Politicized Intelligence Kneecapping Trump

The back story behind the CIA’s leaked claim of Russia helping Donald Trump is an attempt to hobble Trump’s less-hawkish foreign policy before he even gets into the White House, says ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

It is not difficult to understand the dynamics of the recent U.S. presidential election. These same dynamics played a part in Brexit, and continue to unfold throughout Europe: there has been little or no real “growth” since 2005 – for many Americans and Europeans. Good quality jobs for native-born Americans and Europeans are rare, and those employment increases that have occurred, are mostly in the minimum wage sector – and have been filled by recent immigrants.

Many native-born Americans and Europeans are feeling the economic pips squeezed to the limit, at the same time that zero or negative interest rates has eviscerated savings income, and is threatening their pensions.

The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads "Vote Trump" on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)

The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads “Vote Trump” on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)

This is the economic malaise. And on top of this has been the political malaise and widespread reaction against the center-leftist “values-based,” identity politics that stressed the rights and interests of a growing spectrum of “victims” in society: specifically defined in polar opposition to the mainstream American and European way-of-life.

The aggressiveness behind this polar oppositional positioning, intentionally demonizes and weakens the cultural mainstream:  in effect, ordinary people who worked, had loving wives or husbands and children, and attended church, became the “deplorables,” bigots or racists. It was against this supposed cultural “tyranny” that identity victims needed to be supported.

Gender relations were twisted as new genders proliferated, the propaganda of gender diversity exploded, and parent-children relations eroded. Indeed, “white,” “male” and “Christian” are the only identities you may freely and gratuitously abuse in the U.S. and Europe today. Many ordinary Americans and Europeans find this intolerable. They are pushing-back.

Nothing About Russia

None of these dynamics have anything at all to do with Russia or President Vladimir Putin – except that many Russians express bewilderment that Europe has become so embroiled in this gender politics, and in a war against traditional cultural and moral values.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)

But today, certain Western intelligence services – the CIA and MI6 – want to suggest that Putin had his “thumb on the scales” of the U.S. election, and “may manipulate a series of key elections [to be held] in Europe next year” too.  The narrative has evolved from one of Russian influence in U.S. elections, to that of a decisive influence.

As one former CIA officer and U.S. national intelligence co-ordinator, Graham Fuller puts it: “And now, in perhaps the most volatile delegitimization gambit ever, Trump is now whispered to be ‘Putin’s candidate,’ a Russian pawn who has infiltrated the White House itself …

“This is all very ugly stuff. Worse, it looks like questioning the electoral process and the legitimacy of the election itself may become a permanent feature of our domestic politics, inciting further divisiveness and bitterness on both sides of the political divide, rendering the country (even more) ungovernable.”

Indeed, it is ugly stuff. The politicization of intelligence has reached new heights. Russia is not responsible for the widespread opposition to globalization in the U.S. and Europe: simply, the original theory behind globalization (David Ricardo’s comparative advantage theory) no longer retains validity or meaning in the changed reality of today’s world (see here, for an explanation).

And economic growth is proving elusive for a number of reasons, which reflect deep-seated changes under way in the world today (aging demography, China’s stall, and more generally, the failure of debt-led growth policies to work any more, inter alia). For sure, the leadership of the CIA understands these longer-term dynamics at work in recent U.S. and European elections.

A recent Pew survey, for example, shows: “The Republican Party made deep inroads into America’s middle-class communities in 2016. Although many middle-class areas voted for Barack Obama in 2008, they overwhelmingly favored Donald Trump in 2016, a shift that was a key to his victory … In 2016, Trump successfully defended all 27 middle-class areas won by Republicans in 2008. In a dramatic shift, however, Hillary Clinton lost in 18 of the 30 middle-class areas won by Democrats in 2008 … Overall, Democrats experienced widespread erosion in support from 2008 to 2016. Their share of the vote fell in 196 of the 221 metropolitan areas examined. The loss in support was sufficiently large to move 37 areas from the Democratic column to the Republican column …”.

A Charge Lacking Evidence

And, so far, the American officials have stated explicitly that there is no evidence to sustain their claim of Russian involvement – and National Security Agency, which, alone, might have such evidence – were it to exist – has not come forward to confirm the CIA “assessment.” Other American intelligence agencies have directly contested the leaked CIA “finding.”

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser.

