Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 16, 2019

CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump

CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump

An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.

In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.

The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:

President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration’s plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.

The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies — part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

“We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.”

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.

The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:

The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration’s increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration’s stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia’s already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:

Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.

London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the “strong option” was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury. They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill. No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)

If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.

The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:

The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.

Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.

The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:

Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said.

Posted by b on April 16, 2019 at 12:37 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 16 2019 13:00 utc | 1

I don't see how it's possible to manipulate someone (and especially the US president) into doing something they don't want to do with lies like the ones described here. On the contrary presidents, CEOs etc. favor the staffers who tell them the kind of lies they want to hear in order to reinforce what they wanted to do in the first place.

I've never seen any reason to alter my first position on Trump, that like any other president he does what he wants to do.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 16 2019 13:02 utc | 2

The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men.

The joke 7in the final scene Robert Redford tells See Eye A man Cliff Robertson that he gave all the evidence to the NY Times. What a joke. The NY Times and the Wash Post are the mouthpieces for the SEE Eye A. The AP news sources most of their stories from those two papers and other lackey See Eye A newspapers.

One final criticism in moon's story. The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead.

Posted by: Jerry | Apr 16 2019 13:14 utc | 3

Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director

After this, she got the top job, so what is the real lesson here? Sociopathic liars get promoted....or you can tell the truth, try to be honorable and fade into obscurity..

In a nest of psychos, you have to really be depraved to become the top psycho...

Nuke it for orbit, it's the only way to be sure...

Posted by: manny | Apr 16 2019 13:15 utc | 4

D. Trump may not be a billionaire but he has plenty of money. A normal person with money and intelligence buys and eats foods that are good for and sustain the body. This is basic. Trump by choice eats McDonalds. What more needs to be said.Trump is the swamp. Drain the swamp.

Posted by: onelostsock | Apr 16 2019 13:21 utc | 5

Here is an article that looks at whether nations around the world regard the United States or Russia as the greater threat to their nation:

It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Apr 16 2019 13:35 utc | 6


Backing up Russ's point, when will you realise the "buck stops" on Trump's desk for any and all departments he oversees, which are run by his appointees? Trump is dedicated to creating a neoconservative foreign policy melded to a neoliberal economic policy favouring his corporate fascist sponsors. Recently, you've been all over the Assange indictment, Trump's relationship with Nuttyahoo and the related rollback of JCPOA. Is this what you want to see continued into a second term?

There is much evidence to show Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.

They haven't got there quite yet but once the judiciary is controlled by GOP ideologues it's game over. And McConnell is dedicating his life to make that the reality ASAP.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we are dedicated to knocking down any and all potential opposition to this GOP hostile takeover for some reason I've yet to fathom.

Posted by: donkeytale | Apr 16 2019 13:40 utc | 7

Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game[Pompeo]

Hopefully yes to all four propositions. Why am I sceptical though (except conceivably the first)?

Posted by: BM | Apr 16 2019 13:42 utc | 8

The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. He's the first POTUS in decades I believe to not even pretend to like dogs by having an official White House dog and every policy his Administration can take against animals, they have taken. I'm not even sure I buy the spin that he cared about dead kids either. And NYT readers know this about him, so I don't understand what the point of peddling this fiction is other than to paint Torture Queen in some kind of good light (and we KNOW that she certainly doesn't care about dead anything).

Posted by: Mataman | Apr 16 2019 13:45 utc | 9

another example of trump's stupidity and pathological inability to think for himself. he gets his views from fox and his policy from bolton. his equally vapid daughter and kushner whine to him about sooper sad syria pictures they saw in a sponsored link while googling for new tmz gossip.

even worse that this is the twat in charge of one of russiagate's main instigating "deep state" agencies. he spent the entirety of his presidency railing against their various lies then takes this wankery at face value. it's just like the "chinese soldiers in venezuela"; if those pictures were legit they'd have been splattered over every front page and permanently attached to screeching cnn and msnbc segments demanding trump "finally get tough" on "putin's russia".

my only surprise is that she didn't tell him about british babies ripped from incubators and dipped in anthrax powder.
the nyt shilling for a soCIopAth? not that surprising.

Posted by: the pair | Apr 16 2019 14:08 utc | 10

The consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital wrote to The Times, shortly after the Skripal incident. His choice of words was odd, and some have said they indicate no novichok poisoning occurred. Leaving that to one side, his letter certainly puts paid to the idea that more than three people (the Skripals and the policeman, DCI Bailey) were poisoned.

Posted by: Twiki | Apr 16 2019 14:43 utc | 11

"the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal,"

There was no attack on the Skripals. or on anyone else.
The Russophobia in whose context it falls, is of a higher order, in which a fabricated narrative of a Skripal-like attack had an important function.
The Skripals were perfectly happy to lend their name to the fabrication, and are living happily, probably in New Zealand.

Posted by: bjd | Apr 16 2019 14:43 utc | 12

The Daily Beast article that b linked to describes how many serious, well-informed people felt that Haspel was unsuitable to lead the CIA.

Even more strange and troubling was that Haspel was supported by Trump's nemesis, John Brennan.

Despite all that, MAGA Trump still nominated her.

Any notion that Trump is at odds with, or "manipulated" by, Haspel, Bolton, or Pompeo is just propaganda. We've seen such reporting before (esp. wrt Bolton) and Trump has taken no action.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 16 2019 14:59 utc | 13

I see that Trump derangement is alive and well here at MoA. Commenters talk as if Trump is the first president stupid enough to be manipulated by the security agencies and shadow government sometimes referred to as a "deep state". People don't have to be historians or look back to Rome, just read the books about how the great general who "won WWII" was used by the oligarchy which had full control of US foreign policy throughout Eishehour's term in office.
Works produced after WWII, C. Wright Mills, The Power elite was written in 1956,The Brothers and The Divil's Chessboard each about the Dulles Brothers and how they operated US foreign policy for the interests of the oligarchy, and the work Peter Phillips, GIANTS: The Global Power Elite and the work of David Rothkopf which thoroughly describes the feudal system under which the Western cultures are ruled.
The US government is a pantomime it is a show it has no power.
How many here can honestly say they understand that the US dollar itself and the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM is privately owned. Why do you think the "banks were bailed out"? because the banks were in power not the government. The US is 22 trillion in debt - the oligarchy is the creditor - take over the US gov. and you have a powerless pile of debt.
Around 6,000 people control 85% of global assets until that changes nothing will change. The oligarchy won virtually all the mines and control the price of all basic commodities necessary for modern life, the internet, oil of course and more.
What is failing and what has failed over and over for 500 years is Western Civilization and its three "great religions" which preach obedience, oppression, domination by a one god suffocating mythology.
But the oligarchy doesn't own just the basic commodities, it owns the religions and it owns the drugs and all illegal trade as well.
Western "civilization" is really nothing more than one vast feudal kingdom, with royal courts in DC, Tel Aviv and Ryiadh. Wheather there is a god or not, religion is made of flesh and blood not miracles. No Rabbi or Priest or Imam claims visitations by god to instruct them on doctrine - they are flesh and blood and they want power so they behave like sycophants to the money they need to expand their power...all for the good souls under their care.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Apr 16 2019 15:04 utc | 14

