Right Builds an Alternative Narrative About the Crises Around Trump

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  • #68998
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    The Right Builds an Alternative Narrative About the Crises Around Trump

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/trump-scandal-conservatives-media.html?emc=edit_th_20170518&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=66806393&_r=0&referer

    WASHINGTON — Enemies from within have launched a “deep-state” smear campaign, news organizations are acting with ulterior motives, and the worst attacks are yet to come.

    Pushing back against the biggest threat so far to Donald Trump’s young presidency, his most fervent supporters are building alternative narratives to run alongside the “establishment” media account — from relatively benign diversions to more bizarre conspiracies.

    “They’re going to say that Donald Trump has Alzheimer’s,” said the president’s friend and longtime associate Roger Stone, who made an online video laying out how the president’s own cabinet could trigger a never-used provision of the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to stage a coup on the grounds that Mr. Trump is mentally unsound. “This is the game plan. Watch carefully,” Mr. Stone swore.

    As Americans process a dizzying week of damning revelations about the president — his firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey; his disclosure of highly sensitive intelligence to the Russians; and his plea to Mr. Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation of his fired national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn — Mr. Trump has found shelter on the right, where the collective judgment of the conservative media and the Republican Party so far seems to be to dismiss the allegations as “fake news,” shift the blame and change the subject.

    With varying degrees of credibility and credulity, conservatives have fed stories that Mr. Trump is the victim of sabotage by an adversarial intelligence community full of Trojan horse holdovers from the Obama administration.

    “There is someone burrowed into the intelligence community who wants to hurt Trump,” the conservative author and radio host Laura Ingraham warned.

    They have accused the media of abetting felons inside the government who are leaking damaging information about Mr. Trump and jeopardizing national security, perhaps with revenge in mind. After all, reported Matt Drudge, President Trump had once called out The Washington Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos, for potential antitrust violations.

    They also pointed to a familiar and irritating theme from the presidential campaign: The same people who told them they were throwing away their vote on Mr. Trump, a man who was supposed to be too reckless and buffoonish to ever get elected, are now gloating that they were right all along.

    Trump supporters “see the news media and the establishment as one of those airlines dragging them down the aisle, bloodying them,” said Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist, who said that Mr. Trump’s foes often fail to understand how their criticism can backfire. “And when they assault him, it validates the idea that he’s the only thing there to protect us from them.”

    Anyone who assumes widespread defections against the president in short order, Mr. Castellanos added, should understand that many of Mr. Trump’s fans are not eager to see a return to the establishment-dominated political order he promised to demolish.

    “‘See how poorly it’s turned out for you? See how erratic and uncertain life is with Donald Trump? Come back!’ I don’t think so,” he added.

    For many Trump loyalists, the issue is not whether his presidency is messy and chaotic and dysfunctional. Many of them seemed resigned long ago to the fact that it would be. The more relevant question is whether they see anyone else who is equipped to change Washington in the way Mr. Trump promised he would.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Trump seemed to agree with the narrative that his supporters have been constructing.

    “I did not get elected to serve the Washington media or special interests,” he said during a commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. “I was elected to serve the forgotten men and women in our country, and that’s what I’m doing.”

    Barely four months into Mr. Trump’s presidency, the vast majority of Republicans nationwide so far seem unfazed, polls show. Gallup reported his approval among Republicans this week at 84 percent, though that has slipped slightly in the last two weeks. Among all Americans, it is 38 percent.

    Mr. Trump and his aides have already started playing to the mistrust that many Americans have with the country’s political and media establishment as a way to deflect the week’s news. The message was a classic “us-versus-them” battle cry: They want their power back, and we cannot let them have it.

    His campaign issued that plea in an email to supporters on Tuesday night, just hours after The New York Times reported about his request to Mr. Comey to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Flynn. It read: “Every day from here on out will be an uphill battle — and we need to be prepared to go into the trenches to FIGHT BACK.”

    In the conservative media, an alternate story line has already taken shape. In this story, Mr. Comey, an embittered and opportunistic employee whom Mr. Trump fired, is now trying to redeem himself with retroactively released — and unseen — memos of his version of events. On “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning, one of the hosts, Brian Kilmeade, expressed disbelief. “If you write it down, does that mean it’s true?” he asked.

    The chief accomplice in this version of events is the media, which in the case of The Washington Post, erupted into cheers when its story on Mr. Trump’s disclosure of intelligence to the Russians broke. “WASHPOST Newsroom staff openly applauding at latest Trump hit finally clarifies how this has turned into nothing but a bloodsport!” Mr. Drudge wrote on Twitter. (A reporter for the Post had actually written on Twitter that the newsroom applauded when the story broke an online traffic record.)

    And if there is any criminal wrongdoing, these accounts pin that on the leakers inside the “deep state,” a phrase popularized by Trump administration officials such as the chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, to describe the vast bureaucracy of federal employees seeking to undermine the president.

