Light bulb goes off for former top CIA official: Maybe it wasn't a great idea to leak against, bash a new president. From @sbg1: pic.twitter.com/nPAe8ePwCg — Byron York (@ByronYork) December 11, 2017
An ex-spy chief who spoke out publicly against Trump while inspiring other career intelligence figures to follow suit has admitted his leading role in the intelligence community waging political war against the president, describing his actions as something he didn’t “fully think through”. In a surprisingly frank interview, the CIA’s Michael Morell – who was longtime Deputy Director and former Acting Director of the nation’s most powerful intelligence agency – said that it wasn’t a great idea to leak against and bash a new president. Morell had the dubious distinction of being George W. Bush’s personal daily briefer for the agency before and after 9/11, and also served under Obama until his retirement. In the summer of 2016 he took the unusual step (for a former intelligence chief) of openly endorsing Hillary Clinton in a New York Times op-ed entitled, I Ran the C. I. A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton, after which he continued to be both an outspoken critic of Trump and an early CIA voice promoting the Russian collusion and election meddling narrative. As Politico’s Susan Glasser put in a newly published interview, Morell “has emerged out of the shadows of the deep state”to become one of Trump’s foremost critics speaking within the intel community. However, Politico summarizes the interview as follows:
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.
You grew up wanting so bad to be Luke Skywalker, but you realize that you were basically a Stormtrooper, a faceless, nameless rifleman, carrying a spear for empire, and you start to accept the startlingly obvious truth that these are people like you. Question: How do you Americans as a people walk around head held high, knowing that every few months your country is committing a 9/11 size atrocity to other people. Imagine if the 9/11 terror attacks were happening in America every few months. Again and again, innocent people dying all around you. Your brothers and sisters. For no reason. Daniel Crimmins from U. S. Army 3rd Infantry Division answered: Many of us are unable. Many of us watched 9/11, and accepted the government and media’s definition of the attack as a act of war rather than a criminal action. A smaller portion, drifting along passively thought a major war was coming, that people we knew were going to fight and die. Some of us maybe worried about our younger brother being drafted, despite being in college. Now, it seems stupid, but in the 72 hours after 9/11, some Americans, maybe suffering from depression, certainly with a mind shaped by comic books and action movies, ate up the ‘us vs. them’ good vs. evil rhetoric spouted by the cowboy in chief. After all, he was the president, and no matter how bright you might think yourself, you can still be swayed by passion and emotion, led to terrible decisions.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.
When he was named special counsel in May, Robert S. Mueller III was hailed as the ideal lawman – deeply experienced, strait-laced and nonpartisan – to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign had helped with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But, in a surprisingly ‘fair and balanced’ LA Times story, David Willman exposes the truth that, at 73, Mueller’s record also shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course. At times, he has intimidated or provoked resentment among subordinates. And his tenacious yet linear approach to evaluating evidence led him to fumble the biggest U. S. terrorism investigation since 9/11. Willmann points out the accolades squared with Mueller’s valor as a Marine rifle platoon commander in Vietnam and his integrity as a federal prosecutor, a senior Justice Department official and FBI director from 2001 to 2013, the longest tenure since J. Edgar Hoover. He was praised by former courtroom allies and opponents, and by Democrats and Republicans in Congress. But, as Willmann details, Mueller also is remembered for a headline-grabbing case that ended in failure.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2017.
The folks at Brown University have carried out the most detailed assessment of the disastrous costs of the U. S. wars fought since 9/11. The details can be found here: These are a must read! While Russia stands accused by the U. S. of triggering the humanitarian crisis through its intervention in Syria (the civil war that started with the U. S. support and blessing), here is Brown University’s conclusion about the real refugees crisis: *** Not to say that one wrong (U. S.) makes another wrong right (Russia), but 10.1 million estimated refugees caused by the U. S. wars? This got to stand out, folks. The U. S. has spent estimated USD5.6 trillion from 9/11 through fiscal year 2018 according to the study.
This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
Behavioral biases come in all shapes and forms. Many of these, however, relate to the issue of imperfect information (e.g. asymmetric information, instances of costly information gathering and processing that can distort decision-making, incomplete information, etc). A recent Quartz article on the balance of threats/risks arising from the ‘fake news’ phenomenon (the distortion of facts presented, sometimes, by alternative and mainstream media alike) and another informational asymmetry, namely selectivity biases (which apply to our propensity to select information either due to its proximity to us – e.g. referencing bias, or due to its ideological value to us – e.g. confirmation bias, etc). Note: Quartz article is available here: According to the article: “News sources aim to cover – in the words of the editor in chief of Reuters – the ‘facts [we] need to make good decisions.’” But, “As readers, we also suffer from what’s called confirmation bias: We tend to seek out news organizations and social media posts that confirm our views. Selective facts occur precisely for this reason.” In other words, confirmation bias is a part of our use and understanding of information. The author concludes that “Selective facts are worse than outright fake news because they’re pervasive and harder to question than clearly false statements.”
