state-owned television network RT.
Russian-linked tweets about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice show the Russians “trying to push divisiveness in this country,” says Republican Senator James Lankford. A Russian-linked ad about Black Lives Matter aimed at audiences in Ferguson and Baltimore “tells us…that the Russians who bought these ads were sophisticated enough to understand that targeting a Black Lives Matter ad to the communities…would help sow political discord.… the goal here was really about creating chaos,” says CNN reporter Dylan Byers

It also suggests Black Lives Matter protesters in places like Ferguson and Baltimore were unwitting foreign agents who needed Russian social-media prodding to march in the streets. To protest racism is not to sow “chaos” and “political discord,” but to protest racism. ...

But economic discontent, along with voter suppression, the Democratic Party’s failures to reach voters, and corporate media that gave endless attention to Trump’s empty promises and racial animus, are among the issues cast aside by the incessant focus on Russigate, as are the very real US-Russia tensions that do not fit the narrative. Amid widespread talk of Putin pulling the strings, Trump has quietly appointed anti-Russia hawks to key posts and admitted a new NATO member over Russian objections. Trump’s top military commander, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is backing an effort by the Pentagon and Congress to arm Ukraine with new weapons. President Obama had rejected a similar proposal out of fear it would inflame the country’s deadly conflict. Just before Russia’s recent war games with allied Belarus, the United States and NATO allies carried out their “biggest military exercise in eastern Europe since the Cold War” right next door.

14-- The US Is Trying to Take Over the Middle East's Oil and Gas - It Will Fail

"Kurds are being played by the west to totally control the energy resources of the Middle East and with it, of much of the world. Ultimately the game will fail, though not before senseless and inhuman slaughter continues to take its toll."

15--Notorious US Regime-Change Specialist Targets Hungarian PM Orban

Many readers likely never heard the name of the remarkable Serbia-born political operator named Srđa Popović.
Yet he and his organization, CANVAS, have played a lead role in most every CIA-backed Color Revolution since he led the toppling of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, at least fifty according to last count...

In short, Popović began his revolution-making career as a regime change specialist in an operation funded by the CIA, US State Department, US Government NGOs including the infamous NED and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. The question is what did Srđa Popović do after his first helpful service to Washington in 2000?

Revealed in the same Stratfor emails by Wikileaks was the intriguing information that one of the “golden geese” funders of the mysterious CANVAS was a Wall Street bank named Goldman Sachs.
Satter Muneer, a Goldman Sachs partner, is cited by Stratfor’s then-Eurasia Analyst Marko Papic. Papic, asked by a Stratfor colleague whether Muneer was the “golden goose” money behind CANVAS, writes back, “They have several golden gooses I believe. He is for sure one of them.”

16--Iran to stop Additional Protocol if JCPOA nixed: Salehi

17--Former CIA director worried Russia tried to recruit Americans

Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Monday there was enough contact between Americans and Russian officials during the 2016 U.S. election that there was definitely grounds for an investigation into possible collusion with Moscow, and also concern about Russian efforts to recruit Americans

“I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf,” Brennan testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.
Brennan declined to provide any indication about the identity of those people.

Brennan said on Tuesday it became clear last summer that Russia was attempting to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, and that he warned the head of Russia's FSB security service that such interference would hurt U.S. ties.
"It should be clear to everyone Russia brazenly interfered in our 2016 presidential election process and that they undertook these activities despite our strong protests and explicit warning that they do not do so," Brennan testified at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee

Brennan said he believed that Russian officials were motivated in their efforts to impact the election both to hurt Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump's chances, noting their prior "good relations with businessmen."
He also noted that Moscow likely expected Clinton would ultimately win.

I believe that they tried to damage and bloody her before the election," he said, adding that "I would have anticipated that had she been elected that the efforts to denigrate and hurt her would have been continued."
Brennan further said he believed he was the first U.S. official to raise the matter of election interference with the Russians, citing a meeting he had on Aug. 4 last year with FSB head Alexander Bortnikov.
He said he raised published media reports of Russian attempts to meddle in the election with the Russian official, who denied any involvement by Moscow.
Brennan said he briefed then President Barack Obama and other top officials, and that he discussed the matter with both Republican and Democratic U.S. congressional leaders in August and September

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the November presidential election campaign in Republican Donald Trump's favor, including by hacking into and leaking the emails of senior Democrats. Moscow has always denied the allegation.

18--Obama loyalist Brennan drove FBI to begin investigating Trump associates last summer

Quote:  But Mr. Brennan’s May 23 testimony shows that it was his actions that drove the FBI probe.

What caused the Barack Obama administration to begin investigating the Donald Trump campaign last summer has come into clearer focus following a string of congressional hearings on Russian interference in the presidential election.
It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president’s 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.
Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. Mr. Brennan did not name either the Russians or the Trump people. He indicated he did not know what was said.
But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then-FBI director James B. Comey.