In short, we are told that the CIA claims are based on “inference”: which is to say that the CIA officials are “confident,” based on their psychological profile of President Putin, that the latter would prefer Mr. Trump as President; that since it was the Democrats who experienced leaks – and not the Republicans – it may be inferred that a hostile power was behind the leaks; and since Putin lies at the apex of Russian power, it may “confidently” be inferred that he personally would have authorized and directed such leaks.

Of course, this is not intelligence. This is simply a given conceptual framework (or group think), which may be right or may be wrong, being played out. It is blatantly political – unless sustained by hard intelligence.

And it is pernicious. Regardless of what may be said officially, in due course, in respect to the CIA claims, a cloud of illegitimacy will hang over the Trump Administration, and, as Graham Fuller rightly observes, this supposed illegitimacy, derived from the decisive influence of Russia on the election, may not be ephemeral, but rather continue to haunt the President throughout his incumbency. (It is hard to lay to rest CIA inferences once made, beyond repeating that there is no definite evidence to support them.) Such a finding would hardly dissipate the smoldering antipathies.

The allegation of Russian malfeasance may also derail the confirmation of Rex Tillerson, official “friend of Russia,” as Secretary of State. It may thus hobble Trump’s ability to reach détente with Russia – and may taint any détente that subsequently may be reached with Russia.

It is likely too, to make President Putin more wary of reaching any accord with Tillerson – suspecting that any new détente with the U.S. will unleash a further torrent of abuse of Russia from a polarized America. Even were Putin personally to welcome a Trump political initiative, further abuse of Russia in America and Europe might not be judged by President Putin to be worth the candle. No people, and not least the Russian people, like to see their country traduced publicly, and at length, in the world press. The onslaught is already having its impact: Russians will be asking themselves can Trump command such a divided and soured country.

Delegitimizing a President

Can one conclude that this outcome (a delegitimized Presidency) was somehow other than that which the CIA intended? Pat Buchanan (himself a thrice-time U.S. Presidential candidate) has no doubts: “The [New York] Times editorial spoke of a ‘darkening cloud’ already over the Trump presidency, and warned that a failure to investigate and discover the full truth of Russia’s hacking could only ‘feed suspicion among millions of Americans that … (t)he election was indeed rigged.’

President-elect Donald J. Trump (Photo credit: donaldjtrump.com)

President-elect Donald J. Trump (Photo credit: donaldjtrump.com)

“Behind the effort to smear Tillerson and delegitimize Trump lies a larger motive. Trump has antagonists in both parties who are alarmed at his triumph, because it imperils the foreign policy agenda that is their raison d’être, their reason ‘for being.’

These people do not want to lift sanctions on Moscow. They do not want an end to the confrontation with Russia. As is seen by their bringing in tiny Montenegro, they want to enlarge NATO to encompass Sweden, Finland, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

They have in mind the permanent U.S. encirclement of Russia … Their goal is to bring down Putin and bring about ‘regime change’ in Moscow.”

In short, the Russia “hype” is about blocking Trump from making his foreshadowed shift away from the new Cold War, pursued by the present U.S. establishment, and towards initiating détente instead, and perhaps the playing up of the Russian “threat” extends even to hoping to frighten enough presidential electors to change their vote on Dec. 19 (though that prospect seems improbable).

If there are indeed foreign intelligence services with their “thumb” in the American election, arguably it is those European services that are feeding the “profound” propaganda threat from Russia meme – and thereby helping in the delegitimization of the U.S. President-elect, and to keeping the new Cold War alive. (There are European states deeply opposed to any rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia).

But this politicization of intelligence is pernicious in another way – to which Graham Fuller also alludes. The allegations that Trump is a knowing or unknowing pawn of Russia is explosive emotional material thrown into an already enflamed, splintered and embittered American national psyche.  The “not my President” meme may make it impossible for Trump to operationalize his policies – as polarized government departments turn upon each other (as is already occurring amongst the intelligence agencies). In short, it can paralyze the very operationality of government.

Buchanan states the obvious conclusion, when he writes: “early in his presidency, if not before, Trump is going to have to impose his foreign policy upon his own party and, indeed, upon his own government. Or his presidency will be broken, as was Lyndon Johnson’s.”

