BREAKING: SMOKING GUN Docs Show What Hillary Clinton Knew About Benghazi All Along (WHOA!)

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By POLITICAL INSIDER

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The conservative lawyers at Judicial Watch just blew the lid off of the massive Obama White House cover-up after the Islamic terrorist attack at the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. This is Earth shattering news, and has devastating consequences for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The damning files obtained by Judicial Watch show State Department officials under Hillary Clinton’s command blatantly lied about the attack which killed four Americans in November 2012. It was not, as once stated, an escalation of a demonstration against an absurd YouTube video but rather a coordinated assault by Islamist terrorists on the US Embassy in Tunisia.

The State Department’s Diplomatic Security Command Center, also know DSCC, produced a memo obtained by the Washington-based government watchdog group entitled, “Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations.” The DSCC would have known the true nature of the attack since it monitored the situation via drone.

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-smoking-gun-docs-show-hillary-clinton-knew-benghazi-along-whoa/#ixzz3q5iKDzff

hc_CORRUPTION

The message is identical to the emergency message issued by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and archived on the embassy’s website.

The emergency message reads in the first paragraph: “On September 11, 2012, violent demonstrations took place at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in damage in both locations and casualties in Benghazi. Media reports indicate that demonstrations may take place at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Wednesday, September 12, 2012.”

‘They knew’

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the DSCC “clearly knew in real time that a full-fledged terrorist attack was taking place on September 11 at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, and the American people deserve to be told the truth.”

“We are now into the fourth year of a massive Obama administration cover-up,” Fitton said.

He said the DSCC communiqués “may further help unravel the Obama administration’s growing web of deceit.

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-smoking-gun-docs-show-hillary-clinton-knew-benghazi-along-whoa/#ixzz3q5ipfaSH

via World Net Daily

Fitton goes on to explain how this was a coordinated effort to isolate the potential damage this could cause to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Judicial Watch cites testimony from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb under oath to the House Oversight Committee on Oct. 10, 2012, to make the case that the DSCC bureaucrats knew EXACTLY what was the cause of the attack:

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-smoking-gun-docs-show-hillary-clinton-knew-benghazi-along-whoa/#ixzz3q5ivlfqN

The attack began at approximately 9:40 pm local time. Diplomatic Security agents inside the compound heard loud voices outside the walls, followed by gunfire and an explosion. Dozens of attackers then launched a full-scale assault that was unprecedented in its size and intensity. They forced their way through the pedestrian gate, and used diesel fuel to set fire to the Libyan 17th February Brigade members’ barracks, and then proceeded toward the main building.

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-smoking-gun-docs-show-hillary-clinton-knew-benghazi-along-whoa/#ixzz3q5j3dWIH

Judical Watch’s Fitton replied to what that testimony (above) means:

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-smoking-gun-docs-show-hillary-clinton-knew-benghazi-along-whoa/#ixzz3q5jA5apU

You are making people think they only needed to worry about demonstrations, when the truth was Americans in North Africa needed to know the night before Benghazi was hit by an intense terrorist attack, that came on violently, with heavily armed al-Qaida-backed militia carrying AK-47s and RPGs. ‘Be Warned’ should have been the message, ‘There was a terrorist attack, and you should be very careful right now.

The Benghazi story is now out in the open for all to see. And it’s clear that Hillary Clinton is at fault.

Are you ashamed by how poorly this White House has handled foreign policy? Please leave us a comment and tell us what you think.

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-smoking-gun-docs-show-hillary-clinton-knew-benghazi-along-whoa/#ixzz3q5jIuq7N

Putin Blew the Whistle on Who Grew ISIS in 2014 (Video)

RUSSIA INSIDER
Mon, Oct 26, 2015

Putin Blew the Whistle on Who Grew ISIS in 2014 (Video)
But he can’t figure out if US did it out of stupidity or malice

This short video showing Vladimir Putin answering a question on ISIS from a US journalist was filmed at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014. While millions of patriotic Americans still believe the simple narrative of ‘Russia is bad, USA is good’, Putin’s explosive comments blow that mindset right out of the water- and they also clearly explain why the Russian President has just decided to send in his military to support Assad’s fight against the Islamic State. After telling the audience that (unlike Obama’s view of him) he does not consider the USA a threat to Russia, Putin begins responding to a question about the ISIS problem.

The President begins: “Well who on earth armed them? Who armed the Syrians who were fighting with Assad? Who created the necessary political climate that facilitated this situation? Who pushed for the delivery of arms to the region?”

Yes, you guessed it: he’s talking about the USA.

Putin: US Neocons Created and Keep Supporting ISIS

Putin continues:

“Do you really not understand who is fighting in Syria? They are mercenaries, mostly. Do you understand they are paid money? Mercenaries fight for whichever side pays more. So they arm them and pay them a certain amount. I even know what these amounts are.” He explains how this insane foreign policy has backfired on the United States: the mercenaries don’t give back the arms, and when they find out they can earn more money fighting for ISIS, they swap sides- taking the USA’s weapons with them, and occupying the oil fields.But who is buying the oil from these terrorists, Putin asks, and why are sanctions not applied to those who purchase it?

“Do you think the USA doesn’t know who is buying the oil?” Putin asks his audience defiantly. “Is it not their allies that are buying oil from ISIS?” Putin then points out that the USA certainly has the power to persuade their allies to stop buying oil from the mercenaries who have deflected to the Islamic State. But, he suggests (here’s where it gets interesting) “they do not wish to influence them.”

Putin claims that in those areas of Syria where ISIS are extracting oil and paying mercenaries great rates of pay, more and more Syrian ‘rebels’ (anti-Assad fighters who were supposed to be on our side) are joining the Islamic State. “So you support them, arm them, and tomorrow they join ISIS. Can they not think a step ahead?” he says scathingly about US foreign policy. “I consider this absolutely unprofessional politics. We must support civilized, democratic opposition in Syria. We don’t stand for this kind of politics of the USA. We think it is wrong.”

