History They Don’t Want You To Know

Chris Hedges: What Is Happening To Julian Assange Will Happen To The Rest Of Us

This global security state is a terrifying melding of the corporate and the public. And what it has done to Assange it will soon do to the rest of us. By Chris Hedges Truthdig (2/10/20) David Morales, the indicted owner of the Spanish private security firm Undercover Global, is being investigated by Spain’s high court for allegedly providing the CIA with audio and video recordings of the meetings WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had with his attorneys and other visitors when the publisher was in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The security firm also reportedly photographed the passports of all of Assange’s visitors. It is…

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Report Reveals CIA Controlled Trusted Global Encryption Company For Decades

By Julian Borger The Guardian (2/11/20) Encryption weaknesses added to products sold by Crypto AG allowed the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND, to eavesdrop on adversaries and allies alike while earning million of dollars from the sales, according the Washington Post and the German public broadcaster ZDF, based on the agencies’ internal histories of the intelligence operation. “It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concluded. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the US and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign…


A Radical Message Of What REAL Resistance In This Nation Will Take If We Are To Survive

“It is our job to make people in power feel fear. That’s our job. … You know why they are so scared? Because they know even better than we do how corrupt and fixed the system is. … They understand how hated they are and that makes them weak.“ This talk by Chris Hedges has been posted in the Commoner Call before, and is well worth the time, but it is being re-posted now specifically for Hedges’ call to resist. After the bumbling debacle of the Iowa caucus and the corrupting influence of oligarch Michael Bloomberg’s millions in the primary process,…


Robert Reich: Why Democrats Share The Blame For Trump’s Reign Of Error

I was part of a Democratic administration that failed to fix a rigged system – I know our current president is a symptom of our disunion, not its only cause. By Robert Reich The Guardian (2/2/20) An impeached president who is up for re-election will this week deliver a State of the Union address to the most divided union in living memory. But why are we so divided? We’re not fighting a hugely unpopular war on the scale of Vietnam. We’re not in a deep economic crisis like the Great Depression. Yes, we disagree about guns, gays, abortion and immigration,…


The Disingenuous Creation Myth Of The Buttigieg Campaign

A window into the big-money support for Buttigieg that he is eager to leave unmentioned. By Norman Solomon Common Dreams (2/3/20) This weekend, Pete Buttigieg told supporters that he became a viable candidate for president “on the strength of our vision” and “the urgency of our convictions.” Such rhetoric fits snugly into a creation myth about his campaign that Buttigieg has been promoting since early 2019. Summing up the gist of that myth, Buttigieg began this year by standing at a whiteboard and looking into a camera while he talked about the genesis of his run for the presidency. “We…


On Contact: Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History Of The USA’ With Author Ray Suarez

“Zinn is not a cudgel, he’s a corrective.” [Editor’s Note:A great discussion! — Mark L. Taylor] By Chris Hedges On Contact / RT (1/25/20) Chris Hedges discusses the importance of historian Howard Zinn for a fuller understanding of American history, with journalist Ray Suarez, author of Truth has a Power of its Own: A Conversation about A People’s History with Howard Zinn. Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has sold more than two million copies. Link To 28-Minute Video  


Half Of Americans Don’t Know 6 Million Jews Were Killed In Holocaust, Survey Says

Only 45% gave the correct answer. By Harriet Sherwood The Guardian (1/22/20) Fewer than half of American adults know how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, according to a survey published ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. Forty-five per cent of those asked by the Pew Research Center about the number of Jews killed by the Nazis gave the correct answer of approximately 6 million. The Anti-Defamation League annual audit of antisemitic incidents in the US for 2018 recorded the third-highest total since the civil rights group began publishing data 40 years ago. From multiple choice answers, 12% selected about…



UW-Green Bay Historian Harvey J. Kaye Warns Dems: Only A Progressive President Can Save America