    In some corners, the explanations took on a much more sinister tone. Fox News, talk radio and websites like Alex Jones’s Infowars heavily covered the story of a murdered employee of the Democratic National Committee and attempted to link his death to unproved claims that he surreptitiously sent party documents to WikiLeaks. The staff member’s family has vigorously denied the story, and distanced themselves from the private investigator working on the murder case, who has given conflicting accounts of his findings.

    But the mainstream media, these organizations said, were burying the story and focusing on Mr. Trump’s woes instead.

    “Where’s The Washington Post on this?” Ms. Ingraham asked on Fox.

    Then there were Mr. Stone and Mr. Jones, who made the video about their suspicions that a coup was in the offing. (Under a provision of the 25th Amendment, if a majority of the cabinet and the vice president decide that the president can no longer carry out his duties, the vice president replaces him.) In the same video, Mr. Jones urged Mr. Trump’s supporters to fight attempts to undermine him. “There is a cultural war,” Mr. Jones said. “They want to bully you into submission.”

    Mr. Jones touched on a point that some conservatives say will make it very difficult for Mr. Trump’s core supporters to easily abandon him. Mr. Trump has created his own political culture, and its devotees are strongly and emotionally committed to it.

    “They took a huge risk, and they are deeply invested,” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative author who has been critical of Mr. Trump. And the news cycle they inhabit, he added, is only hardening their beliefs.

    “These days when people say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this really looks terrible, was I possibly wrong about Trump?’ they quickly go on social media or see the shows and instantaneously find something that reinforces their opinion,” Mr. Sykes added. “And they cling to that.”

    #69021
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    “There is someone burrowed into the intelligence community who wants to hurt Trump,” the conservative author and radio host Laura Ingraham warned.”

    Well, i dont have much doubt that people/factions in the ‘intelligence community’ of the USA, are at war with Trump. Seems pretty clear to me.

    w
    v

    #69028
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    “There is someone burrowed into the intelligence community who wants to hurt Trump,” the conservative author and radio host Laura Ingraham warned.”

    Well, i dont have much doubt that people/factions in the ‘intelligence community’ of the USA, are at war with Trump. Seems pretty clear to me.

    w
    v

    Yeah, that is one of a few things that jumped out at me, too. Two thoughts about that. First, I think it’s true that some people inside Intelligence are at war with Trump. But I don’t think that is because they are “liberals” and he is a “Republican,” as Ingraham reportedly implied. I think it’s because Trump is a disrespectful asshole.

    Secondly, this is the kind of thing that precedes “cleansing.” Not saying that will follow, but this kind of talk precedes that kind of action, and Trump has a history of cleaning out anybody who isn’t “loyal.”

    There is no prediction in these comments; only the observation that Ingraham – like her many, many counterparts whose voices dominate the liberal media – is saying dangerous shit.

    #69031
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    “There is someone burrowed into the intelligence community who wants to hurt Trump,” the conservative author and radio host Laura Ingraham warned.”

    Well, i dont have much doubt that people/factions in the ‘intelligence community’ of the USA, are at war with Trump. Seems pretty clear to me.

    w
    v

    Yeah, that is one of a few things that jumped out at me, too. Two thoughts about that. First, I think it’s true that some people inside Intelligence are at war with Trump. But I don’t think that is because they are “liberals” and he is a “Republican,” as Ingraham reportedly implied. I think it’s because Trump is a disrespectful asshole.

    ================

    Well this deep-state ‘schizm’ or ‘intelligence-community fissure’ or whatever ya want ta call it, is fascinating to ‘me’. The thing is we cant really get at the truth of it. Investigating the CIA/NSA/deep-state has now become impossible, imho. I mean who’s going to do it? And how?

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz. And it happened way before he was elected. It was obvious they wanted Hillary. I dunno why. I have no idea. Cant speculate.

    It all sounds like ‘conspiracy’ stuff but to ‘me’ it was just ‘so’ obvious. The reflection of it, was all over the NY-times/Wash-Post/corporate-media outlets, during the Hillary/Bernie/Trump election.

    w
    v

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by wv wv.
    #69033
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz.

    This is so simple.

    They’re professionals and he is dangerously incompetent when it comes to those issues.

    It’s nothing more than that. Notice none of the dissent is about policy (unlike in the courts with immigration). It’s about procedures.

    #69034
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz.

    This is so simple.

    They’re professionals and he is dangerously incompetent when it comes to those issues.

    It’s nothing more than that. Notice none of the dissent is about policy (unlike in the courts with immigration). It’s about procedures.

    I think that’s 90% of it, but I can’t help but think there may be a bit more to it than that.

    I can’t remember the exact Nixon quote, but he said something to the effect that the FBI had enough dirt on everybody to bring all of Washington down. And I am sure the FBI and other intelligence agencies went to work on DJT when he announced his candidacy, and probably already had a pretty thick file even before that.

    Trump has some pretty suspicious connections around the globe, and I will bet that the intelligence community knows more than it has said. They have to be careful, of course, because the whole thing is a tangled web of money and power. But I think their distrust of him is based on more than his incompetence.

