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the bastards

How ‘New Cold Warriors’ Cornered Trump
Gareth Porter, Consortium News, Feb 25 2017

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Opponents of the Trump administration have generally accepted as fact the common theme across mainstream media that aides to Donald Trump were involved in some kind of illicit communications with the Russian government that has compromised the independence of the administration from Russian influence. But close analysis of the entire series of leaks reveals something else that is equally sinister in its implications: an unprecedented campaign by Obama administration intelligence officials, relying on innuendo rather than evidence, to exert pressure on Trump to abandon any idea of ending the New Cold War and to boost the campaign to impeach Trump. A brazen and unprecedented intervention in domestic Pindo politics by the intelligence community established the basic premise of the cascade of leaks about alleged Trump aides’ shady dealing with Russia. Led by DCI Brennan, the CIA, FBI and NSA issued a 25-page assessment on Jan 6, asserting for the first time that Russia had sought to help Trump win the election. Brennan had circulated a CIA memo concluding that Russia had favored Trump and had told CIA staff that he had met separately with DNI Clapper and FBI Director Comey, and that they had agreed on the “scope, nature and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

In the end, however, Clapper refused to associate himself with the document and the NSA, which agreed to do so, was only willing to express “moderate confidence” in the judgment that the Kremlin had sought to help Trump in the election. In intelligence community parlance, that meant that the NSA considered the idea the Kremlin was working to elect Trump was merely plausible, not actually supported by reliable evidence. In fact, the intelligence community had not even obtained evidence that Russia was behind the publication by Wikileaks of the e-mails from the DNC, much less that it had done so with the intention of electing Trump. Clapper had testified before Congress in mid-November and again in December that the intelligence community did not know who had provided the e-mails to WikiLeaks, or when they were provided. The claim by Brennan with the support of Comey that Russia had “aspired” to help Trump’s election prospects was not a normal intelligence community assessment but an extraordinary exercise of power by Brennan, Comey and NSA Director Rogers. Brennan and his allies were not merely providing a professional assessment of the election, as was revealed by their embrace of the the dubious dossier compiled by a private intelligence firm hired by one of Trump’s Republican opponents and later by the Clinton campaign for the specific purpose of finding evidence of illicit links between Trump and the Putin regime.

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When the three intelligence agencies gave the classified version of their report to senior administration officials in January they appended a two-page summary of the juiciest bits from that dossier, including claims that Russian intelligence had compromising information about Trump’s personal behavior while visiting Russia. The dossier was sent, along with the assessment that Russia was seeking to help Trump get elected, to senior administration officials as well as selected Congress critturs. Among the claims in the private intelligence dossier that was summarized for policy-makers was the allegation of a deal between the Trump campaign and the Putin government involving full Trump knowledge of the Russian election help and a Trump pledge months before the election to sideline the Ukraine issue once in office. The allegation, devoid of any verifiable information, came entirely from an unidentified “Russian emigre” claiming to be a Trump insider, without any evidence provided of the source’s actual relationship to the Trump camp or of his credibility as a source. After the story of the two-page summary leaked to the press, Clapper publicly expressed “profound dismay” about the leak and said:

The intelligence community has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, nor does we rely on it any way for our conclusions.

One would expect that acknowledgment to be followed by an admission that he should not have circulated it outside the intelligence community at all. But instead Clapper then justified having passed on the summary as providing policy-makers with “the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.” By that time, the intelligence agencies had been in possession of the material in the dossier for several months. It was their job to verify the information before bringing it to the attention of policy-makers. A former intelligence official with decades of experience dealing with the CIA as well other intelligence agencies told this writer that he had never heard of the intelligence agencies making public unverified information on a Pindosi citizen. He said:

The CIA has never played such a open political role.

The CIA has often tilted its intelligence assessment related to a potential adversary in the direction desired by the White House or the Pentagon and the JCoS, but this is the first time that such a slanted report impinges not only on domestic politics but is directed at the President himself. The egregious triple abuse of the power in publishing a highly partisan opinion on Russia and Trump’s election, appending raw and unverified private allegations impugning Trump’s loyalty and then leaking that fact to the media begs the question of motive. Brennan, who initiated the whole effort, was clearly determined to warn Trump not to reverse the policy toward Russia to which the CIA and other national security organizations were firmly committed. A few days after the leak of the two-page summary, Brennan publicly warned Trump about his policy toward Russia. In an interview on Fox News, he said:

I think Mr Trump has to understand that absolving Russia of various actions that it’s taken in the past number of years is a road that I think he needs to be very, very careful about moving down.

