“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

You Can't Lie To A Liar - Inside The CIA - Don't be Naive

Trump vindicated as intelligence community undermines its credibility

The writing was on the wall, and President-elect Donald Trump was the only one able to read it: At least some members of the U.S. intelligence community are placing partisan, political interests above America's interest.

It’s unacceptable. It’s wrong. And Trump has rightfully sounded the alarm over the last few weeks.

Donald Trump’s questioning of the intelligence community was prompted by a series of leaks by “anonymous sources” concerning confidential intelligence investigations. The first “anonymous source” told The Washington Post in early December that the CIA had discerned that the motive of Russian hackers in the Democratic National Committee leak was to help Trump win the presidency.
The leak came just days before the intelligence community officially confirmed its unified opinion of Russia’s motive. At the same time, another “anonymous source” leaked to The New York Times the false information that the Republican National Committee’s computer systems had also been hacked.

As recently as this week, several news organizations had reported that the intelligence community had given Trump a two-page summary of a baseless, unsubstantiated report gathered by a private security firm on behalf of Trump’s electoral opponents. The source of this information? Once again, “unnamed sources.”

Given that these leaks all concerned confidential intelligence investigations, it is by no means a far cry for the president-elect to presume that the leakers were intelligence officials.

Moreover, the intelligence branches have a documented history of leaking.

Let’s not forget Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s remarks in 2010 during the Obama administration: "I was in a meeting yesterday with the president, and I was ashamed to have to sit there and listen to the president express his great angst about the leaking that's going on here in this town. … And particularly when it's widely quoted amorphous, anonymous senior intelligence officials, who for whatever reason get their jollies from blabbing to the media.”

But what does Trump get for merely stating his obvious suspicion of leaks originating from intelligence officials? A barrage of criticism from the left and lame accusations that he is undermining the integrity of the intelligence community.

On the contrary, Trump has repeatedly expressed his “tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women” of the intelligence community, both on Friday and again yesterday in his phone call with Clapper.

What the apoplectic left fails to understand is that Trump is not disrespecting the intelligence community: he is merely holding them accountable. After a stream of leaks — which, to be clear, is unlawful — and the intelligence community stonewalling Republicans in Congress who sought information on the Russian hacking, Trump merely called for documented evidence before he accepted the conclusion.

In truth, the outrage is misplaced. Perhaps critics ought to redirect their outrage — not at Trump’s questioning of the intelligence community but at the intelligence community itself. Not only are the leaks of high concern, also of concern is why the intelligence community chose to memorialize false, salacious rumors in an official intelligence report. The information was more suited for the front pages of a supermarket tabloid, not a certified government document.

Remarking on the unprecedented nature of this course of action, former CIA analyst Bryan Dean Wright states, “You don’t do that. We are trained never to do those kinds of things … it’s inappropriate. Until you have the verified information that this is happening … you don’t brief it. You don’t brief rumors.”

Instead of critiquing Trump’s approach to the intelligence community, commentators should be applauding his cautious approach to analyzing intelligence.

It’s undeniable that the U.S. should have been more cautious in acting on the CIA’s “slam dunk case” — in their words — that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. And how about the intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran had halted its nuclear program? These were honest intelligence assessments that just got the facts wrong.

But then there was the dishonest one we learned about in early August from a congressional panel: U.S. Central Command had falsely changed reports to give President Obama “a more positive depiction” of progress against ISIS “than was warranted by facts on the ground.” This was nothing short of an egregious politicization of U.S. intelligence aimed to give Obama the ammo he needed to mislead the American public into a false sense of safety.

Like President-elect Trump, I have deep respect for the men and women in our intelligence community despite these noted flaws. In fact, I have given the intelligence community the benefit of the doubt throughout its investigation into the Russian hacks. But the most recent reported memorialization of sick gossip into a government document proves that Trump’s measured skepticism of intelligence product was merited all along.

Trump simply questioned the intelligence community, for which he was publicly flogged. But, as is so often the case, he was proven right, and the public flogging he received was yet another politicized attempt to discredit the incoming president.

Kayleigh McEnany is a CNN political commentator who recently received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and also studied politics at Oxford University.

The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill


  1. Trump is only slightly right, it is more fucked up than you would ever believe.

    1. .

