JOHN KIRIAKOU: CIA Seeking More Impunity

The agency is trying to get a pass on crimes even before they’re committed and it represents a threat to press freedom.

By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News

The CIA has quietly asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to include a provision in its next authorization bill that would vastly expand the definition of a “covert agent” whose identity would be protected from unauthorized disclosure. 

The current law, called the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1981, defines a covert agent as any intelligence officer who is serving abroad or who has served abroad in a covert capacity in the past five years.  The new bill would expand that protection to include all unacknowledged intelligence personnel even if they have never left the United States.

Let me be clear:  This measure is not at all about protecting the identities of CIA officers doing their jobs.  It is about protecting those CIA employees who have committed crimes against humanity. It’s a cover-up.  Take it from me.  I have first-hand experience with this law.

The agency’s headquarters. (Central Intelligence Agency via Flickr)

The Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) has been used only twice since its passage. It was used to convict Sharon Scranage, a CIA secretary who had had an affair with an intelligence officer in Ghana and had given him the names of all CIA employees in the country and the identities of Ghanaians who were working for the CIA.  She was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a minimum-security prison.  My prosecution was the second and it came in retaliation for my blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program.  I never made public the name of any covert operative and I ended up with 23 months.

These two minor prosecutions aside, very few revelations of CIA identities have ever led to court cases.  Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage famously leaked Valerie Plame’s name to two syndicated columnists.  He was never charged with a crime.  Former CIA Director David Petraeus leaked the names of 10 covert CIA operatives to his adulterous girlfriend, apparently in an attempt to impress her, and was never charged.  Former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the covert SEAL Team member who killed Osama bin Laden.  He apologized and was not prosecuted.

Petraeus with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (Wikimedia Commons)

Implementation a Joke

The implementation of this law is a joke. The CIA doesn’t care when an operative’s identity is revealed — unless they don’t like the politics of the person making the revelation.  If they cared, half of the CIA leadership would be in prison.  What they do care about, though, is protecting those employees who commit crimes at the behest of the White House or the CIA leadership.

In 2011, when I was the senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a journalist called me to say that he had information that the CIA was placing officers under cover who had been prominent participants in the agency’s torture program.  I wrote the CIA a letter under John Kerry’s signature asking for clarification and saying that placing people under cover solely for the purpose of protecting them from prosecution was a regulatory violation.  Six weeks passed before a colleague came into my office and said, “The Agency finally responded to your letter.”  I told him that I had just checked my mail less than an hour earlier and that I hadn’t seen anything.  He said that the letter had been classified at the Top Secret level and, at the time, I had only a Secret clearance.  I asked what the letter said.  His response was quick.  “It says to go fuck yourself.

Former Vice President and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden was one of the senators in 1981 who voted against the IIPA, which he believed was unconstitutional in the first place. Biden said in an op-ed in The Christian Science Monitor in 1982 that, “The language (the IIPA) employs is so broadly drawn that it would subject to prosecution not only the malicious publicizing of agents’ names, but also the efforts of legitimate journalists to expose any corruption, malfeasance, or ineptitude occurring in American intelligence agencies.”  It’s nothing more than an attack on a free press.

The CIA doesn’t care about a free press, though. The proposed provision in the authorization bill would save the CIA the trouble of having to explain itself to the likes of the media, to members of the congressional oversight committees, or even to the courts.  And it raises far more questions than it answers.  Why is such a provision necessary in the first place?  What exactly is it supposed to protect?  What was the precipitating event?

There are, of course, no legitimate answers to those questions.  No CIA officers have been exposed.  None have been threatened.  None have had their lives put in danger by unauthorized disclosures.  That’s a red herring.  This new provision is a power grab.  It is an attempt to get a pass on crimes even before they’re committed. It’s prior restraint.  It’s un-American and we have to fight it.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

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69 comments for “JOHN KIRIAKOU: CIA Seeking More Impunity

  1. NameWithheld
    July 1, 2019 at 20:38

    There is massive corruption touching every US government agency and most businesses and it involved the nonconsensual testing of directed energy weapons, 5G and implanted brain chips and body area networks for control and theft of cognition. Virtually every Ivy League institution with a neuroscience lab is involved, Harvard’s involved, Jeffrey Epstein’s involved, Nxivm is involved, DOD is involved, the Rothchilds and Soros are involved. Virtually every hospital is aware that innocent Americans are being implanted by CIA-aligned doctors with other doctors and psychiatrists falsifying medical reports about patients complaining about being implanted and assaulted with remote satellite and drone weapons. I have multiple nonconsensual implants placed in me by physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital including a brain chip, a body area network, multiple biomems, pelvic implants that enables remote arousal, a cochlear implant that allows bidirectional long distance hearing, some sort of battery pack that is charged via long-distance, a device that tracks me like an animal on a plain, and what seems to be thin tubes that enable personalized weaponized chemtrails to be absorbed into my brain and chest. I have been tortured for six years, had my home stolen, my family broken up, reputation smeared. I had a duplex and spies both affiliated with CIA & Mossad were crawling through my floorboard hitting me with lasers and directed energy weapons and releasing toxins into my bedroom that only affected me. I have survived and this year they had a REPORTER sitting three feet from me in a small newspaper where I was working harvesting my brain waves, grabbing screen shots of my brain activity and UPLOaDiNg the data to some unidentified party. This may all sound far fetched but the most amazing thing is THiS IS HAPPENING all around the country and the FBI is enabling it. I beseech all of you educated readers to investigate and ask noisily what the FBI is doing to #noninvestigativesubjects who they are SLOWKILLING for revenge and profit. I was put in program by Obama for suing Oprah Winfrey.

  2. Fran Macadam
    June 27, 2019 at 07:18

    No matter the system, once you make a secret police unaccountable, that agency becomes the ultimate power beyond which there is no appeal. Even the Soviets and the Eastern European satrapies’ putatively civilian governments rued the day they put their own secret police agencies beyond their review. They became the arbiters of the exercise of power. Note the signs all around, where the secret agencies produce domestic propaganda to try to unseat a President they did not want, and their domestic regime change operations. On the eve of Trump’s Presidency, the previous President signed an order permitting for the first time, overt government propaganda aimed at the domestic U.S. population. Gone are the days when a foreign ambassador quipped, “The only country safe from regime change is the one without a U.S. embassy.” Substitute Langley and Fort Meade and you have our current situation.

    • Sam F
      June 27, 2019 at 12:12

      Very true. For the US, the secret power structure began with hidden economic influence upon elections, mass media, and judiciary. The extension of secrecy to all acts of secret agencies makes them the secret police of oligarchy, working directly with mass media and communications to control public information and surveillance for private purposes.

      I would say that it is irreversible but for the odd example of the USSR. Was it reformable because it was more principled than the masked US oligarchy, or did it only fall to the US level?

    • June 27, 2019 at 15:29

      I responded, somewhat lengthy, and with horrid concerns, to a June 25 comment here yesterday, so it is several comments down … I think this h_ll is worse than many of us want to even imagine would happen here; I am a fired whistleblower from the Medical-Military Industrial Complex … a powerful university, medical school, and long-term CIA hub that is perhaps still second only to Langley in size.

      I have described a nightmare, so unconstitutional and horrid — everyone must know and be protesting NOW! We must protect patients and everyone NOW!! There is no other way than protest, they are/this is well out-of-control … I am looking to sue if any attorney wants to take this on … I also refer to my website, which has information linked, although I have much more.

      Please see my concerns outlined below, and feel free to email me (see site) and otherwise spread these concerns … Why hasn’t someone sued to get the CIA OUT of our schools??? For some reason (?) days ago they suspended my Twitter (rcnsti2ndotinfo), although I didn’t take followers, but had recently un-followed several so I could follow those related to Assange … I replied to their email for help but no response … We have begun that steep and treacherous descent …

  3. Realist
    June 26, 2019 at 15:11

    Why did they camouflage the CIA headquarters building to look just like a shopping mall?

    Why did Dubya suggest we all go shopping in his first speech after 9-11?

    And, why do they call it the “mysterious Orient” when America is a much bigger mystery to most of the world?

  4. chang
    June 26, 2019 at 09:10

    The most. secret. place. in. Taiwan

  5. June 25, 2019 at 23:43

    Well well, what can go wrong here! This actually cleared the Senate Intel Committee today.
    Might as well call it the Making America Go Dark Again or if that’s not right, Keep America Dark.


    1. Covers 2018, does that mean it goes back retroactively. To what parts? is that just so they can cover the Kashoggii affair and have a report in 30 days of passing this (bottom of page 7) ? Or is it to cover up more things that happened in 2018?

    2.What’s up with Section 305? Why now?

    “Section 305. Expansion of scope of protections for identities of covert agents Section 305 amends the definition of ‘‘covert agent’’ in the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3126(4)) to protect the identities of all undercover intelligence officers, and United States citizens whose relationship to the United States is classified, regardless of the location of the individuals’ government service or time since separation of government service. ”

    Seems extremely broad since before it only applied to just agents having served abroad going back only 5 years. My goodness, could you go back in time and protect everyone involved in Spy gate with this?

    3.Does it really enhance the Intel Community Inspector Generals or does it Cloward and Piven the IC Inspector Generals, tying their hands for ever more? I’d hate to work in one of those offices now.

    4.And what’s with all the Russia! Russia! Russia!… Where’s China? China? China? Hrmmm… I guess China isn’t a big concern.

    5.Oh and you workers doing your job working on security clearances… you just get those thing passed as quick as you can because if you don’t there’s a whole bunch of us that will know exactly who and where its being held up. We’ll know in no time flat and you can expect calls! And you can expect calls about the ones we don’t like too. hehehe

    I didn’t have time to read all 57 pages but after a fast read I’d like to thank Senator Burr and the Senate Intel Committee for making America go dark again! ;/

  6. Miranda M Keefe
    June 25, 2019 at 18:38

    Even ConsortiumNews can get things wrong, I guess…

    “the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies.”

    This just isn’t so. It may have been sold that way, but it was designed for one purpose- to put Eugene V. Debs in prison for opposing World War I.

    It, like the Alien and Sedition Act 110 years before it, was always designed for political purposes to go after those opposing USA wars or interventions.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 27, 2019 at 19:26

      It was the under the 1918 Sedition Act–amendments to the Espionage Act–that Debbs was prosecuted under, and it was repealed in 1920.

  7. June 25, 2019 at 17:11

    Two of many questions about the CIA:

    1. What secrets should be protected and for how long. If the US is preparing legally to do something that is imminent, fine. But what other things currently considered secret do the people not have a right to know. If something is secret at some point in time, at which point must it be revealed

    2. why does the CIA have an operational arm, to create mischief and fund it.

  8. Eric32
    June 25, 2019 at 17:06

    In a somewhat similar vein, a new accounting rule (FASB 56) allows accounting on whatever the US gov. wants to call “secret projects” to go permanently opaque. I think this includes contractors’ accounting (like Blackwater, for instance).

    That is, it allows for hiding lots of spending without even breaking accounting rules and principles. I don’t know if it makes much difference in a system that can’t account for $21 trillion of its spending over the last 20 yrs, but at least it lets the accountants feel more at ease in signing off on whatever it is they do.

  9. derfppour
    June 25, 2019 at 16:21

    Robert Novak claimed credit for the Valerie Plane leak long after Richard Armitrage was not charged with the leak.

    But, maybe , being former CIA – you know the true facts and are not trying to create a political narrative or “conversation” in today’s progressive parlance.

    • Litchfield
      June 26, 2019 at 06:16

      Yes, I thought that Novak was the source of the leak.
      Maybe Armitage told Novak?

  10. June 25, 2019 at 13:41

    Especially critical to the defense of democratic rights is the campaign to defend Julian Assange, which Joe Lauria and others here have championed. The WSWS has called for the formation of a Global Defense Committee to spearhead his and Chelsea Manning’s defense.

    You can read the original here:

    I urge all readers to join this campaign.

  11. DW Bartoo
    June 25, 2019 at 13:41

    John, I hope that you, Consortium News, and the commenters, here, might forgive me for taking questions about the CIA and all the other “intelligence” agencies to a more fundamental level.

    Now, John, you and most all other members of VIPS were in various, if not all, of those agencies, so you have an “inside” perspective.

    I think it fair and reasonable to suggest that ALL those many agencies are far more out of control, far more powerful, and far more involved in activities that are not merely un-Constitutional, but interfere with the well-being of society, undermine even the pretense of democracy and owe far more allegiance to money, to careerism, and to the “dark side”, than most people can even begin to imagine.

    Thus, my question is this, John, it is directed to you and to other members of VIPS:

    What is the legitimate role of these agencies and how may their hidden powers be stripped away, that what is now termed “the National Security State”, may become and remain answerable to necessary oversight, may become specifically limited in its use of secrecy, including secret courts and secret laws, that, never again, may the people of the nation be subject, first, to the presumption that the people are “the enemy”, second, that it is NOT the prerogative of the state to spy upon, develop false “evidence” about, that then may be turned over to various “law” agencies to be shaped into fallacious, fictitious prosecution that hides the origin of the “evidence”, third, that the same applies to foreign actors or states as a means of establishing a made-up
    cause for military action or war, fourth, that such agencies NEVER engage in political behavior to negate the democratic interests of human beings, not just in the U$, but everywhere and, fifth, that such agencies NEVER be permitted, or allowed , under ANY circumstance, to propagandize the citizens of the U$?

    That is not quite as big a question as it might seem.

    Boiled down to its essence:

    Do theses agencies serve a legitimate interest of the people, if so what, specifically, is that interest, and if there is such an interest, then how may these agencies be kept under control and on a leash short enough to prevent or limit the dangerous over-reach and criminal impunity you address?

    Indeed, all these “limits”, I mentioned above, have been and are being transgressed with the very impunity you reasonably suggest is intented and hidden and about to be legitimized within and through this recent legislation.

    If the Legislative branch refuses the due diligence of their oversite obligation to the people, if the the Judicial branch complacently refuses its obligation of upholding an actual rule of law, preferring an empty, malleable form, and if the Executive branch continues to use these agencies as extensions of its own, sole, power, if these three entities continue to refuse to constrain, regulate, and even severely limit the power of secretive agencies, which operate above and beyond the rule of law, then what kind of future will face humanity? Not just in the U$, but anywhere and everywhere on the planet?

    It can, very realistically, be argued that any and all perceived or imagined “foreign threats” pale, in any genuinely honest comparison, to the internal threats either of “true believers”, or of pathological “ambition” seeking total control and manipulation over the many.

    As well, the tie-ins of great wealth, social media control, and clandestine operations including, especially, the private ones, serving as contractors to the official agencies or corporate interests, along with private military forces, paint a dire and disturbing picture of power run totally amuck with fantasies of domination that really ought concern any sentient being capable of more than abcedarian contemplation.

    • hetro
      June 25, 2019 at 15:25

      The problem here, DW, if I may, and I certainly sympathize with your view, is the (what seems increasingly) naïve view that the System is (was it ever?) set up to function in service to the people’s interest, as would befit a “democracy.”

      Increasingly it becomes apparent–and a long-standing theme here at CN–that this understandable desire for decency and accountability is long gone. Take for example the JFK murder and what seems by now very clear the role of the CIA. The list in ruse and manipulation is long. Also with CN over the years, we face considerable ambiguity on how to respond/what to do. Of course, sharing info and perspectives is helpful as a sort of balm, and we are obviously willing to try to fight back with our tongues.

      I would like to express gratitude to John Kiriakou for all he has done, and for his brave efforts. I hope John you are watching your back very carefully.

      • DW Bartoo
        June 25, 2019 at 17:49

        As I am very certain you already imagine, hetro, I agree with all that you say.

        It IS doubtful that the Floundering Fathers EVER intended the “Republic” to be else other than an mercenary entity valuing property, in the most imperial sense, to be sacrosanct, and power to ever only be at the whim of the proper classes.

        Indeed, when concerns about democracy are raised, it has been common that a sneering, “This is not a democracy, it is a Republic!” shout down, intended to denigrate any tendency toward effective participation and engagement of the many, will thunder out.

        That it, technically, is Constitutional Republic, originally with a narrowly defined minority permitted to vote, permitted the pretense of participation and “influence” which, over time has seen the “franchise” extended to a larger “base”, with the, perhaps, cynical purpose of allowing the participation of the many to enhance the notion of the legitimacy of whichever of the few, and usually two “parties”, of which none originally existed and the very idea of which, political parties, was little applauded by the FFs, some even completely, and very vocally, hostile to the very idea.

        Nonetheless, the myth of democracy, extant in the U$A, much like the myth of a plesiosaur in Loch Ness, became fundamental fodder in educating respect and awe. The commercial possibilities of both were duly recognized.

        Arguably, campaign financing overwhelmed poor Nessie, who never received a “Citizens United”go ahead, essentially legalizing bribery, and permitting regulatory capture far exceeding any in-depth searches in the glacial deeps.

        Rooting for democracy, even advocating for genuine participatory democracy may seem much akin to hoping that a hoary “monster” might rise to confound the complacent. In the age of austerity, a plesiosaur, most likely would be “rescued”, for humanitarian reasons, and ground into Nessie Burgers to cover the cost of mobilization, much like anticipated oil reserves are expected to cover the expense of invasion.

        Speaking of the mythologizing, in all its exceptional, indispensable splendor, along with calls for mandatory voting, in certain circles, where gerrymandering and exclusion are on par with concerns that the Electoral College cheats deserving inevitables out of “their turn”, we inhabit a “Homeland”, as it has come to be styled, by all those with the very “best” brands that thinks the world of itself, while viewing the world as its own private oyster.

        I assume that you gather that all those words hide a number of consequential collision points, not just within the nation, but with the rest of the world?

        A whole bunch of unexamined assumptions.

        That is pretty much what mythology is made up of, an admixture of conceits, including cultural, technological, military, scientific, and even racial “superiority”.

        Now, as it appears to be happening, the empire is in decline. It would be one thing if it were fickle fate what done this, what brung us to this moment to, let us be frank, a moment where a spark could set off another world war.

        Sobering stuff.

        Yet, as it turnes out, the very, self-same agency that John, very very rightly, is asking us to think about, just has happened to have played a key role in setting the stage for the originating enmity between Iran and the U$.

        In 1953 … well, everybody here knows about Kermit Roosevelt, about Mosedegh, about Savak, the secret police set up by the CIA, after they deposed Mosedegh and installed the Shah.

        As you mentioned the assassination of JFK, and mentioned the CIA, we may assume that everyone here knows about the Dulles brothers, the “tiff” with JFK, its relation to the Missile Crisis, and the role of a certain Dulles in the investigation of the assassination,

        And so on.

        And on …

        Most here fully grasp the failures of the “intelligence agencies” around the “event” … “that changed everything”, may recall the torture program, may even have some knowledge of Bill Binney, might even have watched that very informative video about Bill Binney that Ray Mc Govern linked to in his most recent article, here at CN.

        Perhaps it IS futile to talk about these things, it IS just talk, as you rightly point out.

        Yet, merely as some counterpoint to the effective propaganda regime of the MSM, with it ready acceptance of dubious “evidence” or even just the assertion of “very likely” not from 17 “intelligence agencies”, as was first claimed, but merely 3, there has been a two-plus year blackout of important facts, horrific policy decisions, and any examination of pervasive corruption throughout the “system”, all glossed over, in service to a narrative that persists in depicting the U$ as a victim, almost as much as are Israel and Saudi Arabia of an Iran as the primary driver of “terrorism”, when it is actually the U$, Israel, and Saudi Arabia who fit that billing.

        I realize, we are long down the rabbit-hole, well into Orwell Heights, if that does not seem a contradiction?

        In fact, literally everything, if the Official Narrative is to be believed, is contrary to the Myth, is starkly absurd, the very language itself is under assault and sound-bite opinion is held in higher esteem than is carefully considered factual analysis.

        Many of the commenters, here, regularly, eloquently lay out the truth of things, debunk the manufactured narratives and listen attentively to the perspectives and insights shared by the authors who share their work at CN.

        Ray McGovern asked the big question in the comment section of his last article.

        How do we break through with the truth?

        He asked that question in terms of all that VIPS has done to factually, and successfully disprove the whole Russiagate instigating lie, that the DNC was “hacked” by Russia, by showing what actually occurred.

