Unhinged Retired Admiral and Clinton Loyalist Calls for Coup of President Trump: Remove Trump from Office ‘The Sooner the Better’

 

Retired Admiral William McRaven is back in the news today.

McRaven, a Hillary Clinton loyalist, called for a military coup of the president of the United States.
Shouldn’t the FBI be paying this guy a visit at his home?

McRaven is not a fan of President Trump since the president attacked him in 2017 as a Hillary Clinton fan.
Obviously, Trump was right.

Via Breitbart.com:

Retired Admiral William McRaven has published an op-ed in Friday’s New York Times titled, “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President,” urging that Trump be removed from office — “the sooner, the better.”

McRaven’s op-ed gives a military imprimatur to what President Donald Trump has already likened to a “coup,” as Democrats attempt to impeach him with barely a year to go before the next presidential election.

The admiral, well-respected for his role in overseeing the operation to kill Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden in 2011, argues that senior military leaders have lost confidence in the president and feel he is a threat to the nation.

“As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg,” McRaven recalled, “one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’”

McRaven does not argue that President Trump has done anything wrong in particular, but that he has no respect for America’s values. These values, McRaven declares, involve a commitment to “help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice” around the world.

McRaven got Bill Kristol’s seal of approval.

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With Clinton & Romney both rumored to be JOINING 2020 race, has politics gone the way of Hollywood?

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Two-time losers Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney are rumored to be mulling presidential runs in 2020, despite repeated and resounding rejections from the voting public. Why won’t they go away, and is this a sign of a deeper crisis?

It’s not just Clinton and Romney. Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden himself is a two-time loser convinced that third time’s the charm. Even Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, whose policy ideas are relatively new, even if he isn’t, has been in politics most of his life. DC has become the east coast version of Hollywood, churning through remake after remake as audiences and interest dwindle, fueled by a zombie economy of donors utterly disconnected from the real world.

Clinton has been ubiquitous on TV for the past few weeks, making the rounds ostensibly to promote a book she co-wrote with her daughter. Yet every single conversation inevitably swings back to 2016, how she was robbed of her rightful place in the Oval Office, and how President Donald Trump is an “illegitimate” leader who “knows” he stole the election.

When Trump opted to pull troops out of northern Syria on Monday, finally fulfilling a campaign promise he’d made in part to counter her warmongering, Clinton was quick to slam the decision as a “sickening betrayal.”

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Her tweet – which seemingly wouldn’t hold much significance now that she’s (supposedly) retired from politics – nevertheless rated entire articles in the Hill and other publications.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon claimed last week that Clinton is definitely running – she’s merely looking for an opening.

Her impeachment cheerleading could be motivated by the possibility that when the Ukrainegate cards are laid out on the table, frontrunner Biden could easily go down in flames, leaving the field wide open for her to step in – especially now that her 2016 rival, Sanders, has been laid low with a heart attack.

Biden speaks for the Democratic establishment when he promises “nothing would fundamentally change” if he won. His constant name-dropping of Obama – when he can remember his former boss’ name that is – is a naked appeal to amnesiac nostalgia, the Democratic Party platform’s declaration that everything bad in the country has happened because of Trump.

This is not merely a Democratic Party problem, however. Mitt Romney, the Utah Senator who failed to secure his party’s nomination for president in 2008 and failed to beat Barack Obama in 2012, has been complaining to anyone who will listen that Trump’s actions on Ukraine are “wrong and appalling.”

He too leapt onto Twitter following Trump’s announcement of the Syria pullout, calling “the president’s decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey…a betrayal.” And he too suddenly rates entire articles based on a single tweet.

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Romney is testing the waters for a 2020 run, calling his donors to see who’ll bite, according to the self-described “Republican political operative” Jack Posobiec. Trump Communications Director turned sophomoric insult machine Anthony Scaramucci has already started cheering Romney on, while never-Trump neocon William Kristol’s new outlet The Bulwark posted a fawning paean to the former Massachusetts governor on Monday, just two days after Kristol himself tweeted a poll that showed Trump nearly twice as “respected” as Romney. Perhaps hoping to change those numbers, the warmonger’s journal gushed that Romney has “stepped up at the decisive moments” and “seems focused on the verdict of history.”

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American politics has seemingly fallen prey to the same sickness that plagues Hollywood, where nearly every film seems to be a remake or spinoff of something that came before. Producers argue audiences embrace the familiar; a recent survey found that isn’t the case – that 91 percent of remakes experience steep drop-offs in approval compared to the originals. Movie theater attendance dropped to a 19-year low in 2017. Audiences are sick of being fed pre-chewed entertainment and “woke” takes on beloved classics.

