Seven Days in September

A new book, an anonymous Op-Ed and an Obama speech in the first seven days of September appeared to reveal dangerous insider moves against a dangerous, but constitutionally elected president, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

In the first seven days of September efforts to manage and perhaps oust a constitutionally elected president were stunningly made public,  raising complex questions about America’s vaunted democratic system.  

What unfolded appears reminiscent of the novel and film Seven Days in May: the story of an attempted military coup against a U.S. president who sought better relations with Russia. The fictional president was based on the real one, John F. Kennedy, who opened the White House in 1963 to director John Frankenheimer to film the only scenes of a Hollywood movie ever made there.   

Kennedy was well aware of the Pentagon brass’ political fury after his refusal to proceed with a full-scale assault against Cuba in the Bay of Pigs operation. It was compounded by his desire for detente with Moscow after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Kennedy expressed forcefully in his seminal American University address, five months before his death. 

This is the essential (must watch) scene in the film, a brilliant 2:25 minutes of screen history:

The key quote from the character playing Kennedy is: “You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical affection for your country, why in the name of God don’t you have any faith in the system of government you’re so hellbent to protect?”

You didn’t have to know Jack Kennedy to know that Donald Trump is no Jack Kennedy. Trump has staked out a raft of positions dangerous to the interests of most Americans and people around the world: on climate, billionaire tax breaks, health insurance, drone warfare, torture, immigration, Iran, Palestine and more.

But Trump has ostensibly tried to improve relations with Russia and North Korea to defuse the most sensitive nuclear trigger points on earth.  And for that he at least appears to be getting the pre-1963 Kennedy treatment.   

Circumstantial 

Until the first seven days of September there was only circumstantial evidence that intelligence agencies worked with the party in power to undermine the opposition party candidate before the election and the president afterward. 

These included:

  • a series of anonymous leaks to undermine the president from Obama’s intelligence officials, one admitted to by then FBI Director James Comey;
  • a series of anti-Trump political messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, including one that admits to there being “no there, there” regarding Trump-Russia collusion, even though Strzok joined Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team precisely to look for a “there, there;”
  • the use of a Democratic Party paid-for opposition research dossier  (not an intelligence agency vetted report) to be later used to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign and form a basis for the Mueller probe;
  • a CIA and FBI operative, linked to the firm that produced the dossier, who had infiltrated Jimmy Carter’s 1980 campaign, and in 2016 courted Trump campaign operatives in a possible sting operation to connect Trump to Moscow. 

This created a picture of the Democrats, the ruling party in the executive branch, using its intelligence agencies to undermine first a candidate and then a constitutionally elected president. Most of the corporate media buried or dismissed these leads as a “conspiracy theory,” while relentlessly pushing the so-far unproven conspiracy theory that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election.

The effort appeared to be classic projection onto Russia to deflect attention from Hillary Clinton’s self-made defeat and, in centuries-old political tradition, to falsely blame a hostile foreign power for rising domestic unrest resulting instead from bi-partisan, unjust policies, which have indeed “undermined our democracy” and “sowed social divisions.” It was that unrest that helped elect Trump.

As much of a danger as he may be to the republic, Trump will be gone in two or six years. The greater danger may well have been out-of-control, unelected intelligence officials inserting themselves into the electoral process and now, allied with Trump administration officials, into the governing process. A saying at the National Security Agency is: “Administrations come and go, but we will still be here.” 

Long-time Suspicions 

There have always been suspicions of forces behind the scenes holding the real power over American presidents. We only occasionally get glimpses of this. 

Carter: Undermined Obama in Syria. (USAF Reserve Command)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter openly defied President Barack Obama when he sabotaged a plan to cooperate militarily with Russia against extremists in Syria by killing dozens of Syrian Arab Army soldiers just as Secretary of State John Kerry was nailing down the details of the agreement, which was then abandoned. This came as unelected officials pressured Obama to directly intervene in Syria.

Most of the time we are left to speculate about the unseen forces controlling a president.

But in September’s first seven days we had three unusually public indications of unelected people trying to undermine an elected president:  the revelations in Bob Woodward’s new book; the anonymous op-ed in The New York Times and an unusual speech by Barack Obama about Trump.

Masha Gessen, a strong critic of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, explained the danger this way in The New Yorker: 

“Having this state of affairs described in print further establishes that an unelected body, or bodies, are overruling and actively undermining the elected leader. While this may be the country’s salvation in the short run, it also plainly signals the demise of some of its most cherished ideals and constitutional norms. An anonymous person or persons cannot govern for the people, because the people do not know who is governing.”

Real Evidence Emerges 

On Sept. 5, The New York Times took the highly unusual decision to publish an anonymous op-ed article. Titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” it had the subtitle: “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The official, who has yet to be unmasked, provides clear evidence of unelected officials trying to control a less-than aware president:  “The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda…”

But here is the key.  This behind-the-throne power has a distinct political agenda. They’re not really concerned about “rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans” as the writer professes. Their concern is  determining policy. 

For instance this cabal has no problem with some of the most regressive parts of Trump’s program. The writer celebrates them.  “Don’t get me wrong,” he writes. “There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.”

Deregulation to let the private sector run roughshod over workers. Deregulation to worsen climate change. Tax reform to put millions more into billionaire’s pockets while average Americans remain mired in debt. And a more robust military to multiply human suffering around the world. 

This, instead, seems like the real problem the insiders have with Trump: “On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.”

It is Trump’s Russia policy–the only rational part of his agenda–that is their problem, not unlike the generals in Frankenheimer’s masterpiece. 

Obama Slams Trump

On Sept. 7, Obama broke with the tradition of former presidents and criticized his successor in a speech at the University of Illinois. It’s an unwritten rule in Washington then when you leave the White House you don’t look back. Of course it’s been broken before. Teddy Roosevelt called Taft a “puzzlewit” and a “fathead.”  But the idea is that when you are no longer an elected president you shouldn’t undermine the one who is. 

“How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?” Obama said, referring to Trump’s reluctance to condemn neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, VA last year.

As Obama was still president when his intelligence agencies apparently went to work on Trump, it was a bit rich for him to say: “”It should not be Democratic or Republican, it should not be partisan to say that we don’t pressure the Department of Justice or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.”

Evidently recalling his own battles with administration officials who pressured him, Obama however recognized that it is undemocratic for a president’s team to try to undermine him.  “The idea that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren’t following the President’s orders,” Obama said of the anonymous op-ed, “… is not a check. I am being serious here. That is not how our democracy is supposed to work.”

Fear Over Fear

Mattis: Saved the day?

The most alarming revelations about the effort to control a president come from Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House, which first appeared in the media during the first seven days of September on Sept. 4. Woodward said in an interview that he “looked hard for evidence of collusion with Russia, but didn’t find any.”

That did not stop members of Team Trump from interfering in his duties as chief executive, going well beyond the role of counseling the president. 

Much of Woodward’s reporting is from anonymous and second hand sources.  Assuming that what he writes is true he reported that former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn “stole a letter off Trump’s desk.”  Had Trump signed it, the U.S. would have withdrawn from a free trade agreement with South Korea.  Woodward quotes Cohn in the words of an unnamed official as saying, “I stole it off his desk….I wouldn’t let him see it. He’s never going to see that document. Got to protect the country.”

That would appear to cross the line.

However it then becomes a lot more complicated than Seven Days in May.  

“He drafts a tweet saying, ‘We are going to pull out dependents from South Korea … Family members of the 28,000 people there,’” Woodward told CBS News. 

According to CBS:

That tweet was never sent, because of a back channel message from North Korea that it would regard a pullout of dependents as a sign the U.S. was preparing to attack. “At that moment there was a sense of profound alarm in the Pentagon leadership that, ‘My God, one tweet and we have reliable information that the North Koreans are going to read this as an attack is imminent,’” Woodward said.

According to the book, Trump also told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the April 2017 chemical attack.  “Let’s fucking kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the fucking lot of them,” Trump said, according to Woodward. (That would not please the Kremlin, his supposed master, but whatever) .

Mattis supposedly told Trump he’d “get right on it” but ignored the order.  Mattis devised pin prick strikes instead. 

Is that insubordination? Or was that saving the U.S., the Middle East and perhaps the world from a major war?

It certainly sets up an excruciating dilemma. This time it may be the generals preserving the peace.

Seven Days in September may indeed be the reverse of Seven Days in May.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

If you valued this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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134 comments for “Seven Days in September

  1. eric siverson
    October 6, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Do you think Trump would have ordered Assad assassination and even the bombing attacks we made against Syria ? If he knew the fake gas attacks were made by us or the side we supported . If Trump does not know what is really going on in Syria ? Trump is maybe getting faulty information from his 16 intelligence agencies . Trump thought Putin sounded trust worthy but he was forced to say he believes the U.S. intelligence agencies more . I maybe wrong but I trust Putin more than the U.S. intelligence agencies .

