Those crowing over Flynn’s ouster (or most of them) don’t understand that it went down because the Powers That Be (or some of them) want war with Russia, not Iran (at least not yet).

So did Obama also violate the Logan Act, when, as a presidential candidate, he sent retired ambassador William Miller to Iran, to let the mullahs know that, if elected, he would deal fairly with them? And, if he did (to quote the Logan Act) thus “indirectly commence … intercourse with [that] foreign government,” should he have quit the race, or, later, been impeached?

It’s a fair question (even though Frank Gaffney, Jr. raises it). The issue, then, is this: Are such sins not so bad when OUR Dear Leader’s team commits them?

MCM


Did Barack Obama Violate the Logan Act?

By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn is an extraordinary public servant. He’s now a prime target for his boss’ enemies.

They want him fired for allegedly discussing the Russian ambassador pre-inauguration impending policy shifts. U.S. intelligence sources, Democratic lawmakers and pundits are claiming that, in so doing, Mike Flynn violated the old Logan Act.

Interestingly, three years ago, Michael Ledeen – the coauthor of General Flynn’s best-selling book, Field of Fight – revealed that, before the 2008 election, then-Candidate Barack Obama sent retired Amb. William Miller to Iran “to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies.”

The Logan Act barring freelance diplomacy is sensible, even if never unenforced. It didn’t keep Barack Obama from gaining office, and it shouldn’t be allowed to drive Mike Flynn from his.

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“As Japan Ages, Menus Adapt to Finding the Gourmet in Purees”

Yes, that’s right: Japan’s old folks—a bulging demographic—are eating lots of pureed food, because, being old folks, they have trouble chewing.

THAT news is “fit to print,” according to the New York Times, which gives it front-page treatment. As for the worsening catastrophe in Fukushima, you can search every page of that newspaper, and you won’t find one word about it, not today or nearly any other day.

So let’s all think about those oldsters in Japan, scarfing down their yummy pureed beef, seafood and vegetables, and ask ourselves—or, better yet, the Times—what makes that story more important than the radiation poisoning of the Pacific Ocean, and, because of it, the foods that more and more of us can’t eat at all, pureed or not.

MCM


As Japan Ages, Menus Adapt to Finding the Gourmet in Purées

By Motoko Rich

YOKOHAMA, Japan — The 94-year-old man had come for lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and he was determined to make the most of his squid and leek stir-fry.

Eigo Shinoda, a former shipbuilding executive and fighter pilot in World War II, spends his days in a wheelchair and has trouble eating solid food. But that was no impediment as he dug into his meal with a plastic turquoise spoon recently.

SNIP>

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Attacking everything Trump says as wholly false, just because Trump said it, is just as mindless as Trump’s own knee-jerk attacks on everything his critics say.

And since Trump, now and then, surprisingly refutes some Big Lie that no other president—or any other major player in the political establishment (the press included)—has ever dared to question publicly, reflexively dismissing everything he says is not just mindless, but dangerous.

It’s dangerous, because those Big Lies that Trump now and then contests in his erratic way have done more harm, by far, than Trump’s wild, flagrant and, for the most part, trivial lies could ever do.

That is certainly the case with Trump’s jaw-dropping pushback in the face of Bill O’Reilly’s ritual assertion that Putin (just like Stalin) “is a killer”: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

Well, yeah. Duh. No kidding. Though there is, of course, NO reason to assume that the thin-skinned, revenge-obsessed and Mob-connected Trump has any moral qualms about the state employing “killers” to whack inconvenient persons, there also are NO grounds to doubt Trump’s cheeky implication that the US government itself has quite “a lot of killers” on the payroll, and not just on the battlefield abroad, and has had for a very long time.

Anybody who’s read much at all about our history since World War 2 knows full well that the dark side of “our” government has (to quote LBJ) “been running a damn Murder, Inc.” all over the world—the USA included, despite the old canard that they don’t do that here. That they unquestionably do—and that a comprehensive list of their domestic hits would put the dreaded Putin in the deepest shade—is clear enough to anyone who knows even a little bit (as Bill O’Reilly does) about the epic carnival of murder that BEGAN with the assassination of John Kennedy, followed by the hits on Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X; a carnival including the related murders of innumerable witnesses, accomplices and inconvenient journalists and investigators.

