Here is further explantion of the huge significance of the judgement handed down against the US Democrats' attempt to charge Julian Assange with espionage and somehow prosecute a non-US citizen as if they were a US citizen. That successive Australian governments have allowed the US and the UK to go after Assange in absolute refusal of Assange's human rights is damning of our political class.
In a ruling published late Tuesday, Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a devastating blow to the US-led conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In his ruling, Judge Koeltl, a Bill Clinton nominee and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, dismissed “with prejudice” a civil lawsuit filed in April 2018 by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging WikiLeaks was civilly liable for conspiring with the Russian government to steal DNC emails and data and leak them to the public. Jennifer Robinson, a leading lawyer for Assange, and other WikiLeaks attorneys welcomed the ruling as “an important win for free speech.” Article by Eric London, first published on 31 July 2019 at https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/31/assa-j31.html. Illustrations by candobetter eds
Judge dismisses lawsuit
The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street. Judge Koeltl stated:
If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.
The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage.
The plaintiff in the civil case—the Democratic Party—has also served as Assange’s chief prosecutor within the state apparatus for over a decade. During the Obama administration, Democratic Party Justice Department officials, as well as career Democratic holdovers under the Trump administration, prepared the criminal case against him.
The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies.
The judge labeled WikiLeaks an “international news organization” and said Assange is a “publisher,” exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: “In New York Times Co. v. United States, the landmark ‘Pentagon Papers’ case, the Supreme Court upheld the press’s right to publish information of public concern obtained from documents stolen by a third party.”
As a legal matter, by granting WikiLeaks’ motion to dismiss, the court ruled that the DNC had not put forward a “factually plausible” claim. At the motion to dismiss stage, a judge is required to accept all the facts alleged by the plaintiff as true. Here, the judge ruled that even if all the facts alleged by the DNC were true, no fact-finder could “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Going a step further, the judge called the DNC’s arguments “threadbare,” adding: “At no point does the DNC allege any facts” showing that Assange or WikiLeaks “participated in the theft of the DNC’s information.”
Judge Koeltl said the DNC’s argument that Assange and WikiLeaks “conspired with the Russian Federation to steal and disseminate the DNC’s materials” is “entirely divorced from the facts.” The judge further ruled that the court “is not required to accept conclusory allegations asserted as facts.”
The judge further dismantled the DNC’s argument that WikiLeaks is guilty-by-association with Russia, calling the alleged connection between Assange and the Russian government “irrelevant,” because “a person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.”
Judge Koeltl also rejected the DNC’s claim “that WikiLeaks can be held liable for the theft as an after-the-fact coconspirator of the stolen documents.” Calling this argument “unpersuasive,” the judge wrote that it would “eviscerate” constitutional protections: “Such a rule would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a coconspirator in the theft.”
In its April 2018 complaint, the DNC put forward a series of claims that have now been exposed as brazen lies, including that Assange, Trump and Russia “undermined and distorted the DNC’s ability to communicate the party’s values and visions to the American electorate.”
The complaint also alleged: “Russian intelligence services then disseminated the stolen, confidential materials through GRU Operative #1, as well as WikiLeaks and Assange, who were actively supported by the Trump Campaign and Trump Associates as they released and disclosed the information to the American public at a time and in a manner that served their common goals.”
At the time the DNC filed its complaint, the New York Times wrote that the document relies on “publicly-known facts” as well as “information that has been disclosed in news reports and subsequent court proceedings.” The lawsuit “comes amid a swirl of intensifying scrutiny of Mr. Trump, his associates and their interactions with Russia,” the Times wrote.
It is deeply ironic that Judge Koeltl cited the Pentagon Papers case, New York Times Co. v. United States, in his ruling.
The DNC’s baseless complaint cited the New York Times eight times as “proof” of Assange and WikiLeaks’ ties to Russia, including articles by Times reporters Andrew Kramer, Michael Gordon, Niraj Chokshi, Sharon LaFraniere, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Eric Lichtblau, Noah Weiland, Alicia Parlapiano and Ashley Parker, as well as a July 26, 2016 article by Charlie Savage titled “Assange, avowed foe of Clinton, timed email release for Democratic Convention.”
The first of these articles was published just weeks after the New York Times hired James Bennet as its editorial page editor in March 2016. James Bennet’s brother, Michael Bennet, is a presidential candidate, a senator from Colorado and former chair of the DNC’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2018, Bennet signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence noting he was “extremely concerned” that Ecuador had not canceled asylum for Assange, who was then trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
“It is imperative,” the letter read, “that you raise US concerns with [Ecuadorian] President [Lenin] Moreno about Ecuador’s continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.”
In April 2019, after the Trump administration announced charges against Assange, the New York Times editorial board, under James Bennet’s direction, wrote: “The administration has begun well by charging Mr. Assange with an indisputable crime.” Two weeks later, Michael Bennet announced his presidential run and has since enjoyed favorable coverage in the Times editorial page.
