Tuesday, March 20, 2018

George Clooney: The Key to Making Peace in Africa?!?!?!

ForeignPolicy |  The scenario in South Sudan is hardly unique. Something similar plays out across many African countries torn by conflict, including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. Oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, copper, and a variety of other mineral deposits and trafficked wildlife provide immense opportunity for those in power to line their own pockets. Brutally repressing all forms of opposition is seen as the only way to maintain control of the spoils.

Remarkably, there is currently no coordinated strategy to disrupt the illicit siphoning of money by leaders and their foreign business partners. For leaders, giving up power almost certainly means losing access to their spoils, and it might even mean facing prosecution. Every year, billions of aid dollars pour into Africa: taxpayers and donors around the world fund peacekeeping forces, state-building programs, humanitarian assistance, elections, and peace processes. But none of this support has been able to keep corrupt leaders and their network of beneficiaries from stealing billions of dollars.

Every year, billions of aid dollars pour into Africa: taxpayers and donors around the world fund peacekeeping forces, state-building programs, humanitarian assistance, elections, and peace processes. But none of this support has been able to keep corrupt leaders and their network of beneficiaries from stealing billions of dollars.
This is the fatal flaw of peacemaking in Africa: those supporting mediation lack the leverage necessary to stop corrupt figures from using their forces to bomb, burn, imprison, silence, torture, starve, impoverish, kill, and rape to maintain or gain power. South Sudanese peace talks, for example, are currently stuck because Kiir and his allies have rejected any notion of sharing power with the rebels, since such an arrangement would require giving up their exclusive grip on the crudely-constructed looting machine masquerading as a government.

For years, the tool of choice for building leverage against actors undermining peace or human rights has been to impose targeted sanctions. But sanctions have been used sparingly in Africa. They have been applied to only a few individuals at a time, with very little enforcement, and are rarely extended to predatory commercial collaborators, both inside and outside Africa, who facilitate and enable official misdeeds. Over time, warring parties have come to regard sanctions as a vague annoyance for their public relations rather than as any serious threat to their power. The Obama and Trump administrations recently removed comprehensive sanctions against neighboring Sudan, but were unable to extract meaningful changes in Khartoum’s behavior. This move is a potent example of the folly of current peace efforts in Africa, which have for the most part eschewed the use of readily available tools for applying pressure that are both more sophisticated and better focused. 

This standard but failing approach can change. Serious financial pressure with real bite is not only possible; it has proved effective in the past. 

As a start, sanctions must be levied against entire networks, not just individuals. That was the approach the United States took with Iran and North Korea in order to drive them to the negotiating table. The United States deployed extensive sanctions targeting Iran’s leadership and military networks in an effort to disrupt the illicit funding streams used by the country’s ruling elites to maintain their grip on Iran’s economy. For example, in June 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, a state-owned entity that includes 37 ostensibly private businesses located around the world, many of which were used as front companies meant to evade sanctions. They generated and controlled massive, off-the-books investments that they hid from both the Iranian people and international regulators. 

Wlhat Does Hollywood Gain By Placing the Queer Gaze in the Spotlight?

LATimes |  Such an approach, and the resulting film, is a manifestation of the unique vantage point Berlanti brings to projects as a gay man. As Hollywood continues conversations about inclusion and diversity, the distinctive outlooks LGBTQ filmmakers bring have become a calling card. Call it the "queer gaze."

The "male gaze," a term coined in 1975 by film theorist Laura Mulvey, describes how film — and art of all sorts — is created through the lens of a heterosexual man. Such a gaze has manifested itself in stereotypical roles for women and minorities, including the busty dumb blond and the sassy black woman.

Over the last couple of years, awareness has risen for an unofficial retort, the "female gaze," as women have taken and been given more opportunities to write and direct their own narratives with female characters at the center. Look no further than the boom of women behind the scenes in television — from the all-female directing teams of "Queen Sugar" and "Jessica Jones" to the writers rooms of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Jane the Virgin" — for representations of women toppling patriarchal conventions.

