As Trump Moves Toward War, "The Resistance" Refuses To Resist

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Tuesday’s post, It’s Impossible to Overstate How Terrible Mike Pompeo Is, laid out the view that Trump’s firing of Rex Tillerson represents a major shift toward war footing for the Trump administration, with Iran the specific target. This pivot was easily predictable, and I wrote numerous articles doing just that during 2017. Nevertheless, forecasting it and then seeing the disastrous pieces being moved into place are two different things.

Trump’s push to install Mike Pompeo as U.S. Secretary of State is a crystal clear indication that he’s begun the process of building his war cabinet. The next steps, likely to begin over the course of 2018, is to walk away from the Iran deal. I suspect relentless war propaganda to be unleashed simultaneously as the neocon/neoliberal/mass media war-monger alliance plays its well established role in selling the American public on another pointless and destructive war.

My prior post discussed Pompeo in detail, so I don’t want to be repetitive, but to revisit: Pompeo has contempt for the First Amendment, referred to torturers as patriots, wants Edward Snowden executed and is an extreme warhawk when it comes to Iran. In other words, he’s your typical neocon lunatic who’s just a bit more rough around the edges publicly. He represents the exact opposite sort of foreign policy to what so many Trump voters thought they were getting.

Switching gears a bit, today’s piece will zero in on Trump’s other desired appointment, Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Gina’s famous for running a CIA black site in Thailand where detainees were tortured. In fact, she performed her role with such gusto she was nicknamed “Bloody Gina” by colleagues, and also played a key role in destroying videotape evidence of the torture. Her promotion represents a bizarre way to “drain the swamp,” but I digress.

What’s most interesting and extremely disturbing about the Pompeo and Haspel appointments, is the lack of resistance from “the resistance.” If you’ve been paying attention, this won’t be surprising since the resistance has always been an unholy alliance of neocon/neoliberal war hawks, intelligence agencies and the mass media.

They don’t want to “resist” any of Trump’s genuinely bad policies, the entire purpose of this psyops of a movement is to ensure Trump continues with the insane imperial policies of his predecessors. Trump’s about to deliver in spades, and you can thank “the resistance” for paving the way for this administration’s upcoming belligerence.

Here’s what I mean. From The Hill:

This puts Democrats in a potentially powerful position to swing Haspel’s confirmation.

Yet early signs suggest that the minority is prepared to offer support, despite her controversial record, fierce opposition from human rights activists and the fact that she is a Trump nominee.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), on Wednesday cited a “very good working relationship” with Haspel, currently the agency’s deputy director. Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), a red-state Democrat who also sits on the Intelligence panel, said he was “very much open-minded.”

Even one of the Senate’s harshest critics of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and the architect of the so-called torture report, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), signaled a surprisingly open reception to Haspel that could pull others off the fence.

“We’ve had dinner together. We have talked. Everything I know is she has been a good deputy director,” Feinstein said on Tuesday, adding, “I think, hopefully, the entire organization learned something from the so-called enhanced interrogation program.”

Feinstein in 2013 blocked Haspel’s promotion to run clandestine operations at the agency over her role in interrogations at a CIA “black site” prison and the destruction of videotapes documenting the waterboarding sessions of an al Qaeda suspect there.

Did you catch that? Feinstein blocked Haspel in 2013, but now, under Trump, she’s open to an even bigger promotion.

A few lawmakers have come out in opposition to Haspel – most prominently Paul and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren  (D-Mass.) – but it’s unclear how much influence they will wield. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he is not whipping votes to oppose Haspel.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet “the resistance.”

It’d be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

To be fair, Schumer does have some concerns with regard to Pompeo. He might not be belligerent enough toward Russia.

But Democrats stressed on Tuesday that their previous support for Pompeo did not automatically mean they would support him to be secretary of State.

Schumer noted he wants to know if the former House member will be tougher on Russia if he’s confirmed to be the country’s top diplomat.

You seriously can’t make this stuff up. Also, don’t forget that 14 Democrats supported Pompeo for CIA director back in 2016, and Democrats also supported increased surveillance state spying powers late last year. I find it fascinating that when it comes to mass surveillance and torture, suddenly the Democrats don’t want to “resist.”

Meanwhile, across the Washington D.C. cesspool hordes of “respected leaders” are vigorously defending Gina Haspel using the same defense used by actual Nazi war criminals after WWII.

From The Intercept:

During the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, several Nazis, including top German generals Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, claimed they were not guilty of the tribunal’s charges because they had been acting at the directive of their superiors.

Ever since, this justification has been popularly known as the “Nuremberg defense,” in which the accused states they were “only following orders.”