Profound Polarization

But let us be clear: de-legitimation can be a two-edged sword. Were, by some pretty unimaginable event, Hillary Clinton to be enacted as President vice Trump, she would find her ability to command the authority of the state as hobbled by the bitterness and anger – as would a delegitimized Trump.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Politicization of intelligence services is not new, nor are “black” (i.e. false-flagged) information operations conducted by Western services, but the scale of the present assault on a U.S. President-elect marks, perhaps, a different order of potential consequences.

How can this have happened? The war in Syria has had, it seems, a hugely corrosive effect on services such as CIA and MI6. Firstly, there was the tension of contradiction: the deceit to be maintained of ostensibly fighting terrorism, while secretly supporting such bloody forces (in order to weaken President Bashar al-Assad and subsequently Russia).

Secondly, that of pretending to be pursuing a “principled” policy of off-shored “identity politics” (Sunnis as victims), while quietly accepting – and becoming dependent on – the “off-balance sheet” subventions flowing from the very patrons of such forces (shades of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play ethos).

And thirdly, by becoming the echo chamber of claims, however improbable, however false, thrown up by sundry armed movements and their paymasters – with the intent to force the hand of Western military intervention. In short, these services cease to be observers; they became investors. They become lost in a maze of contorted realities, false propaganda, and of acquired hubris. Like Prometheus, they think to secretly steal from Zeus, the god of war: they aspire to dictate war and peace.

Into this heady world of “strategic communication” warfare, has intruded Mr. Trump, spoiling their Syria gambit – and promising détente with Russia. It must indeed seem intolerable.

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

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30 comments for “Politicized Intelligence Kneecapping Trump

  1. Enels
    December 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Hey good article there Alistair, why don’t you get some Windsor chairs, a book case, and some stuff, and do a video?

    • james
      December 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      interesting how folks differ in that some of us enjoy reading a screen much more then watching a screen… i like reading!

  2. Bill Bodden
    December 16, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    On a smaller scale something similar is taking place in North Carolina where the GOP is going full bore to politically emasculate the incoming Democratic governor who defeated the incumbent Republican.

    • Enels
      December 16, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      North Carolina is all about the navy, military 24/7, if there’s any tobacco there anymores Iduhno. I drove through north to south a couple a years back, nice looking red colored dirt there.

    • Sam F
      December 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      But I don’t see any likelihood that this blame propaganda of the Dems/MIC/WallSt/zionist/CIA/State will create a cloud over Trump. We should ignore the blame gambits: only the content of the DNC emails matters, not their origin. Articles on this are a mistake, serving mainly to divert attention from the DNC conspiracy as planned.

      Those claims merely further discredit the Dems as they richly deserve for selling out to zionists and warmongers, ignoring the real issues facing the nation, and talking about nothing but special privileges for gays/women/zionists. They could not be a more corrupt tool of oligarchy, leading the young away from the issues, to divide and destroy the left. Dump the Dems; the Reps will hang themselves.

  3. Stygg
    December 16, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Ares is the god of war, not Zeus.

    • Jsinton
      December 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Good one

    • james
      December 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      roman, verses, greek.. take your pick.. apparently you can’t have both!!

  4. backwardsevolution
    December 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Alistair Crooke – good article. Yeah, somehow these “racist deplorables” voted overwhelmingly in favor of Obama in 2008. Those racist pigs (sarc)!

    “The Intelligence Community (IC) is refusing to provide the House Intelligence Committee with a requested Thursday briefing on Russian interference with the U.S. election, citing an ongoing review of the matter requested by President Obama. […]

    Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had asked the FBI, NSA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and CIA to meet with committee members on Thursday, and called their refusal “unacceptable.”
    The briefing was not requested to be at the director level, meaning that National Intelligence Director James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and their counterparts were not expected to attend.

    “It is unacceptable that the Intelligence Community directors would not fulfill the House Intelligence Committee’s request to be briefed tomorrow on the cyber-attacks that occurred during the presidential campaign,” Nunes said in a statement Wednesday.”

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/310495-intel-head-ic-agencies-refused-to-brief-committee-on-russian-hacking

    IOW, just put the accusations out there, let them float and ferment, address nothing, and see where they stick.

    One commenter said:

    “What should happen next is Trump or one of his people needs to have a press conference in the next hour and say in no uncertain terms that the leadership of ALL 17 of these unnamed intel agencies needs to either put their names to this “assessment” in writing or disavow it before 5:00 PM today. Any of them who fail to do either should be prepared to be terminated for cause on January 20th. Period. Full-stop. Put these *******s on notice to put up or shut up right ****ing now.”