    • October 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      The obvious problem with your hypothesis is just like Chauncey Gardener, Donald Trump gets his information from watching TV.

      https://video.foxnews.com/v/5767108095001/?#sp=show-clips

      • October 10, 2018 at 1:11 am

        Trump isn’t as stupid as you think.He wanted General Flynn after all who was a loud opponent of toppling Assad and wanted to work with Russia and make peace with N Korea.

        He had to go ( as they whipped up hysteria over Russia)and the deep state was ready with Bolton.

        Trump is as much a victim as we are.

        I don’t admire Trump but will give him credit for at least trying.

  2. didi
    October 6, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    The fundamental error which candidate Trump made even before the presidential campaign began and which has cost him dearly is that he did not go into the campaign let alone into the White House with a seasoned team of political, military and economic advisers at his side which had been with him for some time and which he could completely trust. Once in the White House he tried to improvise but the result was a chaotic period of resignations, firings, and newcomers (1). One of the consequences was that he early on attempted to govern with Presidential Decrees which he showed the nation (on TV) like Moses showed he tablets of the ten commandments to the Israelites. Nearly all of his immigration policies, another attempt at improvising, became shipwrecks or part-shipwrecks on the rocks of federal judges. It took Trump more than one year to find a more stable mode of governance.
    His approval rate during the first two months plummeted from above 50% to near 40% on 538.
    Allow me to compare him to another President who also promised to make big changes off the bat. Roosevelt: A+. Trump: F. The difference? Roosevelt went into the White House not only as a seasoned, almost Machiavellian President. He went into the White House with a seasoned team at his side.
    I therefore reject the notion that Trump “changed” under the calamitous influence of neoliberals. He got the F because he was inexperienced, arrogant, and was blind as a bat in the choice of his closest advisers.
    (1) Just a few. Priebus, Nielsen, Flynn, Bannon, Icahn, Gorka, McEntee, McMaster, McFarland, Porter, Spicer, Scaramucci, Hicks, Schiller, Gary Cohn, Dowd, Ronny Jackson, Tom Price, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Tillerson, Shulkin,

  3. Rong Cao
    October 6, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    As a Chinese-American, I would rather prefer the story of Trump-Russian collusion to continue on. But unfortunately those unseen forces has recently shifted that blame on Chinese’s meddling on the US election, and Chinese students pursuing their degrees in the US universities are all spies. Why not go on sticking their hysteria to Russia? Isn’t it those Russians and Saudis that have bought those penthouse in many Trump towers?

    • eric siverson
      October 6, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      In the U.S. Media ,congress ,and Politics Is where anything said about Sex , Russia and now China is always believed to be just terrible . because we have already spent almost a 100 years demonizing these 3 words .

  4. Zhu
    October 6, 2018 at 3:48 am

    If the US ever had democracy, it’s long gone. When was the last time a war ended because of an election? I think it was Eisenhower’s election, about the time I was born. Otherwise, we’ve had war, war, war, no matter which team controlled the White House.

    • eric siverson
      October 6, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      We need to start passing laws like California does . Did you see those idiots took almost 4 months to approve one judge . Congress is supposed to approve wars . They can’t get around to approving the war so the president has to do it . Our politicians are so busy playing politics they can’t get anything done .We should vote on bringing all troops home . I am totally sick of all these war particuliarally where we sending troops to fight on the wrong side . Which for the last few years has been almost every time .

    • george Archers
      October 7, 2018 at 10:04 am

      zhu-lets give credit to one term usa president–jimmy carter. he got the boot for requesting USA troops get out of Afghanistan and secondly–wanted the Palestinians to have a country of their own. Donald Trump is a certifable manic–

  5. CitizenOne
    October 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    The entire bogus affair of blaming Russia for the election and going after Trump was instigated by the military and the intelligence agencies and the defense contractors who were horrified by Trump’s love overtures with Russia and Putin. They suckered the democrats who saw an easy way to put Trump in the witness stand in an impeachment trial and somehow recover their loss in the election with nullification of the election based on supposed Russian interference.

    In the end it was pure self interest of the military industrial complex which was terrified of Trump’s peace plans with Russia, his opposition to wasteful military programs like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter program which was based on runaway cost overruns and astronomical prices and his opposition to Obama era wars in the middle east in Syria. All of these programs were geese laying eggs of pure Gold for the defense industry and Trump was in the way. They saw him as a Jack Kennedy refusing to attack Cuba and making speeches in favor of peace not war.

    It was the same blunder that Bill Clinton waded into when he was elected and proposed re-purposing agencies like the CIA and cutting defense spending since the Berlin Wall had collapsed, the Soviet Union was finished and our primary reason for maintaining such a hugely defense program had ostensibly evaporated in front of our eyes.

    I often said Bill and Hillary Clinton stuck their heads into the hornet nest not because they were democrats but because they simultaneously pissed off the military complex and the health care and insurance industries all in their first 100 days in office. That was what set in motion the eventual tortuous path with Ken Starr to Impeachment.

    The bottom line is that the biggest recipients of taxpayers money are the healthcare, insurance and defense industries through contracts offered by the government to administer healthcare and fund the military.

    Obama also enraged these same entities when he proposed his own healthcare plan leading to the united republican effort to abolish his plan which they voted against more than 400 times.

    Trump was smart to abandon his anti defense attitudes and Congress was right there passing laws which stripped him of his power to negotiate with the Russians. Trump was also corralled when he repeatedly stated his intent to abandon the Syrian rebellion against Assad by a series of well timed chemical attacks after each public statement of his intent to withdraw which were instantly blamed on the Syrian regime shortly after each attack based on dubious intelligence. The effectiveness of this was seen in Trump’s abrupt about face deciding to retaliate against such monstrous acts be launching missiles at Syria which was highly praised although also highly ineffective.

    The whole affair with Trump has been a forced attempt to corral and guide the Washington outsider and long time liberal democrat and forcibly pull him in line with the status quo which runs Washington. I’d say it worked.

    Trump’s penance was a renewed effort to please the power structure by launching at first an unsuccessful attempt to gut Obamacare followed by a successful attempt to enact the largest tax break for billionaires and corporations in history. This changed the sometimes contentious republican members of Congress’s view of Trump into a solidified mass of unanimous support decrying the witch hunt (which it is) by the special prosecutor in the Russia probe and defending Trump. Trump followed it up by circling back on Obamacare and doing an end run against the program with the elimination of the mandatory contribution piece of the law where everyone was required to pay into the system. Starved of the funds of healthy contributors rates rose, insurance companies who wrote the original bill pulled out. The loopholes for denial of coverage for preexisting conditions which the insurance companies used to routinely deny payments for medical care hotly contested but ultimately partially preserved but at lower protections. I guess the republicans are still scared about reaction from senior citizens who are the most likely to vote.

    Robert Parry was alarmed by the possibility that a nuclear war might erupt over the confrontation with Russia especially because the Congress seemed Hell bent on punishing Russia over fictitious nonsense by enacting sanction after economic sanction against Russia for the alleged hijacking of the election.

    Such are the high stakes games the power structure is willing to bet it all on in order to get their way and preserve their special status as most favored beneficiaries of our governments largess paid for by the taxpayers who vote for republicans dedicated to the upward transfer of tax revenue and government services which benefit them while at the same time abolishing and eliminating all other government spending programs which benefit other like citizens.

    You can see this in the main stream media which today never finds fault with a company, never engages in a debate about universal healthcare of military spending or insurance rates or any of the abusive practices of companies but instead distracts us with bullpucky and news stories which have no potential of influencing the American people to get mad that the government is spreading our tax dollars around not in some “share the wealth” Obama era scheme by tax and spend democrats but in an upward redistribution of wealth for the wealthiest passed into law by the republicans who serve the wealthy.

    • October 4, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      The 1% made more money under Obama during a near depression than under Bush during a boom.

      Both parties served their masters well.

    • eric siverson
      October 7, 2018 at 12:20 am

      Don’t you worry one bit with the neocons Trump has working for him and they way Trump can talk. Trump will easily be able to get the American people to help him shut down the pentagon rather than keep disgusing the plan of going to war with Russia and China . Already our UN diplomate Hutchison is in deep trouble for exposing the pentagon and neocon plan of a preemptive strike plan to take out Russia’s missiles with a first strike . I don’t believe the American people will agree with this plan .And especially if Trump can rid of a few more never Trump republicans and keep both houses . The Pentagon will shut up about going to war and be happy to spend their 700 billion dollars right here in the USA and help our economy for a change .

  6. October 4, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    meanwhile……
    ..REAL crimes are being ignored….

    Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant

    The dossier, though mostly unverified, was then used by the FBI
    as the main evidence seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
    (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the
    campaign.

    The revelation was confirmed both in
    contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation
    by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight
    committees, my source tells me.

    It means the FBI had
    good reason to suspect the dossier was connected to the DNC’s main law
    firm and was the product of a Democratic opposition-research effort to
    defeat Trump — yet failed to disclose that information to the FISA court
    in October 2016, when the bureau applied for a FISA warrant to surveil
    Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

    “This is a bombshell
    that unequivocally shows the real collusion was between the FBI and
    Donald Trump’s opposition — the DNC, Hillary and a Trump-hating British
    intel officer — to hijack the election, rather than some conspiracy
    between Putin and Trump,” a knowledgeable source told me.

