The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow

Exclusive: Major U.S. media outlets insinuate that President Trump’s advisers are traitors for secretly talking to Russians, but they ignore the history of Henry Kissinger doing the same thing for Richard Nixon, writes Gareth Porter.

By Gareth Porter

Last week’s leak to the Washington Post of an intelligence report about President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in early December to discuss a possible back channel to Moscow appears to represents the climax of the campaign of leaks against the Trump team regarding contacts between Trump associates and Russians.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

The leak about Kushner came shortly after another sensational story broadcast by CNN on May 17 about U.S. intelligence picking up conversations among Russian officials during the presidential campaign in which they bragged about having cultivated a relationship with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and expressed the belief they could use him to influence Trump.

Those two leaks sandwiched extraordinary testimony by former CIA Director John Brennan before the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 in which he said he was concerned about “intelligence” regarding Russian efforts to “suborn” certain Americans – meaning to induce them to commit unlawful acts. That may have been a reference to the leaked interception of Russians bragging about their relationship with Flynn that had just been reported.

“It raised questions in my mind about whether the Russian’s efforts were successful,” Brennan said.

Then, Brennan offered an inflammatory comment reminiscent of McCarthyism. “Frequently people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late,” Brennan said.

Unidentified former Obama national security officials immediately condemned the Kushner proposal to Kislyak for a backchannel – which occurred after Trump’s election but before his inauguration – as “not only highly improper but also possibly even illegal,” as Politico reported.

In an interview with the PBS NewsHour, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper followed that script, suggesting that the attempt to “mask this dialog” with Russia made the Kushner request inherently suspicious.

“Why all the cloak and dagger secrecy?” asked Clapper.  “One wonders if there was something worse than that or more nefarious than that…”

Clapper also argued that the proposal for the channel was illegitimate because the meeting was held before Trump became president. “There is a distinction between reaching out, establishing lines of communication versus substantively interfering with the policy of the present administration,” he said.

The Kissinger Precedent

But the Brennan-Clapper line insinuating that the Kushner request for contacts with the Russians was potentially treasonous collapses in light of the well-documented story of how President-elect Richard Nixon’s national security adviser-designate Henry Kissinger established his own personal backchannel to the Soviet leadership in 1968 using a known KGB operative with whom he had been meeting for years as his contact.

Retired U.S. Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Oct. 29, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Historian Richard A. Moss of the Naval War College recently published an authoritative book-length study of the Kissinger backchannel showing that that Kissinger began setting up his backchannel to the Soviet government leadership through his Soviet contact in December 1968 soon after being named Nixon’s choice for national security adviser.

And it shows that Kissinger seized on the one Soviet government contact he already had to establish the backchannel. That was Boris Sedov, whom Kissinger knew to be a KGB operative. Kissinger had been acquainted with Sedov from the latter’s visits to Harvard. The two continued the contacts after Nixon’s election in 1968.

Moss’s book recounts how Kissinger used the Sedov channel to introduce the concept of “linkage” of different policy issues into negotiations with the Soviets. Sedov gave Kissinger a Soviet government paper on Middle East policy, according to Moss’s account. Only after Nixon’s inauguration did Kissinger and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin agree that all further communication would be through Dobrynin.

Both the Kissinger-Sedov and Kissinger-Dobrynin channels were kept secret from the rest of the Nixon administration’s national security apparatus, as recounted by Moss. Nixon agreed to set up a secure phone line in the White House linking him directly to Dobrynin. The U.S. intelligence agencies, the National Security Council staff and the Pentagon were kept in the dark about these conversations.

And to complete the parallels between the Kissinger backchannel episode and the Flynn and Kushner contacts with the Russians, Moss reveals that Sedov later bragged to a Lebanese-American about his contact with Kissinger –- a boast that was immediately picked up by FBI surveillance of Sedov.

Further, Oleg Kalugin, the head of the KGB’s station in Washington, surely boasted to his Kremlin bosses about having “forged a close back channel tie with Henry Kissinger” – as Kalugin put it in his own memoirs – that would be useful in influencing Nixon’s policy toward the Soviet Union.

Sedov later boasted to Kalugin that he had been so successful in cultivating Kissinger’s assistant Richard Allen that he wanted to try to recruit Allen as an agent, according to Kalugin. But Kalugin rejected the proposal. (Allen went on to become President Ronald Reagan’s first national security adviser.)

This history of Kissinger’s Soviet backchannel in 1968 reveals Brennan’s breathless alarm about Russian “suborning” Flynn or using the backchannel to manipulate Kushner as unworthy of a serious intelligence professional.

Nothing in the Kislyak report intercepted by U.S. intelligence suggests that Kushner’s desire for the backchannel was for anything other than to discuss how to increase cooperation on issues of common interest. Two unidentified sources told ABC News that the Kushner-Kislyak meeting “was focused on the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and other policy-related matters.”

Need for Secrecy

And the Trump transition team’s reasons for wanting a private channel of communication with the Russians that would not be visible to the U.S. national security bureaucracy were precisely the same as those of Nixon and Kissinger.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walks with Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend; Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump; and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman after arriving in Baghdad, April 3, 2017. (DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

Moss, the historian of the Kissinger backchannel, recalled in an opinion piece on the Kushner affair that Dobrynin’s memoirs quote Kissinger as telling the Soviet Ambassador that the Nixon administration wanted to conduct a “most confidential exchange of views” with the Kremlin, because “The Soviet side . . . knows how to maintain confidentiality; but in our State Department, unfortunately, there are occasional leaks of information to the press.”

The leak of the intelligence report of the Kushner-Kislyak meeting to The Washington Post underscores the problem faced by the Trump team amid the flood of leaks about U.S.-Russian discussions that were conducted through official U.S. channels.

Demonstrating the intensity of the anti-Trump attitudes among many Obama officials – both those who have left the government and those who remain as holdovers – someone with access to the secret report was so determined to expose the Kushner backchannel as to reveal to the Russians what must be one of the most sensitive U.S. intelligence secrets of all – the U.S. capability to intercept Russia’s diplomatic messages.

The idea of depending on a secure line of communication within the Russian Embassy for the backchannel was inherently unrealistic, but not because it would give the Russians some unfair advantage in negotiations. The real problem was that it would have been too awkward for a U.S. official to go to the Russian Embassy every time he wanted to use the channel. Indeed, it appears that the proposal was not pursued further because the Russians themselves were wary of it.

Moss, who says he is speaking for himself and not for the Naval War College, told this writer in an interview, “Better relations with the Russians would be a good thing.” He noted several “areas of opportunity” including energy resources and cooperation on counter-terrorism in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. “If Kushner and Kislyak were discussing how to defeat ISIL that would be a perfectly legitimate thing,” said Moss.

But Moss warns that the underlying political crisis in American society is a formidable obstacle to any shift by Trump in relations with Russia. Trump “feels he won the election fairly and that unelected bureaucrats are working against him,” Moss observed, but “The people who suspect possible collusion between the Trump and Russian interference in the election may feel Trump is an illegitimate president.”

Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn are obviously no Kissingers. But the insinuations from Brennan and others that Trump’s advisers may have somehow crossed the line into treason is itself the crossing of a dangerous line into McCarthyism. And the mainstream U.S. news media is participating enthusiastically in the campaign to impugn the loyalty of Trump’s advisers, even though there is still no public evidence to support such suspicions.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

102 comments for “The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow

  1. Sleepless In Mars
    June 8, 2017 at 18:00

    Snowden cost the US millions. Russia should be billed!

    “When I was 16, I saw six people die horribly in an accident. I walked home holding on to walls and trees. It took me months to begin to function again. So I don’t drive. But whether I drive or not is irrelevant. The automobile is the most dangerous weapon in our society — cars kill more than wars do. More than 50,000 people will die this year because of them and nobody seems to notice.” Ray Bradbury

    Snowden is like a car saleman who takes a hammer to the cars to save lives and then wants a commission in crime. That’s life. Trump want to silence the lambs.

  2. frank
    June 7, 2017 at 15:32

    He visits Putin in fact he trained Putin

  3. Ian Hague
    June 7, 2017 at 12:46

    Kushner was not a government official when he made this request to create this “backchannel”, which is highly inappropriate. Also, asking to use the Russian SCIF in order to do it is more than inappropriate. It is highly suspicious.

    Furthermore, Russia has nothing to offer the US in trade for lifting sanctions, which begs the question of what they would be discussing on this channel. Promises to “help out” in the battle against terrorism are believable only to naifs like Kushner and his father in law, especially if they are accompanied by dollops of Vneshekonombank capital into Jared’s doubtful real estate projects.

