The Democrats’ Joe McCarthy Moment

Exclusive: To shield Hillary Clinton from criticism of her Wall Street speeches, the Democrats are engaging in a new McCarthyism for the New Cold War, suggesting that Donald Trump is in league with the Russians, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

My first book, Fooling America, examined Washington’s excited “conventional wisdom” around the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 when nearly the entire political-punditry elite was thrilled about bombing the heck out of Iraq, inflicting heavy civilian casualties in Baghdad and slaughtering tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers as they fled from Kuwait.

Ironically, one of the few dissenters from this war lust was right-wing commentator Robert Novak, who actually did some quality reporting on how President George H.W. Bush rejected repeated peace overtures because he wanted a successful ground war as a way to instill a new joy of war among the American people.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Sen. Joe McCarthy with lawyer Roy Cohn (right).

Bush recognized that a brief, victorious ground war would – in his words – “kick the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all,” i.e. get Americans to forget their revulsion about foreign wars, a hangover from the bloody defeat in Vietnam.

So Novak, the anti-communist hardliner who often had baited other pundits for their “softness” toward “commies,” became on this occasion a naysayer who wanted to give peace a chance. But that meant Novak was baited on “The Capital Gang” chat show for his war doubts.

To my surprise, one of the most aggressive enforcers of the pro-war “group think” was Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Al Hunt, who had often been one of the more thoughtful, less warmongering voices on the program. Hunt dubbed Novak “Neville Novak,” suggesting that Novak’s interest in avoiding war in the Middle East was on par with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War II.

Months later when I interviewed Hunt about his mocking of Novak’s anti-war softness, Hunt justified his “Neville Novak” line as a fitting rejoinder for all the times Novak had baited opponents for their softness against communism. “After years of battling Novak from the left, to have gotten to his right, I enjoyed that,” Hunt said.

At the time, I found this tit-for-tat, hah-hah gotcha behavior among Washington’s armchair warriors troubling because it ignored the terrible suffering of people in various countries at the receiving end of American military might, such as the Iraqi civilians including women and children who were burned alive when a U.S. bomb penetrated a Baghdad bomb shelter, as well as the young Iraqi soldiers incinerated in their vehicles as they fled the battlefield.

In the 100-hour ground war, U.S. casualties were relatively light, 147 killed in combat and another 236 killed in accidents or from other causes. “Small losses as military statistics go,” Gen. Colin Powell wrote later, “but a tragedy for each family.” In Official Washington, however, the dead were a small price to pay for a “feel-good” war that let President Bush vanquish the psychological ghosts of the Vietnam War.

I also had the sickening sense that this “popular” war – celebrated with victory parades and lavish firework displays – was setting the stage for more horrors in the future. Already, neoconservative pundits, such as The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, were demanding that U.S. forces must go all the way to Baghdad and “finish the job” by getting rid of Saddam Hussein. A dangerous hubris was taking hold in Washington.

As we have seen in the decades since, the euphoria over the Persian Gulf victory did feed into the imperial arrogance that contributed to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. At that moment, when the neocons in George W. Bush’s administration were concocting excuses for finally marching to Baghdad, there were almost no voices among the big-shot commentators who dared repeat Robert Novak’s “mistake” of 1991.

Playing Joe McCarthy

I mention all this now because we are seeing something similar with the Democrats as they lead the charge into a dangerous New Cold War with Russia. The Democrats, who bore the brunt of the Red-baiting during the earlier Cold War, are now playing the roles of Senators Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon in smearing anyone who won’t join in the Russia-bashing as “stooges,” “traitors” and “useful idiots.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

When Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has one of his few lucid moments and suggests that the U.S. should cooperate with Russia rather than provoke more confrontations, he is denounced from many political quarters. But these attacks against Trump are most feverish from Democrats looking to give Hillary Clinton a boost politically and a diversionary excuse for her Wall Street speeches that she tried so hard to keep hidden until they were released by WikiLeaks from hacked emails of her longtime adviser John Podesta.

The Obama administration’s intelligence community has claimed, without presenting evidence, that Russian intelligence was behind the Democratic Party hacks as a way to influence the U.S. election, a somewhat ironic charge given the long history of the U.S. government (and its intelligence community) engaging in much more aggressive actions to block the election of disfavored politicians abroad and even to overthrow democratically elected leaders who got in Washington’s way.

Rather than seeking to explain Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street bigwigs and other special interests, Podesta and other Democrats have simply piled on the Russia-bashing with suggestions that Trump is consorting with America’s enemies. In Wednesday night’s debate, Clinton referred to Trump as Vladimir Putin’s “puppet.”