This post was published at True Economics on Sunday, November 19, 2017.
William Binney is the mathematician and Russia-specialist, who quit the NSA in 2001 as its global Technical Director for geopolitical analysis, because of the lying about, and manipulations of, intelligence, that he saw – distortions of intelligence by the George W. Bush Administration – in order to ‘justify’ systematic, massive, and all-encompassing, Government snooping into all Americans’ private electronic communications. His, and some colleagues’, efforts to get the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense to investigate the matter, produced FBI raids into their homes, and seizures of their computers, so as to remove incriminating evidence they might have against higher-ups. According to Binney, NSA’s Director, Michael Hayden, had vetoed in August 2001 a far less intrusive and more effective system of signals-intelligence collection and analysis, which might have enabled the 9/11 attacks to be blocked – a more effective system that would have been less expensive, less intrusive, and not violated Americans’ Constitutional rights. Hayden went on to head the CIA, until the end of George W. Bush’s Presidency. Afterward, Hayden joined the Chertoff Group and other military-industrial-complex contractors of the US federal Government. There were no such rewards for any of the whistleblowers.
This post was published at Zero Hedge by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,/ Nov 19, 2017.
Sworn testimony from a former FBI investigator claims the 9/11 Commission lied to the American public regarding the relationship between the hijackers and Saudi Arabia. The question over exactly what role the Saudi Kingdom played in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 is once again a hot topic. The Saudi Kingdom has long been suspected of financing the 9/11 hijackers. A fourteen-year-old lawsuit brought forth by the ‘9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism’ seeks to hold the Saudi Kingdom accountable for the attacks. Meanwhile, the Saudi government continues to deny any involvement and calls for the lawsuit’s dismissal. Now, The Florida Bulldog reports that a new sworn statement from a former FBI agent has once again called attention to the involvement of the Saudi Kingdom. In a six-page statement provided as part of the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, retired FBI agent Stephen K. Moore says the 9/11 Commission has provided the American public with incorrect statements regarding the FBI’s investigation. Moore is a 25-year veteran of the FBI who retired in 2008. He also led the FBI’s PENTTBOM, or ‘Pentagon/Twin Towers Bombing Investigation,’ a 400-member task force responsible for investigating the 9/11 attacks.
In my previous aricle, “Blue Pill Blue Ribbon. No passenger deaths on 9/11; also, no deaths at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, and New York City”, I reported on his views of mass-murders. There were none. They were all staged. By whom? He has no opinion. Why? He has no opinion. But they were staged. But he held back on Texas. I reported: “no opinion yet.” I feared he would wimp out. I had a moment of doubt. Would he let us down? I have great news. This was posted Saturday. Nimrod posted:TX shootings Sorry for the delay. The LV and NY fake hoax shootings burned me out. Turns out TX is another fake. 1.) Shooter dead. Dead men don’t talk. 2.) Pastor and family out that week. What are the odds? Call it a miracle. No more research needed. I’m tired. be honest here. We don’t see this kind of dedication all that often. We don’t see people who hold to a position that is this off-the-wall crazy on a regular basis. He had a quinfecta going for him: 9/11, Sandy Hook, Orlando, the New York City bridge, and Las Vegas. Most of us have heard of a trifecta. A quadfecta is really obscure. Nimrod began with a quinfecta, except that there isn’t such a thing in horse race betting.
This post was published at Gary North on November 13, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… The US is up to its neck in the quagmire of war and since 9/11 its oxymoronic ‘war on terror’ has cost almost $ 6 trillion to maintain. This shocking budgetary analysis has been released by the Watson Institute as part of their ‘Costs of War’ project. The following article from the Military Times has summarised the main points of the report: ‘Overseas combat operations since 2001 have cost the United States an estimated $4.3 trillion so far, and trillions more in veterans benefits spending in years to come, according to the latest analysis from the Costs of War project.’ Author of the report Neta Crawford states: ‘But the research includes another $880 billion in new base defense spending related to combat efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan since 2001, as well as about $780 billion in boosted Department of Homeland Security costs in that time frame.
