Why was the CIA Working with Billionaire George Soros in the First Place?

It wasn’t for the betterment of society, it was for the strengthening of control.

George Soros Quote: The US is the main obstacle to world order.

Trump quietly orders Pompeo to sever all CIA ties with George Soros

January 27, 2017

By Wayne Madsen – Wayne Madsen Special Reports

Under the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, it was not unusual for Central Intelligence Agency station chiefs in capital cities around the world to coordinate political activities between Open Society Institute (OSI) “civil society” staffers financed by hedge fund billionaire George Soros and members of governments and opposition political parties. However, according to WMR’s sources in Europe, all that ceased when Donald Trump’s selection as CIA director, Mike Pompeo, took over the reins at the CIA.

Trump ordered Pompeo to sever all CIA connections with Soros’s multitude of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Most of these links were carried out via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), longtime ciphers for CIA involvement with NGO activities abroad. A more recent U.S. government-funded entity, the US Institute of Peace, has also carried out subversive operations in concert with the CIA.

Read More: http://futurefastforward.com/2017/01/27/trump-quietly-orders-pompeo-to-sever-all-cia-ties-with-george-soros/

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA

federal taxes fund wars

Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter five-year-old civil war.

The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.

In mid-February, a CIA-armed militia called Fursan al Haq, or Knights of Righteousness, was run out of the town of Marea, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, by Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces moving in from Kurdish-controlled areas to the east.

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html 

Proof Popular Culture is Engineered by the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex

You’ve heard of Operation Mockingbird, that was the program by the CIA to gain control of the mainstream news media…

This book details the CIA’s psychological warfare in the world of art and music.  

They claimed they were fighting communism, but what they already knew that the Soviet Union was a paper tiger, that had been founded and propped-up by Wall Street and the Western Banking system? 

If not to fight Communism, then why invent things like “Abstract Expressionism?”

Could it be they were using MK Ultra-like strategies to  confuse and shatter a civil society that would resist living in a police state? 

Theories aside, this is proof that our popular culture was engineered by the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex.

Piss Christ National Endowment

The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

The Cultural Cold War

Drawing on recently declassified documents and extensive interviews, Saunders has assembled a captivating, authoritative history of the CIA’s secret campaign to turn American art into anti-Soviet cultural propaganda.

Mindful of the western European intelligentsia’s fascination with Marxism, the CIA gave millions of dollars to American arts organizations, largely through a front group called the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which lasted until 1967; at its peak, “it had offices in 35 countries…, published over 20 prestige magazines, held art exhibitions…, organized high-profile international conferences, and rewarded musicians and artists with prizes and public performances.”

“Sometimes wittingly and sometimes not, artists and intellectuals–from Aaron Copland to Leontyne Price, W.H. Auden to Gertrude Stein–were recruited as soldiers in this “psychological warfare” against communism.

Saunders, an independent film producer who lives in London, points out that this now-unthinkable cooperation from major artists and producers was possible because the CIA hadn’t yet acquired the sinister reputation it gained in the ’60s, when its covert, and often bungled, international actions became publicly known.

The only flaw in this thoroughly documented book, which has been shortlisted for the London Guardian’s First Book Award, is that the story is so richly convoluted that occasionally the larger drama gets lost in its overwhelming details.

Indeed, an entire book could have been made of the chapter explicating the CIA’s marketing of abstract expressionism (a surefire way to wow impressionable European aesthetes tired of socialist realism).

Nonetheless, this well-researched work remains a must for art historians interested in how the American avant-garde thrived during the McCarthy era. B&w photos. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.]

Read the Whole Book: http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5286U.pdf

Widely Reported Haspel CIA Torture Claim Was Fake News; Retracted By ProPublica

ProPublica-Soros-Feel-the-Hatred-Flow

Virtually the entire media complex megaphoned a 2017 report by Soros-backed news outlet ProPublica, and to a lesser extent a similar report in the New York Times, claiming that Trump’s new pick to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, oversaw a “clandestine base” in Thailand where she participated in, and mocked the torture of suspected al-Qaida leader Abu Zubaydah.

The claims were retracted by ProPublica in an embarrassing correction.

On Feb. 22, 2017, ProPublica published a story that inaccurately described Gina Haspel’s role in the treatment of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al-Qaida leader who was imprisoned by the CIA at a secret “black site” in Thailand in 2002.

The story said that Haspel, a career CIA officer who President Trump has nominated to be the next director of central intelligence, oversaw the clandestine base where Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods that are widely seen as torture. The story also said she mocked the prisoner’s suffering in a private conversation. Neither of these assertions is correct and we retract them. It is now clear that Haspel did not take charge of the base until after the interrogation of Zubaydah ended.

Of note, the ProPublica article was published right after the Trump administration promoted Haspel to the CIA’s #2 job in early February, 2017 in what appears to be nothing more than a political hit piece.

ProPublica’s conclusion was drawn from “declassified agency cables” and CIA-reviewed books which referred to Haspel “chief of base.” The name of the official was redacted, as well as an online post from former CIA counterterrorism officer, John Kiriakous, who wrote “It was Haspel who oversaw the staff” at the Thai prison.

