LIVE: Stake out as Chelsea Manning is reportedly released from prison

LIVE: Stake out as Chelsea Manning is reportedly released from prison

The whistle-blower who has been in prison since 2010 is said to have been released. The following video shows events outside the prison where Manning was being held.

Analysis, Latest, News

Trump’s plan finally becomes clear

Donald Trump’s first trip abroad as President will be to Saudi Arabia.
The first stage of U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to restore America’s former dominance as a manufacturing country will be announced this coming weekend in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and Washington DC, but its outlines are now already more than clear. The biggest-ever foreign sale of U.S.-made weaponry will be announced at that time, and, according to a little-noticed report by Reuters on May 12th, an unidentified U.S. government official informed Reuters that “We are in the final stages of a series of deals,” whose size will be of truly extraordinary historic proportions.
Trump will announce during this, his first trip abroad as the U.S. President, starting on Friday May 19th, deals for the fundamentalist-Sunni government of Saudi Arabia to purchase more than $100 billion, and perhaps more even than $300 billion, in U.S.-made weaponry. The announced intention of Saudi princes is to defeat what they declare to be the ‘existential threat’ they face from Iran and from Shia Islam, and so these weapons will presumably be used for ‘defense’ against the fundamentalist-Shiite government of Iran, and against any nation whose leader is Shiite (even if not fundamentalist, and including non-sectarian and even secular Shiite, such as Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad, and such as the Houthis in Yemen). The U.S. (especially the major investors in corporations such as Lockheed Martin) will therefore be in a position to profit from intensification of the wars in Syria and in Yemen, as well as from other national battlefields between Sunni and Shia. That’s the plan, and, on this basis, as soon as Trump won the 2016 election, he appointed to all of his national-security posts people who have solid records as being rabidly hostile, above all, towards Iran, and secondarily, toward Iran’s allies, such as Russia and Syria. (Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, was hostile, above all, toward Russia; her aim was to conquer it, which would entail unlimited spending on nuclear weapons. Trump’s plan is focused instead on unlimited spending on conventional weapons, and the deal that he has reached with the Sauds is designed specifically to supply them with that — not with nuclear.)
The key international ally of the American government has long been the fundamentalist-Sunni Saudi royal family, the world’s wealthiest family, who own Saudi Arabia, including the world’s largest oil company, Aramco, which is 100% owned by the Saudi government, which is 100% owned by the Saud family, actually by whomever the royal family’s princes select to be the King. No one can be selected by the Saud family to become the King who is disapproved of by the nation’s fundamentalist-Sunni Wahhabist clergy, who have been committed ever since 1744 to eliminating Shia Islam. Israel also is allied with the Saud family. Consequently, on the Sunni side are the U.S. and Israel; and, on the Shiite side are Russia and Syria. Other countries are secondary. For example, Sunni Turkey is part of America’s NATO military alliance against Russia, but is obsessed against America’s Kurdish allies and therefore more on Iran’s and Russia’s side in that regard. (A Kurdish state being carved from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, would please only the U.S. government.)
The Reuters news-report also quoted this unnamed U.S. government official as saying that “Israel would still maintain an edge” so as to remain the most powerful military nation in the Middle East. This suggests that part of these “deals” will be that the Sauds will continue to say no-thank-you to the repeated offers by Pakistan to sell some of their nuclear weapons to the Saudi government. And it also means that the Sauds will continue to rely upon the U.S. nuclear force as protection or ‘umbrella’ against any possible nuclear attack, from Israel or any other nation. (The full terms of the ‘deals’ won’t be made public but will also include purely spoken agreements, more in the nature of the 1945 original deal that was reached in private between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Saud.)
The Sauds are buying the U.S., as their ally in their centuries-old war against Shia Islam; and, the U.S. is selling the Sauds the weaponry, and the military trainers (so as to be able to use America’s weapons), against Iran and other Shiia-controlled or -allied countries.
The Trump Administration has already been applying pressure against Russia in an attempt to get them to abandon their support of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and of Iran; but this pressure has not yet borne any fruit, and is not currently a front-burner issue in Trump’s plan; it’s on the back burner right now.
As regards domestic U.S. issues, they’re viewed, by the top levels in both the Republican and Democratic Parties, more as vote-getting baits, than as issues of actual primary concern. Whereas the public focuses mainly upon those issues, the political-donor class (owners of international corporations) are concerned mainly about foreign affairs; and, in domestic affairs, on lowering the taxes that they pay and the economic regulations that increase their costs of doing business — and even those domestic issues have a large foreign-affairs component. So: international alliances are the central concern of America’s wealthy. Since the general public knows and cares little about those matters and doesn’t understand them but instead misunderstands them, there is virtually no political cost to any politician who, as a public official, gives away the store to the donor-class, on what they care about the most. What the public see in the ’news’media is propaganda that’s paid for by advertisers and/or by the aristocratically controlled government itself, and therefore carefully veils key realities that would enable the public to understand what’s going on and why. Of course, individuals such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning, are viscerally hated by the donor-class and get thrown into prison even while people such as George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, walk free and are even honored by large portions of the electorate (not to mention by their own financial sponsors) (and even win such things as the Nobel Peace Prize).
Analysis, Latest, News

