Hillary Clinton’s Turn to McCarthyism

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton’s campaign is engaging in over-the-top Russia-bashing and guilt-by-association tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin, a McCarthyism that previously has been used on Democrats, including Bill Clinton, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign impugning the patriotism of Donald Trump and others who object to a new Cold War with Russia is that President George H.W. Bush employed similar smear tactics against Bill Clinton in 1992 by suggesting that the Arkansas governor was a Kremlin mole.

Back then, Bill Clinton countered that smear by accusing the elder President Bush of stooping to tactics reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy, the infamous Red-baiter from the 1950s. But today’s Democrats apparently feel little shame in whipping up an anti-Russian hysteria and then using it to discredit Trump and other Americans who won’t join this latest “group think.”

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the “Red Scare” hearings of the 1950s.

As the 1992 campaign entered its final weeks, Bush – a much more ruthless political operative than his elder-statesman image of today would suggest – unleashed his subordinates to dig up whatever dirt they could to impugn Bill Clinton’s loyalty to his country.

Some of Bush’s political appointees rifled through Clinton’s passport file looking for an apocryphal letter from his student days in which Clinton supposedly sought to renounce his citizenship. They also looked for derogatory information about his student trips to the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

The assault on Clinton’s patriotism moved into high gear on the night of Sept. 30, 1992, when Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Tamposi – under pressure from the White House – ordered three aides to pore through Clinton’s passport files at the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland.

Though no letter renouncing his citizenship was found, Tamposi still injected the suspicions into the campaign by citing a small tear in the corner of Clinton’s passport application as evidence that someone might have tampered with the file, presumably to remove the supposed letter. She fashioned that speculation into a criminal referral to the FBI.

Within hours, someone from the Bush camp leaked word about the confidential FBI investigation to reporters at Newsweek magazine. The Newsweek story about the tampering investigation hit the newsstands on Oct. 4, 1992. The article suggested that a Clinton backer might have removed incriminating material from Clinton’s passport file, precisely the spin that the Bush people wanted.

Immediately, President George H.W. Bush took to the offensive, using the press frenzy over the criminal referral to attack Clinton’s patriotism on a variety of fronts, including his student trip to the Soviet Union in 1970.

Bush allies put out another suspicion, that Clinton might have been a KGB “agent of influence.” Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times headlined that allegation on Oct. 5, 1992, a story that attracted President Bush’s personal interest.

“Now there are stories that Clinton … may have gone to Moscow as [a] guest of the KGB,” Bush wrote in his diary that day.

Democratic Suspicions

With his patriotism challenged, Clinton saw his once-formidable lead shrink. Panic spread through the Clinton campaign. Indeed, the suspicions about Bill Clinton’s patriotism might have doomed his election, except that Spencer Oliver, then chief counsel on the Democratic-controlled House International Affairs Committee, suspected a dirty trick.

Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton debating with President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton debating with President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

“I said you can’t go into someone’s passport file,” Oliver told me in a later interview. “That’s a violation of the law, only in pursuit of a criminal indictment or something. But without his permission, you can’t examine his passport file. It’s a violation of the Privacy Act.”

After consulting with House committee chairman Dante Fascell, D-Florida, and a colleague on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Oliver dispatched a couple of investigators to the Archives warehouse in Suitland. The brief congressional check discovered that State Department political appointees had gone to the Archives at night to search through Clinton’s records and those of his mother.

Oliver’s assistants also found that the administration’s tampering allegation rested on a very weak premise, the slight tear in the passport application. The circumstances of the late-night search soon found their way into an article in The Washington Post, causing embarrassment to the Bush campaign.

Yet still sensing that the loyalty theme could hurt Clinton, President Bush kept stoking the fire. On CNN’s “Larry King Live” on Oct. 7, 1992, Bush suggested anew that there was something sinister about a possible Clinton friend allegedly tampering with Clinton’s passport file.

“Why in the world would anybody want to tamper with his files, you know, to support the man?” Bush wondered before a national TV audience. “I mean, I don’t understand that. What would exonerate him – put it that way – in the files?” The next day, in his diary, Bush ruminated suspiciously about Clinton’s Moscow trip: “All kinds of rumors as to who his hosts were in Russia, something he can’t remember anything about.”

But the GOP attack on Clinton’s loyalty prompted some Democrats to liken Bush to Sen. Joe McCarthy, who built a political career in the early days of the Cold War challenging people’s loyalties without offering proof.

On Oct. 9, the FBI further complicated Bush’s strategy by rejecting the criminal referral. The FBI concluded that there was no evidence that anyone had removed anything from Clinton’s passport file.

At that point, Bush began backpedaling: “If he’s told all there is to tell on Moscow, fine,” Bush said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I’m not suggesting that there’s anything unpatriotic about that. A lot of people went to Moscow, and so that’s the end of that one.”

Not Really

But documents that I obtained years later at the Archives revealed that privately Bush was not so ready to surrender the disloyalty theme. The day before the first presidential debate on Oct. 11, 1992, Bush prepped himself with one-liners designed to spotlight doubts about Clinton’s loyalty if an opening presented itself.

