Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The company she keeps


Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal has been a conspiracy theorist for a long time.

“Grassy Knoll” Sid:
Hillary’s Personal Conspiracy Theorist

Four decades ago, Blumenthal was not only in league with JFK assassination buffs who claimed shots were fired from the proverbial grassy knoll--he also argued earnestly that “the reason the hopes of the ‘60s were not realized was because a group of people at the top made certain they were dashed.”

The previous sentence comes from Government By Gunplay, a 1976 paperback book edited by Blumenthal and Harvey YazijianYazijian being one of the founding members of what was called the Assassination Investigation Bureau (AIB), then headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts....


Government by Gunplay would bear Blumenthal’s editorial imprint more than anyone’s. He wrote the foreword, the epilogue, and two chapters (one on the FBI’s COINTELPRO plan against the Black Panthers, and another on the Rockefeller Commission).

The misrepresentations, distortions, and falsehoods that Blumenthal either wrote or associated himself with are so numerous and stupendous they defy listing. ...


there is no indication that Blumenthal retracted or ever distanced himself from the rampant paranoia and crude, Soviet-style propaganda evident in Government By Gunplay. (Change the names of the editors, contributors, and publisher, and Government By Gunplay is almost indistinguishable from the slew of Soviet disinformation tracts about the assassination published from the 1960s to the 1980s, save that it is more thoughtful and informed, and much better written). Blumenthal’s penchant for spinning conspiracy theories has persisted, the only difference being they seem to have become more sophisticated.
RTWT

As HRC says, she has known Blumenthal for a long, long time. They became friends when Blumenthal's "vulgar Marxism" was still fresh and his penchant for conspiracies was on full display.

Worth noting:

Philip Agee, a disgraced former CIA officer who was effectively functioning as an agent of Cuban counterintelligence by 1976, wrote the introduction to Government By Gunplay.
Also worth noting: Blumenthal's far-Left views and "paranoid style" was no hindrance to his journalistic career. The Washington Post, New Republic, and The New Yorker were happy to give him a big megaphone and treat him like a star.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What are they hiding?


Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard has an incredibly important article on the files seized in the raid on bin Ladin’s compound in 2011:

Slow Release

A few more documents from the bin Laden raid are finally revealed. They do not flatter the judgment of the Obama administration.
The released documents are only a small fraction of the total material seized by the SEALs. Hayes details many convenient omissions of potentially crucial documents. Any reasonably honest observer has to ask if the White House is trying to hide something.

For instance the relationship between Iran and AQ has the potential to dynamite the Administration’s opening to Iran. Hence, this is no surprise:

Five intelligence sources familiar with the documents tell The Weekly Standard that the broader collection includes explosive documents about al Qaeda’s relationship with the regime in Iran and its dealings with Pakistan’s intelligence services. In one of the files, bin Laden goes into great detail about al Qaeda’s arrangement with Iran—an arrangement the Obama administration itself has cited in designations of terrorists on both sides of the relationship. That relationship spans more than two decades, and while there are signs in the documents of antagonism between the two, it’s clear their disputes did not preclude cooperation. Another document in the possession of the U.S. government describes the support al Qaeda received from the Iranian regime in the years before the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Commission highlighted Iran’s support for al Qaeda and noted that several hijackers traveled through Iran on their way to participate in the attacks. These documents were not part of last week’s release and have not been made available to lawmakers, though they would have significant bearing on how the American public and its representatives view the current nuclear negotiations with the Iranian regime.
This revelation demonstrates the bankruptcy of the administration’s counter-terrorsm strategy and their policy toward the Medeast:

The CIA and the Obama administration misjudged al Qaeda in another way as well. They believed the Arab Spring would sound the death knell for al Qaeda’s ideology, because the uprisings that began in early 2011 were largely peaceful, while al Qaeda had long argued that political change in the Muslim-majority world was only possible through violent jihad. The bin Laden files show that al Qaeda correctly believed the opposite—that the turmoil sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa would be a boon for its operations. The security vacuums caused by the fall of dictators meant that the jihadists now had the room to operate and spread their ideas with a freedom they had never before enjoyed.