Additionally, the father of James and Michael Bennet, Douglas Bennet, headed the CIA-linked United States Agency for International Development in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25 under the headline, “DNC lawsuit against election is dismissed.” In its online edition, the Times prominently featured a link to its special page for the Mueller Report, which is based on the same DNC-instigated threadbare lies that Judge Koeltl kicked out of federal court
Pontius Pilate, of course, was the judge who condemned Jesus Christ to death, according to the bible. The crime Jesus was punished for was that of leading a religion critical of the values of the Roman state. Modern authorities try to defend their right to have criminal secrets in order to justify pursecuting Assange, who has led a world-wide movement for transparent and just government. If UK or Swedish judges deliver Assange to authorities who then deliver him to the United States, they may claim that they are only doing their duty under the law, just like Judge Pontius Pilate. I am not religious, but I think this is a valuable parable for our time.
I first became aware of Julian Assange through Wikileak's publication of the "Collateral Murder" material. [Collateral murder comes from the expression 'collateral damage', a euphemism coined by the US war machine to describe civilian deaths and material damage in war.] I was filled with admiration and relief that someone was exposing the continuing illegal role of the US Army in Iraq and its vicious conduct. I could not understand why the United States had not been universally condemned for the lies it used to illegally invade Iraq and then why a range of US-NATO allies failed to condemn its continuing brutal occupation of that country. I next became aware of the US-NATO horror caused in Libya and then in Syria. As my awareness grew, so did the effrontery of the United States. Soon it was accusing Russia of aggression, as the US itself surrounded Russia with US bases. See the map.
Now, in the ultimate criminal state absurdity, Britain, a major partner to US in weapons sales and war crimes in the Middle East, is aiding and abetting the United States to punish the one man who was able and courageous enough to expose the United States for its war crimes within war crimes. Obscenely, but revealingly, a small-time London magistrate, Judge Deborah Taylor, showed the clay that British "justice" is based on, as she 'diagnosed' [SIC] Assange a "narcissist" [an upstart] and thereby sentenced him to 58 weeks in high security prison, presumably for crimes of personality and class. She completely ignored what ordinary people can see and what she must have seen; that he was correctly in fear of his life from the criminal government of the United States and its vassal, the British government. She had to know that extradition was in the wings, but she pretended that it was not.
It is hard to find out anything about this woman, but, contrary to her supposed impartiality, she seems to me to be either the servant or the dupe of the British upper class. That ruling class considers that it has the right to engage in murder and mayhem all over the world by supplying weapons for cash, but woe-betide any commoner who might expose its crimes for public judgement. Should the US elites succeed in their plans to exact their cruel revenge on Julian Assange, I think that Judge Deborah Taylor may go down in history as the woman who helped send modern civilisation down its final corridor to total enslavement and war.
Julian Assange unlike Jesus won't rise again, so we must protect him
For Julian Assange, unlike Jesus - another 'upstart' - probably won't arise again. You may or may not believe in Jesus, but the crucifixion story is a valid parable nonetheless and it is all about justice and democracy: After Judas identified him, Jesus was convicted by a magistrate, Pontius Pilate, of the crime of trying to lead the jews against the Romans in a revolutionary religion, which preached love instead of war, slavery and pillage. Later the Romans adopted Christianity and when the Roman empire fell, the Holy Roman Empire continued. In the 16th Century Henry VIII took over as head of religion in England and called it the Church of England. The Church of England still claims to believe that Jesus Christ died to save the rest of us from oppression. The queen is supposed to believe that. British magistrates are supposed to act within that paradigm, but we can see that they do not.
In Jesus' case, at the site of crucifixion, the attending crowd was asked who they would prefer to save: Jesus or another revolutionary, Barrabas. The crowd chose Barrabas. We, however, do not have another revolutionary of Assange's extraordinary global profile, but neither is anyone asking us if we want to save Julian Assange.
It is up to us to save ourselves and Julian Assange and the right to shine a light on the crimes that the power elite carry out all the time.
We live in a world, sadly, where electronic technology has reached a point at which people with money can do almost anything. They can launch wars for profit, carry out torture, influence the courts and the media, and then they can secretly try and imprison anyone who attempts to expose what they have done. That's why they are persecuting Julian Assange. They are out to prove that they can silence any protest.
These rich power-elites are networked and they back each other up. Julian Assange, as part of the alternative media, exposed this network - and he did not take sides. Even the cowardly mainstream media that pretends he is not a journalist republished the information he provided. If Julian is extradited to the United States, judged guilty in a secret court (for it will be secret) publishing in the western world will suffer the same fate as publishing in Muslim countries. Remember Charlie Hebdo and "We are all Charlie."
We are all Julian Assange now. Jesus of Nazareth was a local phenomena that went viral. Julian is a global phenomena in a global world - but he may be our last because, after him, what individual will ever achieve such a political profile, if the power-elite get their wish for utter media control and total secrecy?
US-NATO Military Industrial Media Congressional Complex
Humans who live in modern techno civilisations are only apparently better than their ancestors; they are essentially the same, in different clothes, with different technologies. Without those materials and technologies, we are our ancestors. And so are our masters. They can be just as vicious as Attila, just as grasping as the Roman Emperors, and just as cowardly as modern generals who order drone executions without trial on people far away. America's 'Exceptionalism' seems to be no different from Hitler's belief in the 'master race' doctrine. The United States openly uses its Exceptionalist doctrine to justify the invasion, occupation and genocide involved in its multiple regime change projects, which seem to have two aims: to get control of fossil fuel resources and to make money out of weapons in continuous rolling wars. Weapons sales seem to be the most profitable industry in the world. That is what Julian Assange is up against.