    If that is the reason why Jared wanted access to the Russian channel, it is certainly a criminal matter unrelated to foreign policy.

  4. Stiv
    June 6, 2017 at 13:20

    Odd that the author would use Kissinger as a yardstick in measuring diplomatic measures. The same guy who, many believe, should have been held accountable as a war criminal.

    The Trump “organization” continues to be inept at maneuvering into a governing operation. The dysfunction starts at the top but infests his staff and cabinet. Politicians will say over-the-top things because…well, they’re politicians. I’m 100% behind the investigations despite some cringe worthy moments. This McCarthyism” BS is just the other side of the coin. Call it what you must but I don’t buy the notion that investigation=”McCarthyism”. If you want to rail against politicians…well, Parry has you beat. Over and over and over again.. ;>/

  5. Sleepless In Mars
    June 6, 2017 at 06:09

    A guy at the Post just leaked that Bob Miller at OCB has the silver bullet on the Russian case. It’s not in the paper yet. Wait for more leaks because we’re short of leads. Use silver.

  6. H. Beazley
    June 4, 2017 at 21:02

    Lest we forget, JFK set up back channels with both Russia and Cuba to try to bring an end to Cold War tensions.(JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass) By doing so he prevented a nuclear war in 1962 but his refusal to invade Cuba and his overtures to end the Vietnam War got him killed by the Deep State. (Peter Dale Scott) I am certainly no fan of Trump’s domestic agenda but we are not at war with Russia currently and I see nothing treasonous in talking to Putin. His is the country now surrounded by NATO forces with guns pointed at his borders. This whole “Russiagate” scandal is a red herring propagated by the War Machine to continue the aggression of the American Empire to exploit the natural resources of foreign lands for the profits of American businesses and banks. Let us now turn our complete attention to fighting Trump’s harmful agenda and save some semblance of a democracy here at home.

  7. backwardsevolution
    June 4, 2017 at 20:26

    Gareth Porter – thanks for the really good article!

  8. ranney
    June 4, 2017 at 18:10

    Backwards evolution, I read the satirical article you posted and I LOVED it! Ramin Mazaheri (author) is now one of my favorite writers, and I’m going to look for more. I’m also forwarding this hilarious and dead-on article to others.
    Thank you for posting the link. Got any more that are this funny?

    • backwardsevolution
      June 4, 2017 at 20:01

      ranny – that was a funny article, wasn’t it? I got a good chuckle out of it.

      If you go down to the “Comments” section at the bottom of the Ramin Mazaheri article, you will see that he posts two other articles that he wrote (his is the second comment). I haven’t read them, but you might want to check them out.

      Thanks, ranny. Let us know if the others are as good.

  9. Realist
    June 4, 2017 at 16:14

    As matters stand now, Megyn Kelly may be Trump’s best opportunity for a backchannel to Putin. She reportedly hit it off famously with “the New Hitler” in an ongoing two-day visit to the Kremlin. How would that be for irony.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 4, 2017 at 16:51

      Realist – that would be very ironical. Putin told Kelly:

      “‘Hackers can be anywhere,’ the Russian leader told NBC News’ Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.

      ‘They can be in Russia, in Asia… even in America, Latin America. There can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia.

      ‘Can you imagine something like that? In the midst of a political battle. By some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia. ‘Could you imagine something like that? I can.’

      The idea that the hacking had reportedly been carried out from Russian IP addresses which constituted meaningful evidence of anything was absurd, he said.

      ‘Where are the finger prints? IP addresses can be faked. Do you know how many specialists there are who can make it look as if your children sent something from your home IP address? They can fake anything and then accuse anyone. It’s not evidence.’

      Putin, who is keen to repair battered US-Russia relations and is expected to meet Trump for the first time at the G20 in Hamburg in July, said Trump had simply run a better campaign and better connected with voters than Clinton. He said her supporters were now trying to blame Russia for their failure.”

  10. backwardsevolution
    June 4, 2017 at 16:03

    May 27, 2017 article entitled “JFK’s Russian Conspiracy”:

    “On a day in early December, one of Moscow’s agents in the United States, working undercover as a journalist for Izvestia, reported a private meeting with the president-elect’s “closest adviser.” The adviser, who met privately with the Russian spy, was frank and hopeful about a significant improvement in relations from the previous administration. He “stressed that was not merely expressing his personal opinion but the position of the future president.” The two men met alone, and there was no American record made of the encounter.

    This is not a report about Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whose activities during the transition are now being investigated. Nor it is about Jared Kushner, who, the Washington Post reported on Friday, approached Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last December to propose a secret communications channel. The meeting described above took place in 1960, and the “close adviser” was the incoming president’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy. It is not unusual for the Russians to want to establish contacts with an incoming presidential administration, especially when there is tension between the two countries. It is also not unusual for an American administration to use back channels to probe the intentions of adversarial powers.

    But December 1960 was not December 2016. The RFK meeting likely came at the request of the Russians, not the Americans. It was not held in secret—it was noted on RFK’s telephone log. And Robert Kennedy, despite general encouraging words, made no promises, suggested no follow-up, and was in no way working against the outgoing Eisenhower administration. The Russians were smart in focusing attention on the president-elect’s brother. He would eventually be involved in historic back channel activity, but well after the inauguration. And all these years later, such communications have been revealed as a canny and patriotic initiative by the Kennedy administration. […]

    After the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs in April, however, coupled with Kennedy’s deep concern about the stability of the Southeast Asian country of Laos in the face of a Soviet-backed insurgency, the Kennedy brothers decided to explore the Russian love for secret back channels. Starting in late May 1961, Robert would meet at least 35 times—an extraordinary number—over the next 19 months with a Soviet intelligence officer named Georgi Bolshakov (of the military intelligence service, then as now called the GRU) to voice his brother’s hope for a lessening of tensions between the superpowers. Unsurprisingly, the press and public knew nothing about these meetings. But Kennedy also kept most of them a secret from the rest of his administration. National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy would not know the extent of these meetings until three decades later.”

  11. Jerry
    June 4, 2017 at 16:02

    I don’t see how illegal acts by Nixon and Kissinger make a repeat of such activity legal, or even OK.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 4, 2017 at 16:13

      Jerry – I don’t think it is illegal. Alan Dershowitz agreed that it is not illegal. And sometimes these informal meetings can go a long way to reducing tensions and preventing nasty little things like nuclear war, especially when you have an intelligence community and a war machine who want nothing more than just that.

      “What we now know from these efforts is that John F. Kennedy was not only far less hawkish than his public rhetoric, but he was far less hawkish than the American people. He was certainly anti-communist and mistrusted pro-Kremlin revolutionaries, but he believed, as he would reveal publicly in his American University address in June 1963, that Americans had an irrational fear of Russians and that both peoples shared an aversion to nuclear war. It would take public acclaim of his leadership after the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 for Kennedy to feel he had the political capital to tell the American people what they were not prepared to hear before. But long before then, the historical record now shows, he was willing to let the Soviets know his private views and explore a possible détente to lower the level of nuclear danger, while holding firm to American global security obligations.”

      • Realist
        June 4, 2017 at 16:40

        How could it be illegal? Show me any constraints under the constitution on free speech by the president, even with regard to foreign affairs which is his exclusive province under that document. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Lucifer himself as an interlocutor if it could prevent nuclear war. Where have the people scurried off to, who proclaimed that Dubya had plenipotent powers as the ultimate “unitary executive?” You know, the “conservative” political philosophers who said that, by definition, if a president divulges state secrets they are spontaneously declassified. The ones who not only gave lip service to Richard Nixon’s opinion that, “if the president does it, it’s not illegal,” but gave carte blanche to Dubya to redraw the map of the Middle East in an exercise of raw power that would have shocked Nixon. What’s their game these days? Not exactly a robust defense of Mr. Trump by his own party using its own traditional rhetoric, which suggests to me that they too wanted Hillary and all the horror that implies. They have been acting more like her ally than defenders of the constitution and presidential powers under it.

        • backwardsevolution
          June 4, 2017 at 16:57

          Realist – “…which suggests to me that they too wanted Hillary and all the horror that implies.” Yep, his own party is working against him too. The insiders, even in his own party, have been given strict orders not to embrace this outsider, Trump. Why, if they embraced him, things could change, and we wouldn’t want that, not with everything being so great as it is!

