Bulletin N° 812
“The Yellow Submarine”
“Kings Bay Plowshares: Meet Two of the Seven Activists Who Secretly Entered a Nuclear Submarine Base”
Subject : The Horrors of War, the Reproductions of Capitalism: Who will stop these people?
26 July 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Today's defeat of the US-led forces in Syria will be accompanied predictably by high-volume propaganda against Iran, Russia and China. The indispensable enemy must be maintained for industrial capitalist profits to flow and, of course, for banking interests in social control to grow.
While the inevitable collapse of the late capitalist system continues at what seems to be an escalating pace, the promising appearance of future social structures are hardly visible in the din of this monumental confusion.
Now threatened with extinction, humanity is polarized as never before between those whose greed is insatiable and those who simply want to live decent lives. The mass murders we must witness on almost a daily basis speak to the wholsale devaluation of human life. Resistance movements make this violence more visible, but the cause of this violence is found elsewhere, in the deeply rooted traditions of capitalist exploitation and alienation, and the quasi-religious collaboration of the masses who have been cynically ensnared by identity politics and consumerism, until their exclusive overconsumption threatens our extinction.
The 25 + items below provide CEIMSA readers with another up-date in this saga of Capitalist Decline. We see in the essays and articles below failing alliances and pathetic self-deceptions which can only contribute to the collapse of this political economy, which is formally ignorant of class struggle. Where, we can only ask, are the thinkers who might be preparing to implement a “Plan B”. Such rational thought seems to be beyond the pale of contemplation in today's society, but is it really . . . ?
Cheerleaders on the side lines, however, are simply not enough!
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
The All-Pervasive Military/Security Complex
by Paul Craig Roberts
The article below by Professor Joan Roelofs is reproduced with permission from CounterPunch.
The article below by Professor Joan Roelofs is long but it's very important and is worth a careful read. It shows that the military/security complex has woven itself so tightly into the American social, economic, and political fabric as to be untouchable. President Trump is an extremely brave or foolhearty person to take on this most powerful and pervasive of all US institutions by trying to normalize US relations with Russia, chosen by the military/security complex as the “enemy” that justifies its enormous budget and power.
In 1961 President Eisenhower in his last public address to the American people warned us about the danger to democracy and accountable government presented by the military/industrial complex. You can imagine how much stronger the complex is 57 years later after decades of Cold War with the Soviet Union.
The Russian government, Russian media, and Russian people desperately need to comprehend how powerful the US military/security complex is and how it is woven into the fabric of America. No amount of diplomacy by Lavrov and masterful chess playing by Putin can possibly shake the control over the United States exercised by the military/security complex.
American Scholars Say
The Real Threat To The U.S. Is Russophobia
Posted July 20, 2018
Two American foreign policy experts, Stephen F. Cohen and John Mearsheimer, both say they are afraid anti-Russia sentiment in the U.S. will tank Trump's efforts.
American Society Would Collapse If It Weren’t for These 8 Myths
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, 20 July, 2018
Subject: [MCM] The sham conviction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
John Remington Graham's separate motion before the US Court of Appeals is at
The False Prosecution of Dzhokhkar Tsarnaev
Boston Marathon Bombing -
The False Prosecution of Dzhokhkar Tsarnaev
by Paul Craig Roberts
As I reported at the time, and as all evidence indicates, the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing was a publicly announced drill in which crisis actors were used. There were no real deaths or injuries, and the Tsarnaev brothers did not set off a bomb.
The drill was turned into a real event by propagandists who used the propaganda to advance their agenda of police state regulation and to test US reaction to the use of martial law to close down the city of Boston and the airport and to use 10,000 armed troops to invade without warrants and search citizens’ homes under the guise that a dangerous 19-year old “terrorist,” who was already shot up by soldiers or police, was on the loose. The insouciant American public, the law schools, bar associations, US Congress and media accepted this extraordinary violation of the US Constitution based on the most flimsy of all possible stories, thus opening Pandora’s Box of police state measures by the US government.
The faked terrorist event required terrorists, and the Tsarnaev brothers were selected for that patsy role. The older brother was murdered by police. The younger brother, having unexpectedly survived police attempts to shoot him to death, was put on trial. His attorneys were appointed by the government, and the attorneys, rather than the prosecutor, convicted their assigned client.
All of this was accepted by the public, but not by John Remington Graham, an attorney of wide experience. He saw that exculpatory evidence proving the innocence of the surviving younger brother, Dzhokhar, was ignored and later kept out of the trial. Mr. Graham took action that succeeded in the First Circuit accepting into the record the exculpatory evidence, thereby requiring that the evidence be considered in the appeal of Dzhokhar’s kangaroo court death sentence.