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/409817-russia-collusion-bombshell-dnc-lawyers-met-with-fbi-on-dossier-before

    TREASON

    Sedition

    Corruption

    • AC
      October 8, 2018 at 3:41 am

      The Hill? Really dude? Why don’t you just go sit in Sydney Blumenthal’s lap, for Christ’s sake smh

  7. SteveK9
    October 4, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Quoting Woodwards ‘Mattis exchange’ does not make it true. Although you mention the anonymous nature of Woodwards sources, you seem to be accepting that this actually happened. The reason I read a site like this, is that I have come to believe that virtually anything told to me by the ‘mainstream’ is a lie. I could be wrong on rare occasions, but it seems to me a sensible attitude at present … and that most certainly includes Bob Woodward.

  8. SWT
    October 4, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    “As Obama was still president when his intelligence agencies apparently went to work on Trump, it was a bit rich for him to say: “”It should not be Democratic or Republican, it should not be partisan to say that we don’t pressure the Department of Justice or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.””. Indeed, isn’t that just rich!? Obama was to the beauty of our lies, as Trump is to the ugliness of our truth. We live in seditious and treasonous times and to think it started on Obama’s watch. So, Mr Obama and Cabal, I ask you: “If you have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical affection for your country, why in the name of God didn’t you have any faith in the system of government you’re so hellbent to protect?”

  9. Jeanne
    October 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Love the concise,easy to understand, look behind the scenes look at what I suspected all along. Thank you.

  10. Pft
    October 4, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    “But Trump has ostensibly tried to improve relations with Russia and North Korea to defuse the most sensitive nuclear trigger points on earth.”

    Seriously? Show me one thing he has done to improve relations with Russia aside from his campaign rhetoric?

    North Korea. He is the guy who ratcheted up tensions with his threats and then taking credit for restoring rocky relations to pre-Trump levels

    Woodward, Russiagate, and the Anonymous insider are all an elaborate ruse to allow Trumps supporters to excuse Trump for walking back on his most important promises and continuing the Deep States neocons neoliberal agenda.

    Trump was a Trojan Horse wrapped in America First populist rehetoric but in reality an agent of the Koch Brothers-Neocon faction of the Deep State

    Its Wall Street-Israel-1%ers First and thats all on Trump. Thats what he signed on to do (willingly or not we dont know)

    IMO everybodys been played on this.

  11. O Society
    October 4, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    There is something wrong with the Comments and/or the main page of Consortium News. This specific article did not show up on my PC’s screen until after it had 74 comments. It has something like 20 comments on my phone right now.

    Other articles have previously showed up on a tablet, PC, phone, etc. but not on my other device(s).

    One device can show something completely different than the others do. Sometimes I can see my own comment on the tablet but not on the PC, etc.

    Clearing the cache, refreshing the page, and opening in incognito mode (without cookies) do not seem to fix the problem.

    As many people have whined about, my comments post and disappear and some never come back.

    Except these people are wrong in that it isn’t censorship going on here. That’s their own victimhood attitude speaking.

    The comments of mine which disappear aren’t necessarily controversial or biased or partisan. More like random. Every once in awhile it happens. It might say “posting comment” but it just disappears instead.

    There’s a ghost in the machine.

    Does anyone understand what is really going on with the Akismet comments system? Not the paranoia version. Thanks!

    • CitizenOne
      October 4, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Of course there is censorship on this website. However it is censorship by the moderator(s) who obviously have to sleep. True that sometimes the website says “Your comment has been posted. Thank you” when in fact it has not been posted and it may show up three days later or not at all I think this is because of the moderators who have to vet each post often made in the middle of the night.

      I have somewhere around a 100% post rate although I have often waited a while for the post to appear. I consider this acceptable for a small underfunded website which vets each and every single post before publishing it. Given the nature of this website which is dedicated to honest investigative journalism and honest and insightful, helpful comments by informed posters it seems a better compromise to accept that the process of vetting sometimes is imperfect rather than allow all of the trolls immediate access to be able to disrupt and distract from the conversation which they do regularly on other sites.

      It is a necessary evil we should respect for its purpose and intent and effectiveness in limiting posts to civil and insightful comments focused on the topic which do not inflame or distract everyone away from the focus and the topic at hand which after all is the sole purpose of internet trolls. Even when the distractors and disrupters do get through I am grateful to the contributing members of this website for quickly calling them out.

      So yes, there is censorship going on but in my experience I have not been the recipient of it which leads me to believe that there is a filter there that sometimes delays a comment but usually gets around to posting it even if it takes a while. Folks gotta sleep you know.

      Hope this helps.

      • Homer Jay
        October 5, 2018 at 5:16 am

        Yes…thanks for the sound take on the comment controversy.

      • Consortiumnews.com
        October 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm

        Consortium News does not practice censorship. We have an apolitical comments policy that if violated could lead to the removal of a post. We have an automated moderation system that pulls some comments out for manual review.

    • October 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks for the reply, CitizenOne. I do not think we are on the same page though. Will try to make it clearer:

      Consortium News is a WordPress site. I can tell because as most of you know by now, I have one at opensociety.org

      Here’s the redirect site for CN/WP comments:

      https://automattic.com/privacy-notice/

      “Akismet helps keep spam under control by filtering out spam comments–hundreds of millions, every day!”

      When I comment (and I am guessing when anyone comments), there are 2 possible outcomes:

      1. The Askimet system says, YAY! I recognize you through cookies. You have commented previously. You are not spam.

      In this case, I get a notice which says it is posting my comment. This is automatic. It has nothing to do with administrators. It is a filter so the CN admins don’t have to look at this comment.

      2. The Askiment system says, BOO! I do not recognize you through previous comments on this site with that username/ login info.

      In this case, I get a notice which says my comment is awaiting moderation. This is manual. The admins have to look at my comment and approve it now. Maybe I put in some html links. Maybe I curse too much. Maybe I am posting 10 comments in 10 minutes. There are many reasons why I could trip the alarm. Some legit, some a pain in the ass.

      Only in case 2 should my comment be delayed. This is to be expected. I tripped an alarm. A real person (who is unpaid volunteer) is going to look at it. and say yay/ nay. This isn’t censorship so much as it is administration. There is a difference.

      A censor says, “He likes Donald Trump! Oh no! Off to the void he goes!!!”

      A moderator says, “He selling porn. He’s a troll because he’s fighting with everyone in a belligerent manner. He cannot speak English except for 4 letter curse words. He’s posting links to viruses. Etc.”

      Moderation is for everyone’s protection. Censorship is to get rid of people’s ideas and thoughts and make things homogenous.

      Consortium News is not censoring us. I curse here and post links to other sites on purpose to see what happens. I post both anti-Liberal stuff and anti-Conservative stuff. Again, to see what happens.

      This isn’t my first rodeo. I have been thrown out of and thrown people out of I dunno how many sites.

      Back to the algorithm. Both cases 1 & 2 sometimes result in my comment going to the void, never to be seen again. Neither happens very often. 5% ballpark.

      However, what is weird is Askimet says it is posting my comment in case 1 and it doesn’t happen. In this case, the automatic system is malfunctioing.

      In case 2, it may be human error. Maybe my comment gets posted, but because of the time lag I never see it. Maybe… who knows what?

      Ghost in the machine happens in both 1 and 2 cases. Meaning sometimes I dunno where it goes.

      It isn’t that big a deal. I’m no victim. However, people are emotional and whining about this sort of thing here on Consortium News. So mainly I am asking to see if an admin/ moderator will explain to us if they know what is happening.

      They might not. Sometimes shit happens.

      • LarcoMarco
        October 5, 2018 at 12:54 pm

        Could there be a 3rd possible outcome: The Askimet system says, YAY! I recognize you through cookies. You have commented previously and were flagged by our algorithm and deleted. Our negative feedback loop feature means that your future postings will be sent directly to manual moderation.

      • October 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm

        Let’s say I hit the button that says “post comment.”

        In case 1, the system does everything. No moderator is involved. The system can automatically bounce your comment. It can automatically post your comment.

        In case 2, the moderator is involved and can approve/ not approve your comment. A human is involved. This human could “censor” your comment at this stage.

        There are other possibilities. A comment could post. Either case 1 or 2. Doesn’t matter.

        Then later an admin could come by and delete your post after the fact. After it posted. Because you at an asshat troll or something

        When my comments get posted and “disappear” later, I find they are visible on one device but not another. I can see it on my phone but not the PC. I dunno why.

        What I am telling all of you lovely commentors is give the benefit of the doubt. There is definitely a glitch in the system. I have experienced it.

        What I experience is not admin prejudice. It’s automated. Can’t speak for anyone else, mind you, but if I get the glitch, it’s highly probable others get it too. Some of these people probably never say anything and some whine about being victims.

        It’s the internet, folks.

        • CitizenOne
          October 6, 2018 at 10:52 pm

          I replied to your comment and my comment was posted and I saw it but now it is gone. So you are correct that there is a glitch

          • October 8, 2018 at 3:12 am

            Yes. Hate to see this happening. Your thoughts are appreciated.

