Monday, February 20, 2017

Russian ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin dies (SPECIAL COVERAGE)





Vitaly Churkin, who served as Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations since 2006, "died suddenly" in New York, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.



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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Stakes for Trump and All of Us Pau/l Craig Roberts

The Stakes for Trump and All of Us — Paul Craig Roberts
February 18, 2017


The Stakes for Trump and All of Us

Paul Craig Roberts

We need to understand, and so does President Trump, that the hoax “war on terror” was used to transform intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and CIA, and criminal investigative agencies, such as the FBI, into Gestapo secret police agencies. Trump is now threatened by these agencies, because he rejects the neoconservative’s agenda of US world hegemony that supports the gigantic military/security annual budget.

Our secret police agencies are busy at work planting “intelligence” among the presstitute media that Trump is compromised by “Russian connections” and is a security threat to the United States. The plan is to make a case in the media, as was done against President Nixon, and to force Trump from office. To openly take on a newly elected president is an act of extraordinary audacity that implies enormous confidence, or else desperation, on the part of the police state agencies.

Here you can see CNN openly cooperating with the CIA in treating wild and irresponsible speculation that Trump is under Russian influence as if it is an established fact. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46476.htm

The “evidence” provided by CNN and the CIA is a “report” by the New York Times that, with little doubt, was planted in the NYT by the CIA.

This is so obvious that it is clear that CNN and the CIA regard the American people as so gullible as to be completely stupid.

Glenn Greenwald explains to Amy Goodman that the CIA is after Trump, because Trump’s announced policy of reducing the dangerous tensions with Russia conflicts with the military/security complex’s need for a major enemy.

“The deep state, although there’s no precise or scientific definition, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they’re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they’re subject to it at all. It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads. This is who not just people like Bill Kristol, but lots of Democrats are placing their faith in, are trying to empower, are cheering for as they exert power separate and apart from—in fact, in opposition to—the political officials to whom they’re supposed to be subordinate.

“And you go—this is not just about Russia. You go all the way back to the campaign, and what you saw was that leading members of the intelligence community, including Mike Morell, who was the acting CIA chief under President Obama, and Michael Hayden, who ran both the CIA and the NSA under George W. Bush, were very outspoken supporters of Hillary Clinton. In fact, Michael Morell went to The New York Times, and Michael Hayden went to The Washington Post, during the campaign to praise Hillary Clinton and to say that Donald Trump had become a recruit of Russia. The CIA and the intelligence community were vehemently in support of Clinton and vehemently opposed to Trump, from the beginning. And the reason was, was because they liked Hillary Clinton’s policies better than they liked Donald Trump’s. One of the main priorities of the CIA for the last five years has been a proxy war in Syria, designed to achieve regime change with the Assad regime. Hillary Clinton was not only for that, she was critical of Obama for not allowing it to go further, and wanted to impose a no-fly zone in Syria and confront the Russians. Donald Trump took exactly the opposite view. He said we shouldn’t care who rules Syria; we should allow the Russians, and even help the Russians, kill ISIS and al-Qaeda and other people in Syria. So, Trump’s agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted. Clinton’s was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they’ve been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him. There’s claims that they’re withholding information from him, on the grounds that they don’t think he should have it and can be trusted with it. They are empowering themselves to enact policy.

“Now, I happen to think that the Trump presidency is extremely dangerous. You just listed off in your news—in your newscast that led the show, many reasons. They want to dismantle the environment. They want to eliminate the safety net. They want to empower billionaires. They want to enact bigoted policies against Muslims and immigrants and so many others. And it is important to resist them. And there are lots of really great ways to resist them, such as getting courts to restrain them, citizen activism and, most important of all, having the Democratic Party engage in self-critique to ask itself how it can be a more effective political force in the United States after it has collapsed on all levels. That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it. And yet that’s what so many, not just neocons, but the neocons’ allies in the Democratic Party, are now urging and cheering. And it’s incredibly warped and dangerous to watch them do that.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46476.htm

The United States is now in the extraordinary situation that the liberal/progressive/left is allied with the deep state against democracy. The liberal/progressive/left are lobbying for the impeachment of a president who has committed no impeachable offense. The neoconservatives have stated their preference for a deep state coup against democracy. The media obliges with a constant barrage of lies, innuendos and disinformation. The insouciant American public sits there sucking its thumb.

