Slow Murder, Done On Your Dime

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By Scott Ross

Or pence, if you’re British.

The hearing two weeks ago at Westminster Magistrate’s Court, distressing on several levels, revealed to anyone paying attention — and, rather frighteningly, there don’t appear to be many of us — the naked corruption involved in the process the world’s greatest bully indulges in to persecute (not prosecute) a single publisher.

It’s a dispiriting spectacle in which one allegedly sovereign nation lowers its head, raises its hindquarters and presents itself to another, on command. Those who witnessed this grotesque, Kafkaesque exercise in judicial abuse came forth shaken, and not merely by the blatant (I would say, openly defiant) contempt for legalities exhibited by the presiding magistrate; far worse for these witnesses was the condition of the… well, what shall we call him? Defendant? He’s been charged with nothing, save a flagrantly false conspiracy accusation for having allegedly violated a century-old espionage law by, not even Great Britain herself but another nation entirely, although behind that lies the near certainty that, if extradited to the United States, he will certainly be charged with worse. “Accused,” perhaps? The accusation that began this absurd and dangerous saga was a minor one: Failure to appear in court. It was, of course, what, again, lay behind that minor issue — what in fact convinced Assange to seek asylum of Ecuador — that is the nub of the problem. Had he appeared in that court at that time, he’d have been indicted on allegations of rape we now know were utterly false but which would have carried with them his extradition to Sweden and almost certain subsequent forced “rendition” to The Land of the Free. It was that particular sphere of criminality, carefully chosen to outrage tender identity sensibilities, as much as his revelations about Hillary Clinton, that turned so many liberals (especially women) from defending Assange, indeed feting and fawning over him, to chortling gleefully when, clearly ill, he was dragged from his sanctuary and placed in 23-hour per day solitary confinement in a prison filled with the most dangerous types of (unlike himself) convicted felons.

And if Assange is not yet broken, he is as close to breaking as makes no difference.

assange_time_secret_wikileaks

In her WiseUpAction essay Claudia M. Cuartas, who was in the Magistrate’s Court to watch as a certifiable lapdog to the American Permanent Government ruled in favor of keeping Assange in Belmarsh despite his having completed his mandatory (and, again, minor) bail-breach sentence, described Assnage’s physical deterioration thus: “I could clearly see how exhausted and emaciated he was, his back was bent, he was hunchbacked, his head practically sinking between his shoulders… he looked like a very old and tired man…” Cuartas also, she writes, “realised how judge [she is not a judge] Baraitser was visibly attentive with the US prosecution team, while showing apathetic gestures towards Julian and his defense team.” The historian and former diplomat Craig Murray’s account of the proceedings agrees with that of Cuartas: “Since his arrest, [Assange] has lost over 15 kg [roughly 33 pounds] in weight.”

Tellingly, Murray goes on to note that, while he has been (inexplicably, to my mind) “quietly skeptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and skeptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.” I do not quite know how it was possible for Murray, who claims to be a friend, not to see the signs before now when the rest of us, who don’t know Assange and have never been in his presence, have been able to for months, based on the descriptions of such those of his friends as have been allowed to see him. Each of his surreptitious photographs and fast public appearances (as brief as the British paid thugs surrounding him can make them) since this past spring have shown a man in the process of deterioration.

“Everybody in that court yesterday,” Murray goes on, “saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.” But then, why should it? She knows on which side of her scone the butter lies.

“The charge against Julian,” Murray then notes, getting to the heart of the matter, “is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.” Sadly, one suspects that the bosses at least in corporate media understand the distinction very well indeed.

“The purpose of yesterday’s hearing,” Murray continues, “was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defense was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offenses were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty [emphasis mine]. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.” Below, the Article in question, provided by Murray:

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Article 4.1 is the salient clause: Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense. Murray: “On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offense — if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.”

Assange’s team, we are told, “had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean embassy by the US government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defense.” Even more damning, Assange’s defense team argued that “they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defense against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States.” [Emphases mine.]

During the second phase of the hearings, Murray and others have reported, “There were five representatives of the US government present… seated at desks behind the lawyers in court.” It was to these that Baraitser repeatedly gave her attention and solicitude, reserving her contempt only for the man in the dock. “The US government was dictating its instructions to [QC] Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process.”

Give them time, Craig. Give them time.

Baraister then decreed that the February hearing on extradition will be held, says Murray, “not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings…” There are those who would compare what is being done to Assange to the Soviet show trials of the 1930s, but the comparison won’t hold water; they were conducted in public. As for this one, the corporate media — very much including the BBC — in the filmmaker and activist John Pilger’s phrase, “blacked it out.”

Pilger, who was also there, writes elsewhere of Baraitser, “Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa’s Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn’t get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth. When he spoke truth and when his barrister spoke, Baraister contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. She had nothing to do; it was demonstrably preordained. As Pilger later told Afshin Rattansi on a recent Going Underground appearance, “[Baraister’s] bias was incandescent.”

The British MP Chris Williamson — who has himself twice been subjected to ludicrous and blatantly unlawful suspension from the Labour Party — attempted to table a motion condemning the treatment of Assange and was informed that it was sub judice, ergo not permitted without the express permission of the Speaker of Parliament. Yet even after repeated public screwings of him by his party, Williamson still maintains it is salvageable.

I admire Mr. Williamson’s principles, but believe he is deluding himself that Labour as it is currently constituted can be changed, just as people like Sanders and Gabbard in America are deluding themselves that the Democrats can be made to stop embracing  corporatism, war, neoliberalism and election rigging. Why can’t such impassioned people see reality, and consider forming new parties that could, because their concerns intersect with those of so many citizens across the political spectrum, become not only important but potentially vastly popular? What is the fear that governs them? If it is a fear of failure, they are already failing now — their respective parties will never change, and never allow them to lead. And anyway, matters are too crucial in both countries, and indeed the world, to go along with the entrenched, right-wing leadership of Labour or the Democrats.

Even Jeremy Corbyn, the best of a bad bunch and himself the repeated victim of coordinated smears and utterly risible allegations of that all-too-convenient new bogey anti-Semitism, has expressed merely a modicum of displeasure at the treatment of Assange. No calls for his release, no excoriating the British and American systems for his torture at their hands. No outrage that the very concept of a free press, without which no society, however flawed, can hope to call itself a democracy, is being destroyed before our incredulous eyes. Just a mild sniff. An “I say, this is unsporting, what?” And barely that.

Public discontent with both the ruling duopolies and the banks and corporations that control them to our detriment has, quite rightly, reached a pitch comparable to that of the early 1930s, and for similar reasons. The choice, it seems to me, is either peaceful revolution now, or violent revolution ere long.

And if you think I’m joking, consider this: If the Democrats actually manage to achieve their three-year dream and remove Donald J. Trump from office on a spurious charge because he upset them by winning the last election, they may well, in addition to elevating the odious — and truly dangerous — Mike Pence to the presidency, unleash civil war in this country.

After all, as Democrats themselves are so fond of noting, many Trump supporters are not only angry… they’re armed.

And don’t be shocked if some on the progressive left, whatever their pacifism, begin considering the purchase of a rifle or two.


Yeats - The Second Coming

Design by Scott Ross

I no longer use the terms “Deep State” or “Shadow Government” to describe the Beast Oliver Stone alluded to in Nixon that treats each successive occupant of the Oval Office as a temporary employee, because I have come to believe they are inadequate to the enormity of the monster that, for all but the first two years of my life (1961-1962) has been making my country a de facto banana republic, if not indeed an outright Fascist state, and in so doing rendering much of the rest of the earth miserable. I think of this Beast now as The Permanent Government, for no matter who resides in the White House, the NSA, CIA, FBI and DOD go on and on.

It is, therefore, sickening beyond my capability to describe the nausea to see so many liberals, deranged by the endless 2016 Presidential campaign, so fully and completely embrace The Beast. It is as if they have finally been granted the opportunity they have so long privately desired: To be exactly as fascistic as they tell us conservatives are. I would remind them that, as was the case in the 1950s, in order for McCarthyism to work both liberals and conservatives must be in accord. Without that precedent, the House Committee on Un-American Activities could never have succeeded in getting so many Americans to bear witness, true or false, against their friends, nor could so many dissenters, in both senses of the word, have been blacklisted.*

“The campaign of demonization and dehumanization against Julian,” as Craig Murray writes in the conclusion of his piece, “based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight [emphasis mine], and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from ‘liberal’ society.”

Ben Swann, meanwhile, says this as preface to his recent interview with John Kiriakou, the man who exposed the torture program: “It is clearly not enough for this government that Manning and [Jeremy] Hammond have already spent nearly a decade each in a cell… for having revealed crimes committed by big corporations and government. No, it seems the goal is to keep them punished.” In the discussion that follows, Swann and his guest discuss the parallel cases of Manning and Hammond, the Anonymous hacker who is, like Manning, being mauled by the CIA-controlled Federal court in Virginia, punitively re-sentenced and fined for refusing to testify against Assange, all of it just as he was about to receive his release. This is iniquitous. It is extra-legal. It is worthy of Torquemada. Of Manning and that rigged court, Kiriakou says, “She refused to testify, and that took real guts.” Those who don’t get this about Manning are laboring under a misapprehension about which almost any gay man or Lesbian, or transgendered person, could quickly and easily disabuse you: When one has spent nearly the entirety of his or her life fighting against bigotry in all its forms — mental, emotional, verbal, oral, legislative and physical — and come out the other side more or less intact on the basis solely of their own inner strength, do you really believe you can break them that easily?

