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The mainstream media that cried wolf: how the liberal elite let Trump off the hook for foreign policy blunders

Now that Trump appears to be off the rails or otherwise out of his depth, the world needs a whistleblower to tell the truth about the Trump administration. Mainstream media reports cannot be relied upon as such sources have lost all credibility by crying wolf over Trump before he even entered the White House.

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Donald Trump has confirmed what has cryptic “calm before the storm” remark meant, after he and other administration figures previously refused to clarify what Trump was referring to after a recent meeting with top military figures.

According to Trump, when asked by Fox what he meant, the US President replied that he was referring to North Korea. This puts into question the received wisdom that Trump was implying US preparations to withdraw from the JCPOA (Iran deal), although further provocations against both Pyongyang and Tehran may still be equally on the cards.

Indeed, during a recent interview with RT (not available on line), I was asked what I believe the chances are that Trump is actually planning to withdraw from the JCPOA. I replied that because received wisdom throughout the world is that Trump is planning to de-certify the deal, my own view is that chances for withdrawal are “50/50”.

I explained that Trump’s much vaunted “element of surprise” tactic means that he often throws curve balls at the general public and apparently foreign governments as well. The particular JCPOA threat has united China, Russia, Iran, Germany, France, Britain and many EU states, including Austria, in a firm, and very public defence of the deal. Specifically, Austria seeks to guarantee that the deal holds among its other signatories, in the event of a Trump withdrawal.

Austria says JCPOA (Iran deal) will remain even if US withdraws

Whether Trump is banking on an ‘element of surprise’, his administration is as chaotic as it would appear at face value, or a combination of both, is at this stage, a moot point. There is a difference between creating suspense on a reality tv series and irresponsible government. In respect of his foreign policy statements, Trump has certainly crossed the line into the territory of deeply irresponsible government, even if his remarks are a calculated act of self-defined genius.

Recently, I compared and more poignantly contrasted Donald Trump’s apparently “moronic” (to quote an alleged statement by Rex Tillerson) statements with Richard Nixon’s calculated ‘mad man theory’. I noted,

“Richard Nixon was many things, but he was certainly not a “moron”. He may have been the most intelligent US President of the 20th century. One of Nixon’s ploys was known as the mad man theory. According to this theory, which was often put into practice by the Nixon White House, statements that Nixon had apparently made indicating his willingness to use extreme force, including nuclear weapons, even in the seemingly most mundane situations, were purposefully leaked to foreign powers.

Dovetailing onto the idea of mutually assured destruction, Nixon’s mad man image was said to force other powers to the negotiating table, for fear that anything less would mean a Nixon pressing the nuclear button.

While the mad man theory defies the laws of ethics and of transparency, it is a classic case of extreme brinkmanship that was common during the Cold War and which Nixon mastered so much that he actually managed to achieve both detente with the Soviet Union as well as opening up western diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.

Many have proffered the idea that Donald Trump’s public image as a trigger happy leader with no real knowledge of world affairs, is a giant bluff in order to try and bring others to the table. While it is not beyond the realm of the possible that Donald Trump’s objectively idiotic remarks on world affairs, his threatening rhetoric and apparent disorderly administration are in fact contrived measures designed to scare others into some sort of negotiating, this theory, even if true, is highly misguided.

During the Nixon era, it was clear what the United States wanted from the powers which the ‘mad man theory’ was tested upon. In respect of Donald Trump, apart from levying more sanctions on Iran, something that would infuriate America’s EU allies, there is little else that Trump could achieve apart from provoking Iran into war which even many in the Pentagon admit would be a disaster.

In respect of North Korea, brinkmanship has already failed. The more the US threatens Pyongyang with war and the more unilateral sanctions the US passes, the more North Korea retorts with further threats and with further weapons tests. China has already made clear that it will not allow a preemptive US led attack on North Korea and Pyongyang for its part, is always careful to temper its threats with statements indicating that North Korea would never be the first to strike against the US or allied target. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also warned the US that the North Koreans would rather “eat grass” than surrender to the United States. Where the Iraqi army ran away during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, North Korea would likely fight to the death, with every weapon and man at its disposal.

