Professional Scam Artists – part 45

“Mass Manufacturers of Slander and Lies” by Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Chastened by the long-awaited Mueller report — or at least what we’ve learned about the two-year probe into “Russiagate” from Attorney General William Barr — the U.S. corporate media have been forced to partially abandon their ludicrous claim of “collusion” between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin… But the civil war within the U.S. ruling class will continue to simmer, because it is rooted in real contradictions – primarily, a fear that Trump cannot be depended on to keep up the momentum of President Obama’s global military offensive and thus disrupt the rise of China and its strategic ally, Russia.

The Lords of Capital are painfully aware that U.S. imperialism has been drained of whatever “soft” power it once had in the world and left with only two cards to play: multi-theater, unremitting military aggression and full-spectrum weaponization of the dollar. “Regime change” is the localized manifestation of Washington’s desperate bid to upend and disrupt the emerging new global order, as China returns to its historical place at the center of the world — the position it held when Columbus embarked on his pillages. Therefore, although Donald Trump has gotten a respite from Mueller, the orchestrated demonization of Russia, China, Venezuela, Syria and “socialism” will remain the daily fare of the U.S. propaganda machine that masquerades as journalism. In other words, a step back to “normal.”

The New York Times can thus continue to personalize its New Cold War hysteria with Putin-bashing — while leaving Trump out of it. For example, in an article this week titled “Russia’s Military Mission Creep Advances to a New Front: Africa ,” the Times claims that “expanding Moscow’s military sway on the continent reflects Mr. Putin’s broader vision of returning Russia to its former glory.” The piece is sheer polemics disguised as journalism, citing recent Russian military “cooperation with Guinea, Burkina Faso, Burundi and Madagascar” and Russian “major oil and gas interests in Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Libya, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria” as grave threats to stability in Africa. Yet, in a 1,500 word article, the Times fails to even mention AFRICOM, the U.S. military command that has virtually occupied the entire continent since its inception in 2008, climaxing with President Obama’s 2011 assault on Libya that plunged the whole northern tier of the region into flames.

Analyses like the above are often very good, as is the above analysis. (The above analysis might have benefitted from a line about why the Lords of capital need regime change [with soft power and brutality or with just brutality]. Their capitalism requires expansion and capitalist expansion, especially within the context of insane neoliberal capitalism, just can’t continue forever, let alone continue forever solely by devouring weak nations with resources and from weak centers – First Nations mainly – within the aggressor countries.) But they are always missing big truths. The US is self-destructing. That’s true. If the deteriorating minds within the ruling class, which includes politicians and powerful special interests like Wall Street, do not launch nuclear missiles and if there’s no divine intervention, then yes, the US may eventually loose its position as chief of the Corporatocracy, aka global government. But divine intervention is coming. The divine intervention that gave us the Christian Bible (which I have issues with) and the prophecies within it (with which I don’t have issues) make it clear that the wild beast (which I call the wild beast of Corporatocracy but perhaps shouldn’t) is destroyed. That wild beast has only seven heads, the last being the dual Anglican/American world power. The American component is identified in the Bible as both the False Prophet and the wild beast that ascends out of the earth. Those beasts are destroyed as well. With that destruction at the hands of he who they willingly and knowingly fight, none of this Godless system of things will remain. That knowledge imposes on those who want to provide full analyses of the present situation a time constraint. I too desire, strongly, that nazi American disappear. And it will. But it won’t be because some human witting or unwitting savior or some group of human witting or unwitting saviors brings about its demise.

“You should know better – ANOTHER open letter to The Abominable Guardian” by Arturo Rosales (Axis of Logic)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article (in which I activated the link provided by Arturo) follows:


“Their government has engaged in the systematic use of murder, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence since February 2014, to the extent that they are likely to constitute crimes against humanity.”

[link to offending article]

Kate Ferguson offers no evidence of these serious accusations. No names. No dates. She does not mention that the opposition street protests have burned five people alive in the street dousing them with gasoline.

But I suppose that these people do not count as they were mestizos and poor – eh, Dr Ferguson? And the right wing politics of violence killing the poor is seen as somehow justified when it comes to Venezuela.

