Wednesday, April 11, 2018

'Sentence First, Trial Later'

Coleen Rowley on Russiagate and the Anti-Russia / Anti-China War Hysteria

If you haven’t noticed in the last few weeks, the capitalist propaganda machine has jumped the shark.  Colleen Riley, former FBI agent, counsel and whistle-blower, one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2002, spoke in Minneapolis at Left X-Change on Tuesday.  In her forceful style, she discussed her knowledge of Robert Mueller, her attitude towards the allegations of poisonings and gas attacks by Russia, and her perspective on the danger of war between 1 or 2 nuclear powers and the U.S. 
Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Whistleblower
The U.S. and British press have swallowed wholesale Theresa May and Boris Johnson’s claim that the Russians would use, out of the blue, a rare toxic agent on a former spy.  This resulted in hundreds of Russian embassy staff being kicked out of a broad range of countries. Now the U.S. press has pushed – for the 3rd time – the idea that the Syrians have used gas in a rebel stronghold that they were slowly leaving.  The first two 'gas' reports were debunked later by careful analyses.  According to Max Blumenthal, most of the present information has come from SAMS, a medical unit that has been called 'Al Quaeda's MASH' unit by former members.  SAMS is funded by USAID...  Neither of the present allegations has been proved as yet, but that has not stopped the slavish stenographers of the bourgeois press.  Nor the war-mongers in the Trump administration, made up of a 'united front' between the newly resurgent neo-cons like Bolton and the neo-liberals in the Democratic Party.   Rowley warned that citizens should watch out for renewed war in Syria, this time with the Syrian government and Russia as the targets.  Rowley reminded everyone that Russia is a nuclear-armed power, not a bunch of stateless terrorists.  She called the situation almost worse than the Cuban missile crisis.   

Rowley pointed out that Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. all have an interest in regime change in Syria.  The new strategic posture by the Pentagon defines Russia and China as the main military adversaries of the U.S. The 'Defense' Department is no longer primarily targeting terrorism.  According to Rowley this is pushing Russia and China closer together, as they oppose a unipolar world run by the U.S.  But it also increases the danger of a real war.  The sanctions against Russia are part of the economic war.  Even Trump’s trade war against China is part of this hostility, as China’s economy is #2 and might even become #1 according to Rowley.
Rowley explained that Robert Mueller, now the savior of the Democratic Party, was an incompetent and corrupt FBI director, who ignored much information about Al Qaeda’s terror plans prior to 9/11.  He directed the flawed Anthrax investigation, covered for torture in the CIA, promoted the Iraq war and blocked investigations into the ties between the Saudis and the 9/11 bombers. He supported lame entrapment methods to pretend the FBI was doing something about Islamic terrorism. He supports unbound NSA surveillance by the state.  Mueller even supervised the corrupt Whitey Bulger 'informant' scandal in Boston.  This is the person who is going to save the country from Trump!  And the person that liberals are organizing to support in mass demonstrations if he is fired.  Mueller, James Comey and Mueller's boss Rosenstein are all very close, according to Rowley. She encouraged the audience to back off from the tribal party partisanship and to look at things rationally and remember history.  Emotionally-charged pictures from unknown locations are no substitute.

As anyone who has actually looked into the Russiagate story, there is little hard factual evidence that Russia ‘hacked’ the election so far.  The definition of 'hack' of course is left vague.  They probably funded a troll farm based in St. Petersburg. The Facebook sale of 87 million users data to a firm working for Trump, Cambridge Analytica, makes the Russian 'troll farm' look like amateurs.  The evidence of a Russian ‘hack’ of the Democratic Party’s servers has been revealed to be fraudulent as well, though certainly the facts about Democratic Party rigging were not untrue.  The overall impression is of an extremely convoluted and murky case which the Democrats are desperate to follow in order to legally remove Trump.  This is really the sole strategy of 'the Resistance,' while ignoring so much else.  Rowley specifically named the Steele Dossier memo as specious and denounced the FISA court that approved wiretaps related to it.  She reminded the audience that Time Magazine publicly crowed about the massive U.S. help that put Boris Yeltsin into office in Russia, so hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Rowley pointed out that the ‘new McCarthyism’ targets anyone who opposes the aggressive U.S. government line as a Russian agent, a “Russia Today (RT)” clone.   She appears on RT regularly, along with a host of other dissidents – Lee Camp, Chris Hedges, Jesse Ventura, Ed Schultz, Larry King, George Galloway, Max Keiser.  Responding to a question, she said that there probably were real issues of money-laundering and bribery related to Trump's businesses, but this kind of behavior extends to nearly every international businessman on the planet.  Even the raid on Trump’s attorney regarding the Stormy Daniels scandal seems familiar.  As Rowley pointed out, Clinton was first targeted for “Whitewater,” which morphed into the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Russia-bating and Putin-baiting is now part of the politics of all liberals, some leftists and even some anarchists.  This is an easy way to take the 'war' temperature, as demonization now penetrates beyond the usual die-hard patriots like John McCain.  Pro-Palestinian activists were recently Russia-baited at a public meeting they attended.   

Yours truly was RT-baited by an anarchist at another meeting after I pointed out that Russia's real 'crime' was interfering in two attempts at regime-change by the U.S.  I tried to remember if I’d ever seen organized anarchists at an anti-war demonstration. I do not recall any, nor did friends of mine. Let me know if you ever saw a formal group of anarchists attend - I’ll buy you a beer at Palmers if so!  If true, it seems to indicate that organized anarchism has no international program opposed to imperialism or war.  They share this with liberalism and some social-democrats.  There is no need to mention conservatives and fascists in this regard, of course, as they have rarely seen a war they didn't love.

P.S. - Patrick Lawrence reprinted part of Sharmine Narwani's report in Eastern Ghouta from last month, which detailed a chemical lab in the Islamist rebel area.

National Anti-War Spring Actions - "Stop Endless Wars" Sunday, April 15, 1:30 P.M. Rally; 2:00 P.M. March.  Hennepin & Lagoon, Minneapolis.  Sponsored by Minneapolis Peace Action Coalition.
Red Frog
April 11, 2018

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