Wednesday, March 22, 2017

US Terror-Bombing Massacres Civilians

US Terror-Bombing Massacres Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

US terror-bombing in the battle for Mosul has nothing to do with liberating the city, everything to with destroying it.

A similar strategy is employed in Syria, smashing vital infrastructure on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.

America created and/or supports terrorist groups in both countries and elsewhere - waging war OF terror, not on it. 

Civilians in harm’s way are being indiscriminately massacred, residential neighborhoods turned to rubble, terror-bombing burying entire families beneath the wreckage of their homes - media scoundrels ignoring high crimes demanding accountability.

Last week’s mosque bombing in western Aleppo province slaughtered over four dozen worshipers, injured many more. Pentagon authorities lied, claiming an al-Qaeda structure was targeted, not a mosque. Its rubble and death toll proved otherwise.

Overnight Tuesday, US terror-bombing massacred over 30 Syrian civilians about 20 miles west of Raqqa, many others injured, according to residents and eye-witnesses.

Bodies are still being pulled from rubble. A school was struck hosting around 50 displaced families. Two days earlier, US terror-bombing slaughtered 30 civilians in Matab al-Borashid village near Raqqa, including eight children and six women.

In Iraq and Syria, defenseless civilians are being massacred on the phony pretext of combating ISIS - US war crimes unreported in the West.

Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter and destruction follow. Endless US imperial wars rage in Syria, Iraq and other theaters - horrors inflicted on millions ignored by media scoundrels.

Trump wants tens of billions more dollars budgeted for militarism and warmaking. America gives new meaning to the term rogue state.

Since Pentagon warplanes began terror-bombing Syria and Iraq in 2014, thousands of civilians were slaughtered or injured, numerous others displaced, vital infrastructure in both countries destroyed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Master Spider David Rockefeller Passes

Master Spider David Rockefeller Passes

by Stephen Lendman

On March 20, billionaire predatory banker David Rockefeller died in his sleep at age 101.

Financial commentator Hans Schicht earlier said “(w)hat has been good for (David) Rockefeller  has been a curse for the United States. Its citizens, government and country are indebted to the hilt, enslaved to his banks.”

“The country’s industrial force was lost to overseas.” Banker interests are served at the expense of enormous harm to most people.

In 1994, Rockefeller said “(w)e are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and nations will accept the new world order.”

He failed to explain his agenda served US-led Western interests exclusively - including endless imperial wars, color revolutions, assassinating foreign leaders, putting corporate interests over the general welfare, and police state crackdowns on nonbelievers.

In his Memoirs, Rockefeller explained his deplorable agenda as follows:

“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents, such as my encounter with (Fidel) Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions.” 

“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

From 1969 - 1981, he was Chase Manhattan Bank’s chairman, a banking giant of its day, far more formidable now as America’s second largest predatory banking colossus - expanded through mergers and acquisitions.

Privately, he influenced every US president since Dwight Eisenhower and other top government officials. He declined positions as Fed chairman and Treasury secretary, preferring a private sector role.

In 1973, he founded the Trilateral Commission, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski its charter members, the group created because of the threat of too much democracy, wanting it undermined.

He was a founding Bilderberg Group member, comprised of the world’s most powerful figures, its mission to supplant nation-state sovereignty with corporate-controlled global governance, based on ruler-serf dominance, privilege served exclusively at the expense of exploiting all others everywhere.

In 1949, he became a Council on Foreign Relations member, in 1970 its chairman, later its honorary chairman. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. once called CFR a “front organization (for) the heart of the American Establishment.”

Rockefeller had close CIA ties. He supported ruthless despots in Iran, Iraq (before  Saddam fell out of favor), Chile and elsewhere. He backed Israeli apartheid viciousness.

His philanthropy was self-serving. He deplored peace, equity, justice and democratic governance.

His dark side reflects a legacy of predation, profiting from human misery.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

America and Israel Threaten World Peace

America and Israel Threaten World Peace

by Stephen Lendman

Multiple global flashpoints should terrify everyone. They’re hugely dangerous along Russia’s border with Eastern European countries, in the South China Sea, in Ukraine, in Syria, Iraq, and other US war theaters, and possible Israeli war on Lebanon and/or Gaza.