Claims US intelligence partnerships jeopardised by ‘Trumpleak’ are baseless. Here’s why.

No country will risk its valuable intelligence partnership with the US because of something Donald Trump might have said to the Russians.

One of the most commonly made claims about ‘Trumpleak’ is that President Trump’s supposedly feckless leaking of intelligence information provided to the US by another country will shake that country’s confidence in the US’s ability to keep its secrets.

On the facts of ‘Trumpleak’ itself this claim is nonsense, and as I have carefully explained the ‘anonymous current and former officials’ who make this claim don’t believe it themselves.

As a general principle however, even if ‘Trumpleak’ were as bad as is being alleged – which it isn’t – there would be no risk of any country that shares intelligence with the US walking away in a huff and in future refusing to share intelligence with the US.  The claim that such a risk exists (made for example today by both the Financial Times and the Guardian) is not so much empty as non-existent since it completely misrepresents the whole nature of the intelligence partnerships which exist between the US and other countries allied to it.

The key fact about these intelligence partnerships is that the US is always and invariably the overwhelmingly dominant partner.  The reason for this is because the US’s worldwide intelligence operation dwarf those of every other country with which it is allied.  Not one of these countries – not Britain with MI6 and GCHQ, not Israel with Mossad and Shin Beth, not Germany with the BND – comes close.

The only other states which conduct worldwide intelligence operations at a level somewhat approximating to those of the US are the US’s two Great Power adversaries: China and Russia.  Even their intelligence gathering operations almost certainly do not match the extent or scope of those of the US.  This is in part because the Chinese and the Russians as Eurasian powers almost certainly feel that they don’t need to match the worldwide scope and comprehensive reach of the intelligence operation of the US, which does not just think of itself as a Great Power as the world’s self-appointed hegemon.

What that means is that countries like Britain, Israel, Germany and the rest which share intelligence information with the US receive far more intelligence information from the US than they provide to the US or could ever possibly obtain themselves.  For that reason if no other however upset or angry with the US these countries become they will never do anything that might jeopardise their intelligence sharing partnership with the US.

Indeed one of the perennial nightmares of these countries is that the US might one day decide to stop sharing intelligence information with them.  As everyone in the political and intelligence world knows this is an implicit threat the US regularly uses in order to keep these countries in line.  It is one reason why the US’s European allies for example sought in 2013 to assist the US to track down and arrest the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In truth the intelligence agencies of most of the NATO countries allied to the US should be seen less as independent intelligence agencies and more as branch offices of the greater intelligence operation of the US.

Though some of the intelligence agencies of the bigger powers within NATO – Britain, France, Germany and Turkey – do retain some degree of operational autonomy and can sometimes act on their own initiative, most of the time their work is so heavily integrated into the much bigger US intelligence operation that after so many decades of such close collaboration they are barely able think of themselves as separate.

That is how it came to happen that in 2002 all of these agencies supposedly made the same mistake, and collectively reported that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, when in truth it did not.

Lurid talk that Trump’s supposed fecklessness with intelligence allegedly jeopardises the US’s intelligence relationships with its allies is therefore quite simply not grounded in reality.  It should be seen for what it really is: part of the media campaign which has been launched against him.


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