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The US Press, Spooks & the Church Committee


On Jan. 9, 1953, The Washington Post published an editorial we can read all these years later as a murmur amid silence. “Choice or Chance” was a blunt worry about what the CIA, 5 years old at this time, was getting up to. Was the agency to analyze information it gathered or that had come to it — a matter of chance — or was it actively and covertly to execute interventions of its own choosing?

The agency hardly invented clandestine operations, coups, assassinations, disinformation campaigns, election fixing, bribery in high places, false flags and the like. But it was elaborating and institutionalizing such intrigues, and they were coming to define America’s Cold War conduct.

The Washington Post stood with the objectors — at least it did on page 20 of that winter Friday’s editions. The agency’s activities were “incompatible with a democracy,” Washington’s local paper protested. They risked an unwanted war. Reform was in order. Once again to be noted: The conflict the Post aired concerned method. The Cold War’s taxonomy and Washington’s division of the world into adversarial blocs lay beyond question.

As interesting as the Post’s editorial was the dead quiet that followed. Nothing more was published on the topic. Eight months later, the Post obfuscated the CIA’s role in the coup that toppled the Mossadegh government in Iran; a year after that came the coup that brought down the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala, and the CIA’s role in it was once again illegible.
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The 'Free-Speech Twitter' PSYOP


It’s never a very enjoyable experience, facing the fact that you’ve been bamboozled. Realizing that you’ve fallen prey to an elaborate con, or PYSOP, is painful. It’s embarrassing. People feel ashamed. No one likes to see themselves as a sucker. It’s humiliating. It makes people angry. It makes them want to lash out at someone.
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Open Questions on the War: The Black Sea, Out-of-View ‘War’


The Ukrainian offensive has petered out – even CNN says it:

“[The Ukrainians are] still going to see, [whether] in the next couple of weeks, there is a chance of making some progress. But for them really to make the progress that would alter the balance to this conflict – I think, it’s extremely, highly unlikely” – an unnamed “senior Western diplomat [told CNN]”.

Yet, as one ‘war front’ bows out, an ‘out-of-view’ war on Black sea shipping has raised its head.

The ‘new war’ might alternatively be called the ‘Grain War’ – as representing the sequent to Moscow’s resiling from the ‘Grain Deal’ last month. To underline Moscow’s serious intent to terminate what, for Russia had proved to be a wholly unsatisfactory affair (amidst a general reneging on its terms), Moscow acted to incapacitate the port facilities of a number of Black Sea ports serving Ukraine, which it said had been used to store weapons (as well as to export grain).

On 19 July, Moscow warned that all vessels approaching Ukraine from the following day would be considered as potential carriers of military cargo, and treated accordingly. Insurance cover costs naturally soared.

A few days later, on 24 July, the grain infrastructure at the Ukrainian port of Reni was destroyed. It was a ‘message’ to the West of Russian resolve to quit the grain deal.
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The Summer of Fraying Threads


On April 23, 2021, I wrote the following: “Ukraine has two options: accept its role as a buffer state, or be dismembered. If the US goads them into an attempt to subjugate the Donbass, Russia will slice away eastern Ukraine and assimilate it — and there is *nothing* the US can do to prevent it.”

Of course, we all know what has happened since then. And now, as the summer of 2023 slips away here on our increasingly vexed planet, I note the following salient developments:

1) The empire's proxy war in Ukraine is a lost cause, and Russia will emerge from it exceedingly stronger than when it began.

Matters have reached the point where the imperial masters will be forced to choose between a humiliating disengagement and abandonment of Ukraine to its fate — or otherwise blunder into a calamitous direct military intervention.
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New York Times Helps Marco Rubio Push Persecution Of Antiwar Leftists


Citing a recent McCarthyite smear piece by The New York Times, Senator Marco Rubio published a letter on Wednesday that he’d sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling for the investigation of American leftist antiwar groups, claiming they are “tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and operating with impunity in the United States.”

Rubio listed nine organizations that he said should be investigated “for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.” Included in Senator Rubio’s blacklist of suspected Chinese foreign agents is the renowned peace activism group Code Pink, which has been drawing attention to the destructiveness of US warmongering, militarism and economic warfare for decades.