And it’s no different in politics – 42 percent of Americans identified as independents in 2017, suggesting that nearly half the country is utterly disgusted with a two-party system that doesn’t even pretend to represent them, instead pandering to an idealized “middle class” their policies have helped kill. Nevertheless, hoary old has-beens are the only candidates with enough money to make it onto the ballot. As a result, voter turnout plunged to a 20-year low in 2016, with just 55 percent of voting-age citizens casting ballots.

Neither party has learned its lesson from 2016, which saw a dynamic – if, to some, off-putting – character sweep through first the primaries and then the general election by positioning himself as the opposite of the “swamp creatures” that have made a career out of looking busy while ensuring the status quo doesn’t move. Anyone with a flicker of originality is sidelined (Tulsi Gabbard) or mocked (Marianne Williamson). Perhaps both parties really do want four more years of Trump – it gives them an excuse to sit on the sidelines and complain without having to do any governing.

By Helen Buyniski

 

Bill Kristol’s Democrat-Funded Nonprofit is Bankrolling Pro-Justin Amash Ad Campaign

Kristol’s front, the Republicans for the Rule of Law, is buying at least $50,000 worth of ads to promote Amash.

By Shane Trejo

Although Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is rapidly losing support from constituents in his own district, he has gained new allies in the elite media class as a result of joining the Democrats to support President Donald Trump’s impeachment. Bill Kristol, the globalist neocon architect of the Iraq War, is now pumping money into Amash’s re-election efforts as a result.

A nation organization with ties to prominent Democrat funders, the Republicans for the Rule of Law, will be spending $50,000 on an ad buy urging Republicans to support Amash as he tries to railroad the President.

Certain ads will air during the “Fox & Friends” program on Fox News until Friday. The nonprofit will also put print ads in a Grand Rapids newspaper as well as producing digital ads.

“Our leaders all take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. It’s a solemn agreement between the American people and those they choose to serve in government,” Republicans for the Rule of Law said in a statement.

“Their party affiliation, personal ambition and desire for reelection all come second to that solemn oath. Rep. Amash is upholding his oath, putting the good of the country above smaller matters. Every politician should follow his example,” they added.

The television ads can be seen here:

Kristol, who ran the now-defunct Weekly Standard, has been praising Amash since he publicly declared his support for Trump’s impeachment despite the fact that Trump was cleared of any Russian collusion by the Mueller report.

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After being run from the GOP following failed sabotage efforts against Trump in 2016, Kristol has gone back to his leftist roots and started taking funds from at least one far-left oligarch. Progressive billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s non-profit Democracy Fund has given at least $600,000 to Kristol’s front group, Defending Democracy Together.

Omidyar has donated millions to organizations in the George Soros network such as the Open Society Foundations and the Tides Foundation. Republicans for the Rule of Law is listed as a “a 501(c)(4) nonprofit and a project of Defending Democracy Together” on their own website.

Amash’s opponents have speculated that he is being propped up by Democrats for years, and now they have solid evidence to back up that theory. Democratic dollars will be used to help Amash gain re-election in 2020 to continue his campaign against President Trump.

‘When did the Democratic party become neocons?’– Tucker Carlson

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After the mainstream media and establishment Democrats piled on President Trump for even considering pulling the US out of NATO, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked when the doves became cheerleaders for war.

That Republicans love war is an easy assumption to make. President Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton has been howling for regime change in Iran since day one. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is equally hawkish and confrontational towards the Islamic Republic. Further back, George W. Bush’s cabinet was stuffed with war enthusiasts like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and the late Republican Senator John McCain never met a war he didn’t like.

But opposition to President Trump has seen Democrats – once considered the more peace-loving and diplomatic of the two parties – embrace war like never before.

The New York Times, citing its usual anonymous sources, revealed on Monday that current and former Trump administration officials concluded the president must be a Russian agent, because he discussed pulling the US out of NATO.

“This is a huge story,” said Carlson. “Or it would have been huge in 1983 when the Soviet Union still existed, and it was still clear what the point of NATO was. NATO, you’ll remember, was created to keep the Soviets from invading Western Europe…and did a very good job at that.”

Trump’s opposition to NATO is well documented, and the president has excoriated allies like Germany for failing to meet their spending obligations under the organization’s charter. In 2018, the US spent almost $700 billion on defense, over double the expenditure of all 28 other NATO states combined. Moreover, the idea of bankrolling western Europe’s defense needs also clashes with the president’s more transactional view of foreign relations than his predecessor.