Graham Fuller, who was a CIA operations officer for 20 years and was also National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East for four years in the Reagan administration, observed in an e-mail:

Brennan, Clapper and Comey might legitimately fear Trump as a loose cannon on the national scene, but they are also dismayed at any prospect that the official narrative against Russia could start falling apart under Trump, and want to maintain the image of constant and dangerous Russian intervention into affairs of state.

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As Trump’s National Security Adviser (also aka NSA – RB), Michael Flynn presented an easy target for a campaign to portray the Trump team as being in Putin’s pocket. He had already drawn heavy criticism not only by attending a Moscow event celebrating the Russian television RT in 2016 but sitting next to Putin and accepting a fee for speaking at the event. More importantly, however, Flynn had argued that Pindostan and Russia could and should cooperate in their common interest of defeating Daesh. That idea was anathema to the Pentagon and the CIA. Ashtray Carter had attacked Jackass Kerry’s negotiating a Syrian ceasefire that included a provision for coordination of efforts against Daesh. The official investigation of the Pindo attack on Syrian forces on Sep 17 turned up evidence that CENTCOM had deliberately targeted the Syrian military with the intention of sabotaging the ceasefire agreement. The campaign to bring down Flynn began with a leak from a “senior Pindo government official” to the WaPo’s David Ignatius about the now-famous phone conversation between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on Dec 29. In his column on the leak, Ignatius avoided making any explicit claim about the conversation. Instead, he asked:

What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the Pindosi sanctions?

The implications of the coy revelation of the Flynn conversation with Kislyak were far-reaching. Any interception of a communication by the NSA or the FBI has always been considered one of the most highly classified secrets in the Pindosi intelligence universe of secrets, and officers have long been under orders to protect the name of any Pindosi involved in any such intercepted communication at all costs. But the senior official who leaked the story of Flynn-Kislyak conversation to Ignatius, obviously for a domestic political purpose, did not feel bound by any such rule. That leak was the first move in a concerted campaign of using such leaks to suggest that Flynn had discussed the Obama administration’s sanctions with Kislyak in an effort to undermine Obama administration policy. The revelation brought a series of articles about denials by the Trump transition team, including VP Pence, that Flynn had in fact discussed sanctions with Kislyak, and continued suspicions that Trump’s aides were covering up the truth. The day after Trump was inaugurated, the WaPo reported that the FBI had begun in late December go back over all communications between Flynn and Russian officials and “had not found evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government,” but two weeks later it reversed its coverage of the issue, publishing a story citing “nine current and former officials who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” as saying that Flynn had “discussed sanctions” with Kislyak. The story said:

Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak was interpreted by some senior Pindo officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

The WaPo did not refer to its own previous reporting of the FBI’s unambiguous view contradicting that claim, which had suggested strongly that the FBI was trying to head off a plan by Brennan and Clapper to target Flynn, but it did include a crucial caveat on the phrase “discussed sanctions” that few readers would have noticed. It revealed that the phrase was actually an “interpretation” of the language that Flynn had used. In other words, what Flynn actually said was not necessarily a literal reference to sanctions at all. Only a few days later, the WaPo reported a new development. Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI on Jan 24, four days after Trump’s inauguration, and had denied that he discussed sanctions in the conversation. Prosecutors were not planning to charge Flynn with lying, according to several officials, in part because they believed he would be able to “parse the definition of the word ‘sanctions’.” That implied that the exchange was actually focused not on sanctions per se, but on the expulsion of the Russian diplomats. Just hours before his resignation on Feb 13, Flynn claimed in an interview with the Daily Caller that he had indeed referred only to the expulsion of the Russian diplomats, saying:

It wasn’t about sanctions. It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out. It was basically ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as ‘We’re going to review sanctions’ or anything like that.

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Even as the story of the Flynn’s alleged transgression in the conversation with the Russian ambassador was becoming a political crisis for Donald Trump, yet another leaked story surfaced that appeared to reveal a shocking new level of the Trump administration’s weakness toward Russia. The WaPo reported on Feb 13 that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, had decided in late January after discussions with Brennan, Clapper and Comey in the last days of the Obama administration to inform White House Counsel Donald McGahn in late January that Flynn had lied to other Trump administration officials, including Pence, in denying that he discussed sanctions with Kislyak. The WaPo cited “current and former officials” as the sources. That story, repeated and amplified by many other news media, led to Flynn’s downfall later that same day, but like all of the other related leaks, the story revealed more about the aims of the leakers than about links between Trump’s team and Russia. The centerpiece of the new leak was that the former Obama officials named in the story had feared that “Flynn put himself in a compromising position” in regard to his account of the conversation with Kislyak to members of the Trump transition team. Yates had told the White House that Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail because of the discrepancies between his conversation with the Ambassador and his story to Pence, according to the WaPo story but once again, the impression created by the leak was very different from the reality behind it. The idea that Flynn had exposed himself to a potential Russian blackmail threat by failing to tell Pence exactly what had transpired in the conversation was fanciful in the extreme. Even assuming that Flynn had flatly lied to Pence about what he had said in the meeting, which was evidently not the case, it would not have given the Russians something to hold over Flynn, first because it was already revealed publicly, and second because the Russian interest was to cooperate with the new administration. The ex-Obama administration leakers were obviously citing that clumsy and preposterous argument as an excuse to intervene in the internal affairs of the new administration. The WaPo’s sources claimed:

Pence had a right to know that he had been misled.

