Rising fascism in the US

Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2018 06:54 pm
@reasoning logic,
Ironically, I never thought hate and discrimination were good deeds.

reasoning logic
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2018 06:59 pm
I added more to my last post.
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2018 07:21 pm
@reasoning logic,
You mean THIS knock off National Enquirer bullshit? A high school freshmen writes better.

The Matt Couch Show Podcast Seth Rich Investigation Store Submit a News Story
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Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2018 03:25 am
Reasoning Logic is far from that. He posts crap like that all the time, he can't tell the difference between genuine investigative journalism and mad conspiracy bollocks. We fell out when I refused to watch a video by some mad woman with a loudhailer who claimed America was still secretly part of the British Empire controlled by the Royal family and masons.
0 Replies
reasoning logic
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2018 03:46 am
maybe you will like the way this reporter explains things.

Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2018 04:19 am
@reasoning logic,
In May 2017, Seth Rich's brother Aaron Rich issued a statement saying, "We simply want to find his killers and grieve. Instead, we are stuck having to constantly fight against non-facts, baseless allegations, and general stupidity to defend my brother's name and legacy."[4]

The family spokesperson said "At this point, only people with transparent political agendas or sociopaths are still perpetuating Seth Rich conspiracies."[133]

His parents authored a piece in The Washington Post on May 23, 2017 titled: "We're Seth Rich's parents. Stop politicizing our son's murder," in which they wrote:

We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare. We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son's murder.[14]

In March 2018, Rich's family filed a lawsuit against Fox News, Fox reporter Malia Zimmerman, and Fox contributor Ed Butowsky, for publishing a news report about Seth Rich. The suit alleges that the report fueled conspiracy theories about Rich's death and caused the family emotional distress.[134] Later that month Aaron sued Butowsky, America First Media, and The Washington Times for making unfounded claims about Aaron and his brother Seth.[135][136] Judge George B. Daniels dismissed the lawsuit in August 2018, stating that the case failed to prove extreme emotional distress under New York state law.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2018 06:43 am
Trump aide 'fired over ties to white nationalist event'
7 hours ago

Darren J Beattie was one of three speechwriters in the White House
A speechwriter for the Trump administration has been fired following reports that he spoke at a white nationalist conference in 2016.

The White House confirmed to US media on Monday that aide Darren J Beattie, a former visiting instructor at Duke University, had been dismissed.

Mr Beattie had appeared on a panel at the HL Mencken Club conference, which is attended by white supremacists.

He told US media that he said "nothing objectionable" in his speech.

CNN first reported Mr Beattie's 2016 speech at the Mencken Club conference on Sunday.

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Mr Beattie told CNN that he did speak at that conference, and that he stood by his remarks "completely".

"In 2016 I attended the Mencken conference in question and delivered a stand-alone, academic talk titled 'The Intelligentsia and the Right.' I said nothing objectionable and stand by my remarks completely," he said in an email.

"It was the honour of my life to serve in the Trump Administration. I love President Trump, who is a fearless American hero, and continue to support him 100%. I have no further comment."

Mr Beattie had worked under Vince Haley, the president's head of speechwriting.

When the White House learned of CNN's investigation, Mr Beattie was first asked to step down, which he reportedly refused to do.

He reportedly said he made no controversial comments at the conference, according to CNN.

The HL Mencken Club, founded in 2008, describes itself as "a society" for "independent-minded intellectuals and academics of the Right".

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) advocacy group, the Mencken Club "has hosted some of America's most prominent white nationalist ideologues in the past, and serves as a safe space for professors to vent their racist views".

Alt-right leader and white supremacist Richard Spencer has been a speaker at the Mencken Club's conferences in the past.

Media captionAleem Maqbool reports on an alt right event where a speaker said 'Hail Trump' and supporters gave Nazi salutes
Mr Beattie supported Mr Trump during his 2016 campaign and has been an outspoken advocate of the president's immigration policies.

Before joining the Trump administration, he was a visiting professor of political science at Duke University.

He obtained his doctoral degree from Duke as well. His thesis focused on the Nazi Martin Heidegger, whose Nazi-ties he called "highly troublesome" while saying his work still merits academic consideration, according to Forward magazine.

During the 2016 Mencken conference, Mr Beattie was reportedly on a panel with noted English white nationalist Peter Brimelow - the head of the anti-immigrant website VDARE.

The SPLC describes Mr Brimelow's site as "a hub for anti-Semites, nativists and Alt-Right figures".
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2018 08:19 am
Trump aide 'fired over ties to white nationalist event'

Once again, the hypocrisy is stunning.

