The Trump/Obama ‘Leak War’

“Leaks” can be whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing, but many actually are government agencies manipulating the public or punishing enemies, as is playing out in today’s Trump/Obama “leak war,” says Rick Sterling.

By Rick Sterling

“Hacking” and “leaking” can be either good or bad depending on the motives behind the disclosures and your political perspective. Generally speaking, democracy benefits from transparency and from having a more fully informed citizenry.

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn (left) sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner marking the RT network’s 10-year anniversary in Moscow, December 2015. Also, at the table (on the right) is Jill Stein, who became the Green Party’s presidential nominee.

But “leaks” can also be used to punish dissidents or to enflame public passions in favor of war or against some vulnerable minority group. Indeed, “leaks” can paradoxically be used to advance cover-ups by punishing people who tried to expose the truth.

An example of that sort of “leak” occurred during George W. Bush’s presidency when his subordinates “leaked” derogatory information about former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, who had offended the White House by exposing a key falsehood used to justify the Iraq War, that Iraq had been seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger.

To discredit and punish Wilson, Bush’s aides disclosed through “leaks” that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA officer as a way to suggest that Wilson’s investigation was a junket, not a serious inquiry.

In other words, to discredit an attempt to honestly inform the American people about a false pretext for war, the Bush administration released classified information that was intended to undercut Wilson’s reputation and which destroyed his wife’s CIA career. The so-called Plamegate Affair sent a warning to other government officials who might be inclined to challenge the case for war in Iraq that – if you dare do so – you will pay a price. That “leak” was really part of a cover-up.

Still, as commonly understood, public-spirited “leaks” seek to expose the lies and the propaganda that are often used to justify war. Perhaps the most famous “leak” occurred during the Vietnam War when former senior Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg photocopied a top secret historical analysis known as the Pentagon Papers and, in 1971, began distributing copies to major news organizations.

Thus, Ellsberg exposed decades of lies that the U.S. government had used to pull the American people into the conflict. The Pentagon Papers led more Americans to oppose the war and hastened its end although President Nixon and other war supporters denounced Ellsberg as a traitor and unsuccessfully sought to prosecute him.

Some “leaks” have been even more controversial. In 1975, former CIA agent Philip Agee published Inside the Company: CIA Diary that exposed covert CIA operations in Latin America. Patrick Breslin of the Washington Post described the book this way: “Agee has provided the most complete description yet of what the CIA does abroad. In entry after numbing entry, U.S. foreign policy in Latin America is pictured as a web of deceit, hypocrisy and corruption.”

Agee identified corrupt politicians plus American and foreign CIA operatives throughout Latin America, thus reducing the CIA’s powers to manipulate America’s neighbors to the south.

In 1984, John Stockwell, former CIA director of the Angola Task Force, published In Search of Enemies, documenting how the CIA trained, armed and otherwise funded a “rebel” group to wage war in Angola ultimately leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Stockwell described how the CIA spread disinformation as part of an “information war.”

For example, when Cuban soldiers came to assist the Angolans against a South African invasion, Stockwell’s team invented a false report that Cuban soldiers were raping Angolan women. Stockwell described how the false story was planted in a small foreign newspaper before being republished all over the West. By detailing that sort of dirty trick, Stockwell’s exposé made it more difficult for the CIA to run such “black propaganda” for a while.

Manning’s Disclosures

In 2010, Pvt. Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning leaked files revealing war crimes and government deceptions related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Manning copied war logs, including videos, and passed the files to WikiLeaks. One of the videos, entitled “Collateral Murder,” showed U.S. soldiers in an Apache helicopter attacking and killing two Reuters journalists along with other civilians on the streets of Baghdad. Other of Manning’s “leaked” documents revealed manipulations and schemes carried out by the U.S. State Department around the world.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, standing up for Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.

For his selfless efforts, Manning was convicted in a court martial and imprisoned. (Manning is scheduled for release in May.) No known punishments were meted out to the soldiers and other U.S. officials whose misconduct was exposed.

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is perhaps the best known modern “leaker.” He copied files from the NSA computer system onto flash drives and then made the information public through the news media. The files confirmed that NSA was spying on foreign leaders including allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and belied claims from Obama administration officials that the NSA was not collecting bulk data about Americans.

Instead, Snowden’s “leak” revealed that the NSA was collecting data on the computer and phone communications of nearly all American citizens in violation of the U.S. Constitution and exposed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s lie to Congress denying the bulk collection. For Snowden’s public service, he was indicted by the Obama administration and ended up stranded in Russia which granted him political asylum.

By and large, the Ellsberg, Agee, Stockwell, Manning and Snowden “leaks” were praised by liberals and progressives because the revelations lifted curtains of lies and deceptions that had prevented the American people from understanding what a secretive government was doing in their names. While some libertarian conservatives also hailed this challenge to government secrecy, many other conservatives denounced these “leaks” as endangering “national security.”

The ‘Leaks’ of Election 2016

But the “leaks” (or “hacks”) that are now center stage in U.S. politics are more complicated because they have been caught up in the politics surrounding Donald Trump’s election which many liberals and progressives abhor. Also the ongoing hysteria over Russia’s alleged “meddling” in the U.S. election has further muddied the waters.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

The key “leaks” during Campaign 2016 occurred when WikiLeaks published two batches of emails – one from the Democratic National Committee and one from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The DNC “leak” revealed that the DNC abused its powers by favoring Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primaries. The Podesta “leak” exposed the contents of paid speeches that Clinton had given to Wall Street banks (but wanted to hide from the voters) and revealed pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

These “leaks” caused some embarrassment for the Clinton campaign but had only a marginal impact as the election seemed to be turning on disclosures about Donald Trump’s crude remarks in which he boasted of grabbing women’s genitals – comments that were caught on a “hot mic” and made public.

But then the campaign turned again when FBI Director James Comey briefly reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of an unsecure private server for her emails when she was Secretary of State. After losing the close election to Trump on Nov. 8, Clinton blamed Comey’s decision for her defeat.

However, in the four-plus months since the election, claims by President Obama’s outgoing intelligence chiefs – “assessing” that the DNC/Podesta “hacks” were carried out by Russian intelligence to tip the election to Trump – have sparked a political firestorm.

Though WikiLeaks has denied receiving the two batches of emails from Russians – instead suggesting that they came from two different American insiders – the intelligence assessments have been embraced by Democratic Party leaders, influential neoconservatives and many “never-Trump” activists as grounds for blocking Trump’s planned détente with Russia and possibly even justifying his impeachment.

So, the political backlash against those “leaks” have become instrumental in escalating the New Cold War with Russia and further explaining away Clinton’s defeat.

But there is another concern about the “leaks” that have been used to counter the DNC-Podesta “leaks.” Many of these later “leaks” appear to be coming from U.S. intelligence agencies with the goal of thwarting President Trump’s foreign policy.

For instance, a Dec. 29 phone call between incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (who was on vacation in the Dominican Republic at the time) and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak (based in Washington) was revealed although not its precise contents.

Though there is nothing wrong or unusual about incoming officials talking with foreign emissaries during a presidential transition, Obama holdovers in the Justice Department cited the archaic and never-prosecuted Logan Act of 1799 (barring private citizens from conducting foreign policy) to justify Flynn’s interrogation by FBI agents who had access to the NSA transcript and thus caught Flynn on his failure to recall some details of the conversation.

Vice President Mike Pence’s anger over Flynn’s similar failure to provide him a full and accurate account of the call then led a panicked President Trump to fire his National Security Adviser and thus remove a key advocate for reduced tensions with Russia.