    #69035
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz.

    This is so simple.

    They’re professionals and he is dangerously incompetent when it comes to those issues.

    It’s nothing more than that. Notice none of the dissent is about policy (unlike in the courts with immigration). It’s about procedures.

    I think that’s 90% of it, but I can’t help but think there may be a bit more to it than that.

    I can’t remember the exact Nixon quote, but he said something to the effect that the FBI had enough dirt on everybody to bring all of Washington down. And I am sure the FBI and other intelligence agencies went to work on DJT when he announced his candidacy, and probably already had a pretty thick file even before that.

    Trump has some pretty suspicious connections around the globe, and I will bet that the intelligence community knows more than it has said. They have to be careful, of course, because the whole thing is a tangled web of money and power. But I think their distrust of him is based on more than his incompetence.

    Everything I said has to do with every OTHER conflict with the intel professionals.

    HOWEVER, the Russia/campaign thing is its own, different deal and directly has to do with breaking laws. In fact by any definition of the FBI we can think of, we would have to conclude they were negligent if they weren’t looking into campaign issues where laws got violated.

    BUT I do not link THAT to the overall general resistance Trump gets from intel people including the CIA.

    I do not see a “deep state intel conspiracy” and in fact I not only think that’s inaccurate, I think the entire concept of the “deep state” is fuzzy, slogany, empty, and useless.

    As a rule the entire idea of deep conspiracies by surprisingly like-minded people acting in concert across agencies is just science fiction. Heck you can’t get an ordinary CIA professional and an ordinary FBI professional to agree on where to have lunch, let alone show this multi-faceted unlikely robotic like-mindedness.

    Like all other institutions you look at policies and be aware of factions and policy disputes within the institution.

    Anything else, IMHO, is conspiracy theory about at the same level as right-wing conspiracy theory.

    #69036
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz.

    This is so simple.

    They’re professionals and he is dangerously incompetent when it comes to those issues.

    It’s nothing more than that. Notice none of the dissent is about policy (unlike in the courts with immigration). It’s about procedures.

    =================

    Professional killers? Professional torturers?

    Sorry, i dont see it the same way. AND, you cant prove that the reason they didnt want Trump is ‘professionalism’. I mean how can you know that?

    We know there is a fissure. We know one faction wanted Hillary BAD.

    We DONT know WHY. You can speculate it was ‘professionalism’.

    PS — edit, that came across much snarkier than i intended. We just see some fundamental-things differently now, Rick. No big deal. No heat. Just difference of opinion. I have zero respect for the CIA. I see it as a monstrosity protecting a biosphere-killing corporate-capitalist-system. I dont recognize any ‘professionalism’ in it.

    w
    v

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by wv wv.
    #69039
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz.

    This is so simple.

    They’re professionals and he is dangerously incompetent when it comes to those issues.

    It’s nothing more than that. Notice none of the dissent is about policy (unlike in the courts with immigration). It’s about procedures.

    =================

    Professional killers? Professional torturers?

    Sorry, i dont see it the same way. AND, you cant prove that the reason they didnt want Trump is ‘professionalism’. I mean how can you know that?

    We know there is a fissure. We know one faction wanted Hillary BAD.

    We DONT know WHY. You can speculate it was ‘professionalism’.

    w
    v

    Yes that’s part of it within divided organizations that actually have factions on one side or another of those issues.

    What you DON’T do in real analysis is inflate this fictional enemy to darth vader status, and ignore real history (the CIA includes people who argue AGAINST using torture on the grounds that it is actually ineffective, and that includes the people who outed a lot of Bush’s “go to war” info as fake).

    Slogans are easy, analysis is better.

    AND remember who you are talking to! Do you see in me a longterm defender of american secret foreign policy alliances with dictators and death squads etc?

    These things have histories, they are never these inflated mythical things, and I will always back real analysis over bumper stickers.

    .

    #69040
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    But ‘something’ about Trump just made some faction in the CIA go nutz.

    This is so simple.

    They’re professionals and he is dangerously incompetent when it comes to those issues.

    It’s nothing more than that. Notice none of the dissent is about policy (unlike in the courts with immigration). It’s about procedures.

    =================

    Professional killers? Professional torturers?

    Sorry, i dont see it the same way. AND, you cant prove that the reason they didnt want Trump is ‘professionalism’. I mean how can you know that?

    We know there is a fissure. We know one faction wanted Hillary BAD.

    We DONT know WHY. You can speculate it was ‘professionalism’.

    w
    v

    Yes that’s part of it within divided organizations that actually have factions on one side or another of those issues.

    What you DON’T do in real analysis is inflate this fictional enemy to darth vader status, and ignore real history (the CIA includes people who argue AGAINST using torture on the grounds that it is actually ineffective, and that includes the people who outed a lot of Bush’s “go to war” info as fake).

    Slogans are easy, analysis is better.