The "queer gaze," meanwhile, remains less known and discussed as a creative perspective. A direct response to the oft unspoken of yet ever-present "straight gaze," the queer gaze recognizes how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people create and view art. Moreover, it challenges binary notions of existence and storytelling employed in many male gaze versus female gaze conversations where the context is nearly always heterosexual.

LATimes |  I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe "the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews," down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood.

How deeply Jewish is Hollywood? When the studio chiefs took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago to demand that the Screen Actors Guild settle its contract, the open letter was signed by: News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish). If either of the Weinstein brothers had signed, this group would have not only the power to shut down all film production but to form a minyan with enough Fiji water on hand to fill a mikvah.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Alt-Right and the Jewish Question

Quillette |  For many on the alt-right, every grievance is, at root, about Jews. Andrew Anglin, host of the most popular alt-right/neo-Nazi website, explains: “the only thing in our movement that really matters [is] anti-Semitism.” If only the Jews were gone, he argues, the white race, freed from bondage, would immediately overcome all of its problems. Where does this attitude come from?
Jews are a conspicuous people, small in number but large in footprint. As Mark Twain wrote in 1899:
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race….Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk….What is the secret of his immortality?
For many people throughout history, the answer to Twain’s question was simple: Jews conspire among themselves to dominate and disadvantage gentiles. This answer fell out of fashion, at least in polite society, after World War II. Since the 1990s, however, the conspiratorial account of Jewish prominence has taken on a new, more meretricious form in the work of (now retired) California State University, Long Beach psychologist Kevin MacDonald, known affectionately among alt-righters as “KMac.” According to Richard Spencer, the inventor of the term “alt-right” and unofficial leader of the movement: “There is no man on the planet who has done more for the understanding of the pole around which the world revolves than Kevin MacDonald.” And: “KMac…may be the most essential man in our movement in terms of thought leader[ship].” To understand the alt-right’s anti-Semitism, we must understand MacDonald’s ideas, particularly as outlined in his most influential book, The Culture of Critique.

According to MacDonald, Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy.” Jews possess both genetic and cultural adaptations (including, on the genetic side, high IQ and ethnocentrism) that allow them to develop successful intellectual movements that undermine gentile society and promote their own group continuity. “Jewish intellectual movements,” MacDonald argues, are led by charismatic figures analogous to rabbis. They attack white nationalism while promoting Jewish nationalism, and use pseudoscience to “pathologize” anti-Semitism, which in reality is a justified response to “Jewish aggression.” According to MacDonald, Jewish intellectual movements include Freudianism, Frankfurt School critical theory, and multiculturalism. These movements, MacDonald claims, taught white gentiles to reject ethnocentrism and accept high levels of nonwhite immigration to their countries while tolerating Jewish ethnocentrism and racially restrictive immigration policies in Israel.

MacDonald’s theory and the anti-Semitism of many on the alt-right are largely reactions to the perceived liberalism of Jews. One of us (Cofnas) has just published an academic paper that examines MacDonald’s most influential book, The Culture of Critique, and finds that it is chock full of misrepresented sources, cherry-picked facts, and egregious distortions of history. MacDonald and the alt-righters are, nevertheless, correct that many liberal leaders over the last hundred years have been Jewish. We’d like to offer an explanation for this phenomenon, as well as determine whether Jewish liberalism is the cause or the result of anti-Semitism.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

What, Exactly, Are Male Supremacy Groups?

rantt |  Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center for the first time added two male supremacy groups to its hate group watch list, noting in their announcement that “the vilification of women by these groups makes them no different than other groups that demean entire populations, such as the LGBT community, Muslims or Jews, based on their inherent characteristics.”

The decision to officially track the actions of two groups espousing male supremacy ideology comes at a time in which fringe and extremist groups have become increasingly emboldened through many factors, such astheir unprecedented access to key political leaders. And it also comes at a time when these groups are affecting tangible, real-world damage—to women, to marginalized people, to media, and to the overarching landscape of American politics.

The rise and embrace of male supremacy groups has yielded violence and provably damaging anti-woman White House policies. But perhaps most terrifying of all, groups that operate on the premise of white male victimhood, of the equation of female empowerment and diversity to anti-male persecution, are spreading the message that marginalized voices are a threat to free speech that must be expunged. This ideology of invalidating modern feminist speech is most recognizable in that innocuous term, “political correctness” — the idea that basic demands for respect and recognition are somehow far from basic, and rather, an oppressive overreach; that speech in opposition to misogynistic, hateful speech is somehow not free speech, but rather, the hate speech that it responds to is.