After Flynn’s firing, a concern among some anti-war progressives was that the back story of the Flynn case was an attempt by U.S. intelligence agencies to sabotage a possible détente with Russia.

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, commented: General Flynn has admitted misleading the Vice President but I think we need to look at this a little bit deeper. A phone call from the incoming national security director was intercepted and the contents given to the media …. at the core of this is an effort by some in the intelligence community to upend a positive relationship between the U.S. and Russia…. There are people trying to separate the U.S. and Russia so that the military industrial and intelligence axis can cash in…. The American people need to know that there’s a game going on inside the intelligence community there are those who …want to reignite the cold war. That’s what’s at the bottom of all this …Wake Up America!”

However, for many liberals and progressives, Trump’s policies on education, health care, environmental protection, immigration and law enforcement are horrible. Some on the Left are so alarmed by these policies that they are willing to ally themselves with neoconservatives and the national-security state to somehow “stop Trump.”

The “bash Russia” club is considered a handy way of doing that. But that means siding with war hawks who are determined to derail Trump’s campaign pledges to work with Russia in combatting terrorism and his potential cooperation with President Putin on resolving international conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Libya and elsewhere.

Such prospects for peace are anathema to neoconservatives and elements of the intelligence community which are fighting back with their own campaign of “leaks.” But – for Americans who are tired of “perpetual war” – these “leaks” are not for the public good.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist. He lives in the SF Bay Area and can be contacted at rsterling1@gmail.com

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70 comments for “The Trump/Obama ‘Leak War’

  1. March 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you Rick,

    If the purpose of some of these leaks/hacks is to undermine confidence in our “democratic” institutions, it can be clearly seen. For a corporately controlled congress it should not really be very surprising this subset of Americans will pursue their own self interest (that of the 1%) rather than the interests of the foot soldiers they put on the front line as cannon fodder, and who ironically did most of the voting for this, our corporately sponsored leadership. The leaks/hacks are just the most recent proof that there are some in service to our government who are not only lying to to us, but also contemptuously manipulating us into buying that a war with Russia, via Syria and Ukraine, is the destiny of America. Where did they get this warped sense of humanity? How can we get our country back?

    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Howard,

      It’s a much bigger group than the 1%. It is the Deep State, which is the topic of my recent book (The Deep State Versus Donald Trump). The 0.01% are just those who benefit the most financially. They are the oligarchs but MOST of the PLAYERS are more ordinary, as I say clearly in a comment below (e.g., most neoconservatives are either academics or working in pro-war think tanks and would like to be in that class of oligarchs, but many are not even in the top 1% much less the 0.01%).

      Rick Sterling refers to the “enemy” not as “Deep State” but uses the phrase “national-security state” which refers to the same actors. Many many more than 1%.

      Otherwise, a great comment and thank you for it as I thank Rick Sterling for yet another fifty-out-of-five star article.

      Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, applied ethics, peace studies, public policy) and Religion (books: “On the Buddha”; “On Gandhi”; “Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump”), Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only academic philosopher of any significant rank that I and Professor Samuel Gorovitz know (between us we know many thousands of academic Ph.D. philosophers) who voted for Trump and supports him. It is a lonely profession—they’ve ALL BEEN SUCKED IN BY THE CLINTON PROPAGANDA CABAL—which is pretty damning for a profession largely based on the “appearance versus reality” distinction, don’t you think?

  2. March 17, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Great article:
    I believe if there was a functioning democracy and justice system there would be mass arrests of past and present people in power.
    I believe also we are in the hands of “The Scumbags of the Western World…”
    [much more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/03/the-scumbags-of-western-world-and-their.html

    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      Stephen,

      Of course: “”I believe if there was a functioning democracy and justice system there would be mass arrests of past and present people in power.””

      That just shows the Deep State has been in control since President Eisenhower left office warning about the “political, industrial, military complex.”

  3. Marie Lee
    March 17, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Many thanks to Robert Parry, Rick Sterling and others on Consortium News who are countering the “fake news” in mainstream liberal media about evil Putin & Russia.

    Every day I read comments from “liberal” friends on FB who have swallowed this narrative hook, line & sinker, even the few who have been against US wars.

    It seems the Democrats have succumbed to propaganda as much as the Republicans.

    It is time for a NEW 3rd Party inclusive to both Anti-war progressives & Trump voters.

    Non-partisan polling shows that most Americans agree with most progressive issues such as single payer health system and putting a lid on war mongering abroad, as well as reforming our election process, and actually supporting working class Americans & the poor, environment and education.

    The Democratic Party seems unable to reform itself, so now both parties are bankrupt in terms of any real policy to support all Americans and a real democratic system.

    Ralph Nader has put out a book called https://www.breakingthroughpower.org, stating that it is easier than we think to make real change. https://www.breakingthroughpower.org.

    As it is, we have been so divided and conquered and distracted in a thousand different ways, it’s difficult to imagine a real movement getting traction, but we need all hands on deck!

    • Jonathan
      March 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Marie Lee,

      I agree heartily with your comment. I wish this would be published right after but that often doesn’t happen.

      I’m an old guy and so I know Ralph Nader, I even brought him to Northeastern University, where I taught for most of two decades, and he gave a brilliant four hour lecture (including answering questions, of course). He said he wouldn’t leave the podium until all questions were answered but he did, getting tired of arguing with an agent provocateur who came dressed in levis but with a head full of minute footnotes he used to challenge Ralph, and no one else know what he was talking about anyway so Ralph called it—not bad, though, 4 hours for one honorarium I had negotiated ahead of time.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, applied ethics, peace studies, public policy) and Religion (books: “On the Buddha”; “On Gandhi”; “Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump”), Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only academic philosopher of any significant rank that I and Professor Samuel Gorovitz know (between us we know many thousands of academic Ph.D. philosophers) who voted for Trump and supports him. It is a lonely profession—they’ve ALL BEEN SUCKED IN BY THE CLINTON PROPAGANDA CABAL—which is pretty SICK for a profession largely based on the “appearance versus reality” distinction, don’t you think?

    • Raleigh McLemore
      March 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      How do you see Russia as a nation presently? Is it a place that is equitable and secure for poor and working folks? Do you believe that Russia is a possible model for the people in the US to look towards? Why? Thanks, trying to figure this stuff out and its a bit confusing.

      • Stephen Sivonda
        March 18, 2017 at 1:00 am

        Raleigh… I’ll praise your curiosity as it’s not that common it seems. To your first question , yes. For the most part from my sources which are several expats living there or have lived there. To be sure… there are always some that are not satisfied with certain aspects of the laws , but then …we have the same here in the USA, and I’ll bet in many other countries. To your second question….NO. Why….I really can’t ever see that happening and it would have to be a massive disruption here to even have a chance of consideration. I’ll point out that the current demonization of Russia by use of various terms such as “Russian Aggression” has been pushed into the psyche of most Americans under 40 or so years old. Those that are older have it already due to the Cold War era that they lived through . That was the era of the USSR..and prior to the late Reagan era and the demise of the USSR. There are a couple of sites to look at …. Russian Insider and Sputnik sites , and also RT.com ( Russian Times) which actually has a studio here in the US. You’ll get a better sense of the reality of the country from those .

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

        Raleigh my own opinion of how us Americans should view Russia, is that we Americans would do better to worry about what goes on in America. Stuff like what Bill Maher shouted out last night, about how Russia had banned the viewing of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is what America’s ‘fake Left’ has become all about. The Disney film received a high age grade for appropriate viewers, 16+ is the suggested age, and yes it is based on homosexual influenced content. So we Americans for some reason feel entitled to ridicule and promote change inside the Kremlin, because we think that Putin and his people are homophobic.

