Saturday, February 06, 2016

Narratives -- or: Why neutrality would be immoral

The good guys are finally winning in Aleppo, where ISIS has been running the show. Unsurprisingly, the BBC wants to convince its audience that the wrong side is prevailing.
Nato has accused Russia of "undermining" Syrian peace efforts through its strikes, which it says are mainly aimed at opposition groups. Russia insists it only targets what it calls terrorists.

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Russia of being engaged in an "invasion" of Syria, saying it was trying to create a "boutique state" for ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Erdogan said Russia and the Syrian government were together responsible for 400,000 deaths in Syria.
What propagandistic bunk!

The people running the BBC can, of course, argue that they have told no lies -- technically. They have simply quoted the leader of Turkey. Well, I say that journalists become complicit in a falsehood if they routinely cite a man like Erdogan without offering any context.

The BBC could have exposed Erdogan's whopper by mentioning these two facts:

Fact 1: Neither Bashar Assad nor Vladimir Putin caused 400,000 deaths in Syria. That gruesome number is entirely the responsibility of ISIS, Nusra (Al Qaeda), and other jihadist groups.

Fact 2: The Erdogan family reaps immense profits from the sale of ISIS-brand oil, stolen from the Syrian people. Does anyone expect honesty from the business partner of ISIS?

Not long ago, a writer named Ira Chernus wrote a piece which appeared in various progressive journals. Flawed as his analysis is, it deserves to be read in conjunction with the BBC's exercise in neocon agit-prop.

Chernus argues that the problem we face is one of competing narratives. He's right -- but also, in part, wrong:
It was half a century ago, but I still remember it vividly. “We have to help South Vietnam,” I explained. “It’s a sovereign nation being invaded by another nation, North Vietnam.”

“No, no,” my friend protested. “There’s just one Vietnam, from north to south, divided artificially. It’s a civil war. And we have no business getting involved. We’re just making things worse for everyone.”

At the time, I hadn’t heard anyone describe the Vietnam War that way. Looking back, I see it as my first lesson in a basic truth of political life—that politics is always a contest between competing narratives. Accept a different story and you’re going to see the issue differently, which might leave you open to supporting a very different policy.
So far, so good. But then Chernus veers off course...
Right now, as Americans keep a wary eye on the Islamic State (IS), there are only two competing stories out there about the devolving situation in the Middle East: think of them as the mission-creep and the make-the-desert-glow stories. The Obama administration suggests that we have to “defend” America by gradually ratcheting up our efforts, from air strikes to advisers to special operations raids against the Islamic State. Administration critics, especially the Republican candidates for president, urge us to “defend” ourselves by bombing IS to smithereens, sending in sizeable contingents of American troops, and rapidly upping the military ante. Despite the fact that the Obama administration and Congress continue to dance around the word “war,” both versions are obviously war stories. There’s no genuine peace story in sight.

To be sure, peace activists have been busy poking holes in the two war narratives. It’s not hard. As they point out, U.S. military action against IS is obviously self-defeating. It clearly gives the Islamic State exactly what it wants. For all its fantasies of an apocalyptic final battle with unbelievers, that movement is not in any normal sense either planning to attack the United States or capable of doing so. Its practical, real-world goal is to win over more Muslims to its side everywhere. Few things serve that purpose better than American strikes on Muslims in the Middle East.
That’s a reasonable analysis, which effectively debunks the justifications for more war. It’s never enough, however, just to show that the prevailing narrative doesn’t fit the facts. If you want to change policy, you need a new story, one that fits the facts far better because it’s built on a new premise.
The Muslim civil war story leads directly to a radical change in policy: stop trying to impose a made-in-America order on dar al-Islam. Give up the dubious gratification of yet another war against “the evildoers.” Instead, offer genuinely humanitarian aid, with no hidden political agenda, to the victims of the civil war, especially those fleeing a stunning level of violence in Syria that the U.S. has helped to sustain. But cease all military action, all economic pressures, and all diplomatic maneuvering against any one side in the Muslim civil war. Become, as we have in other civil wars, a genuine neutral.

The problem with Chernus' narrative comes down to this: He titles his piece "A Civil War Story About Islamic State Might Spark a Peace Movement." Alas, that headline has the same adversarial relationship with reality that we've come to expect from the BBC or the NYT.

What's happening in Syria is not a civil war. Syria and Iraq were invaded by a foreign army.

As we've seen in many (many) previous posts, the Syrian "rebels" are actually a coalition of proxy forces created by the United States, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. This proxy army has the blessing and encouragement of the Israelis, who demand the removal of Bashar Assad. Our neocon Establishment hopes to depose Assad under the pretext of battling ISIS.

Most of the jihadists in Syria were not born there: They flew there. Most of them should have been (and probably once were) placed on "no fly" lists. That fact alone tells you everything you need to know about the complicity of the United States and its allies in this unprovoked attack on peaceful Syria. ISIS is our monster baby. These European and North African maniacs, brainwashed by Islamist propaganda, decided that God gave them the right to govern the Levant -- and that the Shi'ites, Alawites and secular Sunnis who have lived there for centuries deserve no rights whatsoever.

That's the "competing narrative" you're looking for, Ira.

This narrative probably will not please you because it offers little solace to peaceniks such as yourself.  But my "proxy army" construct has the virtue of being demonstrably true, while your "civil war" storyline is fictional.

Older progressives may prefer the fictional version of history because they came of age during the Vietnam conflict, and Vietnam really did experience a civil war. But Syria is different.

Once one has understood that neocons in "The West" and their Sunni allies subjected Syria to a foreign invasion -- not a civil war -- then one can see the immorality of neutrality.

I do not call for peace. I call for war. Perhaps not a war in which our troops personally participate, but a war in which we choose better allies. 

I call for a war in which we ally ourselves with the heroic peoples of Russia, Syria and Iran.

I call for a war to rectify the great wrong we did to the government of Bashar Assad, who (unlike many of our current partners) won a democratic election which was certified by impartial international observers. Even though most of Assad's natural supporters (Christians, Alawites and other religious minorities) have fled for their lives, Assad is still more popular in his country than Obama, Trump, Rubio and Hillary are in this country.

Once ISIS, Nusra and the other jihadis have been destroyed, morality demands that we pay reparations to Syria. Morality also demands that we officially apologize to the Syrians for the great injustice we did to them.

Beyond that: We should contemplate ridding the world of the consummately evil family now running Saudi Arabia. They funded ISIS and Al Qaeda, and their hideous attack on Yemen is a greater obscenity than was Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. What more casus belli do we need? Of course, it should be understand that the effort to free Arabia may require the direct participation of American troops.

Beyond that: We should also contemplate military action against Qatar, which is run by Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani -- one of the most obnoxious dictators the world has ever seen.

Beyond that: We should contemplate military action against the Erdogan regime in Turkey. (Always recall that the Erdogan crime family came to power via election fraud).

Beyond that: We should help the heroic Russians dismantle the vile neo-Nazi regime we installed in Ukraine.

Beyond that: For neither the first nor the last time, I call for the military conquest of Israel, in order to save the lives of millions of Palestinians. An international tribunal, following the Nuremberg model, should determine the fate of the oppressors.

Leftists like Ira Chernus mean well, but they are misleading. They insist on framing the Syrian problem purely in terms of peace and war. I say that we should frame the issue in terms of choosing the correct side. We have brought the world closer to a third World War because we have allied ourselves with the bad guys: Fascists, jihadists, extremists, dictators.

Neutrality? Too late for that.

Peace? Yes, but only after we have put right the wrongs we have committed.

Today -- as in 1941 -- it is necessary to fight. If we cannot intervene directly, then we should aid those who battle for secularism, anti-fascism, religious tolerance and democracy. First and foremost, we must choose the right allies.

How's that for a competing narrative?
Who is the consummately evil family running Saudi Arabia?
The Saudis. They named the country after the family.
Vietnam was no more a civil war than this is. The south was set up and entirely supported by America.

There's also nothing America can do militarily against Turkey. Obviously you'd win an all out war, but even putting aside NATO and Incirlik, Turkey has some hundreds of American-built post-Cold-War fighter jets, American-built and with state of the art missiles. No cost-free Serbia-style massacre of the natives.
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Friday, February 05, 2016

Bernie v Marco: DISASTER

Rubio is gaining on Trump. Bernie is gaining on Hillary nationwide. (He will of course win NH by a wide margin.)

These new tendencies trouble me because a Sanders/Rubio matchup cannot be won by the Democrat.

I will confess that a Sanders/Trump contest might result in a narrow Dem win, but only because The Donald is divisive and unpredictable and bizarre.

I predict that many of my readers are now itching to complain about Hillary and her neocon streak. Doing so is quite fair -- I've registered many such complaints myself. That said, your comment may not be published if you give me reason to suspect that you are a shill operating on automatic pilot. If your attitude is "I don't care who wins, as long as Hillary loses," seek another blog.

Look: Obama did not go to war with Syria in 2013, despite the pressures to do so. Peace generally prevailed during the Bill Clinton years, despite his foreign policy bungles.

Dems prefer approaches that do not involve the regular military forces. Drones, yes; special forces, yes; CIA subversion, yes. Boots on the ground? Not so much.

Obama was bad, but Romney would have been much, much worse. A President Romney would have mired us in a Syrian war -- which could easily have morphed into an American/Russian war by this point.

Hillary will probably be as bad as Obama (unless she is playing a very devious "long con" with the neocon Establishment, a possibility not to be ruled out). That said, I honestly do not believe that she wants to place American troops in harm's way, and I am quite certain that she does not want war with Putin. She's too smart for that.

Rubio will be worse. Much, much, MUCH worse.

Marco Rubio is to neconservatism as Cyd Charisse was to gams: The Ultimate Exemplar.

(Am I the first writer in twenty years to use the word "gams"? Am I the only one who recalls Cyd Charisse?)

Rubio is the darling of the Kristols and the Kagans and that whole PNAC crowd. Here's what Bob Parry wrote not long ago, in a piece titled "Neocons Make Rubio Their Favorite":
In October, The Wall Street Journal detailed Rubio’s ever-hardening line on Putin which is, by subtle extension, an attack on Trump’s foreign policy bona fides. Rubio said, “We are barreling toward a second Cold War, and strong American leadership is the only force capable of ensuring that peace and security once again prevail,” and promised that “under my administration, there will be no pleading for meetings with Vladimir Putin. He will be treated as the gangster and thug that he is. And yes, I stand by that phrasing.”
Also not coincidentally, the boyish charmer with a Hispanic name, Cuban roots and a compelling immigrant back story is pitching his transformative candidacy with a catchy campaign slogan that sounds vaguely, perhaps even ominously familiar: “Marco Rubio: A New American Century.”

