by James Howard Kunstler
May 26th, 2017
To see the Democrats go on about “Russian collusion” you would think we were watching a rerun of the John Birch Society in its heyday. Americans who have done business in Russia as private citizens are being persecuted as though they were trading with the enemy in wartime. Newsflash: we are not at war with Russia, which, by the way, is no longer the Soviet Union. It is one of many European countries that Americans are entitled to do business in — even in the case of General Mike Flynn accepting a $20,000 speaking fee from the RT news company. Has anyone noticed that Ben Bernanke routinely takes $200,000-plus speaking fees in many foreign countries whose interests are not identical to ours and no one is persecuting him.
The Beltway Foreign-Policy ‘Blob’ Strikes Back
A Washington think tank calls for more of the same failed intervention.
By ANDREW J. BACEVICH • May 26, 2017
The election of Donald Trump as president last year represented, among many other things, a rebuke to the foreign-policy establishment. After a quarter-century of giving “America über Alles” a try, voters opted for a candidate who promised to put “America First.”
That establishment—which Obama administration staffer Ben Rhodes memorably referred to as the “Blob”—now offers a rebuttal of sorts. The rebuttal comes in the form of a report issued by the august Brookings Institution. Bearing the title Building “Situations of Strength,” the document is at once pretentious, proudly nonpartisan, and utterly vacuous.
The authors of the report, ten in number, make for a diverse group, at least as Washington defines diversity. Within their ranks are Republicans and Democrats, men and women, Jews and Gentiles. All possess impressive credentials, acquired over the course of years spent rotating in and out of government, in and out of the op-ed pages of the Washington Post, and in and out of network news green rooms. They are, in short, sound and eminently respectable, Talbott offering his personal assurance that “all come from the internationalist school.”
In this context, “internationalist” functions as a code word. It excludes anyone who when discussing U.S. policy employs terms like militarism or imperialism. It excludes anyone associated, however remotely, with a principled opposition to war, not to mention anyone finding fault with Washington’s marked propensity for armed intervention abroad. Notably, in this instance, it also excludes anyone who has actually experienced war at firsthand while serving in the armed forces.
On Brad Bauman:
THAT’S PATENTLY FALSE!’ SETH RICH FAMILY SPOKESMAN DENIES DNC IS PAYING HIM
Source: Family told me representative ‘was assigned’ by Democrats
New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’
by Robert Parry
May 23, 2017
The timing and speed of the Jan. 6 report also drew some attention at Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing, where Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, noted that President Obama requested the ICA on Dec. 9 and the last entry was dated Dec. 29.
“This report was produced in just 20 days in December,” Stefanik said, adding: “It’s of concern to me that there was a two-month lag” between when Obama’s intelligence agencies first alleged Russian “hacking” of Democratic emails and when Obama ordered the ICA.
Of course, the ICA’s flaws do not mean that Russia is innocent or that WikiLeaks is telling the truth when it asserts that the two batches of Democratic emails – one from the Democratic National Committee and the other from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta – did not come from the Russians.
But the Jan. 6 report has served as the foundation for a series of investigations that have hobbled the Trump administration and could lead to the negation of a U.S. presidential election via the impeachment or forced resignation of President Trump.
The seriousness of that possibility would seem to demand the most thorough examination and the fullest vetting of the evidence. Even just the appearance that the ICA might be one more case of politicized intelligence would do more to destroy Americans’ faith in their democratic system than anything that Putin might dream up.
Trump and the Russians: The BBC Contributes a Little Balance
A new radio program tries to stick to the facts.
By EAMONN FINGLETON • May 23, 2017
What can be said for sure is there is a fundamental contradiction in the Washington establishment’s story that (1) the break-in was a highly sophisticated job, and (2) it was executed so incompetently that the cyberspace equivalent of fingerprints were left behind for the U.S. intelligence agencies to find.
Deep Six the Deep State
Rogue “intelligence community” must be slapped down
by Justin Raimondo
May 26, 2017
Was this covered by the New York Times, the “newspaper of record,” or the Washington Post, which has adopted the slogan “democracy dies in the dark”? Of course not. They’re too busy reporting on leaks of classified information from their Deep State sources, some of which is no doubt the product of this illegal spying.
I count less than half a dozen stories about this, all of them in conservative outlets like Fox News and Breitbart, The “liberal” media isn’t interested for the simple reason that they don’t want to interfere with the very process that provides them with so many “scoops.”