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True or not, of course, it was none of their business. The professed concern of the Intelligence Community and Justice Dept officials that Pence deserved the full story from Flynn was obviously based on political considerations, not some legal principle. Pence was a known supporter of the New Cold War with Russia, so the tender concern for Pence not being treated nicely coincided with a strategy of dividing the new administration along the lines of policy toward Russia. All indications are that Trump and other insiders knew from the beginning exactly what Flynn had actually said in the conversation, but that Flynn had given Pence a flat denial about discussing sanctions without further details. On Feb 13, when Trump was still trying to save Flynn, the National Security Adviser apologized to Pence for “inadvertently” having failed to give him a complete account, including his reference to the expulsion of the Russian diplomats. But that was not enough to save Flynn’s job. The divide-and-conquer strategy which led to Flynn’s ouster was made effective because the leakers had already created a political atmosphere of great suspicion about Flynn and the Trump White House as having had illicit dealings with the Russians. The normally pugnacious Trump chose not to respond to the campaign of leaks with a detailed, concerted defense. Instead, he sacrificed Flynn before the end of the very day the Flynn “blackmail” story was published. But Trump’s appears to have underestimated the ambitions of the leakers. The campaign against Flynn had been calculated in part to weaken the Trump administration and ensure that the new administration would not dare to reverse the hardline policy of constant pressure on Putin’s Russia. Many in Faschingstein’s political elite celebrated the fall of Flynn as a turning point in the struggle to maintain the existing policy orientation toward Russia. The day after Flynn was fired, the WaPo’s national political correspondent James Hohmann wrote:

The Flynn imbroglio will now make it politically untenable for Trump to scale back sanctions to Moscow, because the political blowback from hawkish Republicans in Congress would be too intense.

But the ultimate target of the campaign was Trump himself. As Eli Lake put it:

Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.

Susan Hennessey of Brookings told the Graun:

Trump may think Flynn is the sacrificial lamb, but the reality is that he is the first domino. To the extent the administration believes Flynn’s resignation will make the Russia story go away, they are mistaken.

No sooner had Flynn’s firing been announced than the next phase of the campaign of leaks over Trump and Russia began. On Feb 14, CNN and the NYT published slight variants of the same apparently scandalous story of numerous contacts between multiple members of the Trump camp with the Russian at the very time the Russians were allegedly acting to influence the election. There was little subtlety in how mainstream media outlets made their point. CNN’s headline was:

Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign.

The NYT headline was even more sensational:

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts with Russian Intelligence.

But the attentive reader would soon discover that the stories did not reflect those headlines. In the very first paragraph of the CNN story, those “senior Russian officials” became “Russians known to Pindo intelligence,” meaning that it included a wide range of Russians who are not officials at all, but known or suspected intelligence operatives in business and other sectors of society monitored by Pindo intelligence. A Trump associate dealing with such individuals would have no idea that they are working for Russian intelligence. The NYT story, on the other hand, referred to the Russians with whom Trump aides were said to be in contact last year as “senior Russian intelligence officials,” apparently glossing over a crucial distinction that sources had had made to CNN between intelligence officials and Russians being monitored by Pindo intelligence. But the NYT story acknowledged that the Russian contacts also included government officials who were not intelligence officials, and that the contacts had been made not only by Trump campaign officials, but also by associates of Trump who had done business in Russia. It further acknowledged it was “not unusual” for Pindosi businesspeople to come into contact unwittingly with foreign intelligence officials in Russia and Ukraine, where “spy services are deeply embedded in society.” Even more important, the NYT story made it clear that the intelligence community was seeking evidence that Trump’s aides or associates were colluding with the Russians on the alleged Russian effort to influence the election, but that it had found no evidence of any such collusion. CNN failed to report that crucial element of the story. The headlines and lead paragraphs of both stories should have conveyed the real story: that the intelligence community had sought evidence of collusion by Trump aides with Russia but had not found it, several months after reviewing the intercepted conversations and other intelligence.