Yes, Rubio has gone “Full-Neocon” and the echoes of grand designs past don’t stop with his blatant campaign slogan. On Nov. 5, Rubio gave a sweeping speech in New Hampshire outlining his defense policies that could, according to an expert at the Cato Institute, add upwards of $1 trillion dollars on top of current budget projections over the next decade.
Like the neoconservative brand he has franchised, Rubio has been waiting for the catalyzing event he can leverage into to transformative program to “rebuild” the world’s largest military and extend its already global-spanning reach.
But that’s the double-edged sword of Rubio’s Establishment bid — he’s a perfectly-crafted neoconservative Ken Doll who hits all their marks, but, at the same time, he’s an animatronic Establishment robot who reliably recites a well-worn message at least half of all GOP voters are currently rejecting out of hand.
This collection of Rubio quotes should chill your soul:
“Look at Vietnam and look at China, countries that we have engaged. They are no more politically free today than they were when that engagement started.”
Believe it or not, that's his rationale for ramping up a new Cold War.
“Empowering and supporting Syria’s opposition today will give us our best chance of influencing it tomorrow.”
More here:
Pressed by host Martha MacCallum on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” about whether any military action by the United States now means we’re at war with Russia, Rubio responded with talk of setting up a “safe zone” in Syria. This zone could be used as a sort of base for moderate rebel groups opposed to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, from which they could continue to wage war. Considering that Rubio had just a minute before stated that Russia is bombing these groups in order to eliminate them and prop up Assad, it’s hard to see how putting these rebels under official U.S. protection would not put our forces in direct conflict with the Russian military.
Not only that. We know that there are no moderates among the rebels, at least none with any muscle. We've been stretching the term "moderate" in such a way as to include Al Qaeda.

This piece is important, even though it comes to us by way of the dreaded Cato Institute (and was published by the even more dreaded Arianna Huffington)...
Moreover, Rubio's form of internationalism operates like a workman with only a hammer: every problem looks like a nail. In this case, the first and usually only solution to foreign problems is military. Indeed, it seems that the mere availability of military action requires reliance on military action. Anything else--diplomacy, economic sanctions, even threatening future military action--is the worst form of "appeasement," another meaningless yet all-purpose insult.
Indeed, Rubio might discuss whether he believes peace itself to be evidence of an "isolationist" policy. For instance, he declared: "I will use American power to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace or outer space." Wow, any violations. He also promised to treat as a casus belli "the economic disruptions caused when one country invades another, as well as the chaos caused by disruptions in choke points such as the South China Sea or the Strait of Hormuz." Does that mean America has to fight any war involving any trading partner?

When one contemplates the adverse consequences of this policy of perpetual intervention and war, one might start feeling some "isolationist" tendencies. For when it comes to Rubio, "isolationist" really means good old-fashioned common sense. Don't go to war unless you have to. Don't try to solve other people's problems. Don't turn small problems into bigger ones. Don't risk your own people's lives and money in misbegotten crusades abroad. Especially when none of those issues ever struck you as vital enough to impel you to serve in the military.

Far from highlighting Rubio's qualifications for the presidency, his foreign policy views demonstrate a world view which is both simplistic and dangerous. When coming from the Florida Senator, "isolationist" should be viewed as a compliment.
During a December debate, Rubio more or less stated that removing Assad was so damned important that the elevation of ISIS to power in Syria was an acceptable outcome.
“If we are to defeat our enemies we need to be clear-eyed that toppling a government and allowing radical Islamic terrorists to take over a nation is not benefiting our national security interests,” said Cruz, referring to Obama’s Syria policy goals. “Putting ISIS or Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of yet another state in the Middle East is not benefiting our national security.”

Rubio’s stance couldn’t be more different. At the event, he argued unequivocally in favor of efforts to take down Assad.

“As long as Assad is in power you’re going to have in place someone that creates the conditions for the next ISIS to pop up, for the next ISIS to emerge,” Rubio said Thursday. “This simplistic notion,” he concluded, “that ‘leave Assad there because he’s a brutal killer, but he’s not as bad as what’s going to follow him,’ is a fundamental and simplistic and dangerous misunderstanding of the reality of the region.”
What dangerous doubletalk!

You want to talk reality? The reality (as we have demonstrated in many previous posts) is this: "The West" -- along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- created the Syrian rebellion in order to topple Assad. Empowering ISIS was the whole point of that operation.

Trump annoys me. Hillary infuriates me. Sanders disappoints me (at least on the foreign policy front). Cruz can induce vomiting.

But nobody scares me like Marco Rubio.
Read this. But please try not to have another heart attack over it.
Nothing new there, Michael. Since the 1990s (and certainly in 2008), saying "The Clintons are the Establishment" has been one of the standard ways The Establishment has attacked the Clintons.
BTW: I presume, then, you want a President Rubio? Because that's what you'll get. It's Hillary or Marco. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Bernie has a chance against Rubio.
Rubio isn't going to be the nominee. Neither is Sanders. Sanders will be gone after Super Tuesday.

I am still looking at Bush/Kasich or Kasich/Rubio as the final ticket. Clinton will be the next president of the United States.
Really? I've been predicting for a long time now that Rubio would head the ticket, and probably would win the general. But I would be interested to hear how you came to your conclusions...
This will only last until March 1st. On the 2nd, you will awake to seeing Clinton up with in insurmountable delegate lead over Sanders. Iowa, in a caucus, and NH, were alway the only places where Bernie was really strong. It won't be that close on March 1st, she'll win easily.
It's interesting how Trump has not yet laid into Rubio, never has either, that I recall. I too expect that Bush, maybe Kasich, one or the other, is going to come out of NH as the person that the others all gather around. It's going to be a long messy game on the GOP side, practically assured that it will be a dealmaker convention. The only way to avoid that was if Trump ran the table, that could still happen, but it looks less likely now than it did a week ago.
Michael, above. Martin Longman is a longtime Clinton hater. He was a complete tool in 2008. Anything he says is not to be taken as even close to objective. One Q poll is nothing to hang your hat on. And besides, only a northeastern fool would not understand the history of the word progressive. Clinton, like a lot of southerners, adopted the word in place of liberal in the 1980's, she's speaking a different language than the progressive party of Bernie in Burlington.
Saw a piece on tv showing lots of Kaisich. I just shook my head... if Bernie is the nominee, Kaisich would wipe the floor with him.

I confess to intensely disliking Clinton myself. She's just a calculating politician. Not an original thought in her head, just poll-tested talking points fed to her by a retinue of Clinton peeps left over from the 1990s. The more I hear her condescending tone and memorized empty promises, the more annoyed I get. She's like that girl in high school who sucked up to the teacher, aced every exam, and ended up valedictorian - but had the personality of a tin can. Frankly, I don't know how I could stand eight years of her. I would probably check out.

But sure, I'd vote for her over just about any Republican.

PS, those Goldman-Sachs speeches should be pretty interesting if she ever dares to release them.
"New Poll Shows Sanders Obliterating Clinton's 31-Point National Lead"

The Democratic Party establishment is quaking in their boots.
Joseph, I totally respect your wisdom and read only your blog, BUT how dare you mention Cyd Charisse's name in a Rubio comparison! I loved her.
jack, I liken Cyd to Marco only the same sense that I would liken Cyd to the hydrogen bomb. Both are The Ultimate Examples of Their Kind.
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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Is Turkey preparing to invade Syria? Is all hell about to break loose?

The American establishment is finally turning against the Syrian misadventure: Not long ago, we saw a study (produced by I-forget-which think tank) which claimed that Nusra (a.k.a. Al Qaeda) was an even greater menace than ISIS. This, mere months after David Petraeus was telling Americans that we should partner up with Nusra.

Perhaps the shift in the winds explains why Turkey may do something bold or desperate or stupid:
The Russian military said Thursday that it has "reasonable grounds" to suspect that Turkey is making intensive preparations for a military invasion of neighboring Syria.

Images of a checkpoint on the border between the Turkish town of Reyhanli and the town of Sarmada in Syrian taken in late October and late January show a buildup of transportation infrastructure that could be used for moving in troops, ammunition and weapons, spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in an English-language written statement.

He said these were among growing signs of "hidden preparation of the Turkish armed forces for active actions on the territory of Syria.

"Maybe, in peacetime, these facts would indicate the expectation of trade turnover growth between the neighboring countries," Konashenkov said. "However, during wartime, in such a way the transport infrastructure is preparing on the eve of military intervention."

A Turkish Foreign Ministry official said the ministry would have no immediate comment.
"No comment" is the most ominous comment of all.

Why would Erdoğan contemplate such a horrific move? Moon of Alabama notes:
The decisive Syrian government victory yesterday cuts off the foreign supported insurgents in Aleppo and Idleb from they supply sources in Turkey and deprives them of their fuel supplies.

In reaction to that victory the supporters of the insurgents and terrorist in Syria are likely to increase their efforts. The negotiations in Geneva failed over the Syrian victory and the Saudis had already promised that such a failure would lead to an increased support. The Saudi Defense Ministry declared today that Saudi ground forces could take part in action in Syria. It is doubtful that the Saudis have a real capability to do so.

But the Saudis and others will now again shower the insurgents and Jihadis in Syria with money and new weapons. A Turkish invasion could add momentum to such a move.
So the Saudis are paying the Turks to put their young men in harm's way. Typical.

M of A says that Turkey won't take this step, but may mount an invasion using a proxy force, an ethnic group known as the Syrian Turkmens.
These "Turkmen" had occupied northern Latakia where they are just being kicked out by the Syrian army and its supporters. They consist of Turkish "Grey Wolf" fascists, Turkish Islamists and Chechen and Uhigur Islamist mercenaries. They are controlled by the Turkish secret service MIT.
Wow. So, just as the fascist Azov battalion is fighting against Russian-speakers in Ukraine, we will now have the fascist Grey Wolves fighting against Russian interests in Syria.

It's World War II all over again, except this time the US is backing the goosesteppers.

I don't think that the Grey Wolves are powerful enough to affect the tide of battle (which is currently going against the jihadists). An invasion by the regular Turkish army may well occur, though perhaps not right away.

CNN says that Turkey does not plan to invade:
Turkish forces aren't preparing to invade northern Syria and Russia's allegation that they are is an attempt to hide Moscow's crimes in the war-ravaged nation, a source within the Turkish Prime Minister's office told CNN on Thursday.

"Simply they are diverting attention from their attacks on civilians as a country already invading Syria," the source told CNN. "Turkey has all the rights to take any measures to protect its own security."
Russia has not attacked civilians: They have kicked jihadist ass. That last statement -- "Turkey has all the rights to take any measures to protect its own security" -- seems pretty damned ominous to me.

Since Turkey is a NATO ally, this whole thing could spin out of control very easily. A counter-attack on Turkish forces could very easily lead to American involvement.

