He has called global warming a hoax, suggested that Barack Obama is not an American and linked autism to childhood vaccinations. And soon, President Donald Trump—America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist—will decide the fate of more than 113,000 pages of secret documents about the ultimate conspiracy theory. No, not Russian meddling in the 2016 election—the assassination of… Continue Reading →
ProPublica Reader Guide Maps Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comment Donate Who Holds the DEA Accountable When Its Missions Cost Lives? In 2011, a DEA operation touched off a massacre in a Mexican town, yet the agency never investigated what went wrong. by Ginger Thompson, ProPublica June 19, 2017 This story was co-published with The… Continue Reading →
Sure looks like it. This is scary:
The following statement was posted online in Arabic by the Qatari foreign ministry on Monday. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed its deep regret and surprise at the decisions by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace, and… Continue Reading →
Let war begin! Trump needs a distraction from the Russia investigations, and it never hurts to flex power to bolster those sagging approval ratings, too. So we’re clear here, if Trump gave a fck about gasping Syrian children, he’d open the refugee doors and welcome them in. But instead. he just lobbed around 60 cruise missiles… Continue Reading →
Attention, folks! We have boots on the ground in Syria now. Lots of them, with the potential for many more. Marines have arrived in Northern Syria to assist in the fight against ISIS to reclaim Raqqa. A couple hundred Marines have deployed into Syria with heavy artillery guns, as part of the ongoing preparation for the… Continue Reading →
I guess Canada’s the new beacon of freedom:
Earlier today, then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates issued a directive to staff not to defend the Muslim ban. Her memo letter said, “I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.” “At present, I am not… Continue Reading →
He thinks like a Hollywood producer:
WASHINGTON ― Part of being a great president is showing off America’s military strength, according to President-elect Donald Trump.
The military “may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump told the Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday. “That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”
Trump spoke about his vision of military parades in vague terms, suggesting it was something he might oversee in the future. But according to several sources involved in his inaugural preparations, Trump has endeavored to ensure that his first day as commander-in-chief is marked by an unusual display of heavy military equipment.
During the preparation for Friday’s transfer-of-power, a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang, typically seen as an aggressive display of muscle-flexing.
The military, which traditionally works closely with the presidential inaugural committee, shot down the request, the source said. Their reason was twofold. Some were concerned about the optics of having tanks and missile launchers rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. But they also worried that the tanks, which often weigh over 100,000 pounds, would destroy the roads.
I hate to link to the National Review, but this is important. Because I expect something like this will be replicated here:
I believe that Vladimir Putin came to power as the result of an act of terror committed against his own people. The evidence is overwhelming that the apartment-house bombings in 1999 in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk, which provided a pretext for the second Chechen war and catapulted Putin into the presidency, were carried out by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Yet, to this day, an indifferent world has made little attempt to grasp the significance of what was the greatest political provocation since the burning of the Reichstag.
I have been trying to call attention to the facts behind the bombings since 1999. I consider this a moral obligation, because ignoring the fact that a man in charge of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal came to power through an act of terror is highly dangerous in itself. Russian human-rights defenders Sergei Yushenkov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, and Alexander Litvinenko also worked to shed light on the apartment bombings. But all of them were murdered between 2003 and 2006.
By 2007, when I testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the bombings, I was the only person publicly accusing the regime of responsibility who had not been killed. The bombings terrorized Russia. The Russian authorities blamed Chechen rebels and thereby galvanized popular support for a new war in Chechnya. President Boris Yeltsin and his entourage were thoroughly hated for their role in the pillaging of the country. Putin, the head of the FSB, had just been named Yeltsin’s prime minister and achieved overnight popularity by vowing revenge against those who had murdered innocent civilians. He assumed direction of the war and, on the strength of initial successes, was elected president easily.
Seem to be doomed to stand by helplessly as it repeats itself:
The rise of right-wing populism in Europe and the United States, accentuated by the election of Donald Trump, has led to growing fears about the possibility of new forms of authoritarianism. In search of insight, many commentators have turned to a book published some 65 years ago — Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” Arendt was a German Jewish intellectual who fled Germany with the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1933, lived in Paris as a stateless refugee and Zionist activist until 1941 and then fled to and settled in the United States.
“Origins,” first published in 1951, was based on research and writing done during the 1940s. The book’s primary purpose is to understand totalitarianism, a novel form of mobilizational and genocidal dictatorship epitomized by Stalinism in Soviet Russia and Hitlerism in Nazi Germany, and it culminates in a vivid account of the system of concentration and death camps that Arendt believed defined totalitarian rule. The book’s very first words signal the mood:
Two world wars in one generation, separated by an uninterrupted chain of local wars and revolutions, followed by no peace treaty for the vanquished and no respite for the victor, have ended in the anticipation of a third World War between the two remaining superpowers. This moment of anticipation is like the calm, that settles after all hopes have died . . . Under the most diverse conditions and disparate circumstances, we watch the development of the same phenomena — homelessness on an unprecedented scale, rootlessness to an unprecedented depth . . . Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest — forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries.
How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and “Origins” raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead.