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Monthly Archives: March 2022


March 21, 2022

Heather Cox Richardson

Today is the anniversary of Georgia Senator Alexander Stephens’s Cornerstone Speech, given in 1861 just after he became the provisional vice president of the Confederacy. All these years later, the themes of that speech are still with us.

Stephens spoke in Savannah, Georgia, to explain the difference between the United States and the fledgling Confederacy. That difference, he said, was slavery. The American Constitution was defective because it based the government on the principle that all men were created equal. Confederate leaders had corrected the Founding Fathers’ error by basing the Confederate government on the idea that some people were better than others.

In contrast to the government the Founding Fathers had created, the Confederacy rested on the “great truth” that “the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Their determination to promote their new philosophy meant that the southern states insisted on states’ rights. The majority of Americans, speaking through the federal government, insisted on reining enslavement in, restricting it to the southern states where it already existed, while southern enslavers wanted to expand their “peculiar institution” to the nation’s newly acquired western lands. In white southerners’ view, federal oversight was tyranny, and true democracy meant that state legislatures should be able to do as their voters wished.

So long as a majority of voters in the southern states voted for human enslavement, democracy had been served. Those same states, of course, limited voting to a few wealthy white men.

The Republican Party had organized in the mid-1850s to stand against this version of American democracy. Those who joined the new party recognized that if enslavers were able to take control of new western states, they would use their votes in Congress and in the Electoral College to take over the federal government and make slavery national.

The government, Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln warned, could not “endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided,” he told an audience in June 1858. “It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South.”

For his part, Lincoln insisted on basing the nation on the idea that “all men are created equal,” as the Founders stated—however hypocritically—in the Declaration of Independence. I should like to know,” Lincoln said in July 1858, “if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop…. If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the Statute book, in which we find it and tear it out! Who is so bold as to do it!”

Less than a month after Stephens gave the Cornerstone Speech, the Confederates fired on a federal fort in Charleston Harbor, and the Civil War began. When it ended, almost exactly four years later, southern state legislatures again tried to circumscribe the lives of the Black Americans who lived within their state lines. The 1865 Black Codes said that Black people couldn’t own firearms, for example, or congregate. They had to treat their white neighbors with deference and were required to sign yearlong work contracts every January or be judged vagrants, punishable by arrest and imprisonment. White employers could get them out of jail by paying their fines, but then they would have to work off their debt.

To make the principle that all men are created equal and entitled to equality before the law a reality, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and sent it off to the states for ratification. The states added it to the Constitution in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

That’s quite a sentence. It guarantees that no state can discriminate against any of its citizens. And then the amendment goes on to say that “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

This is what is at stake today, both in the Senate hearings on the confirmation of the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson, and more generally. Is our democratic system served so long as state legislatures can do what they wish without federal interference? Or should the federal government protect equality among all its citizens?

Ideally, of course, states would write fair laws without federal interference, and to create those circumstances after the Civil War, Congress passed the Military Reconstruction Act, permitting Black men to vote, and then passed and sent off to the states for ratification the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote to Black men. When the Fifteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1870, the system had been fixed, most American men believed: the right to vote should protect all interests in the states.

Quickly, though, southern states took away the vote of the Black voters they insisted were trying to redistribute wealth from hardworking white taxpayers into public works projects to benefit the states’ poorer inhabitants. With Black voters cut out of the system, state legislatures enacted harshly discriminatory laws, and law enforcement looked the other way when white people violated the rights of Black and Brown citizens.

After World War II, the Supreme Court used the due process and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to overrule state laws that favored certain citizens over others, and Congress passed the 1965 Voting Rights Act to give Black and Brown Americans a say in the state governments under which they lived.

Now, the Republicans, at this point to a person, are echoing the pre–Civil War Democrats to say that democracy means that states should be able to do what they wish without interference from the federal government. So, for example, Texas—and now other states—should be able to ban abortion regardless of the fact that abortion is a constitutional right. States should be able to stop public school teachers from covering certain “divisive” topics: Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked an apparently nonplussed Judge Jackson, “Is it your personal hidden agenda to incorporate Critical Race Theory into our legal system?” And states should be able to restrict the vote, much as southern states did after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and as 19 Republican-dominated states have done since the 2020 election.

