Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump Hits The Ground Running on Establishing Authoritarian Regime

On his very first day as president- and it was just a half day, as Trump was sworn in as president on noon, January 20- Trump already is quashing with an iron fist merely implied criticism of himself.

An employee of the Federal National Parks Service, which is part of the Department of the Interior, retweeted two tweets that failed to glorify the New Leader, the Magnificent Trump. One tweet claimed the crowd at Trump's inauguration was smaller than Obama's. The other noted, correctly, that upon taking the reins of power at noon on January 20th, the White House website,, was scrubbed of various policy areas, such as those dealing with disabled people (Trump infamously mocked in juvenile fashion a reporter with an affliction that causes spastic movements of the limbs) and women (Trump has bragged about how he grabs women "by the pussy" whenever he feels like it). References to climate change and other bĂȘte noires of the right also immediately disappeared, replaced by chest-thumbing bellows about "Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community" (meaning in practice supporting to the hilt police summary execution of African-Americans) and a "Making Our Military Strong Again" (who knew it was weak?).

A ukase immediately came down from on high to the Interior Department, ordering the immediate suspension of all the Departments twitter accounts:

"“All bureaus and the department have been directed by incoming administration to shut down Twitter platforms immediately until further notice,” Park Service employees were ordered on the very afternoon of the investiture of the Great Man. [1]

But lest you think that Obama represented light to Trump's dark, recall such things as Obama's government-wide diktat to all parts of the Federal government, that each employee should function as a spy and report on any "odd" behavior by fellow employees, apparently to put potential malcontents under scrutiny to prevent leaking. Furthermore, failure to report oddballs is itself an offense. Pretty nightmarish.

Obama perfected the perfect secret police state, in which the NSA secretly collects and stores everyone's phone calls, emails, text messages, tweets, Internet searches, and has advanced software to search this gigantic trove of data. They collect surveillance camera footage from thousands of cameras. Where license plate recorders are in use, they have records of where your car has been. Same with using EZ-Pass to pay tolls. Obama empowered all 17 U.S. Federal "intelligence community" agency members to freely access the NSA database. The FBI, DEA, and other police use it to cook up criminal cases against victims, hiding the warrantless search and Unconstitutionally obtained evidence from the courts and defense lawyers. The DEA has a formal unit dedicated to laundering the evidence through "parallel construction," inventing a legal explanation for how they acquired their evidence.

The FBI and the rest have free access to your financial records, your medical records, your credit card records, your airline ticket purchases, your everything.

Obama brought us "legal" indefinite imprisonment of Americans in military gulags without charges, as a matter of law- a law that currently is in force. And Obama has brought assassinations, including of American citizens, into wide acceptance.

Typical of Democrats, Obama is a slick operator who wears a velvet glove over the mailed fist, the better to delude and conceal, whereas the Republicans wear thin cotton gloves- or in Trump's case, no glove at all for disguise. Obama's many, systematic repressive acts has created the most thorough secret police surveillance state that has ever existed. This is his contribution to American history, and his bequeath to all his successors.

Meanwhile, in "violent" protests in Washington, D.C., (likely led by police agents provocateur posing as radicals, as per standard police practice) 90 people were arrested. No, 250. Wait,it was 90. Make that 100. On fifth thought, it was over 200. That, in sequential order, are the numbers reported on air by U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR yesterday and this morning.

As the French saying goes, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

1]  "Interior Department told to stop tweeting after unflattering retweets about Trump," Washington  Post, January 20, 2017.

Friday, January 20, 2017

No Honeymoon For President Trump

The current change in U.S. regime has certainly been different from the pattern of most of the last century or so. The usual practice is for the power structure to be at least outwardly respectful to the new Leader, and formally deferential. Media fawn over the new chief executive of the U.S. Government. The honeymoon can last for years in the case of an arch-reactionary like Reagan. Nixon had a second honeymoon in 1972 when he ran for reelection, when except for the Washington Post, the Watergate burglary was virtually ignored by the media- to the disgruntlement of Senator George McGovern, the Democratic candidate for president that election year.

The New York Times spent the first year of Jimmy Carter's presidency putting his smiling visage on their front pages almost daily, in a strenuous effort to repair the damage to the public esteem for the presidency in the wake of Nixon's forced resignation and his hand-picked successor Gerald Ford's pardoning of Nixon to protect him from criminal charges. But by the last year of Carter's rule, the Times was smitten by Reagan, and did its best to sabotage Carter's reelection, such as by putting a photo of him on the front page running a marathon and looking exhausted, and describing him as panting and weak. The media also ginned up a fake "rabbit attack" on Carter to make him look ridiculous.