Julian Assange's plight shows how little worth Australian citizenship has and how worthless our US subservient politicians
Of course, none of this persecution of one inspired giant of a man could have been achieved if the client vassal state to America, Australia, had not remained collusively silent. Successive Australian governments have pretended that they have provided Assange with 'appropriate' consular support. That is why I say that Assange's plight shows how little worth Australian citizens have in the eyes of the Australian Government. As Assange himself once said something like that it is right for Australians to look at what happens in Washington, because that is where the real government of Australia is. As an Australian, I am ashamed of my government and I cannot understand why my countrymen remain so cowed and confused about what this all means.
The US has 800 to 1000 military bases world wide. Russia has only eight, and these are located close to its own borders. France has nine. The United Kingdom has the most next to the US.
These bases are themselves occupations by the United States of sovereign powers: Here is a list of military bases by country. Australia also has a US base. Citizens in Australia and most or all countries that the US occupies with armed forces have protested again and again, yet their governments have acquiesced to the US, not to the democratic demands of their citizens.
 According to biblical history, Pontius Pilate served as the prefect of Judaea from 26 to 36 A.D. He convicted Jesus of treason and declared that Jesus thought himself King of the Jews, and had Jesus crucified. In the Gospel according to Mark, Pilate’s main question to Jesus was whether he considered himself to be the King of the Jews, and thus a political threat (Mark 15:2). In the Gospel according to Luke, Temple authorities had decided that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy, but brought him to Pilate to accuse him further of sedition against Rome. The Gospel of Luke says that Pilate handed Jesus over to the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas for judgment on the grounds that Jesus was a Galilean and thus under Antipas' jurisdiction. Jesus was publicly flogged and then executed by crucifixion as a traitor to Rome. All Gospels say that it had been a tradition of the Romans to release a Jewish prisoner at the time of the Passover. Pilate offered the crowd at the execution site the choice of releasing either Jesus or another revolutionary named Barabbas. The crowd stated that it wished to save Barabbas. Accordingly, Pilate condemned Jesus to crucifixion.
As President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa (pictured above) was a Godsend for the Ecuadorian people, for Latin American independence and for WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. By serving justice and truth instead of Washington, Correa earned Washington's hatred and determination to destroy him.
Correa was succeeded as president by Lenin Moreno, who Correa mistakenly believed to be an ally, but who has every appearance of being a Washington asset. The first thing that Moreno did was to make a deal with Washington, block Correa from being able to again stand for the presidency and turn on Julian Assange. Moreno wants to revoke the asylum granted to Assange and has prevented Assange from continuing his journalistic activity from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In other words, Moreno has conspired with Washington and the UK to effectively imprison Assange in the embassy.
Now Moreno has taken another step that highlights his character as a blackguard. Correa, realizing that he and his family were in danger, moved to Belgium. An Ecuadorian court has now ordered the Belgians to detain Correa and extradite him to Ecuador on a fabricated kidnapping charge.
Correa thinks that Belgium will not comply with an absurd charge for which no evidence is presented and that the charge is intended to smear his name. If I were Correa, I would not be so sure. Look at the ease with which Washington was able to use its vassals—Sweden and the UK—to effectively nullify the political asylum that Ecuador gave Assange. Belgium is also Washington's vassal and will experience threats and bribes—whatever it takes—to deliver Correa into Moreno's hands, which is to say into Washington's hands. If I were Correa, I would get myself over to the Russian embassy and request asylum from Putin.
Here is a news report from RT: https://www.rt.com/news/431653-correa-ecuador-arrest-order/
Video: Jesse Ventura and Brigida Santos revisit the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Witness David Wallace reflects on the events from that day and shares rare photos from the crime scene. Expert JFK researcher James DiEugenio dissects newly-declassified documents. What does the US Government have to hide about the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy after 45 years? If Lee Harvey Oswald really killed the President, then what is the big deal in releasing unredacted documents? Obviously the government has plenty to hide and this gives us every reason to question the official story. The documents have been released with huge gaps in them due to whiting out and other forms of illegibility. One example is given in this program of a document that had 8 out of 11 pages whited out. One such document concerned Jim Garrison, who famously attempted his own investigation of the crime. What has come to light is the agreement between the FBI, the CIA and the mainstream press to massively discourage any questioning of the official story and to destroy anything published that did. We hear how, at one point, the New York Times had had enough of the incoherence and promised to publish a deep expose. This never happened and we must suspect the government agencies and the government of wanting to obscure their role in this infamous crime. Interviews first published at https://www.rt.com/shows/the-world-according-to-jesse/410251-john-kennedy-jr-murdered/
There is a piece going round, signed by 'Anon', which lists well-known facts about a Deep State organisation which is supposed to be funding Macron. It says, for instance, that Macron joined the Fondation Jean Jaures in 2006 and that this association is a puppet of the National Endowment for Democracy. Indeed, if you look at their political partners' website, you can see that The Center for American Progress is listed as one of their 'Political partners'. The Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress is redolent of the pre-Trump administration and the Clinton/Soros aligned. See some details of these links below the "Quick Rundown" inside. It does make sense, because Macron is backing the European Union which is really aligned with the United States and Macron has stated that he approves of Trump's recent foreign policy flip on the Middle East and North Korea. Macron has uncritically repeated the US CIA line of Putin being a dictator and a hacker.
-National Endowment for Democracy (NED) established to intervene in foreign politics in 1983.
-It is officially a non-governmental organization.