“[O]ur duty at this stage is to pay attention to the call among Muslims and win over supporters and spread the correct understanding,” bin Laden wrote just days before his death, in a letter dated April 26, 2011. Bin Laden believed “the current conditions [had] brought on unprecedented opportunities” for the jihadists. Bin Laden and Rahman discussed sending senior al Qaeda veterans to their home countries, where they could take advantage of the newly permissive environment. Senior al Qaeda operatives were dispatched to Libya and elsewhere.
There are threads here that hint at a scandal worse than Watergate. Such a shame that modern journalists prefer to merely praise Woodward and Bernstein rather than emulate them.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why the MSM can’t die fast enough


Shot:

‘Dear Reader, The Editor Hates Your F—ing Guts’
Chaser:

A badge of honor, but maybe not the best business model
Related:


Logic only a journalist could love

Way-points on the path to irrelevance and oblivion
The Kardashian/Jenner circus provides more reasons to cheer MSM lay-offs, cutbacks, and closings.

The Cult of Caitlyn confirms that there is nothing progressive in transgender politics

There is a palpable religiosity to the wild hailing of Bruce/Caitlyn as a modern-day saint, a Virgin Mary with testicles. Within four hours, more than a million people were following Bruce/Caitlyn’s new Twitter account, hanging on her words like the expectant horde waiting for Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai. Her every utterance, all banal celeb-speak, was retweeted tens of thousands of times. Celebs and commentators greeted her as a kind of messiah. ‘We’ve been waiting for you with open arms’, said an overexcited editor at Buzzfeed. Across the Twittersphere Caitlyn was worshipped as a ‘goddess’, a ‘goddess in human form’, a ‘goddess made manifest on Earth’. ‘Caitlyn Jenner could fucking stab me right now and leave me for dead and I’d die fucking overjoyed we are not WORTHY OF THIS GODDESS’, said one trans tweeter, and she wasn’t joking.

In the media, the talk is of how Caitlyn and her iconic likeness might give an adrenalin shot to humanity itself. A writer for the Guardian describes Caitlyn as a ‘queen’ and instructs us to ‘bow down, bitches’, telling us her icon on the front of Vanity Fair is ‘life-affirming’. Treating Caitlyn as a kind of Christ figure, only in a push-up bra rather than smock, Ellen DeGeneres says this goddess brings ‘hope for the world’, and we should all try to be ‘as brave as Caitlyn’. Susan Sarandon celebrated Bruce/Caitlyn’s mysterious ‘rebirth’ while Demi Moore thanked him/her for sharing with humanity ‘the gift of your beautiful authentic self’. A writer for the Huff Post says the name Caitlyn means ‘pure’ – ‘what a perfect meaning, right?’ Truly, yes, for St Caitlyn, reborn to educate us all, is most pure.
Matt Labash has my favorite take on the press reaction:

Transjennered America

The pronoun police at GLAAD distributed a helpful tip-sheet for journalists who should now see that Caitlyn “is—and always has been—a woman.” GLAAD commanded journalists to “avoid the phrase ‘born a man’ when referring to Jenner.” And the fierce guardians of free speech in the press did what they always do in such situations—they hung their heads and bleated obediently, cisgenders terrified to misgender. The Washington Post’s LGBT/straight etiquette columnist (yes, they have one) highly recommended GLAAD’s tips. And a Post colleague went so far as to set up a Twitter bot that would automatically correct anyone using “he” instead of “she” when writing about Brucelyn.
The instant unanimity of the MSM reaction would make Stalin’s Politboro blush; North Korean State television is embarrassed by the hosannas that greated the Vanity Fair cover.

