Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 15, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-74

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

What have the US and protestors in Lebanon achieved over Iran and its allies? - Elijah Magnier
Intel: How Trump continues to restrict humanitarian trade with Iran
If Iran Falls, ISIS May Rise Again, Tom O'Connor, Newsweek

Washington Post’s Afghanistan Story Reveals Core Folly of American Defense Strategy - Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
At Least 23 Soldiers Killed in Insider Attack in Afghanistan - NYT

The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media - Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Please Support Moon of Alabama

The pickle-fork issue affects some 5% of the 7,000 older 737 NG jets. Its repair is a costly affair.
Qantas Boeing 737 Crack Repairs Taking 3000 Man Hours Per Plane
Additionally all NG planes will also need new engine inlets and engine fan cowls.
Boeing Is Redesigning 7,000 Planes. It's Not What You Think.

The Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau is a U.S. creation. It is therefore not astonishing to find that it is corrupt.

@kooleksiy 16:29 UTC · Dec 13, 2019
Director of Ukraine's National Anti-corruption Bureau Sytnyk will pay a ~$140 fine for "violation of restrictions on accepting gifts" [valued at ~$1 thousand in his case] - his lawyer stated today after Appellate Court ruling @dw_ukrainian reports
Maksym Eristavi @MaximEristavi - 9:50 UTC · Dec 14, 2019
Gut-wretching vid from yday Kyiv court hearing where a group of veterans tried for assassinating top Ukraine journalist Pavlo Sheremet. Their supporters bully, swear at and throw death threats at the prosecutors, their families & kids — right in the court.
Policemen do nothing

In Praise of Telling the Truth - Peter Hitchens, First Things
The Art of Doublespeak: Bellingcat and Mind Control - Edward Curtin, Off-Guardian

Other issues:

Bernie Sanders:

David Klion @DavidKlion - 4:16 UTC · Dec 14, 2019
The Federalist, the Washington Examiner, and Commentary have all tried to smear Bernie as an antisemite in the past few days. The ADL and all the other usual suspects haven't said a word, because they basically agree. It's an attack on the entire Jewish left and it cannot stand.

“Anyone to my left is an antisemite” - Jews as a Weapon: Coming to your election...soon! - Yasha Levine, Immigrants as weapons
Don’t let the smears that sank Corbyn tank Bernie Sanders - Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada
I drafted the definition of antisemitism. Rightwing Jews are weaponizing it - Kenneth Stern, Guardian


Jeffrey Kaye @jeff_kaye - 6:29 UTC · 15 Dec 2019
Rare on paper, this free digital reproduction tells the story of how the US held up negotiations to end the Korean War, using POWs as anti-communist hostages and propaganda puppets until the prisoners at Koje island rebelled against the torture & abuse
The book “Koje Unscreened” includes copious quotations from an otherwise secret report by the International Committee of Red Cross about U.S. torture and murders of North Korean POWs, assisted by South Korean & Kuomintang guards. This is history US rulers do not want you to know.
Koje Unscreened (pdf)


Pamir Highway: the road on the roof of the world - Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
Cruising Pamir Highway, the heart of the Heartland - Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 15, 2019 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Zarif's in Doha for the Doha Forum 2019 and his speech outlines Iran's HOPE project for the audience, which begins at @ the 18 minute mark of the imbedded You Tube video. Fortunately, the trolls inhabiting the thread have no influence over the Forum's participants. IMO, Zarif's approach to the topic is magnificent, making his speech important and very worthy of the time spent listening.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 20:24 utc | 101

Formerly T-Bear @100--

Agreed about importance of Law. Hudson invokes in in his … debts... book I've just commenced. I've advocated changing the basic wording of corporate charters to make them responsible to the public and environment prior to shareholder interests. In Zarif's speech I linked to @101, his initial point deals with zero-sum mentality. His diction is impeccable! I lament the likelihood that few will see our final comments as this thread dies, which means few will learn.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 20:33 utc | 102

@ karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 20:33 utc | 102

When I removed to Ireland, one of the first things I noticed was the Hiberno-English preserved the original usage of 'corporation' that applies to both chartered town governments as well as county governments as the body (of authorised individuals) responsible for conducting the public business of managing the governance of the entity - a meaning totally lost on the modern mind. The business use of corporation has several attributes, one is longevity, death does not effect function, another derived is that corporate assets are continuously owned and creditor assets are protected from inheritance duties. The continental scale wealth of post Civil War U.S. utilised the corporation to park their wealth in publicly beneficial corporations (Trusts) that also held controlling interests in the monopolies that provided that wealth through sequestering various controlling stocks (Preferred or Common stocks) in corporate form.