Members of the new Republican Party in the 1850s recognized that, in that era, the doctrine of states’ rights meant not only the continued enslavement of Black Americans in the South, but also the spread of enslavement across the nation as southern enslavers moved west to create new states that would overawe the free states in Congress and the Electoral College. The spread of their system was exactly what Stephens called for 161 years ago today.

Now, in 2022, as Republican-dominated states lock down into one-party systems, their electoral votes threaten to give them the presidency in 2024 regardless of what a majority of Americans want. At that point, the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection before the law will be vitally important, if only the Supreme Court will enforce it.

And that’s a key reason why, 161 years to the day after enslaver Alexander Stephens gave the Cornerstone Speech, the confirmation hearing of a Black woman, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the Supreme Court matters.

Notes:

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/house.htm

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The neer do while Congress again shows why we need to stop voting by rote. When TOTUS was in office(?) among his many irrational actions, he attempted to coerce Ukraine to spend time finding or manufacturing dirt on Joe Biden’s son. When that did not happen, he abandoned Ukraine’s needs for assistance (forward to now). The then in power GOP refused to impeach him for malfeasance much like they did when he created the feeding ground for the capital insurrection. Now the GOP in pursuit of control of the Congress has pointedly refused to do the job they were elected to do which is “serve the people”. They have fought against progress since before Bill Clinton and they continue by flat out lying about anything the Democrats do or want to do. Neither party is especially wonderful as a whole but in individual case some of them almost have integrity. We voters have the task of voting for the best people, but we have to ignore the hype and falsehoods the flow like gushers from mass media. Finding the “best” people is difficult but not impossible, remember Lies are like spoiled fish-they stink, and their eyes are sunken in!

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The common thread in all autocracies and dictatorships is the lie. To get elected or rise in power the lie is the chief weapon used. Any society that allows free speech (in whatever degree) is subject to the influence of the power-seeking liars. This is not new but recent history since the early 1900’s has shown the rise of Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, the Taliban, Iranian extremists, ISI and others. Disenfranchised citizens are duped in following them due to lies, disinformation and misinformation. Enter the Ukraine crisis, the American political system to name a couple. Lies sound great if they feed into the fears of the disenfranchised but we must be cautious lest these spreaders of “made up ” information become elected officials or media influencers.

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The GOP is attempting media control kind of Putinesque? MA

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton outside the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2021.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo

Six Republican Attorneys General Warn DirecTV to Keep Airing OAN or… They’ll Be Really Mad

Tom McKay – Yesterday 3:10 PMFollow

Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is taking some time away from inflicting inconceivable suffering on trans children and allegedly defrauding investors to warn DirecTV: bring back your Trumpiest channel… or he’ll be really mad… or something.

Paxton, who has never been one to pass up an opportunity to debase his official position to pursue the Republican grievance of the week, has joined with his GOP colleagues in five other states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and South Carolina) to pen a letter warning of consequences if the contract between DirecTV and the MAGA propaganda network One America News (OAN) isn’t renewed.

In January, the AT&T-owned satellite TV provider announced its intent to drop OAN from its roster at the end of the current contract—effectively cutting the Donald Trump-obsessed channel off from its only major distributor and sole reliable source of revenue. DirecTV had been forced to carry the network as part of a settlement agreement. OAN’s content consisted of a bizarre mix of fascist calls to violenceconspiracy theories, and sheer cringe, so it’s not surprising that DirecTV decided to do some cord-cutting of its own.

Terrible consequences. Dire ones that would shake even the most resolute of corporate giants. Consequences like they’ll be really mad and uhh… something something… boycott.