    • Gregory Herr
      June 4, 2017 at 19:11

      I don’t mean to confuse the issue, and I don’t know specifically what you think Nixon/Kissinger did illegally, but it may be helpful to distinguish normal and necessary backchannel lines of diplomacy after elections from such things as the Nixon campaign subverting Johnson and peace talks by offering “a better deal” if elected, and the Reagan/Bush team subverting Carter on hostage release negotiations.
      If the outlines for a peaceful withdrawal from Vietnam had been established by Nov. 1968, I don’t know whether or not that would have resulted in a Humphrey election over Nixon (And the ensuing record of the Nixon Administration in Southeast Asia speaks for itself in giving the lie to any good intention). And the same thing goes for the Carter-Reagan scenario. Pre-election “subversions” such as these are completely different from normal and necessary post-election transitions.

  12. backwardsevolution
    June 4, 2017 at 15:52

    Hey, the Russians are just born this way!

    June 3, 2017 article entitled “Clapper says Russians ‘genetically driven’ to be untrustworthy — and no one even blinks”:

    “The former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper thinks Russians have some sort of biological predilection to be an untrustworthy bunch. I wish I was making that up, but sadly, I’m not.
    Clapper said it during last Sunday’s episode of Meet The Press on NBC, during a response to a question about Jared Kushner’s ties to Moscow. The Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever” — was the exact quote.

    There’s great irony in that comment by Clapper, with his own record of perjury, implying that an entire ethnicity can’t be trusted. So, of course, widespread outrage followed the blatantly xenophobic comment.

    Nah, I’m only joking. No one actually noticed or cared. Chuck Todd, the interviewer, let the comment slide without even acknowledging that Clapper had said something untoward.”

    • Realist
      June 4, 2017 at 16:52

      With so many now nominated to be the “New Hitler,” Clapper was just staking out his turf as the “New Himmler,” or perhaps the “New Mengele.” “Biology is destiny,” will forever be beside Clapper’s name in the history books as part of his promotion of the “New American Values.”

  13. backwardsevolution
    June 4, 2017 at 15:14
  14. backwardsevolution
    June 4, 2017 at 15:09

    Some more from the article:

    “Another thing Americans do: have an exit strategy. And what’s the exit strategy towards our 6 month love affair of hating Russians?

    There is none. So let’s just keep going despite all the problems, like Americans do.

    Please note: I will immediately notify my friends in the Deep State if anyone posts a comment below which discusses any possible exit strategy.

    Because how could we let Putin off the hook for meddling in US democracy? We have no proof after 6 months, despite having the best spy network and computer hackers in the world, but… all we need is more time! I’m sure of it! Rachel Maddow, my darling, I believe you!

    And Zbig’s daughter, poor Mika Brzezinski, I truly am sorry for her loss. There is nothing funny about losing your father.

    But I’m sure Mika will carry the torch and continue her father’s anti-Russian crusade, as she has done at MSNBC, where she is another impeccably credible journalist who got to where she is with no help at all from Daddy, who was a regular analyst on her show.

    And, like Rachel, Mika should be a role model for not just female journalists but serious thinkers everywhere: just look at this sexy photo shoot with Vanity Fair. What? I heard Marie Curie made similar photos in her lab involving Erlenmeyer flasks.

    The whole world knows that America can always rely on our impeccable mainstream media, which is so free from bias.

    Why, if we had a Russophobia problem The New York Times would have covered it by now, right? But they have written just 1 article which raised American “Russophobia” in the last 6 months, so we’re clearly fine!”

  15. backwardsevolution
    June 4, 2017 at 15:05

    There’s a funny article over at The Saker entitled “US progressives must demand 3.5 more years of Russophobia!”

    “There I was again, flying first class on my shareholders’ dime from New York to San Francisco, when I was deeply saddened to read about the death of Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter.

    For a moment I thought: “Surely I can find some anti-Putin articles to read rather than this one?” Those always make me so happy!

    But then I remembered that Zbig was a man after my own heart, because he was one of the West’s greatest Russophobes. Even the New York Times talked of his “rigid hatred of the Soviet Union”.

    Zbig ended the détente led by Nixon as Carter, not Reagan, restarted good, old-fashioned, American Russophobia: Selling the Soviets computers with bugs for industrial sabotage, the propaganda effort of the 1980 Olympic Boycott, the US grain embargo to try and starve the Russian people, the arming of the Taliban’s forerunners to destabilize a left-wing government in Afghanistan and thus unleashing Islamic terrorism on the world, etc.

    Just as American Democrats know for an undeniable fact that Jimmy Carter is our nation’s greatest living man of peace, I contend that Zbig’s anti-Russian stance makes him nearly as great a humanitarian, and certainly a model Democrat in 2017.

    And Zbig knew, as I and all good Democrats know, that the greatest fight of our generation is the fight against Vladimir Putin.

    Poverty, starvation, refugees, terrorism, climate change – everyone in America is realizing that if we can just get rid of Putin, everything else will surely fall into line. Surely!

    So I was pretty sad to read of Zbig’s passing, but that’s when it hit me: Just because he’s gone, it doesn’t mean we have to give up hating Russia!

    We’ve been hating Russia since November – more than 6 months now – and, frankly…it feels awesome!

    I don’t know how long it takes to make a habit permanent, so let’s all agree to lock in this Russophobia for at least 3.5 more years, possibly 7.5!

    It would be a fitting testament to a man whose prophetic Russophobia was misunderstood as “anti-communism”.

    Say it loud: It’s time for progressive Americans to unite behind hating Russians! Again!

    Let’s party like it’s 1979!”

  16. June 4, 2017 at 13:01

    The “least untruthful truth” is like Donald Rumsfeld’s “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”, that’s what we get from these shady characters who run this nation, their doublespeak. Don’t we have so many experts on Russia in this country, know all about it, despite not having lived there? Darrin an example.

  17. June 4, 2017 at 11:24

    Let’s face it, the media and our governments in the widest sense,simopy suck.

  18. Ol' Hippy
    June 4, 2017 at 11:01

    Smoke and mirrors. Washington is always smoke and mirrors, so much so they lose themselves in the dank atmosphere they create. Right now Russia is the “designated” enemy and the fact that most folks have no clue as to how the government works we see loads of nonsense spewed to vilify any and all dealings with Russia. Also don’t forget Trump pissed off the CIA before he tried to make peace, (after taking office) and they indeed can make life most difficult if they so desire. One last item: I smell lots and lots of sour grapes from the democrats, the sore losers that they are.

  19. June 4, 2017 at 09:51

    Russian dishonesty? Wow, Americans are so honest! So many great comments here, and a few showing this new Cold War propaganda is working with some Americans. Personally, I think of myself as a citizen of earth and not controlled by state propagandists. These old fossils of the Cold War era are leading us? Clapper goes on “Meet the Press” and claims “Russians are genetically dishonest”? Oh, he’s a geneticist! And Chuck Todd does not even call him on it? And SNL having ignoramus skits about backward Russia? America has literally regressed, sad to say, a tabloid nation, just when coordination with Russia ought to be undertaken on many fronts. And it’s not all on Trump, it was ripe for the rot it’s become.

    • D5-5
      June 4, 2017 at 11:13

      I suggest it’s Clapper genetically disposed to the lie, as with his remark from a couple of years back in seeking “the least untruthful truth.” This was his explanation having been caught lying, but he was doing the honorable thing as a public servant here with his “least untruthful truth.” Here is a primo example of political manipulation and distortion that violates the spirit of the agency he’s supposed to be serving. This man was also on board with a “moderate” assessment on the Russia smoke-blowing January 6–based on “intelligence” derived from the phony Crowdstrike maneuver by Hillary Clinton to find dirt on the Russians, and get attention off her back re DNC corruption and The Clinton Foundation. He now produces the brilliant notion that Russians are “genetically inclined” to be dishonest and hostile to the US. This man is a disgrace to public service.

    • Dave P.
      June 4, 2017 at 20:34

      Jessica, Your comment “It is not all on Trump, it was ripe for the rot it’s become” says it all. Whenever, I happen to see Clapper or Brennen on the Tube, it is like a glimpse of Evil Incarnate – something out of Alfred Hitchcock movies.

  20. June 4, 2017 at 09:37

    Hardlly surprising as the media ignored who The Plumbers were, and what they were up to!

  21. mike k
    June 4, 2017 at 08:05

    The more rocks we turn over, the more slimy players come to light. Why don’t we create a special counsel to investigate the entire US government? Because those who might do so are also part of the whole evil criminal mess themselves. Like Diogenes, we seek an honest man with scant results…..