“Vladimir Putin runs Russia now,” Carlson continued. “He does not plan to invade Western Europe. He can’t. So why do we still have NATO? Nobody really knows. In Washington you’re definitely not allowed to ask.”

After the New York Times’ article was published, Democrats took their turns thrashing Trump. Former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara stated that Trump should be “promptly impeached, convicted, and removed from office” for daring to question the alliance’s value to America.

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Former US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns called the mere idea of pulling out of the alliance “madness” that would lead to “one of the greatest strategic catastrophes in American history.”

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“He can’t do that to this country,” Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier added in a news interview. “It would be a ground for some profound effort by our part, whether it’s impeachment or the 25th Amendment.”

“Did you catch that?” Carlson said. “The 25th Amendment. In other words, according to a sitting member of Congress…rethinking membership in NATO isn’t just treasonous and criminal. It’s prima facie evidence of insanity.” The 25th Amendment allows for a president to be removed from office for being “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office;” in other words, unfitness.

But is the left’s NATO cheerleading a partisan reaction to Trump’s ‘America First’ brand of 21st Century isolationism? After all, the left fact-checks his McDonalds orders and would declare breathing an impeachable offense if Trump came out in favor of air.

Not so. Among the handful of Democratic challengers who have announced presidential bids in recent weeks, Hawaiian Representative Tulsi Gabbard distinguished herself by focusing her campaign on America’s foreign policy. An Iraq war combat veteran, Gabbard has consistently questioned Washington’s bipartisan consensus on foreign wars and intervention, opposing Barack Obama’s air campaign in Syria, calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan “as soon as possible,” and sponsoring legislation to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia and defund the National Security Agency.

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Gabbard was quickly labeled an “Assad sympathizer” for meeting with the Syrian leader in 2017. While Gabbard called Assad a “brutal dictator,” her opposition to military action rubbed the hawks in both parties the wrong way. The left and right piled on, christening Gabbard a “right-wing puppet of the Kremlin,” digging up past homophobic remarks she had made, and calling her a darling of the alt-right, the KKK, and even RT.

“She went, in 2017, Gloria — this is going to be another issue — to visit with Bashar al Assad in Syria,” said CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “This trip has already come back to bite her.”

“I think it makes her a less effective candidate,” contributor Gloria Borger responded. “She can’t position herself against Trump about meeting with dictators when, in fact, she’s done it herself.”

With the Democratic party circling the wagons against Gabbard, Trump, and anyone breaking from the endless war consensus, Carlson asked “whatever happened to the Democratic Party?”

“When did the anti-war people become florid neocons? When did it become the party of Bill Kristol and Max Boot and every other discredited hack still trying to replicate the Iraq disaster in nations around the world? Who knows when that happened? But that’s exactly what the Democratic Party is today.”

Poll: Democrats Against Pulling Troops Out Of Syria, Afghanistan

By Chris Menahan

A new poll from Morning Consult/Politico found the majority of Democrats are against President Trump’s move to pull out of Syria and also oppose Trump pulling half our troops out of Afghanistan.

On the flip side, Republicans overwhelmingly favor both pulling out of Syria and drawing down troops from Afghanistan.

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On the religious front, non-evangelical Catholics were the most supportive of pulling out of Syria (64%/24%) while Jews were the most opposed (34%/52%).

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Though “conservative” Erick Erickson suggested last month that our soldiers were ready to stage a coup to overthrow president Trump in order to keep the war in Syria going, the poll found military households were also overwhelmingly in favor of ending the war (55%/35%).

Most Democrats were against the war in Syria in 2017 before the latest media blitz ordered them to support it:

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As I reported earlier this week, over the past two years neocons have begun shifting over to the Democratic Party.

MSBNC’s Ari Melber recently hailed “woke Bill Kristol”:

MSNBC also recently celebrated that the “military-industrial complex is now run by women”— as well as the CIA.

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The Democratic Party has become the party of war.

Weekly Standard Goes Belly Up, Actual Conservatives Celebrate

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A formerly-relevant conservative magazine has shut down after two years of #NeverTrump commentary finally drove the majority of its readership away.

“All good things come to an end. And so, after 23 years, does The Weekly Standard. I want to express my gratitude to our readers and my admiration for my colleagues. We worked hard to put out a quality magazine, and we had a good time doing so. And we have much more to do. Onward!” said Bill Kristol, formerly Weekly Standard’s editor-at-large and the publication’s most prominent personality.

