Archive for the ‘JOHN KIRIAKOU’ Tag


John Chuckman



“25 YEARS OF CN: ‘Obama’s Self-Deceit’—Sept. 29, 2015”


Yes, a good piece, vividly recalling what a dishonest man Obama was.

It’s remarkable to me that so many remember him with nostalgia.

In part it was his appealing boyish smile and baritone voice. In part it was a kind of credibility he had gained by becoming the first black President. In part it was the relief everyone had felt seeing the end of George Bush, an embarrassingly ignorant, awkward, and vicious man.

I was taken in by Obama during his first campaign. A guy who sometimes wore sandals and briefly eschewed a dorky American flag pin on his lapel sure caught my attention.

I even started a small Internet tribute site with some extraordinary photos of him I discovered here or there.

But it wasn’t long before I took the site down. Perhaps that experience is why I react strongly against efforts to portray him as an admirable leader.

He bombed people every day of his eight years as President.

Obama overthrew the Qaddafi government in Libya, leaving behind chaos which remains to this day. Qaddafi’s was a government that actually took care of its people with free education and good water and healthcare. He also kept Libya out of wars.

His “sin,” for which he paid with his life and the destruction of his country, was in not adequately toeing the line of American imperial policy for the region.

Obama approved the ugly coup in Ukraine which still causes all kinds of unnecessary grief in the world, and that coup was against a democratically elected President. Indeed, it was under Obama that the whole Russo-phobia business was ignited. He’s the one who started running tanks up to Russia’s borders and creating unnecessary hostilities that fed off of the old Cold War fears, drummed into people’s heads for decades, fears which remain festering to this day.

I have no doubt he was secretly at the center of efforts to undo Trump’s election. Officials like the heads of the FBI and CIA do not speak out, as they did, without the President’s approval. It just does not happen.

Of course, Hillary was a close ally in the effort, keen on anything that explained away her embarrassing election loss. It is easy to say that Trump is such a horrible, incompetent man – and he is horrible and incompetent – that he deserved being unseated with secret plots, but that really is not the way to run a government with at least pretenses to democratic values and rule of law.

Obama supported the ugly, secret war against Syria, a pretend civil war using fake-jihadi mercenaries recruited from many places, a war that has killed almost three-quarters of a million people and destroyed much of one of our most beautiful and historic places. He even had Hillary Clinton running weapons and mercenaries from the smoldering ruins of Libya in a secret effort to introduce them into Syria, generally through Turkey.

Indeed, at one point, Obama talked about his “red line,” the use of chemical weapons by Syria. What he really was doing with those self-righteous words was setting the stage for a faked attack so he would have an excuse to declare a no-fly zone in Syria and bomb the crap out of it, the very approach he had used in Libya. Only Putin’s exceptional statesmanship saved the day for Syria.

By the way, a serious error of Obama’s was underestimating Putin. Obama treated Putin almost with disdain at times, speaking of Russia as producing nothing anyone wanted to buy but oil and gas. Judging from some photos, the two did not get along all that well in private.

The infamous incident at Benghazi, Libya, where an American ambassador was mysteriously killed by thugs – something never explained to Americans – happened as a part of the ambassador’s work on Hillary’s secret project to smuggle weapons and cutthroats into Syria. That is why it could not be explained.

We even know from one of our finest living investigative reporters, Seymour Hersh, that she also had a small amount of Libya’s stock of poison nerve agent shipped for ultimate use in Syria. It was to provide Obama with his “red line.” Qaddafi, just as several Arab leaders had done, kept such stocks as a counter to Israel’s secret nuclear threat.

The same charming Hillary who laughed when Qaddafi died an agonizing death – being bayoneted in the rectum while lying on the ground – “We came, we saw, he died! Ha, ha, ha!” The words were recorded. It is not a myth that she said that. Just as it is not a myth that she once said of Julian Assange, “Can’t we just drone him or something?” She’s a very enlightened and humane politician, much like Obama but more outspoken.

Obama made minimal progress in repairing the horrors America had inflicted upon Iraq. Years after the “Shock and Awe” [Hitler’s Blitzkrieg concept re branded] delivered by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, millions of Iraqis still had no electricity and no decent water and no jobs. What had been the most advanced Arab country was a shambles.

Obama maintained America’s unwarranted hostilities against Iran. Later, he distinguished himself once with the nuclear weapons agreement (JCPOA), but that came only after Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, made an approach to talk, Iran suffering under heavy sanctions levied against a nuclear weapons program which in fact never existed.

Obama supported many other bloody adventures, as in Somalia.

He never did anything of consequence to help the Palestinians see even a modicum of justice or relief from brutal abuse.

After all the horrors in the Middle East, Obama spoke, much like an arrogant general, about “now making the pivot to Asia,” which was code for intense new hostilities against China and its interests.

Once he lightly “joked” in a meeting, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this killing stuff!” A rather bizarre sense of humor, to say the least.

