Links 9/27/22

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

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* * *

The Utterly Engrossing Search for the Origin of Eels Smithsonian Magazine

NASA’s DART Spacecraft Slams Into Asteroid in Effort to Alter Its Orbit WSJ (J-LS)

Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen explicitly accuses rival Hans Niemann of cheating CNN

Putin grants Russian citizenship to former US security contractor Edward Snowden Firstpost (J-LS)

The Many Lives — and Credit Suisse Accounts — of Gaddafi-Linked Lobbyist Hassan Tatanaki OCCRP

Chasing Steel LRB (J-LS)

The Uber Hack Exposes More Than Failed Data Security NYT (DL)

* * *

Leading economies sliding into recession as Ukraine war cuts growth, OECD finds The Guardian (KW)


Al Gore Calls Out ‘Greenwashing’ Risks as Funds Quit Green Club Bloomberg (DL)



The End of Senior Politics in China The Diplomat

China growth to fall behind rest of Asia for first time since 1990 FT

Former Chicago college student convicted of spying for Chinese intelligence service Chicago Tribune

Blinken urges Pakistan to seek China debt relief after floods Dawn


Japan to Abandon Controversial Training Program for Myanmar Cadets The Diplomat

Why Bangladesh shouldn’t fall into trap of war with Myanmar Independent Australia

Japan holds a divisive state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe NPR

The Koreas

North Korea launches ballistic missile before US Vice-President Kamala Harris visits South Korea ABC (Australia)

Seoul says North Korea, China reopen freight train traffic Hellenic Shipping News

TV network started by Marcos-allied tycoon raises concerns about politicisation of media Straits Times


US Funds Website on Arunachal Tribes in Overt Sign to Counter Chinese Claims on Region The Wire

‘You’re not fooling anybody…’ Jaishankar responds to US F-16 package for Pakistan Times of India

NavIC: India’s Push for Homegrown Navigation System Jolts Smartphone Giants/a> The Wire (J-LS)

No more 3rd party agents, RBI tells Mahindra Financial after pregnant woman dies under tractor by recovery agents MintGenie

* * *

Rupee Plunges 58 Paise to Close at All-time Low of 81.67 Against US Dollar The Wire (J-LS)

India Unwilling to Relent on Tax Stance for Debt Index Inclusion Bloomberg


IMF condemns Lebanon ‘very slow progress’ on reforms Al Arabiya

US to relax restrictions for tech companies in Iran The Register

Iranian army attacks Kurdish militants in Iraq amid protests DW

Al-Aqsa: Israeli settlers storm the compound on Jewish New Year Middle East Eye

Türkiye denounces foreign military buildups in Greece Anadolu Agency

European Disunion

Fascism returns to Europe’s centerstage Indian Punchline (KW)

EU, US question Serbia’s EU commitment after Russia deal Al Jazeera

As SA teeters on the brink of full-blown energy disaster, it’s vital the right decisions are made – now Daily Maverick

Old Blighty

Pound plummets as UK Tory government and Labour fight over how to protect profits WSWS

Crispin Odey and other hedge fund managers profit from sterling tumble FT

Plan to pay Liz Truss’s chief of staff through firm is dropped after criticism The Guardian

‘No place to hide’: CAR rebel leader claims innocence in brutal war crimes DW

New Not-So-Cold War

What If Russia Uses Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine? The Atlantic (KS)

NATO, EU chiefs hold talk on war in Ukraine Anadolu Agency

UK sanctions Russians linked to ‘sham’ referendums in Ukraine Reuters

Venezuela Joins Mexico’s Initiative for Ceasefire in Ukraine teleSUR

* * *

The U.S. Is Winning Its War On Europe’s Industries And People Moon of Alabama

EU Countries Plan to Delay Russian Oil Price Cap Amid Divisions Bloomberg

Colombia Reopens Border With Venezuela in Bid to Mend Ties With U.S. Adversary WSJ

Artsakh Foreign Minister Discusses Karabakh Conflict with Rep. Schiff Asbarez

Biden Administration

White House Student Loan Forgiveness Could Cost About $400 Billion NYT (KW)

The Best Journalists Are Persecuted And Despised: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Girls Who Code book series banned in some US classrooms The Register (CL)

The Bezzle

NY bank ordered to share client user data in IRS crypto tax probe Protos

Imperial Collapse Watch

Navy bribery fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ seeks asylum in Venezuela Stars and Stripes

Class Warfare

Billionaire Monopolist Jeff Bezos Is Buying Up Single-Family Homes to Rent-Trap Humanity Forever Surviving Tomorrow (DL)

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from North To Alaska by Johnny Horton)

    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on

    Across the south of Ukraine the soil’s like chocolate cake
    A land of ethnic Russians, and the Black Sea is their lake
    Well south of Galicia, where the Banderistas reign
    Lies the city of Odessa, with its harbor and sea lane
    Where mountains of wheat sail for the Bosporus Strait
    Now the Kremlin wants Odessa back within the Russian state
    The people of Odessa think of Russia as their land
    They’ll rejoin the Federation by popular demand

    Where Russian is spoken, one nation unbroken
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on

    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on

    Hungary, Romania, and Poland all have schemes
    To carve up Western Ukraine to add to their regimes
    Ukraine will be Pirogis served up on a silver tray
    Just as soon as Russia has Odessa squared away
    The city of Kyiv, and the Oblast with that name
    And adjoining nearby Oblasts can keep some sorry claim
    To what’s left of Ukraine under some new sobriquet
    Or it can remain the fifty-first state of the USA

    Where Russian is spoken, one nation unbroken
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on
    West to Odessa, we’re goin’ West, the push is on

    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    Way out West (West to Odessa)
    Way out West (West to Odessa)

    1. Stephen

      He joins an august group of people including Stalin and other even more reviled historical characters. The “elites” never seem to learn. Nor to apologize.