What can Trump do? He can clean out the intelligence agencies and terminate their license granted by Bush and Obama to conduct unconstitutional activities. He can use anti-trust to breakup the media conglomerates that Clinton allowed to form. If Bush and Obama can on their own authority subject US citizens to indefinite detention without due process and if Obama can murder suspect US citizens without due process of law, Trump can use anti-trust law to break up the media conglomerates that speak with one voice against him.

At this point Trump has no alternative but to fight. He can take down the secret police agencies and the presstitute media conglomerates, or they will take him down. Dismissing Flynn was the worse thing to do. He should have kept Flynn and fired the “leakers” who are actively using disinformation against him. The NSA would have to know who the leakers are. Trump should clean out the corrupt NSA management and install officials who will identify the leakers. Then Trump should prosecute the leakers to the full extent of the law.

No president can survive secret police agencies determined to destroy him. If Trump’s advisers don’t know this, Trump desperately needs new advisers.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Is The NYT a Failed Newspaper Sustained By CIA Subsidies? by Stephen Lendman

Is The NYT a Failed Newspaper Sustained By CIA Subsidies?
February 16, 2017 

Is The NYT a Failed Newspaper Sustained By CIA Subsidies?

by Stephen Lendman


The Times represents pro-Hillary dark forces militantly against Trump – denigrating him relentlessly, featuring advocacy, not real journalism.

Daily feature stories vilify him, going way beyond justifiable criticism. The self-styled newspaper of record mocks fair and balanced reporting, absent on its pages.

It supports US imperial madness, neoliberal harshness harming the nation’s most vulnerable, and police state targeting of nonbelievers.

It’s gone all-out to delegitimize Trump, failed to prevent his electoral triumph, now on a rampage to weaken him irreparably, ideally wanting him removed from office – a coup d’etat by any standard if happens.

Urging improved relations with Russia, both nations cooperating in combating terrorism, became his achilles heel.

The Times exploits his vulnerability on this issue relentlessly. On Wednesday, it published fake news, citing four unnamed, clearly anti-Trump, current and former US officials, claiming his campaign aides had “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” – allegations without evidence proving them.

In a Thursday editorial, it called on “Congress to investigate Mr. Trump’s (alleged) ties to Russia.”

No indication of anything out of the ordinary cited. Nothing about wrongdoing. Big business operates in many countries, dealing with governments at times required. It’s standard practice.

Yet Times editors allege Trump “crossed the line,” posturing about a situation presented as being akin to Watergate and Iran-Contra. Nothing suggests it.

The issue is solely about Trump defeating Times favorite Hillary and wanting better relations with Russia, hoping he and Vladimir Putin can get along well.

That’s the so-called “line” he’s accused of crossing. The Times wants US adversarial relations kept unchanged – risking eventual confrontation if responsible action doesn’t change things.

The Times: “(M)embers of Mr. Trump’s campaign and inner circle were in repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials.”

False without evidence proving it, none presented!

The Times: “…Russia tried to destabilize and influence the 2016 presidential campaign.”

False! Again no evidence proves it – just baseless accusations without hard facts backing them. The scheme involves bashing Russia and delegitimizing Trump’s election.

The Times: “Congress (should) investigate what Moscow has been up to and whether people at the highest levels of the United States government have aided and abetted the interests of a nation that has tried to thwart American foreign policy since the Cold War.”

Fact: This type rubbish passes for Times journalism. The self-styled newspaper of record is a national disgrace, a malevolent force.

Calling for investigating so-called Trump ties to Russia reflects witch-hunt efforts to weaken and remove him from office.

He should be held accountable for continuing harmful domestic and foreign policies his predecessors began – real issues of concern, not fake ones regarding Russia.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

The Trump Presidency: RIP by Paul Craig Roberts

The Trump Presidency: RIP
February 16, 2017 





The Trump Presidency: RIP

Paul Craig Roberts


Has Donald Trump overestimated his presidential power? The answer is yes.