    What makes each issue we try to correct seem so hopeless is that the whole system of our society and almost all the major players in it is fundamentally corrupt and broken. Nothing will really be fixed until we fix the fundamental flaws in ourselves and the system we have created. This is admittedly a big order, but nothing less will solve our escalating crisis. Time is getting very short to make these basic corrections, and the reason for pessimism is that it is doubtful in the extreme that we have what it takes to get this done before our whole house of cards collapses on us. Given that we (most of us) are unwilling to look honestly at the mess we are and the mess we have created, it seems very unlikely that we will act to save ourselves. Too bad, hubris plays out like that…….

    • Realist
      June 5, 2017 at 02:41

      Your explanation must be why our government supports the crooks in the Poroshenko regime over in Ukraine. Birds of a feather and all that. I hate to imagine why we support the jihadist headchoppers over duly elected secular governments throughout the Middle East.

  22. June 4, 2017 at 05:44

    Just a very very minor correction – Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, by Mr. Porter, is not “newly published.” Rather, it came out in 2014.

  23. Darrin Rychlak
    June 4, 2017 at 00:06

    I really can’t believe some of the trusting souls commenting on this article. Putin is a crime boss in a fledgling criminal oligarchical capitalist Russia. Trump has many professional ties with these crooks. The same way he had ties with American Mafia and known drug kingpins. This is a matter of public record. We are not disrespecting the Russian populace. We are questioning the criminal slant of the country’s leaders. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s get Richard Clarke’s view:

    As for what might have motivated Kushner and Flynn to propose a Kremlin back channel, Clarke admitted he was stumped — and cynical.

    “If this isn’t ignorance, and it certainly doesn’t look like just ignorance, why are they doing it? Why is there a Russian under every rock? Why is there a Russian involved in everything this administration has done and everything involved in the campaign?” he asked.

    “It begs the question: What’s the quid pro quo?” Clarke said. “Who is getting what out of this?”

    Or is Richard Clarke a democratic mole? Some of the hysterical posters on this site will attribute any malevolence to any oppositional point of view. The effete, incompetent democratic party is the nefarious overlord of all things Anti-Trump. Trump would not have been included in surveillance if he and his people weren’t in bed with Russian agents. Why is that so tough to understand? I don’t know. It’s like a willful ignorance of the Trump defenders.

    For christ’s sake, the guy is a 6 time bankrupt gameshow host with shady business ties and a history of pathological lying. What is so fricken hard for you people to believe that this incompetent, immoral slug took ANYONE’S help to grab the golden scepter?

    • Gregory Herr
      June 4, 2017 at 06:35

      And you think Putin (without citing evidence) is a shady character. Clarke is shady as hell:

        • Gregory Herr
          June 4, 2017 at 07:00

          Excerpted from above article:

          “…it is difficult to understand why the leading authority on counterterrorism in the US would be meeting and maintaining close personal relationships with the UAE friends of Bin Laden just two years before 9/11. This was three years after Bin Laden had first declared holy war against the United States,[12] and one year after his more recent such proclamation.[13]
          It is more difficult to understand why Clarke was personally behind the failure of two CIA attempts to kill or capture Bin Laden in 1999. The first of these occurred just a few days after Clarke’s visit to the UAE. The CIA obtained information that OBL was hunting with UAE royals in Afghanistan at the time, and President Clinton was asked for permission to attack the camp. Clarke voted down that plan, and others within the US government speculated that his ties to the UAE were behind his decision.[14]

          The next month, when the CIA had tracked Bin Laden’s whereabouts again and was prepared to take him out during another of the Afghanistan hunting trips, Richard Clarke took it upon himself to alert his UAE friends about the CIA monitoring their meetings with Bin Laden. Of course, the UAE royals tipped off Bin Laden and the US lost another opportunity to kill or capture its number one enemy.[15] Considering that CIA plans are top secret national security priorities, and that OBL was wanted for the bombings in East Africa, Clarke’s action should have been seen as treason…

          Somehow, Clarke’s two efforts to keep OBL from being captured or killed in 1999 slipped his mind when he testified to the 9/11 Commission. Apparently, these events were also not important enough for Clarke to mention when recently discussing the two “asshole” hijackers whose presence in the US he now says the CIA kept from him and the FBI.
          Whether he was protecting his UAE friends or not, Clarke failed to act on information about al Qaeda operatives living in the US, just one month before the meeting in Malaysia. After an al Qaeda “millennium plot” was said to be broken up in Jordan, Clarke authorized an investigation of one of the plotters, Khalil Deek, who lived in Anaheim, CA for most of the 1990s. The investigative team reported to Clarke and the NSC directly in December, 1999, stating that Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim. No action was taken by Clarke or the NSC.

          A few months later, in April 2000, Clarke was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that terrorists – “will come after our weakness, our Achilles Heel, which is largely here in the United States.” Although this was a bold statement, it was unfortunate that Clarke did not have time to track down and capture the terrorists that he knew were living and plotting in the US….

          Clarke currently works with his COG partner and former CIA Director, James Woolsey, at Paladin Capital, which has offices in New York and the UAE. Clarke is also the chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, where he is in partnership with many people who are making a fortune off the war on terror. Good Harbor Consulting has had an office in Abu Dhabi since 2008, and Clarke is known to have a “big footprint” in the UAE.”

    • Gregory Herr
      June 4, 2017 at 07:12

      So next time you want to write about “trusting souls” and “hysterical posters”, check a mirror.

      • CitizenOne
        June 4, 2017 at 20:39

        Good reply. I did not find any evidence of a rational person in that post. It is odd that those who accuse others are so often guilty of the same crime. Hence the term it takes one to know one. Or as you simply stated – check a mirror.

        I get it that you can pick at and hate anyone for any reason but that is not what made this country great.

        I once heard someone speak of public heroes who had dark sides. FDR had a mistress. Many people have very bad personal lives who enter public service. There is no doubt that a lot of them are cheating on their spouses, abusing substances, whatever. It depends on how you look at them. What facets you want to emphasize.

        I get it. A lot of people hate Trump and what he is doing is in some cases is to say the least advantaging the advantaged and abandoning the abandoned but that is the world he comes from and we chose to elect him so shame on us too if we really thought it wasn’t going to be all about The Donald.

        But to answer the question asked by the poster

        “For christ’s sake, the guy is a 6 time bankrupt gameshow host with shady business ties and a history of pathological lying. What is so fricken hard for you people to believe that this incompetent, immoral slug took ANYONE’S help to grab the golden scepter?”

        It is difficult if there is no actual evidence. You would make a very bad jurist. I sure hope nobody gets stuck with you in a trial.

    • D5-5
      June 4, 2017 at 11:03

      This comment by Darrin strikes me as: comes in, rants and raves with ad hominem at commenters, throws out claims and doesn’t back them up. Ad hominem attacks with anger = automatic red flag. Regard critically for the evidence.

      Seen this many times, never seen Darrin before, has he read CN at all? not likely. Plus offers simplistic reasoning with a lot of anger: Putin is Russian, Russian oligarchs are Russian = one and the same. Putin is a criminal as with the demonizing he’s “thug/killer/nasty piece of work.” Where is the evidence for this? Go right ahead, Darrin, lay it on us–your “proof” of what you’re raving about.

      Apparently the trolls coming to CN are outraged that anybody could have a different view and analysis from the orthodox propaganda being washed over them by the hour from mainstream news sources.

    • Alice Caroll
      June 15, 2017 at 23:16

      Darrin, I’m with you. Since we have no tax returns from the Pres. we have to go with what we do have. Trump was involved with trying to build a Trump Hotel in Moscow and had ties with Russian banks and oligarchs/mafioso’s(?) to get funding for this project and other projects. (After 6 bankruptcies he was unable to get loans from Western banks). This is what the whole thing is about! Simple. Does he owe money? If so, who is it to? The fact that he is evasive about his tax returns and questions about his ties to Russian oligarchs makes it seem as if he is hiding something bad. So. . . come clean Mr. President! Put your tax returns out into public view and get this put behind you. It would be over in a day!

  24. mild-ly - facetious
    June 3, 2017 at 21:24

    Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

    By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

    18 November 2006
    Region: Middle East & North Africa
    Theme: US NATO War Agenda

    This article first published by GR in November 2006 is of particular relevance to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Washington’s strategy consists in breaking up Syria and Iraq.

    * * *

    “Hegemony is as old as Mankind…” -Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

    The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

    This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

    This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

    The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.

    New Middle East Map

    Secretary Condoleezza Rice stated during a press conference that “[w]hat we’re seeing here [in regards to the destruction of Lebanon and the Israeli attacks on Lebanon], in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we [meaning the United States] have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.”1 Secretary Rice was immediately criticized for her statements both within Lebanon and internationally for expressing indifference to the suffering of an entire nation, which was being bombed indiscriminately by the Israeli Air Force.