Obama holds the distinction of having created an industrial-scale extrajudicial killing system, incinerating people far away who were never legally charged or tried for anything. The method frequently kills bystanders, too, but even the targets are legally guilty of nothing.

Joe Biden was a big advocate for it at the time, perhaps just one of the reasons Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with tasks such as having served as Presidential proconsul in Ukraine to make sure America’s objectives in having staged a coup there against an elected government were adhered to. Biden is just another charmer from America’s supposed party of the Left.

It is notable that Obama never did one meaningful thing to help raise his own people back home, despite having campaigned to them on a “Yes, we can!” theme and often making speeches in the rhythms of traditional black preachers. He created that ugly, costly bureaucratic compromise with the corporate health industry, Obamacare, and that’s as close as he came to helping.

In addition to the immense amount of violence Obama oversaw as President, he had a compulsive need for secrecy and went after whistleblowers with a vengeance.

Poor dear Chelsea Manning was imprisoned under him, an ordeal she almost didn’t survive. Edward Snowden was forced into exile under his watch. John Kiriakou went to prison under him for revealing the CIA’s use of torture. And it was in his time as President that Julian Assange sought asylum from Ecuador.

The tight embrace of secrecy is also seen in the plots against Trump’s election.

The intelligence community’s massive new Utah Data Center, designed to hold frightening amounts of secret data about people everywhere was opened under this President.

I don’t think he did one thing to earn his Nobel Peace Prize. It was awarded in the hope it would encourage and fortify him to go a different direction than George Bush, but it proved a sad, empty hope.

He campaigned on closing down Guantanamo, just one portion of America’s international torture gulag where people were “rendered” by the CIA – that is, kidnaped, flown far away to a “dark site,” and tortured – Gina Haspel, the present head of CIA, having headed one of the sites. Then after Obama was elected, he changed his mind.

A man absolutely as inhumane and brutal as Bush or Trump, judged by his actual deeds, although he never bellowed and used foul language and openly threatened others as Trump does and he never sounded like the moron George Bush is. He carried a somewhat graceful and dignified appearance in public, but appearances can be so deceiving.

And, as you can plainly see in some of his photos and hear from some of his words, he is an extremely arrogant man. The boyish smile was missing more times than not.

Of course, what the details of Obama’s dark work tell us – just as is the case with Trump, from the other end of the American political spectrum, who has flip-flopped numerous times in foreign policy and has kept no campaign promise about the military and wars to speak of – is that American Presidents really do not control foreign policy, do not control the dark work of American empire.

They can perhaps tweak it here or there, they can give it a pleasant or unpleasant public face, but they do not determine it. That is the work of the so-called Deep State, which is just a living reality of the American “republic” with its supposed Constitutional divisions of power.

So, while American Presidents hold, under the Constitution, the title of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, they are simply not free to command them. And while they head the Cabinet, they are not free to command such Deep State forces as the State Department and CIA, organizations which work intimately together in every American embassy in the world, CIA having its own side of the house in all of them and working under State Department cover with phony diplomatic passports.

Those are just part of the results in a country whose power establishment serves the wealthy, using the tools of the military and security services to run a global empire benefiting the wealthy.

In terms of ethical and moral responsibility, the fact that American Presidents do not determine foreign policy doesn’t remove their responsibility for crimes. Obama voluntarily joined the vast imperial machine and served it faithfully, being rewarded at the end of his political career with a fortune worth many tens of millions of dollars, not the kind of money a President earns –  which is precisely four hundred thousand per year plus fifty thousand in expenses – and certainly not what an nontenured young university lecturer in law makes.

All American Presidents of the modern era leave office wealthy. The fact can help assuage a conscience. But I suspect there generally is not much in the way of conscience because it is extreme narcissists and moderate psychopaths who are attracted to run for an office like the contemporary American Presidency, and lack of conscience is a defining characteristic of those psychological conditions.

It’s an immensely long journey from some men in frock coats pledging their sacred honors, but it is the American reality, and we should never confuse American brute power today with charming tales of the Founders.

Posted May 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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John Chuckman



“How a Suicide Watch Really Works

“If Jeffrey Epstein’s death turns out to have been self-inflicted, it would represent a complete breakdown in the system that was supposed to protect him”


John Kiriakou misses a few things here, and I would like to add new information which gives perspective to the events.

After Epstein was transferred to a cell with another prisoner, that prisoner was transferred out and not replaced. That seems rather odd behavior for a crowded and under-staffed facility.

Plus, there is the fact that we’re talking about an inmate recently taken off “suicide watch,” one who had a recent actual “attempt,” and not just any inmate but an extremely high-profile inmate, likely the most notorious prisoner in the country.

We know now that in the three hours before Epstein died, no checks on his cell were made, even though they are supposed to be made every thirty minutes at that facility.

The guards that were to have done the checks are now said to have fallen asleep, and it is claimed that afterward the log record was falsified to say they had indeed made the checks.