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Kristol is known for ditching the GOP over the nomination of President Donald J. Trump in favor of the globalist establishment. Weekly Standard’s former readers left for more in-touch media sources and never forgave him. After 23 years in business, the publication became obsolete in just two years.

The conservative world reacted on Twitter, mostly celebrating the death of a rag that worked against the interests of conservatives who support Trump.

“The Weekly Standard folded because conservatives are tired of being force fed bullsh*t from out-of-touch, outdated elitists that think their opinions (& that of legacy media in general) are superior to everyone else’s. You won’t see a single ounce of pity coming from me over it,” said Richard Armande Mills.

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“Tonight, I will toast to the end of the Weekly Standard. In fact I’m gonna toast right now. And at lunch. And at Christmas parties tonight. Basically, fuck those guys,” said former Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam.

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“Cut the fake mourning. The Weekly Standard died several years ago when it told loyal readers like me to fuck off. Don’t pretend it that it was just too principled for us brutes. It told us to fuck off. And we did. So now it’s fucked. Ahoy,” said Bconservative author Kurt Schlictter.

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This reporter had some thoughts too:

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There were rumors that the magazine might merge with Washington Examiner, but that deal never came to fruition. The last issue of Weekly Standard will be published on Dec. 24.

FRANCE ‘INVESTIGATING’ IF THE RUSSKIES ARE SECRETLY BEHIND YELLOW VEST PROTESTS

France 'Investigating' If The Russkies Are Secretly Behind Yellow Vest Protests

The media is furious Russian media is covering these protests

Chris Menahan | Information Liberation – DECEMBER 10, 2018

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that Western governments can dodge all responsibility for their failed leadership by blaming all domestic strife on the Russkies.

From Bloomberg, “France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest Riots”:

France opened a probe into possible Russian interference behind the country’s Yellow Vest protests, after reports that social-media accounts linked to Moscow have increasingly targeted the movement.

According to the Alliance for Securing Democracy, about 600 Twitter accounts known to promote Kremlin views have begun focusing on France, boosting their use of the hashtag #giletsjaunes, the French name for the Yellow Vest movement. French security services are looking at the situation, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday in a radio interview with RTL.

Russia has been criticized for using social media to influence elections in the U.S. and elsewhere. Attempts to use fake news reports and cyberattacks to undercut the 2017 campaign of French President Emmanuel Macron failed, but Russian-linked sites have pushed questionable reports of a mutiny among police, and of officers’ support for the protests.

The media is furious Russian media is covering these protests.

There was supposed to be a blackout to help Macron put these rioters down like dogs!

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It was only around two weeks ago when the media was hyperventilating over Trump “gassing children” on our border in a repeat of the Holocaust.

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While Trump was attacked for using tear gas on foreign invaders, Macron’s army firing off some 10,000 tear gas canisters — so many canisters they reportedly nearly ran out — is “defending liberal democracy!”

“An investigation is now underway,” Le Drian said. “I will not make comments before the investigation has brought conclusions.”

The Twitter accounts monitored by the alliance usually feature U.S. or British news. But the French protests “have been at or near the top” of their activity for at least a week, according to Bret Schafer, the alliance’s Washington-based social media analyst. “That’s a pretty strong indication that there is interest in amplifying the conflict” for audiences outside France.

The Alliance for Securing Democracy is a unit of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., which monitors pro-Kremlin activity.

The assertion of police dissatisfaction — which doesn’t appear to be supported by facts — resembles other Kremlin-backed disinformation campaigns that have tried to engender mistrust in Western governments and show that liberal democracies are in decline, Schafer says.

Just ignore the fact liberal democracies are in decline the world over — they’ve actually never been stronger!

The “Alliance for Securing Democracy” and their entirely fraudulent Hamilton 68 dashboardwas started by Bill Kristol, CIA officials and other Democrat neocons and they refuse to identify any of the alleged “Russian trolls” they claim to be tracking.

Any “journalist” who cites their dashboard as a legitimate source is not a journalist but a government propagandist.

The future our “liberal” rulers want is one where all non-establishment media is censored into oblivion and all popular revolts against their rule are pawned off on the Russkies.

Everyone you see in these videos are just Russian bots.

Buzzfeed “journalist” Ryan Broderick last week blamed the protests entirely on a Facebook algorithm change which favored local news:

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These people are insane.

Ignore The Never Trump Losers And Vote Republican

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By Kurt Schlichter

The midterms are tomorrow, and the Never Trump conservatives’ latest collective self-own is their insistence that we vote for Democrats because of … get this … conservatism. Well, “ahoy” to that, you cruise-pushing goofs.