Beyond those four “iconic” murders, and the awesome list of further killings consequent upon them (from J.D. Tippit, Lee Oswald, David Ferrie, Jack Ruby, Dorothy Kilgallen and Mary Pinchot Meyer to Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana, George de Mohrenschildt, Roger Craig and William Sullivan: just to name a few related to JFK’s murder alone), the tally of more recent deaths premature, convenient and anomalous enough to be considered probable assassinations by the state (as they would be for sure, if they went down that way in Russia), includes, in no particular order, Michael Hastings, William Colby, Danny Casolaro, Philip Marshall, Athan Gibbs, Ray Lemme, Seth Rich, Gary DeVore, Barry Jennings, Vince Foster (yes), Mike Connell, Gary Caradori, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, Paul Wellstone and maybe (the evidence suggests it) Antonin Scalia, just to name a few.

Only in America, where one succeeds in journalism not just by refusing to investigate such stories, but by learning to stay perfectly UNCONSCIOUS of them, could the press decry Trump’s common- sense remark as somehow scandalous.

And that is dangerous indeed; because we’ll never overcome the looming dangers to American democracy unless we know exactly what they are, and that Trump/Pence is only one of them.

MCM


 

Kellyanne Conway made a real ass out of herself for “reminding” everybody of “the Bowling Green massacre,” even though it never happened.

However, NO ONE was ever called a jackass for “reminding” everyone of Russia’s “invasion of Ukraine,” although that never happened either.

Consider this Orwellian ejaculation by Timothy Egan, op ed thinker for the New York Times: “If more than 16 percent of Americans could locate Ukraine on a map, it would have been a Really Big Deal when Trump said that Russia was not going to invade it—two weeks after they had, in fact, invaded it.”

That sentence, published by the Times—America’s “newspaper of record”—on August 26 of last year, is even more insane than Conway’s line, since (a) Russia did not invade Ukraine last August, or at any other point in this millennium; and (b) since that invasion never was, Americans would still have been unbothered by Trump’s unawareness of it even if they ALL “could locate Ukraine on a map.”

Thus Egan’s line, while even crazier than Conway’s, is also more offensive; since he laments Americans’ indifference to Trump’s unawareness of that late invasion, not because there was no such invasion, but because they’re just too goddamn dumb to know that Russia “had, in fact, invaded” Ukraine: a “fact” because the New York Times et al.—which is to say, the US government—proclaimed it one.

So whose “alternative fact” is more disquieting: Conway’s random, lunatic ad lib (a fiction easily debunked, since Bowling Green is right here in Kentucky), or that more polished tale of the “invasion of Ukraine”—an expert salvo of war propaganda, fired at all the rest of us not just by that assertive columnist, but by the entire corporate press (along with some of the left/liberal press), and all of the US political establishment?

That question answers itself; and in conclusion we should add that, while there is NO evidence that Russia “had, in fact, invaded” Ukraine, there IS solid evidence (which our press underplayed and/or distorted, then forgot) that the United States had, in fact, engineered the coup that smashed Ukraine’s elected government, leaving that state in the clutches of a junta half-comprised of outright neo-Nazis (whose rampages, both in Kiev and East Ukraine, our “free press” hasn’t minded—or bothered to report—while it deplores those neo- Nazis shouting Trump’s name over here).

And so those people who have turned to Orwell’s 1984, in search of some enlightenment on this nightmarish moment, will see (if they read that book carefully) that Team Trump is, in fact, the least of it.

MCM

Timothy Egan, “The Dumbed Down Democracy,” NYTimes, 8/26/16: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/26/opinion/the-dumbed-down-democracy.html?_r=0

 


And how about the hacking by Republicans?
MCM

Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources
By Mark Hosenball and Jonathan Landay | WASHINGTON

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, could give Trump fresh ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment, which he rejected as “ridiculous” in weekend remarks, and press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks.

Trump’s rejection of the CIA’s judgment marks the latest in a string of disputes over Russia’s international conduct that have erupted between the president-elect and the intelligence community he will soon command.

An ODNI spokesman declined to comment on the issue.

“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” said one of the three U.S. officials. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA’s analysis – a deductive assessment of the available intelligence – for the same reason, the three officials said.

The ODNI, headed by James Clapper, was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the recommendation of the commission that investigated the attacks. The commission, which identified major intelligence failures, recommended the office’s creation to improve coordination among U.S. intelligence agencies.

In October, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against American political organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election. Democratic President Barack Obama has said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about consequences for the attacks.

Reports of the assessment by the CIA, which has not publicly disclosed its findings, have prompted congressional leaders to call for an investigation.