I have not read Hudson's opus on debt but fully subscribe to Graeber's Debt, the first 5000 years instead (first in, first considered). I have some problem with Hudson's assumptions (from reviews and reports) that make me wary. I have great reserve about economists prescribing solutions it seems, at least modern economists.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 17 2019 21:09 utc | 103

Formerly T-Bear @103&4--

Hudson openly promotes and cites Graeber's work. Here's a Keiser Report where they both appear, Hudson following Graeber. John Siman in his review of Hudson's work provides this excellent nugget:

"Just as this is a profound book, it is so densely written that it is profoundly difficult to read. I took six days, which included six or so hours of delightful and enlightening conversation with the author himself, to get through it. I often availed myself of David Graeber’s book Debt: The First 5,000 Years when I struggled to follow some of Hudson’s arguments. (Graeber and Hudson have been friends, Hudson told me, for ten years, and Graeber, when writing Debt; The First 5,000 Years, relied on Hudson’s scholarship for his account of ancient Mesopotamian economics, cf. p. xxiii)."

And from the back book cover, this is what Graeber has to say about Hudson's work:

"'Michael Hudson is surely the most innovative, and in my view, the most important economic historian of the last half century. This is the consummate product of 30 years of research on the history of a subject that could not be more important to our own situation today. We like to use the expression words “ancient history” as a code-word for “of no possible relevance to matters of consequence today.” This book clearly demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth. If we don’t take heed, ancient history is likely to engulf us in ways that will shatter our complacency in the most disastrous of ways. Hudson is giving us a desperately needed warning, and we would do well to pay very close attention.' — David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, author of the international bestseller Debt: The First 5,000 Years."

As for fishing, I haven't been out since late August, but we most certainly are experiencing lots of changes in the oceanic environment all linked to the altered climate and its chemical proportions. Those articles only highlight a small segment of the overall picture. IMO, within 20 years the fishery here will be drastically altered, probably for the worse excepting for a few species. The chemistry is vastly impactful as oysters and other shellfish risk localized extinction. Lots of naysaying fisherfolk have belatedly changed their tune and are now convinced their future wellbeing is threatened, making the political environment here more volatile.

What do you make of Cunningham's appraisal of the post-election affects on Ireland?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 22:19 utc | 105

c1ue @98, who finds it amusing that I reference Hamilton, please note the end of the comment I quoted:

"...According to Hamilton in Federalist 78, any act of Congress that does not comport with the Constitution is “void.” This view was confirmed by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison and is now the law of the land."

Hamilton was giving an interpretation, which view was confirmed by the Supreme Court. Hamilton also had been involved in the discussions, (and had in my view a good argument there) which led to the limited provisions for impeachment that are in the Constitution. That's what is there; it doesn't matter who did what in other areas. That is the law of the land.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 17 2019 22:25 utc | 106

Thanks, karlof1 for linking to the zarif speech - unfortunately I could only seem to get fragments. Here is a transcript, which may be more accessible to some of us:

Posted by: juliania | Dec 17 2019 22:41 utc | 107

T-bear, karlof1 on my earlier post - I thought the post was helpful; I didn't say what my expectations were, but I'm happy to be considered a fool. I'll keep on hoping. My son, who has been homeless is home for Christmas. He has been listening to Kennedy speeches on my phone; go figure. My, how many times Kennedy talked about peace!

This from Zarif at Doha:

"...Security - just like climate change - does not know borders and is thus indivisible..."


"... the United States sold most of these lethal arms. But the real question is: have these vast U.S. arms sales to this region recovered anything even remotely close to the 7 trillion dollars that President Trump himself has acknowledged as having been wasted in our region since 2001? ..."

Points to ponder that should cause any leadership to reassess the prosperity that eludes war profiteers, but only comes with peace.

(I know, I said a naughty word.)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 17 2019 23:24 utc | 108

@ karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 22:19 utc | 105

Seriously looks like I have another item on my to read list. Thank you so very much, that pile is about to topple now. Vaguely I recalled some blurb on New Economic Perspectives maybe that caused some question about Hudson, possibly something about debt jubilation that did not seem correct. Serves me right for the Sumner Maine comment.

I was Atlantic fishing in Ireland and witnessed the collapse of the fishery there from overfishing and the subsequent disappearance of the local Irish fishing fleet that could not compete with European fishing fleets; French, Spanish mostly, a few others. Nearly a dozen families in the port abandoned their generations old trade leaving three or four families still fishing. The loss of knowledge and experience was massive for the port. I still go back yearly to see those still about, but they are getting harder to find every year. The Irish fishery will soon become like the Canadian Grand Banks, the tragedy of the commons.

Already, s mentioned, the Irish nationalists now outnumber the Unionists in North Ireland (I was informed by a native that 'Northern Ireland' is an imperial term, North Ireland is now de rigueur for nationalists). My guess is if the nationalists take their time and let the desire to remain part of the EU take root and grow with all the political nourishment possible, the reunification of the island can be effected, the nutriment needed will be building trust with those of Unionist persuasion that their interests would be kept secure by agreeing - valuing inclusivity, security of the person and remaining in the EU. Once that would have been a tall order to fill, now looking feasible.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 17 2019 23:29 utc | 109

While everybody has been attracted to the Blumenthal thread, nobody has commented in the shameful illustration with which the US Department of Defense has decided to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge...