America and Israel perpetuate endless wars, related violence, chaos and repression. Peace and stability defeat their rogue agendas.

Days earlier, Israel activated around 2,000 reserve soldiers. Along with regular IDF troops, they’ve been involved in military exercises since Sunday, simulating war on Gaza.

Is another one planned? IDF chief of staff General Gadi Eisenkot said the drill was called to “assess the preparedness” for war.

If launched, “we will know how to surprise in every way to prevent enemy achievements” and accomplish objectives as quickly as possible, he said.

Israel prepared contingency plans to evacuate around 250,000 civilians from communities bordering Lebanon and Gaza.

The IDF repeatedly targets the Strip by terror-bombing and cross-border incursions, other pre-dawn incidents on Wednesday.

Drones and ground forces targeted Rafah in southern Gaza, killing one Palestinian youth, injuring two others - on the phony pretext of preventing the planting of an explosive device near Israel’s border.

Israeli forces indiscriminately fired on Palestinian farmers in their fields, threatening no one. No injuries were reported.

Since January, multiple airstrikes and cross-border shelling killed four Palestinians, injuring over a dozen others.

Last month, the Mezan Center for Human Rights warned about possible large-scale Israeli aggression on Gaza for the fourth time since December 2008.

It called on the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law.” 

It stressed “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched,” saying it’s “crucial to ensur(e) the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

They’re defenseless and vulnerable to mass casualties again if Israel launches aggression.

Hamas seeks no military confrontation with Israel, its senior official Khalil al-Hayya stressed, adding “we are a bereaved and oppressed people who resist occupation” - their right under international law.

During the latest UN Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Council session in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine Michael Lync called Israel’s occupation “the most malignant” anywhere in the world.

Oppressing millions of people violates core international law principles, he stressed. Intensified crackdowns on human rights activists are intolerable. Gaza’s blockade is flagrantly illegal.

US and Israeli diplomats boycotted the session. Both countries want high crimes committed against Palestinians suppressed.

Rogue states operate this way. America conspires with Israel to permit lawless apartheid viciousness to persist unaccountably.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Netanyahu Vows Continued War on Syria

Netanyahu Vows Continued War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

War in Syria isn’t civil as falsely reported. It’s US launched aggression, aided by NATO, Israel and other rogue regional allies.

Its aim is regime change. Washington wants another imperial trophy. It wants Iran’s government toppled.

It wants regional control along with Israel, weakening or eliminating Russian and Chinese influence in the Middle East.

Imperialism is dirty business, human lives and welfare of no consequence. Millions of casualties attest to US viciousness. Trump seems bent in escalating things on the phony pretext of combating terrorism America supports.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu denied reports about Russia demanding Israel halt airstrikes in Syria, vowing they’ll continue.

Their aim is more about weakening the country than targeting weapons convoys allegedly intended for Hezbollah. 

Pretexts are easy to invent to justify lawlessness. Attacking the territory of another country for any reason other than Security Council authorized self-defense constitutes the highest high crime against peace, a flagrant international law violation.

Netanyahu said he told Putin during his March 9 Moscow visit that Israel’s “policy is consistent. “We will not allow Israel to be attacked from Syrian territory, and we will not tolerate the transfer of advanced weaponry of those entering Syria - Hezbollah - to the extent that we detect it.”

Translation: Israel is allied with Washington’s regime change objective, Syrian territory attacked to advance this aim.

The issue isn’t about “Israel’s national security,” as Netanyahu claims. It reflects its regional hegemonic ambitions - war, instability and aiding terrorist fighters its strategy of choice.

Early Wednesday, Israeli warplanes again terror-bombed Syrian targets. Reports indicated Syrian army posts in Mount Qasioum near Damascus were struck - the fourth such incident in the past week.

Israel apparently wants conflict escalated. It’s goading Syria to respond more forcefully, wanting a convenient pretext to escalate attacks more than already, maybe intending full-scale war, what Damascus and Russia want avoided.

On Monday, Assad told Russian and EU members visiting Damascus he intends trying to resolve years of conflict by combating terrorism and diplomacy.

He urged European parliamentarians to pressure their governments to stop supporting terrorist groups.