Execution is too good for Haspel. She should be renditioned to Saudi Arabia for "enhanced interrogation". I'm confident the Clown Prince can come up with some creative "interrogation" techniques.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2019 15:04 utc | 15

Correction @13 Trump's supposed nemesis

Trump has brought several friends and associates of his enemies into his Administration:

VP Pence: John McCain's buddy

Bolton: a neocon (neocons were "Never Trump", remember?)

Wm Barr: close with Mueller

Haspel: Brennan's gal at CIA

And Trump himself was close to the Clintons.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 16 2019 15:16 utc | 16

Dead ducks...

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Apr 16 2019 15:29 utc | 17

Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 16 2019 16:00 utc | 18

What can we expect from a tv personality who became a US president? A man who ran with an advertisement worthy of a business man like him, “Make America Great Again.” How does he go about doing it? Giving more money to the military industrial-Congressional complex, even though we are really flat broke. Using aggressive tactics used by Wall Street in hostile company takeovers to really intimidate other nations. And hire and place those he really agrees with in important positions who really reflect his true feelings. I’m sure when he spoke with Haspel before offering her the job, he brought up the topic of torture and agreed with her on its use on terrorists.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Apr 16 2019 16:08 utc | 19

lysias @18: conspired to stop Trump's candidacy

I think there's a reasonable case to be made that they conspired not to stop Trump but to further speculation of Trump's "collusion" with Russia (what would later be known as Russiagate). The "collusion" and "Russia meddled" accusations are what fueled the new McCarthyism.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 16 2019 16:24 utc | 20

I'll just add to Jerry's comment at #3 that the final line in the movie "Day of the Condor" is something like "But will they print it?" which really spoke to the message of the film in its entirety. The condor being an endangered bird for whom the hero is named, and the beginning outrage being the brutal murder of book lovers researching useable plot details for the 'company'makes this message current and applicable to what we see in the Skripal case. And instead of librarians, we now have online commenters, a doughty breed, and we have Assange.

Instead of 'Will they print it?' I am wondering 'Will they make another movie about it?'

"Day of the Condor: Part Two." Some Day.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 16 2019 16:28 utc | 21

Remind me, where is Yulia Skripal these days? Well and truly 'disappeared' it seems. The mask is off. the snarling face of the beast is there for all to see.

Posted by: Ross | Apr 16 2019 16:41 utc | 22

What a total waste of an article discussing a story published in NYT or WaPo.

b, the World has divided itself into those who consume alternative media such as this and stupidos who consume MSM. There is nothing in-between that you are attempting to discuss and dissect here. NYT = cognitive value zero.

Fake News not worth one millisecond of our time, not even to decode what the regime wants us to know, we know all that already. Personally, I am only interested in the new methods of domestic repression, what is next after the warning of Assange arrest, future rendition and torture. The Deep Stare appears to be coming out into open, will it soon get rid of the whole faux democracy construct and just use iron fist to rule? It already impose its will as the rule of law. All of the Western block is heading in this direction.

Posted by: Kiza | Apr 16 2019 16:49 utc | 23

Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 16 2019 17:00 utc | 24

The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. Mataman | Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM

This assumes that Trump would primarily care about the ducks (and children) when he approved a massive expulsion, rather that his image and "ah, in that case it would look bad if we do not do something really decisive".

In any case, I was thinking why NYT would disclose something like that. The point is that readers of Craig Murray (not so few, but mostly Scottish nationalists who are also leftist and have scant possibilities and/or inclination to vote in USA) and MoonOfAlabama would quickly catch a dead fish here, but 99.9% of the public is blissfully unaware of any incongruences in the "established" Skripal narrative.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2019 17:11 utc | 25

BTW, it is possible that the journalist who scribbled fresh yarn obtained from CIA did it earnestly. Journalists do not necessarily follow stories that they cover -- scribbling from given notes does not require overtaxing the precious attention span that can be devoted to more vital cognitive challenges. I am lazy to find the link, but while checking for news on Venezuela, I stumbled on a piece from Express, a British tabloid, where Guaido was named a "figurehead of the oposition" supported by "450 Western countries". My interpretation was that more literate journalists were moved for to more compelling stories as Venezuela went to the back burner.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2019 17:22 utc | 26

Yes, indeed, the Skripal Affair is one of the obviously contrived stunts we've seen.

Just outrageous in its execution.

On a par with the US having a man who didn't even run for president of Venezuela swear himself in and then pressure everyone to accept him as president.

Interesting, I had no idea Gina Haspel - aka, The Queen of Blood - played a role. I thought it was all original dirty work by Britain's Theresa May.

Boy, I hope people are through with the false notion that if women just get into leadership, the world will become a better gentler place.

Here's some interesting background:

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Apr 16 2019 17:28 utc | 27

Macron was (afaik?) the only EU ‘leader’ who was quoted in the MSM as bruiting re. the Skripal affair a message like:

.. no culpability in the part of Russia has been evidenced .. for now...

I suppose he was enjoined to shut his gob right quick (have been reading about brexit so brit eng) as nothing more in that line was heard.

Hooo, the EU expelled a lot of Russ. diplomats, obeying the USuk, which certainly created some major upsets on the ground.

Some were expelled, went into other jobs, other places, but then others arrived, etc. The MSM has not made any counts - lists - of names numbers - etc. of R diplos on the job - anywhere. As some left and then others arrived.

Once more, this was mostly a symbolic move, if extremely nasty, insulting, and disruptive.

Theresa May’s speech re. Novichok, Independent 14 March 2018:

.. on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. ..

Cost her a consequent amount of political capital. - Everyone knows the Skripal story is BS.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 16 2019 17:28 utc | 28

@25 & @26:

imo, the media has, once again, simply taken its lead from trump himself, & started making things up completely. & you're absolutely correct in pointing out that, much like trump's true believers, the msm's targeted audience never even notices...