-It receives $50 million annually from the US government.
-Proceeds to intervene in foreign politics.
-1985 gets caught intervening in France against Mitterand.
-Helped depose Pinochet
-Finances candidates surreptitiously.
-Sets up “think tanks” to launder the money.
-Has shells for right, left, labor, and management.
-Macron is a fluent English speaker and ex-Rothschild & Co banker.
-Macron linked up with the NED in 2006.
-Joined Fondation Jean Jaurès, a French NED puppet in 2006.
-Spoke at Fondation Robert Schuman, another French NED puppet, events.
-François Hollande utilizes the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI another NED puppet) for the 2012 Socialist Party primaries.
-Tom McMahon, a DNC operative, helped the NDI organize the Socialist primaries in 2012.
-President Hollande appoints Macron as the Minister of Economy and Finance.
-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton notices him in 2012 in private correspondence.
-Tomicah Tillemann, her advisor, coordinated NED efforts though the State Department.
-Wikileaks confirmed the CIA interfered in the 2012 election.
-Tom McMahon returned to France again in 2016.
-Macron emerges as a well-funded dark horse candidate.
-Moves to the second round of the elections against Marine Le Pen.
-Macron endorsed by NED puppets Fillon, Sarkozy, Hollande, and Hamon.
No-one else could beat Le Pen and neither could Macron without the deep state behind him. He seems to be a hollow man.
Fondation Jean Jaurès
(Macron has worked with the Fondation Jean Jaurès since 2006.) The Center for American Progress is listed as one of the Fondation Jean Jaurès's 'Political partners'. The Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress is studded with pre-Trump administration and the Clinton/Soros aligned pro-EU and NATO warmongers. "CAP receives money from multibillionaire hedge fund manager George Soros through two of his nonprofit groups, the Foundation to Support Open Society and the Open Society Institute. From 2005 through 2010, the two organizations gave CAP over $5.4 million. CAP receives money from other liberal-leaning foundations, including the Tides Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the foundation of Progressive Insurance chairman Peter B. Lewis." (https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/528-center-for-american-progress/)
Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress
Sen. Tom Daschle, Chair
Neera Tanden, President
Secretary Madeleine Albright
Hacked Macron emails
By the way, if anyone wants to download them all and do a search, the hacked Macron emails are at https://pastebin.com/bUJKFpH1, https://pastebin.com/bfaKJCZe and https://pastebin.com/LrFAayFz. I downloaded some of the smaller zip files and they opened okay without viruses etc. Their contents were plausible but not particularly revealing. You would have to go through about 9GB to tease out whatever is there of interest.
Conspiracy theory and fake news
It is a bit rich for various mainstream news outlets to sheet this all home to fake-news alternative blogs, though. If there are some fake news alternatives, they have nothing on the professionals, like the Center for American Progress and the New Democracy Foundation, which are bankrolled with millions of dollars and seed-fund revolutions to dissolve nations and turn them into consumers, in the name of 'freedom'. Open Societies Foundations and their offspring have greatly degraded Australia's home-grown political parties and NGOs. This is a tragedy. See /node/4992.
The only way people can escape the tyranny of funded organisations is not to support them. We need to communicate with each other, not through formal NGOs.
It is weird that the mainstream press and the US-NATO war machine continue to put out the same stories as if they were spam-bots. You would think that real human beings could come up with something more convincing. It is known, however, that people tend to believe a message they often hear repeated, to the detriment of their own eyes and reason, so perhaps this is the intentional modus-operandi of the US-NATO-military industrial media complex. The only way to combat the oft-repeated lie is to repeatedly question it, which we are doing here. Once again the US-NATO deep state war-machine has tried to use the UN like Lucy's football for Charlie Brown, to give authority to accusations against the Syrian government which it actually has no reliable basis for. The consequences could be truly awful - but what do spambots care about World War 3?
Do spambots invent US policy in Syria? Has the White House been automated for destruction?
Without credible evidence, without witnesses, without indications, the American president, Donald Trump, and the mainstream news media again have the US trying to convict President al-Assad of 'war-crimes against his own people'. They will try to use this as a pretext for another bloody 'regime change' in the mould of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine, either to keep an enlarge their military footprint in the Middle East or to obtain concessions from peace-keeping Russia.
It is alarming that President Trump is now marching along obediently to the same evil old tune as Hillary Clinton did, since a primary difference between their platforms was that he would not pursue baseless interventions in the Middle East.
His new stance is suspicious of a sudden loss of power to the neocons who surround him, given that his new US State Secretary said, only last week, that the US would leave the Syrian people to decide who would lead them, and not seek regime change. The chemical weapons story is an old one and not a very good one. Four years ago the news was almost identical, when it was resoundingly repudiated, for example by the Swiss UN investigator, Carla del Ponte. See http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-22424188. Since then we have heard it many times, picked up then dropped, picked up then dropped again. We republish here a superb 5 April debate and argument from PressTV on this vital subject. In an exercise of logic unfamiliar in the western media, the moderator here asks for a list of for and against points regarding benefits to the Syrian Government or the 'Rebels' in engaging in the purported chemical attacks.
The Debate - Chemical attack in Syria's Idlib
In this episode of The Debate, Press TV has conducted an interview with Marwa Osman, a journalist and political commentator from Beirut, and Michael Lane, the founder of the American Institute for Foreign Policy in Washington, to discuss a recent suspected chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib.