            We’re talking about this subject on another thread too where I saw a comment Jean made. Then the comment disappeared.

            Thing is it seems to happen to everyone rather than being personal.

      • CitizenOne
        October 6, 2018 at 10:24 pm

        Okay, I understand what you are saying. My response is ditto. I have received the “your comment has been posted” pop up and have gone back to see that the allegedly posted comment is not there as a post on the website. Although I wondered why, it usually if not always eventually appears up to days later. This seems to be a glitch. I have not tried to access it via different devices so I can’t comment on that.

        One thing I do know is placing links in a reply automatically returns “your comment is awaiting moderation” and the comment is not posted presumably waiting for manual review by the website. I also get the “your comment is awaiting moderation” message at odd hours like Saturday night at 10:00pm like this comment even if there are no links. We’ll see what happens!

        One workaround for placing links in a comment is to post your reply without the links and after it is posted (hopefully) reply to your own comment quickly with something like “Here is the Link” and place a link in the response to the comment you made that was just posted. Then post that reply attached to your original comment. In that case in my experience, the comment with the link is posted with “Thanks, your comment has been posted”.

        If you go back you will see your first comment and your response to your own comment with the link(s).

        This too seems to be a glitch since allowing your comment with links as a reply to your first comment does not send your response to your first comment to moderation.

        Logically, one might assume that if replies with links are posted right away contained in a reply to your own comment posted moments earlier then your original reply with links should not send the original reply to moderation for containing the same links or any links.

        I would suggest that the automated processes be changed to eliminate the two step process necessary for posting links as a reply to your reply if you want to get it posted without moderation and just allow the links in your first reply without automatically sending the reply to moderation.

        Or perhaps the website should eliminate the loophole. I don’t know which path suits them.

  12. October 4, 2018 at 10:00 am

    “The official, who has yet to be unmasked, provides clear evidence of unelected officials trying to control a less-than aware president: “The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda…”

    Color me surprised. We have become conditioned to “color” revolutions abroad which we helped finance and I think people like Soros said why not have one here. It began before inauguration and all “sins” of Trump were just fuel for the fire.

    Unfortunately, so many warning about overthrowing an elected president come from persons shedding crocodile tears and they warn against the threat to our democracy. The reasoning suggests we know what it will do to our country but this guy, and his buddy Putin have got to go.

    As to his own people undermining the President, it depends on what you mean by his own people.

    There is an election, however flawed by money, coming up in November and another in 2020.

    I think the ball is in the court of influential people who should know better but don’t have the integrity and courage to reset the environment from hysteria to reasoned criticism, and heaven forbid, even praise where the President of the United States does something right.

    • Gregory Herr
      October 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Reasoned criticism and fair appraisal of when an “opponent” does something right is far too much to ask for from our diseased political culture. Rule of law, human dignity, a sense of the public commons, and representative government are all shredded in practice and in thought.

      Would it be so Herman that more integrity and courage could guide influential people. Wish more of it would guide myself.

  13. Leonardo
    October 4, 2018 at 4:59 am

    ‘ “How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?” Obama said, referring to Trump’s reluctance to condemn neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, VA last year. ‘

    Said the man who was President at the time when Victoria Nuland and her ukrainian friends were exploiting far right extremists and neo-nazis in Ukraine to give that country the “future that it deserves”.
    Nazis are bad, but they are bad all the time, not just when they aren’t useful.

    • Maxwell Quest
      October 4, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Admittedly, I got all misty-eyed when Obama was elected, despite the self-righteousness and the fact that his resume was single page double-spaced, but I stopped listening to that turkey right after he let all the Wall Street bankers off the hook, and gave them free rein to print their way out of the catastrophe they created. After that I could care less what he had to say, no matter how smooth sounding, or how often the western media groveled at his feet and worshipped his every word. I knew then that he was only a social climber and not a man of principle.

      • October 4, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        Me Too

        • eric siverson
          October 7, 2018 at 12:30 am

          McCain to he even stopped campaigning to go back and work on the same bailout Obama gave them .

      • October 4, 2018 at 5:36 pm

        Ditto!
        In fact its why Im angrier at democrats than republicans…..I had higher standards for democrats and boy did they prove that a mistake.

      • ML
        October 4, 2018 at 9:57 pm

        Maxwell, you took the words right from my typing fingers. I was finished with Obama after that heinous deed.

      • Ash
        October 5, 2018 at 1:09 pm

        It was obvious the fix was in with Obama before he even took office — a month or so before, as a massively popular president-elect with a “mandate” to make sweeping changes, he came out and talked about austerity and the need for “entitlement reform” instead. Unprovoked, not even in response to any particular event. I registered my disgust at that moment but was shouted down by everyone around me.

      • Maxwell Quest
        October 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm

        Yes, Ash, I received similar treatment for my criticisms of Obama’s policies. Obviously, it was my unconscious racism rising to the surface.

        What galled me the most was that he had the whole world eating out of his hand; they even gave him a pre-emptive Nobel Peace Prize for Pete’s sake. Just think of what he could have accomplished with that much political power united to his natural ability to hypnotize and charm audiences through oration.

        But, no, he sold himself as the second coming, but turned out to be a Judas.

        • eric siverson
          October 7, 2018 at 12:36 am

          I don’t believe you are done with Obama yet . He will go on to something bigger like the leader of the UN or even the E.U. they still love him yet

    • October 4, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      yep

    • Tortuga purpura
      October 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Very right on pointed comment. But it summarized US foreign policy, especially of the Democrats: Dirty deeds not OK ,here but fine in other countries on our shit list.

  14. exiled off mainstreet
    October 4, 2018 at 4:29 am

    This is an excellent article which discusses frightening facts which could spell the final burial of the rule of law in the yankee imperium. I suspect things are this bad because the rule of law has already gone by the boards. Why is the US still supporting the headchopping barbarians in Syria and the neocollaborators in the Ukraine? Meanwhile, the media acts like Pravda and only the official rightwing stuff can be believed with reservations.

    • Zhu
      October 6, 2018 at 4:34 am

      No mention of legalizing disappearance into secret prisons inside the USA? Of “targetted assassination,” aka legal death squads?

  15. October 3, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Good article! One thing I haven’t seen brought up regarding refusal of commanders to follow an order such as killing Assad–

    is that they HAVE to do so in much more cases than happens. Their oath is to uphold the Constitution, and all treaties entered are required to be followed. Not only should any military refuse to assassinate Assad, but they also should and should have, under Trump and Obama, refused to violate the sovereignty of Syria by inserting troops and flying sorties and drones. Completely illegal under international laws and treaties, and it’s the obligation of any pilot or radar operator or General to refuse to do such a thing.

    So, I think the focus is a bit off. Ideally an enormous amount of horrible warmongering should never happen because troops and commanders should follow the law instead of breaking it. The shame is in this never happening. Nor the media ever noting something simple and obvious such as “The US is breaking it’s own and international law in Syria”. And Yemen, etc. Pure American Exceptionalism, and few even realize it.

    • eric siverson
      October 7, 2018 at 12:56 am

      We broke international law by taking Kosovo from Serbia and even dismembering and destroying Yugoslavia .bombing Libya and going to Syria . Now we want Russia to give Crimea back to Ukraine because it is against international law to change borders . Both Russia and China have been sharing knowledge for 20yrs since we destroyed Yugoslavia against their will . They both have been preparing for their dismemberment . It is not going to happen . NATO will not go with us . China will shoot down our global positioning satellites and Russia will drop atom bombs from outer space . No body wants this to happen So we do not want a war with Russia or China .

  16. Jeff Harrison
    October 3, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    On sober reflection, Joe, I have two words for you – Praetorian Guard.

    • Zhu
      October 6, 2018 at 4:36 am

      Is tbe CIA our Praetorian Guard? Trump our Caligula Pence our Claudius?

  17. Mild -ly - Facetious
    October 3, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    CONSTITUTIONALY ELECTED, Joe, ! ! ???

    Please tell when and/or who was the last “constitutionally elected” President.
    My guess it was Reagan, who proudly proclaimed, “The Civil Rights Era is Over!! ”
    ( and made it happen !)

    Or was it Clinton who declared Loudly, “I am a CONSERVATIVE!!!
    ( and veered sharply to the Right in his Presidency)

    Nor was it George Bush whom was SELECTED by a Right Wing SCOTUS in order to fulfill a RIGHT WING MILITARY AGENDA of OPENING MARKETS (BY FORCE) IN THE MIDDLE EAST — which planned agenda (Project For A New American Century) was initiated and fulfilled on September Eleventh, 2001, with the Staged Destruction of the WTT in New York City.

    The Last and, possibly FOREVER LAST Constitutionally ELECTED POTUS was/is President Barack Obama.

    Donald Trump is a Provocateur of Chaos who will usher in decades of authoritarian, bigoted, chaos, dissembling and erosion of “freedom”. It’s signal beginning will be the installation into SCOTUS of the Catholic (Drunken) Inquisitor, Bret Kavanaugh.
    With him will arrive a new period of Goya artists, writers and perverse atheists mimicking Freud and his relative, Edward Bern-ays.