I’m hardly suggesting this genuinely iniquitous, and criminal, legal harassment of Manning is a breeze for her. The confinement she is being made subject to is affecting her physical as well as her mental and emotional health and indeed she is, along with Assange, being slowly and quietly and deliberately murdered by my government. But imagine: As a young man, in the U.S. military, she identified as gay — and this before the odious “compromise” of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” was, finally and belatedly, lifted — then, once imprisoned, as transgendered. Do you think, somehow, that was easy, and this is hard?

They don’t know with whom they’re dealing. They think she’s just a faggot. pussy. A chick, to quote the unfortunate Jon Stewart, with a dick. They can’t imagine a young woman of principle who will stand up to them, and refuse to accept their jurisdiction over her, or their ability to make her testify.  And that, I submit, goes some way toward explaining the hellishly punitive and unconstitutional fines they are currently levying against her and which, if allowed to stand — they could be slightly less than a half-million dollars if she is let out of jail next year — will almost certainly allow them to send her back to prison for non-payment.

As Kiriakou notes, “the goal is to frighten others by your example.”

And no liberal voice is raised in her defense, or Hammond’s. They don’t necessarily speak against either of them. They don’t need to. All they need do is maintain a discrete, and telling, silence.


The estimable Caitlin Johnstone, writes of the recent Assange hearing, “It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists. State propagandists, sycophants, and cowards… exactly how much torture is appropriate because your preferred candidate wasn’t the one who was elected?”

As I have often said, and as I have had occasion to say with even greater frequency these last several years, “Scratch a liberal, find a fascist.” Don’t believe me? Below, the results of a FOX poll (as re-Tweeted by Glenn Greenwald) asking Americans which organizations and people they trust. Granting the unreliability of polls, and admitting too the way they are skewed now to older respondents with land-lines, note the figures from Democrats when asked how much confidence they have in the CIA. Note, too, the numbers for Clinton correspondents.

Confidence - Greenwald

Congratulations, Boomers! You have officially become your parents.

And Millennials… you’ve just become your grandparents.

These are the same people whose heads, or the heads of those they knew or went to school with, were smashed by police batons in Chicago and Century City; whose blood was wantonly shed by the National Guard in Ohio and Mississippi and Florida; who watched helplessly as CIA and FBI agents conspired against and murdered their president, a beloved civil rights leader, a Black Muslim activist, a Senator and a peaceful Black Panther and Christ alone knows how many more, and, pace Hollywood, assisted the killers of three young men in Mississippi to evade justice, just as they would later plan, egg on and otherwise abet the daylight murders of mostly black Communists and industrial workers by Nazis and the Klan in Greensboro; whose affiliations were questioned and whose groups were infiltrated by these agents of chaos, these servants of The Beast. And now they say they love the CIA. They trust the FBI.

And even as Julian Assange stands in a British courtroom and is barely able to speak, or recall his own name or birth date, liberals are suggesting he is “faking it” to secure a medical release.

All because their fucking awful candidate lost.

And they have the almighty gall now to tell us they’re “the adults in the room.”

After three years of “Russia, Russia, Russia!” and Donald Trump being pilloried for many of the same things the “Resistance” slept through during the Obama Administration, here at last is one case we can actually, fully and fairly (for once) pin exclusively to Trump. It is his Administration that is carrying this miscarriage of justice forward after even Obama, the whistle-blower’s prosecutor-in-chief, declined to go after anyone in the press under the century-old Espionage Act. Donald (“I Love WikiLeaks!”) Trump, apparently, has no such compunctions.

Yet the “Resistance” says nothing about it.

Because Assange exposed Clinton. And they hate him for it.

And here one wonders. For while the persecution — not prosecution, which we, and he, will likely never live to see — of Assange is certainly motivated chiefly by the American Permanent Government’s desire to squash all dissent, and all inconvenient truth, yet might we not be forgiven if we suspect, just a little, that dismantling what shards remain of the U.S. free press doesn’t suit Trump personally? The irony, of course, is that he is a man entirely made by press releases — often either in his own hand or by his own mouth (cf, Pete Hamill, News is a Verb.) Yet the press that helped make him turned, like Dr. Frankenstein, against its own Monster in 2016… after giving him billions in free advertising. And why?

The primary reason: He doesn’t know how to be subtle. Trump says aloud what our duly selected leaders are supposed only to hint at, or to cover with phrases, the kind we traditionally (if not habitually) go to war on. The secondary reason: That for the first time since 1963 the chief resident of the White House seems to think he’s actually the President of the United States. That hubris, that sin against the Permanent Government, dwarfs the other. Six ways to Sunday, as our Senate Minority Leader so memorably, and with such contented approval, once mooed. Not standing in the way of the Assange execution — for that is what is taking place, after all, a slow execution — may just be Trump’s attempt at mending fences a little.

If so, it won’t work. They’ll continue to hate him. All of them: Liberals, the FBI, CIA, Justice, the military, the corporate press.

And for this a man has to die?


Savagery
In the Afterword to his informative and  impeccably researched and rendered book The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump (Verso, 2019) Max Blumenthal writes of the insane drive by so-called liberal Democrats to head backwards into a 1954-style confrontation with Russia, and doing so moreover utilizing the same “homo = bad” iconography we’re used to seeing on the Right but now note coming at us with increasing speed from the alleged left:

“By uniting against a foreign evil that supposedly controlled the White House, liberals had unwittingly become infected with the same tendency exhibited by right-wing Tea Party activists, who had sought to cast Obama as a crypto-Muslim with no American birth certificate. Almost overnight, hun­dreds of thousands of liberals were showing up at postelection rallies with placards depicting Trump in Russian garb and sur­rounded by Soviet hammer-and-sickle symbols. Typical of the phantasmagoria of the liberal “resistance” was a giant projection above the Apple Store near the Manhattan gay mecca of Chelsea that portrayed a shirtless Putin lovingly embracing a pregnant, effeminate Trump. Complimented with the hashtag #LoveThroughHate, the image conveyed the sense that Putin and Trump were gay together, and that Trump was the bottom in the relationship. [Emphasis mine] For the first time in history, a majority of registered Democrats told pollsters that they believed Americans should fight and die to defend NATO members like Latvia from a hypothetical Russian invasion. With the strange and sudden transformation of the Democrats into a paranoid war party, a quiet neoconservative campaign set into motion over a decade before was being realized.”

While one can certainly quibble with his use of the word “unwittingly” (Remember: Scratch a liberal, find a fascist) what Blumenthal gets at above is with what rapture liberals have let themselves be gulled and co-opted by what should, if they were not en masse a cadre of blithering phonies, be their natural enemies. Worse, as above, many  either cannot even see how contemptuous they are, or are reveling in it. Even gay liberals now laugh at their own debasement.

Blumenthal too is hated by these types, if not perhaps with the full-throated vigor they reserve for Assange. At the launch of The Management of Savagery, Politics and Prose, the venerable, and venerated, bookstore that serves as the unofficial flagship for D.C.-based independent booksellers, was besieged by calls and Tweets smearing its author with claims that he was “as Assad supporter” (hmm… where have we heard that one before?), and a “genocide denier,” and demanding the store cancel his scheduled appearance. Blumenthal is loathed by the Permanent Government for his critical reporting, and they’re making it pretty clear these days that they’ll do almost anything to stop him… reporting. Up to and including an arrest on ludicrous charges, served by six officers who performed a SWAT-style assault on his home.

Following his eventual release Blumenthal Tweeted: “I spent 2 days in jail, was shackled for extended periods & was denied my right to call a lawyer.” And do the mighty members of the self-styled “Resistance” say a bloomin’ word about this fascist police-state treatment of a journalist? No. Do journalists? Of course not. Why? In the case of the former, because they don’t care about free speech (other than their own) and in the case of the latter, because they a) are in the pockets of the Permanent State, ever prepared to smear anyone who makes a case against it; and b) resent Blumental for being everything they are not: A genuine, painstaking investigative reporter doing solid, unassailable journalism.

The deafening silence of and even cheers by most of the Fourth Estate (now largely a Fifth Column) anent Blumenthal’s arrest and illegal detention are revealing. You may not like Max Blumenthal personally — the extremely irritating, vocal-fried Matt Taibbi finds him “annoying, in every way” — and you may find fault with his presentation, his findings, his analysis; you may quarrel with his perspective; you may even think he’s a bad man and a lousy reporter. That does not matter, any more than it mattered about Julian Assange. Or Chelsea Manning. Or John Kiriakou. Or Jeremy Hammond. Or Alex Jones. What matters is that a journalist was cited months ago on a phony charge of which he was given no notice or the opportunity to present himself and his dwelling surrounded by macho self-styled commandos, that he was taken from his home in his pajamas, thrown into a series of paddy-wagons, denied access to a legal representative, and held for days in a cage because he opposes American hegemony in foreign nations, and reports on his nation’s abuses of others.

Julian Assange is not being held hostage in a maximum security prison because he upset Hillary Clinton. He is being detained in these barbaric conditions because he reported on American military personnel massacring journalists and civilians. Chelsea Manning is being persecuted with all the force of the Permanent Government’s might for the same reason, and Jeremy Hammond for similar. And, like Manning, Hammond (who had expected shortly to be released) is not only being held hostage by our alleged criminal “justice” system but having his sentence extended, and being made subject to ruinous fines, for the heinous legal sin of refusing to testify against Assange.

And we tell ourselves we don’t live in a fascist state.

What are we to call a state which jails journalists on trumped-up (pun definitely intended) charges, throws whistle-blowers — the non-sanctioned kind, that is — into prison (Kiriakou, Manning, Hammond) or forces them to emigrate (Edward Snowden) for the “crime” of revealing to the public, which has every right to know, what its government, elected and permanent, is doing to and against it, other than fascist?