The Cold War has long been over, but it seems, not for all. The idea of reconciling with Russia has been met by fierce resistance on Capitol Hill. Though Trump promised to repair broken relations while on the campaign trail, the new US administration has been forced into a struggle against the nation’s establishment. Will the new president still be able to find common ground with Moscow? Or are we in for Cold War Two? RT's Sophie Shevardnadze asks a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan on Russian affairs, Russia scholar and author – Suzanne Massie. Originally published on RT 13 Mar, 2017 07:24 at https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/380460-cold-war-russia-us/
Sophie Shevardnadze: Suzanne Massie, adviser to President Ronald Reagan on Russia policy, it's really great to have you on our show today, welcome.
Suzanne Massie: Thank you, I am happy to be here.
SS: The Washington Post says that the White House doesn’t have enough capable experts to advise on Russia anymore, compared to Reagan times. What do you think, are people who are behind the Russian policy in Washington misinformed?
SM: Well, I’d like to be tactful about this, but I do think that we have a lack of such things, at least recently, much more recently. Now, I don't think right now that we have... I don't like the word "expert", but I mean people who really know you, who know the language, who know your history, and who feel your history. I don't feel we have very many like that right now in official positions.
SS: Now, when you started working with President Reagan, he actually reached out to you because he wanted work with people who were outside of the inner circle of Washington experts, right? Do you think the current administration is ready to make an effort like that?
SM: I wouldn’t speak for them. Everybody in America at this moment, it seems, is very confused about our new president and where he's going and what he's going to say next. I think it's too early to tell. I happen to care a great deal for Russia and I have for many years, and I have always maintained the exact position from the beginning and that is you have a lot to give us and we have a lot to give you. We should be together, because together we could do a great deal more than we can do apart for the rest of the world. That's been my position. If they ever wanted to talk to me about that, I would be happy.
SS: Well, you give speeches on Russian relations -why do you think voices like yours are ignored?
SM: They are not. The American public is very-very different from what is now being heard in the U.S. It comes from Washington and it comes from some of the media. Much good stuff exists on the Internet if you want to look for it, but the great public and I say that, basically, sometimes, even Russia forgets that Washington is not the U.S. any more than Paris is the whole France. We have other places and I have been saying: instead of trying to concentrate all the time on Washington you should be concentrating on other places in the United States. Now, I have given lectures in every state of the United States except Alaska and Hawaii, and I have seen the same thing and I've done it now for about 20 years - the same thing. The American people, the public, is always very curious about you, they always want to know, they always say to me: why Russia, why did I go and study Russia? They ask questions, they are always curious and they are not hostile. Americans, even up in Maine, not even Maine, which is a state of fishermen and boat-builders and you know, even the men who came to plough our snow the night before I left - said exactly the same thing as I'm saying to you: "We should be together". "You know" - he kept saying - "You know, I don't like what they're saying, the press". And that is the fact. So I wouldn't take too seriously the things that are said now in limited ways, and say that the public feels that way. No American I have ever met would like to have a war with you.
SS: Well, when I turn on the TV, or read the newspapers...
SM: I know...
SS: ...Anyone who actually speaks out for mending ties with Russia is automatically branded a "Kremlin Spy" - I mean, look at Trump. Is there place for a positive opinion about Russia in American mainstream at all?
SM: Yes. But, remember, who the mainstream is run by - very few people in the end. I don't know how many people actually control the main media - and I'm talking CNN, Fox News, etc. They are corporations and those people are the ones who correct.... Now, I know, that mainstream is what you're hearing, and what I'm saying is: don't pay too much attention to it. It is not the mainstream of public feeling, and yet - listen, I don't hesitate to say what I feel, but I'd tell you... in my lectures, lately, you know what I name them? I name them "A Few Things About Russia Today You May Not Have Read in the Newspapers". And you should see how people flock to hear that.
SS: But the thing is...even if the people themselves are not hostile towards Russia, this one-sided image of Russia in the mainstream leads to concrete actions. For instance, Trump is constantly coming under fire for alleged ties with Russia.
SS: But look at President’s National Security Adviser who was actually forced to resign, and that’s after it emerged he was maintaining dialogue with Russian officials. I'm wondering if this is actually going to turn into a McСarthy-era witch hunt against Trump’s administration, just because they want to mend ties?
SM: People have mentioned this, and people as, let’s say, distinguished as Stephen Cohen, whom you may know. I am not sure what's going to happen in the next thing. Because all of our Senators don't feel that way, I don't know about our House of Representatives, but our Senators, many of whom I know, don't feel this way. Many of them have noticed exactly what you're saying. Many, I would say, influential people in the United States - and that means professors, people who are in the field, also have noticed it, and there's quite a reaction against it. So, I'm not sure, it's as pessimistic as you see it.
SS: Hopefully. Now, I want to go back a little bit to your collaboration with President Reagan, because Reagan did choose to negotiate, but at the same time he didn’t back down from military confrontation. What do you think of adopting Reagan’s ‘peace through strength’ policy today? Do you think this military power is needed to preserve stability?
SM: I don't, personally. That's my answer - I don't. I actually am very sorry for the amount of weapons, not only that the U.S. or Russia - or anybody... I really think that the world needs less arms instead of more. There are some people who make a great deal of money from arms and therefore they have a great deal of interest, and seeing precisely that the kind of... well, mainstream that you're talking about. Because I always ask: what point is in it? What are we gaining from this? I think we gain very little. I would like to see much less, and particularly, Ronald Reagan's dream which was less and hopefully no atomic weapons.
