Latest Claptrap on “Russia Helping Trump Win”

CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour lets it all hang out interviewing Russian foreign policy guru Fyodor Lukyanov:

Segment from minute 0:20 to 0:44 shows Amanpour’s loaded-for-(Russian) bear first question:


“Let me first ask you, um, you know, Trump and his team is saying there is zero evidence [on Russia hacking], but do you think that even in Moscow people believe that the Obama administration would have slapped sanctions on Russia and that 17 of U.S. intelligence agencies believe that there IS evidence, isn’t the Russians, or the Kremlin believe there is zero evidence?” (sic)


Reminiscing on the behavior of the Fawning Corporate Media in asserting as flat-fact that lraq had weapons of mass destruction, I was reminded of the kind of questions (and exasperating grimace/gesticulation) with which my VIPS colleagues and I were greeted as the U.S. attacked Iraq, as in:  “Well, really!  If there is zero evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, do you believe the Bush administration would have invaded Iraq?  I mean, really?”  So here we go again.

Emails Were Leaked, Not Hacked

Bill Binney and Ray have authored timely op-ed in tomorrow’s Baltimore Sun, just now posted on line.


NSA needs to be asked, Where’s the beef?  NSA’s multimillion-dollar vacuum cleaner would have sucked up the data to prove it, were it a hack.


National Intelligence Director James Clapper confessed four years ago to lying under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee, admitting that he had provided testimony that was “clearly erroneous.”  And he has even more serious blots on his record – in facilitating fraudulent intelligence before the Iraq war, for example.  Yet he remains just the kind of guy Senators and Congressmen like to fawn over – and believe.  Unbelievable.


Tomorrow (Friday) we shall see what President-elect Trump thinks of Clapper’s dog-and-pony show.

Obama’s Deadly Afghan Acquiescence

No Guts Obama ran only the rhetoric.

By Ray McGovern, Jan. 3, 2016

Obama’s Deadly Afghan Acquiescence

And the thousand dead GIs? What come to mind are the desperate words of Linda, Willy Loman’s wife in “Death of a Salesman”:


“He’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”


[NOTE: The above is an improved version of the Ray’s draft posted immediately below.]

Afghanistan & “NGO” (No Guts Obama): A Retrospective

 Occasionally a New York Times writer like Mark Landler will be permitted to step up to the plate and write a sensible article about President “NGO” and how he caved in to folks he lacked the political courage to cross. Landler’s Jan. 1 article shows, among other things, how NGO’s bowing to heavyweights like Petraeus, Gates, and H. Clinton ended up getting thousands of people killed and prolonging the fool’s-errand Afghan war.


The pity, of course, is that Landler’s piece, “The Afghan War and the Evolution of Obama,” comes eight years too late.

There is a lot of numbness out there today about how we let ourselves be had by NGO.  There are many attempts to blame bad decisions on Afghanistan on his benighted advisers.  Benighted, indeed.  But you know where the buck is supposed to stop.  And VIPS et al. spared no effort to get through to NGO.

It would be entirely understandable if some of you will not want to risk being further depressed.  Others, however, may wish to have your memories freshened by recalling the efforts of Ray and his colleagues to warn NGO before he let himself be conned into doubling down on the Afghan folly.  They may wish to skim through the re-runs (linked below) of early warnings in March 2009 and January 2010, together with some retrospective comments.


“Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President

July 24, 2016

From the Archive: With still no end in sight for the Afghan War, President Obama can’t say he wasn’t warned. Barely two months into his presidency in 2009, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern welcomed Obama to his own Vietnam quagmire.

By Ray McGovern (Originally published March 28, 2009).”

Included in that piece was this quote from Gen. Douglas MacArthur:

“Equally relevant to Obama’s fateful early decision on Afghanistan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur told another young President in April 1961: “’Anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland of Asia should have his head examined.’”


Could it be that the fellow we used to call windsock-Bobby Gates still reads articles by his old Soviet Foreign Policy Branch Chief.  Hard to tell.  But here’s what he later told aspiring officers at West Point.


“Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa ‘should have his head examined,’ as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”

The “Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President” article of March 28, 2009 added:

When JFK’s top military advisers, critical of the President’s reluctance to go against that advice, virtually called him a traitor  — for pursuing a negotiated solution to the fighting in Laos, for example — Kennedy would tell them to convince Gen. MacArthur first, and then come back to him. (Alas, there seems to be no comparable Gen. MacArthur today.)


Obama Ignores Key Afghan Warning

February 7, 2014

“From the Archive:  As the 12-year Afghan War grinds to what many Americans see as failure, ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other hawks won’t admit their counterinsurgency “surge” in 2009 was a waste of lives and money or that U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry was right when he warned President Obama, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote in 2010.  (Originally published Jan. 27, 2010)”


“I imagine that in years to come, Eikenberry will proudly show his cables to his grandchildren. Or maybe he won’t, out of fear that one of them might ask why he didn’t have the guts to quit and let the rest of the country know what he thought of this latest March of Folly.”

The General/Ambassador

Eikenberry is an interesting case study showing, among other things, that lack of guts on the part of a commander-in-chief can be contagious.  A retired Lt. General and then Obama’s ambassador in Kabul, Eikenberry knew more about Afghanistan than Petraeus, McChrystal, Gates, and H. Clinton (the entire Gang of Four) put together, and sent back to Washington some very important, sensible advice.  We do not know whether H. Clinton forwarded it on to her boss.  Nor do we know whether Eikenberry exercised his ambassadorial prerogative to contact the President directly.  Apparently, he preferred to avoid putting important noses out of joint.  My guess is that he opted instead to tell his story through leaks to the New York Times.

Eikenberry had served three years in Afghanistan over the course of two separate tours of duty. During 2002-2003 he was responsible for rebuilding Afghan security forces. He then served 18 months (2005-2007) as commander of all US forces stationed in the country.  Surely, he could see the toll in killed and wounded that would inevitably result from the follow being urged on NGO by the Gang of Four.

In any case, Eikenberry’s leaked cables show that he felt strongly about it.  He also saw the handwriting on the wall indicating that Obama was about to let himself be sandbagged by the Gang of Four and its clever use of the media.  So he sent two SECRET NODIS (“NODIS” MEANS No Dissemination) cables to H. Clinton, his boss (and a charter member of the Gang of Four), fully aware that she might not share them with her boss, NGO.  Did Eikenberry ever think of resigning loudly on principle?  Apparently not.

What did he choose to do when he was overruled?  He trod up to Congress and fully supported the feckless surge of troops launched out of NGO’s cowardice/stupidity in bowing to the Gang of Four.  It may never have occurred to him to blow the whistle.  For many a graduate of West Point, its motto seems to get garbled as one pins on star after star in climbing the ladder of success.  The motto is, after all, “Duty, Honor, Country (not Career, not President, not Sinecure Retirement – but Country!).

Or perhaps blowing the whistle did occur to Eikenberry.  But he would have been well aware that, if you challenge the Establishment in a serious way, you seldom end up with a cushy job like running a Research Center at Stanford.  Presumably, Eikenberry takes some gratification in the fact that he turns out to have been correct, as shown by his cables from Kabul, and relishes the applause of his academic colleagues.  As suggested above, it may have been he himself who leaked the cables to the NY Times with that future purpose in the back of his mind – something in the nature of a “modified limited hangout.”

Glenn Greenwald and Tucker Carlson Agree on the flacking of “hacking” by Russia.  AND this was ten days BEFORE the anemic “proof” served up by Jeh Johnson’s Department of Homeland Security and foot-dragging FBI officials were eventually told to hold their noses and “get with the program;”

that is, to agree with Obama favorite, CIA Director John Brennan on the “Russian hacking.”  See comment and link below for Jeh Johnson’s stated approach to moral decisions like drone-killing – and, presumably, lying.)

Glenn Greenwald Slams Democrats for Attacks on Anyone Skeptical of CIA Russia Assessment

December 19, 2016 (five minutes)


On April 5, 2015, Jeh Johnson told 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl of his relief over not being Catholic (like his wife), because then he “would have to go to confession” for some of the things he had approved under pressure with a knee-jerk yes.  They were discussing target-killing American citizens by drone without due process.


Well, Whew! again, for Jeh.  For, while drone-killing Americans is grist for confession, so is lying – whether about “Russian hacking,” or other important things.  Worse still, his Catholic wife might remind him that confession is not as easy as it looks; that it has as much to do with future as past behavior; that for his sins to be forgiven, he would have to promise to stop taking part not only in killing, but in lying as well.