Pardon me if I doubt the savvy political insights of the guys who told us, “You know who’d make a great candidate? Jeb!” I just can’t get my mind around anyone who thinks Jeb! is the answer to any question except, “What political superstar has three letters plus an exclamation point, blew a couple hundred million bucks for like one delegate, and will have ‘Low Energy’ carved on his tombstone?” 

Here’s what I think happens Tuesday, and I could be totally wrong – though being wrong would entitle me to be an honorary Never Trumper. I think we take three or more seats in the Senate and keep the House. I think we keep power in Washington in the hands of the conservative party. And the Never Trump conservatives think this would be a terrible outcome.

They are the worst.

Shockingly, Never Trumpers are still a thing, at least in DC, New York and the nether regions of the internet, but no one is sure of why. It’s certainly not by popular demand; nobody likes them except weirdos, loser, mutations, and MSNBCNN bookers.

Of necessity, they have abandoned their old grift – “We are totally committed to winning victories for conservatism!” – in the wake of Trump singlehandedly fulfilling all the conservative fantasies that had previously graced the letters section of The Weekly Standard and its cruise-curious ilk: “I never thought it would happen to me, but then my president ditched the climate scam agreement and cut taxes! Hot!”

But Trump made our erotic right-wing dreams come true after decades of Fredocon teasing. And now no one calls the Never Trumpers anymore, and when they try their old pals, they get a text back: “New phone who dis?”

So now they have their new grift. They are the keepers of the conservaflame, the True Conservatives™ who plan to rescue us from the success of the Trump Era. And as part of that plan to get their principled conservatism on, they have stumbled onto a bold and innovative strategy: Help liberals win.

Im skeptical, but Chet thinks that’s a clever move. Chet is, of course, my unicorn.

Now, they have tried this bold gambit before. Remember how in 2016 we were instructed that real right-wingers must vote for Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit because…reasons? Here’s how that cunning stratagem was supposed to play out:

  1. Vote for Hillary instead of Trump.
  2. Liberals finish their fundamental transformation of America into Venezuela del Norte.
  3. Hey look, a squirrel!
  4. Conservatism is victorious.

Shockingly, people seemed resistant to this kind of outside-the-envelope thinking. But that has not stopped the Resistance Right from going for round two.

At least Wile E. Coyote learned not to stand under the same Acme anvil twice.

So now the kept-cons on the pages of the New York Times and the tiresome trolls on Twitter are again demanding that tomorrow we vote against conservative candidates and in favor of liberal ones to somehow make conservatives win. Hmmmm. I have several questions, among them, “What the hell is wrong with you people?”

But hey – Libs eat up the Benedict Kristol act and the conservaquislings get plenty of TV hits from their pals in the media dumping on actual cons. Isn’t that the important thing?

Not to actual Republican voters, but then we were never really important to these clowns.

It’s so transparently dumb that you wonder if they actually expect anyone to fall for it. In what world is giving Claire McCaskill another term going to help conservatism? How, exactly, is that supposed to work? Is letting her and her pinko pals run rampant over our civil liberties and America’s standing in the world going to get us Republicans so motivated that we … wait for it … elect someone who will do all the conservative things that Donald Trump is currently doing?

I’m not sure they have thought this out. It’s like merely posing a conservatives is enough. Isn’t it kind of alarming to realize that a significant portion of the allegedly intellectual wing of conservatism has bought into the idea of ideological participation trophies, yet here we are.

At least Wile E. Coyote learned not to stand under the same Acme anvil twice.

So now the kept-cons on the pages of the New York Times and the tiresome trolls on Twitter are again demanding that tomorrow we vote against conservative candidates and in favor of liberal ones to somehow make conservatives win. Hmmmm. I have several questions, among them, “What the hell is wrong with you people?”

But hey – Libs eat up the Benedict Kristol act and the conservaquislings get plenty of TV hits from their pals in the media dumping on actual cons. Isn’t that the important thing?

Not to actual Republican voters, but then we were never really important to these clowns.

It’s so transparently dumb that you wonder if they actually expect anyone to fall for it. In what world is giving Claire McCaskill another term going to help conservatism? How, exactly, is that supposed to work? Is letting her and her pinko pals run rampant over our civil liberties and America’s standing in the world going to get us Republicans so motivated that we … wait for it … elect someone who will do all the conservative things that Donald Trump is currently doing?

I’m not sure they have thought this out. It’s like merely posing a conservatives is enough. Isn’t it kind of alarming to realize that a significant portion of the allegedly intellectual wing of conservatism has bought into the idea of ideological participation trophies, yet here we are.