Coincidentaly, Pat Lang makes a post on the Battle of the Bulge and ended wishing that everybody who died there can be celebrating Christmas together wherever they are...

We must conclude that, as happens with the Bundeswehr, there is a nazi sector in the Us military...How big is this sector? That´s the question...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 17 2019 23:53 utc | 110

@ Posted by: juliania | Dec 17 2019 22:41 utc | 107 with the link to the text of Zarif's speech...thanks, I also was not able to see more than 45 seconds of it from the karlof1 to read

@ karlof1 and Formerly T-Bear with the reference to Graeber's: Debt: The First 5000 Years
When I was involved with Occupy in Portland, OR, David came to speak where I was able to talk with him for a few seconds after his talk and got him to sign my copy of his book.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 0:03 utc | 111

juliania @108--

What encouraged me about Zarif's speech was the audience's attention to it, particularly the nodding heads in agreement at the end when he intoned all must work together to achieve what each desires--peace and prosperity. During the year's UNGA speeches, it was clear a few in the region were already onboard. I suspect that now there're just two holdouts--Saudi and their vassal Bahrain--and they're being pressured by the Outlaw US Empire into that position. However, that shouldn't impede initial dialogue and bilateral agreements. If we're lucky, at least a partial agreement will occur in 2020 that makes further basing of Imperial military assets in the region an election issue.

I suggest watching the Keiser Report episode I linked @105 with your son so he can get up to speed on why he's homeless.

FTB @109--

Somewhere James Joyce is dancing in his grave I'd think!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 0:21 utc | 112


Many thousands of high ranking Nazis were brought into the US after the war and used in intelligence and military during the Cold War. They were not all scientists as in Operation Paperclip

Also, many of the top corporations in industry and banking had significant business interests with Germany during the Nazi years and after the war many of those Nazi political and business leaders who escaped hanging and were released early went on to resume their careers and play a significant role in Germany, European and America

I would say Nazism was not so much destroyed as it was assimilated, and looking at the world today their influence is not small. Unfortunately it was the German people who paid the price. Between 1945-1950 after their surrender over 5 million dead due to starvation and disease in areas controlled by the allies, while those who got them into the mess were living well in the US

Posted by: Pft | Dec 18 2019 0:22 utc | 113

@juliania #106
I fear you may not have read the detail as to what Marbury vs. Madison really meant.
If you review that case, you would find that Chief Justice Marshall *did not* grant what Hamilton and the Federalists wanted in that case: the extension of a commission to said Marbury which Jefferson's presidential administration, in the form of James Madison as Secretary of State (and future president), did not want to extend.
The significance of the case is solely that it is the landmark case by which the American judicial system reserves the right to review laws passed by Congress in light of compliance with the Constitution.
One of the consequences is that the US judicial system actively avoids such activities (examining Congressional laws in light of Constitutional compliance) unless literally backed into a corner.
Nor is the Constitution so strongly written that it is not subject to interpretation: the reality of American government and law is that there is an enormous amount of interpretation at multiple levels as to what constitute the actual observance of any given law.
A simple example is "freedom of speech". The first amendment clearly and simply states

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Yet we have all manner of laws prohibiting speech: pornography, cigarette advertising, racism, etc etc.
Therein lies another subject of immense and ongoing struggle: the "strict" interpretation of the Constitution vs. "loose" constructionism.
My original point stands: Hamilton as a Federalist was all about executive power and central government (and bank). Constitutional observance in the form of the Bill of Rights? Much less clear.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2019 0:31 utc | 114

@Formerly T-Bear #100
I am curious: Hudson is scathing in his view of Roman (and its predecessor, Greek) law as creditor friendly, in opposition to judicial and societal mores in prior societies.
Why is the breaking of Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Phoenician and Egyptian legal precedent acceptable in favor of Roman and Greek legal tradition?
I'll furthermore note that the Roman tradition was upheld, in a number of instances, by assassination of obstinate populists/reformers/rabble-rousers (depending on viewpoint) like the Graccis.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2019 0:36 utc | 115

c1ue @115--

It's a matter of morals/ethics relative to the issue of what is the Greater Good--freedom or slavery--and also the wellbeing of the state, such as it was then constructed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 1:48 utc | 116

Big problem now arising in US-EU relations with passage of NDAA funding bill that includes sanctions on Russian pipelines and a surprise:

"The legislation calls for mandatory sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines and bars military-to-military cooperation with Russia." [My Emphasis]

I knew the former sanctions were coming but didn't know about the insanely idiotic measure highlighted above which could generate very serious problems and completely impede critical arms control negotiations. This bill passed the Senate 88-6, clear evidence the anti-Russian hysteria's bipartisan and not just related to the D-Party's Russiagate hoax. Unfortunately, although very detailed, the article focusses almost exclusively on the gas/energy issue. I'm not certain if the House version of the bill includes the military component, nor will anyone else until the bill clears the conference committee to harmonize both versions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 3:03 utc | 117

c1ue @ 114, it is perfectly fine that the case itself (thank you for explaining it to me) did not do what Hamilton wanted it to do on resolution. You say yourself what is important about it, and I would agree that is what my quoted post concludes:

"...The significance of the case is solely that it is the landmark case by which the American judicial system reserves the right to review laws passed by Congress in light of compliance with the Constitution..."

