The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Espionage Act Is Bad Law Even When It Is Used Against People I Despise Like Trump

Back in June 2019, the New Yorker wrote an article lambasting the Espionage Act.

The George W. Bush Administration pursued several government insiders for leaking classified information, but it was the Obama Administration that normalized the use of the Espionage Act against journalists’ sources. Among its targets were Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer, who was sentenced to three and a half years for supplying the Times with classified information about U.S. efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program; Donald Sachtleben, a former F.B.I. agent who was sentenced to three and a half years for providing the Associated Press with information about a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen; and Chelsea Manning, a former military-intelligence analyst who was sentenced to thirty-five years for providing Assange’s WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of pages of classified government documents…

…(about the Trump admin) Later that year, Sessions told Congress that the Justice Department was engaged in twenty-seven investigations into classified leaks — a dramatic escalation over previous years. In the two and a half years since Trump complained to Comey, the Justice Department has indicted three people under the Espionage Act for providing information of public concern to the press.

Now, the New Yorker is concentrating on people who were prosecuted for supplying information to the press, or in the case of Assange, for publishing information (acting as the press himself.) And one can easily say “This isn’t the same thing — Trump isn’t a whistleblower.”

And I agree. If Trump has taken information and given it to a foreign power, then it’s one of the few semi-legitimate uses of the Espionage Act to go after him.

But if it’s just sat in some boxes, well, the truth is that for senior people, like Clinton (yes, a junior person would have had their career destroyed and likely gone to prison for using their own private server the way she did) and General Petraeus (who avoided indictment under the act), the law is usually an empty letter.

One might then say, well, but these are nuclear secrets and much more serious.

But all of this caviling and caveats brings out the essential point: The Espionage Act is so widely written that it’s a prosecutor’s cudgel, and the choice of whether to use it or not is a political decision, not a matter of whether someone violated the letter of the law. For most of the 20th century, after the original proscriptions (used against communists and people who opposed the draft), it was rarely used, and the choice to use it was clearly a political choice.

It’s a bad law. It shouldn’t be on the books. If it is on the books, it should be applied evenly, and in all cases, for the simple reason that using it against people with power is how it would be repealed and replaced with something much less prone to abuse. If it had actually been used against Clinton, there would have been massive pressure to repeal it.

And that’s the good thing, here. If it’s used against Trump, well, perhaps the Republicans, next time they’re in a position to do so (which could be as early as 2024), will repeal it.

Or, instead, maybe they’ll go tit-for-tat and continue with its weaponization, going after Democrats and left-wingers.

That would be bad, but it would also have the potential for good. You get rules of war and politics when both or all sides have been monsters, and they finally realize that mutual monstrosity is bad.

As for Trump, I have little sympathy. He used the law badly, and for him to be hoist on it amuses. It’s a pity that Obama, who really weaponized it, is smart enough to have not laid himself open. But if I were Clinton, I’d be concerned after 2025.



Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 14, 2022


Collapse Of Water Supply For Countries Around Tibet


  1. Dan Lynch

    Yep, repeal the Espionage Act.

    As for secret documents, how is democracy supposed to function in secrecy, if the voters are kept in the dark about what is going on? So I support any release of any classified document (tho Trump has not released any documents and his motive for possessing any classified documents is probably not pure).

    As for nuclear secrets, get rid of the nukes since there is absolutely no scenario where they should be used. I’m not naive, I know there are evil people in the world (though the continental U.S. has not been invaded since the War of 1812 unless you count the occasional minor fracas on the border with Mexico), but there is no way to win a nuclear war. Meanwhile Russia has developed non-nuclear weapons that, I believe, are quite capable of bringing the U.S. to its knees.

    As Smedley Butler said, “I believe in adequate defense of the coastline and nothing else.”

  2. bruce wilder

    There are lots of folks who see nothing wrong with Britain’s Official Secrets Act, too.

