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Mass DNC Anti-Clinton Protests

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 21:47
Mass DNC Anti-Clinton Protests
by Stephen Lendman
She’s called America’s most powerful woman. She’s also the most reviled, an unparalleled threat to world peace and fundamental freedoms. The possibility of her succeeding Obama should terrify everyone.
Establishment circles love her. Progressive ones in Philadelphia streets Monday demanded “Never Hillary.” “Hill No.” “Lock her up.” Tens of thousands rallied against her outside the Wells Fargo Center convention site in sweltering Philadelphia heat.
From firsthand experience long ago as an MBA student followed by employment in the city, I know how hard it is to bear on many summer days and nights. 
Yet anti-Clinton fervor brought huge numbers out in force, an estimated 50,000 or more on Monday - many more so far than far small numbers against Trump in Cleveland, around one or two thousand.
Philadelphia streets overflowed with anti-Hillary fervor - grassroots revulsion over her upcoming Tuesday nomination as Democrat party standard bearer - an affront to everything democratic.
A same article called The New York Times Hillary’s pseudo-official press agent. Its Monday coverage focused almost exclusively on DNC orchestrated proceedings inside the convention hall - largely papering  over massive protests outside.
It lied claiming a scant “1,000” protestors took to the streets “to vent their frustration.” They overflowed with anti-Clinton revulsion - likely again on Tuesday when she’s nominated and on Thursday for her acceptance speech.
During a Monday lunchtime gathering of Sanders delegates, he was drowned out by boos for saying “we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.”
Inside the convention hall, resounding boos and jeers accompanied mentions of Hillary’s name. Outside, some planned a mock trial. Others erected “tombstones for democracy” in a nearby park.
Many, perhaps most, Sanders supporters reject Clinton, calling her corrupt, an illegitimate candidate. 
Chants said: “One down, one to go,” referring to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation over election-rigging for Clinton.
Others shouted: “Hell no DNC. We won’t vote for Hillary!” Dozens were arrested, likely many before before proceedings end Thursday evening.
Voters in November get to choose between a billionaire racist and an unindicted war criminal/racketeer. Whoever wins, ordinary people everywhere lose.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The New York Times: Hillary's Press Agent

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 21:34

The New York Times: Hillary’s Press Agent
by Stephen Lendman
The Times mocks legitimate journalism. All the news it claims fit to print isn’t fit to read. 
It never lets facts interfere with its worldview, consistently misinforming readers, willfully lying, substituting fiction for hard truths.
Throughout the political season, it’s represented the Clinton campaign, shamelessly acting as a pseudo-official mouthpiece, turning journalism into PR promotion for villainy.
Branding four days exclusively representing America’s privileged class as “Hillary’s Convention,” The Times continues promoting an agenda threatening world peace, supporting monied interests over popular ones, and tyranny masquerading as democracy.
Shamelessly, Times editors, correspondents, columnists and contributors portray a ruthless war goddess/racketeer/Wall Street tool as being “left-leaning…on social, economic and political issues.”
Her agenda, if elected, assures dirty business as usual, likely elevated to an unprecedented level - notably risking global nuclear war by recklessly challenging Russia and China, along with exclusively representing monied interests at the expense of popular ones.
Lofty convention pontificating and platform mumbo jumbo can’t paper over a ruthless agenda demanding universal opposition.
Times editors claiming Hillary “adopt(ed) elements of the Sanders program” is willful deception, failing to explain his “political revolution” was smoke and mirrors demagoguery, illusion substituting for reality.
Hillary Clinton’s new Democrats,” as Times editors call them, aren’t democratic, progressive, anti-war, or anti-America’s imperial agenda.
They’re polar opposites on steroids, a neocon/war goddess-led scourge - the greatest threat to world peace, stability, and fundamental freedoms crucial to oppose.
Endorsing Clinton is further proof of The Times representing wealth and power interests over all others.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Russia's UN Envoy Blasts US Mass Murder in Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 21:33
Russia’s UN Envoy Blasts US Mass Murder in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
All US wars kill many more civilians than combatants - the ugly truth Washington wants suppressed. America considers everyone in war theaters legitimate targets while claiming otherwise. 
Since summer 2014, US warplanes illegally bombed Syrian and Iraqi targets on the phony pretext of combating terrorism, killing unknown numbers of civilians, hundreds, maybe thousands - all the while disingenuously claiming to go all-out to avoid so-called collateral damage.
Syria and Russia condemned the most recent example of US-led “coalition” warplanes massacring civilians in northern Syria - supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, imperial foot soldiers, ravaging the country for over five years with no conflict resolution in prospect because Washington wants war, not peace while pretending otherwise.
America remains unaccountable for mass murder in multiple war theaters. Despicable neocon UN envoy Samantha Power lied to Security Council members, saying:
Washington will “carefully and thoroughly review any and all credible information we can gather about the (most recent) incident, including information from organizations within Syria that document harm to civilians.”
She outrageously blamed Russia and Syria for US-led “coalition” warplanes bombing “hospitals, clinics and medical personnel.” Her comments to other Security Council members were a litany of despicable lies fooling no one.
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin responded diplomatically, showing great restraint to avoid exploding angrily to US imperial posturing - misinformation and Big Lies suppressing its ruthlessness.
Washington and its “coalition” allies “astonishingly…did not say a word” about recent US-led imperial massacres in Syria, he said.
Promised investigations into the mass slaughter of civilians in all US war theaters don’t happen or whitewash findings when undertaken. “I’m sure the American military already very well knows the state of affairs” about recent mass slaughter in northern Syria, Churkin explained.
The truth will never be officially acknowledged, he added, important evidence “swept under the carpet. So are there no American drones, no American- and their allies’ special forces in Syria, no satellite intelligence capabilities of the US, no videos which are being made by all modern fighter jets when conducting a strike?” 
“I would not want to believe that the military condition of the US-led coalition is so poor.” Russia has complete information on all its military operations in Syria - publicly available for examination.
Moscow upholds international law, principles and standards. America and its rogue allies consistently breach them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hillary Clinton Complicit in DNC Electoral Rigging