        Now I’m all about people having rights. Gays, Hispanic, Blacks, Muslims, and Jews, and anyone left out or in between is my philosophy, but I don’t feel we Americans have a right to insist that another country adopt our ways. If we were to relax, and let other cultures workout their own feelings this would be so much better.

        What we Americans should be concerned with is the plight of the Palestintian, and of our own and other indigenous who have suffered under colonialism. Russia should be the least of our worries. In fact Russia to me seems more than qualified to be America’s natural ally, and not Israel and especially not Saudi Arabia…to just mention a couple.

        Let’s leave the Russians be Russian, and pay more attention to our own misgivings. We could start by lessening our praise of the dollar and by elevating our concern for humanity.

        • Jake G
          March 19, 2017 at 5:17 am

          Its always weird when you see them accuse Putin of homophobic thoughts.
          They have no idea of Russias past at all. Not even the very recent one, the 90s.
          If something like what happened in Russia in those 10 years, would have happened in our western countries, we would still be talking about it every day, trying to find solutions for it. And this prohibition of homosexual propaganda (and thats all it is, homosexuals can still live their lives without problem) is just a try to solve this demographic problem Russia has.
          Anyone who knows what happened in the 90s in Russia, would respect such decisions. Instead, they only show how uninformed they are and dont care about the deaths of millions of people. Hypocrites exposed once again.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 19, 2017 at 6:06 am

            I don’t think any nation likes to be lectured and demonized for their culture. We Americans ourselves don’t take to kindly to being criticized in anyway, by anyone, about anything we do. The homophobia label was put on Russia by an instigating CIA element, starting with Pussy Riot, and with a bad attitude cop being shown at the Sochi Olympics harassing a gay person, and the rest is history. In America more people have judged Putin from a caricature of the Russian leader, as a shirtless spy like SNL portrays him, and forget it all when Rachel Maddow tears into the Russian President. I mean when was the last time America’s MSM broadcasted a full length correctly interpreted speech of Vladimir Putin? It’s all being done to demonize a leader who insists on keeping his motherland a sovereign nation. When this kind of philosophy is finally declared a world crime then you will know that the New World Order has arrived, and there is no turning back.

    • March 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      Parties are not an answer. They are all seedbeds for hierarchy. Autonomous democracy is non partisan focus of distributed human intelligence.

      Political parties are a drag. Look to the future. Be an independent autonomous democrat.

  4. bfearn
    March 17, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Is it any wonder that ethical, honest and intelligent Americans no longer stand for political office???

    • Erik G
      March 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      There are courageous citizens who would stand for office, but they need political parties and organizers to support them.
      Whether those can be formed and get anywhere, with most people glued to their oligarchy-controlled TVs, is the question.

      • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
        March 17, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        Erik,

        I agree but don’t agree with “oligarchy.” While we have some oligarchs in the country—the Clintons, the Obamas, Michael Moore, George Soros—many of the others who support and feed the Clinton Cabal Propaganda Machine are not oligarchs: Amy Goodman, for example, or many of the ditch and drick snowflakes rallying against POTUS Trump. That’s why I prefer the phrase “Deep State,” since many of its members are like Amy Goodman (I’m not saying she is, though all the neoconservatives are members and few if any are oligarchs) as those who are controlling the news including television.

        Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, applied ethics, peace studies, public policy) and Religion (books: “On the Buddha”; “On Gandhi”; “Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump”), Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only academic philosopher of any significant rank that I and Professor Samuel Gorovitz know (between us we know many thousands of academic Ph.D. philosophers) who voted for Trump and supports him. It is a lonely profession—they’ve ALL BEEN SUCKED IN BY THE CLINTON PROPAGANDA CABAL—which is pretty damning for a profession largely based on the “appearance versus reality” distinction, don’t you think?

        • evelync
          March 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          Prof. Gruzalski,

          Sorry, I replied in error to one of your comments in an earlier article. I was surprised that you criticized Amy Goodman. I used to listen to Amy Goodman on a regular basis but I haven’t in some time – just occasionally now. So I did not know – but was informed by another commenter – that she was parroting some of the recent nonsense that seems to be designed to distract us from the real reason Secretary Clinton lost – blaming Russia, Jill Stein, the FBI, wikileaks, etc etc. instead of facing up to the toll on working people from the huuuuge shift away from New Deal policies, our endless regime change wars, callous deregulation of the banking system leading to gross theft from working people and near financial meltdown.

          Best wishes!!!

        • Erik G
          March 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

          Bart, Yes, the opportunists and propagandists are mere servants, not the driving forces. I’m happy to include the Deep State in the oligarchy (government of the few) along with activist rich gangsters and demagogues and their opportunists, and what I call the Dark State (secret agencies, corrupt politicians). I just translate the terms as I hear them, or guess the usage from the context.

    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Yes, it is a wonder. Young men and women are risking their lives to defeat ISIS and world terrorism. Young men and women in this country can certainly take risks upon themselves in the political arena. Democracy and freedom require constant vigilance.

      Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, applied ethics, peace studies, public policy) and Religion (books: “On the Buddha”; “On Gandhi”; “Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump”), Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only academic philosopher of any significant rank that I and Professor Samuel Gorovitz know (between us we know many thousands of academic Ph.D. philosophers) who voted for Trump and supports him. It is a lonely profession—they’ve ALL BEEN SUCKED IN BY THE CLINTON PROPAGANDA CABAL—which is pretty damning for a profession largely based on the “appearance versus reality” distinction, don’t you think?

    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      bfearn, yes it is a wonder as I say in a reply to your comment that is near here—it didn’t get put right behind your comment but it begins with the same sentiment: YES IT IS A WONDER given that young men and young women are risking their lives fighting ISIS etc to protect our democracy and our freedoms.

  5. Hank
    March 17, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Great Piece of work

  6. Erik G
    March 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Another fine article by Mr. Sterling.

  7. John
    March 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Obama had 8 years to perfect his skill at doing what he wanted to do without being detected….Trump has a couple months in the game of hide and seek…..Any journalistic report…that compares the two is total bull shit….is there a 5th grader in the house…..

  8. March 17, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Yes, Donald Trump and his close circle have split the “deep state”/the military-industrial complex/the 1% into fluctuating factions, with everyone waking up each morning not knowing whether a Trump daybreak tweet will mean a scramble for new positions. This may be entertaining, at least as observed from up here in Canada, but it distracts from the horrible damage Donald & Bannon are inflicting on migrants, Muslims, and all those millions targeted at home by his proposed budget. Ole

    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Ole,

      You are drinking the Clinton-Soros-Deep State-Obama cabal Propaganda. Too bad. Your comment got off to a good start. See my comment below or above for an accurate affirmation of Sterling’s brilliant essay.

      Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, applied ethics, peace studies, public policy) and Religion (books: “On the Buddha”; “On Gandhi”; “Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump”), Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only academic philosopher of any significant rank that I and Professor Samuel Gorovitz know (between us we know many thousands of academic Ph.D. philosophers) who voted for Trump and supports him. It is a lonely profession—as have YOU, they’ve ALL BEEN SUCKED IN BY THE CLINTON PROPAGANDA CABAL —which is pretty damning for a profession largely based on the “appearance versus reality” distinction, don’t you think?

    • Raleigh McLemore
      March 17, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      I agree.

