Or this is another MSM plan to try for a Trump impeachment? …P.D.
CNN and Washington Post are working on exposing “20-30 congressional members” for sexual harassment, claims Michael Trujillo, former LA City Commissioner and Hillary Clinton’s California Field Director during her 2008 bid for the White House.
Former Wall St. Journal reporter Neil King adds to Trujillo’s figure, saying he hears the number “may top 40”
Hearing the total may top 40. https://twitter.com/mikehtrujillo/status/938815136571129856 …
Word of the potential new allegations comes on the heels of several high profile retirements in the wake of sexual misconduct claims. Last Thursday, Senator Al Franken announced his resignation:
Franken denied the validity of the eight allegations against him, stating “some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember differently.”
The day before Franken announced his resignation, 88-year-old Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) “retired” as the longest serving House member and founding member of the Black Caucus. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had encouraged the House Ethics Cmte to “proceed expeditiously” as it investigates accusations against Conyers. The review began after reports Conyers reached a $27k settlement with a former aide who said she was fired for rejecting his sexual advances; since then, Conyers has been accused of harassment by other women. Conyers has acknowledged the settlement but denied sexual harassment claims.
Republican Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) also announced his resignation last week while under threat of an ethics probe for a sexual harassment allegation lodged by a woman in his office after Franks who says he offered her $5 million to be a surrogate mother for his children, and that she and another female employee were worried that he wanted to have sex as a means of impregnating them.
Andrea Lafferty, the executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said that one of the women approached by Mr. Franks told her about the encounter last year, and said that Mr. Franks entreated her repeatedly to be a surrogate mother, at one point offering $5 million.
“She rebuffed him many times,” Ms. Lafferty said. –NYT
The allegations against Franks caused Speaker Paul Ryan to meet with him and ask for his resignation.
NEW: House Speaker Paul Ryan says he met with Trent Franks Wednesday about allegations he found `serious and requiring action.’ Told him he should resign. (Franks in earlier statement says he spoke to two female staffers about being surrogate moms) pic.twitter.com/j5mDJVbfnW
NEW: House Speaker Paul Ryan says he met with Trent Franks Wednesday about allegations he found `serious and requiring action.’ Told him he should resign. (Franks in earlier statement says he spoke to two female staffers about being surrogate moms)
Meanwhile, Senator and former Clinton running mate Tim Kaine (D-VA) thinks Franken’s resignation sets a new precedent. As Vanity Fair notes:
Given that Congress’s Office of Compliance—the only recourse staffers have to report abuse—is all but explicitly designed to protect lawmakers, a reckoning over sexual harassment on Capitol Hill is long overdue. Democrats, unlike Republicans, are mostly cheering the sea change, even as some wonder whether Franken’s resignation may have set a harsh new precedent. “This does establish a new standard for this body,” Senator Tim Kaine told reporters on Thursday. “And that standard is: behavior before you were elected is fair game for determining whether you should be here.” He added, “If that’s the standard, we have to be committed to trying to apply that in an evenhanded way.”
An interesting comment by Kaine… Now that the Russiagate investigation appears to be stalling out and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team revealed to be highly politicized and stacked with several anti-Trump investigators, it’s apparently time for the President’s enemies to shift the narrative again – as several Trump accusers are holding a press conference Monday morning to call for a congressional investigation into sexual misconduct.
The women are uniting for the first time to demand the probe and share details of their allegations against the President, according to the release. The press conference will be hosted by a documentary group that previously released a film about allegations against Trump.
Eight Trump Accusers
The President has denied the allegations, while the White House said in October that its official position is that all of the women are lying. Trump called the allegations “total fiction” when they emerged in October, 2016 – weeks before the election – the first such claims against Trump in his 50 year career.
“These are stories that are made up, these are total fiction. You’ll find out that, in the years to come, these women that stood up, it was all fiction,” Trump said. “They were made up. I don’t know these women, it’s not my thing to do what they say.”
So – it appears we’re in for quite the show; with CNN and WaPo rumored to have 20-40 stories in the works against members of congress, while a gaggle of Trump accusers assemble to rehash claims which first surfaced weeks before the 2016 election. Time for more popcorn and a barrage of very angry Trump tweets.
A day after CNN botched a hit-job on President Trump – which came a week after an erroneous ABC report on General Flynn sent stocks tumbling, which came a month after Bloomberg’s Justin Sink launched “KoiGate” during President Trump’s trip to Japan – the Washington Post’s David Weigel hopped on the Fake News bandwagon and tweeted a photo of an empty arena before a Trump rally in Florida – hours before the event started.
Trump responded to Weigel’s tweet, saying the WaPo reporter had “put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived.”
Weigel – who had already been fired once by the Washington Post once in 2010 over political bias only to be rehired in 2015, deleted the tweet – saying that Davide Martosko of the Daily Mail told him he’d gotten it wrong.
Sure thing: I apologize. I deleted the photo after @dmartoskotold me I’d gotten it wrong. Was confused by the image of you walking in the bottom right corner. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/939616077356642304 …
Martosko seemed surprised.
We haven’t connected in at least a year, BTW. https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/939616810684514304 …
Trump took the opportunity to ding the MSM “opposition party,” referring to suspended ABC News correspondent Brian Ross as a “fraudster” at the rally, a week after Ross published fake news that former National Security advisor Michael Flynn had directed Trump to make contact with Russian officials during the campaign. ABC later corrected the report – but not after it sent the Dow spiraling 350 points. Trump suggested people who lost money “consider hiring a lawyer and using ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused – many millions of dollars!”
Trump also took shots at CNN during the rally after the network was forced to make a major correction to a story on Friday in which they said Donald Trump Jr. received documents from Wikileaks on September 4, 2016 before they had been officially released, when in fact, a random person emailed him a link to publicly available documents on September 14.
CNN corrected the report, issuing the following statement.
CNN originally reported the email was released September 4 — 10 days earlier — based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. The new details appear to show that the sender was relying on publicly available information. The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.
Trump shot back, tweeting “Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his mistake),” Trump wrote. “Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?” It is worth noting that Ross was not fired but rather suspended for 4 weeks.
With the “resistance” MSM reporting story after story which either coincidentally or due to the underlyuing bias, turns to be faker and faker news, and Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel stacked with very, very, very, very biased investigators which are being revealed in bombshell after bombshell, one has to wonder who will believe whatever ‘grand scheme’ of collusion or whatever it is that Mueller is probing these days, they accuse Trump of next in what seems like an endless witch hunt through an upside-down rabbit hole.
Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, and countless pundits, commentators, and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.
The spectacle began Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the Democratic National Committee emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.
This entire revelation was based on an email that CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” — someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify — to Donald Trump Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.” The email was a smoking gun, in CNN’s extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 — 10 days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online — and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.
It’s impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it’s necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness, and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow on the Trump-Russia collusion story:
There was just one small problem with this story: It was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story — and then hyped it over and over and over — the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.
The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 — which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, “Michael J. Erickson” was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks — as everyone by then already knew — had publicly promoted. In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.
How did CNN end up aggressively hyping such a spectacularly false story? They refuse to say. Many hours after their story got exposed as false, the journalist who originally presented it, congressional reporter Manu Raju, finally posted a tweet noting the correction. CNN’s P.R. department then claimed that “multiple sources” had provided CNN with the false date. And Raju went on CNN, in muted tones, to note the correction, explicitly claiming that “two sources” had each given him the false date on the email, while also making clear that CNN did not ever even see the email, but only had sources describe its purported contents:
All of this prompts the glaring, obvious, and critical question — one that CNN refuses to address: How did “multiple sources” all misread the date on this document, in exactly the same way and toward the same end, and then feed this false information to CNN?