With Trump, the media assault has been unrelenting. It began after he won the Republican nomination, when it apparently dawned on the media czars and their minions that Trump would be dangerously destabilizing an unpredictable with presidential power. (Until then they had made him the center of mostly benign media attention for months.) The assault increased in intensity and virulence after he "won" the presdiential election November 8, with fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, by winning in the Electoral College, that extremely peculiar U.S. version of electoral  "democracy." A shabby piece of libel, an alleged "dossier" or "report," cooked-up by a former British secret policeman from MI6 (Christopher Steele, currently in hiding) who was hired by Republican primary opponents of Trump to come up with derogatory information about Trump, and then peddled by the Brit to the Democratic camp, was used by the so-called "intelligence community" and U.S. media to smear Trump as a pervert who had hired Russian prostitutes to piss on a hotel bed in Moscow in which one of the Clintons had slept, and the Russian secret police covertly videoed the whole thing and are now using it or are going to use it to blackmail or control Trump. That such a cheap spy-novel fantasy is taken seriously shows the desperation of part of the U.S. power elite, including the main secret police agencies, to hobble Trump.

And when Trump refuses to buckle, and instead denounces the "intelligence" agencies for this tawdry behavior, he is attacked by the commentariat for "attacking" "his own" intelligence agencies and "siding with Putin," and admonished by "experts" (various secret policemen, secret police veterans, and members of the established nomenklatura) that he'll have to learn to "work with" the CIA, FBI, et al, and sit at their knees to learn from them.

Now, Trump is awful, for sure, and his cabinet appointments are the worst in modern history, worse even than the egregious ones of Reagan. But this tawdry propaganda campaign throws into stark relief the unethical nature of the power establishment. It also proves once again that the Deep State agencies, in particular the CIA, FBI, and NSA, truly are states within a state that care first and foremost about their own power and prerogatives. Their loyalty to the state as a whole, to the U.S. government, and certainly to the president, to whom they are nominally pledged to serve, is far less important to them than their own self-aggrandizing schemes. After all, the CIA arranged the assassination of the president in 1963, with the FBI as a full participant in aiding and abetting the crime by helping cover it up. And the entire U.S. media played along, and still do to this day by maintaining the absurd fictional account of the assassination by the Warren Commission. (By the way, Gerald Ford, the guy who pardoned Nixon, was one of the Commissioners and functioned as FBI spy on the Commission.)

It's unfortunate that "alternative" media and public figures have so lost perspective and are so incapable of objectivity that they are playing right along with every propaganda assault on Trump. Between Trump's distortions of reality, and the distortions of reality being fostered by the elements of the power establishment desperate to undercut Trump on foreign policy mainly, (they seem not too troubled by what he threatens to do domestically), people will be disoriented without a lodestar of objective truth to turn to.

Instead of becoming foot soldiers in one side of an intra-ruling class power struggle, progressives should chart an independent course, a principled course, and ultimately the actually pragmatic course of declaring a pox on both houses of the power elite and devise ways to take advantage of their conflict. Playing them off against each other, for example, not legitimizing the slanders of the anti-Trump faction. Heaven knows, there is plenty of legitimate information about Trump to use against him, without trying to paint him as a Putin puppet who engaged in a lurid defilement ritual involving urination.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Trump, Imitating U.S. "Intelligence" Agency Method, Claims Secret Knowledge Refuting Russian "Election Hacking" Charges

Oh, the irony!

One of the long-standing modus operandi of U.S. secret police agencies (euphemistically referred to as "intelligence" or "law enforcement" outfits) is the claim to secret information, which means if you knew what they know, you'd see that their propaganda and ideological assertions were true! Of course, they can't tell you what the alleged information is, because it's "classified," that is, "secret," and revealing it would risk exposing their "sources and methods," and even RISK PEOPLE'S LIVES!, but you should just trust these righteously upstanding, loyal and True-Blue Patriots. (The same "patriots" who daily urinate on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, systematically violating the alleged "rights" of Americans they don't like, as they have done since their inception. Of course their have to break U.S. law by persecuting people whose beliefs or activities they don't like, to "protect our freedoms." How's that for an Orwellian mind-bender!)

This tawdry, dishonest trick of bluffing was analyzed decades ago in a book co-authored by a former CIA officer and a former State Department official, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. [1]

Well, it turns out that others can play the same mystique of intelligence game.

Namely Donald Trump.

