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07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

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  Timidity Derails Obama Intel Choice
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ISRAEL’S LOBBYISTS & NEOCONS PREVAIL:

Timidity Derails Obama Intel Choice

by Ray McGovern
11 March 2009

On Tuesday morning, Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, employed the indicative mood in describing the high value that Chas Freeman, his appointee to head the National Intelligence Council (NIC), will bring to the job — “his long experience and inventive mind,” for example.

By five o’clock that afternoon, Freeman announced that he had asked that his selection “not proceed.”

Not one to mince words, Freeman, spelled out the strange set of affairs surrounding the flip-flop and the implications of what had just happened.

Borrowing from George Washington’s Farewell Address the pointed warning against developing a “passionate attachment” to the strategic goals of another nation, Freeman made it clear that he was withdrawing his “previous acceptance” of Blair’s invitation to chair the NIC because of the character assassination of him orchestrated by the Israel Lobby.

The implications? Freeman was clear:

“The outrageous agitation ... will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues. [It casts] doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government...

“The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views ... and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those it [the Lobby] favors.”

Foreign policy analyst Chris Nelson described the imbroglio as a reflection of the “deadly power game on what level of support for controversial Israeli government policies is a ‘requirement’ for U.S. public office.”

Before the flip-flop on Freeman was announced, Nelson warned, “If Obama surrenders to the critics and orders Blair to rescind the Freeman appointment, it is difficult to see how he can properly exercise leverage, when needed, in his conduct of policy in the Middle East. That, literally, is how the experts see the stakes in the fight now under way” — the fight that is now over.

Congressional Boasting

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, led Lobby boasting just minutes after the Freeman debacle was announced. Schumer was clear: “His [Freeman’s] statements against Israel were way over the top. ... I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, and I am glad they did the right thing.”

And, as Glen Greenwald has noted, “Lynch mob leader Jonathan Chait [of The New Republic and author of an influential op-ed for the Washington Post] who spent the last week denying that Israel was the driving force behind the attacks on Freeman,” now concedes the obvious.

Greenwald quotes Chait: “Of course I recognize that the Israel Lobby is powerful, and was a key element in the pushback against Freeman.”

Neoconservative Daniel Pipes offered an anatomy of the crime, blog-bragging about how it was conducted:

“What you may not know is that Steven J. Rosen of the Middle East forum was the person who first brought attention [on Feb. 19] to the problematic nature of Freeman’s appointment. ... Within hours, the word was out and three weeks later Freeman has conceded defeat. Only someone with Steve’s stature and credibility could have made this happen.”

The same Steve Rosen who is currently on trial for violations of the Espionage Act involving the transmission of classified information intended for Israel? One and the same! This has to be the purest brand of gall that ever came down the Pipes.

This “morning after,” I find myself wondering when White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel – another staunch supporter of the Lobby who reportedly was Schumer’s go-to guy on the get-Freeman campaign – saw fit to let Admiral Blair in on the little secret that no way could he have Freeman. And why Blair tucked tail.

In a March 8 letter to Admiral Blair, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) endorsed his appointment of Freeman and decried the campaign to derail it.

We seven signatories (with cumulative experience of 130 years) noted that the Freeman case was the first time we witnessed such a well-coordinated campaign to reverse the appointment of an official to an intelligence job not requiring Senate confirmation.

In other words the influence of the Israel Lobby is seeping ever deeper into the ranks of the intelligence community.

Military Mind-Set

It seems altogether possible that Admiral Blair, accustomed to military command authority, assumed he had the right to appoint his senior staff and did not think to check the naming of Freeman out with politicians sensitive to such pressures.

And this points up a host of other problems. One is that of having military officers, active or retired, running national intelligence. It appears to be beyond their ken to consider resigning on principle.

I imagine it never occurred to Blair that he should have quit on the spot as soon as he learned that Freeman was being jettisoned. Or at least Blair might have threatened to quit if the Obama administration let itself be bullied in this way.

