political censorship becomes normal in the commercial messaging world, then

Facebook and YouTube remove posts naming CIA impeachment whistleblower
Kevin Reed, WSWS, Nov 11 2019

Multiple media sources reported on Friday that the social media platforms Facebook and YouTube were removing posts that identified by name the CIA whistleblower behind the Congressional impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. In an email statement, Facebook said:

Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content outing of witness, informant or activist. We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate.

CNN also reported that YouTube issued a statement saying that it was using a combination of artificial intelligence software and human monitors to find and delete videos with the name of the “Ukrainegate” whistleblower. The CNN report said:

The removals, the spokesperson added, would affect the titles and descriptions of videos as well as the video’s actual content.

WSWS has independently confirmed that Facebook is deleting posts containing the name of alleged CIA whistleblower Eric Ciaramella. Facebook’s claim that any content posted on its platform naming Ciaramella constitutes “outing” the whistleblower is absurd. The alleged identity of the career CIA analyst who filed a complaint regarding the Jul 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky has been known since Oct 30, when the pro-Thug Real Clear Politics website published his name. At that time, the whistleblower’s attorneys said in typical CIA fashion that they could “neither confirm nor deny” that Ciaramella was their client. Ciaramella is a plausible candidate for being whistleblower, given his background as a registered Demagog and CIA analyst with expertise in Ukraine and Russia. He worked under NSAs Rice and McMaster. In mid-2017 he was sent back to the CIA amid accusations that he was leaking anti-Trump information to the media. While Ciaramella’s name has been widely circulated by Thug political figures, right-wing news sites and former CIA analyst and Trump aide Fred Fleitz said, “everyone knows who he is,” the Demagogs and their allies in the media at the NYT, WaPo and major networks have not made his name public. Even an article in the NYT on Friday that reported on Facebook’s censoring of posts by Breitbart News did not include Ciaramella’s name. By taking the step of scrubbing posts mentioning allegations that are widely shared and reported, Facebook and YouTube are now joining with these corporate media organizations and blocking the public from having access to important information. The latest heavy-handed social media censorship, so obviously being carried out in the service of the Demagog Party impeachment inquiry and the CIA, actually helps the Trump administration, the Thugs and the extreme right-wing political forces defending the White House, allowing them to adopt the false posture of advocating free flow of information, even as Trump continues to demonize the media as the “enemies of the people.”

The mass scrubbing of all social media content by Facebook and YouTube that mentions the name Eric Ciaramella is part of the broader censorship efforts by the technology monopolies, in collaboration with the intelligence state, and sets the stage for even more draconian attacks on freedom of expression. This must be seen within the context of the drive by a substantial section of the ruling establishment for the social media platforms to “step up to the plate” and, as Hillary Clinton said last week, take down “false, deceptive or deliberately misleading content” or “pay a price.” Leading figures within the Demagog Party including Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib have been campaigning for social media censorship that will block what they call “untruthful statements.” The increasing calls for censorship on social media are part of a protracted campaign by the Pindo intelligence apparatus, under conditions of a growing movement of the working class and young people and increasing interest and support for socialism, to suppress left-wing, antiwar and progressive political viewpoints. Furthermore, what is determined as “fake” or “real” is not to be decided by the government or giant tech monopolies. All the dishonesty of the campaign for internet censorship is contained in the failure to answer, much less consider, one central question: Who is to determine what is true and what is false? The publication of the name of the CIA analyst who submitted his complaint memo to the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in August is not a crime. In fact, his identity is of substantial consequence, given that his complaint became the starting point of an effort to remove a sitting president through impeachment.

Demagogs & Trump maneuver ahead of televised Impeachment hearings
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Nov 11 2019

With public televised hearings set to begin on Wednesday, both Pres Trump and the House Demagogs spearheading the impeachment inquiry maneuvered for political advantage over the weekend. The Demagogs have set the open hearings to be phase two of a three-phase approach to impeachment: first, the closed-door depositions before the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI), whose transcripts have mostly been made public; second, the televised hearings before the same committee, with those believed to be most effective against the president selected as the first-round witnesses; and finally a referral to the House Judiciary Committee, which is expected to decide on articles of impeachment and send them to the full House for a final vote sometime next month. The emphasis on speed suggests that the Demagog leadership wants to insure that an impeachment vote and possible Senate trial are completed before the Demagog presidential primaries begin in February. Neither Pelosi nor any other top congressional Demagog expects the Thug-controlled Senate to remove Trump from office, which would require a two-thirds majority. The line-up of witnesses for the first week of televised hearings is remarkable since it consists entirely of State Dept boxtops who still work for the Trump administration testifying publicly against their own boss. Acting ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor will be the lead witness, followed by DASS George Kent and former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. As the NYT noted Sunday in a front-page profile:

From Dissent to Rallying Cry in State Dept, Diplomats Lead Way in Trump Inquiry. Rarely has the State Dept, often seen as a staid pillar of the establishment, been the center of a revolt against a president and his top appointees. In fact, when open impeachment hearings begin next week, the first to testify will be diplomats, appearing despite directives from the White House for admin boxtops to defy Congress on such requests. Like the military or the CIA, the State Dept is its own separate culture and one that views the world in terms very different than Mr Trump’s.

Linking these three components of the national security apparatus (the Pentagon brass, the intelligence operatives and the diplomats) only underscores the real constituency to which the Demagog Party is appealing through its impeachment inquiry. The Demagog leadership has explicitly forbidden any consideration of Trump’s actions against immigrants and other sections of the working class, or his defiance of the Constitution to build the border wall and lay the foundations for an executive dictatorship in Pindostan. The sole basis of the impeachment is what Trump has done to offend the national security apparatus and leading Demagogs like Joe Biden. This is underscored by the three questions released Thursday by HPSCI chair Adam Schiff as the basis for the televised hearings. They concern whether Trump requested that the Ukrainian government initiate investigations into his political rivals in Pindostan; whether Trump used his powers as president to induce Ukraine to launch the investigations, either by holding up military aid or offering an Oval Office meeting to the president of Ukraine; and whether Trump and his top aides tried to obstruct, suppress or cover up information related to the first two issues. In that context, Demagogs on HPSCI said they would treat all instances of Trump officials either refusing to testify or refusing to supply documents as evidence of obstruction. This applies particularly to officials of the OMB, who executed Trump’s orders to hold up the military aid to Ukraine, and who have all refused to obey subpoenas by the committee, as well as Mick Mulvaney, the former head of OMB who is now Trump’s acting White House chief of staff.

On the Thug side of this conflict within the Pindo ruling elite, there was an air of desperation and clutching at straws, with constantly shifting efforts by House and Senate Thugs to find a credible basis for defending Trump against the attacks of sections of the military intelligence apparatus they support no less vociferously than the Demagogs. Trump was focused mainly on preventing defections among House and Senate Thugs, concerned that even one vote for impeachment could trigger a much wider disintegration in the party ranks. The president kept up a constant stream of tweets combining vilification of the Demagogs with threats that treason charges could be brought against his critics within the state apparatus and even against their attorneys. The public posture of House Thugs is denunciation of the impeachment proceedings as an anti-democratic sham, while at the same time making demands for witnesses such as Hunter Biden which they know will be denied by the Demagog majority. They have also listed Nellie Ohr, a researcher for Fusion GPS, which was hired by the DNC to do opposition research on Trump with a focus on Russia, and Alexandra Chalupa, who worked for the Obama administration and the DNC. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has named one of the most rabid Trump defenders, Ohio Rep Jim Jordan, to a temporary position on HPSCI, giving him a lead role in the televised hearing. Jordan is the former head of the House Freedom Caucus, the most extreme-right faction of the congressional Thugs. One of the murkier aspects of the impeachment inquiry is the role of former NSA Bolton, who was strongly opposed to Trump’s efforts to twist arms in Kiev and was fired by Trump on Sep 10, one day before the administration reversed itself and delivered the military aid to Ukraine. Bolton’s lawyer, Charles J Cooper, expressed consternation that HPSCI had decided not to subpoena Bolton, indicating that his client knows about “many relevant meetings and conversations” related to Ukraine. Bolton did not appear voluntarily Nov 7, citing a White House ban on testifying, but he indicated he would honor a subpoena if a federal judge ruled that it took precedence. HPSCI declined to issue a subpoena for Bolton, and dropped a subpoena for his deputy Charles Kupperman, who took the same position, on the grounds that waiting for a court ruling would delay the entire impeachment drive by weeks if not months.

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