    • March 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

      ” horrible damage Donald & Bannon are inflicting on …..” Have you been asleep when Bush/Obama have been bombing the Middle East? Have you any idea how many migrant were deported under Obama? (and why). What is wrong with maintaining the law of the land re emigration?
      Before we see the “terrible damage” cried about by the pink-pussies, Reich, and other “progressives” (that have been energetically uniting with ziocons and the CIA) even before Trump became officially a president, why don’t the “progressives” give Trump a chance to do something? The “progressives” were silent when Obama et al have been destroying Libya and Syria (a lot of Muslims there) and forcing people to flee their native villages and towns to save their lives and lives of their children. (Who can forget the memorable “we came, we saw, he died” by the aspiring female-contender?) And was not it Obama who has started droning Muslims in their lands during weddings and funerals?
      The darling peace laureate — the PC-colored and thoroughly faux “progressive” former prez — had had a mandate from the American people for a single-payer healthcare system. Obama was in charge of the US government for eight (8!) years, and all he achieved was a racketeering bonanza for insurance companies and big Pharma. Thank you very much.
      Obama, of course, presided over the regime change and the beginning of civil war in Ukraine, which put the world closer to a possibility of a nuclear conflict. That’s an achievement!
      The NATO – a US pet – has moved directly to the Russian borders; never mind that the Baltic states (the NATO members) celebrate openly the glory of Nazism. Very fitting. Particularly when the facts of the US arming ISIS/Al Qaeda in Syria came to light. (But what the US Congress would not do for the Israel-firsters dreaming of the Golan Heights…)
      The infliction of “horrible damage” has started long time ago but to notice that before last November was not be Politically Correct because Democrats “are for freedom” and Obama’s dad was black. So soothing.

      • March 18, 2017 at 11:04 am

        Exactly, to embellish, Yemen where the Houthi bulwark against wahabi jihadist is being destroyed by USA , and allies. Selling arms to Saudi Arabi acknowledged in email by H to be financing Daesh.

        The wicked cackle after the Caesar parody. The slaughter of indigenous Honduran Earth protectors after the H sponsored coup, and in particular Berta murdered after she named H as the coup leader.

        Then there is the DNC leaker Seth Rich.

      • Gregory Herr
        March 18, 2017 at 11:33 am

        Excellent summary of damage done.

        • Realist
          March 19, 2017 at 2:25 am

          Really. A very nice expose’ of the current hypocrisy that is based in nothing more than blind partisanship, which in turn is nothing more than a clique of people acting together to exercise political power. When the Dems did the exact same things as the GOPers do now (and vice versa) that was great, now it’s terrible, un-American, inhumane and the product of an insane leader. All is now considered fair to stop him, no matter how detrimental to the country and its constitution. Surely, St. Hillary was not rejected by the voters. Someone ELSE MUST have cheated to deny her the office she was born to fill. And, if you don’t believe that, we can keep inventing new scenarios until we find one that you do believe… which is what we Dems are trying so very hard to do! Thanks, Anna, great post.

  9. Zachary Smith
    March 17, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Nice summary.

    I’d give long odds that Obama and/or his handlers had Donald Trump and everybody he knew under total surveillance. Most likely they did it without leaving any traces of their actions.

    Give what a loose cannon Trump is showing himself to be, he may yet surpass Obama in the “illegal actions” department, but as of this moment Obama has a clear lead in all categories.

    • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
      March 17, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Zachary,

      You are absolutely correct.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 18, 2017 at 1:13 am

      How about the freelance spy who sells to the highest bidder?

  10. BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
    March 17, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    A brilliant essay, as all of yours have been, Mr. Rick Sterling.

    This was a great summary of “leaks” that I experienced as they happened:

    as commonly understood, public-spirited “leaks” seek to expose the lies and the propaganda that are often used to justify war. Perhaps the most famous “leak” occurred during the Vietnam War when former senior Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg photocopied a top secret historical analysis known as the Pentagon Papers and, in 1971, began distributing copies to major news organizations. Thus, Ellsberg exposed decades of lies that the U.S. government had used to pull the American people into the conflict. The Pentagon Papers led more Americans to oppose the war and hastened its end although President Nixon and other war supporters denounced Ellsberg as a traitor and unsuccessfully sought to prosecute him. Some “leaks” have been even more controversial. In 1975, former CIA agent Philip Agee published Inside the Company: CIA Diary that exposed covert CIA operations in Latin America. Patrick Breslin of the Washington Post described the book this way: “Agee has provided the most complete description yet of what the CIA does abroad. In entry after numbing entry, U.S. foreign policy in Latin America is pictured as a web of deceit, hypocrisy and corruption.” Agee identified corrupt politicians plus American and foreign CIA operatives throughout Latin America, thus reducing the CIA’s powers to manipulate America’s neighbors to the south.””

    I remember at the time of Agee’s leak, I was dating a young woman whose father worked for NSA. Agee’s book was the talk of those workers but her father would say little. He did say, though, that every chapter was completely accurate but one. When I asked him which one, he went back to being the “you don’t have the need to know” NSA top clearance (because he had to have access for medical reasons to anywhere in the building(s)) WWII vet working for his country.

    And now you bring up the “leaks” that everyone knows about (or should):

    “”The key “leaks” during Campaign 2016 occurred when WikiLeaks published two batches of emails – one from the Democratic National Committee and one from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The DNC “leak” revealed that the DNC abused its powers by favoring Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primaries. The Podesta “leak” exposed the contents of paid speeches that Clinton had given to Wall Street banks (but wanted to hide from the voters) and revealed pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation. These “leaks” caused some embarrassment for the Clinton campaign but had only a marginal impact as the election seemed to be turning on disclosures about Donald Trump’s crude remarks in which he boasted of grabbing women’s genitals – comments that were caught on a “hot mic” and made public. But then the campaign turned again when FBI Director James Comey briefly reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of an unsecure private server for her emails when she was Secretary of State. After losing the close election to Trump on Nov. 8, Clinton blamed Comey’s decision for her defeat.””

    Clinton now blames the Russians, both for the leaks as well as for more directly effecting the voting of US citizens. She and her cabal live in a world painted by propaganda and they seem to believe it, which is even more dangerous for the country—yet they’ve got millions of ditch and drick snowflakes ready to riot to prove she’s right.

    You bring us up to date (almost) with the Flynn leaks. “”there is another concern about the “leaks” that have been used to counter the DNC-Podesta “leaks.” Many of these later “leaks” appear to be coming from U.S. intelligence agencies with the goal of thwarting President Trump’s foreign policy. For instance, a Dec. 29 phone call between incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (who was on vacation in the Dominican Republic at the time) and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak (based in Washington) was revealed although not its precise contents. Though there is nothing wrong or unusual about incoming officials talking with foreign emissaries during a presidential transition, Obama holdovers in the Justice Department cited the archaic and never-prosecuted Logan Act of 1799 (barring private citizens from conducting foreign policy) to justify Flynn’s interrogation by FBI agents who had access to the NSA transcript and thus caught Flynn on his failure to recall some details of the conversation. Vice President Mike Pence’s anger over Flynn’s similar failure to provide him a full and accurate account of the call then led a panicked President Trump to fire his National Security Adviser and thus remove a key advocate for reduced tensions with Russia.””

    Flynn, as we’ve seen more recently, really was a bad choice—he was making too much money from the Russians (granted, before he joined the Trump campaign) and would have been neutered for that alone and so been a drag on POTUS Trump’s Russian policy, itself being pressured by the leaks and the Deep State politics around the leaks.