The FBI probe of contacts came the same month the intelligence community fingered Russian agents as orchestrating hacks into Democratic Party computers and providing stolen emails to WikiLeaks.
Mr. Brennan, who has not hidden his dislike for Mr. Trump, testified he briefed the investigation’s progress to Mr. Obama, who at the time was trying to aid Hillary Clinton in her campaign against the Republican nominee.

Mr. Brennan, who has not hidden his dislike for Mr. Trump, testified he briefed the investigation’s progress to Mr. Obama, who at the time was trying to aid Hillary Clinton in her campaign against the Republican nominee

As Mr. Brennan described his actions to the House committee: “I wanted to make sure that every information and bit of intelligence that we had was shared with the bureau [FBI] so that they could take it. It was well beyond my mandate as director of CIA to follow on any of those leads that involved U.S. persons. But I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the bureau.
“I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred,” Mr. Brennan added.

Eleven months later, there is no official public confirmation that Trump people colluded with the Russians on hacking

the Trump campaign severed ties with him because of sensational charges in an unverified anti-Trump dossier that surfaced in a smattering of news stories before Nov. 8.
The dossier was one of the forces influencing the FBI that summer. Some press reports said it was the reason the bureau began investigating Trump associates and acquired a warrant to wiretap Mr. Page as a possible foreign agent.
But Mr. Brennan’s May 23 testimony shows that it was his actions that drove the FBI probe.
The dossier was financed by a Clinton backer and written by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. He was hired by Democratic-tied Fusion GPS in Washington.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Today's Links

1--Decertify Iranian deal? It makes no strategic sense Tucker Carlson (video)

2--Could it get any dumber?  Russia has now weaponized Pokémon.

CNN claims…

Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. A CNN investigation of a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokémon Go.


One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Pokémon Go and even contacted some reporters in an effort to exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans, CNN has learned.
The campaign, titled “Don’t Shoot Us,” offers new insights into how Russian agents created a broad online ecosystem where divisive political messages were reinforced across multiple platforms, amplifying a campaign that appears to have been run from one source — the shadowy, Kremlin-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.


A source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that the Don’t Shoot Us Facebook page was one of the 470 accounts taken down after the company determined they were linked to the IRA. CNN has separately established the links between the Facebook page and the other Don’t Shoot Us accounts.


The Don’t Shoot Us campaign — the title of which may have referenced the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” slogan that became popular in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown — used these platforms to highlight incidents of alleged police brutality, with what may have been the dual goal of galvanizing African Americans to protest and encouraging other Americans to view black activism as a rising threat...

Specifically, the Don’t Shoot Us contest directed readers to go to find and train Pokémon near locations where alleged incidents of police brutality had taken place. Users were instructed to give their Pokémon names corresponding with those of the victims. A post promoting the contest showed a Pokémon named “Eric Garner,” for the African-American man who died after being put in a chokehold by a New York Police Department officer

3--Iran Must Be Destroyed, Margolis

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have more influence on Capitol Hill than President Trump. He used to show it off by humiliating former president Barack Obama.

Israel has just scored a major triumph by using Trump to sabotage the Iran nuclear pact.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long been adamant in insisting that the pact be scrapped.  Having pushed the US to destroy its old foes, Iraq and Syria, Israel now has its big guns trained on Iran, the last regional power that can challenge Israel’s domination of the Mideast.  Iran, we should remember, is also the only important Mideast power backing the Palestinians and calling for a Palestinian state.

Trump is surrounded by a coterie of ardently pro-Israel advisors and cronies aligned to that nation’s far right wing.  So far to the right, in fact, that their Israeli opponents often call them ‘fascists.’  Trump, with this Mussolini complex, fits right into this mind-set ...

If the Iran nuclear deal is abrogated, America will have shot itself in the foot and shown the world it has fallen under the control of special interests for whom America’s national interests do not come first.  Europe, already disgusted by the Trump carnival in Washington and its religious supporters, will pull further away from the US and closer to Russia and China.  Who would trust America’s word after deal-break Trump?

Europe has lately signed billions in new trade accords with Iran, most notably and $18 billion deal with Airbus for the sale of commercial aircraft.  Boeing wants to sell 80 aircraft to Iran worth $16 billion. Thus Trump’s jihad against Iran will likely deny high-paid jobs to tens of thousands of American workers.   This from the president who was going to create jobs, jobs, jobs....

Israel is determined to destroy Iran so that it can never pose a military or political challenge to the Jewish state. Call it Iraq II.  This means turning Iran’s nuclear industry and its civilian economy to ruins.  And maybe even breaking up Iran – as was done with Iraq – into Iranian, Azeri and Kurdish mini-states.

Rome’s famous statesman Cato the Elder used to end every speech with ‘Carthago Delenda Est’ – (Carthage, bitter rival and enemy of Rome, must be destroyed.’) Now, it’s Iran’s turn.

4--Morton Klein’s Anti-Iran View Published by Breitbart

Breitbart today carries an article by Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America.