    AND remember who you are talking to! Do you see in me a longterm defender or american secret foreign policy alliances with dictators and death squads etc?

    These things have histories, they are never these inflated mythical things, and I will always back real analysis over bumper stickers.

    .

    =============
    i added a ‘PS’ on my message while u were typing yours. Fwiw.

    I agree things have ‘histories’. I dont agree what I’m doing is ‘bumper sticker analysis’. I mean i could say exactly the same thing about what you are doing — i could call it ‘bumper sticker analysis’.

    We just see the CIA differently now. I know about its history as well as you. I know its history. And i disagree about what it is. I know…its…history…and i see it as a Monstrosity. You see it as a mix of things. Cool, we disagree. But dont act like i dont know its history. We both know its history.

    I’m sure there were Nazis who argued that the Jews shouldnt be killed — but the Nazi Party was still a monstrosity.

    w
    v

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by wv wv.
    #69042
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I don’t think there is a “conspiracy,” either. And I doubt very much that everybody in Intel is anti-Trump.

    It is clear he has offended them. And I would be very surprised if there are not deep concerns about his mental health/ability to lead.

    It’s a bad idea to empower malignant narcissists. Absolutely everything is about them, and their egos.

    #69043
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    I don’t think there is a “conspiracy,” either. And I doubt very much that everybody in Intel is anti-Trump.

    It is clear he has offended them.

    =================

    I suspect it is more than just ‘he offended’ them. It could be that. But that makes them seem awfully…thin skinned. I have NO idea what the truth is, but it could be more than just ‘personal offense taken’. It could be a deep-state-policy thing.

    I dont think we will ever know.

    As far as the word ‘conspiracy’ — we are dealing with a secret society, a secret culture, a secret organization — the CIA. So, i dont even know how to leave out the term ‘conspiracy’, or how to even talk about them.

    I see it as a pathological organization. Doesnt matter (to me) if a few of them are ‘good people’ or fighting for a less-monstrous-organization. Its no different than Monsanto or Blackwater. I see them as pathological. Reflections of a pathological system in general. I see them the way Smedley Butler saw the powers-that-be.

    Again, no ‘heat’ here. I’m just talkin calmly. No big thing.

    My views have darkened since about the beginning of the election cycle. Partly because of what i saw the Dems do to Bernie. Partly because of what the corporate media has become — its much worse now than ever. Its essentially nothing but propaganda now. The CIA disgusts me.

    w
    v

    #69047
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    =================

    I suspect it is more than just ‘he offended’ them. It could be that. But that makes them seem awfully…thin skinned. I have NO idea what the truth is, but it could be more than just ‘personal offense taken’. It could be a deep-state-policy thing.

    I dont think we will ever know.

    As far as the word ‘conspiracy’ — we are dealing with a secret society, a secret culture, a secret organization — the CIA. So, i dont even know how to leave out the term ‘conspiracy’, or how to even talk about them.

    I see it as a pathological organization. Doesnt matter (to me) if a few of them are ‘good people’ or fighting for a less-monstrous-organization. Its no different than Monsanto or Blackwater. I see them as pathological. Reflections of a pathological system in general. I see them the way Smedley Butler saw the powers-that-be.

    Again, no ‘heat’ here. I’m just talkin calmly. No big thing.

    My views have darkened since about the beginning of the election cycle. Partly because of what i saw the Dems do to Bernie. Partly because of what the corporate media has become — its much worse now than ever. Its essentially nothing but propaganda now. The CIA disgusts me.

    w
    v

    I agree with all of that.

    By offended, I’m not talking about reaching into the snack bowl with his hands instead of using the tongs.

    I think he has trampled all over their holy service and sacrifice, and shown total disregard for the meaning of all they hold dear. His actions have told them that he doesn’t respect them or value what they do.

    #69049
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    =================

    I suspect it is more than just ‘he offended’ them. It could be that. But that makes them seem awfully…thin skinned. I have NO idea what the truth is, but it could be more than just ‘personal offense taken’. It could be a deep-state-policy thing.

    I dont think we will ever know.

    As far as the word ‘conspiracy’ — we are dealing with a secret society, a secret culture, a secret organization — the CIA. So, i dont even know how to leave out the term ‘conspiracy’, or how to even talk about them.

    I see it as a pathological organization. Doesnt matter (to me) if a few of them are ‘good people’ or fighting for a less-monstrous-organization. Its no different than Monsanto or Blackwater. I see them as pathological. Reflections of a pathological system in general. I see them the way Smedley Butler saw the powers-that-be.

    Again, no ‘heat’ here. I’m just talkin calmly. No big thing.

    My views have darkened since about the beginning of the election cycle. Partly because of what i saw the Dems do to Bernie. Partly because of what the corporate media has become — its much worse now than ever. Its essentially nothing but propaganda now. The CIA disgusts me.

    w
    v

    I agree with all of that.

    By offended, I’m not talking about reaching into the snack bowl with his hands instead of using the tongs.