If Democrats don’t embrace their progressive legacy the party is toast — and so is America. By Chauncey Devega Salon (1/23/20) The Democratic Party has a very difficult choice to make. Will it choose a progressive candidate such as Bernie Sanders as the 2020 presidential nominee, in the hope that his populist vision will vanquish Donald Trump? Or will the Democrats instead choose Joe Biden, a former vice president, a “centrist” and “moderate” who wants to find ways to compromise with Republicans in order to “heal” the nation, and a “calming” presence who symbolizes a return to the supposed state of normalcy that…


George Orwell, 70 Years Later

By John Rodden History News Network (1/20/20) Seventy years ago this Tuesday [1/21], George Orwell, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, died alone in a hospital sanitorium in London.  He had struggled for years with pulmonary tuberculosis, and his weak lungs hemorrhaged for the final time.  He was just 46, and just on the verge of fame, having published his great novel just seven months earlier in June 1949. Would the visionary author of Nineteen Eighty-Four—who always insisted on the full eighteen letters as his novel’s proper title, not the four screaming digits “1984”—have ever imagined that George Orwell might become the most…



The Bipartisan American War State: The Liars That Over & Over Send Our Children Off To Pointless War For Profit

“We have a government that is so easily dominated by psychopaths and sociopaths.” [Editor’s Note: This whole video is worth the time, but if nothing else, watch the opening video mash-up of the Republican and Democratic lies that have repeatedly thrown the nation into wars for corporate profits. The take-down of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent kow-towing to Trump’s war actions are revealing of the bipartisan evil we face. — Mark L. Taylor] The Real News (1/10/20) Two Iraq war veterans explain why Congress has failed to stop the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and say the United States…


The Members Of Congress Who Profit From Sending Our Children To War

In the Senate, nearly one-third of the members of the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee own stocks in top defense contractors.  By Donald Shaw & David Moore Sludge (1/13/20) It was shortly after midnight in Baghdad on Friday, Jan. 3, when a missile strike ordered by President Trump killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. When stock markets opened the next day, dozens of members of Congress saw bumps in their portfolios as their holdings in defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon increased in value on the possibility of war. Over the next three trading days, the leading defense industry…


Chris Hedges: How Democracies Wither & Die

A Christianized fascism champions Trump as an agent of God while the traditional church refuses to denounce evangelical right-wing extremists as heretics and impostors. By Chris Hedges Truthdig (1/13/20) Leo Tolstoy wrote that happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. So too with failed democracies. There is no one route to the dissolution of the open society, but the patterns are familiar, whether in ancient Athens, the Roman Republic or the collapse of the democracies in Italy and the Weimar Republic in Germany that led to fascism. The ills that beset Germany and Italy…


John Nichols: If Democrats Go Timid & Pull Their Punches, Trump Will Knock Them Out

  By John Nichols The Nation (6/3/19) Who said: “Socialism is a scare word (the corporate special-interest lobbies) have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for anything that helps all the people…”? Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders? Who said: “We are rightly proud of the high standards of medical care…


A Progressive’s Handy Guide To Deciphering The Doublespeak Of Corporate Democrat ‘Centrists’

“Privatization” — Theft of public resources. By Richard Eskow Independent Media Insitute (1/6/20) “Purity test”? “Pragmatic progressive”? “Free stuff”? What are these politicians talking about? If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Certain words and phrases are routinely used by “centrist” political candidates. By design, these terms are imprecise, emotionally charged, and often self-contradicting. In fact, the word “centrist” is just such a term, since polling shows that the economic viewpoint of these candidates—especially regarding health care, Social Security, education and other social programs—is often well to the right of the general public. Pete Buttigieg’s recent use of the term “purity test”…


Ronan Farrow’s Take On Interrogating The Truth In A Justice System Geared For The Wealthy

  PBS News Hour / Brief But Spectacular (1/9/20) For investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, the ability to produce a story hinges upon the courage of his interview subjects. But the chance an abuse survivor has to exact justice is tied to the wealth and stature of those they accuse, and we need the transparency and accountability journalism demands to expose this imbalance. Farrow shares his Brief But Spectacular take on interrogating the truth. Link To 4+-Minute Video