  5. exiled off mainstreet
    December 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    The article is excellent as always and convincing, as are all contributions by this author. It correctly states the intent of the power structure, but in my view, Trump is not the type who can be cowed by such activities. He’ll be more likely to double down and go after them once he gets in, and he can’t be prevented from getting in by this already disproven propaganda effort. What this massive effort also does is reveal the true nature of the Clinton democrats as right-wing fascists masquerading as “progressives.” They have totally jumped the shark on this, and those who still buy into them are themselves tainted by this effort.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 16, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      He’ll be more likely to double down and go after them once he gets in,…

      Trump would also be well-advised to keep his own bodyguards around.

    • E wright
      December 17, 2016 at 6:43 am

      I second this. He will find it easy enough to create a distraction. If the Democrats insist that the emails were leaked by the Russians he can appoint a loaded Congressional committee to investigate it and all of Hillary’s hanger’s on will be dragged into it. It might even end with a Grand Jury after all.

  6. natoistan
    December 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    1st list of western & GCC army officers captured by Syrian Army in their East Aleppo underground HQs;

    Moataz Augusto Lacan oglu – turc
    David Scott weiner – américain
    David Shlomo Aram – israélien
    Mohamed Cheikh de l’islam al tamimi. – national
    Mohamed Ahmed – saoudien
    Abdel Moneim Fahd Al ?ryj – Saoudien
    Salem Al Islam zahran – saoudien
    Ahmad Ibn Nawfal Aldridge-Saoudien
    Mohamed Hassan Al-Sebaiei – Saoudien
    Hamid Fahd Dosari – Saoudien
    Amjad Kassem Tirawi – jordanien
    Kassem Saad Al Shammari – Saoudien
    Ayman Kassem Thâalbi – Saoudien
    Mohamed Shafeiei El Idrissi – Marocain”

    To be continued….

  7. bobzz
    December 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    “The Republican Party made deep inroads into America’s middle-class communities in 2016.” I am just an amateur commenter among people who know stuff, but this has to be nuanced. Many of the white voters for Trump did so precisely because they finally figured out the Republican establishment had duped them. They voted for the man, not the party label, which is why Trump won the primaries and why his principal opponents were fellow “fringies”, Carson and Cruz.

    The same people who voted for Trump voted for Republicans since Nixon hoping to “make America great again,” i.e., return it to the fifties. The Republicans, with the help of Democrats since Clinton, turned the nation over to the CEOs, bankers, military, and Zionists who went on to degrade the nation. Their voting pattern helped create the conditions they hate. The inability to see what they have done, has allowed them to jump with Trump from the frying pan into the fire.

    • Jsinton
      December 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Exactly. People would have voted for Micky Mouse so long as he wasn’t establishment.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Unfortunately, the Trump reality may very well be the same as what the Republican-Democratic duopoly has dished up for decades with the people getting short shrift. I hope I’m proved wrong.

  8. jaycee
    December 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    A month or two ago a similar hysterical campaign was run in Australia targetting politicians deemed too close or sympathetic to China, and therefore considered not supportive of the “pivot to Asia”. Previous business ties or membership in China-Australian lobbying interests were prejudicially publicized in parliament and particulary the media, and individuals targeted as “disloyal” or “treasonous”. This is all from the deep state playbook, as the author here notes in another context. With the full court press available through a monolithic media, the short and medium term results, at least, are effective. Any criticism can be dismissed as supporting “the enemy” – and why, even, the targetted entities are “enemies” need not be explained.

  9. December 16, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Excellent article. The scurrilous media hysteria about Donald Trump [1] and its shrieks, howls, and endless barrage of babbling B.S. is a sight to behold. It all comes down to this: the establishment are terrified of getting trumped and their dirty “swamp” being drained for all to see.
    Read more at link below:
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/08/are-establishment-terrified-of-getting.html

  10. Zachary Smith
    December 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    This was an interesting essay, one with many good points as well as a few I personally viewed as trivial or even silly.

    That said, I’m going to now put on my Tin Foil Hat and expound about how the author may have missed the forest for all the trees. :)

    Psychology is a very well developed science. Manipulating the masses is now a routine job for the experts. Similar experts can be presumably be found who know how to handle individuals. I strongly suspect that ever since Trump became a candidate, experts have been looking very closely at his life and personality. I can only guess at what they’ve found, but one “guess” is that he’s got a hair-trigger temper.

