Understanding US thread-III

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Ravi Karumanchiri
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 27 May 2017 01:45

UlanBatori wrote:Beloveds, I am by now totally confused on this "Russia Interfered In Erections" cacophony. .........<SNIP>........ How is this "interference"? .........<SNIP>........

Like "Russians talked to people in the Trump campaign". So what? .........<SNIP>........
So what? I would expect all nations to try and establish rapport with the campaigns of all the leading candidates. Hopefully there were also contacts between India and Trump aides; Mongolia and Trump aides, China and Trump aides, does CBS want candidates for POTUS to be TOTALLY clueless about other countries? This is a really strange new standard for politics.

Even in India it is standard practice for visiting heads of state, let alone ambassador etc, to go talk to the leading candidates for elections. Is this automatically treason? Since when?

^^^^^^^^^^
Perhaps you don't understand this, sitting where you are in the Mongolian hinterland and all; but here in "The West" (I'm in Canada as I write this); Russia and Russian Representatives are currently *under sanctions*.

If say, some lesser minister from Romania were having such meetings and dealings with official Russians and the heads of Russian banks (who are probably creditors and otherwise FSB-connected); you can be sure that the US State Department would voice its displeasure and the matter would be taken-up officially. "Present a united front to the Russians" was forever the US mantra when it came to moments when Russia was put under sanctions by western powers.

The "So What" is down to a matter of the Europeans bearing the brunt of sanctions expenses against Russia, largely at the behest of the US; over Crimea and the destabilization of Eastern of Ukraine. (The big irony here, is that it was the US which pushed hardest for NATO expansion; which seemed to move ever-closer to Russian borders; prompting this ongoing conflict in Ukraine. FYI: Russia is in there, because the NATO charter prohibits accession of a state with ongoing border disputes.

But, I'd guess you'd say, UB, "So what if the US sparks a war between Ukraine and Russia because it held-open the door to NATO. It is Europe who will bear the expense; and Trump can make-nice with Putin by having Flynn remove "Arming Ukraine against Russia" from the RNC campaign platform. What's the big deal?"



<OT>

As an aside: I was a lurker on BRF for years before I ever even signed-up for an account. Over the years, my interest in BRF has risen and fallen, depending on many things, but perhaps most of all on the 'signal to noise' ratio.

BRF remains somewhere where I can read and learn new things, or consider new problems or opportunities and the wider world in which this all takes place. I do value BRF -- but honestly I wish everyone here could make a bigger effort to bring the 'noise' down and the 'signal' up.

This should be especially true, when a member is remarking on a topic or subject area somewhat outside of his or her personal experience, education or expertise. A bit of humility in approach, would only improve BRF.



UB, Flippancy based on ignorance is never clever.

</OT>

Ravi Karumanchiri
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 27 May 2017 01:52

Mort Walker wrote:State law can not supersede federal law and they have NO authority to negotiate international treaties. If governor Moon Beam wants to fly around on state taxpayer dollar, he can do so. National guard will be called in and the governor will have to relent like George Wallace did in 1963 or be arrested.



California is the 6th largest economy in the world, and because it can control it's own 'Health and Safety Regulations' and 'Environmental Regulations', they have a seat at the table that cannot be taken from them. This is a two-way street, though. On the good side of the street, this has helped to bring higher fuel efficiency standards to the entire US motor vehicle fleet. On the bad side; someone long ago convinced California to require 'flame retardants' in upholstered products, carpets, and all manner of home furnishings. Problem is: There is no evidence this reduces the incidence of house fires, it make those house fires that occur, much more toxic; and these flame retardant chemicals are bio-accumulating in our bodies with clear evidence that it is reducing fertility, and causing other health problems. So, I'm not one to champion the California clout in every respect.

However, California is leading the US (as it has always done), and there is *nothing* the Trump administration can do about it.

More important to consider: What is be business case for being fuel inefficient? Efficiency saves money, which means more profit? Does it not?

BOTTOM LINE: Land owners in Texas are making more money from their solar and wind power royalties, than they are from oil and gas royalties. The tide has turned, and petroleum is going to fade. This is inevitable.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby shyam » 27 May 2017 02:42

All right...
Trump Defies G7, Refuses To Back Climate Deal After "Controversial" Debate

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Mort Walker » 27 May 2017 03:28

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:
California is the 6th largest economy in the world because it is within the USA, otherwise it would be like Costa Rica, and because it can control it's own 'Health and Safety Regulations' and 'Environmental Regulations', they have a seat at the table that cannot be taken from them. Again what seat does it have as a state of the US in the international arena? The constitution does not allow a state to set its own policies inimical to the rest of the US nor can they negotiate international treatiesThis is a two-way street, though. On the good side of the street, this has helped to bring higher fuel efficiency standards to the entire US motor vehicle fleet. On the bad side; someone long ago convinced California to require 'flame retardants' in upholstered products, carpets, and all manner of home furnishings. Problem is: There is no evidence this reduces the incidence of house fires, it make those house fires that occur, much more toxic; and these flame retardant chemicals are bio-accumulating in our bodies with clear evidence that it is reducing fertility, and causing other health problems. So, I'm not one to champion the California clout in every respect.