The quaint phrase we Catholics use to describe what is required is a “firm purpose of amendment.”  (My lawyer friends are the first to point out that this may be the main reason why, reportedly, there are so few lawyers, Catholic or not, in heaven.)


On the chance readers might think this not a fair representation of Jeh Johnson’s approach, we paste in part of his dialogue with Lesley Stahl, plus the link to the 60 Minutes segment:


from “Homeland Security” which aired on April 5, 2015:


Lesley Stahl: The homegrown [terrorist] movement … was largely inspired by this man, an American turned terrorist in Yemen, named Anwar al-Awlaki. He was killed by a drone strike like this one, one of many Johnson green-lighted when he was general counsel at the Pentagon.

Jeh Johnson: If it was a strike off what we call the hot battlefield — in other words, outside of Iraq and Afghanistan — by the military then I would have to give the legal sign-off first. And so I did that.

Lesley Stahl: At one point, you had to decide whether it was OK to kill an American, al-Awlaki.

Jeh Johnson: In any use of targeted lethal force, we’d have to conclude that it was consistent with domestic law and international law.

Lesley Stahl: Did you say it [drone killing] was not legal many times?

Jeh Johnson: Occasionally I would have to conclude that the legal authority was not there. And quickly found out that it was actually easier to say yes than it was to say no.

Lesley Stahl: Why was it easier to say yes?

Jeh Johnson: Very often when we’re asked to approve the use of targeted lethal force, it can only be in a matter of minutes.

Lesley Stahl: Right–

Jeh Johnson: And so there’s a lot of momentum to that. So to say no is like stepping in front of a 90-car freight train.

Lesley Stahl: The first time you said yes, you have said that you were very uncomfortable.

Jeh Johnson: How could somebody be comfortable with authorizing legally the use of lethal force? My view is if you become comfortable with it, then you should get out of the job.

Lesley Stahl: What you actually said was, “If I were Catholic, I would have to go to confession.”

Jeh Johnson: Yes. …

(Emphasis added)

Have we seen this before?  Informed by the same intelligence officials of ill repute who were responsible for the fraudulent evidence concocted to explain the need for war on Iraq, the U.S. is preparing to “retaliate” against Russia for leveraging Donald Trump into the presidency.  The difference this time around is that the deluge of evidence-free, pre-retaliation propaganda has been so effective that those lusting for “retaliation” are getting a totally free pass in virtually all U.S. media.  The government is not required (or even asked) to provide ANY evidence – real or fraudulent – beyond what anonymous CIA officials whisper to tame media stenographers.  Yesterday, Ray discussed media reports of imminent U.S. “retaliation.”

December 28 (8 minutes)


The supreme irony: Yes, there was gross interference in the U.S. electoral process – but the culprits were Hillary Clinton and functionaries in the Democratic National Committee who stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders.  Chapter and verse describing that theft is found in the content of the emails leaked to WikiLeaks – by some insider who could not stomach the corruption is my best guess.  (Does it tell you anything that the top five DNC officials had to resign immediately, two days before the Democratic convention?)


The U.S. media circus orchestra, conducted by maestro John Brennan, made a herculean effort to divert attention from the contentof the emails, by confecting a successful story line that diverted attention to “the Russians,” blaming them for “hacking” highly embarrassing (albeit authentic) emails depicting the screwing of Sanders.  Smugly, the Democrats and the media were convinced Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the presidency, once she fly-swatted Bernie Sanders away.  Had the Democratic primary and nomination process not been so clearly corrupted, we would surely be preparing to inaugurate President-elect Bernie Sanders in three weeks.  Enough irony for today?

House Intelligence Committee eunuchs defame Edward Snowden, in large part because he exposed their own complicity in what former NSA directors (predecessors of the malleable Dick-Cheney tool, Michael Hayden) publicly called “clear violations of the law.”  RT International asked Ray to comment on the House committee report, as soon as a redacted version was made public yesterday.

December 22, 2016 (seven minutes)


It is Snowden who decided, at great risk, to honor his oath to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies foreign and domestic – and NOT the timid politicians whose cowardice Snowden exposed.  Naïve souls still inclined to give credence to congressional “overseers” (“overlookers” is a better word) and to a constitutional-lawyer-in-chief who lies outright about his sweeping power to pardon, are now asked to believe that Snowden was/is a Russian spy.  For the “full story,” tune in to the shameless Fawning Corporate Media, which are busy giving disingenuousness a bad name.


“At long last, have you no sense of decency?”