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 04:42
Hillary Clinton Complicit in DNC Electoral Rigging
by Stephen Lendman
Clinton had to know and be actively complicit with former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, along with other top party officials, in rigging the electoral process in her favor - handing her the nomination Tuesday night.
The traditional roll call of state delegates is pro forma pomp and circumstance, a tedious exercise, boring to watch, the outcome predetermined last year.
Hillary is called the most powerful woman in America, selected last year before announcing her candidacy to be Democrat party standard bearer.
It’s inconceivable for massive fraud on her behalf to have happened without her full knowledge, support, encouragement and complicity. She had to know and be actively involved - calling the shots as Democrat party leader.
Add another racketeering charge to her rap sheet. Her criminal history since the 1990s makes her the most villainous aspirant for president in US history.
How any thinking person can support her is beyond comprehension. A simple review of her despicable criminal record as me-first lady, US senator and secretary of state is easily accessible online, in literally dozens of articles I’ve written about her and husband Bill, along with what other reliable independent sources have reported.
Avoid cheerleading media scoundrels - the New York Times most prominent in praising her despicable record, suppressing her high crimes, inventing her nonexistent qualifications for president.
However short Trump falls as someone worthy of the nation’s highest office, at least he’s not Hillary. Some national polls now show him ahead - though with over three month’s before November’s election, a lifetime in US politics, anything can change many times between now and election day.
Preventing a Clinton presidency is top priority in US electoral history. Trump could win and still lose - Bush v. Gore and Bush v. Kerry perhaps the two most notorious examples. In 2000 and 2004, the winner lost and loser won, accomplished by massive fraud.
Electoral rigging handed Clinton the Democrat nomination - perhaps the process to be repeated to make her president. 
With it, she becomes commander-in-chief of America’s military - a ruthlessly dangerous war goddess with her finger on its nuclear trigger, nothing preventing her from squeezing it.
Voting for Clinton is a crap shoot for global war with nuclear weapons - perhaps with loaded dice assuring it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network

DNC Chairwoman Resignation Not Good Enough

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 20:19
DNC Chairwoman Resignation Not Good Enough
by Stephen Lendman
Double standard US justice throws the book at ordinary Americans for infractions too minor to matter. Harsh gulag imprisonment awaits them.
Government, business and other privileged individuals are more fortunate - accountability not demanded, their lawbreaking when occurring ignored.
Most often they’re rewarded. Wall Street and other corporate crooks get bonuses and promotions. Crooked politicians get top government posts. Military criminals get medals, generals more stars.
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was caught red-handed, rigging the electoral process for Clinton, assuring she’ll be party standard bearer in November.
She’s stepping down after this week’s party convention, continuing to represent Florida’s 23rd district - facing no criminal charges, despite committing a serious racketeering offense.
The Clinton campaign announced she’ll remain honorary chair to help elect Democrats in November. She’ll likely receive other rewards for faithful service to a corrupted system, a mockery of democratic fairness.
An RNC tweet said Schultz “out after rigged system exposed.” Democrat convention “off to a good start.”
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort issued a statement, saying “Clinton should follow Wasserman Schultz’s lead and drop out over her failure to safeguard top secret classified information both on her unauthorized home server and while traveling abroad.”
Obama praised Schultz, saying “(f)or the last eight years, (she) has had my back. This afternoon (Sunday) I called her to let her know that I am grateful.”
Bernie Sanders shockingly said Schultz “deserves thanks for her years of service,” while saying she “made the right decision for the future of the Democratic (sic) party.”
Hillary Clinton issued a statement, “thank(ing) my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership…over the past five years.”
She’ll stay on “as honorary chair…to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally…I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready…to work for the American people” - a deplorable perversion of truth.
All politicians are self-serving, Clinton in a class of her own - the most recklessly dangerous choice to lead America in its entire history.
Critics called Schultz’s leadership controversial, claiming she “spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win,” according to Politico.
Trump tweeted “(t)oday proves what I have always known, that (RNC chairman) @Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one, not Debbie Wasserman Shultz…The Dems Convention is cracking up…”
A change.org petition collected almost 65,000 signatures calling for Schultz’s resignation before she stepped down, expressing “the utmost sense of contempt and disdain for the Democratic (sic) party, its principles, and the democratic process.”
The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity filed a racketeering lawsuit against the DNC. It’s seeking funds to cover expenses.
Electoral fraud in America is longstanding, the process notoriously corrupt - no one in high places held accountable for crimes too serious to ignore.
Are things rigged for Clinton to succeed Obama? Will a war goddess/racketeer be handed the nation’s highest office? Will WW III follow?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Dems Convention Off to Rocky Start

