NYT’s A. G. Sulzberger’s lament today ignores how reporting on “Russian interference” has brought NYT as much discredit as its pre-Iraq-war lies on WMD. Not to mention his father’s guaranteeing a W win in 2004 by sitting on reports of illegal surveillance.
On May 1, 2019 the Times published a far more balanced report on father and son Biden’s vulnerability to “conflict of interest questions.” What a difference five months can make, once NYT writers “get the memo” on whitewashing Biden and blaming the exposure of his difficulties on Trump.
The Joe Biden-friendly Establishment media has mounted a full-court press to “prove” that Biden is, well, not a crook.
The stakes are extremely high, Biden is vulnerable, and media players are using to a faretheewell the old adage about the best defense being a good offense. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street journal are desperately trying to steal the ball and get ahead in the publicity game. But time is about to run out, and pre-emptive propaganda is unlikely to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. IF the facts do come out and IF they are reported, Biden’s presidential hopes may suffer a mortal blow.
When the corruption in which the former Vice President and his son Hunter were involved in Ukraine becomes more widely known, the press wants to be in position to “show” that it’s all the fault of President Donald Trump and his lawyers for trying to derail Biden’s candidacy by exposing him. If past is precedent, the media will largely succeed. The question is whether enough people will, nevertheless, be able to see through this all-too-familiar charade.
“It was in February  when Yanukovych was overthrown, and just a few months later (in May), Joe Biden’s son and a close friend of John Kerry’s stepson, they both join the board of this Ukrainian gas company. And the name of that was Burisma Holdings,” said Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News and a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. “So just after an American-backed coup, you have Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and this John Kerry family friend joining the board of probably the largest private gas producer in Ukraine. They installed the new government, and as the bounty of this coup, Joe Biden’s son personally profited. He would not have gotten that job if Yanukovych was still in power,” Lauria told the National Interest.
Will U.S. voters have any way of putting these dots together, and also in discerning, for example, how much truth there may be in charges that Vice President Biden pressed hard for the ouster of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin, who was canned after investigating corruption at Burisma Holdings Ukrainian gas company of which Hunter Biden was a board member? If the truth does come out, no one will have to rely on remarks from the likes of Rudy Giulinai, one of Trump’s lawyers, who has called the episode “an astounding scandal of major proportions.” That may be hyperbole but, still, the damage to Biden could be fatal.
And so, damage control is in full swing today at the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other “usual suspects,” with the NY Times winning the laurels with its Editorial Board, no less, weighing in with “What did Trump tell Ukraine’s president?” in addition to op-eds by Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Anne Applebaum, Greg Sargent and (my favorite), by George T. Conway III and Neal Katyal, “Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But the Ukraine allegations are over the top.”
In the past, Israel has said “No Thanks” to such a mutual defense treaty, and Ray had an unusual chance to try to explain Israel’s attitude during a speech at the National Press Club five years ago.*** (See below.)
Agreeing with Ray’s take on things is not something top Israeli intelligence officials are accustomed to doing, so it seemed odd, at first, to hear the former chief of Israeli military intelligence publicly express views virtually identical to those expressed by Ray at the National Press Club. Israel’s attitude? So who needs a treaty? The “special” Israel-U.S. relationship brings us Israelis more one-sided advantages than we can count. The text of the latest article on this subject follows, with the link at the end. Former IDF Intelligence Chief on US-Israel Defense Treaty: Security Establishment Has Always Decided ‘Disadvantages Outweigh Advantages’ By Benjamin Kerstein, September 15, 2019
A former chief of Israeli military intelligence said on Sunday that the idea of a mutual defense treaty between Israel and the United States has been considered before, but the Israeli security establishment has always rejected it.
Speaking to Israeli news website Mako, Amos Yadlin made the remarks in response to President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent discussions of a possible defense treaty. When the issue arose in the past the military and security services repeatedly concluded that the “disadvantages outweighed the advantages,” he said.
The most important misgiving, said Yadlin, is that Israel “could lose its freedom of action and be unable to decide alone on certain activities. If we wanted to go to war or a major operation, we would have to do it in consultation with the US.” In what appeared to be reference to Israel’s refusal to acknowledge whether or not it has nuclear weapons, Yadlin added, “The loss of ambiguity is also significant.”
Asked whether there would also be advantages to a defense agreement, Yadlin answered, “The major advantage of a defense treaty is the strengthening of deterrence. If a state or terror organization seeks to attack Israel, it would understand that this would involve a war with the US.” However, he noted, because of “the special relationship between Israel and the US, the deterrence is already strong. There are strategic collaborations between the countries that contribute to deterrence, and the question is if a defense treaty will actually strengthen deterrence or if it will remain as it is.”
In addition, Yadlin said, there would be serious obligations to the US placed on Israel.
“If the United States requests aid, then Israel is obligated to come to its aid, and of course the reverse,” he explained. “It’s like a rental contract, you have to live up to it and pay the landlord, and we know that not everyone pays all the time.”
“It’s a contract with heavy obligations,” he asserted.
Referring to whether the US would even send troops to disputed areas such as the West Bank, Yadlin explained, “One of the problems is that Israel does not have permanent borders, and the US has not recognized the territories as part of Israel. It has recognized western Jerusalem, and the rest of the city is up for negotiation.”
“So the situation is extremely complicated, but at the fundamental level, [the US] is supposed to send [troops] if Israel requests it,” he said.
However, Yadlin said, “If Trump and Netanyahu succeed in reaching an agreement in a unique format that meets our limitations, it could be worth it. If the agreement isn’t directed toward all the Middle East states, but only, for example, toward Iran, then it could be that this is a process worth considering.”
“But in the end, a classic defense agreement is a process that is not recommended for Israel,” he concluded.
These things — as important as they are — are not really hard to figure out. Ray addressed them head-on, in a light tone, during a 19-minute talk at the National Press Club on March 7, 2014 at the “National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Special Relationship.’” (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r97vxvl-MI .)
Several years before, during an unusual briefing orchestrated by House Judiciary Chair John Conyers on June 16, 2005, Ray had already ruffled feathers by suggesting that, since there is no U.S.-Israel mutual defense treaty, we all ought to stop calling Israel an “ally.”
As indicated in the text of the retrospective mentioned above, the remarks Ray made at the Conyers briefing on Israel (plus oil and logistics) as drivers for the attack on Iraq are heard between hour/minute 1:43 and 1:46.
Ray on Fault Lines this morning, fielding questions about Houtis, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Pompeo, and Israeli influence on Trump — as well as John Brennan’s ace Kremlin spy “with access to Putin” — the “spy” who may be able to hammer the final nail into Brennan’s political coffin. https://www.periscope.tv/stranahan/1kvJpRgdrmdKE 18 minutes
Brennan told everyone — and even the not-so-usually-gullible strove mightily to believe him — that the CIA had a very sensitive source with direct access to Russian President Vladimir Putin. And that is why the rump intelligence agency group of CIA, FBI, and NSA were able to “assess” that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”