A military parade on Red Square. May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

A military parade on Red Square. May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

“It’s hard to visit foreign countries with a torn-up passport,” read one of the scripted lines. Another zinger read: “Contrary to what the Governor’s been saying, most young men his age did not try to duck the draft. … A few did go to Canada. A couple went to England. Only one I know went to Russia.”

If Clinton had criticized Bush’s use of a Houston hotel room as a legal residence, Bush was ready to hit back with another Russian reference: “Where is your legal residence, Little Rock or Leningrad?”

But the Oct. 11 presidential debate – which also involved Reform Party candidate Ross Perot – did not go as Bush had hoped. Bush did raise the loyalty issue in response to an early question about character, but the incumbent’s message was lost in a cascade of inarticulate sentence fragments.

“I said something the other day where I was accused of being like Joe McCarthy because I question – I’ll put it this way, I think it’s wrong to demonstrate against your own country or organize demonstrations against your own country in foreign soil,” Bush said.

“I just think it’s wrong. I – that – maybe – they say, ‘well, it was a youthful indiscretion.’ I was 19 or 20 flying off an aircraft carrier and that shaped me to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and – I’m sorry but demonstrating – it’s not a question of patriotism, it’s a question of character and judgment.”

Clinton countered by challenging Bush directly. “You have questioned my patriotism,” the Democrat shot back.

Clinton then unloaded his own zinger: “When Joe McCarthy went around this country attacking people’s patriotism, he was wrong. He was wrong, and a senator from Connecticut stood up to him, named Prescott Bush. Your father was right to stand up to Joe McCarthy. You were wrong to attack my patriotism.”

Many observers rated Clinton’s negative comparison of Bush to his father as Bush’s worst moment in the debate. An unsettled Bush didn’t regain the initiative for the remainder of the evening.

Czech-ing on Bill

Still, the Republicans didn’t give up on the idea of smearing Clinton by highlighting his association with college friends in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, both communist countries in 1970.

Another GOP pre-election ploy was to have Czech newspapers run stories about the communist affiliations of Clinton’s hosts – and then try to blow back those stories to the U.S. news media. Three Czech papers carried such stories on Oct. 24, 1992. The headline in the Cesky Denik newspaper read: “Bill Was With Communists.”

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

However, without today’s Internet to spread the word and with the right-wing U.S. news media not nearly as large as it is today – Fox News didn’t launch until 1996 – the Czech stories didn’t get the attention that some in the Bush campaign had hoped.

More than a year into Clinton’s presidency, in January 1994, the Czech news media reported that the Czech secret police, the Federal Security and Information Service (FBIS), had collaborated with the Bush reelection campaign to dig up dirt on Clinton’s student trip to Prague. The centrist newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes reported that during the 1992 campaign, FBIS gave the Republicans internal data about Clinton’s Moscow-Prague trips and supplied background material about Clinton’s “connections” inside Czechoslovakia.

In fall 1992, the Bush administration’s nighttime search of Clinton’s passport file had other repercussions. The State Department’s inspector general sought a special prosecutor investigation for a scandal that became known as Passportgate, which wasn’t resolved until after Bush lost to Clinton.

In the end, George H.W. Bush escaped any legal consequences from the passport gambit in large part because a Republican attorney, Joseph diGenova, was named to serve as special prosecutor. DiGenova’s investigation cleared Bush and his administration of any wrongdoing, saying the probe “found no evidence that President Bush was involved in this matter.”

FBI documents that I reviewed at the Archives, however, presented a more complicated picture. Speaking to diGenova and his investigators in fall 1993, former President George H.W. Bush said he had encouraged then-White House chief of staff James Baker and other aides to investigate Clinton and to make sure the information got out.

“Although he [Bush] did not recall tasking Baker to research any particular matter, he may have asked why the campaign did not know more about Clinton’s demonstrating,” said the FBI interview report, dated Oct. 23, 1993.

“The President [Bush] advised that … he probably would have said, ‘Hooray, somebody’s going to finally do something about this.’ If he had learned that the Washington Times was planning to publish an article, he would have said, ‘That’s good, it’s about time.’ …

“Based on his ‘depth of feeling’ on this issue, President Bush responded to a hypothetical question that he would have recommended getting the truth out if it were legal,” the FBI wrote in summarizing Bush’s statements. “The President added that he would not have been concerned over the legality of the issue but just the facts and what was in the files.”

Bush also said he understood how his impassioned comments about Clinton’s loyalty might have led some members of his staff to conclude that he had “a one-track mind” on the issue. He also expressed disappointment that the Clinton passport search uncovered so little.

“The President described himself as being indignant over the fact that the campaign did not find out what Clinton was doing” as a student studying abroad, the FBI report said.

Bush’s comments seem to suggest that he had pushed his subordinates into a violation of Clinton’s privacy rights. But diGenova, who had worked for the Reagan-Bush Justice Department, already had signaled to Bush that the probe was going nowhere.