And then there's the Kurdish factor -- about which, see here.
Many observers believe that Putin could supply Kurdish militants along the Turkish-Syrian border with advanced arms, such as modern anti-tank missiles that could have a devastating effect on the Turkish army.
Yet it’s not World War III that analysts worry about the most — at least not in the conventional sense. The bigger danger is that the crisis could fragment NATO, where many voices have started to question Turkey’s role in the alliance.
The Kurds, who number approximately 28 million, may be the largest ethnic group in the world without its own country. What the Kurds consider their ancestral homeland is a contiguous area that runs from southeastern Turkey into parts of Syria, Iraq and Iran. In recent conflicts against jihadists, including the Islamic State, the Kurds have proved themselves the most reliable local ally for the West.

Westerners consider Turkey an ally, but many believe Turkey has aided ISIS and other extremist groups in Syria. Some observers even suggest Turkey has colluded with the extremists against the Kurds. In fact, the two-year ceasefire collapsed when Kurdish militants killed two Turkish policemen whom they accused of helping ISIS conduct an attack that killed over 30 Kurdish youth activists in July.
The US also takes care not to offend Turkey. When Vice President Joe Biden visited Ankara on January 23 to ramp up the regional alliance against ISIS, he spoke out against attempts to curtail freedom of speech, but then proceeded to parrot the Turkish government’s position that the militant Kurdish People’s Party (PKK) is as much a “threat” to Turkey as ISIS itself.

To be sure, the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the US and the EU (though other Kurdish groups involved in the conflict aren’t). And most analysts agree that Kurdish attacks against the Turkish army and police have contributed significantly to the spiralling violence.

Still, the US and other Western governments have long turned a blind eye to the civil and human rights abuses of their allies — Oman and Uzbekistan were most recently in the headlines, though Saudi Arabia may well be the most glaring example.
"Allies" like Erdoğan, Prince Salman and (of course) dear old Bibi exemplify everything wrong with American foreign policy. Quite simply: We are on the wrong side.

So the conspiracy theory about Turkey is they bottled up 2 million migrants and then unfurled them into Europe to create unrest in Europe and destabilize the Euro. The U.S. appreciates that gesture and that makes Turkey an ally in good standing.
The bigger conspiracy theory is whenever any currency challenges the U.S. Dollar as the currency used for exchange rates and for trading that the U.S. comes up with a plan to destabilize the up and coming currency.
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Go, Jeb, go!


Here is the state of Republican race: Donald Trump -- reliving a classic scene from Citizen Kane -- now claims that Ted Cruz stole the election in Iowa. This assertion inspired a delightfully incomprehensible post from Sarah Palin, who has transcended ordinary human thought patterns. Her brain has become a random word generator.

In other news: Santorum is out. (I had forgotten that he was in.) Rand Paul is out too, and I'm sorry to see him go: His foreign policy views were refreshingly non-insane, although his domestic policies would have been disastrous.

But Lo, Bush shall be with us always, for the power of Horus courses through his veins. I did not create the image embedded above; apparently, it's a new Facebook meme. Spread it around!

What's that? You say that Bush, too, will soon follow Santorum and Paul? O ye of little faith! Brother Jeb still has the power to turn things around. For the Bush family will always prevail if they heed these words of Grandfather Al:
“Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.”

“Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.”

[On blood sacrifice] "The blood is the life: So it says in Corinthians. And who am I to argue with Saint Paul?"

[From The Book of the Law] "We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk...We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world."
-- 93.
I love this bush because he would like to go on in his life of being a bush. That is stealing the money in the name of family. Then at the same time please family let me go ?.
That is for sure a drunk post by Palin, lol
The grandson of the Great Beast appears to be a complete loser who is a bit too narrow between the eyes. Sad. The Beast himself ended up as a bankrupt junkie strung out on heroin in a cheap English rooming house. So much for magick. Someone needs to tell Jeb that the dynasty is ended. He needs to go away with his Mexican dwarf wife and enjoy his wealth as best he can with the time he has left. Hasta la vista, baby. President you aint.
I've noticed that those who hate Mexicans will often end up hating Jews. The opposite is also true, those hating Jews will also hate Mexicans. I would say that the phrase "Mexican dwarf wife" is disgusting and unworthy of this place. But in truth, it is exactly worthy of this place.
Truth is, I let that comment go through without reading it. I know nothing about Jeb Bush's wife. As it happens, I spent much of my life living among Mexican-Americans back in California, and I miss them. I'm still not used to living in a predominantly white community. So that's how MY prejudices run...!

And joseph, I do not hate you (although if you insult me again, you will no longer post here). Neither do I hate the many Jewish friends I've had (and have even counted among my relatives).

I hate Israel. So do an increasing number of Jews these days. There are even left-wing Jews in Israel who have come around to my position that the only solution to Israeli fascism is "outside interventionism." That's the phrase they use. I prefer the more honest term "military conquest."

Fascism has no rights. A fascist government -- no, a fascist CULTURE -- must be eliminated. That's what happened in Italy: The Italians were conquered from without, and the country was ultimately better off for it. A lot of brave Americans gave their lives at Anzio (and other places) for the express purpose of insuring that the Italians no longer governed themselves.

As you know, I happen to be of Italian stock. I don't hate Italians -- in fact, I have always loved the art, culture, music and food of Italy. I DO hate fascism.

Thanks for your contribution, small j. I was sick of writing about Bibi and his antics, but you've reminded me of my obligations.
There was an italian Resistance movement during World War II.
And another way the Italians resisted, and a very odd way it was indeed. Mussolini was inspecting his warplane strength at various military bases. As soon as Mussolini left one air base, those planes would be flown to the next base Mussolini would be going to for an inspection. Really the ultimate in war time quackery, purposely misrepresenting warplane strength to your own fascist president.
Deep down I don't believe most Italians wanted any part of World War II but were rangled into it by manipulative forces who used fear to make the war happen.
I've noticed something interesting about Ted Cruz disciples, they really go after the other candidates on that candidates home page. The Facebook link to Sarah Palin that you provided was comment bombed by Cruz devotees.

I was also watching a Hillary Clinton feed and out of nowhere came a comment from a Cruz devotee who has a Hillary in Jail twitter account.

Hillary Clinton's biggest weakness are her supporters who just won't get into scrums with the truly whacked out, yet over time those whacked out people do create a toll on her image.
I wish both Israel and its chief patron, my USA, actually were the virtuous countries which their fans believe they are. :(
Is it April uno already? Damn, I can not even figure out when Mardis Gras is. My kids were asked to wear costumes to school on Monday, then they had pancakes on Tuesday, everyone these days gets ahead of themselves. Simple solutions: 1: dress your kids (if they let you) in costumes everyday 2: give them double portions during Lent, especially pancakes with graded Canadian syrup 3: Don't choose political name/monikers based on Jibjab flash animations if you don't fully comprehend the history of a family, and mostly importantly 4: Don't post after too many drinks Mr. Cannon especially referencing drunk Alaskans. 5: Lastly, shame about or on the OTO depending how serious you are about the Easter business.
little j, does everything have to be about The Jews for you??? Before your post, not one single mention was made in the post or comments about Jews or Israel, yet you have to make it about that for some reason. Yes, Makarov's comment was offensive and probably racist, but what did it have to do with The Jews? Nothing.

Israel is a nation on the world stage. It is open to any and all criticism just like the USA or any other nation. Just because it is a nation based on racial superiority, does not give it freedom from criticism. Criticism of Israel is NOT the same as criticism of Jewish people in general. As I hear so often from defenders of Israel, there are many other races and religions in Israel, so why the double standard of then saying that criticism of Israel equals criticism of Jews generally? You, unlike Cannon, are a one issue guy, so don't be surprised when that starts to annoy our host and his other readers.
I guess if Sanders isn't going to win, the best result is a Cruz victory because Rubio is sinister-Establishment to the core and while Cruz might ultimately be Establishment, his angry personality will be more likely to get war and other opponents in the streets.
With Killary, the left will be as silent as they are with Obama on war atrocities. Wouldn't want to offend..blacks...women.....
"Compassion is the vice of kings".

The one true King is noted for His "vice", so there remains hope for Mr. Crowley.
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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Obama's link to the ultimate secret society

(This article contains some original research on an important topic. Please spread the news.)

You never see much discussion of "elite secret societies" in this blog. That line of research, or pseudo-research, has become the province of Alex Jones and other reactionary Illuminati-spotters.

I still recall the time, around 1990, when someone handed me a copy of Anthony Sutton's thin book on Skull and Bones. This explains everything, my acquaintance told me. After reading the work, my reaction was: "That's it? Where's the freakin' evidence?"

I have a similar reaction whenever some quasi-illiterate paranoia-junkie tries to convince me that the Illuminati is real.

But one secret society is real -- and truly influential -- and woefully under-studied. Almost nobody talks about it. I'll bet you an apple fritter that you can't name it.

Why don't more conspiracy buffs talk about this group? Three reasons:

1. This organization is truly international in scope. To work out the puzzle, you have to deal with material written in many different languages. Most of our proudly nescient conspiracy buffs speak only Amurkin, gawdammit.

2. This organization has nothing to do with the occult; it's purely about power and money. Most American conspiracy buffs are emotionally wedded to the puerile image of elite power-brokers donning black robes and sacrificing goats to His Infernal Majesty.

3. Most importantly: This organization is right-wing and fiercely anti-socialist. Most American conspiracy buffs are also right-wing and anti-socialist. If they ever heard about this group, they would probably say: Hey, these are the GOOD guys!

This organization has various names. These days, it is usually called le Cercle -- the Circle. A long time ago, members knew it as The Pinay Circle (Le Cercle Pinay), after the conservative French politician Antoine Pinay, who served as France's prime minister in 1952.

Pinay and Germany's Konrad Adenauer founded the group. Some years later, after Pinay developed health issues, his aide Jean Violet functioned as "grandmaster" of what became known as the Violet Circle (Le Cercle Violet).

(If you're an all-Amurkin conspiracy buff who wants to talk about this stuff without sounding like a rube, here are a few pronunciation tips: Le Cercle is "Luh SAIR-cluh," Jean Violet is "Zhun Vee-oh-LAY" and Pinay is "Pee-NAY."

I first learned about the Circle from an early issue of Lobster. Editor Robin Ramsey has followed the story ever since -- in fact, he gives the group a shout-out in his latest post. David Guyatt is one of the few writers to give this group any serious attention.

But the researcher who has done more than anyone else to shine a light on this Circle is the extraordinary David Teacher -- who, over the course of three decades, has somehow managed to scoop up much of the group's internal documentation. Many of those documents were appended to the third addition of his magisterial work Rogue Agents.

A fourth edition of that work recently appeared. You can acquire it for free here. If you want the documentation that appeared only in edition three, go here. (Please understand that the latter PDF file is much larger.)

This is not your typical conspira-crap book. Teacher is a scholar who writes to a high standard, and he cites hundreds of sources -- good sources. (He's not at all like those fringe writers who can cite only other fringe writers.)