But wait! Perhaps Max Blumenthal is not a journalist. What is the criteria for being a journalist? Well, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) will tell you. Or, he’ll make sure the Permanent Government tells you.

Mark Joyella writes, in Forbes: “Blumenthal’s proposed Journalist Protection Act would make assaulting a member of the working press or making threats with the intent to intimidate journalists from doing their jobs a crime carrying a sentence of three to six years in federal prison.” Yet nowhere in Joyella’s entirely un-critical report does he tell you that a) this bill was invoked as a response to the president’s usual eye-rollingly dopey “critiques” of the corporate press, which it interprets as “bullying” and b) that under its provisions, someone will get to define what a journalist is. And that someone will not be Edward R. Murrow or I.F. Stone or Aaron Maté, folks. That someone will be a bureaucrat, with an FBI or CIA agent looking over his or her shoulder. Don’t like Maté’s commentary? Poof! He’s no longer a journalist. Hate Blumenthal’s criticism of U.S. interventionist policies in South America and the Middle East? Ping! He’s not a journalist. Got your knickers in a twist over Abbie Martin, or Elizabeth Lea Vos, or Ben Swann? Poof! Ping! No longer journalists. No longer a problem. Close their social media accounts, shut down their You-Tube channels. Done, and done.

Leave it up to the government to determine who qualifies as a journalist, and even what little journalistic independence is left will be gone.

But then, most of you won’t raise a peep of protest, will you? Just as most of you haven’t raised your voices in support of Manning, Hammond or Assange. Just as you were silent when the big guns came for John Kirakou, Ed Snowden and Bill Binney.

Just as your neighbors will be silent when they come for you.

Poem_by_Martin_Niemoeller_at_the_the_Holocaust_memorial_in_Boston_MA


* And no, Virginia, Senator McCarthy did not target Hollywood. That was HUAC. “McCarthyism” is merely the convenient banner for that era’s shameless political persecution… of which today’s liberals, like yesterday’s, heartily approve.

Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross



Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/10/21/wither-hillary/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/delirus-liberalis-or-how-they-learned-to-stop-thinking-and-love-the-state/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/why-i-am-not-a-liberal/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/keep-gloating/

Delirus liberalis, or: How They Learned to Stop Thinking and Love the State

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By Scott Ross

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” — CIA Director William Casey to Ronald Reagan, February 1981

The late Mr. Casey may rest in peace. His dream has, at long last, become reality. And if the entire American public is not fooled all of the time, yet there is a substratum which, as Jacques Abbadie (not Abraham Lincoln) noted, can always be counted upon to be deceived. They adhere to no particular party or system of belief, but for the moment let us examine their allegedly “left” polity, otherwise known as the American liberal, who is in no way left and, in the things that matter most, is in most ways wrong. And for any conservative who might be snickering at that statement, may I say that I am not addressing your all too similar follies because you habitually make them so large, and so obvious; liberals get away with the same and worse because they’re more hidden, and better protected.

The state of American liberal delirium is circumscribed at the present time, as it has been for the past three years, largely by its unifying causus belli: A hatred of and for the current President of the United States so overmastering that not even similar loathings for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and his dark spawn can compare. Indeed, those particular lords of the flies are now looked upon with giddy nostalgia by the (seemingly) permanently deranged liberal class, as witness the recent fawning over the fag-bashing George W. Bush by Celebrity Lesbians Ellen DeGeneris and Rosie “Queen of Nice” O’Donnell, both of whom in their unhinged hatred for Donald Trump conveniently overlook that previous President’s desire for a Constitutional amendment permanently enshrining into law the inability of same-sex couples in America to marry. “If only we had him in the White House again!” goes the cry of Delirus liberalis. So he can cobble up and get enacted something even worse than the USA-PATRIOT Act, presumably.

bush-degeneres-2-2000

So Fun Time for narcissist sociopaths.

Just as all too many panicked Americans in 2001 willingly and against the advice of Dr. Franklin surrendered what few tatters of America’s once-valued demi-democracy still existed for a promise of “security” for the sinisterly-named “Homeland” — when outside one of Dick Chaney’s fever dreams did Americans ever refer to the United States as their “homeland”? — so too now do many of them on the (again, supposed) “left” sing the praises of the very people who insisted we give those liberties up, in the name of something they call National Security but which increasing numbers of my fellow countrymen and women are belatedly realizing is a well-entrenched (since 1947) and all too permanent National Security State. As such, it does not care who the President is, or from which party he (or, eventually, she) hails; it knows it is the enduring actual government, each succeeding President a temporary employee only. As someone once said of the 35th occupant of the Oval Office, Jack Kennedy was the last man who thought he was actually President… right up to the moment someone’s bullet — Lucien Sarti’s, possibly — blew his brains out the back of his head.

The question Delirus liberalis never asks him-or-herself, of course, is how the hated Trump got into office to begin with. As with their putative leader, the equally deranged, Chardonnay-besotted, Hillary Clinton, they know there is blame to be apportioned: To Jill Stein, or Bernie Sanders, or Julian Assange, or Susan Sarandon, or Jimmy Dore, or Vladimir Putin, or those twelve (or was it 16?) rather pathetic Russian ‘bots trolling for social media cash after the election. The new target for opprobrium changes monthly, sometimes weekly; only Clinton herself is, like a Pope, entirely without blame. Or should I say, “the Clintons themselves”? For Delirus liberalis, the infallibility of one embraces that of the other, as it does of any Democrat, however reactionary, pathologically prevaricating, demonstrably bigoted or terminally corrupt. Thus, it was not disgust with a quarter-century of the neoliberal policies embraced first by the Clintons, then successively by Gore, Kerry, Pelosi, Schumer, Biden and Obama that led many to consider, on the left, Sanders and, on the right, Trump; rather, it was some flaw within those voters themselves (the sexists.) There was at least one 2016 candidate whom polls consistently showed would most likely have beaten Trump in the general election, but as Jimmy Dore often notes, “Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive.” Or, as say, Democrats could fuck up a wet-dream.

Thus, too, when a Democrat — Schumer — is interviewed on national television by the increasingly demented Rachel Maddow (nice to see so many of my Lesbian sisters shilling at $30,000-a day for the war machine and the shadow government) and says of Trump’s problems with the permanent deep-state, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” and says this, moreover, not in disgust or anger but smugly and with favor… and scores of liberal Democrats nod their heads and mutter the new millennial equivalent of, “Yes, Lord!”… we are being given a message, and not a subliminal one: “We approve.” It does not upset, or anger, or disgust them, that the (un)natural order of things in America now is that if any President attempts actually to govern the nation as he sees fit he will be met with instant opposition by CIA and NSA, not to mention their dirty little brother, the FBI. Yet I will state without fear of contradiction that this seeming complacency is wholly partisan; if a Republican Senator had made the same observation Schumer did of a Democrat president, Delirus liberalis would be screaming its coiffured little head off. But then, as is widely if not universally known…

Bad stuff is only bad when Republicans do it

Do you think for a moment that, if the President of the United States is not permitted to act as he sees fit, any of the rest of us will be?


The complete derangement of Delirus liberalis, however, the frighteningly debilitating sickness that has so completely eaten away their cognitive abilities, demands the worst, as long as Trump is perceived as its victim. Thus: A CIA-based operation, willingly (and I daresay more than eagerly) entered into by the Hillary-dominated DNC, which began during the 2016 elections, and with the active collusion of the Obama Justice Department, MI-5 and the Ukraine — a breakaway Russian “republic” set up by American intelligence fiat and governed by corrupt neo-Nazis — arrayed against the putative Republican candidate for President transforms, more or less instantaneously following the November election, from a plot against Trump, centered in Ukraine, to a campaign against Clinton, emanating from Moscow. But then, Madame C. knew her apples; the first law of Machiavellian politics being to deflect from your own peccadilloes (one’s Foundation benefiting from the uranium deal with Russia you orchestrated as Secretary of State) and to then tar your opponent with them (Putin was helping Trump!) It helps, of course, to have the entire shadow government’s numerous intelligence networks (CIA, FBI, NSA, Justice) to create the fantasy and the corporate press, which owes its very octopus-like existence to an Act cunningly devised by your husband in 1996, to promote it.

Cruise meets with Ukrianian president via Eliot

Ukraine president and all-around good guy Volodymyr Zelensky meets Impeachment Emissary Tom Cruise. (Does Cruise know Zelensky is a neo-Nazi? Does Volody know Tommy is a… whatever the hell it is he is?)

But where, the fiction having grown, as they say in the Show Business, legs, do you go from there? To a succession of shady investigations and specious hearings conducted by a cast of vaguely sentient ghouls left over from the Reagan and Bush era. And here is where the true worth, and cost, of Delirus liberalis is accounted, as a phalanx of former hippies and assorted agitators now embrace the Establishment as embodied by salivating would-be mass-killers (“We came… we saw… he died! Hahahahahahahaha!“) whose sole virtue, to the alleged liberal “feminist,” whose actual viewpoint as expressed in 2016 is in fact the very essence of sexism, is that she comes equipped with a vagina; and Law ‘n’ Order in the form of the various former and current CIA and FBI directors and general prevaricators who almost giddily lied us into a war whose age will soon permit it legal access to alcohol: John Brennan, Michael Hayden, James Comey, Robert Mueller… The very embodiment of the forces that wiretapped law-abiding Americans seeking only legal redress of grievance and the exercise of their rights to free speech; infiltrated peaceful protest groups and encouraged rioting and other forms of violence; broke the heads of said groups; murdered in their turn JFK, MLK, RFK, Fred Hampton and, in all likelihood, Malcolm X; overthrew elected governments across the globe and engineered the murders of their leaders; killed untold millions of men, women and children throughout the Middle East (and made refugees of millions more); who have in short exhibited for over a century a snarling hatred of, and intolerance for, all forms of democracy. Behold! These… these… are the heroes of the new liberal “Resistance.”