At the start of the Oct. 23, 1993, interview, which took place at Bush’s office in Houston, diGenova assured Bush that the investigation’s staff lawyers were “all seasoned prof[essional] prosecutors who know what a real crime looks like,” according to FBI notes of the meeting. “[This is] not a gen[eral] probe of pol[itics] in Amer[ica] or dirty tricks, etc., or a general license to rummage in people’s personal lives.”

As the interview ended, two of diGenova’s assistants – Lisa Rich and Laura Laughlin – asked Bush for autographs, according to the FBI’s notes on the meeting. [For the fullest account of the 1992 Passportgate case, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

Red-baiting Tactics

But the ugly history of Red-baiting American citizens, including Bill Clinton, has not deterred Hillary Clinton and her Democratic backers from using similar tactics. In the hard-fought 2008 campaign against Barack Obama, then-Sen. Clinton sought to discredit Obama with McCarthy-style guilt by association.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

In an April 16, 2008, debate, Hillary Clinton pounced when her husband’s former adviser, George Stephanopoulos, asked one of her campaign’s long-plotted attack lines – raising a tenuous association between Obama and an aging Vietnam-era radical William Ayers.

In his role as an ABC News debate moderator, Stephanopoulos — and Clinton — also injected a false suggestion that Ayers had either hailed the 9/11 attacks or had used the occasion as a grotesque opportunity to call for more bombings.

(In reality, an earlier interview about Ayers’s memoir was coincidently published by the New York Times in its Sept. 11, 2001, edition, which went to press on Sept. 10, before the attacks. But Stephanopoulos and Clinton left the impression with the public that Ayers’s comments represented a ghoulish reaction to the 9/11 attacks.)

In another guilt-by-association moment, Hillary Clinton linked Obama, via his former church pastor Jeremiah Wright, to Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan and a Hamas representative who had been allowed to publish an essay in the church’s newsletter.

“You know, these are problems, and they raise questions in people’s minds,” Clinton said. “And so this is a legitimate area, as everything is when we run for office, for people to be exploring and trying to find answers.”

Now, Clinton’s 2016 campaign is back wallowing in similar muck, both hyping animosity toward Russia and President Vladimir Putin – and portraying Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as some kind of Manchurian candidate secretly under the control of the Kremlin.

While lacking any verifiable proof, Clinton’s campaign and its allied mainstream media have blamed Russian intelligence for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s emails and then publicizing them through Wikileaks. This conspiracy theory holds that Putin is trying to influence the U.S. election to put his secret agent, Donald Trump, into the White House.

The parallels to George H.W. Bush’s 1992 smear of Bill Clinton are striking. In both cases, fairly innocuous activities – whether Clinton’s student trip to Moscow in 1970 or Trump’s hosting a beauty pageant there in 2013 – are given a nasty twist with the suggestion that something sinister occurred behind the scenes.

In neither case is any actual evidence presented, just innuendo and suspicion. The burden presumably falls on the victim of the smear to somehow prove his innocence, which, of course, can’t really be done because it’s impossible to prove a negative. It’s like the old tactic of calling someone a child molester and watching the accused flail around trying to remove the stain.

Similar accusations of “Moscow stooge” and “Putin apologist” have been leveled at others of us who have questioned the anti-Russian “group think” pervading Official Washington’s neoconservative-dominated foreign policy establishment and the mainstream news media. But it is noteworthy that the Democrats, who have often been the victim of this sort of smear tactic, are now relishing in its use against a Republican.

The Hillary Clinton campaign might recall the calumnies hurled at Bill Clinton as well as how things ended for Sen. Joe McCarthy after he questioned the loyalty of a young Army lawyer. The bullying senator was famously rebuked by Joseph Welch, the Army’s chief legal representative: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” (McCarthy was ultimately censured by the Senate and died in disgrace.)

As her campaign sinks into its own anti-Russian mud pile of guilt-by-association, Hillary Clinton and her supporters may ask themselves how far are they prepared to go – and whether their ambitions have overwhelmed any “sense of decency.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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44 comments for “Hillary Clinton’s Turn to McCarthyism

  1. Drew Hunkins
    August 9, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    As a debater it’s always been acknowledged that resorting to the nuclear war argument as the ultimate consequence is a cheap and shrill ploy that plays on exaggeration and fear mongering. However, in this particular case there’s nothing melodramatic about citing possible nuclear war as a horrifying possibility. Killary, the Democratic (and the vast majority of the GOP) establishment, and the Zionist power configuration’s smearing and disparagement of anyone who has the temerity to say one kind word about Putin is astonishing. It’s essentially of a piece with an extremely dangerous destabilization campaign aimed at a Moscow that refuses to kowtow to the prerogatives of Western military and economic power.

    Try saying one kind word about Russia in respectable liberal company and see what you get. It’s incredibly similar to the absurd group think that went on during 2002/early ’03 run-up to Iraq war debacle.