      I wish he wasn't the one who brought up the term Nazi. It spoiled the effect. For me.


  2. CNN is a dead duck.


    January 12, 2017
    The one act that defined President Barack Obama
    By Peter Heck
    It is fitting that presidents give farewell messages. But given the venue and setting President Obama had chosen, it was fairly easy to surmise that this would be a final political rally and national lecture.

    I will simply recount the one lasting legacy of Barack Obama that will always be emblazoned in my memory. When I think of him, I will think of this. When I reflect on his promised era of hope and change, I will be drawn to this image.

    Despite your personal feelings on his coolness, his character, his charisma, or his competence, Barack Obama will forever be the president who worked diligently to put the gun of government to the heads of the Little Sisters of the Poor, demanding that they either pay to destroy children in the womb or be crushed.

    You can't candy-coat that. You can't hide it. You can't pretend it wasn't what it was. For 177 years, the Little Sisters of the Poor has been a large Roman Catholic religious ministry that takes vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and hospitality. Serving the Kingdom of God on earth in over 30 countries, they have one stated mission: to care for impoverished people as they near the end of their lives. As Ashley McGuire describes it, "The only fight they go looking for is to make the last days of some very downtrodden people brighter and happier, to send as many people into the next life surrounded by love, not garbage."

    Barack Obama knew that, personally. Regardless, he instructed his administration to rewrite executive regulations nine separate times to ensure these nuns be forced to either violate their conscience by helping distribute abortifacients or be fined $70 million a year and out of existence. Their beliefs, their ministry, their cause, and even the incredible work that they do were secondary to President Barack Obama's devotion to funding and expanding the destruction of infants with tax dollars.

    The president's own lawyers admitted in court that there were compromises available that would have met their objectives while sparing the Sisters' consciences. But President Obama refused. Using the coercive power of the state to compel nuns to pay for abortion drugs became an issue of pride for this small man.

    His obsession was so out of touch that the Supreme Court, divided as it is, issued a unanimous ruling telling Obama he must find another way. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins hands with Clarence Thomas to rebuke your fixation with forcing nuns to violate their conscience, you have reached the pinnacle of ideological extremism.

    After 22 years of torture in a Cuban prison for his refusal to sign a government document supporting Fidel Castro, Armando Valladares was honored by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. In his speech, he said of the Little Sisters of the Poor, “They know what my body knows after 22 years of cruel torture: that if they sign the form…they will be violating their conscience and would commit spiritual suicide. If they did this they would forfeit the true and only wealth they have in abandoning the castle of their conscience

    That President Obama failed to ever respect that eternal truth is both pitiful and shameful. And it's why I'm beyond elated to bid him a permanent farewell.

    Peter Heck is a speaker, author, and teacher. Follow him @peterheck, email, or visit


    2. .

      Obama is merely the head of the snake.

      Rufus used to claim that conservatives (here I mean real conservatives rather than 'Conservatives') will soon be left in the dustbin of history due to changing demographics within the US. However...

      We have all seen and commented on the changing cultural mores in our country, the rising claims of victimhood, 'Black Lives Matter, terms like microagression and 'safe places' that have entered our vernacular, the push for sexual identity by choice, or even, the elimination of all sex designations altogether, the fact identifying as a man is unacceptable and the noun man must now be preceded by a distractive prefix designating what kind of man you are, and other such bullshit.

      I call it batshit crazy and blame on the cultural revolution in the 60'-70's that led to the rise of the progressive ideal, replacement of thought with emotion, the 'victimhood' industry, the widespread growth of the 'Little Emperor Syndrome' in our dealings with our children, and for the growth of a Eloi society where PC became the ideal and to deny that is in itself a microagression.

      But back to the point...

      The author in the following article points out that while these trends have worked to the political advantage of the Dems in the past, if they continue along the current trend line they could fracture any chance the Dems have of forming a unified coalition that could win elections in the future.


    3. {...}


      January 11, 2017

      In the fierce post-election debate about how Democrats should respond to the party's astonishing electoral collapse at all levels of government, some have argued that identity politics is the problem, while many others (especially younger activists) have claimed it's the solution.