Or worse, maybe they have thought this out and just don’t care. They used to sneer “But Gorsuch!” at us when we pointed to that huge victory, as if success in advancing conservatism was not the only metric that mattered. But what matters to these people, these more-conservative-than-thou dopes who somehow convinced themselves that you can actual win by losing, is their own puny stature.

Maybe they want us to be defeated because they figure that if the movement loses, like it used to, we will turn on Trump and cast him out, leaving a vacuum that needs to be filled. And who would they propose fill that void? Oh wait, I have a guess. They imagine we’ll trash our own party and come crawling back to them, begging them to take their rightful places again on the bow of the cruise ship S.S. Conservative, Inc., shouting “I’m the king of the world, or at least of my little corner of it here at my desk in the Center for Conservative Coalitions of Liberty ‘N Eagles ‘N Families!”

All we have to do is take their advice and lose.

Nah.

I’m not worried that our voters will take their advice, because as my new book Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy, explains we Normals are woke to this particular nonsense,. The failure of their failures to do anything but fail will not fail to ensure that they fail at talking us out of voting our self-interest, just like they’ve failed at everything else, except failing.

 

FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP OF ALTERNATIVE MEDIA “JUST THE BEGINNING,” WARNS TOP NEOCON INSIDER

Facebook Censorship Of Alternative Media "Just The Beginning," Warns Top Neocon Insider

“We are just starting to push back.”

Max Blumenthal and Jeb Sprague | GrayZoneProject.com – OCTOBER 29, 2018

At a Berlin security conference, hardline neocon Jamie Fly appeared to claim some credit for the recent coordinated purge of alternative media…

This October, Facebook and Twitter deleted the accounts of hundreds of users, including many alternative media outlets maintained by American users. Among those wiped out in the coordinated purge were popular sites that scrutinized police brutality and U.S. interventionism, like The Free Thought Project, Anti-Media, and Cop Block, along with the pages of journalists like Rachel Blevins.

Facebook claimed that these pages had “broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” However, sites like The Free Thought Project were verified by Facebook and widely recognized as legitimate sources of news and opinion. John Vibes, an independent reporter who contributed to Free Thought, accused Facebook of “favoring mainstream sources and silencing alternative voices.”

In comments published here for the first time, a neoconservative Washington insider has apparently claimed a degree of credit for the recent purge — and promised more takedowns in the near future.

“Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system,” remarked Jamie Fly, a senior fellow and director of the Asia program at the influential think tank the German Marshall Fund, which is funded by the U.S. government and NATO.

“They can invent stories that get repeated and spread through different sites. So we are just starting to push back. Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning.”

Fly went on to complain that “all you need is an email” to set up a Facebook or Twitter account, lamenting the sites’ accessibility to members of the general public. He predicted a long struggle on a global scale to fix the situation, and pointed out that to do so would require constant vigilance.

Fly made these stunning comments to Jeb Sprague, who is a visiting faculty member in sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara and co-author of this article. The two spoke during a lunch break at a conference on Asian security organized by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin, Germany.

In the tweet below, Fly is the third person from the left who appears seated at the table.

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The remarks by Fly — “we are just starting to push back” — seemed to confirm the worst fears of the alternative online media community. If he was to be believed, the latest purge was motivated by politics, not spam prevention, and was driven by powerful interests hostile to dissident views, particularly where American state violence is concerned.

JAMIE FLY, RISE OF A NEOCON CADRE

Jamie Fly is an influential foreign policy hardliner who has spent the last year lobbying for the censorship of “fringe views” on social media.Over the years, he has advocated for a military assault on Iran, a regime change war on Syria, and hiking military spending to unprecedented levels. He is the embodiment of a neoconservative cadre.

Like so many second-generation neocons, Fly entered government by burrowing into mid-level positions in George W. Bush’s National Security Council and Department of Defense.

In 2009, he was appointed director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a rebranded version of Bill Kristol’s Project for a New American Century, or PNAC. The latter outfit was an umbrella group of neoconservative activists that first made the case for an invasion of Iraq as part of a wider project of regime change in countries that resisted Washington’s sphere of influence.

By 2011, Fly was advancing the next phase in PNAC’s blueprint by clamoring for military strikes on Iran. “More diplomacy is not an adequate response,” he argued. A year later, Fly urged the US to “expand its list of targets beyond the [Iranian] nuclear program to key command and control elements of the Republican Guard and the intelligence ministry, and facilities associated with other key government officials.”