    I am not sure I see the fundamental problem with prosecuting officials with a duty to protect documents from unauthorized disclosure for disclosing them. I do see big, big problems with the system of classification, which allows willy nilly designation of documents and information as “protected” from disclosure while often doing nothing to protect against disclosure, only publication and public acknowledgment. Much of what Manning provided to Wikileaks to publish was theoretically accessible by literally close to 2 million people if they had known where to look on government intranets.

    My central objection to the Espionage Act is that it can be used like the Official Secrets Act against people with no affirmative duty to the government and for disclosing information that has already escaped close custody or is in its nature of public interest.

    What really should end is the system of classification. It enacts rule by spies.

  3. Bill H.

    Wait a minute. You think that if the law is used against Republicans then, when they are in power, rather than using it against Democrats in a retaliatory manner, they will virtuously repeal it. You have a much higher opinion of Republicans than I do, and I have been registered in that party all of my adult life.

    On the other hand, while not repealing it, they might not use it against Democrats, which is the sort of behavior which assures that Democrats will soon regain power, and will eventually have power permanently. Weak people do not retain power.

  4. Jason

    Espionage is how the world is run. It’s how the proverbial “powers that be” or “elite” or “our masters” – whatever terminology one cares to use – go about maintaining, enhancing, and solidifying their power.

    I believe a larger conversation about espionage in general is necessary. It takes many forms, not just political. Industrial espionage overlaps with the political, for example. They often go hand-in-hand.

    One of – if not the most – effective ways to gather data and information about a targeted organization or entity is by infiltrating its ranks.

    This is how Joseph Persico described espionage:

    “Espionage involves peeking at the other fellow’s hand, marking the cards, cooking the books, poisoning the well, breaking the rules, hitting below the belt, cheating, lying, deceiving, defaming, snooping, eavesdropping, prying, stealing, bribing, suborning, burglarizing, forging, misleading, conducting dirty tricks, dirty pool, skulduggery, blackmail, seduction, everything not sporting, not kosher, not cricket. In short, espionage stands virtue on its head and elevates vice instead.”

    Not pretty.

    Persico was a military man who went on to work for prominent banker/politician/Yale Skull and Bones man W. Averell Harriman, he of the famous Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. which remains to this day one of the largest investment banks in the country. He then worked in intelligence for the United State Information Agency.

    So Persico knows of what he speaks, not that he should be deemed trustworthy. Anyone who works for a major banker/politician and then goes into intel isn’t to be trusted! As the saying goes, once a spook or operative, always. He’s practicing what he’s telling you about.

    I’ll repeat that: He’s practicing what he’s telling you about. At the same time he’s giving you a bunch of factual information, he’s omitting or inserting other “facts” in order to create a narrative in your head. Ian wrote about this recently, and it’ very important to understand when it comes to espionage/deep state tactics.

    Once again: espionage/deep state tactics are how “they” run the world.

  5. NR

    the Espionage Act is so widely written that it’s a prosecutor’s cudgel, and the choice of whether to use it or not is a political decision, not a matter of whether someone violated the letter of the law.

    You can say this about many laws, can’t you, Ian? It’s not unique to the Espionage Act.

  6. bruce wilder

    I do wonder if the rhetorical tropes attributing agency to politicians — even the apparently factual summary statement by the New Yorker: “the Obama Administration that normalized the use of the Espionage Act “ — are misleading us into thinking that partisan politics drives these developments when this could be a power grab by the intelligence agencies and its deep state establishment integrated into an increasingly centralized MIC.

    I saw Alexander Vindman attack Tulsi Gabbard for daring to voice an opinion on Ukraine policy and it made me think again about his motives in getting Trump impeached for interfering with Ukraine policy.

  7. Willy

    Trump could’ve easily copied the originals and sent them to his favorite anti-American and/or anti-democracy authoritarian rulers in exchange for another future episode of Russia, Russia, Russia!

    Except we’re not supposed to talk about it because it’s a diversion from real problems which others say we’re not supposed to talk about. And so I wonder just what it is we’re supposed to be talking about.