Or, to put it in terms Delirus liberalis can understand: It is as if someone re-wrote the climax of Return of the Jedi so that in the end Luke Skywalker decided to go ahead and team up with Darth Vader because he hated the Emperor too.

There have been times over the past three or four years when reading, listening to, or just hearing accounts of deranged Baby Boomers and other alleged liberals cheering FBI/CIA liars and psychopaths as heroes, gnashing their teeth at the President’s stated intention of pulling U.S. troops out of manufactured Hell-holes like Syria, all but demanding America go on promoting and engaging in the continuance of war and mass killings abroad, and praying for an economic collapse that can be blamed on Trump has made me feel as if I have changed places with Alice. They want suffering. They want killings. The more of you (not them) who suffer, the happier it will make them.

A Stanton collapse

That isn’t a statement of political ideology; it’s sadism on a world scale.

Well, as I’ve also often said: Scratch a liberal, find a fascist.

In the universe of the Boomer, ca. 2019, whatever opposes Donald Trump is an absolute good. He could issue a Universal Declaration of Love tomorrow, and they would demand a corresponding document upholding the right to hatred; he rules them more completely than if he really was the dictator they believe him to be. And he knows it. However idiotic they think him, he is a past master at manipulation: One early-A.M. Tweet and they’re set for the day, or the week; they can then be counted upon instantly to gibber and screech like a pack of howler monkeys in a rain forest, led by Her Royal Derangement, the mad cow known as Rachel. Their obsession with Trump is so perfect, so total, that he knows he can distract them anytime, anyplace, with just a few jumbled sentences. A single, bloated Trump Tweet and “The Resistance” will, as it has for the last three years, continue to ignore his overseeing the largest upward redistribution of wealth in American history, his presiding over record Defense Department budgets (which the Democrats cravenly and greedily voted for) and arms-sales abroad, his tacit permitting of economic warfare waged, and coups attempted, against sovereign nations and legitimately elected officials; they will instead gnash their collective teeth over some triviality, or playground insult, which they will return in kind. Trump is the charmless Harold Hill of American politics, and they are all — all — his willing chumps.

Larson E. Whipsnade would be proud.

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man poster

In which the voluble Mr. Dukenfield portrayed the carny con-man Larsen E. Whipsnade: “Never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump.”

Somehow, in a 21 September piece on Salon.comSalon.com, David Masciotra managed to get this past the DNC- (if not indeed CIA-) sponsored shills who run the website for which he writes: “In a nonfiction adaptation of American Horror Story, Bill Maher, nominally a member of the liberal ‘Resistance,’ [emphasis mine] led his audience and guests in applauding and paying tribute to the FBI and CIA. To her credit, panelist (and rival talk-show host) Krystal Ball remained stoic, refusing to bring her hands together or smile. But even she allowed the moment to pass without noting the obvious: The CIA and the FBI are two of the most anti-democratic and violent forces in the history of our country.”

With Masciotra’s description of Maher as his show’s “admittedly clever host, who can often amuse, enlighten and nauseate in the same string of sentences,” I would strongly demur. I can’t recall having laughed at anything Maher has ever said, only at something said of and to him (by Martin Short, as Jiminy Glick.) Much less has he ever enlightened me. But he has certainly caused me nausea, often. And I should hope by now that the many neoliberal pronouncements by the “comedian” in question would convince anyone of even modest intelligence of — his atheism notwithstanding — Maher’s deep and abiding conservatism. More to the point, however, is that Maher learned something from having his network show canceled after a perfectly reasonable remark by him concerning September 11, 2001 was called “treasonous” by people who have no more notion of what the word means than they possess any real love for free speech. (Except, of course, their own…) He learned to stroke his audience’s prejudices. He learned to milk it for easy applause. He learned how to seem controversial while promoting the Establishment’s points of view on any given issue. He has learned, as Quentin Crisp used to say of Existentialists, to swim with the tide, but faster.

The “Make Love, Not War” crowd of 1969 has become, with rather predictable alacrity, a group un-fazed in the main by the indecency of America’s seemingly perpetual need to shed blood abroad. Peace is a movement for which they toil not, neither do they spin. That was, like, so yesterday, man. In the span of my lifetime my nation, which values peace above all virtues and conditions, has involved itself in no fewer than 37 overt wars (as opposed to Christ only knows how many covert), nearly a third of them just since the beginning of the new century. For older Boomers, the figure is still higher. Yet where, amidst the incessant babble of the chattering classes, is the voice opposing war? Alas, the Medea Benjamins and Brian Beckers of America are few, and we have become a culture in which all and sundry — very much including old 1960s anti-Vietnam War Boomers — must now reflexively whine, “Thank you for your service” to any vet we come across or risk the sort of freezing contempt that met me when I refused to stand for the National Anthem — at a goddamn college glee club concert — in 1990.

While the “Resistance” carries placards supporting the likes of the un-indicted serial criminals James Clapper and James Comey — imagine  American liberals in 1973 so deranged by their hatred of Nixon that they began marching in support of H.R. Haldeman — the Trump Administration meanwhile quietly continues giving obscene amounts of our treasure to arms manufacturers to support the seven wars Barack Obama managed to carve out of the two he inherited and to bomb civilians in Syria and elsewhere at the behest of Our Friends, the Saudis. That the “Resistance” says nothing about. (Indeed, the Democrats have voted for all of Trump’s obscene military expenditures.) Why? One can only posit two related explanations: 1) That their loathing for Donald J. Trump swamps all other interests, passions or human concerns; or 2) that they secretly approve of protracted war and mass-killing.

I am not fully persuaded that both are not equally true.

Senile Aggitation Boomers

Thanks to Eliot M. Camarena for this.

Certainly ABC News approves of endless conflict. Having repeatedly aired footage the network claimed was of civilians being slaughtered in Syria because Donald Trump ordered a troop withdrawal but which was subsequently proven to be of a gun demonstration in Kentucky, are there demands from the “Resistance” that such naked  and appalling manipulation of the airways be investigated? That the news executives and reporters who perpetrated this arrant hoax be removed from their jobs, charged, and tried or at the very least black-balled from their industry? Assertions that such craven and partisan assaults on the very notion of a free press are more damaging to American journalism, and to America itself, than anything Trump did by withdrawing combat troops? Outside of progressive YouTube channels such as Ben Swann’s and media outlets like that scourge of Delirus liberalis, RT America, not a peep.  Or a Tweet.


The latest hobbyhorse for Delirus liberalis is the whistle-blower… but only so long as the whistle being blown is on Trump. While a (so far) anonymous CIA hack is celebrated by liberals, his protection from the big bad President their gravest concern, a genuinely heroic whistle-blower, one who has both served her time and been pardoned, sits in a Virginia prison cell being fined $1,000 a day, not for any crime she has committed but for refusing to testify against a publisher, one with whom she had no direct involvement. Even if the charges on which she is being held were not so flagrantly anti-democratic,  indeed fascistic… even were she in better physical health than she currently is… Chelsea Manning would be worthy of our veneration and our support, yet the “liberal” media is, and liberals in general are, when not actively pillorying her, utterly silent.

Ah, but… Manning, you see, assisted WikiLeaks and, by extension, Julian Assange, the most hated figure in the rogue’s gallery of Delirus liberalis, despised in a way even the bile engendered by Vladimir Putin cannot match, for in the eyes of liberal Democrats, Assange’s revelations about their uncrowned queen cost her the election. It did not occur to them, of course, to be outraged that she was proved so base, corrupt, heartless and cruel; that she had two faces, only one of which she was going to show to the likes of them; that she controlled the DNC, and thus the 2016 Democratic Party elections; that it was she and her husband, her daughter and their phony foundation that gained most from the sale to Russia of Uranium One. No, they were, and are, engaged in a collective conniption, a massive, volcanic overflow of pique, because Assange exposed her.

And what of Julian Assange himself, speaking of whistle-blowers? Where the cheers of support for his exposing deliberate murder of civilians by the American armed forces? Where the cries of outrage at his patently illegal arrest and incarceration, in solitary confinement, in one of the worst prisons in Britain, or at his almost certain extradition, trial and imprisonment in America? Or the howls of anguish for young Seth Rich, who may or may not have been Assange’s DNC connection and who was, whatever the case, murdered for no other discernible reason? What of a true American hero, Edward Snowden, forced to leave his home and country because he cared more about Americans, and privacy, and democracy, than he did about the pleasurable trappings of his employment? For these whistle-blowers, and others, who have acted out of a love of truth and liberty, a commitment beyond themselves, no word spoken except to condemn, no passion offered but vilest opprobrium. For CIA agents who rush to tell, not their superiors, as John Kiriakou did when he adhered to Agency rules (and ended up in jail anyway) but the corporate media, anguished cries of, “We must protect the whistle-blower!”

Unlike Manning, Snowden, Rich, Kiriakou or Bill Binney, however, Assange is a journalist — or at the very least, a publisher. And unlike ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MS-NBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post, not a single one of Assange’s claims has later been proven to be false.

Naturally, Delirus liberalis cannot suffer him to live.

wikileaks-julian-assange-cover-2010

What a difference a decade makes. Note Zakaria’s headline. Who in the corporate media believes this now, or will say so?