The guy was fired from a white nationalist White/Black House for giving a speech at a white nationalist event.

But then hypocrisy is central to the US of A.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2018 06:05 am

While most indie media was focused on debating the way people talk about Kanye West and the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an unprecedented escalation in internet censorship took place which threatens everything we all care about. It received frighteningly little attention.

After a massive purge of hundreds of politically oriented pages and personal accounts for “inauthentic behavior”, Facebook rightly received a fair amount of criticism for the nebulous and hotly disputed basis for that action. What received relatively little attention was the far more ominous step which was taken next: within hours of being purged from Facebook, multiple anti-establishment alternative media sites had their accounts completely removed from Twitter as well.

As of this writing I am aware of three large alternative media outlets which were expelled from both platforms at almost the same time: Anti-Media, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police, all of whom had millions of followers on Facebook. Both the Editor-in-Chief of Anti-Media and its Chief Creative Officer were also banned by Twitter, and are being kept from having any new accounts on that site as well.

“I unfortunately always felt the day would come when alternative media would be scrubbed from major social media sites,” Anti-Media’s Chief Creative Officer S.M. Gibson said in a statement to me. “Because of that I prepared by having backup accounts years ago. The fact that those accounts, as well as 3 accounts from individuals associated with Anti-Media were banned without warning and without any reason offered by either platform makes me believe this purge was certainly orchestrated by someone. Who that is I have no idea, but this attack on information was much more concise and methodical in silencing truth than most realize or is being reported.”

It is now clear that there is either (A) some degree of communication/coordination between Twitter and Facebook about their respective censorship practices, or (B) information being given to both Twitter and Facebook by another party regarding targets for censorship. Either way, it means that there is now some some mechanism in place linking the censorship of dissident voices across multiple platforms. We are beginning to see smaller anti-establishment alternative media outlets cut off from their audiences by the same sort of coordinated cross-platform silencing we first witnessed with Alex Jones in August.

This is about as acute a threat to our ability to network and share information with each other as anything you could possibly imagine. If new media outlets are beginning to silence dissident voices together in unison, that means we can see entire alternative media outlets not just partially silenced but thoroughly silenced, their ability to grow their audiences and get information out to heavily populated parts of the internet completely crippled.

This is huge, this is dangerous, and this is being under-reported. When I was removed from Twitter in August for “abusing” John McCain, there was a large and outraged uproar on Twitter, and my account was quickly restored with an apology. And I’m really grateful for that, but the phenomenon of multiple high-profile alternative media outlets suddenly being silenced in unison by the two biggest social media platforms should be generating more outrage than some ornery Australian blogger losing her Twitter account, not less. This should be the top story in alternative media, because it affects us all.
Reply Fri 19 Oct, 2018 09:08 am
Fake Iranian news site provoked Pakistan’s nuclear threat against Israel

We finally know the full extent of Russia's Twitter trolling campaign
0 Replies
Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2018 07:50 am
Neo-Nazi GOP Candidate Used Arab-American Group’s Logo In Ad Trashing Israel
October 24, 2018 By Alyssa Fisher

Congressional candidate Arthur Jones is a Holocaust denier and former American Nazi Party leader.

The Arab American Institute Foundation sent neo-Nazi congressional candidate Arthur Jones a cease and desist letter after learning the Republican was using one of its logos to promote his campaign, the organization announced.

Jones, a former leader of the American Nazi Party who is running a longshot campaign in the Chicago suburbs, used the name and logo of the AAIF’s YallaVote initiative on his campaign materials without permission, the group said. It sent Jones, a Holocaust denier, a cease and desist letter on Tuesday.

A pro-Jones ad in the Future, a Chicago-area Arab-American newspaper, declared “America First, Not Israel” in all-caps and proclaimed that Jones supports a congressional investigation into the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC and opposes all foreign aid to Israel. The ad also features the “YallaVote” name and logo.

The attempt to co-opt a decades-old, inclusive civic empowerment campaign by a white nationalist who seeks to institutionalize hatred, bigotry, and anti-Semitism is deeply offensive and must not be allowed,” AAIF wrote in a statement.

The YallaVote campaign, it said, was created in 1998 to encourage voting among Arab-Americans.

Jones ran unopposed in the Republican primary for Illinois’ heavily-Democratic Third District outside Chicago. [...]

