CIA Chief Mike Pompeo met on October 24 with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community's official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year's theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was "leaked," not hacked, "by a person with physical access" to the DNC's computer system. It is highly unorthodox for the CIA director to reach out to Binney, a 74-year-old ex-government employee and NSA whistleblower wrongfully persecuted by the government, for help with fact-finding related to the theft of the DNC emails. It is particularly stunning that Pompeo would meet with Binney at Trump's urging. Binney said, "I am quite willing to help people who need the truth to find the truth and not simply have deceptive statements from the intelligence community." read more
From Madea Benjamin: 1. #MeToo movement has empowered victims of sexual harassment and assault, and encouraged accountability. 2. The year has seen an explosion of grassroots organizing, protest, and activism. 3. We're already seeing rebukes of [Donald] Trump at the ballot box. 4. The first group of J20 protesters, people arrested in Washington DC on the day of Trump's inauguration, were found not guilty. 5. Chelsea Manning was released from prison after 7 years. 6. Cities and states have committed to positive climate initiatives, despite federal regression. 7. Trump's presidency has forced a critical national conversation about racism and white supremacy. 8. This was the year the world said no to nuclear weapons. 9. ISIS no longer has a caliphate. 10. Every country rejected Trump's stance on Jerusalem, except Israel.
Author Simone Weil starved herself to death to share the fate of French workers under Nazi rule. She criticized Marx and argues that both his analysis of revolution in terms of materialism and belief in its inevitability are bogus and harmful. She argued that already in 1933 a new development, rule by an army of managers, had superseded class war. Managers run industry, the state, and the unions themselves. This was true in the USSR, Hitler's Germany, and in the United States. Modern industry whose assembly line had separated, as Weil puts it, intellectual from manual work, now dominates social conditions. Industrial social organization has reduced the craftsman to a low-skilled minder of machines. The rich parasites who draw sustenance from industrial enterprises as shareholders really have no actual part in the enterprise itself. They have become a superfluous class. read more
Among Mueller's emails is this from Flynn: "Mike has been putting everything in place for us... this is going to make a lot of very wealthy people." How it is the building of nuclear plants in the Middle East "going make a lot of very wealthy people?" In Flynn's case, the money involved in the building 45 nuclear reactors in the Middle East would engage governments, corporations, and individuals, corrupt or not, in difficult-to-trace manners that would of course make some individuals very wealthy. But the project's will be done under the guise of "national security" to obscure any corruption. While Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, he has not pleaded guilty to taking bribes or laundering money. Perhaps it is the conjoined motivations of money and imperial power together that best explain the feckless general's brazen enthusiasm on inauguration day. read more
Humans emit more than 250 billion tonnes of chemical substances a year, in a toxic avalanche that is harming people and life everywhere on the planet. Industrial toxins are now routinely found in new-born babies, in mother's milk, in the food chain, in domestic drinking water worldwide. At the beginning of the 20th century infectious diseases like TB, pneumonia, and diarrhea were the leading causes of death. In the 21st century these causes of death have become chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The rise in chronic diseases corresponds with the rise in pesticide/chemical use. A Rand study states that 60% of Americans have one and 40% have multiple chronic conditions. Glyphosate, the most common herbicide, is linked to autism, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis, Crohn's disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer, cachexia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, among others. read more