That’s it. Redacted cables and a book which did not state the name of the base chief, and an online post by a CIA counterterrorism officer saying it was Haspel is all it took to smear a woman placed in a top position within the CIA – weeks after the Trump administration gave the 30-year veteran the promotion.

The first clue that something was off in the report was the CIA’s statement to ProPublica for the original 2017 report in which an agency spokesperson said “Nearly every piece of the reporting that you are seeking comment on is incorrect in whole or in part.”

While Haspel – according to former colleagues, did run the Thai base – the New York Times published a recent piece placing her arrival in late 2002, after the waterboarding of Zubaydah.

And while the MSM glazed over the fact that Trump appointed the CIA’s first female director this week, the media ran with the torture narrative – hard. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) even demanded that the CIA declassify documents detailing Haspel’s ties to the torture program.

Abu Zubaydah’s lawyer, Joseph Margulies, penned an angry op-ed in TIME. “In short, all we know for sure is that Haspel was in charge of a site where torture took place,” Marguiles wrote. “And make no mistake: it was torture.”

ProPublica‘s retraction continues:

James Mitchell, the psychologist and CIA contractor who helped to direct the waterboarding of both suspects, said in a broadcast interview on March 14 that Haspel was not the “chief of base” whom he described in his book as making fun of Zubaydah’s suffering.

“That chief of base was not Gina,” Mitchell told Fox Business News. “She’s not the COB I was talking about.”

Mitchell’s book, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America,” referred to the chief of base in Thailand as both “he” and “she.”

We erroneously assumed that this was an effort by Mitchell or the agency to conceal the gender of the single official involved; it is now clear that Mitchell was referring to two different people.

So in an effort to smear a Trump appointee that the MSM would be fawning over if Obama had appointed the first woman to lead the CIA, the entire mainstream media complex and Dianne Feinstein relied on a report from a Soros-backed news outlet and the New York Times, which both published hit pieces right after the Trump administration promoted her the first time, and were both wrong.

That said, the correction doesn’t completely excuse Haspel from her involvement in the program, as she still reportedly ran the base at which “enhanced interrogations” occurred, and advised her boss to shred 92 tapes of Zubaydah’s waterboarding, which he did. It also doesn’t take away from arguments against enhanced interrogations in general.

The CIA’s office of public affairs, meanwhile, praised Haspel’s service.

Dean Boyd, director of the CIA’s office of public affairs, praised Haspel’s 30 years of public service and said Thursday in a statement that her qualifications and capabilities would be evident in the hearing process.

“It is important to note that she has spent nearly her entire CIA career undercover,” Boyd said. “Much of what is in the public domain about her is inaccurate. We are pleased that ProPublica is willing to acknowledge its mistakes and correct the record regarding its claims about Ms. Haspel.”

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-16/widely-reported-haspel-cia-torture-claim-was-fake-news-retracted-propublica

The CIA: The World’s REAL Election Meddlers

CIA_Director_JAMES-WOOLSEY

Former CIA Chief Admits US Meddling In Foreign Elections “For Their Own Good”

Former CIA chief James Woolsey appeared on Fox News to push the narrative of how dastardly ‘dem Russkies’ are in their meddling with the sacred soul of America’s democracy.

Woolsey did his patriotic deep-state-duty and proclaimed the evils of “expansionist Russia” and dropped ‘facts’ like “Russia has a larger cyber-army than its standing army,” before he moved on to China and its existential threats.

But then, beginning at around 4:30, the real debacle of the conversation begins as Ingraham asks Woolsey,

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?”

Hes responds, surprisingly frankly…

“Oh probably… but it was for the good of the system…”

To which Ingraham follows up…

“We don’t do that now though? We don’t mess around in other people’s elections?”

Prompting this extraordinary sentence from a former CIA chief…

“Well…hhhmmm, numm numm numm numm… only for a very good cause…in the interests of democracy”

So just to clarify – yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading ‘Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations “in the interests of democracy.”

In case you wondered which ones he was referring to, here’s a brief selection since 1948…

2016: UK (verbal intervention against Brexit)
2014: Afghanistan (effectively re-writing Afghan constitution)
2014: UK (verbal intervention against Scottish independence)
2011: Libya (providing support to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi)
2009: Honduras (ousting President Zelaya)
2006: Palestine (providing support to oust Prime Minister Haniyeh)
2005: Syria (providing support against President al-Assad)
2003: Iran (providing support against President Khatami)-
2003: Iraq (ousting of President Hussein)
2002: Venezuela (providing support to attempt an overthrow of President Chavez)
1999: Yugoslavia (removing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo)
1994: Iraq (attempted overthrow of President Hussein)
1991: Haiti (ousting President Aristide)
1991: Kuwait (removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait)
1989: Panama (ousting General Noriega)
1983: Grenada (ousting General Austin’s Marxist forces)
1982: Nicaragua (providing support
1971: Chile (ousting President Allende)
1967: Indonesia (ousting President Sukarno)
1964: Brazil (ousting President Goulart)
1964: Chile (providing support against Salvador Allende)
1961: Congo (assassination of leader Lumumba)
1958: Lebanon (providing support to Christian political parties)
1954: Guatemala (ousting President Arbenz)
1953: Iran (ousting Prime Minister Mossadegh)
1953: Philippines (providing support to the President Magsaysay campaign)
1948: Italy (providing support to the Christian Democrats campaign)

(h/t @Yogi_Chan)

How is the world ruled?