It is, of course, completely plausible that one source might innocently misread a date on a document. But how is it remotely plausible that multiple sources could all innocently and in good faith misread the date in exactly the same way, all to cause the dissemination of a blockbuster revelation about Trump-Russia-WikiLeaks collusion? This is the critical question that CNN simply refuses to answer. In other words, CNN refuses to provide the most minimal transparency to enable the public to understand what happened here.
WHY DOES THIS matter so much? For so many significant reasons:
To begin with, it’s hard to overstate how fast, far, and wide this false story traveled. Democratic Party pundits, operatives, and journalists with huge social media platforms predictably jumped on the story immediately, announcing that it proved collusion between Trump and Russia (through WikiLeaks). One tweet from Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, claiming that this proved evidence of criminal collusion, was retweeted thousands and thousands of times in just a few hours (Lieu quietly deleted the tweet after I noted its falsity, and long after it went very viral, without ever telling his followers that the CNN story, and therefore his accusation, had been debunked).
This tweet is from a member of Congress today. It was RT’d more than 7,000 times (and counting), and liked more than 15,000 times. It’s based on a completely false claim, from a debunked CNN story. This happens over and over. This seems damaging. And still no retraction. https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/939129798793793536 …
Incredibly, to this very moment — almost 24 hours after CNN’s story was debunked — Wittes has never noted to his more than 200,000 followers that the story he so excitedly promoted turned out to be utterly false, even though he returned to Twitter long after the story was debunked to tweet about other matters. He just left his false and inflammatory claims uncorrected.
Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall believed the story was so significant that he used an image of an atomic bomb detonating at the top of his article discussing its implications, an article he tweeted to his roughly 250,000 followers. Only at night was an editor’s note finally added noting that the whole thing was false.
It’s hard to quantify exactly how many people were deceived — filled with false news and propaganda — by the CNN story. But thanks to Democratic-loyal journalists and operatives who decree every Trump-Russia claim to be true without seeing any evidence, it’s certainly safe to say that many hundreds of thousands of people, almost certainly millions, were exposed to these false claims.
Surely anyone who has any minimal concerns about journalistic accuracy — which would presumably include all the people who have spent the last year lamenting Fake News, propaganda, Twitter bots, and the like — would demand an accounting as to how a major U.S. media outlet ended up filling so many people’s brains with totally false news. That alone should prompt demands from CNN for an explanation about what happened here. No Russian Facebook ad or Twitter bot could possibly have anywhere near the impact as this CNN story had when it comes to deceiving people with blatantly inaccurate information.
Second, the “multiple sources” who fed CNN this false information did not confine themselves to that network. They were apparently very busy eagerly spreading the false information to as many media outlets as they could find. In the middle of the day, CBS News claimed that it had independently “confirmed” CNN’s story about the email and published its own breathless article discussing the grave implications of this discovered collusion.
Most embarrassing of all was what MSNBC did. You just have to watch this report from its “intelligence and national security correspondent” Ken Dilanian to believe it. Like CBS, Dilanian also claimed that he had independently “confirmed” the false CNN report from “two sources with direct knowledge of this.” Dilanian, whose career in the U.S. media continues to flourish the more he is exposed as someone who faithfully parrots what the CIA tells him to say (since that is one of the most coveted and valued attributes in U.S. journalism), spent three minutes mixing evidence-free CIA claims as fact with totally false assertions about what his multiple “sources with direct knowledge” told him about all this. Please watch this — again, not just the content but the tenor and tone of how they “report” — as it is Baghdad Bob-level embarrassing:
Think about what this means. It means that at least two — and possibly more — sources, which these media outlets all assessed as credible in terms of having access to sensitive information, all fed the same false information to multiple news outlets at the same time. For multiple reasons, the probability is very high that these sources were Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee (or their high-level staff members), which is the committee that obtained access to Trump Jr.’s emails, although it’s certainly possible that it’s someone else. We won’t know until these news outlets deign to report this crucial information to the public: Which “multiple sources” acted jointly to disseminate incredibly inflammatory, false information to the nation’s largest news outlets?
Just last week, the Washington Post decided — to great applause (including mine) — to expose a source to whom they had promised anonymity and off-the-record protections because they discovered that she was purposely feeding them false information as part of a scheme by Project Veritas to discredit the Post. It’s a well-established principle of journalism — one that is rarely followed when it comes to powerful people in D.C. — that journalists should expose, rather than protect and conceal, sources who purposely feed them false information to be disseminated to the public.
The Post made the right call to report off-the-record comments given they were offered with fraudulent intent. This should be done far more often to actually powerful-in-DC people who spread lies while hiding behind anonymity https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/a-woman-approached-the-post-with-dramatic–and-false–tale-about-roy-moore-sje-appears-to-be-part-of-undercover-sting-operation/2017/11/27/0c2e335a-cfb6-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.b6e35306506c …
Is that what happened here? Did these “multiple sources” who fed not just CNN, but also MSNBC and CBS completely false information do so deliberately and in bad faith? Until these news outlets provide an accounting of what happened — what one might call “minimal journalistic transparency” — it’s impossible to say for certain. But right now, it’s very difficult to imagine a scenario in which multiple sources all fed the wrong date to multiple media outlets innocently and in good faith.
If this were, in fact, a deliberate attempt to cause a false and highly inflammatory story to be reported, then these media outlets have an obligation to expose who the culprits are — just as the Washington Post did last week to the woman making false claims about Roy Moore (it was much easier in that case because the source they exposed was a nobody in D.C., rather than someone on whom they rely for a steady stream of stories, the way CNN and MSNBC rely on Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee). By contrast, if this were just an innocent mistake, then these media outlets should explain how such an implausible sequence of events could possibly have happened.
Thus far, these media corporations are doing the opposite of what journalists ought to do: Rather than informing the public about what happened and providing minimal transparency and accountability for themselves and the high-level officials who caused this to happen, they are hiding behind meaningless, obfuscating statements crafted by P.R. executives and lawyers.
How can journalists and news outlets so flamboyantly act offended when they’re attacked as being “Fake News” when this is the conduct behind which they hide when they get caught disseminating incredibly consequential false stories?
THE MORE SERIOUS you think the Trump-Russia story is, the more dangerous you think it is when Trump attacks the U.S. media as “Fake News,” the more you should be disturbed by what happened here, the more transparency and accountability you should be demanding. If you’re someone who thinks Trump’s attacks on the media are dangerous, then you should be first in line objecting when they act recklessly and demand transparency and accountability from them. It is debacles like this — and the subsequent corporate efforts to obfuscate — that have made the U.S. media so disliked and that fuel and empower Trump’s attacks on them.
Third, this type of recklessness and falsity is now a clear and highly disturbing trend — one could say a constant — when it comes to reporting on Trump, Russia, and WikiLeaks. I have spent a good part of the last year documenting the extraordinarily numerous, consequential, and reckless stories that have been published — and then corrected, rescinded, and retracted — by major media outlets when it comes to this story.
All media outlets, of course, will make mistakes. The Intercept certainly has made our share, as have all outlets. And it’s particularly natural, inevitable, for mistakes to be made on a highly complicated, opaque story like the question of the relationship between Trump and the Russians, and questions relating to how WikiLeaks obtained the DNC and Podesta emails. That is all to be expected.
But what one should expect with journalistic “mistakes” is that they sometimes go in one direction and other times go in the other direction. That’s exactly what has not happened here. Virtually every false story published goes only in one direction: to be as inflammatory and damaging as possible on the Trump-Russia story and about Russia particularly. At some point, once “mistakes” all start going in the same direction, toward advancing the same agenda, they cease looking like mistakes.