    The Anglo-American Military Roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech on the “New Middle East” had set the stage. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon –which had been fully endorsed by Washington and London– have further compromised and validated the existence of the geo-strategic objectives of the United States, Britain, and Israel. According to Professor Mark Levine the “neo-liberal globalizers and neo-conservatives, and ultimately the Bush Administration, would latch on to creative destruction as a way of describing the process by which they hoped to create their new world orders,” and that “creative destruction [in] the United States was, in the words of neo-conservative philosopher and Bush adviser Michael Ledeen, ‘an awesome revolutionary force’ for (…) creative destruction…”2

  25. mild-ly - facetious
    June 3, 2017 at 20:49

    Thank you for for this Gareth Porter. Yours is a needed voice for truth and realism.

  26. Michael Locklear
    June 3, 2017 at 20:27

    The Kissinger backchannel to N!XON – in October ’68 – is The (Real^)B!G $tory. And most relevant analogy….

  27. Sleepless In Mars
    June 3, 2017 at 19:54

    “Some cultures are prosperous; some are not. Some value rational discourse and the scientific method; some do not. Some encourage freedom of expression, and some discourage it. The only thing they have in common is that if they do not propagate, they will be swallowed up by others. All they have built up will be torn down; all they have accomplished will be forgotten; all they have learned and written will be scattered to the wind. In the old days it was easy to remember this because of the constant necessity of border defence. Nowadays, it is all too easily forgotten.
    “New Atlantis, like many tribes, propagates itself largely through education. That is the raison d’être of this Academy.”

    “Miss Matheson’s philosophy of education”

    It’s a mission impossible situation and Russia is not a prosperous culture. It thrives on dishonesty and has uses for people like Snowden who can be used as puppets to expand the puppet state. It’s New Atlantis or bust.

    • June 4, 2017 at 05:52

      and let’s just add on:



      I met a traveller from an antique land,
      Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
      And on the pedestal, these words appear:
      My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
      Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

      • F. G. Sanford
        June 4, 2017 at 09:08

        I found a poem penned by one long dead.?
        His words –“Look upon my Works, ye Mighty and despair!”?
        Said in a mocking….or to execrate the dread,?
        Half hidden though the sands of time declare,
        ?“No force of God or man will profit in my stead.”
        ?The Tyrants works are ruins now, to some they matter not.?
        His legacy has ceased to fade and while he reigned,?
        His whim gave substance to the merest thing he thought.?
        “Privately, you’ll envy me and all that you’ve disdained,
        ?For what has been will always be and cannot be forgot”.?
        “Look upon my Works, ye Fools, and know I saw your flaws!”?
        He beckons other architects who’d choose his path to fame.?
        Secrets paved the way that trod King Ozymandias,
        ?His footprints faded in the sand where men had written laws.
        -F. G. Sanford

        A couple of us beat you to it on May 29, but it’s still relevant.

  28. Bill
    June 3, 2017 at 18:25

    It’s quite disturbing that many Democrats seem to think that the President needs to be monitored at all times by the US intelligence services.

    • Realist
      June 5, 2017 at 02:32

      It’s an outrageous idea that subordinates the presidency to a corps of secret police agencies. It’s the hallmark of a police state.

  29. Pft
    June 3, 2017 at 18:11

    Got to remind you all that Nixon got impeached. The Deep State orchestrated the break in and both Deep Throat and Woodward were Deep State operatives, and the Deep State controlled national MSM played their part as well. Part of that was due to his Soviet strategy but also China and his attempt to weaken the Intelligence communities powers and ticking off the right with the EPA and attempt to get universal health care for the people.

    Trump may or may not have been serious about improving relations with Russia, who can say with this guy, but his motivation , unlike Nixons and Kissingers, was likely personal gain

    • Sam F
      June 3, 2017 at 19:36

      See Woodward’s The War Within exposing the Hillary/Obama capitulation to the NSC/JCS. It seems unlikely that he was with intel agencies.

  30. June 3, 2017 at 16:47

    I believe the system has become totally corrupted. The deadly duo: The money changers and the war criminals are producers of death and destruction world wide. Therefore I believe we need present day Nuremberg trials and world wide arrests of past and present villains that have held and hold power, and supported all the illegal wars….
    [much more info at link below]

  31. June 3, 2017 at 16:47

    Putin stole the election is a lie.
    Trump isba fascist.
    He had Russian mafia ties.
    Russian oligarchs send him money because no one else will. Rex bought the State job to drill in the Arctic.
    It’s not just the dnc spook shit.
    Hrc is a war crimnal and should rot in jail gor Ukraine Lybia Syria with McCain and Barry

  32. ranney
    June 3, 2017 at 16:45

    Cal and Andrew both seem to be uninterested in the whole story. To quote Orwell (my favorite quote) “Omission is the most powerful form of lie”. Most Americans either never knew the whole story or have forgotten it. Consortium News continues to try to bring some historical information and balance to today’s news. Did Nixon and Kennedy have back channels to Russia? Yes, and they were needed. Do liberals hate Nixon and Kissinger and love John and Bobby? Yes, for the most part. But that is immaterial, what is germane is that back channels are some times needed and serve a good purpose. That information is left out of our MSM and needs to be there. Thank you Consortium for continuing to provide even handed coverage.

  33. June 3, 2017 at 16:40

    While this is true and necessary, completely, we have to add his/their general corruption, Russian mafia nyc-Dutch documentary connection and Exxon Arctic angles. Blurred into some real stuff too. Deep state and DNC lying asses off but these other things are now obvious connecting to Emolients clause and organised crime. These also effect hrc biden etc but they aren’t the pres now

    • Anon
      June 3, 2017 at 19:28

      Emoluments. Emollients are lotion ingredients.

      • mild-ly - facetious
        June 3, 2017 at 20:55

        yeah, used by closet fudge loafers…

  34. Cal Lash
    June 3, 2017 at 16:37

    Knomore, been hanging with Steve Bannon?
    Tedesky, good post thanks for the reminder.

  35. Michael K Rohde
    June 3, 2017 at 15:01

    As much as I dislike and mistrust his Orangeness I have to agree with the comment that what Kushner and Trump’s other insiders were doing after they won the election was their jobs when the contacted Russia. Obama’s people claiming there is something nefarious or even illegal about those contacts are BS. Flynn blew and needed to go because he lied about it and got caught which is D.C.’s biggest sin, not the lie, the getting caught. I suspect I wouldn’t like Kushner or Flynn anymore than Orange head but labeling them traitors for doing what every other administration has done when they won the election is not only unfair, it is worthy of Roy Cohn and the Unamerican Activities Committee of the 50’s. That the major media outlets are taking part in the witch hunt is what really scares me, because it looks like a CIA regime change operation in Guatamala more than the heroic American Free Press we are raised to love and honor. When NYT and the Washington Post are peddling this drivel it sounds like they are acting in concert with those Neo-Cons that led us to war in Iraq II rather than behaving like the guardians of Democracy our First Amendment was written to protect. Kissinger was a criminal during his term in office that escaped with his intricate knowledge of our national defense which he leveraged for money all over the globe since Nixon resigned. And he’s still at it. These are not patriots fighting to protect our country. They are opportunists making a quick buck at our expense against our national interests. When are we going to take away their access to this media/government machine that they are using to get rich and to effect their own private agenda?

  36. Joe Tedesky
    June 3, 2017 at 14:45
    • Dave P.
      June 3, 2017 at 19:38

      Read Mike Witney’s article in today’s Counterpunch. it sheds lot of light this “Russiagate” scam being perpetuated in U.S. for some time now.

      It is mind boggling to think what these characters – Obama, Clintons, Brennen, Clapper, Rice, and the rest of the gang had been up to. Obama is not innocent. He is a part of it. It hurts when I think of Obama, who turned out to be the most clever Conman. We worked so hard in 2008, in his election campaign. He was, and is a toady of the Wall Street, of the Rich and Powerful. I think, he was very close to Brennen.

      He is not done yet. He is still young, and will be around for many years. He was with Merkel, a week ago – plotting. It tells something about Merkel.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 4, 2017 at 02:25

        I hear ya Dave, and I don’t have any good answers for you. What ills America is bigger than anyone person, as you know, and placing blame…well there are so many unsavory D.C. Creatures that it would be far easier to say who isn’t among that group. This is why this fight going on between Trump and the CIA/MSM/Hillary/Bush isn’t our fight, it’s the battle between the elites.