Attentive people abroad have noticed the increasing corruption and collapse of justice in America. On July 4, the Danish publication, Radians & Inches, published John Remington Graham’s account of the prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. With permission, it is reproduced below. Documents relating to the case will be posted separately.
Warren (via DFA)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, 21 July, 2018
Subject: We need answers about family separation. Will you sign my petition?
Francis -- Elizabeth Warren is courageously taking on Kathy Kraninger over her role in Donald Trump's cruel immigration policies -- with the most powerful confrontation coming yesterday in a pivotal Senate hearing, as Sen. Warren describes below. We need to have her back now.
Kraninger has been tapped to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the important agency Sen. Warren helped develop. But she refuses to answer questions about her possible role in developing Donald Trump's family separation policies. Check out Elizabeth Warren's email from yesterday below, then sign our petition demanding answers from Kathy Kraninger on family separation now. -- Karli Wallace Thompson, Senior Digital Manager, Democracy for America
I just got back to my office from the Senate Banking Committee, where I asked Kathy Kraninger – Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – some tough questions.
As a White House Office of Management and Budget official, Kraninger oversaw the budget for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice – the two cabinet agencies that implemented Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy that ripped babies away from their parents at the border.
I repeatedly asked her: Did you help develop or implement this policy?
She bobbed, she weaved – and she completely dodged the question.
Then I asked her, point blank: Do you think it is immoral to set up a plan whose deliberate intent is to inflict harm on children?
She couldn’t give me a straight answer. She refused to answer the question “yes” or “no.”
Kathy Kraninger’s role in the border separation policy is a moral stain that will follow her for the rest of her life – and if we give her a big promotion to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, then it’s a stain on the senators who vote for her.
We still need answers from Kathy Kraninger – because we certainly didn’t get them in today’s confirmation hearing. The American people need to see Kraninger’s OMB documents and emails detailing her role in this immigration policy – to see who Trump wants to put in charge of an agency whose sole mission is to stand up for people who don’t have power.
This isn’t about politics – this is about people. The CFPB needs a leader who will stand up to powerful interests and level the playing field for working people – and I know that person is not Kathy Kraninger.
Thanks for being a part of this,
Migrant Children Detained in Shelters Being Drugged, Told Not to Hug, Forced to Bathe in Sinks
. . . the U.S. military and CIA contractor MVM has admitted it detained migrant children overnight inside a vacant Phoenix office building with dark windows, no kitchen, only a few toilets. A Reveal investigation earlier this month uncovered what some are calling a “black site” for migrant children, after a neighbor filmed children in sweatsuits being led into the building. The building was leased in March by MVM, a military contractor. Now a new report by Reveal shows MVM also operated a second office nearby, where a neighbor reported seeing immigrant children bathing themselves in bathroom sinks.
Sent: Sunday, 22 July, 2018
Subject: [MCM] Israel evacuates White Helmets
Just as a reminder (since I've sent them out before), here are links to several pieces laying out some awful truths about the
White Helmets—who certainly are not what "our free press" and Hollywood have cracked them up to be, but a jihadist
propaganda mill, funded by the US and UK (at whose request the IDF has rescued them).
Syria conflict: White Helmets evacuated by Israel
(July 22, 2018)
Israel says it has carried out an evacuation of members of Syria's White Helmets civil defence group from a war zone in south-western Syria.
Some 422 volunteers and family members were taken to Jordan via the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights overnight.
The UK, one of the nations requesting Israel's help, hailed the operation and will assist with resettlement.
The White Helmets describe themselves as a volunteer workforce that acts to save people in Syria's war zones.
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his Russian allies, say the White Helmets support the rebels and also have links to jihadist groups.
How did the operation come about?
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they were acting on a request from the US, the UK and other European nations.
The White Helmets had become trapped in an area of south-western Syria near the border with the Golan Heights after an offensive by the Syrian military.
Image copyrightIDFImage captionPictures supplied by the Israel Defence Forces show families waiting to get off the bus after being safely evacuated
The offensive, begun in June, has seen a number of agreements that have led to the evacuation of rebel forces from the Deraa and Quneitra areas to regions further north.
The White Helmets operate only in rebel-held areas, although they say they are non-partisan.