The wife of an inmate in the same facility has told reporters that security there was unbelievably strict. When she visited her husband, two guards and a senior officer were required just for his transfer to the visitors’ center.

There is still no meaningful explanation for why there is no video of the period, just the flabby assertion that the system was out of order.

I tend somewhat to disagree with the author’s assertion, “Epstein was likely a marked man from the minute he walked through the door.”

The author’s basis for saying that is the classic idea that in prisons, sex offenders are regarded as “the lowest of the low.”And that line is very much being taken by the mainline press. It just happens also to have the publicity value of tarring the prisoner, rather than scrutinizing his treatment.

While I think it is absolutely true of the kind of person we usually think of when we read the words, “sex offender,” as, say, someone who sexually assaults a young child, I’m not at all sure that it’s necessarily true of someone like Epstein. Prisoners are, of course, motivated by a sense that where they are forced to live cannot be regarded as a dumping ground for “scum.” There is a strict social hierarchy even in prisons.

Epstein did not regard himself as a “sex offender,” at all. He would openly discuss the matter with others, even members of the press, saying society was hypocritical, just as it was in many places with homosexuality, and that his kind sexual activity, in earlier times, was common in our society.

Of course, we do know that once it was common for a fourteen-year old girl to be married. In Europe, a few centuries ago, girls of twelve were betrothed sometimes, and in royal circles. And that is still common in many poor countries with girls as young as twelve being married off by their families, as, for example, in parts of India. Neither did Epstein’s demi-monde family view him as a “sex offender,” including a list of notable characters, such as Robert Maxwell’s daughter who acted as a Madam for the many young women.

Neither, pretty clearly, did his bevy of famous friends and visitors, including former President Bill Clinton, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former Sen George Mitchell (I was sorry to learn), Alan Dershowitz, Woody Allen, the Saudi Crown Prince (who, like Bill Clinton, made many trips), many Silicon Valley notables (including Bill Gates who flew on “the Lolita Express” at least once), Britain’s Prince Andrew (many visits), Gov Richardson of New Mexico, (reportedly) former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and scores and scores of others.

I’m sure he was regarded as shady and salacious and off-color, but as a “sex offender”? With the sexual mores of our time? Explicit sex in advertising everywhere? Including images of either very young women or young-looking women used to sell and promote almost anything? Models and actresses and pop singers who starve themselves to appear very young and slight?

I am not sure that inmates would regard a man such as Epstein so much as a “sex offender” as a lucky man with the ladies, including very young ones. I don’t mean to minimize his offense of interfering in the lives of easily-manipulated young women, generally poor ones attracted by the offer of big money and high times, but I’m not sure that with the general public, and especially the shadier types in prison, things are quite so cut-and-dried. I just don’t know, but I think there is room for legitimate doubt.

As far as Ghislaine Maxwell is concerned, she is quoted in a story in Vanity Fair magazine, “When I asked what she thought of the underage girls, she looked at me and said, ‘they’re nothing, these girls. They are trash.’” The same story says Ghislaine’s method of recruiting young women for Epstein was to drive around to spas and trailer parks in Florida, offering them a job with good money. Obviously, she was quite successful. Ghislaine, herself, is said to have kept rail-thin, so that she appealed to Epstein.

We’ve also just learned another extremely important fact from Ghislaine Maxwell, one loaded with suggestion. Epstein’s private island was wired for video, literally everywhere, so that couples could not take off somewhere for a private get-together. If that doesn’t sound like an intelligence service’s elaborate “honey trap,” I don’t know what does.

Hard to see why Epstein and Company would record literally everyone, unless they were creating compromising material for potential blackmail or political pressure. Who would be interested in videos of a number homely, older men making love to young women, other than a blackmailer or a spy agency? But we have no evidence or even suggestion of blackmail. Many of Epstein’s big-shot friends remained his friends for many years, returning for visits again and again.

But there are suggestions, in the way his case was handled by prosecutors for his conviction in 2008 and the highly unorthodox sentencing he received, of some kind of powerful outside influence at work. There’s just no question about that. And, of course, his sentence allowed a complete return to the same arrangements he had had in New York to just continue on a private island, perhaps only adding a certain new sense of exotic adventure for visitors.

I think there are many elements in the whole story suggesting Epstein’s connection with an intelligence agency, the most likely one being Mossad. I say that because “honey-traps” seem to have been a favored technique of that agency. Even with what little we generally hear about such secret matters, we’ve had some well-publicized cases involving them. Including, famously, the entrapment of atomic weapons whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu, and the work of Tzipi Livni, a former Israeli Minister who is said to have worked earlier on entrapping men who were to be assassinated. She was for some period wanted in Europe on war-crime charges.


One small additional thought about why I cannot accept that Epstein committed suicide, apart from what I have written about his nature and personality and conditions at the facility.

This was a wealthy and well-connected man. Had he gone trial, things could have been stretched out for years with the best lawyers.

Why should he kill himself before any effort had even been made?


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Posted August 14, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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