Teacher does not portray the Circle as a monolithic "bad guy" group. Although this organization has some superficial similarities to SPECTRE (as depicted in the James Bond films), it's really quite different. Rogue Agents demonstrates that The Circle is just one force among others, with considerable but not illimitable influence. Within the Circle are individuals and constituent organizations that will, from time to time, be at odds with other members and organizations. The leaders have even invited people who do not share the Circle's basic philosophy to speak at their secret conclaves. (Chuck Hagel is one example.)

Do not underestimate the scope of this organization, which has attracted many of the most powerful individuals in the western world. The Circle has its own intelligence service, called 6I (pronounced "Six Eye"). 6I sometimes acts in concert with -- and sometimes against -- the interests of the CIA and other western services. After the CIA scandals of the 1970s, 6I oversaw certain covert operations that the Agency could no longer do.

From Teacher's introduction:
This study is an attempt at a preliminary transnational investigation of the Paneuropean Right and particularly of the covert forum, the Cercle Pinay and its complex of groups. Amongst Cercle intelligence contacts are former operatives from the American CIA, DIA and INR, Britain's MI5, MI6 and IRD, France's SDECE, Germany's BND, BfV and MAD, Holland's BVD, Belgium's Sûreté de l’Etat, SDRA and PIO, apartheid South Africa's BOSS, and the Swiss and Saudi intelligence services. Politically, the Cercle complex has interlocked with the whole panoply of international right-wing groups: the Paneuropean Union, the European Movement, CEDI, the Bilderberg Group, WACL, Opus Dei, the Moonies, Western Goals and the Heritage Foundation. Amongst the prominent politicians associated with the Cercle Pinay were Antoine Pinay, Konrad Adenauer, Archduke Otto von Habsburg, Franz Josef Strauß, Giulio Andreotti, Manuel Fraga Iribarne, Paul Vanden Boeynants, John Vorster, General Antonio de Spínola, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
Once the fragmented information is pieced together, the network that emerges cannot be overlooked: the Cercle complex can be seen to be an international coalition of right- wing intelligence veterans, working internationally to promote top conservative politicians who would shape the world in the 1970s and 1980s.

To take the British example, much of the destabilisation of British democracy in the 1970s can only be fully understood by analysing the international support given to groups like the Anglo-American "deniable propaganda" outlet, the Institute for the Study of Conflict. The Cercle Pinay was a major source of support for the ISC virtually from its inception on; the Cercle Pinay and the ISC also tied in with another key British group, the Foreign Affairs Research Institute, heavily funded by BOSS, apartheid South Africa's secret service. BOSS's other incursions into domestic politics in Britain, notably their smear operations against leading Liberals such as Jeremy Thorpe and Peter Hain, were a significant factor in the hijacking of British democracy in the 1970s. Three Cercle members on the FARI Board assisted FARI's actions from 1976 through to the early 1980s. FARI in many ways was the British successor to a previous Cercle operation to support South Africa; the Cercle and the ISC had been active partners in setting up a Paris-based propaganda outlet in 1974 as part of South Africa's covert media campaign later exposed in the "Muldergate" scandal.

German intelligence reports on the Cercle Pinay written in late 1979 and early 1980 which were published in Der Spiegel in 1982 also shed new light on a "Thatcher faction" within MI6 in the lead-up to the Conservatives' 1979 election victory. Whilst receiving wide publicity in France and Germany, these reports have never been covered by the British Press. This serious omission is astounding in the light of the undeniable authenticity of the reports and the startling allegations they contain: one of the German intelligence reports dated November 1979 quotes a planning paper by Crozier about a Cercle complex operation "to affect a change of government in the United Kingdom (accomplished)".
Emphasis added. Think long and hard about that last statement. Let the implications roil and boil in your brain: "to affect a change of government in the United Kingdom (accomplished)".

As you think about that, think about this:

Who gave us Obama? How did he come to be? 

Although Teacher's book focuses primarily on the Cold War era, we are not talking purely about history here. In fact, we are talking about America's current president, Barack Obama.

In 2008, this blog (and precious few others) discussed that fine mansion in Chicago which the Obama family called home -- a house purchased under very mysterious circumstances. At the time, Obama was a relatively down-at-heels community organizer who had transitioned into state-level politics. Those of you who recall the scandal may be under the impression that the shady wheeler-deal Tony Rezko arranged that deal. But Rezko was simply a middle-man -- in fact, he was technically broke at the time.

The money, all $3.5 million of it, came from an Egyptian tycoon named Nadhmi Auchi. Nobody knows why this foreign businessman, who had many links to right-wing movers-and-shakers all over the world, rushed to the aid of a then-obscure "progressive" state senator in Illinois.

In 2008, eight stories linking Auchi to Obama were rather harshly censored from a variety of major newspapers. Wikileaks has the story.

Auchi -- an Iraqi who advised the UK government during the recent war -- has had an interesting history: As I discussed in an earlier post, a US businessman named Dale Stoffel claims that, after Dubya went into Iraq, Auchi bribed Pentagon officials in order to attain control of that country's cellphone infrastructure. Before the war, Auchi profited from the oil-for-food deal with Iraq.

At roughly the same time...well, let's just quote from Auchi's Wikipedia entry:
In 2003, Auchi was convicted of fraud following his involvement in a $504 million corruption scandal centred on the French oil company Elf Aquitaine, described as "the biggest political and corporate sleaze scandal to hit a western democracy since the second world war".[14][15] Auchi was given a $2.8 million fine, along with a 15 month suspended jail sentence, for his involvement in the 1991 purchase by Elf Aquitaine of various Spanish oil refineries and petrol stations, having been accused by prosecutors of funneling $118 million of illegal commissions back to the Elf executives who had initially set up the deal.
According to The Guardian, "Elf became a private bank for its executives who spent £200 million on political favours, mistresses, jewellery, fine art, villas and apartments."

How does this man relate to the topic of today' post? Simple: Nadhmi Auchi is a key member of The Circle.

From the Sunday Times of September 5, 2004:
NADHMI AUCHI is a member of an elite club known as Le Cercle. It consists of transatlantic businessmen and politicians and is often compared with the Bilderberg Group. The secretive group of 100 people meets twice a year to discuss global politics and business. The next meeting is scheduled to be held in Washington this month.

The club, which has close links to the intelligence services, was founded in the 1950s by former French prime minister Antoine Pinay and former German chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Guests at the club's meetings have included Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, the Sultan of Oman, Romania's Ion Illiescu and King Hussein of Jordan. The current chairman is Lord Lamont, the former Tory chancellor, and other members are thought to include Anthony Cavendish and Geoffrey Tantum, who are both former MI6 officers.
(One occasionally sees brief articles of this sort in European newspapers, usually without byline. It's always fun to think about who plants these squibs -- and why.)

Perhaps the largest of Auchi's companies was Compagnie Internationale de Participations Bancaires et Financieres. The director of this financial institution (which has deep ties to Jordan) was Lord Norman Lamont, a former Conservative MP with strong ties to the worlds of intelligence and parapolitics.
Since 1996 Lamont has been Chairman of Le Cercle, a foreign policy Club founded by German Chancellor Adenauer after the War with members from over twenty-five countries. This group, which meets bi-annually in Washington DC, includes many senior intelligence experts and has a particular interest in the War against Terrorism.
That brief bio come to us courtesy of Benador Associates, a neocon power group described in this earlier post.

Confused? Did I hit you with too many names all at once? Let's make it simple:

1. The very conservative Lord Norman Lamont worked for, or at least with, Nadhmi Auchi. 

2. Lamont also chaired The Circle. 

3. Auchi is one of only a hundred people who attends high-level meetings of The Circle.

4. Auchi also funneled millions of dollars to the then-unknown Barack Obama -- who, with amazing rapidity, rose to become president of the United States.

Remember what that internal Circle document said about the rise of Thatcher?
"to affect a change of government in the United Kingdom (accomplished)".
That, my friends, is power.

Previously, members of the Circle destabilized Jimmy Carter and insured the election of Ronald Reagan. Teacher's book discusses these machinations at length.

From Guyatt's piece:
Additional Cercle targets may have been Olaf Palme, Sweden’s Prime Minister.

In 1987 the leading Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter carried a sensational story that the 03 section of the Swedish intelligence service, SAPO, were heavily involved in Palme’s assassination, following their fury at his policy of détente towards the Soviet Union, and possibly fearful that he may discover the extent of their implication in arms sales to Iran. Other "direct actions" possibly include a Coup d’etat in Belgium during 1973, "planned by gendarmerie officers and extreme right-wing groups."

By no means least were the allegations by France’s leading daily, Le Monde, which in 1978 revealed the activities of Circle member and head of the intelligence service SDECE, Alexandre de Marenches. Le Monde claimed that de Marenches led a domestic campaign of terrorism and disinformation. It is fairly apparent that these activities were, "designedly", to keep Francois Mitterand from office during the 1974 elections. However, with the exception of the Langemann papers, and an ISC memo published in Lobster 17, there are no other Cercle documents available to confirm these allegations.
Canada also veered sharply to the right during the eighties.

We may never know the true extent to which the Cercle, and its black psyops "fronts" the ISC, WISC, CCS and others had in "affecting" a wholesale change in government in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Clearly the decade of the eighties witnessed a marked shift to the political right in the western democratic arena. It would be stretching credulity to suggest that this rapid swing in political ideology took place accidentally.
Let's get back to Auchi. He also has strong ties to the Saudis...
President of the Anglo-Arab Organisation (AAO) since its founding in 2002. The July 2004 meeting of the AAO was attended by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Michael Howard (Le Cercle), the Conservative Party leader and leader of the opposition, king Abdullah of Jordan, Sheikh Badawi (Islamic College of London), together with many political, business and media elite. During the 2004 AAO conference Auchi said: " [the organisation, at its core] is the desire to build on, and further enhance, the fruitful, warm and productive relations which have existed over so many centuries between the United Kingdom and the Arab world." Auchi stressed AAO's important role in furthering interfaith dialogue as well as supporting initiatives aimed at "further integration of the welcomed British Arab community into mainstream society." On one of the pictures Auchi is shaking hands with Prince Andrew and King Abdullah.
Prince Andrew's involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal may or may not be related to these machinations.

During the period of the anti-Soviet effort in Afghanistan, The Circle formed a strong bond with Turki al-Faisal, the head of Saudi intelligence. Thus, it is perfectly fair to state that when Al Qaeda was born, The Circle was there: The Circle was at the foundation of the Foundation.

This interview with Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald discusses Le Cercle and its links to the Afghan-Soviet war. (Gould and Fitzgerald wrote Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story.)

6I: As noted above, The Circle has its own spy service, operating above and beyond the CIA, MI6, the BND, and all other western services. This super-spy group has been called (erroneously) I6 and 61 (Sixty-one). It's real name appears to be 6I (with the letter I). We are told that 6I stands for "Sixth International," a winking reference to Marxist history. I suspect that that this nomenclature may actually have arisen from the earlier "Five Eyes" (or 5I) intelligence alliance. I also suspect that, operationally, 6I was an outgrowth of the CAZAB conferences organized by James Jesus Angleton.