As I said earlier, this doesn't have to do with what Hamilton believed about banking or anything else. It only has to do with the wording of the Constitution in the particular case of impeachment of the president. I don't see how you make that a strict or loose interpretive matter as regards the grounds of impeachment in Trump's case. If you want that to be a 'loose' interpretation I don't want you stringing any cables across the bridge I just bought, thanks very much!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 18 2019 4:01 utc | 118

Three letters from a Yank resident of HK,

On xtianity....

Posted by: denk | Dec 18 2019 4:07 utc | 119

@ Posted by: denk | Dec 18 2019 4:07 utc | 119 with the letters from George Koo that are more about the lack of xtianity values except for the "persecute the non-believers" aspect

It says a lot about monotheism that what humanity is mostly confronted with is all the bad parts of those religions and not the good parts.....and non of the believers are standing up to the hypocrisy being done in their name.

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2019 0:31 utc | 114 with the quote of the 1st amendment, part of which I am going to repeat
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

I have always found it interesting that the change to the American motto in the 1950's to In God We Trust has never been challenged in court because, of course, it is blatantly unconstitutional.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 5:21 utc | 120

@ psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 5:21 utc | 120

The motto was challenged in court as I recall by Madeline Murray as part of her objection to inclusion of "… under God, …" into the pledge of allegiance. I was quite young then but agreed with Mrs. Murray though the courts didn't. [no wikipedia used]

Quite envious you have an autographed Graeber in your library - a treasure indeed.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 18 2019 9:47 utc | 121

Europe the biggest loser from US-China Trade Deal.

China will have to stop buying from Europe in order to buy more from the US.

Opps, just as i said yesterday.

Well, this is what happens to puppets. The puppet must sacrifice its meal and stay hungry so that the master can become fatter. Similar things happened with the Russia sanctions.

As i have said many times before, europeans are infantile and live in another alternate reality. They thought that being a puppet means that "big daddy will take care of them". But they failed to get that when Big Daddy has it bad, then it will cannibalise them and take their stuff in order to sustain itself.

Well, what a surprise for the infantile europeans, eh?

What do you think about that, Shmoe?

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 18 2019 10:42 utc | 122

the pledge of allegiance itself should have been unconstitutional.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 18 2019 10:52 utc | 123

@ c1ue | Dec 18 2019 0:36 utc | 115

Quite the curious vision of the universe you have there c1ue. Looking at history as you seem to do, no clear view comes into sight, rather it appears an opium dreamscape. What in the world have "Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Phoenician and Egyptian legal precedent" anything to do with the development of Roman law? Maybe Etruscan custom, yes, possibly Greek colony, yes; but the other???? Strange POV if it were not so alarming given the state education has degenerated into.

Where does your conclusion come from about Hudson's considered opinion that the "Roman (and its predecessor, Greek) law as creditor friendly"? That does not appear in what I know of Hudson's works. Roman law was sui generis and as such created the very utility that enabled its survival until the U.S. Supreme Court recently (since ca. 1970) got its hands on the law, followed by the British Law Lords en banc and made quite the hames of law. Out of populations so great one would think a qualified bench could be assembled; highly likely a sign of the times.

Finally, weird POV that "note that the Roman tradition was upheld, in a number of instances, by assassination of obstinate populists/reformers/rabble-rousers (depending on viewpoint) like the Graccis [sic]." you accord such activities to tradition when simply this was how power was obtained and exercised and disputes were settled in those eras; had nothing to do with tradition whatsoever. The alternative is a litigious culture where everyone and their brothers are lawyers and courts are inundated with actions; how is that working out for you in that space between Mexico and Canada?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 18 2019 11:26 utc | 124

Inevitable blowback:

Anti-Trump Demonstrators Stage Protests Ahead of Impeachment Vote - Video

In TC18-01, the Pentagon states that unconventional warfare (UW), a.k.a. color revolution on a military planning level, has huge advantages to the USA because of its extremely low costs and extremely high assymetry: the Americans can wage UW at any place, anywhere, any time and at almost zero cost against any of its enemy without risking suffering a color revolution at home (i.e. symmetrical retaliation).

That is because the USA, theoretically, is the hegemon: the rest of the world is not only dominated by the USA militarily, but also culturally and ideologically. Its allies and even enemies may dislike the American foreign policies, but they don't put into question that it is, ultimately, the rightful sole superpower, its economy and culture being indispensable for the ultimate progress of humanity. In political terms, you can say the USA has legitimacy, that prestige that makes a banana taped onto a wall sell for USD 120,000 in broad daylight, that same sanctity of the long hair of the Merovingians, capable of stopping revolutions only with its sight.