Klein says “The main problem with the JCPOA…is that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was previously charged with monitoring Iran’s behavior with regard to nuclear research and development, has been unable to perform this role since the introduction of the JCPOA, because it no longer has the ability to verify Iranian statements and activity.” This statement is 95 percent untrue, because the IAEA has been able to monitor 95% of the lettered articles in the agreement. Klein’s statement is not what the IAEA has said up and until a very recent exception. The IAEA directly contradicts Klein’s assertion:

Verification and monitoring in Iran
“The IAEA has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) since January 2016.
“‘The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,’ Mr Amano told the 35-nation Board. ‘The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran remain ongoing.’

“‘We will continue to implement the Additional Protocol in Iran, including carrying out complementary accesses to sites and other locations, as we do in other countries with additional protocols.’ The additional protocol significantly increases the IAEA’s ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear materials in States with comprehensive safeguards agreements.”...

the U.S. and Iran didn’t negotiate ballistic missiles, so how can that be now a reason to break the agreement? The agreement pertains to what was negotiated, not what was not negotiated.

As for the 10-year period, the U.S. agreed to it, so how can that provision now become a reason to back out? Don’t negotiation and signing an agreement mean anything to Klein? Klein is saying that the U.S. should break its word because Iran didn’t agree to a permanent or much longer-term restriction on nuclear development. Again, the agreement pertains to what was negotiated, not some fanciful provision that is not in the agreement that Klein thinks would have been better.

Klein’s argument for decertification relies heavily upon his lengthy wish list of controls and limitations he’d love to place upon Iran, but which the agreement says nothing about

5--FBI 'Hand-In-Hand' With Vegas PD, Begin Damage Control: "There Is No Conspiracy... Nobody Is Attempt to Hide Anything"

6-- Is Washington Trying To Starve 60,000 Syrians Washington Has Trapped In A Refugee Camp?

“Syrians are restoring roads and socially important infrastructure facilities in the liberated areas of their country, thereby creating the conditions for peaceful life and the return of refugees and displaced persons,” said Zakharova – important achievements....

“The Rukban refugee camp located on the Syrian-Jordanian border in the so-called [phony] ‘deconfliction zone’ arbitrarily established by the United States around Tanf is facing humanitarian disaster,” Zakharova explained.
“The Americans are using aviation, rocket and artillery systems to prevent Syrian Government forces from entering this zone.”

“According to the UN, the number of refugees in this camp exceeds 60,000. They are threatened with starvation and have no access to fresh water. The risk of epidemics is growing.”
US forces prevent humanitarian convoys from reaching desperate people in dire need of help. Deplorable Western media report nothing about this, nothing about US aggression, nothing about US-dominated NATO support for terrorism – along with Israel and their rogue regional allies

7--A War on Iran?  Trump Goes Full Shabbos-Goy

At the risk of deepening what still might be my mistaken prognosis of 2007 I will say that yes, the USA will probably attack Iran. Since there is exactly ZERO chance of Iran caving in to the latest US-Israeli threats, not attacking Iran will now represent a major loss of face and humiliation for Trump and his Neocon masters. So the USA will go to war yet again, not for any rational reason, but solely because Bibi Netanyahu “owns” Trump and Israel “own” the USA. Yes my dear Americans, far from being “the land of the free and the home of the brave” the USA is a subservient colony of a tiny state in the Middle-East which also happens to be the last officially racist state on our planet. Which makes you neither brave, nor free. Sorry....

In conclusion we can see that Iran would not have to proactively do anything to make the Empire pay for an short and limited attack. Riding out the attack and letting the Neocons pay the political price for their folly would be the most likely Iranian response. In case of a long term major Imperial war against Iran, the Iranians would have a broad variety of “asymmetrical” options from which to choose, none of which would involve shutting down the Strait of Hormuz or chasing US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

In any scenario, time would always be on the Iranian side while the Empire would very rapidly run out of options to try force an acceptable outcome.

This lack of a viable “exit strategy” would rapidly force the time-pressed Imperial High Command to consider the use of nuclear weapons to avoid getting bogged down in a rapidly worsening situation. Any actual use of nuclear weapons would result into a general collapse of the entire Neocon empire of a magnitude similar to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In other words, there are no possible winning strategies for an Imperial aggression against Iran.

8--N. Korea readies missile launch ahead of US-S. Korea drill: report

(another provocation by Washington) North Korea is believed to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile ahead of an upcoming joint naval drill by the US and South Korea, a news report said Saturday, citing a government source.

9-- Denouncing Iran as a terrorist state, Trump refuses to recertify nuclear accord (Trump's hostility towards Iran poses a threat to US N security)

The European Union said Gabriel will “have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA.”...

the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Frederica Mogherini, was quick to respond to Trump’s speech. She dismissed the US president’s claim that Iran has violated the JCOPA, declaring that there have been no Iranian “violations of any of the commitments in the agreement.” (In fact, even the Pentagon and US State Department acknowledge that Tehran has implemented the agreement to the letter.)Noting that the JCOPA was subsequently endorsed by the UN Security Council, Mogherini added, “To my knowledge, there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN Security Council resolution that has been adopted. The president of the United States has many powers, but not this one.”....

