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Government Property Is Sacred. Your Property? Not So Much. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2021

Only a detached member of the ruling class whose livelihood is sustained by some of America’s most powerful corporations can have the gall to downplay the trials and tribulations untold numbers of small business owners had to endure during last summer’s mayhem. Scarborough and his coterie would have us believe that paying respect to the hallowed institutions of mass democracy is the highest virtue while trying to defend the fundamental property rights of the common man is the province of buffoons and country bumpkins.

https://mises.org/wire/government-property-sacred-your-property-not-so-much

José Niño

In light of the government’s response to the January 6 storming of the Capitol, anyone with a sense of political sanity can no longer argue that the war on terror is separate from American domestic affairs.

US imperialism came full circle on January 20, 2021, when Washington, DC, was subject to military occupation during Joe Biden’s inaugural address in order to secure the Capitol from alleged domestic extremist threats. When the right-wing violence that DC talking heads were squawking about never came to pass, their focus shifted toward trying to deradicalize right-leaning individuals who hold heretical views that collide with the managerial regime’s gospel.

Former CIA director John Brennan was among the most vocal of the national security analysts who started listing off all sorts of problematic groups that potentially pose a threat to the dystopian political order crystallizing before our very eyes. The very act of a mob entering the holiest of the holy sites was enough to make the entire American political establishment have a mental breakdown.

The message the ruling class sent to those who protested against it on its own turf was quite clear: tread your muddy boots on our cathedral and you will be met with a firm response from the state.

So far, there have been over 380 people charged for participating in the January 6 incident. Rest assured, the politicians who are still shaken from January 6 are thirsting for more people to persecute. Words like coup, insurrection, riot, sedition, and treason were tossed around liberally to describe the January 6ers’ actions. Only a regime insecure of its legitimacy would throw a hysterical fit over the Capitol storming that looked more like a live-action role-play than a rebellion that threatened the sovereignty of the DC occupational regime.

Pace the gatekeepers of political opinion, launching a coup requires strong organizational capacity. Rag-tag groups of disgruntled, working-class Americans, disenchanted soccer moms, and extremely online Trump supporters aren’t going to be pulling off a coup against the most powerful government in human history. The only venues the January 6 demonstrators were capable of taking over were online chat rooms.

Government Property Is Sacred. Your Property? Not So Much. 

The double standards the legacy media is using to rationalize its ongoing crusade against the specter of extremism are farcical, to say the least. Over the course of a year when small business owners had their livelihoods destroyed by arbitrary lockdowns and widespread rioting, the ruling class tipped their glasses to the rioters and scoffed at those who had to put up with last summer’s mayhem. These same media mouthpieces would likely be cheering on color revolutions and lively protests in the Middle East and post-Soviet countries as the maximal expression of democracy. But when a rowdy group of Trump supporters took it upon themselves to stand up to their overlords, that was simply a bridge too far.

Any attempt to try to point out the inconsistency of the media’s hyperventilation with regard to the January 6 incident was met with instant pushback. On Morning Joe, TV host Joe Scarborough did not pull any punches:

I know there are idiots on other cable news channels that will say, “Well, this mom-and-pop store that was vandalized during the summer riots and that’s just as bad as the United States Capitol being vandalized.” 

He then had some colorful language for those who hazarded to question the prevailing narrative:

No jackass it’s not. It’s the center of American democracy. No, jackass…. I’m not going to confuse a taco stand with the United States Capitol.

Only a detached member of the ruling class whose livelihood is sustained by some of America’s most powerful corporations can have the gall to downplay the trials and tribulations untold numbers of small business owners had to endure during last summer’s mayhem. Scarborough and his coterie would have us believe that paying respect to the hallowed institutions of mass democracy is the highest virtue while trying to defend the fundamental property rights of the common man is the province of buffoons and country bumpkins.

Private Property Is Critical for Civilization

For the adherents of the present political order, symbols of the state have a religious aura. Private property, on the other hand, is a sacrificial animal to be slaughtered as an offering to the state, though the whole conversation would likely change if the property of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Big Tech, or politically connected corporations were defiled. The media would instantly become situational capitalists and vigorously defend the sanctity of their fellow peers’ property. 

Heck, they might just throw some radical free market defenses here and there. But this is out of pure self-interest, not because political leaders and their corporate patrons hold private property in high esteem at a holistic level. As for the rest of the rubes in Middle America, they must put up with whatever political violence befalls them and their property. Simply raising their voices in opposition will have the legacy media branding them as “reactionary,” “racist,” or “bigoted.”

On the other hand, Ludwig von Mises championed private property not just for the sake of sloganeering but to impart to others the necessity property rights as a means of fostering social harmony. As he observed in Omnipotent Government, “If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.”

Mises’s vision for a social order predicated on respect for property rights has not disappeared from the intellectual consciousness. Successors of the Misesian tradition such as Hans-Hermann Hoppe have continued making the case for the respect of private property as a civilizing force. Unlike the public sector worshippers, Hoppe understood the bigger picture of why private property, not public property, should be treated as sacred. In fact, he views the modern-day state as one of the principal drivers of the erosion of property rights throughout the West.

As Hoppe argued in Democracy, The God That Failed,

the more the state has increased its expenditures on social security and public safety, the more our private property rights have been eroded, the more our property has been expropriated, confiscated, destroyed, or depreciated, and the more we have been deprived of the very foundation of all protection: economic independence, financial strength, and personal wealth.

As a consequence of being accustomed to having mandarins in distant government agencies lord over them, Americans have gradually come to disrespect or at least take for granted the concept of property rights. Hence their relative indifference toward the wanton destruction of the property of many small business owners’ establishments during last summer’s riots and toward the devastation government-promoted lockdowns inflicted on these small business operations.

The sign of a healthy society is one where private property is respected, and not just the private property of social media whales or parasitic defense contractors, but that of everyday business owners. By the same token, a society with a modicum of sanity would laud acts of self-defense against criminals who wish to harm the property and persons of lawful individuals.

Many of the shibboleths that Americans have been so inured to accept are now imploding. Millions of Americans took it upon themselves to buy firearms at record levels during a time when police services could not be relied on to uphold their end of the proverbial social contract. Moreover, a number of Americans responded by forming community defense groups to protect their neighborhoods when police were standing down left and right as cities nationwide burned.

Even the idea of privatized policing is starting to gain traction in certain parts of America. Occasionally, moments of crisis force people to rethink many political premises they’ve stubbornly held. There’s something to be said about how operating outside of one’s comfort zone can compel one to look at things differently.

All things considered, the past year should all but dispel the notion that America is “exceptional.” It’s a country with a myriad of problems that have dotted empires in decay throughout world history—a corrupt ruling class, an overstretched military presence, an unstable monetary system, and declining public order.

Reassuring ourselves of empty bromides that it “can’t happen here” because America is exceptional is a pathetic cope that ignores the iron laws of politics and economics, which the US is not exempt from. The only thing exceptional is the level of befuddlement that many experts will find themselves in once the US inevitably careens into the abyss of social and economic decadence if the country’s leaders don’t get their act together. Author:

Contact José Niño

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter here.