      Those inclined toward the latter position would be well advised to read a recent New York Times story very closely. An account of growing rancor surrounding the planned Women's March on Washington (scheduled for the day after Donald Trump's inauguration), the piece demonstrates with admirable clarity how doubling down on identity politics — and especially the left's embrace of the trendy postmodern ideology of "intersectionality" — is likely to shatter the Democratic Party into squabbling factions even more vulnerable to a resurgent right.
      It would be one thing if Democrats had reason to hope or expect that they would be saved by demographics. Ever since the "emerging Democratic majority" thesis was first floated more than a decade ago, leading liberals have been convinced that their side is bound to prevail as the country becomes less white over time and minority groups eventually combine to form a left-leaning electoral majority. In such a situation, a politics based on racial, ethnic, gender, and other forms of identity might make sense as a mobilization strategy.

      But recent events and analysis have cast doubt on these hopes and expectations, raising the possibility that the electoral power of white Americans may well persist for a long time to come. In that case, the need for "normal" politics, which involves forming coalitions across racial, ethnic, and gender divides in the name of the common good, will continue indefinitely.
      That's where the danger of identity politics — especially in the radical form highlighted in the Times — becomes obvious.

      From the start, the Women's March was an expression of identity politics — the coming together in protest of those appalled by the president-elect's attitude and proposed policies toward the female half of the electorate. But some organizers and participants have something else — something far narrower — in mind. For them, solidarity on the basis of gender alone isn't possible because black women have sometimes been oppressed by white women. For that reason, white women must begin "listening more and talking less," and above all learn to "check their privilege."



    4. {...}

      Here we enter into the kaleidoscopically balkanizing world of intersectionality, which highlights multiple identities in an effort to single-out the nexus of ascriptive attributes that produces maximal oppression. The idea is that once these attributes have been identified, the "privilege" of those who undertake the oppression can be subverted. Yet in practice, the hierarchy of privilege isn't so much subverted as reproduced and inverted.

      Consider the world as viewed through the lens of intersectionality. At the very top of the pyramid of privilege stands a straight, able-bodied, white man — whether he was born rich, attended Harvard, and works on Wall Street, or is a laid off coal miner who struggles with opioid addiction in eastern Kentucky. Below him are straight, able-bodied white women, with straight "people of color" of either gender even less privileged, followed by gay, lesbian, transgendered, and disabled variations on each identity category — with a hypothetical disabled black lesbian perhaps least privileged of all. But of course, this is a matter of controversy, since a transgendered Latina who comes from a poorer neighborhood or a more broken family than her black lesbian rival might contest and take offense at this ranking, insisting that she's actually the one who deserves to be recognized as the least privileged.

      It should be obvious that this brand of politics is profoundly poisonous. Instead of seeking to level an unjust hierarchy, mitigate its worst abuses, and foster cross-group solidarity, intersectionality merely flips the hierarchy on its head, placing the least privileged in the most powerful position and requiring everyone else to clamor for relative advantage in the new upside-down ranking. Those who come out on top in the struggle win their own counter-status, earning the special privilege of getting to demand that those lower in the pecking order "check their privilege."

      This is a sure-fire spur to division, dissension, and resentment.

      Successful politics, especially in a nation with a winner-take-all electoral system, requires building bridges with as many people as possible to win as many votes as possible. But intersectionality moves in the diametrically opposite direction, breaking the electorate apart into ever-smaller groups and pitting them against each other in a competition to determine which of them suffers most pervasively from systemic discrimination, and so also which has the right to demand deference and expressions of repentance from everyone else.

      Can you imagine a style of politics more certain to end in bitter recriminations?


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Talk about fucked up -

      DOJ, FBI officials to be investigated over Clinton probes...
      Misconduct allegations....

      Comey letter review...
      Ties to Hillary examined....DRUDGE

      And our tax money goes to pay all these bozos....

      Secession is the only answer !


    2. BREAKING NEWS JAN 12 2017, 3:15 PM ET
      Clinton Emails: DOJ Inspector General to Review FBI, Comey Actions

      Play FBI probe launched into actions ahead of election Facebook Twitter Google Plus Embed
      FBI probe launched into actions ahead of election 5:06

      The Justice Department Inspector General says he will review how the FBI and Justice Department handled certain aspects of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

      The probe by Michael E. Horowitz will include a review of FBI Director James Comey's news conference in July and his two letters to lawmakers in late October and early November.