April 27, 1961 speech that got John F. Kennedy Killed”
April 27, 1961 speech “that got John F. Kennedy Killed”

It is Saturday evening and snowing in New York. I have nowhere to go, I do have things to do (my book!) but my memories take over.

Like for example, the simple question of how is the world ruled. I think that lots of misunderstanding among people in the world comes from inability to visualize how organizations and countries are managed: people either overestimate their singularity of purpose and scheming, or try to convince themselves that there is a full freedom of action and that things are decided on merit. Neither is true. The truth is complex, elusive and lies somewhere (somewhere!) in the middle: it is what Nirad Chaudhury called in a broader context of human history “Libertas in imperio”.

I can describe it, I am afraid, best using the examples that I know well, from my life and long association with the World Bank.

Proposition 1. The world is ruled by a cabal.

Around 1989 when Yugoslavia was in its death-throes (which were not obvious to the naïve types like myself) when on vacation there I wrote an article for an economics and politics weekly in Belgrade that argued that the best privatization strategy, under the last (sensible and brilliant) Yugoslav PM, Ante Markovic, should be such that vouchers  be distributed to all citizens of the country and citizens be allowed to buy shares in enterprises in whatever part of the country they wished. It was an utterly quixotic proposals because the national nomenklaturas were precisely then working on the break-up of the country and the last thing they wanted was to cooperate with each other which they would have to do if their citizens owned shares in companies in the other republics. So, the proposal was dead on arrival.

But one afternoon, in the weekly’s nice boarding room, I explained the proposal in detail to one of weekly’s main writers on social issues.  The writer was a Serbian fascist (I am using the term not in a derogatory but strictly political sense) enamored with Italian fascism. (German was I think a bit too heavy for his taste.) He was a painter, who studied and lived in Italy, was proud of his relationship with MSI leadership, admirer of Mussolini. He also looked the part: could have been on any of the bas-reliefs that adorn Euro city near Rome: tall, well-built, square-jawed, straight posture, walking always straight with head held high. A real bell’uomo. In Rome in 1934, he would have been Mussolini’s favorite barbarian painter.

But he was, when at home, a Serbian nationalist.  So after carefully listening to me and basically nodding his head during most of the conversation, a couple of days later he came with a stinging two-page attack on my proposal titled “The World Bank sends its CIA spy to sell Serbian enterprises to foreigners”.

Now, was he mad? Not at all. He was, I am convinced, a smart guy, but he saw the world and organizations in it as an immense plot within which everything was strictly hierarchical:  ordinary people had no ideas or will of their own. So if I was  then in Belgrade arguing X, it must have been not only cleared by my superiors, but ordered by them.  And by superiors’ superiors and so forth all the way to the US Secretary of the Treasury, and perhaps Wall Street and perhaps the Jews.

The truth was that I was even risking reprimand from the World Bank because I had no business doing anything with Yugoslavia, publishing articles or creating trouble while on vacation.

But what was the reverse of this view?

Proposition 2. The world is ruled on merit.

This is the view that many people hold about their own involvements and that of institutions they work for. (Academia is a bit different, so I will leave it out). But this view of moral and intellectual rectitude is widely shared in think-tanks (and I worked in one in Washington), international organizations and probably many others (like Oxfam, Medecins sans frontiėres, Open Society etc.).

But is it true? Here I could ply the readers with numerous examples, but I will choose the one that, like the Belgrade story, sticks in my mind.

I was in the Research Department, and thus fairly independent from World Bank’s hierarchy, but it was desirable that I spend a given number of weeks annually working on concrete “operational” issues. It happened that the offer that I got involved a study of how heating and transportation subsidies in a Central Asian country affected its income distribution. It was easy to do and I promptly came back with the conclusion that they were pro-poor and should be kept.

But this was not the policy of the World Bank. The year was 1994 or 1995 and everybody believed in Fukuyama and Larry Summers. So the decision or rather the diffuse feeling (because you do not need a formal decision on matters like these to know what the “correct” answer is) was made before the report was even started that the subsidies should be eliminated. The leader of the group, not the most brilliant person, was smart enough to know what the desired conclusion was and that his/her career would be helped if the empirical analysis supported it.

So when it did not, he/she totally ignored it, and after several endless meetings where I was supposed to be somehow convinced that the data must surely be wrong, that part of the report was either not included or totally ignored. (I cannot remember what happened.) Because I was not brave or stubborn enough, I gave up a (hopeless) struggle after a couple of attempts and went back to my numbers and equations.

I was outside that particular hierarchy; so I was relatively free. But I then thought: let’s suppose that I was hierarchically under the project leader and that I was courageous enough to stick to my guns. What would have happened? My arguments would have been ignored; I would not have been demoted or fired. But in my next annual review, I would have been given the lowest possible grade, salary increase would be nil, my promotion prospect would be zero, and the explanation would never address the substantive issue: it would be that I was not collegial, failed to work in a team spirit etc. It could be even that I would have been asked to attend “team building” seminars like the Soviet dissidents were sent to psychiatric asylums.