No matter your views on those political controversies, no matter how much you hate Trump or regard Russia as a grave villain and threat to our cherished democracy and freedoms, it has to be acknowledged that when the U.S. media is spewing constant false news about all of this, that, too, is a grave threat to our democracy and cherished freedom.
So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all. Just consider the ones from the last week alone, as enumerated by the New York Times yesterday in its news report on CNN’s embarrassment:
It was also yet another prominent reporting error at a time when news organizations are confronting a skeptical public, and a president who delights in attacking the media as “fake news.”
Last Saturday, ABC News suspended a star reporter, Brian Ross, after an inaccurate report that Donald Trump had instructed Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, to contact Russian officials during the presidential race.
The report fueled theories about coordination between the Trump campaign and a foreign power, and stocks dropped after the news. In fact, Mr. Trump’s instruction to Mr. Flynn came after he was president-elect.
Several news outlets, including Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, also inaccurately reported this week that Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for President Trump’s financial records.
The president and his circle have not been shy about pointing out the errors.
That’s just the last week alone. Let’s just remind ourselves of how many times major media outlets have made humiliating, breathtaking errors on the Trump-Russia story, always in the same direction, toward the same political goals. Here is just a sample of incredibly inflammatory claims that traveled all over the internet before having to be corrected, walked back, or retracted — often long after the initial false claims spread, and where the corrections receive only a tiny fraction of the attention with which the initial false stories are lavished:
- Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
- An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
- WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
- A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
- RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
- Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
- Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
- Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN)
That really is just a small sample. So continually awful and misleading has this reporting been that even Vladimir Putin’s most devoted critics — such as Russian expatriate Masha Gessen, oppositional Russian journalists, and anti-Kremlin liberal activists in Moscow — are constantly warning that the U.S. media’s unhinged, ignorant, paranoid reporting on Russia is harming their cause in all sorts of ways, in the process destroying the credibility of the U.S. media in the eyes of Putin’s opposition (who — unlike Americans who have been fed a steady news and entertainment propaganda diet for decades about Russia — actually understand the realities of that country).
U.S. media outlets are very good at demanding respect. They love to imply, if not outright state, that being patriotic and a good American means that one must reject efforts to discredit them and their reporting because that’s how one defends press freedom.
But journalists also have the responsibility not just to demand respect and credibility but to earn it. That means that there shouldn’t be such a long list of abject humiliations, in which completely false stories are published to plaudits, traffic, and other rewards, only to fall apart upon minimal scrutiny. It certainly means that all of these “errors” shouldn’t be pointing in the same direction, pushing the same political outcome or journalistic conclusion.
But what it means most of all is that when media outlets are responsible for such grave and consequential errors as the spectacle we witnessed yesterday, they have to take responsibility for it by offering transparency and accountability. In this case, that can’t mean hiding behind P.R. and lawyer silence and waiting for this to just all blow away.
At minimum, these networks — CNN, MSNBC, and CBS — have to either identify who purposely fed them this blatantly false information or explain how it’s possible that “multiple sources” all got the same information wrong in innocence and good faith. Until they do that, their cries and protests the next time they’re attacked as “Fake News” should fall on deaf ears, since the real author of those attacks — the reason those attacks resonate — is themselves and their own conduct.
Update: Dec. 9, 2017
Hours after this article was published on Saturday — a full day and a half after his original tweets promoting the false CNN story with a “boom” and a cannon — Benjamin Wittes finally got around to noting that the CNN story he hyped has “serious problems”; needless to say, that acknowledgment received a fraction of retweets from his followers as his original tweets hyping the story attracted.
For 24 hours, Americans have been waiting with bated breath for James O’Keefe to reveal the subject of his 2nd undercover CNN video. As it turns out, it is none other than CNN’s Van Jones who inadvertently revealed his real thoughts on CNN’s ‘Russian meddling’ narrative, namely that it’s a “big nothing burger.”
Read More: www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-28/van-jones
CNN Producer: American Voters “Are Stupid As Shit” | Zero Hedge
PV Reporter: “Would it be fair to question the intellect of the American voter?” CNN Producer: “Oh no. They’re stupid as shit.”
“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords. For a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN [Jeff Zucker] said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with it. Let’s get back to Russia.”
Notice that the CEO of the network (Jeff Zucker) told his staff to focus on the Russia story. This shows that media is controlled from the top down, and that any reporter that wants to give an alternative view will be silenced by the editors and owners that control their work.
The idea that having a couple of staff members resign clears the network of being fake news, doesn’t hold up when the CEO is clearly directing the staff of what to report on.
Out of the sea of largely peaceful antiwar demonstrators marching in San Francisco’s Financial District in 2003, a more militant subgroup emerged. Its members wore black masks, black jackets, black hoods and helmets. They smashed windows and looted military recruitment offices.
Since then, as The Los Angeles Times’ Paige St. John reports, the so-called black bloc protesters have become a force in the Bay Area and beyond. They have been blamed for violence during protests in Oakland over corporate power and police abuse, notably the case of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man who was killed by BART police in 2009.
Scorned by critics on both the left and right and hunted by police, the black bloc is bringing its radical tactics to the massive protest movement sparked by the presidency of Donald Trump.
The masked militants went fist to fist with neo-Nazis at the state Capitol in June, where five of their allies were stabbed. Black bloc tactics also dogged Trump’s inaugural ceremonies in Washington, leaving broken windows, vandalized banks and a torched limo.
And early this month on the UC Berkeley campus, black bloc militants tore down police barricades, broke windows, started a fire and assaulted Trump supporters.
Although as St. John reports, they represented a small percentage of the 1,000 mostly nonviolent demonstrators who went to Berkeley to protest a speech by controversial Breitbart columnist and conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos, but they dominated the outcome.
The protests earned rebukes from students, university administrators and Trump.
The angry vice chancellor called the melee an “unprecedented invasion” of an otherwise peaceful protest.
But some leaders of the campus protest called it a smashing success.
“It wasn’t just people dressed in black who were acting militantly and everyone else is peace-loving Berkeley hippies,” said Yvette Felarca, a political organizer of By Any Means Necessary, an immigration and affirmative action coalition that seeks to build a mass militant movement.
“Everyone cheered when those barricades were dismantled. … Everyone was there with us in political agreement of the necessity of shutting it down, whatever it was going to take. It shows we have the power,” Felarca said. “I thought it was quite stunning.”
The term “black bloc” was used to describe the tight wedges of black-clad protesters in helmets and masks who appeared in street demonstrations in Germany in the 1970s, confounding efforts to single out, identify and prosecute individuals. Its aim was, and still is, direct action.
Practitioners care little for speech or to shape public opinion, and the media are held in disdain, as are liberals who espouse nonviolence.
Members operate in small squads that organize themselves around flags during the havoc of a protest.
Many are anarchists, and anarchist websites such as It’s Going Down provide a public platform for reports from the underground.
They say they battle police brutality, corporate greed, immigration bans and erosion of civil liberties.
The Bay Area has provided a fertile base for the group, especially Oakland, birthplace to the armed militias of the Black Panther movement.
“I subscribe to self-defense in the very same sense that the Black Panther Party does and that Malcolm X does,” said a veteran Bay Area black bloc militant who spoke on the condition that he not be named because much of the group’s actions are illegal.
He described himself as an employed college graduate, the product of youth incarceration and a household where street respect — not pacifism — was preached.