    WHAT IF the goal of all the recent flood of BS isn’t directed at We-The-People, but instead has the primary target of the head of Donald John Trump. Assuming as I do that the Israel-first neocons and Big Banker neoliberals want somebody else, you’ve got to get him to do something illegal. Even better if it’s outrageously illegal. Consider this headline I recently read at the Russia Insider site:

    Donald Trump Will Ruthlessly Decimate the CIA for Turning on Him

    Rather than keeping their heads down for the next four years, even trying to exercise some subtle influence on the president’s decisions, these infantile flunkies within the CIA and mass media have thrown themselves into the open in this last ditch desperate attack which definitively condemns them to the president-elect’s coming wrath.

    They apparently have no idea that they have just kicked open a hornets’ nest.

    Donald J. Trump does not take prisoners. He will not forgive, or forget. And the massacre coming to halls of Langley and to anybody and anywhere else in the executive branch involved in this is going to beggar belief.

    WHAT IF those “infantile flunkies” or whoever is directing them knows exactly what they’re doing? An enraged Trump – who has for most of his life gotten away with being an out-of-control rich guy who ignores the rules – doesn’t dot every i and cross every T in his quest for vengeance? It’ll look mighty bad at his impeachment trial. Keep always in mind that both Republicans and Democrats are sharpening their knives for him, and evidence that Trump had tried a coverup of his being a Putin Puppet would take him down as surely as it took down Nixon.

    Those psychologists are going to advise the Powers That Want Trump Gone to twist the knife. Wave the red flag in front of the bull. Whatever it takes to get President Pence.

    I have a lot of problems with President Trump, but they vanish by comparison with the prospect of Worse-Than-Hillary President Pence.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 16, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Good points, Zachary.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 17, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Zachary – yes, they are going to make Trump wish he never took them on. But just as Trump has weaknesses, so do they. They are sociopathic in nature. The one thing they fear the most is being exposed. The art of exposing is one of Trump’s finest qualities. Sociopaths like to manipulate from behind the scenes, set you up to take the fall. If Trump is smart, and I think he is, then he will seize upon this. He needs to keep exposing them, selectively relay to the American people what he sees, expose exactly what they are doing. He needs to keep insisting on calling for evidence. Make them prove what they’re saying. Expose, expose, expose.

      They’ll be setting up the idiotic progressives, getting them all stirred up about trivial issues, assisting them in their protests, using them to work against Trump. This is why they keep these gender/whatever issues in the forefront, as they can pull them out any time they want to cause chaos, and the suckers fall for it every time. In ten years time, if the sociopaths are successful, the progressives will wake up and say, “What the hell happened?”, finally realizing that they’ve been played, but by then it will be too late.

      Trump is smart, but unfortunately many of the American people are ignorant. I mean, we’ve actually got socialist types cheering on the very people who took their jobs away through NAFTA and globalization. They’re actually rooting for the very people who have harmed them. They’re screaming for amnesty for illegals who they are competing against for jobs. You just can’t make this stuff up. They need to wake up.

      • Peter Loeb
        December 19, 2016 at 10:28 am

        CONSORTIUM’S COMMENTERS….

        A. Crooke’s article is interesting but in this case I think the incisive remarks
        of Zachary Smith and “Backwardsevolution” are more to the point.

        Much as I rage at so many of the views and nominations of President-elect
        Trump (not to mention his campaign), I do not for a millisecond under-
        estimate Trump’s ability to seek vengeance. Unlike soon former President
        Obama, he does not need a fabricated and false model of professorial
        sobriety. Nor does he require the hypocritical appearance of “balance”
        while murdering non-Americans, selling weapons to Israel and
        Saudi Arabia. I have long been a fan of singer Mavis Staples who
        after songs about “lying politicians” (in “With My Own Eyes”) received
        with pride a Medal of Freedom award. While Palestinians are having their
        homes destroyed with American assistance and their opponents of Israeli
        oppression are killed. The murder is, of course, gender free. It includes
        men, women and children.

        If Trump is unable to rid US policy of its neoconservatism, warrior,
        exceptionalist mentality, it will not have done worse than previous
        Administrations of both parties.