The problem would never even be mentioned to have consisted in a disagreement on substance. Rather it would have been treated as some  maladjustment problem on my part; perhaps I was harassed when young or had a difficult childhood. Because, of course, the institution is not closed to different viewpoints and welcomes diverse opinions and “vibrant” or “robust” (these are the preferred terms) dialogue.

This is how the weeding out of undesirable views would have proceeded.

So who was right: the Mussolini’s admirer or the Washington consensus believer? Or nobody. Your call.

Read More: http://glineq.blogspot.com/2018/02/how-is-world-ruled.html

Rouge Money Radio: Special Guest – W “The Intelligence Insider” (02/12/2018)

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How the Establishment Undermines American Democracy

George Washington - Treason from Within

There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy. Up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.

In a devastating critique former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer John Kiriakou has described how the Democratic Party, as part of its frenzied effort to bring down President Donald Trump, has embraced a whole group of former intelligence and law enforcement officers who appear to be on the same side in seeking a more responsible and accountable executive branch but who are in reality pursuing their own agenda.

Formerly intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted under the direction of the White House but without any political bias. Transitions from Democratic to Republican administrations were consequently seamless for the employees of CIA, FBI, DIA and the NSA, but this has changed. In the 2016 election a line-up of retired senior officers from those organizations openly supported the Clinton campaign and even went so far as to construct elaborate conspiracy theories regarding Trump and his associates, including the claim that Donald Trump is actually an agent of Russia.

The desire to discredit and ultimately delegitimize Trump even involved some active duty senior officers, including John Brennan, Director of CIA, who exploited Agency relationships with foreign intelligence services to develop information on Trump, and James Comey of the FBI who initiated an investigation of Trump’s associates. Both were involved in the later surfacing of the notorious Steele Dossier, a collection of fact mixed with fiction that sought to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began.

Kiriakou cites recent activity by Brennan as well as former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden as well as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom have been politically active. The three men appear frequently on television as self-described “senior statesmen,” but, as Kiriakou observes they are “…monsters who have ignored the Constitution…and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.” They together with lesser figures like George Tenet, Jose Rodriguez, Michael Morell and John McLaughlin authorized technical spying on nearly everyone, torture, rendition of suspects so they could be tortured by others, random killing of “profiled” foreigners and targeted killing of American citizens. Brennan was in charge of a “kill list” for President Barack Obama.

Former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts meanwhile asks why liberal international organizations like Amnesty International are fundraising to oppose Trump when the real threat to a better and safer world and country is coming from the largely unaccountable “security agencies, the police, the neoconservatives, the presstitute media and the Republican and Democratic Parties?”

Antiwar activist Justin Raimondo also picks up the gauntlet, describing how the national security agencies and the Democratic Party have joined forces to create a totally false narrative that could lead to nuclear war. They and the media appear to truly believe that “…the country has been taken over by Vladimir Putin and the Russian State…Trump is an instrument in their hands, and the independence of the United States has been fatally compromised: the president and his top aides are taking their orders from the Kremlin.” He concludes that “Our intelligence agencies are at war with the executive branch of government…to reverse the [2016] election results.” Raimondo believes that Trump is being particularly targeted because his unpredictability and populism threaten the wealth and power of the elites and he notes “If you think they’ve ruled out assassination you’re being naïve.”

Raimondo believes that something like a civil war is coming, with the war party Establishment fighting to defend its privileged global order while many other Americans seek a return to normal nationhood with all that implies. If true, the next few years will see a major internal conflict that will determine what kind of country the United States will be.

Read More: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/18/how-establishment-undermines-american-democracy.html

How Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post Became the US Military-Industrial Complex’s Chief Propagandist

jeff bezos amazon cia and the washington post

It used to be that the New York Times and the Washington Post competed against each other to be the chief propagandist for the hundred or so top firms who sell to the US federal government — the 100 top “federal contractors,” almost all of which are Pentagon contractors — mainly these are weapons-manufacturing firms, such as the biggest, Lockheed Martin. The federal government is a large part of these firms’ essential market; so, invasions by the US against other countries require lots of their goods and services; and, also, America’s foreign allies additionally buy these weapons; and, right now, US President Trump is demanding that they increase their ‘defense’ budgets to buy more of them. Wars produce corporate profits if (like in the United States) the military suppliers are private corporations instead of government-owned (socialized). Selling wars is crucial to such firms’ bottom lines. And, since there is no law against owning a ‘defense’ contractor and owning or donating to newsmedia (especially newsmedia such as the Times and Post, which publish lots of international news and so can encourage lots of invasions), a sensible business strategy for investors in ‘defense’ stocks is to also own or donate to some international-‘news’ media, in order to generate additional business for the arms-maker or other ‘defense’ firm. Not only does this business-plan relate to such newspapers as the NYT and WP, but they’ll be the focus here, because they are the most important of America’s international-news media.