      "In response to requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations, and members of the public, the Office of the Inspector General will initiate a review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in advance of the 2016 election," the Justice Department said in a statement.

      Image: FBI Director James Comey testifies to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on ?EURoeRussia?EUR(TM)s intelligence activities" on Capitol Hill in Washington
      FBI Director James Comey (file photo) JOSHUA ROBERTS / Reuters
      Just 11 days before the 2016 general election, Comey notified Congress that the FBI was reviewing a new batch of emails that appeared to be pertinent to their investigation. The emails, discovered during a probe, were found on a laptop that former New York congressman Anthony Weiner allegedly used to send lewd text messages and pictures to an underage girl.

      Investigators also discovered Weiner's estranged wife, Huma Abedin, had used the same laptop to send emails to Clinton....

  4. Archaeological Expedition in Honduras Uncovers Hidden City

    An aerial view of the Mosquitia region near the remote community of Ahuas, Honduras (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

    In his new book, The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, Douglas Preston chronicles the discovery of an ancient, hidden city in Honduras’ Mosquitia mountains.

    Preston, who adapted a portion of his book for The New Yorker, took part in an expedition to a lost city in the Mosquitia region, near the Nicaraguan border. The target site had been found using light detection and ranging technology (or LIDAR), but the actual discovery required old-fashioned ground work, hacking through the dense jungle of one of Earth’s last unexplored regions.

    According to Preston’s account, the exploration party was a five-man team (himself included) accompanied by three British ex-S.A.S. jungle-warfare specialists. They cleared the path to the target site themselves with machetes, with no way to discern their location beyond GPS coordinates and the threat of jaguars and poisonous snakes surrounding them at all times. In an era ruled by technology, it’s surprising to hear that scientific work still requires that kind of brute effort.

    Douglas Preston (Mark Adams)

    Their first encounter with the site was a mostly buried collection of 500 carved sculptures, many of which had been ritually smashed. The imposing statue of a half-human, half-vulture figure occupied the center of the find.
    The team decided that these artifacts were a final spiritual offering prior to the city’s abandonment in the 1500s. Since no Europeans (or any other conquering force, for that matter) had visited the site since then, the team’s best hypothesis is that massive disease outbreaks—brought on by trade and slavery—hit this region in quick succession, causing a large enough population drop to spur abandonment of the city.

    This hypothesis is highly likely. Almost 90 percent of Honduras’ native population was wiped out by pandemics between 1518 and 1550, and the Mosquitia region in particular was plagued by slave raids. As people fled into the rainforest to escape European slavers, they would have brought diseases with them.

    To find out more about Preston’s exploration of the hidden city, pick up a copy of his book here.

  5. Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar is perched on the world’s energy jugular. Sea lanes nearby carry most of China’s oil imports; any disruption could choke the world’s second-largest economy.


    The Gwadar template, where Beijing used its commercial know-how and financial muscle to secure ownership over a strategic trading base, only to enlist it later into military service, has been replicated in other key locations.


    For thousands of years, Chinese emperors focused on defending the middle kingdom against land-based invasions, usually from the north and west. But in 2015 an official white paper on military strategy decreed a big shift that offers a glimpse of the country’s changing maritime objectives.


    14:19 GMT
    US decision on MANPADS delivery to Syria ‘insane’ – Russian Foreign Ministry
    US President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel any obstacles to the delivery of MANPADS to Syria is “insane,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday. Obama signed in December 2016 a determination waiving legal restrictions on US provision of defense articles to US allies in Syria. The Kremlin had warned that man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) could fall into the hands of terrorists in the wake of that decision.

    1. It really is hard to contemplate the depth of stupidity of our rulers and masters in DC.

    2. .

      I assume the term 'US allies in Syria' is used rather loosely.



    3. Our allies in Syria are the great moderate Sunni working middle class, the forgotten and unheralded men and women of that great nation.

    4. One can overcome Opioid Induced Constipation by the use of Dulcolax.

    5. My prescription for the Middle East.


    7. There's also DulcoEase and DulcoGas Chewables.

      Take all three.

      Everyone in the Bar will evacuate.