The Nuremberg judges rejected the Nuremberg defense, and both Jodl and Keitel were hanged. The United Nations International Law Commission later codified the underlying principle from Nuremberg as “the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

This is likely the most famous declaration in the history of international law and is as settled as anything possibly can be.

However, many members of the Washington, D.C. elite are now stating that it, in fact, is a legitimate defense for American officials who violate international law to claim they were just following orders…

Haspel oversaw a secret “black site” in Thailand, at which prisoners were waterboarded and subjected to other severe forms of abuse. Haspel later participated in the destruction of the CIA’s videotapes of some of its torture sessions. There is informed speculation that part of the CIA’s motivation for destroying these records may have been that they showed operatives employing torture to generate false “intelligence” used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA operative who helped capture many Al Qaeda prisoners, recently said that Haspel was known to some at the agency as “Bloody Gina” and that “Gina and people like Gina did it, I think, because they enjoyed doing it. They tortured just for the sake of torture, not for the sake of gathering information.” (In 2012, in a convoluted case, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to leaking the identity of a covert CIA officer to the press and spent a year in prison.)

One who paraphrased it is Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and the National Security Agency. In a Wednesday op-ed, Hayden endorsed Haspel as head of the CIA, writing that “Haspel did nothing more and nothing less than what the nation and the agency asked her to do, and she did it well.”

John Brennan, who ran the CIA under President Barack Obama, made similar remarks on Tuesday when asked about Haspel. The Bush administration had decided that its torture program was legal, said Brennan, and Haspel “tried to carry out her duties at CIA to the best of her ability, even when the CIA was asked to do some very difficult things.”

Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd used the precise language of the Nuremberg defense during a Tuesday appearance on CNN when Wolf Blitzer asked him to respond to a statement from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: “The Senate must do its job in scrutinizing the record and involvement of Gina Haspel in this disgraceful program.”

Hurd, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a former CIA operative as well, told Blitzer that “this wasn’t Gina’s idea. She was following orders. … She implemented orders and was doing her job.”

Bipartisan support of torture using a literal Nazi defense. Unfortunately, I’m not even surprised.

Now here’s the best part…

Notably, Blitzer did not have any follow-up questions for Hurd about his jarring comments.

Gotta love CNN.

Fortunately, there’s a small flicker of actual resistance to Trump’s shameless neocon pivot. It just happens to be coming from Rand Paul.

He held a press conference on the matter, which I suggest everyone watch in full.

As if all of this isn’t concerning enough, something Jeremy Scahill said in a recent Democracy Now interview really shook me. I discussed it on Twitter earlier today.

See how this works? We lose either way.

In fact, I find Cotton so dangerous, I specially singled him out in last year’s post, Expect Desperate and Insane Behavior From Government in 2018 – Part 3 (War):

While I’m already sufficiently concerned about the likelihood of another stupid escalation in the Middle East by Trump, there are milestones I’m looking out for to let me know it’s about to get really bad. At the core of any major disaster will be Senator Tom Cotton, a rabid neocon who I unequivocally believe is the most dangerous, anti-freedom person in the U.S. Congress. He reminds me of an American Mohamed bin Salman, and his elevated prominence around Trump earlier this year is what got me increasingly concerned in the first place.

If Cotton takes on a more senior role in the Trump administration, such as a rumored position as CIA director, you can bet the farm that U.S. foreign policy is about to take the most dangerous turn since George W. Bush. Tom Cotton is a neocon on steroids, and seems to genuinely love conflict and authoritarianism. To get a better sense of what sort of person he is, take a look at him taking Twitter legal counsel to task. He believes U.S. companies act as an active arm of state intelligence.

What’s going on here is crystal clear. Trump’s setting up a war cabinet because he wants to go to war, and his administration will soon be dominated by the exact same neocon lunatics his populist supporters wanted to get away from in the first place.

As the saying goes, “if voting made a difference, they’d make it illegal.”

Brace yourselves, the war sales job is imminent and it’s going to be relentless.

*  *  *

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Comments

ZeroSpam lloll Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:51 Permalink

^^^ lloll ^^^ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ^^^ VIRUS ALERT ^^^^

This chronic spammer (aka "stizazz" and "pier" -- hopefully banned) is a CHRONIC SPAMMER whose "disguised links" ("The Law That Changed The World", above) will take you to his Spam- and Trojan-laden webpage, fondly known by ZHers as "The Whacked Out Biblicism SPAM page" where you will be the happy recipient of numerous virus from this very disturbed and obsessed individual, spamming here for more than five years.

END SPAM!