While the Democrats may consider this strategy very clever – a kind of karmic payback for the Republican red-baiting of Democrats during the Cold War – it carries even greater dangers than Al Hunt’s putting down Robert Novak for trying to save lives in the Persian Gulf War.

By whipping up a new set of whipping boys – the “evil” Russians and their “ultra-evil” leader Vladimir Putin – the Democrats are setting in motion passions that could spin out of control and cause a President Hillary Clinton to push the two nuclear powers into a crisis that – with a simple misjudgment on the part of either nation – could end life on the planet.

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).

41 comments for “The Democrats’ Joe McCarthy Moment

  1. clarioncaller
    October 22, 2016 at 21:03

    Yeah, I guess it was Donald who sold that Uranium One mine to Putin, and it must have been Donald who gave 7 Alaskan islands to Russia..

  2. Chris Condon
    October 21, 2016 at 21:47

    This election is all about war. The powers to be in Washington are planning on a big war next spring against Russia to further the American goal of world conquest. They know that Donald Trump will not give them the war that they want but Hillary Clinton will.

  3. Bill Cash
    October 21, 2016 at 11:16

    I believe this is very complicated. I do believe Russia is releasing material to wikileaks to hurt Hillary. Yes Trump had a lucid moment about Russia but why? I think he owes them a lot of money. His son alluded to a lot of money coming from russia in the past.
    Now the big question, why is Assange so eager to hurt Hillary? I don’t think it’s because he loves Trump. What does Assange need most right now? He needs a friend in the White House to help get him out of his current situation.Who is the player who’d make that deal?

    Enter Steve Bannon, master of dirt. I really think it’s very possible Bannon made a deal with Assange. It’d be remeniscent of the Reagan/Bush deal with Iran.

  4. Abe
    October 20, 2016 at 13:25

    Low-Blow Joe’s chief hatchet man was Roy Cohn. Cohn gained special prominence during the 1954 Army–McCarthy hearings.

    McCarthy hired Roy Cohn, who is widely believed to have been a closeted homosexual, as chief counsel of his Congressional subcommittee. Together, McCarthy and Cohn, with the enthusiastic support of the head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover (also believed by many to have been a closeted homosexual), were responsible for the firing of scores of gay men and women from government employment and strong-armed many opponents into silence using rumors of their homosexuality.

    McCarthy often used accusations of homosexuality as a smear tactic in his anti-communist crusade, often combining the Second Red Scare with the Lavender Scare. On one occasion, he went so far as to announce to reporters, “If you want to be against McCarthy, boys, you’ve got to be either a Communist or a cocksucker.” Some historians have argued that, in linking communism and homosexuality and psychological imbalance, McCarthy was employing guilt-by-association if evidence for communist activity was lacking.

    As an Assistant US Attorney, Cohn had helped to secure convictions in a number of well-publicized trials of accused Soviet operatives. Cohn was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s prosecution team at the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Cohn’s direct examination of Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, produced testimony that was central to the Rosenbergs’ conviction and subsequent execution. Greenglass testified that he had given the Rosenbergs classified documents from the Manhattan Project that had been stolen by Klaus Fuchs. Greenglass would later claim that he lied at the trial in order “to protect himself and his wife, Ruth, and that he was encouraged by the prosecution to do so.”

    The Rosenberg trial brought the 24-year-old Cohn to the attention of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director J. Edgar Hoover, who recommended him to Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy hired Cohn as his chief counsel, choosing him over Robert Kennedy, reportedly in part to avoid accusations of an anti-Semitic motivation for the investigations. Cohn assisted McCarthy’s work for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, becoming known for his aggressive questioning of suspected Communists. Cohn preferred not to hold hearings in open forums, which went well with McCarthy’s preference for holding “executive sessions” and “off-the-record” sessions away from the Capitol in order to minimize public scrutiny and to question witnesses with relative impunity. Cohn was given free rein in pursuit of many investigations, with McCarthy joining in only for the more publicized sessions.

    Cohn would play a major role in assisting McCarthy’s crusade against Communism. During the Lavender Scare, Cohn and McCarthy attempted to enhance anti-Communist fervor in the country by claiming that Communists overseas had convinced several closeted homosexuals employed by the US federal government to pass on important government secrets in exchange for keeping the identity of their sexuality a secret. Convinced that the employment of homosexuals was now a threat to national security, President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order on April 29, 1953 to ban homosexuals from obtaining jobs in the federal government. Gay men and lesbians were said to be security risks and communist sympathizers, which led to the call to remove them from state employment.