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Former DCI Brennan and other former Obama administration intelligence officials have used their power to lead a large part of the public to believe that Trump had conducted suspicious contacts with Russian officials, without having the slightest evidence to support the contention that such contacts represent a serious threat to the integrity of the Pindosi political process. Many people who oppose Trump for other valid reasons have seized on the shaky Russian accusations, because they represent the best possibility for ousting Trump from power, but ignoring the motives and the dishonesty behind the campaign of leaks has far-reaching political implications. Not only does it help to establish a precedent for Pindo intelligence agencies to intervene in domestic politics, as happens in authoritarian regimes all over the world; it also strengthens the hand of the military and intelligence bureaucracies who are determined to maintain the New Cold War with Russia. Those war bureaucracies view the conflict with Russia as key to the continuation of higher levels of military spending and the more aggressive NATO policy in Europe that has already generated a gusher of arms sales that benefits the Pentagon and its self-dealing officials. Progressives in the anti-Trump movement are in danger of becoming an unwitting ally of those military and intelligence bureaucracies despite the fundamental conflict between their economic and political interests and the desires of people who care about peace, social justice and the environment.

i’ve got an article that says trump was right

It’s here – RB

Fox News Interview With Fake Expert on Sweden Further Baffles Swedes
Robert Mackey, Intercept, Feb 25 2017

A man interviewed by Bill O’Reilly this week identified in an on-screen caption as a “Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor” turns out to be entirely unknown in his native country, with no connections to either the nation’s defense or security services. As the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on Friday, Nils Bildt has no known expertise in national security, and has not lived in his homeland since 1994. Officials at the Swedish Defense Ministry and Foreign Office told the newspaper they have never heard of this “unknown Bildt.” According to Dagens Nyheter, his only claim to fame appears to be the fact that his father Sven Tolling is “well-known in Swedish equestrian circles.” He changed his name from Tolling to Bildt after he emigrated to Pindostan. How he came to be presented by Fox News as an expert in a segment broadcast on Thursday night remains a mystery. Nevertheless, when Bildt was asked by O’Reilly to respond to comments from Anne-Sofie Näslund, a Pindo correspondent for the newspaper Expressen, he confidently dismissed her fact-driven arguments about crime in Sweden.

Bildt told Dagens Nyheter by email that he is “an independent analyst based in the Pindostan.”

Nils Bildt said it was a Fox News producer who made the decision to give him the official-sounding title of Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor. “I had no personal control over what title they chose,” Bildt wrote. Näslund, who had been forced to listen to Bildt dismiss her fact-based argument out of hand, pointed out on Twitter that Bildt was reportedly arrested in Virginia for committing a violent crime in 2014.

Trump at CPAC on Friday reiterated his claim that immigration from Muslim-majority countries had compromised security in Sweden, even though the Fox News segment that he cited as evidence earlier in the week was widely debunked as inaccurate in the Swedish media.

After this post was originally published, Dana Klinghoffer, a Fox News vice president for corporate communications, contacted The Intercept to ask that our report be amended to add this quote from David Tabacoff, the executive producer of Bill O’Reilly’s show:

Our booker made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt and after pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening.

Apparently, that is supposed to excuse the broadcaster for having featured a complete charlatan in prime time. The network also asked that we add “something you can just attribute to a network rep or spokesperson.” That statement is as follows:

Bill O’Reilly will further address this on Monday night’s The O’Reilly Factor.

i don’t care anymore

Keith Ellison loses DNC race after heated campaign targeting him for his views on Palestine
Zaid Jilani, Intercept, Feb 25 2017

Keith Ellison lost his bid to become the chair of the DN) on Saturday after  a scorched-earth smear campaign targeting  his religious faith, his affinity for the Nation of Islam in his youth, and his support for Palestinian rights alongside a secure Israel. Instead, the majority of the DNC’s voting members chose former labor secretary Tom Perez to lead the party. After two rounds of voting in Atlanta, Perez netted 235 votes to Ellison’s 200. Perez was widely perceived as being brought into the race by allies of Obama, Clinton, and other members of the party establishment. One of the speakers who introduced his nomination, South Carolina Demagog Party Chair Jamie Harrison, also works as a corporate lobbyist for the Faschingstein-based Podesta Group. After neither candidate reached a majority of votes in the first round of voting, Harrison was on the floor, whipping votes for Perez. Ellison earned initial support from many Demagogs until a strong backlash from the Obama and Clinton camps and prominent pro-Israeli activists. Haim Saban called Ellison both “anti-Israel” and anti-Semite. The ADL called on Demagogs to reject him. On the eve of the vote, Alan Dershowitz proclaimed that he would leave the party if Ellison were elected chair. Jack Rosen of the AJC emailed DNC members the day before the vote decrying Ellison’s views on the Middle East, concluding that he threatened the USrael relationship. Perez, on the other hand, courted pro-Israel activists during the course of the contest. Shortly after his victory, Perez offered the newly created position of “deputy chair” to Ellison, which Ellison accepted. This is not an official position in the DNC’s bylaws, so it is unclear what this position would entail. It is also unclear whether Ellison will still leave Congress, which he announced he would do if he won the chair position. Many prominent Muslim Pindosis expressed disappointment in Ellison’s defeat, saying that his treatment during the course of the campaign was emblematic of how Muslims fare in public life. Brookings’ Shadi Hamid, former al-Jazeera host Wajahat Ali, and prominent Muslim New Yorker Linda Sarsour reacted on Twitter:

i’m losing track

Issa suggests Sessions should recuse himself from Russia probes
Nikita Vladimirov, The Hill, Feb 24 2017