Posted by: semiconscious | Apr 16 2019 17:31 utc | 29

Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 16 2019 17:53 utc | 30

after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative..

what i didn't know is what @18 lysias pointed out.."Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter." ditto jr's speculation @20 too...

so gaspel shows trump some cheap propaganda that she got from who??

my main problem with b's post - i tend to see it like kiza @23) is maintaining the idea trump isn't in on all of this.. the thought trump is being duped by his underlings.. if he was and it mattered, he would get rid of them.. the fact he doesn't says to me, he is in on it - get russia, being the 24/7 game plan of the west here still..

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2019 18:03 utc | 31

Please stop listening to idiot libertarians and their "US is flat broke" meme.
The reality is that: so long as Americans transact in dollars, the United States government can tax anytime it feels like by issuing new dollars via the Fed.
Equally, so long as 60% of the world's trade is conducted in dollars, this is tens to hundreds of billions of dollars of additional taxation surface area.
The MMT people - I don't agree 100% with everything they say, but they do understand the actual operation of fiat currency.
The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 16 2019 18:03 utc | 32

Well this could be Syria, not Salisbury!

I doubt Haspel knew the ducks were fake - she was probably just given stuff to pass up the chain.
It is a lot like John Kerry who was shown convincing satellite data of the BUK launch that hit MH17 - but no one could be bothered to pass on even the launch site coordinates to the JIT. I'm sure this stuff goes on all the time, and of course, once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible.

Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Apr 16 2019 18:12 utc | 33

The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both.

Posted by: bjd | Apr 16 2019 18:25 utc | 34

Haspel will not be fired.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 16 2019 18:48 utc | 35

Craig Murray's lament about the Notre Dame fire has an interesting twist that allows him to opine after citing John Stuart Mill:

"I have always believed that right wing 'thought' is a misnomer, and right wing views are rather characterised by absence of meaningful intellectual activity."

Hmm... It appears the right wing controls most every Western government and that of several other important nations. So, how did they gain control if not through the exercise of "meaningful intellectual activity"? Certainly those trolls acting on behalf of the Right Wing are often idiots, but those exercising actual power have obviously used their heads to gain and maintain their positions. If May and her Tories are examples of the "intellectual incapacity of the conservative mind," then why are they still in power and been able to keep their contrived scandals from sinking them?

Underestimating your enemy is a Cardinal Sin whether in war or politics. IMO, Murray has done just that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 16 2019 18:52 utc | 36

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | 32

"The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy."

The useful idiocy is most surprising among US farmers. In the 19th century they broadly understood that fiat money was good for chronic low-wealth debtors like themselves, while hard money was bad and a gold standard lethal. This was the basis of the Populist movement. Nothing has changed financially, but today's farmers, and the low-wealth debtor class in general, seem more likely to be goldbuggers than to have any knowledge of economics or of their own political history.

karlof1 36

Once a faction becomes submerged in the Mammon theocracy and becomes nothing but mercenary nihilists, thinking is no longer necessary or desirable, except to come up with attractive, pseudo-plausible lies.

This certainly characterizes "the right" (including liberals), but they have no monopoly on it. By now "the left" is nearly as thoughtless and instrumental on behalf of Mammon, except to the extent that a few people are starting to really grapple with what it means to have an intrinsically ecocidal and therefore suicidal civilization. That's really the only thought frontier left, all else has been engulfed in Mammon, productionism, scientism and technocracy.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 16 2019 19:02 utc | 37

@7 ..Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.

I remind that Mussolini wasted his legislature.. 1 balmy after noon @ a roadside spot. it made his government stronger.?

It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). .. The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Everyone in the government is covering for the behaviors of someone else in government, the MSM has raised the price of a pencil to just under a million, stock markets are bags of hot thin air, and everyone in side and outside of the centers of power at all levels of government have lied thru their teeth so much that their teeth are melting from the continuous flow of hot deceitful air. Corrupt is now the only qualification for political office, trigger happy screwball the only qualification for the police and the military and . making progress is like trying to conduct a panty raid at a female nudist camp.

Posted by: snake | Apr 16 2019 19:29 utc | 38

Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?

Joe Turner: They'll print it.

Higgins: How do you know?

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | Apr 16 2019 19:47 utc | 39

Good God it's a Fiction. If all you know about something comes from the NYT then you know less than nothing.

In any case Rothschild Globalist from the US/UK to Russia and China are working from the same playbook it could not be more obvious.

b you are sustaining the mirage by focusing on this nonsense.

Posted by: C I eh | Apr 16 2019 20:32 utc | 40

"If Trump were not in on the schemes he would just fire his underlings!"

This sentiment indicates a failure to understand the power dynamics at play here. Haspel is not the "underling". Trump is the underling. Sure, being that he is also an oligarch makes Trump's role in the show complicated, but Presidents are installed in order to serve the oligarchy, and the CIA are top level strategists/enforcers for the oligarchy. In the real organization chart for the empire the CIA is above the President. This has been the case in the US since Kennedy. Trump cannot fire Haspel or Pompeo. They can fire him, though, and with a sniper's bullet if they want. Unfortunately for the oligarchy, that would cause additional complications at a time when they have lots of tricky and inexplicably unstable (for them) operations ongoing, which is why they are just steering Trump around instead of replacing him. And Trump is willfully cooperating, even if they are not filling him in on the plans.

Trump will not fire Haspel. He can't. He's just an actor playing a role in a show, and Haspel is one of the producers/writers of that show. If she doesn't put firing in the script then Trump cannot say those lines. I doubt he really wants to anyway.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2019 20:41 utc | 41

@41 william gruff.. interesting theory that has been suggested before... i suppose that is hard to back up with anything concrete though, right?? we have become a culture of tea leave readers, looking for signs.. would be good to know in concrete terms if this theory was legit...

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2019 20:49 utc | 42

Why should anyone believe NYT?

As for me it look just an operation to whitewash Trump, to reinvent him as an innocent naive savage by finding a convenient scapegoat.

Gina Haspel took the role of ruthless evil genie because, well, because simply there aint a thing in this world that could damage her reputation. She has nothing to lose reputation-wise. So she is a perfect scapegoat here to collect all the blame from Trump and provide him with cover of plausible deniability and faux innosence.