    • Kiza
      August 10, 2016 at 12:32 am

      What stands out to me is this: whilst Hillary is smearing her competitor as a politician does (“Trump would be mentally unstable with nuclear launch codes”, “Trump would be a Russian agent in Washington”), Trump is smearing his competitor as a businessman does (“Hillary barking like a dog”). Hillary is playing a dirty political game, Trump is playing a dirty business game. Trump does not have regard for the political game of smear, he already missed hundreds of great opportunities that Hillary and DNC offered. This is why the Hillary Camp and the MSM are politically making minced meat of Trump. The only downside for Hillary is that ordinary US voters may respond better to (that is against) a candidate barking like a dog then to whether someone is a Russian agent. Being a Russian agent means so much to the (Ziocon) Establishment but so little to ordinary voting people. Even if Trump were a Russian agent, if he makes US great again who would complain?

      • David Smith
        August 10, 2016 at 12:56 am

        The video of HRC barking like a dog is bizarre, with more than a hint of demonic possession, but the “head-bobbing seizure” video is disturbing and inexplicable, according to the MSM, HRC was just “nodding quickly”.

        • Bart Gruzalski
          August 10, 2016 at 5:58 am

          David Smith,

          I’m unsure what your comment has to do with the article, but I welcome it. I posted that material (HC’s seizures and more) on Facebook. One of my dearest friends, whose intellectual prowess is unmatchable, raised reasonable objections and I replied that I would have expected nothing less from her.

          I find this material very disturbing and I believe it must be pursued. I will in a piece I will submit today to Consortium News.

          Clinton will use fear-mongering to drag as many voters as possible into her camp and opposed to the “Putin lover” Trump. No question. I didn’t know about the passport violation at the National Archives. Funny how Clinton herself will adopt any stance.

          My favorite quote from the article “You know, these are problems, and they raise questions in people’s minds,”Clinton said. ‘And so this is a legitimate area, as everything is when we run for office, for people to be exploring and trying to find answers.’”

          That’s all to our advantage. Clinton, in her quote about what’s legitimate doesn’t exclude anything. So, David, you and I and others need to explore any information on the health of Clinton’s physical brain to find out the source of this head-bogging and all the rest.

          As I recall from the good ole days (I’m 73), when a health concern was raised about a presidential candidate, didn’t the media participate in raising a red flag and weren’t political neutral physicians brought onto the stage? I recall the candidate had to be checked out and show the public he had a clean bill of health. Is the queen of the Clinton Dynasty above that?

          YET THESE CONCERNS, WHICH GO AT LEAST AS FAR BACK AS HER CONCUSSION, ARE BEING COVERED UP BOTH BY THE MEDIA AS WELL AS THE CLINTON TEAM (including Bill Clinton).

        • David Smith
          August 10, 2016 at 11:56 am

          Bart, my point is what is scrutinized and what is ignored. HRC accusing Trump of being a Russian agent is libel, egregious libel, and not even Mr. Parry makes that point. As for Trump ridiculing HRC for barking like a dog, it is bizarre, but perhaps HRC is merely eccentric and high-spirited, the barking is no “clincher”. But I cannot rationalize the “head-bobbing video”, nothing explains it, and the more I watch it the more disturbing it gets. I cannot understand why this is ignored, imagine the media poop-storm if Trump did the same.

    • Realist
      August 10, 2016 at 6:00 am

      You got it. Try reading anything on the always (and understandably) partisan site “the Democratic Underground” these days. They used to be rational until it became de rigor to incessantly bash and demonize Russia and Putin. Now they compete to see who can out trash talk Mr. Hope & Change and the once and future Queen of Chaos. The bias at that site used to be against Hillary, and for Bernie. There were a few peaceniks among the warhawks. Since Hillary has prevailed, through whatever dirty tricks employed by Wasserman-Schultz, the mood is almost war fever, and suddenly she is absolutely right about everything. To suggest anything counter to her pronouncements is high treason. Talk about your group think. The transition to group think there was breathtaking. I know they want to win, but it’s amazing how all logic and reason disappears once the troops rally around an anointed leader. The evangelical Republicans have similarly given Trump a pass on their usual faith-based demands because their tribe too wants to WIN.

    • Peter Loeb
      August 11, 2016 at 9:15 am

      DEMS REMEMBER (SELECTIVELY)ONLY THE GOP…

      Many of us were horrified by Senator Joe McCarthy (D-WI) in
      his time. His counsel then was Roy Cohn who was, it is
      said,was a kind of “mentor” to a young guy named Trump.
      Is that “guilt by association”?

      Democrats inevitably and very conveniently forget similar
      activities by Democrats such as:

      Harry Truman–1. general foreign policy in postwar
      years in many areas (see Joyce and Gabriel Kolko,
      THE LIMITS OF POWER…)

      2. The Attorney General’s List

      3. the loyalty oath (my Father, an
      employee of the White House was forced to sign)

      4. The “Red Scare” under Woodrow Wilson

      And much more..

      Even the Israeli government despite its divine mandate has
      been rumored to engage in such tactics. Because not all
      of us are in communication with the divine, this can neither
      be confirmed nor denied. Or perhaps it has been “redacted.”

      One might consider these minor issues until one is faced with
      the fact that hundreds of thousands of Europeans
      went starving because their defeated governments were considered
      to be “unfriendly” (UNNRA was given up because it distributed
      food according to need, not American —anti-communist—
      politics or that governments such as France with large
      communist parties were compelled by US economic
      pressure (“bribes”) to force Ministers out-of-office etc.