6I operatives are called numericals. Isn't that cute?

6I, we are told, is modestly funded. However, I suspect that these spies will always have access to whatever cash they truly need. There was a lot of heroin money floating around in Afghanistan...

If you've been paying close attention to "spooky" matters over the years, you may have noticed that many right-wing covert ops were the work of agents who don't have much love for the CIA -- in fact, they have often sneered at the CIA. You may have asked yourself: "If these people have such disdain for American intelligence, then who are they working for?"

Now you are in a better position to hazard a guess. You might say that you have their number.

Some folks travel in a very rarified Circle.
I remember Auchi, He was suing for libel a few years ago because some rag, probably either the Guardian or Private Eye, had called him a fraudster. He was, of course, a convicted fraudster.
I have a hard time believing this but this group could be doing the cia bidding for future gains. Obomber comes from the cia and its many cones. ford foundation for one.
Please explain the image: alien, spider or octopus?
One of the allegations surrounding Obama is that he is actually part Egyptian, not african american. The plot thickens?
ISGP.NL has a wealth of info on them also. There is a tremendous amount of overlap in Le Cercle players and those involved in Gladio(P2/P7/opus dei,etc.)
Great info Joseph. I actually HAVE heard about the Circle, though this is the most real information I've seen about them (mostly just brief mentions and allusions here and there). Very interesting and certainly would help explain Obama's meteoric rise to fame (not really power, as I suspect he is a tool not an actual power broker).

Also Lizzie, thanks for that link, lots of good stuff there.
And Alexandre de Marenches - head of French intelligence would have been on top of France's secret anti-communist army (France's "Gladio") and the strategy of tension.
He was also the founder of "The Safari Club", the privatized global "CIA" first used by George Bush senior, and Konrad Adenauer - linking to the Nazi Underground -

Great stuff, It'll take a while to work through the links.
My question is why would a far-right cabal push Obama into the presidency? Perhaps the answer is more obvious that it appears...
I hope Teacher will put out a print copy, at this time it's only available on Kindle.
Auchi, i don't recall that name at all in '07 during the 'vetting' haha, why is that...

they probably were behind the libor collapse as well to ensure the mkt crash just when the election became unsure.
The claim is that Lord Lothian (aka Michael Ancram) is the current head of Le Cercle and was one of the founding signatories to the Henry Jackson Society.
After reading about Trumps Personal Jet having been forced to land for mechanical a prelude to murder by aircraft [MBA*]...which is how I believe Mr. Trump meets his end for crossing paths with the Bush clan, this story does not alter my world view.

MBA is common way to murder political rivals, now even easier since the Intelligence services now head the once fiercely independent NTSB.

Donald Trump’s private jet makes emergency landing in Nashville
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

My sudden decision to support Hillary Clinton (albeit with nose held)

I disliked Bill Clinton until the Republicans hit him with a thousand smears, culminating in Whitewater. In 2007-8, my attitude was ABC -- Anyone But Clinton -- until the Obots started to game the blogs, emulating the same GOP attack-attack-attack strategy. The "darkened video" smear transformed this unenthusiastic Obama voter into a Hillary supporter.

As long-time readers know, Hillary has done nothing but piss me off throughout the past seven years. Sweartagod, when I woke up this morning, I was mapping out in my head a piece titled "The case for Martin O'Malley."

(Although the former Baltimore mayor has many problems -- I hold him largely responsible for what went wrong with the Baltimore police department -- his Middle East stances have pleased me more than anything I've heard from either Hillary or Sanders.)

But then -- today -- one article changed everything.

Okay, it was more than one article. We've been pummeled with nonsense about the "emailgate" pseudoscandal, as detailed in the preceding post. The steady stream of planted stories about Bill Clinton's former libido issues only made me recall how much more prosperous this country was in the 1990s. And nothing has pissed me off more than the innumerable hit pieces which pretend that the Clinton Foundation -- a charity -- is really some sort of political slush fund. (The foundation has a rep for being clean. If you have evidence -- as in evidence -- to the contrary, why not write it up and win the Pulitzer?)

But the proverbial straw-with-the-power-to-shatter-a-dromedary's-vertebrae came this morning. I'm talking about this piece by Corey Robin, published in Salon.
It may be a generational thing—I was born in 1967—but this is what Hillary and Bill Clinton will always mean to me: Sister Souljah, Ricky Ray Rector, welfare reform, and the crime bill. And beyond—really, behind—all that, the desperate desire to win over white voters by declaring to the American electorate: We are not the Party of Jesse Jackson, we are not the Rainbow Coalition.

Many of the liberal journalists who are supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy are too young to remember what the Clintons did to American politics and the Democratic Party in the 1990s. But even journalists who are old enough seem to have forgotten just how much the Clintons’ national ascendancy was premised on the repudiation of black voters and black interests.
I'm older than Robin, and I know revisionism when I see it. I know lying when I see it.

Robin has resurrected the Big Lie of 2008 -- "The Clintons hate black people" -- and I suspect that the effects will be even more toxic this time, because so many ill-educated young voters can't recall the Clinton era.

Here's the truth: There's a reason why Bill Clinton was called the "first black president" -- and there is a reason why Bill Clinton received overwhelming support from African Americans in 1992 and 1996.

And there is a reason why more black people approved of Bill Clinton at the end of his presidency than approved of Barack Obama in 2014 (the last year for which I can find numbers from Gallup).

Did the words in boldface startle you? Find them hard to believe? Look it up: At the end of his presidency, in 2000, black Americans gave Bill Clinton an 89 percent approval rating, down from 90 the year before. In 2014, only 84% of black Americans approved of Obama.

And I suspect that quite a few of those 84-percenters would be stumped if you asked them: "What has Barack Obama done for you?"

What Bill Clinton did for the black community is a matter of record -- a record which the smear merchants don't want young people to learn. He preserved Affirmative Action at a time when it was very unpopular. He took on the issue of racial profiling by police. He helped minority and woman-owned businesses via the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Act. He helped minority-owned businesses compete for government contracts.

As I have recounted at length in previous posts, Bill Clinton expended one hell of a lot of political capital when he ended redlining and made it much easier for members of minority groups to get home loans. If you're young and you don't know the meaning of the term "redlining," ask your elders. Or go to my earlier posts (here and here) and read about the battles over the Community Reinvestment Act.

Helping many black Americans get home loans was no token gesture. Enabling minority-owned businesses to get government contracts was not an exercise in symbolism. These things were and are real. Do not use the word "mere": There's nothing "mere" about any of this.

Redlining was a genuine obscenity. Any propagandist who attempts to minimize the profound changes wrought by Bill Clinton is either a blinkered fool or a paid liar.

That's one reason why Jesse Jackson Sr. came to Bill Clinton's defense when Clinton was "racist-baited" in 2008. (Sadly, one of the people who opportunistically attacked Clinton at that time was Jesse Jackson Jr.; we later learned that the younger Jackson hoped to be appointed to Obama's Senate seat -- which he coveted so dearly that he was willing to pay for it.)

I still recall Clinton's passionate response to the attacks in 2008 (the actual audio is embedded below)...
"I respect Jesse Jackson. He's a friend of mine, even though he endorsed Senator Obama. One of his sons and his wife endorsed Hillary. Their whole family's divided. But his campaign in 1988 was a seminal campaign in American history. It was the first campaign to ever to openly involve gays. Hillary's chief delegate counter, Harold Ickes, worked his heart out for Jesse Jackson. I frankly thought the way Obama campaign reacted was disrespectful to Jesse Jackson. And I called him and asked him if he found anything offensive, and he just laughed and he said, 'Of course I don't. We all know what's going on.'"

"I mean this is just, you know… You gotta go something to play the race card on me -- my office is in Harlem. And Harlem voted for Hillary, by the way. And I have 1.4 million people around the world, mostly people of color in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and elsewhere, on the world's least expensive AIDS drugs. I appointed more African American, Hispanic and women judges and U.S. Attorneys than all previous presidents put together and had nine African American Cabinet members.
The Obot response to these words was pure Catch-22: The Obama forces said that Clinton had no right to defend himself, because only a racist would ever defend himself against charges of racism.

There's a certain beauty to this tactic: The target can neither return fire nor shield himself. He must passively accept the arrows, like St. Sebastian.

We all recall the smears of 2008. Absolutely everything Hillary or Bill said was interpreted as Racism Most Foul. They couldn't even cite a favorite recipe for bean soup without someone screeching: "That recipe is racist!"

Imagine how you would feel if you knew that thousands of people were parsing your every statement to find some way to make your words fit that preconceived narrative. Would you be able to say anything?

It's a trick. A scurrilous trick. And it works.

"We all know what's going on."

That was the assessment of Jesse Jackson Sr. (who never challenged the quote). Mr. Robin, you are the one who cited Jackson (for whom I proudly voted in 1988): What do you think he would say about your anti-Clinton hit piece? I can't be sure, but my strong suspicion is that he might say the exact same words: "We all know what's going on."

Yes, there are a lot of articles on the web which try to convince readers that Bill Clinton was more racist that George Lincoln Rockwell and Nathan Bedford Forrest put together. Fire up Google and look at the dates: These hit pieces all came out during the 2008 cycle.

We're getting another flurry right now. We all know what's going on.

From a 2002 Salon interview with DeWayne Wickham:
What makes Clinton special is that he found a way to connect with us that was personal and up close. He convinced us in words and in deeds that this relationship was at least partly in his heart, as well as in his head. This guy grew up in the back of his grandfather’s store in Hope, Ark., hanging out with black kids.
Do you think that his background, being from the South and from a working-class family, made him different in the eyes of African-Americans?

Very much so. He had great opportunity to be in close proximity to black folk. And he hung out with black folk, he understood our music, he understood our culture and he understood how to connect. So by the time he entered the political world, here was a white man who could say, not just “I have some black friends,” but say it and mean it.
A Clinton-hater might say that he just knew how to play the game. But there was something else that many of the people you interviewed touched on, something about his ease, that they could really sense? What was it?

It’s what we perceive. Black folk have a built-in radar for B.S., particularly when it’s racial B.S. It started with slavery, when the master would turn to the slave and say, “We need to clean this yard.” The slave knew that “we” weren’t going to clean this yard. That meant, “You better clean this yard.” We understood that there was a kind of a false sense of familiarity that many white folks have with black folks. And the key to Clinton was not so much what he sought to do, but how what he did was perceived by African-Americans. For most African-Americans, he was real, and he connected in a way that others didn’t.