Syrian People’s Assembly Speaker Hadiyeh Abbas said “we rely on the European parliamentarians and representatives of the peoples of Europe to correct the wrong European policies towards Syria and enhance cooperation and coordination to combat terrorism since it is the only way to protect the Europeans.”

Escalated Israeli aggression along with increasing numbers of US forces in northern Syria show both countries want endless war continued, not resolution through peace talks.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Washington's Little Known Spy Agency

Washington’s Little Known Spy Agency

by Stephen Lendman

US spying is institutionalized - on anyone, anywhere for any reason or none at all.

Invented national security threats, targeting dissent and whistleblowers, along with challenging press freedom undermine fundamental rights.

In Palko v. Connecticut (1937), the Supreme Court called "(f)reedom of thought the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.”

In Texas v. Johnson (1989), Justice William Brennan, writing for the majority, said “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”

“Thomas Jefferson said “(w)hat country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance.” Free speech and other fundamental rights “cannot be limited without being lost.” 

Former US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall stressed “(a)bove all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression (regardless of its) ideas...subject matter (or) content....Our people are guaranteed the right to express any thought, free from government censorship” - along with having all other constitutional protections.

Unaccountable spying on Americans reflects police state rule, operating lawlessly, watching everyone to assure unchallenged control, wanting unacceptable ideas suppressed.

On March 20, intelligence expert James Bamford discussed a “multibillion-dollar US spy agency you haven’t heard of,” saying:

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is located on a “heavily protected military base some 15 miles south of Washington.”

Few Americans know about its “massive headquarters,” larger than the CIA’s or US Capitol.

Completed in 2011 at a cost of $1.4 billion, the main building measures four football fields long and covers as much ground as two aircraft carriers,” Bamford explained. 

“In 2016, the agency purchased 99 acres in St. Louis to construct additional buildings at a cost of $1.75 billion to accommodate the growing workforce, with 3,000 employees already in the city.”

Early in his administration, Obama didn’t know NGA existed. Bamford calls it “by far the most shadowy” of US spy agencies - subverting constitutional protections to keep America safe for privileged interests at the expense of all others.

NGA allegedly confined its spying overseas. According to Bamford, “there’s reason to believe” Trump will expand its mandate to spy as freely domestically as abroad - including secretive overhead surveillance by satellites and drones.

Concern is growing that technology focused on spying abroad “may soon be (used) on (US) citizens,” said Bamford.

As of 2015, no federal statutory limitations existed to control aerial spying domestically. In 2016, Baltimore police began using drones to conduct secretive spy-in-the-sky surveillance of area residents.

Technology can track everything stationary or moving over an area up to 15-square miles at a time. According to Bamford, two high-tech drones hovering over Manhattan can “observe and follow all outdoor human activity, night and day,” round-the-clock, every day.

Objects “as small as a stick of butter on a plate” can be zoomed in and watched. Technology being developed will “enable drones to remain aloft for years at a time.”

Big Brother-in-the-sky is ominously real, along with its ability to monitor virtually all phone and online communications.

Police states dream of being able to monitor and track everyone in all ways, at all times, giving them control over our lives, freedoms and welfare - in ways Orwell never imagined.

The shocking reality should terrify everyone. Few Americans realize the dangers they face. Public awareness of what’s most important doesn’t exist. 

US-style “democracy” serves its privileged class exclusively, at the expense of everyone else, destroying fundamental rights in the process.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Fox News Legal Analyst Silenced

Fox News Legal Analyst Silenced

by Stephen Lendman

Former law professor, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano was legal analyst for Fox News until silenced over allegations of Obama using Britain’s GCHQ spy agency (its NSA equivalent) to monitor Trump - meaning his phone and online communications.

Whether true or not, it’s possible, arguably likely. London’s Guardian earlier reported GCHQ “secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).”

“The sheer scale of the agency’s ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.”

If the Guardian’s report is accurate, Britain’s GCHQ can spy on virtually anyone’s electronic or phone communications. The NSA and CIA do much the same thing.

Given undemocratic Democrat rage over Trump defeating Hillary last November, party members, very possibly including Obama, along with media scoundrels have gone all-out to delegitimize him - including by insiders leaking classified information, a criminal offense.