Is Steve Bannon, Trump’s main advisor, politically inexperienced? The answer is yes.


We can conclude from the answers to these two questions that Trump is in over his head and will pay a big price.


How large will the price be?


The New York Times reports that US “intelligence agencies…sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.”


Former National Security Agency (NSA) spy John Schindler tweeted on Twitter that a senior intelligence community colleague sent him an email stating that the deep state had declared nuclear war on Trump and that “He will die in jail.” https://sputniknews.com/us/201702151050723578-intelligence-community-war-trump/


It is possible that this will be the case.


At the end of World War II, the military/security complex decided that the flow of profits and power from war and threats of war were too great to be relinquished to an era of peace. This complex manipulated a weak and inexperienced President Truman into a gratuitous Cold War with the Soviet Union. The lie was created, and accepted by the gullible American people, that International Communism intended world conquest. This lie was transparant, because Stalin had purged and murdered Leon Trotsky and all communists who believed in world revolution. “Socialism in one country,” declared Stalin.


Academic experts, knowing where their bread was buttered, went along with and contributed to the deceit. By 1961 the overarching power of the military/security complex was apparent to President Eisenhower, a five star general in charge of the US invasion of German occupied Western Europe during the Second World War. The private power that the military/security complex (Eisenhower called it the military-industrial complex) exercised disturbed Ike so much that in his last address to the American people he said we must guard against its subversion of democracy:


“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.


“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.


“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.


“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”


Eisenhower’s warning was to the point. However, it relied on “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry,” which the US does not have. The American population is largely insoucient, and is heading, across the ideological spectrum from left to right, to self-destruction.


The print and TV media, which serve as propagandists for the ruling military/security complex and Wall Street elites, make certain that Americans have nothing but bogus orchestrated information. Every household and person who turns on TV or reads a newspaper is programed to live in a false orchestrated reality that serves the tiny few who comprise the ruling Establishment.


Trump challenged this Establishment without realizing that it is more powerful than a mere President of the United States.


This is what has happened: During Obama’s second term, Russia and its president were demonized by the military/security complex and the neoconservatives using the presstitute media. The demonization has facilitated the ability of the controlled presstitute media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest, to associate contact with Russia and articles questioning the orchestrated tensions between the US and Russia with suspicious activity, possibly even treason. Trump and his advisors were too inexperienced to realize that the consequence of Flynn’s dismissal was to validate this orchestrated association of the Trump presidency with Russian intelligence.


Now we have the media whores and the political whores asking the question used to blacken President Nixon and to force his resignation: “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Did Trump know that Gen. Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador weeks before Trump said he did? Did Flynn do the unspeakable—speak to a Russian—because Trump told him to do so?


The purveyors of fake news—the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the despicable liars are using irresponsible innuendo to entangle President Trump in a web of treason. Here is the New York Times headline: “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.” What we are witnessing is a campaign by the deep state using their media whores to set up Trump for impeachment.


Those at work overturning the 2016 presidential election are so confident of their success that they publicly declare their preference for coup over democracy. The zionist neoconservative warmonger Bill Kristol has expressed his preference for a deep state coup over democratically elected President Trump. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/15/bill-kristol-backs-deep-state-president-trump-republican-government/


The liberal/progressive/left has aligned with the One Percent against the “racist, misogynist, homophobic” working class—the “Trump deplorables”—who elected Trump. Even the uninformed muscian, Moby, felt compelled to post ignorant nonsense on Facebook:


“1-the russian dossier on trump is real. 100% real. he’s being blackmailed by the russian government, not just for being peed on by russian hookers, but for much more nefarious things.

2-the trump administration is in collusion with the russian government, and has been since day one.” 
https://www.facebook.com/mobymusic/photos/a.126687636107.103603.6028461107/10155085110276108/?type=3&theater

Now that Trump has been tainted with “associations with Russian intelligence,” the idiot Republicans, according to Bloomberg, have “joined calls by Democrats for a deeper look at contacts between President Donald Trump’s team and Russian intelligence agents Wednesday [Feb. 15], indicating a growing sense of political peril within the party as new reports surfaced of extensive contacts between the two.” https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-14/flynn-s-ouster-sparks-new-gop-calls-for-wider-russia-probe?cmpid=BBD021517_BIZ 


Of course, there is no evidence of such contacts, but facts are not part of the campaign to depose Trump.