Finally, while I am on the subject of journalism, or what passes for it, this, concerning Senator Richard Blumenthal‘s terrifying new bill proposing to define who may call him-or-herself a journalist: “Blumenthal cited a fake video depicting President Trump carrying out a violent attack on members of the news media as he again called on Congress to make it a federal crime for anyone to attack or threaten a member of the news media doing their job.” Nowhere in this shoddily-written piece by Forbes is there any illumination for its readers of what is in Blumenthal’s bill. Yet liberals are now cheering the Democrat Senator’s proto-fascist proposal, which would permit the government to decide who qualifies as a journalist, and who does not. Who, in other words, deserves the protection of the First fucking Amendment to the goddamned Constitution.

For those who require a refresher course, the Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As my friend Eliot M. Camarena rightly notes in his most recent blog essay: “The First Amendment is all the protection journalists need AND NEOFASCISTS LIKE SENATOR BLUMENTHAL KNOW THIS or he would not promulgate a law giving government the UNCONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to decide who the First Amendment applies to […] Hey, you infantile, certifiable twits who satisfy your Cosplay egos by branding yourself ‘The Resistance’: Face the fact that you refuse to accept that a corrupt, obese, alcoholic, belligerent, old lady who long ago earned the sobriquet ‘Congenital Liar’, lost the 2016 election. This rage, and your continuous tantrum, blinds you to EVERYTHING else. Now you want to further gut the Bill of Rights because you don’t like the way Trump mocks journalists. Well done, you sap-heads! You have now truly become what Stalin called USEFUL IDIOTS – doing the work of the very fascists you so loudly CLAIM TO OPPOSE.”

Meanwhile, ABC News — a hive of the very sorts of journalists from whom the United States government need have no fear whatever — tells you civilians are being slaughtered in Syria, and has the film to prove it.

Somewhere in the ether, William Casey is smiling.

Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/why-i-am-not-a-liberal/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/keep-gloating/

The Politics of Pique

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By Scott Ross

May 3rd marked the observation of something called “World Press Freedom Day,” first proclaimed by the United Nations in 1993. There is much irony inherent in this, the first especial instance of which was the passage three years following that initial proclamation of a bill, engineered by Bill (and Hillary?) Clinton and rammed through Congress at his (their?) insistence: The Telecommunications Act of 1996. This blatantly fascistic law has in the years since effectively reduced media control in the United States from 50 corporations to a mere six and jettisoned what I would argue is the single most important component of a free society, without which democracy is impossible: An unfettered press.

There is irony as well in the reactionary and repressive governments —Saudi Arabia springs to mind, as it will — the United States, in foolish contravention of George Washington’s warning,* habitually supports and in which the press is strictly controlled by a state which, further, goes out of its way and across continents to punish with torture and death. I would include in that charming group the current government of Israel, whose military snipers target not only Palestinian men, women and children but clearly delineated medics and journalists. And indeed, the U.S. itself, as evidenced by the appalling video the almost infinitely courageous Chelsea Manning released to WikiLeaks of American military personnel massacring civilians, including journalists, from a helicopter in Baghdad, and laughing as they did so.

The more immediate ironies, which went unnoted save by the progressive left, were that “World Press Freedom Day” was commemorated this year during a period when the Western press generally, and the U.S. corporate media specifically, is (to use their new favorite word) colluding with the Trump Administration and its shadow masters to demonize and depose a legally-elected government in Venezuela. At the same time, the three most egregious examples of free-speech suppression by the West had so recently occurred, and (in the first case) been roundly celebrated by nearly all the ladies and gentlemen of the corporate media and (in the second two) utterly ignored:

  • The expulsion (following the promise of a massive American bribe) from the Ecuadoran Embassy and subsequent immediate arrest, on a flagrantly specious charge, of Julian Assange, now in a prison reserved for hardened and violent criminals and soon quite possibly to be turned over to the U.S. and extradited (on equally spurious charges), there presumably to be tortured, placed before a kangaroo installation called the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (known here as “The Espionage Court”), tried without legal defense counsel and sentenced for life — in not indeed to death — to the accompaniment of lusty cheers from the American press;
  • The harassment and, lately, arrest of legal and invited protectors of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, in contravention of established world norms for protocol, a violation of international law and the inviolability of embassies throughout the world and which, its unalloyed totalitarianism to one side, will almost certainly generate dangerous blowback elsewhere;
  • And the re-imprisonment, largely in solitary confinement, of Manning, her release and her re-re-imprisonment last week, with the added financial burden it will eventually entail, in daily fines of $500 to $1000, in addition to the physical and psychological effects on a woman who has already been charged, sentenced, imprisoned and released for the identical “crime” and which are clearly, and cruelly if not indeed with evil intent, designed to break, or kill, her. Either would, presumably, be acceptable outcomes.

What is being done to Manning makes me so angry, and so frustrated, I can scarcely speak about it without choking. It is iniquitous. It is stunningly vindictive. It is in fact fascist. I am livid, not merely at the court that has imposed this deliberate torture on her, but the overwhelming lot of so-called journalists throughout America who are utterly silent on the subject…. when not actively sneering at and deriding her.

And it this last bulleted item that is most directly related to the main topic of this essay. For, setting aside for the moment that WikiLeaks (indeed, a free press generally) is the bane, not merely of the National Security State but of the corporate class, whose investments in the former are, however obliquely, threatened by exposure of the misdeeds of our military/industrial rulers, much of what now governs the reaction (or lack thereof) of corporate media, and its main consumers, can be boiled down to a simple concept. And the word that best defines this attitude is pique.

As long as Julian Assange, via WikiLeaks, was exposing the misdeeds of the hatred Bush Administration, liberals were more than delighted to receive the news — they were euphoric. Assange was all but nominated for a form of living canonization, feted and fussed over and interviewed at length. It was only when he, and figures like Manning and Edward Snowden, shone lights on the unsavory acts of the Obama regime (to use the favorite word of the mainstream media to describe any foreign government it does not care for) that Assange became suspect. This is due in part to party politics; how dare he — how dare anyone — rip the carefully constructed veil of respectability and moral rectitude off that universal symbol of hope, change and transparency? Revealing the lies and misdeeds of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz was one thing. Holding Obama to the same standards? Outrageous! But even that was as nothing compared to the greatest crime Assange committed: Drawing the curtain on the seedy backstage wherein Hillary Clinton exhibited her “private face” for her true public — her Wall Street owners.

That Hillary Clinton is not merely a practiced liar but, seemingly, a pathological one, should be news to no one not lost in the miasma of political team-sports. (As my friend Eliot M. Camarena has noted, we’ve already had one of those in the Oval Office; he was forced to resign.) But that WikiLeaks revealed the extent of her prevarication — that was too much. Of course, Clinton’s deceit goes deeper than assuring her billionaire donors with a wink that she has a public face and a private one so don’t worry, boys, I’ll always be true to you. It involves her takeover, and operation of, the DNC throughout the 2016 election; its subsequent cheating of Sanders and disenfranchising of his supporters and independent voters, the largest proven case of election racketeering in modern American history; her so-called “Pied Piper Strategy,” whereby she and Bill convinced their media assets to prop up Trump (and which, indeed, included that pair’s efforts in getting The Donald to run); and her determination to deflect voter concerns over her sale, as Secretary of State, of uranium ore to the Russian Federation as a means to directly benefit her husband and their phony Foundation, onto her opponent. No wonder she wanted Assange drone-bombed.

It was this unconscionable airing of Clinton’s soiled pantsuits by WikiLeaks that placed Assange officially beyond the pale. This is what I mean by pique. It is the same pique that found in any critical discussion of Hillary Clinton’s neoliberalism (if not indeed neoconservatism) the inevitable accusation leveled at the questioner and regardless of his or her gender, of “sexism.” It is pique that created the Pussyhat Brigade, fueled meaningless acts of protest that continue even now and which embrace such paragons of public virtue as James Clapper and Robert Mueller, and which suggests to them placards (“If Clinton was President I’d be having brunch now”) revealing far more than their carriers realize about their own essential complacence, and the extent of their personal pique. It’s the source of the virus that has engendered the entire so-called “Russiagate” hysteria, the gas that makes it run and which finds its apotheosis in the crazed Red-baiting of Rachel Maddow and that collection of deranged harpies on The View on the sillier end of the spectrum, and the seeming desire for nuclear war with Russia on the more dangerous, deadly, end. And it is Manning’s association with Assange, on a matter completely divorced from Assange’s revelation of the Podesta emails, which governs the lack of support for her and the reaction to her extra-legal imprisonment. She is seen as an expendable means to “getting” the source of their pique.

For pique it is which has seen to it that Trump cannot engage in a meaningful or productive conversation with Putin about anything. It is pique that has given him the greatest re-election gift imaginable. It is pique which demands that Democrats, and their media assets, not give an inch, or admit that the entire two-year investigation was a colossal waste of time, choler and treasure. And it is pique that will ultimately doom the campaign of whichever corporate tool they nominate as their party’s standard-bearer next summer.

But pique has other uses; it can extend the common madness far beyond reason, if not ad infinitum. For it is this same pique that encourages Neera Tanden to observe of the adherents of Twitter, “There are many cultists on this site, but the Assange cultists are the worst.  Assange was the agent of a proto fascist state, Russia, to undermine democracy.  That is fascist behavior.  Anyone on the left should abhor what he did.  Not celebrate it. [sic]” Note that Tanden, who “earned’ over $314K in 2016, is nonetheless a) not literate enough to understand basic tenets of the written word; b) feels compelled to waste two of her 140-character limit on unnecessary spaces between sentences; and c) apparently believes that, “Not celebrate it” is a sentence. (Yes, use of an abbreviated clause can herald an effective rhetorical flourish. But not in this case.) Her sub-literacy aside — the lack of a hyphen between “proto” and “fascist,” for example — Tanden, a Clinton stalwart to the end, thinks she is being clever by expressing a fascist sentiment while deflecting the accusation to those who not only might disagree with her but who know that there is not now, nor has there ever been, the slightest evidence to suggest that Assange, or WikiLeaks, is in any way aligned with, or subservient to, the Russian Federation. Like icon, like acolyte.