Clearly, they are hoping that Trump can still be roped in by senior members of the administration—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster—who oppose abrogating the Iran agreement at this juncture, believing that a head-on confrontation with Iran will cut across US military-strategic offensives against China and Russia and dangerously fray US-European relations and the NATO alliance.....

Trump made no offer to negotiate with Iran, underscoring that he was issuing an ultimatum. He simply outlined a series of non-negotiable demands that would violate Iran’s sovereignty and effectively reduce the country to the status of a vassal state, while implicitly demanding that the other signatories to the JCPOA, especially Washington’s ostensible European allies, put pressure on Iran to capitulate

The vow came at the end of a bellicose rant in which Trump denounced Iran as “fanatical,” a “rogue state,” and the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.” He accused Tehran of fomenting “conflict, terror and turmoil throughout the Middle East and beyond.”

10-- Trump’s threats against Iran aggravate German-American tensions

The lead article in the latest edition of Die Zeit states that “America’s European partners, even the Brits, agree: the agreement must be obeyed. Should Trump break it, that would also mean a break with his partners. The Europeans must then try alone to maintain the diplomatic containment of the Iranian troublemakers. Inevitably without America—on the side of China and Russia.”

The German foreign office leaves no doubt that fundamental economic and geostrategic conflicts lie behind the breakup of the transatlantic alliance. Asked whether the answer to Trump’s Iran policy was significantly more European investment in Iran, Gabriel answered, “Yes. But if the United States threatens investment in Iran with punitive actions against the relevant businesses, then not much will be done with investment. That cannot be in our interest.”

Berlin, like Paris and London, has arranged contracts worth billions in Iran and sees Trump’s course as a threat to its efforts to develop new energy resources and markets for Germany’s export economy in Iran. As a result, the German economy had great hopes in the Iran agreement and the related suspension of sanctions in January 2016. The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) reportedly expected a doubling of trade from €2.4 billion (2015) to €5 billion within two years and within five years an increase to €10 billion.

A return to the US-dictated sanctions regime would be “a blow to business for the significantly revived trade relations,” Volker Treier, the DIHK foreign business chief, commented to the German Press Agency. The German economy has “relied on the international agreement and with it the new conditions of lighter sanctions,” Treier added. After all, Iran has the second-largest natural gas and fourth-largest oil reserves in the world and the exploitation of this potential would be “very difficult” under new sanctions

11-- IMF report points to financial dangers lurking beneath global growth

before the financial crisis there were $16 trillion in relatively safe investment-grade bonds yielding more than 4 percent. “That has dwindled to just $2 trillion today. There is simply too much money chasing too few high yielding assets. The result is that investors are taking more risks and exposing themselves to bigger losses if markets tumble.”...

Indebtedness in major economies is increasing and now stands at 235 percent of gross domestic product for the G20 group of countries that make up about 85 percent of the world economy. Debt servicing pressures and debt levels in the nonfinancial sector were already high in several major economies, with Australia, Canada, China and South Korea singled out for specific mention

Friday, October 13, 2017

Today's links

1---Russian election meddling probe will show media ran untrue stories – head of US investigation

We’re not going to investigate news organizations, but we will use the findings of our report to let the American people hold every news organization accountable for what they portrayed as fact, in many cases without sources — at least, no sources that would admit to it,” Burr told Politico on Thursday. 

2--Karzai: The legacy of US intervention

3--The FBI's New Fantasy: 'Black Identity Extremists'

The FBI has conjured up a new domestic terrorism movement that does not exist
The history of the FBI is the history of surveillance and intimidation of black Americans that frequently goes beyond legitimate law enforcement into paranoia, racism, and political expediency.

This was true almost 50 years ago, when J. Edgar Hoover sent his loyal line officers into black communities to try to gin up evidencedesigned to convince one president after another that the civil rights movement was some sort of communist plot. It was true in the 1970s when the feds hounded those whom they perceived to be black separatists. And it is true today now that we know the FBI is promoting the hoary idea that something called “black identity extremists” poise a dangerous domestic terror threat, particularly to police officers

4--The US on the brink of war with North Korea

5--Tucker: Vegas massacre conspiracy theories fill the void

6--Russiagate’ And The Decline Of Journalism – With Robert Parry

7-- The politics of the Harvey Weinstein scandal

The sanctimonious comments of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the Times editorialists et al, expressing their outrage and amazement over Weinstein’s activities reek of hypocrisy. These are people responsible for, or who lost no sleep over, drone strikes, illegal bombings and assassinations and the murderous activities of the American military and CIA in every corner of the globe.It is also not pleasant to read the comments, in the Times, of complacent petty bourgeois like Lena Dunham, the brains behind the television series Girls, moralizing about Weinstein. The latter may well be a first-class swine, but he is not a war criminal like Clinton, up to her elbows in the blood of thousands of Libyans, Syrians and other defenseless peoples, who Dunham vehemently supported in 2016....

