Many comparisons have been made between Russiagate and the earlier scandals of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but the similarities are at best superficial, explained Robert Parry on June 28, 2017.
On CNN last week Carl Bernstein astonishingly said that the Mueller report uncovered a scandal bigger than Watergate. No one died in either Watergate or Russiagate. But they did in Iran-Contra, when the Reagan White House skirted Congress’ decision to cut off funding for the Contras, which led to many more deaths in Nicaragua. It was a scandal uncovered by CN’s founder Bob Parry for the Associated Press. Parry, who was ahead of the pack in debunking Russiagate, filed this report for CN on June 28, 2017.
Russiagate Is No Watergate or Iran-Contra
By Robert Parry
Special to Consortium News
Russia-gate, the sprawling investigation into whether Russia meddled in last year’s U.S. election, is often compared to the two big political scandals of the latter half of the Twentieth Century, Watergate and Iran-Contra. Sometimes you even hear that Russia-gate is “bigger than Watergate.”
Yet what is perhaps most remarkable about those two Twentieth Century scandals is how little Official Washington really understands them – and how these earlier scandals significantly contrast, rather than compare, with what is unfolding now.
Although the historical record is still incomplete on Watergate and Iran-Contra, the available evidence indicates that both scandals originated in schemes by Republicans to draw foreign leaders into plots to undermine sitting Democratic presidents and thus pave the way for the elections of Richard Nixon in 1968 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
As for Russia-gate, even if you accept that the Russian government hacked into Democratic emails and publicized them via WikiLeaks, there is still no evidence that Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Kremlin to do so. By contrast, in the origins of Watergate and Iran-Contra, it appears the Nixon and Reagan campaigns, respectively, were the instigators of schemes to enlist foreign governments in blocking a Vietnam peace deal in 1968 and negotiations to free 52 American hostages in Iran in 1980.
Though Watergate is associated directly with the 1972 campaign – when Nixon’s team of burglars was caught inside the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate building – Nixon’s formation of that team, known as the Plumbers, was driven by his fear that he could be exposed for sabotaging President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968 in order to secure the White House that year.
After Nixon’s narrow victory over Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 election, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed Nixon that Johnson had a secret file, complete with wiretapped phone calls, detailing the Nixon campaign’s backchannel messages to South Vietnamese officials convincing them to boycott Johnson’s Paris peace talks. Later, Nixon learned that this incriminating file had disappeared from the White House.
So, in 1971, after the leaking of the Pentagon Papers, which recounted the lies that had been used to justify the Vietnam War through 1967, Nixon fretted that the missing file about his peace-talk gambit in 1968 might surface, too, and would destroy him politically. Thus, he organized the Plumbers to find the file, even contemplating fire-bombing the Brookings Institution to enable a search of its safe where some aides thought the missing file might be found.
In other words, Watergate wasn’t simply a break-in at the Democratic National Committee on June 17, 1972, in pursuit of useful political intelligence and Nixon’s ensuing cover-up; the scandal had its origins in a far worse scandal, the derailing of peace talks that could have ended the Vietnam War years earlier and saved the lives of tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and possibly more than 1 million Vietnamese.
Similarly, the Iran-Contra scandal exploded in 1986 with revelations that President Reagan had authorized secret arms sales to Iran with some of the profits going to fund the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, but the evidence now indicates that the connections between Reagan’s team and Iran’s revolutionary regime traced back to 1980 when emissaries from Reagan’s campaign worked to stymie President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran.
According to multiple witnesses, including former Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Nicholas Veliotes, the pre-election contacts led to the opening of a weapons pipeline to Iran (via Israel), after Reagan was sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981, which was the precise moment when Iran finally released the American hostages after 444 days.
Some key players in the 1980 Reagan-Iran contacts reappeared four years later at the start of direct (again secret) U.S. arms shipments to Iran in 1985, which also involved Israeli middlemen. These key players included Iranian CIA operative Cyrus Hashemi, former CIA clandestine services chief Theodore Shackley, Reagan’s campaign chief and then-CIA Director William Casey, and former CIA Director and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.
In other words, the Iran-Contra weapons shipments of 1985-86 appear to have been an outgrowth of the earlier shipments dating back to 1980 and continuing under Israeli auspices until the supply line was taken over more directly by the Reagan administration in 1985-86.
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Thus, both the Watergate scandal in 1972 and the Iran-Contra Affair in 1986 could be viewed as “sequels” to the earlier machinations driven by Republican hunger to seize the enormous powers of the U.S. presidency. However, for decades, Official Washington has been hostile to these underlying explanations of how Watergate and Iran-Contra began.
For instance, The New York Times, the so-called “newspaper of record,” treated the accumulation of evidence regarding Nixon’s 1968 peace-talk gambit as nothing more than a “rumor” until earlier this year when a scholar, John A. Farrell, uncovered cryptic notes taken by Nixon’s aide H.R. Haldeman, which added another piece to the mosaic and left the Times little choice but to pronounce the historical reality finally real.
Grasping the Watergate Narrative
Still, the Times and other major news outlets have failed to factor this belated admission into the larger Watergate narrative. If you understand that Nixon did sabotage President Johnson’s Vietnam War peace talks and that Nixon was aware that Johnson’s file on what LBJ called Nixon’s “treason” had disappeared from the White House, the early “Watergate tapes” from 1971 suddenly make sense.
Nixon ordered White House chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger to locate the missing file but their search came up empty. Yet, some Nixon aides thought the file might be hidden at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank in Washington. So, in his desperate pursuit of the file, Nixon called for a break-in at Brookings, possibly even fire-bombing the building as a cover for his team of burglars to slip in amid the confusion and rifle the safe.
The old explanation that Nixon simply wanted to find some file related to Johnson’s 1968 pre-election Vietnam bombing halt never made sense given the extreme steps that Nixon was prepared to take.
The relevant portions of Nixon’s White House tapes include an entry on June 17, 1971, coincidentally one year to the day before the Watergate burglars were caught. Nixon summoned Haldeman and Kissinger to the Oval Office and pleaded with them again to locate the file.
“Do we have it?” Nixon asked Haldeman. “I’ve asked for it. You said you didn’t have it.”
Haldeman: “We can’t find it.”
Kissinger: “We have nothing here, Mr. President.”
Nixon: “Well, damn-it, I asked for that because I need it.”
Kissinger: “But Bob and I have been trying to put the damn thing together.”
Haldeman: “We have a basic history in constructing our own, but there is a file on it.”
Haldeman: “[Presidential aide Tom Charles] Huston swears to God that there’s a file on it and it’s at Brookings.”
Nixon: “Bob? Bob? Now do you remember Huston’s plan [for White House-sponsored break-ins as part of domestic counter-intelligence operations]? Implement it.”
Kissinger: “Now Brookings has no right to have classified documents.”
Nixon: “I want it implemented. Goddamn-it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”
Haldeman: “They may very well have cleaned them by now, but this thing, you need to “
Kissinger: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Brookings had the files.”
Haldeman: “My point is Johnson knows that those files are around. He doesn’t know for sure that we don’t have them around.”
But Johnson did know that the file was no longer at the White House because he had ordered his national security adviser, Walt Rostow, to remove it in the final days of Johnson’s presidency.
Forming the Burglars
On June 30, 1971, Nixon again berated Haldeman about the need to break into Brookings and “take it [the file] out.” Nixon suggested using former CIA officer E. Howard Hunt to conduct the Brookings break-in.
“You talk to Hunt,” Nixon told Haldeman. “I want the break-in. Hell, they do that. You’re to break into the place, rifle the files, and bring them in. Just go in and take it. Go in around 8:00 or 9:00 o’clock.”
Haldeman: “Make an inspection of the safe.”
Nixon: “That’s right. You go in to inspect the safe. I mean, clean it up.”
For reasons that remain unclear, it appears that the Brookings break-in never took place (nor did the fire-bombing), but Nixon’s desperation to locate Johnson’s peace-talk file was an important link in the chain of events that led to the creation of Nixon’s burglary unit under Hunt’s supervision. Hunt later oversaw the two Watergate break-ins in May and June of 1972.
While it’s possible that Nixon was still searching for the file about his Vietnam-peace sabotage when the ill-fated Watergate break-ins occurred a year later, it’s generally believed that the burglary was more broadly focused, seeking any information that might have an impact on Nixon’s re-election, either defensively or offensively.
However, if you think back on 1971 when the Vietnam War was tearing the country apart and massive antiwar demonstrations were descending on Washington, Nixon’s desperation to locate the missing file suddenly doesn’t seem quite so crazy. There would have been hell to pay if the public learned that Nixon had kept the war going to gain a political advantage in 1968.
Through 1972 – and the early days of the Watergate scandal – former President Johnson had stayed silent about Nixon’s sabotage of the Paris peace talks. But the ex-President became livid when – after Nixon’s reelection in 1972 – Nixon’s men sought to pressure Johnson into helping them shut down the Watergate investigation, in part, by noting that Johnson, too, had deployed wiretaps against Nixon’s 1968 campaign to obtain evidence about the peace-talk sabotage.
While it’s not clear whether Johnson would have finally spoken out, that threat to Nixon ended two days after Nixon’s second inaugural when on Jan. 22, 1973, Johnson died of a heart attack. However, unbeknownst to Nixon, Johnson had left the missing file, called “The X-Envelope,” in the care of Rostow, who – after Johnson’s death – gave the file to the LBJ presidential library in Austin, Texas, with instructions that it be kept under wraps for at least 50 years. (Rostow’s instructions were overturned in the 1990s, and I found the now largely declassified file at the library in 2012.)
So, with the “The X-Envelope” squirreled away for more than two decades at the LBJ library and with the big newspapers treating the early sketchy reports of Nixon’s peace-talk sabotage as only “rumors,” Watergate remained a scandal limited to the 1972 campaign.
Still, Nixon’s cover-up of his campaign’s role in the Watergate break-in produced enough clear-cut evidence of obstruction of justice and other offenses that Nixon was forced to resign on Aug. 9, 1974.
A Failed Investigation
The 1979-81 hostage confrontation with Iran was not nearly as devastating a crisis as the Vietnam War but America’s humiliation during the 444-day-long ordeal became a focus of the 1980 election, too, with the first anniversary of Iran’s seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran coincidentally falling on Election Day 1980.
President Carter’s failure to gain freedom for the 52 embassy personnel turned what had been a close race into a landslide for Ronald Reagan, with Republicans also gaining control of the U.S. Senate and ousting some of the most influential Democratic senators.
In 1984, Reagan won reelection in another landslide, but two years later ran afoul of the Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan’s secret arms sales to Iran and diversion of profits to the Contras “broke” in November 1986 but focused only on Reagan’s 1985-1986 arms sales and the diversion. Still, the scandal’s crimes included violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the so-called Boland Act’s prohibitions on arming the Contras as well as perjury and obstruction of justice. So there was the prospect of Reagan’s impeachment.
But – from the start of Iran-Contra – there was a strong pushback from Republicans who didn’t want to see another GOP president driven from office. There was also resistance to the scandal from many mainstream media executives who personally liked Reagan and feared a public backlash if the press played an aggressive role similar to Watergate.
And, moderate Democrats, such as Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana who co-chaired the congressional investigation, sought to tamp down the Iran-Contra fires and set up firebreaks to prevent the investigation from spreading to related crimes such as the Reagan administration’s protection of Contra cocaine traffickers.
“Ask about the cocaine,” pleaded one protester who was dragged from the Iran-Contra hearing room, as the congressional investigators averted their eyes from such unseemly matters, focusing instead on stilted lectures about the Congress’s constitutional prerogatives.
It was not until 1990-91 that it became clear that secret U.S.-approved arms shipments to Iran did not start in 1985 as the Iran-Contra narrative claimed but traced back to 1981 with Reagan’s approval of arms sales to Iran through Israel.
Reagan’s politically risky move of secretly arming Iran immediately after his inauguration and the hostage release was nearly exposed when one of the Israeli flights strayed into Soviet airspace on July 18, 1981, and crashed or was shot down.