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 20:02
Dems Convention Off to Rocky Start
by Stephen Lendman
Democrats mock the term’s meaning. Exposed electoral rigging anointed Clinton party standard bearer honors - an unindicted war criminal/racketeer belonging in prison, not high office.
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned on the convention’s eve - guilty of racketeering for stealing primary and caucuses to assure Clinton’s nomination - yet remaining unaccountable, staying on through the November elections as honorary chairwoman.
Had things been open, free and fair, Sanders would likely be Dem nominee, not Clinton. Despite flagrant fraud depriving him of the chance to face Trump in November, he shockingly continues supporting Clinton - responsible for back-stabbing him.
Asked if Sunday revelations changed his position, he replied “(n)o, no, no. We are going to do everything we can to protect working families in this country.” 
“What a campaign is about is not about Hillary Clinton. It’s not about Donald Trump. It's about the people of this country.” What rubbish from an exposed Judas - supporting what he campaigned against!
He called the most recklessly dangerous presidential candidate in US history a “far, far superior” one to Trump. “We're going to focus on defeating the worst Republican candidate I've seen in a lifetime. We've got to elect Secretary Clinton.”
Conveniently he forgot the horrors of the Bush/Cheney co-presidency, their war on humanity after the 9/11 mother of all false flags, continuing throughout Obama’s tenure, virtually certain to escalate if Clinton succeeds him.
Trump justifiably blasted Sanders, calling him “weak…pathetic…Sorry folks, but Bernie Sanders is exhausted, just can’t go on anymore. He is trying to dismiss the new e-mails and DNC disrespect. SAD!”
His political revolution was phony all along - in name only, not real. New York Times Clinton cheerleading throughout the campaign tried downplaying flagrant DNC criminal fraud, saying:
It “threaten(s) to undermine the delicate healing process that followed the contentious fight between” Sanders and Clinton - more a tempest in a teapot as things turned out.
The Times disgracefully suggested “Russia (perhaps) had a hand in the leaks that helped bring down the head of an American political party” - despite clear evidence showing otherwise.
It quickly changed the subject to quoting officials expressing support for a legally challenged woman unfit for any public office, unaccountable despite her high crimes too serious to ignore.
Circus theatrics without substance will unfold over the next four days, the usual array of speakers pontificating plenty, saying nothing, Dems hoping to make voters forget about electoral rigging giving Clinton the nomination she didn’t earn.
Hail to the thief if more of the same hands her the nation’s highest office in November. America’s deplorable state continues reaching for new lows.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Regime Change in Syria Remains Official US Policy

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 19:49
Regime Change in Syria Remains Official US Policy
by Stephen Lendman
John Kerry’s mid-July discussions in Moscow focused on pressuring Russia to yield to Washington’s regime change demands in Syria - wanting Assad betrayed in return for US cooperation in combating Security Council designated terrorist groups only, ones it created and supports along with all others in Syria, the region and elsewhere.
US officials called Kerry’s proposal a “final offer.” Assad justifiably says America isn’t serious about fighting terrorism, extending support instead.
On Monday, Tass quoted Sergey Lavrov calling US regime plans “villainy,” blasting a scheme Russia opposes.
Former Saddam Hussein generals head ISIS, recruited by Washington for death squad terrorist operations, benefitting US imperial interests.
“The still hypocritical calls for regime change, including in Syria, after what happened to Iraq when Hussein was deposed, or in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi was barbarously butchered, it seems to me, are made by the people who are at least narrow-minded, if not villains who simply enjoy or seek the destruction of countries and regions in the hope of getting their own benefit,” Lavrov stressed - blasting Washington and its rogue allies for imperial lawlessness.
Russia supports Syrian sovereignty, territorial integrity and right of its people alone to decide who’ll lead them - free from foreign interference, supported by international law.
America often jettisons leaders for new ones more servile to its interests. Russia favors mutual cooperation with all nations, strict adherence to international law, peace and stability, firm opposition to war, diplomacy its chosen method for settling conflicts.
Hegemons operate by different standards, forcing other nations to bend to their will - America the prime example, rampaging globally for unchallenged power, wars its main strategy of choice.
Russia won’t betray a loyal ally to suit US interests. On Tuesday, Kerry and Lavrov will meet again on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings in Vientiane, Laos. 
Laotians have long memories. From 1964 - 1973, America ravaged the country, 580,000 sorties dropping over two million tons of ordnance, including illegal terror weapons, killing, injuring or displacing one-third of its 6.5 million people at the time.
Kerry will again try pressuring Lavrov to go along with what Russia won’t accept. Unlike America, it’s loyal to allies. It won’t throw them over to suit Washington.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Putin Bashing Comes Full Circle

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 03:37
Putin Bashing Comes Full Circle
by Stephen Lendman
He’s the preeminent world leader, its foremost peace and stability champion, saying what he means and meaning what he says forthrightly - polar opposite how Obama and other US officials operate. 
You’d never know it from relentless bashing he takes - shamelessly blaming him for nonexistent “Russia aggression,” fantasy revanchist aims, imaginary super-wealth stashed in tax havens, Hillary comparing him to Hitler - to accusing him of helping Trump by hacking DNC emails and handing them to WikiLeaks for publication.
Romanian Guccifer 2.0 was responsible. Russia had nothing to do with it. Putin is automatically blamed whenever the chance arises, due diligence checking systematically avoided - propaganda taking precedence over facts.
A same-day article explained thousands of emails WikiLeaks released showed Democrat party bosses rigged things for Clinton, aiding her fundraising, enlisting one-sided media support, stealing primaries and caucuses, along with other dirty tricks.
She didn’t win a majority of delegates for nomination. Enough were handed to her to assure it - more criminality added to her notorious rap sheet.
America’s political process resembles Stalinist Russia. He reportedly once said “(i)t’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”
Today it’s done with corporate-controlled electronic voting machines - preselected winners aided additionally by voter role purging and other dirty tricks.
Dark forces running America’s electoral process should face Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges - election-rigging added to other crimes under its mandate.
Putin is relentlessly bashed because he’s on the right side of history - calling rule of law principles inviolable, wanting nation-state sovereign independence respected, supporting peace, opposing war, refusing to yield to imperial pressure.
No evidence suggests he’s trying to influence America’s electoral process at the presidential or any other level.
Plenty shows Washington meddles destructively in the internal affairs of other countries worldwide, flagrantly violating international law, claiming a divine right to do what it pleases - including rigging election outcomes at home and abroad.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Sham Syria Peace Talks May Resume Next Month