Trump’s sacking of Flynn is being used as vindication by his opponents of their false charges that the President of the United States is compromised by Russian intelligence. Realizing the mistake, the White House has tried to counter its blunder by saying that Flynn was dismissed because Trump lost confidence in him, not because he did anything illegal or had connections to Russian intelligence. But none of Trump’s opponents are listening. And the CIA keeps feeding fake news to the presstitutes.


From the very beginning I warned that Trump lacked the experience and the knowledge to pick a government that would stand by him and serve his agenda. Trump has now fired the one person on whom he could have counted. The most obvious conclusion is that Trump is dead meat.


The effort of the American people to bring government back under their control via Trump has been defeated by the deep state.


Chris Hedges argument that revolution is the only way that Americans can reclaim their country continues to gain credibility.


The words that doomed Trump when he declared war before he had his army assembled:


“There is nothing the political establishment will not do, and no lie they will not tell, to hold on to their prestige and power at your expense. The Washington establishment, and the financial and media corporations that fund it, exists for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not We The People reclaim control over our government. The political establishment that is trying everything to stop us, is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled this country dry.


“The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries throughout the world. It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Under the Tories, UK Continues Its Descent Into Gestapo State

Under the Tories, UK Continues Its Descent Into Gestapo State

Courageous Ron Unz Wonders How John McCain Gets Away With It

Courageous Ron Unz Wonders How John McCain Gets Away With It



Courageous Ron Unz Wonders How John McCain Gets Away With It
John McCain: When “Tokyo Rose” Ran for President
by Ron Unz
What Was John McCain’s True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
With Sen. John McCain so much in the headlines these days due to his harsh criticism of the foreign policy positions of Donald Trump, a few people suggested that I republish my article from a couple of years ago exploring McCain’s own very doubtful military record.
Given the massive media coverage of rather fanciful allegations that the Russians are blackmailing Trump, perhaps similar resources should be devoted to investigating a much more plausible case of blackmail, and one that is far better documented.
Although the memory has faded in recent years, during much of the second half of the twentieth century the name “Tokyo Rose” ranked very high in our popular consciousness, probably second only to “Benedict Arnold” as a byword for American treachery during wartime. The story of Iva Ikuko Toguri, the young Japanese-American woman who spent her wartime years broadcasting popular music laced with enemy propaganda to our suffering troops in the Pacific Theater was well known to everyone, and her trial for treason after the war, which stripped her of her citizenship and sentenced her to a long prison term, made the national headlines.
The actual historical facts seem to have been somewhat different than the popular myth. Instead of a single “Tokyo Rose” there were actually several such female broadcasters, with Ms. Toguri not even being the earliest, and their identities merged in the minds of the embattled American GIs. But she was the only one ever brought to trial and punished, although her own radio commentary turned out to have been almost totally innocuous. The plight of a young American-born woman alone on a family visit who became trapped behind enemy lines by the sudden outbreak of war was obviously a difficult one, and desperately taking a job as an English-language music announcer hardly fits the usual notion of treason. Indeed, after her release from federal prison, she avoided deportation and spent the rest of her life quietly running a grocery shop in Chicago. Postwar Japan soon became our closest ally in Asia and once wartime passions had sufficiently cooled she was eventually pardoned by President Gerald Ford and had her U.S. citizenship restored.
Despite these extremely mitigating circumstances in Ms. Toguri’s particular case, we should not be too surprised at America’s harsh treatment of the poor woman upon her return home from Japan. All normal countries ruthlessly punish treason and traitors, and these terms are often expansively defined in the aftermath of a bitter war. Perhaps in a topsy-turvy Monty Python world, wartime traitors would be given medals, feted at the White House, and become national heroes, but any real-life country that allowed such insanity would surely be set on the road to oblivion. If Tokyo Rose’s wartime record had launched her on a successful American political career and nearly gave her the presidency, we would know for a fact that some cruel enemy had spiked our national water supply with LSD.
The political rise of Sen. John McCain leads me to suspect that in the 1970s some cruel enemy had spiked our national water supply with LSD.
 