In a PBS interview nearly a decade later, Nicholas Veliotes, Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, said he looked into the incident by talking to top administration officials.
“It was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could transship to Iran some American-origin military equipment,” Veliotes said.
In checking out the Israeli flight, Veliotes came to believe that the Reagan camp’s dealings with Iran dated back to before the 1980 election. “It seems to have started in earnest in the period probably prior to the election of 1980, as the Israelis had identified who would become the new players in the national security area in the Reagan administration,” Veliotes said. “And I understand some contacts were made at that time.”
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However, in 1981, Veliotes said, the State Department issued misleading press guidance to cover the administration’s tracks and the Washington media failed to follow up. Thus, the U.S.-Israeli arms pipeline to Iran stayed secret from the American people until November 1986 when — despite Reagan’s long-running insistence that he would never trade arms with a terrorist state like Iran — the operation was exposed.
When I re-interviewed Veliotes in 2012, he said he couldn’t recall who the “people on high” were who had described the informal clearance of the Israeli shipments of U.S.-manufactured weapons, but he indicated that “the new players” were the young neoconservatives who were working on the Reagan campaign, many of whom later joined the administration as senior political appointees.
Documents that I discovered at the Reagan presidential library revealed that Reagan’s neocons at the State Department, particularly Robert McFarlane and Paul Wolfowitz, initiated a policy review in 1981 to allow Israel to undertake secret military shipments to Iran.
McFarlane and Wolfowitz also maneuvered to put McFarlane in charge of U.S. relations toward Iran and to establish a clandestine U.S. back-channel to the Israeli government outside the knowledge of even senior U.S. government officials.
Another Failed Investigation
In 1991, faced with the accumulating evidence of a prequel to the Iran-Contra scandal, Congress grudgingly agreed to take a look at these so-called “October Surprise” allegations. But Republicans, then led by President George H.W. Bush and his White House team, mounted an aggressive cover-up to “spike” the story.
And, with the congressional inquiry largely in the hands again of Rep. Hamilton, the Democrats timidly folded their tent despite a growing body of evidence that the Reagan team was indeed guilty.
Much of that evidence flowed into the House Task Force in December 1992 when President George H.W. Bush had already been defeated for reelection and the Democrats were looking forward to their renewed control of Washington. So, instead of giving a careful review to the new evidence, the House Task Force ignored, disparaged or buried it.
The late-arriving material included sworn testimony on Dec. 18, 1992, from David Andelman, the biographer of French intelligence chief Alexandre deMarenches, describing how deMarenches had confided that he had helped arrange the Republican-Iranian contacts. Andelman, an ex-New York Times and CBS News correspondent, said that while he was working on deMarenches’s autobiography, the arch-conservative spymaster admitted arranging meetings between Republicans and Iranians about the hostage issue in the summer and fall of 1980, with one meeting held in Paris in October.
Andelman said deMarenches ordered that the secret meetings be kept out of his memoirs because the story could otherwise damage the reputations of his friends, William Casey and George H.W. Bush. Andelman’s testimony corroborated longstanding claims from a variety of international intelligence operatives about a Paris meeting involving Casey and Bush. But the Task Force report brushed this testimony aside, paradoxically terming it “credible” but then claiming it was “insufficiently probative.”
The Task Force’s report argued that Andelman could not “rule out the possibility that deMarenches had told him he was aware of and involved in the Casey meetings because he, deMarenches, could not risk telling his biographer he had no knowledge of these allegations.”
In the last weeks of the investigation, the House investigators also received a letter from former Iranian President Bani-Sadr detailing his behind-the-scenes struggle with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his son Ahmad over their secret dealings with the Reagan campaign. But the House investigators dismissed Bani-Sadr’s first-hand account as hearsay and thus also lacking “probative value.”
I later unearthed some of the evidence in unpublished Task Force files. However, in the meantime, Official Washington had dismissed the “October Surprise” and other Iran-Contra-connected scandals, like Contra drug trafficking, as conspiracy theories.
The Russian Report
Ironically, another piece of late-arriving evidence was a January 1993 report from a national security committee of the Russian parliament about the Kremlin’s intelligence data confirming that key Republicans, including George H.W. Bush and William Casey, had met with Iranian officials in Europe regarding the hostages during the 1980 campaign.
Hamilton had requested the Russian assistance before the U.S. election in 1992, but the report was not sent until there were only two weeks left in George H.W. Bush’s presidency.
Lawrence Barcella, who served as the Task Force chief counsel, later told me that so much incriminating evidence arrived late that he asked Hamilton to extend the inquiry for three months but that Hamilton said no (although Hamilton told me that he had no recollection of denying Barcella’s request).
The other fatal flaw of the House investigation was that it left much of the actual investigating up to President George H.W. Bush’s White House counsel’s office and the State Department, although Bush was one of the chief suspects and, in 1991-92, was running for re-election, a campaign that would have been derailed if the 1980 October Surprise allegations were confirmed.
The naivete of this decision was underscored years later when I located a memo at Bush’s presidential library stating that the State Department had informed the White House counsel’s office that Casey had traveled to Madrid in 1980, corroborating a key October Surprise allegation.
The confirmation of Casey’s trip was passed along by State Department legal adviser Edwin D. Williamson to Associate White House Counsel Chester Paul Beach Jr. in early November 1991, just as the October Surprise inquiry was taking shape, according to Beach’s “memorandum for record” dated Nov. 4, 1991.
Williamson said that among the State Department “material potentially relevant to the October Surprise allegations [was] a cable from the Madrid embassy indicating that Bill Casey was in town, for purposes unknown,” Beach noted.
Two days later, on Nov. 6, 1991, Beach’s boss, White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, arranged an inter-agency strategy session and explained the need to contain the congressional investigation into the October Surprise case. The explicit goal was to ensure the scandal would not hurt President Bush’s reelection hopes in 1992.
In 2013, when I interviewed Hamilton about the Beach memo, he lamented that the Madrid information had not been shared with his investigation, saying “you have to rely on people” in authority to comply with information requests.
“We found no evidence to confirm Casey’s trip to Madrid,” Hamilton told me. “We couldn’t show that. The [George H.W. Bush] White House did not notify us that he did make the trip. Should they have passed that on to us? They should have because they knew we were interested in that.”
Asked if knowledge that Casey had traveled to Madrid might have changed the Task Force’s dismissive October Surprise conclusion, Hamilton said yes, because the question of the Madrid trip was key to the task force’s investigation.
Not Moving the Needle
However, the Madrid trip revelation and other post-investigation disclosures failed to move the needle on Official Washington’s disdain for the October Surprise story.
The later disclosures included a 1993 interview in Tel Aviv in which former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said he had read the 1991 book, October Surprise, by Carter’s former National Security Council aide Gary Sick, which made the case for believing that the Republicans had intervened in the 1980 hostage negotiations to disrupt Carter’s reelection.
With the topic raised, one interviewer asked, “What do you think? Was there an October Surprise?”
“Of course, it was,” Shamir responded without hesitation. “It was.”
And, there were other corroborating statements as well. In 1996, for instance, while former President Carter was meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Arafat in Gaza City, Arafat tried to confess his role in the Republican maneuvering to block Carter’s Iran-hostage negotiations.
“There is something I want to tell you,” Arafat said, addressing Carter in the presence of historian Douglas Brinkley. “You should know that in 1980 the Republicans approached me with an arms deal [for the PLO] if I could arrange to keep the hostages in Iran until after the [U.S. presidential] election,” Arafat said, according to Brinkley’s article in the fall 1996 issue of Diplomatic Quarterly.
In 2013, after the movie “Argo” appeared regarding an early facet of the Iran-hostage crisis, former Iranian President Bani-Sadr elaborated on his account of Republican overtures to Iran in 1980 and how that secret initiative prevented release of the hostages.
In a Christian Science Monitor commentary, Bani-Sadr wrote, “Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation which prevented the attempts by myself and then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages before the 1980 U.S. presidential election took place. The fact that they were not released tipped the results of the election in favor of Reagan.”
Then, Bani-Sadr added a new detail, that “two of my advisors, Hussein Navab Safavi and Sadr-al-Hefazi, were executed by Khomeini’s regime because they had become aware of this secret relationship between Khomeini, his son Ahmad, … and the Reagan administration.” [For more details on the October Surprise case, see Robert Parry’s Trick or Treason and America’s Stolen Narrative.]
Compare and Contrast
So how do Watergate and Iran-Contra compare and contrast with Russia-gate? One key difference is that in Watergate in 1972-73 and Iran-Contra in 1985-86, you had clear-cut crimes (even if you don’t want to believe the two “prequels” from 1968 and 1980, respectively).
In Watergate, five burglars were caught inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, as they sought to plant more bugs on Democratic phones. (An earlier break-in in May had installed two bugs, but one didn’t work.) Nixon then proceeded to mount a cover-up of his 1972 campaign’s role in funding the break-in and other abuses of power.
In Iran-Contra, Reagan secretly authorized weapons sales to Iran, which was then designated a terrorist state, without informing Congress, a violation of the Arms Export Control Act. He also kept Congress in the dark about his belated signing of a related intelligence “finding.” And the creation of slush funds to finance the Nicaraguan Contras represented an evasion of the U.S. Constitution.
There was also the attendant Iran-Contra cover-up mounted both by the Reagan White House and later the George H.W. Bush White House, which culminated in Bush’s Christmas Eve 1992 pardons of six Iran-Contra defendants as special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was zeroing in on possible indictment of Bush for withholding evidence.
By contrast, Russia-gate has been a “scandal” in search of a specific crime. President Barack Obama’s intelligence chieftains have alleged – without presenting any clear evidence – that the Russian government hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and released those emails via WikiLeaks and other Internet sites. (The Russians and WikiLeaks have both denied the accusations.)
The DNC emails revealed that senior Democrats did not maintain their required independence regarding the primaries by seeking to hurt Sen. Bernie Sanders and help Clinton. The Podesta emails pulled back the curtain on Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street banks and on pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.
Hacking into personal computers is a crime, but the U.S. government has yet to bring any formal charges against specific individuals supposedly responsible for the hacking of the Democratic emails. There also has been no evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians in the hacking.
Lacking any precise evidence of this cyber-crime or of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, Obama’s Justice Department holdovers and now special prosecutor Robert Mueller have sought to build “process crimes,” around false statements to investigators and possible obstruction of justice.
In the case of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, acting Attorney General Sally Yates used the archaic Logan Act of 1799 to create a predicate for the FBI to interrogate Flynn about a Dec. 29, 2016 conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, i.e., after Trump’s election but before the Inauguration.
The Logan Act, which has never resulted in a prosecution in 218 years, was enacted during the period of the Alien and Sedition Acts to bar private citizens from negotiating on their own with foreign governments. It was never intended to apply to a national security adviser of an elected President, albeit before he was sworn in.
But it became the predicate for the FBI interrogation — and the FBI agents were armed with a transcript of the intercepted Kislyak-Flynn phone call so they could catch Flynn on any gaps in his recollection, which might have been made even hazier because he was on vacation in the Dominican Republic when Kislyak called.
Yates also concocted a bizarre argument that the discrepancies between Flynn’s account of the call and the transcript left him open to Russian blackmail although how that would work – since the Russians surely assumed that Kislyak’s calls would be monitored by U.S. intelligence and thus offered them no leverage with Flynn – was never explained.
Still, Flynn’s failure to recount the phone call precisely and the controversy stirred up around it became the basis for an obstruction of justice investigation of Flynn and led to President Trump’s firing Flynn on Feb. 13.
Trump may have thought that tossing Flynn overboard to the circling sharks would calm down the sharks but the blood in the water only excited them more. According to then-FBI Director James Comey, Trump talked to him one-on-one the next day, Feb. 14, and said, “‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Trump’s “hope” and the fact that he later fired Comey have reportedly led special prosecutor Mueller to look at a possible obstruction of justice case against Trump. In other words, Trump could be accused of obstructing what appears to have been a trumped-up case against Flynn.