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 02:04
Sham Syria Peace Talks May Resume Next Month
by Stephen Lendman
Assad genuinely wants peaceful conflict resolution. He said so numerous times and means it - again Friday through his Foreign Ministry saying:
“Syria reiterates keenness on achieving a political solution for the crisis in the country that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and gains their support as it is ready for resuming the intra-Syrian dialogue without preconditions with a view that this dialogue would lead to a comprehensive solution led by the Syrians themselves without foreign meddling and backed by the United Nations and the international community.”
At the same time, Syrian and Russian forces remain committed to defeating foreign-backed terrorism responsible for half a million or more deaths, half the population internally or externally displaced, and a humanitarian disaster in areas occupied by US-supported ISIS and likeminded groups.
Since Obama launched war on Syria in March 2011, Damascus engaged in multiple rounds of talks, aimed at resolving conflict diplomatically - each time ending in failure because Washington wants war, not peace, Syrian sovereignty destroyed, US-controlled puppet leadership replacing Assad, and Iran regionally isolated ahead of America’s long arm striking again.
Another round of peace talks will be dead-on-arrival like before - pro-Western envoy Staffan de Mistura determined to proceed anyway, taking orders from Washington, doing its bidding, serving as a convenient stooge, disgracefully supporting its imperial agenda.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Russia may ramp up its forces in Syria after drawing them down months earlier, saying “such prospects were declared by (Putin) rather long ago” - with no further elaboration.
On July 26, Sergey Lavrov will hold more talks with John Kerry in Geneva “(f)or the purpose of (furthering) US/Russia cooperation” in resolving conflict in Syria.
Earlier meetings accomplished little. Both sides remain intractably apart. America is no reliable peace partner. Its uncompromising in demanding regime change. Its agreements are systematically breached.
Hegemons don’t negotiate. They demand, agreeing only to what serves their interests, wanting their way forced on others - through diplomacy or more violent means.
Throughout over five years of Obama’s war on Syria, resolution is as distant as ever. It’s unclear how Trump will handle things if elected.
Escalated war to topple Assad forcefully may follow if Clinton succeeds Obama - creating greater flashpoint conditions than already, risking direct confrontation with Russia, the unthinkable possibility of nuclear war.
Why defeating her is so urgent. The alternative is greater US war on humanity than already.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Democrat War Party Convention Kicks Off Monday

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 24/07/2016 - 22:32
Democrat War Party Convention Kicks Off Monday
by Stephen Lendman
Both wings of America’s duopoly system support endless wars on humanity. They’ll rage under Trump if elected in November. The difference between him and Clinton is he’s less likely to start WW III. 
Hillary succeeding Obama is too great an unthinkable risk - a Wall Street tool, a war-profiteer’s dream, a ruthless rogue actor, the greatest threat to world peace of any presidential aspirant in US history. 
Don’t let her gender fool you. She’s more demon than Democrat, more war goddess than peace advocate. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance if she’s commander-in-chief of America’s military. 
She and husband Bill urge NATO enlargement, enhancing its power and reach, wanting it used as a global enforcer of US policy, Hillary saying “we cannot afford to let the greatest alliance in history slide into military irrelevance.”
On Saturday, Clinton/Kaine debuted in Miami before a handpicked audience on Florida International University’s campus. Both lied, claiming they’ll promote “a strong progressive agenda.”
Their public record disproves them - pro-Wall Street, pro-war, anti-labor, anti-populist. Kaine saying “we’re going to make the American economy work for everybody, not just those at the top” belies its opposite trajectory since the neoliberal 90s.
Expect silence on the stump about Hillary’s rage for war, orchestrating the rape and destruction of Libya and Syria, as me-first lady urging husband Bill to bomb Belgrade, as US senator and secretary of state backing all America’s wars of aggression. 
She relishes endless conflicts, abhors peace, supports belligerence over diplomacy, premeditated aggression her strategy of choice.
She’s militantly anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Iran, wanting all sovereign independent nations transformed into US vassal states.
She backs Zionist zealotry, supporting Israel’s regional hegemony as America’s junior partner. Professor Denis Rancourt is right, saying “(y)ou want to see a truly insane USA, then vote Hillary.”
Months earlier, John Pilger asked “(h)ow many people are aware that a world war has begun” - so far just “propaganda…lies and distraction (able to) change instantly” by intent or mistake.
A second Clinton co-presidency makes the unthinkable possible, waging wars with super-weapons able to end life on earth in pursuit of America’s hegemonic aims.
Increasing numbers of US-led NATO combat troops are massed on Russia’s border. Nazi-infested Ukraine in central Europe is a dagger targeting Russia’s heartland. 
So are Pentagon missile defense systems intended solely for offense - able to deliver first-strike nuclear attacks on strategic Russian and Chinese targets, from installations in Romania, Poland, S. Korea and other locations to follow.
Obama’s Asia pivot challenges China belligerently. All independent nations risk being toppled by color revolutions or wars.
America’s empire of bases, its first-strike nuclear policy, its land-based strategic bombers, sea-based warships and submarines, its rage for world dominance together represent a combustible mix risking disaster - especially with war goddess/she devil Hillary in charge, her finger on the nuclear trigger as US commander-in-chief if elected in November.
America’s rage for unchallenged hegemony represents humanity’s greatest threat. A second Clinton co-presidency risks WW III. 
The possibility should terrify US voters to resoundingly reject her. World peace hangs in the balance, perhaps life on earth.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT Obscene Pro-Clintonism, Anti-Trumpism