    I’ve tried a centrist approach. Not centrism, but the approach. The one where my progressivism hopefully gets ‘scientifically’ determined to be the best political course after peer reviewed debate amongst peer reviewers of all political stripes.

    But keep I running into too many blind faithers who tell me that scientific approaches are demonically possessed, and so am I. And don’t even get me started on the obfuscators, who I think are trying to nuance me down some nuance drain. Personally,
    I think they’re all on the take from somebody really powerful.

    And so we get these Espionage Acts subject to interpretation. I like when they take down self-serving idiot-savant demagogues, but honest whistle blowers not so much. Maybe a whistle blowing exemption addendum or something, provided we can get really powerfuls to buy into it.

  8. marku52

    It’s more evidence that, at the top, the only prosecutable offense is embarrassing someone in power.

  9. Jason

    There are many different elite factions in the world. They all use espionage. Their motives and interests are aligned such that it’s inevitable they will work together much of the time. However, given that the essential basis for their being and actions is deception, they are just as likely to turn on one another. It’s all a game to them. It really is.

    That said, the concept of “plausible deniability” is an important one to understand. They all understand it well, and utilize it cunningly. Plausible deniability makes it near impossible for interested parties to ever really know who is carrying out the operations, which are generally to the benefit of both or multiple entities; major exceptions to this can and do exist, however, particularly if one (or more) of the parties is in a position to know more about the others than they do it. Remember, we are talking about elite factions and their machinations carried out by their respective operatives in government, media (media can be infiltrated and essentially “taken over” well before or even entirely without a country ever being militarily occupied or conquered – and media includes “entertainment” which is very important to understand and think about), military and intelligence, etc.

    “Enemy image” is another extremely important concept to understand. It’s evident everywhere. And it’s not just them getting you to hate another country – or your own – for their benefit. They’ll get you to hate your family, your neighbors, yourself. Divide and conquer is both physical and mental.

    As to the operations themselves, complex and rigid compartmentalization and classification carried out within the parameters of a rigidly hierarchical system is the answer to the question “How could they possibly pull that off? Too many people would know and talk.” People truly in the know in these circles laugh at that contention.

  10. Ché Pasa

    Yep, bad law. And it’s been abused from the get-go. Hundreds and hundreds of people have been charged over the years, not just the ones who get the headlines, not just journalists, not solely political enemies, but rather, “enemies of the state.” Of which, one could argue, Trump is one. Most of those charged and convicted have been Socialists, Communists, Jehovahs Witnesses, and various government functionaries who went rogue as whistleblowers. That’s pretty much all the Espionage Act has ever been used for.

    Most people didn’t care because it didn’t affect them, likely couldn’t affect them.

    There’s an interesting aspect about the Espionage Act. Those brought to trial under the law may have an attorney but they are prohibited from defending their client in any perceptible way. Ask John Kiriakou. Ask Reality Winner. In other words, going to trial under the law is tantamount to conviction. Prosecutorial good times.

    Yes, bad law. But it has been that way since 1917. Rand may want to rant about repealing it now, but only because of Trump possibly running afoul of the law. Bet he was all in for it when Hillary was a potential target.

    And another thing. Isn’t it well known that Jared and Ivanka and a number of other Trump operatives used nongovernmental email servers (AOL? Gmail?) for classified communications, and they too are potential targets for the Law Against Which You Cannot Defend?

    This is a law that enables The State (however you want to define it) to target practically anyone for speaking out in dissent of orders from the government. Not only that, practically anyone who takes action contrary to the government’s preference can also be targeted.

    Bad law. Still on the books.

  11. bruce wilder

    As Jason hints, espionage is less about finding out stuff or verifying facts than it is about disinformation.

    Denying the general public access to accurate and verified information is a pre-condition to creating the state of public doubt and disorientation foundational to successfully substituting a propaganda state for democratic governance.

    The corruption of power shows itself in chafing at responsibility, the accounting for policy results, and the constraints manifest facts place on the exercise of power. Those drunk on power will often feel that their power can make a new reality faster than they can figure out how to cope with an actually existing complex set of conditions and constraints challenging to analyze or understand. Especially the powerful will not eagerly cede power and authority to experts; nor will they defer to the collective judgment of common men.

