Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Today's links

1--Trump WAS bugged 

"....all those patronizing assurances that "No one is spying on political campaigns" were false....either the intel agencies have gone rogue pursuing their own goals without meaningful oversight from elected officials or our elected officials are colluding with one another to lie to the American people apparently for political reasons."

Why did 3 top members of congress from both parties, and the country's top law enforcement officer, all assure us that surveillance didn't happen, and that there wasn't a shred of evidence to suggest it had happened....Were they lying?"

2--Korean peninsula draws range of military drills in show of force against North Korea

3--Chinese-Russian naval drills begin off North Korea

4--Obama Goes From White House to Wall Street in Less Than One Year

The UN was created as part of a global system designed to further American imperialist hegemony, which included the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and various global and regional alliances and trade organizations...

Donald Trump, the ugly end product of American capitalism’s protracted decline—the rise of financial parasitism and the criminality of American militarism—is rising to the General Assembly’s podium on Tuesday. Trump will address the body under conditions where US imperialism is literally holding a gun to the head of humanity....

Amid these bellicose threats, American warplanes have carried out their most provocative exercises yet, with B-1B nuclear bombers and F-35 fighter jets flying Monday from Guam and Japan to drop bombs near North Korea’s border.....

Mueller’s investigators apparently obtained another search warrant for information about several hundred Facebook accounts, purportedly set up by individuals linked to Russian companies, which engaged in forwarding political messages over a two-year period. According to Facebook’s public assurances to users, it will hand over information about accounts only in response to a judicially approved warrant.

The scale of this alleged Russian operation, in an election cycle that encompassed millions of online participants sending hundreds of millions, if not billions, of messages, is trivial. According to the New York Times, which first made public the existence of the Facebook accounts, the total expenditure on political ads was about $100,000, compared to the billions spent by the Democrats and Republicans in the course of the campaign.

Facebook itself estimated that information operations like those allegedly mounted by Russia, all combined, accounted for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the total “civic content” on its platform related to the US elections.

Moreover, the bulk of the messages sent by the Russian-linked accounts, according to Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, did not refer to either Trump or his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, or make any mention of the election, but rather focused on “divisive social and political messages” related to abortion, immigration, gay rights and similar issues.

Despite the ominous language in media reports reiterating that it is illegal for non-residents of the United States to make contributions to US election campaigns, the bulk of the Facebook messages described in these reports were perfectly legal....

A lengthy report in the New York Times Monday details Facebook’s assiduous collaboration with demands by authoritarian governments, including China, Vietnam and Kenya, which has included exposing dissidents to arrest and imprisonment for anti-regime postings as well as the systemic removal of such “offending” material from Facebook pages.

The Times report glosses over the demands placed on Facebook by US authorities, but the company functions in practice as an instrument of the US military-intelligence apparatus. Facebook, Google and other giant IT companies are engaged in an increasingly brazen campaign of political censorship against publications and organizations identified by the CIA, NSA and Pentagon as threats

9--North Korea tests missile in response to sanctions

10-- Gallup Poll: US Majority Backs Attacking North Korea

11-- Obama Wiretapped the Trump Campaign

In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government just prior to the inauguration; virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.

12--  Donald Trump Caught in Wiretap at Trump Tower.

Comey said, "I know of no surveillance at trump Tower."
They were listening to Trump's campaign manager (Manafort)
if the Obama team used the subterfuge of national security to spy on Donald Trump and pass it on to Hillary or the media,  that's a felony

13--CNN claims FBI wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman

The question raised by CNN is whether conversations involving Manafort and Trump were monitored by the FBI—including after Trump had been sworn in as president. Contact between the men continued long after Manafort had ceased working for the campaign. Discussions reportedly ended only after both were advised to do so by their legal teams.

Trump’s claim on Twitter in March that Trump Tower had been “wire-tapped” during the election was publicly denied by both the FBI and the Justice Department. Manafort owns an apartment in the New York skyscraper.

The timing of the first alleged period of wiretapping serves to underscore that suspicion toward any figure in the American establishment who had relations with Russia or its allies long predates the furore that has developed over the 2016 election. The Putin administration was viewed with complete hostility in Washington due to its efforts to assert Russian interests against the US.
Tensions escalated after Moscow undermined the regime-change operation in Ukraine by annexing Crimea and launched a military intervention in 2015 to disrupt the US-led efforts to overthrow the pro-Russian Syrian regime.

The CIA-driven push for a second round of surveillance targeting Manafort coincided with the repeated statements by Trump during the election campaign that he would shift away from a hostile attitude toward Moscow and pursue closer ties. Trump’s emphasis was instead on bellicose denunciations of China, threats of trade war, and vows to increase American war preparations against Beijing.

These foreign policy conflicts—not any concern over the “subversion” of American democracy—lie at the heart of the frenzy over alleged Russian interference. The anti-Russia hysteria is being used to pressure the Trump administration to fall into line with the insistence of powerful sections of the intelligence, military and

14--A final word on President Hopium: CHA CHING

Obama became the first president to be at war for two full terms, dropping bombs on at least seven countries and continuing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. He pioneered assassinations by unmanned drone missile strikes, personally approving targets for death at meetings held on “Terror Tuesdays,” murdering hundreds of civilians in the process.

As the wars raged and the financial oligarchs were allowed to engorge themselves on the ever-greater amounts of wealth that are being piled up at the top of society, the living standards of the working class were driven down with wages slashed and health care and pensions torn away. Obama oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in history.
Obama is just starting to reap the rewards of a job well done serving the interests of the financial elite and the military-intelligence apparatus.

In April, he received $400,000 from A&E Television and received an undisclosed amount for a discussion in May about food with his former White House chef in Milan, Italy.

Last week, he spoke at an event sponsored by the Carlyle Group, where he earned $400,000. Next week, Obama will give the keynote address at a health care conference sponsored by the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, his bank account to be infused with yet another tranche of $400,000.
A book deal was signed by the Obamas earlier this year worth $65 million. By some estimates he and Michelle will eventually rake in more than $242 million from speeches, book deals and pensions.

15--Trump’s “Mein Kampf” tirade at the United Nations

“Wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure,” said Trump. “Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.”

A quarter-century after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the proclamation of the failure of Marxism and triumph of capitalism, the threat of socialism has become a central preoccupation of an American president delivering a reactionary and militarist diatribe before the United Nations.

Trump speaks for a US financial and corporate oligarchy that feels itself under siege. It fears growing popular anger. It has been shaken to the core by the revelation during the 2016 election that a broad social constituency within the working class and among the youth is intensely hostile to the profit system and sympathetic to socialism....

The threats today, however, are far greater. Trump’s speech has made it unmistakably clear to the world that the government he heads is comprised of criminals. Having drawn multiple lines in the sand, threatening war on virtually every continent, Trump’s own demagogy leads almost inexorably to escalation and military action.

The speech included a passage warning the world that the American military is no longer subordinate to civilian control. “From now on,” Trump declared, “our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operations, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians.”
In other words, the military will decide, not elected officialsthe fundamental characteristic of a military dictatorship

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