“A Threatening Monster” by Christopher Black (New Eastern Outlook)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

President Trump used to attack President Obama as being weak with regard to Syria for not being more ruthless in the American led war of aggression against Syria, a prelude to war with Iran; that he had drawn red lines in the sand and dared the Russians to cross. That the Russians had called his bluff and nothing happened, he said, as if the death of hundreds of thousands and destruction of entire cities are nothing. Trump bragged that when he was in power and America “was great again” Russia would be forced to dance to the American tune because, of course President Putin would respect him more, making the mistake of thinking that Vladimir Putin respects brutality and arrogance rather than good intentions and intelligence.

But now, in Venezuela, Trump is in the same position as Obama, having drawn red lines in the sand only for them to be ignored by the Venezuelan government and people and by the Russians and the Chinese. In a feeble fury the American government has issued one warning after another against “Russian intervention” forgetting that Venezuela can have any friends it wants, and forgetting that the United States is not the ruler of the planet. The warnings are issued the more sternly the less effective their plans and actions become. [sic] They hope every day for the Venezuelan army to change sides. They hope their selected hand puppet Juan Guaido will somehow catch on with all the people who hate him. They hope God is on their side. They have no hope.

When 100 Russian military technicians arrived in Caracas with tons of equipment last week, Trump’s national security adviser, that is, war adviser, claimed that Russian support of a popular and legitimate government to guarantee its peaceful development was “a direct threat to international peace and security in the region,” an astounding claim from a man who had just conducted an attempted armed coup against the government of Venezuela and whose boss was threatening to bombard and invade it if their economic war and sabotage was not enough to destroy the country. When he made this absurd statement Bolton echoed the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which was just as much a statement of American arrogance then as Bolton’s statements are now.

Some of the above is clunky. Editors don’t have time to do the kind of editting that their contributors should do before they hit the send button, clearly. I would not have tossed out a line like “They hope God is on their side,” without some serious qualification. What does the author mean? Everyone, including the author I’m sure, uses (in serious and not serious ways) God. And that’s use as in ‘abuse’. To suggest that smart (it’s relative) people like Donald Trump and Juan Guaidó actually believe that God is on their side isn’t credible. As for red lines, They are like bravado. I cringe when I see progressives trying to pump up their team by shouting out, with regard to this or that fight, “We will win!” Fight. Don’t talk about it, especially if you actually can’t see the future. Because when you lose, you will have demoralized (or worse) your troops who you promised victory to, perhaps more so than had you not led them to believe that they would win. By all means talk about what winning means. Then again, I don’t expect honesty from people, including progressives. No one’s honest.

Pete Buttigieg

“After Gaza slaughter, Buttigieg praised Israeli security responses as ‘moving’ and faulted Democrats for easy judgment” by Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== == =
Last May, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg went to Israel with the American Jewish Committee and two weeks later discussed his trip with that organization. At the time Israel was killing Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence– 60 on one day within days of Buttigieg’s visit, getting global attention — yet Buttigieg repeatedly praised Israel’s security arrangements as “moving” and “clear-eyed”, said the U.S. could learn something from them, and blamed Palestinians and Hamas for the “misery” in Gaza.

He also faulted fellow Democrats for making snap judgments based on “90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.”

Buttigieg, 37, a former Navy intelligence officer, is today a rising star in the Democratic presidential field as a midwestern mayor with a reputation for intelligence and pragmatism. In his 22-minute discussion with the AJC’s Seffi Kogen last May, Buttigieg never mentioned the Gaza protests directly. But he said that if you only visited Israel, you’d see what wise judgments Israelis are making.

He went to Israel last May for the first time at the behest of strong Israel supporters, the Jewish Federations of Indiana and the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange. “I’d always been interested [in going]. But when the Jewish Federation reached out and told me how special this opportunity was, I thought ‘Now’s the time.’” (It helps to be planning to run for president.)

Buttigieg is a quick study; and what leaps out from these remarks [See article] is how completely the Rhodes Scholar imbibed the official pro-Israel version of events, and showed contempt for Palestinian understanding. There is no sense in Buttigieg’s remarks that Israel is a militarized, rightwing country that adores Donald Trump and that is led by a strongman and that answers resistance to the existing order with overwhelming force that international human rights organizations said at the time of his remarks were likely war crimes.
= == ====

Robert Mueller and James Comey

“Mueller’s Record of Framing Innocent People – Chapter One” by Eric Zuesse (Off Guardian)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

…Mueller was hired by Democrats to get a Republican President impeached by the House and then removed from office by the Senate, and then replaced by Vice President Mike Pence…

Robert Mueller has a lengthy record of framing innocent people, to protect the guilty, and some of those cases have even been overturned on appeal. Mueller’s present investigations into Donald Trump were headed by a prosecutor he hired, Andrew Weissmann, whose track-record of convictions was so bad that one of his convictions even became overturned by a unanimous opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Weissmann had a track-record of evidence-rigging that’s at least as bad as Mueller’s, and maybe this is why Mueller hired him. Both men try to win cases via the press instead of via the laws and the Constitution. Upon his hire, the New York Times did a worshipful article on “Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s Legal Pit-Bull”. His dirty tactics and overturned cases weren’t so much as even just mentioned there.