If this is true- and concrete evidence suggests it is- Putin’s tirade is very difficult to argue with. Sure, the Russian President has a hell of a lot to answer for, but who is the real terrorist in this situation? Could it be that the USA was also behind the Ukrainian coup all along, supported by its minions in the corporate press who sought to lay the blame on Russia’s doorstep? After all, it was Putin, not Obama, who extended an olive branch to the American people by writing an op-ed in the New York Times in 2013 calling for peace and co-operation between the two powers.

Putin’s comments back up what many have been saying about ISIS and its strong connection to the USA since the start of this crisis. Please share this video to raise awareness of which war-mongering superpower is really to blame for the majority of the misery in this world. You might also like to check out Putin’s United Nations meeting speech late last month, where he talks more about these themes and asks the USA and its allies with reference to Syria: “Now do you realize what you have done?”

Transcript:

“Another threat that President Obama mentioned was ISIS. Well who on earth armed them?

Who armed the Syrians that are fighting Assad?

Who created the necessary political/informational climate that facilitated this situation?

Who pushed the delivery of arms to the area?

Do you really not understand as to who is fighting in Syria?

They are mercenaries mostly.

Do you understand they are paid money?

Mercenaries fight for whichever side pays more.

So they arm them and pay them a certain amount

I even know what these amounts are.

So they fight, they have the arms, you cannot get them to return the weapons of course, at the end..

Then they discover elsewhere pays a little more..

Then they occupy the oil fields wherever; in Iraq, in Syria.

They start extracting the oil-and this oil is purchased by somebody.

Where are the sanctions on the parties purchasing this oil?

Do you believe the US does not know who is buying it? Is it not their allies that are buying the oil from ISIS?

Do you not think that US has the power to influence their allies? Or is the point that they indeed do not wish to influence them?

Then why bomb ISIS?

In areas where they started extracting oil and paying mercenaries more, in those areas the rebels from ‘civilised’ Syrian opposition forces immediately joined ISIS because they are paid more.

I consider this absolutely unprofessional politics. It is not grounded in facts , in the real world.

We must support civilized democratic opposition in Syria.

So you support, arm them and then tomorrow they join ISIS.

Can they [USA] not think a step ahead?

We cannot stand for this kind of politics of the US. We consider it wrong. It harms all parties, including you [USA].”

Putin: US Neocons Created and Keep Supporting ISIS

Putin Makes Obama an Offer He Can’t Refuse

 

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Author: Mike Whitney

Global Research, October 30, 2015

CounterPunch 29 October 2015

 

Why is John Kerry so eager to convene an emergency summit on Syria now when the war has been dragging on for four and a half years?

Is he worried that Russia’s air campaign is wiping out too many US-backed jihadis and sabotaging Washington’s plan to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad?

You bet, he is. No one who’s been following events in Syria for the last three weeks should have any doubt about what’s really going on.  Russia has been methodically wiping out Washington’s mercenaries on the ground while recapturing large swathes of land that had been lost to the terrorists.  That, in turn, has strengthened Assad’s position in Damascus and left the administration’s policy in tatters.  And that’s why Kerry wants another meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pronto even though the two diplomats met less than a week ago.   The Secretary of State is hoping to cobble together some kind of makeshift deal that will stop the killing and salvage what’s left of Uncle Sam’s threadbare Syrian project.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Iran had been invited to the confab which will be held in Vienna on Thursday.  The announcement is bound to be ferociously criticized on Capital Hill, but it just shows to what extent Russia is currently setting the agenda. It was Lavrov who insisted that Iran be invited, and it was Kerry who reluctantly capitulated. Moscow is now in the drivers seat.

And don’t be surprised if the summit produces some pretty shocking results too, like a dramatic 180 on Washington’s “Assad must go” demand.   As Putin has pointed out many times before, Assad’s not going anywhere. He’s going to be a part of Syria’s “transitional governing body”  when the Obama team finally agrees to the Geneva Communique which is the political track that will eventually end the fighting, restore security, and allow millions of refugees to return to their homes.

The reason the administration is going to agree to allow Assad to stay, is because if they don’t, the Russian Airforce is going to continue to blow US-backed mercenaries to smithereens. So, you see, Obama really has no choice in the matter. Putin has put a gun to his head and made him an offer he can’t refuse.

That doesn’t mean the war is going to be a cakewalk for Russia or its allies. It won’t be. In fact, there have already been some major setbacks, like the fact that ISIS just seized a critical section the Aleppo-Khanasser highway, cutting off  the government’s supply-lines to Aleppo. This is a serious problem, but it is not a problem that can’t be overcome nor is it a problem that will effect the outcome of the war. It’s just one of the obstacles that has to be dealt with and surpassed.  Taking a broader view, the outlook is much more encouraging for the Russian-led coalition which continues to cut off supply-lines,  blow up ammo dumps and fuel depots, and rapidly eviscerate the ability of the enemy to wage war.  So, while the war is certainly not a walk in the park, there’s no doubt about who’s going to win.

And that might explain why the US decided to bomb Aleppo’s main power plant last week plunging the entire city into darkness; because Obama wants to “rubblize” everything on his way out.  Keep in mind, that the local water treatment plants require electrical power, so by blowing up the plant, Obama has condemned tens of thousands of civilians to cholera and other water-born diseases. Apparently, our hospital-nuking president isn’t bothered by such trivial matters as killing women and children. Now check this out from the Daily Star:

U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria carried out a large-scale attack on Syria’s Omar oil field as part of its mission to target ISIS’s ability to generate money, a coalition spokesman said Thursday.