Of course, there remains the possibility that evidence might surface of Trump or his campaign colluding with the Russians, but such evidence has so far not been presented. Or Mueller’s investigation might turn over some rock and reveal some unrelated crime, possibly financial wrongdoing by Trump or an associate.
(Something similar happened in the Republican investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, a largely fruitless inquiry except that it revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent and received official emails over a private server, which Comey decried during last year’s campaign as “extremely careless” but not criminal.)
Curb the Enthusiasm
Another contrast between the earlier scandals (Watergate and Iran-Contra) and Russia-gate is the degree of enthusiasm and excitement that the U.S. mainstream media and congressional Democrats have shown today as opposed to 1972 and 1986.
Though The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein aggressively pursued the Watergate scandal, there was much less interest elsewhere in major news outlets until Nixon’s criminality became obvious in 1973. Many national Democrats, including DNC Chairman Bob Strauss, were extremely hesitant to pursue the scandal if not outright against it.
Similarly, although Brian Barger and I at The Associated Press were pursuing aspects of Iran-Contra since early 1985, the big newspapers and networks consistently gave the Reagan administration the benefit of the doubt – at least before the scandal finally burst into view in fall 1986 (when a Contra-supply plane crashed inside Nicaragua and a Lebanese newspaper revealed U.S. arms shipments to Iran).
For several months, there was a flurry of attention to the complex Iran-Contra scandal, but the big media still ignored evidence of a White House cover-up and soon lost interest in the difficult work of unraveling the convoluted networks for arms smuggling, money laundering and cocaine trafficking.
Congressional Democrats also shied away from a constitutional confrontation with the popular Reagan and his well-connected Vice President George H.W. Bush.
After moving from AP to Newsweek in early 1987, I learned that the senior executives at Newsweek, then part of The Washington Post Company, didn’t want “another Watergate”; they felt another such scandal was not “good for the country” and wanted Iran-Contra to go away as soon as possible. I was even told not to read the congressional Iran-Contra report when it was published in October 1987 (although I ignored that order and kept trying to keep my own investigation going in defiance of the wishes of the Newsweek brass until those repeated clashes led to my departure in June 1990).
So, perhaps the biggest similarity between Russia-gate and Watergate is that Richard Nixon and Donald Trump were both highly unpopular with the Washington establishment and thus had few influential defenders, while an important contrast with Iran-Contra was that Reagan and Bush were very well liked, especially among news executives such as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who, by all accounts, did not care for the uncouth Nixon. Today, the senior executives of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major news outlets have made no secret of their disdain for the buffoonish Trump and their hostility toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In other words, what is driving Russia-gate – for both the mainstream news media and the Democrats – appears to be a political agenda, i.e., the desire to remove Trump from office while also ratcheting up a New Cold War with Russia, a priority for Washington’s neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks.
If this political drama were playing out in some other country, we would be talking about a “soft coup” in which the “oligarchy” or some other “deep state” force was using semi-constitutional means to engineer a disfavored leader’s removal.
Of course, since the ongoing campaign to remove Trump is happening in the United States, it must be presented as a principled pursuit of truth and a righteous application of the rule of law. But the comparisons to Watergate and Iran-Contra are a stretch.
The late investigative reporter Robert Parry, the founder of Consortium News, broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.
I am requesting that you change the inaccurate caption on your picture of Jill Stein, Michael Flynn, and Pres. Putin. You caption it “Green Party leader Jill Stein and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn attending a dinner marking the RT network’s 10-year anniversary in Moscow, December 2015, sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.” This makes it seem as if the three dined together, but that is not the case. Putin sat at the table briefly before addressing the meeting. He exchanged greetings with Flynn, but that was all, and he and Dr. Stein had no communication at all. Inasmuch as this picture has been widely used to slander Dr. Stein, I would appreciate it if you would not contribute to this aspect of the Russagate fraud, since your reporting on it in general has been excellent. Thank you very much! (Full disclosure: I am active with The Green Party.)
What I wanna know is when do we see the Brennan show? You know, the one where John Brennan gets asked real questions in court room about the recipe he used to bake the cake we called “Russia-gate.” Hell, sit Hillary Clinton down too and ask them what should happen to people who wast two years of everyone’s life by accusing a president of treason – treason resulting from his being a Russian puppet no less – with no evidence any of their accusations are real?
When’s that happening? Anybody know?
[in search of my comment]
“Good-Bye (the) American Pie (lie)” – Don Mac lain … … …
Are we collectively corralling in favor (and belief) of AG Barr’s horrendously corrupting interpretation of Muller’s Artful Dodger-esk and Superfluous “conclusion(s)” to be left in the hands of the Anointed Co-Conspiritor, Attorney General Barr. !! ? (could there be a more Obviously Vile and Sinister Culprit this living history of scathing hypocrisy and menacing/acrimonious jurisdiction of appropriative powers! ??
The Abuse’s that will be allowed to follow this TRUMP Presidency
will be horizontal / “across-the-board” / decapitation of progressive/
thought / enlightenment into some previous / Kinder-Gentler NWO
relinquishment of Civil Rights for All Humanity in favor of Relegations
and commitment to the promiscuous policy of A Political OverThrow
“Good-Bye (the) American Pie (lie)” – Don Mac lain … … …
The Rapacious Indiscrimination of descent
will mark the Trump/MAGA Presidency. …
Aldous Huxley’s COPIED Russian novel
will mark the Russia/Trump connection … .
( Brave New World )
Trump has no integrity. Surrounding himself more and more with evil advisers ??
I sorta doubt many will scroll down this long list of 22 month-old comments to see this, but a few might. Mike Whitney has compiled a listing that points to the essence of the Russiagate hoax’s importance, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51488.htm It has everything to do with the use of FBI, CIA, NSA, MI6, and other spy agencies to alter the outcome of the 2016 election–the actual meddling!
We have seen that the Mainstream Media Admitted that they have No evidence that Candidate Donald Trump colluded with a foreign Country during the Election, and while the Lie that Candidate Trump colluded with Russia with was Needed to justify the Improper Surveillance on a Republican Presidential Candidate, to try to gain Electoral Advantage, and to have what is a ‘plausible’ Excuse if ever this matter was investigated or Leaked to the Media, it was Not anticipated by the Clintonites that some Democrats Would Leak to WikiLeaks, and so other Lies to Wrongly blame another Country would Need to be Invented by the Clintonites to try to manage that.
It was Obvious to Many People that there No collusion between Candidate Donald Trump and Russia, for the Obvious reasons, because there are Only a few ways that such a thing could happen, and None of them occurred during the Election.
Those reasons would be that a foreign Country would rig the Votes, or that they would give Money to a Political Campaign, or that they would be the Political campaign strategist and speechwriter for a Candidate.
There has been too much time elapsed, and too many statements have been made on this, for the American Shadow Regime to make up new Lies to suggest any type of collusion to those who have been paying attention to this matter.
All Countries Know that the American Shadow Regime Selects their Puppet for President a long in Advance, and that it is futile to try to influence that, regardless of what the Majority of Americans may think otherwise, and Many Presidential Elections in America have been Staged events.
It was Obvious to All foreign Countries that Hillary Clinton was Selected by the Shadow Regime to be President, but Candidate Donald Trump was Elected.
The Reason for that was that the Less Establishment Candidate Always had the Advantage in that Election, and Hillary Clinton Usurped the Democratic Party nomination from Senator Sanders, and Hillary Clinton was the Most Establishment Candidate ever in American History, and also the Most Corrupt Candidate for President ever in American History, but this was Not known by any Country or even by Most Americans until after the Election and we now Know that it was Entirely because the Establishment Selected the Corrupt and Untrustworthy Hillary Clinton to be their Puppet.
We Know that foreigners did Not rig the Voting, and this was mentioned several times.
It appears that the Only Alleged complaint is that a foreign Country was Allegedly responsible for gaining information.
That information was the Clinton and DNC Emails, but the DNC Servers have Never been examined by anyone Unbiased, and furthermore there is No way to prove who hacks a Computer these days, and those who wanted to help Senator Sanders become the Democratic Party nominee might think to Leak to WikiLeaks so that it would help Senator Sanders become President, and WikiLeaks said that Russia did Not give them those Emails, and Kim Dotcom wants to testify under Oath that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC Leaks, and Robert Mueller has had Plenty of time to Reply to the Lawyer of Kim Dotcom in Writing Only so that it does Not cause confusion, ambiguity, or a lack of accountability regarding arrangements for him to Testify under Oath regarding his Knowledge of Email Leaks to WikiLeaks, and a former British Ambassador Craig Murray said that it was an Intermediary for Democratic Party whistle blowers who gave him the Emails in Washington DC where it appears that this occurred in September of 2016, where he was a Master of Ceremonies for a Conference, and so unless it is better researched, then it does Not appear that this Person was Seth Rich or Shawn Lucas, and then that material was then given to WikiLeaks, and this is why the DNC Servers were Not examined by the FBI or by any other Intelligence or Law Enforcement Agencies, because it was a Leak, and the Clintonites and their Puppet Obama Administration did Not want Americans to Know that, and so they Invented this Lie of Russia Allegedly hacked the DNC, and meddled in the Election.
We heard that President Barack Obama was Allegedly informed in August of 2016, that Russia was Allegedly meddling in the Election and Allegedly trying to rig the Votes, and that was after WikiLeaks Published in July of 2016, more of the Clinton and DNC Emails.
This would mean that the NSA and the FBI and the Others Would have Investigated these things concerning these Allegations of meddling by a foreign Country in America’s Election, and they Would have told these things to President Barack Obama, and someone would have Leaked to the Media Why the think that a foreign Country meddled in the Election, but there were after Election Lies Specifically Invented to try to justify Spying on an opposition Political Party.
It is interesting what Candidate Barack Obama said in the 2008 Presidential Election Campaign, that both major Political Parties Rig Elections, and the Video is Titled: Obama Admits To Rigged Elections Back In 2008 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsVNKmb6jEc , and Obama said that he was a Lawyer working on Voting Rights Law, and Obama is an Example of a Presidential Candidate who discredited the Elections and the Election process before Voting had taken place, and so it was Not unprecedented for Candidate Donald Trump to mention possible Election Rigging in 2016, and Obama did Nothing to Reform the Electoral System, and Many Americans want Electoral Reform, and if there is No Substantial Electoral Reform proposed by (S)Elected Representatives, then we Know that the Corrupt System likes its Lies and Corruption.
Months later, Obama continued to Deny any Election rigging or meddling on October 18 of 2016, where he said that the Election would be Free and Fair, and that was 3 weeks before the Election and the Video is Titled: Obama To Trump: Stop Whining About A Rigged Election at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPpt7-QOGKc , and President Obama said that it would be a Free and Fair Election, because he Knew that Russia did Not meddle in the Election, and Obviously Obama Lied regarding the matter that the Clintons and the Democrats would not try to commit Election Fraud, because the Democrats are the Specialists for Election Fraud with their Electronic Voting Machines, but Russia did Not meddle in the Election, and Further tailor made Lies had to be Manufactured to try to justify the Spying on an Opposition Political Party by the Clinton Campaign, by means of their Partisan Puppet Obama Administration, and President Barack Obama said that Candidate Donald Trump and his Vice Presidential running mate along with Candidate Hillary Clinton and her Vice Presidential running mate Received Daily Top Secret Information during the Election Campaign, and we Know that Hillary Clinton Could Lie if she was asked if President Barack Obama told her that Russia was trying to rig the Election for Candidate Donald Trump.
I think that if President Barack Obama had Proven to Candidate Donald Trump that the Russians were rigging the Election for him, then I think that Candidate Donald Trump would have tried to lose that Election, by promising Tax Increases, and some other Democratic Party Policies.