SS: So, just to sum this up, do you think that the current administration will overcome the political establishment’s objections to have a thaw with Russia?
SM: I hope so. I hope so. There are many people who are concerned - just because we don't know yet, what form the new administration is going to take. It's not even chosen entirely. I think you’re right, I have observed the same thing. There is a group of people, in Washington, they’re not all transparent, who actually would like to prevent Trump - so it will depend on whether Trump has the guts to go against the whole establishment that he does not know.
SS: You know, The phrase “trust but verify” which Reagan was famous for - you are the one who taught him that, that’s a Russian proverb translated into English - that has since become part of the American political dictionary, actually
SM: Not only the American dictionary. They are selling everything from soup to nuts on television.
SS: Do you think there’s room for trust now? Can American leadership build enough trust with Russia to be able to verify?
SM: I hope so. We were working in that direction. I can tell you, there are masses of people who could, but will they be in power - we don't know that yet. I think we have to wait a little bit and see what happens, and that's the advice I would give to anyone here. It's just wait a little and see what happens before you act too quickly. I don't know what's going to happen, I have no idea. And that, as you know, it's in our newspapers every day - what's going on, what going to happen? We don't know. There are some real people against in the Senate and in the other places, and we'll see who wins in this. But I can only tell you that the public does count and the public does not want war with Russia - and why should they? There's no reason for it. So, I like to trust in the intelligence of the American public - it does have a kind of an intelligence, a collective intelligence. I think the American public was very anxious for a change because of many things, and not just because of you or foreign policy, and they did that and now everybody's adjusting to that change and to new personalities. Reagan, after all, had a lot of experience, governing. He’s been governor of California - a very big state, very important state - for two terms. So he had a lot of experience with the public, remember that. He had been going around, he had spoken for GE and he himself gave that a lot of credit for his being the kind of President he was. But he had an awful lot of appearances. He knew how to talk to the public. Now that's missing right now. Mr. Trump made a lot of money, he didn't necessarily talk to the public a great deal or know the public very well. So... again, we have to wait. But I know how people denigrated Reagan. Oh my, did they do it! They kept saying he was - the same media that you're talking about - said that he was a two-bit actor, that he never read, that he really was kind of stupid and went to sleep all the time, and... that is not true.
SS: Look what happened, he was one of the greatest Presidents of the U.S.
SM: He also read all the time, and that's how he got to know me. He read all of my books.
SS: While we're all waiting to see what happens in America, I still want to ask you a little bit about what's going on right now - people over here, they are really wondering why has Russia today become a scapegoat for everything bad that happens in America. I mean, I don't know if you're big in Twitter or Instagram, but there's even a hashtag #russiansdidit. That's kind of funny.
SM: It's now become a joke, as a cartoon. I don't know if you've seen that part. It’s very funny and it's actually not too polite to even say, but I will say - there's a picture of two dogs and the dog says to one dog: "Guess what, the Russians pooped in the hall!"
Now, you see, blaming even that on Russians. It was all over the place. There are all kinds of jokes about that. People realise, they are not stupid, that this is excessive. I happen to agree with you, I think it’s very dangerous, I have fought it as much as I could because I had the same feeling: that you couldn't say anything. That was like McCarthyism, you couldn't say anything. I decided to figure out how to say and that's why I named those things "A Few Things You May Not Have Read in the Newspapers" - I didn't say bad things about the newspapers, but I did tell them all kinds of things that I saw here, that they were very-very interested. Realise, we don't get very much news about you. And I mean personal news. You know, the things you take for granted.
SS: You what I else I noticed? During the Cold War, the Americans systematically criticised the Soviet Union, but if you look at right now, personal attacks on Russia’s President are prevalent.
SM: That's terrible.
SS: Why do you think the Russian-American relations soured down to the point of personal animosity?
SM: I think it's disgraceful and many agree with me. I don't know… You have to admit that probably, there are some enemies there. They are not exactly transparent. They have done it… that has never happened in our history that I know, that there's been directed so much personally, that I finally said, really, if Mr. Putin actually did all the things they say he did, he wouldn't have time to rule Russia at all. It gets to be... absolutely absurd: all the things that are written. It's not right and I feel it is not correct to do that. I happen to have great pleasure of knowing Mr. Putin a little bit. After all, I was a great friend of Sobchak and I was in St. Petersburg, which is my city, and it's not that big, and so you meet people, you know... and, well, I was once introduced on a Boston radio program as being the only woman in the world who had been kissed by Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Putin. I had to say - "But it was very chaste, it was in the church!" And that's really only because of the old days, in Petersburg. So, personally, I always wish him well, I know how hard a job it is, not only in foreign policy, but right here - how much responsibility, how much difficulty. So, I always watch, with, let's say, an equal eye.
SS: You put an emphasis on personal relations - and Trump wants to fix just that. Can ‘person to person’ contact between the leaders actually turn around the whole relationship, would that be enough?