My earliest recollections of John McCain are vague. I think he first came to my attention during the mid-1980s, perhaps after 1982 when he won an open Congressional seat in Arizona or more likely once he was elected in 1986 to the U.S. Senate seat of retiring conservative icon Barry Goldwater. All media accounts about him seemed strongly favorable, describing his steadfastness as a POW during more than five grim years of torture by his Vietnamese jailers, with the extent of his wartime physical suffering indicated by the famous photo showing him still on crutches as he was greeted by President Nixon many months after his return from enemy captivity. I never had the slightest doubts about this story or his war-hero status.

McCain’s public image took a beating at the end of the 1980s when he became one of the senators caught up in the Keating Five financial scandal, but he managed to survive that controversy unlike most of the others. Soon thereafter he became prominent as a leading national advocate of campaign finance reform, a strong pro-immigrant voice, and also a champion of normalizing our relations with Vietnam, positions that appealed to me as much as they did to the national media. By 2000 my opinion had become sufficiently favorable that I donated to his underdog challenge to Gov. George W. Bush in the Republican primaries of that year, and was thrilled when he did surprisingly well in some of the early contests and suddenly had a serious shot at the nomination. However, he then suffered an unexpected defeat in South Carolina, as the large block of local military voters swung decisively against him. According to widespread media reports, the main cause was an utterly scurrilous whispering campaign by Karl Rove and his henchmen, which even included appalling accusations that the great war-hero candidate had been a “traitor” in Vietnam. My only conclusion was that the filthy lies sometimes found in American politics were even worse than I’d ever imagined.
Although in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, I turned sharply against McCain due to his support for an extremely bellicose foreign policy, I never had any reason to question his background or his integrity, and my strong opposition to his 2008 presidential run was entirely on policy grounds: I feared his notoriously hot temper might easily get us into additional disastrous wars.
Everything suddenly changed in June 2008 when I read a long article by an unfamiliar writer on the leftist Counterpunch website. Shocking claims were made that McCain may never have been tortured and that he instead spent his wartime captivity collaborating with his captors and broadcasting Communist propaganda, a possibility that seemed almost incomprehensible to me given all the thousands of contrary articles that I had absorbed over the decades from the mainstream media. How could this one article on a small website be the truth about McCain’s war record and everything else be total falsehood? The evidence was hardly overwhelming, with the piece being thinly sourced and written in a meandering fashion by an obscure author, but the claims were so astonishing that I made some effort to investigate the matter, though without any real success.
However, those new doubts about McCain were still in my mind a few months later when I stumbled upon Sidney Schanberg’s massively documented expose about McCain’s role in the POW/MIA cover up, a vastly greater scandal. This time I was presented with a mountain of hard evidence gathered by one of America’s greatest wartime journalists, a Pulitzer Prize winning former top editor at The New York Times. In the years since then, other leading journalists have praised Schanberg’s remarkable research, now giving his conclusions the combined backing of four New York Times Pulitzer Prizes, while two former Republican Congressmen who had served on the Intelligence Committee have also strongly corroborated his account.