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How Treason And Thoughtcrime Are Easier Than Ever In Biden’s America | The Daily Caller

Posted by M. C. on February 2, 2021

In 1918, the Wilson administration responded to rising criticism of the U.S. role in World War One with a Sedition Act that “made virtually any criticism of the government or the war a criminal offense,” as historian Arthur Ekirch noted. Government propaganda fanned intolerance and torrents of informants. Congress repealed that Sedition Act at the end of 1920, but other Sedition Act provisions remain in place.

https://dailycaller.com/2021/01/29/treason-and-thoughtcrime-easy-joe-biden-america/

James Bovard Contributor

President Joe Biden is supplementing his calls for national unity with fervent denunciations of extremists, insurrectionists, and domestic terrorists, as well as comparing Senate opponents to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Biden is now in charge of the world’s largest law firm – the U.S. Justice Department – as well as armies of federal enforcement agents. Biden and his Democratic allies have the tools to assure a steady stream of denunciations and indictments in the coming years against Americans targeted for their political beliefs.

Democrats are already vastly expanding the only crime defined by the Constitution – treason. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that Republicans who signaled they would not ratify the Electoral College results earlier this month “gave aid and comfort to [protestors] with the idea that they were embracing a lie… that the election did not have legitimacy.”

As law professor Jonathan Turley noted, Pelosi’s use of “the treason language in the Constitution” suggests that Republican members were more than just politically at fault… they were traitors.” A court of law would never convict Republican members of treason, but Pelosi can convict them in the court of public opinion, thanks to the hanging judges at CNN and MSNBC.

Opposing Biden becomes the equivalent of opposing democracy, and fuels demands for expelling more than a hundred Republicans from Congress. (RELATED ‘The Enemy Is Within’: Pelosi Calls For More Security To Defend Against Members Who ‘Want To Bring Guns On The Floor’)

After the clash at the Capitol on January 6, President-elect Joe Biden declared that the action of the rioters “borders on sedition.” (Actually, Republican members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College verdict were being denounced as the “sedition caucus” even before January 6).

Federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin, who is handling the January 6 cases, said he has given other federal lawyers “marching orders… to build seditious and conspiracy charges” against the most abusive rioters. The federal Seditious Conspiracy statute declares that if two or more persons conspire to “oppose by force the authority [of the U.S. government], or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law… or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States… they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

This is a sweeping legal drift net that could spur 20-year prison sentences for anyone who helped the dude who proudly carried off Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. Many members of Congress want all of the 800 protestors harshly punished for “desecrating” the “temple” of democracy, their “hallowed halls,” and their “sacred space” — even though most of those present committed no violence and left peacefully of their own accord after a few hours.

There are ample federal laws to vigorously prosecute and harshly punish the people who violently attacked Capitol Police. But blanket charges of sedition against protestors who were guilty merely of unlawful entry would mean scourging them as if they were political heretics.

While it is unclear how many protestors will be charged with sedition, reliance on that legal penalty blew up prior administrations. The Sedition Act of 1798 briefly helped President John Adams persecute newspaper editors who criticized his policies, but outrageous prosecutions helped Thomas Jefferson defeat Adams in the 1800 election.

In 1918, the Wilson administration responded to rising criticism of the U.S. role in World War One with a Sedition Act that “made virtually any criticism of the government or the war a criminal offense,” as historian Arthur Ekirch noted. Government propaganda fanned intolerance and torrents of informants. Congress repealed that Sedition Act at the end of 1920, but other Sedition Act provisions remain in place.

On Inauguration Day, former CIA chief John Brennan declared on MSNBC that “Biden team” members “are now moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements… an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarians.”

Americans who hold ideas that politicians associate with any of those groups could be in the cross-hairs of federal investigators in the coming years, according to Brennan’s warning. Beyond treason and sedition, more than 4000 federal criminal laws provide ample opportunities to hammer potential or actual government opponents. (RELATED: ‘QAnon Shaman’ Prepared To Testify In Trump’s Impeachment Trial)

Will Biden’s denunciation of protestors as “domestic terrorists” spur a bureaucratic stampede to “round up the usual suspects?” Prosecutors will find a ready tool in the Patriot Act’s provision that defined “domestic terrorism” as violent or threatening private actions intended “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

A few scuffles at a rally can transform a protest group into a terrorist entity. If the violence at a rally is done by a government agent provocateur – as happened at 1960s antiwar protests – the government could still treat all the group’s members as terrorists. “Material support of terrorism” is also broadly defined, which could allow the feds to drop the hammer on anyone who donated to protest groups capriciously designated as terrorist entities.

Federal agents have a long record of creating the crimes that politicians rush to exploit. The FBI admits that it formally entitles its army of informants to commit more than 5000 crimes a year. FBI crime sprees have been propelled by decades of Supreme Court decisions that effectively defined entrapment out of existence.

Almost anything that an undercover government agent can do to induce someone to violate the law is fair play. Federal judges have even countenanced undercover agents who enticed their targets into sexual affairs to lure them to their legal doom.

In the coming months and years, many people will likely be convicted not for violent acts against the government but for unwise or reckless words that they uttered in proximity to government informants – regardless of whether they were coaxed into saying things for which they could be legally impaled.

Critics of the Biden administration may suffer the same law enforcement abuses that Muslims suffered after the 9/11 attacks. The vast majority of people charged with international terrorism offenses in the first decade after 9/11 were induced by the FBI to behave in ways that prompted their arrest, according to Trevor Aaronson, author of “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism.”

Federal agents targeted numerous young Muslims who were mentally feeble or psychologically disabled in order to pad their conviction counts, thereby helping score bigger budgets from Congress.

The American media mostly ignored the due process travesties that occurred in post-9/11 terrorism prosecutions. Considering the histrionic effort by pundits and Democrats to portray the January 6 Capitol clash as the equivalent of the 9/11 attacks, we can expect similar media nonchalance over federal abuses targeting Biden’s enemies.’

Targeting individuals for entrapment and prosecution based on their political beliefs and associations will help tarnish Biden’s political opponents across the board. CNN’s Don Lemon recently denounced all Trump voters as guilty of siding with Nazis and the Klan, and prosecutions of anti-Biden activists could help tar any Biden critic as a potentially dangerous zealot.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning on Wednesday that “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives” pose a threat to public safety. Once politicians establish that extremism is intolerable, the definition of extremism will be consistently expanded to justify outlawing more ideas.

The FBI could become the 800-pound gorilla in efforts to police thoughts. The FBI brazenly violated federal surveillance laws in recent years but suffered no real punishment from the courts, Congress, or various administrations.

Many liberal Democrats are grateful to the FBI for its role in hobbling the Trump administration, making it less likely that the Biden team would leash the agency.

From 1956 through 1971, the FBI’s COINTELPRO program conducted thousands of covert operations to incite street warfare between violent groups, to get people fired, to portray innocent people as government informants, to destroy marriages, and to cripple or destroy leftist, black, white racist, and anti-war organizations. A 1976 Senate report explained that the FBI targeted and harassed vast numbers of peaceful protesters because of its “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of an act which might be criminal.”