    ————— Mark My Words ————–

    • Zhu
      October 6, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Bush II wanted to provoke the Rapture, the Second Coming of Jesus.

  18. Gerry L Forbes
    October 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Bob Woodward is famous for taking down a president with information obtained clandestinely from a high ranking FBI official but even he won’t join the Russian meddling crowd without evidence, which he looked long and hard for but didn’t find. A backhanded comment on Mueller’s indictments and the state of American journalism?

    Also note that nobody questions where Deep Throat got his information; apparently it’s a given that the FBI spies on election campaigns.

  19. October 3, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Could Trump Take Down the American Empire?

    “Trump had entered the White House with a clear commitment to ending U.S.
    military interventions, based on a worldview in which fighting wars in
    the pursuit of military dominance has no place. In the last speech of
    his “victory tour” in December 2016, Trump vowed, “We will stop racing
    to topple foreign regimes that we knew nothing about, that we shouldn’t
    be involved with.” Instead of investing in wars, he said, he would
    invest in rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.”

    “Trump retorted angrily that the generals were “the architects of this mess” and that they have were “making it worse,” by asking him to add more troops to “something I don’t believe in.”

    Then Trump folded hisarms and declared, “I want to get out. And you’re telling me the answer is to get deeper in.”

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/truthdig/could_trump_take_down_the_american_empire/#comment-4126207749

    Democrats now stand with the MIC and deep state neo- conservatives and have been pushing for WW3 with Russia and lying about Syria and siding with ISIS and ridiculing his attempt at making peace with N Korea…..Hillary was the Neo con queen.

    and you think Trump is dangerous?

    Im no Trump fan but I have not let Trumps election loose my rational thinking skills and will give him credit when due and now have to watch as democrats hold hands with the BUSH = Hillary cabal who are trying to push for a military coup in the USA.

    • Lucius Patrick
      October 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      You are spot on. And to all those who would point to Trump hiring Bolton and Haley, I’m thinking Trump has had to play neo-con to satisfy the Dems and many of the Republicans. The fact that Obama and Hillary dropped more bombs than Bush and Cheney, and invaded more countries, and sold more American arms to foreign countries than ever sold before, is a spectacular fact–especially when considered in light of the fact that Obama ran as the guy who was going to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan…

    • Maxwell Quest
      October 3, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      I hear you Lucius and Jean, but Trump is no Andrew Jackson or Teddy Roosevelt. I don’t believe he has the moral character, fortitude, not to mention the strong voter mandate needed to fight these battles. His personal history is littered with the disappointed, betrayed, and bankrupted. Do we really think that he has recently ‘got religion’ as they say?

      I’ve watched him continue to retreat from his pre-election promises even before he was handed the reins of office. I’ve learned long ago to watch what they do and not what they say. There is no 3-D chess, there is only Trump the ADHD showman.

      • October 3, 2018 at 7:09 pm

        Have you also watched as Trump has been pilloried and maligned by the deep state?

        Have you watched as Trump was threatened by Schumer on national television?

        Schumer warns Trump: Intel officials ‘have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you’

        https://youtu.be/fotKK5kcMOg

        Have you watched MSNBC and CNN that’s hired proved liars and torture enthusiasts Brennan and Clapper and Haden?

        Who pushed propaganda and lies about Russia with zero evidence and called Trump’s talk with Putin treason?

        I have

        That’s called a military coup and democrats have been pushing for it.

        • Maxwell Quest
          October 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm

          Yes, Jean, I have seen all this, thus my resignation. Trump won’t be coloring too far outside the lines for the next couple of years… if he lasts that long. He is in over his head, severely weakened, and surrounded by enemies.

          Even if he were the reincarnation of Julius Caesar himself, his blood would still be spilled on the senate floor if he dared give way to any commoner demands, so great are the powerful forces arrayed against him.

          At this point I’m not even sure if social upheaval can save the day, so that power is once again broken up and just laws reestablished.

          • October 4, 2018 at 2:07 am

            I’m afraid you may be right

            Interestingly it’s the democrats who are pushing Trump from the right and are Holding hands with literally the same Bush war criminals they once pretend to be against.

          • Realist
            October 4, 2018 at 4:12 am

            Funny how convoluted and contradictory reality becomes, Jean, when the false narrative breaks down because the powers behind the curtain simply made too many assumptions, in this case that the public could accept Hillary as their chosen leader even after her many sins, including planned thefts of both the primaries and the general election, were leaked from within her own organisation. This criminal effort has never ceased and has since transmogrified into a prolonged coup attempt abetted all the way by the deep state, intel agencies, the Pentagon and all corporate media. If you are smart enough to connect the dots and understand all this through the deliberate haze, you must be a conspiracy theorist or a Putin puppet.

            Even a Jack Kennedy would be overwhelmed by the deliberate obstruction Trump has received even from within his own cabinet. This is what happens when the outsider without any political connections runs against the establishment and wins in spite of all the cheating. If this were a basketball game, not only would the opposing team be countering his every move, but so would the other four guys supposedly on his own side. Someone ought to tell him that bullying one’s allies into sabotaging the economies of one’s alleged enemies will only widen the list of enemies. But I think they are all deliberately giving him enough rope to hang himself instead of acting in anyone’s best interests. Neither major party has ever been averse to damaging America’s real interests in an effort to wrest power from the opposition. Now both are using the tactic non-stop. The plutocrats will deserve what they get when the empire collapses. Not so much the rest of us. I suspect that most of us who can see what is coming will be quite ambivalent about it when the day arrives.

        • Zhu
          October 6, 2018 at 4:41 am

          Bush II wanted to provoke the Rapture, the Second Coming of Jesus.

      • eric siverson
        October 7, 2018 at 1:14 am

        You sure picked a couple of real war mongers to hold up as heroes I sur hope Trump is better than them two .Trump did cut the funding for the moderate rebels and ISIS forces . So that Syria and Russia did defeat them . Now we are protecting the holdup terrorists in Idib . If we should pull out Assad will finish them off .? Trump has delivered on his promises , He just might keep on delivering .

    • Mild -ly - Facetious
      October 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      ( meanwhile, back-at-the-ranch, Trump has INCREASED the military budget reaching toward the TRILLIONS of dollars—
      while DECREASING federal funds in ALL OTHER federal ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS.)

      What can this mean for everyday American citizens… ?

      • October 4, 2018 at 2:09 am

        Democrats gave Trump more money for the pentagon than he asked for.

        How’s that for a farm?

      • eric siverson
        October 7, 2018 at 1:25 am

        If he brings the troops home the money will be spent here . The new Mexican trade deal should pay us more than the cost of the wall . so again Trump did get Mexico to pay for the wall but he can’t get congress to authorize the wall . So Trump needs a new speaker in the house . Lucky Trump loves to fight .nobody else could have done near what Trump has done on delivering his promises with so much opposition .

    • October 4, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      Trump has no ideology except for “Me.”

      Therefore, anything and everything he does that turns out to be beneficial in any way for anyone and everyone other than “Me” is completely coincidental.

      It isn’t a secret.

      • October 4, 2018 at 5:41 pm

        Absolutely correct…….Trump is a greedy baboon who wanted Trump Towers in Moscow and not WW3 as Hillary planned.Ironically its his greed and Narcissism that is his only saving grace.A low bar I know ,perhaps the lowest.

      • October 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm

        It takes some mental gymnastics to spin Trump’s history of money laundering with these Russian oligarchs as a “positive” thing.

        https://opensociet.org/2018/08/07/follow-the-money-trumps-dirty-laundry/

        That said, if his ties to Russian mobsters keep the US from going to war with a country whose weaponry is simply better than what’s made in America, that’s definitely a good thing.

        https://opensociet.org/2018/09/01/war-with-russia-part-3-implications-of-new-weapons-system/

        As a result, Trump’s disinterest in WWIII with Russia might be his only policy I actually agree with!

      • eric siverson
        October 7, 2018 at 1:28 am

        Is that why Trump does not take his pay for running the country?

    • October 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      thank you to jean and to those seemingly shocked by trump’s comments about kavaugh’s accuser: he said what tens of millions of americans were and are thinking, which is part of what got him elected and what too many of our mind managed and consciously controlled alleged “free” thinkers too often miss…while this insect brain shocks people by saying exactly what he thinks, past hypocrits make the proper noises about democracy, justice and other fictional items while slaughtering thousands, destroying nations, governments and anything that threatens empire..the best news coming out of this circus of hypocrital madness is that while more than twenty million were held captive by fake news tv during the presentation, that means more than three hundred million americans were not watching! there may be hope after all.

    • Zhu
      October 6, 2018 at 4:43 am

      CIA coup more likely. Pence will take over & the traditional institutions will keep on rubber stamping everything.