Posted by: Arioch | Apr 16 2019 21:01 utc | 43

Hmm... It appears the right wing controls most every Western government and that of several other important nations. So, how did they gain control if not through the exercise of "meaningful intellectual activity"? Certainly those trolls acting on behalf of the Right Wing are often idiots, but those exercising actual power ...
Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 16, 2019 2:52:02 PM | 36

A citation from a web search that explains how I would rebut karlof1 here:

An intellectual would be an intelligent person. The intelligent person is, therefore, the umbrella term, and the intellectual belongs to the category of the intelligent person. What distinguishes the intellectual from the intelligent person is his curiosity and interest that goes significantly beyond the person, who can merely respond to mental challenges when posed to him ...

In that context, people may gain power because they intelligently explore and execute what should be done. To get power. But a wider context, how to use power for some general benefit, what does constitute general benefit etc. can be a dangerous distraction from the goal of gaining power. For example, elected politicians have a tendency of explaining their positions simplistically, and a typical intellectual gets a toothache listening to them EVEN if their conclusions align with his/her opinion. A simple-minded politicians has less trouble "staying on message" etc.

To give another example, people running businesses -- as owners or executives -- have assorted interests and no time and patience to pursue them. Instead, they support lobbyists that promote very simplistic version of their "interests". In turn, lobbyists work to create a sense of urgency among the clients and collect revenue, the money that brings them good living.

These layers of "technicians" strip public policy of common sense and ethics, and due to their superior focus, more simple minded folks are statistically more successful than intellectuals.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2019 21:27 utc | 44

Trump is like a voodoo doll into which every sh**bag sticks pins. Firstly, it is irrelevant whether he was a swamp creature before election or was coopted into it after. Secondly, Trump was transparently chosen to be the “agent of change” for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before. Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of “whatever it takes”. Once the “change” potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap. This is where we are now, Assange was the most prominent member of the real opposition to the regime, where they try to confuse with plenty of faux opposition. Therefore, the Assange’s head had to be chopped off publicly and his slowly rotting corpse will now be on display through “courts of justice” for the next couple of years as a warning to the consumers of alternative media. Go back to reading the approved “journalism” or ... To understand better one just needs to read/re-read Solzhenitsyn.

The other major ongoing life-extension activity, overlapping with repression, is the confiscation of guns from the last remaining armed Western population (lots of leftist oxen pulling that cart). Having too many guns amongst the population is bad for resolving personal conflicts peacefully, but it is even worse for the abusive, exploitative regime. Thus, taking the guns away is doing the right thing for a totally wrong reason.

It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan’s protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new.

Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline?

Posted by: Kiza | Apr 16 2019 21:33 utc | 45

So, if Trump announces on Twitter that he has fired Haspel, as he has the constitutional right to do, how does she retain her office?

Posted by: lysias | Apr 16 2019 21:42 utc | 46

Not sure we can expect Trump to turn back to his 2016 foreign policy between now and 2020. Now after he's *very likely* reelected and doesn't have to face voters again, I think there's a decent chance of that happening maybe.

Posted by: Jonathan Everett Gillispie | Apr 16 2019 21:45 utc | 47

So one of Trump's people lied to or misinformed him? Not surprised at all.

Posted by: Jonathan Everett Gillispie | Apr 16 2019 21:46 utc | 48

Speaking of Solzhenitsyn, how has it been possible to prevent the publication of an English translation of his "200 Years Together" in all countries of the world?

Posted by: lysias | Apr 16 2019 21:48 utc | 49

B, here's a remarkable fact: The Skripal Novichok perfume bottle assassination story is is eerily similar to episode 2 of BBC show 'Killing Eve' where an assassin uses a perfume bottle to kill her target and where later an innocent person accidentally dies after coming into contact with said perfume bottle.

The episode aired around a month after the Skripal attack but well before the other 2 people fell ill and the perfume bottle theory emerged.

Posted by: Koen | Apr 16 2019 22:13 utc | 50

This sheds a whole new light on the death of those two poor little hamsters,or was it guinea pigs,said to be starved while the police was investigating the premises of Skripal.

With Haspel around they might have succombed to her nasty ways of torturing.

Posted by: willie | Apr 16 2019 22:29 utc | 51

It is much more likely that Trump knew he was being lied to and wanted to be lied to.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 16 2019 22:33 utc | 52

Concerning who is pulling the strings, please forgive a repost of an interview with one who knows. On 31 May 2017 Putin gave an interview with Le Figaro where he said:

“I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration.”

A long list of people with briefcases so far ends with Gina.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 16 2019 22:41 utc | 53

Questioning another's intellectual ability simply reveals the void in your own thinking and/or argument. Like everybody, Trump is clever at some things, maybe even brilliant, and not so clever at other things: I doubt any of us know him well enough to be able to distinguish his own decisions versus those of his staff. Despite the huge number of applicants, especially on comment boards, very few people are the cleverest at everything and there is no reason to expect that of Trump.

Posted by: aspnaz | Apr 16 2019 22:41 utc | 54

May is still in power for two reasons.
The first is that, since the Cameron/Liberal coalition, which preceded the vote on the EU, the British Constitution has been amended top allow a government which consistently loses votes in the Commons to remain in power. Before this Act (The Fixed Parliament Act or some such name) it was impossible for games such as those that May has been playing not to lead to the fall of the ministry.
The second is that, as the recent defection of Labour MPs-forming the Independent Group- reminds us, the Parliamentary Labour Party includes a majority of members both opposed to a Corbyn government and afraid of a General Election. Whenever a No Confidence motion seems likely to pass they ensure that their votes save the government-a tactic the 'Deputy Leader' Watson confessed was his own.
As a historian you will know that it has been a consistent demand of reformers in the UK that the Septennial Act of 1715 (passed to save the government from having to face an angry electorate inclined to Jacobitism) be replaced by annually elected Parliaments.
In the US this tradition was reflected in the setting of two year terms for the House. In the People's Charter, Annual Parliaments were one of the six demands.
One thing I can assure you, from personal knowledge acquired over seven decades, Mill was right about the Tories being supported by stupid voters and Murray is right about the Tory party at the highest levels, being staffed by idiots.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 16 2019 22:44 utc | 55

Koen @50

I think the term for this is predictive programing. It's a way of getting the people to accept ridiculous things.

There's plenty of evidence for this. I thought that the past two series of Homeland where also used to prepare the American people for the craziness that was too come - plots against the President but the Russians were behind it (as far as I can recall). I did enjoy these series of Homeland but became a bit annoyed when I realised (as real life events unfolded) that the series had a purpose not related too entertainment.