However, California is leading the US (as it has always done), and there is *nothing* the Trump administration can do about it. Oh yes they can. Upto now no administration bothered with CA since it wasn't worth their time, however now is the time to take CA to court if it tries to impose additional CAFE standards or zero emissions on vehicles since it would harm other states in the US. A restriction of trade between states.

More important to consider: What is be business case for being fuel inefficient? Efficiency saves money, which means more profit? Does it not? The CAFE standards proposed by the Obama administration were aggressive in time scale and need to be reduced since implementing them will cause a reduction of vehicle reliability.

BOTTOM LINE: Land owners in Texas are making more money from their solar and wind power royalties, than they are from oil and gas royalties. The tide has turned, and petroleum is going to fade. This is inevitable.
Oil and gas are going nowhere. You misunderstand Texans ability to squeeze a dollar from any place. They are good at it and will happily take companies from CA to relocate like Toyota USA.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby A_Gupta » 27 May 2017 04:04

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the ... ows-bigger

We’ve just had some highly disturbing, vaguely surreal new information reported by CNN. Two days ago The Washington Post reported that James Comey’s decision not to notify the Department of Justice about his July Clinton emails press conference was driven in part by emails or documents describing emails the FBI had found in troves of Russian-hacked emails which appeared to compromise Attorney General Lynch’s independence. The gist of the Post story was that Comey may have relied on what was in fact an exquisitely successful disinformation operation to make what turned out to be a highly consequential decision affecting the 2016 election.

This new CNN story contains an important twist.

According to sources who talked to CNN, Comey and the FBI knew the document was a fraud but used it anyway, both to make the decision and justify the decision after the fact.

This isn’t necessarily quite as crazy as it sounds. Comey’s apparent reasoning was that if the document was later released in a Russian/Wikileaks document dump, the fact that it was fake wouldn’t necessarily matter. The Bureau wouldn’t necessarily be able to publicly prove it was a phony without disclosing sources and methods, or perhaps not at all. The point being, whether or not the document was real didn’t really matter. Its release would potentially discredit the integrity of the DOJ/FBI decision making either way.

Two points seem worth noting.

First, we’re dealing with conclusions that are inherently uncertain. You seldom definitively determine that a document is fake. It’s more a preponderance of evidence. It also seems like the consensus opinion on the document’s authenticity evolved over time, with less and less credence being given to it and time went on. The issue here is that it seems like almost everyone involved would have some reason to shade their recollection of events and their relative certainty about key matters to shape the best story possible. That doesn’t even get into knowing deception. It just seems like there’s a lot of gray area and we should keep that in mind.

A second point. The anti-Hillary people (both legitimate opponents and Sputniknews nutballs) always poo-poohed the idea that fraudulent documents might be woven into the legitimate, stolen documents that were laundered through Wikileaks. At least in those, I know of no cases where this happened. But the ability to do this (which is what Comey seems to have feared, if we take this account at face value) is always part of such an operation. Always.

The big takeaway here is that the Russian interference and subversion campaign appears to have gone much deeper and reached much higher than we’ve heretofore known. Whichever version of events you credit, Russian disinformation operations seem to have reached to the very top of the law enforcement and national security state and driven critical decisions at that level. Remember, the October 28th letter to Congress flowed directly from commitments Comey made because of that July press conference. The impact of this decision was quite simply vast.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 27 May 2017 07:35

Very entertaining thread.
1) The goalposts have been shifted from "I have read several studies proving that aerospace systems don't generate good jobs unlike rock-breaking" to whether "WAR" is good or bad. Well.... if you happen to be in the country which is bombed to the stone ages, then it is a boom time for Waste Management and Construction but starvation for every one else, true.

But the whole point of American defense doctrine is that maintaining technological superiority and massive force projection, keeps the peace and avoids war. And generates well-paying jobs that others cannot take away by imitation/price scavenging/race to the bottom. I can understand that Canada does not believe in this - and this be partly why Canada, with as much resources or more than the USA and nearly the same land area on the same continent, remains in a rather low state of development compared to the US. Better than Mexico, I guess.

2) About all these super-spies sitting around pondering on an email: Is it Fake or Is it Not?
Duh! Why didn't they just pick up the phone and call Lori Baby and ask her if she had joined the Slick Willie Trumpet Club aka MonikaClub?

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Dipanker » 27 May 2017 19:55

Mort Walker wrote:Oh yes they can. Upto now no administration bothered with CA since it wasn't worth their time, however now is the time to take CA to court if it tries to impose additional CAFE standards or zero emissions on vehicles since it would harm other states in the US. A restriction of trade between states.