How Presidents Wage War Without Congress

By Lulu Garcia-Navarro Morning Edition / NPR (1/12/19) The Constitution limits the president’s power to wage war but presidents have gotten around that and Congress has only rarely asserted itself successfully. Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Last week, the House of Representatives voted to require President Trump to seek congressional approval before taking further military action against Iran. The measure now goes to the Senate, where its fate is less certain. And President Trump is not expected to sign anything that restricts his authority, which raises the question, what are the limits to a president’s power to make war? We posed that question…


Trump’s Past Tweets Accusing Obama Of Pending Attacks On Iran Expose His Own Personal Weaknesses

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/6/20) Psychological projection is an unconscious defensive behavior in which those with troubled and weak personalities angrily and snidely accuse others of the very weaknesses they can’t face in themselves. Donald Trump is a naked poster boy of the phenomenon. This past week Trump’s psychological projections were broadcast worldwide with his ordered assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, leading to well-founded fears of renewed war in the Middle East. Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency Trump launched tweets accusing Obama of what he himself is now doing. In the process, he projected his own personal…


The Real Risk Of Biden Winning: “Playing it safe is going to get us killed.”

  “If Democrats meet the public’s demand for real change with something fake, the other side is willing to offer the real thing. The real risk of a Joe Biden nomination might not be that he could lose to Trump — though that is certainly plausible — but that he will beat Trump, fail to deliver, and open the door for a fascist who actually knows what he’s doing. Playing it safe is going to get us killed.” — Ryan Grim, last paragraph from the epilogue of “We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria-Cortez, and the End of Big…


Rumble With Michael Moore Episode 10: Reconsidering The Important Legacy Of Ralph Nader

  Rumble With Michael Moore (12/29/19) Michael Moore and Ralph Nader have a complicated relationship. So during his trip to D.C. to witness the impeachment of Donald Trump, Michael was surprised when he bumped into Ralph while visiting the office of Flint’s representative in Congress. They ended up having their first real conversation in nearly 20 years. Ralph agreed to let Michael record it for this podcast. Rumble Reads: Ralph Nader and Mark Green’s new book “Fake President” is here. Read more about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact here. Follow Ralph here. Send in a voice message to Michael….


‘The Afghanistan Papers’: Bipartisan War On Truth Revealed In The Washington Post Series

“The American people have constantly been lied to.” — John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). By Meghna Chakrabarti, Geoffrey Line & Stefano Kotsonis On Point / WBUR (12/23/19) The Washington Post’s massive investigation that U.S. officials misled the public about the Afghanistan War for almost 20 years. We talk with one of those same officials on what they said then, and what they think now. Guests: Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter focusing on national security for the Washington Post. (@CraigMWhitlock) Ryan Crocker, diplomat-in-residence, Princeton University. He has served as U.S. ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007),…


Secret History Of The War In Afghanistan Reveals The Bipartisan Betrayal Of American Troops

  “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.” — Gen. Douglas Lute, Afghan War “Czar” adviser to both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Access NPR interview with Lute.) ***** “Truth was rarely welcome. Bad news was often stifled. Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible. Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced everything we were doing was right. And we became a self-licking ice cream cone.” — Col. Bob Crowley, retired Army counter…


Think Trump Is Bad? Reporter Jane Mayer Exposes The Koch-Brother Puppet Masters Behind Mike Pence

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast (10/25/17) The great investigative journalist Jane Mayer has a fascinating exposé on Pence in the recent issue of The New Yorker magazine. The title of it is, “The Danger of President Mike Pence.” Jane is one of the best journalists of our time and she was one of the first reporters to crack open the CIA torture and extraordinary rendition program under Bush and Cheney. She has written a number of books. Her latest work has focused on investigating the Koch brothers and other shady right-wing or Republican financiers. Her most recent book is…


Billionaire Nick Hannauer Reveals The Dirty Secret Of Capitalism — And A New Way Forward

`Modern neoliberal economic policy is built on lies and false assumptions. TED Talk (10/18/19) Rising inequality and growing political instability are the direct result of decades of bad economic theory, says entrepreneur Nick Hanauer. In a visionary talk, he dismantles the mantra that “greed is good” — an idea he describes as not only morally corrosive, but also scientifically wrong — and lays out a new theory of economics powered by reciprocity and cooperation. Link To 17-Minute Video


America’s Rich Socialist Tradition Is As American As Apple Pie — Especially In Wisconsin!