    Cohn invited his friend G. David Schine, an anti-Communist propagandist, to join McCarthy’s staff as a consultant. When Schine was drafted into the US Army in 1953, Cohn made repeated and extensive efforts to procure special treatment for Schine. He contacted military officials from the Secretary of the Army down to Schine’s company commander and demanded for Schine to be given light duties, extra leave, and exemption from overseas assignment. At one point, Cohn is reported to have threatened to “wreck the Army” if his demands were not met. That conflict, along with McCarthy’s accusations of Communists in the defense department, led to the Army–McCarthy hearings. The Army charged Cohn and McCarthy with using improper pressure on Schine’s behalf, and McCarthy and Cohn countercharged that the Army was holding Schine “hostage” in an attempt to squelch McCarthy’s investigations into Communists in the Army. During the hearings, a photograph of Schine was introduced, and Joseph N. Welch, the Army’s attorney in the hearings, accused Cohn of doctoring the image to show Schine alone with Army Secretary Robert T. Stevens.

    During the Army–McCarthy hearings, Cohn denied having any “special interest” in Schine or being bound to him “closer than to the ordinary friend.” Joseph Welch, the Army’s attorney in the hearings, made an apparent reference to Cohn’s homosexuality. After asking a witness if a photo entered as evidence “came from a pixie”, he defined “pixie” (a camera model name at the time) for McCarthy as “a close relative of a fairy.” Fairy was, and is, a derogatory term for a homosexual man. The people at the hearing recognized the allusion and found it amusing; Cohn later called the remark “malicious”, “wicked”, and “indecent.”

    The Army–McCarthy hearings received considerable press attention, including gavel-to-gavel live television coverage on ABC and DuMont from April 22 to June 17. The media coverage, particularly television, greatly contributed to McCarthy’s decline in popularity and his eventual censure by the Senate the following December. Although the findings of the hearings blamed Cohn rather than McCarthy, they are widely considered an important element of McCarthy’s disgrace.

    After the Army–McCarthy hearings, Cohn resigned from McCarthy’s staff and went into private practice.

    In 1971, businessman Donald Trump moved to Manhattan, where he became involved in large construction projects. Trump came to public attention in 1973 when he was accused by the Justice Department of violations of the Fair Housing Act in the operation of 39 buildings. The government alleged that Trump’s corporation quoted different rental terms and conditions to blacks and made false “no vacancy” statements to blacks for apartments they managed in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Representing Trump, Cohn filed a countersuit against the government for $100 million, asserting that the charges were irresponsible and baseless. The countersuit was unsuccessful. Trump settled the charges out of court in 1975 without admitting guilt.

    Federal investigations during the 1970s and 1980s charged Cohn three times with professional misconduct, including perjury and witness tampering. He was accused in New York of financial improprieties related to city contracts and private investments. He was acquitted of all charges. In 1986, a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court disbarred Cohn for unethical and unprofessional conduct, including misappropriation of clients’ funds, lying on a bar application, and pressuring a client to amend his will. In this case in 1975, Cohn entered the hospital room of a dying and comatose Lewis Rosenstiel, the multi-millionaire founder of Schenley Industries, forced a pen to his hand and lifted it to the will in an attempt to make himself and Cathy Frank—Rosenstiel’s granddaughter—beneficiaries. The resulting marks were determined in court to be indecipherable and in no way a valid signature.

    In 1984, Cohn was diagnosed with AIDS and attempted to keep his condition secret while receiving experimental drug treatment. He participated in clinical trials of AZT, a drug initially synthesized to treat cancer, but later developed as the first anti-HIV agent for AIDS patients. He insisted to his dying day that his disease was liver cancer. Cohn died on August 2, 1986, in Bethesda, Maryland, of complications from AIDS at the age of 59. According to Republican political consultant Roger Stone, Cohn’s “absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the IRS. He succeeded in that.”

  5. October 20, 2016 at 12:33

    No attention given to the U.S. violation of the NPT by modernizing its nukes, but plenty of focus on Russia’s so-called violation of the treaty on short-range missiles in Europe, even though NATO and the US continue to bait the Russians with all sorts of maneuvers, including the coup in Ukraine. Have the brain trusts in DC never heard that illegal actions often bring countervailing actions? Oh, no – that can never happen, because as HRC said last night “we are good…”, implying that Russia is evil…

    Hubris brings on nemesis…

  6. evelync
    October 20, 2016 at 11:12

    Seems like Anonymous and some Brits may be getting internet service for Assange;
    http://mashable.com/2016/10/20/giving-julian-assange-wifi/#odaeG2LucqqE

    Considering the Deep State “reality” shared with Wall Street by Clinton in her pricey speeches vs the pablum she shares with average Americans who pay the taxes for the Wars, fight the wars, get defrauded by the banks, lose their homes in Wall Streets’ sub prime scams, lose their jobs under the Trade Scams –
    Thanks to all that hypocrisy- our “leaders” are in the process of being discredited.