Judging by past examples, it is California which will sue the EPA not other way around. Last time it happened under Bush admin. in Jan , 2008 and California was supported by 15 other states, 12 of them following California standards. Obama then granted waiver to them.

The current midterm review of CAFE standards ordered by Trump will only be out in April 2018, if EPA then refuses to grant waiver to California and 12 other states following California standards, California and these states will sue EPA again.

California has been following its own standards since 70's and had waiver to do so.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Dipanker » 27 May 2017 20:25

Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.


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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Cosmo_R » 28 May 2017 00:22

Zbig kicked the bucket. I'm not shedding any tears. Misguided dogmatist who saw everything through an anti-soviet lens .

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/us/z ... ctionfront

The picture (link below) of him holding an AK47 is one I remember as news rather than as part of a hagiography. In 1980, the same NYT snickered that Zbig took that gun and waved it yelling "Onward to Kabul!" to an audience of 'freedom fighter' who are now enemies. Only problem was he was pointing east towards India.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/05 ... ter675.jpg

This part describes him perfectly:

"In his scholarly certitude, Mr. Brzezinski sometimes showed a tendency to believe that any disagreement between theory and reality indicated some fault on the part of reality."

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby shyam » 28 May 2017 00:32


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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Gus » 28 May 2017 00:55

Secret channel bypassing current channels to prevent eavesdropping from ones own services?

Bah..fake news. See Yenn yennnn. <insert obligatory rofl icon>

So what..how else one is to keep things secret. Don't these dumbos know that statecraft has to be secret?? HAIN???? <insert TWO rofl icons for effect>

<Add some indecipherable stuff>
<some more poohpooh and flippant quips>
<round it up with a "get over the elections" and a rofl>

There. Explained. Now move on.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 28 May 2017 02:08

From our "Duh!" Department: (source: RT.com, most trusted and unbiased source on the planet)

McMaster says 'not concerned' after Kushner back-channel reports

Asked about reports that Donald Trump's son-in-law had tried to set up a secret channel of communication with Russia before the president took office, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that so-called "back-channeling" was normal. McMaster declined to speak specifically about the case of Jared Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to Trump, but when asked if it would concern him if someone in the administration tried to set up a back channel with the Russian embassy or the Kremlin, he replied "no." "We have back-channel communications with any number of individual (countries). So generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner," McMaster said. "So it doesn't pre-expose you to any sort of content or any kind of conversation or anything. So we're not concerned about it." :roll: Reuters reported last week that a proposal for a back channel was discussed between McMaster's predecessor Mike Flynn and the Russian ambassador as Trump prepared to take office. The Washington Post reported on Friday that Kushner participated in that conversation. (Reuters)


Next accusations:
1. NSA detected Russian ambassador and KGB agint passing nude photos of M.Tump by email.
2. Also, modified nudes of HiC and Great Blue Whale.
3. Jared Kushner downloaded the Anna Kournikova Nude Pic virus.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 28 May 2017 05:16

as george takei puts it: for an administration that is so into back channels its a little surprising that they are so anti-gay

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Cosmo_R » 28 May 2017 05:18

Lalmohan wrote:as george takei puts it: for an administration that is so into back channels its a little surprising that they are so anti-gay


Takei the "Great Helmsman"?

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby A_Gupta » 28 May 2017 07:10

http://observer.com/2017/05/mike-rogers ... th-russia/
This week’s town hall event, which was broadcast to agency facilities worldwide, was therefore met with surprise and anticipation by the NSA workforce, and Rogers did not disappoint. I have spoken with several NSA officials who witnessed the director’s talk and I’m reporting their firsthand accounts, which corroborate each other, on condition of anonymity.

In his town hall talk, Rogers reportedly admitted that President Trump asked him to discredit the FBI and James Comey, which the admiral flatly refused to do. As Rogers explained, he informed the commander in chief, “I know you won’t like it, but I have to tell what I have seen”—a probable reference to specific intelligence establishing collusion between the Kremlin and Team Trump.

Rogers then added that such SIGINT exists, and it is damning. He stated, “There is no question that we [meaning NSA] have evidence of election involvement and questionable contacts with the Russians.” Although Rogers did not cite the specific intelligence he was referring to, agency officials with direct knowledge have informed me that DIRNSA was obviously referring to a series of SIGINT reports from 2016 based on intercepts of communications between known Russian intelligence officials and key members of Trump’s campaign, in which they discussed methods of damaging Hillary Clinton.