SM: Reagan did it, and he wanted very much to do it, and he deeply believed in personal relations. That's a matter of record. He always thought that if people could speak face-to-face, you could go much further than any other way, and he put that into practice. I'm sure that you know that none of his advisors, except, perhaps, Mr. Shultz wanted him to meet at all with Mr. Gorbachev. They didn't want it. You know why? They said - "He wasn't up to it" - Reagan, "he was not up to it". Well, Reagan simply said "I want to and I will" and he was supported very strongly by his wife, Nancy, who was all for it. So, they did it against... When I came in to that, I was the only woman, there were no women, it was all, absolutely, men. A male administration and they didn’t want it. He had many of his counselors who were absolutely against him meeting Gorbachev. It was his determination. And you know what else he said? He said: "We are not going to discuss ICBMs and all those initials. We are going to discuss basic things, absolutely basic things - like why are they afraid of us and why are we afraid of them, and that's what we're going to talk about". That was Geneva.
SS: But, then, if we follow that logic, we had Putin and Bush - they had good relations, Obama and Medvedev got along, Obama and Putin - not so much. But if the relations between Great Powers depend on personal relationships between the leaders, doesn't that mean the minute one of the leaders is replaced, then everything - and the understanding that has been there between them goes off track?
SM: Would you think it's also ‘naoborot’ - I mean, they didn't get so well along with Obama, or Hillary, she might have been... I don't think so.
SS: Look where we are right now, I mean, people call this the "new Cold War" era, just because they didn't get along so well.
SM: You're not going to get very far with me on that because I don't think it is, and I do believe in the American public and I don't believe in that little group in Washington or in the media who have decided to mount an attack on Mr. Trump. I don't know Mr. Trump, I don't know what he's going to do. I have some doubts, but I'm willing to give him a little time, he did get elected. I didn't happen to vote either for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, because I knew them, and I just couldn't. I could not do it. But I'll tell you one good thing that's happening - American people have woken up a lot and…they were pretty much going along, thinking only of themselves, if you want, "they and our own problems", you know. But now, they realise that they hadn't paid enough attention to our own government, and now there's a great deal more interest in grassroots, local, which, I think, is very important. Everybody was kind of asleep, you know, thinking it was all going to go along the same old way, and then, suddenly, it isn't. So, now, everybody is paying a lot of attention.
SS: I want to talk to you a bit about NATO.
SM: Oh God, yes.
SS: So, it happened with the NATO expansion into Eastern Europe which irritates Moscow to this day…
SM: Of course!
SS: So one administration was ready to leave East Europe neutral, but then Bill Clinton and Bush Jr. they decided to expand. All this time Moscow was protesting against this…
SM: I know.
SS: They were very firm about their position in the 90s, the 00s, and the 10s, until this day. Why was it and still is ignored?
SM: I have just said this, at a speech that I gave at the Baltic Forum. I've said, number one, coexistence can never be brought about by force, number one, and that I personally, think that putting soldiers on people's borders is not the way to start a constructive conversation, most particularly with Russia. I think sometimes it will help to simply look at the map and you might understand better - after all, the U.S. is, I would say, very lucky, to have nobody particularly threatening on our borders. We have Canada, we have Mexico, and on the other two siders we have fishes. We have two big ponds with fishes. And that's it. Having worries about borders is not something that we… we’ve been very fortunate about that. But other people do have worries. They do have history, they do remember their history and, of course, Russia above all, does remember its history, not only their recent history, but before that. The big mistake of the Western policy was that the West was making policy about a country that no longer existed.
SS: Americans believe in exceptionalism and exceptionalism has led to interventions and the spreading of liberal values; On the other hand, there's isolationism - like Trump’s America First ideas. Which one do you think will prevail?
SM: I can't tell you who's going to prevail.
SS: What do you think?
SM: I personally think that there's a great mood for thinking about America right now. We have a lot of problems, so I think there may be a move away from, let's say, interfering all over the place or the external policy. I think Americans are ready and desiring to think about themselves, if you think that that's isolationism. In that respect, it will be more thinking about itself, now, than worrying about every other country in the world. We could never forget Russia, but that is something else. But, I really do, I think, perhaps, you're right, that there may be more pulling in.
SS: Finally, I just want to know because, U.S. and Russia mainly disagree on foreign policy - in Syria, on President Trump's confrontation path towards Iran - do you think that Russia and U.S. can manage to cooperate selectively? Do you think they can agree to disagree?
SM: I hope so, I hope so. Why not? After all, nobody agrees with everything anybody else says. I don't really believe that any country is exceptional and absolutely... I think, every country has something to contribute. So, we may not agree, but, at least, we can respect each other's feelings, and not only feelings - history and point of view may not be the same as ours.
SS: Thank you so much for this wonderful interview. Suzanne Massie, adviser to President Ronald Reagan. And we thank Hotel Metropol that gave us an opportunity to record this interview in its Executive Lounge. Thank you.
According to journalist Yanatab Zunger, Donald Trump currently appears to be targeting the CIA and its other Deep State cronies for extinction -- while at the same time hiring his own security team to protect himself. Ah, if only President Kennedy had engineered this kind of power-grab/self-protection combination when he was first elected, he would still be alive today and we would live in a whole different (and far better) world. @yonatanzunger/trial-balloon-for-a-coup-e024990891d5#.dg9vu3e70" id="yiv3591735947yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1485968960948_28304" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/trial-balloon-for-a-coup-e024990891d5#.dg9vu3e70
Make no mistake, Trump is no friend of democracy like JFK obviously was, and I am totally appalled by many of Trump's policies and buddies. With regard to Trump's plans to cut MediCare, Social Security and various government food and housing programs, these cuts basically amount to the financial genocide of America's elderly -- the very same white male demographic that The Donald has sworn to protect. And the buddies he has chosen to guide him appear to be totally committed to ecological genocide of the entire human race as well.