I will not accuse Tanden of the staggering ignorance her nasty little Tweet seems to illustrate, as I suspect she knows quite how deliberately she is misleading her hapless followers with that specious accusation, so let us assume that she is well aware that WikiLeaks has published thousands of pages of documentation critical of Russia. She may not know, as many do not, that Putin is no great admirer of Edward Snowden — nor, by extension, of Assange or Manning or John Kiriakou or Bill Binney — believing that the man his nation gave asylum to is guilty of a state crime. (See Oliver Stone’s The Putin Interviews.) Note too that the Tandens of the world, who without ever offering proof — or who offer self-serving official United States government excuses as proof — invariably state that the elected leader of Russia is, to use their favorite, CIA-directed, phrase, “a brutal dictator.” Yet they see nothing brutal or dictatorial about a band of uniformed “secret police” dragging an obviously ill Australian publisher into a waiting van.

Tanden is, please recall, President of the so-called Center for American Progress (which despite its sunny, double-speak name is in fact a neoliberal corporate “think-tank”) and was, during the 2016 primaries, a close advisor of Hillary Clinton’s. And, as Jimmy Dore recently pointed out, once said — apropos of whether Libya, now a chaotic no-man’s land, owes America for its “liberation” — “We have a giant deficit. They have a lot of oil.” Could Donald J. Trump have advocated international resource theft any better? It should, however, be remembered that Assange also published some of Tanden’s damaging emails. There is more than a slight whiff of personal vengeance — not to say pique — in her words. Such is the duplicitous game these types play. Tanden’s reaction to Russia asking that Assange’s rights be respected? “Fascists take care of their own.” One is tempted to ape her immaturity and sneer, “Takes one to know one, lady.”

WikiLeaks Editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson reports that, not only was Assange being monitored by video and still camera at every moment of his life, including conferences with his Ecuadoran attorney, but that legal documents were stolen and copied, the whole of this illegal surveillance then turned over to blackmailers in Madrid. The Tandens of the so-called “left” say nothing, of course, about the (to use her own word, only properly hyphenated) proto-fascist treatment of Assange. And I would love to hear the smug, condescending British and American reporters who have grilled Hrafnsson and Assange’s Australian attorney Jennifer Robison if their own governments were spying on them in their homes, recording their personal communications, legal discussions, sex lives and bathroom visits.† They’d squeal like stuck pigs. Yet somehow Assange is “naive” for not assuming it’s been done to him — and, presumably, ungrateful for complaining about it. And they wonder that so much of the public, both in Britain and elsewhere, is thoroughly disgusted by the press?

No one has ever successfully challenged the veracity of a single WikiLeaks’ publication. And that, I submit, is the real reason Assange is so hated, both by the National Security State and the permanently piqued.


Irony abounds as well in the fawning treatment of reporters and commentators in the United States (and in Britain) who, out of their pique over Clinton as much as their loathing for Donald Trump, have opportunistically peddled two and a half years of evidence-free accusations concerning the President and his counterpart in the Russian Federation.

Take, for example, the case of Marcie Wheeler, the likes of whom Michael Tracey refers to as “journalist-adjacent types.” This woman did the one thing that Glenn Greenwald correctly maintains is the gravest sin a journalist can commit: Turning in a source to the government. Even now, a year after she did so, and with the Mueller Report released, Wheeler is still speaking as if her informing on a source was of the gravest importance to the investigation and so cannot reveal the circumstances. And the brigade that has made hay (and jack) on the counterfeit accusations against Trump and, by extension, Vladimir Putin, lauded her as a fearless exemplar of the journalistic profession. So we can see where we are now: If you expose a government’s international murders and militaristic duplicity you are beyond the pale; if you snitch on a source ​to ​that government, you’re a liberal icon.

Take as well the increasingly deranged, deliberately prevaricating and, I aver, fundamentally dangerous Rachel Maddow, dementedly Red-baiting not only a nation that has not been Red in decades, but anyone who debunks her infinitely debunkable, certifiably reactionary, assertions, not the least insipid of which is that the Kremlin will turn off your heat during record freezes. To the best of my admittedly limited knowledge only the U.S. has, through its secret HAARP program, that ability. But for $30,000 a day, a person like Maddow may, and will, say anything. And the unthinking Piqued cheer this madness on.

Those of us who grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s and who in our teens looked into the 1950s Red Scare could scarcely believe what we were reading. How, we wondered, could claiming Communist interference on everything, without the slightest scintilla of evidence, not have been looked upon with skepticism by, at least, the more intelligent and well-educated Americans?

We now know the answer.


In the early 1980s, the then-CIA chief William Casey made a statement to the newly-elected Ronald Reagan at their first meeting, which a principled man would have responded to in the only sane possible manner: By, if not calling in the White House guards to hold the maniac until he could be arrested and charged with conspiring against his country, at the very least demanding its speaker resign and his government entity be scrutinized in minute detail and re-aligned as a result of that investigation. Reagan, of course, did none of these things.

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete,” Casey told him, “when everything the American public believes is false.”

One expects the National Security types to receive this information with nods of approval. One would like to imagine that others — particularly in the press — would express outrage. But those who believe Operation Mockingbird, the 1960s CIA campaign to influence and guide writers, reporters, editors and entire publications and publishing houses in the production of their news and analysis content, was ended merely because the Company told us it was also, presumably, maintain a conviction that the Easter Bunny leaves multicolored eggs in convenient baskets. Perhaps when the day dawns… and dawn it will, ere long… that these same writers, reporters and editors of publications find themselves in shackles, sharing a concrete wall with Julian Assange for the National Security crime of revealing truth to their viewers, readers and listeners, they will grasp the opportunity that fell into their laps to defend their own profession and which they deliberately eschewed in favor of the fast buck and the hosannas of the professionally piqued, and repeat to themselves a variation on the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller:

“First they came for Assange, and I did not speak out because I was not Assange…”


*“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.” — George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

†Always assuming — a dangerous occupation these days — these governments aren’t in fact doing just that, perhaps through our now ubiquitous electronic devices.


Copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/keep-gloating/

Why I Am Not a Liberal

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By Scott Ross

In a waning year of the Roaring ‘20s Bertrand Russell famously delivered a lecture entitled “Why I Am Not a Christian.” Although I pretend to nothing approaching Russell’s excellent mind, nor to his precise articulation of its febrile thoughts, and while I do not for a moment imagine it is as courageous a thing in 2019 to admit of a distrust of liberalism as it was for an atheist to explain himself publicly in 1927, one has to move with caution nonetheless. For if there is one thing liberals hate more than conservatives, it’s progressives — or in any case those who lean either to independence of mind generally or to the far left sphere specifically. We who do not thunder with the herd must nevertheless tread gently.

Introducing his song “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” to a live audience in 1966, the late Phil Ochs noted, “In every American community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals… Ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.”

But surely Ochs was being generous. In his own his time, and as he alludes to in his song, it was fashionable for liberals to applaud the efforts of Civil Rights workers and desegregationists while never once inviting a Negro into their homes (except perhaps to clean them) and, secretly, hoping integration would not arrive before their public school children were safely beyond its reach… or perhaps weighing the option of bombing the first bus that came to take the little darlings to another neighborhood.

The liberals of a decade prior were, nearly without exception, dedicated anti-Communists, only slightly to the sinister of J. Parnell Thomas and no more aware, apparently, of history or current geopolitical realities than Senator McCarthy. Were it to be pointed out to these types (which, in those days included not merely Democrats but moderate and even liberal Republicans, a class now entirely wiped off the political map) that no nation had suffered more in the late World War than the Soviet Union (8-10 million military deaths and 24 million civilians) or that it was Russia’s beating back of Hitler at Stalingrad which, more than any other single factor, including D-Day, led to the Allies’ ultimate defeat of Nazism, one would doubtless have been met with incredulous stares, quivering jowls and the trembling accusation that one was at the very least a parlor pink. If one, further, reminded his listener that Stalin repeatedly asked for assistance on the Eastern Front, was as consistently assured he would get it, and that FDR and Churchill reneged at every turn, preferring the blood-bath of Omaha Beach to a successful collaboration with Russia which might have made the D-Day landing superfluous… or that following Roosevelt’s death his successor instantly turned on the Russians, in contradiction of all previous assurances, and that, far from being a world aggressor, the Russian nation was entirely surrounded by our bases, with our missiles pointed squarely at her heart… the hearer of such appalling and treasonous sedition would almost certainly have reached for the nearest telephone and placed a call to his or her local branch of the FBI.

It is never the liberal who effects positive change. It is, rather, the radical (if, if you prefer a softer epithet, the progressive) for whom the notions of universal suffrage, collective bargaining, the 40-hour work week, the complete social and political emancipation for the descendants of our former slaves, the eminently reasonable demands of feminism and of the call for gay rights and an end to unjust wars (or indeed to stop their beginning) are not merely conversant with American ideals and traditions but virtually demanded by them, who move the nation to action. Although at present these past victories are touted, in easily-available memes, as “liberal” shibboleths (“The Weekend Was a Crazy Liberal Idea”), they were and are nothing of the kind.

