Thursday, July 26, 2018

Re-cellophaned

"The plot thins: How gel became a liquid and the whole Novichok affair began to smell to high heaven" (Galloway):
 "I myself spoke to a senior British Army officer at a black-tie event in London last week. There were hundreds of them there, so I'm not giving his identity away. He asked me, who did I really think was responsible for the 'Novichok' affair?

"Russian criminals," I answered.

"Not the Russian state then?" he pressed.

"They are the least likely suspects,"
I said.

At which point this heavily decorated soldier leant over and whispered in my ear, "It was Ukraine."

He offered no evidence, I should say, and – but for his rank and position – I wouldn't even bother relaying it. But that is what he said."
"The Silence of the Whores" (Murray):
"What Rowley does say in the interview is that the box was still sealed in its cellophane. Presumably it was the cellophane he slit open with a knife.

So how can this fit in to the official government account? Presumably the claim is that Russian agents secretly visited the Skripal house, sprayed novichok on the door handle from this perfume bottle, and then, at an unknown location, disassembled the nozzle from the bottle (Mr Rowley said he had to insert it), then repackaged and re-cellophaned the bottle prior to simply leaving it to be discovered somewhere – presumably somewhere indoors as it still looked new – by Mr Rowley four months later. However it had not been found by anyone else in the interim four months of police, military and security service search."
I guess you've been reading about Syrian/Russian atrocities in the de-terrorization operations in the south of Syria.  "Syrian City Rocked By Deadliest Terror Attack In The Last Two Years" (Durden).  "Monitor: Recent US-Led Airstrikes Kill at Least 73 Syrian Civilians" (Wilkins).

"#BreakingSyria: Mass Graves in Raqqa".  Note that this story is from the Atlantic Council (HRW is, naturally, also in on this scam), presumably in aid of a neocon argument that American troops have to remain in Syria to fight the evil ISIS.  Of course, they don't mention that the Americans flattened Raqqa, ostensibly fighting ISIS! The 'technical constraints in the city' are that it is a pile of rubble.

"High Crimes and Misdemeanors – Not by Trump but Obama and Democrats" (Baraka).

"Mike Krieger Asks "Are Establishment Democrats Trying to Lose?"" They are not trying to lose, they just don't care if they win or lose as long as the money keeps flowing in.  Note that it isn't the policies of Sanders that bothers them, it is his disruption of the 'donor' model (he finances entirely from small donations from human beings, the horror!), and the loss of those sweet, sweet shekels.  You might wonder why the 'donors' keep throwing money into a losing cause?  The answer is that the result of the election is irrelevant to them as long as their 'one issue' is addressed in a satisfactory way, so the entire American electoral system can be run as a distraction to cover for the fact that they only care about the 'one issue'.

A reminder that techdirt is fundamentally with the bad guys, as it constantly slips in obvious Deep State PR while ostensibly working to promote freedom of speech and other good things:  "Wikileaks Refused To Publish Manafort Family Texts, So Someone Else Did". The documents were already on the internet and were from Manafort's daughter, so this is just a pot shot at Assange at a vulnerable time.  They should be ashamed of themselves.  Don't ever trust these people!!!

"Which Is More Occupied, Crimea or Afghanistan?" (Swanson).

"Entering a 1984 World, Trump-Style" (Klare):
". . . it’s a mistake to assume that Trump lacks a coherent foreign-policy blueprint. In fact, an examination of his campaign speeches and his actions since entering the Oval Office — including his appearance with Putin — reflect his adherence to a core strategic concept: the urge to establish a tripolar world order, one that was, curiously enough, first envisioned by Russian and Chinese leaders in 1997 and one that they have relentlessly pursued ever since.

Such a tripolar order — in which Russia, China, and the U.S. would each assume responsibility for maintaining stability within their own respective spheres of influence while cooperating to resolve disputes wherever those spheres overlap — breaks radically with the end-of-the-Cold-War paradigm. During those heady years, the United States was the dominant world power and lorded it over most of the rest of the planet with the aid of its loyal NATO allies.

For Russian and Chinese leaders, such a “unipolar” system was considered anathema. After all, it granted the United States a hegemonic role in world affairs while denying them what they considered their rightful place as America’s equals. Not surprisingly, destroying such a system and replacing it with a tripolar one has been their strategic objective since the late 1990s — and now an American president has zealously embraced that disruptive project as his own."
and:
"The big question in all this, of course, is: Why? Why would an American president seek to demolish a global order in which the United States was the dominant player and enjoyed the support of so many loyal and wealthy allies? Why would he want to replace it with one in which it would be but one of three regional heavyweights?

Undoubtedly, historians will debate this question for decades. The obvious answer, offered by so many pundits, is that he doesn’t actually know what he’s doing, that it’s all thoughtless and impulsive. But there’s another possible answer: that he intuits in the Sino-Russian template a model that the United States could emulate to its benefit.