If ever there is a series about a nuclear bomb going off in the city where I live then I'll have to give serious consideration too moving a long way away.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 16 2019 22:47 utc | 56

Lots of speculation about the fire being a Hate Crime similar to that done in Zionistan to the al-Aqsa mosque. It that light, this Ilhan Omar tweet ought to be linked and read--especially the comment thread filled with massively ignorant people having no clue as to what, where or who they really ought to direct their anger.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 16 2019 22:57 utc | 57

Ah yes, Prescient observation regarding Venezuela:

"The media’s interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West’s interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status."--John McEvoy

So, lets employ this maxim to Russiagate and the Skripal Saga and the respective national media. In the first case, the Russian public's completely ignored unless it's a member of the so-called opposition while Putin and Russia get slandered constantly. The same treatment goes for the UK media and a case could be made that the two act in tandem, implying innerconnectivity between their spy agencies as suspected.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 16 2019 23:26 utc | 58

The New York Times article seems whiffy to me. (Is anything from the NYT not whiffy?) The article is the work of no fewer than five writers and the part about Donald Trump being swayed by pictures of sick children in hospital and dead ducks seems a bit like a game of Chinese whispers.

What's the real agenda though behind that article? It's to put Gina Haspel in a favourable light at the same time as it's criticising Trump. Is the NYT promoting Gina Haspel as someone who deserves a more influential position than the nation's top torturer? She wouldn't be the first such criminal being subtly encouraged to try for DJT's job in the future.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 16 2019 23:32 utc | 59

ADKC @ 56 (and Koen @ 50):

Better not play too many of those "Call of Duty" video games either. You might find that being a pretend mercenary shooting up innocent people in foreign lands is not just for the purpose of wasting a half of day on mindless entertainment.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 16 2019 23:39 utc | 60

Jen @59

I see it as a complex exercise in CYA. They need to reinforce certain narratives.

>> The media was right about Trump: he has a soft spot for Russia.

>> Trump cares about people (and even ducks) - remember how he bombed Syria because of the babies? Now Trump is super concerned about the people of Venezuela. What a humanitarian!

>> Russia has no reason to oppose USA (in Venezuela or elsewhere) - they could just contact their friend Trump! To do otherwise demonstrates malicious intent.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 16 2019 23:59 utc | 61

@ Bart Hansen #1

As of almost 8 PM, there are 35 comments. In a national newspaper on a story like this? There must be a committee cherry picking them for "suitability" - the collection is as fake as the article. Wonderful Haspel at the head of an amazing CIA tutoring a clueless moron of a POTUS. The third part they got right.

Why are they fluffing the torturer and the out-of-control CIA? Is something planned where they want both to shine in their future stories on that "something"?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 17 2019 0:00 utc | 62

Karlof1 @ 36:

By "meaningful intellectual activity", Craig Murray is referring to critical thinking skills, having an open mind and being able to consider all options and possibilities. We can agree that Theresa May and the people who make up her Cabinet and government, and a sizeable proportion of the Tories, may well be deficient in these activities.

I have read something of how David Cameron worked his way up to leadership of the British Conservatives years ago. Coming from a wealthy family (his father was a stockbroker who enjoyed posthumous notoriety when his name surfaced in the Panama Papers), Cameron went to the "right" schools (which count Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as former students, btw), Eton College and then Oxford University where he enrolled in the politics / economics course that prepares students for careers in politics - it's popularly called "PPE". After university he went to work for the Conservative Party.

You could say Cameron's path had already been mapped out for him and the decision was not his to deviate from it. Probably the same can be said of some other people in Theresa May's Cabinet.

And what can be said of a UK Defence Secretary of whom the love of his life is a pet Mexican tarantula?

Posted by: Jen | Apr 17 2019 0:13 utc | 63

@ lysias 49
You are being sarcastic, tongue in cheek, correct? I also wonder who could have done such a thing?

But seriously, the value of Solzhenitsyn is not in the quality of his prose, which is very difficult to read, then in the relevance of his topics. He did document how power over others and ultimately totalitarianism manifest themselves in the fallible human nature. Humans cannot rule themselves properly, but usually psychopaths must rule (use & abuse) others. A whole system can be created on top of psychopathy of a few individuals (does this ring a bell?). Of course, the claim that Solzhenitsyn was a critic of Communism is equivalent to the claim that Animal Farm is a description of Communism. Both are good social critique turned into yet another political/brainwashing tool. It is art because it describes human nature across artificial boundaries, especially the ideological one: left versus right.

On another matter, I have started skipping comments where Trump is being bashed. In addition to being leftist TDS, this is a perfect indication that the commenter has got no clue what is really going on, so how could he/she explain anything to others?

Posted by: Kiza | Apr 17 2019 0:14 utc | 64

@ Jen #59

Is the NYT promoting Gina Haspel as someone who deserves a more influential position than the nation's top torturer? She wouldn't be the first such criminal being subtly encouraged to try for DJT's job in the future.

If an idea like that ever gets into Trump's head, Haspel is a goner. Have you noticed how he said he considered Ivanka for the World bank?

"Donald Trump reveals he considered making Ivanka head of World Bank because she's 'good with numbers'"

And there was a video of him bringing her to the microphone on the subject of 5G which amazed me:

Trump Invites Ivanka To Talk About 5G Deployment In The U.S.

I think Trump truly believes Ivanka is presidential material!

Tinfoil-hat opinion time: if you have a credible threat against Ivanka, you control Trump. If you want to gain a different kind of leverage - like to talk him into quitting in 2020 - promise him you'll work hard to put her in the White House.

Still tin-foiling, but I think a version of this happened in 1992. Iran Contra was closing in, and the Democrats had the goods on Bush Senior. I buy into the conspiracy notion Bush Sr. was offered a deal where the matter would be dropped if he left office, and with a "sweetener" that one of his boys would be advanced to the White House. This didn't hurt the Powers That Be, for the chosen democrat was a rare Pro-Choice Republican posing as a democrat. Bill Clinton was a warmongering neocon nut who governed domestically as a Republican. As it turns out, the "smart one" (Jeb) lost his first step by not immediately getting to be Governor of Florida. That left the Codpiece Commander, and all his sins were airbrushed away, the Supreme Court intervened, and he entered the White House. Good deal for Pappy Bush, BTW. Him and Reagan got to keep their gold shine, and President Dumbya did all which was expected of him.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 17 2019 0:34 utc | 65

Thanks Jen & Piotr for your comments regarding my take on Murray's missive. The problem lies with people in generation after generation being fooled by the same or similar ruses used before, which is why The Who exhorted people to not let themselves "get fooled again." The UK & EU both face crises caused by their adherence to Neoliberal economics, but Neoliberalistic governments hold sway in almost every EU nation and UK despite the damage they've caused. It's certainly a muddle. Trump vetoing the legislation to cease supporting Saudi in Yemen will further help the turn to the East. And tomorrow will bring something else.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2019 0:59 utc | 66

@66 karlof1

Here's a link for anyone who still doesn't believe Trump is on the dark side.