Rep Darrell Issa (R-Calif) on Friday seemed to voice support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from any possible Justice Dept investigations into Russia’s (supposed) meddling in the presidential election. He said during an interview with Bill Maher Friday:

We are going to ask the Intelligence committees of the House and Senate to investigate within these special areas.

When pressed by Maher, Issa appeared to suggest that Sessions should step aside for a special prosecutor when it comes to issues related to Pres Trump, saying:

You can not have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee, you are going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office, not just to recuse, you can’t just give it to your deputy, that’s another political appointee, you do have to do that (sic – RB).

Issa went on to criticize the Russian government for Moscow’s aggressive political gambits (sic – RB), saying:

We need to investigate their activities and we need to do it because they are bad people.

Sessions was a major backer of Trump during the campaign, and the Demagogs have voiced concerns about the possibility of him overseeing any investigations that probe Trump’s ties to Russia.

more than a whiff of cordite in the air

Trump attacks media in diatribe to CPAC
Joseph Kishore, WSWS, Feb 25 2017

Pres Trump delivered a violent, ultra-right speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, attacking the media and reprising many of the “Pindostan First” themes outlined in his inauguration address one month ago. The annual CPAC conference was a festival of political reaction. Trump boycotted the event during the election campaign last year, amidst sharp divisions within the Republican Party over his candidacy. But this year’s gathering of fascistic-minded activists and college Republicans greeted him with rapturous applause, repeatedly interrupting his speech with chants of “Pindostan! Pindostan!” Among those addressing the meeting, held this year in National Harbor Maryland just south of Faschingstein, was Steve Bannon, who spoke alongside Reince Priebus on Thursday. Bannon said the administration would press forward aggressively with what he called the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” ie the dismantling of social programs and government regulations, along with an expansion of police state measures and the implementation of a nationalist trade war economic policy. There was more than a whiff of fascism in the air when Bannon denounced the “corporatist globalist” media. After that, Pres Trump’s remarks focused on two main themes. He began with a rambling diatribe against his critics in the media, repeating his previous statement:

Fake news (organizations) are the enemy of the people! Because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. The large media corporations have their own agenda … It doesn’t represent the people! It never will represent the people! And we’re going to do something about it!

Apparently following up on this threat, the White House took the unprecedented step later on Friday of barring major media organizations from a briefing held by Sean Spicer. Among the journalists who were prevented from attending the press “gaggle” in Spicer’s office were those from the NYT, CNN, BBC and LA Times. Other establishment news outlets, as well as right-wing journalists from Breitbart News, the Washington Times and One Pindostan News Network, were allowed to attend. The media responded with typical cowardice. The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement of protest, lamely declaring that it would be “discussing this further with White House staff.” Trump is seeking to capitalize upon widespread hostility to the corporate media to advance a right-wing, authoritarian policy, using the power of the state to attack the media as a whole and individual journalists. This is aimed at creating the conditions for an ever more violent attack on democratic rights, as the Trump administration prepares an escalation of war abroad and social counter-revolution at home. After denouncing the media, Trump reviewed the right-wing measures his administration has carried out in its first month, including the crackdown on immigrants, and declared:

We’re going to build a wall! Don’t worry about it!

He said of the thousands of people being deported:

These are bad dudes! … If you watch these people it’s like “oh, gee! that’s so sad!” We were getting bad people out of this country!

Of the anti-Muslim travel ban, Trump said:

We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days we will be taking brand new action to protect our people and keep Pindostan safe.

While presenting his domestic program as aimed at creating jobs to benefit the “Pindosi worker,” he outlined a series of pro-corporate measures, including authorization of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, “bold action to lift the restrictions on Pindo energy,” moves to “put the regulation industry out of work and out of business,” and a reduction in corporate taxes. As for social programs, Trump proclaimed, to much applause from his audience:

It’s time for all Pindosis to get off of welfare and get back to work! You’re gonna love it!