    I hope a slew of Bernie supported honest candidates win enough seats to start the process where we begin to see honesty and transparency.
    e.g. Russ Feingold in WI – the only vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act.
    People like Zephyr Teachout, Tulsi Gabbard -who resigned as vice chair of the DNC to support Bernie against the corruption of the DNC.

    The Libertarians may be a bit loony but at least Gary Johnson and Bill Weld say – no more regime change.
    That would be a start on foreign policy…..

  7. Drew Hunkins
    October 20, 2016 at 10:22

    “17 intelligence agencies, 17 intelligence agencies!” Killary kept prattling on about. What a joke, these intell agencies know exactly what the power structure in Washington is demanding at this moment in time: non-stop bashing of the Kremlin. And only a few folks have noticed that these “17 intell agencies!” really haven’t proffered one scintilla of substantive evidence pointing toward Moscow as being the culprit.

  8. Peter Loeb
    October 20, 2016 at 07:06

    SELECTIVE MEMORY

    “…I mention all this now because we are seeing something similar with the Democrats as they lead the charge into a dangerous New Cold War with Russia. The Democrats, who bore the brunt of the Red-baiting during the earlier Cold War, are now playing the roles of Senators Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon in smearing anyone who won’t join in the Russia-bashing as “stooges,” “traitors” and “useful idiots.”— Robert Parry, above

    How easy it is to conveniently “forget” red-baiting under Democratic Administrations! What about the “Red Scare” (Wilson), The Attorney General’s List (Truman), the use to anti-communism to pressure Congress to appropriate funds for US expansionism (see Joyce and Gabriel Kolko, THE LIMITS OF POWER) the “Truman doctrine”, the Loyalty Oath (my Dad signed one as an employee of the Truman White House) and on and on.

    (PS. Too bad Jack Kennedy refused to vote to censure Joe McCarthy in the Senate.
    Well, there are lots of Catholics in Massachusetts and no profile of courage was
    applicable. It was never noticed.)

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  9. Brad Owen
    October 20, 2016 at 04:07

    I didn’t watch the debate. I tried to watch it on Jill Stein’s website, but the instant Ms. Clinton walked onto the stage, I just automatically turned it off. I’ll do nothing that “gives oxygen” to the HRC or DT campaigns. I’d just rather hear Jill or Ajamu speak. Anyway, debates are just for people who don’t know what they want, or are trying to detect the amount of evil content in the character of those they are considering electing. I don’t have any such problem with Dr. Stein and Green Party U.S. I know where she, and they, stand on the issues. They are inherently trust-worthy, and they’re on the ballot in 48 states…”48 STATES”; the last number I heard. I donate money to Dr. Stein’s campaign ($27 every month; the standard “Bernie package”). Furthermore, I’ll donate $10 a month to Green Party U.S. from now on; my Union Dues for belonging to this “Citizens’ Political Union” (treasonous corporations and billionaires NOT welcome…if they ever get their nose under the tent, THAT is when I walk away from Green Party U.S.). It’s a simple matter to type in Jill Stein 2016, or Green Party U.S. There’s no excuse for not knowing about them, especially for someone who figured out how to get to News Consortium.

  10. Corey
    October 20, 2016 at 04:07

    How symbolic The Hillary Campaign symbol, an embedded arrow pointing to the right? Into the Looking Glass we go.