Trump vetoes resolution ending U.S. involvement in Yemen

Posted by: Circe | Apr 17 2019 1:13 utc | 67

Newsflash: Trump vetoes Congressional resolution to end military support for the war in Yemen.

Any of the Trump Dick Suckers care to comment? Babble-on @ 14? Your take please. Never enough dissembling wrt Trump.

Posted by: donkeytale | Apr 17 2019 1:15 utc | 68

62 - Zachary, I was in town all day but when I got back I was able to post a comment on the Haspel story. Because my first name coincides with that of a popular cartoon character on TV I post with the Spanish equivalent.

As I imply in my comment, where on earth did this story about dead ducks and sickened children come from?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 17 2019 1:19 utc | 69


Looks like Trump is only a compassionate humanitarian on behalf of Syrian kids. With 14 school children killed in Yemen a week ago, not so much.

400 children killed since January 2019 in Yemen and 85,000 have died from malnutrition in the past 3 and a half years and Trump vetoes resolution to end U.S. involvement.

Trump whitewashers have a lot of work to do.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 17 2019 1:48 utc | 70

@Mataman #9:

The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals.

Perhaps Donald Trump has a soft spot for ducks because of Donald Duck?

Posted by: S | Apr 17 2019 3:17 utc | 71

Now Haspel can boast that she grabbed him by the duckie.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 17 2019 3:26 utc | 72

@ Bart Hansen #69

So far as I understand your question, the Neocon York Times link from above had this about the kids and the ducks:

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The Brits were lying, Haspel was lying, and either Trump believed her or pretended to.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 17 2019 3:40 utc | 73

@73 Zachary Smith

Or Haspel believed the Brits. Maybe even the Brits believed, partly. I suspect there are degrees of lying, whereby exaggerations increase as they travel through the chain of foisting off the goods to the next buyer.

I suspect that - to put this into fanciful terms - only the devil can contemplate the lie in its fullness without flinching, and all others have to give themselves a bit of belief in order to take it on board, because they are human, and this humanness persists, even though they feel it slipping away (but cannot believe it's happening).

I think we often leave out this element of human frailty and conceit when we draw out our frameworks of how the conspiracy goes down. But I think the actors and players themselves are fully aware of this human element, and keep the sweeteners and the frighteners at hand always, to keep everyone and themselves on script.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 17 2019 5:50 utc | 74

"Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied".

This would indicate, if true, that the Brits desired to manipulate and used the CIA here mainly as conduit to influence Trump. It would make more sense, historically as well, interpreting causality and motive this way.

Posted by: John Dowser | Apr 17 2019 6:16 utc | 75

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 16, 2019 8:34:23 PM | 65

"Donald Trump reveals he considered making Ivanka head of World Bank because she's 'good with numbers'"

And there was a video of him bringing her to the microphone on the subject of 5G which amazed me:

Trump Invites Ivanka To Talk About 5G Deployment In The U.S.

I think Trump truly believes Ivanka is presidential material!

Speaking seriously, I see no reason why Ivanka would be less qualified for any of these organized crime positions than anyone who previously has held them, other than from the point of view of supporters of the system who want it to be as well-run as possible. Of course enemies of the system want the opposite.

If she's really stupid, that's much better from the point of view of anyone other than a supporter of the system. As we see again, most who criticize the system still are supporters of it, a kind of "loyal opposition".

The past few days two religious electoralists, assuming I also was a member of their cult, asked "who I liked". I think I'll just start responding, Ivanka! Though Kim Kardasian also is a worthy contender.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 17 2019 7:17 utc | 76

Kiza says:

Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline

well, Dmitry Orlov, for one, is doing yeoman service. from his latest:

Then society breaks down. And only then, after all that, do people finally realize that the problem was inside their heads all along (cultural collapse). Quickly adopting a better, more right-thinking culture is, of course, a good idea. An alternative is to go through a Dark Age followed by an extended period of mindless slaughter

Posted by: john | Apr 17 2019 11:10 utc | 77

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | 25

The New York Times article is too tongue in cheek for carelessness (of course the CIA director is NOT manipulating Trump ...). They had sent two reporters to Salisbury and indeed Russia to get impressions on the ground - that means money. And somehow their interest was very much if the British government story sticks or not.

"Others fret about the ducks that used to gather on the Avon River near where the Skripals collapsed, saying they must have been quietly culled. (Mr. Dean, the City Council head, says they simply migrated downstream.) Others wonder why some places the Skripals went on the day of the poisoning, but not others, were cordoned off for safety reasons."

So somehow ducks are a running feature in the New York Times reporting.

It might be simply connected to this though

Tycoon Deripaska Sues U.S. Over Sanctions

When Deripaska was hit with sanctions in April, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) alleged that he and other rich and influential Russian oligarchs were profiting off their ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and from the state's "malign activity" around the world.

The lawsuit questions whether Treasury can really back up those claims. It asks the court to order OFAC to hand over evidence and other records and remove Deripaska from the sanctions list.

and this here

US said to have prepared new Russia sanctions for UK attack

The White House has received a long-awaited package of new sanctions on Russia, intended to punish the Kremlin for a 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K.

U.S. officials at the State and Treasury departments have vetted the sanctions and are awaiting approval from the White House to issue them, according to two people familiar with the matter who discussed the internal deliberations on condition of anonymity.

There is a lot of money in those ducks.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2019 12:28 utc | 78

Not to worry Russ @ 77

If Daddy can't get Ivanka slotted at the World Bank, maybe he can use his influence and get her a job with this bank, where he has been a conspicuous customer over the decades and just as conspicuously a repository for hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate investment by hundreds of anonymous foreign shell companies.

Over two decades, Trump borrowed more than $2bn from Deutsche. In 2008, he defaulted on a $45m loan repayment and sued the bank. Its private wealth division in New York subsequently loaned Trump a further $300m – a move that bemused insiders and which has yet to be fully explained.

In recent years, the bank has had a series of bruising encounters with international regulators. Between 2011 and 2018, it paid $14.5bn in fines, with exposure to dubious Russian money a regular theme.

Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of “senior management” because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, a confidential internal report seen by the Guardian says.

This isn't the only EU bank to have facilitated the global movement of massive private wealth out of Russia into safe western assets, such as luxury private real estate holdings in New York City.