NSA employees walked out of the town hall impressed by the director’s forthright discussion of his interactions with the Trump administration, particularly with how Rogers insisted that he had no desire to “politicize” the situation beyond what the president has already done. America’s spies are unaccustomed to playing partisan politics as Trump has apparently asked them to do, and it appears that the White House’s ham-fisted effort to get NSA to attack the FBI and its credibility was a serious mistake.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Dipanker » 28 May 2017 07:17

Meanwhile post election xenophobia related toll keeps on mounting.
Hate-criminal in Oregon stabs and kills two Americans in the train trying to calm him down when he was shouting abuses at muslim women passengers, obviously inspired by trumped-up xenophobia during the campaign.

Portland train stabbings: FBI looking into possible hate crime charges
(CNN)Authorities investigating the deadly stabbings on a Portland commuter train Friday are looking into the suspect's background and trying to determine whether the man will be charged with federal hate crimes.

As of Saturday, Jeremy Joseph Christian was being held on suspicion of state crimes, including aggravated murder, for which the death penalty is a possible sentence.
The FBI, which has joined the Portland police-led investigation, said evidence still needs to be gathered.
"It's too early to say whether last night's violence was an act of domestic terrorism or a federal hate crime," Renn Cannon, the special agent in charge of the Portland office of the FBI, told reporters Saturday.
The killings -- in which two men were fatally stabbed and another was wounded -- came after Christian allegedly started yelling what "would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions" toward two women in a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
Witnesses described the women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, as Muslim.
As two men tried to calm him down, Christian, 35, stabbed them and one other man, police said. The two men who died were identified Saturday as Ricky John Best , 53, of Happy Valley, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, of Portland.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 28 May 2017 13:53

Cosmo_R wrote:
Lalmohan wrote:as george takei puts it: for an administration that is so into back channels its a little surprising that they are so anti-gay


Takei the "Great Helmsman"?


he boldly goes...

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 28 May 2017 13:57

was just watching the great orange one addressing troops on return to the US about his achievements this week on his travels to NATO and the G7 and then watching the interview with Merkel and others about the very same meetings

I know I'm not as bright as the average BRF-ite which probably explains why I'm having so much trouble understanding if the orange one was at the same meetings as everyone else in the world leadership community...

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 28 May 2017 16:54

I would believe the Germans any day over Americans. Herr Goebbels set the standards for Germany after all.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 28 May 2017 18:37

you would believe many a thing between here and karakorum and perhaps even in bayan hongur. it is said that between khan balik and besh balik no-one believes things better than you. the eternal blue heavens resonate through your veins, truly you are amongst the swiftest of riders and the sharpest of archers

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Falijee » 28 May 2017 19:43

Saudi Method Of Currying Favour With POTUS Trump .

Shah Salman gifts items to Trump worth $1.2 billion

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 29 May 2017 02:01

Noise gets more multidirectional.

xxxx said Sunday that former FBI Director James Comey would have been "incredibly incompetent" if he took actions based on email he knew to be fake. xxxxx said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" that Comey told the Senate and House select committees on intelligence about such an email, but never indicated it was fake. "He talked to members of the Senate and House intel committee that he was sitting on emails that the Russians had between the Democratic Party and the Department of Justice that were highly explosive," xxxxx said. "He never once told a member of the House or the Senate that he thought the email was fake."
xxxx is not a member of the Senate intelligence committee, but is helming an investigation from a Senate judiciary subcommittee into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the FBI received a document detailing a supposed email from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was at the time the head of the Democratic National Committee, where she said someone in the Department of Justice told her Attorney General Loretta Lynch was containing the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices as secretary of state. The report said the details came from "a dubious Russian document" and that this document influenced Comey's decision to make his thinking on the case public. On Friday, CNN reported that Comey acted on this document, even though he knew it to be fake. xxxxx called the report "stunning" and said Comey "needs to be held accountable."


The term "nutjob" becomes more and more descriptive. And much kinder than "incompetent".

Innocent by reason of insanity sounds better than incompetent to stand trial.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby A_Gupta » 29 May 2017 17:02

As one analyst put it last week, coal “doesn’t really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” given the rapidly falling costs of cleaner energy sources like natural gas, wind and solar power.

Who was that analyst? Gary Cohn, chairman of the National Economic Council — that is, Trump’s own chief economist. One wonders, however, whether he’s expressed those views — which pretty much represent the consensus among energy experts — to the president.


From: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/29/opin ... nergy.html

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 29 May 2017 18:24

Trump will probably go to WV and sell them on nuclear power. :LOL Then again, Cohn may be on his way out, if he tells the "truth" like that - probably on payroll of oil lobby. This statement is quite a shock, given that the Warlords of Ulan Bator have invested very heavily in Clean Coal while starving the peasants working on all other types of energy. Maybe intended to make a few $$ on stock market.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby shyam » 31 May 2017 07:10

Sometimes, things go too insane. What is the point in apologizing after exposing one's own thought process.

https://twitter.com/Stevenwhirsch99/sta ... 0537594880

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Philip » 31 May 2017 16:49

Why the US is the world's greatest HYPOCRISY.IT preaches democracy,but protects and promotes dictatorships and extremist nations.
The whole world knows that it was the Saudis who perpetrated 9/11,but the US has prevented any prosecution of the Saudis,blamed innocent Iraq,invaded it,assassinated by a kangaroo court,Saddam and has a long,long list of dictators,murderers whom it supported like Noriega who just died.