“Which means for me to recognize one type of violence, which is people being beat up for having certain types of political views and being brazen about them, compared to the everyday violence … like I go through the Bay Area and there are people sleeping in the doorways of million-dollar condos that are empty. … Is that not violent?” he said. “That is the most cruel and violent thing I think I have ever seen.”
Surprise, Politifact says Donald Trump made a FALSE statement when he tweeted that Bernie was cut off for using the term “fake news” on CNN.
Politifact tells us, he was cut off because of technical difficulties!
Thank you Poltifact, “winner of the Pulitzer Prize,” what would we do without you?
The corporate-controlled media jumped the shark in the 2016 election. Now it’s time to choose between their fake news and real information.
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then you win.” ~ unsourced, and attributed to Gandhi’s analysis of British empire response to having their hypocrisy exposed: claiming to bring Christian love and progress while looting resources with forced local labor.
“When we now know that all claims for war with Iraq were known lies as they were told (and verbally explained here), and CNN provides similar innuendo for war by an unsourced alleged report with concerns of what might occur in the future allegedly stated by an unnamed US source reporting on an unnamed foreign source, this is propaganda and not news.” ~ My 2010 analysis of “fake news” reporting from CBS, ABC, CNN to lie Americans into illegal war on Iran.
The Washington Post added to President Obama’s rhetoric for Americans to be aware of “fake news”: easily refuted lies of omission and commission in media. This article series reveals the inversion of those claims: .01% “official” news by corporate media (six conglomerates) is easily documented as fake in our most important reporting.
‘Fake news’? Time to choose article series (links added as series progresses):
- Corporate media fakes us into wars that aren’t even close to lawful, are Orwellian illegal Wars of Aggression (1 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into Orwellian illegal Wars of Aggression with lies known to be lies as they were told (2 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into ongoing bankster looting of increasing total debt impossible to repay, while ignoring solutions worth trillions (3 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into their fake world never admitting to a history of their easily documented lies (4 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into NOT ending poverty for less than 1% of ‘developed’ nations’ income, poverty-murdering ~1 million children every month, since 1997 killing more human beings than all wars & violence in all human history (5 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into Kennedy assassination fairy tales ‘covering’ US .01% coup. Real leadership impossible today under similar threat; why Trump must act for full Truth or submit to be ‘Teleprompter Reader-in-Chief’ for rogue state empire (6 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us by ignoring King Family civil trial verdict that US government assassinated Martin with OVERWHELMING evidence, pretends to ‘honor’ Martin every January. Real leadership impossible today until .01% arrests ends ‘official’ fake news (7 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into 2 central lies for more illegal war on Iran: ‘threat to Israel’ and ‘nuclear program’ EVEN AFTER 12 YEARS of anyone checking the facts soooo easily refuting these claims as known lies (8 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into supporting Israel’s Orwellian illegal War of Aggression on Gaza. Trump initiates War Criminal career funding/cheering Palestinian genocide, war-mongering on Iran (9 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into ignoring a simple definition: US is now a rogue state empire (10 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into ignoring irrefutable US history: colonialism lying and looting goes from Native Americans, to Mexico, and to today’s O.I.L. (Operation Iraqi Liberation) (11 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into obfuscation about Clinton Foundation $2 billion illegal looting (12 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into obfuscation about Hillary/DNC election fraud that stole primary win by Bernie Sanders (13 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into ignoring $6.5 trillion looted by Pentagon = ~$60,000 per average US household (14 of 15)
- Corporate media fakes us into ignoring OBVIOUS American response: arrest .01% ‘leaders’ for Wars of Aggression, treason, Crimes Against Humanity, fraud and looting worth tens of trillions (15 of 15)
The totality of these article sections (among ~100 such game-changers) is a fundamental choice for Americans:
- Ongoing “fake news” to support US rogue state empire that after a jump the shark 2016 “election” (and here) approaches the tragic-comedy of imploding Roman empire, OR
- Truth documented with objective, comprehensive, and independently verifiable facts.
The Washington Post‘s unsourced “list” places us, Washington’s Blog, as their 7th example of “fake news.” Please take a few moments to read their sensationalistic description of our “Russian propaganda.” Please contrast that “reporting” and this also from The Washington Post, with the actual content of this article series.
FisherOfMen’s revealing 14-minute video, beginning with CIA Director Colby’s testimony to the US Senate for the 1975 Church Committee admitting the CIA directs corporate media how to lie to the American public with “fake news” (six similar videos here):
3-minute video of Dan Rather’s fake news from November 25, 1963 to sell the lie that President Kennedy’s fatal head shot caused “violent forward motion” opposite to the fact his head was violently hit to cause backward motion (hat tip What Really Happened):
Corporate media fakes us into wars that aren’t even close to lawful, are Orwellian illegal Wars of Aggression (1 of 14)
People around the world view the US as the greatest threat to peace; voted three times more dangerous than any other country. The data confirm this conclusion:
- Since WW2, Earth has had 248 armed conflicts. The US started 201 of them.
- These US-started armed attacks have killed ~30 million and counting; 90% of these deaths are innocent children, the elderly and ordinary working civilian women and men.
- The US has war-murdered more than Hitler’s Nazis.
Corporate media’s “fake news” representation of these US armed attacks omits the central fact:
US wars are Orwellian unlawful, not even close to legal, and in OBVIOUS violation of arguably the single most important law on planet Earth: armed attacks are illegal.
This is easy to document and prove, and obvious fact to anyone with an education in this area. Those of us working for peace are aware of zero attempts of refutation with anything like,
“War law states (a, b, c), so the wars are legal because (d, e, f).”
All we receive is easy-to-reveal bullshit.
This is powerfully revealing of the “fake news” Americans constantly receive. Following is a reprint of what I think is my most effective walkthrough for average Americans to fully understand this topic, and also from a professional academic paper I wrote and delivered for ~2,000 people at a 2015 Claremont Colleges’ international conference. And again, no colleague or I am aware of any attempt to refute these facts. Our experience is the same as the quote attributed to Gandhi at the start of this essay.
This essay contains further elements of this article series, but as the series are all connected issues, I’ll include the complete essay for readers who may find one single source as helpful:
Orwellian illegal US Wars of Aggression
“No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion.” ~ President Kennedy, June 10, 1963
I was inspired to write this essay by the following comment from an otherwise intelligent person:
“Therefore, while I can say it strongly appears U.S. wars are in violation of the treaties and therefore likely illegal, there is no way for myself to make that a legally binding finding and attach legal demands based upon it. I can make stuff up, but that won’t go over very well.”
From similar comments over time, I’ve made perhaps ten requests for this person to summarize war law in a sentence or two. So far, I’ve received only dodges avoiding this easy and essential citizen responsibility. This said, this isn’t the only individual who can’t summarize war law, and see that it’s meant to be as clear as:
- “stop sign” law for driving,
- a baseball rule, like the strike zone,
- a chore for one’s child at home, like taking out the trash.
Let’s look at these three examples compared to this comment, then review war law to see that its violation by US .01% “leaders” is as outrageous as one can imagine, not even close to legal, started on lies known to be false as they were told, and requiring immediate arrests to stop an obvious crime war-murdering millions, harming billions, and looting trillions.
To give you the punch line now for clarity of what war law states, and without disagreement our colleagues and I are aware of from anyone who points to the law with explanation:
Unless a nation can justify its military use as self-defense from armed attack from a nation’s government that is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation,” all other acts of war are unlawful. The legal definition of “self-defense” ends when the attack terminates. In general legal definition, no party is allowed use of force under the justification of “self-defense” if the law can be applied for redress and remedy.
