The Real News Network interviews Ray on Syria, bomb-them-in-the-middle-of-the-night-very-tough-guy Michael Morell (a terrorist by definition), and one big widely ignored fly in the ointment on Syria – i. e., the preferred policy of Israel and Obama’s neocon advisers for “no outcome” in Syria.  

As one former senior Israeli put it, “As long as Sunni and Shia are killing each other off – not only in Syria, but in the region as a whole – Israel has nothing to fear from Syria.”

The New York Times piece referenced is “Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria,” by Jodi Rudoren, September 6, 2013.

(13 minutes)

Anyone see anything out of the ordinary with Turkey, a NATO ally, invading another country (Syria)?  What obligations do Turkey’s allies incur if/when Syria aircraft fly off with Russian support from Russian constructed Syrian in-country airfields to attack Turkey?  Will Turkey try to activate Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, obligating Turkey’s allies to come to its aid?

 Not a word of any of this in the – alas, typical – New York Times editorial today (August 26, 2016)


To refresh memories:

NATO Treaty: Article 5

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

Maybe it’s a good thing, after all, that Establishment lawyers in Washington subscribe to the Addington/Gonzales dictum that the supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution, and international treaties themselves, have become “quaint” or “obsolete.”  O Tempora, O Mores!

Former NSA Technical Director and VIPS member, Bill Binney explains to RT why he believes some of the recent “hacking” disclosures more likely stem from a NSA insider, NOT Russia.  NSA is able to trace intrusions by hackers, and it is virtually impossible for them to be successful.


So if “unnamed official sources” want to accuse Russia, NSA ought to be asked to prove it.  Bill notes that the new Cold Warriors, specifically the military-industrial-intelligence-complex, have ample incentive to blame Russia for all manner of things.  And the Hillary-friendly media fell right in line, in a transparent attempt to divert attention from the fact that the emails leaked to WikiLeaks show that she stole the nomination from Sanders.  As for what American citizens can do, Bill’s solution is simple.  Vote the bums out and elect people with a decent respect for the Constitution of the United States.


August 23, 2016 (six minutes)

9/11 & American Empire – Intellectuals Speak Out (Sept. 2006)


Ray just received an email from Veterans For Peace colleague Phil Restino, a leader of VFP’s Central Florida Chapter, reminding him of how a distinguished panel of courageous investigators was looking at the 9/11 attacks five years later.  Here’s what Phil wrote:


“The following presentation from September 24, 2006 in Berkeley, CA was hosted KPFA Radio and introduced by Bonnie Faulkner of KPFA’s Guns and Butter radio program. Ray McGovern led off and then moderated a discussion featuring David Ray Griffin, Pete Dale Scott, Kevin Ryan and Peter Phillips. It was broadcast multiple times on CSPAN.  Here we are 10 years after that discussion and 15 years after the fact, with millions more killed and maimed in the 9/11 Wars …”


(Ray’s introductory remarks come between minutes 5 and 15.}

‘Hack the Kremlin’ – Recent appeals to dig up secret info as “payback” for e-mail leaks and hacks


August 19, 2016  (see first 3 of 5 minutes)


Ray takes part briefly in RT discussion of the surreally successful U.S. media campaign to distract attention from the fact that emails leaked to WikiLeaks show Hillary Clinton stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.


Ray visualizes how the propaganda launch began:


How do we divert attention away from Hillary and her buddies at the Democratic National Committee?  The PBT (Putin Bashing Team) suggests, Blame it on Putin!  Objection: But it wasn’t Putin, it was WikiLeaks.  The ABT (Assange Bashing Team) says, No problem: we’ll say Putin gave the emails to WikiLeaks.  That way, we distract attention from the real crime, while blackening Putin and Julian Assange – all in one swell foop!  Outstanding!


And so it goes.  Even National Intelligence Director James Clapper has criticized “hyperventilation” in the media, with no proof as to who the culprits might be.  Not a problem for Forbes Magazine, as it calls for hack-“retaliation:”


“Obama is the only person on earth who can respond in-kind to the Putin regime’s egregious intervention in the American democratic process. Putin and his inner circle are vulnerable to exposure of their own shameful actions, habits, actions and fetishes. In the electronic age, the Kremlin fortress has become a glass house.” [fetishes???]