  11. Joe Tedesky
    October 20, 2016 at 02:21

    Watching how team Hillary turned the sabotaging of the Bernie Sanders campaign by the DNC into a evil Russian hacker episode is like us obtaining a front row seat to the return of the Clintons. Good health providing, the Clintons will have at least another four year run in the White House, only this time starring in the role of ‘the President’ will be none other than our former First Lady, Senator from New York, and one time Secretary of State, Madam Hillary Clinton. The fun will soon get started, as we watch Hillary ignore all of the Bernie Sanders inspired Democratic Platform points almost immediately. I mean what else is Pelosi for? The real fun will be keeping up with all of the Republican investigations centered around our new first woman president. Although, if we end up with a Democratic House and Senate, then we citizens will have the delight of seeing countless scores of minority Republican legislators and pundits appear on our TV screens screaming out for Hillary’s head, so that justice maybe served to the scorned American people. It will be entertaining, and sex-citing with Bill roaming the halls of the Oval Office once again, and our American education to what is a sexual act and what isn’t will be continued to what some are already calling ‘Bill’s sex Ed talk 3.0’. Cigars, blue dresses, broken vases, are just a thing of the past, because this time when the fun gets started it will be star Hillary’s turn to address the nation with BS excuses. It will be Clinton TV just as you remember it, full of passing the blame, skirting the true, and continuing on as though nothing ever happened…totally fantastic Clintonesque programming as you well know it. So stay tuned, for ‘the Return of the Clintons’ you won’t want to miss a second of it…it’s reality history like you’ve seen before, but this time it’s even better, because Hillary gets to call the shots…and that’s how it should be.

    Mike Whitney has a decent write up, that may compliment Mr Parrys fine essay here….

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/19/trump-unchained/

    • Peter Loeb
      October 20, 2016 at 07:34

      THANKS TO JOE TEDESKY….

      Also for the Mike Whitney essay (link).

      I recall months and months ago writing my sister and forwarding an
      article from Consortium. She was appalled. How dare anyone criticize
      Madam Clinton especially now??

      While I expect HRC to win, personally cannot vote to support
      her and the hell that will certainly come. (I did not vote
      for Obama in 2012.)

      I realize that Green will not win. I am not an expert on
      environmental policies (so sorry). But Green is supporting
      some issues no one else will touch. BLM. BDS and Palestinian
      Rights. And when necessary, Jill will get out and really
      demonstrate with the Native Americans, not such give
      evasive speeches. Eons ago, politicians acually joined
      people in their struggles for justice, in strikes for example….

      Whatever a reader’s personal inclinations, it is vital that
      we all consider how we intend to deal with the hell
      that we know will be continued.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 20, 2016 at 09:57

      I couldn’t live with myself voting for Hill, so I’ll cast a ballot for honest Jill!

  12. backwardsevolution
    October 20, 2016 at 02:10

    Off topic:

    “A North Dakota judge rejected prosecutors’ “riot” charges against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for her reporting on the oil pipeline protests, a decision that advocates hailed as a major victory for freedom of the press. After the award-winning broadcast journalist filmed security guards working for the Dakota access pipeline using dogs and pepper spray on protesters, authorities issued a warrant for Goodman’s arrest and alleged that she participated in a “riot”, a serious offense that could result in months in jail. On Monday, judge John Grinsteiner ruled that the state lacked probable cause for the riot charge, blocking prosecutors from moving forward with the controversial prosecution.

    “I feel vindicated. Most importantly, journalism is vindicated,” Goodman told reporters and supporters on a live Facebook video Monday afternoon. “We have a right to report. It’s also critical that we are on the front lines. Today, the judge sided with … freedom of the press.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/17/amy-goodman-north-dakota-oil-access-pipeline-protest-arrest-riot

  13. backwardsevolution
    October 20, 2016 at 00:48

    I used to visit a blog hosted by a wonderful man, a good honest American, a patriot who fought for the U.S., but even he could not stand what his country was doing militarily, economically, etc. Before he closed up his blog, he mentioned several times that he was ashamed to call himself an American, that he was embarrassed and upset by what he saw his government doing – lying. I felt for him and knew that only a really good man could feel this way. I could tell this revelation was hard on him because at one time he had been proud of his country.

    The American people are good people, but they really must stop their government leaders before it is too late.

  14. James lake
    October 20, 2016 at 00:11

    Simple point the Clinton campaign says Russia is trying to interfere in the U.S. elections. They even talk about the Russians rigging the elections in favour of Trump.

    Trump comes back and says yes it’s rigged by hillary and the media

    Obama then says this is impossible

    Obama, by stating that rigging is impossible; exposes the cynical big lie of the democrats and how low they are prepared to go to win.

    Risking war is what they are prepared to do

  15. Tom Moore
    October 20, 2016 at 00:10

    My feelings exactly

  16. Realist
    October 19, 2016 at 23:47

    Good lord, that rant against Putin in tonight’s debate by Killary was epic. The woman has either totally lost her mind or is the biggest liar ever in the history of presidential debates. So, she says definitively that “17” federal agencies have proven without a doubt that Russia and Putin have hacked the DNC AND are in cahoots with Donald Trump to interfere with our presidential elections. Still no one can produce any evidence. Just ask Professor Postol or Cohen–no evidence ever will be found. The first meeting this crazy woman has with President Putin looks like it’s going to be another gunfight at OK Corral. Wait, maybe the world won’t even exist anymore by then, with Hollande and Merkel calling Putin a war criminal to his face today because of Aleppo. Who gave them their marching orders, I wonder. (Someone who never heard of Fallujah, or Dresden, or Hiroshima, etc., etc., I daresay.) Who is really running this insane asylum called the United States? Every day becomes more surreal than the last, don’t you think?

