Coming Soon - War with Iran?

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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby minime » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:04 pm

seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:57 am wrote:
minime » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:49 am wrote:[quote="seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:42 am"

a good adult fight... Is that what's going on here at RI?
.



no :P

but adults stick around....children pick up their toys and leave


You realize that's something like a metaphor, right?

Adults come and go. Children come and go. It's just the way it is.

For all that, I'm not talking about deciding or not deciding to contribute here at RI. I'm talking about leaving antithesis behind for synthesis.

The fighting, don't you know.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby minime » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:05 pm

I'm talking about always and never.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:10 pm

For all that, I'm not talking about deciding or not deciding to contribute here at RI. I'm talking about leaving antithesis behind for synthesis.


then you were not talking about Sounder actually leaving RI then ...just changing his posting habits?

like a metaphor


no I actually I meant that to be taken literally
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby minime » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:22 pm

seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:10 pm wrote:
For all that, I'm not talking about deciding or not deciding to contribute here at RI. I'm talking about leaving antithesis behind for synthesis.


then you were not talking about Sounder actually leaving RI then ...just changing his posting habits?

like a metaphor


no I actually I meant that to be taken literally


I don't care where Sounder goes. I just want Sounder to be happy and healthy wherever he/she/it is.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:24 pm

hey don't change my statement

it was not supposed to be sarcastic ..it was my personal view of the facts as I see them

hopefully you know my comments were not personally aimed at you...you are still here and I hope you stay also :hug1:
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby minime » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:43 pm

seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:24 pm wrote:hey don't change my statement

it was not supposed to be sarcastic ..it was my personal view of the facts as I see them

hopefully you know my comments were not personally aimed at you...you are still here and I hope you stay also :hug1:


That it is a metaphor makes it no less persuasive and no less true.

I assumed you were thinking more of alteredminds. Addition by subtraction? Naaaah...

They're not really gone anyway.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:48 pm

please do not assume anything about me....people that have done that in the past have consistently been wrong

I do not have the time or inclination to worry about such extremely trivial matters

the only reason I engaged in this discussion in the first place was to express my opinion that Sounder should and would stay and nothing more..I'll take the time for a long time friend here
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby minime » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:35 pm

seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:48 pm wrote:please do not assume anything about me....people that have done that in the past have consistently been wrong

I do not have the time or inclination to worry about such extremely trivial matters

the only reason I engaged in this discussion in the first place was to express my opinion that Sounder should and would stay and nothing more..I'll take the time for a long time friend here


Yes. Of course.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:50 pm

Sounder » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:38 am wrote:Still as to the class issue, we do not hear Chinese diplomats saying very undiplomatic things like Nuland and Haley do and did. The Chinese are building infrastructure with the silk-road and other trade-bloc building, while we destroy infrastructure to enrich the killing machine, and in hopes that American corps. can pick up rebuilding scraps.

So yes, while I do not care for the ideology that underpins China, in the 'class wars' they beat the US hands down.


Ah, that kind of class. On that, I totally agree. Comparatively speaking, our diplomatic finesse, as Samuel L. Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, "ain't the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport!"
"Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."
-Jim Garrison 1967
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby DrEvil » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:08 pm

When it comes to lack of class it's hard to compete with the Trump regime, but China aren't exactly saints either.
See their treatment of Obama on his last visit there for instance. Extremely childish behavior all-round by the Chinese.
Or the way they treat any country that dares do anything they don't like, like meeting with the Dalai Lama. Instant diplomatic freeze and a list of demands to repair the relationship.

They can be as thin-skinned as Trump, they just don't rant about it on Twitter.

They have however realized that throwing money at stuff gives better long term results than throwing bombs, so on that point alone they beat the US handily.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:31 pm

McMaster is OUT

John Bolton (currently a Fox News Contributor) is IN

biggest NEO CON in the world

scary times


emptywheel
‏@emptywheel
2m2 minutes ago
More
emptywheel Retweeted Donald J. Trump

Dear Bobby Three Sticks: I don't mean to rush you, but you've got 18 days to save the Republic and possibly the globe.


John Bolton Named National Security Adviser. It’s Time to Panic Now.

Fred Kaplan March 22, 20186:56 PM
War Stories

It’s Time to Panic Now

It’s time to push the panic button.

John Bolton’s appointment as national security adviser—a post that requires no Senate confirmation—puts the United States on a path to war. And it’s fair to say President Donald Trump wants us on that path.