The media obsesses about Weinstein, both because prurience is one of its staples and, more pressingly, because it has every interest in diverting the attention of the general public from the social crisis in America, the reactionary character of the Trump administration and the Democratic “opposition,” the hurricane calamities and a host of other social atrocities in the US. The heightened level of social tension and distress in America means that a sex scandal is invariably required.

The real key to Weinstein’s behavior, assuming the accusations to be true, is wealth. The scandal is not about Weinstein personally and his psychological make-up. His is a widespread form of abuse. The common denominator is that the abuse is carried out by those with money and power. It is not about over-active hormones, but a brutal expression of the type of pressure placed upon people: if you want to keep your job, this is what you must do …
The right of certain people to act like this, and get away with it, is bestowed upon them by money.

But this sort of extortion of sexual favors is not simply part of Hollywood, it’s part of the American business and corporate culture as a whole, part of the brutality of social relations in the US. How would the New York Times or any major enterprise hold up under scrutiny? Sexual assault or coercion is vastly under-reported in factories (where today union officials have joined supervisors as the guilty parties) and other work places, in the US armed forces, in the vast gulag of local, state and federal jails and prisons, among low-paid and immigrant workers and in all the countless situations in America where the weak find themselves at the mercy of the powerful.

8-- European Leaders Criticize Trump’s Disavowal of Iran Deal

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France said in a rare joint statement that they “stand committed” to the 2015 nuclear deal and that preserving it was “in our shared national security interest.”
“The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is not diverted for military purposes,” they added....

Some leaders declared that the deal, reached in 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, was not something that Mr. Trump could cancel, contending that Mr. Trump was essentially putting on a show for his political base.
“The president of the United States has many powers — not this one,” the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said at a news conference in Brussels....

America’s next step “is now in the hands of the United States Congress,” she said. “The international community and the European Union with it has clearly indicated that the deal is and will continue to be in place.”
Russia urged American lawmakers to preserve the deal as well.
“We want to hope that Congress will not take any dramatic steps which would effectively signify a collapse” of the deal, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, told Interfax, referring to the renewed sanctions that might lead Iran to nullify the accord.

9--archive  Hitler's last army

10-- Defining Independence at the Twilight of Empire

11-- The Legacy of Reagan’s Civilian ‘Psyops’

12--FAKE NEWS CNN claims Russia used “Pokémon Go” to meddle in US election

13-- Everything you need to know about Trump’s de-certification of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal
sir no sir

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Today's Links

1--Trump "Resistance" groups conceal corporate money and manipulation

The article highlights the efforts of one particular group, Democracy Alliance, which the Times describes as “a club of wealthy liberals” who have donated more than $600 million since 2005 and have “helped shape the institutional left.” Since the election of Donald Trump, the group has shifted its funding priorities away from well-established organizations that supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries into a host of new “anti-Trump” groups. Their aim is to bolster the left-wing credentials of the Democratic Party, stem the growth of social opposition, and block the development of interest in socialism among tens of millions of workers and youth.

“The Democracy Alliance distributed a ‘resistance map’ to its donors in July including new groups focused on converting the anti-Trump energy into electoral wins, such as Flippable, Swing Left and Sister District, as well as legal watchdog groups and others focused on mobilizing protesters, such as Women’s March and Indivisible,” the article states.

Indivisible, the Times notes, was able to expand from little more than an online text document detailing how to “resist” the Trump administration into a national organization of 40 staff members, with more than 6,000 volunteer chapters across the country,” as well as two associated nonprofits which have raised $6 million dollars in donations.

The Times article continues: “Yet Indivisible has also received funding from the tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, as well as foundations or coalitions tied to Democracy Alliance donors, including the San Francisco mortgage billionaire Herbert Sandler, the New York real estate heiress Patricia Bauman and the oil heiress Leah Hunt-Hendrix.” A representative from the group said that they would “gladly” accept funding from billionaire investor George Soros, a major financial backer of the Democratic Party.

Cloaked under rhetorical attacks on the supposed “neoliberal” and “establishment” wing of the Democratic Party, a ferocious struggle is unfolding over the division of the spoils. The Center for American Progress, the Times observes, “has engendered resentment from others on the left for casting itself as a leader of the anti-Trump movement and raising money off the resistance nomenclature,” including selling t-shirts branded with the word “resist” on its website.

Only the politically naive will believe that these Wall Street millionaires and billionaires will not see a “return on investment” from their donations. All of the “left-wing” groups that are receiving millions in donations seek, in one way or another, to camouflage the character of the Democratic Party as a party of the financial oligarchy and the military and promote illusions that the Democrats can be shifted through popular pressure to the left....

The political goal behind these fundraising efforts is to boost the tattered credibility of the Democratic Party, widely seen as a party of Wall Street and the military, and to channel mass opposition to the Trump administration behind the Democrats in order to prevent it from escaping the control of the ruling class.