0 Replies
Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2018 08:12 am
Even some sites still showing on my Facebook have been made hard to access. I get the headlines, but when I click to read the story it fails to load.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2018 07:33 am
George Soros Foundation Calls Facebook 'Vile,' 'Reprehensible' for Pushing Conspiracy Theories
Tom McKay, Today 12:05am

The Open Society Foundations (OSF), a international philanthropic and grantmaking organization, has responded to a bombshell report that senior management at Facebook including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and chief lobbyist Joel Kaplan were involved in hiring a Republican opposition research firm named Definers Public Affairs to counter the company’s growing list of critics—including by peddling conspiracy theories about OSF’s founder, Hungarian-American investor and Holocaust survivor George Soros.

Spoilers: They’re not happy.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that as critics ramped up a campaign charging that Facebook’s aggressive international expansion efforts led it to ignore numerous incidents in which it was “exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe,” the company sought to discredit those critics using a variety of dirty tricks. One of those was contracting Definers, which waged a campaign to “cast Mr. Soros as the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement.”

Facebook: the Internet's sewage system... Go there if you want to dump crap.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 18 Nov, 2018 03:47 pm
Italians woke up and discovered they were all fascists... Michela Murgia, Italian novelist, had published a test in L'Espresso called il Fascistometro, a series of 66 statements typical of today's Italian neofascist discourse. Here it is (in Italian):


Like eveybody who took it I was diagnosed an aspiring fascist:

"Between 0 and 15 points: aspiring.

Fascism level: primordial. You are a pissed off democrat more than a serene and well-formed fascist. But do not worry: your inadequacy is a starting point. All the fascists started from more or less explicitly democratic positions. Follow these instructions for a few months and you will raise your level of fascism. 1. Reduce your attention to the different voices that pretend to explain what is happening and focused on one; this will diminish your confusion and anxiety and will foster the logic of listening to the boss. 2. Feed your intolerances and your suspicions, accustoming yourself to consider threatening all the differences that claim to question your social, cultural, religious or sexual certainties. 3. Read only newspapers that support this view and listen only to opinion makers who defend it. 4. Do not waste time discussing with those who think differently: prefer the field of aversion and rejection.

Score: 6.1%. 4/66 points. "

0 Replies
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2018 04:16 am
Who’s against Democracy?


It’s been apparent since superdelegates.

I think we should redefine ‘centrists’. It appears they’ve morphed into a different animal.



Some of the most striking data reflect respondents’ views of elections. Support for “free and fair” elections drops at the center for every single country in the sample. The size of the centrist gap is striking. In the case of the United States, fewer than half of people in the political center view elections as essential.

Centrists Are Least
Likely to Support
Liberal Institutions


Of course, the concept of “support for democracy” is somewhat abstract, and respondents may interpret the question in different ways. What about support for civil rights, so central to the maintenance of the liberal democratic order? In almost every case, support for civil rights wanes in the center. In the United States, only 25 percent of centrists agree that civil rights are an essential feature of democracy.


One of the strongest warning signs for democracy has been the rise of populist leaders with authoritarian tendencies. But while these leaders have become more popular, it is unclear whether citizens explicitly support more authoritarian styles of government. I find, however, evidence of substantial support for a “strong leader” who ignores his country’s legislature, particularly among centrists. In the United States, centrists’ support for a strongman-type leader far surpasses that of the right and the left.


What Does It Mean?
Across Europe and North America, support for democracy is in decline. To explain this trend, conventional wisdom points to the political extremes. Both the far left and the far right are, according to this view, willing to ride roughshod over democratic institutions to achieve radical change. Moderates, by contrast, are assumed to defend liberal democracy, its principles and institutions.

The numbers indicate that this isn’t the case. As Western democracies descend into dysfunction, no group is immune to the allure of authoritarianism — least of all centrists, who seem to prefer strong and efficient government over messy democratic politics.

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Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2018 04:42 am

Wisconsin Republicans pass bill that undermines new Democratic governor
THINKPROGRESS, Addy Baird, Dec 5, 2018

Lawmakers in Wisconsin approved legislation early Wednesday morning that will undermine the authority of Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul (D), moves that have sparked uproar among many liberal activists.

Outgoing Gov. Scott Walker (R) has signaled that he expects to sign the bill into law, which would give the Legislature control of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board, make it easier for legislators to hire private attorneys, limit early voting to two weeks, and require Evers to get permission from the legislature to ban guns in the state Capitol, among other measures.

Republicans also voted on a measure that would protect people with pre-existing conditions, a promise Walker made central to his failed re-election bid. It did not pass. According to The Journal Sentinel, all Democrats and two Republicans in the state Senate voted against the legislation aimed at protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Republicans said they opposed the bill for being too similar to the Affordable Care Act, while Democratic senators voted against the bill because it included lifetime caps on coverage.