After all, Trump gave Bolton the job after the two held several conversations (despite White House chief of staff John Kelly’s orders barring Bolton from the building). And there was this remark that Trump made after firing Rex Tillerson and nominating the more hawkish Mike Pompeo to take his place: “We’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things I want.”

Bolton has repeatedly called for launching a first strike on North Korea, scuttling the nuclear arms deal with Iran, and then bombing that country too. He says and writes these things not as part of some clever “madman theory” to bring Kim Jong-un and the mullahs of Tehran to the bargaining table, but rather because he simply wants to destroy them and America’s other enemies too.

His agenda is not “peace through strength,” the motto of more conventional Republican hawks that Trump included in a tweet on Wednesday, but rather regime change through war. He is a neocon without the moral fervor of some who wear that label—i.e., he is keen to topple oppressive regimes not in order to spread democracy but rather to expand American power.

In the early days of the George W. Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney finagled Bolton a job as undersecretary of state for arms control—an inside joke, since Bolton has never read an arms-control treaty that he liked. But his real assignment was to serve as Cheney’s spy in Foggy Bottom, monitoring and, when possible, obstructing any attempts at peaceful diplomacy mounted by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

When Powell got the boot, Cheney wanted to make Bolton deputy secretary of state, replacing Richard Armitage, who resigned along with his best friend Powell. But Powell’s replacement, Condoleezza Rice, who had been Bush’s national security adviser, blocked the move, fully aware of Bolton’s obstructionist ideology.

As a compromise, Bush nominated Bolton to be United Nations ambassador, but that move proved unbearable to even the Republican-controlled Senate at the time. It was one thing to be critical of the U.N.—it’s a body deserving of criticism—but Bolton opposed its very existence. “There is no such thing as the United Nations,” he once said in a speech, adding, “If the U.N. Secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference.”

More than that, he was hostile to the idea of international law, having once declared, “It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so—because over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States.”

These might be quaint notions for some eccentric midlevel aide to espouse, but the United Nations is founded on international law, Security Council resolutions are drafted to enforce international law, and—as even Bush was beginning to realize by the start of his second term, around the time of Bolton’s nomination—some of those resolutions were proving useful for expressing, and sometimes enforcing, U.S. national security interests. How could someone with these views serve as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.?

In his confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bolton put on a dreadful show, grumbling and scowling through his walrus mustache. Finally, in a tie vote, the committee sent Bolton’s nomination to the full Senate “without recommendation.” Properly fearing that this foretold a rejection on the floor, Bush gave Bolton the job as a “recess appointment” after Congress went on holiday. But the law allowing this evasion gave the Senate a chance to take a vote 18 months later. In the second round of hearings, Bolton behaved even more obnoxiously than in the first. When one Republican senator asked him whether his year and a half in the U.N. had altered his ideas about the place, Bolton, rather than seizing the chance to mollify skeptics, replied, “Not really.” The head counters in the White House withdrew the nomination, and Bolton headed back to neocon central at the American Enterprise Institute.

During Trump’s presidential transition, Bolton made the short list of candidates for deputy secretary of state, but Tillerson—who would soon get the nod for secretary—expressed misgivings about working with the guy. (Trump might have recalled that conversation earlier this month, when he decided to fire Tillerson.) After Michael Flynn flamed out as national security adviser, Bolton was also on the short list to replace him. Gen. H.R. McMaster got the nod, but Trump publicly said he liked Bolton and that he too would soon be working for the White House “in some capacity.”

And now, here he is.

In his one year and one month on the job, McMaster, who is still an active-duty Army three-star general, proved a deep disappointment to his friends and erstwhile admirers. He’d made his reputation 20 years ago, as the author of a dissertation-turned-book, Dereliction of Duty, which lambasted the top generals of the Vietnam era for failing to give their honest military advice to President Lyndon Johnson. And now, in his only tour as a policy adviser in Washington, McMaster has wrecked that reputation, committing his own derelictions by pandering to Trump’s proclivities and tolerating his falsehoods.

But at least McMaster assembled—and often listened to—a professional staff at the National Security Council and insisted on ousting amateur ideologues, several of them acolytes of Flynn.