Workers and young people who have been taken in by the illusion that the Democrats can be transformed from a party of Wall Street into a “people’s party” should consider the fact that the very groups promoting the perspective of pressuring the Democrats are themselves being directly backed and financed by Wall Street.

The bulk of the “left-wing” upper-middle class supported the primary campaign of Bernie Sanders, who combined progressive and even “socialist” phraseology with a total silence on the reactionary role of the Democratic Party. After unceremoniously capitulating to Clinton, Sanders went on a national postelection tour with Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez to save the Democrats’ image as a party of “working people.” Sanders constantly papered over the experience of the Obama administration in order to bolster illusions in the Democrats.

The result of Sanders’ efforts has been disastrous for the working class. Far from turning the Democratic Party to the left, the Democratic Party has ignored the votes of Sanders’ 13 million voters, promised to make deals with Trump on everything from tax cuts for the rich to mass deportation, and launched a nationalist campaign aimed at whipping up hostility to Russia, blaming “Russian interference” for Trump’s victory. The leadership of the Democratic Party now hopes that by mobilizing wealthy donors they can inject a popular veneer into their pro-war, pro-corporate program and block the development of a mass movement for socialist revolution

2--The New York Times and the criminalization of dissent

The New York Times, in close coordination with the Democratic Party and the US intelligence agencies, is engaged in a campaign that is nothing less than criminal. It is engaged in a political conspiracy to outlaw dissent in the United States and justify state efforts to prohibit, blacklist and suppress speech, particularly on the Internet...The basic target of the lying campaign over Russian manipulation of US public opinion is not Russia, but the American population...

Control of the Internet and the suppression of free speech online is a basic strategic issue for the American ruling class. The emergence of online communication and Internet platforms broke the control of the major media conglomerates over the distribution of information. Under conditions of growing popular opposition to social inequality and war, and deepening political crisis, establishing state control over the Internet is seen as a matter of the greatest urgency.....

The campaign within the American media and political establishment over allegations of Russian “hacking” and manipulation of the US elections is being transformed into an increasingly frenzied demand for the criminalization of dissent.

During the first months of the Trump administration, the charges of Russian interference in US politics were primarily used to prosecute a struggle within the American ruling class centered on issues of foreign policy. The anti-Russian campaign has now developed into an effort to associate all opposition within the United States to the actions of a “foreign enemy.”

A series of increasingly ludicrous articles have appeared in the US press, channeling information supposedly gathered by the Senate Intelligence Committee from social media companies. The latest appeared on Tuesday in the New York Times, which has played the central role in the media campaign. The front-page article (“Russians Spun American Rage Into a Weapon: Facebook Posts in US Fueled Propaganda”) is a piece of pure political propaganda, filled with unsubstantiated statements, wild speculation and unsupported conclusions...

The claims of Russian manipulation read like the ravings of individuals suffering from paranoid delusions. According to an earlier statement from Republican Senator James Lankford, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Russian “trolls” are responsible for pushing the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence. Russian “troll farms,” he claimed, were working to “raise the noise level in America.”

3--US to automatically assume full operational control of South Korean military forces in war with North

OPLAN 5015, adopted by South Korea and the US in November 2015 under the Obama administration, shifts the emphasis from a nominally defensive military posture to one that is overtly based on pre-emptive attacks. While details have not been released, the South Korean press last year made clear that OPLAN 5015 includes pre-emptive strikes on North Korea’s nuclear and missile sites and “decapitation raids” by special forces units to assassinate top figures in the Pyongyang regime, including leader Kim Jong-un.

Washington is not only fully implicated in these plans, but would direct them. In the event of war with North Korea, the US, which maintains 28,500 troops in South Korea, would automatically assume full operational control of South Korean military forces, including nearly half a million army troops backed by a heavily armed navy and air force.

Thus, the huge annual joint South Korean and US war games over the past two years under OPLAN 5015 are nothing less than rehearsals for a full-scale US-led attack on North Korea—a plan that the Trump administration is on the brink of setting in motion....

Total War

In December 2015, just after OPLAN 5015 had been finalised, then US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford declared that a new Korean war would not be like the last. In comments cited by the Brookings Institution, the Pentagon’s top general warned that any conflict with North Korea would not be confined to the Korean Peninsula and would inevitably be “trans-regional, multi-domain and multi-functional.”
Translated from military jargon, Dunford’s remarks signified that the Pentagon had to prepare to fight a “trans-regional” conflict—that is, a world war—in every domain (land, sea, air, space and cyberspace) with every available weapon, including nuclear ones. Less than two years on, the Trump administration is recklessly plunging the world towards such a catastrophe

4--Lavrov Speaks, at the UN

5--How private corporations will benefit from Kurdish independence

While private money finds its way into Kurdish coffers, the Kurdistan region of Iraq has been long seeing the construction of permanent U.S. military bases, as well as an influx of private military contractors, who will no doubt defend the oil entitlements of these large corporations. Baghdad has openly called these contracts and entitlements illegal. By allowing and passively encouraging this behavior, the U.S. is abandoning Iraq as a sovereign entity. Their interest, analogous to corporate interest, is to control Iraq’s natural resources and privatize capital.