The very concept of political correctness, espoused by the same thinkers who founded male supremacy activism, is meant to trivialize oppression, and through that trivialization, silence, rewrite history, and make marginalized groups vulnerable to political attacks.

Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes

CounterPunch |  You may not recognize names like Amy Cuddy, Kristina Durante, or Brian Wansink but if you listen to NPR, watch TED talks, or read popular online news sites or local and national outlets such as the New York Times, you have probably stumbled across their work. They are among a growing number of academics who have produced one or more exciting, novel, too-amazing-to-be-true research studies that have caught the attention of the media and have been widely disseminated through American culture to the point that we may have internalized their findings as fact. Yet their work has since been debunked, shown to be unscientific and irreproducible. It is all part of what has been dubbed the “replication crisis” in science. Since replication is one of the basic tenets of science, failure to reproduce the results of a study (especially after several attempts) indicates a lack of support for the original findings. How does this happen time and time again, and what does it say about science and the news media?

Case 1 – Amy Cuddy
Amy Cuddy’s famous study on how an assertive “power pose” could elevate testosterone levels and increase a person’s confidence and risk-taking was published in the prestigious Psychological Science, one of the top journals in that field. Then a professor in the Harvard Business School, Cuddy went on to give the second most-popular TED talk ever, sign a book deal, and travel around the world commanding huge fees on the lecture circuit based on the general theme of her study. In the meantime, other skeptical researchers Joe Simmons and Uri Simonsohn questioned the veracity of her claims and Eva Ranehill and collegues failed to replicate the results of the study. One of Cuddy’s co-authors, Dana Carney, has since withdrawn her support of the study, saying “I do not believe the effects are real.” But Cuddy, having voluntarily left her academic position, still stands by her work.

In truth, not only is the power pose study a replication failure, it is a failure of peer review. No one needs a particularly specialized expertise to see some of the problems with the study. One glance at the methods section of the paper and you see the sample size of 42, hardly sufficient or statistically powerful. In addition, like in many studies, specific subjective proxies were used to indicate a much more general, supposedly objective, finding. Here, risk taking was measured by participants’ willingness to perform a certain gambling task. Yet one’s interest in gambling is not necessarily directly proportional to one’s interest in other risky activities. Further, participants’ levels of confidence were self-reported on a scale of 1-5. Self-reporting is always error prone, because your level of “2” may not be equivalent to my level of “2.” And yet, all of these subjective measurements are treated as concrete quantifiable data. Finally, the study assumed no cultural differences; demonstrations of power or confidence might not be viewed as beneficial and positive as they are assumed to be in the American culture.

You can see how the reliability of the study deteriorates under scrutiny. But no study is perfect. One of the biggest problems with this study and many similar ones is not just how unreliable the results are, but that the results are treated as generalizable to everyone everywhere. If Cuddy had defined the results as provisional and contingent upon certain assumptions, and circumstances, then her research might have been more defendable, but instead she presented her shoddy science as universal immutable fact. This practice appears to be too widespread.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Psy-Opping, Gaslighting, and Outright Lying - MSM Weirder By the Minute...,

medium |  This Red Scare reboot keeps getting stranger and stranger.

In a recent discussion with Infowars‘ Alex Jones, Luis Elizondo of To The Stars Academy spoke about new video footage of UFO phenomena recently released by the Pentagon, and says the three videos that have been released so far comprise just a small fraction of the strange and compelling evidence that he has accessed personally.

“These are just three videos now that have come out that everybody’s looking at,” Elizondo said as Jones downed an entire pitcher of CAVEMAN True Alpha Bone Broth Formula™ without pausing to breathe or breaking eye contact with the camera. “But there is far more compelling evidence that I was privy to that — you know, I think you’re looking at the tip of the iceberg.”

“It could be anything, so I wouldn’t rule anything out, and that’s why I think we need to look at it,” Elizondo added. “I mean it could be Russian. It could be Chinese. It could be little green men from Mars. We don’t know what the hell it is.”