Operations officer Maj. Michael Filanowski told journalists in Baghdad that airstrikes late Wednesday struck ISIS-controlled oil refineries, command and control centers and transportation nodes in the Omar oil field near the town of Deir el-Zour. Coalition spokesman Col. Steven Warren said the attack hit 26 targets, making it one of the largest set of strikes since launching the air campaign last year.

The refinery generates between $1.7 and $5.1 million per month for ISIS.

“It was very specific targets that would result in long-term incapacitation of their ability to sell oil, to get it out of the ground and transport it,” Filanowski said.

ISIS seized a number of oil refineries and other infrastructure in Iraq and Syria as it sought to generate revenue to build a self-sufficient state.  (US-led forces strike ISIS-controlled oil field in Syria“, Daily Star)

Isn’t it amazing how– after a year of  combing the dessert looking for ISIS  targets– the USAF finally figures out where the goddamn oil refineries are? No wonder the western media chose to ignore this story. One can only conclude that Obama never had any intention of cutting off ISIS’s main funding stream (oil sales). What he really wanted was for the terrorist group to flourish provided it helped Washington achieve its strategic goals. Putin even pointed this out in a recent interview. He said:

The mercenaries occupy the oil fields in Iraq and Syria. They start extracting the oil-and this oil is purchased by somebody. Where are the sanctions on the parties purchasing this oil?

Do you believe the US does not know who is buying it?

Is it not their allies that are buying the oil from ISIS?

Do you not think that US has the power to influence their allies? Or is the point that they don’t  wish to influence them?

Putin was never taken in by the whole ISIS oil charade. He knew it was a farce from the get-go, ever since Financial Times published their thoroughly laughable article on the topic which claimed that ISIS had its own group of “headhunters” offering “competitive salaries” to engineers with the “requisite experience”  and encouraged  “prospective employees to apply to its human resources department.”

The ISIS “human resources department”??  Have you ever read anything more ridiculous in your life? (Read the whole story here.)

In an interview with NPR,  FT fantasist Erika Solomon (who wrote the article) explained why the US could not bomb the oil fields or refineries. Here’s what she said:

What ISIS has done is managed to corner control of the extraction process, which is smart because they can’t get bombed there. It would cause a natural disaster. So they extract the oil, and then they immediately sell it to local traders – any average person who can buy a truck that they can fill with a tank of oil.

Well, that sure didn’t stop Maj. Michael Filanowski, now did it? He seems to have blown up those ISIS refineries without batting an eye, which just proves that Solomon’s “natural disaster” fairytale is pure bunkum.

But if it was all baloney, then why did the USAF decide to hit the targets now? What changed?

Here’s a clue from an article that popped up on RT just one day before the attacks:

“Russia’s airplanes cut off routes used by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) to deliver supplies to Syria from Iraq by bombing a bridge over the Euphrates River, the Russian General Staff said

The bridge over the Euphrates River near [the Syrian city of] Deir ez-Zor was a key point of the logistics chain [of IS]. Today Russian pilots carried out a surgical strike against the object,” the deputy chief of the General Staff of Russia, Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov, said on Thursday during a news briefing, adding that the terrorist group’s armament and ammunition delivery route had been cut off.
(“Russian Air Force cuts off ISIS supply lines by bombing bridge over Euphrates“, RT)

There it is: The Russians blow up a critical bridge over the Euphrates making oil transport impossible, and  the next thing you know, BAM, the US goes into scorched earth-mode leveling everything in sight.  Coincidence?

Not  bloody likely.  The whole incident suggests the mighty CIA is rolling up its pet project in Syria and headed for the exits.  (It’s worth noting that ISIS has never been a self sustaining corporate franchise netting over a million bucks a day on oil receipts as western propaganda would have one believe. That’s all part of the public relations coverup used to conceal the fact that the Gulf allies and probably CIA black ops are funding these homicidal maniacs.)

In any event, the Russian intervention is forcing Washington to rethink its Syria policy. While Kerry is bending over backwards to end the fighting,  Obama is busy tweaking the policy in a way that appeases his critics on the right without provoking a confrontation with Moscow. It’s a real tight-wire act, but the White House PR team thinks they can pull it off. Check this out from NBC News:

“Defense Secretary Ash Carter today revealed that the U.S. will openly begin “direct action on the ground” against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services committee on Tuesday, Carter said “we won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL…or conducting such mission directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.” (Sec. Carter: U.S. to Begin ‘Direct Action on the Ground’ in Iraq, Syria, NBC News)

This sounds a lot worse than it is. The truth is, Obama has no stomach for the type of escalation the hawks (like Hillary Clinton and John McCain ) are demanding. There aren’t going to be any “safe zones” or “no-fly zones” or any other provocations which would risk a bloody conflagration with Moscow. What Obama is looking for is the best face-saving strategy available that will allow him to retreat without incurring the wrath of the  Washington warmongers. It’s a tall order, but Sec-Def Ash Carter has come up with a plan that might just do-the-trick.

This is from The Hill:

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday described new ways the U.S. military plans to increase pressure on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, after months of criticism that the administration is not doing enough to defeat the terrorist group.

“The changes we’re pursuing can be described by what I call the ‘three R’s’ — Raqqa, Ramadi and Raids,” Carter testified the Senate Armed Services Committee.

First, Carter said the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS plans to support moderate Syrian forces to go after Raqqa — the terrorist group’s stronghold and administration capital.

The secretary also said he hopes to pursue a new way of equipping the Syrian Arab Coalition, which consists of about a dozen groups.

“While the old approach was to train and equip completely new forces outside of Syria before sending them into the fight, the new approach is to work with vetted leaders of groups that are already fighting ISIL, and provide equipment and some training to them and support their operations with airpower,” he said.

He also said the coalition expects to intensify its air campaign with additional U.S. and coalition aircraft, and to target ISIS with a higher and heavier rate of strikes.