In the Trumpian mindset, this country had become weak and overextended because of its uncritical adherence to the governing precepts of the liberal international order, which called for the U.S. to assume the task of policing the world while granting its allies economic and trade advantages in return for their loyalty. Such an assessment, whether accurate or not, certainly jibes well with the narrative of victimization that so transfixed his core constituency in rustbelt areas of Middle America. It also suggests that an inherited burden could now be discarded, allowing for the emergence of a less-encumbered, stronger America — much as a stronger Russia has emerged in this century from the wreckage of the Soviet Union and a stronger China from the wreckage of Maoism. This reinvigorated country would still, of course, have to compete with those other two powers, but from a far stronger position, being able to devote all its resources to economic growth and self-protection without the obligation of defending half of the rest of the world."
The **Khough** (((media))) senses the danger to their precious Wars For The Jews - Helsinki summit editorial cartoons from the US.

"Maria Butina" (West). She seems to be unlucky enough to be caught up in Mueller's dog and pony show in aid of proving he is actually doing something, but is there more to the story than the need for a demonstration scape-goat?  West raises some wild bigger conspiracy issues (Doug Coe!!! - I love the old-school stuff!), putting this move in the contexts of both the Never-Trump, and Russian anti-Putin neoliberal, movements.

"Escobar: "Tweet Of Mass Destruction" Ratchets Up Tension On Iran":
"It’s always possible that Trump’s all-caps spectacular may be a ruse to distract Americans from the Helsinki “treason” scandal. That gets traction when associated to the looming mid-term elections and Trump’s absolute need to sound tough and keep the Republicans in line. Call it a brilliant Trump strategic maneuver. Or was it Putin’s?
Back to reality, the stark options would come down to either Iran becoming a US satellite or closing the Strait of Hormuz – something that for all practical purposes would collapse the global economy.
I have been assured that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has the technological means to block the Strait and would not flinch to go for it rather than yield, if the going gets tough. President Rouhani cannot resist the IRGC. The Trump administration has, in fact, forced Rouhani to show his cards. All branches of the Iranian government are now united.
War hysteria, already on, is extremely irresponsible. In the worst Strait of Hormuz scenario, the US Navy would be impotent, as Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn missiles could wreak havoc. Washington could only bomb from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar or Incirlik in Turkey. Neither Qatar nor Turkey is inclined to antagonize Iran.
The Pentagon would have to bomb coastal missile sites on Iran’s Persian Gulf shoreline. But these are heavily camouflaged; missiles are portable, and there’s no reliable on the ground intel. Iran only needs to fire one missile at a time. No oil tanker would possibly try to get through.
Things don’t even need to degrade towards a shooting war. All Tehran needs to do is to make the threat credible. Insurance companies would stop insuring oil carriers. No oil carrier will navigate without insurance."
"Twitter Responds To Conservative Outrage As VICE Confirms "Shadow Ban" Reports" (Durden).  "PayPal censors journalists who criticize Israel" (Abunimah).

"An independent journalist in Eritrea" (Mountain).  MbZ wants to replace his military presence in Somalia!:  "Former rivals hail UAE's role in bringing peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea".  Egypt, not a dam lover!:  "Engineer of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam found dead".

"The Case for Stripping Former Officials of their Security Clearances" (Kiriakou):
"I’ve known John Brennan for 30 years. He was my boss in the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence decades ago. John was hard to get along with. His superiors generally didn’t like him. He was once fired from a job at the CIA. He’s not particularly bright. And then he found a patron in former CIA director George Tenet, who saved his career. Brennan has had his run. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. He’s been CIA Director, deputy National Security Advisor, director of the Transnational Terrorism Information Center, and deputy Executive Director of the CIA. That’s pretty heady stuff for a kid from Bergen, New Jersey.

He also has very low self-esteem from those early days at the CIA. Almost everybody else had more degrees, spoke more languages, and went to better schools. Until Tenet, Brennan never had a political rabbi and was stuck at the GS-15 (journeyman) level for years. Now, all these years later, he again doesn’t have anyone to help his career. Barack Obama isn’t president anymore. And Brennan desperately wants to be Secretary of Defense. He says it to anybody willing to listen. That is what’s supposed to be his legacy, at least in his mind.

Besides legacy, Brennan and the others have cashed in on their government service. They’ve all become rich by sitting on corporate boards. Brennan is on the board of directors of a company called SecureAuth + CORE Security. He also serves on the board of The Analysis Corporation, which he helped found before joining the Obama Administration. Finally, and most importantly, Brennan is now the official talking head and “Intelligence Consultant” for NBC News and MSNBC.

To me, this is the point that is the most obviously wrong. How is it that former officials who now have no role in government are able to keep their active security clearances? This has abuse written all over it. First, these officials run the risk of exposing classified information in a television interview, either inadvertently or not. Second, and more cynically, what is to keep them from propagandizing the American people by simply spouting the CIA line or allowing the CIA to use them to put out disinformation? What’s to keep them from propagandizing the American people by selectively leaking information known only to the intelligence agencies and Congress? Or to release information passed to them by the FBI?

No former intelligence officials should have a security clearance. There’s no purpose for it other than propaganda and personal enrichment. And if Brennan or Hayden or Clapper or any other former intelligence official becomes an employee of a media company, he or she should not have a security clearance. Period. Donald Trump ought to act right now."
Madsen is often clearly on the wrong side of issues, and more so recently. It seems obvious that security clearances should automatically end with the end of the job for which the clearances are given.  Making money off them is grifting. 

Tweeting while woke (Glen type guy):
"They don't NEED your "help"
Go give a speech in front of Adelson for a quick hundred grand
GTFO Emperor"
"Did an innocent man die in prison for a murder committed by the East Area Rapist?"
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