    This the political ecology of official secrecy: survival of any species of common knowledge that isn’t distorted and dubious is doomed. But, oddly, elites are as dumber and dumber in the sense of ignorant as the common people. So much energy goes into evading accountability and propagating manipulative propaganda that there is little room left for realistic appraisal of situations and evolving circumstances.

    I see this in the Ukraine War. The cancel culture tactics of American and European leaders took no realistic account of consequences. I read the news: claims of Ukrainian success are frequent and it is assumed the underdog Ukrainians are outnumbered because that is what the narrative demands. All the indiscriminate shelling and war crimes are Russian.

    There is a counter-narrative of slow albeit grinding Russian success, of course, only slightly better informed at best. If you are not rooting for one side or the other, there is not much news you can use.

  12. Carborundum

    This isn’t a power grab by the intelligence community. This is the intelligence community shitting its pants as it grapples with the scale of the datastores it needs to maintain – and make broadly available – in order to deliver on the demand to “connect the dots”. They don’t have the resources to continually vet and audit access, so deterrence is what they have left.

    This is yet another dimension of what happens craft becomes industry and the calling of a bunch of otherwise unemployable near loonies becomes a redoubt for the striving upper middle class.

  13. bruce. wilder

    This is the intelligence community shitting its pants as it grapples with the scale of the datastores it needs to maintain – and make broadly available – in order to deliver on the demand to “connect the dots”.

    1.) “broadly available” — what’s the definition of that phrase? you must be using your own personal dictionary.

    2.) what demand to “connect the dots”? this idea that anyone — especially anyone with official political authority — wants to “connect the dots” with any more sophistication of purpose than, say, QAnon, flies in the face of recent history.

    Did they locate the WMD in Iraq? Did anyone ask them to? Did they connect Saddam to 9/11? Put anyone in particular in Prague? (A 9/11 conspirator? Trump’s lawyer?) Did they vet the Steele Dossier? Did they investigate COVID in early days?

  14. Jason

    One of the most powerful – if not the most powerful elite faction – are the Zionists. This is barely debatable among anyone in the know; it’s openly admitted to by spooks working for the intelligence apparatus of other countries.

    And the United States, when it may still have been considered the preeminent world power, issued a military intelligence report, prepared by top military analysts, which called the Zionist intelligence apparatus and its agents and operatives “ruthless and cunning, a wildcard that has the capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

    Plausible deniability should be considered here, as always. So should institutional embarrassment and the iron law of institutions. Infiltration is rarely admitted to, and when it is suggested, it certainly may be in the interest of creating plausible deniability.

    So we have to ask ourselves when, in March 2004, George Tenet, then acting CIA director – the ostensible head of the entire United States intelligence apparatus – testified before the House Armed Services Committee:

    “A special intelligence unit at the Pentagon provided private prewar briefings to senior White House officials on alleged ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda without the knowledge of the CIA Director … [and the] disclosure suggests that a controversial Pentagon office played a greater role than previously understood in shaping the administration’s views on Iraq’s alleged ties to the terrorist network behind the Sept. 11 attacks, and that it bypassed usual channels to make a case that conflicted with the conclusions of CIA analysts.”

    Is he here setting up plausible deniability?

    He was referring to the Office of Special Plans, which was obviously an Israeli/Zionist operation.

    I would be interested in knowing what went on at the highly secretive meetings of the Zionist billionaire elite known as the “Mega Group” which began in 1991 at the behest of Charles and Edgar Bronfman and one Lexlie Wexner, Jeffrey Epstein’s close friend and advisor. Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were especially active with their sexual blackmail campaign throughout the Clinton years.

    Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine’s father, is described thusly on Wikipedia: “Ian Robert Maxwell MC (born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch; 10 June 1923 – 5 November 1991) was a Czechoslovak-born British media proprietor, member of parliament, suspected spy, and fraudster.”