        Yet the media has no interest because they and their corporate owners are happy with their narrative.

        So, there is no platform that will permit truth to be heard or read by more than a few.

        That this, seemingly, does not trouble the many is an appalling reflection of shallow interest and a fundamental lack of basic curiosity.

        Why even Trump, who ought to care about a large number of things that VIPS members could share with him already has his “wall”, a group dedicated to ensuring that he never encounter anything that might pique, for even a second, his legendarily short attention span.

        We may not be able to move mountains with the words we share, but we just might move minds if we can spark interest in possibilities beyond more of the deadly same.

        The impunity John brings to our attention should never be granted.

        Likely though, just as you say, it will be.

        That is because voices that would present reasons and concerns against such impunity, and its consequences are not permitted to be heard.

        Yet, if the very legitimacy OF “intelligence agencies”, as many here question, can be challenged, then a far bigger set of issues may be brought to awareness.

        Is it an uphill struggle?


        Is it possibly futile?


        Does the effort matter?

        That, we each have to decide for ourselves.

        But just think how exciting it would be if intelligence professionals were to question the whole thing, especially as now constituted?

        I would listen/read with rapt attention.

        It might well be one of the very best learning experiences of my life.

        Is it worth the risk?

        At this point, how much more is there to lose?


        That may well be in short supply.

        The world?

        How close are we to losing it to greed or war?

        Obviously, authority would rather many things were not discussed.

        How many things ought we avoid?

        Especially when the truth is kept bottled up in a vile enclosure about the size of that thing Colin Powell held up as “proof”?

        • hetro
          June 25, 2019 at 20:02

          Enjoyed your comments, DW, and I think we’re of similar views. Particularly liked your phrasing here:

          “. . . we inhabit a ‘Homeland’, as it has come to be styled, by all those with the very ‘best’ brands that thinks the world of itself, while viewing the world as its own private oyster.”

          I have not given up, let me assure you. One particular historical event sticks in my mind, a remarkable development, and it keeps coming to me. It has something to do with my fondest desire that the American people wake up. Maybe it will remind you of others, and it took place in the Philippines in 1986.

          It interests me because I have spent time in the Philippines, and at the time it had a ruler in the vein of all the worst assholes we’ve seen come along. I personally saw this man on TV, while in the Philippines, who was reassuring the country of his power in a major speech, part of which he took to holding up his biceps and flexing them, whereas (I was told, and this could be mythology) assistants below him and out of sight of the camera were dealing with his uncontrolled bowels and their by-products.

          I saw martial law in the town of Olongapo, the sudden gestapo descent, the slow huddled crowds martialed along, and in the midst of a brutal regime. But in 1986 all that changed. And it changed because the military and security forces disobeyed Marcos. He and Imelda were forced to flee to Hawaii under the protection of his buddy Ronald Reagan. Corazon Aquino, wife of the assassinated Benigno Aquino, became president. What really interests me is my images of the enormous crowds at the time, and under the protection of the security forces–instead of Marcos.

          • DW Bartoo
            June 26, 2019 at 09:10

            Thank you for that recounting of actual experience hetro.

            It is insights and personal observations which flesh out history. Perspectives not tied to official histories or media reports reveal aspects that neither either note or pass along.

            I have often wondered what it must have felt like, from the perspective of the people, when Corazon Aquino became head of government.

            Perhaps you might share more with us about what you witnessed and learned?

            I assure you it would be valued and prized.

    • Sam F
      June 25, 2019 at 17:23

      The core problem is the structure of an administration that is not corruptible, whose structure prevents the corruption by money that has made the tools of democracy serve money power, including all branches of the federal government and the mass media.

      1. The Constitution provided no such controls because money power was not then sufficiently concentrated:
      a. all public officials in the federal branches and mass media must be monitored for financial and social dependencies, rated in fairness, and dismissed without pension for significant violation.
      b. All economic or other influence upon public officials should be felony crime, and if organized should be treason;
      c. Funding of mass media and elections must be restricted to limited registered individual donations;

      2. Checks and Balances never worked between federal branches because they are too dissimilar to substitute in function, had insufficient control over each other, the Executive had all of the real power, no one controlled the judiciary.
      Checks and Balances require:
      a. at least three equal top-level decision groups in each branch and in mass media, which must agree to exercise much power;
      b. all members monitored for financial and social dependencies and rated in fairness, and dismissed for bias or influence.

      3. The Constitution failed to prohibit the abuse of treaties to circumvent the intended prohibition on foreign wars of aggression:
      a. Treaties must be purely defensive of borders, not allowing vague definitions of interests to be “defended;
      b. Membership in an organization like the UN must limit military/economic powers to a similar power structure and strictly humanitarian purposes.

      • hetro
        June 25, 2019 at 20:19

        Excellent, Sam F. You should be part of an administration bringing back effective regulation to government agencies.

      • Sam F
        June 26, 2019 at 06:59

        Thanks, the plan is to use these and other controls to ensure an incorruptible administration of a College of Policy Debate, to produce commented summaries of moderated text debates representing all views on all policy issues, available to the public with mini-quizzes and ratings for politicians.

        Implementation at the federal level will require amendments to the Constitution, which we are unlikely to get because the tools of democracy to be protected (elections, mass media, and judiciary) are already owned and corrupted by oligarchy.

        Restoration of democracy likely will follow the reduction of the US by foreign war losses and foreign embargoes, from tyrannizing the world, to tyrannizing S/C America, to tyrannizing its own population, then likely centuries of isolation with secession movements challenging oligarchy. So not much hope of internal reform, but I am always glad to assist.

        • DW Bartoo
          June 26, 2019 at 09:55

          Sam F, your “College of Policy Debate” is a profoundly wonderful concept.

          May it be swiftly established and fully operational, with regular reports and even roving teams traveling the world setting up branch campuses.

          I do not know if you intend a bricks and mortar campus, and suggest that such is far less important than a mobile presence not fettered by the politics found in static institutions.

          Frankly, the whole notion of “education” must dare move far beyond vested interest protection and guardianship of the status quo.

          You articulate a dynamic sensibility vitally necessary at this time of human existential crisis.

          You do paint a rather grim picture of a potential U$ future.

          I admit that an effectively neutered and contained U$, stewing in its own vile juices does present far less a threat to continued human existence, either through nuclear warfare or a destroyed environment.

          Also, I have considered, that if the people of the U$ did not dare examine prevailing assumptions, about many things, that humanity was in dire jeopardy, that the fundamental responsibility for changing U$ official policy courses resided with the people themselves that, were democracy not made manifest, humanity would be destroyed.

          All predicated on the likelihood that U$ belligerence and intransigence would continue to dominate and, thus, trump any alternative possibilities, simply because vassal states would knuckle under, and potential equals would pursue restraint rather than confrontation.