  20. October 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Masha Gessen, a strong critic of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, explained the danger this way in The New Yorker:

    “Having this state of affairs described in print further establishes that an unelected body, or bodies, are overruling and actively undermining the elected leader. While this may be the country’s salvation in the short run [Really, Masha? Like putting us on the brink of nuclear war with Russia.] , it also plainly signals the demise of some of its most cherished ideals and constitutional norms. An anonymous person or persons cannot govern for the people, because the people do not know who is governing. [Like in the 1990s in Russia when the Harvard boyz, Sachs and the Wall Street and City of London sharks dominated, subjugated and looted the former USSR.]”

    I’m no fan of Trump, but had Killary won in ’16 there’s a strong likelihood we’d all be vaporized by now. She actually called for a no-fly zone in Syria. And you darn well know she would’ve never met with Putin one-on-one.

    • October 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Exactly!!

      And now its democrats who stand shoulder to shoulder with literal Bush criminals and push for WW3 with Russia.Insanity.

  21. jaycee
    October 3, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    John McCain was in Australia shortly after Trump’s inauguration, and was quoted in the press there as telling his counterparts to proceed with activity such as the TPP because Trump would not last more than a few months.

    The “deep state” is the operative functionary component of what has always been known as The Establishment. The latter has become factional in ways not seen for 150 years or so, but it will still unite against a real populist/left threat should one arise.

  22. T.J
    October 3, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I think Joe Lauria has more or less got it right here and where he speculates he might not be too wrong either. It is also no harm to reset the issues and leave them open to comment every now and again. As I write this and observe through my window the wind rustling through the trees and the branches swaying to and fro. I recognise that these are the simple pleasures of life which ordinary people appreciate every so often, when they have some time to sit and stare and wonder what is life really about? and also wonder how the oligarchs and plutocrats view this world?. Has their greed and obscene wealth blinded them to reality and the simple pleasures of life?. Are they so insane with power that they are unable to recognise anything of real value other then money? I guess to describe them as insane, corrupt and devoid of any morals would be the most apt description of their behaviour.

    • Maxwell Quest
      October 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      I believe James Cameron was making the same point in his 2009 movie, Avatar:

      “Learn well, Jake Sully. Then we will see if your insanity can be cured.” – Mo’at, the Omaticaya’s spiritual leader.

  23. Abe
    October 3, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Donald Trump’s purported “deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy” was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning.

    Trump received the “Liberty Award” for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

    “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent.”
    VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

    After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

    Trump’s purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel’s commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel’s undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

    Of course, Hillary Clinton is no less an abject creature of the pro-Israel Lobby.

    Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has “1000 percent” support from the Trump regime and the chorus of pro-Israel Lobby lawmakers.

    • October 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      No US politician can make any progress without kissing Israels ring.And they whine about Russia? If only …..Russia didn’t lie us into wars.

    • Zhu
      October 6, 2018 at 4:48 am

      Bring in the Dispensayionalists, the Christian Zionists to the argument.

      • Zhu
        October 6, 2018 at 4:50 am

        The power lies with Christian Zionists & Dispensationalists, people like John Haggee & his flock.

    • eric siverson
      October 7, 2018 at 1:44 am

      everybody always talk about fighting for Israel .Israel has been in several wars often against several countries at once . I don’t ever recall any soldiers from any country ever fighting side by side with Israel soldiers do any of you . So why don’t you shut up about fighting for Israel . nobody ever has and is doubtful anybody ever will

  24. anastasia
    October 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I have suspected for a long time that Trump is going to get this country in a major war, and I have been listening to him closely. Matters are escalating every days, and are growing more serious. .

    He was hell-bent on bringing back the “steel” industry, and the other night in one of his campaign stops he said something telling.
    He was bragging about bringing back the steel industry, one of the first things he did as President, and said this, “if we get in a war, we will need steel, we will need it to be manufactured in our country.

    He tricked us during the campaign, but showed himself for what he truly was as soon as he got in office, in bombing Syria twice, in reversing himself on NATO, in escalating the Afghanistan military presence; in contracting with the Saudis in a billion dollar military deal; in entering Syria militarily (they were previously outside its borders), in withdrawing from the Obama deal with Iran when his only complaint during the campaign was the money, which he knew he could never get back (the only person left to perform on that contract were the Iranians); in sanctioning Russia repeatedly and more than the last two presidents combined; in sanctioning Iran into near poverty; in threatening the European Union not to contract with the Russians on the oil pipeline or the Iranians; in putting thousands of military in Poland. All is worse than ever before. We are on the brink of something awful happening.

    He is a willing pawn of Israel, and if there were collusion in the election, right there is the country that was colluding with him. Pappadoulos was not threatened with being a Russian agent; he was threatened with arrest for being an Israeli agent.

    • October 3, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      And yet Hillary was Israels and the neo cons choice.And all these wars are proxy wars against RUSSIA…….to protect Israel and the despicable Saudi’s.

    • michael crockett
      October 3, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      Excellent comment Anastasia. You nailed it. We have to judge Trump by his deeds and not by his empty rhetoric, which is nothing more than bombast on steroids.

    • October 4, 2018 at 3:56 am

      It would not be just Trump. Couldn’t be, in fact.

      America’s power establishment has been at continuous war for almost 20 years.

      And it itches still over other possible aggressions.

      Iran.

      Russia.

      No president, no matter how unpleasant he is, can do such things alone.

      Trump is a nasty piece of work, but America’s problems are far larger than him.

      • Zhu
        October 6, 2018 at 4:53 am

        “America’s power establishment has been at continuous war for almost 20 years. ”

        More like 70 years, since 1950.

  25. Joe Tedesky
    October 3, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    2nd posting…. please fix the censorship algorithm thingy Joe

    Good subject Mr Lauria, and a subject very familiar to this sites pass commentaries. In fact Robert Parry was very early on concerned with the DOJ/MSM/IntelGrp as our former Consortium founder kicked all of us off into high gear to comment on the coup de tat taking place in real-time as it happened. So keeping us up to date with the Seven Days in September seems so befitting with what ‘the Consortium’ is all about these last couple of years.

    No matter how any of this may go whether from the Left Russia interfered or the Right that a conspiracy was brewing inside the DOJ both sides end up demonizing Putin and his beloved Russia. This is proof that what we are watching is a grandiose fight between our plutocratic elites… maybe the globalist verses the nationalist IDK, but it ain’t promising for world peace.

    Now it’s a race between the world’s nations to release themselves of the US/UK chains that bind them, against the US Hegemony project being engineered by Israel & Neocon fanatics. I can’t see a Wall Street losing, so I’m hoping the Street is hedging itself well either way… just not more war. It’s time to de-escalate this already over militarized world of ours… not tomorrow but yesterday.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 3, 2018 at 8:32 pm
      • Realist
        October 4, 2018 at 5:09 am

        What it SHOULD mean is that, having failed in a two-year long effort to uncover any evidence that Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 presidential election (which was his only assigned investigatory task), Mueller has decided that the country should revert back to having only a single Department of Justice headed by a single Attorney General, rather than this two-headed beast empowered to conduct witch hunts or fishing expeditions against anyone and everyone, especially those associated with the incumbent administration. Even a rabid exponent of the secret deep state can see that the strategy eventually brings diminishing returns and dangerous blowback from a skeptical public that stops being amused.

        The conventional wisdom was that the public eventually had a bellyful of Clinton scandals after the Senate failed to convict. The focus then turned towards Hillary’s “personal torment” and capacity to forgive her “unfaithful spouse,” using that as a springboard to entering the political game herself. A similar weariness settled upon the long list of war crimes and domestic crimes (including drug running and gun running) that comprised Iran-Contra under the Reagan/Bushdaddy regimes. The complicit media seemed to issue a sigh of relief when “41” granted pardons to all the big shots involved the day before his term ended–which should have been interpreted as a de facto guilty verdict by all future historians. Nobody had the will to pursue these matters when Slick Willy took office, just as Obama immediately upon his inauguration granted “get out of jail free” cards to all his predecessors who foisted the Iraq and Afghanistan wars upon the world based upon a tissue of lies.

        Any prosecutions that ever do result from such matters are strictly by political design, not from any sense of justice. And so whatever the guilty pleas, convictions and sentencing that will result from the present fiasco. It absolutely eludes me as to why the designated future National Security Advisor (General Flynn) should not be allowed to even exchange hello’s with the Russian ambassador resident in Washington under the so-called Logan Act and yet former Sec. State John Kerry presently confers risk-free with Iran’s President Rouhani about salvaging the nuclear treaty signed on Obama’s watch. Principles and justice never enter into these equations, which are always and foremost about political leverage.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 4, 2018 at 8:44 am

          Thanks Realist, that was a great analysis. Joe

  26. Henry
    October 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    The Generals have their own goals. They are not peace. They are not justice. They are not abiding by International Law and the UN Charter. Some of the Generals believe we, whoever!, can win a nuclear war. Trusting the Generals to “save” us is just plain foolish.