  By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (12/10/19) It is often claimed that the United States differs from Europe in that it lacks a socialist tradition. The title question of Werner Sombart’s 1906 book Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? was answered nearly a century later by Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Wolfe Marks’ It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States. It is common to say that socialism “failed” here; this is true insofar as socialists never became a substantial force in American politics. But it overlooks the fact that we did, for a short time, have…


Billionaires Profit Directly Off The Suffering Of Children

  “A tax that took about 1% of that wealth each year would yield about $4tn over the next decade. To put that amount in perspective, $4tn is more than the federal government will spend over the next decade on foster care, school lunch, school breakfast, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, unemployment compensation, supplemental security income for the elderly, blind people and those with disabilities, and all the tax credits for working families combined.” — Michael Linden, What could the US afford if it raised billionaires’ taxes? We do the math.


Trump Is ‘A Problem’ But Impeachment Doesn’t Address ‘The Problem’ That Created Him

Impeaching Trump without addressing America’s deeper structural problems, says Hedges, will only make things worse. By Chauncey Devega Salon (12/9/19) The United States is sick with income and other forms of social inequality. It suffers from cruelty, loneliness, greed, gangster capitalism, white supremacy, violence, sexism and a culture of ignorance and distraction. Our broken political system does not encourage critical thinking or nurture a capacity for responsible, engaged citizenship.President Donald Trump is the human embodiment of almost everything wrong with American society. He is both the symptom and the disease. Trump and the Republican Party’s fascist movement and its news…


Heist: Where Has All Our Money & Security Gone?

“From the late 1940’s until the late 70’s, income in the US grew at about the same rate for every sector of the population. In fact, the bottom 50 percent gained a bit more than the upper echelons of the economy. “Back in 1980, the share of national income going to the top 1 percent was just a bit over 10 percent and the bottom 50 percent’s share of all income was about 20 percent. By 2015, that situation had reversed, with the top 1 percent getting about 20 percent of the national income pie, and the bottom 50 percent getting…


Humanity Is Riding Delusion To Extinction

“I’m rooting for humanity, no doubt, but my own limited life experience has made me unlikely to bet on our species.” By Danny Sjursen Truthdig (12/3/19) Horses sporting gas masks. That, of all things, has been on my mind lately. Bear with me, now. Gaze at the ever-so-cockamamie photo. A horse, wearing a gas mask. Nothing so illustrates the rank absurdity and irrationality of the human condition. It was during World War I—which killed an unheard-of nine million soldiers in just four years—that the armies of Europe still employed horses in an age of machine guns, airplanes (eventually), tanks and poison gas attacks….


Democracy Incorporated & Inverted Totalitarianism

“The political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media are the basics of the system, not excrescences upon it. The system would remain in place even if the Democratic Party attained a majority; and should that circumstance arise, the system will set tight limits to unwelcome changes, as is foreshadowed in the timidity of current Democratic proposals for reform. In the last analysis the much-lauded stability and conservatism of the…


Historian Timothy Snyder: Here’s How We Escape TrumpWorld, Where There’s “no future and no truth”

By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/23/19) There will come a time when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. The Democrats may defeat Trump in 2020, sending him back to one of his resort hotels to brood and plot further chaos. Trump could be impeached, convicted and forced from office, unlikely as that seems at this moment. A serious medical illness may mean that he is unable to fulfill his duties and is forced to resign. Because of his many scandals and likely illegal behavior, Trump could also choose to resign — if given assurances that Mike Pence, as the new…


Intercepted Podcast — Ghosts Of Mossadegh: The Iran Cables, U.S. Empire & The Arc Of Mideast History