      I saw speculation (that is all it can be) that it may be part of a US intention to remind Zelensky that he needs to stay in line. Uncle Sam can make “heroes”, unmake them and then create replacements, of course. No idea if there is a foundation for such speculation.

      Presumably Vogue does not really “do” Generals.

      1. Sibiryak

        Zaluzhny does seem like a fit replacement for Zelensky, should that be required.

        Zaluzhny is girding for a long and bloody slog. “Knowing what I know firsthand about the Russians, our victory will not be final,” he told TIME. “Our victory will be an opportunity to take a breath and prepare for the next war .”

        * * * * *

        Zaluzhny : The only way to radically change the strategic situation is, without a doubt, to launch several consecutive, and ideally simultaneous counterattacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the 2023 campaign.

        […] If we consider the 2023 campaign as a turning point, then for consideration we need to return to the identification of the center of gravity for the Russian Federation in this war. After all, only an effective influence on the enemy’s center of gravity can lead to changes in the course of the war.

        Provided that such a center of gravity is defined as control over the Crimean peninsula , it is logical to assume planning for 2023 an operation or a series of operations to seize the peninsula.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Well if he does replace Zelensky, at least the Russians won’t have to spend a lot of rubles replacing the “Z” on all their tanks.

    2. Louis Fyne

      I don’t know anyone who reads Time—-I imagine that any form of top tier journalism has been hallowed out years ago. Dunno who even owns Time now.

      Dad stocked our house with Time-Life books and a TIme subscription. those were the days, Archie!

      1. hunkerdown

        Luxury media are for class marking, not believing. (It’s also for distributing the ruling myths, but Twitter has largely replaced it at the tactical level.) TIME celebrates that sensibility I might call Puritan realism.

        As of 2019 TIME is owned by the CEO of Salesforce, if I read correctly.

  2. LawnDart

    Re: Thousands of people in Gera in Germany against Olaf Scholz’s policy and the explosion of energy and gas prices. They demand an end to sanctions on Russia and the reopening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

    Well, no pipeline, no protests– problem solved.

    And mystery solved! Who blew-up the pipelines? It was Scholz!

    1. Martin Oline

      I really doubt that it was Scholz. Most likely it was done by a submarine which means it wasn’t done by Ukraine. Probably an operation by Britain or the U. S. Gonzalo Lira has a new film this morning concerning the ‘mysterious’ leaks in both pipelines. He believes it is an American job. I believe that is possible but it just as likely Britain wants to keep the EU in line. They might make some money off of it too by selling gas to Europe.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Telegraph article that MofA links to asks the right question yet fails to come up with the obvious answer –

            “There are some indications that it is deliberate damage,” said a European security source, while adding it was still too early to draw conclusions. “You have to ask: Who would profit?”

            – Hmm. Might want to check the receipts and see how much Europe is paying for USian LNG these days.

            1. Old Sovietologist

              You have to ask: Who would profit?” London, Washington and Kiev.

              As per my comment on the other post. Germany & Russia had most likely cut some sort of deal. Berlin would slow down the transfer of military assistance to Ukraine, and in return Russia would pump gas to save the German economy.

          2. ArvidMartensen

            MoA has Five Acts in this German tragedy, the last being Act Five: The Final Act on the Labor Market
            There will be a sixth Act.
            Act 6: Far Right Party with Nazi Links Wins Election in Germany.

      1. Regis II

        Gonzalo Lira is not a reliable source for much of anything.
        Since he has been under house arrest, he cannot even report on things which he might otherwise witness in Karkov.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Which is why you have to ask yourself ‘Cui bono’ – who stands to gain from this coordinated acts of sabotage that almost certainly was the act of a State actor. Who gains from it. I think that Doctor Hudson gave us the answer here in a previous post of his.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Rev – The link posted above by pjay to Moon of Alabama has some quotes, with links, from Dr. Hudson that appeared in NC back in February and March.

            He did, indeed, make it pretty clear who benefits and it’s not Europe.

    2. The Rev Kev

      To date, Gonzalo Lira is the only one that has brought up the matter of the timing of all three pipelines being sabotaged at the same time. It was virtually directly after the right-wingers came to power in Italy. If this was taken a sign that there might be mass replacements of governments in the EU, the calculation may have been to destroy those pipelines – which will take years to repair – so that there is no chance that the EU can now negotiate with Russia getting gas back again. Who would do that? Gonzalo Lira has his own ideas on that- (13:17 mins)

      But of course the EU poodles will say Russiadidit.

      1. digi_owl

        For some reason the Norwegian national broadcaster tries to claim it being a Russian move, even though it hurts Russia most.

        but as part of that coverage they mentioned that a new pipeline from Norway, via Denmark, to Poland was recently opened. And that it supposedly makes Poland no longer need Russian NG.

        So for all we know, Poland may have pulled a fast one as they seem keen on escalating tensions as revenge for the cold war era.

        All that said, Norway can in no way match the output of Russia.

        1. The Rev Kev

          A Financial Times article said that there was a Russian ship in this area but you had to read it carefully to see that this was there way back in June and not now.