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 24/07/2016 - 22:20
NYT Obscene Pro-Clintonism, Anti-Trumpism
by Stephen Lendman
Times editors reinvented war goddess/Wall Street tool Clinton into a mythical US presidential candidate of unparalleled stature, ignoring her high crimes - while bashing Trump relentlessly.
He’s a billionaire tycoon businessman with no public service record. As me-first lady, US senator and secretary of state, Clinton’s rap sheet warrants condemnation, not praise, prosecution and imprisonment, not high office.
Times editors papered it over, saying she supports “America’s (important) role in the world…hewed to (Obama’s) policies (while being) somewhat more willing to intervene militarily.”
“She was an early supporter of arming and training Syrian rebels fighting (Assad)…called for a no-fly zone to protect Syrian civilians…was a strong supporter of” ousting Gaddafi.
She “believes…in diplomacy backed by military sanctions…helped put in place tough…sanctions on Iran,” supports using NATO “in addressing terrorism from ISIS and other groups.”
Fact: All ongoing US wars are illegal, waged without Security Council authorization. Clinton fully backs what demands denunciation.
Fact: She abhors diplomacy, wars of aggression against nonbelligerent states her strategy of choice.
Fact: So-called “Syrian rebels” are US-supported death squads, terrorist fighters recruited from scores of countries, murdering civilians, using chemical and other illegal weapons, committing other atrocities.
Fact: Security Council members alone can authorize no-fly zones. Clinton wants it instituted to prevent Syrian self-defense against US-backed terrorist invaders. She doesn’t give a damn about protecting civilians.
Fact: Her orchestrated war on Libya was naked aggression, raping and destroying Africa’s most developed country, part of America’s global hegemonic agenda.
Fact: Sanctions on Iran were illegal, imposed solely for political reasons, US ones largely remaining in place, flagrantly violating last year’s nuclear deal.
Fact: Clinton wants NATO used as a tool for enforcing US imperial policies, not combating ISIS and other terrorist groups it supports.
Times editors: Trump “is pushing radical nationalist and isolationist ideas…has a fallacious view of America…in decline and disrespected abroad…plans to disengage from the world, tear up trade deals and use bullying tactics (that) would be irrational and dangerous.”
His wanting NATO used largely to fight terrorism “would threaten the nation’s international role and put at risk a Western-led world order.”
His “approach would play into the hands of…Putin…eager to have NATO unravel, (giving) him more freedom to expand Russian influence.”
His questioning massive US overseas troop deployments “would profoundly affect” America’s security, reducing its global influence.
Fact: It’s unknown precisely what Trump would do as president. He has no public record providing clues. At the same time, it’s hard imagining radically shifting from dirty bipartisan business as usual.
Putting America first campaigning isn’t isolationist. It’s political posturing. Longstanding bipartisan policy endorsing “American exceptionalism” and “the indispensable nation” backs the US supremacist agenda, imperial madness, endless wars of aggression reflecting it.
Trump is right about America in decline and disrespected abroad. The late historian Gabriel Kolko believed its downward trajectory began during Truman’s early 1950s aggression on North Korea, accelerating during its Southeast Asian war, hastened post-9/11 by endless conflicts in multiple theaters.
Trump’s anti-TPP rhetoric will be tested if elected in November. Presidents back what business wants. TPP and its counterpart TTIP empower corporate interests to override national sovereignty and domestic laws - anti-consumer, ecocide measures by any standard, serving investor rights exclusively, likely including Trump’s business interests.
He differs from other presidential aspirants largely in rhetoric and style. If elected in November, expect him to be like all the rest, supporting special interests at the expense of all others.
Times editors saying he “seems to care very little about relations between nations” is absurd. He’ll try using them in pursuit of America’s hegemonic agenda like his predecessors.
He’ll pursue policies responsible for making America the most feared, widely despised nation on earth. 
He’s unlike Clinton in being less likely to start WW III - an unacceptably high risk with her as president.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

WikiLeaks Exposes DNC's Rigged Process for Clinton

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 24/07/2016 - 21:56
WikiLeaks Exposes DNC’s Rigged Process for Clinton
by Stephen Lendman
A race to be Democrat nominee never existed, things rigged from the start last year to select Clinton party standard bearer.
The process was like holding a world series or super bowl with only one team represented.
Sanders never had a chance and knew it, enjoying his extended 15 minutes of fame while it lasted - caving in the end as expected, endorsing what he campaigned against, betraying supporters, proving he’s just another dirty self-serving politician.
Last week’s WikiLeaks revelations of thousands of DNC emails showed party support for Clinton, plotting against Sanders, rigging things to make her party nominee.
Assorted dirty tricks were used, including DNC/media collusion (notoriously from the NYT, operating as a virtual Clinton press agent), as well as fundraising on her behalf.
Sanders never had a chance. Party bosses chose Clinton, rigging the process for her, stealing primaries and caucuses, more evidence of a political system too corrupted to fix - fantasy democracy, not the real thing.
“The people’s choice” is doublespeak for what monied interests want and get. Elections are farcical. Ordinary people have no say whatever - voting a waste of time.
Trump reacted to WikiLeaks’ dump of DNC emails, tweeting “(l)eaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more…really vicious. RIGGED.”
“Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks. Bernie supporters are outraged, was their last choice.”
He was counted out before campaigning began last year. So are independent candidates like Green Party presumptive presidential nominee Jill Stein - excluded from national coverage and party standard bearer debates.
Voters are denied a chance to hear genuine progressive views, representing their interests, not special ones exclusively.
Democrats invade Philadelphia this week, intending circus proceedings like Republicans - lots of pomp and circumstance, no substance.
On Thursday, things culminate with Clinton accepting her party’s nomination - a legally challenged war criminal/racketeer belonging  in prison, not high office.
The deplorable truth about America’s political system is it’s too debauched to fix - fantasy democracy masquerading as the real thing, voters with no say on how they’re governed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Turkey's Erdogan Running Wild, Geopolitics in Play