This is because President Donald Trump is a Patriot, and I do Not think that Hillary Clinton is a Patriot, and she would have Accepted help from anyone to become the President, even if it was in a Treasonous and Undemocratic way, and we saw that with how she Usurped the Democratic Party nomination and with the Actions of the Democratic National Committee, and the Bias in much of the Mainstream Media.
The Republican National Committee spent 600 million Dollars on their Presidential Campaign, and Hillary Clinton spent over one Billion Dollars on her Campaign, and if a Country wanted Candidate Donald Trump to win the Election, then they would have Secretly suggested to him, that he Should spent one Billion Dollars or more of his own Money on top of what the Republican National Committee provides, and that he would be Reimbursed after the Election, regardless of the result, and if a President Hillary Clinton had to be Bribed to look the other way for the Reimbursement, then there is also Money for that, and we Know that this did Not happen, and the other way to collude is to be a Political campaign strategist and speechwriter, and the Republican Party have Many of their own, who Understand Political matters in America Much Better than a foreigner, and it was Alleged that Russia was the speechwriter for Marine Le Pen of France, and she received approximately a third of the Votes, and we Know that the Experienced British Politician Nigel Farage wanted Candidate Donald Trump to become President, and People can hear his speech in Mississippi at a Trump Rally, and he gave his Advice on how Candidate Donald Trump could win the Election.
I do Not think that Obama had any evidence that Russia was rigging the Election, because Russia was Not doing that, and any such Lying ‘evidence’ was Manufactured by Clintonites after the DNC Leaks and after the Election, and this is Why I think that President Barack Obama did Not mention that to the Public, or to Candidate Donald Trump or to the Congress or the Senate before the Election, because it was thought that the Election would be Rigged for Hillary Clinton, and so there was No demand for such Lies at the time, until after the Leaks and after the Election, and if some Government Documents say this or that, then we Need to remember how it was with the Iraq Lies, and it is because it was Known that they were Spying on Candidate Donald Trump, and so they had to write down some Lies to give themselves Excuses if someone ever Investigated the matter, and Documents can be backdated to Deceive some People.
It has been suggested that President Barack Obama did Nothing to prevent a foreign Country from meddling in America’s Election, and I am Skeptical on that, because I do Not think that there was any foreign meddling in that Election, but if that is true, then there has to be a reason for that, and it Could be that Secretly and Subtlety that President Barack Obama did Not want Hillary Clinton to become President.
It has been suggested that President Barack Obama did not mention that, because it Allegedly or Supposedly would be evidence to Candidate Donald Trump that the Election was being rigged, but that it would Really be Lies and Slander that could have been debunked during the Election Campaign, and it would have help Candidate Donald Trump, and it was President Barack Obama’s Responsibility to Ensure that Government Departments and Agencies made the Elections Free and Fair, Especially because Obama Knew that Elections are Rigged at times, and he Knew that before he became President, and the Shadow Regime likes to be able to Rig Elections for their Puppets, and unless there are Paper Ballots and Voter Identification, then the Democrats and Lying Bribed and Corrupt Puppet Mainstream Media will always claim Election Fraud if their Candidate does not win, and it Could be that another reason for these Lies was for the Shadow Regime by means of their Puppet Barack Obama to remain as President and call for Fresh Elections, where both Presidential Candidates will be Establishment Puppets, because we Know that there were Demonstrations in America because there had been an Election, and it looks like the Shadow Regime wants a Soft Coup by means of special counsel Robert Mueller to make up something for an Impeachment, and if it is managed properly, then the Money that Mueller spends could be Free Electioneering Finance for either major Political Party, and if Senator Sanders had became President, then the Shadow Regime would have tried to Impeach him on False charges, and that is Why Most of the Senator Sanders Supporters Know that President Donald Trump has to Unrig the Rigged System for them, and while they may not Vote for the Republicans until that Task has been Accomplished, they may Vote for other Political Parties other than the Democrats, and there are Americans who think that if they want a Political Revolution, then they will Need their own Political Party, because we see what the Democrats are Responsible for with the Biased and Corrupt and Illegal Mueller appointment, to try to install a Puppet of the Establishment, with trying to undermine a Non Establishment President who wants to keep the Promises he made during the Election Campaign, and we can see that if Senator Sanders had become President, then he would have been Impeached on False charges in the current Corrupt American Political System.
There are People who think that the Proper thing for Robert Mueller to do is to recuse himself from this Conflict of Interest, or for him to Voluntarily ask for a restricted scope of Relevant investigation as a Proper course of action, given that Mueller is a Good and Close Friend of James Comey, and as such it is Illegal, because it Violates the Law, which Specifically and Unambiguously states that a special counsel is Disqualified because of Personal or Political Relationship, and also on the Clause of Conduct and Accountability, and this Sham and Illegal investigation is there to try to impeach President Donald Trump, and it has been suggested that a Special Prosecutor Should Investigate Mueller and his team while they are conducting their Illegal Sham investigation, and to Recommend Criminal Charges if Appropriate.
We Know what was found on the laptop Computer that Anthony Weiner was using, and that was connected to Hillary Clinton’s Unauthorized Clandestine Secret Email Server that contain Classified Information, and this Adversely Affected the Clinton Campaign, and was Available for hacking, because People Knew that it was Anthony Weiner, and he has been Convicted of Criminal Activity, and we Know that James Comey had to Investigate these Classified Emails only days before the Election, and there are People who think that Mueller should investigate this.
We Know that President Barack Obama said that Libya was his greatest mistake, but Hillary Clinton thought it was very good, and this is Why I think that President Barack Obama was Hillary Clinton’s Puppet for Libya, and Perhaps Barack Obama Secretly and Subtly did Not want Hillary Clinton to become President, because he was the Clintons’ Puppet.
A News Article dated 13 December 2016, and which was over a month after the Election, and where James Clapper said that Russia did Not influence the Election, and there is a News Article dated 14 December 2016, where James Comey said that Russia did Not influence the Election, and Comey Assured the President Elect that there was No credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent Presidential Election by (Allegedly) hacking the Democratic National Committee and (Allegedly) hacking the emails of John Podesta, and Comey told President Elect Donald Trump that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Agreed with that FBI Assessment at http://townhall.com/columnists/edklein/2016/12/14/comey-to-trump-the-russians-didnt-influence-the-election-n2259827 .
The same James Clapper would have been associated with one of those Alleged 17 Intelligence Agencies, and only 4 of those 17 Intelligence Agencies think that there was collusion with a foreign Country in the Election Campaign, and that means that any such ‘evidence’ is Not evident, and it was these who then Allegedly informed President Barack Obama, and James Clapper said weeks after the Election on December 13 of 2016, and he said that Russia did Not influence the Election, and then a few weeks after that, James Clapper said the Lies on January 5 of 2017, which are: “The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections, but I do not think we have ever encountered a more aggressive and direct campaign to interfere with our election process than we have seen in this case”, and in May of 2017, the same James Clapper said that he has not seen any evidence of any kind of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian foreign nationals, and Unbiased Investigators said that there is No evidence that Russia hacked those Servers, and Umbrage Vault 7 hacking tools which other Countries now have, prevents detection of who hacked a Computer, and Furthermore, there was No hacking of those DNC Computers, but it was a Leak by one or more Democrats to WikiLeaks, and a former CIA Intelligence Officer has provided Irrefutable Proof that Russia did Not interfere with or influence or meddle in the Election at http://phibetaiota.net/2016/12/robert-steele-the-dhs-fbi-report-against-the-russians-is-absolute-crap/ .
If Russia Allegedly had this Alleged long history of Allegedly interfering in American Elections, then Why was no commentary of this occurring during the Election Campaign, similar to Weather announcers saying that there is a long history of it snowing in Winter, and then daily commenting on the amount of snowfall during Winter on their Weather News, but we Know that the Allegations of Russian meddling are Lies to try to distract from the Fact that it was Democrats Leaked to WikiLeaks, and to try to justify Spying on an Opposition Political Party by the Corrupt Clinton Campaign, which Did Corrupt collude during the Democratic Primaries, to Usurp the Democratic Party nomination, and Many Americans want Electoral Reforms that Restore Integrity back to the Voting, and Electoral, and Democratic System in America.
Summarise to 3 critical, verified facts … things we don’t already know.
You’ll find the exercise cathartic.
Excellent summary Anonymous. I was especially interested in your analysis of President Obama’s role as a puppet of Hillary. I think I realized that immediately after Obama’s first election, “Team Of Rivals”…ha. We are needing an accurate summation, and this will be helpful…
After reading this, I was reminded of this excellent article in Off Guardian, where the commentary is always additive…
Excellent comment anonymous. One query could it have been possible that Seth Rich was the source of the leaked DNC information?
He died on July 10th, the publication of the DNC leak began in June.
Exactly right wee c, nice catch. Seth Rich, a true Patriot, cannot be forgotten.
Why is nobody mentioning Trump’s long, well established links to the Russian mafia? ‘Tis they who financed him when the New York banks would no longer touch him because of his string of — largely fraudulent — bankruptcies, and it is to them that he is indebted, apparently to the tune of well over three billion — yes, billion — dollars. He cannot make public his tax declarations because that would reveal his colossal debt as well as who his creditors are.
The Dutch did a good documentary on him and the Russian mob, in two forty-five-minute installments, but it has been ignored in the United States: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhvzBRFcxpI
Yes, Trump is up to his ears with the Russians, but not with Putin. The warmongers want to focus on Putin and his “subversion” of the United States to prepare to grounds for war. Any investigation into Trump and the mob, such the one done by the Dutch, would kill that.
“the Russian mafia” has been highly esteemed by the US Congresspeople. See Mr. Bill Browder who is currently accused of a string of ordered murders and of tax evasion in Russia. (Before getting upset with Russian taxes, Browder was upset with American taxes and even changed his citizenship to solve the problem).
Despite his obvious criminality, Browder has become a precious friend/asset for the US Congresspeople and for Mr. Cardin in particular. The Browder/Cardin production, Magnitsky Act, relies on the scoundrel’s opinions and it is criminally stupid.
On the top of that, Mr. Browder has been very successful in smothering the freedom of information by suppressing the important documentary film “The Magnitsky Act.”
No less exciting are the relationships between US officials and Ukrainian mafia, specifically Mr. Pinchuk.
Good comment Anna, and spot on. I doubt RJPJR is still around to read it, most of these comments are from 2017.
Weird how some leftists find it easy to defend trump based on arguments like: “oh well it hasn’t been proven (yet) that he’s guilty”.
Put Bush or Obama in his place and you’d be ripping them a new one…
What is this tendency for the far left to fraternize with the far right? this won’t bring you anything good in the long run.
To claim we are fraternizing is ridiculous. Your far left/far right categories are obsolete. The Deep State is the enemy. Trump being a buffoon is basically irrelevant to the fact that no president has controlled his foreign policy since the assassination of JFK. The only thing that will “bring us any good in the long run” is to destroy the Deep State. We must learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world, and until the Deep State is disassembled, that path does not exist as an option, and we are on the road to Armageddon. How’s that for clearing some “Haze”?
As a Trump voter, I say to you well said sir. The pursuit of US World Hedgemony under every adminstration including Trump cannot be disproved.
My only reason for voting Trump is I knew with Republican control of the Senate appoint Conservative US District and Appellate Court Justices at a pace unseen under any US President at this point in his term.
With more on the way. This IMHO is to restore some balance after 8 years of Obama and a Democratic Senate.
And while I am delighted at the prospect of another Supreme Court appointee, I do find it incredibly arrogant and presumptious to predict the demise of RBG and consider it a forgone conclusion.
For all we know the death of Clarence Thomas could come first. Justice Breyer is no spring chicken either but I think I made my point.
Call me a mad evengelical who is fed this red meat. I say stick it.
My thinking is at least after my generation is gone and the US collapses as we follow the course of every other Empire, at least perhaps then they will be able to rebuild it according to the founders original intentions.
One being Defense of the homeland, not foreign intervention and meddling.
While trying to hoist our way of life upon for some time now those in the Middle East who consider it abominable and detestable.