Citing unnamed intelligence sources, Napolitano said Obama spied on Trump, using Britain’s GCHQ to avoid leaving his “fingerprints” on what he alleges went on.

GCHQ called his claim “nonsense, utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.” Fox News disavowed his accusation, indefinitely suspending him.

AP News said “(a) person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a personnel matter said Napolitano has been benched and won’t be appearing on the air in the near future. Fox had no immediate comment Monday.”

FBI director James Comey said he found no evidence supporting Trump’s charge. Saying it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Trump said “all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn’t make an opinion on it. You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.”

Obama encouraged spying on world leaders. During his tenure, the NSA was caught monitoring Angela Merkel’s cell phone conversations, reportedly since 2002.

Obama lied saying he knew nothing about it. Numerous other world leaders were spied on, the NSA monitoring their phone and electronic communications.

Russian, Chinese and Iranian leaders are prime targets. France’s Francois Hollande, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and Mexico’s Enrique Nieto were spied on the same ways as Merkel, along with many world leaders.

Given unabated political and scoundrel media anti-Trump rage, wanting him ousted from office, it won’t surprise if credible evidence of subversively spying on him surfaces.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Russia Combats Terrorists America Supports

Russia Combats Terrorists America Supports

by Stephen Lendman

Russia’s agenda is polar opposite America’s. It’s effectively combating terrorists in Syria.

The dynamic on the ground dramatically changed after it intervened in September 2015 at Assad’s request.

America created and supports ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups - why they exist. Washington feeds the monster it claims to oppose.

Trump seamlessly continues the agenda his predecessors began - notably the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama. 

So-called US war on terror is a made-for-media fabricated hoax. Last September, RT quoted an al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) commander saying:

“Yes, the US supports” anti-government fighters in Syria. Washington “support(s) the countries that support us.”

Earlier, Sergey Lavrov said he had no doubt that weapons America sends anti-government forces end up in “terrorists’ hands.”

So-called moderate rebels don’t exist - one of many scoundrel media proliferated Big Lies throughout over six years of US aggression, using terrorist fighters as proxy foot soldiers - supplemented by US terror-bombing and Pentagon forces, lawlessly operating in northern Syria, aiding terrorists, not combating them. 

All fighters opposing Assad are terrorists, largely imported from scores of countries, actively recruited by the CIA and rogue US allies.

US cargo planes airdrop weapons and munitions to anti-government terrorists. Pentagon contractors train ISIS and other terrorists in chemical weapons use. Russia wants this scourge eliminated. America actively supports it.

Russia is the only major power actively seeking diplomatic conflict resolution in Syria. Washington wants endless war continued - regime change its ultimate objective.

It wants US-controlled puppet rule replacing sovereign independent Syrian governance, isolating Iran, targeting it next for regime change, unchallenged US and Israeli regional dominance the ultimate aim, weakening Russia and China at the same time.

Where will it all end? In his 1990 address to a joint congressional session, GHW Bush coined the phrase “New World Order,” preparing the public for Operation Desert Storm in January 1991 and endless wars to follow - today raging in multiple theaters, additional ones likely coming.

What the Pentagon earlier called America’s “long war,” Dick Cheney infamously said conflicts “won’t end in our lifetime.”

Former CIA director James Woolsey said Washington “is engaged in WW IV, and it could last for years.”

It’ll “last considerably longer than either WW I or II” - forever wars the way bipartisan administration and congressional neocons, along with Pentagon commanders planned them.

Russia and China represent the final frontier. Eliminating their sovereign independence would give Washington unchallenged global dominance it seeks.

Perhaps US plans call for nuclear madness to achieve it, risking mass annihilation, everyone affected, the ultimate insanity if launched.

Today is the most perilous time in world history for good reason. Bipartisan lunatics infesting Washington believe nuclear war is winnable.

They’ll perish along with everyone else if these weapons are unleashed like king-sized hand grenades - humanity’s greatest threat.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Lying Machine NYT Calls Trump a Liar

Lying Machine NYT Calls Trump a Liar

by Stephen Lendman

In hurling pejoratives around like manhole covers against targeted nations, groups and individuals, The Times notoriously lies - especially in vilifying Russia and Trump, its two favorite targets.