The fascistic tenor of the Trump administration is anchored in its ultra-nationalism, aimed at diverting social tensions outward and forcing Faschingstein’s rivals to pay for the crisis of Pindosi capitalism. Both Trump and Bannon doubled down on promises to pursue aggressive trade war measures. The corollary of this “Pindostan First” economic policy is world war. Trump said:

We’re also putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military, and we will be substantially upgrading all of our military! All of our military! Offensive, defensive, everything! It will be one of the greatest military buildups in Pindosi history! Nobody will question our military might again!

The military, Trump said, will be directed to develop a plan to “totally obliterate Daesh,” that is, organize a major escalation of the Pindo war drive in the Middle East. Trump’s speech Friday came one day after he gave an interview to Reuters pledging a buildup of the Pindo nuclear weapons arsenal. Putting an exclamation mark on his jingoistic nationalism, Trump declared:

If countries are going to have nukes we’re going to be at the top of the pack! There’s one allegiance that unites us all, and that is Pindostan! … No matter our background or income or geography, we’re all citizens of this blessed land, and no matter our color or the blood, color of the blood we bleed, it’s the same red blood of great, great patriots!

Trump’s speech before CPAC makes clear that his administration has no intention of retreating from its efforts to witch-hunt immigrants, escalate war abroad and dismantle democratic rights at home. As for the Demagog Party, it has spent the past month spreading complacency, pledging to work with the new administration on economic nationalist measures, and seeking to divert popular opposition to Trump behind its own campaign for war with Russia.

dems are just a different mafia

While war on media escalates, CBS chief praises Trump’s deregulatory agenda
Lee Fang, The Intercept, Feb 24 2017

While the Faschingstein press corps is expressing ever-greater alarm over President Donald Trump’s mounting attacks on journalists, culminating in Friday’s banning of some leading outlets from a White House press briefing, the media executives who sign their paychecks are praising the new administration for a deregulatory agenda that would likely boost company profits. Les Moonves, the chief executive and chairman of CBS Corporation, told investors recently that he is “looking forward to not having as much regulation and having the ability to do more.” Moonves specifically celebrated the appointment of Trump’s new FCC chairman, former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai, calling him “very beneficial to our business.” The media industry arguably helped Trump enormously in the early presidential campaign with extensive coverage that drowned out his competitors and left little room for discussion of the substantive policy issues facing voters. Now it has a lot to gain if the FCC begins a new wave of ownership deregulation and relaxes certain limits that currently prevent media conglomerates from controlling a large swath of local television stations, and prevent firms from owning television stations and newspapers in the same media market. Responding to David Miller, a stock analyst with Loop Capital on the CBS investor call last week, Moonves noted that Pai is “very interested in the cap moving up,” a reference to the station cap rule. Moonves said:

I can tell you in the right circumstance if the cap is lifted we would strategically want to buy some more stations because we think it is important.

He added that political advertising has made local markets “extremely good for us.” Listen to Moonves’s comments here. Current FCC rules limit the number of television stations a single company may own so that a single broadcaster can’t reach beyond 39% of households nationwide. Industry analysts have predicted that a Republican-controlled FCC will move the cap up to 49%. Lobbyists for CBS, Fox and the National Association of Broadcasters fought efforts by the previous administration’s FCC to tighten the station cap rule. Trump has long maintained a symbiotic relationship with corporate broadcasters, starting with his break-out success with NBC, which rebranded him as a symbol of capitalist success, and continuing with wall-to-wall stenographic coverage during his presidential campaign. The Tyndall Report, a trade outlet that tracks the broadcast networks’ weekday nightly newscasts, estimated that in 2015 Trump received more coverage than the entire Demagog field combined, and far more than competing Thugs. Bernie Sanders only received 20 minutes of coverage, compared to 326 minutes for Trump. Moonves cheered the Trump phenomenon last year, telling investors:

It may not be good for Pindostan, but it’s damn good for CBS!

Moonves explained that a negative presidential campaign was good for business, because candidates are focused on political attacks, including buying TV ads, instead of “talking about issues,” and he said Trump attracted record ratings, also making him “good for us economically.” In recent decades, media corporations have whittled away at regulations that limit media consolidation. In 2003, lobbyists for large media companies convinced Congress to increase the station cap rule from 35% to 39%. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lifted the cap on radio station ownership, leading  firms such as Clear Channel (now known as iHeartMedia) to purchase dozens of local stations and imposing massive layoffs to local news staff.

lady de rothschild, close pal of hillary

Reddit Caught Censoring Posts Using The Term “Rothschild”
William Craddick, Zero Hedge, Feb 24 2017