Who was it..Kissinger?,who when asked why the US supported someone as he was a basta*rd,said,"yes,but he's our bast*rd!"


Today,the US still supports the Saudis to the hilt,the ones supporting ISIS and other Islamic terrorist outfits,while blaming Iran which is the only democracy in the region having just elected a moderate reformist leader!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 62846.html
Manuel Noriega, obituary: Panama dictator worked with CIA while murdering political opponents
One of Noriega's biggest mistakes was to order personally the execution and beheading of one of his most outspoken opponents ‘like a rabid dog’

Phil Davison
Manuel Noriega Panama 1988
Noriega in 1988, the year he was indicted by the US on drug-trafficking charges AFP
Disgraced former Panamanian General Manuel Noriega was a ruthless dictator, domestic spook, convicted murderer, money-launderer, big-time drug runner for Colombian cocaine druglords and a double agent between the CIA and Fidel Castro's Cuba. To some of his friends, however, including English ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn, he was a loveable rogue. In the 1980s, when he was nicknamed “Pineapple Face” because of severe acne, he stood up to the US but went one step too far when he swung a machete around his head and declared Panama was “in a state of war” with America.

Not great timing. For one thing, the major US networks filmed the machete incident, which was never going to go down well with a US President from Texas, George HW Bush. What's more, another anti-US dictator, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, was in dispute with neighbouring Kuwait and was building up his forces with a possible view to invasion (which he did the following year, 1990). President Bush did not fancy taking on two dictators at the same time. Just before Christmas 1989, he ordered US paratroopers into Panama and within two weeks Noriega surrendered.

The $300m Noriega was said by US investigators to have amassed as his personal fortune became useless. He was convicted in the US for drug-trafficking, racketeering and money-laundering and in 1992 was sentenced to 40 years in prison in Miami, later reduced to 30 years. In the end, he was released early by the US but only because both France and Panama had called for his extradition on other charges. But the US was happy to get rid of him and see him complete his penance elsewhere.


READ MORE
Panama's former dictator Manuel Noriega dies
He was shipped to Paris in 2010 and sentenced in July to seven years' jail for money-laundering by buying luxury Paris apartments with drug proceeds worth $3m. Like the US, however, France, having administered their own justice, released him after just over a year, in September 2011, and put him, heavily guarded, on a plane to his native Panama, where he arrived on 11 December that year. If Noriega was expecting a triumphant welcome home from his former supporters, it was not to be. Panama jailed him for 20 years.

In early 2017, he was released from prison for a temporary period of house arrest to allow him to have an operation to remove a benign brain tumour. In early March, he was said to be critically ill and in a coma after suffering a haemorrhage.

Doctors decided to attempt further surgery to treat the cerebral bleeding, but he died late on Monday, local time, in Panama City's Santo Tomas hospital, the secretary of state for communication Manuel Dominguez announced. He was 83.

For a foreign correspondent covering Panama in the 1980s, Noriega was pure gold. Panama rarely got covered in Europe but “Cara de Piña” (Pineapple Face) guaranteed headlines. Charismatic he was not. Fascinating, yes. Kind of a Donald Trump of his time. Noriega did not like foreign reporters, even Panamanian reporters, except the ones he paid off with cash in US dollars. These were pre-Twitter days so his only resource was to invite us foreign correspondents to his bunker-style office at the Panamanian Defence Forces headquarters. Like Trump, he was convinced he was the best thing ever to have happened for his country. In that, of course, he was soon proved wrong.

One of his major mistakes in the 1980s was to order the execution of one of his most outspoken opponents, Hugo Spadafora, a handsome, charismatic man who had uncovered Noriega’s collaboration with the Colombian drug lords Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder in getting massive amounts of cocaine into the US. Spadafora's body was found in a large US Postal Service mail bag. His head had been sawn off with a butcher's knife and was never found.

READ MORE
Manuel Noriega fails in bid to sue Call of Duty makers for using his likeness in video game
Former dictator Manuel Noriega sues Call of Duty makers
Noriega is flown home to complete prison sentence
France prepares to extradite Manuel Noriega
Noriega gets seven more years for money laundering
​Noriega was in Paris at the time of Spadafora's murder but an intelligence wiretap between one of his Panamanian commanders, Luis Cordoba, and Noriega read:

Cordoba: “We have the rabid dog.”

Noriega: “And what does one do with a dog that has rabies?” Then Noriega hung up.

