Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Continuing Attack on "Fake News."

            At an event honoring outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Hillary Clinton claimed that “fake news” represents a “danger” that must be “addressed quickly.”  She stated the, “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda” could have “real-world consequences,” and  “Lives are at risk.”  She informed us that bipartisan legislation is working its way through Congress and Silicon Valley is starting to “grapple” with fake news.  Many in the media have suggested that “fake news” may have swayed voters in the recent election.
            The irony of criticizing “fake news” at an event honoring Harry Reid was lost on the former Secretary of State.  Harry Reid is possibly the biggest purveyor of “fake news” in the entire Congress.  He takes pride in this distinction.  He routinely hears voices that tell his disparaging things about his opponents.  They are of course anonymous.  When questioned about his false claim that Mitt Romney failed to pay taxes for ten years, Reid stated, “I don't regret that at all.”  When it was suggested that his smear of Romney echoed the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Reid responded with a smile, "Romney didn't win, did he?"
            Clinton is correct when she says, “Lives are at risk.”  How many people have died as a result of the media’s distorted portrayal of the Trayvon Martin case?  The liberal media has made an art form of “fake news.”   Some of its stories border on the surreal. In 1989 when John Tower was nominated to be Secretary of Defense rumors about his drinking and sexual affairs were common.  One story involved Tower dancing on a piano with a Russian ballerina while they disrobed.  This was reported by Leslie Stahl on CBS even though the FBI had reported they had reason to believe it was not true.  A day prior to the hearings Bob Woodward reported that Tower had been drunk at Bergstrom Air Force Base.  Tower was not confirmed and the next day it turned out that Woodward’s source was discharged from the Air Force for psychiatric reasons.  
            The “fake news” story of the day surrounds the charges of child molestation or pizzagate.  The charges are so outrageous that they cannot possibly be true.  However, the panicked reaction of politicians and media raise questions.  Otto von Bismarck once said, "Nothing is proven until it is officially denied."  Stranger things have happened.  Who would have believed that Dennis Hastert or Larry Craig had such sordid pasts.

Additions to the MP - Black Market Activity

        This financial situation naturally led to a high level of corruption.  Harold Zink reported, “Not every American engaged in black-market activities of one kind and another during his stay in Germany, but this sort of activity was so general that there was very little criticism of it and indeed those who did not take advantage were often regarded as ‘peculiar’ or ‘freaks.’”  (Democracy Imposed p. 253)  The military had a very permissive attitude toward black market transactions.  One officer remarked, "nobody who sold a few cartons was considered a criminal.  It was the big wheeler-dealers who dealt in cars, diamonds and tens of thousands of dollars that the CID [Criminal Investigations Division] was after.  This army organization might call on you if you ordered 100 cartons a week from the US (at one dollar a carton), and enquire politely whether you were really such a heavy smoker.” The New York Times reported that a number of high-ranking army officers were involved in gross black-marketing operations. 
        Naturally, there would be a whistleblower in such an environment.  Colonel Francis P. Miller, the executive officer and plans and policy officer with the Office of the Director of Intelligence (ODI) at OMGUS headquarters in Berlin, eventually testified before Congress at the expense of his career.  Under threat of a congressional investigation General Clay threatened to resign. When the military inspected itself, it found Miller’s complaints were, “a figment of his own imagination, and not a true reflection of conditions as actually extant."  It also raised questions as to Miller’s "integrity as an officer."  Miller commented that, “As victors in the defeated land, many Americans assumed the role as a sort of imperial Raj.”  He did not endear himself to the Congress by remarking that it was his "considered judgment that the German troops occupying France had a better record in their personal contact with the population than the American troops occupying Germany."

Lindsey Graham, Democrats plan probes of Russia hacking

            CNN published an article entitled, “Lindsey Graham, Democrats plan probes of Russia hacking.”  In it they accuse Russia of interfering with the presidential election.  They claim this is the “unanimous assessment of all 17 US federal intelligence agencies.”  It is a fact.  It is more obvious than global warming.  California Rep. Eric Swalwell claims that Trump’s denials are ridiculous.  "He (Trump) is denying that the sun sets in the West."  Rep. Elijah Cummings claims, "experts agree that there is overwhelming evidence that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Overwhelming. It is not disputed, it's overwhelming."  This is reminiscent of a quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”

            On October 07, 2016 the Director of National Intelligence issued a Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security.  In it they claimed the hacked e-mails, “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”  They maintained that, “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”  This does not sound like “overwhelming evidence.”  Any foreign intelligence service or teenager with a budget over $129 could have access to many of these emails. Also why do we have 17 federal intelligence agencies?  17 intelligence agencies means a lot of duplication and infighting.  These agencies probably protect their information more zealously from other agencies than from foreign powers.  It is a sad fact that a large number of Americans have more confidence in the credibility of the Russians than their own politicians and media.

            Senator Graham thinks, "Trump should take a real tough tone with Russia.”  He stated, “I think they're one of the most destabilizing influences on the world stage."  He does not consider his own role as destabilizing.  He played a significant role in creating the present Libyan chaos.  He is doing his best to duplicate this in Syria.  Graham has adopted a very belligerent stance.  He stated, "I'm going after Russia in every way you can go after Russia."  He also stated, "I want Putin personally to pay a price."  Fortunately the President-Elect has nothing but contempt for the Senator.  Donald Trump will turn away from the path that would have led to war with Russia.