    After a long description of Robert Maxwell’s frauds and schemes in business over the years, including as a media baron (remember the importance of media), it is then revealed that he was a double and triple agent for MI5, KGB, and Mossad. As Wikipedia reports,

    “The (UK) Foreign Office suspected that Maxwell was a secret agent of a foreign government, possibly a double agent or a triple agent, and a thoroughly bad character and almost certainly financed by Russia.’ He had known links to the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), to the Soviet KGB, and to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.”

    Wikipedia goes on to state that upon his death he “was afforded a lavish funeral in Israel, attended by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli President Chaim Herzog, and many dignitaries and politicians, both government and opposition. Six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence services attended Maxwell’s funeral in Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogised him and stated: “He has done more for Israel than can today be told.”

    So who was he really and ultimately working for?

    There is obviously a very intimate connection between this very powerful founding father of Israel, his daughter and Jeffrey Epstein, and the other members of the Zionist elite faction, which is of course never mentioned in the U.S press, aside from a handful of people who are marginalized. The oft-seen pattern of truly good investigative being done by people who might be considered on the “fringe left” and “fringe right” – and their uncovering of facts which just so happen to overlap and agree – is evident here.

    On the left, James Petras’ work over the years (he describes the Zionist elite and its operatives and agents as “The Zionist Power Configuration, or ZPC”) is in alignment with Whitney Webb’s more recent work. Petras’ writing is more verbose, while Webb’s is more to-the-point, and both are in alignment with names and facts uncovered and outlined by writers in more “right-libertarian” circles.

    Grant Smith runs the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP) which contains a very comprehensive catalogue of certain aspects of the Zionist Lobby, its historical clandestine activities, and present-day activities which are carried out by entities operating in the United States with misleading names such as “USA PAC” or something similar, but which act solely in the interest of Israel. I don’t think Grant would be necessarily considered on the left or right.

    Alison Weir of “If Americans Knew” might be considered on the left, as she advocates for Palestinians every bit as much as she uncovers the history of clandestine Zionist activities here in the United States. She might be seen to approach it from both an “America First” (god forbid!) and Palestinian advocacy perspective.

    Alison is a staff member on the Council for the National Interest, which was founded by former congressmen Paul Findley and Paul “Pete” McCloskey, who experienced the same treatment at the hands of the Zionists that caused the late Admiral Thomas Moorer to declare, “I’ve never seen a President . . . stand up to them (Zionists). If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.”

    Wikipedia reports that “Moorer came to the conclusion that the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 was a deliberate act on the part of the Israelis and that President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the cover-up to maintain ties with Israel. Moorer stated that ‘Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty’s radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded.’ He went on to say that there had been a conspiracy to cover up the event and asked whether ‘our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Why does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?'”

    Domestic political pressure through lobbying, fear, and propaganda campaigns, and of course political financing, are two glaringly obvious answers to the late Admiral’s questions.

    These are military types, and their testimony matches that of Cynthia McKinney, who is a leftist type politician, and Professor Steven Salaita, who is a leftist-type academic. I should say was an academic, as Steven drives a bus now (nothing wrong with that, and he’s embraced it with dignity) due to his career being destroyed by Hillel (Zionist) operatives on campus. Salaita is a Palestinian Christian with a Marxist political background.

    On Christmas Day in 1998 The Washington Post ran an article by David Hoffman entitled “Communist Party Chief Joins Attack on Zionism” in which then and current General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov was quoted at length on Zionism and its destructive effects on Russia. “Zionism has in reality revealed itself as one of the varieties of the theory and practice of the most aggressive imperialistic circles striving for world supremacy.”

    Zyuganov was quite forthright in making a distinction between Zionists and Jews, saying, “We have never put an equation mark between the notions of a Jew’ and a Zionist. The spread of Zionist ideology among the Jewish people is by far not the fault, but a misfortune of the Jewish people.”

    The Washington Post then went on to make an immediate comparison between Zyuganov’s words and the dreaded Stalin/USSR era, writing, “Zyuganov’s remarks were taken right from the pages of anti-Zionist diatribes of the Stalin years and later.”