Bolton is not likely to put up with a professional staff, and the flood of White House exiles will soon intensify. One subject of discussion at Bolton’s Senate hearings, back in 2005, was his intolerance of any views that differed from his own. He displayed this trait most harshly when, as undersecretary of state, he tried to fire two intelligence analysts who challenged his (erroneous) view that Cuba was developing biological weapons and supplying the weapons to rogue regimes.

Nor is Bolton at all suited to perform one of a national security adviser’s main responsibilities—assembling the Cabinet secretaries to debate various options in foreign and military policy, mediating their differences, and either hammering out a compromise or presenting the choices to the president.

Then again, there may now no longer be many differences to mediate in this administration. The last of the grown-ups is Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the retired Marine four-star general, who got that job mainly because Trump had heard his nickname was “mad dog.” He didn’t know that Mattis regularly consulted a personal library of some 7,000 volumes on history and strategy, that (like most generals) he’s not too keen to go to war unless he really has to, and that (also like most generals) he takes the Geneva Conventions seriously and opposes torture

In recent weeks, Trump was said to be tiring of aides who kept telling him no. He might soon tire of Bolton, who, whatever else he is, can’t be pegged as a yes man. But in the short term, Bolton may be just the man to excite Trump’s darker instincts, to actualize the frustrated he-man who raged about pelting Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” or fomenting “the total collapse of the Iranian regime,” which he somehow believes was about to happen, if only Obama hadn’t signed the nuclear deal and lifted sanctions.

With Tillerson out, Bolton in, and Pompeo waiting in the wings for confirmation, Trump is feeling his oats, coming into his own, like Trump is free to be Trump. Finding out just who that is may make the rest of us duck and cover.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/201 ... c-now.html




John Bolton calls for US intervention in Iran: "We need to bring that regime down"
Video ››› January 4, 2018 10:05 AM EST ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the January 4 edition of Sirius XM Patriot's Breitbart News Daily:

JOHN BOLTON: And it's one reason, frankly, I think the president needs to abrogate this Iran nuclear deal and go even further than he's gone rhetorically given these demonstrations, supporting the demonstrators, unlike Obama. We need to bring that regime down and get something in there that would stand more aligned with us and less aligned with Russia and potentially China.

STEVE BANNON (CO-HOST): Let's talk about those protesters. You were around, you saw what happened in 2009 when President Obama looked the other way on what was called the Green Revolution. How serious do you think this is today, and do you find it interesting that some of the protesters, they're connecting the economic downturn in Iran, or the lack of economic opportunity with their overseas adventurism with Hezbollah and other organizations?

BOLTON: Look, I don't think we can underestimate the significance of these demonstrations in Iran, and we don't know how the current turmoil is going to turn out. Look, it could trickle away toward the end of the week. The regime could crush it. Who knows? But they have crossed an incredibly important line. They're not just quibbling about who gets to be president and whether the elections were fraudulent, which is what 2009 and the Green movement were about. These demonstrators are saying "death to [Ayatollah] Khamenei death to the the Supreme Leader, down with the regime" and they're never going to go back from that.
https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018 ... own/218969


John Bolton, the ultrahawk rumored to be Trump’s next national security adviser, explained

Bolton has long had President Trump’s ear. He might soon have a top job in his White House.

Zack BeauchampMar 12, 2018, 8:30am EDT

John Bolton, Trump’s rumored next pick for national security adviser.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations in the Bush administration, is one of the most radically hawkish voices in the American foreign policy conversation. He has said the United States should declare war on both North Korea and Iran. He was credibly accused of manipulating US intelligence on weapons of mass destruction prior to the Iraq war and of abusive treatment of his subordinates. He once “joked” about knocking 10 stories off the UN building in New York.

And now he seems poised to become President Donald Trump’s next national security adviser, which would have significant — and frightening — implications for the future of Trump’s foreign policy.

This rumor has been circulating in earnest since at least last week, when NBC reported that current National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, whom Trump has never particularly liked, was looking for a way out of the White House. But speculation really escalated on Tuesday afternoon, when Bolton came to the White House and met with the president in the Oval Office. It seemed less like a normal meeting and more like a “job interview,” as Mieke Eoyang, the vice president for foreign policy at the center-left think tank Third Way, put it in a phone call.

This interpretation became even more plausible on Tuesday evening, when news broke that one of Trump’s top economic advisers, Gary Cohn, was resigning. Cohn’s departure was widely seen as evidence that Trump’s more moderate advisers — the people working to restrain his more hardline nationalist impulses — were losing influence in the White House. McMaster is certainly in that camp, which makes the rumors of his impending departure easier to believe.