VDH:

Building the New Dark-Age Mind

A pre-Enlightenment Age is not just the absence of uncomfortable free expression. It is also a sort of groupthink acceptance of a lie in place of the truth on grounds of social utility.
Added bonus:

Labash remembers why Jenner is a celbrity:

By the mid-2000s, however, Jenner had become much more difficult to ignore. He’d plighted his troth to the Kardashian clan, America’s First Family of publicity tapeworms, who are as long on fame’n’money as they are short on talent, unless you consider leaked sex tapes and Instagram butt-selfies a talent. As the paterfamilias/house eunuch of the Kardashian seraglio—both in real life and in the fake reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians (now in its tenth smash season)—Jenner allowed viewers to witness him getting ignored by his daughters and serially humiliated by his wife. “Momager” Kris (her self-appointed nickname as her daughters’ tireless manager) would leave him behind on trips, confiscate his ATM card, and generally keep his huevos in her purse
Related:

A totalitarian wind

Why Twitter?


Monday, June 01, 2015

A little shot of Chesterton


Do not be proud of the fact that your grandmother was shocked at something which your are accustomed to seeing or hearing without being shocked. ... It may be that your grandmother was an extremely lively and vital animal and that you are a paralytic.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Journalists and spies


John Keegan:

As defence correspondent, then defence editor of The Daily Telegraph, i decided that entanglement with intelligence organisations was unwise, having concluded, by that stage of my life, through reading, conversation and a little personal observation, that anyone who mingled in the intelligence world, in the belief that he could make use of contacts thus made, would more probably be made use of, to his disadvantage. I continue to believe that to be the case

Intelligence in War
Now, about CNN's scoop about Bandidos seeking revenge for Waco:

Narrative Of Convenient Paranoia – Waco Police Claim Threats From Non-Existent Motorcycle Gangs….

Just like the violent sovereign citizens report, aka “right-wing extremists”, this latest claim of threats against law enforcement appears completely fabricated.

In a just world every CNN anchor would have to read this on air


Massad Ayoob on George Zimmerman

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: THE SAGA CONTINUES

At this and that discussion forum, we keep hearing that Zimmerman has become a “shit magnet.”

If so, it’s because a clueless, sensationalist media has so magnetized him.

Monday, May 18, 2015

When the world hung in the balance


This BBC podcast by Clive James is a wonderful appreciation of Sir Keith Park-- one of the key commanders in the Battle of Britain.

The Man on the Fourth Plinth
Related:

Six weeks that saved the world




Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh, I think we've met her type many times before


ABC News:

Meet the College Democrat Who Told Jeb Bush: ‘Your Brother Created ISIS’
Ivy Ziedrich little partisan stunt made me think of something Mark Steyn wrote a decade ago:

In the days after September 11, I ran into no end of college students eager to lecture me on the "root causes"-- poverty breeds despair, despair breeds anger, anger breeds terrorism, terrorism breeds generalizations-- yet unable to name the capital of Saudi Arabia or find Afghanistan on a map.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Apologists for treason


From Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

In 1953, Rees became principal of Aberystwyth University. In 1956, a series of articles appeared in The People. They described their anonymous author as a “Most intimate friend, a man in a high academic position.” Guy Burgess appeared in them as a corrupt man, spy, blackmailer, homosexual, and drunk. The Daily Telegraph then revealed Rees was author. The university held an enquiry into the matter (1956-1957). Despite student support, university staff did not support him. Rees resigned before the enquiry ended, thus also ending his academic career. The enquiry’s report was very critical of Rees. Moreover, “It turned out that a great many old acquaintances of Burgess and Maclean were much more horrified–felt, indeed, much more betrayed–by the fact that the late Goronwy Rees gave a version of their flight to the People than by the flight itself. When Stephen Spender showed the Daily Express a friend’s letter about Burgess, he was held to have disgraced himself.
This BBC recent podcast is also less than critical of a man who loved Stalin more than his own country:

Great Lives: Guy Burgess
What hope is there for a nation when its self-styled intellectual leaders defend traitors, protects child rapists (Jimmy Savile, Rotherham, Lord Janner) but is driven mad with anger toward someone like Jeremy Clarkson?