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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Trump, terror and the coming coup

Many thanks to John Titus for turning me on to this incredibly important piece. I hope that he will not mind extensive quotation. Hit the link and study the whole thing -- and then study his sources; nothing else you read today will be of comparable importance.
Three major publications are out this week that suggest we should be ready for a running coup, a planned terror attack and the subsequent power grab by Bannon and Trump. These publications are the Canberra Times out of Australia, CNN online, and The New Yorker. Not exactly radical rags.
Here's CNN, warning of an impending coup:
The confusion and chaos generated at the bureaucratic and individual level by Trump’s most spectacular executive order — his ban of individuals from selected predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States — came in part from its sudden announcement. From enforcers to the public, many were thrown off guard.

Welcome to the shock event, designed precisely to jar the political system and civil society, causing a disorientation and disruption among the public and the political class that aids the leader in consolidating his power.

Those who still refuse to take Trump seriously cite his incompetence for the rough start in office. Yet this blitzkrieg was intentional. “Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact … Shock to the system. And he’s just getting started” his counselor Kellyanne Conway tweeted Saturday.”
As Titus notes, this analysis owes much to the basic idea driving The Shock Doctrine. I will confess that I had my problems with Naomi Klein's work on first glance. ("We're going over the Cameron thing again?" ) But that book and documentary seem prescient now.
“As Conway implies, these first days of the Trump administration could be considered a prologue to a bigger drama, and one that reflects the thinking of Trump and Bannon alike. From their actions and pronouncements, we cannot exclude an intention to carry out a type of coup.

Many may raise their eyebrows at my use of this word, which brings to mind military juntas in faraway countries who use violence and the element of surprise to gain power. Our situation is different. Trump gained power legally but this week has provided many indications that his inner circle intends to shock or strike at the system, using the resulting spaces of chaos and flux to create a kind of government within the government: one beholden only to the chief executive.”
Ryan Lizza, writing in the New Yorker, predicts Big Wedding II almost as boldly as I do. I am considering holding a raffle: The prize will go to the first person who guesses the correct date.
Jack Goldsmith, a former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush Administration, who helped design the post-9/11 anti-terror legal architecture, recently suggested that Trump might actually want his travel ban to be overturned. That way, in the wake of an attack, he can use the judiciary as a bogeyman and justify any new efforts to push through more extreme measures.

I asked Goldsmith and others what the menu of options might be for a President Trump empowered by the justifiable fears Americans would have in the aftermath of a serious attack. “If it is a large and grim attack, he might ask for more surveillance powers inside the U.S. (including fewer restrictions on data mingling and storage and queries), more immigration control power at the border, an exception to Posse Comitatus (which prohibits the military from law enforcement in the homeland), and perhaps more immigration-related detention powers,” Goldsmith wrote in an e-mail. “In the extreme scenario Trump could ask Congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, which would cut off the kind of access to courts you are seeing right now."
Matt Olsen, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center, told me that he didn’t agree with Goldsmith’s suggestion that Trump actually wants the executive order overturned, but he said that he thought Trump was laying the groundwork for arguments he might make after an attack. “This is a win-win for Trump,” Olsen said. “We can assume there will be another terrorist attack in the U.S. If the executive order is in place, he will point to the attack as support for the executive order and the need to expand it to other countries with bad dudes (Muslims). If the executive order has been struck down, Trump will blame judges and Democrats for the attack.”
Todd Breasseale, the former assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, was also alarmed. “I had a very similar discussion with a former senior intel official on this very issue, before Jack’s column,” he told me. “We both wholly believe that Trump needs a bogeyman. But, more importantly, he needs distraction and a blame source. In terrorists, he has his bogeyman. In his control of the prevailing press narrative via tweet, he has distraction. And, in the judiciary, he has a source of blame for why his way was right from the beginning.” Breasseale added, “I am fully confident that an attack is exactly what he wants and needs.”
Emphasis added.

The most difficult of the three articles cited by Titus is the one published by Australia's Canberra Times. This piece offers speculation about Trump's relationship with the "Deep State." Since that term sounds a bit too Alex Jones-y for my taste -- remember when Roger Stone blamed the "Deep State" for that nasty case of "polonium poisoning"? -- I prefer to speak of the military/intelligence community.

That community may fairly be called "the Deep State" in this sense: Administrations come and go, but spooks and War Guys usually stay in their seats. Change does occur in their world, but that change is rarely sudden. One must never speak of that community as though it were a single monolithic entity, for within that community there are differing factions, differing ideologies, differing loyalties.