All politicians lie. It goes with the territory - not according to The NYT, outrageously claiming “George W. Bush didn’t lie when he said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and Obama didn’t lie when he said people who liked their current health insurance could keep it. They made careless statements that proved false.”

Talk about deplorable lying. Obamacare was designed to deny choice to millions at unaffordable prices. 

In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, The Times was the lead instrument of US propaganda, flagrantly breaching journalistic ethics, featuring daily fake news reports, its longstanding practice. 

It substituted willful misinformation for hard truths, a daily drumbeat, supporting naked aggression against a nonbelligerent country based entirely on Big Lies.

In August 1995, Saddam’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, defected to the West. In debriefings, he explained “(a)ll weapons - biological, chemical, missile and nuclear - were destroyed…Nothing remained.”

At the time, the NYT and other US media reported it. CNN’s Brent Sadler asked Kamel: “Can you state here and now - does Iraq still to this day hold weapons of mass destruction?”

Kamel responded “(n)o. Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction. I am being completely honest about this.”

The Times and other media scoundrels explained none of this in the run-up to US naked aggression on a nonbelligerent country threatening no others.

The rest is history. The cradle of civilization was raped and destroyed. Endless violence, chaos and human deprivation replaced peace and stability.

War on Libya, Syria and Yemen followed, more US aggression likely planned.

The Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama are serial liars. Trump is a garden variety one like other politicians.

Lying machine NYT claims “(h)e lies in ways that no American politician ever has before.” It cited examples more fiction than factual.

NYT: “Trump sets out to deceive people.”

Fact: No more than Democrat and Republican party leaders, along with virtually all other congressional members - notably Bernie Sanders, a longstanding con man, guilty of talking out of both sides of his mouth, willfully deceiving supporters.

The Times: “Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign was an attack on the United States.” 

“It’s the kind of national security matter that a president and members of Congress swear to treat with utmost seriousness when they take the oath of office. Yet now it has become the subject of an escalating series of lies by the president and the people who work for him.”

Fact: No Russian or any other type hacking targeted America’s presidential campaign. Verifiable hard evidence showed DNC emails were leaked, likely by disgruntled party insiders opposed to Hillary’s lawless agenda.

Fact: No Trump campaign collusion with Russia occurred. Not a shred of evidence suggests it. Months of FBI investigations uncovered nothing. But the accusation refuses to fade away - nor NYT-led scoundrel media lying.

The Times: “Our president is a liar, and we need to find out how serious his latest lies are.”

All members of Washington’s political establishment lie, notably bipartisan neocons and media scoundrels like The Times.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump v. Televised Congressional Hysteria

Trump v. Televised Congressional Hysteria

by Stephen Lendman

Americans are ill-governed and ill-served by officials at all levels of government - federal, state and local.

On Monday, clear evidence showed it. Disgraceful witch-hunt McCarthyism was on display for viewers tuning in to see. 

Hysterical House Select Committee on Intelligence members disgraced themselves during tediously long testimony by FBI Director James Comey and NSA head Michael Rogers. 

Committee members obsessed over nonexistent Trump ties to Russia, his charges about Obama wiretapping him, nonexistent Moscow US election hacking, Putin bashing, and security leaks.

Comey acknowledged an ongoing classified investigation into alleged Russian interference in America’s presidential election, saying:

“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.” 

“And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” 

“As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”

He offered no further elaboration despite hours of badgering by committee members to explain more.

The proceedings amounted to orchestrated McCarthyism, infamous witch-hunt hysteria, a disgusting display.

Russia was demonized for nonexistent US election hacking. Comey stopped short of suggesting collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow - because of an ongoing investigation he’s not at liberty to discuss.

After months of bashing Russia and Trump, no evidence surfaced of collusion between him, his campaign and Moscow - or proof of Russian US election hacking. None exists, yet baseless accusations persist.

Trump addressed Monday’s proceedings via multiple tweets, saying:

“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!”

“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”

“The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”

“What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians? Also, is it true that the DNC would not let the FBI in to look?”

Last fall Putin asked “is America a banana republic?” Televised Monday proceedings provided more evidence of a politically corrupt system too debauched to fix.