        • Dave P.
          June 4, 2017 at 03:50

          Joe, I understand it, it is not only Obama. However, he was President, and a very valuable tool in the hands of Ruling Establishment for a long time to come. He is no small fish.

          Look what he did as President: Besides destruction of Libya, and Syria, Yemen, coup and regime change in Ukraine, and Honduras, and all that, he established scores of new bases in Africa, his contribution to Africa for his African heritage. As we all know, he is very slick, a very smart P.R. man. Bill Clinton,and now him – very loyal operatives to implement the neocon, neoliberal agenda of World Dominance by all means.

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 4, 2017 at 10:13

            Let the blame go to where it came. Yes, Obama is far from innocent to where we find ourselves today. Although, especially after watching such a strong vocally opinionated Trump get undermined by the swamp creatures from down below, it leaves me to wonder who really does run our country.

            I always thought that if Ron Paul were to win the presidency, that if his power was negated by the Deep State, that this would be strong evidence that such a under state is running the show. Now, with Trump in the Oval Office we are seeing this powerful force go to work against Trump’s legitimacy at every turn.

            As far as Russia goes, Trump is a vehicle towards bringing down Vladimir Putin. Putin interfered with John Brennen in Syria, and for that Putin is the target of revenge. Besides that, what Putin did to Russia’s robber baron oligarchs is legendary, and with this Putin proves a threat to all who are considered part of the 1% elite.

      • Realist
        June 4, 2017 at 16:06

        Yes, exactly what Obama may be up to is VERY curious. In the past, all former presidents essentially withdrew from public life after their term was complete. They didn’t make commentary on their successor and they didn’t engage in partisan politics. Mostly they showed up for state funerals and the like. Is Obama privy to a plan to overthrow our entire present system if and when Trump is impeached? Does some inside group have plans to restore Obama to power? I surely hope not, and that his public behavior is just another example of the enormous ego and arrogance being noted about the man in comprehensive biographies that are already coming out.

        • CitizenOne
          June 4, 2017 at 19:41

          Well I’m gonna have to throw a flag on the statement, “all former presidents essentially withdrew from public life after their term was complete. They didn’t make commentary on their successor and they didn’t engage in partisan politics.”

          This is not exactly true. Jimmy Carter has remained a voice with a political viewpoint even today speaking out against the oligarchy. Although not officially the President, Dick Cheney certainly didn’t go away. He was a regular on the news shows warning what would happen if we abandoned Iraq etc.

          It is getting more popular. Perhaps Obama can have his own talk show or we could have a reality TV series where all the former presidents get to vie for power on a remote island.

          Actually, that does sound kind of appealing.

          • Realist
            June 5, 2017 at 02:28

            I would not agree that Carter ever specifically went after Reagan or Bush Sr. though they refuted his policies big time. He did engage in charitable works, leading by example rather than condemnation. The only controversial thing he did that was considered overtly “political” was to characterize Israel as an apartheid state. Cheney was not the president, he was and remains a warmongering loose canon like McCain, so I don’t count him as breaking any ex-presidential protocol. Al Gore pushed a limited agenda, writing books and making movies on climate change, but did not lead any organized movement against Dubya’s ill-conceived policies, not even the warmongering. Bush Jr. notably refrained from bashing Obama when he might have. Being a sore loser was frowned upon and avoided except by Hillary and Obama, who have practically set up a government in exile.

      • Brad Owen
        June 5, 2017 at 07:36

        Good article. I like Whitney. Just one more point, from a different perspective: the Synarchy Movement for Empire(SME) long-range plans are to destroy USA, Russian Federation, and the People’s Republic of China, the 3 Great-Power Republics, preferably by getting them to destroy each other. Our best move would be to form in strong alliance WITH Russia and China, and get on with the Belt & Road Initiative, and forsake NATO, and the Trans-Atlantic Community (euphemism for the Synarchists’ Holy Roman Empire project). This was the original objective of WWII( to be done by the combined forces of German, British, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese Empires), but Hitler didn’t play along, not wishing to destroy his country in taking on Russia alone, just to have Britain lead the pack of Synarchists (by the Halifax faction). He struck West first. French-via-Vichy were only half on board, Spanish said no-thanks, the Civil War was enough for them, the Dutch were occupied so their Imperial forces joined with the Allies, The Portuguese looked at the collapsed plans and bowed out, the Italians stayed on board, the Japanese stayed on board. We and Russia were allies once again AS ALWAYS, since Catherine the Great.

  37. Peter Loeb
    June 3, 2017 at 14:24


    Thanks as always to Gareth Porter.

    Unfortunately for some, he makes sense.

    Without in any way way approving of Donald Trump or Richard Nixon or Henry
    Kissinger, I think it is entirely unrealistic to expect that two great nations should
    not try to find out what the other is doing. That should be a given.

    And given this basis, the most productive course of action is to try to
    accomplish as much as you can.

    DIGRESSION: I might compare it to advocacy for one cause or another,
    If one’s goal is to change each and every person with a vote to your
    way of thinking on every issue, you will fail. My personal (not public)
    motto in advocacy was: “I want a no(yes) vote!” Which is to say,
    I wasn’t trying to make angels.

    An old blues refrain goes:

    “If you are looking for the perfect woman, you will die a lonely man.”
    (Singer: Joe Louis Armstrong)

    In short, a great and most courageous article.

    —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Peter Loeb
      June 4, 2017 at 07:00


      Singer: JOE LOUIS WALKER

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    June 3, 2017 at 13:39

    Kissinger as an example to legitimize Trump; who the heck you trying to fool.
    Kissinger is a war and humanity crime and both he and Nixon should of been tried for treason for making agreementd with N
    Vietnam that continued war until after Nixon elected.
    Revisionist history, keep up the propaganda!

    • Rob Roy
      June 3, 2017 at 22:34

      You are missing the point. Kissinger was indeed a war criminal as has been every president and sec. of state since. That’s not the issue which is that everyone back-channels, always have. In this case, being friends with Russia is a good thing, but the RNC and DNC are furious that our “enemy” might be seen as otherwise.

    • CitizenOne
      June 4, 2017 at 21:21

      Dear Hide Behind,

      You miss the point. The issue was Kissinger’s use of a backchannel with Russia. Also, you failed to criticize Kissinger for that (I get that you missed the point) which is the point of the current Kushner witch hunt. If it’s Okay for others even people like Kissinger who was never criticized ever never never ever never ever never for his backchannel with Russia then why the hype over Kushner’s backchannel,

      You see, the situation is that we are perched atop of a huge stockpile of intercontinental ballistic missiles on both sides armed with many thousands of megatons of destructive power which we have scant little time to reflect on if we receive some intelligence that say Russia has launched an attack and we need to decide rather quickly whether or not we need to end the world as we know it or whether we would be making a huge mistake of Romeo and Juliet for the entire planet. So a backchannel of open communication at the highest levels to allow leaders to communicate directly seems appropriate.

      Right now there are Russian submarines off our coast equipped with sub sea launched cruise missiles which can fly, undetected by radar, just above the surface of the Ocean and are virtually impossible to stop which carry atomic bombs many times more powerful than ever seen before. The flight time is estimated to be three to five minutes from sub sea launch to boom time over Washington. Anti ballistic missile defenses are useless despite the current hype about our anti ICBM interception capability. It is all a fig leaf. We are basically defenseless against these weapons.

      Do you now think that despite your concerns over what Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon might have done which was wrong way back in the Vietnam War which had nothing to do with backchannels established by Kissinger or Kushner, that backchannels may be ultimately necessary given the state of our military stance with Russia and Russia’s military stance against the USA to prevent a nuclear war?

    • Beard681
      June 8, 2017 at 17:43

      It wasn’t Kissinger, but a republican official Anna Chen Chennault (married to ww2 hero of Flying Tigers fame) that had a back channel to the S.Vietnam President and had him stall the negotiations. The North Vietnamese weren’t involved. The INTERESTING piece of history was that LBJ and Hoover had her phones illegally (i.e. w/o warrant) tapped and discovered the whole affair before hand. They were afraid to go public because they were in obvious violation of the law and never even told Humphrey about it. Hoover kept the info in his private file no doubt which is one of the reasons he stayed FBI Director up until his death.

      The more things change the more they stay the same…

  39. mike k
    June 3, 2017 at 12:42

    The anti-Trump forces are desperately grasping at straws as the completely evidence-free hearings approach. The hunters have yet to come up with a real witch to pillory. Only the ignorant public could put any credibility in this farce they are enacting. Of course that is who they are playing all this to.