    Although Flynn in the past week was exposed with the failures I just mentioned, these were unknown when the Deep State pressured him out of the administration. As you report, “”Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, commented: “General Flynn has admitted misleading the Vice President but I think we need to look at this a little bit deeper…. at the core of this is an effort by some in the intelligence community to upend a positive relationship between the U.S. and Russia…. There are people trying to separate the U.S. and Russia so that the military industrial and intelligence axis can cash in…. The American people need to know that there’s a game going on inside the intelligence community there are those who …want to reignite the cold war. That’s what’s at the bottom of all this …Wake Up America!” However, for many liberals and progressives, Trump’s policies on education, health care, environmental protection, immigration and law enforcement are horrible. Some on the Left are so alarmed by these policies that they are willing to ally themselves with neoconservatives and the national-security state to somehow “stop Trump.” The “bash Russia” club is considered a handy way of doing that. But that means siding with war hawks who are determined to derail Trump’s campaign pledges to work with Russia in combatting terrorism and his potential cooperation with President Putin on resolving international conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Libya and elsewhere.””

    This is an accurate and well written analysis except rather than using the phrase “Deep State” you use the phrase “national-security state” which refers to the same actors.

    I’ve written a similar account, looking at different information, in a book I’ve published and you probably know, “”The Deep State Versus President Trump.”” And I heartily agree with your conclusion which, from the comments I’ve been reading on this site, many commentators won’t “get” and will misunderstand: “”Such prospects for peace are anathema to neoconservatives and elements of the intelligence community which are fighting back with their own campaign of “leaks.” But – for Americans who are tired of “perpetual war” – these “leaks” are not for the public good.””

    Thank you again, Rick Sterling. I will post on my FACEBOOK page once I am finished here (which means looking at the other comments and maybe putting this one up front too).

    Cordially,

    Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, applied ethics, peace studies, public policy) and Religion (books: “On the Buddha”; “On Gandhi”; “Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump”), Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only academic philosopher of any significant rank that I and Professor Samuel Gorovitz know (between us we know many thousands of academic Ph.D. philosophers) who voted for Trump and supports him. It is a lonely profession—they’ve ALL BEEN SUCKED IN BY THE CLINTON PROPAGANDA CABAL—which is pretty damning for a profession largely based on the “appearance versus reality” distinction, don’t you think?

  11. bobzz
    March 17, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    “Though WikiLeaks has denied receiving the two batches of emails from Russians – instead suggesting that they came from two different American insiders”

    At least these two leakers are safe. Make ’em public and the Russia angle collapses.

    • March 18, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Seth Rich is murdered on a DC sidewalk.

    • Skip Scott
      March 19, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Bobzz-

      It is thought that one leaker (Seth Rich) is dead. He is safe in heaven. Although wikileaks never discloses its sources, they have offered a reward for info leading to Seth’s killer. He was a DNC operative who allegedly gave Craig Murray a thumb drive with the DNC emails on it. He was shot in the back in DC, and although it is being sold a a robbery, nothing was taken, not his watch, or even his wallet. There are many ways that the “Russia angle” collapses if you look at it logically. Robert Parry has done this superbly. Take a tour through the recent archives.

      • bobzz
        March 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

        Just now checking in. Thanks, guys. Good to know. Apparently not public enough.

  12. Joe Tedesky
    March 18, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Could a few insiders along the way have tried to leak the JFK Assassination file, or who may have attempted to leak what really went on with 911, and no news agency would run with it, or either? Think of it, having the scoop of an eternal lifetime of centuries and not being able to report it!

    That would be like finding a written unrecorded Lennon and McCartney song and not being able to record it, because number one no one would believe it’s really the Beatles tune and you ghost wrote it, and number two Yoko and Paul would either kill you or tie you up in court for about three lifetimes, so kill me why don’t ya…plus you can’t sing. Bad example, but it cracked a smile I’ll bet…come on now don’t hate me I’m just trying to lift you up here.

    My short list of wished leaks:

    1. MH17 – because this would change the whole dynamic in Eastern Europe and Western Russia, and beyond. This could retract NATO missiles and roll back the Russia Sanctions. I put this first, because due to Russia having nukes, and due to U.S. insistence to agitate Russia I feel this is the 2 minute hand.

    2. 911 – talking about game changers. TSA would be gone within 24 hrs. I suggest we keep the TSA employees to help keep our grimy air ports clean…oh and pull out of Afghanistan and the entire Middle East.

    3. JFK, MLK, RFK, Macolm X, and many more others who have been assassinated by our government for whatever reason…America needs to amend for its sins. Our country will only have that much more of a difficult time if ever we wish to correct our selfish domestic ways, or do anything worthwhile with the rest of the world. I can’t think of any centuries old nation which hasn’t had a negative history to reconcile with, so when will the U.S. come to that time of Jesus and confess while improving it’s ways?

    Leakers where’s one when you need him/her? Information on process is a priceless jewel, and leaking is it’s precious flaw, who to some it is a decay of the stone, while to others it is a thing of natural beauty. Leaked news is also a double edge sword, beware of the leaker, but praise the leaker if it be appropriate. The funny thing is to some Americans this conversion would sound like we were talking about the NFL Drafte….I’m going to go now, and look for a crescent wrench.

    • Brad Owen
      March 18, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Joe, just go over to EIR website and type into their search box “JFK assassination” and also “911 plot”. EIR can get away with this because the Deep State Oligarchs (where the Western Empire covertly exists, having morphed into what it is, from the old British Empire) firmly believe they have thoroughly character- assassinated LaRouche, so it’s safe for the curious to look at their files on stuff.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 18, 2017 at 9:19 am

        I’m going to check it out. In the past I was always fearful of getting to deep into LaRouche. I mean there is some bad juju going around about that guy and his followers for years, and I never figured out why. The funny thing is now you could admit to being a follower of Leo Strauss who followed Carl Schmidt, and that seems to be okay, but LaRouche no. Maybe someone could briefly give me the history to why LaRouche has been so off limits. Thanks Brad …Joe

        • J'hon Doe II
          March 18, 2017 at 11:51 am

          “Maybe someone could briefly give me the history to why LaRouche has been so off limits. Thanks Brad” …Joe

          Here’s your overview, Joe, with some vital details— as they say, ‘the devil’s always in the details’ —-

          http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1991/eirv18n07-19910215/eirv18n07-19910215_028-george_bushs_new_world_order_and-lar.pdf

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm

            Thank you so much J’hon Doe II, that was some pretty good reading. I missed that whole episode regarding LaRouche, because back then I was busy with work, and raising kids, plus after the 1972 election I quit voting until 1992. What is amazing about what LaRouche had said back in 1991 could have been written yesterday, and it still would be relevant. Thanks again, and as usual with the comments here I learned something new today….Joe

    • F. G. Sanford
      March 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Leakers? How would anyone know? They’re immediately branded as kooks, lunatics, fringe screwballs and nut cases. The intelligence community has spent plenty of effort pushing the “flying saucer” and “alien invasion” memes in order to conflate the two. There probably are flying saucers, but they’re made in USA, not on planet Regulon-9.

      But hey, here’s a good story, though I don’t remember all the details. When the French Army tried to stage a coup against DeGaulle and they had “special forces” staged in the woods outside Paris, DeGaulle called JFK and asked him point blank if he had anything to do with it. Kennedy is said to have replied, “Certainly not, but I can’t necessarily vouch for the CIA.” DeGaulle is believed to have respected Kennedy, so after the assassination, RFK is said to have put out “feelers” to French intelligence for any possible leads or insights. DeGaulle’s intelligence assets apparently complied. The DGSE had infiltrated some of the CIA destabilization operations in Central and South America, and got some dirt on the “anti-Castro Cuban” operations. They were apparently able to confirm CIA connections to the assassination. In order to camouflage the written report, it was drafted as a cheap thriller novel and a copy was provided to RFK. He was assassinated about two weeks later. The novel was later published, but the distribution was very limited. Hale Boggs died in a small plane crash, George DeMorenschildt died of a (self -inflicted?) shotgun wound the day before testifying to the HSCA, and Jim Garrison’s star witness (David Ferrie) committed suicide and left two – count ’em – typed suicide notes. Dorothy Kilgallen had fame, a new boyfriend, a fabulous career, and was going to “blow the case wide open”. Then she too decided to commit “suicide”.