  27. lou e
    October 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    shared fantasy crumbling in the moonlight of reality

  28. John V. Walsh
    October 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Nice article.
    I would reiterate and emphasize the author’s correct assessment of Woodward’s book as anonymous, second-hand etc. So we cannot accept any of it as anything but gossip.
    However I would say that we can accept Woodward’s testimony about his own work which is firsthand.
    Of the two years work on this book, he says clearly and unequivocally that he found NO evidence for collusion between Russia and Trump on the 2016 election – and he says he looked hard for it.
    Lauria mentions this and links to a report of it.
    The mainstream media ony rarely mentions that when reporting on the Woodward book.
    https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/09/woodward-no-evidence-of-trump-russia-collusion-i-searched-hard-for-two-years/
    One more reason that it is time for Mueller to wrap it up and for Trump to meet again with Putin. If by now Trump has not been totally swamped by the Deep State and friends, he and Putin might at least be able to remove the hair trigger alert on the1550 nuclear warheads so configured on each side. The clock is ticking.

  29. Joe Tedesky
    October 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Good subject Mr Lauria, and a subject very familiar to this sites pass commentaries. In fact Robert Parry was very early on concerned with the DOJ/MSM/IntelGrp as our former Consortium founder kicked all of us off into high gear to comment on the coup de tat taking place in real-time as it happened. So keeping us up to date with the Seven Days in September seems so befitting with what ‘the Consortium’ is all about these last couple of years.

    No matter how any of this may go whether from the Left Russia interfered or the Right that a conspiracy was brewing inside the DOJ both sides end up demonizing Putin and his beloved Russia. This is proof that what we are watching is a grandiose fight between our plutocratic elites… maybe the globalist verses the nationalist IDK, but it ain’t promising for world peace.

    Now it’s a race between the world’s nations to release themselves of the US/UK chains that bind them, against the US/UK (Israel) Hegemony project being engineered by Israel & Neocon fanatics. I can’t see a Wall Street losing, so I’m hoping the Street is hedging itself well either way… just not more war. It’s time to de-escalate this already over militarized world of ours… not tomorrow but yesterday.

  30. elmerfudzie
    October 3, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    The MSM has drawn our attentions away from what truly destroyed the fundamental principles of the United States of America. Aside from revelations concerning political maneuverings and leaked intelligence information, the sum of Joe Lauria’s article belies the fact that, as a people, we, ever so gradually, permitted the monarchic takeover and thus, the subversion of our republic.

    To quote Benjamin Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it” and again, “We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it…end quote(s)

    To wit, the fateful day in November 1963 brought to an end, those guarantees issued forth, from our Constitutional Convention of 1787. By this I mean the “senator from the Pentagon”, LBJ, was raised by rifle fire and placed into the Oval Office. Before that fateful day, God was building our nation, and following JFK’s murder, the devil left his home in Texas and began building a nation who’s concrete foundation was a mix of blood and stone instead of water and stone.

    I say, monarchy, because it was the Rockefeller boy’s (and their ilk) who conspired along with the Pentagon, by tricking that imbecile Truman, into creating a second (secret) government at Langley.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 3, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Elmer may I raise the idea where others smarter than I have said that the very people you point a finger too would have had to give their consent for the execution of a US President, or otherwise the conspirators would have been playing with a very hot fire. Imagine the consequences for going over the bosses head?

      Hope this helps to strengthen your point.

      I might add that the murders thought themselves to be patriotic.

      • elmerfudzie
        October 4, 2018 at 1:37 am

        Reply to Joe Tedesky. Bobby Kennedy was quoted saying; there are more of us (the Kennedy clan) than there’s trouble. We now know, that “trouble” namely, the deep state apparatus, had the greater and overwhelming numbers. To date, LBJ’s spawn, has yet to be defeated and the obvious solution, violent overthrow can be substituted with a new and overwhelming force, soft power, coupled with an informed public via various Internet Freedom and Net Neutrality organizations. The soft power of Nullification per the tenth amendment of our Constitution, the BDS movements, true campaign finance reform and a return to strong uncorrupted labor union management.

        I hope we, the citizenry at large, here in the West, have enough time to accomplish what soft power can bring. I say time, because a Presidential test alert came over my cell phone this morning, a stark reminder that the nation has returned to a cold war Civil Defense posture and we’re now back to square one, the 1950’s mindset and instant horror.

    • Litchfield
      October 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Has anyone noticed that only two letters separate Truman from Trump?
      Truman was a total imbecile who did more harm than Trump proposes to do.
      But we still idolize the shopkeeper from whatever small town in Missouri spawned that idiot.

  31. October 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

    The unspeakable reality underlying the Trump presidency is that it could easily have been the “Sander’s presidency,” but for the total corruption of the Democratic Party. How ironic is it that the Republican Party is the party that actually had a fair and open presidential primary system? How corrupt does the DNC have to be that it preferred to risk losing the presidency than to allow the more popular progressive candidate a fair chance at the party’s nomination? One cannot help but wonder how domestically “populist” Sanders would be now be handling our jihadist regime change war against Syria, the recolonization of Africa through AFRICOM, and our illegal amoral wars against the peoples of the Middle East. Forgive me my cynicism for suspecting that his foreign policy would not be significantly different than what we are seeing under Trump.

    The pentagon/CIA/defense contractor deep state nexus has ruled this nation since they assassinated JFK, Malcolm, Martin and Bobby in span of five short years when I was a teenager. Even if employing a “Magic bullet,” one must admit that killing the entire top tier of progressive leadership in the nation within a period of five years is no small feat to be sure. It required distinctly bi-partisan support to keep a lid on such political mayhem.

    Expecting rational, humane, or even sane foreign policy decisions to emanate from the den of violence addicted vipers responsible for these acts, and all the warfare, torture and mayhem that has followed goes far beyond wishful thinking. The democratic republic was lost long ago. What we are witnessing today is the last gasp of a crumbling empire in its spastic death throes with all the internal institutional chaos that scenario suggests. We can only hope we (the U.S.) don’t take the whole planet with us in our amoral efforts to maintain Western and U.S. hegemony.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Glad you brought this up.

    • Dave P.
      October 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      Gary W. – So true. I always look forward to reading your very well-thought comments.

      • October 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm

        Dave P – thank you for your kind words.

    • LarcoMarco
      October 3, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      Those death squads knew what they were doing; those leaders were irreplaceable. Ted Kennedy? Ralph Abernathy? Elijah Muhammed? Please…

    • Druid
      October 3, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Well said!

    • October 3, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      I don’t understand why people seem to think the U.S. would be a populist paradise with Bernie as president. This is magical thinking. The deep state would still be firmly in control and Bernie has shown little inclination to challenge them.

      • October 4, 2018 at 3:58 pm

        The thing about Bernie is, is he is not a liar.

        • October 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

          Just a phony tool.

    • October 3, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      No Hillary= No Trump

      Literally

      Figuratively

      Empirically

      Hillary is why we have Trump and no other reason.Sanders would have won and easily as would any other decent democrat.

      Interesting that Bush CIA war criminals and torture enthusiasts Brennan and Clapper and Haden all have jobs at MSNBC and CNN……and they all hate Trump and are pushing for a coup and WW# with Russia based on lies and propaganda and zero evidence.

      The USSR wasn’t so blatant.

    • robjira
      October 3, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Great post, Gary.
      Peace.

  32. Jeff Harrison
    October 3, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Very good, sir. What I find amusing is that most of the news isn’t news at all. It’s opinion dressed up as news. Example: Putin wanted Trump to win the White House which is why Russia colluded with Trump to win the White House is the claim of the Russia-gaters. Actual news: The quotation from Vladimir Putin: It doesn’t make any difference who’s in the White House, the policy doesn’t change.

    The second amusing thing is that clearly Mr. Putin realizes and, I suspect, many other foreigners realize that the American people won’t get what they want from their elected officials. I think that’s largely because the MSM is just a megaphone for government propaganda which reflects what the Washington regime wants, not what is.

  33. Andrew Dabrowski
    October 3, 2018 at 10:50 am

    “As Obama was still president when his intelligence agencies apparently went to work on Trump, it was a bit rich for him to say: “”It should not be Democratic or Republican, it should not be partisan to say that we don’t pressure the Department of Justice or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.””

    Are you saying that Obama _did_ pressure the FBI to “work on Trump”? There was already plenty of evidence that Trump was beholden to Russian Oligarchs.

    • October 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

      I wouldn’t cite Obama on anything, except his rarely noted little aside, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this killing stuff.”

      • October 3, 2018 at 5:23 pm

        I liked ” Moving forward “…..defacto legalizing the Bush crimes.

    • Antiwar7
      October 3, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      He said Obama’s intelligence agencies did it. He didn’t say whether or not Obama was the one pushing for it.

    • Llitchfield
      October 3, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      ” it should not be partisan to say that we don’t pressure the Department of Justice or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.”””

      This is pretty darned convoluted.
      When you eliminate double negatives, Obama is saying:
      “It should be partisan to say that we do pressure the Department of Justice or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents. ”

      And what the hell do either of these statements mean?
      It is some kind of babble. That is because constitutional lawyer Obama, who presumably knows how to speak English and make a clear argument, knows his own complicity and so is raising a verbal dust cloud of some kind.