    I think he has trampled all over their holy service and sacrifice, and shown total disregard for the meaning of all they hold dear. His actions have told them that he doesn’t respect them or value what they do.

    ===================

    Ok, could be Zooey. But IS trump really doing that? I dunno. My own wild speculation is that he uses and relies on the NSA/CIA as much as Obama did.

    I kinda suspect his ‘agenda’ is a bit different than Obama/Hillary — and the only thing i can figure, is maybe it has something to do with Russia. Somethin to do with how he views Russia. But who the hell knows. Everybody’s got an opinion on it, but how can we know what factions of the CIA are thinking? I mean just the term ‘factions of the CIA’ is surreal and problematic. It all has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it. And yet…

    At any rate, Its an undemocratic, secret-organization with a long long history of creating horror, torture and undemocratic activity. How can we even have a language for talking about what it may or may not be doing?

    Rick sees them as ‘professionals’. I dont even know what to do with that. Professional whats?

    We have fallen down the rabbit hole. The Dems and Reps are tweedle dum and tweedle dee. I dunno what character the CIA is. Or Trump. I dont know what else to say.

    w
    v

    #69050
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    I want to re-iterate and re-emphasize just so there is no misunderstanding,
    I love you board-leftists. Always have and always will.

    Just because i despise the corporotacracy and disagree about big aspects of this or that deep-state-shit, has zero effect on how i feel about this group of misfit-toys.

    I love the internet too. Still.

    ….the internet is like…a Ferragamo to Waddy pass, over the middle, in a playoff game…

    w
    v

    #69051

    waterfield
    Participant

    I don’t think there is a “conspiracy,” either. And I doubt very much that everybody in Intel is anti-Trump.

    It is clear he has offended them.

    =================

    I suspect it is more than just ‘he offended’ them. It could be that. But that makes them seem awfully…thin skinned. I have NO idea what the truth is, but it could be more than just ‘personal offense taken’. It could be a deep-state-policy thing.

    I dont think we will ever know.

    As far as the word ‘conspiracy’ — we are dealing with a secret society, a secret culture, a secret organization — the CIA. So, i dont even know how to leave out the term ‘conspiracy’, or how to even talk about them.

    I see it as a pathological organization. Doesnt matter (to me) if a few of them are ‘good people’ or fighting for a less-monstrous-organization. Its no different than Monsanto or Blackwater. I see them as pathological. Reflections of a pathological system in general. I see them the way Smedley Butler saw the powers-that-be.

    Again, no ‘heat’ here. I’m just talkin calmly. No big thing.

    My views have darkened since about the beginning of the election cycle. Partly because of what i saw the Dems do to Bernie. Partly because of what the corporate media has become — its much worse now than ever. Its essentially nothing but propaganda now. The CIA disgusts me.

    w
    v

    “we are dealing with a secret society, a secret culture, a secret organization — the CIA. ”

    What I don’t get is this: if in fact they are a secret organization, culture and society-how do you know so much about them that you hate them as passionate as you do? They just can’t be all that secret for you and others to obtain information on the bad stuff they do.

    #69052
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    “we are dealing with a secret society, a secret culture, a secret organization — the CIA. ”

    What I don’t get is this: if in fact they are a secret organization, culture and society-how do you know so much about them that you hate them as passionate as you do? They just can’t be all that secret for you and others to obtain information on the bad stuff they do.

    =================

    We only know a SMALL FRACTION of the horror, W. A small fraction. From that fraction we can extrapolate what they’ve been up to all these years.

    The small fraction comes from ex-cia agents, leaks, and investigative reporters.

    But most of it we will never know. And that fact alone should chill citizens to the bone. What kind decent society needs a secret police? One that interferes in other nations elections, assassinates socialists, trains terrorists, traffics in heroin and cocaine, plants false stories in the media, and sucks up UNKNOWN billions of dollars of tax payers dollars.

    Do you even WANT to know what the CIA does? I get the impression you dont really care about it, or the fact that they are undemocratic and are unaccountable.

    And btw, fwiw, the CIA and the NSA and the FBI are all kinda ‘one thing’ to me. They are separate ‘tentacles’ of the same Cthulhu.

    #69054
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    I think he has trampled all over their holy service and sacrifice, and shown total disregard for the meaning of all they hold dear. His actions have told them that he doesn’t respect them or value what they do.

    I don’t agree with that.

    His incompetence jeopardizes what they do.

    I don’t think it’s a peevish emotional thing.

    He’s brazenly and irremediably incompetent. It fucks things up for them.

    And that’s of course whether or not we approve of all the policies he fucks up.

    #69055
    joemad
    joemad
    Participant

    Great thread that’s also depressing….

    fuck, we’re doomed…….

    #69057

    waterfield
    Participant

    “I get the impression you dont really care about it, or the fact that they are undemocratic and are unaccountable.”

    You are not the privileged one to only know about the stuff this agency has done. I know as much as you do and many others do as well. My opinion is that notwithstanding the stuff that we find hard to digest this country still needs it in the same manner we need the NSA and the FBI.

