Saturday, September 22, 2012

Feast of Fools Triple Exposed, Sign Petition For Going To Hell, Small Frey Under Bus Again, F*cking Russian Defense Guys?

(If throwing a contribution Pottersville2's way won't break your budget in these difficult financial times, I really need it, and would wholeheartedly appreciate it. Anything you can afford will make a huge difference in this blog's lifetime.)

As a follow-up to yesterday's post highlighting Lew Lapham's essay on our current Feast of Fools, we have lots of good commentary explicating what is perhaps his too-overwhelming genius for knowing almost too much about political history, philosophy and the cultural mores informing our present very unpleasant situation as to lack of leadership for voters not in the top 1%.

Straight from the heart of a blog friend of mine who shares the same Bad Attitudes:

September 20, 2012

To extol the virtues of Lewis Lapham would require an essay of the length and elegance he is famed for, something unfortunately beyond my powers. But I can recognize an artist when I see one, an artist of the caliber to provoke the dear departed Molly Ivins to call him the best essayist in America today.
A large part of what makes him so outstanding is his encyclopedic knowledge of history and literature. Who else can quote Aristotle, Machiavelli, Thomas Paine, and James Fenimore Cooper in addition to the standard Jefferson and Madison
interpolations? And he’s not quoting them to demonstrate his breadth of knowledge; rather, he knows them intimately and brings their arguments to bear on current situations, demonstrating in the process the underlying connections between our modern super-society and the original democracy of Athens. Did you know there was, by Aristotle’s report,
…a faction of especially reactionary oligarchs in ancient Athens who took a vow of selfishness not unlike the anti-tax pledge administered by Grover Norquist to Republican stalwarts in modern Washington: “I will be an enemy to the people and will devise all the harm against them which I can.”
What has changed? Mainly the overt nature of the rapine. That was the lesson of the Roman Empire: the head on the throne is prone to roll, while that behind the throne persists. Which leads to the modern notion that if you’ve heard of him — at this point it’s still nearly always a him — he isn’t really powerful. We approach the Zaphod Beeblebrox situation in which the president of the galaxy is chosen because he’s the most outrageous personality in the galaxy, thus fully able to distract attention from the manipulations of those who actually control the levers of power.
But at this point the president still has the ability to assassinate Americans if he as judge, jury, and executioner happens to feel they need it. And he can continue to slant the playing field toward the massively rich who fund his campaign in contradistinction to the massively rich who fund Romney’s campaign. The rest of us, the 80% of the population that collectively hold 7% of the wealth, aren’t even pawns; we’re the board the game is played on. Our wishes, however pacific and generous, are of no count in our governance.

Wars are waged despite our vocal opposition. Health care, universal among the rich, is denied us, yet we are required to buy insurance for it, thus enriching the insurance companies without actually providing medical care. Education is put beyond our means, or made to require the kind of debt that used to be outrageous for a house in the Bay Area, requiring decades of repayment and the accompanying servitude to the dollar to ensure the needed income.
The upshot of this division in control as well as wealth is the dissolution of republican democracy in the United States. Since 1945 we have nearly always been involved in at least one undeclared war. Without war our economy collapses, because we make nothing but weapons, drugs, and financial instruments. Along with humongous amounts of media in all its distracting shapes and colors, all conspiring to deny us the participation in civic life that is precisely what previous generations died for in the various wars they fought. Or at least what they intended to die for.

What we got as a result of their sacrifice is in fact an oligarchy whose predations range across the globe, making enemies everywhere to ensure that when the current war dries up another conflict will be ready to take its place, another fanatic leader ginned up to represent the forces allied against the civilization we are proudly attempting to shove down their throats.
Enabling all this is a class of leaders whom Chomsky calls commissars because they invent the philosophy, the advertising that sells the regressive ideas championed by the powerful. Lapham calls them "the upper servants of the oligarchy".

Troubled op-ed columnists sometimes refer to the embarrassing paradox implicit in the waging of secret and undeclared war under the banners of a free, open, and democratic society. They don’t proceed to the further observation that the nation’s foreign policy is cut from the same criminal cloth as its domestic economic policy. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the predatory business dealing that engendered the Wall Street collapse in 2008 both enjoyed the full faith and backing of a government that sets itself above the law. 
The upper servants of the oligarchy, among them most of the members of Congress and the majority of the news media’s talking heads, receive their economic freedoms by way of compensation for the loss of their political liberties. The right to freely purchase in exchange for the right to freely speak. If they wish to hold a public office or command attention as upholders of the truth, they can’t afford to fool around with any new, possibly subversive ideas.
Indeed, the upper servants have traded their inheritance of civic participation, what the founders would have called freedom, for purchasing power. The rest of us are constantly tempted to aspire to the same level of power, without recalling the basic truth of democracy: that it positively requires an informed and active citizenry if it is to have a chance of success. Absent that citizenry it immediately descends into plutocracy, from which the society either degenerates into open internecine warfare or is recovered by a citizenry grown once again powerful through knowledge and activity provoked by a sense of being poorly treated.
Democracy in America is a concept like many others in the founding documents, currently unrealized yet still promising a golden age of society should we ever choose to go there. The cost is becoming knowledgeable and active. Or we can continue to buy our way into the reigning plutocracy that is killing the planet.
- Chuck Dupree