Oh wait, sorry, I got mixed up. That wasn’t Infowars, it was CNN.

The mass media propaganda machine is very busy. It’s got wars to manufacture consent for, it’s got Russia to lie about, it’s got a CIA-packed midterm election to sell as healthy democracy, it’s got end-stage ecocidal neoliberalism to disguise as freedom and sanity, and it’s got a corporatist oligarchy to dress up as a constitutional representative republic. How is it finding the time to talk about space aliens so much all of a sudden?

IG's Don't Place Internal Investigative Targets Under Oath...,

theconservativetreehouse |  Don’t be so blinded by the tripwire flares you fail to see the obvious.  Within the statement from Attorney General Sessions hopefully you’ll note: “Including Under Oath”
The IG doesn’t place the internal investigative target “under oath”.  An outside prosecutor who is assisting the IG does.  Hence Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling us what is going on – SEE HERE – Just like he did before:
… I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us; and we’re conducting that investigation. (read more)

You're Going To See Pure TNT Come Out Of This IG Report

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fresh Off Of FUBARing A Wrinkle In Time, Ava Duvernay Will Fustercluck The New Gods...,

hollywoodreporter |  If superhero stories, as many have argued, offer a contemporary mythology, then the Fourth World Saga at the center of New Gods, ups that ante considerably. The DC Entertainment property is getting its highest profile yet, with the news that director Ava DuVernay will be tackling a film adaptation of the project for Warner Bros.

So, who are the New Gods?

Since its creation in the early 1970s, when Jack Kirby abandoned the Marvel Universe to create something altogether new at competitors DC, the Fourth World Saga has endeavored to tell stories on a scope that make even the most cosmic of superhero epics seem unambitious by comparison. Not for nothing did the first issue of 1971’s New Gods open with the gloriously melodramatic narration, 
There came a time when the old Gods died!”

Told, initially, across four separate comic book series running in parallel — and then, in subsequent years, through even more revivals, guest shots and graphic novels — the Fourth World Saga is a sprawling storyline with a truly vast cast of characters that would take a long time to fully introduce. In order to get a quick handle on DuVernay’s film project, however, here is a brief primer on some of the primary players.

Russia Stories So Preposterous They'd Make Shonda Rhimes Blush...,

thesaker |  Assuming mankind finds a way not to destroy itself in the near future and assuming that there will still be historians in the 22nd or 23rd centuries, I bet you that they will look at the AngloZionist Empire and see the four following characteristics as some of its core features: lies, willful ignorance, hypocrisy, and hysterics. To illustrate my point I will use the recent “Skripal nerve-gas assassination” story as it really encompasses all of these characteristics.

I won’t even bother debunking the official nonsense here as others have done a very good job of pointing out the idiocy of the official narrative. If you are truly capable of believing that “Putin” (that is the current collective designator for the Evil Empire of Mordor currently threatening all of western civilization) would order the murder of a man whom a Russian military court sentenced to only 13 years in jail (as opposed to life or death) and who was subsequently released as part of a swap with the USA, you can stop reading right now and go back to watching TV. I personally have neither the energy nor the inclination to even discuss such a self-evidently absurd theory. No, what I do want to do is use this story as a perfect illustration of the kind of society we now all live in looked at from a moral point of view. I realize that we live in a largely value-free society where moral norms have been replaced by ideological orthodoxy, but that is just one more reason for me to write about what is taking place precisely focusing on the moral dimensions of current events.

Lies and the unapologetic denial of reality:
In a 2015 article entitled “A society of sexually frustrated Pinocchios” I wrote the following:
I see a direct cause and effect relationship between the denial of moral reality and the denial of physical reality. I can’t prove that, of course, but here is my thesis: Almost from day one, the early western civilization began by, shall we say, taking liberties with the truth, which it could bend, adapt, massage and repackage to serve the ideological agenda of the day. It was not quite the full-blown and unapologetic relativism of the 19th century yet, but it was an important first step. With “principles” such as the end justifies the means and the wholesale violation of the Ten Commandants all “for the greater glory of God” the western civilization got cozy with the idea that there was no real, objective truth, only the subjective perception or even representation each person might have thereof. Fast forward another 10 centuries or so and we end up with the modern “Gayropa” (as Europe is now often referred to in Russia): not only has God been declared ‘dead’ and all notions of right and wrong dismissed as “cultural”, but even objective reality has now been rendered contingent upon political expediency and ideological imperatives.
I went on to quote George Orwell by reminding how he defined “doublethink” in his book 1984:
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it (…) To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality
and I concluded by saying that “The necessary corollary from this state of mind is that only appearances matter, not reality.