Serious periodicals, such as The New RepublicThe Atlantic, and Mother Jones, have also been steady propagandists for ‘defense’ companies, but magazines don’t reverberate through the rest of the mass-media to the extent that the serious national (NYC & DC) newspapers do. TV and radio pick up on, and transmit, their news (and even CNN and others rely upon them more than these newspapers rely upon the broadcast media); and, in America, a lion’s share of the national political news, and especially of international news, is originated in the New York Times and Washington Post. This megaphone-effect forms the public’s opinions about whether we should invade or not. The owners of those two powerful newspapers, via their boards of directors and appointed editorial boards, make the key decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotions, and demotions, which determine news-slants from their employees (both from the reporters and especially from the editors who select what stories to publish and whether on page-one or inside the paper), and this power that these owners have, reverberates immensely (especially in regards to international relations) and thus largely shapes the results in the national polls (sampling the public, who view the world through the newsmedia); and, thus, every US President and every member of Congress becomes heavily impacted by that ‘news’, that ‘world’ the voting public see. And this coloring of the ‘news’ especially concerns international-news reporting, and the opinions that Americans have of foreign countries — such as of Iran.

Back in 2002, when the US Government was lying through its teeth about what it knew for certain and didn’t know about “Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD),” the New York Times (NYT) was then the leading neoconservative (i.e., pro-imperialistic, pro-invasion, pro military-industrial-complex or “MIC”) propaganda-organ, stenographically transmitting to the public this Government’s provably false allegations, and the Washington Post (WP) was only #2 in this regard. But that order has now switched, and now the WP is even worse.

The latest MIC-promoted top story-line concerns the protests in Iran — a country the US long controlled via America’s agent, the brutal Shah, by and after a 1953 CIA coup there, and which country thus very reasonably loathes and fears the US Government. What caused these protests, and what they mean, are much in the news; and, the news-reporting and editorials and op-eds in the NYT have been significantly more honest and varied than in the WP. Here’s a sampling of that:

As of the time of this writing (January 5th), there has not yet been an editorial from the NYT regarding the protests in Iran. (Similarly, many other newspapers, such as Britain’s Guardian, haven’t yet ventured official editorial opinions regarding this matter.) However, one opinion-piece that has been published regarding it, has become an especially prominent target of attack by the more overtly pro-MIC propagandists: the NYT’“How Can Trump Help Iran’s Protesters? Be Quiet.” It’s by “a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was an assistant secretary of state and White House coordinator for the Middle East during the Obama administration.” That writer closes by saying: “If Mr. Trump blows up the [Iran nuclear] deal and reimposes sanctions, he will not be doing the opposition a favor but instead giving Iranians a reason to rally to — rather than work against — the government they might otherwise despise. The protests taking place in Iran today are perhaps a sign that, in the long run, the Iranian people want to be accepted as free, responsible members of the international community and that in time they might demand and achieve real change. The best way for Mr. Trump to help test that proposition and increase the chance of its success is to do nothing.” That’s a rare example of an anti-MIC (military-sales-suppressing) opinion-piece in a major American ‘news’medium.

Less ‘controversial’ (more clearly mainstream) than that has been another NYT opinion-piece, “The Worst Thing for Iran’s Protesters? US Silence.” It’s by “a former Iranian-targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, … a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.” The FDD is an Israeli front US think-tank, funded by many MIC-invested billionaires in both countries. The author concludes: “The Trump administration can do better [than did the Obama Administration]. The president’s tweets in support of the protesters were a good start. Washington should also let loose a tsunami of sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards, the linchpin of Iran’s dictatorship. Policy-wise, that would be a good place to start. Contrary to received wisdom, the absolute worst thing that the United States can do for the Iranian people is to stay silent and do nothing.”

Another NYT op-ed is “Why Iran Is Protesting” and it’s by “an Iranian novelist and journalist.” He concludes that in Iran, “something has fundamentally changed: The unquestioning support of the rural people they relied on against the discontent of the metropolitan elite is no more. Now everyone seems unhappy.” That too is mainstream — it implies that the people of Iran have a bad Government, which should be removed.

The closest thing yet to being a NYT editorial on the subject of these protests is a column by the Times’s Roger Cohen, “Trump Is Right, This Time, About Iran.” It closes by advising the Administration: “It should not, whatever happens, impose new sanctions: They only benefit the Revolutionary Guards. And it should learn, finally, that Iran is not, as Steve Bannon told Joshua Green, ‘like the fifth century — completely primeval’ — but rather a sophisticated society of deep culture full of unrealized promise better served by engagement than estrangement.” That is a remarkably sympathetic (to the Iranian people) statement, but it nonetheless argues the exact opposite: “Trump Is Right, This Time, About Iran.” Its conclusion is the opposite of its title, but the main part of the article’s text is irrelevant to both the title and the conclusion. People such as this become columnists at top ‘news’media.

Those are the relevant opinions selected by the owner of the NYT for publication. They’re pro-MIC, but not fanatically so.