And from the only Cujo we'll ever need, we hear the truth that would drastically improve our daily lives. If only.

Sign A Petition For Your Chance To Go To Hell

From our bestest (and best looking) buddy at Living Lies:

Another Small Fry Thrown Under the Bus

September 19, 2012

It is a familiar playbook in drug enforcement, police corruption, and now corruption arising out of the millions of faked, fraudulent Foreclosures — find a guy low down in the chain and throw him under the bus. This guy was making millions on False Inspections. But the government is complicit in an active way in public settlements like the Missouri settlement announced yesterday when they forgive and condone the continuing fraud arising from those who made False Appraisal Reports, false loan documents, false loan assignments, false Notices of Default, false monthly statements on loans that were paid in full several times over.

And the system will continue until we, the people stop it. We are divided politically by concept, polarized by slogans when we agree on virtually all of the details that our current elected officials refuse to acknowledge. It is destroying the social and business fabric of our country. But as long as politicians can be bought without going to prison, the Banks will get to keep both the money advanced by investors for loans and the homes foreclosed after the loan balance had been
Paid in full.

As long as we focus on our differences — even where there are none — they keep us from discovering our similarities and the pension funds, savings and 401k funds, the city, county and state operating funds will be cut slashing budgets in a country that can afford it except that we let the banks hold the purse-strings of power. It is too late to assess blame individually. It is time for a clean sweep.

Is exposing CNN's bought-and-paid-for corruption now the sweet spot of each day?

Just listen.

Innocence Psyop: CNN’s Arwa “The Next Syrian Danny” Damon Recreates Charles Jaco’s Infamous 1990 Gulf War Fraud

by Scott Creighton
Talk about manufacturing consent. CNN’s history of broadcasting fake news in support of invading countries for profit continues in Libya.
Arwa Damon has never met a psyop and or an imperialist invasion that she didn’t like. She is the gold medal poster-girl for fake, war-mongering news and has held that title for sometime now, taking the title from aging and completely discredited Wolf Blitzer. At this point she has to be getting a percentage of the corporate raping of these various countries with as much lying she has done over the years to help them sell their wars of aggression most recently in Libya and Syria.
CNN has shipped her lying butt back from spinning up lies in Syria to handle the ongoing psyop in Libya. A new video of her’s is pretty pathetic. In fact it may rank up their with the Syrian Danny bullshit and the ever classic Charles Jaco performance from 1990.

But today she has taken a page from the old school book, staging a “dangerous” report from Benghazi where she pitifully attempts to blame “pro-Gadhafi loyalists” for the recent unrest in Libya. She’s dodging bullets and looking left and right, tucked behind a wall while everyday Libyans drive looking at her and her film crew like they are idiots. That’s because they added the sounds of the gunshots in during post-production just like that asshole “Syrian Danny” did in his CNN “news” interviews.
Watching Arwa make a complete fool of herself reminded me of something, the classic 1990 Charles Jaco video in which it’s made perfectly clear that the entire thing was staged. Jaco’s clowning with the crew and pretending to be under fire. Very funny moment when he and another CNN liar have to stop to put on protection and one puts on a gas mask while the other puts on a helmet. Funny shit.
Here are three videos that will make you laugh. 1. Arwa Damon’s “serious’ news bit from Benghazi, 2. Charles Jaco’s leaked bullshit story from the 1990 Gulf War, and the ever classic 3. “Syrian Danny’… nuf said on that.
Click here for the videos.

I've run an article or three before from Stratfor. Just thought I'd make my apologies.