China will in fact become the largest consumer economy in the world. A fully developed economy requires a consuming middle class and not exports alone.
Theirs is rising although of course with billions of people it will take considerable time……………..
But thanks to the greed of politicians and presidents on both sides of the aisle with the passing of Nafta, and then allowing the Chinese into the WTO while the eyes of the world where on 911, ours is shrinking.
Any guesses at to where we are? https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/the-life-cycles-of-empires-lessons-for-america-today
Criticism of the “intelligence community” and their extralegal politicization is not one and the same as defending Trump. The idea that the Russian Federation “hacked” the election or colluded with the Trump campaign is ludicrous. That is the issue. We want the intelligence agencies to make intelligent assessments based on properly gathered accurate information that helps Presidents and Congress to make informed decisions, period. We don’t want the NSA, CIA, and FBI spying on “everything”, or “leaking”, or working hidden agendas that do not bode well for the American citizenry nor for general populations around the globe, period. Haze clearing?
Thank you, F. G., I will look up his work.
Thank you for your post, F. G., and according to David Talbot in “The Devil’s Chessboard”, Dulles lobbied hard to get himself on the Warren Commission, succeeded and some even referred to it pejoratively as the “Dulles Commission” he was so influential. Other facts you wrote I clearly need to learn more about, there is so much clandestine information about JFK’s assassination, the coup that turned this country on the wrong track it’s been on ever since. A lot of the badness of the “Deep State” was engineered by the Dulles brothers, and especially Allen.
An interesting source is Bruce Cambell Adamson, a geniologist who maps out all the family connections between the Paines, the Forbes, DeMohrenschildt, Dulles, Cabbel, Zapruder and many others. There are some interviews on YouTube in which he gives overviews. What you find out is that all of the significant players were connected in some way. It was like an exclusive club. Dr. Walt Brown – the historian, not the physicist – says, “When people ask me who killed Kennedy, I answer, “Who didn’t kill Kennedy.”” It was a BIG group of conspirators – all connected and all with good reasons to keep secrets.
MacronLeaks were no proof, either, unproven allegations used appropriately at the time to bolster Macron’s position because blaming Russia has been trendy. He even brought it up when meeting with Putin but produced no evidence to Putin’s denial, and was even conciliatory on other points because even Macron knows that Russia is an important world economic player. It’s prudent to question all information that we get secondhand and even thirdhand. As for all the back-and-forth slurs and slams thrown around in politics, nothing unusual there, goes on all the time and has reached a tabloid crescendo in the Land of Uncle Sam and the Kardashians. Stories sell newspapers, no matter whether they are true or not. As P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born a minute”.
I realize that the comparisons have been made, however, the proper comparison is Benghazi/emailgate or even Whitewater/Lewinski. Perhaps the Dems are afraid to say it out loud but this is payback pure and simple. It is justified because Trump proudly had his marks chant “Lock her up”, and so no tears for Trump here. The model is easy to follow. Conjure up a lot of smoke and use it to justify investigations that empower people to issue subpoenas and then hope to catch someone in a cover-up or a lie. Use all the hullabaloo to make the other side look bad and hope it translates into votes or just serves as a distraction to throw off their legislative agendas. The content of the scandal hardly matters.
I would be interested in any comments on my exchange with Cliff Arnebeck on this article on OpEdnews dot com.
The question whether Watergate or Iran-Contra can be compared to Russiagate is of interest to historians but tells us nothing about Russiagate itself. Erroneously comparing a murder to Jack the Ripper’s crimes tells us nothing about whether the person accused of the murder is guilty or not guilty. MacronLeaks proves Russiagate. Thus, the meddling took place both in the US and France and it is established the Russians and US alt-right figures took part. As far as Russiagate is concerned, the only question is the famous one: “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Comparisons, whether true or false, between Russiagate and Watergate/Iran-Contra change nothing in that regard, one way or the other. Perhaps journalists should stop inventing these silly “monikers”, like Russiagate or Brexit!
Wow. Another late hit. MacronLeaks proves Russiagate. In your dreams! Just once I’d like to see you post early on and face the likes of Abe, or Realist, or F.G. Sanford, or the many other articulate and intelligent commenters. You are no doubt a paid troll, and posting late to avoid rebuttal is part of the plan. One thing that needs to be screamed from the rooftops is that the vault 7 wikileaks releases prove that the CIA can fake point of origin. They can say anything and pin it on anybody!
Is this you, ever vigilant Mrs. Nuland-Kagan?
I’m with you on this totally F. G. Sanford. Many thanks. By the way, if you would like to contact me you can at [email protected]
The idea that Bobby Kennedy wanted Dulles on the commission is one of Waldron’s foundational deception. It has been thoroughly debunked. The idea that “the mob did it” neglects an explanation for how “the mob” would have managed to get into the Naval Hospital at Bethesda and control the autopsy results, which were definitely falsified. Sure, “the mob” may have played a peripheral role, but they couldn’t have waved off the Secret Service or removed the body from Texas jurisdiction against statutes in place at the time. Dulles engineered the Ruth and Michael Paine scenario to get Oswald employed at the book depository through Forbes family connections. Earle Cabbel was the mayor of Dallas at the time. His brother Charles was the Bay of Pigs General that Kennedy fired. They had connections to the owner of the book depository. Nixon probably knew exactly what happened. After all, Jack Ruby worked for him in California as an informant for the HUAC hearings. Ruby was apparently tasked with digging up “communists” in organized labor and other such niceties. BUT – to claim that Watergate was a “soft coup” and that “the mob” engineered the JFK assassination is a disinformation scam. Jim Garrison got it right. The JCS and the CIA did it. Nixon “stepped on his own crank”, got caught, and went down. Lamar Waldron is a BS artist, and not a very convincing one to those who have read other sources. Ron Goldfarb of the Daily Beast? Why do you think serious investigative journalists say, “Slay the Beast!” ?
I slogged thru much of these testimonies some years ago–after seeing Oliver Stones movie. I imagine he went thru all of them for his movie.
Some very interesting stuff—like in the Ruby files where he wants to be taken to Washington and given a lie detector test and tell what he knows “to the highest authorities.” And keeps telling them he’s going to be killed by some people for what he knows.
Warren Commission Hearings: Testimony Index
That is why I want to take the lie detector test. Just saying no isn’t sufficient.
Chief Justice WARREN.
I will afford you that opportunity.
Chief Justice WARREN.
I will afford you that opportunity. You can’t do both of them at one time.
Gentlemen, my life is in danger here. Not with my guilty plea of execution.
Do I sound sober enough to you as I say this?
Chief Justice WARREN.
You do. You sound entirely sober.
From the moment I started my testimony, have I sounded as though, with the exception of becoming emotional, have I sounded as though I made sense, what I was speaking about?
Chief Justice WARREN. You have indeed. I understood everything you have said. If I haven’t, it is my fault.
Then I follow this up. I may not live tomorrow to give any further testimony. The reason why I add this to this, since you assure me that I have been speaking sense by then, I might be speaking sense by following what I have said, and the only thing I want to get out to the public, and I can’t say it here, is with authenticity, with sincerity of the truth of everything and why my act was committed, but it can’t be said here.
It can be said, it’s got to be said amongst people of the highest authority that would give me the benefit of doubt. And following that, immediately give me the lie detector test after I do make the statement. Chairman Warren, if you felt that your life was in danger at the moment, how would you feel? Wouldn’t you be reluctant to go on speaking, even though you request me to do so?
Chief Justice WARREN.
I think I might have some reluctance if I was in your position, yes; I think I would. I think I would figure it out very carefully as to whether it would endanger me or not.
If you think that anything that I am doing or anything that I am asking you is endangering you in any way, shape, or form, I want you to feel absolutely free to say that the interview is over.
And of course getting rid of and replacing the Government is only part of the problem. What remains includes deposing the Oligarchs, Corporations, MSM spin machines, brain-washed US public, etc.
This is a big order; dare I say a paradigm shift is needed?
Though Watergate is associated directly with the 1972 campaign – when Nixon’s team of burglars was caught inside the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate building – Nixon’s formation of that team, known as the Plumbers, was driven by his fear that he could be exposed for sabotaging President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968 in order to secure the White House that year.””
I am sorry but this is really not the truth. Nixon was worried about ‘that bay of pig thing’which Halderman referred to in his book as the Kennedy assassination. McCord purposefully put the tape the way he did so the Plumbers would be caught. Why? Nixon was not right wing enough for the ruling elites. Wage and price controls, the EPA, folding on Vietnam and more.
Watergate was a soft coup initiated by the intelligence communities. The Chilean file, that supposedly was given to Fidel concerning Nixon’s involvement in both the Bay of Pigs, the late 1950’s Mafia-CIA plots, et. al. we are told was the scoop. And Nixon was scared to death of the fact someone might know about his involvement in the whole “Bay of Pig thing”, the arming of the ant-Castro Cubans and their funding to kill Fidel.
Lamar Walden, the writer of “Watergate the hidden history: Nixon, the Mafia and the CIA’is perhaps the best book on this subject.
The review mentions:
Praise for Legacy of Secrecy: “Explosive new material, based mainly on government documents from the National Archives.” –Vanity Fair “Waldron and Hartmann offer convincing evidence … A riveting take on the assassination itself and the devastating results of government secrets, this account proves the continuing relevancy and importance of seeking the truth behind one of the US’s most personal tragedies.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review) “I believe Waldron’s heavy-to-lift book is actually all but the last word on these troubling assassinations which have been so wildly speculated about since 1963 … Lamar Waldron, indefatigable public servant and author deserves his own Pulitzer Prize for his great work.” –Liz Smith, New York Post “They’ve done a service by digging up the deepest, darkest, most disturbing archival evidence to support their Mob hit theory.” –Ron Rosenbaum “Staggering!” –Mark Crispin Miller “Exhaustively researched” –The New York Observer “[Legacy of Secrecy contains] over 800 pages of intricately documented data. Their findings add pieces to one of our most perplexing puzzles, and suggest where the key missing pieces may be found.” –Ronald Goldfarb, The Daily Beast –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Nixon’s Watergate was a coup détat, no doubt about it.
Wow! Nixon’s exit a coup d’etat? That is sure news to me. And even if I wade through the 800 page book, will I really know then that this is solid fact? No, I can’t know that without wading through thousands of pages of evidence to verify the allegations in the book.
In a case like this I use a version of the KISS formula: Keep It Simple Stupid. I know from a lot of material I have studied that the US government is and has been incredibly corrupt and evil. Do I really have to pin every event that they were or are responsible for on them with great certainty? No, it is enough to grasp their general profound culpability to tell me what needs to change to have a better world. And that is really my bottom line, not becoming a detailed expert on each and all of their misdeeds.
So, on the Nixon’s exit resulted from a coup question, I am agnostic (which really means ignorant) and for my purposes, it doesn’t matter how it happened. If the Gov turned out to be exonerated in this case, it would in no way absolve them from their innumerable other crimes. And if it turns out they did do it, that wouldn’t really add that much to their huge criminal record. In any case, this Mafia Government is what we have to figure out how to get rid of, and what to replace it with…..
“…Nixon had further basis for viewing the events of Watergate with special trepidation. From the moment he entered office until the day, five and a half years later, when he was forced to resign, Nixon and the CIA had been at war. Over what? Over records dating back to the Kennedy administration and even earlier…
Moreover, Richard Nixon was a curious fellow. Within days of taking office in 1969, Nixon had begun conducting an investigation of his own regarding the turbulent and little-understood days leading up to the end of the Kennedy administration. He had ordered Ehrlichman, the White House counsel, to instruct CIA director Helms to hand over the relevant files, which surely amounted to thousands and thousands of documents. Six months later, Ehrlichman confided to Haldeman that the agency had failed to produce any of the files.