    Depending upon the CIA director and the attitudes of whomever happens to be the U.S. President (or in GW’s case, VP Cheney who had his own CIA within the CIA without informing Congress), the CIA does play a vital role in keeping the U.S. safe, but in some areas has been evil or poorly used. We don’t always get to choose our bedfellows.

    #69059
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    And…..back to the right-wing narrative stuff. A subject I find very interesting. They have a completely different picture of what is going on in Trumpland. They are hearing that Comey is a revengeful prick who will be going to prison sometime in the future, and that all this stuff is backfiring on the liberals and the media.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/18/15646098/right-wing-media-collective-memories

    #69060
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    You are not the privileged one to only know about the stuff this agency has done. I know as much as you do and many others do as well. My opinion is that notwithstanding the stuff that we find hard to digest this country still needs it in the same manner we need the NSA and the FBI.

    Depending upon the CIA director and the attitudes of whomever happens to be the U.S. President (or in GW’s case, VP Cheney who had his own CIA within the CIA without informing Congress), the CIA does play a vital role in keeping the U.S. safe, but in some areas has been evil or poorly used. We don’t always get to choose our bedfellows.

    As it happens W I pay close attention to CIA history and there is a ton of information out there on their various stages in history (when they were different things), insider accounts, congressional oversight and so on. We know a great deal about what they do and so on.

    And whether or not we need a CIA, it has often been on the side of very bad things. For example during the cold war the CIA had a long and very well-known record of overthrowing democracies and helping dictatorships suppress dissent and loyal opposition. In fact it’s a long horror-show of being on the side of atrocities.

    I get the impression this discussion is getting borderline nasty. Let’s try and make it a little less personal. If I have to I will stay out of the discussion precisely in order to monitor that.

    #69061
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    And btw, fwiw, the CIA and the NSA and the FBI are all kinda ‘one thing’ to me. They are separate ‘tentacles’ of the same Cthulhu

    And I have to say I don’t agree with that either. I always prefer actual concrete analysis over vague monster making. It was preferring one thing over the other that made me a leftist in the first place (many decades ago). To me that kind of broad monster making will always sound like conspiracy theory and I personally rate conspiracy theory as useless.

    BTW who knows who John Stockwell is? He was a CIA manager level guy in Africa who quit and wrote a book in 1984 called In Search of Enemies. It’s about CIA efforts to get involved in the Angolan civil wars. https://www.amazon.com/Search-Enemies-CIA-Story/dp/0393009262

    Well…I met him once. I even asked for his autograph, and he laughed when he saw that the only book I had on me for him to sign was Heart of Darkness…which in fact he did sign.

    Oh, and, a joke. An oldie n goodie.

    Q: why will there never be a military coup in the USA?
    A: because there’s no USA embassy there.

    .

    #69063
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    I agree things have ‘histories’. I dont agree what I’m doing is ‘bumper sticker analysis’. I mean i could say exactly the same thing about what you are doing — i could call it ‘bumper sticker analysis’.

    No, there’s a difference. I know that I have struggled and taken the time at various points in the last few decades to learn as much as I can about these things. And I know that one important detail in the run-up to war with Iraq was CIA analysts arguing that torture was ineffective (it more often than not leads to BAD information). That was important to note at the time because AT THE TIME a lot of bad information gotten both from torture and from anti-Hussein dissidents was false, yet the administration relied on it.

    Nuance, detail, history all matter to me. I can never fit an analysis based on all that on to a bumper sticker, unless it was just to say “know history.”

    Meanwhile, while I know I can be a bit edgy myself, I don’t know if you really realize what this Big Declaration, all or nothing approach you sometimes take in discussions like this also has tonal issues.

    You know it can easily be taken as a purist one-upping to say things like “are you for murder, oppression, and empire?!” I don’t know if you realize that among leftists, where we’re supposed to assume some kind of like-mindedness, that making everything categorical that way is ACTUALLY a kind of silencing move.

    I know you well enough to know you could never intend that. In fact…I bet it comes more from cynical despair than from purism. Nevertheless, you in effect respond to a group of people who are among the few in the world we know where we can discuss these things, and come down on them with a moral finality and purism that doesn’t really allow for discussion, when in fact to me you should know this community knows all this stuff. (I suppose it would make a difference if you just addressed it as something you feel…eg. “to me this is how it looks though.”)

    If anyone says to me “what about the lies, murder, and torture,” my FIRST response is “well welcome to all of human history.” It’s too undifferentiated and morally superior/categorical for me. I admit I react badly to it.

    KNOWING THE DISTINCTIONS in contrast matters to me…and I mean, a lot. Why? Because to me, there IS a refuge from “all of human history” and it’s this—reason and knowledge (combined).

    So I will always, when I can, go to the place of “reason and knowledge” and to me that is worth preserving on principle.

    If this gets any longer it will become a speech. So…this post is just my next move in a long difficult debate/discussion.