Western States Salvage Terror Assets in Syria
by Finian Cunningham
Western states made a dramatic intervention in the Syrian war earlier this week to extricate hundreds of terrorist militants. The militants are to be fast-tracked for resettlement in Europe and Canada. But in saving their terror assets, Western governments are risking future public safety as well as sowing seeds for increasing multicultural strife. In a stunning revelation of the foreign links to the extremists in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his military forces to evacuate up to 800 militants belonging to the so-called White Helmets. They are the propaganda merchants for Nusra Front and other al-Qaeda-linked terror organizations. Netanyahu announced that the blatant intervention to rescue the jihadists in southwest Syria was made at the personal request of US President Donald Trump and the Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, “among others”. Separately, there were reports of four senior jihadist commanders being given safe passage by Israeli forces out of Syria as the Syrian army closed in on the last-remaining militant strongholds around the southwest city of Daraa and Quneitra province.
From: "IAK Blog" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, 19 July, 2018
Subject: Jewish groups protest false definitions of anti-Semitism, air strikes, aid, and more...
The ICC is reaching out to victims of war crimes in Palestine
by Nada Kiswanson
In an extraordinary move, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court recently issued a decision ordering its registry "to establish, as soon as practicable, a system of public information and outreach activities for the benefit of the victims and affected communities in the situation in Palestine".
It is the first time the court issues an order for outreach at the earliest stages of the process, and before a decision has been reached by the ICC Prosecutor to open a formal investigation. The decision struck fear in the Israelis, who were yet again confronted with the long reach of the court. It also surprised those closely following the work of the court, including myself. What is to be made of this decision and could it be that the court is attempting to correct its criticized approach to victims and affected communities in general, through the situation in Palestine?
The decision came at a time when state representatives gathered in The Hague to mark twenty years since the adoption of the Court's founding treaty, the so-called Rome Statute. Those participating in the celebrations reminisced at the landmark decision to establish the first permanent international criminal institution capable, in theory, of holding world leaders to account for their role in the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The novelty of the decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber on the situation in Palestine reminds us, however, of the court's shortcomings in engaging with victims and affected communities in a timely, continuous, and valuable manner as well as ensuring their early participation in the proceedings so that their unique views and concerns are taken into consideration from the beginning until the end.
Land Of Miracles
by Gideon Levy
The days of
kites abound with miracles here. The fact that more Israelis were scratched
while shaving in recent months than from kite fires is attributed entirely to
A great miracle occurred on Moshav Tkuma. A cinder carried by a paper kite from Gaza landed in a kindergarten yard. The kindergarten teacher called what she saw in the sky a finger-size glowing ember. She was the first to detect it and rushed to get all the children into the protected area. A small boy wearing a large kippa said a miracle had happened.
Israel strikes Gaza after its soldiers come under fire
As fears rose of a wider conflict in the region, the UN pleaded with all sides to "step back from the brink" of war.
Israel Declares Itself Apartheid State
by Moon Of Alabama
July 19, 2018 –
Today Israel declared itself to be an apartheid state:
passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as
the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the
realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to
the Jewish people," with 62 lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation
and 55 opposing it.
The nation-state law also includes clauses stating that a "united Jerusalem" is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country's official language. Another says that "the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation."
Violent Coup Fail in Nicaragua
by Kevin Zeese
The FOG radio and podcast, Margaret Flowers and I
interviewed Stephen Sefton, who lives in
Nicaragua and is a founder of Tortilla con Sal. He names the names behind
the violence and describes what is happening in Nicaragua.
Lessons Learned From The Failed Violent Coup In Nicaragua And Next Steps:
The violent coup in Nicaragua has failed. This does not mean the United States and oligarchs are giving up, but this phase of their effort to remove the government did not succeed. The coup exposed the alliances who are working with the United States to put in place a neoliberal government that is controlled by the United States and serves the interests of the wealthy. People celebrated the failure of the coup but realize work needs to be done to protect the gains of the Sandinista revolution.
Russia Ditches Plan to Scrap 10,000 Reserve Tanks
Will now retain as many as 6,000 non-serving tanks that were previously slated to be dismantled for scrap
by Dave Mujamdar
Understandable given NATO encroachment on Moscow’s borders. In a high-intensity war tank attrition is sky-high. 80,000 Soviet ones were lost in WWII. Best to have a big reserve pool
Russia is sharply curtailing the number of Soviet-era tanks that is planning to scrap. In previous years, Moscow had planned to send some 10,000 of its older model tanks to the junk yard for disposal, now that figure could be reduced to as few as 4,000. “Initially, when the program was drafted, it was planned that about 10,000 Soviet-made armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) stored in warehouses…will be scrapped,” Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko, chief of the main armored directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, told the TASS news agency. “At present, the number of armored fighting vehicles to be scrapped in line with the program until 2020 stands at about 4,000 such vehicles.” Shevchenko cited changes in in the security environment for the move. Instead of being scrapped, the older vehicles will now be upgraded.