So while we don’t know for sure that Bolton is being actively considered to replace McMaster, there’s at least some evidence to suggest that he is. What would that mean for the Trump administration, and the world?

The first thing to note is that Bolton would, according to a trio of foreign policy experts from different political affiliations that I spoke to, be a disastrous choice. His track record in government, connections to anti-Muslim groups, and stated views in op-eds and public speeches all suggest that he would push Trump to take extremely dangerous positions on issues like North Korea, Iran, and ISIS.

“I operate on the assumption that John Bolton should be kept as far away from the levers of foreign policy as possible,” says Christopher Preble, the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “I think I would rest easy if he was dog catcher in Stone Mountain, Georgia. But maybe not.”

Second, the fact that Bolton seems to already have Trump’s ear — you don’t get an Oval Office invitation just to chat — illustrates a fundamental and growing problem with the Trump administration. The president is extremely and fundamentally influenced by the conservative infotainment sphere, most notably Fox News — where Bolton is an on-air fixture.

Bolton, a marginal figure in Washington foreign policy circles since his departure from the Bush administration, has managed to become influential again because of his success in the insular world of conservative media and advocacy groups. As a result, American foreign policy may be soon be shaped by someone who seems to truly believe that war is the answer to the world’s most pressing problems.

Bolton’s early career shows why he’d be a dangerous national security adviser


Bolton is, somewhat ironically, a quintessential creature of the Washington swamp.

After graduating Yale Law School in 1974, where he had become friends with future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, he went into private practice in Washington. He made a name for himself working in conservative politics, becoming vice president of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute and serving in midlevel roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

But it wasn’t until the George W. Bush administration that Bolton rose to greater prominence. In May 2001, Bush appointed him to be undersecretary of state for arms control, basically the top diplomat focusing on weapons of mass destruction. This position became fairly important in the runup to the Iraq War, as the Bush administration’s case against Saddam Hussein focused on his alleged nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

Bolton took the hardest of possible lines. He forcefully argued that Iraq had WMDs — “we are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction,” as he put in one 2002 speech. After Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech connecting North Korea, Iraq, and Iran as an “axis of evil,” Bolton insisted that this wasn’t just rhetoric — that there was ‘’a hard connection between these regimes — an ‘axis’ along which flow dangerous weapons and dangerous technology.’’

He was involved in shaping US intelligence in the runup to the war — and not in a good way. In 2002, Bolton’s staff prepared a speech alleging that Cuba had an active biological weapons program. This wasn’t true, and the State Department’s lead bioweapons analyst at the time would not sign off on the claim. Per the analyst’s sworn testimony to Congress, Bolton then called the analyst into his office, screamed at him, and then sent for his boss. In this conversation, per the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, he derisively referred to the analyst as a “munchkin” and attempted to get him transferred to a different department.

This was cruel and unprofessional, but also dangerous. Carl Ford, then the assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, testified that Bolton’s assault on the analyst had a “chilling effect” throughout the department, freezing out dissent on proliferation issues beyond Cuba. John Prados, a fellow at George Washington University’s National Security Archives, came to an even broader conclusion in a study of declassified Bush administration documents: Bolton bears a significant amount of blame for the politicized intelligence used to justify the decision to attack Iraq.

“Although Bolton’s actions did not concern Iraq directly, they came to a high point during the summer of 2002 — the exact moment when Iraq intelligence issues were on the front burner — and they aimed at offices which played a central role in producing Iraq intelligence,” Prados writes. “Analysts working on Iraq intelligence could not be blamed for concluding that their own careers might be in jeopardy if they supplied answers other than what the Bush administration wanted to hear.”

None of this got Bolton fired. In fact, it got him promoted: In March 2005, President Bush nominated him to be US ambassador to the UN, one of the most important diplomatic positions in the entire government.

Bolton’s Senate confirmation hearing turned into a vicious fight, largely over his role in shaping the faulty prewar intelligence about Iraq. But his management style, as exemplified by the munchkin incident, also became a huge issue. When Ford was called to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he bluntly said Bolton’s personality should disqualify him from holding high office. Ford called him a “bully” who “kisses up and punches down,” among other things.