    • evelync
      June 3, 2017 at 13:52

      To my, admittedly naive and underinformed, mind, (and as a Bernie supporter NOT a Trump fan) I wonder whether the crime that set off the witch hunt was “stealing” the election from our Queen of Hearts/Yosemite Sam/Keystone Cop Secretary of State Clinton.

      It was far too great an embarrassment for our “best qualified”, XX chromosomed, standard bearer wannabe to tolerate.

      Given the grave insights in Ray McGovern’s piece today:
      it seems like the real threats to what national security should really mean- preserving the ideals and principles of the Constitution and keeping the country safe from harm. The “patriotic duty” of those who played a role in the torture regime and covering up their past is suspect.

      And they’re doing it on our tax dollars.

  40. Knomore
    June 3, 2017 at 12:39

    What’s so sad about the “old guard” running this country is that they’re like so many rats running on a treadmill. Not one creative thought enters their heads… they spout the same garbage day after day, month after month, year after year — We’re back in the 1950’s reliving the Russian scare that had us in a so-called Cold War for most of the latter part of the 20th century. When it ended, no one had the good sense to ask: What the hell was that all about?

    The only thing that will save us — and it’s the slimmest chance imaginable — is a complete governmental make-over, what intelligent people call a revolution. Washington is in its death throes, has been there for a century or more starting with the Fed and the banker heist of the early 20th century. Rigor mortis set in long ago and all we’re doing is letting the same clowns who created this mess dance around the corpse and pretend to make intelligible pronouncements regarding the problems we face and our future. Nonsense — all of it.

    • Sam F
      June 3, 2017 at 19:23

      Yes, there is almost nothing left of democracy, with oligarchy corruption in all three branches of federal government and the mass media. We no longer have rational policymaking institutions, but instead have classical tyrants, creating nonexistent foreign threats to pose falsely as protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty.

      Restoring democracy is possible in principle, but requires amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, exclusion of all treaties that enable foreign wars by the executive, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and better regulation of business in the public interest. We cannot do any of that because those tools of democracy are already controlled by oligarchy.

      We cannot stop the wars, establish a humanitarian democracy, nor achieve benefits for the people, until the oligarchy is deposed; this is the greatest problem of civilization. Apart from the revolutions of the largest present democracies (US and India), where the colonial power was small and remote, every solution in history has involved external conquest (e.g. Rome) or violent revolution (e.g. Russia, China, and Cuba). Unfortunately the US is now in the latter category. We may seek and hope for some new solution, but we must see and resolve that whatever we do to restore democracy is the only historical meaning of our lives.

      • D5-5
        June 3, 2017 at 21:19

        Thank you Sam F for this lucid appraisal. A serious public awakening would of course be very helpful toward avoiding violence. A new third party, with young, brilliant leadership, if it exists, and I have confidence it does, would help us move forward from where we are at this time. I believe the time for third party is NOW, if ever there was one.

      • CitizenOne
        June 4, 2017 at 17:58

        The only historical meanings of our lives will be future generations digging up old concrete sidewalks and looking at all the un-melted shadows in the shapes of human beings. It will be like digging up Pompeii and looking at all the ash piles shaped like people. But it won’t be a natural event which caused it. It will be the propagandists who are trying to convince us that Russia is the reason for all our troubles backed by the powerful military industry which has an insatiable beast craving ever more cash for ever more weapons systems. All they need to get all that cash is to convince us of is that there is a need for all of it.

        People forget what the old Cold War was. It was literally M.A.D. Mutual Assured Destruction. Everybody dies at the end.

        Do we realize we are playing with fire? Tell the media to stuff it about fake Russia gate and tell Comey to report to jail for rigging the election rather as the star witness in the hunt for the people who rigged the election.

      • CitizenOne
        June 4, 2017 at 21:51


        The Paris accord was what always happens with treaties or any “best practices” or in this case “best promises” summit style meeting. What inevitably happens is that the group can only agree on the lowest common denominator between them all and that becomes the new low bar. It accomplishes nothing. Good riddance.

        What Donald Trump has done is kick individual contributors in the ass and say Uncle Sam ain’t here to regulate it, but are you in it ti win it? They will either see their fate or opportunity and the rest will be history. Thank goodness we cannot stop progress. Like a game of space invaders. Always an advancing threat and always a solution. However we are bucking the second law here with CO2. There are only energy intensive ways of dealing with it. Fortunately, the Sun will still be bathing the Planet in abundant energy for several more billion years. Entropy be damned, we have unlimited power to control CO2. But the solution will absolutely not be fossil based. That cheap dirty energy source is history and we need to start using our imagination and our heads to come up with the next level.

      • Brad Owen
        June 5, 2017 at 04:52

        Yes the planned destruction of the U.S. Has been in the works since The unforgivable sin of 1776 against the established “natural order”. The opposition to 1776 came eventually to call themselves Synarchaists, and their activity the Synarchist Movement for Empire (SME). They are seriously bad news, making sure future revolutions were poisoned with terror and tyranny. They hatched the communist movement towards this end, hatching the fascist and NAZI movements as the strong antidote to communism. They despise republicanism as a heresy against the “natural order. I get this info from EIR website search box. I typed in “return of the Monarchs” and “Synarchy against America”.

  41. D5-5
    June 3, 2017 at 12:32

    Indications continue that the intelligence agencies are pushing Russia conspiracy with a “could have-maybe-doesn’t sound good to me” kind of reasoning based on a) attacking the current administration’s deviation from orthodox Russia antagonism and b) covering up the DNC conspiracy of a year ago. Meanwhile, corruption in the DNC and Clinton is ignored.

    Here is an interesting, recent link to the DNC corruption.

    Reddit dot com (May 31, 2017 update) under key words “I’ve found evidence that the DNC fabricated the Russia conspiracy all the way in June, 2016” contains a very interesting timeline as well as aspersions on DNC complicity and the Seth Rich murder. (I’m not enclosing the URL due to how long what isn’t a mainstream-left site takes to get approved here.)

    Given Gareth Porter’s commentary on the ordinariness and historical precedent of establishing back channels with an incoming leader (intent: communication vs. automatic animosity) we see here, again, the distortion of Brennan, Clapper et al, as being those who obfuscate, if not deliberately lie, and apply distortion, paranoia, and propaganda–(as with McCarthy) as corruption of power to serve political and personal objectives, instead of serving the nation.

  42. Cal Lash
    June 3, 2017 at 12:11

    Nice try to equate this with McCarthyism. However Nixon and Trump were and are much more dangerous than the few communist spies back in the day. I have no respect for Kissinger and we’ll we know Nixon’s faults.
    As a 76 year old conservative Republican and a frugal Scottish conservationist I believe we are in serious trouble with Trumps brain, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner in charge of anything. It seems obvious to this old street raised cop with little formal education that the egg that would be king is a running scared paranoid schizoid.

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      June 3, 2017 at 12:54

      Agreed. Kissinger was vile but his vice was intellectual vanity, the Trump clan’s is greed. Kissinger wanted detente with the USSR so that he would go down as the greatest Sec of State in history. Kushner’s peaceful intentions are secondary to his pecuniary ones.

      I’m afraid it is Consortium News that is trapped in the cold war period. No one else is really that concerned about Russia, except for the standard sabre rattling that goes over well with voters, and does, you must admit, have a worthy target in Putin, a dictator happy to order hits not just on his own soil but anywhere.

      Tell me CN, don’t you find Trump’s personal admiration for Putin kind of creepy?

      • D5-5
        June 3, 2017 at 13:32

        I can’t speak for CN but what I find creepy is continuing demonizing of Putin as seems indicated here. As to Trump’s “admiration” by now it’s a shabby shirt worn through at the elbows, likely posturing to begin with. From Counterpunch on Putin:

      • Realist
        June 3, 2017 at 16:37

        You know what’s creepy? Your willingness to impute motives to Kissinger and Kushner and vile actions to Putin without a shred of evidence other than the baseless accusations constantly made by the American media in support of a dangerous anti-Russian agenda. Next you’ll be peddling James Clapper’s genetic theory of Russian foreign policy. Go proffer your brain droppings to Rachel Maddow, anti-Russian bias is where she lives now.

        • Rob Roy
          June 3, 2017 at 21:59

          Realist: I assume you are speaking to Andrew B., not D5-5.