Mueller had been a major participant in helping the friend of the Saudi royals, FBI Director Louis Freeh, to transfer the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist bombing case to Freeh’s then-friend James Comey, who promptly got the Sauds and Al Qaeda off the hook for that terror-bombing which Al Qaeda had done, which had killed 19 Americans.

Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan headlined in the August 2011 Vanity Fair “The [Saudi] Kingdom and the [WTC] Towers”, and reported that, “On a flight home from Saudi Arabia in the late 1990s, F.B.I. director Louis Freeh told counterterrorism chief John O’Neill [who became one of the WTC 9/11 victims] that he thought the Saudi officials they had met during the trip had been helpful. ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’ retorted O’Neill, a New Jersey native who never minced his words. ‘They didn’t give us anything. They were just shining sunshine up your ass.’” That conversation had to do with the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing.

The great investigative journalist Gareth Porter headlined on 26 June 2009, “EXCLUSIVE – PART 5: Freeh Became ‘Defence Lawyer’ for Saudis on Khobar”, and reported that, “once out of office, Freeh became virtually a defence lawyer for the Saudi regime on the Khobar Towers bombing.” PBS Frontline presented on 7 April 2009, “Extended Interview With Louis Freeh: Former FBI Director, now attorney to Prince Bandar”. The introduction stated: “As the head of his own global consulting firm, Freeh Group International, Louis Freeh has been hired by Prince Bandar as his legal representative on issues surrounding the Al-Yamamah arms deal.” (That was a corruption issue unrelated to the Khobar Towers case. So, Freeh’s services to the Saud family extended beyond merely the Khobar Towers case.)

Comey’s FBI blamed the Khobar Towers bombing on Iran and Shiites, whom the Saudi royal family have hated ever since 1744. That achievement by the Freeh-Mueller-Comey trio established the U.S. Government’s Saudi mantra, that “Iran [not the Saud family itself] is the top state-sponsor of terrorism.”

I am unfamiliar with the Khobar Towers bombing incident. I did a quick check of Wikipedia, because in all of the mentions in Eric’s article, and in articles he links to, that incident is mentioned rather than reported on. You’d think that the important references to the event would include a link to an initial report that just imparts facts about the event. But no. Even so, It’s clear from what can be gleaned from Eric’s, and linked-to articles in Eric’s article, that Wikipedia lies about the event. Progressives know, or should know, about Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales. Wales is awful and Wikipedia is good for very basic facts – spelling, geographical locations and dates for events – only.

“BREAKING: Assange ‘Will Be’ Arrested in ‘Hours to Days,’ WikiLeaks Says” by Joe Lauria (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

WikiLeaks warned Thursday that its founder “will be expelled within ‘hours to days’” from Ecuador’s London embassy and that Ecuador has an agreement with Britain to have him arrested.

President Lenin Moreno will use the pretext of a scandal engulfing his presidency to oust Assange, a “high level source” in the Ecuador government told WikiLeaks.

Moreno has accused WikiLeaks of leaking documents allegedly implicating him and his family in a corruption scheme with a Panamanian investment firm, INA Investments Corp. WikiLeaks has denied being behind the leaks and no documents related to the scandal appear on its website.

Moreno said the alleged leak by WikiLeaks is a breach in a “protocol” with Assange that allows him to remain in the London embassy in exchange for his public silence on all political matters. Assange has never agreed to the protocol. His social media accounts were shut down by Ecuador in March 2018…

Last week Assange engaged in a shouting match with Ecuador’s ambassador inside the embassy. The move to expel Assange has been building for months. Last week Defend Assange, a publication of WikiLeaks-linked Courage Foundation, reported:

“On 28 March, Communications Minister Andrés Michelena told CNN Español that the INApapers were part of a plot [by] Julian Assange, Venezuelan President Maduro and former Ecuadorian President Correa to bring down Moreno’s government. [Michelena] added, ‘You have to understand how these people are connected, Mr. Assange is the Troll Center, the hacker for former President Correa, [Assange] handles the technological and social media side.’