Blair is no neophyte, but he clearly underestimated the power of the Lobby vis-à-vis his own. The White House seems to have told Blair to treat the Freeman appointment as though in the subjunctive mood — long enough to “run it up the flagpole and see who salutes,” as the saying goes.

Then, when the Lobby made sure there were no salutes, but rather the strongest and most scurrilous spitting, Freeman was hauled on down.

The Freeman flip-flop is merely the latest sign that Obama is afraid to take on the Lobby – and the world is watching. Most will interpret the new President’s acquiescence in this outcome as a sign of weakness — of his not being his own man.

This is a distinct liability as Obama prepares to meet next month with the likes of Vladimir Putin who will be taking his measure.

The encounter with Putin brings to mind another young President’s encounter with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961. Khrushchev had studied the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs in April 1961; he would have understood if Kennedy had left Castro alone or destroyed him.

When Kennedy was rash enough to approve a strike on Cuba but not bold enough to finish the job, in Khrushchev’s view, the latter decided he was dealing with an inexperienced young leader who could be intimidated and blackmailed — one who would shrink from hard decisions.

Kennedy later said of his encounter with Khrushchev in Vienna, "He beat the hell out of me." The meeting led Khrushchev to believe that Kennedy might well back down if the USSR put missiles in Cuba.

As for Israel, the Russians were better able to understand Washington’s “passionate attachment” to Israel in strategic terms, as the Cold War played out in the Middle East and Washington had a perceived need to have Israel as a permanent “battleship” there.

Now the Russians see the power of the Israel Lobby for what it is — who can miss it? The Obama administration is seen as caving under political pressure.

Although the Russians continue to be amazed at the Lobby’s strong influence over U.S. policy, the Russians are happy as clams to sit back and watch as the identification of the U.S. with Israeli policy inflicts incalculable damage to U.S. interests throughout the region and beyond.

Though a sportsman, Putin is best at chess. He is likely to shy away from playing basketball with our new President. Obama will have to beat Putin at his own game – and Obama now has shown himself easy to push around.

Israeli Adventurism

With Freeman’s withdrawal, there is surely much gloating among the politically aware in Israel. However, gloating is one thing; dangerous miscalculation is another.

That danger is particularly high as Benjamin Netanyahu takes over as Israeli prime minister. Netanyahu and his close “neoconservative” friends in the U.S. have made no bones about their preference for a Bush/Cheney-style preventive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

As Gareth Porter and I write in the Miami Herald, the specter of such a strike takes on more reality with Netanyahu as prime minister. He, too, is taking the measure of our young President and may draw very dangerous conclusions from Obama’s subservience to the Lobby.

The effect of the Freeman affair on the intelligence community is easy to predict.

Those who were looking forward to fearless integrity will be deeply disappointed. They may seek honest work elsewhere, if they perceive that Blair is only the titular head of intelligence and that pro-Lobby political operatives are calling the shots.

On the other hand, those intelligence managers and analysts who were pleased as punch to be sent over to brief the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), created by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), will be delighted with the news on Freeman.

This briefing practice, which was encouraged by the Bush/Cheney administration, was highly irregular for a non-partisan intelligence community to be engaged in. It can be expected to flourish now, with the abject object lesson of Freeman’s demise.

On Oct. 5, 2007, I published an article about Israel’s deliberate attempt on June 8, 1967, to sink the USS Liberty in international waters off the Sinai, killing 34 of the Liberty crew and wounding over 170 in the process.

The lead was:

“So Who’s Afraid of the Israel Lobby? Virtually everyone: Republican, Democrat — Conservative, Liberal. The fear factor is non-partisan, you might say, and palpable. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee brags that it is the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, and has demonstrated that time and again, and not only on Capitol Hill.”

The point? In June 1967, the Israelis learned that they could get away, literally, with murder and still not endanger their influence in Washington.

Events of the past weeks demonstrate that they and their Lobby are equally good at character assassination. It is embarrassingly shameful to watch President Obama acquiesce in all this.


Ray McGovern was a U.S. Army infantry/intelligence officer and then held senior positions in CIA’s analysis division for the next 27 years.  He now works at Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on March 11, 2009.

 

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