“I’m as conservative as John Bolton is,” Ford told the committee. “But the fact is that the collateral damage and the personal hurt that he causes is not worth the price that had to be paid.”

Multiple people who had worked with Bolton came out of the woodwork to speak to these issues. Perhaps the most harrowing such account came in an open letter written by a former federal contractor named Melody Townsel, recalling a time that she raised issues surrounding the use of funds in a contract Bolton was working on. He didn’t take it well:

Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel — throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman. For nearly two weeks, while I awaited fresh direction from my company and from US AID, John Bolton hounded me in such an appalling way that I eventually retreated to my hotel room and stayed there. Mr. Bolton, of course, then routinely visited me there to pound on the door and shout threats.

All in all, according to then-Sen. Joe Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time, testimony from at least five people confirmed multiple instances of Bolton behaving abusively toward subordinates and retaliating against intelligence professionals who challenged his policy positions. For these reasons, Bolton could not be confirmed by the Senate — which was, at the time, controlled by Republicans.

Bolton’s Iraq-era activities are extraordinarily relevant for understanding what he might push for as Trump’s national security adviser.

Technically, his primary job would be running the National Security Council, which exists to coordinate and synthesize the sometimes conflicting policy proposals that emerge from the Pentagon, State Department, and other agencies. He would present the president with strategic assessments of high-level officials like the secretaries of defense and state, offer his own thinking, and then communicate Trump’s ultimate decision to the agencies and work to ensure it’s implemented.

Put another way, his job is to manage the information that comes to the president and then present a clear-eyed and accurate assessment of what’s happening and how to respond to it. Yet Bolton’s history suggests a long and storied history of cherry-picking intelligence to support his preferred hawkish policies.

“I think he would not be someone who would be counseling restraint, or to think about the consequences of their actions,” says Eoyang. “Bolton is so much of an ideologue that I don’t think he would accurately portray consequences [of policy options] to the president.”

His reported history of berating and undermining anyone who attempted to challenge him would further stifle dissent. He’d have more power over the White House national security staff as national security adviser than anyone other than the president, giving him unprecedented ability to act as a “bully,” in Ford’s words.

It’s very plausible that Bolton would accelerate the brain drain from the federal government that already seems to be taking shape — not just in the White House but across the various departments that make foreign policy.

“Bolton hates the State Department. He portrays US diplomats as closet Democrats and appeasers,” Richard Gowan, a professor at Columbia University who has studied Bolton’s career, recalls. “As NSA, he would almost certainly encourage the hollowing out of State Trump and Tillerson have begun.”

Bolton represents the Fox News-ification of foreign policy

john bolton, donald trump, national security adviser
John Bolton in one of his many public appearances.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Ultimately, Bolton did get the UN ambassador position — though without the Senate’s permission. In August 2005, President Bush appointed him to the post while the Senate was out of session (a so-called “recess appointment”).

Bolton’s year and a half at the UN was characterized by showy condemnations of the organization, which infuriated American allies, but he had little influence on the UN or the overall arc of Bush’s second-term foreign policy.

“Bolton raised hell at the UN, but his actual power was quite limited,” Gowan recalls. “Condi Rice and the mainstream conservatives in the second Bush administration often ignored him. He is quite open about this in his memoirs from that period, which are fun.”

In December 2006, Bolton called it quits, returning to civilian life. He became a fixture on Fox News and conservative talk radio, where his confirmation fight and anti-UN rhetoric was hailed as a sign of his willingness to speak truth to power. He was so prominent in these spheres, mostly through his contract as a Fox contributor, that he considered running for president in both 2012 and 2016.

Bolton was particularly popular among a small but influential group of hardline anti-Islam activists, the “counter-jihad” movement, who believed the US government was being infiltrated by Islamists and that Islamic law was quietly taking over the US legal system.

Bolton wrote the foreword to a book by two of the most prominent counter-jihadists, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, in 2010. In 2016, Bolton spoke at a conference held by the American Freedom Alliance, considered a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, titled “Can Islam and the West Coexist?” His speech contained a “joke” whose punchline was that President Obama was a Muslim.

In his many media appearances and public appearances, Bolton never wavered from the kind of hawkish policy views he established during the Bush administration. In a 2015 New York Times op-ed, Bolton advocated for a US and/or Israeli airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities. “Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed,” he wrote. “Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.”