This is the same as if you’re walking down the street: nobody can attack you unless, and only unless, you attack first or are an imminent threat (pulling a knife and raving, etc.). And if you are attacked, once law enforcement takes the case any attack on your part is the crime of retribution fully prosecuted against you.
Example 1: Stop sign law:
In general, law is meant to be crystal-clear so as to help produce a desired result. Traffic law is meant to make driving as safe and efficient as possible, with California stop sign law as a perfect example:
“An 8-sided red STOP sign indicates that you must make a full “STOP” whenever you see this sign. Stop at the white limit line (a wide white line painted on the street) or before entering the crosswalk. If a limit line or crosswalk is not painted on the street, stop before entering the intersection. Check traffic in all directions before proceeding.”
There’s more that could be said about this law, but this is enough as we all have personal experience of what this law means.
Now imagine this scenario:
In your residential neighborhood with a 25 mph speed limit, you have a stop sign one house away. Your child attends the elementary school down the street, and you know that children have been hit by cars on this street. One day you observe at 7 AM a red Toyota truck speed through that stop sign ~40 mph, and at 5 PM he speeds through the other way. As you watch, horrified this has happened twice, you see your next-door neighbor has also observed this. You walk over:
You: Did you see that?! I saw that same truck do that this morning; just blow by that stop sign, and speeding!
Neighbor: Yeah. I’ve seen it the last three weekdays, morning and evening. Same truck, same driver, same speed, never even slows down.
You: Have you called the police? Let’s stop this!
Neighbor: While I can say it strongly appears this driver is in violation of the law and therefore likely illegal, there is no way for myself to make that a legally binding finding and attach legal demands based upon it. I can make stuff up, but that won’t go over very well.
You: Are you joking?
Neighbor: No. I take neighborhood safely seriously. Because he’s seen me, he threw this note at me yesterday. Well, it was attached to a brick that missed me and went through my windshield. But anyway, this is what the note says:
“My driving is legal because:
- I have white decals on my vehicle, and have extra driving privileges.
- My wife is pregnant. Emergencies change everything. I must use emergency “enhanced driving techniques.”
- It’s pretty well confirmed you’re in communication with Al-Qaeda terrorists, so I’m acting in legal self-defense before you attack again.”
Neighbor: What? While I can say it strongly appears this driver is in violation of the law and therefore likely illegal, there is no way for myself to make that a legally binding finding and attach legal demands based upon it. I can make stuff up, but that won’t go over very well.
You: Ok, let’s look. First: his truck doesn’t have those white stickers, plus it’s irrelevant for speeding through a stop sign. Second: if he drives like this every day AND both ways that has nothing to do with a pregnant wife. And the last one, seriously, are you going to take that shit that you’re the cause of his speeding because you’re some evil terrorist?!
I could go on, but you get the points about this neighbor within the limits of an analogy:
- No demonstrated understanding of this law.
- Need of greater voice for responsible citizenship.
Example 2: baseball’s strike zone
Scenario: You attend your son’s high school baseball game with about 100 other adults and students in your team’s stands. Your same neighbor is at the game with you, with his son at bat. The pitcher delivers a pitch ten feet over everyone’s head to the backstop. The umpire calls, “Strike one!” You, in shock, attempt to ask your neighbor if you heard correctly. As you begin talking, the pitcher’s second pitch is tossed to their team’s manager in the dugout:
Umpire: Strike two!
You: This game is rigged!
Neighbor: While I can say it strongly appears those pitches are outside the strike zone and therefore likely balls, there is no way for myself to make that a binding finding and attach demands based upon it. I can make stuff up, but that won’t go over very well.
You: Dude! The first one was over everyone’s heads by 10 feet! The second is a joke!
(as we talk, the pitcher delivers the third pitch: rolling it to the third baseman and smirking at the “umpire” calling, “Strike three!”)
Neighbor: (loudly encouraging to son) Next time, next time, son! You’ll have to swing at one of those to have a chance!
Let’s do some analysis:
- Again, your neighbor shows no understanding of the law.
- Your neighbor is at risk of being a sucker to whatever consequences might come from such ignorance.
Of course, because Americans take sports law sooooo seriously (and here), many of the 100 fans would be on the field to stop the game after the second pitch, and would never ever ever ever allow a game they cared about to be destroyed by Orwellian “umpires.”
Example 3: taking out the trash
Scenario: Your son has a chore to take out the trash before he goes to bed each night. One morning before school, you notice the trash wasn’t taken out last night. Your son comes downstairs.
You: Son, you didn’t take out the trash last night.
Son: C’mon Dad: while you can say it strongly appears the trash is in violation of the agreement and therefore likely illegal, there is no way for you to make that a binding finding and attach demands based upon it. You can make stuff up, but that won’t go over very well.
You: (blinking twice, indicating with body language that your son now has your full attention)
Son: (recognizing this bullshit isn’t working, clears his throat) Besides, taking the trash out is a relative term. If it’s out, then relative to that location, inside the house is outside of that domain. If the trash is in, it’s already outside the domain of out!
(placing his hand in mock sincerity upon my shoulder) Dad, America needs clear laws and enforceable laws, not the arbitrary stop you’re making of my morning in lawless arbitrary demand. It’s up to our household legislation to plug loopholes; it’s the duty of the family to understand what needs to be done and demand it.
Fair laws, clear laws, enforceable laws.
Don’t be a preening weenie, Dad.
You: You’re joking, right?
Son: Not at all. I take household responsibilities very seriously. Very seriously.
You: (pursing lips and nodding) Anything else you’d like to add to your explanation?
Son: Yes. The rule states that the trash go out before I “go to bed.” I never went to bed last night. I had a “temporary emergency bailout of consciousness” distinct from “going to bed.” So, technically, I won’t be in violation until I actually “go to bed.” And this state of emergency might need to be continued indefinitely. Oh, and I still stand on my point that given the ambiguity of the rule with in and out, neither one of us can determine any violation of law.
You: Son, laws are meant to be clear; this one is. Your first excuse has to destroy known and agreed terms of in and out to pretend the law is unclear. Your second excuse again destroys a definition of an essential part of the law, then, as the first excuse, attempts to bullshit your way to willfully destroy clear law. This bullshit includes rhetoric of caring about responsibility, a need for clear laws, and justice.
The law is simple: (pointing to trash) That is inside the house. It needs to go outside to the trash container (pointing) every night. Nobody is confused by this.
How did you get this wild idea?
Son: (snapping out of his experiment with psychopathy): My baseball teammate and neighbor uses it on his dad all the time. He says it works. Thanks for not being played, Dad. That’s the type of man I want to be!
War law is as clear as our three examples:
War law is just as easy to understand as “stop sign law,” and far easier than most sports laws, such as when a football punt is or is not legal, or baseball’s “infield fly” rule. Because everyday people care enough to know traffic law and sports rules, the idea of knowing war law can be accomplished by refreshing what you’ve already learned by reading this article (and confirming its accuracy as needed).
War law, as we’re about to document and prove, is clear and helpful for the outcome of denying military armed attack as a foreign policy. This is an outcome 95%+ of humanity agree is desirable, especially after all our families’ awful sacrifices through two world wars.
Conversely, war-mongers for empire will do their best to be silent about war law, lie that it’s so unclear that any dictatorial claim of “self-defense” is valid, and take every evasive maneuver imaginable for the public (especially military and law enforcement) to never understand war law and/or never recognize how US wars are Orwellian unlawful.