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It’s the latest chapter of the long, documented saga of Reddit censorship against various forms of political speech over the past several years. In a humorous development, Reddit’s admin team has been caught censoring posts using the term “Rothschild.” Users on pro-Trump subreddit r/the_donald began noticing the censorship several days ago, after a humorous tweet from Lynn de Rothschild on Feb 21 2017 lampooned John Podesta for his work managing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign. A test conducted by Disobedient Media on Feb 23 has confirmed that Reddit is indeed censoring content referencing the name of the famous banking family. A sample post referencing the term was immediately archived after submission. Despite being posted “just now” or under one minute prior, the archive revealed that a filter on Reddit had removed the text of the post and hidden it from the “new” section of r/the_donald. The original post and the text can be seen here:

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When the account which made the post is logged in, the original text still appears in the body as if the post was not censored. This means that a user might not immediately notice that their posting had been removed. It is not known at this time why Reddit is censoring posts referencing the Rothschild family name. Editor’s Note: Other posts around Reddit appear to not be censored, indicating that the script removing post information mentioning the term “Rothschild” may be targeting r/the_donald exclusively. Reddit’s admin team and CEO Steve Huffman have singled the pro-Trump subreddit out exclusively for censorship in the past.

is filling europe with migrants a zionist strategy, or a globalist strategy, or are they the same thing?

PM Stefan Lofven wants to curb flow of foreign workers
Al-Jazeera, Feb 24 2017

Sweden’s prime minister said he wants to curb the intake of foreign workers to provide more jobs for the unemployed at home, including refugees who have fled to the country in recent years. In 2016, Sweden granted work permits to more than 12,000 people from countries outside the EU. This figure includes around 4,000 labour workers such as cleaners, chefs, waiters and waitresses and mechanics, according to the Swedish migration board. Lofven said in Stockholm on Friday:

Jobs that require little or no education will first be filled by the unemployed who are already in our country. It’s unreasonable for us to have a labour migration that consists of dishwashers & other restaurant employees when we have capable people (already). The first thing we will do is to emphasise that everyone who can work, will work. There are 100,000 jobs available and 300,000 people unemployed in Sweden. Labour migration should therefore be limited to professions that require more skill.

Around four percent of people in Sweden aged between 15 and 29 years old were either unemployed or not attending school in 2016, according to Statistics Sweden. The Social Democrats run a minority government with the Green Party, which opposes the plan, making it unlikely for Sweden to restrict labour migration before the general election. Jonas Hinnfors, a political science professor at the University of Gothenburg, told AFP:

If the Greens choose to dig their heels in and fight, then there’ll be a government crisis. It’s more likely that this will be an election promise instead of forcing the Greens to agree.

Lofven’s comments were seen as an attempt to win over voters fleeing to the anti-immigration Swedish Democrats, the third largest party behind Social Democrats and so-called ‘Moderates’. In 2014 and 2015, Sweden took in 244,000 asylum seekers the highest number per capita in Europe.

helas pour paris

France’s deradicalization centers seen as a ‘total fiasco’
James McAuley, WaPo, Feb 24 2017

PARIS — A bipartisan report in the French Senate minced no words in describing this country’s efforts against terrorism. In the words of Philippe Bas, a senator from the opposition Republican party, described the French government’s attempt to “deradicalize” former and future terrorists, including the opening of a deradicalization center in the middle of the countryside, was a “total fiasco.” Among the most damning elements in the report was a firm condemnation of the planned network of 12 deradicalization centers. A wave of terrorist violence, perpetrated mostly by French or EU passport-holders, has claimed the lives of 230 people in France since Jan 2015, and the administration of François Hollande has struggled to improvise a solution to the problem. The deradicalization centers, officially called Centers for Prevention, Integration and Citizenship, were meant to impose rigorous routines on those they housed as well as to subject them to intense courses in French history and philosophy. As PM Cazeneuve said while serving as interior minister last fall at the opening of the first center:

We can only fight against terrorism by respecting the principles of the Republic.

But five months later, only one of 12 planned centers has opened, and that one, in an 18th-century chateau deep in the scenic Loire Valley, is empty. Catherine Troendlé, a senator from the Republicans who signed the report, said in a statement;

This failure fully illustrates the lack of evaluation of the mechanisms set up by the state in the area of taking responsibility for radicalization and the lack of a comprehensive prevention strategy.

The report concluded that the programs had been designed hastily, without due diligence. Esther Benbassa, a senator from the left-wing Europe Ecology party, another of the report’s authors, said:

Despite their goodwill, several associations seeking public funding in times of fiscal shortage, turned to the deradicalization sector without any real experience. This created an unfortunate business of deradicalization.

The French security establishment had long criticized the government’s deradicalization effort as a knee-jerk reaction designed to put an increasingly anxious electorate at ease. Jean-Charles Brisard, director of the Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, cited as a potential model the example of Britain, which practices a more holistic technique at the local level. He said in an interview:

It’s impossible to deradicalize individuals. We all believe that the best thing to do is to act instead with preventative measures, rather than trying to change the minds of people after the fact. You need the involvement of every single actor at the local level, schools, religious leaders, social services, police, municipalities. We’ve taken some of these initiatives, but in general what we have is still insufficient and indeed weak.