Copy and send this text to abuse@zerohedge.com

"Please remove all postings and ban log-on from user "LLOLL" who chronically posts short-URL links to his virus- and spam-filled website. This is the same individual posting chronically as  "STIZAZZ" "PRIVETHEDGE" and "PIER", among dozens of other banned log-ons (that's YOU dailywesterner and biblicisminstitute). Thank you."

In reply to by lloll

JSBach1 IntercoursetheEU Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:31 Permalink

We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past ... We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments ... Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States] … We will partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism … In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.

And there’s this: “We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that, frankly, if they were there and if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems—our airports and all the other problems we have—we would have been a lot better off, I can tell you that right now. We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East—we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away—and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess.

I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart!”

--- Donald Trump - the campaigner

In reply to by IntercoursetheEU

BobEore JSBach1 Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:58 Permalink

All yur dreams belongs to US!

But your nightmares are off your own making...

This just in hopeless hopium eaters! You were warned repeatedly who the entity known as "donald j trump" was...

what he would do once in office..

who he was controlled by...

and why.

You laughed... you screamed... you scorned all advice.* And now ... tired of being 'nice'... I'll deliver the next dose of REALLY REAL REALITY preview to youse... without the fancy wrapping and 'it's not too late to fix this' gift wrap.

Trimp is now a torture toy of the talmudist kabbalist enterprise. They will envelop his family... his business 'empire'... his administration... and his person, in an every more fantastical - but horribly real - miasma of terror. He will be broken and discarded. His country will be broken and discarded.

U who cackled endlessly... will be broken and discarded... on the rack of your own witting complicity with the talmudic takeover of your homeland.

Laugh. scream. This ain't no bad dream; It's the really real dirty down low down... as foretold to you by those who cared more for your families and futures than you ever did.

 "when the Empires’ military might dwindles further, when it is no longer possible for it to maintain the foreign administrative outposts which process death and manage the drug pipelines, inevitably the circle of sacrifice will close in on itself, inside the empire, the consensus of shared guilt added on to the previous consensus of necessity for blood, so that it is acceptable for the new victims to be found from amongst it’s own citizens – “each challenge, each voice differing from the consensus – even if it is only symbolic and without military muscle – becoming an insufferable threat to the dimly held hope that it might yet, even in the face of impossible odds, be possible to expunge life’s calamities…. In this scenario hope dwindles but fear persists – like a man who has ceased to believe in God but who still fastidiously observes every religious ritual for fear of being condemned to Hell.” Twilight of the West

goodnight amerika

*EDIT: oh yes! I forgot - you also punched your buttons endlessly with your probiscuses... NONE of it worked, did it?

In reply to by JSBach1

JSBach1 BobEore Fri, 03/16/2018 - 01:54 Permalink

Hey Bob:

There is something seemingly unsettling in watching all the signs which foretell an inevitable showdown happening in front of one's eyes, as if one would be witness to a dangerous confrontation between a pride of lions fending off an approaching pack of hungry scavenging hyenas salivating to sink their collective teeth into a bloodied collapsed gazelle. And this almost paralyzing helplessness felt in being able to only be an onlooker is what is most frustrating along with the potential fallout being haunted by spectre of the past.

Why is it that we chose inaction or not enough action given the calamitous nature of the grim reality of rampant out of control corruption, intolerance, indifference, and sheer selfish intoxication foisted upon the populace by its bloated unresponsive governing body? Was it, in the end, untenable or were we distracted by its lies and allured into a false sense of security?

Fight on we must even at a sudden recognition of an impossible end and its singularly of sobriety. More people are needed to open their eyes, even when time to awakening is seemingly is all but gone, especially those who have even a slight potential at being awaken to the grave and mature threat which is this government and its foreign (either by birth, allegiance and/or a deceptive heart) appartchiks operating and supported by the real powers and the traitors both foreign and domestic.

btw, I wanted to ask about your thoughts on the possibility of another front, in addition to what is in the plans in Syria, being opened in the Ukraine in the near future.

In reply to by BobEore

BobEore JSBach1 Fri, 03/16/2018 - 03:42 Permalink

Greetings JSB(1)!

No sightings of thee since the occasion of a shootdown of the once high-flyin Bird o the Word here some weeks past-

when a "manpad" of the metaphorical kind laid waste to the unchaste lies of a guy whose demise brought out an army of talmudic trolls such as as would scare the pants offa most mensch. I assumed you to be one of the casualties of that orc-hunt. Good to see you unscathed!

Serendipitously, I've just been finishing up a piece which was inspired by the latest Saker reposting of an article on aisan times by an old buddy who - like so many a scribbler - went 'muddy' some time agol Perhaps within lies at least a partial answer to your query of the moment....

it is the 'intelligentsia' corrupted into service to the forces of international finance capital which hath sealed the doom of the west. Guys who have sold out their birthright - and their peeples - for a mess o Poutine.