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 24/07/2016 - 02:56
Turkey’s Erdogan Running Wild, Geopolitics in Play
by Stephen Lendman
Wannabe sultan Erdogan’s policies aren’t pretty. His reign of terror continues into its eighth day, likely lots more purging ahead.
What’s unfolding followed what looked like a stage-managed sham military uprising - sloppy, inept and stillborn when initiated, Erdogan never in danger of being toppled.
Citing “Turkish and foreign intelligence sources inside Turkey,” investigative journalist Wayne Madsen called the July 15 uprising a “ ‘false flag’ coup…limited by Erdogan’s design from the start.”
“The coup attempt was a standard ‘fly paper’ operation,” used to flush out opposition elements, seeing which ones stick, eliminating them as a threat to his absolute rule.
He’s taken full advantage, using the events of July 15 to eliminate potential challenges - cleaning house, targeting tens of thousands.
His mass purge continued on Saturday, signing a decree, usurping power to detain anyone for any reason up to 30 days - targeted individuals denied legal rights guaranteed under Turkish and international law.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, he ordered closure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities, as well as 35 hospitals and medical facilities - over suspected links to regime opponent Fethullah Gulen, longtime CIA asset living in Pennsylvania. He denies involvement in the July 15 uprising.
State of emergency powers let Erdogan enact laws without parliamentary approval, crush fundamental freedoms as he sees fit, do whatever he pleases unrestrained - tyranny by any standard.
Turkey needs more prison capacity to handle large numbers arrested and detained. How many more remains to be seen. For now, daily targeting continues.
A massive military restructuring is underway, overseen by the prime minister, defense minister and chief of staff.
“They are all working together as to what might be done, and… within a very short amount of time a new structure will be emerging. With this new structure, I believe the armed forces will get fresh blood," Erdogan explained.
His pledge to protect democracy while mass purging and arrests continue is laughable on its face. Despots always claim they’re right, concocting phony reasons to make their case.
Erdogan long ago lost credibility, a thuggish outlaw, waging wars at his discretion, crushing fundamental freedoms while claiming democratic credentials.
Legitimate opposition is considered terrorism or treason. Critics, including journalists, human rights workers, academics, students and children, are subject to arrest and imprisonment. Cleansed courts are more rubber-stamp than ever. Guilt by accusation is automatic.
According to Fars News, Rai Alyoum and other Arab media cited Ankara diplomats, saying Russian intelligence warned Erdogan of the July 15 uprising hours before initiated - based on “intercepted highly sensitive encoded radio messages,” information passed to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated no advance Russian knowledge of what happened on July 15.
Both countries are adversaries, not allies - notably on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict. Turkish relations with Washington are cool - US policy toward Russia extremely hostile. 
Putin’s outreach to Erdogan, if true, is geopolitically sound, attempting to get Turkey to stop supporting terrorism in Syria in return for restoration of normalized ties.
Billions of dollars in trade are at stake, business Turkey’s economy vitally needs. Perhaps Erdogan promised to do more than he intends, playing the Russia and US card simultaneously. He can’t be trusted.
Putin is too savvy to fall for his tricks. Yet an opening exists to damage Washington’s imperial agenda further.
Russia’s intervention against terrorism in Syria hurt greatly. Getting Turkey on board for diplomatic conflict resolution would be a huge Putin victory, a major Obama setback.
Given Erdogan’s untrustworthiness and unpredictability, nothing can be counted on except in hindsight if successful. 
Whatever unfolds, Washington won’t sit idle on the sidelines watching, letting the chips fall where they may. Not a chance!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Suspicious Munich Shootings