      Yes, there are leakers. They are called “conspiracy theorists” and are summarily dismissed. Right here on this site in the last few days, somebody claimed that Kennedy had Diem murdered. They must have forgotten that case, “Hunt vs. The Liberty Lobby”, in which E. Howard Hunt was forced to admit in court that he had forged documents and placed them in the National Archives to provide false evidence that Kennedy “murdered a head of state”. So, even if the files are released, you can bet they contain forgeries, corruptions, fraudulent information or have been purged of anything incriminating.

      I’m getting old and the American readership is entirely too gullible and misinformed. This will probably be my last comment, and that will no doubt please someone. Cheers!

      • J'hon Doe II
        March 18, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        Say it an’t so, FG Sanford! and, before you fully decide to depart, take a look at Adam Curtis’ new documentary, HyperNormalization – available on youtube… .

        If you decide to stay away, please let us know publish date for your books… .

        It’s been a pleasure reading your poems and comments.

        Peace!!!

        • J'hon Doe II
          March 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm

          Or, see this Wikipedia overview;

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperNormalisation

          • D5-5
            March 18, 2017 at 5:29 pm

            Thank you for this link and guide to the documentary on “hypernormalization” 2 hours 40 minutes available by you tube: HyperNormalization by Adam Curtis, a Berkeley professor. It can easily be found in a search. I found the documentary valuable as a history review in particular.

            The concept “hypernormalization” essentially means that politics has been replaced by fantasy theater orchestrated by the super-elites, specifically from the financial industry. Using super computers on which to base deceptions, what people expect and believe can be anticipated and fed back to them as what is happening, whereas fiction has replaced actuality. This history of creating false reality is tracked back to Reagan and what became known under Reagan as “perception management.”

            Certainly what has been going on in the past 9 months or so via the HRC leaks and the falsity of the Russia election interfering fits here, although the film account stops just short of this development. If we think of the decades of Soviet Union bashing that went on in the 20th century it would seem a nearly automatic pre-set to believe this election-tampering nonsense would be easy to manipulate and wash over the public, and as I understand the concept, this is now suggested to be the operant way of governing, whether in the US or Moscow. This means fairy tales replace reality in terms of manipulations for whatever purposes.

            For me this documentary is stronger on its historical material, which is very interesting, than it is on proving its hypernormalization thesis. The film seems caught up in its own melodrama at times, and is actually thinnest on its thesis. True, mass deceptions have taken place (and are again being attempted), as with the manipulation of Gaddafi from villain to hero and back again, and the 03 WMD. (The film mentions 9/11 as though suicide bombers alone were responsible.)

            The burgeoning phenomenon of narcissistic self-ism also suggests hypernormalization, or, again, not historical reality but people’s perceptions based on what they want to believe, and have been massaged into believing, are the reality.

            This notion of governing via hypernormalization, where the visible politicians merely are the errand boys of the invisible governing system, is pretty much taken for granted in this film study as the way it is now. That is, the dream of the internet to be a cyberspace of freedom for everyone without the interference and authoritarianism of politics is dead, coopted via the genius computer technology betraying the people and self-izing them into a state of unthinking cooperation, a sort of epidemic narcissism that is global.

            This is the same vision that drove Zamiatin, Huxley, and Orwell to their views, although they did not use this term hypernormalization, and they were influenced by the early stages of the Soviet Union. An early part of this documentary shows footage from the Soviet Union and the utter non-belief and futility of citizens in Russia from that time. It seems the West is becoming or has become similar in a state of mind-numbness or disbelief, unless caught up in a hypernormalized fiction as a sort of passing spell.

            In my view, perception management has not yet been perfected to the extent the film seems to suggest, based on Occupy, the Arab Spring, and the excitement generated by Sanders’ campaign, although admittedly all those failed, and they failed in the area of leadership, which, again in my view, cannot be abandoned. The dream of the 90’s that the internet can give rise to a uniformity of human beings acting in freedom, solidarity, and for the common good, but no longer in need of leadership in a specific person or body, is unrealistic, I think. People need leaders, if only to articulate and make clear the issues.

            This film’s topic invites a lot of thought as well as further discussion.

      • Gregory Herr
        March 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm

        I have read that Kennedy was visibly shaken when he learned of Diem’s assassination. I think it was due to a crystallized conception of just what a rogue agency the CIA had become, and the lengths or depths they would go to in pursuit of aims. Thanks for yet another in a long line of informative, insightful, and incisive comments. Say it ain’t so.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        “When Diem did finally say in effect to Kennedy through Lodge on the morning of November 1, “Tell us what you want and we’ll do it,”[ 210] it was the eleventh hour before the coup. Lodge’s delayed transmission of Diem’s conciliatory message to Kennedy made certain that JFK would receive it too late. Kennedy knew many, if not all, of the backstage maneuvers that kept him from reaching Diem in time, and Diem from reaching him. But he also knew he should never have agreed to the August 24 telegram in the first place. And he knew he could have thrown his whole weight against a coup from the beginning, as he had not. He had gone along with the push for a coup, while dragging his feet and seeking a way out of it. He accepted responsibility for consequences he had struggled to avoid, but in the end not enough—the deaths of Diem and Nhu.” ……’JFK and the Unspeakable:’ James W Douglas

        If you decide to read James W Douglas JFK and the Unspeakable Douglas sheds a ton of light on the Diem assassinations and it doesn’t speak well for Henry Cabot Lodge Jr….he was what JFK got for being bipartisan. This book reveals how alone Kennedy really was. Where JFK took baby steps at times he should have run, whereas secrecy was of the upmost when back channeling with Kruschev. Douglas does show how the Establishment around JFK thought of this young president as reckless, and by some unpatriotic for his wanting to commit to peace with Russia, and yes even Cuba. Hmm not much has changed over the years, has it?

        I’m reading Mark Shaw’s book ‘The Reporter Who Knew too Much:’ about Dorothy Kilgallen. Quite the reporter she was, and after learning more about her I wish we had someone like her today reporting the news.

        I’ll bet you F.G. could draw up a fine list of what you would like to see leaked and exposed. Everything in our government needs a cover story, because the powers to be believe we the people couldn’t handle the truth. Plus to these bastards telling us the truth would be for them to be like committing suicide.

      • Sam F
        March 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        I mentioned that Diem and his brother Lon Nol were murdered, allegedly by a State Dept suggestion to an SV general, allegedly surprising and appalling JFK. See American Century and its references. I had also heard of the JFK accusation, but had no reliable information and did not know of the Hunt forgeries, but will look into that. No offense intended.

        • Sam F
          March 19, 2017 at 12:19 pm

          (correction: his brother Nhu)

  13. evelync
    March 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    The injustice of demonizing our courageous, civic minded, selfless people of conscience AKA whistleblowers, like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and all the others becomes theater of the absurd when compromised/bribed high level Navy officers get off with a little jail time time for leaking Navy secrets to profiteers:
    http://timesofsandiego.com/military/2017/01/12/navy-officer-gets-prison-fat-leonard-bribery-case/

    That’s apparently just a little embarrassment, exposing how our corrupt arms bidness really works??????

    I have no way of knowing, but I suspect that perhaps these Navy officers, those who learn how to play the game, first become cynical, seeing the total corruption of how the MIC really works, and they just “want to get theirs”….