“According to the New York Times, many progressive organizations have received funding from Neville Roy Singham, a leftist US citizen who lives in Shanghai and has ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Rubio writes. “Yet, none of the entities tied to Singham have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The US must enforce its laws more fiercely in the face of foreign adversaries who abuse our open system to advance their malign interests.”

Rubio’s letter is just the latest in the rapidly escalating push within the US government to use FARA to persecute antiwar activists, Chinese nationals in the United States, and those deemed insufficiently hostile toward China.
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'Shoeless Joe' and the Fixing of the Biden Scandal


Roughly 100 years ago, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson admitted that, as a player for the Chicago White Sox, he and seven other teammates had intentionally lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in 1919. When a kid stopped him outside of the grand jury room and asked “It ain’t true, is it, Joe?” Jackson responded “Yes, kid, I’m afraid it is.”

This is not a case of history repeating itself. After being confronted by allegations of a fixed investigation, Attorney General Merrick Garland just sent Shoeless Joe back into the game.

The appointment of Delaware US Attorney David Weiss as the new special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden left many with the same disbelief as that kid in Chicago. This is, after all, the same Weiss who headed an investigation that was trashed by whistleblowers, who alleged that his investigation had been fixed from the outset.

It is the same Weiss who ran an investigation in which agents were allegedly prevented from asking about Joe Biden, obstructed in their efforts to pursue questions and compromised by tip offs to the Biden team on planned searches.

It is also the same Weiss who reportedly allowed the statute of limitations to run out on Hunter’s major tax offenses, even though he had the option to extend it.

It is the same Weiss who did not indict on major tax felonies and cut a plea deal that brushed aside a felony gun charge.
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Zelensky Fires All Heads of Ukraine's Military Recruitment Amid Bribery Probe


It's long been clear that Ukraine's armed forces have undergone some significant recruitment problems amid generally low morale as throughout the summer the counteroffensive has stalled and appears failing. There's also a grim emerging consensus that Ukraine is suffering staggering losses. Even just before the counteroffensive's start, The Washington Post ran headlines such as Ukraine short of skilled troops and munitions as losses, pessimism grow.
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The Illusory Truth Effect And The 'Unprovoked' Invasion Of Ukraine


Arguably the single most egregious display of war propaganda in the 21st century occurred last year, when the entire western political/media class began uniformly bleating the word “unprovoked” in reference to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On February 23 of last year, the day before the invasion began, the New York Times editorial board wrote that “an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign European state is an unprovoked declaration of war on a scale, on a continent and in a century when it was thought to be no longer possible.”

After the war began, the Biden White House released a statement titled “Remarks by President Biden on Russia’s Unprovoked and Unjustified Attack on Ukraine.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared Biden’s statement on Twitter with the comment “Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine blatantly disregards the lives of innocent men, women, and children, Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and international law.”
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Niger Rejects Rules-Based Order


The coup in the West African state of Niger on July 26 and the Russia-Africa Summit the next day in St. Petersburg are playing out in the backdrop of multipolarity in the world order. Seemingly independent events, they capture nonetheless the zeitgeist of our transformative era.

First, the big picture — the Africa summit hosted by Russia on July 27-28 poses a big challenge to the West, which instinctively sought to downplay the event after having failed to lobby against sovereign African nations meeting the Russian leadership. 49 African countries sent their delegations to St. Petersburg, with seventeen heads of states traveling in person to Russia to discuss political, humanitarian and economic issues. For the host country, which is in the middle of a war, this was a remarkable diplomatic success. 

The summit was quintessentially a political event. Its leitmotif was the juxtaposition of Russia’s long-standing support for Africans resisting imperialism and the predatory nature of western neo-colonialism. This works brilliantly for Russia today, which has no colonial history of exploitation and plunder of Africa. 

While every now and then skeletons from the colonial era keep rolling out of the Western closet, dating back to the unlamented African slave trade, Russia taps into the Soviet legacy of being on the ‘right side of history’ — even resurrecting the full name of Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia in Moscow.
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