As for America’s proxy wars directly primarily against China but also Russia, there is also little that a “moron theory” could do other than entrench the Sino-Russian alliance more so than it already is.

To put it bluntly, while the “moron theory” may work on certain domestic issues, it is not, has not and almost certainly will not work in foreign affairs”.

3 reasons why Donald Trump is defying world opinion over Iran

Indeed, if Trump is issuing “moronic” statements on purpose, it not only serves no clear purpose for the US when dealing with countries on the other side of international geo-politics vis-a-vis the US (Russia, China, Iran, DPRK, Syria), but it is also fully alienating former allies including Pakistan, Turkey and possibly even Saudi Arabia.

As for typically stalwart allies, Trump’s Iran rhetoric is exposing a clear schism between the EU (including the pro-Israel British regime) and Tel Aviv. If Trump is bluffing about withdrawing from the JCPOA, Israel will feel that it was being publicly led on and consequently humiliated. Inversely, if Trump pulls out of the JCPOA, almost all of Europe will be entirely against him and may even work with Iran in a move to shelter Tehran from the effects of an American decision that would represent almost total isolation in terms of global opinion. I personally do not believe that the EU or Israel have anything remotely close to an ethical nor moral foreign policy, but in terms of how to treat allies, Trump’s rhetoric is a textbook example of how to lose trust among close allies. That being said, a schism between the EU and Israel would be a breath of fresh air for the multi-polar world. The fact however remains, that the US is still more powerful than a united Europe and thus, Iran may ultimately care more about what comes out of Washington than Brussels and Berlin.

So barring, a poorly thought out “moron theory”, what if Rex Tillerson said what he is reported to have said and what if he was correct?

A recent report in Vanity Fair suggests that not only is Trump a “moron”, but that he is literally losing his cool and even losing his mind.

The report in question states,

“At first it sounded like hyperbole, the escalation of a Twitter war. But now it’s clear that Bob Corker’s remarkable New York Times interview—in which the Republican senator described the White House as “adult day care” and warned Trump could start World War III—was an inflection point in the Trump presidency. It brought into the open what several people close to the president have recently told me in private: that Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.”

The conversation among some of the president’s longtime confidantes, along with the character of some of the leaks emerging from the White House has shifted. There’s a new level of concern. NBC News published a report that Trump shocked his national security team when he called for a nearly tenfold increase in the country’s nuclear arsenal during a briefing this summer. One Trump adviser confirmed to me it was after this meeting disbanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron.”

In recent days, I spoke with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods. Trump’s ire is being fueled by his stalled legislative agenda and, to a surprising degree, by his decision last month to back the losing candidate Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary. “Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche,” a person close to Trump said. “He saw the cult of personality was broken.”

According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (A White House official denies this.) Two senior Republican officials said Chief of Staff John Kelly is miserable in his job and is remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. Today, speculation about Kelly’s future increased after Politico reported that Kelly’s deputy Kirstjen Nielsen is likely to be named Homeland Security Secretary—the theory among some Republicans is that Kelly wanted to give her a soft landing before his departure.

One former official even speculated that Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. “Would they tackle him?” the person said. Even Trump’s most loyal backers are sowing public doubts. This morning, The Washington Post quoted longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack saying he has been “shocked” and “stunned” by Trump’s behavior.

While Kelly can’t control Trump’s tweets, he is doing his best to physically sequester the president—much to Trump’s frustration. One major G.O.P. donor told me access to Trump has been cut off, and his outside calls to the White House switchboard aren’t put through to the Oval Office. Earlier this week, I reported on Kelly’s plans to prevent Trump from mingling with guests at Mar-a-Lago later this month. And, according to two sources, Keith Schiller quit last month after Kelly told Schiller he needed permission to speak to the president and wanted written reports of their conversations”.

If these reports are true, it is a clear indication that Trump truly is unfit for office (not that there are any realistically good replacements to hand). The problem is that, Vanity Fair, like all mainstream media outlets, simply cannot be trusted. The sources for the damning report on Trump could either be fake, massaged to fit a narrative or taken out of context. The fact that such reports cannot be trusted is no one’s fault but the mainstream media outlets themselves.