That report concluded: “The American people need to be assured that never again will an agency of the government be permitted to conduct a secret war against those citizens it considers threats to the established order.” But legal restrictions on FBI operations are mostly a mirage at this point and the agency operates with near-total impunity. (RELATED: Ex-FBI Lawyer Receives Probation For Altering Email About Carter Page)

Don’t expect an official Federal Register notice if the FBI decides to revive its persecution of dissent. The original COINTELPRO was kept secret for 15 years until a group of patriotic citizens burglarized an FBI office in a Pennsylvania suburb on the night of the first Ali-Frazier fight. They sent newspapers copies of the damning files they seized, spurring J. Edgar Hoover to shut down the program.

If the FBI revives its COINTELPRO-style targeting and mass subversion, would Americans have to wait until 2036 to learn of the scandal?

Power-hungry presidents have perennially portrayed their critics as public nuisances, but the Biden administration seems hellbent on doing far more than finger-wagging. Perhaps the feds will overreach and finally awaken more Americans to the peril of letting their rulers judge their thoughts.

In the meantime, prudent dissidents and wily cynics will avoid writing anything in an email that they don’t want to hear read out loud in federal court.

James Bovard is the author of “Attention Deficit Democracy,” “The Bush Betrayal,” “Terrorism and Tyranny,” and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Libertarian Terrorists?

Posted by M. C. on February 2, 2021

The idea that libertarianism creates terrorists is absurd. Libertarians support the non-aggression principle, so they reject using force to advance their political goals. They rely instead on peaceful persuasion.

Libertarianism is being attacked because it does not support just reforming a few government policies. Instead, it presents a formidable intellectual challenge to the entire welfare-warfare state.

The ultimate goal of those pushing for a crackdown on “domestic terrorism” is to make people unwilling to even consider “radical” ideas — to make people so afraid of certain ideas that they refuse to even give those ideas a fair hearing.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/february/01/libertarian-terrorists/?mc_cid=1b5a6b8739

Written by Ron Paul

The Department of Homeland Security issued on Wednesday a nationwide terror alert lasting until April 30. The alert warns of potential terrorist attacks from Americans who are “ideologically motivated” and have “objections to the exercise of government authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”

The language used in this alert suggests that millions of Americans are potential terrorists. Second Amendment supporting, antiwar, anti-tax, anti-politics, anti-militarization, pro-life, and anti-Federal Reserve activists certainly have “objections to the exercise of government authority.” They are certainly viewed by the political class and its handmaidens in big tech and the mainstream media as ideological extremists. Anyone who gets his news from sources other than mainstream media or big tech, or who uses certain “unapproved” social media platforms, is considered to have had his grievances “fueled by false narratives.” For something to be considered a false narrative, it need only contradict the “official” narrative.

The “domestic terrorist” alert is the latest sign that activities on January 6 on Capitol Hill, like the attacks of September 11, 2001, are being used to advance a long-standing anti-liberty agenda. Legislation expanding the federal government’s authority to use its surveillance and other unconstitutional powers against “domestic terrorists” is likely to soon be considered by Congress. Just as the PATRIOT Act was written years before 2001, this legislation was written long before January 6. The bill’s proponents are simply taking advantage of the hysteria following the so-called insurrection to push the bill onto the congressional agenda.

Former CIA Director John Brennan recently singled out libertarians as among the people the government should go after. This is not the first time libertarians have been smeared. In 2009, a federally-funded fusion center identified people who supported my presidential campaign, my Campaign for Liberty, or certain Libertarian and Constitution parties candidates as potentially violent extremists.

The idea that libertarianism creates terrorists is absurd. Libertarians support the non-aggression principle, so they reject using force to advance their political goals. They rely instead on peaceful persuasion.

Libertarianism is being attacked because it does not support just reforming a few government policies. Instead, it presents a formidable intellectual challenge to the entire welfare-warfare state.

The ultimate goal of those pushing for a crackdown on “domestic terrorism” is to make people unwilling to even consider “radical” ideas — to make people so afraid of certain ideas that they refuse to even give those ideas a fair hearing.

Progressives who are tempted to support what is being promoted as a crackdown on right-wing violence should consider the history of government harassment of progressive movements and leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. What do they think a future right-wing authoritarian would do if given power to go after “ideological extremists”?

All Americans who cherish the Bill of Rights should come together to stop this latest crackdown on liberty. My Campaign for Liberty will be mobilizing Americans to stop passage of any domestic terrorism legislation, while my Institute for Peace and Prosperity and my Liberty Report will provide Americans with the most up-to-date information about the continuing attempts to smear those who speak the truth about government lies.

(You can watch the Ron Paul Liberty Report live on YouTube Monday-Friday at noon, eastern time.)


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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A Wave of Abusive Federal Prosecutions Is Coming | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 1, 2021

To be depressingly honest, the only barrier to the Biden administration’s launching of an American version of the Stasi against dissenters on the right would be the individual consciences of those in charge of the spying and making arrests. Much of the Democratic Party and most of mainstream journalists seem to have no problem with criminalizing speech and launching a regime of mass arrest and imprisonment.

This situation is different because those who were the gatekeepers of liberty now have decided that liberty itself is a threat to our well-being. When the New York Times comes out against free speech and when journalists call for the power of the state to be used against other journalists they don’t like, we have turned the corner and are headed for the abyss.

https://mises.org/wire/wave-abusive-federal-prosecutions-coming

William L. Anderson

The violent protest at the US Capitol on January 6 has long been over, but the upcoming Biden administration’s response to it is likely to do greater violence to the US Constitution and the rule of law than anything the worst of the protesters could have accomplished. Thanks to the response of the George W. Bush administration and Congress to the 9/11 attacks almost two decades ago, Joe Biden’s prosecutors will have plenty of legal ammunition to go after their political enemies. It won’t stop with prosecuting people who broke into the Capitol.

J.D. Tuccille writes:

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, horrified Americans were ready to embrace virtually any proposal that promised to keep them safe. Government officials, for their part, were eager to curry favor with the fearful public and saw an opportunity to promote legislation and policies that had failed to win support in the past. The result was a surge of authoritarianism from which the U.S. has yet to recover. Now—with the public understandably concerned after the January 6 storming of the Capitol—we should brace ourselves for another wave of political responses that would, again, erode our liberty.

We are in very uncertain and certainly perilous waters. In the post-Trump era, Democrats want revenge and they want it now. I fear for my friends that worked in the Trump government, with Democrats calling for them to be blacklisted, harassed, and ultimately “canceled.” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who continues to shed any perception that she wants anything less than a soft totalitarian country, has publicly called for a “media literacy” initiative that reminds one of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

In an interview with MSNBC (surprised?), former CIA head John Brennan declared that the Biden administration agencies

“are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”

Not surprisingly, there was zero pushback on his statement from the mainstream media, and one suspects that probably most mainstream journalists today would not mind seeing large numbers of people they dislike being hauled off to prison or just plain disappearing at the hands of the authorities.

For that matter, the Trump presidency was hardly the Libertarian Moment, and Trump gave one the sense that if he could control the flow of news, he would gladly do so. Whether or not one believes he was cheated out of office in the last election, for him to claim he “won in a landslide” and to call for official election results to be overturned can hardly leave one surprised that the DC “rally” turned into an out-and-out donnybrook.