I have no relevant insights on the matter of 'fronts' at this time my friend. Only 'affronts' to the dignity of truth in media... and the craft of journalism.

Parfumerie de Poutine... Pepe le Phew douses me & you too!

It's now totally clear that the 'internet highway' was but a road to kabbalistic hell.

In reply to by JSBach1

Gardentoolnumber5 JSBach1 Fri, 03/16/2018 - 07:11 Permalink

Trump found himself surrounded by the communists on the left and the fascists on the "right". Both out to get him. The leftist accusing Trump of their own crimes and the never Trumper fascists backing them up with their own Trump conspiracy theories of Russia collusion.

I have hope that Trump, seeing this situation, had to appease one group somewhat while dealing with the other. (make nice with the Neocons while dealing with the Neocon fellow traveler leftists screaming "Impeach 45.") Hopefully after taking care of the communists Trump will then move to take care of the Neocons. The same Neocons that should have been put away after the Iraq debacle. Not only were they not put away, they were overthrowing Libya and trying to OT Syria.

Hope springs eternal. But, Trump was getting hit by just about every front before and after election. FBI, CIA, Communists, Fascists, I can only hope playing nice with the fascist Neocons is but a feint to allow time to put away the rouge elements of leftists in the alphabet soup while then taking on the detestable warmonger Neocon scum of the earth.

As was mentioned, hope springs eternal.

In reply to by JSBach1

scubapro JSBach1 Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:30 Permalink

 

you thought he might be true to what he has said??    hes a salesman.   no depth, no understanding, no moral compass, only goal is to make the sale.

 

established dems and gop-ers  are bought and paid for by mic.  bring back the draft, and we'll see how willing people are to send sons and daughters half way around the world to defend oil interests.

In reply to by JSBach1

ZeroSpam pier Thu, 03/15/2018 - 23:17 Permalink

^^^ pier ^^^ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ^^^ VIRUS ALERT ^^^^

This whackjob (aka "stizazz" and "lloll" -- hopefully banned) is a CHRONIC SPAMMER whose "disguised links" ("The coming....", above) will take you to his virus- and Trojan-laden webpage, fondly known by ZHers as "The Whacked Out Biblicism SPAM page" where you will be the happy recipient of numerous virus from this very disturbed and obsessed individual, spamming here for more than five years.

END SPAM!

Copy and send this text to abuse@zerohedge.com

"Please remove all postings and ban log-on from user "LLOLL" who chronically posts short-URL links to his virus- and spam-filled website. This is the same individual posting chronically as  "STIZAZZ" "PRIVETHEDGE" and "PIER", among dozens of other banned log-ons (that's YOU dailywesterner and biblicisminstitute). Thank you."

In reply to by pier

JSBach1 ZeroSpam Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:23 Permalink

I visited his/her links to the bible institute website, and I've never once caught a virus so I don't know why you are so obsessed in monitoring and replying to all his/her posts. And I think by now all the regulars recognize this poster, and if they were as obsessed as you seem to be they would have sent emails by now, but I would like to believe, unless it is over the top, or in other ways unbearable, this site should refrain from censorship, unless you'd prefer the current trajectory....

In reply to by ZeroSpam

I am Groot pier Thu, 03/15/2018 - 23:43 Permalink

I support Trump, but he and that little Hobbit motherfucker Sessions definitely want a police state. More civil asset forfeiture, police unions whitewashing dirty/guilty cops records, unwarranted surveillance, the Supreme court declaring that cops don't have to protect anyone, and the FBI setting up false flags. The entire DOJ is rotting from the head and should be disbanded and rebuilt.

The fact that he sent more troops out all over the proves he's a Neocon. That and jacking the MIC/Pentagram budget though the roof.

Every other article you read is about WWIII. That's not very conducive to remaining anal retentive....

In reply to by pier

I am Groot Rex Andrus Fri, 03/16/2018 - 01:21 Permalink

Exactly your point, you don't negotiate, you put it down with a bullet. All of the unwarranted surveillance on Americans, the total bullshit wars in Iraq wasting trillions of dollars, the bullshit whatever is going on in Syria for oil has absolutely fucking NOTHING to do with national security. We've been fighting in Afghanistan for 17 years against an army that has a 4th grade education, no tanks, no planes, no ships and no industrial base from which to manufacture. It's nothing more that outright theft from taxpayers. $8.5 TRILLION missing from the Pentagon. Total bullshit.