Fly soon found his way into the senate office of Marco Rubio, a neoconservative pet project, assuming a role as his top foreign policy advisor. Amongst other interventionist initiatives, Rubio has taken the lead in promoting harsh economic sanctions targeting Venezuela, even advocating for a U.S. military assault on the country. When Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign floundered amid a mass revolt of the Republican Party’s middle American base against the party establishment, Fly was forced to cast about for new opportunities.

He found them in the paranoid atmosphere of Russiagate that formed soon after Donald Trump’s shock election victory.

PROPORNOT SPARKS THE ALTERNATIVE MEDIA PANIC

A journalistic insider’s account of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Shattered, revealed that “in the days after the election, Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss. Her top advisers were summoned the following day, according to the book, “to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up … Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

Less than three weeks after Clinton’s defeat, the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg published a dubiously sourced report headlined, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news.’”The article hyped up a McCarthyite effort by a shadowy, anonymously run organization called PropOrNot to blacklist some 200 American media outlets as Russian “online propaganda.”

The alternative media outfits on the PropOrNot blacklist included some of those recently purged by Facebook and Twitter, such as The Free Thought Project and Anti-Media. Among the criteria PropOrNot identified as signs of Russian propaganda were “Support for policies like Brexit, and the breakup of the EU and Eurozone” and “Opposition to Ukrainian resistance to Russia and Syrian resistance to Assad.” PropOrNot called for “formal investigations by the U.S. government” into the outlets it had blacklisted.

According to Craig Timberg, the Washington Post correspondent who uncritically promoted the media suppression initiative, Propornot was established by “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” Timberg quoted a figure associated with the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, Andrew Weisburd, and cited a report he wrote with his colleague, Clint Watts, on Russian meddling.

Timberg’s piece on PropOrNot was promoted widely by former top Clinton staffers and celebrated by ex-Obama White House aide Dan Pfeiffer as “the biggest story in the world.” But after a wave of stinging criticism, including in the pages of the New Yorker, the article was amended with an editor’s note stating, “The [Washington] Post… does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet.”

PropOrNot had been seemingly exposed as a McCarthyite sham, but the concept behind it — exposing online American media outlets as vehicles for Kremlin “active measures” — continued to flourish.

THE BIRTH OF THE RUSSIAN BOT TRACKER — WITH U.S. GOVERNMENT MONEY

By August, a new, and seemingly related initiative appeared out of the blue, this time with backing from a bipartisan coalition of Democratic foreign policy hands and neocon Never Trumpers in Washington. Called the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), the outfit aimed to expose how supposed Russian Twitter bots were infecting American political discourse with divisive narratives. It featured a daily “Hamilton 68” online dashboard that highlighted the supposed bot activity with easily digestible charts. Conveniently, the site avoided naming any of the digital Kremlin influence accounts it claimed to be tracking.

The initiative was immediately endorsed by John Podestathe founder of the Democratic Party think tank the Center for American Progress, and former chief of staff of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Julia Ioffe, the Atlantic’s chief Russiagate correspondent, promoted the bot tracker as “a very cool tool.”

Unlike PropOrNot, the ASD was sponsored by one of the most respected think tanks in Washington, the German Marshall Fund, which had been founded in 1972 to nurture the special relationship between the US and what was then West Germany.

The German Marshall Fund is substantially funded by Western governments, and largely reflects their foreign-policy interests. Its top two financial sponsors, at more than $1 million per year each, are the U.S. government’s soft-power arm the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the German Foreign Office (known in German as the Auswärtiges Amt). The U.S. State Department also provides more than half a million dollars per year, as do the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the foreign affairs ministries of Sweden and Norway. It likewise receives at least a quarter of a million dollars per year from NATO.

The US government and NATO are top donors to the German Marshall Fund

Though the German Marshall Fund did not name the donors that specifically sponsored its Alliance for Securing Democracy initiative, it hosts a who’s who of bipartisan national-security hardliners on the ASD’s advisory council, providing the endeavor with the patina of credibility. They range from neocon movement icon Bill Kristol to former Clinton foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan and ex-CIA director Michael Morell.

Jamie Fly, a German Marshall Fund fellow and Asia specialist, emerged as one of the most prolific promoters of the new Russian bot tracker in the media. Together with Laura Rosenberger, a former foreign policy aide to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Fly appeared in a series of interviews and co-authored several op-eds emphasizing the need for a massive social media crackdown.

During a March 2018 interview on C-Span, Fly complained that “Russian accounts” were “trying to promote certain messages, amplify certain content, raise fringe views, pit Americans against each other, and we need to deal with this ongoing problem and find ways through the government, through tech companies, through broader society to tackle this issue.”