Since Trump took office, Bolton has put the media savvy and experience with the conservative movement he’s developed to good use — using various levers to influence the president. In just the first months of 2018, Bolton has appeared on Fox News 19 times, roughly twice a week on average. He has used those appearances to sell his policy preferences, warning against diplomacy with North Korea and encouraging the Kingdom of Jordan to annex the West Bank (much of which remains under Israeli occupation despite the fact that the vast majority of its citizens are Palestinian).

During the early Trump administration, then-White House senior strategist Steve Bannon approached Bolton as part of a plan to get around Cabinet members, like Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who opposed withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Bolton drafted a five-page memo detailing his proposal for tearing up the deal, which he then published in National Review after Bannon departed the White House.

And in February 2018, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that the US needed to solve the nuclear standoff with North Korea by force.

“Pre-emption opponents argue that action is not justified because Pyongyang does not constitute an ‘imminent threat.’ They are wrong,” Bolton wrote. “It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.”

Bolton’s record in the Bush administration and general hawkishness made him a marginal figure in Washington foreign policy conversations. So after leaving, he cannily aligned himself with Fox News and other influential groups on the right, like the counter-jihadists, who saw him as an experienced and credible commentator. This led not only to television news and book contracts but to platforms through which he could potentially influence actual Republican elected officials.

This reached a kind of apogee with President Trump. Trump sees the world through a televisual lens; he seems to get more information from Fox News than from his daily intelligence briefings. The president values the advice of people he sees on the TV and other friendly media outlets. Bolton is not seen as a relic of the hated Bush administration; he’s seen as an authoritative and expert Fox voice. According to Bolton’s National Review piece, Trump once told him to “come in and see me any time” in the White House.

Trump’s biggest problem with Bolton seems to be aesthetic. In December 2016, the Washington Post reported that Bolton was eliminated from the running for secretary of state because Trump — I swear I’m not making this up — didn’t like his mustache.

“Donald was not going to like that mustache,” one Trump associate told the Post. “I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes.”

Perhaps because of the mustache, Trump hasn’t taken Bolton’s policy advice to heart. There’s no war with North Korea, and the Iran deal remains (largely) intact. But Tuesday’s Oval Office meeting suggests that Bolton’s influence on the president may be growing. If he’s not going to be appointed the next national security adviser, he’s at least got Trump’s ear.

And Bolton’s ascendancy has a lot of foreign policy analysts concerned.

“If Bolton becomes the national security adviser, the United States has not hit rock bottom in our international relations,” says Eoyang. “We could go lower.”
https://www.vox.com/world/2018/3/12/170 ... orth-korea
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby SonicG » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:43 pm

Rosenstein's presser was about indictments of Iranians for hacking...
WASHINGTON — Nine Iranians have been charged as part of massive state-sponsored cyber theft campaign that targeted hundreds of universities, companies and government entities in the U.S. and abroad, federal authorities announced Friday.

The suspects, all affiliates of an Iranian-based company known as the Mabna Institute, allegedly breached the computer systems of the U.S. Department Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the United Nations and the states of Hawaii and Indiana, federal officials said.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday that the suspects allegedly stole more than 31 terabytes of data--about 15 billion pages--from 140 American universities, 30 U.S. companies and five government agencies, while targeting 176 universities abroad.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 452327002/


Bolton is really bringing back the hits from yesteryear! The goddamned MEK even...


Just eight months ago, at a Paris gathering, Bolton told members of the Iranian exile group, known as the Mujahedeen Khalq, MEK, or People’s Mujahedeen, that the Trump administration should embrace their goal of immediate regime change in Iran and recognize their group as a “viable” alternative.

“The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday,” Bolton said. (The 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution will be on February 11, 2019.) “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton added. “The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself.”

As the Iranian expatriate journalist Bahman Kalbasi noted, Bolton concluded his address to the exiles with a rousing promise: “And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”

To understand how extraordinary it is that the man about to become the president’s most senior national security official made this promise to the MEK, it is important to know that, until recently, the Iranian dissidents had spent three decades trying to achieve their aims through violence, including terrorist attacks.

After members of the MEK helped foment the 1979 revolution, in part by killing American civilians working in Tehran, the group then lost a bitter struggle for power to the Islamists led by the revolution’s leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. With its leadership forced to flee Iran in 1981, the MEK’s members set up a government-in-exile in France and established a military base in Iraq, where they were given arms and training by Saddam Hussein, as part of a strategy to destabilize the government in Tehran that he was at war with.