In May 1989, during a general election that was meant to put Noriega's man Carlos Duque in power, pro-Noriega hoodlums ironically known as the Dignity Battalions took to the streets of Panama to intimidate opponents. It was a normal occurrence. But this time, two American photographers -- Les Stone and Ron Haviv -- happened to be present. They photographed opposition candidate Guillermo “Billy” Ford being beaten with iron bars by Noriega's men. Haviv's photo of Ford being beaten, his white guayabera shirt drenched in blood, hit the cover of TIME magazine on 22 May 1989. President George HW Bush could not help but take note.

On 20 December, 1989, Bush launched Operation Just Cause without warning. Some 27,000 American troops landed: 23 of them died, and hundreds of Panamanians, mostly civilians, were killed in crossfire. The Panamanian Defence Forces headquarters, where I had met Noriega years before, was virtually levelled. The US forces surrounded and fired upon the Marriott Hotel, where the foreign correspondents were staying. Spanish photographer Juantxu Rodriguez, working for El Pais, was shot dead by an American soldier, and a famous image of Juantxu lying dead with his camera by his head still haunts foreign correspondents and photographers to this day. The American forces also shot and wounded an English photographer.

For two weeks, Noriega hid out in the residence of the papal nuncio, the Vatican ambassador Monsignor Juan Laboa, where he was untouchable for diplomatic reasons. That meant the US forces could not shoot him out. So the American troops used a different approach. They brought out massive loudspeakers of Hyde Park concert proportions and bombarded the Vatican embassy with sound -- non-stop rock music day and night. With some glee, the Americans, including US Navy Seals, relied mostly on a song by The Clash: “I Fought the Law” (“...and the law won”). Even from way behind the loudspeakers, the noise was horrendous. Noriega, after the mediation of Monsignor Laboa, finally emerged on 3 January 1990. In an operation known as Nifty Package, he was flown to the US and the rest is history.

Manuel Antonio Noriega Morena was born in 1934 (although some biographies, edited by him, claimed he was born four years later) in the working-class El Chorrillo district of Panama City, which he would later make his base. His father was an accountant who had emigrated from Colombia, his mother his father's housekeeper. Noriega was of mixed Spanish, Amerindian and African origin and his moreno (dark) skin ensured him of peasant and working-class support in a country dominated by the so-called rabiblancos, or white-tails, the economic elite of mainly Spanish ancestry.

World news in pictures
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At the age of five, Noriega was given up by his father for adoption to a woman schoolteacher. The boy hoped to become a doctor but, lacking resources, ended up as a cadet at the Peruvian Military Academy in Lima. After joining Panama’s National Guard in 1967, he was sent for training at the renowned School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Georgia, notorious for turning out some of Latin America’s most ruthless military dictators including Chile's Augusto Pinochet.

By the late 1970s, Noriega had become something of a protegé of Panama's military strongman leader Omar Torrijos. When Torrijos died in an unexplained plane crash in 1981, fingers were pointed at Noriega. Whatever the case, Noriega became the new strongman. And by the time he took formal power in 1983, Noriega was very much a key asset of the CIA.

In return for payments (whose amounts may never be known), he helped get US weapons, military equipment and cash to anti-communist forces in Central America, including the US-backed Contras fighting against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. He allowed the US to set up listening posts in Panama aimed at monitoring the leftist Sandinistas in Nicaragua while also channelling US money and weapons to the anti-Sandinista Contras.

By then, the CIA knew he was helping Colombian drug lords ship cocaine to the US but they turned a blind eye in return for his help. At the time, the Americans saw halting communism as more important than stopping cocaine entering their country, now proven to be a major mistake. Noriega's influence in the Central American civil wars was seen as more important than the damage cocaine was increasingly causing in the streets of the US.

What the CIA did not initially know was that Noriega was also dealing with Fidel Castro in Cuba and with the left-wing insurgencies in Nicaragua and other Central American countries, providing them with weapons but neglecting to put the proceeds into Panama's coffers. He began to get quite rich.

As a result of his wealth and power, he quickly won new friends, He had already befriended the English ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn, who lived in Panama City with her husband Dr Roberto Arias during Noriega's rise through the ranks. Dr Arias was a Panamanian politician and diplomat (as well as suspected guns and whisky smuggler, and serial womaniser) who was shot by a (political or love) rival in 1964. Tito Arias, a graduate of St John's College, Cambridge, remained a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic until his death in 1989, tended all that time by Dame Margot and his family.

Dame Margot recalled once sitting in her Panama City home when a beaming Noriega jumped up from behind her sofa wielding a pistol. It was Pineapple Face's idea of a joke, but didn't go down well with Dame Margot, who kicked him out. Dame Margot died of cancer in Panama City in 1991, by which time Noriega was behind bars in Miami.

Manuel Noriega's wife Felicidad was rarely seen in recent years but she is believed to survive him along with their daughters Lorena, Sandra and Thays.