    • October 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm
  34. October 3, 2018 at 10:32 am

    “America’s vaunted democratic system”

    Sorry, but that is so only in some people’s minds.

    America’s system is regarded as vaunted by few outside of America.

    And in any event, it is not a democracy.

    It never was from the start because the Founders mostly disliked democracy the way J Edgar Hoover disliked communism.

    But it is even less so now. You have an imperial plutocracy with stage drapings that look democratic.

    “Seven Days in May” was made with Kennedy’s encouragement because he was, at one point, genuinely afraid of a military coup.

    And look how he ended up.

    Readers may enjoy:

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/john-chuckman-comment-the-first-genuine-information-in-the-kennedy-assassination-records-release-to-give-us-some-genuine-information-about-what-happened/

    And:

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

  35. nwwods
    October 3, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Living in a dangerous time..

    -Bruce Cockburn

  36. R. Raskolnikov
    October 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for this analysis. It is good and quite accurate. The fact is that the US has been an oligarchy or even a military dictatorship for a long time. Policies are not made by elected officials; they are made at the Pentagon, CIA, or by the banking elites. The CIA was created by Wall Street bankers and lawyers in order to organize their control over the elected officials.

    The mass media constantly deludes Americans with lurid stories about “personality fascism.” The put up boogieman fascists to scare brain dead news watchers. But fascism in the US is structural. It is built into way policies are developed and implemented. The free market or capitalism is the structural control over policy. Trump or any other president are just figure-heads. They have no power. They exist to keep people deluded.

    • October 3, 2018 at 10:43 am

      I don’t think it is a military dictatorship.

      But the Pentagon is a key part of the power establishment, the people who really run the country.

      It is loyal to its group, America’s plutocrats, great corporations, and powerful lobbies. The Pentagon and CIA actually exist to serve and support them in their imperial interests throughout the world.

      They sure do not serve “the people,” although that fraud is dutifully maintained.

      When a “democratic” politician goes too far off-script, as Kennedy very much did, then he is in danger, but not just from the Pentagon.

      Readers may enjoy:

      https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/john-chuckman-comment-why-modern-presidents-cannot-set-american-foreign-policy-even-if-they-want-to-do-so-founding-of-american-empire-after-ww-ii-the-needs-all-empires-share-whether-american-or-s/

      • R. Raskolnikov
        October 3, 2018 at 10:59 am

        John — yes, I agree with you that the Pentagon and CIA serve the interests of corporations and banks. Smedley Butler made this clear in his book, “War is a Racket.” And Philip Agee wrote that CIA actually stands for “Capitalism’s Invisible Army. ”

        The US regime is the most heavily armed regime in all human history. And it is armed against domestic uprisings as well as foreign. We have layers and layers of police all coordinated from Fusion Centers. This is a “smart” military dictatorship in that it knows how to keep its profile low. The fact is simply that there is no challenge to the regime. If there were, we’d see the military dictatorship directly.

        The CIA has taken out 2 presidents who did not know how to follow orders and got too close to Russia — JFK and Nixon. Now it is working on the 3rd — Trump. All presidents know not to step out of line. The consequences are just too dire.

        • October 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

          Yes, I think you get the hierarchy of power right, John Chuckman and R. Raskolnikov. Corporations and banks on top (the financial empire), then the racketeers of the Pentagon and the CIA next, as enforcers, and finally the politicians and courtiers in government and lobbies, as the enablers.

          These large entities control the policies, the purse, and the public diplomacy that so drastically impoverish the unprotected masses.

          For simplicity, one could call this arrangement, the ‘corporations-first, government-second’ (not co-equal) pairing of forces in the “Corporatism” form of fascism.

          The other form – the ‘government-first, corporation-second’ pairing – one could call the “National Socialism” form of fascism, which we do not have here in the USA.

          We have Corporatism here, which is more descriptive I think than the more general term “plutocracy”, because it inherently identifies where the organized wealth power originates from – corporations, and not just from any wealthy group of persons.

          • backwardsevolution
            October 3, 2018 at 3:53 pm

            Great comment thread!!!!! I agree, but sometimes I forget and get caught up in stupid issues. The Uniparty rules. Thanks.

        • Zhu
          October 6, 2018 at 5:27 am

          Our dictatorship, like the earlier Roman Empire, keeps the traditional institutions, elections, etc. But the real decisions are made elsewhere, by people little known to the public.

  37. Babyl-on
    October 3, 2018 at 7:26 am

    What I question about this article is its reliance on Woodward which I consider an unreliable insider and has been. While the things presented look suspicious I think a lot more needs to be filled in before an article like this could be effective. Of course, the talk of saving the nation is completely bogus, it is the courtiers scheming to take power for themselves, the system they wish to preserve is Neo-feudalism.

    Really frustrating to have to pose twice or more times to get it to stick.

    • Babyl-on
      October 3, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Woops, sorry about the complaint, I didn’t scroll down enough. Comments working will and ConsortiumNews and its quality reporting is one of the best news analysis sites around, which tends to generate quality comments.

    • Litchfield
      October 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Yes, reliance on Woodward worries me, too.
      Woodward is quite possibly a stalking horse of some kind. He has been rumored to be CIA himself.
      He is a pretty unappealing figure himself. The audio of his conversation with President Trump was cringe-making. He is some kind of courtier but not sure what kind. He doesn’t go all the way.

  38. Tom Welsh
    October 3, 2018 at 6:42 am

    All very interesting and instructive; but no big revelation. Ever since its foundation, the USA has been simply one huge criminal enterprise built up from smaller criminal enterprises. Everything of value has always been up for sale, and naturally all politicians, judges, prosecutors and the like have also been for sale to the highest bidder. (Indeed, an old American maxim tell us that, “An honest politician is one who stays bought”).

    A leader like Kennedy, who seems actually to have believed some of the myths propagated by the elites to prevent the ordinary people from asking probing questions, was always in the line of fire.

    Notice that no president since Kennedy has stepped out of line enough to be put down. The mere threat is enough, and may help to account for such seeming mysteries as Johnson’s willingness to cover up Israel’s deliberate and murderous attack on USS Liberty. Perhaps it was put to him that either the crew of the Liberty, or he would have to die – which would he prefer?

    • mike k
      October 3, 2018 at 7:51 am

      What you say is so true Tom. The US is controlled by the biggest Mafia in the world, whose goal is complete domination of every living entity on Earth. We represent the pinnacle and most insane development of the addiction to power in our world. The tragic results of this evil obsession are all around us, but most citizens are conditioned by propaganda from birth to be unable to see the ugly persons who rule their lives. Instead we are constantly being congratulated for our “freedom” and “exceptional” status.

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 3, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Thank you Tom Walsh and mike k. I appreciate your response to Joe Lauria’s report. I think you’re both right. mike k, I read an interesting and insightful book by Sally Denton and Rodger Morris called “The Money and the Power, The Making Of Las Vegas and its Hold On America” a while ago, that carefully explained that it’s not so much the mafia, as it is various syndicates, or illegal special interests that influence what Peter Dale Scott also identifies as the “Deep State.” I think what Joe Lauria is describing here is the warring of disparate factions of the Deep State. Unreliable narrators are everywhere apparent. I can’t imagine a good ending except possibly Truth and Reconciliation.

    • Antiwar7
      October 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      If you really want to blow your mind about JFK and LBJ, read this:
      http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-jfk-assassination-part-ii-who-did-it/

      • Litchfield
        October 3, 2018 at 5:11 pm

        Has anyone noticed that only two letters separate Truman from Trump?
        Truman was a total imbecile who did more harm than Trump proposes to do.
        But we still idolize the shopkeeper from whatever small town in Missouri spawned that idiot.

    • Litchfield
      October 3, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      “The mere threat is enough, and may help to account for such seeming mysteries as Johnson’s willingness to cover up Israel’s deliberate and murderous attack on USS Liberty. Perhaps it was put to him that either the crew of the Liberty, or he would have to die – which would he prefer?”

      I very much doubt this. Johnson was Israel’s man in DC.
      Johnson is a prime suspect in the Dallas event.
      And, I think Nixon was taken out by Watergate. They didn’t have to kill him. He wasn’t that popular anyhow. If he had been more popular they would have killed him.

  39. Babyl-on
    October 3, 2018 at 6:35 am

    What I question about this article is its reliance on Woodward which I consider an unreliable insider and has been. While the things presented look suspicious I think a lot more needs to be filled in before an article like this could be effective. Of course, the talk of saving the nation is completely bogus, it is the courtiers scheming to take power for themselves, the system they wish to preserve is Neo-feudalism.

    • Antiwar7
      October 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      Except that Woodward is not expected to be pro-Trump, which makes those observations of his described here more believable.

  40. john wilson
    October 3, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Trump has given ever more obscene amounts of money to the military which is the same as giving it to the MIC. He’s quite safe as long as he keeps on spending tax payers money in this way. I saw on RT today that a huge delivery of arms has made its way to Israel so the MIC benefits here again. Trump likely to be pushed out? Nope he quite safe for the time being. Of course, he might get taken out by some nut job from the Democrats but unlikely.

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