          Now, with Iran determined, nobly or otherwise, to respond to economic warfare, even as more conventional or even nuclear warfare is threatened, it may be that a paradigm shift is occurring, thanks to Trump’s blatant expansion and extension of long-practiced “bipartisan” over-arching policy, however classily and adroitly masked by certain of his predecessors.
          (Though one cannot help but imagine that Hillary would, in her own fashion, have achieved quite as much or worse).

          Suddenly, it may well not matter at all whether enlightenment blossom among U$ians at large.

          It might even be possible, that the U$ has rendered itself such a threat, such a terror, such an obvious and odious bully, that its fall from effective power will be precipitous. Leaving only its nuclear arsenal, in a fit of fury and pique, as farewell message.

          If assurances are made that the U$ will join the “We will all go together when we go” party, then reason might, as remote possibility, prevail.

          If that brought about the future you envision, then Madeline Albright’s “price worth paying” might just have to come home to roost, in the Homeland.

          It would be a drag.

          Yet richly deserved.

          Karma can be a real bitch.

          • Sam F
            June 26, 2019 at 20:41

            The CPD will be an internet institution, but I am considering the possibility that the administration must form a well-knit residential community sharing a culture of fairness and dedication to finding the truths that escape contentious factions. Yes, “the politics found in static institutions” is difficult to avoid, especially where vested interests devote resources to influence and infiltration. There may be mechanisms to divert bribery cashflows into CPD accounts.

            Yes, the US may indeed have suffered enough foreign war losses, and alienated the world enough that embargoes may block it from tyrannizing the world, perhaps eventually even S/C America. It has the resources to provide enough domestic bread and circus to tyrannize its own population almost indefinitely, but we can hope that the instability of the unregulated economy, better public information, and future depressions combine to bring progressives into power at times, and that they are at last equipped to make the necessary reforms and restore democracy.

      • hetro
        June 26, 2019 at 12:48

        @DW Bartoo: I happened to arrive in the Philippines later in the very day Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino was assassinated (in the morning) in Manila Airport via Marcos’s orders. At that time I stayed on Clark AFB. Not having seen the news yet, I had been puzzled on arrival and transiting from Manila over the horrible mood the Filipinos were in.

        At the base a brown-out occurred for several hours as one consequence. I then watched Marcos on official TV bemoaning how much he just loved Ninoy etc. and this went on for a long time. But then he launched into Aquino’s crimes–a very long list, during which he became angrier and hoarser. Ninoy, you see, deserved whatever had happened. If he had only behaved himself properly–this was the message. A rebel prisoner, blind-folded and standing, was held on stage alongside this President as he went through his exhortation. So you can imagine then the feelings in 1986 when Marcos, finally, was discharged from the PI to his exile in Hawaii where he died not long after.

        I have also remembered another historical incident which could inspire those of us watching The Mighty as They Thrash and Trash the Planet. This happened in South Korea with the arrest in the mid-90’s of Chun Doo Wan, President, and his VP Roh Tae Woo, more examples of tin pot dictator types doing service for the US as well as for their greedy selves. These gentlemen were put in jail, with striped prisoner uniforms, photographs all over the front page of The Korea Times. Again the people rejoiced, believe me.

        I can tell you there is something very satisfying, and even inspiring, about this kind of imagery.

        • DW Bartoo
          June 27, 2019 at 18:53

          Thank you, hetro!!!

          I hope you have written down these experiences and even expanded on them, as they deserve to be preserved.

          How is that you happened to be in both those places?

          If you do not mind, please tell us a bit more about yourself, some personal history, for that not only lends context, it also allows an authority absent in potted histories or media representations.

          The sort of “people’s history that Howard Zinn was noted for presenting, which permits a deeper and more nuanced immediacy to events that are, onftem intentionally, rendered stale or lifeless, and as well lends the human element so very often excised from deeper aspects of “why” and “how” events and paradigm shifts occur.


    • Litchfield
      June 26, 2019 at 06:26

      What Bartoo describes is the new totalitarianism under which we are currently living and which is spreading and strengthening itself day by day.

      Totalitarianism is when you cannot get away. Every avenue of escape is controlled. Even though we still have freedom of movement in the USA, it is provisional: Big Brother knows where we are and can control us at any time. Citizens can also be controlled via “sanctions” similar to those levied on Iran and other legal entities, to strangulate their ability to conduct their normal day-t0-day lives.

      I think the dim realization of this state of affairs is why “no one” talks about Dallas, about 9/11—terrorist acts whose purpose was to cow the citizens into preteneding that everything is A-OK.
      Everything is not A-OK, in the USA or in the world.

      Self-righteous Americans castigate Germans for not “doing something” about the totalitarian conditions under which they were living after Hitler came to power. Both Hitler supporters and foes were under the same boot heel.
      Only heros and martyrs can “do something” against the power of a totalitarian state.

      The totalitarianism of the Jewish State in Palestine is supported secondhand by most of our legislators and citizens.
      I guess Americans think that they are “privileged.”

      We may soon see how many heros and martyrs the USA can field.

      • DW Bartoo
        June 26, 2019 at 10:46

        Superb assessment, Litchfield.

        The people of the U$ are being tested.

        The issues are conscience and principle.

        Either these things exist within ourselves or we choose to dispense with them as meaningless twaddle.

        Without them, true courage has no reason to exist.

        Courage is not joining a mob, to burn books, lynch a black human being, or heckle someone wearing a turban.

        It is quite the opposite.

        It is not to ban the speech of those with whom you might disagree.

        Neither is it to join in the character assassination of someone who reveals war crimes and crimes against humanity, or cheer the imprisonment of those who reveal torture programs.

        It is not to believe convenient lies, that make no sense, or harass or ignore those who can debunk those lies.

        None of these are acts of conscience or principle, but of convention and convenience.

        In terms of tests of conscience and principle, the test comes first.

        The lesson comes later.

        Sometimes with devastating consequence.

        Some will escape outward judgement.

        Eventually, there is neither escape or excuse.

        If only the judgement of history or the curse of those who do pay the price.

        Heroes and martyrs, the real ones, are often inadvertent and, almost always, cognizant of mortality at a level most fear to examine.

    • June 27, 2019 at 01:05

      Thank you again for the important information John. This actually cleared (?) — I just read the above comment — how scary … Boy, do they have blinders on, or are running scared… Apparently like presidents since JFK … I have reported this information — and nothing is being done .. Any suggestions??? Are we really Beyond the Pale — forever lost, under Military and CIA control? We cannot accept this and must all protest, or nothing will change … I apologize for this length, but anyone reading this will realize that the Intel Apparatus, specifically certain employees of the CIA, and likely some in the FBI, and maybe others, are acting outside of their mandate, if not horribly illegally and unethically. They, in no manner, should be allowed less transparency. They in fact need to be reviewed, and perhaps disbanded or reformed. As the writer also alludes to, there are far more serious concerns we should be worried about in regards to the CIA. Many would agree that the CIA has insufficient oversight as it is, and that Eisenhower’s and Truman’s warnings from decades ago have yet to be heeded. Such increased “protections”, as referenced in this article, are not only not warranted, but extremely dangerous. As a former student at a local state university here in Miami, who has had horrid experiences involving a person from outside that university who was involved with my project; and secondly, as a fired whistleblower at another local, large, private university and medical institution also in Miami, that also happens to be a CIA hub, I personally have very serious concerns for the CIA operating in the States, something they are not supposed to be doing. I have documented my concerns on my site,, Links, Home, and Medical-Military page under that. It would appear that this person involved with my project is also involved with Intel agencies, or certainly knows people with high-level “skills” of all types, something I think should have been disclosed, if true. I didn’t know him much and wasn’t told much, although he received his PhD from Texas A&M, also a large CIA hub.