      2. Lex

        I’ve spent a lot of time around pipelines. They leak for three reasons: girth weld fails, corrosion and being thinned by abrasive product. The last one isn’t an issue with gas (it is an issue with Canadian tar sand product). Corrosion is unlikely in this case based on the age of NS2 and the level of corrosion protection undersea pipes get, I assume they’re all coated in fusion bonded epoxy. Girth weld failure is highly unlikely on NS2 because it’s brand new.

        The sea bed shifting and moving the pipes could break girth welds, but that seems a little far-fetched given the planning/engineering that went into these projects. For there to be so many failures so close together and essentially simultaneously is an event of exceeding low probability that would probably be associated with an earthquake or significant disturbance of the seafloor.

        1. jsn

          Right, things mess up all the time, but under war time scrutiny and with all kinds of political forces whipping in the wind around them, mundane realities take on political lives of their own.

          Like those well traveled and pampered turbines, for instance.

          It’ll be years before I believe anything about the causality of this.

      3. Sibiryak

        I have to disagree with Lira on at least one point. He says the Russians have no motive to sabotage the pipelines, since they could just turn off the spigot anytime they wanted to. No need to resort to sabotage. But sabotage allows them shut down the pipelines while denying that they did so.

        I’m not saying the Russians are the top sabotage suspect, or that they would even want to shut the pipelines down, just that they cannot be ruled out on the basis of Lira’s logic.

        1. The Rev Kev

          One of those leaks was in Danish waters while the other was in Swedish waters. Considering that this region is virtually a NATO lake, I doubt that any Russian ship or sub would be able to go into those waters undetected. The optics of being caught doing so would be fantastically self-defeating and not only with Europe but Russia’s friends in the developing world as well.

          1. digi_owl

            No need for them to be far apart either, as they are south of Bornholm. A Danish island sitting south of Sweden, and a bit of a sore point during the cold war.

          2. JAC

            Could a bomb could have been sent inside the pipeline to detonate at a specific point? No idea how these things work…

            1. lyman alpha blob

              Not an expert, but I believe it’s possible. Pipeline companies do use robots for inspection/cleaning of the pipelines and I imagine one could be rigged with explosives.

          3. Tor User

            The pipeline leaks are not in Danish or Swedish “waters”. The leaks are in their EEZ’s. (Exclusive Economic Zone)

        2. Polar Socialist

          I do think the Russian gas-game was either to force Germany to de-sanction NS 1 and it’s parts or to open NS 2 for gas. This serves neither purpose.

          I was thinking Poland, even before I read Moon of Alabama’s days posting. They have the means, they believe they have the motivation and they certainly have the will.

        3. Darthbobber

          I would rule them out on the basis of different logic. The shallowness of the Baltic in this area and it’s approaches plus the obsessive monitoring of everything Russian in the area means that if the Russians were anywhere in the vicinity near the time of these incidents it would be known, it could be proven, and the fingerpointing would be loud and near-universal in the west.

          (It’s almost certainly known who WAS there around the time, but nothing is being said yet.)

        4. Stephen

          It is just that they can achieve the same ends by “go slows” on the pumping that they can blame on turbine travel schedules and all sorts of reasons. No need to sabotage their own infrastructure to slow down the gas in a way that they can escape clear blame for.

          What has happened now is that Russia lost leverage. Poland and Ukraine now have practical control of the prime gas flows, given where the other pipelines sit. This also reduces German ability to cut a deal with Russia in the face of political protests and internal necessity during the winter.

          The two Nordstream pipelines have always been partly about cutting out intermediary transmission fees but also Germany reducing her dependence on Eastern European states that might not be friends.

          The obvious beneficiaries of this are the various collective west hawks who want to defeat Russia. So that feels the right candidate pool to look for a suspect.

          As a side point: Worth remembering too that Poland is in her own battle with the EU over funds and her own alleged failures to follow “European values”. If one sees the EU as dominated by France and Germany then Poland in alliance with Ukraine now has more overall leverage given where the gas flows. All is not sweetness and light within the “collective west”.

        5. NN Cassandra

          Both NS pipelines were already closed, so there was no need for sabotage to shut them down. I think it’s clear that whoever did this had the intention of preventing possible opening up in the (near?) future. Which pretty much rules out Russia, because obviously EU/Germany can’t force Putin to suddenly start supplying gas again just by drafting some decree and sending it to Kremlin.

      4. Craig H.

        Anybody but the CIA CFR deep state doing that is risking really painful death.

        I don’t have one clue but I have to calculate the probability at > .51.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Pretty sure the US wanted the pipeline gone even if Russia didn’t invade. IIRC they got Germany to agree to shutdown NS2 before the invasion started.

          Like Michael Hudson said, this whole situation is about thwarting China’s Belt and Road Initiative and peaceful cooperation between Europe and Asia. Unfortunately for Uncle Sam, the US (checks map) is not on the Eurasian continent and didn’t get invited to the party, so is now lashing out.

          1. Carlos

            But first, there’s the looting opportunity against our own people. “Sanctions, high prices and suffereing will remain for as long as it takes” uttered the president.

            A couple more years of this inflation and the average American will be far poorer than the average European, without the free schools, excellent transit and free health care. Now if they can just get rid of cash and the guns, the new economic order can flourish here as well.

            1. wilroncanada

              And Bezos and “friends” will own all the homes put up for forced sale as a result of the depression. You will own nothing and do what you’re told!