The WP published on January 1st their editorial on the subject, “The Post’s View: The West should support the protesters in Iran.” It’s like Roger Cohen’s column in the NYT. It closes: “Mr. Trump should avoid acts that would undercut the protests and empower the regime’s hard-liners. Foremost among these would be a renunciation of the 2015 nuclear accord. That would divide the United States from European governments when they should be coordinating their response to the uprising, and it would give the regime an external threat against which to rally. Reform of the nuclear accord can wait. Now is the time for Mr. Trump to focus on supporting the people of Iran.” Both Roger Cohen and the WP favor “supporting the people of Iran” while opposing and hoping for an overthrow of the President who was chosen by those people in the 2017 Iranian Presidential election, which was at least as democratic as was America’s 2016 US Presidential election. The Iranian polls right before the 19 May 2017 Presidential election showed the top three candidates as being Rouhani 35%, Raisi 18%, and Ghalibaf 2%. (20% “Won’t say.”) Ghalibaf and some of the other and even smaller candidates withdrew just days before the election. The final election result was Rouhani 57.14%, Raisi 38.28%. Raisi campaigned on a platform emphasizing that “Preventing the mixing of men and women in the office environment means that men and women can serve the people better” and advocating “Islamization of universities, revision of the Internet and censorship of Western culture.” Probably many of the recent protesters had voted for him. Perhaps if Iran becomes ruled by a “regime” instead of by an at least marginally democratic Government, then they’ll get a President like Raisi, after the US coup — which would be America’s second one in Iran. But, instead, Iranians chose Rouhani — and the U.S Government and its media call it a “regime” and say that the US Government wants to “support the people of Iran” by overthrowing the Government that Iranians voted for and support — support more than Americans support ours. (But whereas America’s CIA stirs protest-groups to overthrow Iran’s leaders, Iran has no equivalent operating in America, to overthrow our aristocracy’s choice of our leader.)

On January 3rd, the WP issued an opinion-piece by US V.P. Mike Pence, whose views are much closer to Raisi’s than to Rouhani’s. It was titled, “This time, we will not be silent on Iran.”

Another opinion-piece from the WP was the far-right Israeli Natan Sharansky’s ”The West should stop dithering and show its support for the protesters in Iran”, which attacked the Times’s “How Can Trump Help Iran’s Protesters? Be Quiet.” Sharansky said: “As an opinion piece in the New York Times recently put it, the best way for the US government to help the Iranian protesters is to ‘Keep quiet and do nothing.’ Fortunately, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have already shown themselves unwilling to follow this advice.”

Yet another opinion-piece that the WP’s editors selected for publication on this topic was “Europe’s best chance on Iran could soon evaporate.” It criticized the Iran nuclear deal, and urged the Trump Administration to work with the EU “to sculpt a bipartisan policy that can save us from the next crisis, which is quickly coming our way.” This string of clichés ignored the fact that the only two actual available options for the US are to commit to the deal or else to depart from the deal; because Iran won’t leave it unless the US does, but it might leave it if the US does. And then, everything would be worse than it was previously. For the US to leave it while some of its allies don’t, would turn those allies to opposing the US Government and supporting Iran’s Government. And for the US to ‘renegotiate’ it would be impossible. Any European Government that would join with the US in order to attempt to force Iran to renegotiate it, would become embarrassed amongst its EU colleagues, and amongst its public. And yet, still, Iran would promptly resume its prior nuclear program, not renegotiate. To force Iran isn’t going to be so easy as such commentators presume it will. The article didn’t say how anything that it proposed to be achieved, could be achieved. It was simply trash.

Another WP opinion-piece was “The protesters in Iran need real help from Washington” and it was written by a top official of a think thank, WINEP, about which, as one knowledgeable person has said, “WINEP was to be AIPAC’s cutout. It was funded by AIPAC donors, staffed by AIPAC employees, and located one door away, down the hall, from AIPAC Headquarters (no more. It has its own digs). It would also hire all kinds of people not identified with Israel as a cover.” None of this information was revealed by WP about the piece’s author. It can only be called blatant Israeli propaganda, surreptitiously fed to readers as if it weren’t.

The WP columnist David Ignatius bannered “Trump is right to tell Iran the world is watching.” He closed by saying, about the “surprise explosion” of these protests: “Khamenei will want to crush it. The best gift the United States can give the Iranian people is a digital lifeline, so humanity can witness their brave struggle and encourage them to prevail.” The US regime already gave the Iranian people its ‘best gift’ in 1953 when it destroyed their democracy and instituted a 26-year-long dictatorship — and, Iranians can see through the US propaganda-media’s hypocrisies, even if the US public have been too deceived by those media, for too long, to be able to see through those lies.

So, the WP has become even more neoconservative (i.e, more in favor of invading countries that haven’t invaded us) now than it was back in 2002 when it cheered on George W. Bush’s lies about Iraq, after 9/11. How did this change happen?

In 2013, Jeff Bezos and Donald Graham met at the Bilderberg conference, and two months later, Bezos agreed to buy the Washington Post from Graham. Less than a year after that, Bezos’s Amazon won the CIA-NSA cloud computing contract, vital to the US military. Bezos’s most profitable operation has been that military contract — it is allegedly responsible for changing Amazon from a money-losing to a profit-making corporation. The money-losing Washington Post already had been, under Graham and before, a longstanding supporter of US armed invasions, which now require lots of cloud computing (and not only of the types of weaponry that Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, etc., supply). For example: the WP was gung-ho for regime-change in Iraq in 2002, as well as, more recently, for bombing Libya, Syria, and the bombing in Ukraine’s civil war after the coup. The main topic at the next year’s, 2014, meeting of the Bilderberg group was the war in Ukraine, but other wars were also on the agenda, such as Syria, and so were President Obama’s ’trade’ treaties: TPP, TTIP, and TISA. Luminaries present at that year’s secret discussions were Timothy Geithner, Eric Schmidt, Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Charles Murray, etc., and Europeans such as Christine Lagarde and Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Perhaps some sales were made there, too.