    • Realist
      October 20, 2016 at 00:30

      Here’s the quote from tonight’s debate: CLINTON: …” that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

      So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.”

      Go to Stephen F. Cohen’s podcast of today (19 Oct) at the Nation with John Batchelor to learn the details of Prof. Theodore Postol’s refutation of essentially every sentence of that remark by Hillary.

      It’s the height of irony that Hillary accuses Putin of spying on all Americans, when in fact it has been the NSA doing so. Again from tonight’s debate: “The Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts, of private people and institutions. Then they have given that information to Wikileaks….this has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly from Putin himself…to influence our election.

      The most important question is…will Trump admit and condemn the Russians are doing this…?”

      Furthermore (from the top quote) she accuses Trump of encouraging Russian espionage against the American people. Too bad Trump missed the opportunity to refute that slander. But she throws around bald-faced lies with the speed that Nolan Ryan used to deliver a fastball, and Donald swings and misses all too often. A pity the GOPers couldn’t come up with an adversary a bit more nimble and articulate. The woman is deranged and could easily be dissected by a skilled debater to display the danger she represents to our country and the world. Tonight was all very McCarthyesque, as Robert Parry might characterise it.

    • Lisa
      October 20, 2016 at 12:23

      Realist, you are absolutely right when saying that it is a pity that Trump is not on the same level as Clinton with debating skills. She is used to throwing any wild, unfounded accusations around in this campaign and no one is there to oppose her. Whom is she trying to fool? I was horrified at her speech for the American Legion at the end of August. She claimed to be ready for a military attack on Russia, because they are cyber-attacking US (almost certain).

      Possibly, it is all campaign rhetoric, to sound tough and strong. She has had quite a cosy relationship with Putin around 2012 and 2013, even visiting his summer house. Not to mention all the money that flowed into Clinton Foundation from Russian oligarchs. Why would she endanger this? Or is there enough money now?

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/12/clinton-bashes-trump-over-russia-praise-but-emails-show-praised-putin.html

      Similar info in a Russian article, with a nice photo on Hillary / Putin:
      https://lenta.ru/news/2016/10/13/clinton_putin/

      And this alleged Putin – Trump unified front is completely fabricated, but when repeating it as a proven fact, it gradually becomes so. Putin is claimed to have praised Trump to the heavens – not true at all. I’ve found the video on Youtube (in Russian) when Putin, stepping out of his car was surrounded by Russian journalists, asking him his opinion on Trump, in Oct. 2015. Putin hastily answered that Trump seems to be a colourful person, obviously talented. This word “colourful” (‘jarkiy’ in Russian) is the key word, translated in a completely wrong way as “bright” in the Western media, and repeated and referred to everywhere. The word can mean “bright” when describing sunlight, but about a person, it means only “colourful” or “memorable”.

      See the clip when Putin discusses this with CNN’s reporter:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBTBBNOtbhM (english subtitles)

      Finally, I have tried and tried to find a video where Putin would say this newest accusation on him: “Trump – peace, Hillary – war”.
      I know Russian well and want to find the original words. Nowhere to be found. (If someone can find it, please inform.) There are Russian videos showing a party leader (not Putin’s party) Mr. Zhirinovskij saying this, and he is described in some Western media as “Putin’s ally”, which of course can be interpreted that Putin has said this. Complete nonsense.

      Zhirinovskij is a well known clown, populist politician, much worse than Trump. Nobody takes him seriously, but he attracts crowds because of his colourful language and crazy opinions.

      Just think, a war could be started because of an error in translation…

    • Stephen Sivonda
      October 20, 2016 at 03:16

      Realist…I really think you have said it all about that rant by HRC regarding Putin and alluding to Trump being in tight with him. You hit a home run then with the bit about Merkel and Hollande right to the very last sentence. Surreal, indeed ! Thank you for your thoughts.

  17. October 19, 2016 at 23:29

    The unfortunate fact is that Vladimir Putin is more of an American and more of a Christian than the people we have in Washington DC. Our government has become a bad joke at best. Their accomplishments are an illusion and their words are lies. They truly are a disgrace to the Republic of the USA and a danger to everyone on this planet. https://waitforthedownfall.wordpress.com/oops-did-i-just-say-that/

  18. Zachary Smith
    October 19, 2016 at 22:59

    The war-mongers are getting desperate in more ways than one. Those wikileaks revelations are starting to sting, and the BHO administration is busting its gut to get them stopped. I’d wager that Assange is still alive only because they fear a “dead man switch”.