“This will include more strikes against ISIL high-value targets as our intelligence improves, and also its oil enterprise, which is a critical pillar of ISIL’s financial infrastructure,” Carter said, using a different acronym for ISIS.” (“Pentagon chief unveils new plan for ISIS fight“, The Hill)

See anything new here? It’s a big nothingburger, right?

They’re going to kill more “high-value targets”?

Big whoop. That’s always been the gameplan, hasn’t it?  Of course, it has.

What this shows is that Obama is just running out the clock hoping he can keep this mess on the back-burner until he’s out of office and working out the terms of his first big book deal.  The last thing he wants is to get embroiled in a spitting match with the Kremlin his final year in office.

Unfortunately, the problem Obama is going to encounter is that Putin can’t simply turn off the war machine with the flip of a switch. It took Moscow a long time to decide to intervene in Syria, just like it took a long time to marshal the forces that would be deployed, build the coalition and draft the battleplan.  The Russians don’t take war lightly, so now that they’ve put the ball into motion they’re not going to stop until the job is done and the bulk of the terrorists have been exterminated.  That means there’s not going to be a ceasefire in the immediate future. Putin needs to demonstrate that once Moscow commits its forces, it will persevere until it achieves victory. That victory could come in the form of “liberating Aleppo” and a subsequent sealing off of the Turkish-Syria border or he might have some other goal in mind. But it’s a matter of credibility as much as anything. If Putin pulls back, hesitates or shows even the slightest lack of resolve, Washington will see it as a sign of weakness and try to exploit it. So Putin has no choice but to see this thing through to the bitter end.  At the very least, he needs to prove to Washington that when Russia gets involved, Russia wins.

That’s a message Washington needs to hear.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Latest NYT Big Lie: Russia Responsible for Syrian Refugee “Surge”

 

 

Theme: Media Disinformation
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

 

New-York-Times-400x249Times reporting shifts from the absurd to the contemptible.

According to The Times, Russian airstrikes caused “surg(ing) civilian flight.” It lied, claiming its “warplanes attacked the village of Ter Ma’aleh, killing at least a dozen people and sending most of the residents into hurried exile.”

“The assault on the village was part of a wider escalation of violence across the country that has displaced tens of thousands of people in just weeks and led relief workers to warn that Syria is facing one of its most serious humanitarian crises of the civil war.”

“The intensity of the fighting, they say (who is ‘they?’), is fueling increased desperation as a growing number of Syrians are fleeing to neighboring countries and, especially, to Europe.”

Russian airstrikes “l(ed) to the latest wave of displacement. (M)unitions (used) added to the sense of fear.” Russia “target(ed) hospitals and other medical facilities.” The Times cited a willfully misleading Human Rights Watch report accusing Russia of killing civilians, despite no corroborating evidence.

Fact: The Times article is a complete fabrication.

Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for Syria’s refugee crisis. Britain, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other rogue partners share blame.

Fact: Russian intervention is a liberating, not displacing force. More on this below.

Fact: Long before Russian airstrikes began on September 30 (less than a month ago), half of Syria’s 23 million people were internally or externally displaced.

Fact: Many headed for Europe years ago, numbers increasing dramatically in the past year or so.

Fact: Most Syrian refugees are in bordering countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as smaller numbers in Egypt.

The web site SyrianRefugees.eu said

“under 150,000 Syrians have declared asylum in the European Union, while member states have pledged to resettle a further 33,000 Syrians. The vast majority of these resettlement spots (85%) are pledged by Germany.”

Fact: Refugees arriving daily in Europe come from various countries, most either Pentagon war theaters or nations affected by US-inflicted instability, violence and chaos – including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Eritrea, Mali, Syria and others.

Fact: Syria is Obama’s war, planned years before he took office, part of longstanding US strategy to replace all sovereign independent governments with US-controlled illegitimate puppet regimes.

Fact: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are four of history’s great crimes, America bearing full responsibility, millions of lost lives and unspeakable human suffering considered a small price to pay – the appalling dark side of US imperial viciousness.

On October 24, the reliable Sputnik News service headlined “Syria Refugees Praise Russian Airstrikes, Consider Returning,” saying:

“Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun previously said that over 800,000 refugees have returned since Russian airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria began on September 30th.”

“The operation has also given refugees from the conflict hope that peace would return, according to interviews AP conducted around the Aleppo province, a hub for refugees leaving Syria.”

“ ‘I hope that with Russian pilots’ help, our military will advance and defeat terrorists so that we could return to our homes,’ one refugee told AP.”

This view is widely held and growing, opposite of deplorable Times propaganda, a Lying Machine for wealth, power and privilege, supporting all US wars of aggression, past and current.

In a few short weeks, Russia’s intervention dramatically changed the Syrian and regional landscape.

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. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

The “Democratise Europe” Project. A European Movement, A Coalition of Citizens. Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

 

 

Region:

 

yanisvaoufakisAs he prepares to launch a new, pan-European movement for change, Yanis Varoufakis sits down with Can Europe make it? to discuss democracy in Europe, Brexit, and the other part of Plan X.

Alex Sakalis: I’m very interested in this transnational, pan-European movement you are preparing to launch, the details of which you’ve been teasing us with…

Yanis Varoufakis: I’m not teasing you. It’s just that it takes time to establish.

AS: What forces are you hoping to bring together with this pan-European movement?

YV: It began as an idea after the crushing of what I call the Athens spring, which happened in the summer. It became abundantly clear that at the level of the nation-state you can’t even table proposals regarding your own country, let alone proposals for the eurozone as a whole. I experienced the Eurogroup at very close quarters and it was obvious that it was not a forum in which to discuss how to stabilise the European social economy, or how to democratise it. That is just impossible – it can’t be done.

So you know when our government effectively overthrew itself – for this is what we did – we overthrew ourselves, our programme…

AS: A self-coup?