    Remember the enemy image concept?

    It’s telling that the Jewish Virtual Library report on this is titled “Communist Party Leader Attacks Jews.”

    The destruction which Zyuganov describes and attributes largely, though not entirely, to Zionism, took place both prior to and at the same time the Clintons and other world leaders and people-in-important-positions were being sexually blackmailed by the Maxwell/Epstein clique which, as we’ve just seen, is quite obviously a Zionist elite faction.

    The “Mega Group” of Jewish billionaires allegedly getting together in secret to discuss “Jewish philanthropy” first convened in 1991. Its last meeting was in May, 2001, six months before the Mossad/CIA 9/11 deep state espionage event that led to the all-out escalation and execution of the worldwide “war on terror.”

    We have learned enough by now about billionaire and elite “philanthropy” to know it’s a total charade, intended solely to preserve and increase the wealth and power of the elite by creating impenetrable entities that maintain the existing order. The entire philanthropic edifice is essentially another asset class for the uber-wealthy. This is true whether the philanthropy in question is Zionist or not.

    The birthplace of the “war on terror” doctrine is a scantly-reported conference held in Jerusalem in 1979 called the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, which was convened by an outfit called the Jonathan Institute, founded by Binyamin Netanyahu and named after his deceased brother.

    According to Netanyahu, the conference aimed “to focus public attention on the grave threat that international terrorism poses to all democratic societies, to study the real nature of today’s terrorism, and to propose measures for combating and defeating the international terror movements.”

    Ephraim Katzir, President of Israel at the time and Honorary President of the Jonathan Institute, said the primary objective of the institute is “to inspire our people with the basic values of Zionism.”

    He listed three aims of “paramount importance”:

    1) The Jonathan Institute intends to make plain, especially to the youth and army of Israel, the essential facts of the world Jewish Problem, the classic Zionist solution, and the indispensability of Israel to the survival of the Jewish people

    2) The Institute will advance the idea…that Israel’s survival, strength and security are crucial to the survival of the free world.

    3) The Institute will seek to determine the roots of the terrorism which engulfs the world today…and the ways and means of coping with this danger will be explored.

    In a 2003 interview, Condoleeza Rice, parroting Zionist Ephraim Katzir said, “The security of Israel is the key to the security of the world.” She said this while serving in her capacity as National Security Advisor (ostensibly of the United States), one of the most powerful positions in the entire administration..

    Wikipedia says that, “Ideally, the National Security Advisor serves as an honest broker of policy options for the president in the field of national security, rather than as an advocate for his or her own policy agenda.”

    However, after some typical Wikipedia gobbledygook, it then admits that the system has remained essentially unchanged since the first NSA, Robert Cutler, held the position twice under Eisenhower…”with powerful National Security Advisors and strong staff, but a lower importance given to formal NSC meetings.”

    This implies that the meetings with the president are simply procedural, and that the NSA and her or his advisors walk in the room and essentially dictate to the president what the “deep state” has already decided on. The president is a willing puppet in a deeper game, although she technically – on paper – is in charge of the whole thing.

    Wikipedia goes on to say that “this continuity persists despite the tendency of each new president to replace the advisor and senior NSC staff.”

    This is the stuff of conspiracy, admitted to obliquely on the pages of Wikipedia, itself a deep-state infested “public” entity.

    Wikipedia Scanner and WikiWatchdog (both now defunct) and others revealed back in the early-mid 2000’s that Wikipedia, which initially “launched” in January, 2001, was edited by intelligence agency spooks, corporations and their operatives, “royals” and their operatives, and political operatives. Ultimately, Wikipedia is censored, and it was further discovered in February 2018 that its robots.txt file disallowed archival programs from recording page histories, so as to obscure its censorship.

    In other words, Wikipedia can continually rewrite history. How convenient. One may be reminded of an oft-repeated quote by George Orwell about control of the present allowing for control of the past, and what this might say about our collective future.