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 23/07/2016 - 22:07
Suspicious Munich Shootings
by Stephen Lendman
Munich’s history includes earlier notorious events. In November 1923, Hitler’s putsch attempt failed. Imprisonment, Mein Kampf, his rise to power and WW II followed, changing the course of world history.
During the 1972 Olympic games, Black September figures killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, along with a police officer. Five perpetrators were killed, three others arrested, later released, then tracked down and assassinated by Mossad agents.
Friday was the scene of another Munich massacre, killing a reported 10, wounding nearly two dozen others. Police claimed a lone gunman identified as 18-year-old Ali David Sonboly of Iranian descent lethally shot himself. 
How convenient! Was he carrying ID to make naming him easy? Isn’t this the same reported scenario playing out time and again in these type incidents. Why would an alleged assailant want his identity prominently displayed in headlines?
Silenced to tell no tales, he can’t explain his version of what happened, or if he or perhaps others were involved.
Initial reports suggested multiple gunmen, likely with over 30 casualties, one shooter not easily able to inflict this large a toll before being stopped in a crowded area - whether by police, bystanders, or his own doing as police claim.
His last words reportedly were “I’m German.” Police indicated no evidence linking him a terrorist group or radicalism. Sensationalist reporting draws knee-jerk conclusions.
No organization claimed responsibility for the incident. They’re happening with disturbing regularity in Europe and America - most often state-sponsored to stoke fear and manipulate people to accept what they’d otherwise reject.
Multiple incidents like Munich left France under a virtual permanent state of emergency - police state powers substituting for constitutional governance.
Is Germany next? Will all of Europe follow? Post-9/11, Congress enacted sweeping police state laws, powers hardened under Obama, virtually certain to become more draconian no matter who succeeds him.
Today is the most perilous time in world history. Endless US-led imperial wars rage. Homeland security in Western societies amounts to Gestapo rule - tyranny replacing fundamental freedoms.
Is Munich the latest nail in the coffin of cherished ones too vital to lose? Will something greater follow in America and/or Europe ending them altogether - totalitarian rule under martial law taking over?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hillary's Deplorable VP Choice

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 23/07/2016 - 21:55
Hillary’s Deplorable VP Choice
by Stephen Lendman
Neither wing of America’s duopoly system has acceptable choices for any public office.
The horror of Clinton and Trump as standard bearers for their parties shows a debauched system too irreparable to fix. Their VP choices provide further evidence.
Trump running mate Mike Pence is a neocon Tea Party hardliner, an imperial war cheerleader, an evangelical supporter of Israel’s worst crimes, an anti-progressive.
Clinton’s VP choice, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, is cut from the same mold - pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-corporate favoritism, pro-neoliberal harshness, pro-regressive trade deals like TPP, anti-labor rights, pro-serving wealth and power interests at the expense of most others.
A survey of Sanders’ delegates found him 88.5% unacceptable, less than 3% acceptable. Norman Solomon calls him “a loyal servant of oligarchy.”
Progressive Democrats of America executive director Donna Smith said “Kaine does not inspire those many millions of energetic voters…to work for a Clinton-Kaine ticket.”
According to economist William K. Black, “Kaine, like Clinton herself, is a quintessential ’New Democrat’ - meaning they are allies of Wall Street. They embrace a neoliberal, pro-corporate outlook that has done incredible damage to the vast majority of Americans.”
Announcing her choice, Clinton lied calling Kaine “a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation’s history.”
His voting record shows otherwise, revealing a right-wing party loyalist, an anti-populist establishment figure, a thumb in the eye to progressive issues.
Two anti-populist tickets give voters no choice in November, each for policies harming the interests of ordinary people.
One observer tweeted “(s)uggested Clinton/Kaine campaign slogan: ‘Status quo…with lots more wars.’ “
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Media Scoundrels Laud Deplorable Clinton VP Choice

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 23/07/2016 - 21:36
Media Scoundrels Laud Deplorable Clinton VP Choice
by Stephen Lendman
Media scoundrels largely bash Trump, extolling Clinton instead of resolutely opposing two deplorable candidates unfit to serve.
Each supports wealth, power and privileged interests exclusively, mindless of populist concerns and needs. Don’t let their duplicitous rhetoric fool you.
They’re like all the rest, saying one thing, intending another, embracing policies benefitting monied and imperial interests at the expense of enormous harm to most people worldwide.
Media scoundrels are establishment mouthpieces, supporting fascism over freedom, wealth over populism, privilege over equity and justice for all.
New York Times editors rabidly support Clinton, outrageously calling her “the most broadly and deeply qualified (presidential aspirant) in modern history” - a shocking perversion of truth.
They describe Trump as “the most volatile and least prepared presidential candidate nominated by a major party in modern times.”
In response to Clinton choosing Kaine, they called him “a safe and solid choice…a staunch Catholic with blue-collar roots…a moderate…a liberal Democrat…provid(ing) (her) with important ballast for the stormy and unpredictable race ahead.”
Times editors, like their mainstream counterparts, never let facts conflict with their biased opinions and analysis. Hillary chose a deplorable running mate with extremist views matching her own.
Washington Post editors hailed her “strong running mate…a steady hand marked by a mastery of policy details and politics…His choice reflects well on Mrs. Clinton’s judgment,” they said.
The Wall Street Journal called Kaine “a safe choice…a seasoned politician from a battleground state…broadly respected in the Senate…seen by (Clinton and aides) as a potentially strong partner in governing.”
USA Today editors said Kaine is “the right pick for veep…the smartest…pick Hillary Clinton could have made.”
The Los Angeles Times called him “a well-liked swing-state moderate with broad governing experience…long considered a front-runner for the No. 2 spot in this race.”
The Chicago Tribune described Kaine as “a favorite for Clinton’s ticket…a centrist former governor of a crucial battleground state,” his foreign policy experience making him top choice.
Trump-Pence v. Clinton-Kaine gives voters no choice. Neither party or ticket serve their interests. Both represent wealth, power and privilege exclusively.
Expect four more hellish years ahead, hardening the scourge of previous ones since the neoliberal 1990s.
Endless imperial wars, crony capitalism over populism, and full-blown homeland tyranny are likely. Planet earth trembles at the prospect.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Russia Bombs Secret US/UK Base in Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 23/07/2016 - 21:21
Russia Bombs Secret US/UK Base in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
US, NATO and regional rogue state operations in Syria flagrantly breach international law - waging war on a nonbelligerent country without Security Council authorization.
Russia alone among major powers operates legally, invited by Damascus to intervene in combatting terrorism.
America and rogue allies aid and abet what they claim to oppose - systematically raping and destroying Syria, massacring its people, displacing half the population internally or abroad.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Russian aircraft bombed a remote garrison in southeastern Syria (in June) - a secret base of operations for elite American and British forces.” They were outside the facility when attacked, followed by a second one on a CIA-linked site. 
Moscow hasn’t commented on the incident. Was it a shot across the bow, along with long-range Russian bombers back in action delivering punishing airstrikes, in response to America obstructing diplomatic conflict resolution?
It wants war, Assad toppled forcefully, and Syria transformed into another US vassal state, an agenda Moscow opposes, including Washington’s support for ISIS and other terrorist groups while feigning opposition.
Various rounds of US/Russian talks were futile. Whatever Americans agree to isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Breaches systematically follow.
According to Russia’s DC embassy spokesman, identified as a “Mr. Melnik,” his nation’s “only objective…is fighting terrorism.” Washington supports it. Conflict resolution remains unattainable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Bipartisan Caucus Launches in the House to Defend Fourth Amendment