For starters, Obama should order the intelligence community to compile properly sanitized dumps of emails and social media among select targets in Putin’s inner circle. … If disciplined enough, the U.S. can outplay the Putin-WikiLeaks team. …

And then there are national cultural norms that no present Russian leader could politically survive once the glass of invincibility is electronically shattered. Above almost all else, Putin nurses a deep-seated hostility to male homosexuality. Putin-centric political elites could never endure the humiliation and ridicule following a skillful intelligence dump of their private emails, text messages, social media posts, photos and Web browser histories. (sic)



More on Charlie Rose and Michael Morell…

On Wednesday evening (August 17) Charlie Rose gave Michael Morell a mulligan, so he could ‘splain what he really meant to say on Roses’s show just 9 evenings earlier.  On August 8 Morell had told Charlie that he (Morell) wanted to “kill” Russians and Iranians in Syria, and bomb Syrian facilities in order to “scare” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  (Scroll down to see Ray’s earlier piece on that.)


On Wednesday, soft-ball Charlie helped Morell ‘splain that he did not want to have U.S. Special Forces kill Russians and Iranians; no, he would be satisfied if the U.S.-sponsored so-called “moderate opposition” did that particular killing.  But Morell would not back away from his open advocacy of state-sponsored terrorism (bombing by the U.S. Air Force) to scare Assad into realizing he has to go.


The 8-minute segment in which Charlie helps Michael ‘splain it all turns out to be so, well, unusual and transparent, that Ray has transcribed it.  If you are interested in things like the fecklessness and brutality of neocon policy toward Syria, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands killed and every other Syrian displaced from her/his home, you may wish to read Ray’s transcription below.


Morell seems oblivious to international law, what’s been going on in Syria for the past five years, and how state-sponsored terrorism can and does fuel, well, terrorism.  Remarkable.  Or maybe he is just lusting after a job with Hillary.




This segment begins at minute 27:15.


Rose:  Now let’s talk about the interview you did with me here.  Tell me what you wanted to say so we understand it, because some people interpreted it that you wanted to see three things: That you wanted to see Iranians and Russians punished so that they would be more willing to engage in peace talks; to stop destruction of a state, and that the only way to do it was if they felt some sense of pressure; and you felt the same thing about Assad, and that he had to feel some fear about his own position in order to agree to some kind of transition.


Tell me what you meant to say, because some people who might not have seen the interview, said, you know, you are in bed with the neocons, a warmonger, a Trumpian.  So all these things came down on top of you and, perhaps because you did not speak as precisely as you should have or that I didn’t ask the right questions.


Morell:  No, no, Charlie, you always ask the right questions.  So, you know, one of the things you’re taught as a young analyst at CIA is precision of language and clarity of message.  It’s beaten into you and sometimes you don’t, you don’t, you don’t do what your were taught.  So I don’t think I was as clear with you and your viewers as I should have been.  So let me try to make this clear.


The Syrian civil war has to end, and the reason it has to end is because it is feeding extremism in Iraq and Syria.  Even if we get our arms around ISIS and squeeze ISIS down, and down, and down, the civil war will continue to breed extremism.  ISIS will go away and some other group will replace it.


The Syrian civil war needs to end, okay?  In my view, there is not a military solution to that.  And the reason there is not a military solution is because a military solution would end up with the destruction of the Syrian military, the Syrian security services, the Syrian intelligence services, etc., etc., etc., the Syrian police, and if you destroy all of those in an attempt to end the civil war, you are left with a complete vacuum here, a security vacuum, a stability vacuum; you end up with Libya.


CR:  Or Iraq.


MM:  Or Iraq.


MM:  So you don’t want to do that.  So there’s not a military solution to this, there is only a political solution to this.  And that political solution is, in my view, a transition of power from Assad to a, a, a transitional government that represents all of the Syrian people. That is only going to happen if Assad wants it to happen, if Russia wants it to happen, if Iran wants it to happen.  So what we need to do is, we need to increase our leverage over those three people and groups, three people and countries, in order to get then more interested in having a conversation about a transition to a new government.


CR:  That’s exactly what the 51 diplomats said in their letter.


MM:  Exactly.


MM:  And sometimes you use military force for military ends.  Sometimes you use military force to give you political leverage.  And one of the reasons to be involved in Syria – which Vladimir Putin is now discovering – is that all of a sudden you’re a player in how the game gets discussed around the table.