Manuel Antonio Noriega Morena, born 11 February 1934, died 29 May 2017

Vayutuvan
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Vayutuvan » 01 Jun 2017 11:11

Cosmo_R wrote:
Lalmohan wrote:as george takei puts it: for an administration that is so into back channels its a little surprising that they are so anti-gay


Takei the "Great Helmsman"?

He is gay.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Vayutuvan » 01 Jun 2017 11:18

Lalmohan wrote:
Cosmo_R wrote:
Takei the "Great Helmsman"?


he boldly goes...

Interestingly startrek was quite sexist for many years and finally changed where "no man has gone before" to "no one has gone before" back in 1992 IIRC. OT.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Singha » 01 Jun 2017 14:29

on the eve of DTs withdrawal from paris climate change treaty later today...

comment in NYT
ames Washington, D.C. 18 hours ago

This is nothing new. Bush pulled us out of Kyoto, remember? When it comes to the most important issue facing human civilization this century, the USA is a rogue state.

And this isn't just a "Trump problem" -- it's an American problem. Americans voted for Trump. And Americans also refuse to adjust their decadent energy-intensive lifestyles for combatting climate change.

In Europe, even the oldest urban buildings have modern tight-fitting windows and window shades to keep out the heat and keep in the cool. Folks ride buses, trains and bicycles to school, work, and play. Homes are much smaller than those in the USA -- and most people aren't living in single-family detached homes made out of particle board, which is the least energy-efficient construction possible.

In the USA, people are driving everywhere, public transportation is collapsing in all of our major cities, the EPA is pledging to put coal first. It's just truly shocking.

Welcome to the Eurasian century -- the USA is done

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Hari Seldon » 02 Jun 2017 05:09

The US Strategy of Annihilation and Humiliation

In his first interview as secretary of defense, James Mattis outlined the United States’ strategy. Mattis’ words carry weight because he is one of the few subordinates U.S. President Donald Trump seems to trust implicitly and to whom Trump has delegated significant responsibility. In the interview, Mattis said the war of attrition – pushing enemies out of their locations rather than destroying them completely – failed to produce the desired outcome. The U.S. will now fight a war of annihilation and humiliation against the enemy, which is not just IS but radical Islamism in general. Mattis expects the war to be a long fight, but he also expects to win.

Yawn. have heard such before, no?

Mattis pointed to the battles for Mosul and Tal Afar as models for how these tactics will be implemented in other places. In both cases, forces on the ground, some with U.S. help, have surrounded IS targets to try to prevent Islamic State militants from retreating and foreign fighters from leaving the battlefield to return home. The forces then advance and clear these cities block by block, a hard task that takes time. This is what Mattis described as annihilation. The Islamic State’s greatest strength on the battlefield has been its ability to retreat and regroup, and the goal of annihilation is to destroy that strength.

IOW, kill 'em SOBs. Reciprocality. Do unto them what they'd do unto you.

According to Mattis, this will be the blueprint for destroying the Islamic State’s caliphate, and the table is being set to apply this model on the de facto IS capital of Raqqa. Mattis is optimistic that IS will lose this fight, but even if this happens, the challenge will then be to prevent another group like IS from emerging.

This is where the humiliation tactics come in.
In his interview, Mattis pointed out that the fight against the Islamic State is not just a military conflict. It is “a fight about ideas.” Mattis said the Islamic State’s recruiting and fundraising capabilities must be destroyed. The way to do this is to degrade the IS “message of hatred and violence” and any nation that would support it.

Interesting. Pakfauj's public humiliation in 1971 still rankles 'em farts.

defeating Germany and Japan meant defeating fascism. But defeating IS will not mean defeating radical Islamism. It will only mean moving on to the next group.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Dipanker » 03 Jun 2017 05:47

It seems US cities, states, and companies are going to ignore Trump withdrawal from Paris treaty and pledge to UN to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord. Trump is becoming irrelevant and deservedly so.

Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord
Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Cosmo_R » 03 Jun 2017 06:24

Vayutuvan wrote:
Cosmo_R wrote:
Takei the "Great Helmsman"?

He is gay.


And Kirk had an on set thing with Nichelle (Uhura).

Innocent times.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Yagnasri » 03 Jun 2017 10:30

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... head-photo

Do rubbish and play the victim. Standard leftist ideas. Not surprised to note that the same advocate who fought in the case of the sexual harassment allegations on Bill Orilly is now representing Ms Griffin. It is open season on Goldern Monkey.


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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 05 Jun 2017 18:52

Riots in Portland, Ore-Gun-stan. Between Protectors of Free Speech (2nd Amendment) and Bill of Rights. Wonder why Indian media is not reporting on all this bloodshed and violence and Denial of Hyooman Rites.