Prior to Trump entering office and while Trump was still expressing desires to engage in detente with Russia, pull out of Afghanistan and not hinder Syria’s war against jihadist terrorism, the mainstream media were still out for Trump’s throat and the evident bias in pieces that were supposedly reportage, meant that the mainstream media rendered their entire output to being nothing more than thinly veiled opinion pieces on Trump, which were unethically disguised as factual reportage.

Of course there is nothing wrong with instinctively thinking Trump is crazy, or stupid, even without direct evidence, but as ethnics dictates, the mainstream media should have said ‘this is our opinion’. Instead they acted as though they were proffering fact.

The truth was then as it is now, that the mainstream media is more focused on style than on substance. Before Trump had any policy making track record, the mainstream media damned him because those in charge of CNN, NBC, BBC, CBS, NYT and WaPo don’t like a man who eats fast food, has a sense of humour and says words like “pussy” to acquaintances. I personally don’t care about any of that, I care about issues of war and peace and Trump was certainly more inclined towards peace than Hillary Clinton, whose blood soaked track record and her pride in such a thing, was uniquely disgusting.

Now though, Trump’s policy statements have become little more than declarations of aggression and some would say that in the case of North Korea, all out declarations of war. But where responsible journalists should be asking whether Trump is crazy, stupid, a bit of  both, or simply playing a Nixonian game without the Nixonian panache or clearly defined goals, instead we simply get more of the same: conclusions based on preexisting biases.

From the likes of NBC, there are just more anonymous leaks indicating that Trump’s team thinks he is stupid. From his political rivals such as Bob Corker we get legitimate criticism, but criticism which is ultimately still opinion that preaches to a choir. Even beyond mainstream media, from Steve Bannon’s Breitbart there is little more than conjecture about a ‘political revolution’ being needed to ‘unleash Trump’ and from InfoWars, there is little more than hyperbolic name calling. It’s a desert of information.

What is needed is a genuine whistleblower to get verified information out to journalists. The seemingly ‘on the edge’ nature of the Trump administration begs for someone to do what Snowden did to the NSA, Manning did to the US military and what Seymour Hersh did in respect of the My Lai Massacre.

The problem is that Barack Obama has made life so difficult for genuine whistleblowers, that many seem to have conducted a cost-benefit analysis and in so doing have decided that unverified sources, combined with making things up as one goes along, is just as good as the truth.

The fact is that it is not good enough. Furthermore, when such an attitude coalesces with a mainstream media crying wolf over Trump, there is a clouding of any real discourse over just what is going on in an administration that appears to be in the hands of generals who alternatively answer to and answer for a President who is totally off the rails.

The mainstream media, in lambasting Trump over style, has made any objective reporting on Trump’s actual state of mind, impossible…that is unless a whistleblower comes forward with raw, unfettered facts.

Because the mainstream media made Trump’s presidency about personality, Trump can mouth-off about war without the level of criticism being turned up any louder than when he was caught saying “pussy” in 2005. He won the “pussygate” battle and now has carte blanche to provoke North Korea, Iran, Russia, China and Syria without facing any meaningful scrutiny from the loudest media voices in the United States.  Such a shameful lack of priorities, is mainstream media’s cross to bear, so long as Trump is in office and maybe even beyond.

In some ways, the best thing that could happen, short of a whistleblower coming forward, would be for Rex Tillerson, a seemingly sane non-military voice from within the administration, to come clean. It might mean losing his job, but if he really did call Trump a moron, his job is probably on thin ice anyway, as many have indicated. Again, this is a calculated risk as Tillerson’s sane voice is needed, but if it is being ignored, there is little point in him sticking around.

In short:

Dear Secretary Tillerson, 

Did you call Trump a moron and if so, please tell us just how genuinely moronic he is. World peace may depend on having such information to hand. 

Kind regards, 

Everyone who has lost trust in mainstream media.

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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