The bank is under investigation for its role in Europe’s biggest banking scandal, involving Denmark’s Danske Bank. Danske laundered €200bn (£178bn) of Russian money via its branch in Estonia. Deutsche provided correspondent banking services via its US subsidiary.

Aren't these class-based, rigged games of globalist Monopoly played exclusively by the .01% at the expense of the po fokes back home (in all countries) hilarious, Russ-kie? Maybe, in exchange for your ongoing support, Trump will arrange a loan for your very own luxury fallout shelter, a place to call home where you will ride out the storm in comfort during the coming armageddon?

Welcome to the donkkkeyhole

Posted by: donkeytale | Apr 17 2019 12:33 utc | 79

donkey 82

Unlike you, I don't regard the World Bank as having any legitimate existence or actions at all. By definition any cadre there is a criminal. So it follows it would be best to put a clown in charge of it. Same with the US presidency.

Sorry I keep offending your religion of statism and electoralism. And of course your Democrat Party.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 17 2019 13:06 utc | 80

Craig Murray has a piece on this today. There is nothing very new in what he writes but he sees the significance of this story, which is not about ducks or children or Donald Trump's personality but a concerted and thorough campaign, carried out largely by British state actors, to deepen the 'west's' isolation of Russia.
The real story of both the Cold War and the continually recurring propaganda stories about the "millions" of "victims of communism" is that the Soviet Union was manipulated throughout its history by capitalist control over the international economy. Like a demonic organist capitalist governments pulled out all the stops to control the moods and the policies of a state that the Bolsheviks never did get to rule. In the end the Politburo gave in and did what the 'west' had always been wanted which is to hand over the country, lock, stock and population to the cannibals of capital.
The result being what was probably, after the 1930-45 war, the largest kill off of Russians in modern history: Yeltsin plus Harvard Business School being responsible for many more deaths than even the intoxicated propagandist Robert Conquest ever dreamed of.
It is that total control over Russia, through the manipulation of its economy, and the direction of its capitalists, that is behind the long series of sanctions, which are being added to every day: their purpose is to re-invent Yeltsinism, re-empower the Fifth Column in the Kremlin, and, in a stroke, re-establish the inevitable and eternal hegemony of the Washington centred Empire.
In this work the assistance of the 'cousins'in MI6 and GCHQ, plus the entire British military establishment has been crucial in a period in which the subservience of POTUS to the Deep State was, thanks to the underestimation of his electoral chances, very much in question. During a period in which Trump had to be tamed and brought under control the UK Establishment's assistance in coming up with a series of highly publicised interventions was crucial.
Lysias points out that Haspel had acted as the CIA's Head of Station in London in 2016. It was in London that the entire "Russiagate" nonsense was put together, with British based actors continually prodding Congress, the media and the Democrats to act on revelations regarding Papadopolous, Mifsud, Stefan Halper.
Skripal was just one more effort to tighten sanctions against Putin's allies in the Russian oligarchy and isolate Trump from foreign policy initiatives not approved by the Deep State.
The significance of the NY Times story, then, is that, inadvertantly it reinforces the rerality that in the matter of Russiagate and Trump all roads lead to London, the Tory Establishment, which has been living off US-Russian tensions for seventy years and security agencies doing what the CIA cannot do for itself.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 17 2019 13:13 utc | 81

> Newsflash: Trump vetoes Congressional resolution to end military support for the war in Yemen.
> Any of the Trump Dick Suckers care to comment?

This approach is based on what-n-black world view, in which Evil Trump fights Good Fair Congress.

> Looks like Trump is only a compassionate humanitarian on behalf of Syrian kids. With 14 school children killed in Yemen a week ago, not so much.

....naturally develops that approach.

The question, however, is WHY does Congress attempt to severe ties with KSA ?

1. Congress wants to stop KSA's atrocities in Yemen
2. Congress wants to limit the money/influence of Trump to shift balance of powers over USA to their favor.

If anyone really believes in 1 - then, well, why note believe in Trump crying over Syrian ducks too? or was that kids?

Posted by: Arioch | Apr 17 2019 13:35 utc | 82

> on what-n-black world view



Posted by: Arioch | Apr 17 2019 13:35 utc | 83

Russ -and you accept the criminality and the status quo. You write great stuff on your blog. Very knowledgeable and well-written. I enjoy it very much. End of day however it leads nowhere. Literally. Lol. Your dream of ecocide may turn out to be a dream not quite fulfilled. What then? You have cast your lot with oblivion as the criminals run roughshod over us. This makes you as much the enemy as they.

Posted by: donkeytale | Apr 17 2019 13:45 utc | 84


The Steele dossier is british, Orbis intelligence = british, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = british, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = british, the list goes on and on.

You'd think someone might have noticed something of a trend by now.

Posted by: S.O. | Apr 17 2019 13:48 utc | 85

John Dowser @75, bevin @84, S.O. @88

See my comment @20.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 17 2019 14:03 utc | 86

They just don't bother anymore, the level of double black psy-ops and gaslighting is a mine feild of disinformation. That's what you get when Washington - Obama, gives the green light to propagandizing their people. It's escalated, like we haven't noticed, under Trump despite his pathtic attempts at assuring folks it's fake news.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 17 2019 14:07 utc | 87

donkey 87

You have the bizarre notion that if a powerful entity demands you take it seriously, you must obey. Then you resent those who lack the power to destroy this entity, and who therefore refuse to engage with it other than under duress, because we're not obeying the script the way you do. That's the authoritarian "character" to the core.

And not only do you support the system but you're completely ignorant of history. If you knew anything about the history of anti-system movements you'd know the necessary role of philosophical pioneers. That's the role Earth gave me and a handful of others to play.

As to where it leads, that depends on whether any significant portion of humanity will take up any of the necessary ideas and actions, or whether they'll hunker in the bunker unto the bitter end. At any rate I do all I can, all that Gaia commands me to do.

If the people are so exsanguinated by now that they don't even know what movement-building is, let alone have the energy, discipline, and will to commit to it, that just means there's nothing left there anyway. If they're degraded to the point of complying with the mainstream's decree that fake elections are the Alpha and Omega of politics, and nothing more, nothing less is to be tolerated, that's simply the complete death of politics as such. I write of the only possible way forward for political participation.