Unfortunately, the violence that followed has given the Biden people the fig leaf they need to move against the Constitution and rule of law on many fronts—all the while claiming they are “restoring democracy.” The United States could well be at a tipping point at which whatever pretenses we had toward constitutional government are cast aside for a “pragmatic” state that addresses the so-called needs at hand and is not bound by legal niceties. For now, my guess is that Biden will unleash federal prosecutors who will face no constraints whatsoever, and that means a lot of innocent people are going to have their lives ruined.

Before going into more detail, I explain why the Bush administration nearly twenty years ago made Biden’s job much easier for him than it ever should be under the rule of law. In the early 2000s, I began to write about the abuses that accompanied the expansion of federal criminal law and published (often with Candice E. Jackson) in a number of outlets including Regulation,Reason, the Independent Review,and the Mises page. Because of what Jackson and I called the “highly derivative” nature of federal criminal law (the actual charges are compiled from actions that usually are only prosecuted under state law), it is easy for federal prosecutors to draw up a list of charges that are hard to fight, have draconian penalties, but often involve criminalizing actions that harmed no one, and certainly did not do harm that is up to standards of criminal conduct.

In the hysterical aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Congress rushed through the PATRIOT Act (which Joe Biden claimed to have written almost single-handedly—probably an exaggeration), a law that even at the time legal experts doubted would be effective in preventing acts of political terrorism but that allowed federal prosecutors to throw other “crimes” under the umbrella of “terrorism,” thus permitting them to box in defendants and force them to plead out to lesser charges and receive substantial prison time.

At the time, civil liberties groups like the American Civil Liberties Union along with media entities such as the New York Times served at least a semieffective role in blunting the more outrageous attempts by prosecutors to expand their powers. (The NYT had not shown the same restraint during the 1980s when Rudy Giuliani abused his powers in the infamous Wall Street prosecutions, instead allowing Giuliani to break numerous federal statutes in the paper’s crusade to “fight capitalism.”)

This time, however, it is highly doubtful that either the ACLU or the media will do anything but be cheerleaders for the Biden DOJ, given that the government says it will specifically target what it sees as threats from the right, something the NYT recently praised. A couple of recent incidents regarding the media and the so-called conservative threat are instructive.

Shortly after the January 6 Capitol riots, a number of mainstream news outlets breathlessly reported that the leaders of the protests actually were planning on kidnapping and assassinating a number of political figures. Not one mainstream news outlet questioned the feds’ claims. Shortly thereafter, however, CNN (which gave the original charges massive coverage) reported that the Department of Justice was walking back its original statements.

Not to be outdone, the Associated Press on January 11 presented the specter of armed uprisings all over the country:

The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

The dispatch continues:

An internal FBI bulletin warned, as of Sunday, that the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of extremist groups, the officials said.

As we know, there were no armed uprisings, no right-wing armed mobs storming capitols and no massive protests. Now, on Inauguration Day, there was mob political violence and lots of it, but the mobs were leftist and the cities were Portland and Seattle and the national media saw little reason to publicize the protests, as they did not fit The Narrative.

Even the January 6 riots, as bad as they were, did not fall into the category of a coup, no matter what journalists and other political pundits were claiming. David French went even so far as to claim it was a “Christian insurrection” because some of the protesters said they were Christians and someone played Christian music on a loudspeaker. While it was an ugly scene nonetheless, does anyone (at least besides David French) really believe that the vast government regime known as The United States of America was in danger of being overthrown by a mob led by someone in a buffalo costume?

Yet, the same journalistic and political elites who excoriated Donald Trump for sending some agents to protect the federal courthouses in Seattle and Portland from Antifa mobs apparently had no problem with Biden dispatching thousands of federal troops to turn Washington, DC, into an armed camp. It is the same kind of overreaction that leads the media and political elites to demand that the government engage in massive surveillance of half the country.

Not all who are considered to be on the left are good with Biden’s internal spying plan, including Tulsi Gabbard, the former member of Congress who angered fellow Democrats with her appeals to civil liberties during her appearance in the presidential primary last year. National Review reports:

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?” Gabbard said.

She said the proposed legislation could create “a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.”

“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.

Even more eye-opening is the missive that the hard-left publication Jacobin has launched against this round of surveillance. Now, the publication that is openly nostalgic about the former East Germany hardly is going to champion civil liberties or even basic freedoms, but the people there are politically astute enough to know that a government with vast surveillance powers isn’t going to stop at going after political conservatives:

However such legislation may be justified with liberal-sounding language, there’s absolutely no reason to believe authorities wouldn’t use new powers to target groups that have nothing to do with Donald Trump or Trumpism. Police almost certainly infiltrated Black Lives Matter protests last summer, and American law enforcement has a long and ignominious history of targeting progressive groups—not to mention socialists, trade unions, and civil rights activists. As this history suggests, the premise behind any new anti-terrorism law will also be wrong on its face: the American state hardly faces excessive restrictions on its capacity to surveil, discipline, and punish. (The FBI, to take an obvious example, already possesses considerable power to investigate groups suspected of extremist activity.)

The problem is that the traditional gatekeepers of civil liberties that we once had in the media and in political and academic circles has disappeared into the maw of political tribalism. Matt Taibbi, a former writer for Rolling Stone and now an independent journalist, sees mainstream journalism as little more than an echo chamber for progressive politicians in which journalists seem to pretend they are players in a version of The West Wing:

West Wing was General Hospital for rich white liberals, a seven-season love letter to the enlightened attitudes of the Bobo-in-Paradise demographic. If that’s the self-image of the national press, it’s no wonder they make people want to vomit. The coverage of Biden’s inauguration, another celebration of those attitudes, was an almost perfect mathematical inverse of late-stage Trump reporting, a monument to groveling sycophancy.

John Heileman at MSNBC compared Biden’s speech to Abe Lincoln’s second inaugural, and suggested that the sight of “the Clintons, the Bushes, and the Obamas” gathered for the event was like “the Marvel superheroes all back in one place” (this was not the first post-election Avengers comparison to be heard on cable). Rachel Maddow talked about going through “half a box of Kleenex” as she watched the proceedings. Chris Wallace on Fox said Biden’s lumbering speech was “the best inaugural address I ever heard,” John Kennedy’s “Ask Not” speech included. The joyful tone was set the night before by CNN’s David Challen, who said lights along the Washington Mall were like “extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America.”

Journalists who are going to claim that a bunch of lights in paper bags symbolize a Joe Biden group hug are not going to be intellectually or professionally capable of taking a hard look at the government’s attempt to arrest and imprison political and religious conservatives and libertarians, since they already have convinced themselves that these people constitute a dire threat to what is left of the republic. They more likely will serve as the publicity arm for the DOJ—as long as prosecutors stick to going after men in buffalo suits waving Trump flags.

To be depressingly honest, the only barrier to the Biden administration’s launching of an American version of the Stasi against dissenters on the right would be the individual consciences of those in charge of the spying and making arrests. Much of the Democratic Party and most of mainstream journalists seem to have no problem with criminalizing speech and launching a regime of mass arrest and imprisonment.

As I see it, we no longer are looking at threats to our liberty in the abstract. For years, I have launched missive after missive at federal (and sometimes state) prosecutors and not feared for my own safety and liberty, save a few death threats I received when I aggressively wrote against Michael Nifong, the dishonest prosecutor in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case, and I didn’t take those seriously.