Starting months ago with anonymous secret policemen whispering in the ears of their media enablers, there has been a propaganda campaign (and the propaganda could be partially or wholly true, keep in mind- propaganda sometimes is) tarring Russia for allegedly sneaking into email accounts of Democratic Party apparatchiks, including that of John Podesta, a sort of eminense grise behind the Clintons. These communications then surfaced on WikiLeaks, the hated information-exposing operation headed by Julian Assange. (The U.S. government has had WikiLeaks and Assange under siege for over five years now, trying mightily to destroy the organization. The first WikiLeaks "crime" that sparked U.S. outrage was the online publication of "classified" U.S. State Department cables and military reports and, most notoriously, the infamous collateral murder video showing the murderers' eyes view from a U.S. Army helicopter in Iraq murdering journalists and civilians on the ground in Baghdad, and attempting to murder children in a van. U.S. Army Specialist Chelsea- formerly Bradley- Manning was persecuted for sending this data to WikiLeaks.) [2]

The emails from Podesta and Democratic National Committee apparatchiks revealed a concerted campaign to destroy the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton rival Senator Bernie Sanders, including various nasty subterfuges. Pulling up this rock also gave a general view of the smarmy interior of the Democratic Party, usually kept carefully hidden from public view. (If they'd wanted to, the establishment media could have revealed the truth about the Democratic Party decades ago, but the two-party political cartel of the Democrats and the Republican Party, aka the GOP- Gang Of Plunderers, is a key pillar of corporate oligarchy, and "the" media is fundamentally the mouthpiece of that oligarchic power structure. The two-party political cartel and the corporate media are pillars of the power structure and are fundamentally allied, no matter their conflicts and disagreements which lie on a more superficial level.)

We also got to see the text of the Secret Speech that Hillary Clinton was paid a cool quarter million dollars to read to a Goldman Sachs audience, those wizards of financial chicanery, which confirmed what should have already been obvious- that the Clintons are handmaidens of the top echelons of U.S. capital, and Clinton's campaign rhetoric to the contrary was just the standard Democratic Party mendacity. (Her rhetoric was pulled to the "left" by the competition from Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.)

By and by, government officials were forced to reveal their faces to sell the "Russia Hacking Sacred U.S. Democracy" story. So first we got James "Pinocchio" Clapper, he of the false Senate Intelligence Commitee testimony, Obama's "Director of National Intelligence," pointing the finger at Russia. Then came the CIA, an agency of professional liars and deceivers, avowing that Russia Was Guilty. The FBI hedged a bit, apparently to allow it to wiggle out later if the whole thing was exposed as false.

Finally Obama demanded conclusionary reports from the CIA and FBI by the time he finally exits the White House on January 20. Congresspeople of both parties waxed wroth at the Russian "interference" in "our election" and "subversion of our democracy." Obama then imposed sanctions on Russia as punishment, expelling 35 Russian diplomats and closing two Russian facilities in the U.S., announcing more attacks on Russian assets, and threatening unspecified covert acts of retaliation. (Putin cleverly parried Obama's hostile attack by refusing to retaliate in kind, even inviting the children of U.S. diplomats in Russia to attend Kremlin Christmas and New Year's celebrations! Stuffed, Obama!)

Trump has adamantly refused to conform to this campaign, despite daily brickbats hurled at him by numerous branches of the media (including the "comedy" show "Saturday Night Live" on NBC, which portrayed Trump as a "Manchurian Candidate" of Putin [3]).

Then Trump played the "I know things you don't know" card, the card the secret police habitually play. Trump said he knew “things that other people don’t know” that would be revealed “on Tuesday or Wednesday.” (Don't hold your breath.)

A few salient points about the bad faith and fraudulence of this entire "Russia Tried To Damage Our Democracy" propaganda campaign, which U.S. media mostly refuse to breathe a word about:

-Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than Trump. She "lost" because of the idiotic, archaic Electoral College, a political straitjacket that the Democrats refuse to blame, much less reform or abolish, even though the same thing happened to them in 2000. They prefer to be slaves to the dead hand of the past, apparently. Thus do U.S. "Founding Fathers," in their graves for two centuries, impose their will on the present. Sick. [4]

-Clinton led Trump in polls by 14% until FBI secret police chief James Comey reignited the issue of her private server State Department emails just before the election, causing her lead to vanish.

-We have the right to the information provided by WikiLeaks, allegedly via Russia. (Assange denies it came from Russia.)

-The feckless, cowardly Democrats habitually scapegoat others for their losses, instead of making an honest accounting and taking positive, constructive action. In 2000 Ralph Nader was their designated scapegoat. Today it's Russia.  They are cowardly punks who never challenge GOP election stealing, in 2000, 2004 (Ohio stolen), and this year, with massive voter disenfranchisement and invalidation of valid ballots. (See Greg Palast's work.)

-Finally, and most importantly, just how hypocritical can the U.S. get with all this screeching about "foreign interference"? No nation on earth has done more interfering in other countries than the U.S.! From massive CIA intervention in European politics after World War II (funding politicians, parties, newspapers, paying gangsters to beat up leftists, etc.) to COMPLETELY DESTROYING DEMOCRACIES in places like Iran (1953) Guatemala (1954) Brazil (1965) Chile (1973), and various other military coups. The U.S. INVADED the Dominican Republic in 1965 when it didn't like who won an election there.