The Mind Reels
(July 23, 2018)
by Winslow Myers
“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
Equally enigmatic is how Mr. Trump went about representing the national interest of the United States at Helsinki. Until Mr. Mueller is ready to provide possible clarification, the fog around the president’s motivation persists: narcissistic ineptitude almost surely; perhaps also kompromat, collusion, and/or fear of money laundering becoming exposed.
All the confusion provides an object lesson in the plasticity of enemy-imaging. As someone old enough to remember the lame British-American interference in Iran in the fifties, the hysteria of McCarthyism, Hoover’s clandestine harassment of Martin Luther King Jr., and far greater debacles like the wanton destruction of Vietnam and Cambodia, I persist in my skepticism concerning the degree of competence we can expect from the bureaucrats and generals to whom we reluctantly entrust our safety.
But now, with the executive branch demonstrably willing to gallop bareback off the established foreign policy reservation, the knee-jerk adversary of progressives for decades, the so-called “deep state,” with its reflexive fear of Russian totalitarian infiltration and its perpetuation of military dominance in all earthly spheres, may at least be providing a sorely needed element of restraint and integrity.
The plot is further thickened by an interesting analysis in The Nation magazine by Stephen Cohen, a Princeton professor emeritus and lifetime Russia watcher. He asks us to take a deep breath in the midst of our anxiety about the president’s apparent capitulation to his authoritarian friend in power.
Cohen asserts that when the president states that “I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. … And I think we’re all to blame,” he is onto something:
Cohen continues: “For the past 15 years, the virtually unanimous American bipartisan establishment answer has been: Putin, or “Putin’s Russia,” is solely to blame. Washington’s decision to expand NATO to Russia’s border, bomb Russia’s traditional ally Serbia, withdraw unilaterally from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, carry out military regime change in Iraq and Libya, provoke the Ukrainian crisis and back the coup against its legitimate president in 2014, and considerably more—none of these, only “Putin’s aggression,” led to the new Cold War. This explanation has long become a rigid bipartisan orthodoxy tolerating no dissent.”
Tragically, the president’s compulsive willingness to lie, his thin-skinned, possibly guilt-motivated defensiveness, his Kissingeresque lone-cowboy-riding-to-the-rescue style, along with the appallingly short-sighted withdrawal from both the Paris Accords and the Iran nuclear deal, has pretty much destroyed his credibility as a heretical and possibly creative anti-establishment actor. When he assigns blame equally between America and Russia for the new Cold War, all most of us can see is an echo of the false equivalence of his assigning blame equally to the neo-Nazis and the civil rights protesters in Charlottesville.
Where does a citizen go in all this craziness for an authoritative sense of context? One useful perspective is the long-term history of the nuclear arms race, out of which came a bracing truth from another apparent adversary of progressive thinking, Ronald Reagan: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” In spite of our finding ourselves, more than a half-century beyond the Cuban missile crisis, still building new nuclear weapons on all sides, we humans have not gotten the message: continuing the arms race on the basis of deterrence prophesies not greater security but only inevitable mass death through error, misinterpretation, or miscalculation.
The “establishment” is well aware of this. They are designing new nuclear weapons to be less powerful so that they become strategically more “flexible” and “useful,” and presumably can avoid fatal consequences like nuclear winter. But smaller weapons only make the nuclear threshold easier to cross, and once it is crossed, who will prevent escalation to the larger, world-ending weapons?
Russia Has Dumped Its Entire US Bonds Portfolio — $100 Billion in Two Months
A dress rehearsal to see what would happen when/if China does the same?
by Tyler Durden
Selling off your US bonds is one thing, but dumping your entire stock in the space of two months?
Conversation with Alexander Buzgalin
“. . . after the chaotic ‘90’s, the Russian oligarchs needed a stronger central state to defend their class interests. . .”
Russiagate Is Like 9/11,
Except It’s Made Of Pure Narrative
by Caitlin Johnstone
The last few days have been truly amazing. I didn’t even write an article yesterday; I’ve just been staring transfixed by my social media feeds watching liberal Americans completely lose their minds. I can’t look away. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, and everyone on the train is being really homophobic.
I’ve been writing about Russiagate since it started, and I can honestly say this is the worst it’s ever been, by far. The most hysterical, the most shrill, the most emotional, the most cartoonishly over-the-top and hyperbolic. The fact that Trump met with Putin in private and then publicly expressed doubt about the establishment Russia narrative has sent some political factions of America into an emotional state that is indistinguishable from what you’d expect if Russia had bombed New York City. This despite the fact that the establishment Russia narrative consists of no actual, visible events whatsoever. It is made of pure narrative.