As for electoralism, it was tried and it failed. The only reason anyone who claims to oppose the berserker system still would subscribe to electoralism, other than brain-dead inertia, is a religious commitment impervious to real-world results. Like how Christians simply don't care that Jesus didn't come back when he said he would. That's the way people believe system-rigged elections could ever accomplish anything.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 17 2019 14:12 utc | 88

The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. I watched about 10 minutes of a documentary about Easter Island, as an example, and it was revisionist to the nth degree. Just absolute rubbish incinuating that white European travellers destroyed the Island. This is what British kids are now being marinated in, "He who controls the past"

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 17 2019 14:20 utc | 89

Kiza, to Dmitry Orlov I would add Chris Hedges - extremely articulate with the voice of a scolding preacher, which he is.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 17 2019 14:42 utc | 90

karlof 1 @ 36: Underestimating your enemy is a Cardinal Sin whether in war or politics. IMO, Murray has done just that.

Yes. But not only that, the trope of ‘deplorables’, ‘ultra-right wingers’, (who generally are no such thing) is adopted, in the same way these mopes are stigmatised by the ‘faux’ left such as third-wayers, Obiman fans, US Clintonite democrats, French ruling media class, Swiss Socialists, etc…

Surprising from an ex-Ambassador, a diplomat, who quit for good reasons. So it is a double sin - how are ‘social democrats’ or ‘left wingers’ or ‘reasonable left-o-center types’ (idk how Murray describes himself, — he clearly is strongly for the auto-determination of ppl) to get any grip on anything if they consider half the population - as defined by no. 1 criteria, some vague ‘pol’ attitude - mentally inferior? Weird. OK he writes on the moment on a blog, need not be held to a high standard, is a sympa guy, etc.

A comparison with Trump insults (campaign and twits) would be interesting but too long, and Circe would blast me for sure, which btw I don't mind, but it wouldn't inform.

Trump is a kind of figure-head after all - see kiza for ex. - Nth version of hopi-changi-ness. He may have ‘believed’ - aka followed - info from Haspel, or not, etc.

‘Fresh’ Russ diplo staff and ‘old’ diplo staff rotated etc. - Musical chairs - has taken place, the status quo ante is back in place, more or less. Bit of a show - compare deaths in Yemen for ex.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 17 2019 14:44 utc | 91

In other news, remember the leaked US/Israel proposal/directive to Lebanon that a staged civil war against Hezbollah would be really useful to all three countries? South Front reports that 14.5 million dollars of military equipment/aid has just arrived in Lebanon!

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2019 14:55 utc | 92

@Russ #37
Indeed, William Jennings Bryan and his "Cross of Gold" speech is completely forgotten except for the Wizard of Oz - both literally and figuratively.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 17 2019 15:17 utc | 93

I think it might be more newsworthy to cite even one thing the U.S. does that isn't based on lies. I honestly can't think of anything. Can you?

Posted by: quixotic1 | Apr 17 2019 15:18 utc | 94

@bevin #55
The UK equivalent of gerrymandering is the "weighing" of votes in proportion to the party already incumbent.
Combine this with a European coalition environment - where there are so many parties with significant representation that it is nearly impossible for any one party to win an outright majority, and the result is all of the parties end up acting the same because of constant "coalescing" combined with outsider financial incentivization, and you have the nicely disfunctional UK electoral system seen today.
The anti-Corbyn labor folk are just a bonus - those are the limousine liberals of the US equivalents in the UK.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 17 2019 15:21 utc | 95

donkeytale says:

Your dream of ecocide may turn out to be a dream not quite fulfilled. What then?

well, as Orlov says in a recent interview with the Saker:

Everybody wants to know how the story ends, but that sort of information probably isn’t good for anyone’s sanity

Posted by: john | Apr 17 2019 15:37 utc | 96

To Noirette at all

So now everyone who rightly sees Trump as Public Enemy No. 1 is part of a religious electorate, huh? Before when we obviously had better sight than you, we suffered from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Damn you Trump whitewashers, you certainly are CREATIVE! So, so lemme get this straight: if people stay home, and vote no one, TRUMP WINS AGAIN! Because you definitely don't want former Trumpers turning to the other side? How cute!


Hasbara are real conniving. They come on with all kinds of trendy pseudo-intellectual lingo. I remember their m.o. years ago during Cast Lead using the circular pseudo-intellectual rationale to invent Israeli history, fudging and contorting International Law to justify their criminality and explaining the difference between good disproportionality and bad terrorist resistance, in reality, tin rocketry. But here's the best give away of all, here's how you really know them for the cunning scoundrels they are: they always, always try to undermine your intelligence, leaving you at first glance scratching your head and asking: Could this be true??? It sounds so ERUDITE... You recognize them by their arrogant intellectual HUBRIS.

FGS! Don't let them get you to doubt yourself! Don't fall for their endless supply, landfill of lingual garbage! They have a cyber library at their disposal. They are trained lingual contortionists!

Remember, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving for them, so they are out in full force everywhere where Trump once ruled now that the light is glaring on his shet. They have a bag of pseudo tricks. They know they've lost you and can no longer prove to you that down is up! So now they're using your political fatigue to get you to drop everyone and just stay home! I gotta admit, it's real smooth. But why oh why do they have to shame you as religious electors when they are part of the zio-cult?

Now, you evil minions, get back to the job you really deserve and are no longer so good at--scrubbing Trump's poopy, soiled briefs! At least then you were intellectually honest!

Posted by: Circe | Apr 17 2019 15:59 utc | 97

@ Gravatomic #92

You didn't provide a link to the Easter Island video so I has to make a search. Your claim of it being "rubbish" is quite correct. The outside slave raiders behaved badly and destroyed most of what remained of Easter Island, but there was precious little left by the time of their arrival.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 17 2019 16:26 utc | 98

@49 lysias

200 Years Together ( Complete English Translation )

Posted by: TJ | Apr 17 2019 16:38 utc | 99

Religious electorate is the latest condescending meme peddled by Zionist Bannon followers and Zionist Trump backers. Their Trump messiah delivered so much already! If you are a recovering Trumper on Trump juice withdrawal, expect to be assailed with their condescending play on your political fatigue. No one is pure or good enough for you while Trump is still good for them, their alt-right cause or the Zionist agenda. Right after Trump's win, Breitbart became an alt-right Zionist stronghold. Why is that? Now they're working in tandem with Zionists to ensure that supporters of Bernie, who voted for Trump, rather than get stuck with Hillary, and who now rightly hate Trump's guts, STAY HOME.

You did a better job whitewashing Trump's stinky knickers and fooling everyone for this long. Now that you can no longer keep up with his shet; you whip out the relgious electorate meme. Nice try, but not convincing.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 17 2019 17:06 utc | 100

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