This situation is different because those who were the gatekeepers of liberty now have decided that liberty itself is a threat to our well-being. When the New York Times comes out against free speech and when journalists call for the power of the state to be used against other journalists they don’t like, we have turned the corner and are headed for the abyss.

No, I don’t expect to be hauled off to a concentration camp because I have written articles critical of federal prosecutors, but this country now is building a critical mass of journalists, college professors and administrators, and political figures that well might see concentration camps and other “reeducation” devices as being legitimate political tools. We are not as far away from such a dystopian future as one might think.

Federal criminal law provides these antiliberty groups the kinds of devices that can be used to criminalize speech and turn garden-variety dissenters into criminals. We should not be surprised if ambitious US attorneys in the Biden administration, cheered on by the likes of the New York Times and MSNBC, decide it is time to do just that. Author:

Contact William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

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Tulsi Gabbard: Don’t Bring the ‘War on Terror’ Home | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2021

letter signed by 10 progressive House Democrats, including Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ro Khanna, calls on leadership to “reject reactionary demands to further erode the rights and liberties of the American people.”

“So, when you look at their process as they’re building this profile of a potential ‘extremist,’ what are we talking about?” she asked. “Are we talking about evangelical Christians? Somebody who is pro-life? Libertarians? People who attended a Trump rally?”

The answer is YES.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tulsi-gabbard-dont-bring-the-war-on-terror-home/

by Brad Polumbo

The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol shocked the nation. Now, as so often occurs in the wake of tragedy, some Washington politicians are using the opportunity to push for an expansion of their power—hoping Americans are too shell-shocked to object.

A bipartisan group in Congress has introduced the so-called “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act Of 2021.” It would expand the surveillance and police powers of the national security state in the name of combatting dangerous extremism.

“America must be vigilant to combat those radicalized to violence, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives our government the tools to identify, monitor and thwart their illegal activities,” Congressman Brad Schneider, one of the bill’s lead sponsors, said. “Combatting the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy is not a Democratic or Republican issue, not left versus right or urban versus rural. Domestic Terrorism is an American issue, a serious threat that we can and must address together.”

We all surely agree that true domestic terrorism is reprehensible. But many progressive lawmakers are speaking out against the hasty push to expand government power and warning of the threat it poses to civil liberties. They warn these powers will undoubtedly be used against many more people and disfavored groups than just violent radicals like those who attacked the Capitol.

Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, called this push “so dangerous” in a Fox News interview.

“We don’t have to guess about where this goes or where it ends,” Gabbard argues, “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements… that in his words make up this ‘unholy alliance’ of ‘religious extremists,’ ‘racists,’ ‘bigots’ … even ‘libertarians.’”

.@joebiden Your leadership is needed now to denounce those like John Brennan & Rep Schiff who are advocating for targeting half the country as potential domestic terrorists. Truly unite the American people around our Constitution & the rights that are endowed to us by our Creator pic.twitter.com/OpemBm4biS

— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) January 24, 2021

.@JohnBrennan: Biden intel community “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians” pic.twitter.com/SjVXWhPhR8

— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 20, 2021

“So, when you look at their process as they’re building this profile of a potential ‘extremist,’ what are we talking about?” she asked. “Are we talking about evangelical Christians? Somebody who is pro-life? Libertarians? People who attended a Trump rally?”

“[This would] lead to a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties… and a targeting of almost half the country,” Gabbard concluded.

The concern is that government powers authorized ostensibly for use against “domestic terrorists” would wind up being wielded against much broader swaths of society.

letter signed by 10 progressive House Democrats, including Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ro Khanna, calls on leadership to “reject reactionary demands to further erode the rights and liberties of the American people.”

I’m leading the call for national security powers to not be expanded in light of the attack on our nation’s Capitol that occurred two weeks ago, as such measures often lead to the erosion of Americans’ civil liberties. pic.twitter.com/K6IHTPQzne

— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) January 19, 2021

“History is littered with examples of initiatives sold as being necessary to fight extremism that quickly devolve into tools used for the mass violation of the human and civil rights of the American people,” the letter warns.

There is simply no need to expand the government’s police powers. According to New York University’s law school, “existing statutes have long provided substantial authority for the federal government to investigate and prosecute acts of domestic terrorism.”

Indeed, at least 150 people have been charged with crimes related to the attack on the Capitol. The government already has vast powers to surveil, pursue, and prosecute Americans who commit crimes or plot violence. After all, law enforcement already knew from intelligence that the planned demonstration at the Capitol could turn violent. Their failure to adequately prepare for it was not due to a lack of information or authority.

Some might wonder, well, how could it hurt to give them more tools? Better safe than sorry, right?

This is an understandable impulse but deeply naive as a permanent conclusion. There’s good reason to think that “domestic terrorism” government powers would wind up targeting many Americans—because we’ve seen the same dynamic play out before, time and time again.

Passed in the wake of the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Patriot Act gave the federal government enormous surveillance powers.

For example, it authorized “sneak and peek” searches, allowing government officials to search someone’s home or office, take pictures, and even sometimes confiscate property, yet only inform them after-the-fact. According to the ACLU, 76 percent of sneak-and-peak searches have occurred in drug enforcement cases, with less than 1 percent actually happening in terrorism-related-cases.

The Patriot Act also created a new pathway for FBI agents to access Americans’ personal information, such as phone records, computer records, credit history, and banking information. Per the ACLU, of the 192,500 such records examinations the FBI made from 2003 to 2006, only one led to a terrorism conviction. (And the ACLU says that conviction would have been obtained without Patriot Act.)

All of this doesn’t even touch on the way post-Patriot-Act mass surveillance caught up millions of innocent Americans, as exposed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

There’s plenty of precedent that suggests these abuses can be explicitly political, too.

“Government agencies—including the FBI and the Department of Defense—have conducted their own spying on innocent and law-abiding Americans,” the ACLU reports. “Through the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU learned the FBI had been consistently monitoring peaceful groups such Quakers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace, the Arab American Anti-Defamation Committee and, indeed, the ACLU itself.”

We might give the government vast new powers to fight “domestic terrorism.” But it’s inevitable that these same powers will eventually be used against millions of Americans who have nothing to do with such extremism.

There’s a lesson here that extends beyond the specific debate over surveillance powers and the War on Terror. In times of crisis and emergency, enterprising politicians will always seek to exploit the situation to expand their own power. Too often, scared citizens go along with these power grabs.

This is the danger economist Robert Higgs identified in his seminal work Crisis and Leviathan as “the Ratchet Effect.”

Higgs showed how throughout history, crises have been used to excuse government power grabs. After each crisis, the government lets go of some of the power, but never all of it. As a result, the federal government’s power (the Leviathan) has “ratcheted up,” crisis after crisis, throughout the last hundred years.

Progressives, conservatives, and libertarians alike must stand firm against the latest push to infringe on civil liberties in the name of combating “domestic terror.” Otherwise, sweeping powers granted amid crisis will undoubtedly be used against millions of Americans who did nothing wrong on January 6.

