Boilerplate praise: Yes, they do, and have covered many stories very well, including Standing Rock, police state news, (and of course anything anti-Trump), Puerto Rico post-Irma and Maria, many others, although they over-sell the Saints McKibben and Klein brands, and longtime Café readers here know how I (ahem) feel about them.
Longtime readers will also know that Amy and Juan used to interview one of the sanest voices on Russia, Stephen Cohen (professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University) whose oeuvre at the Nation can be found here. At some point DN began to have Christopher Miller, the editor of the Kyiv Post and a few other major Russia pinhead detractors on. In fairness, I did discover that Cohen had been on a couple times in mid-April debating a couple Russian/Putin critics. Big.Woop.
When the site glorified the White Helmets and played the trailer or the ‘award winning documnetary’ in ‘The White Helmets: As Syria Death Toll Mounts, Meet the Rescue Workers Saving Thousands of Lives’ in Oct. 2016, I was disgusted, as it was quite well-known even then who in the western empire was funding the psyop, and for what nefarious anti-Assad proxy war purposes. Vanessa Beeley of 21centurywire, for one of many. Of course, the fearless investigative reporters at Pierre’s place did the same thing, but in comments, Maz Hussain had taken a drubbing; good!
Are we beginning to sense…a trend?
‘‘Russian Journalist Masha Gessen on Trump & Putin’s Autocracy and Media’s Refusal to Call Out Lies’, October 05, 2017, democracy now
Gessen’s wiki is here; kinda fun, in a way, including: in addition to being the author of several non-fiction books, she has been a prolific contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report, US-funded Radio Liberty in Prague… Gessen is the Russian translator of the TV show The Americans.
Ah, scribes to the Imperium, eh, Masha? Are you on the board of the CFR, as well? Of course, all of this could be by way of DN’s nod to ancient the fairness doctrine, yes?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: One of the things that you say, and you’ve said several times in your articles—I mean, you said just now that, obviously, Trump and Putin are not identical, but they do share much in common. And, in fact, in one of your pieces, you suggested that Trump, in certain ways, may actually be worse. You say—and let me quote you—”Where Putin’s unpredictable persona is a carefully cultivated one, Trump has given no evidence that his madman act is an act.” So, could you elaborate on that?
MASHA GESSEN: So, for many years, Putin established what he thinks of as power, which is basically being feared, by demonstrating to other world leaders that he will stop at nothing. Right? So, in that sense, for example, his invasion of Ukraine, which, again, a lot of people have tried to interpret in sort of conventional strategic terms—you know, Russia is interested in Ukraine for this, that or another reason. And that doesn’t hold up, because it’s a losing war, it’s an extremely expensive war, it’s an extraordinarily expensive and pointless occupation in Crimea. But it does something very important, and it continues to do it as long as Putin stays in Ukraine, which is that it shows that Putin will do the inconceivable. Right? He will do things that, even as he is doing them, continue to be absolutely shocking, so shocking that we can’t even—can’t really imagine it. And that is a message that he’s sending both to his people in Russia and to world leaders, right? And so, sort of the conventional wisdom on Russia has consistently, under Putin, in the West, moved toward the containment and just, you know, “Let’s not poke the Russian bear, because the Russian bear will stop at nothing.” And Putin does think that that’s power. As long as Russia is feared in the world, then he has established Russia as a great world—re-established Russia as a great world power.
So now we have Trump, who keeps doing shocking things on the world stage, like threatening to obliterate North Korea, which is just as much—it seems as much of a madman act as what Putin has done, and basically has one-upped Putin’s game, except that, for Putin, it’s at least partly strategic. Right? Not that I think he has any sort of moral limitations on his actions. But, to him, being—doing the unimaginable is always a power play. I think, for Trump, nothing is really unimaginable. I mean, he perceives the world in exactly the terms that he puts out in his tweets. He thinks that standing up to North Korea is probably equal to threatening it with obliteration. And, you know, we’re lucky if it continues to be just a threat.
Well, you get the gist. But whoa, Nellie. When I went back to Democracy Now to find a misplaced link or two, I was astonished to find ‘‘Julian Assange on Roger Stone & Accusations About WikiLeaks and Trump Campaign Ties to Russia’, October 10, 2017, democracynow.org
AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange, I wanted to ask you about Roger Stone. In March of 2016, he posted on Facebook that he, quote, “never denied that Assange and I had a mutual friend who told me Wikileaks had the goods on HRC“—that’s Hillary Rodham Clinton—”and would begin disclosures in Oct. He did and they did. I didn’t admit it- I announced it,” unquote. In a series of tweets, which he later deleted, Roger Stone also attacked a woman who challenged him on Twitter, writing, quote, “You stupid, stupid [B-word]–never denied perfectly legal back channel to Assange who indeed had the goods on #CrookedHillary [sic].” I now wanted to talk about the latest, Roger Stone going to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and what came out of that. Your response to that?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Roger Stone has been trolling Democrats all his life, and he’s doing exactly the same thing, in order to elevate his profile. That’s all. You can look at our statements at the time. He didn’t say anything that I hadn’t been saying in public at the time. [snip]
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I think the issue is his closeness to Trump. And whether or not you think Trump or Roger Stone is credible, the—
JULIAN ASSANGE: Look, he’s—if he had something to worry about, why would he be deliberately playing it up, constantly? He doesn’t have anything to worry about. That’s why he’s playing it up.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean?