The Arrest of Maria Butina Is Another Hoax
by Paul Craig Roberts
The Guardian Neswspaper, which once was an honest newspaper that spoke for the British working class has now been suborned, in my opinion, by the CIA and British Intelligence (sic). Perhaps you remember a few years ago that The Guardian complied with illegal orders from the corrupt UK government to destroy the Wikileak files that revealed US felonies and deceptions of so-called “allies,” who are nothing but Washington’s vassals. What disturbs me about The Guardian is that it no longer guards truth and the working class. Instead The Guardian guards the extraordinary lies that serve the agenda of the US hegemonic state.
I cannot understand why any of The Guardian’s original subscribers read apologies for Washington’s crimes and misdeeds or why The Guardian prefers conflict instead of peace with Russia. Why does The Guardian work to increase hostility between nuclear powers that can easily result in the termination of life on earth? Are The Guardian’s editors paid by the CIA and UK “intelligence,” as the German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte said in his book, Bought Journalism, or are The Guardian’s editiors threatened with arrest and prison unless they serve the interests of the UK’s overlord in Washington? Whatever The Guardian is, just like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the rest of the Western presstitutes, journalism is not present on its pages. What the West has is a Ministry of Propaganda. The public is lied to and brainwashed, not informed. We can see the total failure of The Guardian, and all the rest as well, in the reporting on the arrest of the alleged Russian spy, Maria Butina by the utterly corrupt US Department of Justice (sic). The principal evidence against Maria is that she met with a former Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. According to the utterly corrput US Department of Justice (sic), an assistant US attorney, Erik Kenerson, “cited Butina’s encounter with Kislyak as proof that she was in touch with diplomatic or consular officials and must be detained while awaiting trial.”
So, in America if you get your photo taken with a former Russian ambassador to the US it is evidence that you are a spy. I have read the indictment of Maria Butina. She is not accused of any crime recognizable by Anglo-American law. She is indicted under Jeremy Bentham’s 18th century totalitarian argument that she is guilty of the “crime” of possibly intending to commit one in the future. (See The Tyranny of Good intentions by PCR and Lawrence Stratton.) Maria, who has long red hair but otherwise is unremarkable, especially in contrast to the women that the interest groups, such as the military/security complex, Wall Street, and the Israel lobby are believed to provide to the executive and legislative branches of the US government, is certainly not the seductive Russian spy that Americans know from James Bond films. The woman has not done a thing. She is indicted for a non-crime. She is indicted because she is Russian and living, according to the presstitute media, with a congressional staffer. Maria has no way whatsoever to spy on the US through the low level congressional staffer with whom she was allegedly living.
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
by Paul Street
Hundreds of thousands of people showed up across the United States at more than 600 gatherings three weeks ago. They came out to protest Donald Trump‘s “zero tolerance” immigration policy in highly choreographed, Democratic Party-affiliated “Families Belong Together” rallies and marches. Liberal celebrities marched and spoke. Local, state, and federal Democratic Party politicians and office-holders gave passionate speeches denouncing Trump’s separation of Central American migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border.
Marchers carried signs expressing their concern for children and families. Here are some of the messages written on the posters displayed at these gatherings:
“I Raise my Voice Not so I can Shout but So that Those Without a Voice Can be Heard”
“Do All Lives Still Matter?”
“What Would Mr. Rogers Say?”
(The issue that sparked this remarkable outpouring has already been pushed off the front pages and the cable news headlines by the resurgent RussiaGate story, brought to new intensity by Trump’s “spectacular debacle” alongside Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. It is a victim of the all-powerful “now we see you, now we don’t” U.S. news cycle – this even as nearly two-thirds of the migrant children criminally separated have yet to be reunited with their parents and as evidence emerges that the Trump administration intended for the family separations to be permanent.)
“Emaciated Babies”: 50,000 Yemeni Children May Have Died in 2017
We have yet to learn of any large and widespread U.S. demonstrations on behalf of the children and families of Yemen, where the U.S. is deeply complicit in the creation of a situation that “looks,” in the words of the United Nations’ humanitarian chief, “like the Apocalypse.” UNICEF reported last year that a child dies from preventable causes on the average of once every 10 minutes in Yemen.