“Those bastards in Langley are holding back something,” a frustrated Ehrlichman told Haldeman. “They just dig their heels in and say the President can’t have it. Period. Imagine that. The Commander-in-Chief wants to see a document and the spooks say he can’t have it . . . From the way they’re protecting it, it must be pure dynamite.”…
…If the CIA was in fact trying to implicate Nixon in Watergate (and, as we shall see, in other illegal and troubling covert operations), the goal might have been to create the impression that the agency was joined at the hip with Nixon in all things. Then, if Nixon were to pursue the CIA’s possible role in the assassination of Kennedy, the agency could simply claim that Nixon himself knew about these illegal acts, or was somehow complicit in them.”
excerpted from https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/06/17/watergate-downing-nixon-part-1/
I read and support this site regularly. I hope Mr. Parry won’t be offended by my putting in a reference to another journalist. On the subject of Nixon and Watergate, please see “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years”, by Russ Baker (Bloomsbury Press, 2009). This is a very informative book. The author supports the coup theory.
Thanks to Robert Parry for placing the “events” of Watergate and Iran-Contra in a larger frame of reference. I was struck by Kissinger saying he wouldn’t be surprised if Brookings had “the files”. Referring to “the files” does suggest Nixon was looking for something specific. And I’m curious as to why anyone might think there was a good chance that “the files” ended up there. Did Kissinger really think that plausible, or was he just “indulging” Nixon?
Just a side note…looking at the photograph of Nixon-Kissinger, the expression on Kissinger’s face makes me think Nixon had just said something like “I just want you to think big, Henry”.
It is as if the news is controlled by club committee.
So, in todays USA, war can be very likely be started by a collection of preening socialites.
Truth in Advertising:
Gaslighting Chair: Eliot Higgins
To my mind, Clinton and Obama are the two key players in starting up this crisis.
Jessica K and backwardsevolution, I have a theory about Libya. I saw the politics at the time as between the house of Clinton and the house of bush (Jeb), a very real (not political) division in the “Deep State”. A win would make a real difference to either house but no fundamental difference politically.
Charles Ortel deserves a lot of credit for starting to break out info on the Clintons’ graft. I believe Trey Gowdy wanted to investigate further on Hillary Clinton and her actions as Secy of State. I hope this latest CNN lying about Russia will start to melt some of these lies to get unstuck from Russia. Drudge reports that CNN was nearly wiped the last few days, and MSNBC is falling in rating, while Tucker Carlson is very much the star ratings player at Fox. I don’t have TV but anytime I watched Tucker, I liked him. It seems we have to get to someone who will start the ball rolling to push on the Clintons, who can be very nasty players. They are a machine.
Jessica K – Charles Ortel seems like a very credible guy. He’s given what he’s found to the very people who could act on it; we’ll see if they do.
I like Tucker Carlson. I like the way he just laughs at most of what’s happening. What else can you do? But I also like that he sees things in shades of grey, he’s knowledgeable (not just another talking head), and he actually really debates people when he disagrees with them, often with a healthy dose of facts.
I don’t watch him on TV, but on “u-tube”. I hesitate to use the correct spelling because sometimes my comments go in moderation when I do. Last night in his opening monologue, Tucker had a bit on where some CNN producer was caught on tape saying that his boss, Jeff Zucker, told the staff that two days on the climate conference was enough and that they were to get back to Russia because it’s good for ratings. Then we had the three CNN staff who resigned/were fired(?) over the Scaramucci story.
Today Van Jones of CNN was caught on tape saying this Russia business is all about the ratings and that it’s a “nothing burger”. Someone Tucker Carlson had on tonight said that there’s a small core of delusional people who believe (or want to believe) that this Russia story is true, so even though CNN staff know that what they’re saying is not true, they keep telling untruths because it’s good for the ratings! Can you believe it? Pandering to the crazies, on purpose.
Yes, I hope they do go after Clinton because I actually think there’s some bad dirt hidden there.
Charles Ortel in a 30-minute interview on the Clinton Foundation:
Jessica – “It is Clinton who needs to be investigated. And why did the Republicans do such a ridiculous investigation of Libya, focusing only on limited aspects of Benghazi, when there was so much more, including the shipments of Gaddafi’s arms to Syria to arm jihadists and fire up the war against Assad and Syria? Both parties fail because they never want truth, they push only as much as they think will benefit their party.”
Exactly, they don’t want the truth – or I should say they don’t want the truth getting out! They all belong to the Insider’s Club, and insiders protect insiders. I wonder exactly when Hillary knew her email system had been compromised. Probably long before we knew. Is this when this Russia business started up in earnest, just to divert our attention away from her? Could be other politicians were making money off the Clinton Foundation too. Who knows how deep it went.
Charles Ortel says that what’s come out of the Wikileaks material are some incriminating emails re the Clinton Foundation. The only thing that foundation was authorized to do was the archives and library in Little Rock, Arkansas – that’s it – and yet they were holding themselves out as some world charity and collecting a ton of money. He also talks about the Clinton Global Initiative, which is not a charity either! He says, according to his review of the books, there’s approximately $100 million missing from the 2007 – 2008 time period.
Ortel says Lois Lerner was in charge of the Charities Division at the IRS during this time, and though she went after the right-wing, she apparently left the Clinton fraud alone. Gee, I wonder why.
Abe, thank you, that piece by Christopher Black from New Eastern Outlook should be read by everyone. Very sobering, but he concludes that we all need to join voices and forces, and not let these insane people have control of the narrative. We need to get out and push back in every way. Also, I very much agree with backwardsevolution that we should push for an investigation of the Clintons and their foundation.
Now CNN employees have admitted that the Russia fake news story is kept alive month after month in order to push the company’s ratings! And that there is no proof! Project Veritas’ videos are available on Zerohedge website.
“PV Reporter: “What do you think is going to happen this week with the whole Russia thing?”
Van Jones: “The Russia Thing Is Just A Big Nothing Burger”
Shouldn’t this be the end of the “Russia, Russia…”? Probably not.
frank scott, that is great, you nailed it! It is all about the money. How these people can take themselves seriously when it’s so obvious? Sarcasm is a great tactic, your use of the word “cherished” was just perfect!
all this whimpering and whining from liberals about how putin-russia have threatened our cherished democracy by hacking into our sacred process haven’t yet indicated how many billions of dollars they must have spent to distort that cherished american process of buying politicians and thus achieving a cherished democratic system..like the one that the democratic party spent more than 25 million on to lose a cherished democracy indulgence in georgia…fundraising is our most sacred, religious and democratic tool ; unless these whiners can show us the dollar figures of russian involvement “russia gate” will slam shut on their fingers..thanks to parry ,and disregard the fundamentalist 911 cult who may think putin, assad, trump and lady ga-ga were all in on it.
Well, no, I amend that the implications of Nixon’s Watergate did affect the possibility of stopping the Vietnam War earlier, so I misspoke, although when it comes to stopping USA warmongering, the people’s will is ignored.
Thanks for lots of information, Robert Parry, some of which we knew a bit about but very well expanded here. It may be that the implications of the “Russiagate” are more serious because of potential nuclear war, but that’s not the point here. The point is that astounding machinations went on by both the Nixon and Reagan administrations in both cases, and I would even say that those of the Reagan administration were far more serious via-a-vis the foreign effects. The implications of “Russiagate” are great precisely because of the bizarre hysteria that seems to have taken over in America, causing some of the most irrational thinking seen here in decades. On the potential issue of nuclear war with Russia, we can be grateful to the cogent thinking of Vladimir Putin and his sensible advisors; Americans have lost it, in my opinion, to think coherently.
As for any truthful investigation of “Russiagate” (I am thoroughly sick of that label), no one should hold their breath. Robert Mueller has shown himself to be a compromised government agent, including in Boston where I lived when the cover-up of the crimes of the Whitey Bulgur gang occurred, and cover-up of the 9/11 investigation as to what the Bush administration knew, as well as the anthrax attacks and willingness to charge an innocent person, Steven Hatfill, with that crime, so I don’t expect anything even remotely honest in his investigation.
That Glenn Greenwald has also shown himself to be compromised in his reporting has been an eye-opener for me also this year. I no longer read “The Intercept”. This entire 2016 election cycle has been like none other in my lifetime of 74 years, I believe that America has gone off the rails! It is Clinton who needs to be investigated. And why did the Republicans do such a ridiculous investigation of Libya, focusing only on limited aspects of Benghazi, when there was so much more, including the shipments of Gaddafi’s arms to Syria to arm jihadists and fire up the war against Assad and Syria? Both parties fail because they never want truth, they push only as much as they think will benefit their party.
The GOP limited their Benghazi investigation because, although they hate Hillary, there were parts of that scenario that the oligarchs did not want exposed. The Yinon plan is not something we’ll see broadcast on the Nightly News.
Many Democrats are convinced 100 percent that Russia interfered in the election. It’s because they’ve been told that over and over again by the likes of the NY Times and the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, their party has pivoted to being the pro-war party, pushing for a confrontation with Russia. They’re on the same side as the neo-cons. And by the way, Hillary’s pro-war stance may well have cost her the election.
Is there anyone in the party pushing back against this? For the most part, I’d say no.
Is Mueller going to be able to dig up enough dirt to get the GOP to impeach Trump? Sorry, no
Include CNN, that has repeated the claims every single night for months, similar to the way it editorialized the Iran hostage crisis (day 154, US hostages still held in Iran), that doomed Carter’s election chances. After 400+ days of reporting, was this still news, or was it a one sided attack against a sitting President? Who elected CNN as prosecutor in chief? One option: boycott CNN, Washington Post, its owner Amazon, and NYT.
Bill – “Many Democrats are convinced 100 percent that Russia interfered in the election. It’s because they’ve been told that over and over again by the likes of the NY Times and the Washington Post.”
Too many on the left side of the bell curve then! We’ve all heard a ton of things over and over in our lives, but some of us actually stop and think: gee, what’s happening on the other side of the equation? I’m only glad these types of people don’t have hold of the nuclear steering wheel.
Wm. Boyce – “…to assume that this crew running the country hasn’t got lots to hide is also a stretch.” Yeah, look at all that evidence! Why, it’s everywhere! Pardon my sarcasm, but after awhile it just gets silly.
What’s not a stretch is what’s hiding behind the Clinton Foundation. Are you willing, Wm. Boyce, to open that up to investigation? If not, why not?
Get off the “left-right wing paradigm … anyone who reads CN should know that their is no such thing. GOP or Democrat, both wings of the same bird.
“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers.”
“Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.”
Carroll Quigley, ‘Tragedy and Hope’ 1966
Georgetown University Professor and (stimulus) Bill Clinton mentor
I only see sheeple who follow the next fashionable meme. Obama did nothing which his supporters elected him for, nor did he do anything different from Bush. Trump has not even talked about the great wall since his inauguration. As for the Muslim ban, he only followed up on Obama policy.
Just get off it so Americans can move on.
Whether the particular flock of sheeple choose to paint their hair red, blue, green, what have they, or prefer to dress themselves head to toe in realtree cammo, or the Soros flock with their tailor made BLM signs, they are just sheeple following the next most fashionable meme.
The real tragedy is that each of these flocks are just as incapable of holding an original thought as the other.
Common Tator – totally agree, two branches of the same tree (see my post below). But at this particular stupid moment in time, when possible nuclear war is on the line, the left are taking first prize at the Bozo Awards.
Robert. great piece!
THIS OFF TOPIC but a must read. Just the tip of the iceberg and I know this because I KNOW Bernie personally
Very much on topic, Dennis, because it highlights the rewards of Bernie’s vital function in the US war propaganda machine:
“Bernie Sanders is a highly valued Democrat, the party’s Outreach Director and therefore, as Paul Street writes, ‘the imperialist and sheep-dogging fake-socialist Democratic Party company man that some of us on the ‘hard radical’ Left said he was.’ Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by virtue of his own positions. He favors more sanctions against Russia, in addition to the sanctions levied against Moscow in 2014 and 2016 for its measured response to the U.S-backed fascist coup against a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Rather than surrender to U.S. bullying, Russia came to the military aid of the sovereign and internationally recognized government of Syria in 2015, upsetting the U.S. game plan for an Islamic jihadist victory.