      Many of these complex events are well documented in the
      Kolko book cited above.

      Forgetting that Secretary of State Dean Acheson testified before
      Congress about the “commies” was once considered
      not only acceptable but required in so-called “liberal”
      circles is very comforting to us today.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, US

  2. Bill Bodden
    August 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Glenn Greenwald has more on this topic: Democrats’ Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S. – https://theintercept.com/2016/08/08/dems-tactic-of-accusing-adversaries-of-kremlin-ties-and-russia-sympathies-has-long-history-in-us/

    Robert Parry’s history of the Poppy Bush-Bill Clinton contest indicates it was another contest of similar evils on a par with what we have this year; although, the real Bill Clinton wasn’t as obvious then as the real Hillary Clinton is now.

  3. Sally Snyder
    August 9, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Here is an article that looks at the Clinton family’s long involvement with Iraq:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/02/the-clintons-long-relationship-with-iraq.html

    This is a part of the Clinton family history that voters need to remember.

  4. Candace
    August 9, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Its a tough election season and the Russia paranoia is crazy business but at least Hillary and advisers aren’t calling for Trump’s execution.

    http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/23/n-h-lawmaker-criticized-for-remark-about-clinton/

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-the-second-amendment-people-may-be-able-to-stop-clinton-over-scotus-picks/

  5. Abe
    August 9, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Clinton-Backer Calls Sanders a McCarthyite, Officially Closes the Paranoid Loophole
    By Jake Offenhartz
    http://historybuff.com/bernie-sanders-get-mccarthy-comparison-closing-loop-MWVgqx1MdjJ2

  6. Zachary Smith
    August 9, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    The assault on Clinton’s patriotism moved into high gear on the night of Sept. 30, 1992, when Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Tamposi – under pressure from the White House – ordered three aides to pore through Clinton’s passport files at the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland.

    That’s a brand new one for me! In my view Bush Daddy was more evil than Junior. But in general he was a lot smarter and got away with his crimes remaining mostly unknown – even to this day.

    • August 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Which crimes are we talking about?
      By the way have you heard about Victor Thorn? He’s never mentioned in the Establishment media.

    • David Smith
      August 10, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Andreas, does Iran-Contra-Cocaine ring any bells? Skipping pre-1980, Pappy Bush is guilty of Treason by paying Iran to keep the hostages “as long as Carter is President”. Next, covert arms trading with Iran, Conspiracy Terrorism funding Contrast against Nicaraguan civilians. Cocaine Trafficking, organized the Colombia-Panama-Honduras-Mexico-United States route used today. “Freeway” gets blamed, but it was Pappy and his CIA minions, with a bit of help from the Somoza family, that “cooked up” the crack cocaine epidemic. And after all that good work, the US Propertied Class still kicked Pappy aside in favor of Slick Willy, and made Pappy cry in public. That’s what you get for workin’ for The Man.

  7. test
    August 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    test

  8. Kiza
    August 10, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Wikileaks/Assange suggest that the murdered DNC staff member Seth Rich was the source of DNC emails that Wikileaks published, exposing the conspiracy to rig the Primaries in Clinton’s favor: https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/763166970569224193.

    The interview with Assange:
    “Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.
    Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?
    Julian Assange: No. There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks.”

    Accuse the enemy of convenience and MIC profit (Russia) for hacking and then knock off the real perpetrator – an insider. Clinton modus operandi. Both have the cake and eat it.

    • David Smith
      August 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      The Seth Rich murder is both suspicious and disturbing, an alleged robbery with nothing taken. Shaun Lewis, who served a process on the DNC over fraud against Sanders, found by his girlfriend, dead on their bathroom floor, cause unknown. John Ashe, who was to give testimony on Criminal Corruption charges involving a Chinese Clinton donor, found in his home, throat crushed by weightlifting equipment…….

      • ms 57
        August 11, 2016 at 5:43 am

        Two days ago, a grandfather was sitting on his front porch In Chicago when two young guys ran up, shot and killed him. The story was included among other examples — a young guy playing basketball — in an article about a particularly awful day of random violence in Chicago. That wasn’t an alleged robbery with nothing taken but an actual murder with nothing taken. Disturbing? Deeply. Suspicious? No. Yesterday Seth Rich’s parents called Wikileak’s reward “bizarre and offensive.”

        Shaun Lewis was a process server, for Christ’s sake. In the great chain of legal authority, there is no one lower on the rung than the process server — I was one. Any actor involved in whatever conspiracy you suspect is in play is not going to kill a process server: the papers had been served; they are easily reproduced; he had no authority whatsoever in the decision-making process.

        John Ashe found with his throat crushed by weightlifting equipment? Have you ever lifted weights? Have you ever maxed out while doing bench presses? If you are at home, lifting without a spotter and maxed out, you’re in real trouble.

        The allusion to a conspiracy only disturbs and creates suspicion when it falls on a fertile mind looking at shadows rather than applying common sense.