As the Associated Press (AP) reported last May, roughly 3 million Yemeni women and children are “acutely malnourished; another 400,000 children are fighting for their lives.” Further: “Nearly a third of Yemen’s population — 8.4 million of its 29 million people — rely completely on food aid or else they would starve. That number grew by a quarter over the past year…Aid agencies warn that parts of Yemen could soon start to see widespread death from famine. More and more people are reliant on aid that is already failing to reach people. …It is unknown how many have died, since authorities are not able to track cases. Save the Children late last year estimated that 50,000 children may have died in 2017 of extreme hunger or disease (emphasis added), given that up to 30 percent of children with untreated cases of severe acute malnutrition die.”
Government Pays $775 Per Night For Children
Separated From Parents At U.S
by Emily Stewart
Newly created “tent cities” for separated children cost two to three times what it would to keep them with their parents.
From: "Mark Crispin Miller"
Sent: Sunday, 22 July, 2018
Subject: [MCM] What WikiLeaks has wrought (all good)
Inside WikiLeaks: Working with the Publisher that Changed the World
by Stefania Maurizi
Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi has worked with WikiLeaks for nine years on the Podesta emails and other revelations. Here’s an insider’s view of the publisher, which has incensed rulers around the world, desperate to hide their corruption.
Silenced and cut off from the outside world, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the last six years with no access to sunlight, fresh air, or proper medical treatment. Furthermore, last March President Lenin Moreno’s Ecuadorian government cut his access to the internet, phone calls and even visitors and journalists. For a man who has already been confined to the embassy for so long, these restrictions are particularly harsh.
I began working as one of WikiLeaks’ media partners in 2009, before Assange and WikiLeaks published such bombshells as the “Collateral Murder” video. Over the last nine years, I have partnered with WikiLeaks on behalf of my newspaper, the Italian daily La Repubblica to work on the Podesta emails and many of its other secret files, except for those that WikiLeaks released without media partners: the DNC emails, the Saudi Cables, Turkey’s ruling party emails, the Hacking Team documents, the Collateral Murder video and the Brennan emails.
Like its work or not, WikiLeaks is an independent media organization that doesn’t have to rely on traditional media to publish its scoops. Indeed it was founded to bypass the legal qualms traditional media may have about publishing classified information.
With its 5.5 million followers on Twitter, WikiLeaks has a huge social media presence that gives its work immediate impact. But WikiLeaks has published most of its revelations in collaboration with a number of media partners.
For instance, I was a partner in the publication of the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, which were published by WikiLeaks shortly after the infamous Access Hollywood video revealed candidate Donald Trump making rude remarks about women.
Many media outlets continue to report that the Podesta emails were released only minutes after the Access Hollywood video aired, hinting at some sort of coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. In a indictment issued last Friday, Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, charged 12 officers of the Russian military intelligence service, GRU, for having allegedly hacked both the DNC and Podesta emails and allegedly passed them on to WikiLeaks for publication.
I have no idea who WikiLeaks’ sources were for the Podesta emails: the whole concept of WikiLeaks is based on the submission of secret or otherwise restricted documents by anonymous sources. Assange said numerous times that his source for the Clinton emails was not the Russian government nor a state party.
As I worked on the Podesta emails, I do know that their publication was not a last-second decision. I had been alerted the day before, and their staggered release was a choice WikiLeaks made after the organization was harshly criticized by mainstream media for publishing the DNC documents all at once. This time the emails would trickle out to make them easier for the public to digest. But that was criticized too by the U.S. media and the Democrats as an attempt to leave Clinton bleeding a few weeks before the elections.
Ready to Release Trump Documents
I was also a witness when WikiLeaks received four documents about Trump’s business at a certain point during the campaign and media partners were asked to help verify the documents to determine if they should be published. The WikiLeaks team had already prepared a placeholder graphic for a possible release on Trump: a caricature of Trump and his characteristic hairstyle. Unfortunately, we found that the documents had already been made public.
Over the last nine years of my work in partnership with WikiLeaks on behalf of first the Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso and then La Repubblica, I have spent many hours talking to Assange and his staff, maintaining weekly contact with them. Looking back, I realize that in all those years, I only met Assange as a free man once. That was in September 2010: he had just left Sweden to meet me and other journalists in Berlin after the publication of the Afghan War Logs. At that time, I didn’t realize so many years would pass without seeing him free again.
He is one of the most demonized men on the planet. “We are in the business of crucifixion,” he told me several months ago, before Ecuador cut his social contacts. Indeed he has been crucified for whatever he has done: he talked to the press? He is a narcissist. He didn’t talk to the press? He wants to fuel his image as an international mystery man. He is a complicated human being, but he is neither a hard man nor the imperious, James Bond-style villain depicted by newspapers. He can be warm, with a sharp sense of humor, and he is definitely brilliant and bold enough to publish exceptionally risky documents.