So now U.S. elites are screeching about Russia letting the American public in on some Democratic Party poohbahs' dirty secrets? BOO-HOO! Get over it.

"I got special secret information stored right in here! I'll gladly tell you about it tomorrow if you'll give me a headline today."

1] The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, 1974. But nothing changed, the populace remains ignorant and willfully naive, and the same old tricks of mass manipulation work. With the cooperation of a venal media, of course, without which the secret police couldn't get over with their shit.

Marchetti was a CIA officer and assistant to the CIA deputy director,  Marks a former Foreign Service Officer.

2] "Collateral Murder" videos on You must watch this if you never have yet.

3]  Posted on by "Saturday Night Live" [NBC]. "Donald Trump Christmas Cold Open - SNL," published December 18, 2016. The SNL opening skit was crude and obvious, apparently to make sure that even the politically unsophisticated would get the message. I found it funny anyway, and grossly distorted. But then, satire is based on exaggeration. "Rex Tillerson" (Trump's designated Secretary of State who just resigned as head of ExxonMobil) also appeared in the skit.

A "Manchurian Candidate," which comes from a novel by that name, refers to a programmed assassin whose mind is under external control. That's beyond being a stooge, beyond being a puppet. It's being a hypnotized zombie.

4] The Democrats won't even back the movement among states to agree to give their Electoral College votes to whoever wins the "popular" vote. The plan is that when states with a total number of Electoral Votes equalling a majority of Electoral College votes (270 or more ) agree to join, the plan becomes effective. So far state legislatures controlling around 160 Electoral College votes have passed the necessary legislation.

For details on the Electoral College, and how the U.S. has historically been anti-democratic, see "In the Self-Proclaimed 'World's Greatest Democracy,' the Candidate With the Most Votes Just Lost," November 14, 2016.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

American Propagandist: The Unbearable Sanctimony of Barack Hussein Obama

And hypocrisy, too.

On December 29, 2016, Obama delivered a verbal tongue-lashing to Russia over what the U.S. government and media claim is proven fact- that Russia "stole" emails from Democratic Party apparatchiks and funneled them to WikiLeaks. (This in turn prompted an establishment conspiracy theory claiming that WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange are Russian agents, conveniently ignoring the fact that WikiLeaks is set up for receiving anonymous uploads of data. But then, these are the same people who claim Edward Snowden is a "traitor" and "Russian agent" who "fled to Russia," ignoring the fact that they trapped Snowden in Moscow's airport, where he sat for six weeks, by canceling his passport while he was in transit to Latin America. Dishonestly ignoring facts in order to promulgate lies- euphemistically called "false narratives," is habitual behavior with most of the U.S. political/media elite.)

Obama said on the 29th, in announcing his initial punishment of Russia: "“The United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior."

Apparently, using computer malware to sabotage Iran's centrifuges, and having your NSA spy on the personal communications of heads of state of allied nations, and engaging in economic espionage against foreign corporations, and spying on the communications of European parliamentarians en masse, and trying to steal every phone call, email, text message, Internet search, fax and everything in the whole world, is within "established international norms of behavior."

But ferreting out emails from one of the two U.S. political cartel parties, and sharing it with the world, (something that U.S. officials also do anonymously, in "leaks," actually plants, in the media), THAT is outside "established international norms of behavior."

The "norms" that the U.S. dictates, which boil down to: The U.S. Can Do Whatever It Wants, And The Rest Of You Have To Do What The U.S. Says.

Gall, nerve, chutzpah, brass- call it that. Imperialist arrogance is more to the point, however.

The only question about Obama is- to what degree is he self-brainwashed with his own guff, which makes him a hypocrite, versus his awareness of how cynical he's being. Where does Obama fall onthe hypocrisy-cynicism spectrum? Ultimately it's a minor question.

If Russia indeed revealed that useful information about the inner machinations of the venal Democratic Party and its sleazy con artists, and Hillary Clinton's "secret" speech to Goldman Sachs, more power to them. We the people who inhabit this planet, are entitled to that information. Our rulers are NOT entitled to deceive us, as they endeavor to do every single day. A side effect of the conflict between rival national regimes with an insatiable hunger for power is that occasionally things are revealed as they battle each other for tactical and strategic advantage. That's all to the good. Don't look a gifthorse in the mouth just because it's Russian.

Long Live WikiLeaks and freedom of information.

Obama tries to intimidate Putin in Stare-Down. Hangzhou, China, September 2016.