        —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

        • james
          December 21, 2016 at 1:01 am

          consortium commenters…

          zachary smith and backwardsevolution comments are interesting and relevant, however, alastair cookes are much more incisive on a much wider level, beyond the realm of usa only politics.. but, you knew that already, lol..

  11. John the Ba'thist
    December 16, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    It was not a mistake for the Democratic Party to embrace and promote progressive values such as the rights and equality of women, immigrants, gays, blacks, the disabled and the ill. These points are at the heart of the party’s mission. Democratic leaders need to keep the courage of those convictions. However, they undercut the party’s support by not having the progressive vision to realize that the breakup of the Soviet Union offered the opportunity to lead the world into a post-imperial age and to rebuild the bridges between nations, peoples and regions that had been burned in the Cold War. Rather, the “unipolar moment” was commandeered by the militarists, the worst capitalist exploiters and the neocons. The direction chosen by these forces that lead both parties, in different costumes, has led to the dead end in which the party and the nation find themselves.

    The missed chances of the 1990s can be blamed on President Clinton. The next chance to abandon imperialism and militarism was offered by the disaster of the Bush II Middle East policies, but, unfortunately the Dems could do no better than to offer John Kerry as its candidate. At that point the tragic loss of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002 was truly felt. Another opportunity for hope and change of foreign policy came with the election of Obama, but he failed in that respect, through lack of conviction and courage.

    Kerry’s career presents an interesting example of how the Democratic leadership took the wrong path. He came to public attention during the Winter Soldier testimonies and the emotionally powerful VVAW demonstrations of the early 1970s. But Kerry’s ideological shallowness and lack of moral courage was soon shown by his managing to lose a televised debate (Dick Cavett Show) on the subject of the Vietnam War against Nixon’s champion – a shifty, speedy, chain smoking Army lawyer of the Roy Coen type. During said debate Kerry gave the distinct impression that he hadn’t read or understood the basic implications of the recently published Pentagon Papers. As a Senator, Kerry went after the Reagan administration with some vigor concerning the illegalities and imperialistic evils of the Contra wars in central America, but was quite content to let the investigations of Iranscam and the 1980 October Surprise quietly fade away. If thehypocrisy, immorality and the likely long-lasting negative consequences of the Reagan/neocon/European policy of supporting both sides in the Iran-Iraq War had been fully exposed to the public and roundly condemned by progressive leaders, then many of the evils that came in its wake, and continue to come in the form of opportunistically stoking sectarian warfare in the Middle East would have been made impossible.

    The Democratic leaders have long needed to solidify the base by linking progressive domestic policies to progressive foreign policies. By ceding that high ground they lost the presidency, and worse, they put the most vulnerable members of their constituencies – those whom Mr Crooke dismisses so cavalierly – at risk of scapegoating by the reactionary forces behind Trump.

    • Sam F
      December 17, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      The Dems do not have any progressive domestic or foreign policies. Their idea of a progressive domestic policy is an upper-middle-class fashion issue like special privileges for gay/women/zionist identities. They do nothing at all beyond hopey-changey lies about economic stability, income security, healthcare for all. Their foreign policy consists of wars for Israeli and MIC campaign bribes. And they certainly do not intend to allow their party to reform. They are traitors to the left, paid by the oligarchy to field fake liberals and guide the young away from the real issues, to destroy the left and serve as a backstop for the Repubs. Dump the Dems, we need a real progressive party.

      • Stephen Sivonda
        December 18, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        Lots of good decent posts here, but yours cuts to the chase. Spot on in your assessment !

  12. CitizenOne
    December 17, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Great commentary. Simplified to an understandable level for most of us plain folk. Obama has done nothing but continue a line of post Cold War era memes trying to reignite a very profitable era for defense. Obama has fallen victim to an insiders club hoping to gin up a war with Russia. Russia has retaliated with whatever means to keep the Cold War resurrectionists at bay to keep a new detente brought about by Trump and Putin from happening. The internal battle over what memes will prevail is presided by the media. They have chosen to wait until zero hour to reveal unsubstantiated gossip about how the Russians stole the election to bring our democracy into question.

    Even if it is true that Trump and Putin share the same bed, it is doubtful that the Russians could have attracted many voters with their influence any more than the propaganda coming from right here at home. Nobody forced the hand of the voters. No Russian secret agents were lurking at the polls waving off voters with Kalashnikov AK47s We The People voted. Nobody had a gun to anyone’s head.