This is exactly what we are observing; not only in the silly Skripal nerve-gas assassination story but also in all the rest of the Russophobic nonsense produced by the AngloZionist propaganda machine including the “Litvinenko polonium murder” and the “Yushchenko dioxin poisoning“. The fact that neither nerve-gas, nor polonium nor dioxin are in any way effective murder weapons does not matter in the least: a simple drive-by shooting, street-stabbing or, better, any “accident” is both easier to arrange and impossible to trace. Fancy assassination methods are used when access to the target is very hard or impossible (as was the case with Ibn al-Khattab, whose assassination the Russians were more than happy to take credit for; this might also have been the case with the death of Yasser Arafat). But the best way of murdering somebody is to simply make the body disappear, making any subsequent investigation almost impossible. Finally, you can always subcontract the assassination to somebody else like, for example, when the CIA tried and failed, to murder Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah by subcontracting his bombing to its local “Christian” allies, killing over 80 innocent people in the process. There is plenty of common crime in the UK and to get somebody to rob and stab Skripal would have probably been the easiest version. That’s assuming that the Russians had any reason to want him dead, which they self-evidently didn’t.

But here is the important thing: every single criminal or intelligence specialist in the West understands all of the above. But that does not stop the Ziomedia from publishing articles like this one “A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison” which also lists people poisoned by Russians

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Do You Believe That Putin Underestimates the West?

paulcraigroberts |  By now one would think that Russians, both government, media, and public, would understand that all the West is capable of is to lie. The purpose of the lies is to demonize Russia and to set up Russia for military attack. 

But somehow Russians can’t get the message. Russians think it is all some kind of mistake that facts and legal processes and diplomacy can clear up. “Please just listen to us, we can clear up all the misconceptions!” As if the West cares. Washington wants “the misconceptions.” That is why Washington creates them.

The inability of Russians to understand the West, which Russia stupidly wants to join, is the reason that World War 3 is near at hand.

What if, instead of reciting the legal process and the law governing it that the UK PM refused to follow before publicly accusing Russia without the presentation of any evidence, the Russian UN Ambassador had simply said: “If the UK exists tomorrow, it will be due entirely to the forbearance of the Russian government.”

By relying on law, about which no Western country gives a hoot, the Russian UN ambassador permitted Washington’s French puppet and other of Washington’s European puppet states to say that they supported the British charges against Russia despite the absence of evidence. Perhaps the Russians noticed that none of those European governments required any evidence that Russia was responsible. All that was required was the accusation.

In the exceptional, indispensable Western World ruled by Washington, accusation alone is proof of Russian mendacity. When British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn asked PM May if she actually had any real evidence that Russia had tried to kill the former British double-agent, Corbyn was shouted down not only by the corrupt Conservatives but also by members of the Labour Party that he heads. How much more evidence does Russia need that facts are not important to the West?

Will Russia wake up? Or will its demented desire to be part of the West leave Russians unprepared for Washington’s nuclear strike, which is coming.

After You Fire McCabe Jeff, GTFOH Y'Dayyum Self!!!

NYMag |  We now live in a world where the attorney general going out to dinner with two top Justice Department officials is not only news, but a sign that he’s rebelling against the president. As a senator, Jeff Sessions was one of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters, and he served as one of his campaign’s top foreign-policy advisers. But the seeds of the attorney general’s rift with the president were planted during his confirmation hearing, when he offered up some thoughts about Russia collusion that turned out to be not entirely accurate. Here’s how the Trump-Sessions relationship devolved to the point that two 71-year-old lawmakers are barely speaking, lobbing insults on Twitter, and sending passive-aggressive messages with their choice of dinner companion.