In 1993 the front page of the New York Times broke the story that a Politburo transcript found in the Kremlin archives fully confirmed the existence of the additional POWs, and when interviewed on the PBS Newshour former National Security Advisors Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted that the document was very likely correct and that hundreds of America’s Vietnam POWs had indeed been left behind. In my opinion, the reality of Schanberg’s POW story is now about as solidly established as anything can be that has not yet received an official blessing from the American mainstream media. And the total dishonesty of that media regarding both the POW story and McCain’s leading role in the later cover up soon made me very suspicious of all those other claims regarding John McCain’s supposedly heroic war record. Our American Pravda is simply not to be trusted on any “touchy” topics.
I have no personal knowledge of the Vietnam War myself nor do I possess expertise in that area of history. But after encountering Schanberg’s expose in 2008, I soon got in touch with someone having exactly those strengths, a Vietnam veteran who later became a professor at one of our military service academies. At first, he was quite cagey regarding the questions I raised, but once he had read through Schanberg’s lengthy article, he felt he could respond more freely and he largely confirmed the claims, partly based on certain information he personally possessed. He said he found it astonishing that in these days of the Internet the POW scandal had not attracted vastly more attention, and couldn’t understand why the media was so uniformly unwilling to touch the topic.
He also had some very interesting things to say about John McCain’s wartime record. According to him, it was hardly a secret in veterans’ circles that McCain had spent much of the war producing Communist propaganda broadcasts since these had regularly been played in the prisoner camps as a means of breaking the spirits of those American POWs who resisted collaboration. Indeed, he and some of his friends had speculated about who currently possessed copies of McCain’s damning audio and video tapes and wondered whether they might come out during the course of the presidential campaign. Over the years, other Vietnam veterans have publicly leveled similar charges, and Schanberg had speculated that McCain’s leading role in the POW cover up might have been connected with the pressure he faced due to his notorious wartime broadcasts.
In late September 2008 another fascinating story appeared in my morning New York Times. An intrepid reporter decided to visit Vietnam and see what McCain’s former jailers thought of the possibility that their onetime captive might soon reach the White House, that the man they had spent years brutally torturing could become the next president of the United States. To the journalist’s apparent amazement, the former jailers seemed enthusiastic about the prospects of a McCain victory, saying that they hoped he would win since they had become such good friends during the war and had worked so closely together; if they lived in America, they would certainly all vote for him. When asked about McCain’s claims of “cruel and sadistic” torture, the head of the guard unit dismissed those stories as being just the sort of total nonsense that politicians, whether in America or in Vietnam, must often spout in order to win popularity. A BBC correspondent reported the same statements.
Let us consider the implications of this story. Throughout his entire life John McCain has been notable for having a very violent temper and also for holding deep grudges. How plausible does it seem that the men who allegedly spent years torturing him would be so eager to see him reach a position of supreme world power?
But what about the famous photo, showing McCain still on crutches even months after his release from captivity? In early September 2008, someone discovered archival footage from a Swedish news crew which had filmed the return of the POWs, and uploaded it to YouTube. We see a healthy-looking John McCain walking off the plane from Vietnam, having a noticeable limp but certainly without any need of crutches. After returning home he had eventually entered Bethesda Naval Hospital for corrective surgery on some of his wartime injuries, and that recent American surgery was what explained his crutches in the photo with Nixon.