          I agree, it’s downright creepy to denigrate Putin with a steady stream of lies that are unfounded and, I would say, never will be proven. I can’t be the only one who reads CN that thinks having Putin as president would be far better than Trump or HRC. He’s smarter than both (and we can include our Congress on the “dumber” side as well). When Russia is always written as “a known enemy” or “a known adversary” by our MSM, you know they are falling in line to attack Russia for no good reason. Oh, goodie, the final war at last! Hillary and the MIC were salivating at the prospect. Someone wrote that America has a death wish. I concur. Trump is being played by the MIC and Israel (oh, extra icing on the cake: hit Iran, too, and murder another million innocent people.)
          I think people must remember, too, Reagan asking Iran to hold off releasing the hostages until his inauguration so he, not Carter, could get credit for bringing them home. The Iranians held off, knowing Reagan would be president and perhaps leave them alone for doing this favor. Back channels have been used by all our presidents and government officials.
          The ONLY good thing about Trump was perhaps he would avoid a war against Russia who is non-aggressive, but he’s falling into line for another US aggression.

          • Dave P.
            June 4, 2017 at 00:28

            Rob, your analysis is excellent, and correct on every point. Regarding your last point on Trump falling into line; being the character he is, I am afraid he may go to other extreme on Russia, and may be led into doing something dangerous. It seems like they – The Ruling Establishment – are bent upon provoking a dangerous confrontation with Russia. We can only hope and pray that there is some little humanity left in their cruel hearts.

          • Realist
            June 4, 2017 at 00:42

            Yep, I agree with D5-5, just follow the lines connecting the boxes.

            I suspect that if Trump somehow avoids any new wars or escalations of the existing fiascoes, he may stand a chance of re-election in spite of what the polls and pundits say. The key question is will the conspiracy of the American media and the powers within the Deep State allow this? Or, will the military act on its own, against the president’s explicit orders, as it did in Syria under Obama? They seemed to initially mislead Trump about the deployment of the aircraft carrier he thought was headed to North Korea. Deliberate? Or, a totally unacceptable “misunderstanding?” Anybody think that the intelligence agencies, yeah the same ones trying to whack him, feed him the straight facts…on things like the deployment of poison gas in Syria, for example? It is quite possible our country is being led more by a junta of competing power centers than its sole elected leader under the constitution… and we will have to wait for the history books to sort the truth out for us.

      • Beard681
        June 8, 2017 at 17:28

        Putin ordered hits? As in the Russian National recently killed in UKRAINE in broad daylight? Or the 33 journalists killed in MEXICO last year?

        This Putin is a thug, hit man, murderer etc., is – first off, non of the US government’s business. We deal with MUCH WORSE in our own US taxpayer supported puppet governments in places like Afghanistan and Kosovo. Second, it smacks of the same conspiracy theorizing that attributes every murder or suicide associated with the Clintons to their “crime family”.

        It is easy to see why the Democrats have Russia/Putin as their bête noir as opposed to say, China. This is even though China has the largest economy in the world, is a growing international military threat, and has actually apparently hacked the US Government. One hack may have resulted in the imprisonment/execution of dozens Chinese who the CIA may have been in contact with. The Putin/Russia hysteria fits right in with the democratic party identitarian politics. Putin is white.

    • Leslie F
      June 3, 2017 at 19:54

      Trump and Co. do pose a danger to the country, but it has nothing to do with Russia. To constantly flak unproven accusations and insinuations of extraordinary bad acts that on further examination turn out to be rather commonplace in international affairs and/or have historical precedents that did not turn out to lead to our nations downfall is McCarthyism. It is an attempt to steamroll and panic the public into acting like a mob out for blood for irrelevant reasons while drawing attention away from the real crimes that are being committed and risks a new cold war with the outrageous expense of a new arms race and danger of inadvertant nuclear annialation. The Russians are listening to all this and are preparing for the worst. They are not easily cowed. There are plenty of valid reasons for going after Trump without starting a war with Russia.

      • D5-5
        June 3, 2017 at 21:10


      • Rob Roy
        June 3, 2017 at 22:11

        I agree with D5-5 excellent comment.

      • CitizenOne
        June 4, 2017 at 16:39

        I also agree. Trump is irrelevant in this case he may pose a danger, he may not. Speculation is just that. Everyone keeps conflating the “issues” with Trump with the single purposed task by the media to blame Russia and only Russia and specifically on Putin based on no evidence mfor why we have Trump in the White House. What CN is doing here is pointing out that the so called “back channel” has been used frequently in the past. In fact it existed at points throughout the cold war. It was imperative in case there were some kind of accidental launch etc. When the World is only 3 minutes from the end of existence, I think it fair to say you need a back channel. The need becomes greater the more tension and misunderstanding exists between the parties not less so it would seem appropriate in light of all the instigation in Ukraine, new sanctions, a return of the cold war and the fight over Syria for Kushner to do exactly what he did. Good job Kushner,

        Our media makes it sound like they were conspiring to join up and attack Europe! I shouldn’t say that since people right now would believe it. To the point of all the replies and the original post by AD, he automatically assumes that Putin is all these terrible things.

        First, I have some information, you don’t get to where Putin is by being a nice guy. It’s a tough neighborhood.

        Second. We are not such nice guys either.

        We can choose sides and call names until nuclear war but I would suggest we start with the facts. That is what there a distinct absence of in this case. Actually, in a lot of cases. Benghazi, Whitewater, private server, blah blah on and on.

        It is not just the republicans or the democrats or the media. It is all of them and it is bad and getting worse. I believe that the term “post fact era” accurately describes our current state of confusion. CN is one website that actually expects evidence and a coherent story and is critical whenever non journalistic baseless allegations are published.

        Let me ask you something. If everyone is so convinced that Trump is a madman then why poke the Russian Bear? Is it not clear we are simultaneously warning everyone the theater is going to burn while spraying gasoline and handing out matchbooks? Why are we doing this? Do we actually want a war with Russia? Here is a hint. The correct answer is yes.

        It seems more and more that Trump or Clinton was intended to be a Manchurian candidate/president all along and that all of these many provocations over the recent years have been leading up to the grand daddy or Mother of all Wars. War with Russia.

        It may already be a foregone conclusion. The rich can ride it out and emerge in a new world where humanity will at last learn its lessons. We can all look back on that time in our history where we were out of control in every respect ravaging the Earth and waging wars with atrocities happening every day. Don’t think thy wouldn’t dare. We hear more talk like “Flight 93 decisions” regarding some republicans take on Clinton in the White House. That is the notion that the republicans should crash the government before Clinton would pilot it. That person now works for Trump. We know Bannon knows how to build a biodome.

        Myself, I have a different take on it. We have the largest military budget in the world and it has grown year over year across parties. When you combine the staggering sums of money we throw at the defense of the Nation combined with the privatization of the military with huge contracts awarded to for profit companies, I think the incentive and the motive are there.

        I think Donald Trump has exactly the right message for the Russians which is let’s do business not war and that he has done exactly the right things to avert nuclear war like walking away (or trying to) from Syria and giving a greater role to Russia.and that is driving some very powerful people up a wall so they will try to instigate the war any way they can.

        People are so easily led astray. It really is sad. The new Cold War is not necessary and is being created by a fake press and some gullible politicians. It is fake and it is phoney and Trump is correct to call it a witch hunt, which it is, and we are all being horribly misled to our doom. If only we all saw the media for what it really is which is exactly what Trump has called out. The media is the Enemy of not only the American People but the whole World. If somebody wanted to get rid of all of us this is how it’s done. This Russia Gate thing is evil. It is looking forward to billions of people dying. It can feel how close it is to getting what it wants. Just paint those “reporters” red, give em horns and a long tail and a pitchfork, herding us all over the edge and straight to Hell.

        The level of hyperbole just seems to ratchet up and up and up. Now they are listening to Comey? The guy everyone hated. The guy both democrats and republicans cursed. The guy who actually threw the election. We want him to tell us how Trump tried to interfere with his hunt for the Russians that stole the election. The criminal who committed the crime is in the witness box pointing at Trump! How F*@#g crazy is that?

        Trump hasn’t lost his mind. We have lost our minds.

        • Dave P.
          June 4, 2017 at 18:48

          Citizen One: Thanks. Your comments are very heart felt and timely. It seems like that there are not many people left in Washington Establishment , and elsewhere in the Centers of Power in the country who show some signs of sanity.

          All we can do is to wait and see.

    • cmack
      June 5, 2017 at 10:52

      absent from the article are the kennedy backchannels to kruschev. they saved us from the cuban missle crisis. he had back channels to castro. relations with both countries would have been set to a much friendlier tone had he not been shot by someone other than lee oswald.

Comments are closed.