However. Trump, like Kennedy before him, also seems to be calling out the Deep State's right to rule America (and the world) with an iron hand. Good luck with that one, President Trump. Let's just hope you don't go the way of others who have also tried this in the past. Patrice Lumumba, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy immediately come to mind. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/10/book-review-devils-chessboard-david-talbot
The so-called Deep State, AKA the military-industrial complex and/or Wall Street and War Street, is a political dinosaur whose time has come -- and gone. These days, "People everywhere just want to be free," to paraphrase an old-school New Jersey rock band. But this particular Deep State dinosaur seems at first glance to be the T-Rex of them all,
impossible to defeat even though its extinction has already been written in the sand. http://time.com/4657648/charles-koch-donald-trump/
So who better to take out a mean dinosaur than another mean dinosaur? Enter the Trump political machine. Battle to the death here folks. But no matter if Trump loses and ends up in the tar pits of Vegas or if the Deep State loses and ends up buried in the swamps of Washington DC, hopefully democracy will be the ultimate winner. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2017/01/why-im-going-to-las-vegas-on-valentines.html
The reptilian part of the human brain still seems to be the boss of most human mental operations these days. Even after almost a million disastrous years of this kind of thinking, since even before caveman times, many of us still function mainly from the depths of our reptile cortex -- and still believe that full-spectrum dominance will solve any problem. But as St. Valentine constantly reminds us, love is a much sharper tool.
But Trump and the Deep State aren't the only ones who still think like dinosaurs. There is also the Pentagon, ISIS, the Israeli/Saudi alliance, the para-military police up at Standing Rock, serial killers, child abusers, Klan members, banksters, gang-bangers and other hooligans of all types. The list goes on and on. However, like the T-Rex and the
brontosaurus before them, these outdated reptiles are also doomed to extinction.
But, sadly, if these gross dinosaurs with expired sell-by dates who now run our show don't "get their minds right" immediately, the rest of us evolving types who try very hard to live
in the image of MLK, JFK, Gandhi and even Buddha and Jesus -- we also are gonna be doomed, right along with the reptiles of Wall Street and War Street.
Just how effective is the power of prayer? For many of us who are poor and helpless, prayer is the only WMD that we can get our hands on.
Prayer is our AK-47, our Uzi, our nuclear missile, our Glock. It is the only defense that we have against the slings and arrows that are constantly aimed at our hearts by those more rich and powerful and brutal than we are.
In Mexico City, the Sacred Heart of Jesus has become our bunker, our NORAD, our Marine Corps and even our numbered bank account in the Caymans.
But are we -- the victims, the vulnerable, the unprotected, the powerless -- are we actually being armored and protected by prayer or is it just wistful thinking because we have nothing else? Who knows.
Are the poor and defenseless in places like Yemen, Ferguson, Honduras, Tibet, Syria, Ukraine, Standing Rock, Afghanistan, Gaza and Libya actually being protected by their prayers to Yahweh, Allah, God, Buddha, Shiva, the Great Spirit, etc.?
Will my own heartfelt and constant prayers for world peace ever be answered? Who the freak knows? They haven't been so far. However, realistically, do we who are the meek and wretched of the earth really have any other choice?
And here in Mexico City, like everywhere else, the defenses of we the defenseless are limited too -- and yet here in both the grand cathedrals and the humble churches by the side of the road, the defenseless grandmothers and beggars and disabled and working stiffs and vulnerable salt of the earth all continue to pray.
PS: Here's another thing that we clearly need to pray about: America's government!
According to The Saker, a trustworthy political blog site, there is currently a huge clash of Titans going on far above our heads -- as the neo-con Deep State struggles to discredit, impeach, assassinate and/or eliminate (wait for it!) Donald J. Trump. Any way that they can. Apparently those guys really really really hate The Donald -- even more than the Left in America hates him. And that's saying a lot.
With regard to the phony intelligence document recently leaked by John McCain, The Saker warns us that, "After several rather lame false starts, the Neocons have now taken a step which can only be called a declaration of war against Donald Trump... This is a political coup d’etat."
But. "If a coup is staged against Trump and some wannabe President à la Hillary or McCain gives the order to the National Guard or even the US Army to put down a local insurrection, we could see what we saw in Russia in 1991: a categorical refusal of the security services to shoot at their own people. That is the biggest and ultimate danger for the Neocons: the risk that if they give the order to crack down on the population, the police, security and military services might simply refuse to take action." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46202.htm
PPS: Let us also pray that the police, security services and National Guard in North Dakota finally refuse to take action against the brave Standing Rock protesters too. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/12/standing-rock-police-militarized-emergency-management-assistance-compact-north-dakota
And also let us pray for the soggy and cold protesters on the much-raided "Poor Tour" in my hometown of Berkeley, CA. They are protesting the criminalization of being homeless in America and need all the help they can get. You don't have to go thousands of miles away to find something to pray for these days. https://www.facebook.com/firsttheycameforthehomeless/
Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.
And while you're at it, please buy my books! http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/our-top-best-seller-right-now-is-bring.html