eff.org - Sat, 23/07/2016 - 09:19

On matters implicating privacy, such as mass surveillance or the powers of investigatory agencies, Congress has too often failed to fulfill its responsibilities. By neglecting to examine basic facts, and deferring to executive agencies whose secrets preclude meaningful debate, the body has allowed proposals that undermine constitutional rights to repeatedly become enshrined in law. In last week’s launch of a new bipartisan Fourth Amendment Caucus in the House, however, the Constitution has gained a formidable ally.

Every Member of Congress swears an oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Yet the most significant threats to our Constitution include the powers of U.S. intelligence agencies, enabled by Congress’ faith in the agencies’ willingness to respect legal limits on their powers.

Deference to the executive branch—emboldened by Congress’ continuing failure to reform a “dysfunctional” classification system that enables executive secrecy—has left Congress in the dark on matters of fact that should inform its legislative decisions. As a predictable result, proposals that undermine our fundamental right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures have been repeatedly enacted into law.

For instance, Congress has approved and re-authorized controversial domestic spying powers more than half a dozen times over the past 15 years. Yet even the intelligence committees have failed to gain answers to questions as basic as how many Americans are being monitored, or whether mass surveillance has ever actually helped stop a violent incident.

In addition to overlooking its responsibility to examine and investigate crucial matters of fact, Congress has also settled for holding secret hearings dominated by intelligence officials. Time after time, when domestic surveillance powers come up for re-authorization, Congress has declined to conduct public hearings, allowing executive officials to spin the facts without an opportunity for independent voices—like the whistleblowers who have repeatedly revealed fraud, waste, and abuse—to correct the record.

This is no merely hypothetical fear: intelligence agencies have been caught stating false facts under oath in response to congressional inquiries, and have even launched cyber-espionage operations to suppress a congressional investigation into their own abuses.

Unfortunately, Congress must share the blame for executive secrecy. Not only has it failed to pursue a long-overdue investigation, it has also tolerated and declined to reform a classification system so bloated and secretive that it obstructs Congress’ own ability to conduct oversight.

Instead, congressional leaders of both major political parties have played games of legislative brinksmanship.

In many cases—such as when controversial provisions of the Patriot Act were set to expire in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, and particularly in 2015—committee chairs waited until shortly before the re-authorization deadline, marginalized crucial public oversight, and then stoked fears about the security consequences of letting unconstitutional powers lapse. Other times, including 2014, and again earlier this year, the bipartisan establishment joined ranks to quell populists from both parties who sought to more actively check and balance executive power.

Constitutional rights are neither conservative nor liberal. They are simply American.

Yet they have been repeatedly undermined by ultimately authoritarian powers that congressional leaders from both of the major political parties have unfortunately supported.

In this context, the emergence of the bipartisan Fourth Amendment Caucus portends a potential sea change in Congress. Joined by 25 Members of the House from each of the major parties, the caucus is poised to champion privacy and help establish in Congress the consensus that already unites Americans across our various political perspectives.

During the July 13 briefing announcing the new Fourth Amendment Caucus, founding member Justin Amash (R-MI) explained its ambitions:

It’s important that we have this kind of group in Congress to stop [proposals to expand surveillance powers] before they become law, and before they have a chance to violate the rights of Americans.

From across the partisan aisle, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) described some of the concerns that drew caucus members together:

The Fourth Amendment is fundamental to our liberty not just because it protects privacy rights, but because it’s the basis for exercising other rights. If you feel that you are being watched at all times by your government, you’re not going to feel as free to exercise your First Amendment rights of speech or assembly.

Over the next year, we look forward to the Fourth Amendment Caucus asserting its presence to influence a range of issues.

While recent attempts to prohibit strong encryption have thankfully failed, executive branch agencies continue to undermine encryption standards and devices. Members of the caucus have previously aimed to protect encryption in a measure (also aiming to end backdoor FBI searches of NSA intelligence to monitor Americans) that gained support from a remarkable bipartisan majority that the caucus may be poised to reconvene.

The Fourth Amendment Caucus may also help champion and secure a long overdue congressional investigation into the uses and continuing abuses of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enables much of the NSA Internet dragnet. Section 702 is set to expire at the end of 2017, and should at least be the focus of public hearings early in the year including voices beyond intelligence officials.

In years past, we could safely predict that Congress would sit on its hands until the last minute, and then bully Members into extending the law with vague appeals to security. With Members now organizing across the aisle to protect constitutional values, however, Congress may grow better poised to resist executive branch proposals and instead continue long-overdue surveillance reform.

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