The fact is that the Iraqi Kurds have been reduced to foot soldiers for oil companies, and this could not be worse for the state of Iraq. It remains to be seen how things pan out after the official fall of ISIS, which will be soon, but it appears that the West, headed by the U.S., has no intention of an economically free and independent Iraq. While the U.S. publicly denounces the referendum, no serious attempt has been made to stop it. As they say in American politics – follow the money...

When ISIS came on the scene, this provided an opportunity for corporations to put pressure onto Iraq to bend to their will. In order to force Baghdad to do “better” business, oil companies, especially ExxonMobil had begun investing heavily in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. This was so blatant that Reuters ran a report in 2014 exposing the link between ExxonMobil and the Kurds, describing how Exxon had made the Kurdistan region of Iraq what it is now today.

6-- How Exxon made Iraqi Kurdistan

The gloomy scenario grabbed the attention of Exxon executives. Just two years earlier, they had signed a $25 billion deal with Iraq to develop West Qurna, one of the largest oil fields in the country.
“No one wanted to hear that they had negotiated a multi-billion dollar deal in a country which will soon implode,” said Khedery, who has detailed to Reuters the meeting and subsequent events for the first time.
He suggested an alternative: Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq that was politically stable, far from the chaos in the south, and had, by some estimates, oil reserves of 45 billion barrels

7--US  flies bombers over Korea as Trump discusses options

The two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday.
After entering South Korean airspace, the two bombers carried out air-to-ground missile drills in waters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to waters between it and China to repeat the drill, the release said.

8--Will Trump nuke North Korea? video 

Quote:  The B-2 Spirit could be the weapon of choice as it has the capability to inflict a lethal precision strike with the option of using nuclear weapons. A strike like this could be aimed at  North Korean Military infrastructure taking out vital assets in one fell swoop. With possibly millions of lives at stake, it is now to be seen how the Trump administration deals with the situation." 7 min 4 seconds 

9--  "Russia Interfered!" - By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads?

After the ludicrous "Russian hacking" claims have died down for lack of evidence, the attention was moved to even more ludicrous claims of "Russian ads influenced the elections". Some readers are upset that continue to debunk the nonsense the media spreads around this. But lies should not stand without response. If only to blame the reporters and media who push this dreck.
As evidence is also lacking for any "Russian interference" claims the media outlets have started to push deceiving headlines. These make claims that are not covered at all by the content of the related pieces. The headlines are effective because less than 20% of the viewers ever read beyond them.
On the NYT Homepage today we find another one of these: Google Finds Russia Bought Ads to Interfere in Election.
Google has found no ads that "Russia", the state or nation, has bought. There is also no evidence that the ads in question interfered in any way with the election. There is evidence that any of the ads in questions aimed to achieve that. The opener of the piece repeats the false headline claims. But now we have "Russian agents", not "Russia", which allegedly did something.
Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.
The term "Russian agents" is not defined at all. Where these "secret agents" or Public Relation professionals in Washington DC hired by some Russian entity?
Using accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government, the agents purchased $4,700 worth of search ads and more traditional display ads, according to a person familiar with the company’s inquiry ...
"Accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government." Believed by whom? And how is "connected" defined? Isn't any citizen "connected" to his or her government?
Those believed, connected accounts bought a whopping $4,700 of ads? Googles 2016 revenue was $89,000,000,000. The total campaign expenditures in 2016 were some $6,000,000,000. The Clinton campaign spent some $480,000 on social network ads alone. But something "Russian" spending $4,700 was "interference"?

10-- Op Ed: Wikileaks Allies Have Been Systematically Targeted, Defamed

11--Intelgate? believe in “Intelgate” is to believe that the entire American intelligence system, along with the Justice Department and the FBI, the House and Senate intelligence committees, and countless private security experts and analysts, have fallen victim to a hoax perpetrated by the Deep State. It is to believe that dozens, scores, hundreds of former US officials who served under Obama, and who had Top Secret security clearances, have engaged in a conspiracy of silence since leaving office or, worse, have slyly taken part in a campaign to smear Trump. It is to believe that the dozens of members of Congress—both Republicans and Democrats, on the intelligence committees and in leadership positions—who have had access to the underlying intelligence that supports the January ICA think the evidence is weak but for some reason are afraid to challenge it. And it is to believe that America’s best investigative reporters, some of whom have received detailed leaks about what Mueller and the intelligence community know, are patsies....

Senator Burr said his committee will keep trying to uncover the secrets behind the so-called Trump Dossier, compiled by two private security firms and by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, which outlined a years-long pattern of business and political ties between Donald Trump and Russia

12-- Russia-gate Jumps the Shark

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Today's links

US Senate Intelligence Committee is ridiculous. Did not approach me or WikiLeaks for testimony or information, at all, ever. Unprofessional.  Julian Assange, Twitter, Oct 4

2-- The US Plan C for Syria and Iraq: its reckless game with the Kurds

3-- ISIS carries out attacks from US-controlled ‘black-hole’ area near Al-Tanf base – Russian MoD

4--Has Israel Effectively Colonized the United States?