    Assuming we continue to believe the narrative.

    Not one to ever really make up its mind, Wikipedia goes on to say that, “President Richard Nixon’s National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, enhanced the importance of the role, controlling the flow of information to the president and meeting with him multiple times per day.”

    So we go from it being largely unchanged in its enormous power since its inception, to it becoming even more powerful under Henry Kissinger. Hmmmm. But there is nothing to see here, really.

    As the kids say, that’s “super sus.”

    Henry Kissinger once said that “power is the greatest aphrodisiac.” What a turn-on “controlling the flow of information to the president” must be!

    James Petras: Who Spies for Israel in Washington’s Nuclear Negotiations?:

    Whitney Webb: Leslie Wexner’s Young Global Leaders

  15. Carborundum

    Broadly available, meaning less compartmented than had previously been the norm. Sigs take in particular is more widely circulated than in the past, which causes all sorts of consternation among the olds who came up in the days when ORCON ruled. The volume of data ready to go walk about has made them more than a little paranoid about the insider threat.

    Remember back in the dim mists of time when the 911 commission was on everyone’s mind? It’s the not wanting to be the bureaucrat standing in front of couple of smoking holes with raw take that that could have prevented it type of connect the dots.

  16. bruce wilder

    not wanting to be the bureaucrat standing in front of couple of smoking holes with raw take that that could have prevented it type of connect the dots

    the impulse to cover the bureaucrat’s buttcheeks is eternal. i have been ye ol’ ‘crat so i know of what i speak.

    it is the spiraling degeneracy of a media ecology where no one can ever write or speak confidently, directly and simply of “what is” rn that worries me.

    back in the day i had security clearance. my boss was afraid i would take offense if i didn’t. but it was nonsense. it hobbles the bureaucrat with clearance who is then not suppose to access contaminated or suspect sources of information. it becomes increasingly complicated to publish. the bureaucrat may be directed to deliberately not visit websites that might be disclosing publicly info derived from “leaked” classified documents. pretty soon the bureaucrat is lost in a hall of mirrors, where conformity to reality is not the standard.

    Is anyone with official authority allowed to simply state that Bush and Cheney and Powell lied about WMD in Iraq? Hanging to follow?

    I read the New York Times — “all the news that’s fit to print”. Once the standard for the self-appointed “paper of record” — no comix, no boobs. The paper that happily lied about WMD in Iraq proudly and loudly misrepresents the War in Ukraine every damn day. Some individual reporters manage to insert doubts about the narrative pushed relentlessly by the lead editors. There are even “packing peanuts” articles to bring perspective to the main presumptions of the narrative. I suppose it is a dance of sorts, in large part to maintain access in an era when any other source can be geo-located and in prison minutes after first contact. So much for speaking truth to power — you think Jeff Bezos wants that? No, he wants that juicy NSA contract Microsoft is contesting.

    Our Media is full of counterfactual speculation tailored to the full spectrum of human ambivalence. All we are allowed are our priors. Want to scare the suckers? Project any trend of the last six months ten years into the future. That stuff writes itself.

  17. bruce wilder


    I know a lot of Jews here in LA. Descendants of refugees from you know.

    Jews contributed so much to the basic decency of liberalism in the 1950s and 1960s!

    To watch the opinions of the children and grandchildren of the refugee generation hijacked by the worst of the worst is painful to observe.

  18. Astrid


    Thanks for the history lesson. It’s probably too late for the US (and Anglosphere, it was and is a British project) to rid itself of the Zionist menace (which includes plenty of fundamentalist Christians) without reconstituting itself, but hopefully the rest of the world knows this and it’s taking care to limit the contamination.

    For the “but Russia is terrible” crowd here, Yves Smith linked to what I found to be a very clear and convincing outline of what happened in Ukraine pre and post SMO. Do you people actually dispute any of this information with alternative, credible facts. Or do you just want to maintain that since your government is demonstrably and indisputably evil, other governments must act equally bad in the same ways, without bothering to gather the evidence to support your prejudices?

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