    8. The Bar, hell, the entire Middle East will soon be vacant and at ease.

      It's the only solution I can think of for a problem without a solution.

    9. .

      Our allies in Syria are the great moderate Sunni working middle class, the forgotten and unheralded men and women of that great nation.

      Well, that goes to show the value of being a US ally these days.


  7. Retired U.S. general James Mattis, poised to become the first career military officer to lead the Pentagon since the 1950s, says he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to "break" the NATO alliance that has anchored American and European security for more than half a century.


    Meanwhile, Mattis said the world order was under "the biggest attack since World War II," blaming Russia, China and international terrorist organizations for its destabilization.


    The U.S. House of Representatives armed services committee narrowly backed a waiver on Thursday that would allow Mattis to serve as Trump's secretary of defence, despite having retired as a Marine general in 2013.

  8. CNN is a dead duck.

    January 12, 2017

    Killing CNN

    By Robert Arvay

    Someday, Bill O'Reilly may add to his list of historical books, which include Killing Kennedy and Killing the Rising Sun, the title Killing CNN.

    It portends to be the chronicle of a vital turning point in American history, the death of the propaganda machine in our politics, and the resurgence of genuine journalism.

    I have for some time now eschewed referring to most American news institutions as "mainstream media" and instead termed them what they are: the Ministry of Propaganda (MoP).

    I know, I know – there comes a time when we are supposed to stop complaining about bias in the news. It is akin to complaining about the weather, about which we can do nothing. Donald Trump is proving otherwise. If liberals can claim that they can stop global warming, then we may justly claim that Trump can stop the global pollution the MoP spews out so continually that many of us have gotten used to it.

    In previous years, conservatives were ridiculed for "blaming the press." We were compared to the student who claimed that "the dog ate my homework." No more. This election cycle, the dog did its best and choked to death. While the Russians are blamed for "hacking Hillary," the MoP was hacking Trump, but not with facts – with fake news.

    This time, it did not succeed. Millions of frustrated Americans saw through the ruse and rebelled. Instead of their lies deceiving us, we disavowed the MoP.

    Today, Trump is taking the fight to CNN and, by extension, to all the other alphabet agencies that have mocked and vilified him, while they were openly siding with Hillary Clinton and her crooked cohorts. Instead of the New York Times informing us, it saw its duty as being to dis-inform us, to dissuade us from voting for Trump – but the more mud the MoP threw toward him, the muddier they themselves became.

    Yesterday, Trump made it crystal-clear to CNN that they have crossed the red line – you know, the one Obama dared the Russians to cross in Syria. They crossed it, and Obama whimpered. Trump is done with red lines. He is building a wall, and CNN is closed out of Trump's news conferences. He flatly refused to allow them to exercise the pretense of journalism by refusing to permit them to level questions at him during his presser.

    For those who may find themselves uneasy at the possibility of official censorship, remind yourselves that what CNN is being censored for is not reporting, but lying. They actually accused Trump of hiring Russian prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed where Obama had slept – and then, at the press conference, had the audacity to accuse him of being "improper" in his refusal to dignify their propaganda with a response.

    Your time is over, CNN. Let your liberal cohorts in other parts of the propaganda machine take note. When you strike at Trump with lies, he will avenge the insult with that most terrifying of all weapons: truth. To paraphrase a famous Democrat president (FDR), you have nothing to fear but Trump himself. Well should you.


  9. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s top policymaker for Chinese affairs Chang Hsiao-yueh has urged Beijing to resume dialogue with Taipei, after it halted official communication channels in June.


    In a statement on Wednesday, the Chinese government said it is “committed to promoting peace and stability” in Asia.

    But China’s state-run Global Times newspaper has not been quite as amicable.

    In an editorial published on Christmas Day, the press agency called on Beijing to build up its fleet of aircraft carriers, make them combat-ready and sail them to the eastern Pacific.

  10. The House of Representatives also must vote on the measure, which could make it to the House floor as early as Friday. If the bill passes in both chambers, the president must sign it into law for it to take effect.


    The exemption doesn’t abrogate the seven-year stipulation on the books. “I strongly support retaining the law,” Mr. McCain said Thursday.

    “I also believe our nation needs Gen. Mattis’s service now more than ever.”