      As mentioned, I have other concerns in these regards as a whistleblower reporting cancer data manipulation in violation of State law, something the State didn’t take any action about, saying these private university employees were not State employees. The retaliation, including a vile threat and high-level hacking, as well as deaths time-lining whenever I would complain, some obvious, seeming natural and/or horrid, and others perplexing, the latter likely due to a “high-level” biologic, obviously not secured sufficiently, or without sufficient oversight (more below). There was also an instance of an older “couple” trying to ingratiate themselves with my friends and family, someone I knew we had not known, although they claimed to know us from years ago, even with some photos. (There were a few people who had access to the home and who I believe took photos, and other things, out.) I have much more information at my site, as mentioned, and the horrid 40 page document will be sent upon request (email at my site). Not only should the CIA NOT be operating stateside, they should be OUT of all our schools, but for job fairs and as retiree teachers, with full disclosure (should they continue to exist). People should not be targeted, threatened, intimidated, and/or retaliated against in the way I have been, or anything resembling these actions, ever. If the CIA is indeed involved in this, they certainly need to be “outed”, and regardless, OUT of our schools. A supervisor at the university where I worked also pointedly told me that she had a relative in the FBI, and I never received the first call from them … These things remind me of Truman’s saying about the CIA (and likely true of the FBI) — they stir up trouble to justify their existence. Some employees are no doubt not the caliber we demand from people in these important positions of power, and they must be weeded out. These organizations must have valid, reliable, and verifiable oversight. They need more oversight, not less transparency. The Senate Intelligence Committee needs to heed Eisenhower’s and Truman’s warnings from decades ago — NOW — that is The People’s demand.

      Everyone should beware of what I call this Medical-Military Industrial Complex; a bit more on the suspicious deaths. (See the murder of Joan M on my Home page, that was not suspicious, but quite obvious, [beyond the fact that she wasn’t mortally or lethally ill], for a number of reasons I go into. This occurred about a month or so after I reported this university to the Joint Commission — see link at Home page.) “Senator” Rubio did nothing to help save her, despite my emails, and unfortunately he is also on the “oversight” Senate Intelligence Committee. Rubio also receives a lot of money from people affiliated with the university I was fired from — the same place that Joan M. was a patient … Rubio should step down … I referred to deliberate killings above; deaths can appear natural (induced heart attack, induced elevated labs, etc.), or no cause can be found (victims just don’t wake up hours after ingesting, with food for example, this particular biologic [which is SUPPOSED to be very high level], I am not aware of other examples in these regards). This is, scarily, occurring in hospitals (as well as not in hospitals, particularly the biologic). These weapons should all be made known to society (forensic pathologists know), and we should have a regulatory body and strict monitoring over them as well as all people with access. They need to be highly secured (if not outlawed and destroyed); I can assure you, despite the “high-level” classification of the biologic, it/they are accessible to the powerful. As a fired whistleblower, as mentioned above, from a large university/CIA hub and medical institution, I can tell you of this horror with much certainty.

      As also mentioned, I have much documentation, and am indeed seeking a lawyer, because I want this to be known, perpetrators punished, and patients, and everyone protected — in hospital, home, or wherever. This is what non-war, societal elimination killings likely look like, at least in part — not anything we know from the past — and they are going on now. You will see from my site that the reasons vary from retaliation, to a patient costing too much, or just hate, or probably any other reason one could think of. Feel free to share this; people need to know, protect themselves (more under my Medical-Military page) and demand an end to such barbarity and unconstitutionality. Please refer to attorneys!

      I have also warned about the poison that is our current political duopoly, and most of my concerns stated here and on my site stem from the years Obama was in office. Under my Outreach page I have other recent published letters, with more information in these regards and other topics. Obama charged more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act (so far), than all prior administrations to his. This is disgraceful for any president, regardless of party. This duopoly is also extremely unproductive, and we deserve much more, and much better. Secrecy is the bane of Democracy – revise or sunset the Espionage Act, reform the document classification system, both of which are used to entrap and silence truth-tellers like Mr. Kiriakou, who we greatly appreciate for his service and for exposing US torture and black sites… He should be pardoned! Free Assange, Manning, and all truth-tellers! Protest with me in Miami, or wherever you are, before it is too late. Send protest pics and i’ll post. Demand the Senate Intel heed Eisenhower’s and Truman’s warnings NOW!!

  12. cjonsson1
    June 25, 2019 at 13:12

    Please, no more secrets and coverups. When will the public get a break and see someone guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors get charged and punished appropriately?
    I’m thinking of some high profile former national security agents hiding in plain sight on TV. Seeing them posing as experts is a slap in the face.
    The CIA has always been a corrupt rogue agency that has its own agenda. Hold the CIA responsible for their actions for once.

  13. Robert
    June 25, 2019 at 13:00

    This change is being proposed at this time to protect CIA and CIA-paid operatives who will be targeted by AG Barr in investigations on the illegal surveillance, attempts to frame Trump and his advisors, and a cover-up of these activities in the Mueller report.

  14. June 25, 2019 at 12:31

    Sewing up all loose ends that can lead to their exposure and crimes.

    Damn I am finding this font colour in the comment thread hard to read

    • JBarth
      June 28, 2019 at 20:33

      It is much harder to read on my large old CRT monitor than on any laptop, so it may be your brightness or contrast setting. Toad Hall alumni can reach me at

  15. petr dann
    June 25, 2019 at 12:03

    It’s not un-American at all. It’s typical.

  16. lou e
    June 25, 2019 at 11:59

    The Gehlen Organization and the fascist scum of all nationalities (money-power elite in Carroll Quigley’s parlance) set up the CIA as a vehicle for rollback or liberation theory (a Nazi plan to survive defeat), and the “globalists” bent on world domination through cartelization, control of military, intelligence, media……… As Alice Cooper put it Welcome to my Nightmare

  17. Vera Gottlieb
    June 25, 2019 at 11:58

    Is it ever possible for any US government agency to act with proper integrity? Must it always come down to lies and deceptions?