Again: what war law states, and without disagreement our colleagues and I are aware of from anyone who points to the law with explanation:
Unless a nation can justify its military use as self-defense from armed attack from a nation’s government that is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation,” all other acts of war are unlawful. The legal definition of “self-defense” ends when the attack terminates. In general legal definition, no party is allowed use of force under the justification of “self-defense” if the law can be applied for redress and remedy.
That’s the letter of the law. The intent is soooo strongly worded in both relevant treaties, as you’ll see, and is simply to end the scourge of wars chosen by governments as foreign policy (in historical context of empires looting the world for resources: natural and human).
Our condition today is of OBVIOUSLY unlawful Wars of Aggression (and started with lies known to false as they were told), as the facts to follow clearly demonstrate for anyone caring to look and apply basic high school-level of education already learned.
Importantly, Left and Right “leaders” and corporate media, including Clinton and Trump, will never ever ever ever ever remind us that war is illegal, with current wars in Orwellian opposition.
The appropriate “vote” of We the People for this presidential election is “No” for more illegal war, and “Yes” to stop the wars and arrest those who orchestrated them. Without public demand, these illegal wars will only continue.
The following is from my paper for the 2015 Claremont Colleges’ conference, Seizing an Alternative Toward an Ecological Civilization reframed for our three specific points in this essay. Importantly, colleagues and I working on this topic are unaware of any refutation that the US wars are illegal. That is, we’ve never encountered anyone in person or in writing who points to the law and argues: “War law means (a, b, c), so the US wars are legal because (d, e, f).” If any reader has found any such argument, please share it with me.
Accurately and confidently know the law
Unlawful Wars of Aggression: The US/UK/Israel “official story” is that current wars are lawful because they are “self-defense.” The Emperor’s New Clothes fact here is that “self-defense” means something quite narrow and specific in war law, and US/UK/Israel armed attacks on so many nations in current and past wars are not even close to the definition of “self-defense.”
Addressing three nations and several wars again seems ambitious for one academic paper, and again, these are all simple variations of one method:
- Ignore war law.
- Lie to blame the victim and claim “self-defense.”
- “Officials” and corporate media never state the Emperor’s New Clothes simple and obvious facts of war law and war lies.
Proving unlawful wars with massive deception is easier when the scope is broadened to see the same elements in three cases.
Importantly, a nation can use military, police, and civilians in self-defense from any attack upon the nation. This is similar to the legal definition of “self-defense” for you or I walking down the street: we cannot attack anyone unless either under attack or imminent threat. And, if under attack, we can use any reasonable force in self-defense, including lethal.
Two world wars begat two treaties to end nations’ armed attacks forever. They are crystal-clear in content and context:
- Kellogg-Briand Pact (General treaty for renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy as official title)
- United Nations Charter.
Both are listed in the US State Department’s annual publication, Treaties in Force (2013 edition pages 466 and 493).
Article Six of the US Constitution defines a treaty as US “supreme Law of the Land;” meaning that US policy may only complement an active treaty, and never violate it.
This is important because all of us with Oaths to the US Constitution are sworn to honorably refuse all unlawful war orders; military officers are sworn to arrest those who issue them. Indeed, we suffer criminal dishonor if we obey orders for armed attack when they are not “self-defense,” and family dishonor to so easily reject the legal victory won from all our families’ sacrifices through two world wars.
Treaty 1. Kellogg-Briand: General treaty for renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy:
The legal term renounce means to surrender access; that is, to remove that which is renounced as lawful option. This active treaty (page 466 “Renunciation of War”), usually referenced as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, states:
The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.
The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.”
So, in the most clear framing of a rule as possible, the first two parts of the treaty state “never war” and “always peace” to resolve conflicts.
Treaty 2. United Nations Charter:
It’s helpful to understand what the UN is not. The only area of legal authority of the UN is security/use of force; all other areas are advise for individual nation’s legislature’s consideration. The UN is not global government. It is a global agreement to end wars of choice outside of a very narrow legal definition of national self-defense against another nation’s armed attack.
The preamble of the United Nations includes to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and… to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used…”
The UN purpose includes: “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace…”
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter…
Article 24: In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.
Article 25: The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.
- The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.
- The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.
Article 37: Should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in Article 33 fail to settle it by the means indicated in that Article, they shall refer it to the Security Council.
Article 39: The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Article 40: In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable.
Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the judicial branch of the UN. Their definition of “armed attack” is by a nation’s government. Because the leadership of the CIA and FBI both reported that they had no evidence the Afghan government had any role in the 9/11 terrorism, the US is unable to claim Article 51 protection for military action in Afghanistan (or Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Iran [here, here, here], Russia, or claims about ISIS or Khorasans). The legal classification of what happened on 9/11 is an act of terrorism, a criminal act, not an armed attack by another nation’s government.
The US use of force oversees could be a legal application of Article 51 if, and only if, the US could meet the burden of proof of an imminent threat that was not being responded to by the Security Council. To date, the US has not made such an argument.
American Daniel Webster helped create the legal definition of national self-defense in the Caroline Affair as “necessity of that self-defence is instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” The US attack on Afghanistan came nearly a month after the 9/11 terrorism. Article 51 only allows self-defense until the Security Council takes action; which they did in two Resolutions beginning the day after 9/11 (1368 and 1373) claiming jurisdiction in the matter.
In conclusion, unless a nation can justify its military use as self-defense from armed attack from a nation’s government that is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation,” all other acts of war are unlawful. The legal definition of “self-defense” ends when the attack terminates. In general legal definition, no party is allowed use of force under the justification of “self-defense” if the law can be applied for redress and remedy.
Another area to clarify is the US 1973 War Powers Act (WPA). The authorization by Congress for US presidential discretion for military action in Afghanistan and Iraq references WPA. This act, in response to the Vietnam War, reframes the Founders’ intent of keeping the power of war in the hands of Congress. It also expressly limits the president to act within US treaty obligations; the principle treaty of use of war being the UN Charter.
This means that presidential authority as commander-in-chief must always remain within the limitations of the UN Charter to be lawful orders. It’s not enough for Congress to authorize use of force; that force must always and only be within the narrow legal definition of self-defense clearly explained in the UN Charter. Of course, we can anticipate that if a government wanted to engage in unlawful war today, they would construct their propaganda to sell the war as “defensive.” The future of humanity to be safe from the scourge of war is therefore dependent upon our collective ability to discern lawful defensive wars from unlawful Wars of Aggression covered in BS–Emperor’s New Clothes claims of self-defense.
Governments have been vicious killers over the last 100 years, using “self-defense” to justify their wars. The US has started 201 foreign armed attacks since WW2, causing the world’s peoples to conclude in polling that the US is indeed #1 as the most threatening nation to world peace. These US-started armed attacks have killed ~30 million and counting; 90% of these deaths are innocent children, the elderly and ordinary working civilian women and men. These US armed attacks have war-murdered more than Hitler’s Nazis, and continue a long history of lie-began US Wars of Aggression.
The most decorated US Marine general in his day warned all Americans of this fact of lie-started wars, and W. Bush’s Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, chided Pulitzer-winning journalist, Ron Suskind, that government will continue with such actions to “create our own reality” no matter what anyone else might say.
The first round of US current wars, the attack of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, continues this history as a deliberate act of unlawful war, not defense that was “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” The burden of proof the US would have to provide is imminent threat of another attack in order to justify self-defense. US Ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, in his letter to the UN Security Council invoking Article 51 for the attack upon Afghanistan mentions only “ongoing threat;” which does not satisfy this burden of proof.
