Wednesday, September 02, 2015


The latest on the Jeff Epstein case. I'll admit it: I haven't yet heard this podcast, but I'm told that it offers some fresh material.

Big lie. Did several Democratic senators vote in favor of the Iran deal because Iran bribed them? That's the story pushed by David Horowotiz' group and republished by any number of right-wing bloggers. As it turns out, the accusation is pure bullshit, granted a rare Pants On Fire rating by Politifact.

There was no bribe. There were some not-particularly-hefty campaign contributions from a group that represents Iranian-Americans, the vast majority of whom would prefer to see the current Iranian government replaced by a democracy. The same interest group has given money to Republicans. Almost needless to say, if every campaign contribution were construed as a "bribe," then we'd have no politicians left. (Some of my readers would approve of that outcome.)

Why does anyone continue to pay any attention to Horowitz or his confederates-in-craziness?

The real evil is being done by groups like The National Endowment for Democracy, The American Enterprise Institute, and The Committee on the Present Danger. There's also something called the Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, which turns out to be a front group for AIPAC. For more, see here.

Despite the best efforts of these bar sinisters, the Iran deal is going through.

James O'Keefe is at it again. Here's another well-known liar who simply will not go away. O'Keefe runs hidden cameras at Hillary Clinton campaign rallies, looking for every possible instance that might be construed by the right-wing propaganda machine as an impropriety. He announced this campaign at a press conference.

One journalist, cognizant of O'Keefe's own incredibly shady history, asked: "Is this a joke?"

For more details about just how shady this guy is, check out the NYT coverage at the other end of that link. O'Keefe also received prominent mention in an amusing Cracked piece titled "5 Successful People Who Everyone Forgets Are Exposed Frauds." Jim-Boy is right up there with Peter Popoff (fraudulent faith healer), David Barton (the right's go-to guy for bogus history), fake medium Theresa Caputo and demon-hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Great company you keep, Jimmy!

The ISIS lie. Marcy Wheeler discusses David Petraeus' new idea (which is really an old idea): Use the Nusra front as a bulwark against ISIS. Of course, Nusra = Al Qaeda.
But I’m most interested in this claim:
Petraeus was the CIA director in early 2011 when the Syrian civil war erupted. At the time, he along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly urged the Obama administration to work with moderate opposition forces. The U.S. didn’t, and many of those groups have since steered toward jihadist groups like the Nusra Front, which are better equipped and have had more success on the battlefield.
While it is true that Obama did not systematically arm rebels in Syria in 2011, it is also a public fact that the CIA was watching (and at least once doing more than that) Qatar and Saudi Arabia move arms from Libya before Petraeus’ departure in 2012, and Obama approved a covert finding to arm “moderate” rebels in April 2013, with CIA implementing that plan in June.

That’s all public and confirmed.

So how is it that we once again are pretending that the CIA — the agency Petraeus led as it oversaw a disastrous intervention in Libya that contributed to radicalization both there and in Syria — didn’t arm purported moderates who turned out not to be?

In other words, the story here should be, “David Petraeus, after overseeing a series of failed training efforts and covert efforts that led to increased radicalization, wants to try again.”
Let's admit it: All of this nonsense about a moderate opposition to the Assad regime is pure fantasy (to use President Obama's terminology). Let's not fall for this revisionist historical line -- pushed by Hillary, Panetta and Petraeus -- that there were masses of moderates who were ready to take up arms against Assad only to be ignored by Barack Obama.

The administration aided the jihadists because the jihadists had numbers, motivation and muscle. Yes, it is true that the DC did not fund the Islamists directly; Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Sunny powers did the dirty work. But everyone knows that when we wage covert war, we use proxies. That's the way we have played the game for more than 60 years.

ISIS was a creation of our allies -- and thus, in a very real sense, ISIS was created by us. We could have strangled the demon-child in its crib had we so desired. We turned against ISIS only when they went rampaging into Iraq. They were supposed to stay focused on Assad.

That's what really happened. Don't be misled by bullshit.

Ha'aretz portrays the IDF as a fascist fighting force. Why is Ha'aretz allowed to print truths that are forbidden to American (or British) journalists? Any American journalist or opinion writer who offered up the exact same text would be labelled an anti-Semite.

Donald Trump cheats at golf. I'm not surprised, and I don't really care. What I do care about is the double standard: If (say) Bill Clinton cheated at golf, every right-winger on the radio would be screaming louder than Black Bolt with a stubbed toe. Regnery would put out an insta-book titled Demon on the Green: The Arrogance of Megalomania.

(Does Regnery still put out books like that? Or has the great Propaganda River found new ways to flow?)
David Petraus is currently in Australia trying to drum up support for Australia to send fighter aircraft to Syria in a war against ISIS:

"To be sure, ISIS is an enemy of Bashar al-Assad and also of the moderate opposition that we have been trying to support and that we have to support ultimately to defeat ISIS and, by the way, Jabhat al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate, the Khorasan group established to try to project terrorism into Europe and the United States," he said.

Notice the phrasing, as if al Nusra is some kind of offshoot of Khorosan.

It's never too early to start stocking up for Christmas. Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It's off to Tehran we go.
I keep thinking: If someone had told me on September 12, 2001, that the day would come when a man who headed the CIA would recommend working with Al Qaeda -- how would I have responded?
I listened to the Epstein podcast a few days ago. It was interesting but I didn't learn very much new. I find that very few writers, (whether newspaper, blogger, YouTube etc) are able to bring these pederests networks into the present. It all happened years ago. It seems obvious that there is a NETWORK. So, how does that operate and who is involved today? I would say it crosses party lines (totally irrelevant) and that most states have an intelligence network which keeps the thing afloat.
In much the same way Batman needed the Joker in order to justify his existence, the war machine and its fascist leaders need terrorist threats to justify theirs. The day no terrorist threats exist is the day people realize they're financing their own oppression, and our rulers certainly won't stand for that.
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