        • Skip Edwards
          August 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm

          What you say might be believable on one, possibly two, occurrances. But when anyone considers the number of people who have been murdered, committed suicide or accidently been killed who were connected to the Clintons and situations in which the Clintons were questionably involved it brings up the question of probability, doesn’t it? Who else can you think of with this long a list of such acts? Yes it is hard to prove a negative.

      • David Smith
        August 11, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        ms57, providing stories of murders without robberies(in Chicago) to conclude that the Seth Rich murder is not suspicious is fallacious(false equivalence) although it would be less fallacious if you provided stories of murders in the SAME neighborhood, but you know you cannot. Regarding Shaun Lewis, you fail to follow your fallacious reasoning by not providing examples of healthy men found dead on their bathroom floor, cause of death unknown, but I am glad you brought up the “process server”. In a Civil Suit, the process server is ALWAYS present at the initial hearing to tell the Judge he served the process; otherwise the defense will move that “no process was served” and the judge will dismiss the Suit(“they are easily reproduced” will not suffice, so it seems you, or your superiors, are aware of the issue). So there is a motive to murder Shaun Lewis. Finally, yes I have spent a great deal of, boring, time lifting weights, and if the bench press was as dangerous as you imply, no one would do it, I have never felt in danger. A “spotter” is only used with VERY heavy weights lifted by full-time pros, and there is always the rack to drop them on, zero chance of your throat crushed. Finally, ms57, I have never seen you on Consortium comments, and I suspect you are a front for a writing team, the stylistic giveaway is your “bizarre and offensive” elbow dig at Julian Assange, the shift in style at the last paragraph……I could go on…..yes, “a fertile mind looking at shadows” can see that which seeks to hide itself. Ta ta till Zero Day, ms57.

        • Skip Edwards
          August 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm

          Thank you for your line of legal, investigative reasoning. I saw your response just after I had written my line of reasoning which was just using common sense. Again, thank you.

        • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
          August 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

          I don’t think he is a troll. He didn’t seem so to me. And it is understandable that he would be offended that Assange would make a conspiracy theory out of this. However, if Assange has any e-mails supporting his case, which I cannot rule out due to controlling WikiLeaks, then I can say that the theory has credibility depending on the specificity of the e-mails. But even if it was a conspiracy, then a alternative explanation was that it s a case of plausible deniability on behalf of Hillary Clinton – that way she wouldn’t be tried.

  9. Joe Tedesky
    August 10, 2016 at 1:54 am

    Before I start I want to make one thing perfectly clear, by criticizing Hillary Clinton’s political strategy or any of her policies doesn’t mean in anyway I support Donald Trump, or vice versa. This screwball 2016 presidential election has progressives who dislike Hillary sounding as though they are in favor of having a Presidential Trump take to the Oval Office, and the reverse is true of the many conservatives who dislike candidate Trump. Our American political establishment has turned our dearly flawed election process on its head, as if that is even possible.

    I have never heard an unfavorable word spoken about Fred Koch, who in 1929 built petroleum distillation plants in the Soviet Union. Nor, have I ever heard any criticism leveled at David Rockefeller who in 1973 opened a Chase branch bank in Moscow. At the same time Rockefeller went to China, and opened the National Bank of China. Henry Ford in 1929 help start in Russia the Gorki Automotive Plant. So, would the Russia haters question these very well established American business icons, and consider them to be traitors for their doing business with the Russians? Seriously, these Titans of the American industrial world would have had much more valuable assets to offer an enemy through their collaboration than some realtor who happens to be selling foreign made neckties on the side.

    Believe me, Hillary’s campaign managers know all too well what the real Donald Trump is all about, and that he isn’t no Russian spy. Hillary’s people, just like the Donald’s people know that by throwing out all of these false allegations out there that some of these lies will stick, and they do. Trust me, in a couple years you will run into someone who will state how disappointed they were to discover that Trump is a commie lover. I know that communism hasn’t ruled in Russia since 1991, but for some Americans this doesn’t matter. None of it matters to those who truly believe that Russia is a bad place, and that it is run by the Russian mafia.

    What is even more amazing, is how Hillary’s unscrupulous campaign was able to deflect their rigged primary process by putting the focus on Putin. While we Americans should be discussing the cheating deceptions well hidden by the Clinton campaign, we are instead rattling the cage of the world’s second largest nuclear power. Someone please tell me how this blame game makes any good sense. Even James Comey under questioning from Rep. Tray Gowdy didn’t support Hillary Clinton’s version of any of the questions asked in regard to her private email servers.

    The sadder part is, we should not expect to hear any American politician in the near future speak well about Russia, or Vladimir Putin, as that line of thought will be truly considered politically incorrect.

    • GM
      August 10, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Curiously and rather ironically, Bill Clinton, as the article noted, citied as a patriot and arbiter of all things decent Sen. Prescott “Hitler’s Banker” Bush for facing down McCarthy.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 10, 2016 at 9:15 pm

        True that it does seem strange that Prescott Bush would have stood down the red scare McCathy. Either Bush had had enough of Joe McCathy, or he was afraid to where all McCarthy witch hunt would go.