YV: Yes, but that of course was precisely the intention of the troika. That is what they really enjoy doing. Making us not only renege on everything we said, but also forcing us to be the ones who must implement the very programme we loathed and which we were elected to challenge.

So once this happened, the only question was: was it worth starting something afresh in Greece? To have another go? Another bite of the cherry? And my conclusion was that the answer to that is no. What would be the point of starting another campaign for two years – that is how long it would take – just to return to where we were, where I was, one up against eighteen?

If my diagnosis is correct, what is going on in Greece is simply a reflection – an echo – of a far deeper crisis throughout the eurozone, which cannot be solved at any national or member-state level. The obvious conclusion one must draw from this is that either you argue for a dissolution of the monetary union, and then you can talk about national politics again quite sensibly. Or you should be talking about a pan-European movement for change throughout the eurozone. It is one or the other.

Now the former appeals to many. And this is a debate which is happening in Britain as well, outside the monetary union but within the European Union. It doesn’t appeal to me. Not because I have any illusions about Brussels, Frankfurt and the European Union. I have written extensively and spoken out extensively against the very DNA of the European Union. However it is one thing to criticise a set of institutions like the European Union, criticise the way it was put together and the way it functions. It is quite another thing to argue that it should be dismantled. This is what we call in mathematics, hysteresis. The path that you take to somewhere, once you get to that somewhere, doesn’t exist any more. We can’t just turn around upon the original path and find ourselves outside where we used to be. So we have walked this path towards a particular union, however toxic it might be, and if we try to step back from it, we are going to fall off a cliff.

That is my view. It is exactly what happened in the 1920s. There was a union at that time. It wasn’t formalised but it was very strong. It was the gold standard. Its fragmentation brought about apocalyptic human losses and I very much fear that we would have the same thing now.

Therefore, I followed my own thinking through to the extent that I can, logically, and reached the conclusion that a pan-European movement is the only solution. It sounds utopian, but this idea cemented in my mind in August when I started travelling across Europe, and realised that there was a great deal of hunger and thirst everywhere I went for such an idea.

People would come to listen to me in their thousands, not because they so much wanted to lend solidarity to Greece, or to me, but just because the experience of this negotiation between Greece and the troika hit a nerve everywhere. And the people who come to listen and to discuss with me and my colleagues are worried about themselves, their own countries, Europe. So I put two and two together and end up with the conclusion, at least for me personally, that the only thing that is worth fighting for is this coalescence at the European level with one very simple, but radical, idea: to democratise Europe.

People might say, “pah, Europe is democratic.” No it is not. Not democratic at all. So to democratise it is actually a very radical idea that goes against every fibre in the body and soul of those people in Brussels.

AS: Tell us more about who you have been speaking to so far in your travels who you hope to bring onto this pan-European platform?

YV: This is one reason, in my view, why this should be a movement, and not a party and not an elite. This is not about giving you a list, a roll call of significant politicians. If it’s a movement it has to be a grassroots movement. So I have just come back from Coimbra in Portugal. Before that I was in Barcelona with the magnificent new mayor, Ada Colau, who is working together with me on this. In France there are lots of people, a very wide range of people who are interested: academics, activists, unionists, politicians. Arnaud Montebourg is one person who is definitely on board. We have people from Die Linke, from the Social Democratic Party in Germany, and very good, genuinely good people from the Kreisky Forum in Austria. So as I said before, I’m not teasing: it takes some time before we can launch this.

AS: Would any of these people be in favour of leaving the EU? Would you include people who have arrived at that different judgment in your movement?

YV: Well, I don’t believe in a Leninist kind of party where you create the parameters in advance and then people are allowed in in order to serve them. I don’t think that people who want to leave the EU would be drawn to this, because this would be a movement about democratising Europe. There may be, and there will be a lot of discussion about currency, about what happens when we have a repetition of the experience that I had, being told that either you accept the established order of things or it’s the highway for you. So there will be no preset position on currencies except that there will be no preset position either in favour of getting out of the eurozone.

My view personally, and I keep repeating this, is that it is politically a mistake and financially an error to start planning for the dissolution of the eurozone as something which you want to achieve. We shouldn’t be scared of threats that we will be thrown out of the eurozone. But that’s a different story.

AS: So would Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party be welcome to join your movement?

YV: Absolutely. But you see it is important to make this point. This is not going to be a coalition of parties. It should be a coalition of citizens. They can belong to any party they want. This will not admit parties into it. It is not a party and it is not an alliance of parties. The idea is to create a grassroots movement across Europe of European citizens interested in democratising Europe. They can belong to any party. Of course they will be involved in other campaigns in their local communities, in their member states, in their nations. Maybe you will have people from different parties from the same country. I can easily imagine that, and actually I would like that. Because if the idea is not to replicate national politics, why can’t you have that? But personally, I count a lot on the Corbynites.

AS: Are you drawing up a manifesto?

YV: Yes. This is what we’re working on.

AS: Who’s writing it?

YV: I’m not going to give you names, and we will not sign it when we launch it. It will be a free floating text.

AS: Can you give us an estimated release date?

YV: It will be before Christmas.

AS: In the UK we are facing this referendum on whether we should leave or whether we should stay. openDemocracy has been discussing how this will be framed in the media and we think it may come down to something like this: “do we love business more than we hate immigrants, or do we hate immigrants more than we love business?”

YV: That’s an interesting way of putting it.

AS: But this is not the debate we should be having about Europe. This is quite an incredible, epochal choice the UK is faced with. How would you like to see the debate framed regarding our relationship with Europe and what we should demand of Europe?