‘This country has been having a nationwide nervous breakdown since 9/11. A nation of people suddenly broke, the market economy goes to shit, and they’re threatened on every side by an unknown, sinister enemy. But I don’t think fear is a very effective way of dealing with things – of responding to reality. Fear is just another word for ignorance.’ – Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist Another shooting, another day in America. Or so it seems. With alarming regularity, the nation is being subjected to a spate of violence that terrorizes the public, destabilizes the country’s fragile ecosystem, and gives the government greater justifications to crack down, lock down, and institute even more authoritarian policies for the so-called sake of national security without many objections from the citizenry. Take this latest mass shooting that took place at a small church in a small Texas town. The lone gunman – a former member of the Air Force – was dressed all in black, wearing body armor, a tactical vest and a mask, and firing an assault rifle. (Note the similarity in uniform and tactics to the nation’s police forces, SWAT teams and military.)
Many of Donald Trump’s core supporters are not particularly keen on Saudi Arabia, and for very good reasons. Candidate Trump exploited this sentiment on the campaign trail, often tweeting in populist terms when it came to the barbaric absolute monarchy. As is too often the case, Donald Trump the President has taken a completely different tack. In fact, his very first foreign visit upon being inaugurated was to Saudi Arabia. This was no accident. It was a very clear and ominous statement of things to come. Here’s some of what I wrote about the visit back in June in the post, Trump’s Middle East Foreign Policy is a Disaster Waiting to Happen: The main thing we learned from Trump’s grotesque, orb clutching spectacle of a visit to the 9/11-funding absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia, was that our demented President essentially green-lighted the Saudis to do whatever the heck they want in the Middle East. Considering Saudi Arabia is effectively being run by a 30-something princeling with sociopathic tendencies, absolutely nothing good can come of this. While Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East was an unmitigated humanitarian and geopolitical disaster, it appears Trump’s doing his best to one up his predecessor. While I knew princeling Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) would do some really insane and violent stuff, the events of this past weekend exceeded even my most wildest of negative expectations. Before I get into that, I want to highlight the likely role in all of this of America’s very own 30-somehting princeling with delusions of grandeur, Jared Kushner. In order to understand what just happened, we should all be aware of a recent clandestine trip that occurred just before all the crazy regional events unfolded over the past couple of days. Specifically, Jared Kushner took an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia. As Politico reported on October 29:
Authored by Giulio Meoti via The Gatestone Institute, “The migrant crisis is the 9/11 of the European Union… That day in 2001, everything changed in the US. In a minute, America discovered its vulnerability. Migrants had the same effect in Europe… The migration crisis profoundly undermines the ideas of democracy, tolerance and… the liberal principles that constitute our ideological landscape.” – Ivan Kratsev, Chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and a member of the Institute of Humanities in Vienna, Le Figaro. The European public now looks at EU institutions with contempt. They perceive them — under multiculturalism and immigration — not only as indifferent to their own problems, but as adding to them. “We are a cultural community, which doesn’t mean that we are better or worse — we are simply different from the outside world… our openness and tolerance cannot mean walking away from protecting our heritage”. – Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. A few weeks after Germany opened its borders to over a million refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbn said that the migration crisis would “destabilize democracies“. He was labelled a demagogue and a xenophobe. Two years later, Orbn has been vindicated. As Politico now explains, “[M]ost EU leaders echo the Hungarian prime minister” and the Hungarian PM can now claim that “our position is slowly becoming the majority position”.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2017.
During an appearance on ABC’s ‘The View,’ former ESPN and MSNBC broadcaster Keith Olbermann doubled down on a recent Tweet in which he ludicrously declared that Donald Trump has done more damage to the country than supposed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden and ISIS combined. In an shocking example of what has become known as ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’, Olbermann took to Twitter on November 1st to respond to a Tweet by Donald Trump Jr. that wondered if the left would ever care as much about a terror attack as they do about those who expose socialism. Olbermann, apparently triggered by Trump Jr’s message, went straight into batshit crazy mode, openly declaring that President Trump had done more damage to the country than the man that many believe was behind the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States as well as the most brutal terrorist organization seen in modern times, ISIS.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 3rd, 2017.
Donna Brazile’s campaign to embarrass the powerful Democrats who disrespected her during her short-lived tenure as interim chairwoman of the DNC last year is going better than anybody – other than Brazile and her publisher – could’ve possibly imagined. After Brazile published the first of what appears to be a series of damning indictments of the incompetence, collusion and arrogance of both the Clinton campaign and Hillary herself – a news-cycle dominating bombshell about how the Clinton campaign and former DNC Chairwoman deliberately pushed the national party to the edge of financial collapse to leave it financially reliant upon and beholden to, the Clintons – Brazile is back with another astonishing revelation courtesy of the Washington Post. In a report that paradoxically validates concerns about Clinton’s health raised by conservative media – which were readily dismissed as sexist and “alt-right fake news” by the unabashedly pro-Clinton mainstream media – the Post reported that Brazile contemplated removing Hillary as the party’s candidate after Clinton fainted during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and, as the WaPo adds, “Brazile blasts the campaign’s initial efforts to shroud details of her health as ‘shameful.” Clinton later said she had pneumonia. Brazile says she came close to replacing Clinton and Kaine with Vice President Joseph Biden and Sen. Corey Booker, but decided against it after she ‘thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.’ Of course, Brazile’s private concerns about her ally and friend’s campaign didn’t stop her from sharing debate questions and town hall topics with the Clinton campaign. But that’s hardly the only tantalizing insider detail revealed in the excerpts from Brazile’s new book published by the post (the book hits shelves on Tuesday).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 4, 2017.
Whether it’s the Middle East, Africa, or Eastern Europe, the familiar pattern of American military expansion goes something like this: first we are promised that US troops are merely in a country for limited “training” missions with “partner” forces; next we are told of “counter-terror” operations which require an increased “footprint”; after which we are assured once again that there are “no boots on the ground” but a “minimal” increase of train and assist missions; finally, US soldiers begin to come home in body bags at which point the 9/11 era AUMF is cynically invoked (Authorization For Use of Military Force). On Tuesday the whole Orwellian cycle of American non-deployment to non-wars (by our politicians’ standards) was on display during a single Pentagon press briefing, when Army spokesman Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard told reporters that 4,000 US troops were deployed to Syria, but then awkwardly attempted to walk back the statement less than 30 seconds later: Wow. Question on how many US troops are in Syria. MG initially says 4,000 (!) then apologizes, changes to 500 after a follow-up. pic.twitter.com/ru92GkU3PW — Jake Godin (@JakeGodin) October 31, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 1, 2017.
When news broke of the October 4 ambush and deaths of four elite Green Beret soldiers in Niger, the immediate reaction voiced among congressional leaders and echoed generally in the media was: we have troops in Niger? But the bigger questions of the US military’s increasingly sizable footprint in Africa (or what has long been called our ‘Shadow War’) quickly disappeared from public debate, instead, in usual fashion the media quickly focused on myopic details of phone calls and whether Trump’s handling of the aftermath was “presidential” enough. Gone were the larger looming questions the average American might rightly ask: when did Congress authorize or oversee operations in Africa which would put “boots on the ground” in potential live combat zones? What is the ultimate purpose in our being in Africa? Were the tragic deaths, and subsequent sufferings of their families worth whatever nebulous mission they were tasked with? If this was about fighting ISIS in Africa, how did ISIS establish a presence in Africa to begin with? (hint: it could have something to do with US-driven regime change wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria). But as has been the case with all administrations going back to 9/11, the moment the White House and congressional leaders invoke those magical letters, AUMF (the 16-year old authorization for use of military force), the media quickly falls in line, in spite of the fact that the War Powers Resolution (WPR) was designed to prevent the president from unilaterally placing US troops in harm’s way (though because it’s Trump, and not Obama, even CNN will publish the occasional and rare anti-war op-ed).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 26, 2017.
President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey on May 9 spurred much of the media and many Democrats to rally around America’s most powerful domestic federal agency. *** But the FBI has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that ‘the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.’ This has practically been the Bureau’s motif since its creation in 1908. The bureau was small potatoes until Woodrow Wilson dragged the United States into World War I. In one fell swoop, the number of dangerous Americans increased by perhaps twentyfold. The Espionage Act of 1917 made it easy to jail anyone who criticized the war or the government. In September 1918, the bureau, working with local police and private vigilantes, seized more than 50,000 suspected draft dodgers off the streets and out of the restaurants of New York, Newark, and Jersey City. The Justice Department was disgraced when the vast majority of young men who had been arrested turned out to be innocent. In January 1920, J. Edgar Hoover – the 25-year-old chief of the bureau’s Radical Division – was the point man for the ‘Palmer Raids.’ Nearly 10,000 suspected Reds and radicals were seized. The bureau carefully avoided keeping an accurate count of detainees (a similar pattern of negligence occurred with the roundups after the 9/11 attacks). Attorney General Mitchell Palmer sought to use the massive roundups to propel his presidential candidacy. The operation took a drubbing, however, after an insolent judge demanded that the Justice Department provide evidence for why people had been arrested. Federal judge George Anderson complained that the government had created a ‘spy system’ that ‘destroys trust and confidence and propagates hate. A mob is a mob whether made up of government officials acting under instructions from the Department of Justice, or of criminals, loafers, and the vicious classes.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 25, 2017.