    3. Sardonia

      This could work either way – in the comments on today’s article on the German economy, I’m speculating that it would be a cute move by Russia to “sabotage” the pipeline (with plausible deniability- an effective countermove in the economic war against them), blame it on “anti-Russia forces in the West”, and as Germany and others start to freeze and head into an economic recession/depression, say “Not us! There’s nothing we can do to get you gas if y’all keep damaging the pipelines – stop it!!!”

      Countermove played, without being overt about it. The EU starts to turn on itself, and the EU citizens rise up against their own governments.

      1. digi_owl

        I don’t see it being Russia, as Putin has repeatedly offered to bring Nord Stream 2 online to compensate for the reduced/curtailed throughput of the overland pipelines through Poland and Ukraine.

        The energy situation in Europe is completely self inflicted, thanks to politicians valuing being on the good side of Washington above the lives of their own people.

        1. Sibiryak

          Things may have changed now that Russia has recognized its at war with the “collective West”, not just Ukraine.

          My guess, though, would still be that the US/UK was behind any sabotage.

          1. The Rev Kev

            In the next week, everything will change. Those Ukrainian territories will vote to join Russia in the Referendums and when the Russian Duma grants them this, they will then be officially part of the Russian Federation. And that means that the Special Military Operation will be finished. It will now be the Russian Federation ejecting foreign occupiers from their own land which will change the characteristics of this war. But how that will play out I have no idea.

            1. digi_owl

              I fear nothing will change at least until after the US midterms, as Biden is far to busy trying to keep the gasoline dole going to worry about some bushfire war in Europe.

              1. Oh

                The Republicans if they gain a majority will still go with Biden’s (MIC’s) stupid Ukraine policy. Nothing will really change as long we get a third party going and even then there will be fools that will complain that the third party candidate was the reason that the Democrat party lost the Presidency (just like 2000).

              1. The Rev Kev

                Sorry. What I meant was the artificial limitations placed on the fighting will be removed as well as the limited numbers. The fighting will intensify soon and as Zelensky is refusing to negotiate until Russia goes back home, Russia will complete their plans which I imagine would include taking the entire Black Sea coast, including Odessa. If they don’t, there will always be the worry of NATO missile bases being set up to threaten the Russians with the same sort of missiles that sank the Moskva.

                1. Tor User

                  The Russians are going to have to step up their efforts quite a bit to get to Odessa. They still have the rest of Donetsk and now ever a tiny bit of Luhansk to get first.

              2. Lex

                It will become a Counter Terrorism Operation (or similar) in the way of Chechnya and Syria rather than a Special Military Operation.

          2. tegnost

            I say US/UK to get in front of an easy solution to the planned destruction of european civil society. Remember, US elites despise unions.
            “Move fast and break things.”

            1. LawnDart

              Yes, I think the neoliberals have finally come for them (greater Europe). The crisis which has been created seems likely that it will, as in Ukraine, “force” a gutting of employment rights, protections, and a dramatic thinning or altogether removal of social safety nets (amongst other “hindrances” to free capitalism such as environmental laws and regulations).

              Haven’t we seen this before, albeit on a much smaller scale?

              1. Tom Bradford

                I gather the UK already has. Practically the first thing Liz Truss discovered on assuming the Premiership was that there wasn’t going to be a US-UK free-trade deal – which was the great white hope of the Brexiteers, and the only thing that might have justified it.


                Now it’s out of Europe and its last echoes of greatness were buried last week, the US needs the UK the way you need an ancient, smelly, crippled old dog – once useful and faithful but now only able to crap on the carpet.

          3. Yves Smith

            Russia recognized that quite a while back. I can’t recall which senior official who said it (Putin, Medvedev or Lavrov) but that person remarked that if Russia were to strike decision centers, that would not be Kiev. Recall all the panicked mapping of what Russian missiles could reach London?

            And Russia wanted NS2 used. It if were sabotage, it would hit only NS1. But why do that when the turbines are failing?

        2. Petter

          I’ve done a number of searches to see if Putin’s offer was unconditional. What has said is he was willing to open Nordstream 2 (a little late now) if sanctions were lifted: what sanctions is he referring to?
          “The bottom line is, if you have an urge, if it’s so hard for you, just lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2, which is 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year, just push the button and everything will get going,” Putin said.

          1. Polar Socialist

            He’s referring to “the sanctions on Nord Stream 2”. As in, finish the paperwork and let the gas flow. The only reason NS2 was not operational was the Germans refused to finish the validation process – German law requires the terminal operator to be a German company (markets are not that free, when it suits TPTB).

            1. Petter

              Right, thanks. I remember back in December when there was discussion on opening the the pipeline that it wasn’t just up to Scholz. It had to be approved by some commission and the discussion at the time was that it was unlikely that they’d approve it, (irrespective of Biden’s comments, or maybe not.)

      2. Stephen

        I do not buy it.

        The Russians do not need to sabotage NS1 to stop gas flows and create problems for Europe.

        Europe has already created its own problems via sanctions and associated self defeating actions. To the extent that the Russians want to add to this then they either just turn off the gas openly or play the covert game of “technical issues caused by sanctions”.

        The latter has a lot of mileage still to run with respect to the jet setting Siemens (but originally Rolls-Royce) turbines that have been hit by sanctions and all sorts of paperwork drama. Lots of opportunities to tease everyone over how much gas they might get or not get if that is the game they want to play.

        I struggle even more to see why Russia would sabotage NS2 that had no gas flowing through it to Germany as a result of German decisions but which Russia was even offering to open so as to ameliorate problems. If the Russians were truly Machiavellian then stopping NS1 flow so as to “force” the opening of NS2 might be an “interesting” strategy I guess!