YV: “Do we want a democratic Europe or not?” This is going back to what I was saying before. Europe and the European Union are not the same thing. The problem with the EU is that it has all the regalia of a supranational state, without being one. It is not only that it is not formally a state. Its DNA, its history, the way in which it has been put together is completely different from the way a state emerges. A state emerges as a result of the political need for a mechanism, a collective action mechanism, that ameliorates class conflict and group conflict.

So take the US or the UK. The English state began with the need to find some kind of balance between different lords and barons. The Magna Carta was a clash between the king’s central authority and the barons, and later on you had the clash between the landed gentry on one hand and the merchants. The industrialists come in and the working class comes in. Different groups clashing mercilessly for control. And the state emerges through this clash of these tectonic plates smashing one another and the state becomes the set of institutions that have legitimacy or try to base their legitimacy on a mandate from the population as a whole, in order to create some kind of balance of power – to equilibrate these conflicts, to stabilise them.

So this is how a state forms. By definition, the state, even if it is not democratic, as in China for instance, nevertheless is a purely political process for the purpose of stabilising social conflicts. Now Europe, Brussels, did not emerge like that. Europe emerged as a cartel of heavy industry. It began with steel and coal, and then they co-opted the farmers, then they co-opted the bankers, and then the car industry and then eventually the service industries, and so on and so forth. It was an attempt to create stable prices, to limit competition, the opposite of the raison d’etre of the British state and of course the American state. So the idea was to stabilise prices and to stop the clash between German industry, French industry, northern Italian industry, Dutch industry – that kind of thing.

There is a huge difference between a state that emerges as a political means for stabilising class conflict and the administrative personnel of a cartel. British industry was never part of that cartel and that is why Britain came so late to the European Common Market. Britain came in effectively to replace a lost empire by having access to these markets. But the markets were already cornered by the central European cartel. So the reason why the British establishment has never been enamoured of the European Union is because it never was part of the cartelising process which gave rise to Brussels. That is not a bad thing. But I’m trying to explain why in Germany, Holland, Belgium, the establishment, the elites, do not ever question the European Union, whereas in Britain it is questioned.

So here in the UK you end up with a situation where nobody likes it. The working class doesn’t like it, because the EU doesn’t have the interests of the working class of Britain in mind. But at the same time British industry does not have the same stake in it. The City has a stake in it, and some businesses, some small pockets of businesses also do have. Everything follows from this. The European Union had to develop a common currency because if you are going to build a cartel you need to have stable prices. For the first twenty years the stability of prices was guaranteed by Bretton Woods. After 1971, Europe tries to create its own gold standard Bretton Woods system, which then became the euro. So Britain is in a precarious situation vis a vis the EU. Britain keeps saying to the world that they want the single market but they don’t want Brussels. But they can’t have that.

AS: Well, they usually use the example of Norway or Switzerland.

YV: Well Norway and Switzerland have effectively deferred to Brussels. So do you want that?

AS: The debate doesn’t usually get that far…

YV: Yes, well that’s where it should go. So the question is, even if you get out of the Union, the labour standards, the environmental standards will in the end be dictated at the level of Europe.

AS: Because our economies are just too globalised and too interconnected?

YV: Look at TPP, TTIP and all that. This is not about tariffs and quotas any more, it is about standards. It is about industrial standards, environmental standards, labour standards and about patents. So who writes these rules? It won’t be a negotiation between Britain and the EU that writes those rules. It will be in Brussels that these rules will be written. And Britain will have a choice of take it or leave, outside the EU.

So my view is that the problems with the EU have to do with the way in which it was constructed in the first place as a democracy-free-zone. It is completely democracy-free by design. Britain is not – due to the difference between Brussels as opposed to London in terms of DNA. From my perspective, progressive Brits have no alternative other than to stay in the EU and join us in trying to democratise it. If we fail to democratise the EU, it really doesn’t make much of a difference whether we’re in or out. Unless of course Britain finds a way of replacing the 60% of its trade with the EU, with someone else. This it won’t be able to do.

AS: Owen Jones is calling for what he calls Lexit – a left-wing exit from the EU. What would you say to someone like him who would support everything you say about Europe and democracy, but still wants to leave the EU?

YV: Well, I’m facing this kind of argument in my country with former comrades of mine in the government who left and formed the Popular Unity Party, who are saying exactly the same thing. We can’t have a genuine conversation with the Eurogroup, so exit is the only solution.

My argument is that there are no easy solutions. I wish that we could create an alternative universe in which it would be possible to have a degree of autonomy, autarky, that allows you to clean out the Augean stables. You can’t. The idea that we will go back to an agricultural pastoral life is absurd. Today, even combine harvesters are governed by electronics that our countries do not necessarily produce.

You cannot step back from the globalised market and especially from the Europeanised market. So if you exit without having any capacity to participate in the democratisation of that market, then you will always be subject to a market that is run by technocrats and you will have even less degrees of freedom than you have now.

I think it’s very important not to fall into the nationalist trap of thinking that you can recoil back into the nation-state cocoon. That doesn’t mean that we should go along with Brussels. I’m not in favour of staying within the EU and playing ball. I think I have proven this beyond any reasonable doubt. I believe in staying in to subvert the rules. Even to go into a campaign of civil disobedience within. That for me is the left wing strategy. Not “Lexit”.

AS: How much power do national governments have over economic policy? When you were finance minister did you really feel in charge of your country’s destiny?

YV: No. Well it depends. Britain is very different from Greece. Not only because it is a more sizeable and significant economy, but also because it is not in the eurozone. If you are not in the eurozone you have a degree more freedom, there is no doubt about that. And I wish we had never entered the eurozone, which is not the same thing as my saying I think we should get out. Big difference.