However, even soft power depends on a material base to exist. One of the original cold warriors, Arthur Meyer Schlesinger Jr., knew that: in his "Vital Center: the politics of freedom" (1947), he emphasizes the fact that liberal pluralism - the core of capitalist politics - can only stay together with economic prosperity. For him, freedom equals economic prosperity. As long as the economy kept growing, the State would automatically be the almagamation of the "best" aspects of each competing (allowed) ideology that regularly disputes the government. The opposite would be true if the economy collapsed/degenerated.

The USA may soon lose its asymmetrical advantage in UW. The economy under Trump continued to accelerate its pace as essentially a financial one. Inequality is at historical highs. Global trade has grown to a halt. The economy is growing at near-stagnation rates (after you compensate for inflation and adjust for population growth). Quarterly recessions - which, until the 2000s, was essentially a Third World exclusive disease - are now perennial.

No wonder people (and or the deep State) are giving Trump a taste of his own remedy.

Posted by: vk | Dec 18 2019 15:19 utc | 125

@karlof1 #115
Roman law was very clear on the status of slavery, debt slavery and debt: the creditor was king.
Outright slavery and blatant debt slavery is no longer legal in the United States, but creditors are still kings in every other way.
So what exactly is the greater good being carried out by Roman and Greek ancestry laws?

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2019 16:12 utc | 126

psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 5:21 utc | 120
*non of the believers are standing up to the hypocrisy being done in their name.*

gawd how I hate hypocrites.

The [[[five liars]]], especially Washington/LOndon/Canberra
seem to have an inexhaustible supplies of these commodities....

Trump, Pelosi, Pence, Bannon, BOlton, Pempeo, Rubio,
Clinton, Obama, Bush, Blair, Turnbull, Howard, Bishop,

These !@#$%^ hands are drenched with the blood of MILLIONS of muslims since 911,

They Abetted genocide of Muslims in Kashmir,

Sponsor terrorism in Xinjiang,
then turn around and scream 'Uighurs genocide',

Not content with their 1965 caper in Indon, which killed
three millions leftists 'suspects' and almost wiped out the entire Chinese communities....
These low lifes are trying to rile up a global jihad on the Chinese now. !

Exhibit Pelosi the bitch...
'China's oppression of the Uighurs pose a challenge to the conscience of the entire world.,


Beijing has had enough of these !@#$%^^,

Just the other day,
Chinese FM spokeswoman Hua Chunying
let fly with this jab..

'Question is, do you and your ilks have a conscience in the first place,.....?

Apparently not.
After all that you 've done, its a wonder you can sleep
peacefully at night' !!

Posted by: denk | Dec 18 2019 16:36 utc | 127

@ denk | Dec 18 2019 16:36 utc | 127

Hey, if you include in your honorary list Reagan and 'poppy' Bush for their accomplishments in Afghanistan (Soviet Vietnam), Iran-Iraq (double whammy) and Iraq (first Gulf war), you can add a whole lot more dead muslims.

Though I would not preferably call them dead muslims, but rather dead people.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 16:54 utc | 128

@juliania #124
The Constitution's text concerning impeachment is as follows:

Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 provides:

The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Article I, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7 provide:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Article II, Section 2 provides:

[The President] ... shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

Article II, Section 4 provides:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The US Judicial system is not directly involved in impeachment (exception below) - thus Marbury vs Madison is irrelevant.

The House can bring charges but the Senate has to try the actual case. The only US judicial system formal involvement is that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the judge, but the jury is the Senate where 2/3rds have to vote to impeach.

Note the Constitution *does not* spell out impeachment criteria outside of Treason and Bribery.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2019 17:06 utc | 129

Lurk 128,

We could even go back further by including the
two Brit invasions of Afghan !

[[[five liars]]] crimes know no bounds.

I use the 911 cut off point simply to show
[[[their]]] war OF terror hypocrisy. !

Posted by: denk | Dec 18 2019 17:35 utc | 130

The Saker has published the full text of Trump's letter to Pelosi, which he is 100% correct to call it an "historical document." I agree completely with his analysis:

"Saker commentary: this is not about picking sides, the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend. However, as Malcolm X once said, 'I am for the truth no matter who tells it'. There are lies in this text, beginning with entire section about how great the US is doing. As for the segment about Israel, I just wonder what color Trump’s tongue is by now. Whatever color, it is kosher for sure.

"But that is not the point.

"It is in his accusations against Pelosi, Schiff and the rest of them that Trump is 100% right. And that is much more important than his bombastic flag-waving and lies. Besides, he clearly did not write this text anyway, it is way too good and he is way too stupid. But I am pretty sure that he carefully read it and approved it. So this is not only an official document, it is a historical one!" [My Emphasis]

I also agree with the rest of Saker's sentiments but won't reproduce them here. I could write much more on this issue, but I won't in the hope that b will make this a main page topic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 17:53 utc | 131

karlof1, I find that comment by The Saker incredibly hard to believe. It just does not describe the Trump as we know him.

Now, if The Saker had written instead: "But I am pretty sure that he was carefully read it and approved it", I would have no reason to doubt the story.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 18:13 utc | 132

Lurk @132--

Your insertion of the verb "was" into Saker's sentence makes it grammatically incorrect. I have no reason to doubt Saker's assertion that the letter wasn't written by Trump; it's too polished.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 18:53 utc | 133

karlof1, what I wrote was meant to read as "it was read to him". I think we more or less agree on the substance of the issue. Apologies for the bad formulation of my attempt at humor.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 19:25 utc | 134

TASS reports on Patrushev's report to Russia's Security Council about Daesh's strength and purported aims in Afghanistan:

"The IS group is focusing its efforts on consolidating presence in northern Afghanistan, where more than 2,000 militants have been concentrated, in order to counter the Taliban and establish a foothold for an incursion into the Central Asian region through Tajikistan and Turkmenistan....

"The militants’ ultimate goal is to create the so-called Greater Khorasan to incorporate the territories of Afghanistan and Central Asian states, [Patrushev] stated. 'The IS group’s priority targets, according to our data, could be the facilities related to critical infrastructure, security agencies and diplomatic missions as well as foreign citizens.'"

IMO, either the CSTO, SCO, or both together will have their first actual anti-terror operation to prevent Daesh being used as a tool again by the Evil Outlaw US Empire. The recent illegal sanctions passed by the Empire's Congress forbidding exchanges/ties between Russia's military and the Empire's is in anticipation of the opening of this new theatre of operations as it's beyond time to acknowledge that Daesh operates as a branch of the Empire's military, although Russia's still loathe to do so.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 19:41 utc | 135

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 17:53 utc | 131 with the Trump letter to Pelosi

Thanks for that.

I just read it and besides what you and others have said I was struck by the blame for the impeachment attempt being put on the "deranged and radical representatives of the far left"."

That sentence was then followed by one saying that the Dems are motivated by and living in fear of socialist primary challengers.

Think about that context in lieu of what many barflies here understand to be reality.

1. We live in a dictatorship of global private finance
2. The far left, if it exists, know that Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton bears no claim to anything left of fascism.
3. America use to have a socialist government, because that is what government is by definition, and still has, to a degree, a mixed economy of socialism and capitalism....(gawd I hate those terms anymore)

Those are just my first thoughts......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 19:48 utc | 136

karlof1 #131
I’ll never understand why purportedly “Pro-Russian” commentators like “The Saker”, still cling to the blatantly infantile idea that Trump genuinely wants to improve relations with Russia, and the only reason for his extreme Anti-Russian foreign policy, is because he's being subverted by “Muh Deep state”. In reality, Trump (like ever other U$ president) was put in power by the Deep state, the evidence for this being that the DNC hack was really a leak carried out by a Mossad operative named Seth Rich to simultaneously help Trump win and create the fake Russiagate narrative to justify harsher policies towards Russia and get the stupid Democrats to sell the retarded “Putin puppet” narrative, which also dove tails nicely with Jackrabbits proposition that Hillary (a longtime Trump friend) purposefully blew the election, the little noticed fact that all the “Russians” the Trump campaign met within were either Jewish oligarchs or CIA/MI6 operatives, and my own theory that Trump purposefully lied that he wanted to have good relations with Russia not just to add fuel to Russiagate, but also to fool the notoriously gullible Russian government (Putin included) that he was really their “friend”. When taking these facts into consideration, it become clear that the domestic U$ political soap opera that’s unfolded since then is all Kabuki theatre (as Jackrabbit accurately states) meant to simultaneously keep the domestic masses entertained and to confuse foreign countries (especially Russia) from knowing what Uncle Shmuel is really up to (ie. launching covert regime change operations against Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela). I also find it revealing that while people like “The Saker” are still willing to shill for Trump, even with all the evidence above along with the fact that Trumps policy towards Russia since taking office has included, signing CAATS (the toughest sanctions on Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union), withdrawing from the INF treaty (the U$ has since tested a GLCM and a IRBM, that will soon be deployed to Poland in order to make it that much easier to launch a devastating decapitation First Strike on Moscow), increasing U$ Shale gas production in coordination with the “Three seas initiative” to get Europe to halt importation of Russian Gas (I also must add, while “The Saker” was busy shilling for Trump, the U$ congress nearly unanimously passed sanctions on Nordstream 2, which once signed by Trump, will signal the beginning of the end of Russia’s gas exports to Europe and force Russia to become ever more dependent on exporting gas to China), and launching covert regime change operations against all of Russia’s allies (Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea), they refuse to consider the fact that, though he (like all U$ politicians) is very flawed, Bernie Sanders being elected president would be better for Russia’s (and defiantly it’s allies) interests then another term of Trump, due to the fact that Sanders has either opposed all of the Anti-Russian policies that Trump has wholeheartedly enacted, though people like “The Saker” have continued to support Trump and oppose Sanders based on the fake rhetoric of the Kabuki theatre U$ domestic politics. In conclusion, this is not a endorsement of Sanders (like I said he’s flawed just like all other U$ politicians), instead this is me questioning why “Pro-Russian” commentators are so willing to make excuses for one but not the other, when it’s obvious to any sane observer who is the lesser evil (clearly Sanders).