        Nevertheless, the western media is already starting to print Polish and Ukrainian veiled accusations against Russia. See attached from the now awful Guardian. Zero questioning or attempts to figure out logic in the sense of who might benefit from sabotage and who might be capable, as ever with the disgusting corporate media. They do at least say that there is no proof offered that Russia did it but the accusations are intended to create perception, of course.

  3. griffen

    The current administration is behaving in a weird fashion yet again. President Joey has commanded that oil and gas companies are staying / adhering to their old tricks of being in the business of “profit seeking” as opposed to those angels who run the Amazon / Wal Marts of the world.

    This is a weirdly timed headline, but others mileage may vary. I expect it’ll be discussed on this morning’s coverage, at least probably on CNBC.

    1. digi_owl

      As yes, the modern day grain dole.

      The more things change, the more it stays the same.

      Was it Frank Herbert that tracked the seat of the Terran empire as part of the back history to his universe, placing in London and Washington before heading to the stars?

    2. Louis Fyne

      no one in media is advocating that Microsoft or Amazon AWS give up their pandemic windfall profits.

      Heck, Big Oil and Big Tech can keep their profits in exchange for a return of W Bush-era estate taxes

  4. CenterOfGravity

    Poignant comment posted under Times Of India USA–PAK F-16 deal:

    “Americans were, are and will never be trustworthy for a simple reason that it is a war economy. In war economy, there is no friend or strategic partner or partner. You are a partner as long as you are buying war machinery.” – Akhilesh Kumar

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Putin grants Russian citizenship to former US security contractor Edward Snowden”

    I suppose that this was a case of Russia clearing the decks and letting him get on with rebuilding his life without it being on hold because of visa issues. And it’s not like he can still travel overseas as the FBI might kidnap, I beg your pardon, extraordinary rendition him back to a max prison in the US and subject him to constant low-level torture like they have with others. Lights on 24-7, being woken up on the hour every hour by guards, having medications denied him, constant strip searches, etc., etc., etc. Now being able to live in Russia means that his wife will be able to get citizenship along with their young son. What a time we live in. The guy should be getting a medal for his testimony but instead he found that Russia is more the one that is the land of the free – and that is not saying much.

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      Yesterday I saw commentary at NC to the effect that “Snowden is a traitor” – and in fact, I had an acrimonious argument with my brother’s best friend from college about that at my niece’s wedding several years ago. That Snowden is an enemy of the surveillance state and the three-letter agencies is clear. Whether these agencies are promoting the interests of the American people, and defending our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, is rather less clear. As I recall, Snowden was trying to get to a neutral country when TPTB interrupted his journey in Russia.

      The story at Firstpost points out that Snowden has earlier stated his intention to keep his American citizenship, and willingness to return to the U.S. if guaranteed a fair trial. That doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. However, as Yogi Berra may have said, you never know when something surprising might happen.

      1. semper loquitur

        No doubt Mr. Snowden has been watching the treatment of Julian Assange closely. He knows what awaits him: the sorry life of a political scapegoat. Why would anyone ever believe they can get a fair trial here?

    2. Wukchumni

      The neoliberals are all in, and their intentions are rotten
      The weapons are packed in the ammo dumps
      They’re flying them back to the Ukraine border
      To pay all our money to wade back again into war

      Goodbye to a whistleblower, goodbye Edward
      Adios truthteller, Jesus what a pariah!
      You won’t have a name when mainstream media goes lame
      All they will call you will be Deportee

      Now my country’s own Benedict Arnold, he waded that river of lies
      They took all the hope he made in his life
      4,441 miles from Hong Kong to the Moscow airport
      They chased him like rustlers, like outlaws, like thieves

      But honesty died in your countries, honesty died on your laptops
      Honesty died in your press, honesty died of your inflicted pains
      Honesty died in your reporting, honesty died like the Ceratops
      Both sides of the political river died just the same

      Goodbye to Edward, goodbye Uncle Sam
      Adios truthteller, Jesus what a pariah this man
      You won’t have a name when mainstream media goes lame
      Now all they will call you will be Deportee

      Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

      1. John Zelnicker

        Thanks, Wuk, for another gem.

        Pete Seeger’s version of that song is also excellent. I hadn’t heard the Highwaymen’s version before.

    3. DD Pinball

      Had the defection been from Russia to the UK, Snowden would be dead at the moment. He’s an IT guy who used other people’s passwords to access information he may not have understood, brazenly stitching up his coworkers. [Remember Ellsberg released material he was actually working on, analyses about needless killing, not just revealing dirty tricks.] Only after discovery did he release powerpoints of quasi-legal material that had already been referenced in legal briefs. The actual damaging material being the price of admission to his new homeland. Snowden had been bounced out of the army and he had been passed over for a posting, probably on account Snowden couldn’t be trusted. Go figure.

      People who want actual change, and who have the ability to enforce change, also value loyalty. I may have respected him more had he not run and actually testified, even behind closed doors, to what he saw. I knew Snowden was a hypomanic attention-seeker when he had Poitras put her phone in the freezer as if it were a Faraday cage. High frequency radio waves don’t pass through liquids, but stamped aluminum? No problem. Or when he claims the noise canceling microphone inside phones is a secret surveillance mike. Are the Russians even sure Snowden isn’t a dangle? Surely he has no privileges to travel outside of Moscow or wherever the gated safehouse is. Kim Philby failed to flourish in Russian captivity.