Yagnasri
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Yagnasri » 05 Jun 2017 20:33

Come on sir, we all need junkets in khanland and want Yak milk from time to time. It is time that this fight comes on to the streets on khanland. Monkey only brought out the deep divisions the society. The elites including the Golder Monkey are not interested in solving any issues.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Jun 2017 07:19

FWIW:
"The $110 Billion Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia is Fake News"
https://www.lawfareblog.com/110-billion ... -fake-news
Last month, President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and his administration announced that he had concluded a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom. Only problem is that there is no deal. It’s fake news.

I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

An example is a proposal for sale of four frigates (called multi-mission surface combatant vessels) to the Royal Saudi navy. This proposal was first reported by the State Department in 2015. No contract has followed. The type of frigate is a derivative of a vessel that the U.S. Navy uses but the derivative doesn’t actually exist yet. Another piece is the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system (THAAD) which was recently deployed in South Korea. The Saudis have expressed interest in the system for several years but no contracts have been finalized. Obama approved the sale in principle at a summit at Camp David in 2015. Also on the wish list are 150 Black Hawk helicopters. Again, this is old news repackaged. What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news.

Moreover, it’s unlikely that the Saudis could pay for a $110 billion deal any longer, due to low oil prices and the two-plus years old war in Yemen. President Obama sold the kingdom $112 billion in weapons over eight years, most of which was a single, huge deal in 2012 negotiated by then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates. To get that deal through Congressional approval, Gates also negotiated a deal with Israel to compensate the Israelis and preserve their qualitative edge over their Arab neighbors. With the fall in oil prices, the Saudis have struggled to meet their payments since.

You will know the Trump deal is real when Israel begins to ask for a package to keep the Israeli Defense Forces’ qualitative edge preserved. What is coming soon is a billion-dollars deal for more munitions for the war in Yemen. The Royal Saudi Air Force needs more munitions to continue the air bombardment of the Arab world’s poorest country.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 06 Jun 2017 08:03

From RT.com

A federal contractor for a US intelligence agency has allegedly admitted to copying classified materials and sending it to a news source. The charges reportedly stem from the publishing of top secret NSA documents by The Intercept.
The FBI arrested Reality Leigh Winner, 25, at her Georgia home on Saturday, according to a Monday news release from the US Department of Justice. Winner has been charged with “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.”
“Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the Justice Department, Winner was hired by Pluribus International Corporation in February and assigned to an unnamed government agency facility in Georgia where she held a top secret clearance.
Reality Winner, arrested for alleged classified leak, is a former US Air Force linguist who speaks Pashto, Farsi & Dari, her mother tells me.
The FBI was contacted by an unnamed government agency on June 1, informing, that it had been contacted by an unnamed news outlet on May 30 regarding a top secret document it had received from someone in their agency, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Justin Garrick.
The government agency soon confirmed that the information was classified at the time it was published on May 5. The affidavit states that the information is still considered classified.
On closer inspection, the government agency found certain pages of the document had been folded or creased, suggesting that they were printed and carried out of a secured space. The agency conducted an internal audit and found six people who had printed the documents in question. Out of those six individuals, Winner was the only one who had email contact with the news outlet.
After the FBI spoke with Winner at her home in Augusta, Georgia, she admitted to “intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting,” according to the affidavit. She was also accused of removing the documents from the office and mailing them to the news outlet.
According to the affidavit, Winner also admitted that the news outlet was “not authorized to receive or possess the documents” and the information in the documents “could be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation.”
Although the intelligence agency and news source were both unnamed in the affidavit, NBC News reported that a senior federal official confirmed that the documents were from the National Security Agency (NSA) and named the news source Winner sent the documents to as The Intercept.
On Monday, the Intercept published a secret report from the NSA that alleged the Russian Military Intelligence had launched a cyber attack on a voting machine software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before the 2016 US presidential election.
Winner was arrested on June 3 for being in violation of 18 USC Section 793(e). She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
{unless of course she wins the Primary of a national party}

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 06 Jun 2017 08:17

Political Correctness 2017: ppl here should also read this carefully.

https://www.rt.com/usa/391019-harvard-o ... -facebook/
Harvard revokes student admissions for 'offensive messages' in private Facebook group – report
Published time: 5 Jun, 2017 19:05

Harvard College canceled admission offers to at least ten prospective students of the Class of 2021 because of racist and sexually explicit memes they posted in a private Facebook chat, according to the a new report.

The individuals were informed in April that their admissions offers to the prestigious Ivy League institution were under review, then later rescinded, because they had posted memes mocking the Holocaust, sexual assault and child abuse, among other topics, in a private Facebook messaging group that was formed late last year, according to The Harvard Crimson.

The controversial Facebook group was an offshoot of a separate private chat, joined by around 100 prospective Harvard freshmen, that encouraged members to post memes about popular culture. Both groups accumulated members based on the Harvard College Class of 2021 Facebook group, an official group set up by the school for those who had been accepted to Harvard.


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