  10. Tristan
    August 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Interesting article. Yet we have crossed the Rubicon and any “sense of decency” is lost by those who should be shamed, but the scramble for power and the associated wealth that goes with upholding (at least for self interest) the imperial status quo is now too lucrative and legal too boot! Thus the rush to herd the consumers to vote for the one who firmly believes in the indispensable nature of the imperial U.S. now plainly in the role as muscle behind the free market globalized corporate dominated world, via financial, economic, and military warfare.

    The worries are beyond the demonizing of foes as “Commie Pinkos”, it is the incessant drumbeat of threats of aggression upon which our now decrepid and non functional fake (ie one party) democracy relies. Without the constant threat of war, war and the rumuors of war, this nation as the dispensary of weaponry (financial, economic, military) and death the world over would not be able to function. It is becoming plain that the function of the consumers of the U.S. is primarily to support a machine which will ensure their destruction at the pleasure of some few manchian politicians and their globalist capitalist masters.

  11. Realist
    August 10, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) nailed it when he (again) said: “Don’t expect to hear anything honest or true come from the mouths of either candidate for the rest of the campaign. Both candidates are skillfully building imaginary castles and make-believe demons out of your cognitive dissonance and your confirmation bias. You’re seeing the best-of-the-best persuaders (and helpers) operating at the highest level. Facts and policies are sitting this one out.”

    The Clintons learned many tricks used against them by the opposition over the course of many campaigns and they are not about to let those lessons go to waste. One thing I’ve come to see is that the winners always employ a scorched earth policy that is meant to completely destroy the opposition at every level. There is no such thing as going too negative. No points are awarded for gamesmanship. And, even hockey players know that the Lady Byng trophy is no substitute for the Stanley Cup. There is no accusation that is too petty or too preposterous. Slips of the tongue, inaccuracies, misstatements, misunderstandings, faux pas or egregious lies can be sorted out later, after the election… if even necessary, for by then it is simply too late. The only thing that matters is gaining one more electoral vote than the other candidate, whether by hook or crook, even if it means cadging them from a partisan Supreme Court. To the Donald, this is all new, for the Clintons it’s all in a day’s work.

    • Realist
      August 10, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Let me put this all in a more quotable form: Hillary used to complain about the Clinton’s being pursued by a vast right wing conspiracy. Since they couldn’t beat that conspiracy, they’ve now joined it, adopted its values and practice its methods with relish.

  12. Bob Van Noy
    August 10, 2016 at 8:47 am

    ”As her campaign sinks into its own anti-Russian mud pile of guilt-by-association, Hillary Clinton and her supporters may ask themselves how far are they prepared to go – and whether their ambitions have overwhelmed any “sense of decency.”

    I can’t thank you enough for that ending comment Robert Parry. Hillary Clinton’s tone deaf foreign policy is enough in itself to never allow her to be the President. It is the one thing that she has been consistent on for years, and singularity wrong for years! I recall how frightening Barry Goldwater was; but he couldn’t compare with the aggression Hillary displays. She simply doesn’t demonstrate the right measure of intelligent control to be President.

  13. F. G. Sanford
    August 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The real revelation is merely a blip, betraying the consummate strategic plan.
    Nobody spotted the Freudian Slip, or the warning to countenance secret advice-
    The Rosatom deal with Uranium One, or the millions donated by Gulf Nation States-
    Hypocrisy flourished and when Reagan ran, he too courted votes that were cast by the Klan.

    Back in the days when McCarthy held sway, a little known fact most Americans miss,
    A viscid pretender named Nixon would pay, he hired informants to dig up some dirt.
    Mob figures aided and some would assert Tricky Dick was aware when he hired Jack Ruby.
    Congressman Dick saw the pictures they say, showing Tolson and Hoover embraced in a kiss.

    Corrupt politicians for each generation, are quickly forgotten, the crowd moves along,
    Some facts are forbidden it bears iteration, American eyes just can’t see certain things.
    The truth doesn’t matter, opinion poll swings are the currency spent buying every election-
    More misdirection resides in the fray, if you think there’s no plan I suggest you are wrong.

    The bigger the bombshell, the less in the news, forgotten the days of October Surprise,
    A freighter and submarine sunk with their crews, but no one recalls the sad tale of The Poet.
    A cargo forgotten, Bill Casey in Paris, both sides looked for lady friend trysts to embarrass,
    Popsicle Monica, Julie the Bunny, the fair game are honeys, not criminal ties.

    Poppy pretended he might have a chick, despite all the moral majority qualms,
    If you think about Hastert, then that’s pretty slick, even pedophile scandals will doubtfully stick.
    That covered his butt when he took off for Paris, just like Tricky Dick, he had something to hide.
    He’d still get elected but just for one term, still nobody guessed that The Poet shipped bombs.

    Remember when Nixon said, “I’m not a crook?” I recall Parris Island and Allen’s great praise.
    The Shopette on post sold an interesting book: “Everything Clinton Has Done for Our Country”.
    So much for that patriot loyalty claim, the book had blank pages from cover to cover.
    A farewell gift portrait of Bill had been framed with a toilet seat tribute to Semper Fi days.