      1. Bugs

        That’s an interesting point of view.

        On the other hand, he’s a hero worth immense respect for revealing the extent of the surveillance state’s spying on innocent citizens and should probably be given a medal and have his face on the 20$ bill.

      2. JohnA

        On what evidence do you claim Philby failed to flourish in Russian ‘captivity’? That is western propaganda and projection. According to his family living in the west, he was perfectly happy in both himself and the choices he made in life. But I guess that does not fit the western narrative.

      3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Why should Snowden have Loyalty to the NSA? They straight up abandoned their posts when the planes were slamming into the Twin Towers. He made this quite clear during his interview with Joe Rogan.

        Whistle-blowers are persecuted now, especially during the Obama Administration when all this went down.

        We need a Snowden in every corporate office from Tampa to Tacoma. Expose Everything. No more secrets.

        Snowden is an American Hero for releasing the dirty tricks the CIA et al use on AMERICANS!

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        Snowden wasn’t “bounced” out of the military. He volunteered for special forces and had to leave after suffering injuries during training exercises. Snowden has never been anti-US. He is not a traitor. In reality, Snowden is a far greater patriot than the likes of Biden, Obama, Trump, Bush, Clinton, and all of their ilk.

      5. Mike

        “People who want actual change, and who have the ability to enforce change, also value loyalty.”

        You mean martyrdom? If he stuck around that’s what he would be…was pretty easy move to make to run. Most people in the face of tyranny will choose what’s best for them and their family not the greater good. Reference most of history for that one…America is fast becoming the latest test case.

      6. Late Introvert

        I wish more patriots in the CIA would stitch up their co-workers who have utterly destroyed the US – traitors and lying losers, the whole lot of them.

      7. aletheia33

        “People who want actual change, and who have the ability to enforce change, also value loyalty.”
        what is “change”? we’re getting a whole lot more change right now than most of us can readily stand.
        who are these “people who have the ability to enforce change”? i don’t think i like them.
        and what is “loyalty”? surely enough tragedies have been written about the downfalls of kings who could not hear unwelcome facts but executed their most truly loyal advisors and paid the price for their foolishness.
        therefore i respectfully pronounce this sentence mere gobbledegook. hope that doesn’t violate NC comments rules. no offense intended.

  6. Carolinian

    Caitlin column talks about the CIA. Here former agent Larry Johnson explains the CIA to us.

    In the beginning the CIA was only supposed to be about analysts but the OSS boyz wanted to continue their wartime “operations” and did so out of ramshackle temporary buildings built on the DC mall during WW2. Their headquarters were appropriately named the Rat Palace because they literally had rats (from The Quiet Men).

    Johnson says the problem is that the operations and analyst side are now commingled in every sense.

    Therefore here’s suggesting we are entitled to call the current Langley headquarters the Rat Palace.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Maybe we should call it the Rat Mansion, because it has many rooms. A former High Guy at CIA named James Angleton said ” a mansion has many rooms” as part of something he was supposed to have said to reporter Seymour Hersh at one point.

      ” Mowatt-Larssen closed his presentation by quoting an enigmatic comment that James Angleton once made to reporter Seymour Hersh about JFK’s assassination: “A mansion has many rooms,” the counterintelligence chief said. “I’m not privy to who struck John.” Mowatt-Larssen unpacked this gnostic parable for the assembled researchers. ”,unpacked%20this%20gnostic%20parable%20for%20the%20assembled%20researchers.

  7. flora

    I’m pretty sure if the real, internal polling numbers looked good for the Dems this year that Billy Gates would not say these things. / ;)

    Business Insider
    Bill Gates says political polarization ‘may bring it all to an end’ and could even lead to a civil war

    Kicking over the chessboard to avoid losing? ok. adding: B’s red lit speech in front of Independence Hall surely didn’t reduce any existing polarization.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Bill Gates owns about 242,000 acres of farmland. Maybe the penny dropped with him and he realized that if there was even a mild civil war, that all those lands would be confiscated to grow food – and he getting zero compensation for them.

      1. flora

        He and the entire WEFdreamers keep talking about the perils of misinformation. NZ’s head of state is openly calling for a global “can’t say that” restrictions enforcement. That’s another way to kick over the chessboard. How that’s supposed to work in democracies – global big brother stuff doesn’t really fly – is a question.

          1. flora

            Turley has a good article about her recent speech to the UN General Assembly. I won’t post the link since there’s a tripwire word in the title. (I’ve tussled with skynet before. / ;)

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Ezra Klein must be hoping for a BIG check in the mail.

      Those pesky voters are nuisance for Bill. Maybe he’ll come up with robot voters to replace us, just like the robot bees he’s paying Harvard to work on to replace all the real bees he’s killing with his universal pesticides.

  8. antidlc

    He’s baaaack.

    White House set to conduct a broad talent search in preparation for post-midterms turnover

    The White House is establishing a talent search project to prepare for potential vacancies across Cabinet and senior administration roles following the midterm elections this fall, a White House official tells CNN.

    White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain brought forward the talent search idea, which will be overseen by two Biden White House alums, Jeff Zients and Natalie Quillian. The pair served in similar roles during the 2020 presidential transition.

    I can just imagine the “talent” they will be looking for.

    1. griffen

      I keep forgetting that John Kerry is a. Still alive and b. involved in this administration. Not stating that I missed him at all.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      This selection method seems to have been constructed with the ideal candidates already in mind.

      If there is a song and dance portion of the competition, my guess would be that Nina Jankowicz is about to join the Cabinet. I would also not rule out Buttigieg being handed a second portfolio.