    The sudden panic and angst over Russia months after Trump begged the Russians for support and days before the Electors cast their votes seems contrived and deliberate. Why did Obama wait? Why has he now come out with pleadings and demands for an investigation when he could have done so before the election. He could have done so months earlier. He has no new information he had months ago. He sat in the Oval Office and posed for pictures with Trump. He seems genuinely unconcerned the Trump has appointed dubious cabinet posts yet he now, all of a sudden , needs to blame Russia for the outcome of the election where he expressed no worries before.

    The media also seems to be too late to the table. They could have raised up this concern earlier but he chose not to. It all seems like a Masterpiece Theater show. Alastair Crook would be proud to host the mystery of why politicians and the media do what they do.

    Welcome to Masterpiece theater. I hope you enjoy the show.

    Why when, in June of 2016, Obama sat on his hands with knowledge of Russian interference did he do nothing but now just days before an inauguration he has launched pleas for an investigation into Russian Hacking when he first warned about it months earlier and then did nothing to support his claims letting the issue to fester until now. It is the same kind of misleadership which caused us to support ISIS in opposition to the Bashar Asad regime resulting in the chaos in Syria Russia is terrified of. We caused that too.

    You have to ask did they really naively think they were doing good in Syria or was their aim always to create a conflict between Russia and the USA. They certainly aimed to create conflict in Ukraine. No sane person would have supported the coup there believing it would lead to peace.

    We are faced with the ugly fact that a democratic regime in the USA deliberately tried to undermine peace with our former enemy in order to prop up old tensions.

    I have said it before as has Robert Parry that this whole gambit smacks of a renewed effort to recreate a war that was laid to rest. One has only to imagine who the benefactors of that renewed war would be. You alluded to Johnson and I would add Eisenhower to that list of presidents who fled in terror of the machine that they could not control. Obama took the low road and played along with disastrous consequences. Hillary was a hand maiden.

    Now we face a media assault on the Russians aimed at destabilizing Trump and throwing his efforts under the bus.

    It is a set up. It is a reaction to the recent election which seeks to destabilize our democracy even ten times greater than the current Russian scapegoats.

    You have made a cogent argument to the contrary. This is what we need. Thanks for your insight and willingness to reveal the truth. The British have a way with them. They can read between the lines and it is no doubt the reason they remain an independent sovereign nation un-beholden to outside influence and capable of charting a course. They circumnavigated the globe. They recently divorced themselves from the EU and will take on accountability for their actions with firm resolve and a rational acknowledgement that they hold the future of their country in their own hands. It will not come easily. It will not come without a fight. But then again, the British have never steered clear of a fight.

    Let the fight begin. It is the essence of democracy and it is welcomed by myself as is the welcomed fight between Trump and the forces aligned against him.

    When we argue among ourselves we reach a consensus decision. When we are led by the nose, all heck will break out.

    It reminds me of a saying: “The more we sweat in peacetime, the less we bleed in war”.

    Here’s to more sweating and less bleeding.

    Cheers

    Me

  13. Mark Thomason
    December 17, 2016 at 10:54 am

    “Many native-born Americans and Europeans are feeling the economic pips squeezed to the limit, at the same time that zero or negative interest rates has eviscerated savings income, and is threatening their pensions.”

    And they are told by the party that supposedly represents their interests that things are going good, more of the same. No wonder they did not turn out, or even jumped ship.

  14. Todd Elliott Koger
    December 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    President-Elect Donald Trump wants to enable states with dedicated grants and implementation standards related to diversity, inclusion, and targeted hiring the resources necessary to spur investment in under served black neighborhoods. Stopping gun violence, revitalizing education, creating jobs, replacing substandard housing, and strengthening black families is a mandate we secured for him.

    That is, Mr. Trump owes his victory to “predominately black Democratic strongholds” who were convinced to give him more votes than the previous Republican candidates. African Americans (like Todd Elliott Koger) proudly convinced hundreds of thousands blacks to “boycott” the vote and/or voting “straight” Democrat.

    But if President-Elect Donald Trump wants intensive support with operations, curriculum, instruction, and “school choice” for persistently low-achieving inner city public school districts . . . If he wants to provide career training in high-growth industries, manufacturing, and informational technology, he can’t just parade the usual leadership group of “black simpletons” in front of the news media’s cameras.