The Full Force of the State
WikiLeaks is rather unique from many standpoints. As a media organization publishing exclusively secret or otherwise restricted documents on “invisible powers,” such as intelligence agencies, which citizens do not normally perceive as directly relevant to their lives, there is little doubt that WikiLeaks has the full force of the State against it. It is probably the only Western media organization to have been under continuous investigation by the U.S. authorities – and probably others—since 2010, and it is definitely the only one whose editor is arbitrarily detained in the heart of Europe.
Assange: No way out?
Whenever I say that Assange is the only editor arbitrarily detained in Europe, some object that he isn’t detained, or that he isn’t an editor at all. But that he is arbitrarily detained is the opinion of the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, whose decisions are considered authoritative by the European Court of Human Rights. The UK government has always rejected the UN body’s decision on Assange, and even tried to appeal it. Since losing this appeal, the UK authorities have continued to ignore the decision and apparently no one else has anything to say about it.
Many argue that Assange is not detained, but rather is in a state of “self-imposed exile,” since he could leave the embassy at any time. He could, if he wanted to, walk out and be arrested by the UK authorities, on now flimsy skipping bail conditions after Sweden dropped its investigation against him, and he’d face the risk of extradition to the United States. Last year the former head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, attacked him and his organization ferociously, calling WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” The current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has declared that arresting him is a priority.
Assange’s lawyers believe a grand jury in the state of Virginia has likely rendered a sealed indictment against him. Theoretically he is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution, which protects publication of stolen documents, something that major media does routinely. However, through the last years we have seen many attempts by the U.S. authorities to claim WikiLeaks and Assange have no First Amendment righrts.
Curiously, those critics who insist he is in a form of self-imposed exile or confinement seem to forget that Assange has attempted all sorts of legal routes to challenge his detention. I have never heard of someone imposing exile on himself while at the same time attempting various legal means to put an end to it.
Assange’s latest appeal to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court was dismissed last February by the British judge Emma Arbuthnot, in a ruling indicating that for UK Justice it is perfectly fine for an individual to remain confined to a tiny building for almost six years with no access to sunlight, fresh air or proper medical treatment. “I do not find that Mr. Assange’s stay in the Embassy is inappropriate, unjust, unpredictable, unreasonable, unnecessary or disproportionate”, concluded Arbuthnot with no British irony.
As far as the concept of “editor” goes, I can refer to my own experience, describing what I have seen on my end: Assange has always been the person coordinating WikiLeaks publication activities, making the editorial choices, deciding how to present the revelations to the public—just like any editor of traditional media. He and his organization are far from perfect: they have made mistakes and questionable choices, but it is a matter of fact that they have revealed very important information in the public interest.
Julian Assange's Asylum to be Rescinded
From Suzie Dawson:
The #Unity4J non-violent digital army has grown to 1,441 members in the first 18 hours of operation. Hundreds of users are collaborating in real time at any given moment, creating comms, web, tech, graphic, video solutions for the movement! Join us: http://unity4j.com/discord
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Former CIA Officer: Clinton "Involved In Biggest Treason In History"
by Greg Hunter
Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says what Hillary Clinton did with her charity and Uranium One while she was Secretary of State was a crime for the history books. Shipp explains, “Hillary Clinton used this to launder money in foreign banks so it wasn’t subject to U.S. laws, congressional subpoenas or FOIA demands for the evidence. This was done to launder this money globally into the Clinton Foundation so the U.S. government could not examine it at all.”
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller was the head of the FBI while the Uranium One deal was being done by Clinton and the Russians. One fifth of U.S. uranium production was bought by the Russians in a deal Clinton pushed and approved. The Clinton Foundation received more than $140 million from some of the same Russian players who were involved with Uranium One. Why didn’t Mueller stop the deal? Shipp says, “Mueller is either a complete moron, which he is not, or he overlooked the biggest counterterrorism cases in U.S. history. It involved Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One and, of course, the destruction of all the emails and evidence and her secret server, and on and on and on it goes, and he (Mueller) ignored it all.”
