U.S. govt-linked PR firm ran fake news networks for right-wing Latin American regimes

Another CLS Strategies partner, Juan Cortiñas, boasted on the firm’s website that he has represented top right-wing leaders and major corporations in Latin America, including the Venezuelan opposition.

Since the fake news ring was exposed, however, CLS Strategies has edited its website to scrub some of these compromising materials, removing the bios of associates like Feierstein and Cortiñas.

This controversy underscores how US PR firms, elite Washington insiders, and foreign opposition groups work in tandem to promote right-wing regimes in Latin America while astroturfing opposition to democratically elected left-wing governments.

Given the extensive links CLS has to the Democratic Party, this scheme also highlights the bipartisan consensus around regime change and support for corrupt neoliberal leaders linked to death squads and drug trafficking.

Keep reading

Destroying Libya: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

You must break a few eggs to make an omelet, Washington’s social engineers apparently believe when intervening in other societies. Sure, a few people might die. Others might end up disabled or displaced. But think of all the good that will be done when America’s plans are realized for [fill in the blank country], which will be well on its way to the bountiful future that its people deserve.

This mindset has repeatedly afflicted U.S. policymakers. Get rid of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Oust the Afghan Taliban. Toss out Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Dump Libya’s Muammar Khadafy. Don’t worry, the good times will come.

One might forgive George W. Bush for Iraq. At least a little. His father intervened in Iraq a decade before, bombed Baghdad, destroyed some tanks, freed Kuwait, and got out. Sanctions and no-fly zones remained, but the US didn’t fight an interminable guerrilla war or engage in nation-building. It looked easy. So why shouldn’t Bush fils one-up Bush pere and completely transform the country and region?

Yet after Iraq II how could anyone so carelessly launch another war? Why would anyone assume that blowing up Libya would generate good results, that peace, stability, and democracy would magically appear? President Barack Obama always posed as a reluctant warrior, but he recklessly lent the U.S. military to European states which hoped to force their way back into an area where they once had colonial ties and economic interests.

The more proximate architect of the disaster was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was proud of her handiwork. After hearing reports of Muammar Khadafy’s death, she joked with a reporter: “We came, we saw, he died.” Her laughter, more a maniacal cackle, foreshadowed the horror that unfortunate nation had only just begun to suffer.

Keep reading

What You Always Wanted to Know About the Decision to Attack Iraq, but Were Afraid to Ask

Consortium News published this trilogy yesterday.

1 — 
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/18/joe-lauria-powell-iraq-how-one-resignation-may-have-stopped-the-disastrous-invasion/

JOE LAURIA: Powell & Iraq—How One Resignation May Have Stopped the Disastrous Invasion
July 18, 2020 

++++++++++++++++++
2 —
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/18/scott-ritter-powell-iraq-regime-change-not-disarmament-the-fundamental-lie/

SCOTT RITTER: Powell & Iraq—Regime Change, Not Disarmament: The Fundamental Lie
July 18, 2020 

++++++++++++++++++
3 —
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/18/ray-mcgovern-powell-iraq-the-uses-and-abuses-of-national-intelligence-estimates/

RAY MCGOVERN: Powell & Iraq—The Uses and Abuses of National Intelligence Estimates
July 18, 2020 

Trump Secretly Authorized CIA To Run “Very Aggressive” Cyberwar Ops With No Oversight

A bombshell new investigative report in Yahoo News could shed light on the recent spate of ‘mystery’ blasts rocking strategic Iranian sites like Natanz nuclear plant and ballistic missile bases. 

The report details that in 2018 President Trump issued a ‘secret authorization’ essentially allowing a ‘gloves off’ approach by US intelligence agencies in conducting cyber warfare against Iran and other so-called rogue states:

The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities, according to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Keep reading