  18. Eddie
    June 25, 2019 at 11:36

    The CIA since at least 1953 has been a terrorism wing of a the US. The US is a rogue state where all of its major institutions exist to enrich a tiny oligarchy at the expense of the working class.

  19. AnneR
    June 25, 2019 at 09:23

    Thank you for this piece, Mr Kiriakou, but I do not hold out any hope.

    When a clear criminal (in a sane, ethical and moral world) like Gina Haspel can become *head* of the very agency seeking this extension to their already existing protections (which, like the agency itself, oughtn’t to exist in the first place – choose the life of a spy, of lying for a living, of committing crimes in “the name of your country,” – then take the risks inherent in doing so, including criminal prosecution) one knows that only the unscrupulous are in charge.

  20. ??
    June 25, 2019 at 08:39

    Basically the CIA is the full manifestations of what male privilege is over all. Fuck any hole you want to and we have your back. Regardless of how, who, what, where or why the hole you are fucking exists. Have at it boys and girls chosen for CIA ops.
    Daddy war bucks at the Pentagon will save you and “legally” too just like with trump! You’re safe no matter what.

  21. Skip Scott
    June 25, 2019 at 08:35

    Our so called “Intelligence” agencies are completely out of control, and have been for my entire life. David Talbot’s “The Devil’s Chessboard” is a “must read” for anyone who wants the truth.

    As little Chuckie Schumer said, “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” So they obviously control Congress and the Executive branch, and even the Judiciary. How much more impunity do they need?

    I dream that some day they will be taken head on, and massive public prosecutions of “intelligence” heads and war criminals, including former presidents, will purge our government of evil and finally install the “rule of law”.

    • ??
      June 25, 2019 at 08:56

      Me too but dreaming of a world that profits off of the successes of one another and nature and no longer either one’s miseries ever again is complete “insanity”.
      A world that profits off of the miseries of one another and nature at any cost to either one’s is the “sane” way to go.
      That’s how hell keeps it’s walls in tact.
      Satan’s kid’s gotta have homes, jobs and food too ya know. ?

      • Anonymous
        July 5, 2019 at 10:20

        There are plenty of essays on the political abuse of psychiatry in Russia. Not so many on its abuses here – but of course it’s just the same as it ever was; the difference is that this country understands the importance of PR and will not act on high profile / well known targets and instead focuses on nipping nobodies “in the bud”.

    • Tim Jones
      June 25, 2019 at 10:01

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember Ray McGovern noting how Allen Dulles was so concerned about the fallout from Truman’s Op-ed criticizing the CIA that he asked him to write a retraction. Because Truman would not, Dulles manufactured a fake memo and attributed it to him. Somehow, I feel it in my bones that a rekoning is coming for the Deep State and their rogue minions in NSA/CIA.

    • llou e
      June 25, 2019 at 12:06

      The Devil’s Chessboard is practically a puff piece. That book leaves out at least half of what the Dulles brothers did. I passed my copy on…. Dave Emory’s spitfirelist has much more especially in his series “how the US Lost the Second World War”

  22. Realist
    June 25, 2019 at 06:43

    As crazy as it may sound, I don’t think the “free press” cares about a free press either. They only care about carrying water for their owners who also control the government with the “campaign” money they “contribute” to elected officials.

    If they have paid subscriptions to American newspapers down in Hell, Hitler and Goebbels must feel vindicated whenever they read them.

    • David G
      June 25, 2019 at 11:17

      The corporate media reaction to Trump’s opening investigations into the origins of Russia-gate, and empowering people in DoJ to declassify information as they see fit, has been pretty telling: Beltway “reporters” are *warning* of the *threat* that the government will release *too many* of its secrets.

    • Sam F
      June 26, 2019 at 21:37

      Yes, careerists serve their boss, and choose or are selected for the tribal narrative of their day, as readily as army recruits. Money power has boldly consolidated its control of mass media, elections, and the judiciary, as the people were entertained. Our unregulated economy drained the people of ethics, trained them to love the liar, stole from them the very tools of democracy, and left them unable to organize, and defenseless.

    • Fran Macadam
      June 27, 2019 at 07:29

      … “it works the same in every country.”

  23. Linda Lewis
    June 25, 2019 at 02:26

    Thank you for writing about this. Would the proposed provision possibly protect CIA employees or associates illegally conducting surveillance in the US, for example infiltrating domestic activist groups?

  24. KiwiAntz
    June 25, 2019 at 00:33

    The Nazi’s had the Gestapo & the American’s have the CIA? This comparison is all you need to know about this evil organisation & every Tyrant regime has one except the CIA is the most insidious of them all as it’s tasked with meddling, overthrowing & orchestrating Coup d’état’s & general chaos & regime changes, on behalf of the Evil US Empire? It acts as a alternate to a Military invasion option, the mentality being, why use your expensive Military to overthrow disobedient Nations when you can economically starve & embargo them to death instead until the people supposedly rise up against their own Govt & commit the coup themselves? Nice try CIA, if you can get away with it, but the humiliation of the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba, the failed CIA puppet asset agent Guido in Venezuela & other CIA failures & disasters, to numerous to name here, beg to differ to the effectiveness of this rotten agency!

  25. A. Stacy
    June 24, 2019 at 19:54

    I’m not employed by the C.I.A. never have been. I want something done about my son’s abduction and the intentional fraud. Also the threats by Melody Huckaby and Scott Banks. My family and I deserve justice in this case. I also have sent information to Homeland Security, and OSBI and FUN regarding cyber crimes.

  26. Jeff Harrison
    June 24, 2019 at 19:10

    Y’know, before The Most Serene Republic of Venice fell to Napoleon in 1797, it had the most feared spy services in Europe.

  27. geeyp
    June 24, 2019 at 18:45

    Right. Since when have we ever gotten the names of any of these criminals? Who, for example were the gung ho pilots of the helicopter gunship that murdered Reuters journalists and children that Wikileaks exposed to the world? Were these CIA agents? So right, what difference will this make? It matters not if you are CIA committing a crime for the government or in the military or Secretary of State or vice-president or who you are, if you are in with the in crowd. CIA rules rules. I am anguished that President Kennedy didn’t live long enough to “smash it into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds”.

    • Tim Jones
      June 25, 2019 at 10:08

      I’m with ya.

  28. Rob
    June 24, 2019 at 18:38

    I expect Congress to roll over and give the Agency whatever it wants. Conceivably, Democrats could grow a spine, but their history is one of extreme passivity in matters of supposed “national security.”

  29. John Neal Spangler
    June 24, 2019 at 17:43

    He is right. CIA crushing liberties and leaving America a frightened place where serious discussions are not held and whole nation in fear of agency. A once bright Democracy reduced to a fake Orwellian one where propaganda rules the day, hence leaders make one foolish mistake after another

  30. John Smith
    June 24, 2019 at 17:15

    John –

    You’re terrific, but using a quote from Joe Biden in support of your position only works against it. I also dispute characterizing him as the Democratic “front runner” – perhaps according to MSM, but certainly not based on Biden’s abilities or track record.