Even as a teenager I was uncomfortable both with Democrats and with liberalism, although I could not at the time have articulated precisely why, or explored in any meaningful way the alternative. But when, at 18, I registered to vote, I instinctively did so as an Independent — just as, a year later, I cast my first ballot against the “liberal” Democrat Jimmy Carter. Certainly I did not vote for that senescent Pithecanthropoid Ronald Reagan; as I would in 2016, I voted as an independent… which is to say, independently. Little the former (moderate) Republican John Anderson did later in his life, including the founding of FairVote, prevailing at the Supreme Court in Anderson v. Celebrezze, endorsing Nader in 2000, or helping to found the Justice Party in 2012, persuades me that my vote was in any way squandered. That, in 1976, Carter had potential is not in dispute. But that he chose to surround himself with slathering Cold Warriors such as the vicious, vengeance-maddened Zbigniew Brzezinski and to, rather than engaging the Soviets, place himself solidly against them, merely encouraged the following decade of Red-baiting, nearly unregulated arms acceleration and the cultivation of “freedom fighters” who would, inevitably (and, as they continue to do today) turn their American-made (or at least, -paid) arms against the United States… that is, when they had a moment free from their torture and slaughter of civilians. And let us not forget that it was the liberal Carter who exacerbated tensions with the Iranians by first physically embracing the hated Shah, then permitting him refuge after he fled the country.*

It was liberals who made possible the Hollywood and television Blacklist of the 1950s, and who permitted the establishment, and growing encroachment, of a National Security State which now permeates every fabric of our lives, and who sat back and watched, clucking their tongues as police first aimed fire-hoses at and sicced attack dogs on, then fired their guns at, peaceful Black marchers in Birmingham and Selma, and anti-war protesters in Chicago and at Kent State. It was liberals who did nothing to stop American activity in Chile, El Salvador and Honduras, which led to the wholesale killings of tens of thousands. It was liberals, whose old novels I still read and whose old movies I still see, who more than anyone else peddled and belabored the most venomous stereotypes about homosexual men in their books and television sketches and motion pictures, throughout the 1960s and ’70s and ’80s, well into the 1990s and even into the early Aughts, far beyond a point at which they would dare pillory any comparable group in the culture… aside, of course, from women, on whom it is always open season. The more liberal, indeed, the writer or filmmaker, the more flagrantly he nursed his often obsessive sexual victimizing; even the otherwise estimable civil libertarian William Bradford Huie, for example, drove me from the perusal of his The Execution of Private Slovik with a casual (and, as I recall, wholly unmotivated) loathing for queers, and the equally liberal Sidney Lumet’s period work is likewise inexplicably filled with homophobic contempt.

It was liberals who did nothing to curb the worst excesses of Carter’s successor. It should be remembered that, throughout Ronald Reagan’s eight-year Administration, it was Democrats, not Republicans, who were the party in charge of Congress and who, whatever their rhetoric, acquiesced time and again to the President’s wishes, approving his nominees and enacting his laws, exactly as they have those of the man they have professed to despise, and oppose, since 2016. It was the “liberal” Bill Clinton and his colleagues in Congress who gave us the disastrous Telecommunications Act of 1996 which has, by itself, changed Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 Network from a satirical warning to a virtual documentary. It was a liberal named Madeline Albright who, asked whether the 500,000 Iraqi children dead as the result of U.S. sanctions were “worth it,” replied in the affirmative. It was liberals who, rather than enacting a universal healthcare plan which could have covered every man, woman and child in the nation, gave us a bill modeled on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It is liberals who now tell us that single-payer — in the words of their erstwhile savior, Hillary Rodham Clinton — “will never happen.” (This is not to mention her laughing uproariously at the truly horrific 2011 murder of the Libyan Muammar Gaddafi, sodomized with a machete.)

It is liberals such as Pelosi, Schumer, Booker, Harris and Schiff who are now most in thrall to big pharma, the insurance industry, the military-industrial complex, the bankers and Wall Street generally. It was the “liberal” Barack Obama who, quite contrary to ending our illegal wars abroad, expanded two wars to seven… and liberals in Congress and the Senate who permitted, when they did not in fact encourage, him. It is liberals who evince public nostalgia for the un-indicted war criminal George W. Bush and who — including such alleged progressive stalwarts as the over-hyped and imbecilic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — wail and rend their garments over the passing of men such as his equally vile (and equally un-indicted) father, as well as the unrepentant war-monger John McCain. It is liberals who applaud and defend officials of CIA and even the once-hated FBI, whose current agents are the descendants of those who routinely infiltrated student groups and civil rights organizations in the 1960s and who murdered their leaders (Malcom, Martin, Fred Hampton) with impunity and without punishment or even governmental investigation. It is liberals who not only accede regularly to Trump’s demands but routinely give him more than he asks for; when he submits a defense budget larger than that of any previous occupant of the White House the Democrats, not content with that obscenity, tack on millions more. It was liberals who embraced a war-mongering sociopath as their candidate of choice and, having endured her all-too-predictable defeat, turned at last to the bogeyman-god of, not their own youths but that of their parents, as the receptacle into which they have placed all of their hurt, anger, fear and pique. And it is liberals now who, after three years of screeching that Trump is both a puppet of Vladimir Putin and an existential threat to America and the world, cheerlead for his attempts — roundly condemned by those nations not entirely in America’s thrall — at a putative putsch to eject from Venezuela its duly elected leader. There is your liberal “Resistance.”


The 2105-2016 election period was a bruising one, particularly if one had liberal friends. I suspect I lost more friendships during that 18-month period than during the previous several decades of my life, some of them stretching back 40 years and more, to childhood. As dispiriting as it was to see so many old liberals quiver with senile avidity over Clinton, to hear supposed lefties and alleged feminists like Gloria Steinem sneeringly dismiss young women in the Sanders camp as “boy-crazy” and the Human Rights Council proffer its endorsement, not to the candidate who has been a vocal, public supporter of gay rights since the early 1970s but to the woman who opposed marriage equality (until, that is, the magic 51% of respondents said they supported it) how much more depressing was it to hear and read the comments and see the actions of our own old friends as they championed, and campaigned for, a reactionary neocon in liberal Democrat pantsuits? For it is liberals who, succumbing to Hollywood pop-imagery, proclaimed themselves “The Resistance” and now hold marches in support of a man who helped lie us into Iraq and carry placards assuring us — as if we didn’t already know — that, if a mainstream (read: neoliberal) Democrat was in office, they’d be having brunch instead of making a protest.

Yet something larger than mere selfishness is at work here. Those of us who were equally repulsed by Clinton and Trump have not allowed our special disgust at the latter to interfere with our ability to think, and to reason, for ourselves; indeed, it was precisely this positive trait, I would argue, that would not permit us to vote for Trump’s immediate rival. And many of us who have been dismayed for three years by our liberal friends’ inability to sort reality from fantasy, truth from rumor (Steele dossier, anyone?) have presumed that they are exhibiting cognitive dissonance, an offshoot of the apparently permanent derangement with which so many were left by the seemingly endless election and the, to them, insupportable results of that protracted assault on our pretensions of Demos. But as my friend Eliot M. Camarena suggested to me recently, American liberals today are stuck in that phase the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget termed “transductive reasoning.” A few bits of definition and commentary should be sufficient to define the concept. (Thanks, Eliot.)

“As children progress from infants to toddlers, they also progress from the sensorimotor stage to the preoperational stage. The preoperational stage includes transductive reasoning. According to information on Piaget’s Theory from Michigan State University, transductive thought involves seeing a relationship between two things that are not actually related. Your child may be using transductive reasoning if she tells you that an orange is a ball. Because both the ball and the orange are round, her transductive reasoning tells her that they both must be a ball.” — Kristen Lee, List of the Cognitive Development of Early Childhood

“With transductive reasoning, a child reasons from case to case, ignoring important, well-established facts they have yet to learn. For example, a child might reason that pizza is triangular in shape rather than round, if they have only seen single slices. Also, a child might reach the conclusion that he is capable of turning into an Asian if he eats rice, because his friend Larry, who eats rice regularly, is Asian. Both of these cases exemplify the use of transductive reasoning.” https://www.reference.com/world-view/transductive-reasoning-mean-eabbb9bff8ee8b16

“Transductive thinking in preoperational stage: Transductive thinking is prominent in children’s thoughts. They create a connection between two situations that occurs at the same time, even though there’s nothing in common to both of them. Transductive reasoning leads to illogical conclusions, since it involves reasoning from one particular instance to another particular instance without reference to the general. Transduction can sometimes yield a correct conclusion, but the overgeneralization resulting from this type of reasoning often leads to stubborn, rigid behavior. As the child matures, he becomes capable of logical thought based on inductive and deductive reasoning. ‘Inductive reasoning’ proceeds from specific to general ‘Deductive reasoning’ moves from general to specific.”
Ashana Suri

“[Transductive reasoning] is so called because it focuses on concrete instances and does not follow the principles of either induction or deductive reasoning. Also called transductive logic, but this is avoided in careful usage, because it is clearly not a form of logic.” [Emphasis mine.]
— http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803105323835

Am I saying my liberal friends — those few I have left — are children? No. Merely that they are thinking like children. And in so doing, are assisting the very man whose presence in the Oval Office has driven them from reason. The unintended result of their ceaseless yammering and instant adoption and repetition of words and concepts (collusion, the Emoluments Clause, redaction) about which they know nothing has been to strengthen the position of Donald J. Trump with his electoral base… and perhaps with a considerable number of his quieter foes as well.