Let’s go back to this whole pandering suggestion that comes from a lot of folk: “He was just playing to the black community.” OK, let’s say that that’s the case: Then he’s better at it than anyone else in the history of the presidency. If that’s all that there was — and I would argue that that’s not the case — but if that’s all that there was, then come on, whatever happened to the Gipper, the Great Communicator? Why couldn’t he pull that off?
Let me respond to the specific points made by Corey Robin:

People these days speak of the "Sister Souljah" moment as though it were pure political strategy. Few recall what was actually said. Political sharpies like Corey Robin refuse to talk specifics, because they hope to fool those who are too young to remember.

Sister Souljah advocated the killing of white people -- no ifs, ands, or buts: That is what she said. Bill Clinton -- speaking to Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition -- quoted her words and said: "If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black,’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech."

That is precisely what he ought to have said.

Please note: Clinton said those words while addressing the Rainbow Coalition, founded by his friend Jesse Jackson. The ever-deceptive Corey Robin would have you believe that Clinton won white votes by distancing himself from both Jackson and the Coalition. Not true.

In the mid-1990s, nearly everyone advocated some type of welfare reform. For Clinton and other politicians, endorsing reform was a sure-fire applause line even when addressing predominantly black audiences.

But Bill Clinton did not want the bill that passed in 1996. Today, many people forget that the 1996 legislation was enormously popular. A draconian reform measure was definitely going to pass, with or without Bill Clinton.

He vetoed it twice. On the third round, he got important concessions, including the preservation of food stamps.

If you happen to have used that little orange card to weather the recent economic storms, you have Bill Clinton to thank.

Clinton also preserved Medicaid. The Republican version of the act would have allowed states to use Medicaid funds for other purposes.

If you know of a poor child who received help from Medicaid during the last twenty years, you have Bill Clinton to thank.

If he had not signed the third version of that bill, one of two things would have happened: A purely Republican version of the bill would have passed with a veto-proof majority, or a third veto would have cost Clinton the 1996 election. Either of those outcomes would have resulted in the disappearance of that little orange card and the gutting of Medicaid.

Corey Robin may scoff at such concerns. Perhaps he doesn't need that little orange card. Other people aren't so lucky.

About the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill: People now forget how popular it was at the time. It was embraced by black leaders of that period.
This is an important point: Many black Americans, including black leaders, welcomed "tough-on-crime" policies as a way to protect their communities. A majority of the Congressional Black Caucus voted for the 1986 law that created the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. And in 1994, it was the CBC that saved President Clinton's crime bill after an unexpected loss on a procedural vote.

This is a history that's been largely forgotten, partly because many of these leaders regret their positions now or—like former Rep. Kweisi Mfume—deny that they supported the bill at all.
Yes, things have changed. Of the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994, Clinton himself recently said:
"I signed a bill that made the problem worse," Clinton told an audience at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual meeting in Philadelphia. "And I want to admit it."

The omnibus crime bill that Clinton signed included the federal "three strikes" provision, mandating life sentences for criminals convicted of a violent felony after two or more prior convictions, including drug crimes.

Clinton said Wednesday that he signed the law because "we had had a roaring decade of rising crime" when he entered the White House.

"We had gang warfare on the streets. We had little children being shot dead on the streets who were just innocent bystanders standing in the wrong place," he said.

In response, Clinton said, the bill increased the number of police on the streets and enacted gun control legislation. But decades later, Clinton believes the results of the law were mixed, at best.

"In that bill, there were longer sentences. And most of these people are in prison under state law, but the federal law set a trend," Clinton said. "And that was overdone. We were wrong about that. That percentage of it, we were wrong about. "

He added: "The good news is we had the biggest drop in crime in history. The bad news is we had a lot people who were locked up, who were minor actors, for way too long."
Hillary Clinton is on record as saying that she wants to reverse what the 1994 bill got wrong -- in fact, this was the topic of her first major speech of the campaign.

An empty promise? I don't know. But I do know two things:

1. Barack Obama has not advocated criminal justice reform in any politically risky way.

2. You will get neither the right actions nor the right words from any of the Republicans whom Corey Robin seems so eager to place in the White House. Their messages are clear: Support the cops no matter what. Get tough on crime. The Black Lives Matter movement is evil.

Bottom line: It has happened to me again. 1992, 1994, 2008 and now 2016. The media's inchoate Clinton-hate has turned a Clinton-disliker into a reluctant Clinton supporter.

Don't tell me that the Clintons pose no threat to the Establishment, that they are the Establishment. If such were the case, then why target the Clintons with so many smears and lies? If such were the case, why Whitewater? Why Ken Starr? Why the ceaseless cries of "BenGAAHHHHHHzi!!!"?

I remain infuriated by Hillary's neocon foreign policy, but the Republicans offer nothing better, and Sanders hasn't exactly been inspiring on that score. (Before you say it: Trump's foreign policy adviser is John Bolton, and Rand Paul simply ain't gonna win.) If an anti-neocon had a clear shot at the presidency, my feelings might be different. But as things stand, my sad and grudging support must go to Hillary.

I endorse her with a heavy heart. And I expect to oppose her fiercely (at least part of the time) if she wins.

On the other hand: I know that she has been (secretly) reading Max Blumenthal's works -- and I know that this fact horrifies the Israel-firsters. They have not expressed such horror about anyone else running for president. There is, I think, hope in that. I may not feel overly friendly toward the Clintons, but I do think that they have the right enemies.

If you disagree with my decision -- fine. I understand. Hell, I share my household with a Sanders supporter. (We still get along!)

If your disagreement leads you to seek the company of another blog, go with my blessings. Perhaps you would be so kind as to stop by again after the November election? We can compare notes.

If your disagreement makes you want to say something insulting about this blog's humble proprietor -- well, please re-read the rules for comments in the upper left-hand corner.

You seem to have forgotten something. The Clinton who is running for president in 2016 is HILLARY, not Bill.

And one more thing: All those people who tell the pollsters that they are ready to vote for a woman? They will disappear on election day - after months of Republican dog-whistle politics and even head-on gender attacks. The Rs will make sure everybody remembers this election is about National Security, not "villages."

As much as I disagree with your conclusion, this was a very well-argued post. I do, however, think you're deluding yourself about Hillary and foreign policy- the fact that she read Max Blumenthal's book just doesn't come close to outweighing her long record of hawkishness or her truly insane support for a No Fly Zone in Syria, imo.
You make a great case Joe, but, bob568, makes a better one. HRC is not Bill Clinton, and it is 2016. The powers that support HRC are hard not represent if you're taking their $. No more " lesser of two evils", for my vote.
We can and should judge Hillary on her *own* merits or lack thereof. She's been out of her husband's shadow for a long time.

For example, Clinton admin opposed a draconian bankruptcy bill. Later, Sen Hillary supported the same horrible bill. Hillary rewarded the banks and literally fucked over the American people. Here's Elizabeth Warren:

Of course, that's nothing compared to what she helped Obama to do to Libya and Syria -- as fully documented on this blog.

- FH
from The Nation today.

“The truth is, you can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money,” the bold-face statement from Sanders continues. “My campaign is powered by over 2.5 million small contributions from people like you who want to fight back.”

I think Hillary Clinton will do a better job as president than Bill Clinton did. But what Mr. Cannon is pointing out is that there are way too many insane posters blathering on and on about how horrible a Clinton presidency would be based on the first one, which becomes an oxymoronic point of view.
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I see the Naderites have made an appearance. Ah well. I voted for Shirley Chisholm and Jesse Jackson, probably for the same reason Bill Clinton got along with blacks. We came from the same place. I grew up poor and white and all around me were other poor whites and mixed among them were a few poor blacks. The poor trumped race every time the turnips ran low. SOS Clinton didn't grow up this way but her husband did and she will not be inclined to forget the poor the way Mr. Silver Spoon Obama did. Thanks for the refresher, Mr. Cannon. I've been supporting SOS Clinton ever since John Edwards' "two Americas" tripped over his penis. I will continue to do so.
Trump is "calling Jeb Bush and Clinton weak women." - Digby

That's what Hillary faces during this National Security election. With ISIS fighters hiding around every corner, voters would rather elect a socialist (68%) than a woman.
The reason Hillary Clinton was thrown under the bus in 2008 was her plan for at least a 90 day moratorium on all home foreclosures until a process could be worked out to save homeowners from foreclosure. Wall Street went with Barack Obama instead and President Obama basically looked the other way while well over a million homeowners were parallel foreclosed upon by the same banks that were allegedly processing their home mortgage modification papers. It may be far the single most egregious anti homeowner act that I am aware of and it was most likely unconstitutional as well.
What made the plan such a master stroke was NOBODY was going to impeach a president for allowing parallel foreclosure to occur after just one or two years on the job, and NOBODY was going to impeach our first African American president ever after just a year or two in office, and Republican politicians probably LOVED the way parallel foreclosure let wall street off of the hook for their upfront gambling ways in which they profit on the front end and if things go wrong get bailed out on the back end.
This whole Hillary Clinton is in cahoots with Wall Street is absolutely mind bendingly incorrect and absolute opposite of what really went down in 2008.
Excellent reasons to support Hillary Clinton:

1. It's time for a America to have a woman president. Hillary's available.

2. You picked the wrong one in 2008. (We warned you!) You can rectify your mistake in 2016.

3. Despite the polls, America would never elect an admitted socialist. A woman, yes.

4. [strike]Just think of it as Bill's Third Term.[/strike]
Unfortunately, Hillary's donor rolls make it pretty obvious who she'll be working for. I have issues with Sanders on foreign policy, since he doesn't seem to like to talk about that much (he follows the status quo, basically). Hillary? Well, I think it's safe to say she is neo-con through and through when it comes to foreign policy. I really don't think she's ever been all that bad on domestic policy, but I don't think she'll buck the status quo on that score either, considering where her funding is coming from. All that said, if she wins the nomination, she'll have my grudging support (nose firmly held), because she can't possibly be worse than ANY of the Republicans running. I still support Sanders, but Joseph, your argument is well reasoned. I think it's helpful though to remember that Bill isn't running, Hillary is. And she's no Bill Clinton, that's for sure (not that he was by any means perfect, but he was head and shoulders above the last two we've had).
Sister Souljah said something stupid, but Ricky Ray Rector isn't code for "The Clintons hate blacks." His death was proof that the Clintons will do whatever's necessary to get elected, including having a brain-damaged man executed to look tough on crime. Bill Clinton is comfortable among black Americans, which they appreciate. He also came up with lame excuses to avoid intervening in the Rwandan genocide despite intervention being the US's legal obligation.
Hillary in the 2008 race on how she should win because she's got a broader coalition: "...Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.” Hillary fought gay marriage as well. She went out of her way to support Bushco's invasion of Iraq. Etc etc.
To call Hillary a neocon is giving her too much credit.

She takes poll-tested positions calculated to win her NET votes. She realizes that in this national-security era she is at a disadvantage because of her gender. She wants to convince the electorate that she is just as tough as the guys - that she has the balls to do the job.
All you Clintoncucks... of all gender persuasions....the ones who assume Trump's get tough with ISIS aura will neutralize your heroine.....she voted for the Iraq War which ushered in ISIS. She's to blame for her own dilemma in that regard.