Obama last week ordered intelligence agencies to review the cyber attacks and foreign intervention in the presidential election and to deliver a report before he turns power over to Trump on Jan. 20.

The CIA assessed after the election that the attacks on political organizations were aimed at swaying the vote for Trump because the targeting of Republican organizations diminished toward the end of the summer and focused on Democratic groups, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Friday.

Moreover, only materials filched from Democratic groups – such as emails stolen from John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman – were made public via WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, and other outlets, U.S. officials said.

“THIN REED”

The CIA conclusion was a “judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked,” one of the three officials said on Monday.

“(It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” the official added.

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The CIA’s Absence of Conviction

By Craig Murray

I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also.

A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of “We know who it was, it was the Russians” are beneath contempt.

As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.

The continued ability of the mainstream media to claim the leaks lost Clinton the election because of “Russia”, while still never acknowledging the truths the leaks reveal, is Kafkaesque.

I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:

The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was “directing” the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up.”
“I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
“If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA’s statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.
“America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it’s not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever.”

But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion. Presumably this totally nutty theory, that Putin is somehow now controlling the FBI, is meant to answer my obvious objection that, if the CIA know who it is, why haven’t they arrested somebody. That bit of course would be the job of the FBI, who those desperate to annul the election now wish us to believe are the KGB.

It is terrible that the prime conduit for this paranoid nonsense is a once great newspaper, the Washington Post, which far from investigating executive power, now is a sounding board for totally evidence free anonymous source briefing of utter bullshit from the executive.

In the UK, one single article sums up the total abnegation of all journalistic standards. The truly execrable Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian writes “Few credible sources doubt that Russia was behind the hacking of internal Democratic party emails, whose release by Julian Assange was timed to cause maximum pain to Hillary Clinton and pleasure for Trump.” Does he produce any evidence at all for this assertion? No, none whatsoever. What does a journalist mean by a “credible source”? Well, any journalist worth their salt in considering the credibility of a source will first consider access. Do they credibly haveaccess to the information they claim to have?

Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling.

Contrast this to the “credible sources” Freedland relies on. What access do they have to the whistleblower? Zero. They have not the faintest idea who the whistleblower is. Otherwise they would have arrested them. What reputation do they have for truthfulness? It’s the Clinton gang and the US government, for goodness sake.

In fact, the sources any serious journalist would view as “credible” give the opposite answer to the one Freedland wants. But in what passes for Freedland’s mind, “credible” is 100% synonymous with “establishment”. When he says “credible sources” he means “establishment sources”. That is the truth of the “fake news” meme. You are not to read anything unless it is officially approved by the elite and their disgusting, crawling whores of stenographers like Freedland.

The worst thing about all this is that it is aimed at promoting further conflict with Russia. This puts everyone in danger for the sake of more profits for the arms and security industries – including of course bigger budgets for the CIA. As thankfully the four year agony of Aleppo comes swiftly to a close today, the Saudi and US armed and trained ISIS forces counter by moving to retake Palmyra. This game kills people, on a massive scale, and goes on and on.

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This Russia-did-it propaganda sets the stage for overturning Trump’s election (or “election”) WITHOUT any real investigation of the vote.

Thus “Putin” will become the villain of the piece, taking all the blame for the bipartisan corruption of the US voting system—all the blame for any fraud committed in the general election (and, by implication, all the fraud committed in the Democratic primaries).

So we may end up having civil war at home, and a very hot new Cold War with Russia, AND get to keep “our” rotten voting system: a lose-lose if there ever was one….


Russian Interference Could Give Courts Legal Authority To Install Clinton

By Alex Mohajer

A 1995 federal court ruling out of Pennsylvania may offer some clues to Clinton supporters as to possible legal authority for removing an elected official from office and replacing them with their erstwhile opponent.

In light of late-breaking reports Friday evening that Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election to assist Donald Trump’s victory, Clinton supporters are furiously in pursuit of remedies.

At 10:45 p.m. Friday evening, the Washington Post broke an explosive story alleging that Russians had interfered with the 2016 presidential election in order to assist Donald Trump in a victory over democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The story reveals that a CIA assessment detailing this conclusion had been presented to President Obama and top congressional leaders last week.

The development has Clinton supporters and other concerned Americans confused and hot in pursuit of potential remedies. No clear constitutional remedy exists to halt the certification of the outcome. Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests Congress with the power to determine the date by which the Electoral College will cast their votes, presently set for December 19. In recent weeks, a massive online movement asking members of the Electoral College to become “faithless” or “conscientious” electors and to vote for Clinton instead of Trump has garnered national attention.