“Back in April of this year, on NBC’s Meet The Press, Sanders purposely mimicked The Godfather when asked what he would do to force the Russians ‘to the table’ in Syria:
“’I think you may want to make them an offer they can’t refuse. And that means tightening the screws on them, dealing with sanctions, telling them that we need their help, they have got to come to the table and not maintain this horrific dictator.’
“Of course, it is the United States that has sabotaged every international agreement to rein in its jihadist mercenaries in Syria.
“‘We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world,’ Sanders told voters in Iowa.
“Sanders is a regime-changer, which means he thinks the U.S., in combination with self-selected allies, is above international law, i.e., ‘exceptional.’
“‘We’ve got to work with countries around the world for a political solution to get rid of this guy [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and to finally bring peace and stability to this country, which has been so decimated.’
“During the 2016 campaign, Sanders urged the U.S. to stop acting unilaterally in the region, but instead to collaborate with Syria’s Arab neighbors — as if the funding and training of jihadist fighters had not been a joint effort with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies, all along.”
Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig
By Glen Ford
Abe: I agree with you. Bernie Sanders is part of The Ruling Establishment . Bernie Sanders entry in primaries was a set-up job by the Democrats to fool the public that we have a real democracy here in Democratic Party and in U.S. – discussing all kind of views like socialism. He is a supporter of the War Machine.
that hit piece on bernie sanders was an obvious and simplistic right wing hatchet job..the man is hardly above criticism and is an alleged socialist who makes no substantial criticism of capitalism, but that childish crap about how rich he is compared to everyone else is really prime time garbage. shameful, and anyone who believes that and also believes parry needs to consider stronger meds, better therapy or emigration.
frank scott – Bernie Sanders embraced Hillary Clinton (after what she did to him). Enough said.
I was a Bernie supporter, although I thought his foreign policy platform was flawed, albeit not as bad as Hillary’s. After he caved to the Clinton machine, and then came out in line with the MSM Russia-gate BS, I started to question what his game really was. I suggest you take a good hard look at Bernie. I don’t think he’s the man you think he is, or that I thought he was. And I’m not on any meds, I just try to look for truth as unbiasedly as possible.
Skip: I voted for Bernie too in the primary, but I did so even knowing what real Bernie was. Bernie Sanders wants all these wars going, intelligence apparatus and keep all that Defense Spending, and also build his Socialism he was touting at his rallies. What a Fake he is! I voted for him, because it was a negative vote against Hillary. Bernie is part of The Establishment.
I would never vote for Bernie because I m a Libertarian, but I think the current bashing he is getting from the phony college scandal, to snippets of speeches taken out of context is unfair. It is also probably a product of the same forces that ginned up the RussiaGate narrative as well as the supposed Trump rally violence and the supposed big jump in hate crimes by Trump supporters.
The article is rather extreme in its accusations of taking small donors’ money and assembling personal wealth, which is hard to believe. I would think that hypocritical sheepdogging and concealed zionism would be most of it. What is your view of the evidence you have seen (you mention that you know him)?
The very title of Bernie’s organization and 2016 book is a rip-off.
“Our Revolution” was the title of essays by Lev Davidovich Bronstein (1906) and Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1923)
But hey, a bird landed on his podium in Portland, so there may be “some symbolism” here.
Russia-gate definitely Is much bigger than Watergate and Iran-Contra in one very important capacity:
“the threat of nuclear war is more dangerous with every passing day as we see the NATO build-up along Russia’s western borders echoing the Nazi build-up before their invasion in 1941, the rolling invasion of Syria by American and allied forces, the hysterical rhetoric and military movements against North Korea, and the increasing contempt for Chinese sovereignty. Any of these threats from the United States could lead to nuclear war but the threat that concerns all of us is the one against Russia because a nuclear war with Russia is, as President Putin pointed out recently, not survivable. Yet, it is the threat against Russia that is building, building, building; increased military pressure on all fronts, increased economic warfare, called ‘sanctions,’ increased hybrid warfare ranging from hacking of Russian computer systems, to direct attacks on Russian forces in Syria, from expulsion of diplomats to verbal abuse against and assassination of ambassadors. But the extent of the danger is to be seen not outside the United States but in the internal political turmoil that is taking place inside the United States.
“There propaganda against Russia as the ‘enemy’ trying to destroy America through various forms of subversion is daily fare in all the mass media. The alleged subversion is stated as fact. The fact that the allegations are patently absurd means nothing when those who mould opinion refuse to say so and openly lie to the people with every word they utter. But the level of the threat against Russia is signalled by the willingness among the war faction to sacrifice anyone, no matter who they are or what position, in order to advance this propaganda. We now watch as the US Congress holds hearings in which senior government officials are called to defend themselves against charges of having had Russian connections. The President of the country is himself subject to a barrage of accusations of treason.
“This scandal is not just about the bickering between the losing party in the US elections and the winning party with the losers willing to risk the security of the people of the country in a bid to take power denied them at the ballot box. There is an element of that. The war faction does want to have its finger directly on the button. Elections and democracy mean nothing to them so long as they take the power. But they could have used any scandal to try to do that. They have concocted the ‘Russian threat to democracy’ because they want war with Russia and to convince the people of the United States and the world that this war is necessary and just, are willing to destroy even their own leaders, and their country’s democratic system, as weak and non-representative of the needs of the people as it is, in order to achieve their purpose.
“The longer this spectacle in the United States goes on the worse it is going to get. But those under attack do not seem to understand what is happening to them, that they are being used to advance this propaganda, that they are being set up as scapegoats and in fact they even play along with the game […]
“the main objective of these hearings and the mass media coverage of them is to generate peoples hostility towards Russia, and this seems to be succeeding, as polls indicate. The next level of the propaganda war will be to create such an intense situation in the United States that the calls for war by the people will be the natural reaction of their outrage and, in any case, this is what the war faction and media will tell us, that the people demand action.
“President Putin can meet with celebrities like Oliver Stone to correct the facts and state the truth. He can successfully dance circles around bubble headed American journalists in interviews, but he cannot control the mass media in the west that rarely allows Russian points of view to be heard. Still the attempt must be made […]
“The United States is in a crisis generated by people who have no idea how to control all the possible consequences of the events they have begun and because of this they are very dangerous to themselves and to the world. While the Russians prepare for the worst and hope for the best we in the west must do what we can to challenge the war propaganda, the propaganda of hostility and hatred that is inflicted on us by the criminals in control of the western governments and western media.”
The US-Russian Hearings: Caught Again In Their Trap
By Christopher Black
Excellent. Thanks for the link Abe. Nuclear war is the name the media dare not speak now – and yet it is the number one issue facing us every day. The long presence of this ultimate threat has dulled popular awareness of it. Somehow we must wake people up before it is too late. The article cited is correct in saying that those who are unleashing these propaganda wars and military confrontations have lost control of the Frankenstein they are creating – just as we lost control of the nuclear Genie many years ago.
“Of course, there remains the possibility that evidence might surface of Trump or his campaign colluding with the Russians, but such evidence has so far not been presented. Or Mueller’s investigation might turn over some rock and reveal some unrelated crime, possibly financial wrongdoing by Trump or an associate.”
I’m glad Mr. Parry leaves open this possibility, as we still don’t really know what has been going on here. Yes, the major news media has made a lot of mistakes in covering this story, Glenn Greenwald ably lists them on the Intercept, but to assume that this crew running the country hasn’t got lots to hide is also a stretch.
Is there anyone in government that doesn’t have a lot to hide? This site and other independent investigators are doing a better job of turning over rocks than politically motivated show trials can ever do.
In his 27 June 2017 article in the Intercept on “Media Recklessness on the Russia Threat” (meme watchers note the phrase “Russian Threat” in the title), Glenn Greenwald laments that “journalistic standards are often dispensed with when it comes to exaggerating the threat posed by countries deemed to be the official enemy du jour”.
Back on 26 November 2016, during the Washington Post / PropOrNot debacle, Greenwald apparently dispensed with journalistic standards when he and Ben Norton gave major props to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat:
Greenwald and Norton noted:
“PropOrNot listed numerous organizations on its website as ‘allied’ with it, yet many of these claimed ‘allies’ told The Intercept, and complained on social media, they have nothing to do with the group and had never even heard of it before the Post published its story.”
Greenwald saw fit to publish verbatim the Twitter remarks from Eliot Higgins and James Miller, not bothering to conduct even the most basic investigation of PropOrNot’s purported “Allies” Bellingcat and InterpreterMag.
Greenwald ignored the reality that Bellingcat is directly allied with the Washington Post via the “First Draft” coalition, whose media “partners” include several organizations listed as “Allies” by PropOrNot, including Stopfake, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab.
In addition, self-acclaimed “expert on verifying citizen journalism” Miller has frequently promoted self-acclaimed “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins. The Intercept allows Miller to do what he does best: simply chime in to “confirm” Higgins’ claims.
Greenwald provided a media platform for Bellingcat and InterpreterMag by posting direct links to the Twitter remarks of Higgins and Miller. Greenwald simply accepted the alibis of Higgins and Miller at face value.
In the November Intercept article, Greenwald and Norton noted that PropOrNot had updated its site:
“after multiple groups listed as ‘allies’ objected, the group quietly changed the title of its ‘allied’ list to ‘Related Projects.’ When The Intercept asked PropOrNot about this clear inconsistency via email, the group responded concisely: ‘We have no institutional affiliations with any organization.’”
If Greenwald and Norton had used the opportunity to visit the Bellingcat site, it would have become instantly apparent that Higgins’ group of so-called “independent researchers” precisely matches the Intercept’s description of ProporNot.
Indeed, Higgins’ group “far more resembles amateur peddlers of primitive, shallow propagandistic clichés than serious, substantive analysis and expertise; that it has a blatant, demonstrable bias in promoting NATO’s narrative about the world; and that it is engaging in extremely dubious McCarthyite tactics about a wide range of critics and dissenters”.
Interestingly, on November 25, the day before the Intercept article appeared, Higgins Tweeted: “So it’s clear, @ bellingcat in no way endorses the work or methodology of @ propornot, and have found their behaviour unprofessional”.
What is clear about the Intercept article is that Bellingcat is positioned as a “professional” organization in comparison to PropOrNot.
The deeper layer of deception underlying the Washington Post episode is that PropOrNot functions as a conspicuous straw man.
Repudiation of PropOrNot can be leveraged to project the appearance that Bellingcat and “Related Projects” are “professional” organizations of true “independent researchers” by comparison.
This disinformation strategy is reinforced by the fact that Bellingcat is allied with the Washington Post and New York Times, the two principal mainstream media organs for “regime change” propaganda, via the First Draft Coalition “partner network”.
In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Google-sponsored Propaganda 3.0 coalition declares that member organizations will “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process”.
The Washington Post / PropOrNot episode is no accident of journalistic malfeasance. (WaPo had no need to embellish its track record.)
The PropOrNot hoopla is a highly streamlined Propaganda 3.0 process designed to elevate the “professional” status of Bellingcat.
By disgracefully promoting Higgins and Bellingcat, Greenwald ably served as a “useful idiot”. Or worse.
Greenwald is a bought and paid for tool of Omidyar. He was bought as a way to buy access to and control over the “Snowden Papers”
Omidyar’s links to the new Indian Fascist leader, Modi are worth a look.
What you have in the latest article is a limited hangout to shore up credibility.
Yes, it is good to leave open this possibility. The assumption appears to be that enough investigation will at least turn up some some embarrassing fact, minor violation, or an associate who did something bad, that can be hyped to pretend that there was a cause for investigation. Mass media, like local demagogues, can always make some of the mud stick with many of the people, who just want the vilification to end at someone else’s expense. If there is enough hysteria, someone is always sacrificed, and that is the most common goal of mudslingers.