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (11/20/19) AS U.S. SANCTIONS strangle Iran’s economy, anti-government protests are spreading. This week on Intercepted: Iranian-American author and analyst Hooman Majd discusses a century of history marked by intervention and threats from major world powers. Beginning with Britain, Russia, and Germany battling for control of Iran’s oil, Majd and Jeremy Scahill discuss the CIA coup against Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, the Islamic revolution, and the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and how Washington has repeatedly tried to bring down the government of the Islamic Republic. The Intercept’s investigative series The Iran Cables…


‘The Empire Files’ — Chris Hedges & Abby Martin: No Way Out Of Fascism Through Elections

“These people will kill us. And they will, in the end, carry out crimes of humanity that make what the Nazis and Stalinists did look like like child’s play. They are now pushing us toward the complete extinction of the human species.” [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best summaries of the bipartisan crisis and anomie super-charging the death cult of our corporate-serving society. A tough but necessary message for us all. — Mark L. Taylor] The Empire Files (11/27/9) Abby Martin sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges to discuss the ignored reality behind Trump,…


Intercepted Podcast: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling’s Life As An “Unwanted Spy”

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (11/27/19) HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE pushing forward with their investigation into President Donald Trump’s abuse of power, sparked by an internal whistleblower complaint. This week on Intercepted: Jeffrey Sterling was indicted in 2010 on charges under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking sensitive national security information to then-New York Times reporter James Risen. Sterling discusses his time as a CIA case officer and how his internal complaint about Operation Merlin, a half-baked CIA scheme that had tried to disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons development, led to his firing. Sterling explains the discrimination suit he filed against the CIA and how there…


Sheldon Wolin & Inverted Totalitarianism: Don’t Call It Democracy. Putting Understanding To What America Has Become

A corporate war state cannot be a democratic state. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/2/15) Sheldon Wolin, our most important contemporary political theorist, died Oct. 21 [2015] at the age of 93. In his books “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” and “Politics and Vision,” a massive survey of Western political thought that his former student Cornel West calls “magisterial,” Wolin lays bare the realities of our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new and terrifying configuration of corporate power he calls “inverted totalitarianism.” Wendy Brown, a political…


Chris Hedges: The Enemy Within Is Deep Indeed

The deep state, incapable of reform and determined to retain its grip on power, will morph under the threat of popular unrest into a corporatized fascism. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/4/19) Our democracy is not in peril—we do not live in a democracy. The image of our democracy is in peril. The deep state—the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats—is intent on salvaging the brand. It is hard to trumpet yourself as the world’s guardian of freedom and liberty with Donald Trump blathering on incoherently about himself, inciting racist violence, insulting our traditional allies along with…


Cornel West On Hope & Resistance In The Age Of Trump: We must “find joy in the struggle”

What would Malcolm say? What would Martin say? What would Fannie Lou Hamer say? What would Ida B. Wells say? What would Toni Morrison say? All of these warriors who have passed away, we have to be true to them. By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/3/19) Donald Trump’s presidency is a stress test for American democracy, the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. The enduring strength of American democracy has long been prefaced on the assumption that the country’s leaders — especially the president — had some basic respect for democracy. Moreover, the president was assumed by both elites and the…


Pardon Me, Please, Mr. President

Reveal / the Center For Investigative Journalism (11/2/19) As the House of Representatives continues its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, we go back in time to the Nixon administration, when the threat of impeachment and a presidential pardon changed the course of history. We then examine the pardons system and learn why it has stopped functioning as originally intended. We begin our show by finding parallels between Trump and former President Richard Nixon. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election documents instances in which pardons were offered to members of Trump’s administration…


Thom Hartmann & Chris Hedges Talk About The Collapse Of American Liberalism

  [Editor’s Note: This interview is was done nine years ago but is a timely as today’s news. In fact, it helps to explain how we wound up with much of today’s news! — Mark L. Taylor] The Big Picture / RT (12/20/10) In this week’s conversations with Great Minds Thom Hartmann talks with Chris Hedges, journalist and author of “The Death of the Liberal Class”. Chris Hedges says, “The lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, which looks set to make sweeping gains in the midterm elections, is the direct result of a collapse of liberalism. It is the product…