  9. Altandmain

    Has anyone seen Gonzola Lira’s video on Nord Stream 2?

    He thinks the US was responsible. It’s certainly the most likely circumstance – Putin has offered on several occasions to bring back Nord Stream 2. There aren’t very many other nations with the capabilities to sabotage the pipeline. They would need submarines and commando teams to pull this operation off.

    Lira clearly thinks that the European nations would otherwise make a deal with Russia to address their energy crisis and that is the outcome the US doesn’t want.

    Anyone here have any thoughts about this?

    1. qmess

      Makes as much sense as anything else. Preventing German aspirations to re-open dialog with Russia to
      keep their country ‘solvent’ vis-a-vis Nordstream is no longer an option. EU will still be buying US LNG
      at exorbitant rates. Another brick falls from the crumbling empire. And this is how the US treats its allies?

      1. Bruno

        I wonder if the timing of this expectable sabotage has something to do with the rumor, reported on sunday by Alexander Mercouris, of a Saudi Peace Initiative involving recognition of the Referendum results and acceptance of the incorporation of those oblasts into the Russian Federation?

        1. Yves Smith

          Ukraine has made it plenty clear it was opposed to the use of NS1 and NS2. From the pink paper:

          Ukraine has long opposed the Nord Stream pipelines, arguing they were designed to weaken its position as one of the main conduits for Russian gas into Europe. Russian gas has continued to flow through Ukraine even after Moscow’s invasion.

          Russia passed what amounted to a counter-sanctions law. So far, it was applied only narrowly, to a list of companies that were Gazprom Germania affiliated. Recall Germany seized the assets of Gazprom Germania. There have been more Russian pipeline asset seizures. Putin gives great weight to having legal foundation for its actions. I can’t understand why, if Russia wanted to cut gas supplies further, they wouldn’t use the counter-sanctions mechanism. Putin has gone to great lengths in his speeches to depict the EU gas shortage as the EU’s own doing. Self-sabotage would be at odds with the stance Putin has been presenting to China, India, and the Global South.

    2. pjay

      It certainly represents one more point of no return in keeping the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down. But I can’t imagine who would have such a motive.

    3. Carolinian

      MOA says too shallow there for submarines. The Poles have also long opposed the pipelines for the same reason as Ukraine.

      Of course if Germany was using the pipelines they wouldn’t dare mess with them. It’s all part of the can of worms that tracks back to one man.

  10. PS

    Can anyone explain how one cheats at chess? I can only think of having a Deep Thought computer at your side while playing an online opponent.

    1. trapped in Europe

      No Deep Thought computer needed. Chess programs are way better than humans unfortunately and you can run these on any decent computer.

  11. Alice X

    Putin grants Russian citizenship to former US security contractor Edward Snowden

    Now will Biden please give him a pardon, and a medal? Pretty please!

    And Julian Assange while he’s at it?

  12. Wukchumni

    Go take a soak dept:

    Missed out on a walk to Jordan hot springs with my longtime backpacking partner & Wonderhussy when I was in Canada and couldn’t violate the time-space continuum, but that was then and this was this weekend.

    Really a different kind of hike than you usually get in the Sierra, as you start @ 8,900 feet and drop down to 6,400 to get to the goods. It reminded me of walking in the Grand Canyon, backwards hiking.

    The hot springs was the cat’s meow @ 104 degrees with a cool creek adjacent for a quick dip.

    A resort from the 1920’s is nearby kinda in an arrested state of decay, but really more like Hantavirus haunts now. An odd item inside one of the buildings is a circa 1920’s propeller with half of it missing, must have had an airplane crash around these parts way back when.

    A couple of F-35’s buzzed us about 500 feet overhead so they can still get it up!

    …the lay of the land

    #636 High Sierra Hot Spring Wonderland Backpacking Adventure

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Türkiye denounces foreign military buildups in Greece”

    No wonder the Turks are furious. Those islands are supposed to be demilitarized and the treaties covering this go back a century. But it seems that the US is encouraging the Greeks to put military gear on them in violation of those treaties as these islands could be useful bases to keep watch on Russian ships coming from the Black Sea-

    1. ddt

      The islands have been militarized for generations and there are other issues at play why this is now a sore point for Turkey.
      80% inflation and an upcoming election to name just a couple. Unlike Turkey, the equipment on the islands is purely defensive. They don’t have landing force unlike Turkey’s 5th Army across the way.

  14. Jason Boxman

    A Justice Department effort to break up an alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue Airways is set to go to trial in Boston on Tuesday morning, part of a broad Biden administration push to aggressively enforce antitrust rules and promote economic competition.

    Hopefully this is met with greater success than other recent suits against the forces of monopoly and concentration.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Navy bribery fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ seeks asylum in Venezuela”

    Wouldn’t it be funny if ‘Fat Leonard’ announced that he had a whole stash of recordings of US admirals and other officers doing the horizontal mambo with those hookers waiting to be released? Maybe not all those officerscaught up in this scandal retired.

    1. Wukchumni

      Bolivar’d of broken dreams all around for those involved with Wo Fat Leonard, but the hope is we can still book him.

    2. Bugs

      If you read the other linked article about how he was living high on the hog in San Diego, it’s obvious that, for a man supposedly awaiting trial while cooperating with the authorities, he was very, very comfortable with his personal situation and future.