    Marine Corps and CIA groupies now fawn, indicating that past attributions were fake,
    Any objections to Clinton are gone, and nobody dares to say, “Bill was a traitor.”
    When he bombed an aspirin factory later, Popsicle Monica’s saga still played.
    Nobody grasped the extent of the plan, only timelines reveal what’s been baked in the cake.

    Michael Morell looks like Sid Blumenthal, both joined the club and allege their devotion,
    Previous loyalties don’t clash at all, despite dialectics that used to be sacred,
    Some have alluded the Trump incantations – got too close Hopsicker’s frank allegations.
    Trump is a bigot, Blumenthal is a flack, apparently Michael is eyeing promotion.

    Certain events must stay happily hidden, the winner must never choose investigation,
    The twenty eight page revelations forbidden, could lead to more topics and compromise plans.
    The club that decides where allegiance resides picks the candidate loyal to keeping the secrets,
    Take note that the Clintons will not bash a Bush, a sin more egregious than mocking creation.

    Lost in the discourse is which side they choose: all the Clinton apologists brought us Iraq.
    Never discussed are the wars that they loose, the kids that are maimed or come home in a box.
    Allen applauds the allure of harm’s way, and intuits that leadership mustn’t dismay-
    Where are the cries that deceit is afoot? It looks like Dick Cheney is leading this pack.

  14. Bob Koelle
    August 10, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Am I missing something? What happened to “follow the money?” Is Trump’s reliance on Russian funding of his ventures, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, not a concern to the author? Trump would be the most financially compromised President since Jefferson.

    • GM
      August 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      If follow the money is your thing, stay tuned for the pending Clinton Foundation leaks promised by Wikileaks. My guess is that this will be very large and will be published in tranches until well beyond Election Day, but not until the rest of the DNC files are released.

    • Kiza
      August 10, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      I thought Robert Parry explained that the “political smear” is all about unsubstantiated allegations – that is FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). But just like the false flags, the political smears require good control over MSM to present the smear as a likely or at least a possible fact.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        August 16, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        There are no false-flags.

  15. Abe
    August 10, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Russia scholar Stephen Cohen shuts down CNN host who attempts to link Trump to Putin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCMyHJJrdDw

  16. ms 57
    August 11, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Now just how is it that an article by a professional journalist which opens with the phrase “the irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign impugning the patriotism of Donald Trump and others who object to a new Cold War with Russia” and ends with the phrase “as her campaign sinks into its own anti-Russian mud pile of guilt-by-association” does not refer to a single example of Clinton’s her anti-Russian mud-piling? Just how is it that Parry can criticize the fact that “in neither case is any actual evidence presented, just innuendo and suspicion” when he does the same thing himself?

    And I am by no means a Clinton apologist, a neo-con, a liberal interventionist, a Conservative or a reactionary ideologically prone to an anti-Russian line.

    • Abe
      August 11, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Now just how is it that an amateur propagandist or Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative opens with the phrase “I am not a neo-con […] Nor am I a liberal interventionist” on August 4th and ends with the phrase “And I am by no means a Clinton apologist, a neo-con, a liberal interventionist, a Conservative or a reactionary ideologically prone to an anti-Russian line” on August 11th?

      Ain’t no coinkydink.

      That’s just how it is at Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and the anti-Russian mud-pile think tanks where in no case is any actual evidence presented, just innuendo and suspicion.

      • David Smith
        August 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        Good one, Abe, you have sharp eyes and memory. I think the entity ms57 is a front for several writers, this comment is by the “C Team”. Note the vast difference in style and expertise between this comment and the other ms57 comment above.

        • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
          August 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

          Nonsense. He is an interventionist, yes, but since he says he not a liberal interventionist or neo-conservative, I presume he is just an ordinary interventionist. I disagree with his views – I am a non-interventionist – but he is not a troll.

      • Abe
        August 11, 2016 at 8:04 pm

        A front for several writers, indeed. The “style” and “expertise” is on a par with the much-ballyhooed “independent analysis” of Bellingcat and Arms Control Wonk https://consortiumnews.com/2016/07/22/will-nyt-retract-latest-anti-russian-fraud/

  17. Gregory Kruse
    August 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Democrats copying Republican smear tactics is like Israel copying German supremacy tactics.

  18. Abe
    August 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Hillary didn’t invent the “Il Duce” or “Vladimir Hitler” political smears.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ben-gurion-and-jabotinsky-were-like-hitler-on-nazi-laws-and-godwins-law/

  19. delia ruhe
    August 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    “While lacking any verifiable proof, Clinton’s campaign and its allied mainstream media have blamed Russian intelligence for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s emails and then publicizing them through Wikileaks. This conspiracy theory holds that Putin is trying to influence the U.S. election to put his secret agent, Donald Trump, into the White House.”

    Is anybody in the MSM pointing out this absence of evidence? Or are they just letting Hillary kill two birds with one slimy stone, smearing her opponent as well as cultivating ever more public animosity toward Putin and the Russians to cover up the Ukrainian snake in the grass (not to mention the history of the Crimea and its overwhelming and long-standing Russian population)?

    Anyone wanna bet against the possibility of serious conflict with Russia involving troops and war toys? No, I thought not.

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