Such transductive reasoning as has gripped liberals for the past three years plus is, of course, wholly enabled and abetted by the legion of CIA assets in the American corporate media. As I write these words, the Ecuadoran Embassy this morning opened its doors to a phalanx of British secret police, who duly arrested and carried Julian Assange — “guilty,” as far as is known, of little more than being a publisher — into a waiting van. Passing by for a moment the shame-making sight of a dozen burly, uniformed thugs dragging one small, bedraggled and, from what one hears, seriously ill, man into the street — how brave the guardians of law! how noble the soldiers of order! — I note that the babbling heads on CBS This Morning have already begun the disinformation campaign, accusing Assange of, in addition to the spurious and easily disproven charge of “conspiring with and encouraging” Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning, of somehow being involved in the “Russian hacking of our elections.” Thus is the official National Security narrative begun, and reinforced. Next up: Endless reiterations of the false and discredited accusations of rape and the horrified/outraged cries that this Australian and, now, Ecuadoran citizen, is somehow a “traitor” to a nation he has never been a citizen of.

Cue too the delighted squeals of liberals across the land as Assange, slayer of their goddess, is first surrendered to U.S. authorities, then perhaps carried in secret to some “rendition center” (possibly in Saudi Arabia?), there to be further tortured and denied the basic jurisprudence no liberal would countenance having removed from him or her. But then, as they will no doubt smugly remind us all, they would not be engaged in “espionage.” (What do they think doing the bidding of America’s shadow government for pay is — knocking on doors for the Welcome Wagon?) What, one wonders, will their excuse be when they are dragged from their homes in the early morning hours? For an unfortunate majority of liberals, the concept that one is innocent until proven guilty is merely a quaint remnant of unenlightened thought. How else could they have kept going for three years, with a concomitant waste of our national treasure, their inane (if not indeed actually insane) natter that Trump, in the face of no supporting evidence whatsoever, has been demonstrably guilty of this offense, or that?

I was deeply depressed by the news this morning. That depression has given way to intense anger. But although I am at present absolutely livid, I have seldom been more relieved than I am at this moment that I am not a Democrat.

And I have never been prouder of not being a liberal.
________________________________________

* I had wondered often over the years, since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, why, as the Shah was a Central Intelligence Agency-installed puppet, and as we are so often told by our elders and betters that the analysts employed by that Agency are non pariel, the C.I.A. was unable to warn the U.S. government to get its employees out of its embassy before the takeover. It has lately come to my attention that the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during this crucial period was no less a personage than that chilling psychopath Richard Helms, one of the men most likely to have given the go-ahead for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We may be forgiven, then, for entertaining the notion that Helms, no fan of Carter’s, knew what was coming, smiled that sneering grimace of his, and let it happen.


Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/

Keep Gloating!

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By Scott Ross

My previous essay on this topic, from 2018:
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/

At a rather woefully under-attended press conference at Duke University a few years ago, for a starry staged reading of Gore Vidal’s Civil War play On the March to the Sea, I asked Vidal how it felt to be nearly always correct about world events and to be consistently either ignored or traduced by what is laughingly called our free press. Vidal purred back, “The four most beautiful words in the English language are, ‘I told you so.'”

Although I have since become aware that this serene aperçu was one Vidal had used before, the wit and the truth of the remark are no less apt for repetition. Indeed, I have thought of it often in the last couple of weeks, since the odious Robert Mueller — predictably now beloved of the Clinton crowd, but only so long as he appears to be “going after” Donald Trump — announced that, after two years of costly investigation, there was no evidence the President had “colluded” (a word these types had never heard of before 2016) with a foreign government in the late, un-lamented, American election.

“Gloating” is a word much maligned in the language, and not without reason, as it typically denotes a sneering ugliness and self-regard unattractive at best and insufferably narcissistic at worst. There are, however, exceptions, and it seems to me that people such as Michael Tracey, Elizabeth Vos, Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jesse Ventura, Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté, who have from the very beginnings of this false, sordid and militantly partisan saga spoken or written about the subject with admirable skepticism and those rarest now of American journalistic virtues, thoughtfulness and reason, have more than earned the right to say, “I told you so.” That their voices were, and are, marginalized when not actively maligned, merely adds to their entitlement.

Naturally, and on cue, the very men and women who have been the loudest and most egregiously culpable in running a three-year scam against reason and perspicacity are now screaming that the Traceys and Matés of the world are “victimizing” the likes of Rachel Maddow merely by pointing out how knowingly duplicitous she has been. Maddow a victim? If so, she has certainly been well-compensated for her victimhood, unless you consider $30,000 a day scant recompense for self-induced martyrdom.

When I use the word “scam,” I am not being hyperbolic, merely realistic. As Dore is fond of pointing out, even a “jagoff nightclub comedian working out of his garage” was not fooled by the accusation, cobbled up by the cabal surrounding a Democratic candidate who was so disastrous she could not prevail against a self-regarding television game-show host to account for her eminently predictable (indeed, predicted) loss, even after taking control of her party’s operational arm and disenfranchising millions of voters in what looks to be the most monumentally fixed (and, predictably, un-punished) campaign in modern American history. A candidate, I might add, whose own machinations while Secretary of State, to sell uranium to the Russian Federation in exchange for a half-million dollars given to her equally corrupt husband, inspired her to employ the oldest trick in the political book: Deflection. “Don’t look at my dealings with Russia — look at him!” Anyone with a modicum of unaligned intelligence could see how transparently phony the whole business was. And indeed, as Jonathan Allen and Amy Parnes write in their book Shattered:

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. [Emphasis mine.]

The very word “hacking” is key. For well over three years, we have been treated to the absolute lie that John Podesta’s emails were “hacked” by WikiLeaks… or by Russian actors… when, as Ray McGovern and Bill Binney of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) have proven, the information was not “hacked,” but rather downloaded internally — possibly, if unverifiably, by the now conveniently dead Seth Rich at the Democratic National Committee. That WikiLeaks does not “hack” information from anywhere but merely publishes documents provided to them by third parties is conveniently left out of the narrative of those I call the Professionally Piqued… all too often, I’m afraid, women over 50, so desperate to see a person with a vagina elected to the office of President in their lifetimes they were willing to back any woman, even one as demonstrably corrupt and right-wing as Hillary Rodham Clinton, for the position.

That Clinton herself, like her erstwhile boss, the appalling Barack Obama, is so beloved of the supposed “Left” simply proves how neoliberal, or perhaps merely unthinking and reactive, most of these people really are. In fact, I would categorize the brunch-missing Pussyhat Brigade as worse than neoliberal; their words and deeds during the last three years have revealed them as deeply, and dangerously, reactionary. Their incessant Red-baiting, when the Soviet Union has long been a distant memory for many, and a non-existent one for anyone under the age of 30, reveals not merely an ugly and insupportable strain of naked xenophobia (Keith Olbermann: “Scum! Russian scum!”) but a willingness to push America toward an armed confrontation with another nation that would endanger not merely the U.S., or Russia, but the entire planet, and no one more vociferously or blindly as the now seemingly irreparably and permanently deranged Rachel “Victim” Maddow. The alleged “Left” has shown itself, in the main, to be worthy of that worst of all epithets in a sane society: Reactively pro-war.

Nearly as bad — indeed, insupportable — has been the avidity with which these same pique-maddened types, busy with demonstrations in support of, first, James Comey (after they vilified him) and then Mueller, and their cohorts in the corporate media have ignored, when not actively supported, their own nation’s current drive to overthrow the elected president of Venezuela. That they do not organize marches in support of the heroic Chelsea Manning, pardoned by Obama yet currently languishing in prison for a second time or in support of the besieged Julian Assange is equally telling, although explicable: Manning’s revelations involved the Administration of their beloved Obama. And it was Assange, of course, their one-time darling (always providing he limited his exposés to Republicans) who published the damning evidence of Hillary Clinton hypocritically assuring Wall Street that she had a public face and a private one. This last sin of Assange’s is the one which is of course wholly unforgivable.

That their allies in the corporate press are, collectively, sanguine about the perhaps imminent rendition of Assange to almost certain imprisonment in America, likely for the remainder of his life, should surprise no one. It was, after all, the enactment of Bill Clinton’s hideous, proto-fascist Telecommunications Act of 1996 that heralded the end of a free press in America, the fruits of which are now visible in every corner of our lives in what we are permitted, in the land of the free, to see and hear about events both at home and abroad. Were there still a free press in the United States, beyond the pockets of genuine (as opposed to in-name-only) resistance on outlets such as RT America, The Real News, Johnstone’s Rogue Journal and Vos’ Disobedient Media, journalists everywhere — including in Europe generally and in the United Kingdom specifically — would be daily, if not hourly, decrying the forced exile and probable arrest of a publisher.

That they do not, and that we have surrounded Russia with our bases and missiles, and make daily incursions into its air-space, while reflexively accusing that nation’s every attempt to defend itself and its territories as “aggressive,” and that none of the voices in corporate media ever call out this insane and dangerous hypocrisy, is indicative of the ways in which the American news media are still very much the employees of the CIA. Anyone who seriously imagines that the exposed and reviled “Operation Mockingbird” ended decades ago is living in a dream. The rest of us, who get it, are alas living the nightmare. And I hereby, and with no courage whatsoever, predict that the very voices stilled in possible protest at our government’s persecution of a publisher will be squealing in dismay when they are under indictment by that same, anti-democratic, entity ere long. It only takes one case to establish precedent.

In brief, then, I say to Michael Tracey, Elizabeth Vos, Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jesse Ventura, Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Maté, and all the others who “got it right” three years ago when they said and wrote that the so-called “Russiagate” investigation was an edifice built on the finest sand: If you feel like gloating, gloat. If only to remind the members of a Fourth Estate largely now turned into a Fifth Column of the sentiments of the late Sage of Ravello.

We told you so.

Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/why-i-am-not-a-liberal/