So when you are inside the eurozone, your degree of freedom is minimal, if not zero. The only thing we could do was to renegotiate the whole package, to give us a degree of freedom. So one of the things this movement is going to be proposing is ways in which we can combine greater Europeanisation of particular realms like debt management, like the banking sector, aggregated investment, fighting poverty – to find European solutions for these in order to create more decentralisation, to give more degrees of freedom for social and economic policies at the level of the regions, the cities and of course, the nation. I believe that this is possible. It sounds like a contradiction, but I believe it is possible to gain these degrees of freedom if we Europeanise certain big problems.

AS: This leftwing economic opposition to ordoliberalism would have to go beyond Keynes then…?

YV: Textbook Keynes to be sure. But this would be a new variety of Keynes which is adapted to the circumstances of Europe. For years now with my friends James Galbraith and Stuart Holland, former Labour MP for Vauxhall, we have been putting together what we call ‘a modest proposal’, nicking the title from Jonathan Swift, which is a Keynesian idea of what to do with the eurozone that applies at the level of the eurozone and not at the level of nation-states.

So in it we explain how the existing institutions – the central bank, the European stability mechanism, the European investment bank – can be utilised in order to create a European new deal. An investment-led green new deal for Europe, with the investment bank playing the role that under the New Deal of Roosevelt, the federal treasury played by issuing treasury bills for the purposes of mopping up excess savings in order to channel it towards investment. I think we can do this with the European investment bank, being supported by the European central bank – instead of through quantitative easing purchasing government debt. It could purchase bonds from the investment bank, therefore ensuring that whatever new quantitative easing occurs is directed straight into investments, especially in green technologies. There are ways you can imagine intervening immediately in the European crisis today to stabilise European capitalism in order to be able to begin discussing political projects for democratising it. It is either that or barbarism.

AS: Or the status quo?

YV: The status quo is no longer an option, because it is fragmenting. I don’t believe that the status quo is sustainable, and I think everybody knows this. Take Italy. Italy is a country that has a current account surplus. It owes most of its public debt to itself, which is good. But it is unsustainable. They had a primary surplus of between 2 and 2.3% over the last few years and yet their debt to GDP ratio is growing precipitously. Now that tells you that something is profoundly wrong, when you have a country like Italy, sophisticated, that produces everything from Armani to Ferrari to Fiats, and they have a current account surplus. They have two surpluses – a trade surplus and a service surplus and then they have a surplus in the primary accounts of the Government. And yet they’re sinking into debt. This tells you something.

Renzi the other day came out and said something quite remarkable. He said that if Brussels rejects his budget, he is going to submit the same one to them. That is open defiance of the European Union fiscal pact. Why is he doing it? Is he a revolutionary? No. Because he knows that if he behaves according to the rules, his country is going to fall into a black hole or reject him. We find the same in France, Spain which is being heralded as a great success story of austerity as we speak – these are unsustainable. And Schauble too knows this. He knows that the eurozone is not capable of taking and absorbing another shockwave in the international economy – the kind of shockwave which is shaping up now. So I don’t think that the status quo is an option.

AS: Can you explain in laymans’ terms what your Plan B entailed?

YV: Actually I called it Plan X – just to be accurate – and there were two parts to it. There were actually two separate plans. One concerned how to deal with the situation if we are forced out of the euro. Because there were these threats and even though I believed them to be not credible and that they would never do it, even if they wanted to, and I believed it to be illegal for them to do it and that they would have serious problems if they did. Nevertheless, as the minister of finance, I had an obligation to draw up contingency plans in case they managed to get us out.

And so this mainly, was Plan X. When you started trying to wrap your mind around how this redenomination of everything in a different currency could occur, the more you thought about it the more complicated it seemed to be. Every time you thought you had solved a problem, you created another ten. So the team that I had working on this was working night and day trying to imagine all the scenarios. And of course the difficulty with that was that it had to be a small team, otherwise it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So that was Plan X.

But then there was another, not a contingency plan, but a set of responses that I had been preparing for a while, for at least a year, for staying in the euro after they shut down the banks. I knew they would threaten us with the banks and I knew that a long time before we were elected. And the three steps that I recommended as retaliation were, firstly, to announce the creation of a parallel payment system, a euro-denominated electronic system; secondly a haircut or postpone by 30 years the repayment of the Greek Government bonds owned by the ECB, to the tune of 27 billion. That would be a major weapon to use, because the ECB’s whole QE program would have serious legal difficulties if we did that. And thirdly, changing the law governing the functioning of the central bank of Greece. So that was in order to stay in the euro with closed banks, after an aggressive move by the ECB.

That was the plan that I thought was crucial, not Plan X. Plan X was there in case we were pushed out of the euro. I didn’t believe it was credible, but I had to have it, just like the Minister of Defence has to have the contingency plans in case Turkey invades, even if he doesn’t believe Turkey will invade.

But those three policies with which to respond to the closure of the banks, that was the real game for me. It was a plan for staying in the euro and managing to survive within it, with banks closed, while the negotiations yielded the proper outcome. I always knew that until and unless we demonstrated capacity not to surrender after the banks had been closed for a week or two, we would be taken to the cleaners.

AS: And you think a small, bankrupt country with no allies in the eurozone could have done that?

YV: Yes absolutely. Look at Mario Draghi just keeping the euro together. Without QE there would be no euro. QE is very precariously balanced legally because Draghi faces major challenges from the Bundesbank, and the main challenge is that he is purchasing assets that may be subject to a haircut, and the usual response by the Central Bank is that they will not tolerate a haircut. But the bank already owned 27 billion of Greek legacy debt from 2010 which it had purchased. If I announce a haircut in response to the very aggressive move of shutting down our banks, then suddenly the whole quantitative easing (QE) programme would be jeopardised. Weidmann and the Bundesbank would say, “see, you are purchasing assets that now are being subjected to a haircut.” So we had a weapon, but I was prevented from using it.

AS: At openDemocracy we’re obsessed with TTIP. A Syriza minister I spoke to recently said that it was his belief that a Syriza Government would never pass TTIP. Were there ever any discussions about TTIP while you were in the government?