Meanwhile, the NYT became the most-frequently-cited mis-reporter of such things as “Saddam’s WMD” during the years after the 2003 invasion on the basis of lies; and its publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., was forced quietly to fire his close friend and star White House stenographer (oops, ‘reporter’ — and she was even a Pulitzer-winning one!), Judith Miller, on account of the fraud-based Iraq War that she had so prominently and exceptionally helped to promote in her ‘news’-stories. Probably, Sulzberger’s successor, Arthur G. Sulzberger, is happy that when on 14 December 2017 his father handed the corporation’s controls over to him (effective on January 1st), the NYT’s position as the nation’s #1 PR-agent for US invasions has now been taken over by Jeff Bezos’s WP. But, of course, Sulzberger’s profits don’t depend nearly as much on America’s MIC as Bezos’s do. The WP’s business plan is even more dependent upon war-promotion than the rest of America’s major ‘news’media’s are. However, if, say, a firm such as General Dynamics were to buy out the Sulzbergers, then perhaps the NYT would become #1 in the neoconservative league, once again. But, even when a major ‘news’medium, such as Mother Jones, isn’t owned (like the WP now is) by someone who also largely owns (via Amazon) a major military contractor, it still promotes invasions, and has deep connections to America’s Deep State. You can count on the fingers of a fingerless hand the number of major American newsmedia — online, print, or broadcast — that are not neoconservative. There are none — right, left, or center. Today’s ‘respectable’ American purveyors of alleged news have some ideological diversity, but all exist within the framework of being neoliberal and neoconservative.

Read More: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/07/how-jeff-bezos-wp-became-us-military-industrial-complex-chief-propagandist.html

America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship

Big Nothing Burger

Exclusive: Arriving behind the anti-Trump “resistance” and the Russia-gate “scandal” is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U.S., shutting down information that challenges Official Narratives, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A stark difference between today’s Washington and when I was here as a young Associated Press correspondent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s is that then – even as the old Cold War was heating up around the election of Ronald Reagan – there were prominent mainstream journalists who looked askance at the excessive demonization of the Soviet Union and doubted wild claims about the dire threats to U.S. national security from Nicaragua and Grenada.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall, Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Perhaps the Vietnam War was still fresh enough in people’s minds that senior editors and national reporters understood the dangers of mindless groupthink inside Official Washington, as well as the importance of healthy skepticism toward official pronouncements from the U.S. intelligence community.

Today, however, I cannot think of a single prominent figure in the mainstream news media who questions any claim – no matter how unlikely or absurd – that vilifies Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country. It is all Russia-bashing all the time.

And, behind this disturbing anti-Russian uniformity are increasing assaults against independent and dissident journalists and news outlets outside the mainstream. We’re not just entering a New Cold War and a New McCarthyism; we’re also getting a heavy dose of old-style Orwellianism.

Sometimes you see this in individual acts like HuffingtonPost taking down a well-reported story by journalist Joe Lauria because he dared to point out that Democratic money financed the two initial elements of what’s now known as Russia-gate: the forensic examination of computers at the Democratic National Committee and the opposition research on Donald Trump conducted by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

HuffingtonPost never contacted Lauria before or after its decision to retract the story, despite a request from him for the reasons why. HuffPost editors told a BuzzFeed reporter that they were responding to reader complaints that the article was filled with factual errors but none have ever been spelled out, leaving little doubt that Lauria’s real “error” was in defying the Russia-gate groupthink of the anti-Trump Resistance. [A version of Lauria’s story appeared at Consortiumnews.com before Lauria posted it at HuffPost. If you want to sign a petition calling on HuffPost to restore Lauria’s article, click here.]

Muzzling RT

Other times, the expanding American censorship is driven by U.S. government agencies, such as the Justice Department’s demand that the Russian news outlet, RT, register under the restrictive Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires such prompt, frequent and detailed disclosures of supposed “propaganda” that it could make it impossible for RT to continue to function in the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

This attack on RT was rationalized by the Jan. 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” that was, in reality, prepared by a handful of “hand-picked” analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency. Their report included a seven-page addendum from 2012 accusing RT of spreading Russian propaganda – and apparently this Jan. 6 report must now be accepted as gospel truth, no questions permitted.

However, if any real journalist actually read the Jan. 6 report, he or she would have discovered that RT’s sinister assault on American democracy included such offenses as holding a debate among third-party candidates who were excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates in 2012. Yes, allowing Libertarians and Greens to express their points of view is a grave danger to American democracy.

Other RT “propaganda” included reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protests and examining the environmental dangers from “fracking,” issues that also have been widely covered by the domestic American media. Apparently, whenever RT covers a newsworthy event – even if others have too – that constitutes “propaganda,” which must be throttled to protect the American people from the danger of seeing it.

If you bother to study the Jan. 6 report’s addendum, it is hard not to conclude that these “hand-picked” analysts were either stark-raving mad or madly anti-Russian. Yet, this “Intelligence Community Assessment” is now beyond questioning unless you want to be labeled a “Kremlin stooge” or “Putin’s useful idiot.” [An earlier State Department attack on RT was equally ridiculous or demonstrably false.]