Article 51 requires self-defensive war coming from an attack by a nation’s government, which the CIA and FBI refute in the case of the Afghan government with the terrorism on 9/11. Self-defense ends when the attack ends. The US war began four weeks after 9/11 ended; making the US war one of choice and not defense. Article 51 ends self-defense claims when the UN Security Council acts. Resolution 1373 provides clear language of international cooperation and justice under the law, with no authorization of force.
This evidence doesn’t require the light of the UN Charter’s spirit of its laws, but I’ll add it: humanity rejected war as a policy option and requires nations to cooperate for justice under that law. The US has instead embraced and still embraces war with its outcomes of death, misery, poverty, and fear expressly against the wishes of humanity and the majority of Americans. These acts are clearly unlawful and should be refused and stopped by all men and women in military, government and law enforcement.
Some war liars argue that UN Security Council Resolution 687 from 1991 authorizes resumption of force from the previous Gulf War. This resolution declared a formal cease-fire; which means exactly what it says: stop the use of force. The resolution was declared by UNSC and held in their jurisdiction; that is, no individual nation has authority to supersede UNSC’s power to continue or change the status of the cease-fire. The idea that the US and/or UK can authorize use of force under a UNSC cease-fire is as criminal as your neighbor shooting one of your family members and claiming that because police have authority to shoot dangerous people he can do it.
The categories of crime for armed attacks outside US treaty limits of law are:
- Wars of Aggression (the worst crime a nation can commit),
- Treason for lying to US military, ordering unlawful attack and invasions of foreign lands, and causing thousands of US military deaths.
All 27 UK Foreign Affairs Department attorneys concluded Iraq war is unlawful: I wrote in 2010:
“All the lawyers in the UK’s Foreign Affairs Department concluded the US/UK invasion of Iraq was an unlawful War of Aggression. Their expert advice is the most qualified to make that legal determination; all 27 of them were in agreement. This powerful judgment of unlawful war follows the Dutch government’s recent unanimous report and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s clear statements.
“This stunning information was disclosed at the UK Chilcot inquiry by the testimony of Foreign Affairs leading legal advisor, Sir Michael Wood, who added that the reply from Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office to his legal department’s professional work was chastisement for putting their unanimous legal opinion in writing.
“Sir Michael testified that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw preferred to take the legal position that the laws governing war were vague and open to broad interpretation: “He took the view that I was being very dogmatic and that international law was pretty vague and that he wasn’t used to people taking such a firm position.”
“UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith testified he “changed his mind” against the unanimous legal opinion of all 27 of the Foreign Office attorneys to agree with the US legal argument that UN Security Council Resolution 1441 authorized use of force at the discretion of any nation’s choice. This testimony is also criminally damning: arguing that an individual nation has the right to choose war violates the purpose, letter and spirit of the UN Charter, as well as violates 1441 that reaffirms jurisdiction of the Security Council in governance of the issue. This Orwellian argument contradicts the express purpose of the Charter to prevent individual nations from engaging in wars.
“Moreover, the US and UK “legal argument” is in further Orwellian opposition to their UN Ambassadors’ statements when 1441 was passed that this did not authorize any use of force:
“John Negroponte, US Ambassador to the UN:
[T]his resolution contains no “hidden triggers” and no “automaticity” with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12.
“Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK Ambassador to the UN:
We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about “automaticity” and “hidden triggers” — the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response… There is no “automaticity” in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12.
“The Chilcot inquiry was initiated from public outrage against UK participation in the Iraq War, with public opinion having to engage a second time to force hearings to become public rather than closed and secret. The hearings were not authorized to consider criminal charges, which is the next battle for UK public opinion.”
The UN Charter is the principle law to end wars; designed by the US to produce that result. That said, West Point Grads Against the War have further legal arguments of all the violations of war from US attack and invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, including further analysis of the UN Charter and expert supporting testimony. Another resource for documentation and analysis is David Swanson’s War is a Crime. Ironically, Americans would never allow a favorite sport such as baseball or football to be similarly destroyed by such Emperor’s New Clothes lies to those rules/laws.
Lawful war analysis: Negroponte’s letter invokes a legal Charter Article of self-defense in contrast with the loss of over 3,000 lives on 9/11. The letter portends legal evidence of al-Qaeda’s “central role” in the attacks and claims military response is appropriate because of al-Qaeda’s ongoing threat and continued training of terrorists. This reasoning argues for a reinterpretation of self-defense to include pre-emptive attack while lying in omission that such an argument is tacit agreement of current action being outside the law.
Importantly, after accurately defining “self-defense” in war, the JAG authors/attorneys explicitly state on page 6 that war is illegal unless a nation is under attack from another nation’s government, or can provide evidence of imminent threat of such attack:
“Anticipatory self-defense, whether labeled anticipatory or preemptive, must be distinguished from preventive self-defense. Preventive self-defense—employed to counter non-imminent threats—is illegal under international law.”
However, despite the US Army’s law handbook’s accurate disclosure of the legal meaning of “self-defense” in war, they then ignore this meaning to claim “self-defense” as a lawful reason for US wars without further explanation (details here).
President George Washington’s Farewell Address, the culmination of his 45 years of political experience, warned of the primary threat to America as “the impostures of pretended patriotism” from people within our own government who would destroy Constitutional limits in order to obtain tyrannical power:
“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.”
Young Abraham Lincoln wrote eloquently to defend the US Constitution from unlawful tyrants within our own government. In Congress, he spoke powerfully and truthfully that the President’s claims for armed attack and invasion of a foreign country were lies. Although war-mongers slurred Lincoln’s name at the time, history proved him correct in asserting the President of the US was a war-mongering liar:
“I carefully examined the President’s messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and proved upon the point. The result of this examination was to make the impression, that taking for true, all the President states as facts, he falls far short of proving his justification; and that the President would have gone farther with his proof, if it had not been for the small matter, that the truth would not permit him… Now I propose to try to show, that the whole of this, — issue and evidence — is, from beginning to end, the sheerest deception.”
Lincoln also wrote that “pre-emptive” wars were lies, and “war at pleasure.”
Those of us working to end these illegal Wars of Aggression have found zero refutations of our documentation that address war law. All we’ve ever found are denial and unsubstantiated claims of “self-defense” while having to lie about the legal limits in that term.
Note: other sections of that paper may be useful that just as clearly demonstrate Israel’s illegal war on Gaza, criminally complicit corporate media to “cover” these crimes, all “reasons” for these wars were known to be false as they were told, and the fundamental fraud of creating what is used for money as debt.
Demand arrests of Left and Right .01% US “leaders” because the wars are not even close to lawful
Therefore, We the People have an obvious solution: lawful arrests of .01% “leaders” for the most egregious crimes centering in war and lies to start them.
This is a 1st Amendment responsibility to maintain our constitutional republic under law rather than what we’ve become with war: “leaders” dictating/saying what we can do completely removed from limitations of the law. Left and Right .01% “leaders” completely violate the rules, and only from public ignorance with corporate media propaganda.
The categories of crime include:
- Wars of Aggression (the worst crime a nation can commit).
- Likely treason for lying to US military, ordering unlawful attack and invasions of foreign lands, and causing thousands of US military deaths.
- Crimes Against Humanity for ongoing intentional policy of poverty that’s killed over 400 million human beings just since 1995 (~75% children; more deaths than from all wars in Earth’s recorded history).
- Looting trillions, such as the Department of “Defense” claiming to have “lost” $6.5 trillion.
US military, law enforcement, responsible citizens, and all with Oaths to support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, face an endgame choice:
- Demand arrests, with those with lawful authority to enact it. An arrest is the lawful action to stop apparent crimes, with the most serious crimes documented here meaning the most serious need for arrests.
- Watch the US escalate its rogue state crimes that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions.