How did she get away with obvious crime? Shipp says, “The most bizarre thing is the people who protected her from clear felonious activity and violations of the Espionage Act. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was protecting her and leaking things to the media and lying. You had John Brennan, Director of the CIA, protecting her by starting a false investigation (on Trump) and stirring things up with this (false/unverified) dossier. You had James Comey, Director of the FBI, protecting her. . . . Then, you’ve got Peter Strzok protecting her, and now it appears the United Kingdom GCHQ was using NSA information to target Donald Trump and protect Hillary Clinton. You have to ask yourself what kind of power or connections does this woman have to get all of these members of the Deep State, Shadow Government to risk their own criminal penalties to protect her and try to get her elected? That is the Shadow Government. That is the Deep State. That is what is so chilling about this whole thing. . . . This is deep. This is dark. This is as dark as it gets, and this is the biggest espionage case involving government officials in the history of this country.”
Shipp also points out that, this time, it will not be business as usual for the “Deep State and Shadow Government.” They are going to be brought to justice because Shipp says, “indictments are coming because of Donald Trump coming into the White House from the outside. Trump cannot be bribed.”
Mueller Indictment Catches Ukraine
Economic Policy Institute
The new gilded age Income inequality in the U.S.
by state, metropolitan area, and county
by Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price
(July 19, 2018)
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
by Ron Jacobs
When reading and discussing the effects of capitalism’s peaks and valleys, it is very rare that the actual effect on individual families is included in the conversation. Instead, most of what is published are rationales from capitalist economists that don’t hold up when critically examined and excuses from politicians who benefit from capitalism’s cruelty. Even rarer in contemporary times are fictional representations of working people struggling to survive the never-ending series of machinations at the top of capitalism’s collapsing pyramid.
The Next Global Financial Crisis is Inevitable (Pt 1/2)
(July 22, 2018)
Brexit Is About to Get Lit
by Kevin Drum
Hey, remember last weekend’s geography lesson about England vs. Great Britain vs. the United Kingdom? It’s about to come in handy!
As you’ll recall, Northern Ireland is part of the UK, which means that when Brexit is implemented it will be out of the EU just like the rest of the country. The borders of the EU will look like this:
This is a problem. Ireland will now have a hard customs border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, something that’s wildly unacceptable to both sides. In fact, the 1995 Good Friday Agreement, which ended a quarter century of violence by squaring the circle of a kinda-sorta-united Irish island but with a sovereign Northern Ireland, was largely based on demilitarizing the border and leaving it completely open. It’s obviously a colossal fudge, but it’s worked well for 20 years, and nobody wants to take a chance on what happens if it goes away.
Two Palestinian Scientists Found Dead in Algeria
by Jack Khoury
It wasn't immediately clear whether their deaths were a result of an accident or an assassination.
The Birth of American Empire
“The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire”
A book by Stephen Kinzer reviewed by H. Patricia Hynes
By the final decade of the 19th century, the American project sanctified as Manifest Destiny was complete. The western boundary of the United States now stretched to the Pacific Ocean, leaving in its wake the genocide of Native Americans, the purchase of Louisiana without the consent of the governed, and a war of aggression against Mexico. What next? Pursue the colonialist mandate beyond continental borders—or not?
Stephen Kinzer’s “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the Empire” is a compact, bracing history of the answer to What next? It features the drama and decisions of four years—1898-1902—that, in Kinzer’s thesis, set the course of American wars, military expansion and the overthrow of governments throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, interrupted with brief, impermanent periods of “isolationism.”
4 Themes to Follow as Corporate America Reports a Surge in Profits
by Matt Phillips
(July 23, 2018)
Earnings season is upon us once again, and analysts expect the strong economy and the Trump administration’s tax cuts to lead to another batch of knockout quarterly profits.
Per-share earnings at companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index are forecast to have risen 20.8 percent in the second quarter compared with a year earlier. That would be the second straight quarter of 20-percent-plus jumps, something that hasn’t happened since late 2010.
Tax cuts aren’t responsible for all of that growth. Measures of sales, which are closely tied to the health of the economy, are also expected to rise at a robust 9 percent in the second quarter, compared with a year earlier, according to analyst estimates compiled by the data provider FactSet through Friday.
Russian Defense Ministry unveils footage of futuristic weapon tests & development
IF AMEREICANS KNEW
What every American needs to know about Israel-Palestine
Noam Chomsky on Fascism, Showmanship and Democrats’ Hypocrisy in the Trump Era
by C.J. Polychroniou
After 18 months of Trump in the White House, American politics finds itself at a crossroads. The United States has moved unmistakably toward a novel form of fascism that serves corporate interests and the military, while promoting at the same time a highly reactionary social agenda infused with religious and crude nationalistic overtones, all with an uncanny touch of political showmanship. In this exclusive Truthout interview, world-renowned linguist and public intellectual Noam Chomsky analyzes some of the latest developments in Trumpland and their consequences for democracy and world order.