Changes to the legislation were made in the middle of the night. At 4:00 a.m. local time, a new, 56-page version of the legislation was released. “Not a way to run a government!” Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen reportedly said at the time.

“We do not believe that any one individual should be able to come in and with the stroke of a pen eliminate things that went through the legislative process as a result of listening to the people of Wisconsin,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said Tuesday.

In an interview with CNN Tuesday night, Evers called the legislation “embarrassing”, adding that "this is bad public policy and it's telling the people of Wisconsin that their vote doesn't count."

“The entire thing is frankly a hot mess,” Evers said. “We won fair and square.”

There are similar attempts to undermine newly elected Democrats underway in Michigan, where the Republican state legislature aims to water down the authority of Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer (D), the state attorney general-elect, and the secretary of state-elect on campaign finance and other legal issues. As The Detroit Free Press and The Washington Post both noted, all three of the newly elected state officials are women.

The attempts to undermine the authority of these newly elected Democrats has drawn numerous comparisons to moves by the North Carolina state legislature two years ago, when Republicans used a lame duck session to strip then Gov.-elect Roy Cooper’s (D) power over cabinet appointments, gave the GOP power over the state board of elections, and worked to make the state’s judicial system more partisan.

Cooper has been caught in ongoing legal fights over the legislation for nearly two years.

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Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2018 06:16 am

First Wisconsin did it. Now Republicans in Michigan move to strip Democrats' power.

Democrats called the move a blatant power grab that would fly in the face of voters.

Dec. 5, 2018 / 4:07 PM EST
By Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Republicans who control Michigan's Legislature voted Wednesday to advance a measure that strips campaign-finance oversight power from the Democratic secretary of state-elect, and they were poised to give lawmakers authority to stand up for GOP-backed laws if they think the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general are not adequately defending the state's interests.

The lame-duck moves followed within hours of similar efforts in Wisconsin, where lawmakers voted earlier Wednesday to shift clout to the Republican-controlled Legislature and weaken the Democrat replacing the GOP governor.

Michigan Democrats in January will jointly hold the governor, attorney general and secretary offices for the first time in 28 years, but the Legislature will continue to be controlled by Republicans.

A day after GOP lawmakers finalized an unprecedented maneuver to gut minimum wage and paid sick leave laws, a Senate panel passed legislation that would create the Fair Political Practices Commission to enforce the campaign-finance law rather than Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson, who ran in part on a pledge to advocate for election transparency.

Democrats called the bill a blatant power grab that would fly in the face of voters.

"At no point did voters say they wanted the rules manipulated. At no point did they say they wanted bills rushed through a hasty lame-duck session," said Patrick Schuh, state director for the liberal group America Votes. He questioned the timing, saying such a commission was not proposed until a Democrat is on the verge of leading the secretary of state office for the first time in two-dozen years.

Republicans defended the legislation, saying the six-member panel of three Democrats and three Republicans would initially be appointed by Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer. Eric Doster, a former long-time lawyer for the state GOP, testified that the commission would operate similarly to those in other states and said "now the time is right."

Other critics of the bill, however, contended that the commission would be ineffectual, saying its members would deadlock and be accountable to political parties that would submit a list of possible appointees to the governor.

Also Wednesday, the House planned to approve legislation that would empower the Legislature, House or Senate to intervene in any suit at any stage, a right already granted to the attorney general. It is seen as a maneuver to ensure that Republicans could support laws if Whitmer and Democratic Attorney General-elect Nessel are lukewarm about GOP-passed measures and drop appeals in cases the state loses.

Nessel, for example, has said she probably will not defend a law allowing faith-based groups to refuse to serve same-sex couples who want to adopt children.

Republicans disputed criticism that the legislation would undermine the role of the attorney general. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said the bill is needed because "we've been shut out" in recent cases.

"We believe we have standing, and we want to make sure by law that we do because if somebody wants to ignore a law, we need to intervene because we made the law. It's passed and signed by the governor and it needs to be enforced," Meekhof said.

Democrats said the legislation would lead to increased legislative spending on lawyers.

"When we have roads to fix and schools to fund and health care plans to fund, how can you possibly justify setting up this parallel organization when we already have an attorney general and a process in place to take care of these issues?" said Rep. Christine Greig of Farmington Hills.
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Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2019 08:07 pm

Arundhati Roy on Fiction in the Face of Rising Fascism


The thing is, people spend so much time mocking Trump or waiting for him to be impeached. And the danger with that kind of obsession with a single person is that you don’t see the system that produced him. You don’t see that, obviously, there was something about those eight years of Obama’s presidency that created Trump and if we just keep obsessing about this one person without seeing what would happen … what would happen if he wasn’t there tomorrow and Mike Pence came? Would it be better? You know? The kind of havoc that has been created in the world when I think about it now, between Europe and America increasingly, the simple truth is that these economies can only function by selling the weapons that they manufacture. Weapons which you cannot even imagine that the human mind can conceive of and they are doing the selling and we’re doing the buying.
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Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2019 08:13 pm
Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama are at the hub of the dysfunction. Drifted us right into oligarchy .
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Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2019 10:55 am
The MSM called out for colluding with the US military industrial complex.



Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts the Network for Being Captive to the National Security State and Reflexively Pro-War to Stop Trump
Glenn Greenwald
January 3 2019, 9:27 a.m.
A VETERAN national security journalist with NBC News and MSNBC blasted the networks in a Monday email for becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President
Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine’s promotion of militarism and imperialism. As a result of NBC/MSNBC’s all-consuming militarism, he said, “the national security establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength” and “is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism.”

The NBC/MSNBC reporter, William Arkin, is a longtime prominent war and military reporter, perhaps best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010, co-reported with two-time Pulitzer winner Dana Priest, on how sprawling, unaccountable, and omnipotent the national security state has become in the post-9/11 era. When that three-part investigative series, titled “Top Secret America,” was published, I hailed it as one of the most important pieces of reporting of the war on terror, because while “we chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, this is the Real U.S. Government: functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization.”

Arkin has worked with NBC and MSNBC over the years and continuously since 2016. But yesterday, he announced that he was leaving the network in a long, emphatic email denouncing the networks for their superficial and reactionary coverage of national security, for becoming fixated on trivial Trump outbursts of the day to chase profit and ratings, and — most incriminating of all — for becoming the central propaganda arm of the CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI in the name of #Resistance, thus inculcating an entire new generation of liberals, paying attention to politics for the first time in the Trump era, to “lionize” those agencies and their policies of imperialism and militarism.

That MSNBC and NBC have become Security State Central has been obvious for quite some time. The network consists of little more than former CIA, NSA, and Pentagon officials as news “analysts”; ex-Bush-Cheney national security and communications officials as hosts and commentators; and the most extremists pro-war neocons constantly bashing Trump (and critics of Democrats generally) from the right, using the Cheney-Rove playbook on which they built their careers to accuse Democratic Party critics and enemies of being insufficiently patriotic, traitors for America’s official enemies, and abandoning America’s hegemonic role in the world.

MSNBC’s star national security reporter Ken Dilanian was widely mocked by media outlets for years for being an uncritical CIA stenographer before he became a beloved NBC/MSNBC reporter (where his mindless servitude to his CIA masters has produced some of the network’s most humiliating debacles). The cable network’s key anchor, Rachel Maddow, once wrote a book on the evils of endless wars without congressional authorization, but now routinely depicts anyone who wants to end those illegal wars as reckless weaklings and traitors.

Some of the most beloved and frequently featured MSNBC commentators are the most bloodthirsty pro-war militarists from the war on terror: David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Ralph Peters, and Bill Kristol (who was just giddily and affectionately celebrated with a playful nickname bestowed on him: “Lil Bill”). In early 2018, NBC hired former CIA chief John Brennan to serve as a “senior national security and intelligence analyst,” where the rendition and torture advocate joined — as Politico’s Jack Shafer noted — a long litany of former security state officials at the network, including “Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James B. Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush.”

As Shafer noted, filling your news and analyst slots with former security state officials as MSNBC and NBC have done is tantamount to becoming state TV, since “their first loyalty — and this is no slam — is to the agency from which they hail.” As he put it: “Imagine a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities.”

All of this led Arkin to publish a remarkable denunciation of NBC and MSNBC in the form of an email he sent to various outlets, including The Intercept. Its key passages are scathing and unflinching in their depiction of those networks as pro-war propaganda outlets that exist to do little more than amplify and serve the security state agencies most devoted to opposing Trump, including their mindless opposition to Trump’s attempts (with whatever motives) to roll back some of the excesses of imperialism, aggression, and U.S. involvement in endless war, as well as to sacrifice all journalistic standards and skepticism about generals and the U.S war machine if doing so advances their monomaniacal mission of denouncing Trump. As Arkin wrote (emphasis added):

My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus. …

To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested. Despite being at “war,” no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus’ and Wes Clarks’, or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we’ve had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as “analysts”. We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous. …

Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.

I’d argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I’d also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there’s a lot to report here, but I’m more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America’s wars. …

In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think – like everyone else does – that we miss so much. People who don’t understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it’s corporate control or even worse, that it’s partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.

For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump’s various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?

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