Jimmy Dore is a comic who has taken on Russiagate, a deadly serious matter. He is one of those brave souls who count themselves as progressives but dared to call into question Russiagate.
There are those who will tell you that Trump is a despicable human; and so if Russiagate tarnished Trump, the argument goes, what did it matter whether it was true. (The proposition that Trump is more monstrous than his predecessors, Obama, W or the Clintons is highly dubious to say the least – but that is a different topic.). There is, however, a very good reason why it does matter whether the charges making up Russiagate are true; for opposing Trump over his tax policies or stance on health care is quite a different matter from labeling him a Manchurian Candidate who colluded with Vlad Putin in 2016. Russiagate put a US President in a position where he was unable to negotiate crucial issues with the other nuclear superpower. To do so invited charges of being a Putin puppet, as evidenced by the howls that went up from the Establishment and most progressives over the Helsinki Summit.
What if the tensions between the US and Russia were to spin out of control in hot spots like Syria, where troops from the two nuclear superpowers pass within a whisker of one another, or Ukraine or even Venezuela? To extract us from such a predicament, Putin and Trump would need to make concessions to one another, as Kennedy and Krushchev did successfully in the Cuban Missile Crisis. But with the cloud of Russiagate hanging over his head Trump could make no such concession without being labeled a treasonous Putin puppet. So Russiagate took away from Trump the ability to negotiate his way out of an existential threat should one emerge. As such it should have been based on the highest levels of evidence. In fact it was not based on any hard evidence at all – there was none for the central charge of collusion. And the Mueller investigation finally admitted this. Given this, those who knowingly concocted Russiagate owe us all a great apology, for they committed the most serious of crimes by creating a situation that potentially threatened the existence of the American and Russian peoples – and perhaps all of humanity.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim that Iran and Al Qaeda are collaborating is at best an exaggeration that is not supported by any available information, U.S. intelligence officers and officials with the State and Defense Department tell TIME.
It is important to emphasize here that Pompeo is not simply “exaggerating” things when he claims that Iran and al-Qaeda work together. He is grossly distorting it into the opposite of what the evidence shows. He is lying. Iran hawks have desperately sought to invent ties between Iran and al-Qaeda to further their aggressive policies against Iran, but it isn’t true and no one is falling for their deception this time. Pushing a fraudulent story about a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda before the 2003 invasion was an important part of the Bush administration’s propaganda effort to sell the war to the public. The main reason why someone would choose to repeat a lie about Iran and al-Qaeda is to provide an excuse for attacking Iran and then claim that the attack was authorized by the 2001 AUMF. It is part of top Trump administration officials’ concerted campaign to lay the groundwork for an unjustified attack by falsely claiming a working relationship between the two that does not exist.
Incoming US Defense Secretary Shanahan has informed us that Iran’s nefarious intentions toward the US and its allies in the region have been put on hold thanks to the deployment of a US carrier strike group and a handful of B-52s to the region. Details about the original threat, claimed by Bolton, Pompeo, and others, have not been revealed. We are expected to take the neocons’ word for it that there actually was a threat and that they defeated it. On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The treacherous government of Ecuador has opened Julian Assange’s private quarters at its UK embassy up to US investigators, who have seized Assange’s legal defense documents, medical records, and electronic devices. In what kind of court is the prosecution allowed to see the defendant’s case before the trial? A Soviet courtroom? A kangaroo court? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The Trump administration consider the Houthi Rebels in Yemen to be an Iranian proxy and have accused Tehran of sending arms to the group. Trump blamed Iran for the war in Yemen in a statement from November of last year, “the country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen". But the Houthis have been fighting their own battle against the Yemeni Government since 2004.
A WikiLeaks cable dated December 9th 2009 from former US Ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche in Sa’na, Yemen addressed to the CIA and the Secretary of State, makes a strong case against claims that Tehran was arming the Houthis at the time:
"WEAPONS SUPPLY ————– 12. (S/NF) Contrary to ROYG(Republic of Yemen Government) claims that Iran is arming the Houthis, most local political analysts report that the Houthis obtain their weapons from the Yemeni black market and even from the ROYG military itself. According to a British diplomat, there are numerous credible reports that ROYG military commanders were selling weapons to the Houthis in the run-up to the Sixth War. An ICG report on the Sa’ada conflict from May 2009 quoted NSB director Ali Mohammed al-Ansi saying, “Iranians are not arming the Houthis. The weapons they use are Yemeni. Most actually come from fighters who fought against the socialists during the 1994 war and then sold them.” Mohammed Azzan, presidential advisor for Sa’ada affairs, told PolOff on August 16 that the Houthis easily obtain weapons inside Yemen, either from battlefield captures or by buying them from corrupt military commanders and soldiers. Azzan said that the military “covers up its failure” by saying the weapons come from Iran. According to Jamal Abdullah al-Shami of the Democracy School, there is little external oversight of the military’s large and increasing budget, so it is easy for members of the military to illegally sell weapons."
Bruce Riedel reports that the Saudi government is agitating for a U.S. attack on Iran, and the crown prince is the leading supporter of a new war:
Saudi Arabia is eager for the United States to take military action against Iran in the expectation that it will lead to regime change in Tehran. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the leading hawk, has a disastrous track record in military affairs. The Saudis have called for an Arab summit in Mecca on May 30 to rally support against Iran.
The Saudi government-controlled and -directed press is openly pushing for “surgical strikes” by the United States against targets in Iran.
Mohammed bin Salman has appalling judgment and a terrible track record, so it comes as no surprise that he thinks having the US start a war with Iran is a good idea. Bogged down in a disastrous war of his own making in Yemen, he would have the US set the entire region aflame with more reckless military intervention. The Trump administration should obviously ignore Saudi calls for war, but given the president’s history of doing Riyadh’s bidding there is no guarantee that a concerted push from regional clients won’t have the desired effect. Saudi support for attacking Iran is the latest example of their government’s destructive and destabilizing role in the region, and it is another reminder that the crown prince is reckless and incapable of learning any of the right lessons from his previous failures. With any luck, the anti-Iranian summit later this month will be as much of a flop as the Trump administration’s failed gathering in Warsaw.