Posted by: 18481917 | Dec 18 2019 19:54 utc | 137

@Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 17:53 utc | 131

A comment in the comments section, by Larchmonter ( now dissapeared...) was calling for a revolution of the people in case impeachment happens...

The conclusion by The Saker is the same as in 2016 ( for this travel we did not need such saddlebags....)that for to save the US and the world you must vote Trump because the others are worse and will unleash a war on Russia...

He, as good anticommunist...never says a word about the Sanders option...

I find all this about this letter, released to the media, a soap opera going strambotic...

While you discuss impeachment...nobody talks about this...

From AgitProp blog by Konstantin Semyn.....

The U.S. Army is looking for the far right. Footage with a secret greeting - an inverted OK gesture - five times got into the broadcast of a soccer game between two officer colleges. The gesture is common among the Nazis and adherents of the Ku Klux Klan. An investigation has begun. However, the 28th airborne division immediately distinguished itself by publishing a sympathetic commentary and photo of SS Piper on social networks, who led the attack on American positions on December 16th, 1944. The publication repost appeared on the Facebook page of the Pentagon and the 10th Mountain Division. Only after a scandal the text was deleted. Piper ordered the execution of 84 American soldiers, and before that he was in Hitler Youth, served in Dachau, in Hitler’s personal guard, and was Himmler’s assistant. The Nuremberg Tribunal sentenced Piper to death, but in the wake of anti-Sovietism, the United States achieved his release. He then worked at the Porsche factory until he was killed in an assassination attempt in 1976.

One would think that the publication of nazi signals simultaneously in various Pentagon social networks and military blogs could be a call sign... as kinda case impeachment happens...

Other things "The Impeachment" soap opera hides...

Volvo is firing 700 people from the only plant in the United States in Virginia. The reason is the drop in demand for trucks. General Motors closes a plant in the Canadian province of Ontario, where 20,000 once worked, and the last 2,500 lost their jobs this year. GM's overall reduction plan is 15,000.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 18 2019 20:02 utc | 138

@ Posted by: juliania | Dec 17 2019 22:41 utc | 107 with the link to the english text to the Zarif speech

Thanks again for that. I have read it now and want to encourage other to do so as well.

His description about the cognitive disorder in the world is very insightful. The same is true for his call for support of the HOPE (Hormuz Peace Endeavor)

The ME is being manipulated by those that own global private finance to keep them fighting with each other and not against the power that robs them of their sovereign abilities.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 20:21 utc | 139

The liberal (or, in First Worlder denomination: neofascist) hit list has just grown:

Ernesto Araújo distribui texto em clipping do Itamaraty onde alerta para ameaça comunista na América Latina [Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo distributed an internal article where he warns about a communist menace in Latin America]

Note: Ernesto Araújo is a died in the wool Trumpist, Americanophile and far-rightist.

Ernesto Araújo aponta diferenças para um “horizonte comunista” do comunismo já propriamente instalado. Ele diz também que o “globalismo” é um instrumento para a construção do comunismo. Globalismo para ele é “a captura da economia globalizada pelo aparato ideológico marxista através do politicamente correto, da ideologia de gênero, da obsessão climática, do antinacionalismo”.

Translation: E.A. points the differences between a "communist horizon" (nt: the article's title is "beyond a communist horizon") and the already installed communism. He states "globalism" is a tool to the construction of communism. Globalism for him is defined as "the capture of the globalized economy by the Marxist ideological aparatus through the politically correct, gender ideology, climate obsession and antinationalism".

Whoa whoa whoa... wait a minute.

I'm old enough to remember the rise of the "alt-right" (nowadays, simply called the "far-right") at the beginning of the 2010s. They denounced "globalism", yes, and they definitely mentioned "gender ideology" and "pc" plus some inferred mentions to "antinationalism". But I'm certain they never put climate change in the "Marxist aparatus" list.

What changed? Probably the sudden rise of Greta Thunberg - who certainly never read a line of Marx and is the fabrication of a Swedish mogul.

Now we can easily visualize the modus operandi of the liberals: everything that arises in the western political landscape they automatically label "Marxist" and call it a day. Their goldfish memory takes care of the rest.

P.S.: He ended his article with this:

“no Brasil estamos rompendo o horizonte comunista e reenquadrando o liberalismo no horizonte da liberdade”

Translation: in Brazil, we're breaking up the communist horizon and realigning liberalism with the freedom horizon.