5--The elites “have no credibility left:” An interview with journalist Chris Hedges     

6--Data From Twitter And WordPress Is Giving Intelligence Committees The Opportunity To Gain Insights Into The Real "Guccifer 2. adam carter   

7--Trump’s declaration that “only one thing will work” in dealing with North Korea

In a chilling indication of what is being planned and what would be required of the army, Mattis quoted Fehrenbach: “You may fly over a nation forever, you may bomb it, atomise it, pulverise it and wipe it clean of life. But if you desire to defend it... you must do this on the ground the way the Roman legions did: by putting your young men in the mud.”...

Over the past 25 years, successive US governments have pursued a policy of undisguised hostility towards Pyongyang and have never negotiated in good faith. In 1994, President Clinton was on the brink of launching an all-out war against North Korea. He only pulled back at the last moment when his generals made clear that there would be tens of thousands of US military casualties and nearly half a million South Korean military casualties in the first three months of a war.

8--Syria shows evidence that western weapons end up in terrorist hands

9--Russia Interfered!" - By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads?

After the ludicrous "Russian hacking" claims have died down for lack of evidence, the attention was moved to even more ludicrous claims of "Russian ads influenced the elections". Some readers are upset that continue to debunk the nonsense the media spreads around this. But lies should not stand without response. If only to blame the reporters and media who push this dreck.

As evidence is also lacking for any "Russian interference" claims the media outlets have started to push deceiving headlines. These make claims that are not covered at all by the content of the related pieces. The headlines are effective because less than 20% of the viewers ever read beyond them.
On the NYT Homepage today we find another one of these: Google Finds Russia Bought Ads to Interfere in Election.

Google has found no ads that "Russia", the state or nation, has bought. There is also no evidence that the ads in question interfered in any way with the election. There is evidence that any of the ads in questions aimed to achieve that. The opener of the piece repeats the false headline claims. But now we have "Russian agents", not "Russia", which allegedly did something.
Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.
The term "Russian agents" is not defined at all. Where these "secret agents" or Public Relation professionals in Washington DC hired by some Russian entity?
Using accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government, the agents purchased $4,700 worth of search ads and more traditional display ads, according to a person familiar with the company’s inquiry ...
"Accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government." Believed by whom? And how is "connected" defined? Isn't any citizen "connected" to his or her government

9--Was CIA Director Brennan the “Russian hacker?” Uh huh  Ray McGovern

10--Turkey intervenes in Syria: What you need to know

11-- America to blame for everything-- America Causes War, Sorrow, Poverty - Epic Rant From #1 Russian Anchor (Kiselyov

Isn't this how how the US acts all over the world though?
They destroy countries, cause civil wars, bring sorrow and poverty to entire nations. Just like that.

They seem to not even notice the consequences of their actions.
They blame others for everything, and then gloat about being sinless.
With this simple, carefree mentality, they can allow themselves everything....

They tap phones and read emails of billions of people on the planet, including the leaders of US allied countries.
They arrest foreign citizens all over the world and throw them in secret jails outside of the US. Outside of the US of course, so that they can torture them, without fear of breaking any of their own laws.
They plan and execute coup d'etats and color revolutions. They usually time them with the elections in the victim country...

They start and execute military operations without sanctions from the UN.
They falsely justify their own actions and act on false pretenses. For cover, they gather fake coalitions.
And all of this is done with that simple American air of naivete.
That same mindset allows them to be allied with what is left of Islamic State in Deir-ez-Zor.
With the same simple-mindedness, Trump threatened to destroy an entire country at the UN General Assembly.

The Americans have already announced that they are pulling out of the the nuclear agreement with Iran. Without any justifiable reasons, in spite of everything and everyone. Just like that.  
When Donald Trump became President, he received the people's mandate to build a rational relationship with Russia, and to implement a more rational policy in the world.
He wasn't supposed to overthrow foreign governments. Right now, Trump acts in direct opposition to his voters' expectations.
Is there, at least, one problem in the world which the US has helped solve this year? - No.

12--  Just how nutty Russia gate has become, Robert Parry

The mainstream Russia-gate narrative also keeps running up against other inconveniently contrary facts that then have to be explained away by the “responsible media.” For instance, The New York Times discovered that one of the “Russia-linked” Facebook groups was devoted to photos of “adorable puppies.” That left the “newspaper of record” musing about how nefarious the Russians must be to cloak their sinister operations behind puppies. [See’s “The Mystery of the Russia-gate Puppies.”]

The alternative explanation, of course, is unthinkable at least within the confines of “acceptable thought”; the alternative being that there might be no sinister Kremlin campaign to poison American politics or to install Trump in the White House, that what we are witnessing is a mainstream stampede similar to what preceded the Iraq War in 2003.