This article was originally featured at the Foundation for Economic Education

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The Domestic Terrorism Act Boils Down to State Prosecution of White People for False Sedition – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 27, 2021

This bill will be used to set up a witch-hunt for mainly white people in America, mostly white males. Half the country will be considered guilty. It will be used to destroy businesses, steal property, incarcerate those that oppose the state narrative, separate families, to censor speech at every turn, and even murder. Ex-CIA head, John Brennan, came up with a list that included as he put it, “an unholy alliance of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.” In this planned legislation, whiteness is vilified, as the bogeymen are white supremacists, white nationalists, and supposedly those that that are guilty of ‘hate’ crimes, hate crimes being anything thought ‘offensive’ by idiot leftists, progressives, and globalists.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/01/gary-d-barnett/the-domestic-terrorism-act-boils-down-to-state-prosecution-of-white-people-for-false-sedition/

By Gary D. Barnett

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

~ Baron de Montesquieu

A very horrendous bill was introduced recently in Congress called the “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021.” The irony of this bill title is that it is not about preventing terrorism; it is about legalizing terrorism by the state against the citizenry. It would be more appropriately titled the U.S. Government Terrorism Authorization Act of 2021.

The motivating factor for this atrocity was said to be the recent purposely staged and intentionally allowed false-flag coup at the Capitol on January 6th. The entire situation was planned in advance to assure that Biden would be the ‘selected’ president, while the members of Congress could pretend to be fearful for their lives. The police led both legitimate and criminal protesters inside the Capitol building, allowed them to remain there, all while doing nothing but brutally murdering one innocent woman. The cowardly Congress was shuttled into safe places to hide until enough pictures and video could be taken, and enough facial recognition could be gathered so that the desired Trump supporters could be gathered up and jailed while others would walk free. This was the plot and now the scene is set. The feigned ‘indignant’ Congress got everything they wanted out of this directed production.

This non-threatening Hollywood-like creation ended peacefully of course, but was made out to be another 9/11. This minor event has been called a terrifying attack, a domestic terrorism attack, a hate crime, devastating, an experience of terror by white nationalists, and heinous violent crimes; all said to have been prosecuted by homegrown domestic terrorists made up of white supremacists, and other racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists. In other words, white people!

Co-sponsor for this tyrannical bill, Democratic Representative Brad Schneider, said this in a press release on January 20:

“Following the terrifying attack on the Capitol this month, which left five dead and many injured, the entire nation has been seized by the potential threat of more terrorist attacks in Washington and around the country. Unlike after 9/11, the threat that reared its ugly head on January 6th is from domestic terror groups and extremists, often racially-motivated violent individuals. America must be vigilant to combat those radicalized to violence, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives our government the tools to identify, monitor and thwart their illegal activities. Combatting the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy is not a Democratic or Republican issue, not left versus right or urban versus rural. Domestic Terrorism is an American issue, a serious threat the we can and must address together,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10).”

“I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, which we need now more than ever. In the wake of the domestic terrorist attack on our Capitol two weeks ago, it is painfully clear that the current approach to addressing the real and persistent threat posed by white nationalism and similar ideologies is not working. We must not allow hate crimes and domestic terrorism to continue unchecked. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important and timely bill as quickly as possible,” said Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (NY-10).”

In this ridiculous press release, he used the word white, white nationalism, and white supremacist at least ten times. Democrat Vincente González from Texas said “the Domestic Terror Prevention Act is more important than ever as we work to root out and rid America of this cancer.” The cancer he is alluding to is concerning white people that either are not Democrat, are against Biden, or against this government.

This bill will be used to set up a witch-hunt for mainly white people in America, mostly white males. Half the country will be considered guilty. It will be used to destroy businesses, steal property, incarcerate those that oppose the state narrative, separate families, to censor speech at every turn, and even murder. Ex-CIA head, John Brennan, came up with a list that included as he put it, “an unholy alliance of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.” In this planned legislation, whiteness is vilified, as the bogeymen are white supremacists, white nationalists, and supposedly those that that are guilty of ‘hate’ crimes, hate crimes being anything thought ‘offensive’ by idiot leftists, progressives, and globalists. None of this is qualified of course, and this pending bill is just as vague in its description of the targeted class. All these people and more should be silenced, “reprogrammed,” and eliminated according to those supporting this act that is nothing less than a plan to prosecute false sedition.

The list of supporters endorsing this tyrannical piece of legislation is telling to say the least. They include:

Anti-Defamation League, Arab American Institute, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, Human Rights Campaign, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Sikh Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, and Unidos.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will gain massive additional powers, and funding, in order to monitor (surveil), investigate (spy), and prosecute (terrorize, murder, and jail) so-called cases of generally undefined “domestic terrorism.” Fedora Hats for Men by… Buy New $45.99 (as of 04:06 EST – Details)

This legislation is a travesty, and can only lead to extreme totalitarian political policing of all that believe in freedom and that stand against the state.

Additional sources:

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/79031/who-planned-the-false-flag-on-capitol.html

https://redstate.com/streiff/2021/01/07/305949-n305949

The Best of Gary D. Barnett Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is a retired investment professional that has been writing about freedom and liberty matters, politics, and history for two decades. He is against all war and aggression, and against the state. He recently finished a collaboration with former U.S. Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, and was a contributor to her new book, “When China Sneezes” From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Political-Economic Crisis.” Currently, he lives in Montana with his wife and son. Visit his website.

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Gird Your Loins

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2021

https://pjmedia.com/columns/paula-bolyard/2021/01/21/gird-your-loins-libertarians-the-biden-admin-is-going-to-be-keeping-an-eye-on-you-n1398939

By Paula Bolyard

Former CIA Director John Brennan let the cat out of the bag during an MSNBC appearance Wednesday, saying that the Biden administration is laser-focused on rooting out “insurgency movements” in the U.S., cracking down on pernicious malefactors like (gasp!) libertarians. No, really.

See the rest here…pay wall!

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : What is John Brennan So Worried About?

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2020

The CIA’s point man at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, has provided the answer:

Protecting “sources and methods” is a red herring. They can be redacted from a classified document. It’s the content of these files that has Brennan extremely nervous as they might reveal Brennan’s role in the Russiagate scandal. Of course, Brennan invoked the old trope of “national security” when it appears it’s his own security he’s worried about.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/november/13/what-is-john-brennan-so-worried-about/

Written by Ray McGovern

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Former CIA Director John Brennan is apparently so worried that Donald Trump might release certain classified intelligence that he suggested this week that Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet remove Trump via the 25th amendment.

Brennan appeared this week on both CNN and MSNBC to spread alarm about what Trump might do as he continues to contest the election results and appoints new people at Defense, NSA (and possibly CIA) who may do his bidding. 

Brennan warned on CNN that it was “very, very worrisome” that Trump “is just very unpredictable now … like a cornered cat — tiger. And he’s going to lash out.”

Brennan told MSNBC he was worried that Trump has called for the “wholesale declassification of intelligence in order to further his own political interests.”

Whom would he lash out at and what classified documents might Brennan be referring to?

The CIA’s point man at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, has provided the answer:

“President Trump’s senior military and intelligence officials have been warning him strongly against declassifying information about Russia that his advisers say would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger key allies.

An intense battle over this issue has raged within the administration in the days before and after the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump and his allies want the information public because they believe it would rebut claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin supported Trump in 2016. That may sound like ancient history, but for Trump it remains ground zero — the moment when his political problems began.”