And, by the way, it was President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who testified under oath that the analysts from the three agencies were “hand-picked.” That means that they were analysts personally selected by Obama’s intelligence chiefs from three agencies – not “all 17” as the American public was told over and over again – and thus were not even a full representation of analysts from those three agencies. Yet, this subset of a subset is routinely described as “the U.S. intelligence community,” even after major news outlets finally had to retract their “all 17” canard.

So, the myth of the intelligence community’s consensus lives on. For instance, in an upbeat article on Tuesday about the U.S. government’s coercing RT into registering as a foreign agent, Washington Post reporters Devlin Barrett and David Filipov wrote, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the network and website push relentlessly anti-American propaganda at the behest of the Russian government.”

In the old days, even during the old Cold War and President Reagan’s ranting about “the Evil Empire,” some of us would have actually examined the Jan. 6 report’s case against RT and noted the absurdity of these claims about “relentlessly anti-American propaganda.” Whether you want to hear the views of the Greens and Libertarians or not – or whether you like “fracking” and hate Occupy Wall Street – the opportunity to hear this information doesn’t constitute “relentlessly anti-American propaganda.”

The U.S. government’s real beef with RT seems to be that it allows on air some Americans who have been blacklisted from the mainstream media – including highly credentialed former U.S. intelligence analysts and well-informed American journalists – because they have challenged various Official Narratives.

In other words, Americans are not supposed to hear the other side of the story on important international conflicts, such as the proxy war in Syria or the civil war in Ukraine or Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Only the State Department’s versions of those events are permitted even when those versions are themselves propagandistic if not outright false.

For example, you’re not supposed to hear about the huge holes in the Syria-sarin cases, nor about Ukraine’s post-coup regime arming neo-Nazis to kill ethnic-Russian Ukrainians, nor about Israel’s evolution into an apartheid state. All right-thinking Americans are to get only a steady diet of how righteous the U.S. government and its allies always are. Anything else is “propaganda.”

Also off limits is any thoughtful critique of that Jan. 6 report – or apparently even Clapper’s characterization of it as a product of “hand-picked” analysts from only three agencies. You’re not supposed to ask why other U.S. intelligence agencies with deep knowledge about Russia were excluded and why even other analysts from the three involved agencies were shut out.

No, you must always think of the Jan. 6 report as the “consensus” assessment from the entire “U.S. intelligence community.” And you must accept it as flat fact – as it now is treated by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other mainstream news outlets. You shouldn’t even notice that the Jan. 6 report itself doesn’t claim that Russian election meddling was a fact. The report explains, that “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”

But even quoting from the Jan. 6 report might make an American reporter some kind of traitorous “Russian mole” whose journalism must be purged from “responsible” media and who should be forced to wear the journalistic equivalent of a yellow star.

The Anti-Trump/Russia Hysteria

Of course, much of this anti-Russian hysteria comes from the year-long fury about the shocking election of Donald Trump. From the first moments of stunned disbelief over Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the narrative was put in motion to blame Trump’s victory not on Clinton and her wretched campaign but on Russia. That also was viewed as a possible way of reversing the election’s outcome and removing Trump from office.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

The major U.S. news media quite openly moved to the forefront of the Resistance. The Washington Post adopted the melodramatic and hypocritical slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” as it unleashed its journalists to trumpet the narrative of some disloyal Americans spreading Russian propaganda. Darkness presumably was a fine place to stick people who questioned the Resistance’s Russia-gate narrative.

An early shot in this war against dissenting information was fired last Thanksgiving Day when the Post published a front-page article citing an anonymous group called PropOrNot smearing 200 Internet news sites for allegedly disseminating Russian propaganda. The list included some of the most important sources of independent journalism, including Consortiumnews.com, apparently for the crime of questioning some of the State Department’s narratives on international conflicts, particularly Syria and Ukraine.

Then, with the anti-Russia hysteria building and the censorship ball rolling, Congress last December approved $160 million for think tanks and other non-governmental organizations to combat Russian propaganda. Soon, reports and studies were flying off the shelves detecting a Russian behind every article, tweet and posting that didn’t toe the State Department’s line.

The New York Times and other leading news organizations have even cheered plans for Google, Facebook and other technology companies to deploy algorithms that can hunt down, marginalize or eliminate information that establishment media deems “fake” or “propaganda.” Already Google has put together a First Draft coalition, consisting of mainstream media and establishment-approved Web sites to decide what information makes the cut and what doesn’t.

Among these arbiters of truth is the fact-check organization PolitiFact, which judged the falsehood about “all 17 intelligence agencies” signing off on the Russian “hacking” claim to be “true.” Even though the claim was never true and is now clearly established as false, PolitiFact continues to assert that this lie is the truth, apparently filled with the hubris that comes with its power over determining what is true and what is false.

But what is perhaps most troubling to me about these developments is the silence of many civil liberties advocates, liberal politicians and defenders of press freedom who might have been counted on in earlier days to object to this censorship and blackballing.

It appears that the ends of taking down Donald Trump and demonizing Vladimir Putin justify whatever means, no matter the existential danger of nuclear war with Russia or the McCarthyistic (even Orwellian) threats to freedom of speech, press and thought.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

Read More: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/14/americas-righteous-russia-gate-censorship/