So what I tried to say was, Look, we need to find some ways to put some pressure on Assad, or put some pressure on Russia, and put some pressure on Iran..  Now, with regard to Russia and Iran, what I said was, what I wanted to say was, Look, the moderate opposition, which the United States is supporting (everybody knows that, right?), the moderate opposition is already fighting the Syrian government, and they’re already fighting Russians and Iranians. …


So one of the wars that’s going on now is the Syrian military supported by Russia and the Iranians fighting the moderate opposition.  And the moderate opposition is already Iranians and Syrians.  What, what I said is that’s an okay thing, right, because it puts pressure on Iran and Russia to try to see some value in ending this thing politically.


And what I said is that we should encourage the moderate opposition to continue to do that and perhaps get a lot more aggressive.


CR:  You weren’t suggesting that the United States should do that, but the moderate forces on the ground.


MM:  And I think I came across as saying U.S. Special Forces should go in there and start killing Iranians and Russians.  I did not say that.


So that’s Russia and Iran.  Now, Assad.  How do you put some pressure on Assad, right?  And here I did argue, Charlie, that the U.S. military itself should take some action, and what I would see invaluable is limited, very, very, very limited U.S. airstrikes against those assets that are extremely important to Assad personally.


So, in the middle of the night you destroy one of his offices; you don’t kill anybody, right, zero collateral. … You do this with the same rules of engagement we use against terrorists. …


You take out his presidential aircraft, his presidential helicopters, in the middle of the night, right, just to send him a message and get his attention that, that maybe your days are numbered here, just to put some pressure on him to think about maybe, maybe the need to think about a way out of this.  Now these issues that I’m talking about here, right, are talked about in the sit room.  They’re talked about in national security circles all the time, right.  These are debates that people have, and I certainly understand that there are people on the other side of the argument from me, right.


But I wasn’t talking about the U.S. starting a major war with Iran and Russia, and I think that was the way [indistinct: seems to be “… the way people interpreted it.”


CR:  And all the rest of it …. [indistinct]


MM:  And all the rest of it … [indistinct]


This segment ends at minute 35:30

An oops-moment from Michael Morell as he lavished praise on Hillary Clinton on the Charlie Rose show just ten days after he lavished praise on Hillary Clinton on the Charlie Rose show ten days ago.  (Get the picture?)  It was clear, from some of the things Charlie said, that he, CBS, and Morell had gotten so much flak for what Morell said on August 8, that it was decided to give Morell a mulligan on August 18.

Morell’s oops-moment starts at about minute 50.


“You know, it’s interesting, Charlie:  I worked with her [Hillary Clinton] for four years.  Leon Panetta, David Petraeus worked with her for four years.  We trusted her word; we trusted her judgment.  You know, Charlie, Director Panetta, Director Petraeus, I provided her with some of the most sensitive information that the CIA collects and she never gave us one reason to doubt how she was handling that.  She spoke to us forthrightly. … I trust her word and I trust her judgment.  You know, she spoke to us forthrightly. … I trust her word and I trust her judgment.” (End of scripted interview – Emphasis added)


Surprise; surprise! Charlie didn’t think to ask Morell if he were the only person in Washington unaware that FBI Director James Comey branded “extremely careless” her handling of sensitive CIA information by using highly vulnerable, unclassified servers. And this might have been a follow-up question for Charlie to ask: “Did Mrs. Clinton speak ‘forthrightly’ to you, Michael, about “how she was handling that?”


Michael Morell is welcomed back for another hour with Charlie Rose, remarkably, ten days after the interview in which he told Charlie he wanted to kill Russians and Iranians, so that he could ‘splain that he really didn’t want to start a war.  But he still wanted to do the kinds of’ things to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that fit the classic definition of terrorism: “The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.”


Morell should be apprehended as an international terrorist.  But more on that later.  I made the sacrifice of watching the whole 54-minute interview.  Just after minute 50.  Morell has just told a heartwarming story about how compassionate Secretary Clinton was when he lost out to John Brennan, whom Obama picked to be the CIA Director.  The day after Morell was un-picked for the job, he was in the Situation Room [it’s always “in the Situation Room!”] and Secretary Clinton, “sat down next to me, put her hand on my shoulder, and she simply said, ‘Are you okay?’  There is humanity there, and I think the public needs to know.”


Charlie goes on to lament how hard it is for Clinton to convey what he calls her “humanity” and how she is worthy of trust … then does a riff on the Biblical passage about those who can be trusted in small matters [like sitting down next to Morell, putting her hand on his shoulder, and asking him if he is okay].  A nice soft pitch from Charlie; Morell gives every indication that he hit it out of the park.  And … the oops! mentioned above.