I would expect some tax violations in gray areas, accusations of a sexual dalliance, some associations with them thar suspicious furriners, and a naughty statement about the almighty, just to alienate the mindless. If there is no story involving an informant who needed protection (which required this long) then there was no cause to delay revealing evidence, so those in charge will be desperate to find an excuse and make the most of it.
Thanks to Robert Parry for the difficult and often dangerous work he does. Bating these vipers in their dens could get a person killed. Seth Rich for example.
isn’t it interesting how you can often identify trolls just by the goofy/cute names they go by? Their lack of real intelligence gives them away from the outset.
“The Logan Act,…. was enacted during the period of the Alien and Sedition Acts to bar private citizens from negotiating on their own with foreign governments.”
The website “Heatstreet” had an article on June 7th, “Barack Obama’s Post-Presidential World Tour is Starting to Get Creepy”.
The private citizen, B. Obama, “vacationing in Europe”, had been following at the footsteps of D. Trump during the President’s European tour, and met with 1) Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi 2) German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On June 6th Obama was seen dining out with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, just after Trump had met Trudeau to discuss NATO plans.
Cannot the Logan Act be applied to Obama’s actions? Or is he one more of those who are above the law, and the law itself is used only very selectively?
Good point. Likely the Logan Act has not been enforced because it is too inclusive, and would prohibit ordinary contacts. It should prohibit not the mere contact with a foreign government, but the wrongful attempt to determine the policies of the US by conspiring with a foreign government. That would often involve also acting as an agent of foreign government, like most US elected officials.
Logan Act –§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
”Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects”
90% of congress could be prosecuted if the Logan Act was enforced. Particularly over their Israel trips ‘ intercourse’.
Of course back then no one anticipated a Foreign Head of State like Netanyahu would actually come to the US and tell our congress not to support Obama’s decisions in the ME.
LOL. Logan Act? Outlawing even “correspondence” or “intercourse”? What about the First Amendment? It was practically a Bill of Attainder against Jefferson and other Francophiles who wanted the US to side with France against Great Britain. That that we are even talking about this historical oddity shows the depths that the deep state and their MSM lackeys will go to try to bamboozle the public into thinking that some sort of crime is afoot. (BTW, The Congress are not without authority.)
The very audacity of anybody THINKING about it in an age where the US interferes with elections, funds opposition groups, arms insurgents, disseminates propaganda and outright INVADES other countries is breathtaking.
The sainted Jimmy Carter has been doing this crap for decades.
Ultimately, Trump and his minions left themselves open to attack on the Russia hacking story by aligning with Putin, thus enraging the neocons and deep state. Isn’t that simply just the way things work? How could they not know that? Why should I care that Trump and his legions of fellow liars have been hooked on their own pitards in ‘process crimes?” They are still crimes. Whitewater was not a high crime, but the investigation led to Monicagate, and it helped diminish Dem majority in ’94 did it not? If Mueller finds financial crimes, didn’t the people deserve to find out about them? Mr. Parry is right on the facts, and I’ve been reading his histories of the Watergate/October Surprise treasons for years. But I just can’t get on board with the notion that the Russia-gate investigation is made up. Yes, I wish the dems would run on left-leaning economic/jobs issues, especially after Trump outflanked Hillary from the left on trade in those rust belt states, but I can’t get past the feeling that justice will be served if this vile creature in the White House faces his downfall for ‘driving while Trump.’
Both Assange and Gucifer 2 state the leaked DNC emails came from murdered Seth Rich, ( former British ambassador Craig Muarry states he transported the leaks). There was no Hack only a murdered insiders leaks. Podesta states his emails to Hillary were Phished, again not a Hack.
Reagan was convict by World/International Court of sponsoring state terrorism with the contras and illegally gave arms to Iran for cash and ignored the CIA selling cocaine in Watts which engendered the crack epidemic.
Shawn Lucas who served the DNC with civil suit notice by Bernie supporters may have also been murdered.
Trump is admittedly guilty of the capital crime contravention of the Geneva Convention war crime “War against the Peace
as are a few other recent USA presidents,
Will the USA citizens ever demand that USA war crimes be prosecuted?
1. Who replaces Trump if impeached: are they not worse? Why not investigate them?
2. Mass media accusations without evidence are evidence of extreme media corruption;
3. How is seeking peace “aligning with Putin”? Does that not make extreme assumptions about Russia?
4. Why should a President fear “enraging the neocons and deep state”? Is that not supporting tyranny?
5. If politician investigations are good without evidence, why not investigate Congress? What are they afraid of?
6. Why trust people who can’t find any evidence to support even the most grave accusation, especially after their extreme lies on all foreign policy issues over fifty years?
The Whitewater fraud resulted in felony convictions, and the collapse of a Savings and Loan that left taxpayers (FDIC) on the hook for $62M. Trump may be vile, but HRC and her harpies from Albright to Newland would have been worse. At least with Trump in charge the left can now have an antiwar wing. (Although I am still waiting….)
Yup, during the Barry the Kenyan years The Atlantic basically gave Seymour Hersch an eight-year vacation.
And then we get Pence. Hard-right Christian fundamentalist. Thoughts?
How come that the “legions of fellow liars” at the DNC had not have any desire to learn about the mystery of Seth Rich murder?
If there were justice in the US, then Julian Assange would be free and hailed as a hero in this country, while Clintons/Blair/Sarkozy/Bush would have been rotting in a high security prison. Millions of the innocent have died in the Middle East in this century. Thousands and thousands of children were reduced to shredded meat. Iraq in chais ruined. Libya its ruined. Syria is barely surviving. And yet, the main concern of the so-called “progressives” and “liberals” is the degree of the purity of recollection of a sole uneventful conversation that general Flynt had with a Russian official Kislyak.
If you are such a prude, tell us more about Uranium One.
And what was the role of the foreigner Mr. Steele (the former M16 dude) in the Russiagate? His Russiagate services were bought by the Dems’ money. And what is your opinion about a very special story of CrowdStrike and Comey’s decision not to let the FBI explore the server in question? Julian Assange was ready to provide the critical information about the Russiagate-related issues (and the DoJ wanted to hear the information) but Comey had blocked the negotiations between the DoJ and Assange. Comey knew already that the whole Russiagate bruh-ha-ha was a sham invented by the Deciders on Clintons’ side. https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/394036-How-Comey-intervened-to-kill-Wikileaks-immunity-deal
Thanks Mr. Parry. Outstanding history lesson.
All well and good but Robert Parry is a 9/11Truth Denier. He has seriously lost credibility with me in that regard.
GeorgyOrwell, agreed. Parry may still want to appear credible when poking the sleeping beast. However this report was quite good, though most of it is history with a few additional nuggets to bring it in sharper focus. If only there was someone brave enough to print the truth of 9/11.
Actually Carny, if not for his blind spot, or is it cowardlness(?) concerning the obviously false narrative that is the 9/11 Commission Report and the NIST Reports, I otherwise consider Parry to be one of the finest investigative journalists out there. Aside from his cheap shots at the 9/11Truth movement, ….you notice that none of these Deniers will directly address what exactly they disagree with in regards to the scientific, and forensic case as laid out by 2,900 architects and engineers. All Parry and the rest will do is ignore them. I mean, we should all be able to agree that the most basic laws of physics should equally apply to those three buildings?
Did you notice that that Apartment Building in London did not, melt, weaken or collapse at all, let alone at free fall acceleration, or burst into powder. No steel frame sky scrapper in the history of the world has ever behaved like that either before or after 9/11. Just in that day alone. And anyone reading this who my wish to object with the silly argument that those buildings were hit by jet aircraft and all the burning jet fuel, yadda yadda yadda …. Building 7 was not hit by a plane.
And that’s just the buildings. But every part of the story, from every and any direction cannot survive serious scrutiny either………and also the Anthrax attacks that followed are even more obviously an inside job than 9/11, as if thats even possible.
So tying this back to Mr. Parry so Anon does not freak out, I really don’t understand how such a brilliant investigative journalist can be so completely dense? And that Anon is far from an Irrelevant issue. It IS THE ISSUE!!!
Check out Kevin Ryan’s blog “Dig Within”. Paul Craig Roberts also has some good stuff. There’s plenty out there, it’s just not making it into the MSM.
His book “Another Nineteen” is worth a close look.
Stay on the subject or get lost. You are spamming irrelevant issues to damage the commentary.
You do have something to do with Orwell, since Orwell exposed personages of your kind quite well.
No need to bite the spoiled produce. The smell is enough.
Robert Parry is a journalist-hero — revealed again here! What’s so valuable about his ongoing work on high crimes like the Watergate fiasco and the Iran-Contra conspiracy is the way these stories bring to light the “gangster” nature of the Deep State — as in, for example, Nixon’s scheme to firebomb Brookings, or the CIA and Contra’s role in cocaine smuggling. If there’s to be any reform we must rid ourselves of the American Exceptionalist myth that the U.S. exists in a realm somehow above such displays of naked power-politics and criminal greed. Washington, DC, is not the Acropolis of some “shining city on a hill” — it’s much more akin to a swamp or dunghill where the parasites and predators of the world gather in search of fresh blood.
Thank you Dr. Ando Arike for your apt description of Robert Parry as a Hero. I clicked on a link in the middle of this article which led to the following quote by Robert Parry: ‘’When Wolfowitz and other neocons returned to power in 2001 under President George W. Bush, they were convinced that they could remake the Middle East through a strategy of “regime change,” starting with a grudge match against Saddam Hussein and then moving on to Iran and Syria. The overriding goal was to create a new reality that would let Israel set its territorial boundaries with little regard for the Palestinians or other Arab neighbors.
This grand opportunity presented itself after bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorists struck at New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. Though the fact that al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan forced Bush to first attack that country, he quickly followed the neocon advice and pivoted toward Iraq and Saddam Hussein.” Robert Parry “How The Neocons Messed Up The Mideast”. February 15, 2013
One can see that Robert has been supplying us with a truly astounding example of great journalism and clear writing for many years. Thank you Robert for your efforts… You may be the only link to contemporary sanity we have…
Yes, we are fortunate to have these essays by Mr. Parry by which to gauge the propaganda of US mass media.
Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.
Clearly that is why Mr. Parry was awarded the Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism in London yesterday.
Nice catch Realist, Thanks.
I agree 100% with your comment, both on Mr Parry and on what Whatshitdung is. Vampires where invented in the part of the world where I come from, but these blood thirsty beasts who congregate in Washington dungheap are beyond comparison – they are biblical. If they are shining any light then it is red with blood of millions.
Precisely so. Right now we are shining gun barrels “on the hill,” aimed around the world, along with our eight hundred or so bases spread around the planet; meanwhile the real terrorists are right here at home, operating under the guise of capitalism and Empire Building.
I did a spot check of MSNBC this evening (rare since they became such obvious oligarchy stooges). Chris Hayes was doing a “hair on fire” segment on the Russians having “hacked” the election. Interestingly, while he was all emotional about it, and sounded like he was firmly convinced it was an established fact that Russia had hacked the election, his actual wording carefully avoided saying that definitively. It seemed to me that he might be performing the “hair on fire” act to keep his job, while trying to preserve his integrity in the details of his actual words. Of course, that would be a pretty minimal level of “integrity” for a professional news person.
And there was zero mention of the FACTS and analyses that are routinely presented here at Consortium News. I used to respect Chris Hayes. Now I think historians will judge him harshly. The WWII vets were a great generation because of their modesty about their immense self-sacrifice, reflecting their belief in the nobility of the common man. That’s not Chris Hayes.
Yes, I liked Chris Hays somewhat, but that was many years ago – when he used to write for The Nation weekly. May be, he had some principles, some honest convictions still residing in him those days – though I am not sure about that. Most likely, he was just climbing towards where he is now. A hugely rewarded propagandist for The Empire. Rachel Maddow, Chris Hays, O’Donnell, Chris Mathews, and others like them live in their own world. They have degenerated into something like servile servants of The Establishment. There is no honesty or truth in their vile rants every day on TV. They have nothing in common with the American folks living out there in the hinterland.
It’s always fun to see world class cognitive dissonance at work.