US President Trump’s latest, and perhaps greatest pivot comes at the expense of press freedom, and Julian Assange’s freedom.
From “l love Wikileaks” as a US presidential candidate, to “I hate Wikileaks” as President…Trump is in danger of alienating more of his hardcore base, already disillusioned with the POTUS’ myriad of campaign promises turned presidential lies.
Ron Paul is not giving President Trump a pass on the Wikileaks witch-hunt. In a post entitled, ” Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’“, Paul blasts Trump’s “hypocrisy”, noting that “if we allow this president to declare war on those who tell the truth, we have only ourselves to blame.”
“I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.
Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.
Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.
It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”
Trump’s condemnation of Wikileaks came just a day after his CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, attacked Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service.” Pompeo accused Assange of being “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”
Pompeo’s word choice was no accident. By accusing Wikileaks of being a “hostile intelligence service” rather than a publisher of information on illegal and abusive government practices leaked by whistleblowers, he signaled that the organization has no First Amendment rights. Like many in Washington, he does not understand that the First Amendment is a limitation on government rather than a granting of rights to citizens. Pompeo was declaring war on Wikileaks.
But not that long ago Pompeo also cited Wikileaks as an important source of information. In July he drew attention to the Wikileaks release of information damaging to the Clinton campaign, writing, “Need further proof that the fix was in from President Obama on down?”
There is a word for this sudden about-face on Wikileaks and the transparency it provides us into the operations of the prominent and powerful: hypocrisy.
The Trump Administration’s declaration of war on whistleblowers and Wikileaks is one of the greatest disappointments in these first 100 days. Donald Trump rode into the White House with promises that he would “drain the swamp,” meaning that he would overturn the apple carts of Washington’s vested interests. By unleashing those same vested interests on those who hold them in check – the whistleblowers and those who publish their revelations – he has turned his back on those who elected him.
Julian Assange, along with the whistleblowers who reveal to us the evil that is being done in our name, are heroes. They deserve our respect and admiration, not a prison cell. If we allow this president to declare war on those who tell the truth, we have only ourselves to blame.
Immediately following the call by Chinese President Xi Jinping to President Trump on Sunday, during which the Chinese President warned President Trump against any unilateral military action against North Korea, comes news that the White House on Wednesday will be a location for a briefing on North Korea of the entire US Senate.
It is important to say that contrary to a report by the BBC this is not a summons of the Senate to the White House by the President. Rather it is a decision by Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, to hold a Senate briefing in the White House rather than on Capitol Hill.
That this is so was confirmed by Sean Spicer, President Trump’s spokesman, during his regular press briefing on Monday
Also on North Korea, on Wednesday, the White House campus will play host to a briefing for all U.S. — 100 U.S. senators on the subject. The briefers will be Secretary Tillerson and Mattis, Director Coats and General Dunford. This is a Senate briefing convened by the Majority Leader, not a White House briefing. We are just serving as the location. For further questions, I’d direct you to the Majority Leader’s office and the office of the four briefers.
Holding a Senate briefing in the White House instead of on Capitol Hill is however a most remarkable step, and the Washington Post says staffers in the Senate are perplexed by it.
Though the White House says the meeting was convened by Senator McConnell rather than by the Trump administration itself, it is difficult to believe that it was done without some degree of prompting from the White House.
The Senators are in the process of returning to Capitol Hill after a 2 week recess, and with the President possibly smarting from his failure to press the Chinese into taking stronger action against North Korea, it seems the administration has now decided to raise the stakes by getting Senator McConnell to convene a classified briefing of the whole Senate in the White House.
There has to be concern that this briefing is preparatory to the White House seeking authorisation for military action. The fact that General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be attending the briefing, points strongly to that likelihood, and suggests that military options against North Korea will be discussed during the briefing.
Against that it has to be said that the President hosted a lunch in Washington of the UN Security Council ambassadors on Monday, including obviously those of China and Russia. During that lunch he made the following comments
The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable, and the Council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem, and it’s a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem.
That suggests that the President is heeding China’s warning and is still looking for diplomatic action, with his priority being to get the UN Security Council to impose further sanctions against North Korean after these have been agreed by the administration with the Russians and the Chinese. If so then that suggests that military action has not been decided on yet.
Putting all the known facts together, what is possibly the most likely explanation for this strange move is that after their long slumber some members of the Senate and of the Congress, as they return to Washington after the recess, are finally starting to signal their concern, and the President and his advisers are seeking by briefing them in the White House both to bring them onside and to send a strong signal to the North Koreans and the Chinese.
However if one thing is now clear about this President, it is that it is impossible to predict his actions with any confidence.
Moreover even if the intention is merely to keep the Senate onside during a period of growing tension in the Korean Peninsula whilst at the same time sending a strong signal to the North Koreans and the Chinese, the mere fact of briefing the full Senate in the White House – and of regaling the Senators with what will undoubtedly be flesh-creeping talk of North Korean nuclear bombs and missiles raining down on the US – risks creating a momentum of its own. It is bound to heighten talk of war, and of the need for a pre-emptive US strike to prevent what many of the Senators will no doubt see as a ‘clear and present danger’ from North Korea to the US. That in turn is bound to make the possibility of a military strike more likely.
What that unfortunately means is that we are a further step closer to a US military strike against North Korea, even if that is not what the President intends at the moment.
The next few days will be extremely tense, and the situation is now very dangerous.