    #69064
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I think he has trampled all over their holy service and sacrifice, and shown total disregard for the meaning of all they hold dear. His actions have told them that he doesn’t respect them or value what they do.

    I don’t agree with that.

    His incompetence jeopardizes what they do.

    I don’t think it’s a peevish emotional thing.

    He’s brazenly and irremediably incompetent. It fucks things up for them.

    And that’s of course whether or not we approve of all the policies he fucks up.

    I don’t think it’s peevish, either.

    He’s ignorant and incompetent, and he is trashing around the place with disregard for the values they hold – which include steady dependability, among other things.

    #69068
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    And btw, fwiw, the CIA and the NSA and the FBI are all kinda ‘one thing’ to me. They are separate ‘tentacles’ of the same Cthulhu

    And I have to say I don’t agree with that either. I always prefer actual concrete analysis over vague monster making.

    .

    ======================
    To me that just means you disagree. I didnt make the monsters. I just look at the histories and if they look like frankenstein and walk like frankenstein and think like frankenstein — i call’em monsters.

    Now, to me, I’m just ‘shooting from the hip’ when i call them ‘tentacles of Chthulu’. Its not meant to be a detailed analysis. But shooting from the hip doesnt mean ‘creating monsters’. It just means its a way of describing something quickly in a message board post. No different than saying “Lawrence Philips is a BUST”. Its not a detailed analysis but its still accurate in a shooting from the hip kind of way.

    I think maybe we just see the Corporotacracy differently. To me its Cthulu. And the various subsystems (FBI, CIA, NSA, Corporate-Media, Banks, Big Pharma, Big Oil, etc) are all ‘tentacles’. Separate but related tentacles. Thats how i see it. Thats the metaphor that works for me.

    You see it differently.

    I still have the Stockwell book on my mantle in my living-room. Lots of good info in that book.

    I dont think the thread is getting ugly, btw. We are fleshing out fundamentaly different perspectives.

    w
    v

    #69069
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    “I get the impression you dont really care about it, or the fact that they are undemocratic and are unaccountable.”

    You are not the privileged one to only know about the stuff this agency has done. I know as much as you do and many others do as well. My opinion is that notwithstanding the stuff that we find hard to digest this country still needs it in the same manner we need the NSA and the FBI.

    Depending upon the CIA director and the attitudes of whomever happens to be the U.S. President (or in GW’s case, VP Cheney who had his own CIA within the CIA without informing Congress), the CIA does play a vital role in keeping the U.S. safe, but in some areas has been evil or poorly used. We don’t always get to choose our bedfellows.

    ===============

    Yes, of course we see the CIA differently. We see Corporations differently. You think we need mega-corporations and they bring us good stuff. And you think we need the CIA because if its run right it does good things.

    I think the Corporations are destroying the biosphere, and the CIA protects the corporate-destructive-force. So i agree with Smedley Butler and you dont.

    w
    v
    The following is an excerpt from a speech he gave in 1933: Smedley Butler

    “…
    …I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

    I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

    It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    #69073
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    And…..back to the right-wing narrative stuff. A subject I find very interesting. They have a completely different picture of what is going on in Trumpland. They are hearing that Comey is a revengeful prick who will be going to prison sometime in the future, and that all this stuff is backfiring on the liberals and the media.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/18/15646098/right-wing-media-collective-memories

    We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it.
    We’re experiencing these historical events very differently.

    The past week of Trump scandals for people reading mainstream news outlets has gone something like this: President Trump fired the FBI director who was investigating his campaign’s connection with Russia — and then the next day, Trump shared classified information with Russian officials.

    But on conservative news outlets, the narrative was very different. It was about an FBI director whose firing was long overdue, and a liberal media desperate to take down Trump.

    To pinpoint exactly how this played out for a reader visiting only conservative-leaning sites, we analyzed the front pages of Breitbart.com and FoxNews.com and compared them with NYTimes.com. We wrote a program to screenshot the front pages of these sites every three hours after the Comey firing using the Wayback Machine’s internet archives.

    Here’s how the Comey firing played out:

    And here’s how the past week of scandals played out:

    That means the conservative media narrative went something like this:

    Trump fired FBI Director James Comey for his mishandling of the Clinton investigation and his stubborn insistence on continuing the Russia investigation despite no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
    The liberal media drove this narrative to take down Trump, who only wanted the investigation “done properly,” and then started to question Trump’s mental stability.
    The “deep state” leaked classified info to the Washington Post. Plus, Trump has the right to disclose classified information to Russians, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster agrees.
    Comey is getting revenge with memos that reveal Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
    My colleague Jeff Guo watched Fox News for an evening and has a brilliant piece on how Fox News covered Trump sharing classified information with Russian officials, which explains how some of this happens. But here, I want to focus on two strategies that create these splintered memories.

    The first is the context that conservative media just sidesteps; this obfuscation allows an audience to form a different account of events.

    The second is the role of additional characters in these storylines — specifically the “liberal media” and Democrats colluding to manipulate the public.

