"Excuse me if I am skeptical about anything the US Intel “community” dredges up these days in the way of breaking news. Branches of that sprawling vine are already infected with creeping rot."
The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster, and one of our all-time favorite pessimists. We carry his articles regularly on RI. His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.
He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile, along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive). These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.
You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here. To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. Here is a recent audio interview with him which gives a good overview of his work.
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And so the Golden Golem of Greatness re-enters the hall of mirrors that Syria has become. The US intelligence “community” has informed the US Media that Syrian President Assad is planning a new gas attack on Idlib Province, where a ragtag army of US-backed “rebels” (ISIS, etc) remain holed up against Assad’s forces backed by Russian air support. Have we seen this movie before?
Is Mr. Assad truly that dumb? — since the last time a gas attack was alleged (and actually never proven), Mr. Trump averred that he would attack Syria. And what did he even mean by that? Send a barrel bomb down the Assad family chimney, or just blow up more stuff on the ground? And for what? To birth another failed state in the Middle East (just what the world needs), or perhaps start World War Three with Russia? (Ditto, with a cherry on top.)
Excuse me if I am skeptical about anything the US intel “community” dredges up these days in the way of breaking news. Branches of that sprawling vine are already infected with creeping rot. I speak, of course, of the upper echelons of the FBI especially and their counterparts in the CIA orbit (ex-Directors John Brennan, Michael Hayden, ex DNI James Clapper and their cronies still on-the-job). Just as there is loose talk about an Assad gas attack, there’s also a lot of loose talk around the Internet that a large number of US intel communitarians are about to be busted for their political misconduct around the 2016 election. I’ll believe that when I see it on Glenn Greenwald’s Twitter feed.
Anyway, the Assad gas attack story does raise the question whether the intel community is ginning up a gigantic and ugly distraction from its own inconvenient legal exposure. Mounting evidence shows an orchestrated campaign by them to meddle in the 2016 elections, and continue meddling afterward to thwart, discredit, delegitimize, and defame Mr. Trump, for the purpose of leaving him little room to act. To a considerable extent, the Golden Golem of Greatness has managed to act anyway. For instance, transforming the Supreme Court.
The likely confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh may be a last straw for the “Resistance.” It would certainly affect the adjudication of any new disputes that arise over relations between Mr. Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the weeks ahead. The Mueller investigation into 2016 election “collusion” between Russia and Trump looks more and more like a case of displacement-projection syndrome, since dumpster-loads of evidence now point to collusion between the Hillary campaign, the DNC, a cast of rogue spooks from the CIA, various FBI officers, and British Intelligence in a scheme that is now going to grand juries.
All that nasty business, starting with the news that a grand jury has been secretly grilling former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for weeks, suggests that events are about to unspool dramatically. The story has been coiling for months as fresh documents emerge and officials, such as the DOJ Inspector General, confirm what they mean. It remains to be seen whether the Web chatter about dozens of “sealed indictments” coming down is horse-shit. The baffling part is the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. I’m inclined to doubt that Mr. Trump’s regular vilifications of Sessions are a ruse, meant to mislead the media about the AG’s activities in these matters. But the DC Swamp is unnerved by Sessions’ extraordinary absence of presence on the scene. Has he actually been involved in any of this, or is he playing animal lotto on his desk?
There is a certain balance between the new hostilities in Syria — possible existential threat — and the anxious disquiet about a so-called “soft coup” against the chief executive. What really might turn over the whole groaning table of national tribulations will be the discovery that the Trump economic boom is fake. The current “boom” story rests on more than a trillion dollars of money-pumping enabled by tax cuts and racking up evermore debt. Mr. Trump was foolish to take “ownership” of it, and when reality re-enters the scene, the Resistance will finally have something real to hang him with.
Most unsettling about these trending events is that they appear on a path to converge this fall, along with the midterm elections. The public is already confused and angry enough. I’m worried that we can’t handle what’s coming.