Trump -- being the candidate of Alex Jones and other right-wing conspiracy buffs (most of whom are easily-gulled simpletons) -- portrays himself the antidote to this Deep State. But Trump is no outsider. Or rather: Steve Bannon is no outsider.

The Breitbart empire has long pretended to be antagonistic to the Establishment. Yet Breitbart has always had ties to that very Establishment -- or rather, to a far right faction within it.

A while back, I announced that I was working on a long, long piece that would look into Breitbart's relationship with a segment of the intelligence community. I put off writing that article because -- well, frankly, doing the job right required a lot of work and a lot of thought. Would the effort be worth it? I'm still not sure how many people would pay attention to something so lengthy and abstruse.

While researching that piece, I ended up re-reading many of my earlier posts. (I've reached the age at which one reads older writings with a genuine sense of discovery.) The experience was uncanny. Many unconnected posts turned out to be connected: Without comprehending what I was doing, I had -- over the course of eleven years -- worked on One Big Story, even though I thought I had written a myriad small stories.

Believe it or not, this line of investigation goes back to the "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal, now more than a decade old. If you are feeling ambitious (or masochistic), you may want to read what I wrote about all of that, especially the posts about MZM.

Then read about what happened to MZM.

Then read my posts about the HBGary scandal.

Then read about what happened to that company.

Then read my posts about the death of Michael Hastings.

Then read about how all of the above -- yes, all of it -- links up with the Breitbart crew.

If you go on to do some heavy-duty research, you'll also discover how all of this ties in with Michael Flynn and to the Alt-Right movement.

I have hesitated to emphasize the links between Bannon, Trump and the intelligence community because doing so might be seen as contradicting the narrative that Putin and the FSB control Trump. To be honest, that narrative is hard to reconcile with the thesis that I'm working on. Make no mistake: I remain quite certain that the Putin/Trump link is real, and that liberals are correct when they portray Trump as the toady of the Enemy Without.

Nevertheless, there is also an Enemy Within. Alex Jones and his nitwit brotherhood tout Trumpism as the antidote to the Great American Conspiracy. In fact, Trumpism is the Great American Conspiracy.

And if what I've just said seems outlandish or obscure -- well, now you know why I never completed that article.
If dump is friends with the mob then he must or has an idea of deep state.
The link could be Henry Kissinger

Rex Tillerson was a recommendation by: Jim Baker, Robert Gates, Condi Rice. These three have one thing in common, and that's status as George H.W. Bush surrogates. Obviously Big Oil economic interests, which Bush and Tillerson share, probably plays a role here. But what if there's another reason behind the geostrategic pivot towards Russia?

What if this is an effort to isolate China, as China was isolated from the USSR? Trump has documentably taken considerable advice from Kissinger. My best guess is that the currently dominant faction of the intelligence community (distinct from Brennan is nowhere near as "anti-Russia" as RT and GlobalResearch like to hysterically claim.
I'd add that if true, while in many respects I actually do consider China a more serious rival than Russia considering the risks inherent in the world's oldest continuous civilization collapsing, the Kissingers of the world are tacitly aiding the growth of the Western far-right. Bannon has signaled every intent to support the National Front in France, and Breitbart has given that Vichy France-descended party favorable press.

This is a role akin to Franz Von Papen and the Prussian conservatives in Nazi Germany, who saw a role for fascism in their national and economic realpolitik calculation. Ultimately they were struck against as threats to the Fuhrer's power like everyone else, and those visions of renewed Prussian industrial dominance through the conduit of Nazism ended in Germany rended in two. But they certainly accomplished their goal of preventing another effort at workers' revolution, and made a killing for a few short years.

The only hard thing to reconcile with this are George H.W. Bush's endorsement of Clinton, along with the attempted spoiler campaign of CIA officer Evan McMullin (representing the disproportionate CIA representation of people who wear funny underwear due to their foreign language skills and low blackmailability), honestly. These do seem like CIA discomfort with Trump beyond the Brennan Harvard-liberal wing. But with the Tillerson advice, Bush certainly has displayed no problem working with Trump, meaning he's an acceptable fallback.