Of greater concern is creating pretexts for war on Russia. House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R. CA) claimed nonexistent “pressing threats posed by the Russian autocrat (sic)” Putin, urging “stronger action against Russian belligerence.”

Stoking conflict between the world’s top nuclear powers is madness. Is this where things are heading? 

Will neocons infesting Washington risk nuclear armageddon to satisfy their lust for unchallenged power? 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Deplorable Trumpcare

Deplorable Trumpcare

by Stephen Lendman

On March 23, House members will vote on the so-called American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) - Trumpcare, the proposed Obamacare replacement measure with little debate.

Instead of providing healthcare on the basis of need, politicized Trumpcare makes it dependent on the ability to pay, legislating enormous harm on the nation’s most vulnerable if enacted into law, leaving an estimated 52 million Americans uninsured by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Fairness, equity and justice aren’t US attributes, especially with a self-serving bipartisan criminal class in Washington running things.

Commenting on proposed Trumpcare, Dr. Adam Gaffney said Speaker Paul Ryan promotes it as “some sort of medical Magna Carta - a brave declaration of healthcare freedom”, saying Americans can take it or leave it as they wish, the latter choice leaving them free “to die uninsured…”

Proposed Trumpcare isn’t “some libertarian healthcare promised land wherein open heart surgeries and rounds of chemo are bartered and traded like tubes of toothpaste - far from it,” said Gaffney.

It’s Obamacare light, making an inequitable system more nightmarish - benefitting business and high-net worth households, while denying millions of Americans the right to essential healthcare, inflicting unacceptable harm on the nation’s most vulnerable.

Trumpcare is “false freedom,” said Gaffney. It’ll afford “freedom to die of health conditions that are amenable to modern medical care, and thereby liberate tens of thousands of people a year off of the face of the planet.”

True healthcare freedom would assure Americans are treated on the basis of need and right to choose their providers.

It would eliminate unaffordable insurance, high deductibles and co-pays. It would assure coverage for everyone unrelated to the ability to pay.

Healthcare is a fundamental human right, not a commodity to be sold like toothpaste or other consumer products.

Billionaire Mark Cuban proposed a constitutional amendment, making healthcare a “right,” saying:

“I think health care should be a right. If there’s a legitimate way to modify the Constitution, I literally think there should be an amendment to the Constitution for healthcare for chronic illnesses and serious injury. We all play the genetic lottery.” 

“I think all of the talk about Trumpcare vs. Obamacare really just avoids the ultimate question, which is, is health care a right or not?”

“…I’ve had friends who have had cancer. We’ve all had people who have had severe illnesses and if they didn’t have insurance. In a couple cases, I’ve since paid for them because they didn’t have insurance or enough insurance. I think that’s wrong. That’s a cost we all should share.”

The same holds for education, sustenance, shelter and other essentials to life.

An earlier article discussed Franklin Roosevelt’s proposed economic bill of rights.

On January 11, 1944, in his last State of the Union address, he proposed a second bill of rights, saying the initial one “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” 

His solution was an “economic bill of rights,” guaranteeing:

  • employment with a living wage;

  • freedom from unfair competition and monopolies;

  • housing;

  • medical care;

  • education; and

  • social security.

In an age of bipartisan-supported neoliberal harshness, these ideas are inconceivable. Profits are prioritized over vital people needs.

Americans can have whatever they want - based on their ability to pay, including for essentials to life.

Roosevelt proposed his economic bill of rights when he was visibly frail and ill, 15 months before his April 1945 death.

Proposing it, he said “(w)e have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” 

“Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

“In our day, these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security can be established for all - regardless of station, race, or creed.”

His 1944 Servicemen's Readjustment Act (the GI Bill) provided college or vocational education for 7.8 million returning vets plus a year of unemployment compensation.

Around 2.4 million vets got VA-backed low-interest, no down payment home loans at a time their average cost was under $5,000, enabling millions of families to afford them, many with government help.

His economic bill of rights was never enacted into law. It would have been his most important New Deal program.

Today it’s inconceivable at a time America’s resources go increasingly for militarism, endless wars, corporate handouts, and police state crackdowns on non-believers - at the expense of social justice for all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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