Yet few of the sites on PropOrNot’s blacklist, and none of the alternative sites that were erased in the recent Facebook purge that Fly and his colleagues take apparent credit for, were Russian accounts. Perhaps the only infraction they could have been accused of was publishing views that Fly and his cohorts saw as “fringe.”

What’s more, the ASD has been forced to admit that the mass of Twitter accounts it initially identified as “Russian bots” were not necessarily bots — and may not have been Russian either.

“I’M NOT CONVINCED ON THIS BOT THING”

A November 2017 investigation by Max Blumenthal, a co-author of this article, found that the ASD’s Hamilton 68 dashboard was the creation of “a collection of cranks, counterterror retreads, online harassers and paranoiacs operating with support from some of the most prominent figures operating within the American national security apparatus.”

These figures included the same George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security fellows — Andrew Weisburd and Clint Watts — that were cited as experts in the Washington Post’s article promoting PropOrNot.

Weisburd, who has been described as one of the brains behind the Hamilton 68 dashboard, once maintained a one-man, anti-Palestinian web monitoring initiative that specialized in doxxing left-wing activists, Muslims and anyone he considered “anti-American.” More recently, he has taken to Twitter to spout off murderous and homophobic fantasies about Glenn Greenwald, the editor of the Intercept — a publication the ASD flagged without explanation as a vehicle for Russian influence operations.

Watts, for his part, has testified before Congress on several occasions to call on the government to “quell information rebellions” with censorious measures including “nutritional labels” for online media. He has received fawning publicity from corporate media and been rewarded with a contributor role for NBC on the basis of his supposed expertise in ferreting out Russian disinformation.

Clint Watts has urged Congress to “quell information rebellions”

However, under questioning during a public event by Grayzone contributor Ilias Stathatos, Watts admitted that substantial parts of his testimony were false, and refused to provide evidence to support some of his most colorful claims about malicious Russian bot activity.

In a separate interview with Buzzfeed, Watts appeared to completely disown the Hamilton 68 bot tracker as a legitimate tool. “I’m not convinced on this bot thing,” Watts confessed. He even called the narrative that he helped manufacture “overdone,” and admitted that the accounts Hamilton 68 tracked were not necessarily directed by Russian intelligence actors.

“We don’t even think they’re all commanded in Russia — at all. We think some of them are legitimately passionate people that are just really into promoting Russia,” Watts conceded.

But these stunning admissions did little to slow the momentum of the coming purge.

ENTER THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL

In his conversation with Sprague, the German Marshall Fund’s Fly stated that he was working with the Atlantic Council in the campaign to purge alternative media from social media platforms like Facebook.

The Atlantic Council is another Washington-based think tank that serves as a gathering point for neoconservatives and liberal interventionists pushing military aggression around the globe. It is funded by NATO and repressive, US-allied governments including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Turkey, as well as by Ukrainian oligarchs like Victor Pynchuk.

This May, Facebook announced a partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) to “identify, expose, and explain disinformation during elections around the world.”

The Atlantic Council’s DFRLab is notorious for its zealous conflation of legitimate online dissent with illicit Russian activity, embracing the same tactics as PropOrNot and the ASD.

Ben Nimmo, a DFRLab fellow who has built his reputation on flushing out online Kremlin influence networks, embarked on an embarrassing witch hunt this year that saw him misidentify several living, breathing individuals as Russian bots or Kremlin “influence accounts.” Nimmo’s victims included Mariam Susli, a well-known Syrian-Australian social media personality, the famed Ukrainian concert pianist Valentina Lisitsa, and a British pensioner named Ian Shilling.

In an interview with Sky News, Shilling delivered a memorable tirade against his accusers.

“I have no Kremlin contacts whatsoever; I do not know any Russians, I have no contact with the Russian government or anything to do with them,” he exclaimed.

“I am an ordinary British citizen who happens to do research on the current neocon wars which are going on in Syria at this very moment.”

With the latest Facebook and Twitter purges, ordinary citizens like Shilling are being targeted in the open, and without apology. The mass deletions of alternative media accounts illustrate how national security hardliners from the German Marshall Fund and Atlantic Council (and whoever was behind PropOrNot) have instrumentalized the manufactured panic around Russian interference to generate public support for a wider campaign of media censorship.

In his conversation in Berlin with Sprague, Fly noted with apparent approval that, “Trump is now pointing to Chinese interference in the 2018 election.” As the mantra of foreign interference expands to a new adversarial power, the clampdown on voices of dissent in online media is almost certain to intensify.

As Fly promised, “This is just the beginning.”

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