JULIAN ASSANGE: He doesn’t have anything to worry about because there is no back channel. There was never a back channel. I’ve said it at the time. He’s produced no evidence of it. We have complained about it. He’s simply trolling the absolute—you know, they want to be trolled. They don’t care. They don’t care what the truth is at all. All they want is some little propaganda point that they can use to somehow satisfy their ridiculous fantasies about taking down Trump in relation to Russia. And if Roger Stone is going to help with that, they will give him a massive platform. And that’s exactly what they’ve done. And he’s sold a lot more book as a result. I mean, you have to admire the chutzpah and, I suppose, the cleverness at which he’s done it. It’s, in some sense, admirable. What is not admirable, even though it’s really irritated us, is the—I don’t know, the slavish reaction of those—you know, he just throws a ball, like that, and these mindless mobs of people aligned to the Democrats and the Democratically aligned media in the United States run after it, and eventually over the cliff.
Goodman presses and presses, brings in Stone, Adam Schiff, Guccifer, tra la la…
AMY GOODMAN: Now, of course, Roger Stone [background here at Politico; I confess I’d had no idea who the hell he is] isn’t a journalist, but what is your response to what he’s saying right here, that there was an intermediary between you and him, who was a journalist?
JULIAN ASSANGE: That the United States’ political culture has gone mad. Roger Stone is trolling epically the Democratic political class in order to elevate his profile. And it’s sad to see that Democracy Now! is buying into it.
AMY GOODMAN: Presenting the news is not buying into it. Presenting the news is having you respond to what he’s saying because you are the center of this, in this particular case, and it’s important to hear your voice.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, look, Amy—look, Amy, I’m getting annoyed. There is a historic event occurring this afternoon involving Catalonia, that could well change the nature of Europe, what forms of repression are acceptable within the Western world, and what moves populations can take in order to resist repression and come together to secure their self-determination. This has been the greatest Gandhian project that has occurred….,and so on.
And Assange was on an earlier segment describing what secure apps Catalonians could use to communicate with one another. Now I’ll leave it to you: did Goodman do a hit job on Assange, or was she simply asking so that ‘his voice be heard’? Easily one might conclude that he’d wanted to change the subject, but was it by way of an issue he thought was far more…important?
Now at the beginning of the interview, Amy Goodman had asked him to comment on the ‘thousands of Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. that had trumpeted Orange Julius, as in: collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. He zinged back, and DN did provide the link to the Nation piece, penned by none other than…Democracy Now’s own Aaron Maté on Oct. 6.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, I think there’s a very good article recently published in The Nation which goes through all of that, and it’s shown to be nearly all fiction. The parts that you can actually determine, where you can compare with internally contradictory statements or other things, shows that it’s nearly all fiction. Whether there’s any truth to it, I don’t know. We haven’t researched that.
Yeah, I would say that I think it’s very concerning to see this neo-McCarthyist hysteria, very, very dangerous in geopolitical terms. And, of course, it’s an attempt to, you know, to unite the Democratic Party. CIA structures it together in—and the media, in their assault against the Trump regime.
the lyrics to bob dylan’s ‘The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest’, Bob Dylan
‘The moral of this story…
The moral of the song
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong
So when you see your neighbor carryin’ somethin’
Help him with his load
And don’t go mistakin’ Paradise
For that home across the road.’
Bonus: ‘The FBI’s New U.S. Terrorist Threat: ‘Black Identity Extremists’; Law enforcement calls it a violent movement. Critics call it racist; FP.com
If you’ve used your free clicks into Foreign Policy, and can’t get in, this is the Guardian’s coverage.
“The report, dated August 2017 and compiled by the Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit, said: “The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” Incidents of “alleged police abuse” have “continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement”.
The FBI’s dedicated surveillance of black activists follows a long history of the US government aggressively monitoring protest movements and working to disrupt civil rights groups, but the scrutiny of African Americans by a domestic terrorism unit was particularly alarming to some free speech campaigners.”
Shorter: COINTELPRO lives. And sure Sessions and Julius Cheezer are white supremacists, but then, it’s a white supremacist nation, and this shite didn’t start with them.
Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report was on TRNN recently talking about it. An informative interview, but he ends with these final thoughts:
GLEN FORD: Yeah, in terms of the new era that we’re in that makes this different from the old era of COINTELPRO repression, this is the era of preventive detention. This is the era in which you can be locked up without trial and without even being charged, and this has been since 2009 under President Obama. The NAACP came out with a statement rather quickly denouncing the FBI’s new nomenclature or categorization, but in that statement they seem to be trying to put the onus for the new policy, or new words on President Trump. But the leak itself shows that the FBI is dating its offensive back three years, to 2014. And we’ve been hearing about the FBI stepping up its surveillance of Black organizations ever since Ferguson. So, this is not about Obama or Trump, it’s about the permanent National Security state and its special project to keep the lid on Black politics.