The electors would be well within their constitutional authority to do so, say groups like Hamilton’s Electors, which claims that the purpose of the Electoral College is to prevent demagogues like Mr. Trump from assuming the nation’s highest office. A petition urging the Electoral College to make Hillary Clinton president has gained nearly 5 million signatures.

Proponents of this strategy are concerned, with good reason, about the likelihood it will succeed. With Donald Trump having won 306 Electoral College votes, 37 Republican electors would need to switch their votes to Clinton, a tall order, and in the event that no one candidate has 270 electoral votes, the decision would go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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If I didn’t know any better, I might think that Trump’s crackpot performance since Nov. 8th is really meant to set the stage for Hillary to jump back in and “save us” from him.


Rally at Trump Tower tomorrow, urging Donald Trump to let the recounts run their course—and calling for the radical reform of our disgraceful voting system!

I’ll be one of several speakers there. Rally starts at 10:00 a.m.

https://www.facebook.com/events/265327203870166

 

MCM


U.S. Journalists and Professors Appearing on RT America Get Blacklisted

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 2, 2016

Some independent journalists and university professors in the United States who have appeared on RT television to criticize either runaway corruption on Wall Street or in Washington, have landed on two newly created blacklists. RT is a Russian state-financed news network formerly known as Russia Today. Its English-language RT America unit broadcasts from Washington, D.C.

A shadowy group called PropOrNot, that has not disclosed either its funders or its principals, has created a blacklist of 200 independent media web sites that it is calling tools of Russia. On the list are some of the most popular and widely read alternative media outlets like Naked Capitalism, Truthout and Truthdig, which regularly carry articles by some of the most knowledgeable and informed voices in America. Another popular site, CounterPunch, was originally on the list but has now been removed following what PropOrNot calls a “constructive conversation.” Reporter Craig Timberg of the Washington Post has come under withering criticism for amplifying the McCarthyite blacklist in a Thanksgiving Day article.

Equally disturbing, 200 university and college professors have been placed on a new Professor Watchlist being operated by Turning Point USA, a right-wing nonprofit run by 23-year old Charlie Kirk who spoke this year at the Republican National Convention. Kirk has raised well over $1 million from conservatives to spread the “free markets/small government” mantra at high school and university campuses (never mind that Wall Street’s “free markets” are just as corrupt today as they were heading into the 2008 epic financial crash).

In 2012, Kirk wrote an opinion piece for Breitbart News suggesting that Paul Krugman’s ideas should be replaced in high school classrooms by those of the Cato Institute – a nonprofit secretly owned in part by the Koch brothers for decades. (Such ideas will land one on the fast-track to big money from the right wing in America.) Steve Bannon, the former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Network and anti-liberal propaganda filmmaker extraordinaire, has been named by Donald Trump as his Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the White House.

Yves Smith, the founder and widely respected writer at Naked Capitalism has appeared on RT television on several occasions. In the interview featured below from 2010, she was afforded the time to make her brilliantly cogent points on the systemic corruption on Wall Street that has yet to be remedied despite the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression. In 2011, Smith alerted her readers that she was going to be appearing on RT America, noting that she “seemed to be banned from US TV channels, but the flip side is this was a much more substantive conversation than you’d find on the usual suspects here.” Indeed, RT America has allowed independent journalists and professors adequate time to make detailed arguments against establishment group-think in America, something that is regularly lacking on corporate-controlled news media in the U.S.

Another independent journalist landing on PropOrNot’s blacklist is Paul Craig Roberts, the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Ronald Reagan, a former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former columnist at BusinessWeek. In this segment on RT television, Roberts states that the “political system in the United States is as corrupt as it is integrant.” In another appearance on RT, Roberts spoke favorably of Senator Bernie Sanders, stating that “he has independence” and that the special interest groups “don’t like candidates who think for themselves.”

The long-tenured and widely respected Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, Mark Crispin Miller, has landed on the Professor Watchlist. In this RT interview, Miller called U.S. media a “disgrace,” adding that the quality of journalistic material is “embarrassingly low.” Miller went on to characterize U.S. media as a “cartel,” stating that “we have a system that’s owned and dominated by a handful of huge corporations.”

The above comments made by Smith, Roberts and Miller on RT television are completely factual and are views shared by tens of millions of fellow Americans. Rather than attempting to censor their well-founded arguments that America is dangerously headed in the wrong direction, perhaps we should get to work on the critical problems they are attempting to bring to the fore.

 

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