I would, honestly, prefer to leave it at that, but Clinton is of such low character she also approved of the CIA mi complex's chicanery to utilize takfiris and others to overthrow Arab nationalist regimes, of course largely because they were viewed as more dangerous to Israel.

As for Bolton, let us hope Trump has placed him there as window-dressing, because his broad non-interventionism is certainly at odds with Bolton's agenda.

I personally would not vote for any of the current mainstreamers, but can understand a desperation vote for Sanders.
Kudos to the homage payed Nader above.
Oh dear! Looks as though I'll be seeing you in November then, Joseph! I'll support Hillary Clinton only if she becomes the Dem. nominee - she's way better than any Republican running, of course. I have to support Bernie Sanders - he's the left the USA hasn't had, but sorely needed for (far as I can tell) many decades. Bernie's the one I've been waiting for since I arrived on these shores in 2004. He's the herald of things to come - maybe not in 2016, but maybe so. If not our nominee this time, he'll stand as the legendary bird flying over a ship in stormy seas indicating land ahead. ;-)


S Brennan
I will vote for Hillary if she is the Dem nominee.
I don't hate Hillary, but I don't love her either.
Truthfully, I dislike her. It isn't because she is a Clinton or a woman or because of all the dirty political propaganda.
I dislikes her because she remind me of a robot. She is smart, disciplined, pragmatic and qualified. She says what she thinks you want to hear. She would make an okay president.
I would not go out to vote in November to make sure she gets elected. I will go to vote to make sure someone else does not become president.
That is a sorry state of affairs.
And furthermore, the more I see her and hear her, the less I like her.
She is going to be the lesser of the two evils and that is all the good I can say about her.

Quite an impressive rout by the corporate candidate, Hillary. It's amazing that the near non-stop corporate media support, the millions of dollars in Wall Street money, and the decades of coddling from the political establishment managed to get her that extra 0.02% of delegates in Iowa. Obviously Bernie Sanders has no chance with a deficit like this.
How much non-white innocent blood does a "progressive" need to have on her-his hands for a fashionable progressive voter to hate him-her? people are truly white supremacists in spite of yourselves.
James: you forgot the six "lucky" coin tosses in a row that netted Hillary six delegates. You can't beat experience.
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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Again: The Clinton email pseudoscandal

Emailgate is bullshit.

We've seen "scoop" after "scoop," drip drip drip, over the course of months. The headlines have been carefully crafted to convey the impression that Hillary passed out classified documents as though they were Halloween treats. But every time I study the meat of the stories, I see no indication that she did anything wrong.

1. The alleged Top Seekrit info did not come from her; it was sent to her.

2. The alleged Top Seekrit info did not come from any government source.

3. The alleged Top Seekrit info was not labeled as classified at the time.

Here's the latest smear, via AP, with the exculpatory material buried deep in the body of the story.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, insists she never sent or received information on her personal email account that was classified at the time. No emails released so far were marked classified, but reviewers previously designated more than 1,000 messages at lower classification levels. Friday's will be the first at top secret level.

Even if Clinton didn't write or forward the messages, she still would have been required to report any classification slippages she recognized in emails she received. But without classification markings, that may have been difficult, especially if the information was publicly available.

"We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails," Clinton campaign spokesman Brain Fallon said. "Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today."

Fallon accused the "loudest and leakiest participants" in a process of bureaucratic infighting for withholding the exchanges. The documents, he said, originated in the State Department's unclassified system before they ever reached Clinton, and "in at least one case, the emails appear to involve information from a published news article."

"This appears to be overclassification run amok," Fallon said.
Seriously, what are the right-wing press whores trying to get us to believe? Are we really supposed to accept the scenario that the CIA (for no discernible reason) sent classified information to Sidney Blumenthal -- a man not employed by the Agency, or by any other government agency? Are we also supposed to believe that Blumenthal (for no discernible reason) then relayed this classified info to Hillary Clinton via an insecure email system?

Not bloody likely.

Yet when you get right down to it, that is the storyline being pushed by the right-wing propaganda machine. Always remember that this is the same machine that gave us Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Fostergate and so many other ludicrous smears.

So how did Blumenthal and his partner -- former CIA guy Tyler Drumheller, who was "axed" to leave the Agency because he exposed Dubya's lies about Iraq -- get hold of information which the American intelligence community later classified?

We've known the truth for a while, although the smear articles rarely mention the key facts. I'll repeat what I've said before...
A guy named Mousa Kousa used to be the head spy and foreign minister for Libya, back when Khaddafy was running the joint. Kousa defected to the UK in 2011, around the time that email was sent. Before he skipped out, Kousa met with a CIA guy and divulged some information. I don't know what he said.

Kousa also spoke to Tyler Drumheller, the former CIA guy (one of the good ones, in my opinion) who had, after leaving the Agency, teamed up with Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary's friend. As everyone knows by now, Blumenthal and Drumheller were looking for business opportunities in Libya. Kousa told Drumheller about Khaddafy's planned response to a UN resolution.

And that's it. There's really nothing more to the story.

Look: Just because Kousa chose to talk to some local CIA guy doesn't mean that the Agency owned him. He's a foreign national. He was, and presumably still is, free to say what he pleases to anyone he likes.

I presume that he said what he said to Drumheller for reasons of his own. Drumheller relayed the information to Blumenthal, who sent it off to Hillary. There was no breach of classified information here.

Allow me to illustrate the point.

Let's say that you have lunch with a guy who, unknown to you, is a CIA operative. Let's say that you tell him: "I met a bigfoot on my last camping trip. Nice guy. We played chess and ate popcorn." Let us further say that this CIA guy (for whatever reason) includes your bigfoot story in a document that gets a big, fat classification stamp. That stamp applies only to that document. You are still free to talk about your dinner with bigfoot to anyone you like. You can tell it to the FSB or ISIS or Fox News or Sidney Blumenthal or Coast to Coast or anyone else. It's your choice. And if the people to whom you tell the story decide to tell others, they may do so without any worries that they have divulged classified information.
It seems that Khousa told Blumenthal about lots of stuff, not just about the Libyan response to that UN resolution. Beyond that, the words written above explain every "Emailgate" story we've seen.

Let's take this further.

It's very possible that the CIA's souce on the Khousa info dump was none other than Tyler Drumheller himself. (Not an unlikely scenario: Although he had pissed off the neocons, the late Mr. Drumheller probably still had friendly contacts back at the Agency.) Did Drumheller break security when he gave the same data to Blumenthal?

No. He was not an employee of the Agency at the time.

Yes, he was still bound by a security oath -- but only concerning matters he learned while receiving an Agency paycheck. He was free to blab to his heart's content -- to anyone -- about anything he learned after he became a private citizen.

Did Blumenthal and Drumheller develop Libyan sources other than Khousa? I'm sure they did. But none of the parties involved were government employees at the time -- not Blumenthal, not Drumheller, not their sources. Sidney and Tyler were therefore free to talk to anyone about anything they learned -- via email, via snail mail, via television, via blog post, via skywriting, via any medium they chose.

Hypothetically speaking: Suppose this Khousa fellow were to send me an email relaying every last data-shard that he shared with Blumenthal and Drumheller. Guess what? I can publish it. I can do so legally, even if the exact same data exists in a CIA document that has been stamped "ULTRA TOP SECRET TOTALLY COSMIC HOLY SHIT BREATHE ONE WORD ABOUT THIS TO ANYONE AND I'LL KILL EVERYONE WHO EVER LOVED YOU." Even then, I would have every legal right to let it all hang out. Why? Because I am not a government employee, and I am not bound by any secrecy agreements. Besides, how the heck would I know if the information was classified?

You want a real Hillary Clinton scandal? Google her name along with the phrase "Friends of Syria." Now that, in my opinion, is a scandal.

Emailgate is bullshit.

PS. It also appears that the Top Seekrit material included a discussion of a news article about drones. Drones are classified. Therefore, anyone anywhere who breathes one word about drones must be damaging the interests of the United States! Oh my God...are we committing espionage right here and now?

Again I say: Bullshit.
Not sure why you had try and close one scandal while opening up another one. You must enjoy feeding the republican trolls after all.
As I keep saying: The search for truth is not a game of shirts-vs-skins.
Hillary, I can't send this classified document via secure fax.

"Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure."

Nah, nothing shady going on here. Probably a new yoga routine.
And yet, in the classic "The Time Machine", our protagonist had to choose a side to then fight the eviler of the two.
I swear to God all this Clinton Hate is coming from a serious character flow. There is no cure for now but we are working on a vaccine.
Eric, that was a set of talking points sent at a time when the secure fax machine was malfunctioning. I very much doubt that we're talking about nuclear launch codes or lists of covert agents in foreign countries.

What's the matter -- got tired of screaming "BenGHAAAAAAAAAZI!!!!"?
The emails are no scandal. That is more trumped up stupidity just like Whitewater was.
Joseph, I will never tire of screaming LIBYA!

Libya was a "WAR OF AGGRESSION", it remains a WAR CRIME and both Obama & Hillary should be prosecuted. Hillary cackling, [yes it was a cackle], over Qaddafi being sodomized to death by bayonet demonstrates her barbarity unsheathed, it is there for all the world to see, why can you not see that which is before your eyes. Hillary is disgusting criminal, why do you defend her so?

The emails, along with Wikileaks, are helping to document the criminality of this administration and in particular, Hillary's.

Perhaps I missed it, but could you point me to where you advocated covering up Bush's crimes?
S Brennan, Libya, Egypt and Iraq were all secular nations that did not allow voting. With the rise of social media an opportunity was created to convert these nations into nations that voted for their political leaders.
However, it turns out that the somewhat oppressive and at times very brutal secular leaders were containing and preventing religions factions from warring with each other.
Assad was actually elected by vote so suddenly the desire to have secular regime after secular regime toppled is inconsistent if it involves a secular leader that actually was elected by vote.
I have heard the real plan was to topple all of the secular regimes in the create a wave of immigrants flooding Europe so that Europe would be destabilized.
And that the reason for all of this is to prevent the U.S. Dollar's influence from diminishing in significance around the globe.
I am amazed about people sitting thousands of miles away romanticizing about leaders they know not a whole lot about. What done to Gadafy his security forces did every day to young men for reasons from opposition, skin color or tribal affiliation to simply a family refusal to give up land or property to a greedy bastard. Gadafy was well aware of it and encouraged. In my opinion that is why it was the first thing they thought of the minute they got him. It is most likely either him or someone he knew was subjected to the same treatment. If you want I can tell you stories of how people treated by that clan. To me I didn't cackle because him wasn't enough for me I wanted to see acid thrown on the face of one of his daughters in law because she did it to a somali maid. I can go on and on but there is no time. I just want you before you become righteous at least pick a deserving person. Another thing it didn't happen along time so everyone remember everything. let me ask this question if no one american soldier participated how the result would have been different..
"Hillary cackling, [yes it was a cackle], over Qaddafi being sodomized to death by bayonet demonstrates her barbarity unsheathed,..."