We should be laser focused with every single dime and swinging dick on working against and pushing back on China. They have been our enemy (and the Norks) since 1953. They are playing the long game to totally destroy us, remove the US dollar as the world currency and remove our petodollar and replace it with the yuan. Trump is acting like an ADHD kid with Russia, Syria, and Africa.

So don't fucking tell me I don't have a clue dipshit. You sound like you want to support the Deep State and the fucking Joos. Go ahead, you'll get a lead enema to the brainpan soon.

 

In reply to by Rex Andrus

BarkingCat pier Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:25 Permalink

You really need to check your facts before making statements or you reveal yourself as a complete dumb ass.

 

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995[1] is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. The proposed law was adopted by the Senate (93–5),[2] and the House (374–37).[3] The Act became law without a presidential signature on November 8, 1995.

In reply to by pier

junction lloll Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

There never was any resistance, no foe of the NWO since the CIA arranged the murders of JFK and Robert Kennedy.  I would like to have the money Schumer has stashed in a Reno trust account.  You know, maybe there are digital recordings of Trump showing him doing bad stuff, like paying off Mafia construction capos at the start of his career.  

In reply to by lloll

Endgame Napoleon bigrooster Thu, 03/15/2018 - 23:33 Permalink

Explain Bernie then: hates war / hates Wall Street. 

This, indeed, is not the foreign policy that Trump voters wanted. Since Cotton stands up against mass-scale, welfare-supported illegal immigration, you gotta wonder why they would put him in a non-Deplorable-oriented foreign-policy role.

Whatever happened to Cotton’s bill, cutting in half legal immigration, which is likewise often undergirded by welfare in a country that cannot afford it, with 50 million working-aged citizens out of the workforce, where half of the population works part time, with an average yearly income of $13k.http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-everything-bubble-waiting-for…

The USA is too underemployed to need over 1 million new, non-merit-based immigrants each year. Unreasonable numbers of welfare-boosted immigrants staying below the earned-income limits for the programs, with US-born kids that qualify them for the welfare, drive wages down for welfare-ineligible citizens living on earned-only income.

The switching of assignments to the foreign policy department might mean the cheap-labor-loving campaign donors are back in control of the Administration’s immigration policy, giving employers carte blanche to use any portion of their bigly tax cut not allocated to stock buybacks on low-cost, welfare-buttressed, non-citizen workers.  

Regardless, this divergence from Deplorable orthodoxy on the foreign policy side will get way more attention than things that are hurting citizens on the jobs front, even though recent elections in the South and in the industrial North show that voters prioritize the issues of access to jobs and quality jobs with decent wages over social issues and foreign policy issues.

Elites can afford to obsess over other issues; they concentrate the wealth from two high-paying jobs under one roof via assortative mating. They usually have lots of other income to boot.

The mostly non voting, welfare-dependent, womb-productive citizens and noncitizens have the luxury of prioritizing something other than jobs as well due to 1) rent and groceries covered by taxpayers when they work part time to stay below the earned-income limits for monthly welfare and 2) refundable child tax credits up to $6,444 that Swampers keep raising.

Deplorable voters, living on earned-only income and/or Social Security that they paid into at 7.65% or 15.3% of their meager income all of their working lives, must put bread-&-butter issues first.

 

 

 

In reply to by bigrooster

Cabreado Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:53 Permalink

""As Trump Moves Toward War..."

Damn... I didn't even make it past the headline.

"Trump" isn't moving towards war.

Trump has no interest in war.

Does that make me a "Trumper?"

Or does that make the headline more in line with propaganda and clickbait?

youshallnotkill Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

Sorry folks, but the only way a war with Iran could have been prevented would have been a vote for Satan i.e. HRC. 

Ripping up the nuclear control treaty with Iran was an all Republican project from the get-go, with Rand being the sole exception.

simulkra youshallnotkill Thu, 03/15/2018 - 23:29 Permalink

True, but that's because Satan wanted war with Russia.

The thing to keep in mind is that none of this is real. It is still 1984 and we have permanent war. The object is total control of yr own population.

That said the Zionists seem to have regained control of the Pentagram but war with Iran really means war with Syria. If that happens maybe Satan will get her wish as the last time they tried stepping Russia out, with a no- fly zone, Russia threatened to nuke the US carrier groups ...

In reply to by youshallnotkill

Yen Cross Thu, 03/15/2018 - 23:01 Permalink

  Trump is dancing on a political and financial tightrope.

  Global macro politics isn't regional financial margin management.

  I think, and hope, that Donald is taking some sanguine advice from his advisors.

 

  If the markets decide that this guy can't delegate and manage the country properly, all things LIBTARD will be unleashed upon the 50.00% Amish.

  . sarc .