    Hoo boy……
    we’re a mess…..

  14. LJ
    March 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Senator Feinstein was calling for Snowden’s head. Assange’s also. Summary exectution . Is she a liberal? She was indignant about Clapperi’s public lie to her Intelligence Committee but never did call for the publication of the torture file. Not only that she was buddying up to Clapper when he was taking a stand against Trump.Phonies, people like her and Schumer and Pelosi there is nothing “Liberal” about her or them it’s just plain old dirty politics. I think this writer should have mentioned that Jeffry Sterling is behind bars on weak circumstantial evidence for supposedly leaking information regarding Clinton Administration attempts to plant disinformation in the Iranian Nuclear file.Also, it’s one thing to be in bed with McCain and Graham on the Russia bashing but Darrell Issa? That is too much phony for me. Another problem is that there are now more intelligence organizations all of which want more money and they all have agendas. It’s hard to know if the CIA was even involved in the Trump Campaign leaks or the FBI Somebody was leaking.. Remember that one of Obama’s last Executive orders allowed the NSA or in fact compelled the NSA to share data with the CIA and FBI. This was not an accident..

  15. March 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I had imagined from the title that this article was going to be an exposé and beginning of conversation about the laughability and unintentional transparency of Trump’s hypocrisy in trying to fight “leaks” with his own leaks about “I have just learned that Obama was wire-tapping me in my precious Trump Tower,” leaks which have subsequently seen illumination (but not enough of it) as more of Trump’s self-serving stupidity.

    Consortiumnews.org, I am confessing to myself more and more, has changed from a wider-ranging and knowledgeable alternative news service to one of a disturbing pro-Trump (or at least anti-Anti-Trump) forum with a bewildering pro-Russian bent, which I have been assuming is more because of a protectionist policy of speeding to the aid of any underdog.

    I rarely read more than a couple of paragraphs, any more, of consortiumnews articles, and I regret that.

    • D5-5
      March 18, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Let me tell you something, Bob. You really haven’t been reading here, say over a several months’ period, so your audience (me) thinks: why is Bob trying to tell us something that is not true? He must be a good guy. Maybe he’s not reading enough. Let me tell you what’s going on, Bob, if I may. Trump is being assessed within these very comments that you’re disparaging. The assessment is ongoing, and all sides of the question are being considered. (And of course the assessment is ongoing, he’s only been in office two months.) So you, apparently, are only tuning in to a fraction of what’s here. You need to read more instead of giving up so easily.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 19, 2017 at 3:00 am

      Bob opinions are personal, and everybody that has one has the right of respect to have their own thoughts, so here’s mine of consortiumnews.

      My perception of consortiumnews is that consortiumnews has a bipartisan criticism of politicians and their policies. Robert Parry always references a reader to a core center of a start of where controversy was born. Example; when Robert Parry writes about Ukraine and related stories such as MH17, or Russian sanctions, he always goes back to talking about Vicoria Nuland handing out cookies in Maiden Square. Focusing us almost religiously back to the origin of the story.

      Consortiumnews can’t except Russia stole the 2016 presidential election, so does that make consortiumnews a Trump supporter? J.P Sottile wrote here on consortiumnews how the MSM gave away 4.96 billion dollars worth of coverage to Trump for free, so by Sottile’s reporting should we come to the conclusion that because the media did something stupid irreversibly helping Trump win the White House be considered a anti-media and pro-Trump essay, and if so why?

      When it comes to consortiumnews like of Putin, it’s because consortiumnews readers remember a Putin who negotiated a withdraw of chemical weapons, and by his doing so he helped prevent an all out American engagement into Syria, which most consortiumnews readers felt we didn’t need….so because Putin did such a much needed act many of us, like me, feel we should give the Russian leader his due of respect.

      Consortiumnews has printed articles criticizing Trump as well. I think the more militaristic Trump gets, along with time where more will develop with his budget and healthcare policies getting discussed at consortiumnews readers and authors will find Trump quite the target for criticism, so hang in there Bob, it’s only another article away until we hear what we want to hear….take care Joe

      • Skip Scott
        March 19, 2017 at 9:02 am

        Joe

        I am learning from you how to be kind to the more simple minded creatures, or dare I say trolls, on these comment pages. You are a true gentleman. I can’t help but wonder about people like Bob Locke. Is he mentally deficient? Is logical thought foreign to him? To say that the writers and commenters here are “pro Trump”, or “anti-anti-Trump” is ridiculous. Anyone who reads the comments on this site can see that we are largely peace activists and progressives searching for truth. Just because we abhor the Queen of Chaos, the “Deep State”, and the war machine, doesn’t make us Trump apologists or Russian stooges. Anyway, thank you for providing such a fine example of human decency. You are truly a man of good character.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

          Skip, I actually think I know Bob well. I mean I have relatives who have fallen into the controversial divide trap. It’s a crying shame, but somehow if you are on to Hillary’s sick and criminal nature, and if you like Putin for any reason, you are a Trump supporter. Reverse what I just described and you are a Hillary supporter. We Americans have loss our depth to how we accept each other’s opinion of politics. Even the websites similar to consortiumnews are having a hard time squaring their narratives with their regular readership. Like I told Bob give it time, and sites like this one will be all over Trump. What I do like about consortiumnews is Robert Parry trends towards the truth, and the way I feel is with honesty how can you go wrong getting properly informed….take care Skip Joe

        • Bob Locke
          March 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm

          No, Bob Locke has never been called mentally deficient previously. But do note that Bob Locke was not referring to the people who comment on articles in consortiumnews; he was referring to the articles themselves. Take yours, for example. Not a jot of substance, just mere vituperation.

  16. elmerfudzie
    March 19, 2017 at 9:46 am

    The suggestion that Trump is a traitor, hobnobbing with the enemy is s totally absurd allegation. Our country’s Deep State, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) members, historically speaking, had close ties with high officials of the former Soviet Union (USSR). For example; One, John J McCloy, Chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, Assistant Secretary of War (WWII) , President of the World bank and so on, taking a long swim with Nikita Khrushchev at his private Dasha, now owned by Putin?, McCloy was reportedly wearing swimming trunks loaned him by the premier himself ! Joking around and laughing together, yeah, the jokes on us, the proles of this world.
    Until the end of 2001 (Patriot Act), U.S. banksters were hauling in huge amounts of cash, stolen by corrupt Russian officials. The Bank of New York allegedly parked a cool ten billion dollars into their own coffers, from Russia-with love!. So you see, the western bankers and politicians tell us who the enemy is, meanwhile, jumping into bed with them. The duplicity runs deep and across many institutions. In the 1960’s, made for TV, Hollywood actors were toting guns and police badges, fighting the bad guys, preserving the law but off stage they partied in Cuba, danced with whores and stuffed hard cash into Batista’s pocket- he was a typical example of capitalist thuggery, organized crime, yet at the same time, supported by our TV law and order “hero’s”

    • J'hon Doe II
      March 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      The-Blow-It-All-Up-Billionaires
      By Vicky Ward

      When politicians take money from megadonors, there are strings attached. But with the reclusive duo who propelled Trump into the White House, there’s a fuse.

      http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/mercers/

      • J'hon Doe II
        March 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

        It’s not what you know but what you don’t know that matters… .
        ::
        This is the Real Story Behind How Steve Bannon Joined Forces With Donald Trump
        Secretive Manhattan heiress Rebekah Mercer made it happen.