Sessions’s Russia Contacts Are Revealed

Exactly one year ago, President Trump was basking in the unusually positive reviews from his first address to Congress. The very next day, we learned that Sessions met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least twice while working with the Trump campaign — yet during his confirmation hearing he denied, under oath, having any such contacts.

“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Sessions said of Trump officials’ Russia contacts, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Andrew McCabe - You're Fired!!!

NYTimes |  Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing a recommendation to fire the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, just days before he is scheduled to retire on Sunday, people briefed on the matter said. Mr. McCabe was a frequent target of attack from President Trump, who taunted him both publicly and privately.

Mr. McCabe is ensnared in an internal review that includes an examination of his decision in 2016 to allow F.B.I. officials to speak with reporters about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that Mr. McCabe was not forthcoming during the review, according to the people briefed on the matter. That yet-to-be-released report triggered an F.B.I. disciplinary process that recommended his termination — leaving Mr. Sessions to either accept or reverse that decision.

Lack of candor is a fireable offense, but like so much at the F.B.I., Mr. McCabe’s fate is also entangled in presidential politics and the special counsel investigation. He was involved from the beginning in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. He is also a potential witness in the inquiry into whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice.

Mr. Trump’s supporters have tried to cast Mr. McCabe as part of a “deep state” that operates in secret to undermine the administration. Mr. Trump has goaded Mr. Sessions into taking action against him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Exxon Out, Koch Brothers In At Foggy Bottom...,

libertyblitzkrieg |  When the director of the CIA, an unelected public servant, publicly demonizes a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a “fraud,” “coward” and “enemy,” it puts all journalists on notice, or should. Pompeo’s next talking point, unsupported by fact, that WikiLeaks is a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” is a dagger aimed at Americans’ constitutional right to receive honest information about their government. This accusation mirrors attempts throughout history by bureaucrats seeking, and failing, to criminalize speech that reveals their own failings…

Words matter, and I assume that Pompeo meant his when he said, “Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an embassy in London. He’s not a U.S. citizen.” As a legal matter, this statement is simply false. It underscores just how dangerous it is for an unelected official whose agency’s work is rooted in lying and misdirection to be the sole arbiter of the truth and the interpreter of the Constitution.

– From Julian Assange’s Washington Post opinion piece: The CIA Director Is Waging War on Truth-Tellers like WikiLeaks

What’s most unique about Mike Pompeo isn’t the fact he’s a terrible human being, it’s the fact he’s so transparent and shameless about it. This became crystal clear last April when I read the transcript of a speech he gave at UAE-funded think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

I covered Pompeo’s commentary in detail in the piece, The American Empire Under Donald Trump Has Become Increasingly Desperate, Dangerous & Insecure, but let’s revisit in case some of you missed it the first time around.

Sergei Skripal: UK Now Playing Some Russia, Russia, Russia Music...,

timesofisrael | Moscow rejects accusation of responsibility for attack on Sergei Skripal, likening it to previous attacks against Russians on UK soil. 

Moscow on Monday rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement to parliament that it was “highly likely” Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former spy in Britain.  

The statement was part of an “information and political campaign based on provocation,” said Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in comments carried by news agencies. 

“This is a circus show in the British parliament,” she added.

“Rather than think up new fairy tales, maybe someone in the kingdom could explain how the previous ones ended up — about Litvinenko, Berezovsky, Perepilichny and many others who have mysteriously died on British soil,” Zakharova said.

timesofisrael |   The White House on Monday condemned the chemical attack on a former Russian spy in Britain as “an outrage,” breaking a week-long silence. 

“The use of a highly lethal nerve agent against UK citizens on UK soil is an outrage,” said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “The attack was reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible.” 

Sanders stopped short of pointing the finger of blame at Moscow, as British Prime Minister Theresa May did earlier in parliament.

The United States and Britain have a long-standing intelligence-sharing agreement.
When asked whether Russia was to blame, Sanders demurred: “We stand by our ally and fully support them.”

For a week, the White House had refused to comment on the attempt to kill Sergei Skripal, who sold secrets to Britain and later moved there in a 2010 spy swap with Russia.