    Let’s be clear about what’s happening here: Right-wing media is creating coherent alternate storylines with different characters and different context — but a narrative that competes with contextual facts that support a more accurate story. Even amid some of the most troubling presidential news in decades, a huge portion of this country is having a very different experience of these events, and repeating it over and over. Our collective memories — and, in turn, our shared culture — are being splintered.

    One way to form an alternate storyline: by ignoring context
    Let’s focus on the Comey firing here.

    The New York Times stayed laser-focused on how Comey wanted to expand the Russia investigation just days before his termination. This framing falls in line with reporting from several other outlets, as well as Trump’s interview to NBC saying that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.

    But Breitbart and Fox News removed that context from their coverage.

    Breitbart only mentioned the Russia investigation to reiterate that Trump’s connections with Russia — or lack thereof — were a settled matter. The big red “enough about Russia” summarizes their coverage.

    Fox News barely mentioned Russia. Instead, it focused on Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation and who would replace Comey — and then ultimately pivoting to other stories to lead the site on Thursday, May 11, before coming back to focus on Trump saying he supports a Russia probe “done properly.”

    These are fundamentally different stories. One is about a president who is interfering with an investigation, and the other is about an FBI director whose firing was a long time coming.

    It’s quite disconcerting when a major piece of context is missing from your understanding of a story. This is a literary technique many TV shows use to keep the audience on their feet. (Game of Thrones comes to mind.) But in this case, the reveal might never come. After all, according to a poll, two in three Republicans still believe Comey was fired over the Clinton investigation.

    The additional character in the right-wing storyline: the liberal media
    The major player in right-wing media is the villainous “liberal media.”

    If you happened to stumble upon on some other news source, you could connect the dots and perhaps believe Trump wanted to muzzle the FBI probe. But the character of a liberal and manipulative media — in cahoots with the Democratic Party — helps resolve the dissonant information. These stories essentially serve as a vaccine against other information.

    When the Washington Post broke the story about Trump revealing classified information to Russians, the headline on Breitbart was about the Post — and how it was colluding with the “deep state” to leak information:

    Breitbart ran a piece during this news frenzy quoting conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, who said on Newsmax TV that the media is the “opposition party.”

    “There is a cultural left and a political left and a media, if you will, [that] are a conglomerate,” he said. “They were determined to break and bring down Nixon from the day he was nominated. … And the same forces, similar forces, are trying to break and bring down Trump.”

    Newsmax TV
    Fox News’s Tucker Carlson said the mainstream media’s reaction to the Comey firing was “media hysteria.”

    Tucker Carlson said, “There was a run on Xanax supplies in CVS Pharmacies around Washington over the last two days as the press absolutely melted down. The media, committed to finding the legal coup d’état under their beds.”

    And in covering the interview where Trump admits to firing Comey over the Russia investigation, Breitbart’s headline was about how NBC’s Lester Holt interrupted Trump nine times in two minutes.

    It is coherent with the storyline that the media is colluding with Democrats to obscure information from the public. While news was spreading about Trump sharing classified information with Russian officials, Fox News and Breitbart focused on a story about DNC staffer Seth Rich leaking material to WikiLeaks before he was killed — a story that Rich’s family refuted, and that other outlets didn’t cover.

    There’s been plenty of ink spilled about how “fake news” is affecting current discourse, but something more disturbing is happening: We’re experiencing different realities of the same event — and that reality is solidified every time these alternate storylines are repeated.

    #69075
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Well the article is right on about there being two mega-corporate-narratives — ie, the pro-Hillary-NewYork-Times version of the narrative and the pro-Trump-Fox-Newz narrative.

    Those are indeed the two narratives of the two corporate-mainstream-media-outlets.

    I dont put much stock in either of those narratives. Just my view. I know some folks have a different view. (and i know all about not trusting one source and ‘layering’ various sources and all that. I dont think that works very well anymore, given the corporate dominance of the news agencies now.)

    w
    v

    #69076
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Those are indeed the two narratives of the two corporate-mainstream-media-outlets.

    I don’t agree. I think it dignifes one version to call it “a narrative.” Yeah teachnically it is, but that;s not what’s pertinent. What’s pertinent is that it;s full of lies and distortions and misleads and suppresses part of the story.

    The other version is more factual as reporting, though yes like all coverage, it works within certain interpretive boundaries.

    We are going to keep disagreeing on this–the right spin on things like this is far worse and far more dangerous. It’s not “equal” in terms of just being “equally a narrative.”

    It makes a difference to sort out the best info on things. What I would welcome more is a critique of the mainstream, not-rightie version which accounted for more things, was a better interpretation, and stood up better to scrutiny. But just declaring these 2 to be effectively equal, TO ME, is actually just another distortion. I of course don’t think it’s intended as a distortion…but those 2 versions of events are absolutely not equal. The challenge of course is to work at coming up with a better interpretation than the one version that is at least minimally factual.

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