So, long story short: those guys are pro-capitalists. They are pure-blood liberals. They were the legitimate sons of the "vital center" which vertebrated Western Civilization in the post-war/Cold War. They are the logical end of Western Civilization, not its corruption. It doesn't matter how much the First Worlders still insist at looking to the other side and labeling them "fascists" or "totalitarians" or "authoritarians": they are your brothers, blood from your blood.

Let nobody ask one thousand years from now where were the legions when the barbarians invaded.

Posted by: vk | Dec 18 2019 20:31 utc | 140

I was going to deal with this Global Times op/ed, "Impeachment exposes democracy’s true nature," by replying in an open letter to the writer who doesn't understand that the Outlaw US Empire isn't anywhere close to being a democracy, nor has it ever come close. But I see several other replies need addressing too.

psychohistorian @136--

Yes, as Saker noted, most of the letter's trash, a deranged rant, that unfortunately detracts from the truth it contains. When it comes to comprehending our domestic and global situations, few understand it as well as us barflies. I don't care much for Hobbes, but for now he appears to be correct. The fossil record is filled with species that failed for various reasons and died-off; and at this juncture, IMO humans are traveling that type of path--as predicted, the Spirit in the Gene will destroy us … unless....

18481917 @137--

Your rant targets the Saker, not the content of the letter, so I'll not comment.

Sasha @138--

The comment by Larchmonter445 is still there and has generated many replies. Like 18481917, you also mischaracterize the Saker and don't address Trump's letter.

Now to Mr. Shi Tian,

The best thing you mentioned in your op/ed is China's practice of democratic centralism. The fundamental problem yourself and most others on the planet have is your mistaken notion that the Outlaw US Empire is a democracy; it is not nor has it ever been one. In Martin Wolff's words and those of many others, what we have here within the Empire amounts to a Plutocracy, which is another word for rule by a rich oligarchy that essentially owns both main political parties such that popular sentiment is almost never acted upon. Wolff's essays about reforming capitalism were noted and replied to in an op/ed published yesterday by Global Times which noted Wolff positing that political reforms were first required, the most important of which is the removal of money from the political process that would allow some "democratic air" to enter the process of economic decision making. China's great fortune is to have one nationalistic party that utilizes democratic centralism to arrive at its policy choices along with a civilizational culture that helps it to function properly. The great lesson of the West to the rest of the world is to keep the core of your financial system under public control so it can work for the greater good of the people and nation, while aggressively attacking corruption and treating it as the great evil it is.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 21:18 utc | 141

@ karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 21:18 utc | 141

Ref: "Wolff's essays about reforming capitalism …" from what you have written is just more pie in the sky I fear. There is no way to wrest political control of power from where it now rests, that just is not going to happen. I am loath to even use the word elite because elites are not involved, what is involved is management control of most revenue streams, diverting that purchasing power to whatever needs need addressing, a management decision. Management is authoritarian, it will brook no other authority outside itself. Authoritarians do not self correct. This is management's foot of clay. It is not wise to attack power at its strong points but understand that power thoroughly and find its weakest parts and concentrate there, but to do so you still have to understand power and that is not being done, just self-delusive drivel. To become as a king, one must act as a king if that is the power you need, anything other is illusion.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 18 2019 22:26 utc | 142

@ 142

That is Machiavelli The Prince on a bumpersticker.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 18 2019 22:30 utc | 143

Formerly T-Bear @142--

Thanks for your reply.

Typoed Wolf's name. He's the author of the items I linked @98. IMO, he was prompted to write based on what came from a recent round of the Business Roundtable's proceedings, the very non-elite you mention. Yes, my quest is to discover the Why and How so the trumpet blare has a chance to collapse the walls. It may be in vain, but it does keep me busy and out of trouble.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 19 2019 1:20 utc | 144

The topic is Bolivia. By now many of you have read that the current coup leader Jeanine Anez has issued an arrest warrant for Evo Morales for "treason." The article was most recently reposted by ZeroHedge, and good on them.
A perhaps less known fact is that Jeanine Anez's nephew, Carlos Andres Anez, was arrested in Brazil in 2017 with 480 KILOS of cocaine. It's funny haha that the mainstream press tries to spin Morales as a coca leaf farmer.. haha.
I have mentioned that I don't do links so I'll try to space it out. https 3 date 10/20/17 These are some very nasty people. It's shocking/horrifying that T-Rump is congratulating the coupsters and the leading Dims, excepting Tulsi Gabbard, are all for it. I lost the last shred of respect I had for E.Warren when she waffled on that one. What kind of monsters ... sigh.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Dec 19 2019 1:46 utc | 145

Below is a ZH posting about Xi's current trip to Macau and how it may replace Hong Kong as a financial center for China

Is Xi About To Make Macau The Next Financial Powerhouse?

The story reads like Macau will not be roiled by a "color revolution" like Hong Kong and so poor HK will become an economic afterthought even if the West continues to prop it up.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 19 2019 6:30 utc | 146

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