Much will depend on whether or not there is a North Korean nuclear test over the next few days. If there is one, it is difficult to see how the President can draw back without losing face. It is nonetheless to be sincerely hoped that he does. However, one way or the other, by holding a Senate briefing in the White House, the President has just made pulling back harder as he closes off his options for retreat.
Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to Moscow, amidst a ramp up in tensions between the US and Russia over Trump’s illegal missile strike on Syria, was seen by many analysts as a failed attempt by the Trump White House to deliver ultimatums to a Russia committed to defeating ISIS, and preventing Syria from failing under ISIS-Al Qaeda control.
In a recent post entitled, “Is That Armageddon Over The Horizon?“ Paul Craig Roberts examines the hubris and folly that the Trump administration has undertaken with its Syria brinksmanship, under the guise of protecting “beautiful babies.”
The insouciance of the Western world is extraordinary. It is not only Americans who permit themselves to be brainwashed by CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and Washington Post, but also their counterparts in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan, who rely on the war propaganda machine that poses as a media. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39573526
The Western “leaders,” that is, the puppets on the end of the strings pulled by the powerful private interest groups and the Deep State, are just as insouciant. Trump and his counterparts in the American Empire must be unaware that they are provoking war with Russia and China, or else they are psychopaths.
A new White House Fool has replaced the old fool. The New Fool has sent his Secretary of State to Russia. For what? To deliver an ultimatum? To make more false accusations? To apologize for the lies?
Consider the audacity of Secretary of State Tillerson. He has spent the week prior to his visit to Moscow supporting incredible lies and false allegations that Assad of Syria used chemical weapons with Russia’s permission, which justified Washington’s unambigious war crime of a military attack on a country with which the US has not declared war. Less than 100 days in office, and Trump is already a war criminal along with the rest of his warmonger government.
The entire world knows this, but no one says it. Instead, Tillerson, who has been heavy with lies and threats has the confidence to go to Moscow to tell the Russians that they have to hand over Assad to the American Uni-Power.
Tillerson’s mission demonstrates the complete, total unreality of the world in which Washington lives. Try to imagine Tillerson’s arrogance. If you had been bad-mouthing and threatening strong, important people, would you feel comfortable going over to their house to have dinner with them? Does Tillerson think that now that Russia has largely freed Syrtia of US-supported ISIS, Russia is going to turn Syria over to Washington?
Is he going to tell Lavrov that he didn’t really mean all those nasty lies he told about Russia, but the zionist neoconservatives made him do it? That he is not really in charge, just a tool of the Anglo-Zionist Empire?
Is Tillerson going to apologize for White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s statement that Assad, Russia’s ally, is more evil than Hitler? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39573063
Maybe Tillerson is going to ask for asylum and get on the winning side.
Stephen Cohen, one of the few remaining Americans knowledgeable about Russia, told the two CNN presstitutes and the warmonger Col. Leighton, one of the “experts” that the presstitutes roll out to pronounce the propaganda against Russia, that Russia was preparing for hot war. It seems to have gone over the heads of the CNN presstitutes and colonel. Whose payroll are they on? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46838.htm
The Russian leaders, who, unlike the Western liars, speak the truth, have said clearly that Russia will never again fight a war on her own territory. The Russians couldn’t put it more clearly. Provoke a war, and we will destroy you on your own territory.
When you watch the president and government in Washington, the European governments, especially the idiots in London, the Canadian and Australian governments, you can only marvel at the total stupidity of “Western leadership.” They are begging for the end of the world.
And the presstitutes are at work driving toward the end of life. Huge numbers of Western peoples are being prepared for their demise, and they are protected from the realization by their insouciance.
Washington is so arrogant and lost in its own hubris, that Washington does not understand that the years of clear as crystal lies about Russia and Russian intentions and deeds have convinced Russia that Washington is preparing the populations of the United States and Washington’s captive peoples in West and East Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan for a US pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia. Published US war plans against China have convinced China of the same.
If not for war, what else is the change in US war doctrine for? George W. Bush abandoned the stabilizing role of nuclear weapons by moving them from a retaliatory function to a nuclear first strike. Then he pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty concluded by President Richard Nixon. Now we have US missile sites positioned on Russia’s borders. We tell the Russians the lie that the missiles are to prevent an Iranian nuclear ICBM strike against Europe. This lie is told, and accepted by the puppets in Europe, despite the known, incontestable fact that Iran has neither nukes nor ICBMs. But the Russians do not accept it. They know it is another Washington lie.
When Russia hears these flagrant, blatant, obvious lies, Russia understands that Washington intends a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia.
China has reached the same conclusion.
So, here is the situation. Two countries with nuclear forces expect that the insane fools who rule the West are going to attack them with nuclear weapons. What are Russia and China doing? Are they begging for mercy?
No. They are preparing to destroy the evil West, a collection of liars and war criminals, the like of which the world has never previously experienced.
It is the US, the washed-up joke of a “uni-power” that after 16 years is still unable to defeat a few thousand lightly armed Taliban in Afghanistan, that needs to ask for mercy.
The reckless and irresponsible war talk in the US government and presstitute media and among NATO and Washington’s vassals must stop immediately. Life is in the balance.
Putin has shown amazing patience with Washington’s lies and provocations, but he cannot risk Russia by trusting Washington, whom no one can trust. Not the American people, not the Russian people, not any people.
By jumping on the Deep State’s propaganda wagon the liberal/progressive/left is complicit in the march toward Armageddon.