It is certainly acknowledged that considerable numbers of American POWs were indeed tortured in Vietnam, but it is far from clear that McCain was ever one of them. As the original Counterpunch article pointed out, throughout almost the entire war McCain was held at a special section for the best-behaving prisoners, which was where he allegedly produced his Communist propaganda broadcasts and perhaps became such good friends with his guards as they later claimed. Top-ranking former POWs held at the same prison, such as Colonels Ted Guy and Gordon “Swede” Larson, have gone on the record saying they are very skeptical regarding McCain’s claims of torture.
I have taken the trouble to read through John McCain’s earliest claims of his harsh imprisonment, a highly detailed 12,000 word first person account published under his name in U.S. News & World Report in May 1973, just a few weeks after his release from imprisonment. The editorial introduction notes the “almost total recall” seemingly demonstrated by the young pilot just out of captivity, and portions of the story strike me as doubtful, perhaps drawn from the long history of popular imprisonment fiction stretching back to Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo. Would a young navy pilot so easily develop and remember a “tap code” to extensively communicate with others across thick prison walls? And McCain describes himself as having a “philosophical bent,” spending his years of solitary confinement reviewing in his head all the many history books he had read, trying to make sense of human history, a degree of intellectualizing never apparent in his life either before or after.
One factual detail, routinely emphasized by his supporters, is his repeated claim that except for signing a single written statement very early in his captivity and also answering some questions by a visiting French newsman, he had staunchly refused any hint of collaboration with his captors, despite torture, solitary confinement, endless threats and beatings, and offers of rewards.
Perhaps. But that original Counterpunch article provided the link to the purported text of one of McCain’s pro-Hanoi propaganda broadcasts as summarized in a 1969 UPI wire service story, and I have confirmed its authenticity by locating the resulting article that ran in Stars & Stripes at the same time. So if crucial portions of McCain’s account of his imprisonment are seemingly revealed to be self-serving fiction, how much of the rest can we believe? If his pro-Communist propaganda broadcasts were so notable that they even reached the news pages of one of America’s leading military publications, it seems quite plausible that they were as numerous, substantial, and frequent as his critics allege.
When I later discussed these troubling matters with an eminent political scientist who has something of a military background, he emphasized that McCain’s history can only be understood in the context of his father, a top-ranking admiral who then served as commander of all American forces in the Pacific Theater, including our troops in Vietnam. Indeed, the alleged headline of the UPI wire story had been “PW [Prisoner of War] Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral,” highlighting that connection. Obviously, for reasons both of family loyalty and personal standing it would have been imperative for John McCain’s father and namesake to hush up the terrible scandal of having had his son serve as a leading collaborator and Communist propagandist during the war and his exalted rank gave him the power to do so. Furthermore, just a few years earlier the elder McCain had himself performed an extremely valuable service for America’s political elites, organizing the official board of inquiry that whitewashed the potentially devastating “Liberty Incident,” with its hundreds of dead and wounded American servicemen, so he certainly had some powerful political chits he could call in.
Placed in this context, John McCain’s tales of torture make perfect sense. If he had indeed spent almost the entire war eagerly broadcasting Communist propaganda in exchange for favored treatment, there would have been stories about this circulating in private, and fears that these tales might eventually reach the newspaper headlines, perhaps backed by the hard evidence of audio and video tapes. An effective strategy for preempting this danger would be to concoct lurid tales of personal suffering and then promote them in the media, quickly establishing McCain as the highest profile victim of torture among America’s returned POWs, an effort rendered credible by the fact that many American POWs had indeed suffered torture.
Once the public had fully accepted McCain as our foremost Vietnam war-hero and torture-victim, any later release of his propaganda tapes would be dismissed as merely proving that even the bravest of men had their breaking point. Given that McCain’s father was one of America’s highest-ranking military officers and both the Nixon Administration and the media had soon elevated McCain to a national symbol of American heroism, there would have been enormous pressure on the other returning POWs, many of them dazed and injured after long captivity, not to undercut such an important patriotic narrative. Similarly, when McCain ran for Congress and the Senate a decade or so later, stories of his torture became a central theme of his campaigns and once again constituted a powerful defense against any possible rumors of his alleged “disloyalty.”
And so the legend grew over the decades until it completely swallowed the man, and he became America’s greatest patriot and war hero, with almost no one even being aware of the Communist propaganda broadcasts that had motivated the story in the first place. I have sometimes noticed this same historical pattern in which fictional accounts originally invented to excuse or mitigate some enormous crime may eventually expand over time until they totally dominate the narrative while the original crime itself is nearly forgotten. The central theme of McCain’s presidential campaign was his unmatched patriotism and when he went down to defeat at the hands of Barack Obama, the widespread verdict was that even the greatest of war-heroes may still lose an election.
I must reemphasize that I am not an expert on the Vietnam War and my cursory investigation is nothing like the sort of exhaustive research that would be necessary to establish a firm conclusion on this troubling case. I have merely tried to provide a plausible account of McCain’s war record and highlight some of the important pieces of evidence that a more thorough researcher should consider. Unlike the documentation of the POW cover up accumulated by Schanberg and others, which I regard as overwhelmingly conclusive, I think the best that may be said about my reconstruction of McCain’s wartime history is that it seems more likely correct than not. However, I should mention that when I discussed some of these items with Schanberg in 2010 and suggested that John McCain had been the Tokyo Rose of the Vietnam War, he considered it a very apt description.
 