How military and law enforcement choose to honor their Oaths in creative adaptation to the rogue state is up to them. We the People can help with our educated voices in this Emperor’s New Clothes environment whereby these crimes only persist from public ignorance.
In just 90 seconds, former US Marine Ken O’Keefe powerfully states how you may choose to voice “very obvious solutions”: arrest the criminal leaders (video starts at 20:51, then finishes this episode of Cross Talk):
Our condition requiring YOUR voice is what Benjamin Franklin predicted would be the eventual outcome of the United States. On September 18, 1787, just after signing the US Constitution, Ben met with members of the press. He was asked what kind of government America would have. Franklin warned: “A republic, if you can keep it.” In his speech to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin admonished:
“This [U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism… when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” – The Quotable Founding Fathers, pg. 39.
These warnings extend to all social science teachers of the present:
“As educators in the field of history–social science, we want our students to… understand the value, the importance, and the fragility of democratic institutions. We want them to realize that only a small fraction of the world’s population (now or in the past) has been fortunate enough to live under a democratic form of government.” – History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, pgs. 2, 7-8
Do you have the intellectual integrity and moral courage to at least act with the honesty of a child to speak the Emperor’s New Clothes truth? Remember, I’m just asking you to use your voice in a democratic republic to ask US military and various law enforcement to honor their Oaths and do the job we pay them for: protect and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There is no greater enemy than those committing treason to war-murder US military by lying them into invasive illegal Wars of Aggression.
The converse argument is that US military and law enforcement should not enforce our most important laws, especially not those that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions. Of course, this argument is Orwellian.
Cause a lawful end to the dictatorial US rogue state
In conclusion, this essay has reminded you of what you already know: laws are meant to be simple and helpful, what you’ve suspected about the wars is demonstrated as true with a few clear facts, and that your voice is essential if we are to maintain our republic from devolving into dictatorship (literally being dictated/told what the rules are rather than knowing them ourselves).
To remind you of other history that demonstrates this has been an ongoing problem of what is most accurately described as a rogue state: a “top ten” list of state crimes supporting today’s arrests in a constitutional republic:
- Introduction to define ‘rogue state’ as perfect match with US illegal Wars of Aggression, Crimes Against Humanity, dictatorial government
- The US violated ~600 treaties with Native Americans to steal Native American land. A treaty is signed by a US President, approved by 2/3 vote of the US Senate, and under Article VI of the US Constitution becomes US “supreme Law.” These ongoing “in your face” violations of “supreme Law” became the precedent to typical hypocritical and unlawful US policies of the present.
- US President Polk lied to Congress (with their approval) to initiate War of Aggression on Mexico. The result was the US illegally stealing 40% of Mexico in 1848. Congress opposed Abraham Lincoln’s crystal-clear explanation as a member of Congress that the Adams-Onís Treaty placed the so-called “border dispute” 400 miles within land forever promised to Mexico and forever promised as outside any US claim.
- The US violated our treaty with Hawaii and stole their country in 1898.
- The US reneged on promises of freedom after the Spanish American War to impose colonialism on the Philippines, and install US-friendly dictators in Cuba. US military slaughtered resisters, calling them yesterday’s version of “terrorists.”
- The US entered WW1 upon no national security threat to the US, and imprisoned the 3rd party presidential candidate for challenging “official reasons” for war.
- The CIA had several covert wars; perhaps most important in today’s context of war on Iran: “Operation Ajax” that overthrew Iran’s democracy and installed a US-friendly and brutal dictator. When that dictator was overthrown and Iran refused another, the US aided Iraq to unlawfully invade and attack Iran from 1980-1988; killing up to a million Iranians. If the US lied and acted twice to unlawfully overthrew Iran’s democracy within many of our own lifetimes, shouldn’t we assume first another lie-started unlawful war today?
- The Vietnam War followed US permission to cancel the election to unify the country. The US stopped democracy to keep a friendly government, and perhaps to have ongoing live weapons testing and development. War escalated with the Gulf of Tonkin incident, deliberate provocation to manipulate a false-flag event for “defensive” war.
- Perhaps most disturbing is the King Family civil suit that found the US government guilty in the assassination of Dr. King (and here). Corporate media, including our text publishers, omit this history. The King family’s conclusion is that Martin was assassinated to prevent his “Occupy DC” plan beginning for the summer of 1968 to end his version of today’s wars.
- We now know from Congressional reports that all “reasons” for war with Iraq were known to be false as they were told.
- The two “reasons” for war with Iran are as false as the “reasons” for war with Iraq: Iran never threatened Israel, and Iran’s nuclear energy and medicine programs are IAEA-verified as completely safe and lawful.
If We the People don’t speak, we will have more of the same.
And if We the People speak simply and confidently, we’ll win this contest.
Victory for a future brighter than we can imagine can and will happen in an Emperor’s New Clothes moment when We the People apply basic education to what matters most.
More war is planned and propagandized if you do not speak
Two minutes of retired General Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO:
Video evidence of psychopathic lying to incite war-murders of Iranians:
A Call for Truth & Reconciliation, and minions of evil to reclaim their hearts and humanity
For those involved in support of US government-sponsored disinformation and massive crimes that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions of the 99%’s dollars, I invite you to consider the quality of human relationships you wish to work for in creating your/our future.
National security and a brighter future is not a function of fear, manipulation, and psychopathic control. Our best security follows cooperation, justice under the law, dignity, and freedom. Surely you recognize that all promised natural rights in America are now gone, and the 99.99% are herded by the .01% as their work animals.
Working for your best imagined self-expression of virtue may include a unique contribution from the inside of your agency. You, as Darth Vader and Professor Snape in fictions that are popular for strong resonance to a real story we all want told, can reclaim your hearts and honor to be our heroes.
Truly, aren’t you ready now to re-embrace love and honor as your path?
Please consider the wisdom of a “Scrooge conversion” to act for the benefit of all humanity rather than your self-proclaimed loveless “masters.” From Dickens’ 1843 text:
“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”
4-minute video of Darth Vader’s choice to serve love, family, and community rather than vicious psychopathic hatred:
Public attraction to the stories of Star Wars and the Harry Potter books/movies recognize that our society’s jump to civilized relations for all of us might require support from people within the “dark side” acting as covert agents for building a brighter future.
Both Darth Vader (see video) and Professor Snape realized they were only tools of powers above them, things to be manipulated rather than sentient beings of free will. The severest irony is they both recognized their service to the “dark side” included deaths of their loved-ones and even themselves whenever convenient to their “masters.” That was Snape’s ending, although his path was taken with honor to infiltrate the darkness (4-minute video):
But that should be an obvious conclusion to those working in the real-world version of these analogies. We see it in the macro picture of millions killed every year through war and poverty, and in micro with individuals who we know.
For years, I have recommended Truth and Reconciliation to exchange full truth and return of public assets for no prosecution and a guaranteed provided comfortable retirement. Indeed, I am prepared to speak on the .01%’s corporate media to present this option with full confidence it is the most efficient in ending the crimes and avoiding a violent end-game as the .01% are recognized for who they really are by the 99.99%.
“Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans to gain or maintain power…What is more, those who choose not to empathize may enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it through our own apathy…If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” – J. K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement, June 5, 2008.
Minions to the evil .01%: does this 1-minute video artistically represent your memories, too?
Will you continue to defend your loveless and psychopathic “masters,” or reclaim your hearts and humanity for the Everyday People these .01% annually kill in the millions, harm in the billions, and loot by the trillions of dollars? Playing For Change’s artistic 3-minutes:
Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.
Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu
Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).