Protecting “sources and methods” is a red herring. They can be redacted from a classified document. It’s the content of these files that has Brennan extremely nervous as they might reveal Brennan’s role in the Russiagate scandal. Of course, Brennan invoked the old trope of “national security” when it appears it’s his own security he’s worried about.

Trump reportedly wants to declassify key intel on the Russia probe; Haspel & other officials are opposed. I think the public has a right to see this info — especially since so much of what we have been allowed to see undermines the narrative we were told. https://t.co/pwpQSz7z3y — Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 11, 2020

As we noted at a similar juncture in March 2018 (in “Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared”), Brennan’s foremost worry — then, as now — was that Trump was about to expose him to the disgrace that befell ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for malfeasance in connection with Russiagate.

The president had just fired McCabe for repeatedly lying, and Brennan had good reason to worry. That was before the true extent of the roles McCabe, his boss, former FBI Director James Comey, and Brennan played in the WMD-style fabrication of “Russiagate” had became more fully understood.

Brennan landed on his MSNBC perch as a paid commentator on Feb. 2, 2018 and was riding high with adulation from the likes of former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who publicly warned Trump that it is “not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

Even back then, however, storm clouds were gathering. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who knew much more than he revealed, was warning of legal consequences for Russiagate conspirators.

Referring to the weavers and tailors of Russiagate, Nunes told reporter Sharyl Attkisson on Feb. 18, 2018: “If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial. The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created.”

Dismissive of such warnings, Brennan accused Trump on May 17, 2018 of “moral turpitude” and predicted, with an alliterative flourish, that he would end up “as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.” 

As the Russiagate saga has unfolded, however, it has become abundantly clear that there is more than enough moral turpitude to go around. As discussed below, there may be a reasonable hope that documentary evidence — chapter and verse — about Russiagate turpitude will see the light of day if Trump summons the backbone to get unimpeachable evidence into the open.

In my view, this is what seems to have Brennan on tenterhooks.

What Else Did Esper Refuse to Do?

This is the big question. In the CNN interview, Brennan was not artful enough to disguise what seems to be his major worry. Right after complaining that complacent observers are “missing what is a very, very worrisome development,” the ex-CIA chief added:

And I think it’s quite apparent from reporting that Mark Esper has stood up to Donald Trump repeatedly. Who knows what else has he [‘terminated’ Secretary of Defense Esper] refused to do?

(For one thing, according to Politico, Esper clashed with Trump over pulling US troops out of Afghanistan.)

Brennan added: “Who knows what [freshly appointed Acting Secretary of Defense] Chris Miller is going to do if Donald Trump does give some kind of order that really is counter to what I think our national security interests need to be?”

There are abundant — and disquieting (to Brennan) — clues to this, in the events unfolding over the past several days.

For starters, there is the role Ignatius (as close to Brennan as a Siamese twin) played in setting an unusually transparent table to interpret Brennan’s CNN interview the morning after — curiously, without mentioning the interview itself.

(Yes, this is the same David Ignatius who reported on the leaked, late-Dec. 2016 telephone conversation between Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Gen. Michael Flynn, which was used to trap Flynn and, if possible, put him in prison. After all, Flynn was a major threat. He knew — or would have been able to find out — where most of the Russiagate bodies were buried. It was imperative that he be removed quickly from his position as Trump’s national security adviser.)

Here are Ignatius’s main points:

— Senior military and intelligence officials have been warning Trump against declassifying information about Russia that would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger allies.

— Trump wants the information out “because he thinks it would rebut claims that Putin supported Trump in 2016
— how his political problems began.”

— CIA Director Gina Haspel is against release; said to be determined to “protect sources and methods.”

— NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone directly opposed White House efforts to release the information.

— Defense Secretary Mark Esper – just “terminated” on Monday – supported Nakasone’s view, warning of “harm to national security and specific harm to the military.”

— Christopher Miller is named to replace Esper.

— Michael Ellis, former chief counsel to Nunes, has just been installed as general counsel at NSA.
Nunes: Out From Under the Bus?

After being “thrown under the bus” by Trump more than once in his attempts to expose the crimes of Russiagate, Nunes may now harbor some hope that his patience and loyalty will be rewarded after all. In October Trump ordered Russiagate documents declassified and nothing happened. The next few weeks will tell. The omens are better than before.

Not only will Ellis be general counsel at NSA, reportedly over the objections of Gen. Nakasone, but Kashyap Patel, a longtime Russiagate skeptic and former Nunes aide on the House Intelligence Committee, is replacing Esper’s chief of staff at the Pentagon. Patel is said to already have a “very close” working relationship with Miller, the acting defense secretary. (And rumors persist that Haspel’s ouster is next.) 

In addition, former National Security Council official Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been named acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Cohen-Watnick not only reaps close ties to Nunes; he was also a top aide to Flynn during the latter’s abbreviated tenure as national security adviser.

Have these folks been appointed to help start a new war? They seem better placed to try to finish an old one — namely, Russiagate. They would certainly be well placed to execute a Trump order to declassify and release R-gate-related documents that have been Waiting for Godot.

This sends shivers up the spines of those with much to fear from such disclosures. At the same time, the formidable ability of the bureaucracy to resist is well known to all concerned.

Esper Slow-Walked Out the Door

It appears Esper may have been slow-walking a White House request to release information gathered and stored by the National Security Agency, which could document what Trump calls the “hoax” of Russiagate, and the criminal behavior of its perpetrators — including the role prime mover Brennan may have had.

It may be hard to believe, but the NSA intercepts and stores every electronic communication. All Trump has to do is to have newly appointed acting Pentagon chief Miller order Gen. Nakasone to release materials spelling out chapter and verse on the Russiagate operations orchestrated by Brennan, Comey, and ex-National Intelligence Director James Clapper. Nakasone reports to the secretary of defense.

Don’t be misled; virtually all of it can be released with ZERO danger to intelligence “sources and methods.” But release won’t happen if Trump continues to just whine to Fox News, or he “authorizes” release without follow-up (he’s already done that — to no effect).

What Brennan seems to fear is that it might dawn on Trump that he lost the election and has little time left to act. As a lame-duck he might want to go out with a flourish: revenge against the intelligence establishment that undermined him for four years with its Russiagate fable.

Trump might awake one day to find that someone has scrawled on his mirror, “Hey, I thought YOU were the president.” At that point, there would be an outside chance he might act like one, and Brennan and co-conspirators might find themselves going the way of McCabe.

In such circumstances, establishment media can be expected to make a Herculean effort to suppress the (highly embarrassing, including for the media) truth about Russiagate.

It certainly did an amazingly effective job suppressing “Huntergate.” Odds are they could succeed this time around too.

Like those huge banks ten years ago, Russiagate may be too-big-to-fail. But, at least, the documentary evidence would be out there for those who “can handle the truth” — and for future historians with some courage. This is not about the election, which has been decided. But about putting on the record intelligence interference in the last election and subsequent administration, so that future agencies might think twice about doing it again.

By finally ordering the release of such documents, sanitized in those few cases in which it might be necessary, Trump may enable anyone opened minded about Russiagate to be informed in a documented way, about what actually happened during that long-lingering, dark chapter of our recent history.