    To encourage job creation, community redevelopment, and sustainable “BLACK LIFE” Mr. Trump must give us at least one “legitimate and capable” brother and/or sister in the “West Wing” of the White House with him to direct a “PLAN” to put black boys and girls to work removing inner city blight, building new affordable housing, and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT” for black inner city families.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dieNd5h_qpw

  15. Akech
    December 18, 2016 at 1:13 am

    If the current US commander-in-chief and members of Congress do have not have the power to guarantee the peaceful transfer of power from the current administration to the incoming administration, then the American citizens must ask: Who has that power?
    Since November 9, 2016, the day after the election of Donald J. Trump, there has been barrage of disturbing and very scary events, particularly, for an average citizen walking the street to get a sandwich:

    (a) the purple revolution in which the echoes of “He is not my president” went into full swing in major cities across USA :
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/11/11/clintons-and-soros-launch-america-purple-revolution.html

    (b) the presidential election recounts were launched by the independent party candidate who received less than 2% of the votes, demanding the recount of votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. To accomplish this stunt, the candidate was able raise funds , within a matter of a week, two times the amount of money she was unable to raise during the entire 15 months she was contesting the US presidential election!
    (c) attempts at corrupting and/or nullifying the electoral voting system with the claim that Vladimir Putin was a catalyst in helping the president-elect win by hacking John Podesta and DNC and revealing toxic e-mails to Wikileaks:

    http://www.electorstrust.org/

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/12/17/exclusive-activist-larry-lessig-concedes-efforts-turn-electoral-college-trump-road-failure/

    American citizens should expect that these warring elites (a) respect the wishes of voters who elected Donald J. Trump (b) cease and desist from the shameless attempts at the nullification of and interference with the electoral college results which, apparently, was added to the US constitution in 1787. Behavior like these are regular in 3rd world countries where rigging of elections are the norms, but with deadly consequences for innocent citizens.

    The deliberate attempt to nullify the election of Mr. Trump is being implemented at a very critical juncture in terms of security; that is, in the middle of the transfer of power from the outgoing commander-in-chief to the incoming commander-in-chief. The faceless gangs behind these current events are the most selfish, reckless and vicious human beings who must not pretend that they have the best interest of USA or its citizens who are being damaged economically while these elites are throwing fits using the paid-to-play MSM.

    The timing of their agitations indicates that they have neither the respect for the peaceful transfer of power nor the electoral college process nor the citizens who voted to elect the winner! In other words (and this is my personal opinion) these elites seem to imply that they have no need for citizens participation in electoral process and may opt for selecting their favorite strongmen to run the country!

    If elections and electoral college no longer serve their intended usefulness, then the period after the November presidential election and inauguration of the new president on January 20, CANNOT be the LOGICAL time to raise hell over their nullification or reform; unless the faceless gangs who are pushing these chaotic buttons are hell bent on creating and inflicting maximum damage to the country!

    We now have a country, USA, where the sitting commander-in-chief and elected officials are incapable of guaranteeing the peaceful transfer of power. The MSM and elites behind its utterances are in full gear behind wrecking crew. And there is no one to stop them!
    I remember, not long ago, some elites operating behind the scene thought Sarah Palin had what it takes to be a breath away from being the US commander -in-chief. The same elites also poured tons of money vouching for Marco Rubio to be commander-in-chief. If being commander-in-chief is the symbol of the US democracy, then this symbol is definitely being battered and could be replaced by something unrecognizable. Power, control over other humans worldwide, and gluttony are at the driving forces fueling these events. The elites behind these events cannot stomach a commander-in-chief who has the guts to question the legitimacy of their agenda or say “NO” to it! They are looking for a “YES” commander-in-chief. PERIOD!

    Before the above named events, Hillary Clinton and her funders wreaked havoc on Trump’s campaign events . The nation soon learned that these dangerous events were well coordinated by the DNC establishment and its funders . The people being used were unemployed, homeless, drug addicts or just ordinary Americans who are going through some financial hard time! The elites opportunists behind these violence events spent tons of money to organize the chaos. They never, once, did they consider using that cash to create job opportunities for the idle people they were using. This is how the DNC think about the voters. They are useful idiots or zombies. The well paid-to-play MSM journalists carpet bombing the public with their regurgitated fumes are only better than the public because they have some jobs to wake up to every morning!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-kENrA4Pi4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au2dSuoyILQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd6pVAb_tHs

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