Qaddafi died because someone in the mob shot him in the head. Video shows one person coming up behind him and trying to shove something, (a stick?, maybe a slim bayonet) up Qaddafi's ass. And Qaddafi did wince. So this one time act could have left Qaddafi with a perforated bowel which would have ultimately resulted in a painful slow death if untreated. But Qaddafi died moments later because someone shot him in the head.
AGAIN with the Iraq war resolution. Most Dem senators voted for it. Why is Hillary the only one we can never forgive?

And nearly all Republicans voted for it. So, as I understand the argument, since Hillary's vote back then was unforgivable, we should give the White House to the Republicans -- who will surely get us into another war...

...and they will drum up another neo-McCarthyite frenzy which will lead to a new generation of Dems who are so desperate to prove that they do not hate America (despite what Ann Coulter says) that they will vote for the next war resolution, which will remain an albatross around their necks for the rest of their political lives, insuring that the Republican war-beggettors stay in position to beget war...
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Friday, January 29, 2016

The John Lang mystery: Update

If you're not familiar with the Lang mystery, read the preceding post before you read this.

This article from April of last year puts the matter in a very different light. Now, at least, we have some idea as to why Lang spoke of heroin trafficking...
In the wake of news about Fresno’s deputy police chief Keith Foster being charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, another story was being shared widely on social media about the Fresno police department by the daughter of late Fresno police lieutenant Jose Moralez.

Moralez, who was a cop in Fresno for 30 years, was found dead in 2004 not far from the home of the Chief of Police, Jerry Dyer.

In 2004, Dyer suspended Moralez for allegedly violating department policy, and took his badge and firearm from him. November 9, 2004, Moralez went to Dyer’s home to confront him after working out in his garage with his 13-year-old son. That was the last time anyone saw Jose Moralez alive.

It was reported at the time that a motorist saw Jose face down, near a truck, with an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.

Apparent in a statement made by then City Manager, Daniel G. Hobbs, not everyone believed Jose’s death was a suicide...
Jesus. This really is L.A. Confidential!

Jose Moralez was married to a woman who also worked in law enforcement -- and she, too, had stories to tell.
As a former Narcotics Officer, Yolanda Moralez explained how police officers routinely get away with a host of different crimes, or are at times investigated, but not much else is done.
Yolanda continued:

“Jerry Dyer lived right across the street from me, my husband and he started off very good friends. There were 2 instances, one in ‘87 another in ‘89, that Jerry Dyer was dropped off at his home early in the morning by underage girls, Jerry still drunk came over to my house. He could not be taken home to reveal his affairs with young girls to his wife.”
And that may explain where the pedophilia allegation comes from.

But I still have questions. Was John Lang simply reading and regurgitating the words of Yolanda Moralez and others? If so, then I can see no reason why crooked cops would target Lang, a Charlie Nobody with poor communication skills.

Maybe I'm missing something here -- in fact, I'm sure that I'm missing something. But right now, given the facts available to me at this time, I can't understand why the cops would murder John Lang. Such a move would be akin to the CIA killing someone who gave a good review to Rush to Judgment, while leaving Mark Lane alive.

The death of John Lang did not cover up any scandals involving the Fresno police. Quite the opposite: That man's corpse became a spotlight.
I once met someone who claimed they lived near a police chief and that that police chief was dealing drugs and stuff. And, it was not Fresno. Is this a thing?
There's a high probability that Lang had conflict with many people over the years. Anyone of them could have murdered him and thought that after he blamed the cops it was now the perfect way to get away with it.
Alessandro.......I'm sure it IS a thing. Cops actually dealing drugs, I mean. Considering how little of their known illegal behavior they are actually held accountable for, drug dealing seems like just another form of corruption that would probably get dealt with quietly, internally.

Anon 11:51 AM.....that is a very interesting, and quite probable suggestion. Proof would be needed though, to remove the doubts (largely created by police not being held accountable for many crimes in this country).
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

A mysterious murder -- or a paranoid's suicide?

The conspiracy buffs are going apewire over this story. Although the death of John Lang does appear to be a legitimate mystery, I would advise everyone to proceed with caution. (Also see here and here.)

Lang lived in his own home in Fresno, California, where he worked in marine repair and property management. The articles I've seen give his age only as "mid-40s." On the internet, he functioned as a self-proclaimed investigator and rabble-rouser, claiming that he had uncovered an organized crime ring run by crooked cops. In a scenario straight out of L.A. Confidential, the ring is supposedly led by the local police chief.

Until recently, very few took Lang's claims seriously. But on January 20th, he was found stabbed to death in his burning home.

The attempt to burn the house indicates that the assailants may have hoped to destroy the "best evidence" -- the victim's body.

Throughout the preceding week, John Lang had posted predictions of his own imminent demise. He had spotted vans outside of his home which he presumed to be surveillance vehicles -- and he took video of these vans which he uploaded to YouTube.

Do not be surprised if the local authorities claim that Lang's wounds were self-inflicted. To be frank, the man's writings indicate an unbalanced mind -- thus, I cannot dismiss the theory that he committed suicide while attempting to frame his imagined enemies. On the other hand, I can't see why a man staging his own murder would set fire to the "crime" scene.

Before you say it: Yes, I am well aware that corrupt coroners do exist. Marylanders will recall the example of John Paisley, the CIA analyst found floating in the Chesapeake. His death was hilariously ruled a suicide, despite scads of evidence to the contrary.

Since the local cops are the accused perpetrators, Governor Jerry Brown should make sure that all evidence is investigated by objective outside authorities.

Let's take a look at the video and the tweets in which John Lang forecast his own demise. One of his videos appears at the top of this post. (A YouTube commenter says that the phone number painted on the side of the van is non-functional, but this claim is not true: Both the company and the number are real.)

At the bottom of this post, I have embedded another video which appears to show a man in a van, holding a camera mounted to an elaborate stabilizing rig. This footage provides the best evidence that Lang's enemies were real -- or, at least, that someone had decided to play psychological games with the man. (Incidentally, modern stabilizers for camcorders are usually much smaller than the device seen here.)

From Lang's Facebook feed, January 14:

On January 15, he contacted a local news person:

Lang posted a large amount of material to the website. The name of the website derives from an employee at the Fresno Bee who (according to Lang) had allegedly "censored" comments from citizen John Lang, a prolific participant in the online version of the newspaper.

Let's be honest: Lang's writings are often ultra-paranoid -- downright wacky. Many of his claims are impossible to take seriously. Of course, even paranoiacs may have actual enemies, and an actual enemy may drive a sane man into paranoia.

That said, it is difficult to believe that a simple tiff over a driving citation -- yes, that's how it all began -- could burgeon into a wild tale involving child porn and heroin. It's also quite difficult to believe that so many of Lang's acquaintances, neighbors and business associates could be "in on it."

Worth noting: Lang started down this path while emotionally distraught over a breakup.

No evidence indicates that a wide public had ever taken Lang's "investigations" seriously. Therefore, I cannot understand why the cops would mount an elaborate and expensive harassment campaign against Lang. The game's not worth the candle.

Too often, Lang refused to explain how he knew what he claimed to know. For example, how did he learn about Jody Murray's alleged relationship with law enforcement? Frankly, I would not be terribly surprised to learn that Lang acquired some of his information from voices in his head.

Most of you won't read the writings on that web site with any great care. Nevertheless, I think that you should expose yourself to the words of John Lang. To what degree does that text reflect reality? Is that website simply the diary of one man's battle with shadows?

Starting with a traffic violation doesn't seem all that odd. You may have heard the fuss about the recent netflix doc Making a Murderer. That seems to have started when the man who spent eighteen years in prison for a crime he didn't commit allegedly drove his cousin, married to a local policeman, off the road. And in that case no-one knew at the time what the motive might be, with the exception of that vendetta. Now it looks like the police were covering the fact that they were surveilling the real rapist and were embarrassed that they had allowed him to go off and rape the local bigwig's wife. Could be something similar here.
He sounds sane to me. I think he was telling the truth.
"Starting with a traffic violation doesn't seem all that odd"

It sounds odd to me, Stephen. Yes, there are notorious speed traps scattered around the country -- in fact, I used to work near one, just north of the San Fernando Valley in CA. The heavy cop presence became pretty unnerving at times.

Perhaps the most notorious trap in California is the small town of King City, which the interstate passes through. Everyone in the state knows (or should know) that one must be on one's best behavior if you drive anywhere NEAR that place. And everyone knows that it's all about generating revenue. For years -- decades -- there have been rumors that the King City police department is corrupt in other ways. I was not terribly surprised to learn that, in 2014, the rumors were verified...

Superficially, there are similarities between the King City scandal and the things that John Lang talked about. I can easily believe that his problems started when he ran afoul of a "King City" style speed trap.

But over time, Lang started making charges of kiddie porn and heroin trafficking, without offering anything resembling evidence. That's the problem.
Speaking of corrupt coroners, never forget the incompetent and corrupt Fahmy Malak. If Ken Starr had had half a lick of sense he'd have made Malak the star of Starr's star chamber inquisition. (I couldn't help it, lol)
In that video, what is the driver smoking and why?
I think the phrase ""Starting with a traffic violation doesn't seem all that odd" is being misunderstood, meaning it's normal that a traffic violation could escalate.
It looked like there were fast food wrappers by the feet of the camera person, which might lead one to wonder if these guys really do surveillance for a living. Was the driver smoking a pipe or looking at a social media device?
I'm pretty sure that's a Freefly Systems MoVi (probably a MoVi 10), which actually *is* pretty much the smallest motorized, gyroscope-stabilized camera stabilizer available. For instance, the MoVi 10 without camera weighs less than 4 lbs. -- note how casually the camera operator holds the rig...

---except he most likely *isn't* the camera operator but just the rig operator. While the MoVi *can* be used single-handed, more often there are two operators involved: One handling camera placement and movement and one in charge of the actual camerawork. The second operator uses a hand-held wireless controller that controls rig mechanics and camera features. In this case, the camera operator is either the driver or front-seat passenger.

Here's what the MoVi controller looks like.

At around 1:04 in the video, you can see someone in the front of the van fiddling with a controller that looks very much like the one above. Again, I can't tell which of the two folks up front is using it. If it was the driver, then that oddly tubular thing he's holding may be the controller antenna. If the passenger is operating the camera, then I suspect the driver is vaping, probably from -- based on the object's size -- a Chinese-made disposable vape pen. And if *that* is the case, there's a good chance what he's inhaling isn't nicotine.
Good work maz.

Say the word "stabilizer" to a guy like me, and I'm more likely to think of something like the VidPro SB-10. I can't understand why a couple of guys doing surveillance would want more. They weren't making a Hollywood movie.
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