YV: No, never. I’m sure that this is a genuine sentiment. But then again let me remind you Alex that we kept saying for years and during the months of the negotiation, every day, that we would not sign a third memorandum.

AS: So…you think the pressure would be too strong if it got to that point?

YV: I’ve already answered you.

AS: My last question is about the media, and how they are going to react. How will you deal with the media in relation to your new movement? It may not be pretty…

YV: Oh don’t worry I‘ve had plenty of training.

AS: So you’ve learned lessons…

YV: The single most important lesson that I have learned is that it doesn’t matter. Because if the message is strong, given the need for a movement that expresses this craving for a modicum of democratic control over the sources of power in Europe, I think the groundswell of people will, as it did in Greece, carry us through. We won 61.3% of the vote in the referendum against every single television, radio station and every newspaper. They were all campaigning for the yes. We could do it in Greece, we could do it in Europe.

And in the final analysis, it is as Homer has taught us. It is not so much the journey that matters as the destination. It is a good fight and we have to fight it.

Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece, Professor of Economics at the University of Athens and Visiting Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of The Global Minotaur (Zed Books). His blog is here.

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy. He edits the Can Europe Make It? debate.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).   Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

‘Ready for Hillary’ Mega-Donor Indicted

Claimed to represent 44,000 clients impacted by BP oil spill

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October 23, 2015 2:50 pm

By Josh Gerstein

A major Hillary Clinton fundraiser has been indicted for false statements and identity theft related to the Deepwater Horizon litigation.

The San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Mississippi has indicted Mikal Watts, a Texas attorney who has been accused of using false identities to inflate the number of clients he was representing in the class action lawsuit against BP.

Watts raised more than $100,000 for the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary in 2013. He has also hosted high-dollar fundraisers for President Obama.

The indictment comes several months after a top Republican lawmaker questioned whether the Obama administration was slow-walking the case for political reasons. The Secret Service, which investigates identity theft and counterfeiting, initially raided Watts’s office in 2013.

“Although investigations were opened by the Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, it appears that little action by the Justice Department has been taken since details of the probe surfaced in 2013,” wrote Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in a July 13 letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“Mr. Watts is a significant political donor, and the Department’s inaction raises questions about why it has apparently declined to pursue charges.”

Watts reportedly claimed to represent 44,000 clients who were impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill. He has been accused of falsifying many of these identities in order to gain a lucrative position on the committee of lawyers representing the oil spill victims, which won a $2.3 billion settlement from BP in 2012.

BP sued Watts in 2013, claiming that he only ended up filing 648 compensation claims, the majority of which were deemed ineligible. The oil giant said it agreed to pay a higher settlement than it otherwise would have based on the belief that Watts was representing tens of thousands of clients.

According to BP, many of Watts’s alleged clients were linked to false social security numbers, were not qualified to receive compensation, were dead, or said they never hired the attorney.

Watts has also been sued by a group of Vietnamese Americans who say he falsely claimed to represent them, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Watts hosted a fundraiser for Ready for Hillary in November 2013 that drew prominent supporters such as Craig Smith, a longtime Clinton aide who now serves as an adviser to the 2016 campaign. The event brought in $100,000 for the pro-Clinton Super PAC.

State Dept. Cannot Confirm Clinton’s Email Claim At Benghazi Hearing

October 23, 2015 4:16 pm

 

The State Department said that it could not confirm a figure Hillary Clinton cited during testimony to the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday, suggesting that it was fashioned by her presidential campaign.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a State Department spokesman said Friday that the agency could not “confirm” Clinton’s claim that between 90 and 95 percent of her work emails were already preserved in the State Department’s computer system because she emailed other government officials on their work accounts.

The former secretary of state told the committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday that “90 to 95 percent of my work related emails were in the State’s system, if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.”

However, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Friday at a press briefing that he was not “aware” of the figure.

“I’m not aware that we have given that figure,” Toner said. “I’m not in a position right now to confirm that.”

Moreover, the department spokesman said that Clinton’s campaign had been citing the figure and directed reporters to instead question the campaign about “the rationale or the background behind it.”

Clinton said during her testimony that the figure came from the State Department.

“We learned that from the State Department and their analysis of the emails that were already on the system,” she told the committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks. “We were trying to help them close some gaps that they had.”

Clinton has endured criticism for months over her use of a personal email system while at the State Department. The FBI began investigating her private server after the inspector general of the intelligence community determined that multiple emails held on the system contained information that was classified at the time they were sent.

The Democratic presidential candid

Clinton used private email account for State Dept. business

Those emails weren’t archived in official records.

Thousands of emails Hillary Clinton generated as secretary of state were not archived as official government records because she used a private email account to conduct State Department business, the State Department acknowledged Monday.

Aides to the former secretary of state turned over 55,000 pages of emails from her personal account to the State Department in December at its request, a department official said.

Clinton’s use of the personal account for work-related emails and the State Department’s effort to gain control over the information were first reported by The New York Times. Clinton did not use a State Department email account, the paper reported.

“Last year, the Department sent a letter to representatives of former secretaries of state requesting they submit any records in their possession for proper preservation. In response to our request, Secretary Clinton provided the Department with emails spanning her time at the Department,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The Times story suggested that the private email trove came to light as the State Department worked to respond to requests for information from a special House committee probing the deaths of four Americans in a 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

However, a State Department official who asked not to be named said Monday night that the request to Clinton and other former secretaries took place in October of last year and was independent of any inquiries from the Benghazi panel.

Psaki did acknowledge that the set of emails Clinton aides gave to the department recently contained some records relevant to the Benghazi committee’s document demands.

“After the State Department reviewed [Clinton’s] emails, we produced about 300 e-mails responsive to recent requests from the Select Committee” on Benghazi, Psaki said.