And I'm not sure it was a fallback for Kissinger, the Russia pivot is directly from his playbook. Let alone the Giuliani-associated conservatives in the New York FBI. I'd also be curious about the internal workings of the NSA, something we know little about despite the Snowden revelations. With his promise to break into Apple, Trump essentially promised the NSA a blank check.
I find "Deep State" and "Deep Politics" far more evocative than either "military/intelligence community" or "military/industrial/intelligence/financial complex." I tend to favor "Deep State," frankly, because I usually footnote the term by referencing Mike Lofgren; citing a 28-year Republican Congressional staffer as the source for the term works wonders to shut down pre-emptively the objections of various conservative relatives and former coworkers. (Similarly, I don't use "Deep Politics" as often, even though I think it's probably a more accurate term, simply because Peter Dale Scott's c.v. may appear pinkish to the jaundiced eye.)

Your reluctance to use either raises an interesting concern: Many of the right's victories have been the result of or at least greatly facilitated by their success in commandeering the language, from "pro-life" to "fake news." Typically, the left acquiesces, either abandoning the term altogether or substituting, as in your example, a technically correct but emotionally unappealing phrase. At some point, someone needs to reclaim the dialectic rather than allow the opposition to define the terms of our debate.

P.S. The Lofgren link above is a two-fer: An essay by Lofgren, posted on Bill Moyers' site.
I have a question not related to the post though. Can the trump administration(funny) go around the court by having the state department give orders to embassies in certain countries not to issue visas? They can call it anything other than ban. Would the court be able to interfere if it happens.
To clarify further, there are all sorts of administrative bureaucratic stuff can be made up to justify a thing.
I would like to thank Harry Reid. Without his shenanigans-Tom Price and Jeff Sessions and Nancy Devoss would never be confirmed.

It also means any President-both republican and democrat in the future-will be able to appoint cabinet member for specific agenda's.

Thank You Harry.
Fascism needs blood. There are likely to be some big "terrorist" attacks - that is obvious given Trump's urgently repeated insistence that something must be done and that the judges and the court system are getting in his way. But there will also be massacres carried out explicitly and openly by the Trump-Bannon regime or those who are in tune with its aims at a local level. And one of THOSE massacres may come first. Personally I think that is more likely.

The murdered people might for example be black or Hispanic, or a boatful of refugees, or they may be eco protestors or "Occupiers" or Muslims or whoever. They could be almost anyone really - because the message will be "This is what these punks get. And I'll tell you what, folks, they're going to get MORE. Right NOW. I'm signing the orders. This is big stuff."

In this scenario, the more lardarsed (though still gun-toting) regime supporters can respond by going "yeah". It's the kind of thing they've wanted for years. I live in Britain and you can see the glint in older Powellites' eyes when they talk for example about the Australian government deliberately letting a refugee ship sink. Similarly there's nothing many British service personnel would enjoy more than if "race war" broke out in English cities such as Bradford. Maybe the lardarsed Trump fans, sporting erections after they watch the results of a massacre on the television, can do a few lynchings or drag a couple of local lefties behind a truck. How their beer will taste good for them when they get back that night! Whereas those who are more able-bodied, young and mentally bright can sign up to a new force. Bannon and Trump need an SS or SA, and they and their backers intend to get one.

So I am saying that what they need and plan includes

1) massacres both in the name of the regime and ostensibly by opponents

2) reforming the existing court system (suspending habeas corpus sounds like it's on the agenda)

3) building (fast) a force along the lines of the SS or SA which acts both with legal force and outside of the law ("who gives a fuck about law any more?" this is the Game of Thrones; this is Reddit; this is Pepe the Frog)

4) cheapening human life even more than it's already been cheapened: allowing or compelling prison officers, policemen and officers in the new SS-SA, for example, to kill those who diss them, with little comeback (I realise the police already do this a lot in the US, especially against black people; I'm talking about a huge ramp-up)
While I don't disagree with the theory of "I told you so, but you wouldn't listen"…. What if Trumps travel bans had been put in place AND a terrorist threat occurred anyways.
Would not Trump simply state the problem was even worse then imagined and that he was sorry he did not do more?
And in absolute sync: Paul Krugman.

How to Build an Autocracy.
The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism.

I believe George W. Bush (actually Cheney) had enough alliances within the government to pull off a grand show. Also, Cheney was incredibly experienced; he may have been evil but he knew what he wanted and how to get there. He didn't purposely make enemies with every breath he took. To pull off a false flag attack you need at least a goodly portion of the bureaucracy to look the other way. I realize Trump is trying to set up his gam plan (in which a terror attack will be included) but the problem is, he is goofy as hell, and many within the government are not interested in the game he is trying to sell.

I do like what Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer) said about humans being the only group that will follow an unstable pack leader.
There's been a remarkable pussyfooting avoidance of using the word "dictator" about Trump in the mainstream media.
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