    While on the campaign trail, Clinton has postured as a “progressive,” determined to hold Wall Street’s feet to the fire. But in her speeches to Goldman Sachs, she made clear her unconditional defense of the banks and financial houses. Under conditions of popular outrage against the bankers and their role in dragging millions into crisis in the financial meltdown of 2008, Clinton gave speeches praising the Wall Street financiers and insisting that they were best equipped to regulate themselves. She apologized to them for supporting the toothless Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, saying that it had to be enacted for “political reasons.”

    In front of her Wall Street audiences, Clinton made clear she had no inhibitions about ordering mass slaughter abroad. While telling her public audiences that she supports a “no-fly zone” in Syria as a humanitarian measure to save lives, she confidentially acknowledged to her Goldman Sachs audience that such an action is “going to kill a lot of Syrians” and become “an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.” In the same speech she declared her willingness to bomb Iran.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/10/19/pers-o19.html

    Even through the howls that it’s all a Russian plot, the Powers-That-Be know the things we’re learning will still be around after the election and the Coronation of Queen Hillary. We’re dodging a self-centered and foul-mouthed clown with his groping little hands and getting instead a totally corrupt warmonger.

    What a choice!

  19. Gregory Kruse
    October 19, 2016 at 21:55

    At the risk of ridicule for being an “Armageddon apologist”, I assert that no possible amount of nuclear detonations will “end life on the planet”, and I wish Mr. Parry would stop saying that. Human civilization could be destroyed, and many or most species of mammals could be suddenly brought to the brink or over the brink of extinction, but most plants, insects, and microbes would survive no matter what. It could take a million years for the planet to recover from the devastation of an all-out nuclear war involving all the nuclear powers expending all of their nuclear weapons, but the end of all life on earth: not likely.

    • October 19, 2016 at 22:38

      Mr. Parry said “could”, not “would” nor “will” – brush up on your grammar.

    • John Wheat Gibson
      October 20, 2016 at 13:10

      Neither “would” nor “could” is true. We must refer to the scriptures: Blessed are the cockroaches, for they shall inherit the earth.

  20. October 19, 2016 at 21:10

    a fine article and even finer comments which offer reasons for hope in a time that seems hopeless to many..but instead of merely making insightful criticisms of the corrupt and debased political economics which threaten all of us, we’d better start doing something about them..and fast.

    • John Wheat Gibson
      October 20, 2016 at 13:06

      Yep

  21. TheSkepticalCynic
    October 19, 2016 at 20:54

    Parry’s characterization of Chamberlain’s settlement with Hitler of the Czechoslovakian issue in 1938 as “…British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War II…” perpetuates the myth and the smearing of Chamberlain. Given the circumstances in 1938, the settlement was the Chamberlain’s Hobson’s Choice. As ill-prepared as Britain was in in 1939 to confront Germany (Think of Dunkirk) it was in far worse prepared in 1938. A war in 1938 would have been an absolute rout.
    As Mark Twain is alleged to have observed, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    • Bart in Virginia
      October 20, 2016 at 18:20

      Yes, Chamberlain gave the government the time desperately needed to produce enough Spitfires and Hurricanes for the Battle of Britain.

  22. Robert Keith
    October 19, 2016 at 19:42

    The Democratic idea that the “Russians” (and how many people even know the difference between “Russians” and “Soviets?”) should be “blamed” for hacking the DNC, not to mention that they are seriously thinking of disrupting our election, is puerile. In addition, there is a conspicuous hint of hypocrisy floating about this charade. All countries hack each other, and, besides, shouldn’t people (DNC) be responsible for protecting themselves from “hackers”. Hillary Clinton meddled in Putin’s election in 2011, and that was really meddling, nothing like what the Russians are doing here. So the whining is unbecomig.

    People must understand that the Russians are not our “enemies”; the Zionists and Neo-Conservatives (domestic and foreign) are out of an historic ethnic grudge against the Russian Tsars.

    • George
      October 19, 2016 at 20:28

      As an irregular observer of Al Hunt for probably two decades I’ve often failed to understand the gravitas with which some on air colleagues seemed to attribute to his remarks.