John McCain is hardly the only prominent political figure whose problematic Vietnam War activities have at times come under harsh scrutiny but afterwards been airbrushed away and forgotten by our subservient corporate media. Just as McCain was widely regarded as the most prominent Republican war-hero of that conflict, his Democratic counterpart was probably Vietnam Medal of Honor winner Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and senator who had run for president in 1992 and then considered doing so again in the late 1990s.

His seemingly unblemished record of wartime heroism suddenly collapsed in 2001 with the publication of a devastating 8,000 word expose in The New York Times Magazine together with a Sixty Minutes II television segment. Detailed eyewitness testimony and documentary evidence persuasively established that Kerrey had ordered his men to massacre over a dozen innocent Vietnamese civilians—women, children, and infants—for being witnesses to his botched SEAL raid on a tiny Vietnamese hamlet, an action that somewhat recalled the infamous My Lai massacre of the previous year though certainly on a much smaller scale. Kerrey’s initial response to these horrific accusations—that his memory of the incident was “foggy”—struck me as near-certain proof of his guilt, and others drew similar conclusions.
As a supposed war-hero and a moderate Democrat, Kerrey had always been very popular in political circles, but even the once friendly New Republic was shocked by the alacrity with which pundits and the media sought to absolve him of his apparent crimes. The revelations also seem to have had no impact on his tenure as president of the prestigious New School in New York, an academic institution with an impeccable liberal reputation, which he held for another decade before leaving to make an unsuccessful attempt to recapture his old Senate seat in Nebraska. Bob Dreyfuss, a principled left-liberal journalist, might still characterize him as a “mass murderer” in a 2012 blog post at The Nation, but for years almost no one in the mainstream media had ever alluded to the incident in any of the articles mentioning Kerrey’s activities, just as the media has also totally ignored all of Schanberg’s remarkable revelations. I suspect that Kerrey’s war crimes have almost totally vanished from public consciousness.
The realization that many of our political leaders may be harboring such terrible personal secrets, secrets that our media outlets regularly conceal, raises an important policy implication independent of the particular secrets themselves. In recent years I have increasingly begun to suspect that some or even many of our national leaders may occasionally make their seemingly inexplicable policy decisions under the looming threat of personal blackmail, and that this may have also been true in the past.
Consider the intriguing case of J. Edgar Hoover, who spent nearly half a century running our domestic intelligence service, the FBI. Over those many decades he accumulated detailed files on vast numbers of prominent people and most historians agree that he regularly used such highly sensitive material to gain the upper hand in disputes with his nominal political masters and also to bend other public figures to his will. Meanwhile, he himself was hardly immune from similar pressures. These days it is widely believed that Hoover lived his long life as a deeply closeted homosexual and there are also serious claims that he had some hidden black ancestry, a possibility that seems quite plausible to me given his features. Such deep personal secrets may be connected with Hoover’s long denials that organized crime actually existed in America and his great reluctance to allocate significant FBI resources to combat it.
Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia’s entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.
An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky. One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.
Such notions may seem utterly absurd, but let us step back and consider recent American history. Just a few years ago an individual came very close to reaching the White House almost entirely on the strength of his war record, a war record that considerable evidence suggests was actually the sort that would normally get a military man hanged for treason at the close of hostilities. I have studied many historical eras and many countries and no parallel examples come to mind.
Perhaps the cause of this bizarre situation merely lies in the remarkable incompetence and cowardice of our major media organs, their herd mentality and their insouciant unwillingness to notice evidence that is staring them in the face. But we should also at least consider the possibility of a darker explanation. If Tokyo Rose had nearly been elected president in the 1980s, we would assume that the American political system had taken a very peculiar turn.


Will Falling Dominoes Knock Over Trump?

Will Falling Dominoes Knock Over Trump?



Will Falling Dominoes Knock Over Trump?
Gen. Flynn’s removal as National Security Adviser is a domino that is likely to knock over other Trump appointees and perhaps Trump himself. Kellyanne Conway seems to be next in line http://sjlendman.blogspot.com

Now that speaking to Russians is a cause for removal, Trump’s agenda of normalizing relations with Russia is dead. Trump himself now reportedly has said that Russia should return Crimea to Ukraine. Flynn’s reported likely replacement, Robert S. Harward, is CEO for Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates. Lockheed Martin is part of the military/security complex that needs an enemy, and the “Russian threat” is a large enough enemy to keep about 1,000 billion dollars of the taxpayers’ money flowing into the military/security complex.

The Saker spells it out for those who were unable to follow his first article on the subject.

putin

VLADIMIR SOLOVYOV WORLD ORDER

PRESIDENT

lie we live

pt

xmas





“Glory to God in the highest,

and on Earth

Peace, Good Will toward men.”

This Christmas, Give Peace