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/23/her ... -end-2018/
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:53 pm

JOHN BOLTON WILL GET TO START HIS IRAN WAR BECAUSE NINE IRANIANS STOLE ACADEMIC DISSERTATIONS

March 23, 2018/26 Comments/in Cybersecurity /by empty wheel

Earlier today, Rod Rosenstein rolled out a dangerously vague indictment of nine Iranians, allegedly tied to the Revolutionary Guard, for hacking hundreds of universities and some private companies and NGOs.

I say it’s dangerously vague because, while it’s clear the Iranians compromised thousands of university professors, it’s not clear precisely what they stole. But it appears that most of data stolen from universities (some privacy companies, government agencies, and NGOs were targeted too) consists of scholarship.

[M]embers of the conspiracy used stolen account credentials and obtained unauthorized access to victim professor accounts, though which they then exfiltrated, or transferred to themselves, academic data and documents from the systems of compromised universities, including, among other things, academic journalist, these, dissertations, and electronic books.


The indictment describes the stolen data benefitting (along with the IRGC) “Iran-based universities.” And it specifies that the hackers sold the information so that Iranians could access US academic online libraries.

Magapaper sold stolen academic resources to customers within Iran, including Iran-based public universities and institutions, and Gigapaper sold a service to customers within Iran whereby purchasing customers could use compromised university professor accounts to directly access the online library systems of particular United States-based and foreign universities.


The indictment claims the Iranians stole “academic data and intellectual property” which cost the affected 144 US universities “$3.4 billion to procure and access.” But that’s reminiscent of the Aaron Swartz case (to which several people have likened this), where the prosecutor justified pursuing Swartz because he had downloaded “intellectual property that cost millions to create,” something like 4.75 million articles and 87 Gigabytes of data (See the extensive discussion about cost and damages in this MIT report.) DOJ accuses the Iranians of stealing 31 terabytes of data.

As I said, this is a dangerously vague indictment. And, from the metadata, it appears that the indictment may be more than a month old. ( h/t z3dster)

Image
There are also not dates on any of the signature lines, so it may be this indictment has just been sitting in a drawer in southern Manhattan, waiting to serve as a casus belli.

Perhaps there was more sensitive data stolen here. Perhaps the professors who got hacked were more selectively targeted than the sheer number of academics targeted — 100,000 got phished, with almost 8,000 responding — suggests.

But absent far more details, this indictment seems to make an international incident out of people in a very closed society trying to access academic information that is readily available here.

I’ve long written about the potential downsides of indicting nation-state hackers, which is effectively what these guys are — particularly the possibility that doing so will invite retaliation against our own official hackers. But in some cases — with the OPM hack, with hacks of national security information, with the Russians who targeted the election — that might make sense.

But indicting nation-state hackers for stealing dissertations?

Update: This confirms what z3dster noted: this thing has been sealed since February 7. Why? And why did it get unsealed the day after Bolton was hired?
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/03/23/j ... ertations/
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby DrEvil » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:55 am

I'd say the US is ripe for some of that regime change.

JOHN BOLTON: And it's one reason, frankly, I think the president needs to abrogate this American nuclear deal and go even further than he's gone rhetorically given these demonstrations, supporting the demonstrators, unlike Obama. We need to bring that regime down and get something in there that would stand more aligned with us and less aligned with Russia.

STEVE BANNON (CO-HOST): Let's talk about those protesters. You were around, you saw what happened in 2009 when President Obama looked the other way on what was called the Occupy movement. How serious do you think this is today, and do you find it interesting that some of the protesters, they're connecting the economic downturn in America, or the lack of economic opportunity with their overseas adventurism with Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya?

BOLTON: Look, I don't think we can underestimate the significance of these demonstrations in America, and we don't know how the current turmoil is going to turn out. Look, it could trickle away toward the end of the week. The regime could crush it. Who knows? But they have crossed an incredibly important line. They're not just quibbling about who gets to be president and whether the elections were fraudulent. These demonstrators are saying "Trump is a misogynist and a racist and he colluded with Russia" and they're never going to go back from that.
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Re: Coming Soon - War with Iran?

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:55 am

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/us/politics/bolton-cambridge-analyticas-facebook-data.html

Bolton Was Early Beneficiary of Cambridge Analytica's Facebook Data
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