    • geeyp
      June 24, 2019 at 18:48

      John Smith – I totally agree with you. Plagiarist Joe is a waste of inquiring minds.

    • John Kiriakou
      June 24, 2019 at 19:17

      I’ve been clear in my disdain of Biden. I think he’s an awful candidate, he’d be a terrible president, and he’s exactly the person that we ought NOT have running the country. With that said, he and Gary Hart are the only living former senators who voted against the IIPA, and he’s the only one who ever wrote about it. Also, take a quick look at the polls at It pains me, but he’s certainly the frontrunner.

      • Realist
        June 25, 2019 at 07:24

        How did humanity offend the gods to deserve this?

        Unless Tulsi Gabbard miraculously snatches the Democratic nomination (and everyone controlling the levers of power in that party want her gone), the country is basically faced with the same choice as last time: an erratic outsider with no allies or coherent agenda who is routinely defied by his own cabinet appointees or some warmongering opportunist willing to risk Armageddon because it is expedient, supported by the elites and easy to shove down the voters’ throats.

        The world needs peace, cooperation, intellectual exchange, genuine free trade, more jobs and a better standard of living. What it gets from the leading factions in Washington are wars, sanctions, tariffs, embargoes, false narratives, slanderous rhetoric, undisguised animosity, and naked threats. The country cannot find common ground or agreed upon goals within its own populace whose political and media representatives make a national sport of relentlessly savaging one another. How are these Killer Klowns from Foggy Bottom ever going to unite the world and solve its real problems (beyond the wars it needlessly imposes upon itself). At this point, the world has no interest in listening to anything the Klowns have to offer because it WILL only make things worse.

        • Fran Macadam
          June 27, 2019 at 07:32

          “How did humanity offend the gods to deserve this?”

          Let me count the ways…

      • Gregory Herr
        June 25, 2019 at 17:46

        It was 1982, after all. I don’t think there’s a chance Biden would voice any objection today. I agree that “we own the finish line” Biden, crass and conniving, represents precisely what we do not need more of.

        The polls are suspect and next to meaningless at this point anyway. I think Sanders wins the most primaries but perhaps not enough to secure the nomination on the first ballot. If the superdelegates turn the trick for Biden on the second ballot, they will open the door for Trump’s re-election. But maybe that’s what the Democratic leadership wants.

        • Skip Scott
          June 27, 2019 at 07:05

          Unfortunately, I also see Sanders or Warren playing the sheepdog role for Biden, just like what happened in 2016. That is why we need to get real progressives to open their eyes and leave the DNC controlled Democratic party in droves. When they failed to do away with the superdelegates, and purposely flooded the field to ensure a second ballot, they screamed to anyone paying attention that the party is not reformable. It still isn’t too late to get someone to run outside the duopoly (by making a dramatic exit during a TV primary debate) to make the 15% and get to the general election debates.

          If Trump takes us into war with Iran or Venezuela and crashes our economy as a result, I think a 3rd party candidate running on an anti-war platform would have a great chance at winning.

          • Realist
            June 27, 2019 at 10:22

            If that happens, Susan Sarandon will be able to say, “told ya he would shake things up one way or another.”

          • Gregory Herr
            June 27, 2019 at 19:13

            Just guessing, but I think progressives see a better opportunity for Sanders this time around with Clinton out of the way. And though many of same are correctly critical of Sanders’ overall foreign policy record—they see “improvement” here (trying to stop the war in Yemen and prevent a war with Iran) and think Bernie would be way better on this front than either the Republicans or most other Democrats. In short, progressives leaving the Dems in droves just won’t happen…yet.

            I thought last time around that enough of the American electorate was sufficiently beyond the bamboozlement created by our duplicitous duopoly that Jill Stein’s candidacy—so bright—would draw the 15% needed to “shake things up” and give voice to reason (particularly as Trump and Clinton were widely unpopular). Boy was I mistaken.

            There are still way too many Americans who, if they don’t think Obama walks on water, they think Trump is MAGA. If they don’t think Hillary was the “most qualified ever” and Joe Biden is a good man, they think “conservatives” are where it’s at. I wonder if there is even a 15% to mobilize on behalf of well-thought-out and ethical political standpoints and policy prescriptions. May be that’s a little harsh, but I wonder.

            We, as a people, to gain some kind of sovereignty as a nation of people (not corporations) must harness leadership (within the system of power) that will prosecute “elites” guilty of malfeasance, require some public domain over our “airwaves” to remove the necessity of mega-funding for political campaigns, require paper trails to audit elections, and generally set better “rules” within Congress that they cannot change—for instance, lawmakers should be unable to produce convoluted legislation. Each “bill” must be fairly specific in scope and not amended with non-germane slip-ins. And we need control of our money supply (public banks) and the ability to cooperate with the rest of the world. We could go on about “reform” …

            But that leadership would require a coalition of insider support and an active public. The surveillance state presents a huge obstacle for patriotic “insiders”, and the public is largely clueless. Kind of like they are clueless about the catastrophic consequences of attacking Iran.

            I’m all in on Tulsi (if she could get some real high-profile support) making a run outside the duopoly…but I think she probably thinks the best hope at present is to elect Sanders and work from within.

          • Skip Scott
            June 29, 2019 at 07:07


            The problem with what you suggest as a possibility for Sanders is that he would have to make it on the first ballot. The DNC has purposely flooded the field with candidates for the purpose of ensuring a second ballot, where once again the “superdelegates” will sabotage Sanders for “corporate sponsored war monger from column B”.

            When Sanders gave his support to Clinton in 2016 despite the Wikileaks revelations, he proved to me that he has no integrity, and willingly played the sheepdog role for the DNC rather than contest the convention. We cannot allow that to happen again. Fool me once…

            And yes, those who control the two headed monster (including the DNC) would rather see Trump reelected than have a progressive in the White House.

          • Gregory Herr
            June 29, 2019 at 09:02

            I think it’s problematic too Skip. You are absolutely correct in your analysis of what the DNC is doing.

            And I agree that our country desperately needs its electorate to move away from the duopoly and form a political party /movement that is staunchly anti-war and works towards social and economic justice. Tragically though, short of the catastrophic consequences, economically and otherwise, of war with Iran—I don’t think the eye-opening will happen soon enough.

            I don’t suggest that progressives should be trying to correct the Democratic Party or should be pinning hopes on a successful Sanders run—but it appears to me to be so.

            Third party is a tough calculation for people like Sanders and Tulsi to make. It ultimately comes down to the public—we have to make it a viable calculation.

      • geeyp
        June 25, 2019 at 22:15

        John Kiriakou – Gary Hart was someone that I voted for at one time and thought would make a good President.

        • Fran Macadam
          June 27, 2019 at 07:35

          More woodie-be Presidential timbre…

Comments are closed.