      I don’t recall seeing this petty side of the Novak vs. Hunt tiff and so a tip of the hat to Bob Parry. Candidly, of course “Shock & Awe” was unconscionable as was the incineration of the retreating those Iraqi soldiers, surely some parents’ children, spouses’ husbands, children’s parents.

      War is hell. It’s a sad indictment of the US that war and killing, hardly ever for colorably morally noble reasons, including in WW II, is what many in foreign nations most associate with Americans.

      Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria….some day it’s likely we’ll be on the receiving end of what we’ve been dishing out.

      It’s wonderfully refreshing to see Bob Parry’s stand against some of the mayhem we monstrously declare is our prerogative.

      Cheers, nonetheless? …While we may….I think we all need to take more sober heed of the risk that our warmongers are flirting with, that is accidental or intentional nuclear oblivion. Instead we appear on the verge of electing a military predator such as Mrs. Clinton who spoke of obliterating Iran and cackled with phony laughter when viewing Gadaffi’s murder.

      This is not who we are? Obama has said more than once. Really/

      Weep….it’s exactly who we’ve allowed our national persona to become.

      What kind of people make hegemony their god?

  23. October 19, 2016 at 19:34

    As a Brazilian I assure you that Democrats are as evil as Republicans or, in the case of Brazil, even worse. Our last two right-wing coup d’etat were supported by Democrat presidents. I can’t wait to see classified american docs about the last one this year. What might Biden and Temer have talked during the soccer world cup in 2014?

  24. mikekrohde
    October 19, 2016 at 19:33

    What is scary is these Democratic political professionals are dealing with a professional head of state with much more experience in international power politics then the petty money grabbing they are used to. This man is scary because he is brilliant and not afraid of the bullying these political amateurs have used with such success here in the states where money rules. Money isn’t the deciding variable in Putin’s equations and that’s what these war mongers don’t get. They are used to waiving around their wallets and getting what they want. They don’t understand a man whose life was mostly in the KGB where bean counting wasn’t number one. This man has a nuclear arsenal that can create nuclear winter all by itself, we don’t have to fire a single nuke to meet the dinosaurs’ destiny. You can’t throw a tantrum and take the ball home and stop the game in a nuclear war. These children of affluence are in over their heads in this game with Putin. I just hope we don’ have to pay a global price for their stupidity and hubris. These are real nuclear weapons, not the loud and beautiful explosions you get with your computer games. People will die in numbers only imagined before.

    • Stephen Sivonda
      October 20, 2016 at 02:15

      Well spoken Mike. It’s sad that the bottom line is $$$ and that ethical values are lacking . BO as a president will be, I believe , deemed as one of the worse ever. that is unless the history is re-written to obfuscate his screw-ups. God sve the republic !

    • October 20, 2016 at 05:47

      Does Hillary Have The Temperament To Have Her Finger On The Nuclear Button?

      Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, writes: “I had concluded from my time spent with Republicans that the Republican Party was more corrupt than the Democratic Party. But after watching this 16 minute video report, which seems too much to be faked, the Democratic political establishment—not necessarily the Americans who vote Democrat—seem to be corrupt beyond the meaning of the word. Make up your own mind.”

      The first video documents violence at Trump rallies that is traced to the Clinton campaign and the DNC through a process called birddogging. Creamer and Foval have been removed from their jobs, which proves the conversation did happen. Creamer was closely associated to the Obama administration and have met with President Obama on several occasions in the white house.

      The second video reveals Clinton tantrums when she doesn’t have her way.

      http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2016/10/18/1010095does-hillary-have-the-temperament-to-have-her-finger-on-the-nuclear-button/

    • Henio
      October 20, 2016 at 10:22

      Well said !!!

  25. Bill Bodden
    October 19, 2016 at 18:54

    The one constant in this sorry history is the American propensity to fall for McCarthy-esque propaganda.

  26. JWalters
    October 19, 2016 at 18:49

    Not surprising that a top goal of Bush II was getting Americans back to war. The Iraq war, the consequent current Middle East mess, and the next war were all parts of a larger prediction made by the Secretaries of Defense and State back in the 1940’s. They accurately saw Zionists starting a religious war that would grow and spread. (Very profitably for a few.)

    For readers who haven’t seen it yet, a brief account of commonly omitted historical facts is in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” at
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

  27. Andoheb
    October 19, 2016 at 18:33

    Real goal of neo cons is to oust Putin. And they are willing to risk World War 3 to do it. Trump objection to this strategy is key reason why they hate him.

    • Dr.Joji Cherian
      October 21, 2016 at 21:13

      Yes.Just as the Zionists wanted to eliminate Romanov the neocons want to oust Putin.

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