        HOW REBEKAH MERCER ROSE TO POWER

        by KATE STOREY
        MAR 17, 2017

        Rebekah Mercer, a secretive Manhattan heiress, was the driving force behind what is arguably the most important relationship in President Donald Trump’s administration, a new report reveals.

        The daughter of Robert Mercer, a hugely influential conservative donor, Rebekah is the face of the family—making sure the millions and millions of dollars they donate to politicians and causes are being allocated according to their wishes.

        http://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/news/a9979/how-steve-bannon-joined-forces-with-donald-trump/

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      elmerfudzie I cut and pasted a couple things here that may compliment your comment;

      Henry Ford

      Lenin himself, the founder of the U.S.S.R., was the first Soviet leader who wanted to do business with Ford. At Lenin’s direction, Armand Hammer–the chairman of Occidental Petroleum who was among the first Americans to do business with the Soviet Union–brought Ford tractors into the U.S.S.R.

      Later, in 1929 under Josef Stalin, the Soviet Union persuaded Ford to cooperate on building and supervising a car plant in Gorky to turn out Model T cars. Ford made $30 million on the deal, and in the 1930s 100,000 cars a year were built in Gorky.

      Fred C Koch

      In 1929 Koch’s partner Lewis Winkler’s former employer, Universal Oil Products (now UOP LLC), sued Winkler-Koch for patent infringement. Also that year, nearly three years before the patent case went to trial, Winkler-Koch signed contracts to build petroleum distillation plants in the Soviet Union, which did not recognize intellectual property rights.

      This extended litigation effectively put Winkler-Koch out of business in the U.S. for several years. “Unable to succeed at home, Koch found work in the Soviet Union”. Between 1929 and 1932 Winkler-Koch “trained Bolshevik engineers and helped Stalin’s regime set up fifteen modern oil refineries” in the Soviet Union. “Over time, however, Stalin brutally purged several of Koch’s Soviet colleagues. Koch was deeply affected by the experience, and regretted his collaboration.”

      The company also built installations in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. According to New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, Koch partnered with William Rhodes Davis to build the third-largest oil refinery serving the Third Reich, a project which was personally approved by Adolf Hitler. Koch President and COO David L. Robertson acknowledged that Winkler-Koch provided the cracking unit for the 1934 Hamburg refinery, but said that it was but one of many “iconic” American companies doing business in Germany at the time.

      David Rockefeller

      Under David Rockefeller’s as CEO, Chase spread internationally and became a central pillar in the world’s financial system; Chase has a global network of correspondent banks that has been estimated to number about 50,000, the largest of any bank in the world. In 1973, Chase established the first branch of an American bank in Moscow, in the then Soviet Union. That year Rockefeller traveled to China, resulting in his bank becoming the National Bank of China’s first correspondent bank in the US.

      …………………………………………………………………………………………………

      What I cut and pasted here is only the skim off the top of what big business has done over the years with the Russians. As you can see even when Russia was a socialist communist country not one of America’s capitalistic financiers of wealth cared one bit about Russia’s politics. Profit is always blind to the conditions of capitals consumer, and by this borders cease to matter, as profit made goes in search of suitable interest to increase the profit even more so.

      Today our American media and certain elements within our American government are demonizing Putin and his Russia for such items of human interest as homosexual acceptance, or calling Russia’s concerns over its borders as revanchist Russian aggression to a point of such national hysteria that is sure to have a bottomless pit of negative life ending human results if pursued.

      I’ll say it again, we Americans should pull it all in and start perfecting and ironing out our own American society. We are far from perfect. I’m not suggesting an isolationist attitude sweep our American foreign policy, but I am suggesting a less holier-than-thou national personality to hammer down onto the rest of the world’s population.

      Here’s a thought; let’s see if a week can go by without us Americans making fun of or making negative judgement of the Russians and their leader, and see how that works out for us. When it comes to people doing the everyday things that make their life worth living there are no Russians there are no Americans there is but just us simple human beings trying to keep our heads above water, and doing what needs to be done to get by.

      Good comment elmerfudzie hope you don’t mind my tagging along to your thought…Joe

      • elmerfudzie
        March 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        Joe Tedesky, thanks again, for supporting the basic premise here. Yeah, I saw an article @ http://www.howardnema.com/tag/milner-grou, where, during the COLD WAR, David Rockefeller had ready access to fly in and out of Moscow (for banking business). He was quite the celebrity! Get this, to every day common Russian folk! His arrivals were met with “much pomp and circumstance”… The Russian people loved him! Someone, please fax this vignette to Foxnews and or CNN-I just can’t bring myself to contact them in any way…

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 19, 2017 at 11:37 pm

          You just told me something I didn’t know. After giving a little more thought though, it makes sense that David Rockefeller is eligible to receive a lot of attention, since he holds so many marbles in his pocket. I get the opinion the Western oligarchy is committed to hating Vlad the oligarchy killer. This title ‘oligarchy killer’ makes President Putin popular with large segments of the Russian citizens who’s praise of him is Russia’s public’s rejection of the Yeltsin years. Although I get the opinion that Putin’s attitude of the oligarchs is very aligned to the majority of the Russian people. Apparently Putin has enough of power to have Hillary and Rachel working harder than the day is long attacking the Russian leader’s motives by their slanted portrayal of him. Hillary knows that after what she did a few years back to Vladimir Putin is more than enough reason for her to stay paranoid. A guilty conscience inside the head of a historically mad person such as Hillary is, a very very dangerous thing to tip toe around with….for the demons who pose as humans they see no reason to be timid and withdrawn when it’s something they want, and if you become an obstacle to them then you will be mowed down. For these royals of the elite, yes they have gone to Russia, and oh by the way they will go anywhere they damn well please…planet earth is their world, literally.

    • LJ
      March 19, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Elmer, I like your polemic though it seems a bit prudish. Have to say, that was the 50’s when the Hollywood actors and Mobsters were partying it up in Cuba and stuffing cash in Batista’s pockets. .Probably just a typo. They are partying it up again today . It is less tainted by Western Capital than most places of such great beauty. See you there comrade.

      • elmerfudzie
        March 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm

        LJ, In the 1960’s I was a kid watching the re-runs, the actors would have been up to the same stuff in the ’60’s or ’70’s for that matter- had Castro not come along. Sexual deviation was not my point here (whores) I was attempting to show a generalized weakness within an influential and popular American institution, Hollywood. Just reflecting on the shallowness of the American character; the entertainer as well as the entertained, who never bothered to look a bit closer. In any case, your points are well taken.

  17. March 19, 2017 at 11:14 am

    The latest leak by Judge Napolitano comes from none other than Larry C. Johnson a member of VIPS. He has been responsible for at least one other of the fake news stories Do the VIPS back him or disavow his claim. Seeing that so many of them are reputable I hope they can enlighten us on his trustworthiness. A lot of politics ON BOTH SIDES.

  18. Mark Thomason
    March 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Officially placed leaks bring up the reasons behind the legal “sword and shield doctrine.”

    That doctrine is that one cannot reveal selective facts, while keeping secret other facts at the sole selection of the one revealing them.

    That is because partial truths are lies. “It is not raining” is not the same as “It is . . . raining.” The oath in court includes “the whole truth.”

  19. Richard Sheridan
    March 21, 2017 at 3:55 am

    In the question of “how do we get our nation back” I think Mario Cuomo said it best… “We must get the American public to look past the glitter, beyond the showmanship, to the reality, the hard substance of things. And we’ll do it not so much with speeches that will bring people to their feet as with speeches that will bring people to their senses.”

    Read into that what you will but IIRC, Democracy only works with an informed populous. Reality has to come back and take it’s place within social media and hyped up 24 hour news, most of which is made up.

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