That same day, the national assembly, in which Moreno’s party and other right parties command a majority, passed a resolution inviting the Foreign Ministry to take action against Assange’s asylum on the basis of the INA papers leak “in the national interest” if it considers it pertinent to do so.”


traitorous Lenin Moreno

“Ecuador President Threatens to Decide Assange’s Fate Over Scandal” by Elizabeth Vos (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Tuesday he would decide “in the short term” the fate of Julian Assange after claiming that WikiLeaks had “repeatedly violated” the terms of Assange’s asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy by commenting on a scandal linking a Panamanian investment company with Moreno and his family.

Those conditions, or protocol, were imposed by Ecuador on Assange in March 2018 and bar him from commenting publicly on political matters in exchange for being allowed to remain a refugee in the embassy. Assange never agreed to the protocol, which contradicts international refugee law guaranteeing freedom of expression. In addition there is no protocol on WikiLeaks, which still has a working Twitter account.

“Ecuador”s President Lenin Moreno stated today that Assange has ‘violated the ‘conditions’ of his asylum’ and that he will ‘take a decision’ ‘in the short term” after @WikiLeaks reported on the existence of the #INAPapers offshore corruption scandal wracking his government,” WikiLeaks tweeted Tuesday.

WikiLeaks had reported about the scandal allegedly involving Moreno and his family with INA Investments Corp, though WikiLeaks has not published any documents related to the case. Moreno’s spokesman, however, has implied that WikiLeaks has. A search of Wikileaks’ website shows no such files…

Attorney and author Eva Golinger, a Latin America analyst, also wrote via Twitter (translated electronically): “This [accusation] is completely false. Wikileaks did not leak any document about the corruption of Lenin Moreno. They only sent a tweet referring to the evidence about the illicit actions of Lenin that had been published by other media. Blaming Assange is irresponsible.”

Golinger added in a separate tweet: “These false accusations are part of @Lenin’s efforts to justify the illegal rendition of Julian Assange to the United States. Since there is no legal basis for doing so, they are making things up. Dangerous, irresponsible and an abuse of human rights.”

Moreno’s accusations were echoed by major Ecuadorian news outlets such as el Telegrafo, which reported that Ecuador’s secretary of communication had accused Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro of “financing the attacks of Julian Assange, to end the peace of Ecuador and the region, and even links the former Ecuadorian president in the plan.”

The INA Papers scandal has continued to weaken the already-unpopular Moreno government. Correa tweeted (translated electronically) on Sunday: “The end has arrived! There is despair in Carondelet [presidential palace]. In a matter of hours, Moreno will try to leave because of ‘health’ issues. The reality: he knows he is guilty. We have shown who the corrupt were always. I only apologize for trusting this rascal.”

Danny Haiphong (YouTube screen grab)

“Tulsi Gabbard Is A Sheepdog, Greens Howie Hawkins Is 2020’s Only Real Peace Candidate” by Bruce A. Dixon (Black Agenda Report)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Respectfully, my comrade and friend Danny Haiphong is wrong, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is not a peace candidate. To extent that she diverges from the warlike bipartisan consensus that’s a good thing. But it’s not the job of the left to, in Danny’s’s words “nurture” or support Gabbard with campaign donations so she can get into the televised Democratic primary debates.

Danny Haiphong says he is neither a Democrat nor a Gabbard supporter and I believe him. That’s what makes his “sophisticated” – his word not mine – notion that the left needs to line up behind Gabbard utterly baffling. The plain truth is that whatever else the Democratic party may be, it is also one of the two permanent government parties of the US, a party of empire and war, despite the fact that a great number of Democratic voters are, for a multitude of reasons, opposed to imperial war.

But if Gabbard’s campaign can’t get votes and campaign contributions from those folks who envision themselves as being still inside the Democratic party, then hers is just another sheepdog candidacy. As I explained back in 2015…

“…the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box…

Gabbard fits this description to a T. Her antiwar rhetoric serves to herd left leaning voters and activists back under the big stinky Democratic tent with the likes of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel and the rest, and keep them as always safely inside until the Democrats’ 2020 summer convention. By then, it will be way too late for the strenuous yearlong national organizing effort which the laws passed by Democrat and Republican politicians require to place a third party alternative on the ballot.

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