Hollande suffered a historic decline in popularity, due in part to the terrorist attacks that have occurred during his tenure. He announced in December that he will not seek reelection in the forthcoming presidential elections in April and May. In the final months before the vote, national security issues as well as the increasingly Islamophobic rhetoric of France’s far right, remain at the center of political debate.

undisclosed boxtops defend IRGC

Trump proposal for terrorist listing of IRGC in limbo
John Walcott, Matt Spetalnick, Mark Hosenball, Phil Stewart, Reuters, Feb 24 2017

FASCHINGSTEIN – A proposal the Trump administration is considering to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization has stalled over warnings from defense and intel boxtops that the move could backfire. One boxtop told us:

That move could potentially backfire in Iran. The Iranians are a major source of trouble, but those kind of moves would only help the hardliners. If you do that, there is no way to escalate, and you would foreclose any possibility of talking to the Iranians about anything.

Momentum behind a possible presidential order has slowed amid an internal debate that has included concerns it could undermine the fight against Daesh, draw opposition from key allies, torpedo any diplomatic prospects and complicate enforcement of the Iran nuclear deal, sources said. The proposal would take the unprecedented step of blacklisting the entire IRGC as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” That would go far beyond the targeted sanctions already imposed on individuals and entities linked to the IRGC. The proposal has been in the works for weeks, and was originally expected to be rolled out this month, but while the idea remains under consideration, it is unclear when or even if an announcement may be forthcoming. A decision on the matter was complicated by the Feb 13 resignation of Michael Flynn, who was spearheading the crafting of a strategy for confronting Tehran. Even before Flynn’s departure, however, Pentagon & intel boxtops had raised objections to naming the IRGC a terrorist group. Such a move would be the first time the 1996 Foreign Terrorist Organizations law has been wielded against an entire institution of a foreign government, potentially subjecting it to a wide range of Pindo sanctions. It likely would complicate the Pindo fight against Daesh. Shi’ite militias backed by Iran and advised by IRGC are battling Sunni Jihadis in Iraq & Syria. It could further inflame proxy conflicts elsewhere, including in Yemen. In addition, it would cause friction with Euro vassals, who are trying to rebuild business ties to Iran in the wake of the 2015 nuclear agreement, which often means contact with the IRGC and the companies it controls. For now, it is still in play, but apparently on the back burner. A Euro source said his Pindo counterparts told him it is on hold. A failure to go forward with it could disappoint those looking for a strong response to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test. The new administration warned Tehran at the time that it was being put “on notice” and then imposed a series of new sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies, which a White House official said was just an “initial” step.

DHS Analysts Say White House Travel Ban Is Wrong
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Feb 25 2017

Another day, another symbolic ‘mutiny’ has broken out against Pres Trump in the Pindo intel community, this time involving the Dept of Homeland Security. Overnight, analysts at DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis found “insufficient evidence” that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in Pres Trump’s travel ban pose a terror threat to Pindostan. According to a draft document obtained by AP, citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to Pindostan. It also says that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in Pindostan in the last five years. The report said:

DHS assesses that country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.

The White House on Friday dismissed it as politically motivated and poorly researched. As the WSJ notes, the report is the latest volley in a struggle between intelligence officials and the Trump administration that has rippled across several agencies. Coming the same day as Trump’s bashing of the FBI, an agency he accused of being unable to find leakers, the administration was disappointed by the report’s leaked findings. Trump administration officials said the assessment ignored available information that supports the immigration ban and the report they requested has yet to be presented. They were quick to preempt speculation that this is just the latest mutiny against Trump. DHS spox G M Christensen took issue with the quality of the report, saying:

This is commentary based on public sources, rather than an official, robust document with thorough inter-agency sourcing. It is clear on its face that it is an incomplete product that fails to find evidence of terrorism by simply refusing to look at all the available evidence. Any suggestion by opponents of the president’s policies that senior intelligence officials would politicize this process or a report’s final conclusions is absurd and not factually accurate. The dispute with this product was over sources and quality, not politics.

It was not the first time this week that DHS boxtops were at odds with White House policies and statements. On Thursday, DHS Sec J Kelly, on a trip to Mexico, assured officials there that Pindostan would not undertake “mass deportations” of illegal immigrants, and that the Pindo military would not play a role in immigration enforcement. But that contradicted a statement by Trump earlier that day in which he described enforcement as a “military operation.” White House boxtops later clarified that Trump was referring to “military precision” rather than actual military action. The DHS report states that its findings are based on public statistics and reports from the DoJ and the State Dept, as well as the annual report on Global Threats produced by ODNI.