      “‘It’s crazy how much stuff he ordered, he had packages coming from Amazon all day long. He had so much deliveries happening every single day. Sometimes it would be couches, all kinds of furniture, books. Every morning I would show back up at the garage and there would just be boxes in there.’

      In the days before he went on the lam, Francis paid for U-Haul trucks to carry his family’s belongings out of his home and brought in a film crew to interview him…”

      1. Procopius

        He’s already been tried and convicted, along with a number of Captains and Admirals he named. He’s been very cooperative with the prosecution, and his sentencing was delayed several times. It currently was supposed to have happened “in a few weeks.” Most of the guilty Navy officers have been let off, or given “reprimands.” No more promotions. I’m betting Venezuela will give him asylum unless the US lifts some sanctions.

  16. Wukchumni

    I got held up by the outdoor one-armed bandit yesterday and as luck would have it, go-juice is more expensive per gallon @ $79 a barrel than it was @ $110 some months ago in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, dude.

    1. Carolinian

      My friend in AZ can’t understand why I pay 2.99 and she pays over $4. Out there they blame it all on California and say they live in Calizona. But I know other states like Nevada have much higher gas although not as high as CA.

      Why is it so high?

  17. mistah charley, ph.d.

    I’m disappointed that Georgia Meloni is not mentioned in Links today – I wanted to point out that her success might be, in some ways, an inspiration for an ambitious, charismatic female leader in the U.S. – Liz Cheney, for example, or Tulsi Gabbard. Would I vote for either of these? Compared to what?

    1. flora

      This twt is showing up on several fora. (My aside about the neolib freakout: neolibs think people only think what they are told to think. Therefore, people are incapable of thinking for themselves and making up their own minds. So, anyone voting against the neolib globalist project (a center-right project wearing center-left clothing) must be a ‘victim’ of disinformation. My two cents.)

      “Wow. Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni sums it up perfectly. No wonder the elites and establishment don’t want her to succeed.”

      Adding about ambitious women in the US finding inspiration in her success:

      Hillary Clinton Under Fire for Supportive Remarks of Far-Right PM Contender in Italy

      The word has gone out… as the saying goes. / ;)

      1. Bugs

        The US right-wing is all over la Giorgia. I don’t think it would be the same for France’s Eric Zemmour, whose politics are pretty much the same, but whose attitude and ethnicity don’t jibe with the new order they seek.

        But Giorgia’s got charisma in spades. The neolibs will push her out in max 2 years.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        Yep, Clinton said this before the election was held. And for anyone who thinks Clinton misspoke because she knows very little about Meloni, I have an iconic bridge to sell you. Clinton was just adding a little boost to the US nudging exercise that we haven’t heard of yet but will sometime in the future.
        After all, those socialists in Europe nearly gave victory to Putin, putting their own narrow self interest above the economic interests of the US. Selfish European leftists just interested in their own money and homes and jobs and families when there is the greater good of the US at stake!
        Well, ve in the US haf long memories(not including the President). Ve haf vays of settling the matter so that our one great ideology of US Democracy rules for 1000 years across the world!

  18. Glen

    Gas prices took a jump up where i am in the PNW too. Had been slowly falling, now back to about prior peak prices. Not sure why except maybe gouging is good if you can do it.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      A Boy and His Dog is a wonderful ’70s cult film with Jason Robards as the leader of an underground community of survivors. I won’t share any spoilers but if you search for Robards and the movie you’ll see pictures of what the survivors look like.

      That’s the picture in my head when I read about Wall Street and I think about the traders on the floor. In my imagination they haven’t seen daylight in decades and have no idea what’s really going on in the world around them. But somehow they’re the people in charge.

      A very dark movie but the ending speaks to our times. [YouTube has the entire movie]

  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    When I read the article . . . ” The End of Senior Politics in China ” . . . this site’s long and close study of the evolving covid situation primed me to notice a tiny tertiary tangent at the very end of the article, and it is revealed in this quote of the last two sentences of the article.

    And here is the quote: ” Without seniors, Xi might run into the mistake of pursuing extreme policies with unchecked power. The nationalistic foreign policies and the zero-COVID policy only confirm this danger. ”
    The “zero-COVID policy” is “extreme”? Really? I am sure the author believes that it is, which shows the effectiveness of marinating a Chinese-ancestry scholar in the acid bath of ” let ‘er rip”.

  20. Kouros

    Why two links have been removed from today’s main posts?

    You tried to find: how-bad-will-the-german-recession-be

    You tried to find: the-war-on-germany-just-entered-its-hot-phase

    What happened?

    1. Yves Smith

      They were cross posts from sites where we do not have republication rights. We can’t legally have them up. They were posted by mistake by a new site writer.

  21. C.O.

    I just learned that Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov resigned this month, that seems to have gone under the general radar, and the timing is interesting. His farewell reception was on September 8.

    1. Sibiryak

      “Russia’s ambassador to the EU…resigned this month”

      FWIW, Gilbert Doctorow in the latest RT CrossTalk episode opined that Chizhov’s resignation actually represented a “significant turning point” in Russia’s relations with the EU. It prepares the way for Russia not accepting the credentials of the new EU ambassador coming to Moscow, which means:

      “The EU is being put in its place as totally irrelevant and insignificant in the current East/West conflict, and the whole thing is going over the head of Europe directly to Washington.”

  22. Patrick Donnelly

    Sanctions, pipeline destruction, weapons supply, intelligence sharing are all Acts Of War.

    The Joke warms up.

    I do hope no more planes from Albania fall out of the sky. How would the opposition to the China friendly Myanmar military get their ammunition?

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