And, in the process, Russiagaters might be able to overcome their instinctual reluctance to accept the pernicious nature of the National Security State. And that would be for the best.

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Let’s Give Trump Some Credit—On Labor Day He Threw Down the Gauntlet to the Corrupt Military Brass – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2020

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/09/08/lets-give-trump-some-credit-on-labor-day-he-threw-down-the-gauntlet-to-the-corrupt-military-brass/

Paul Craig Roberts

Trump said that the Pentagon brass don’t love him, “because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make eveything else stay happy.”

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the military/security complex for making the same point (see, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass, Simon & Schuster, 2008).

The US military/security complex has had its crosshairs on Trump since his first presidential campaign when he said that he was going to normalize relations with Russia.  I don’t think Trump realized what a massive NO-NO this is.  Trump was telling the military-security complex that he was going to take away their concocted enemy that justifies the lucrative $1,000 billion annual budget paid by American taxpayers.

This enormous sum enriches a large number of companies along with the CIA’s power and budget. To tell a powerful institutionalized force that you are going to take away their justification for diverting increasingly scarce American resources into their bank accounts is to ask for assassination. President Trump is in the process of being assassinated, but it is not by bullets. Not even dumbshit Americans will believe another “lone assassin” story.  Trump is being assassinated with a coup—https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/09/08/democrats-have-planned-a-coup-if-trump-wins-reelection/ .

The military/security complex responded to Trump’s policy of normalizing relations with Russia with “Russiagate,” an orchestration initiated by CIA director John Brennan and FBI director Comey.  The CIA has had the media in its pocket since Operation Mockingbird dating back to 1950—https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/10/14/how-the-cia-paid-and-threatened-journalists-to-do-its-work .

The CIA’s “Russiagate” attack on President Trump served the interests of Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party.  The corrupt Democrats quickly joined forces with the CIA and the CIA’s media whores.  The attack on Trump was underway and has not stopped since.

As I posted here—https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/09/08/democrats-have-planned-a-coup-if-trump-wins-reelection/ —the Democrats have worked out with the CIA and the presstitutes their coup plan if Trump is reelected, which he will be.  Most Americans, black, white, hispanic and Asian do not want rioting and looting as everyday experience, which is what we now know the Democrats will give us.

President Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said today that Trump is “not going to let some lobbyists here in Washington DC – just because they want a new defense contract – suggest that soldiers need to stay abroad one minute longer than they should.”

Everytime Trump has tried to bring our soldiers home, he has been stymied by the military/security complex and the presstitute media. All sorts of phony reasons are concocted and put into the media about why withdrawal would be inimical to American interest.  Many American partiots fall for the concocted arguments and turn against Trump for “endangering America.”

Nothing better illustrates President Trump’s vulnerability than the fact that his own Defense Secretary has not rejected the unsupported anonymous allegation made by a Jew in the Atlantic that President Trump bad-mouthed American war dead and refused to visit a cemetery in France where many are buried.  Even President Trump’s enemy, John Bolton, has refuted the Jew’s allegation.  Bolton said on the record:

“I didn’t hear either of those comments or anything even resembling them,’ Bolton told Fox News. ‘I was there at the point in time that morning when it was decided that he would not go to Aisne-Marne cemetery … It was entirely a weather-related decision, and I thought the proper thing to do.

“I never heard he made that kind of comment about another country’s forces either, no.”

“Fox correspondent John Roberts, who conducted the Bolton interview, added that he has told him, ‘if [Donald Trump] had said he didn’t want to visit Aisne-Marne because the interred heroes were ‘losers’ and ‘suckers,’ he would have written an entire chapter about it in his book, The Room Where It Happened.”  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8709559/Trump-attacks-militarys-commanders-claiming-want-defense-contractors-happy.html

The Atlantic is part of the CIA’s media assets.  The story was handed to the Jewish editor, Jeffrey Goldberg, and the two-bit puppet performed for his master.  The two-bit puppet went on to say that he expects “more confirmation and new pieces of information” to come out in the coming days and weeks that will coroborate that Trump called US war dead “losers and suckers.”

In other words, Goldberg is acknowledging that he will continue to be a  military/security mouthpiece in driving Trump from office.  The purpose of the CIA story handed to Goldberg is to discredit Trump with his patriotic supporters, those who wave the flag, and especially the retired military.  The way the coming coup against Trump works is to turn his supporters against him so that he is isolated and can be ejected from office

Goldberg’s sources, he says, are anonymous. But they are not.  His “sources” are his military/security masters.  Goldberg knows who they are.  Remember, the entire four-year long attack on Trump has relied on anonymous sources.  With anonymous sources, you can make up anything. There is no one to confirm, deny, or to hold accountable.  It is fake news.

Not only are the CIA, Pentagon, and FBI united in the coup against Trump, but also it seems Trump’s Attorney General as well.  It has been months and Barr and Durham have not produced the indictments against the Obama regime personnel who committed felonies while orchestrating “Russiagate.”  The people who committed the felonies and the felonies that were committed are known and are part of the public record.  Yet no indictments. What we are witnessing here is that the Washington Establishment is Democrat and Republican and neither party will defend an elected President at the expense of the Establishment.

To conclude, blatant treason is in plain view.  Not even insouciant Americans can help but see it. Yet, there is not a word about it.  The coming coup seems to have a clear road for success. Something will remain here afterwards, but it will not be the United States of America.

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The CIA’s Murderous Practices, Disinformation Campaigns, and Interference in Other Countries Still Shape the World Order and U.S. Politics

Posted by M. C. on June 1, 2020

https://theintercept.com/2020/05/21/the-cias-murderous-practices-disinformation-campaigns-and-interference-in-other-countries-still-shapes-the-world-order-and-u-s-politics/

In the weeks before the 2016 presidential election, the most powerful former leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency did everything they could to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump. President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morrell published a full-throated endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed “Putin ha[s] recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” while George W. Bush’s post-9/11 CIA and NSA Chief, Gen. Michael Hayden, writing in the Washington Post, refrained from endorsing Clinton outright but echoed Morrell by accusing Trump of being a “useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow” and sounding “a little bit the conspiratorial Marxist.” Meanwhile, the intelligence community under James Clapper and John Brennan fed morsels to both the Obama DOJ and the U.S. media to suggest a Trump/Russia conspiracy and fuel what became the Russiagate investigation.

In his extraordinary election-advocating op-ed, Hayden, Bush/Cheney’s CIA chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA’s antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate’s stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly “pro-Putin” positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared).

As has been true since President Harry Truman’s creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments — through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots — is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.

The CIA’s antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump’s presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:

Democrats, early in Trump’s presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump’s most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news.

The all-consuming Russiagate narrative that dominated the first three years of Trump’s presidency further served to elevate the CIA as a noble and admirable institution while whitewashing its grotesque history. Liberal conventional wisdom held that Russian Facebook ads, Twitter bots and the hacking and release of authentic, incriminating DNC emails was some sort of unprecedented, off-the-charts, out-of-the-ordinary crime-of-the-century attack, with several leading Democrats (including Hillary Clinton) actually comparing it to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

 

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