Our Man in Havana, Stratfor-Style

I thought they were just con-men, Alexander Cockburn said to me about the intelligence website Stratfor when the Wikileaks published a huge cache of their emails. The late lamented CounterPunch co-editor’s opinion of state intelligence agencies was not high, but of private intelligence services like Stratfor it was lower than a barmaid’s décolleté. He thought that these guys had a brisk trade in newspaper cuttings, selling other journalists’ work as their own at a premium.
Alex was not alone. Much of Stratfor’s business model as an intelligence firm consists of giving clients a brief of day-old New York Times articles and week-old Economist stories under the guise of valuable “intelligence”, said The Atlantic. They also charge $20,000 per annum per client for it.
It would be better if they were sticking to their cuttings, as our investigation proved, for when they act independently, the results beat those of Graham Greene’s character, James Wormold, from his novel Our Man in Havana.
Often appreciatively described as a “Shadow CIA”, the “global intelligence company” (whatever that means) Stratfor has been cited by CNN, Reuters, The New York Times and the BBC as an authority on strategic and tactical intelligence issues. In February 2012, the Anonymous hackers lifted some 5 million emails, and some 25 newspapers began to sift the lot.
As we expected, the emails revealed a very low level of intelligence; newspaper articles copy-pasted and forwarded; some nasty remarks, often in bad taste; and a certain amount of very interesting titbits of dubious provenance. For instance, a Stratfor report claimed that “The Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago” by their commando raid “with the help of Kurdish militants”. If you believe that, you passed the tooth fairy stage.
For nasty remarks and bad intelligence, the plum goes to Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence. On February 22, 2010 Burton wrote: “One can look at Mossad’s recent covert activities and get a sense of their mindset. I also think they will assassinate A-Dogg [President Obama]. His helo [helicopter] will have a malfunction.” As we know, this dire prediction failed even two years later. Burton described the Israeli PM “my good friend BB Netanyahu” and says that “BB trusts Obama about as much as he trusted Arafat”. Obviously, every newspaper reported bad feelings between Bibi and Obama, but it took Stratfor to dress these reports as personal knowledge and peddle for a lot of money.
In May 2007, Burton claimed that Mossad covertly assisted their Saudi counterparts with “intelligence collection and advice on Iran”, and that “several enterprising Mossad officers, both past and present, are making a bundle selling the Saudis everything from security equipment, intelligence and consultation”. He also proposed to sell this dubious and vague info to Prince Bandar, the present head of Saudi intelligence agency, as “$100,000 deal is nothing to these folks”.
Weird claims are a must with Stratfor agents. James F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, currently the Chief Executive of SCG International, a private security firm, stated that his “background is CIA” and his company is comprised of “former DOD [Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel.” He claimed that he participated in killing of Qaddafi, was connected to Congresswoman Sue Myrick to engage Syrian opposition. (La Myrick once demanded to strip Jimmy Carter’s US citizenship for meeting with Hamas leaders.) Smith claims he is active with the Syrian rebels. But apparently he is just another con-man in the con-men outfit.
He allegedly defrauded a Sanford family of $12.5 million. His degree came, not from Harvard, as he claimed, but from an evangelical school founded by Pat Robertson. He left Blackwater in 2002 under circumstances that neither he nor Blackwater would discuss on the record, says Linda Minor.
Mossad subcontracted the assassination of Mabhouh in Dubai, says Burton, and “the Iranian physicist hit was also a subbed out job”. He adds that he passed the info to Yossi Melman, a Ha’aretz writer on intelligence affairs who is often considered “too close to Mossad”. (This last rumour undermined an attempt of Melman to get in touch with Wikileaks: Julian Assange preferred to steer clear of him.)
However, before we even consider that some of the Stratfor claims could be worth their print, let us go into their Russian operation. Their woman in Moscow was Lauren Goodrich, and she claimed she has the Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika as her regular informer “RU101.” Plucky Lauren delivered a lot of juicy titbits to her employers. Once, she dipped into a swimming pool in Moscow and befriended a Turkmen oil minister who told her everything about Turkmen plans to build oil pipeline. She met with the Russian awesome siloviki (enforcement agencies’ bosses) and they spilled the beans about Putin and his intrigues. Armed Venezuelans promised her to tell everything if she would sleep with them (she refused). Chaika was her best card, for he told her everything she wanted to know.
An explosion in Moscow? Chaika told Lauren what car it was, how it was bombed and who did it. Kremlin groups argue between themselves, and Chaika explains it in mouth-watering detail. Nothing beats the following report she named Fucking Russian Defense Guys:

Just wanted to say that I met for 4 hours with the Kremlin’s Advisory Board to the Ministry of Defense & have enough incredible info to fill dozens of pages of intel-all which will make Nate change his pants a few times. But the meeting did not go as well as I wished-they spent the first 45 min yelling at me for “forcing” them to meet with them on a Sunday. One guy screamed that he was being forcibly kept away from his wife and two babies just because “this girl happens to be the darling of a powerful man in the Kremlin”. Then they yelled at me for being a girl “trying to work in the man’s defense area” and then for being connected to Stratfor and the American Administration.

But we did finally get past all this and discuss the Russian defense sector. I have info on the real stuff behind the French Mistral deal for this week’s meeting. I’ll type that stuff up first (hopefully tonight), since it is most timely. Then I hope to start getting to the other info as I have time. I should have a few hours late tonight as I am staying the night at my godfather’s [Chaika] house after a dinner he is throwing for me.”
The Russian Reporter, an independent weekly, jumped on the stuff. They put one of their best investigative journalists, Mika Velikovsky, with intention of unmasking the Stratfor spy at the Kremlin, namely Mr Yuri Chaika. Mika wrote to Chaika’s office, and refused to take “it is b*shit” for an answer. He was convinced that Goodrich would not dare to lie in such a brazen way, while Chaika would, thirtyish Mika, with his clean-shaven-head and last-week-shaven cheeks, told me over a customary glass of whatever. His chief editor Vitaly Leibin added that he was already prepared to go down fighting in the interests of clean government.
It did not turn out to be necessary. The girl proved to be a spectacular liar. Mika went to see Ruslan Pukhov, a well-known Russian military expert, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. Lauren wrote that he arranged for her meeting with “the entire board of the Ministry of Defense behind the Kremlin” (a.k.a. Fucking Russian Defense Guys). Pukhov actually met the girl, not at the Kremlin, but in the hotel lobby, and alone, without “the entire board”. He gave her one of his centre analytic papers, freely available from their site, including his assessment on Iskander and Mistral. “Not only she presented it to her management as an “information bomb”, but she also had turned our meeting into an impressive conference,” said Pukhov.
Other discoveries of Lauren were of similar kind. She would meet a relatively important person and build up a story around it, using freely available sources. Only after checking and faulting a few of her reports, the Russian Reporter began to have strong doubts in her integrity. This was quite relieving feeling, said Leibin. – We were ready to take on Kremlin’s No. 4, and instead, we found a small but enterprising creature.
Then Mika went all the way to Tomsk in Western Siberia, where, according to Stratfor files, Lauren Goodrich had lived with her family for many years, studying and teaching in the Polytechnic University, organizing her own NGO “Russian Peace Fund”, setting up five orphan asylums and a school for the deaf in Tomsk. Her father was a missionary with the United Methodist Church (UMC). It turned out that Lauren lived in Tomsk for a few months, the Russian Peace Fond was established before she was born and as for asylums – perhaps she visited one, but not sure. She never taught and hardly studied in Tomsk U.
Still one can’t help but be impressed by Lauren. A friend of her youth in Tomsk described her thus: “she is very emotional, oriented to some romantic, fairy stories. She wants life to be like a fairy tale, a prince to appear and everything to become wonderful.” And so she did.
Eventually some of her lies were uncovered by the Stratfor investigation, but here the resemblance with Our Man in Havana continued. Wormold received an OBE, as it would be too embarrassing to admit his lies. Lauren Goodich remained Stratfor’s senior Eurasia analyst and, as before, churns out analytical notes and reports, comes out on behalf of the organization in the press, and is the co-author of a book on geopolitics in the Caucasus, which was out last year, wrote the Russian Reporter. George Friedman, the boss of Stratfor, wrote to Lauren after full disclosure: “how valuable you are in spite of everything!” For Stratfor, this disclosure also had no consequences. People do not want to rock the boat.
The Russian expert community was  fast to conclude: “StratforGate writes off the private intelligence services. Sometimes they are appendages of state security, some of their advisers have connections in the security services, and there are clowns imitating spies. Stratfor positioned itself as an efficient private alternative to the state-owned CIA, being better than media and better than intelligence services. The Russian Reporter’s investigation proved that they were a mixture of bad intelligence with bad media”.
Vitaly Leibin is amazed: “How come? We proved that Stratfor’s analysis is not worth a penny. Some of recent political history should be re-written, including Stratfor-supplied assessments of “Russian threat”, of Venezuela insurrection, of the regime change in the Philippines. But nothing happened. Our discovery went into nowhere, nobody picked it up.” Indeed, not a single Western newspaper reflected on their mind-boggling discovery, until we came.
The Russians did not understand the real function of Stratfor and similar bodies: they are to provide excuses to the global powers, like WMD in Iraq, uranium in Niger, mustard gas in Syria, evil plans of Chavez. Their secondary role is to siphon off some of budget money and share it between old hands like Burton. At that, they are best. For real information, you’d be better off subscribing to CounterPunch.

(Israel Shamir has been sending dispatches to CounterPunch from Moscow.)

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