In the letter to DirecTV Bill Morrow, Paxton and the other AGs wrote that DirecTV’s decision was “highly troubling and disappointing” and “masking what is obviously viewpoint discrimination with neutral corporate-speak.” They “strongly recommend” that the cable provider keep the channel in its available bundles. The AGs went on to argue that DirecTV’s explanation that their decision to drop OAN was based “routine internal review” is actually just cover for “powerful leftwing voices” demanding corporate censorship:

Obviously, these inflammatory accusations against OAN are ridiculous. And even if they weren’t—that is, even if OAN were more accurately construed as simply representing a different perspective from the legacy media’s liberal orthodoxies—that’s precisely what your majority owner AT&T wanted when it signed OAN: viewpoint diversity. Those values appear to have changed dramatically in late 2020 when the legacy media decided Joe Biden was the next president.

Why, exactly, are six Republican AGs spending their time, and thus taxpaer dollar, writing this letter? Despite the fact that Paxton regularly threatens to “investigate” whichever company or person happens to be the target of any given week’s Fox News outrage, the letter is curiously devoid of any promise of official retribution. Instead, the AGs wrote that maybe there will be a spontaneous AT&T boycott from Trump supporters:

Your failure to do so will not only cause you to lose millions of dollars in business, but also drive many millions of Americans to simply cancel your services outright, as President Trump and other leading figures have already called for.

Perhaps this is because there is no actual legal basis via which the Republican attorneys general could issue a credible threat.

OAN’s contract with DirecTV expires in April, and there’s no indication a meaningless letter from Paxton will have any more impact than OAN host Dan Ball’s pleas for loyal viewers to dig up blackmail material on AT&T chairman William Kennard. Perhaps they’ll convince a few guys wearing sunglasses indoors to smash their AT&T cable boxes, but that would require they miss a few football games, so probably not.

When he’s not penning meaningless letters to satellite TV providers, Paxton spends his time deputizing Texas child protective services to terrorize the families of trans children who receive treatment for gender dysphoria, trying to ban abortion, being investigated by the FBI for allegedly abusing his office and accepting bribes. He is also still facing criminal charges of securities fraud he was first arrested for in 2015.

DirecTV didn’t respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment on this story, but we’ll update if we hear back.

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Heather Cox Richardson

03/11/2022
On June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day operation in which the Allied forces in World War II invaded German-occupied western Europe, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his 29th Fireside Chat.

Roosevelt told the American people that Rome had fallen to American and Allied troops the previous day. He used the talk not only to announce this important milestone in the deadly war, but also to remind Americans they were engaged in a war between democracy and fascism. And while fascists insisted their ideology made countries more efficient and able to serve their people, the Allies’ victory in Rome illustrated that the ideology of fascism, which maintained that a few men should rule over the majority of the population, was hollow.

Rome was the seat of fascism, FDR told his listeners, and under that government, “the Italian people were enslaved.” He explained: “In Italy the people had lived so long under the corrupt rule of Mussolini that, in spite of the tinsel at the top—you have seen the pictures of him—their economic condition had grown steadily worse. Our troops have found starvation, malnutrition, disease, a deteriorating education and lowered public health—all by-products of the Fascist misrule.”

FDR continued: “We and the British will do and are doing everything we can to bring them relief. Anticipating the fall of Rome, we made preparations to ship food supplies to the city…we have already begun to save the lives of the men, women and children of Rome…. This, I think, is an example of the magnificent ability and energy of the American people in growing the crops, building the merchant ships, in making and collecting the cargoes, in getting the supplies over thousands of miles of water, and thinking ahead to meet emergencies—all this spells, I think, an amazing efficiency on the part of our armed forces, all the various agencies working with them, and American industry and labor as a whole.”

“No great effort like this can be a hundred percent perfect,” he said, “but the batting average is very, very high.”

That speech highlighting logistics as a key difference between democracy and fascism comes to mind these days as we watch democracy and authoritarianism clash in Ukraine.

A report last month by Washington, D.C., nonprofit Freedom House, which studies democracy, political freedom, and human rights, painted a bleak picture. “Global freedom faces a dire threat,” authors Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz wrote. “Around the world, the enemies of liberal democracy—a form of self-government in which human rights are recognized and every individual is entitled to equal treatment under law—are accelerating their attacks.”

In 2019, Russian president Vladimir Putin told the Financial Times that the ideology of liberalism on which democracy is based has “outlived its purpose.” Multiculturalism, freedom, and human rights must give way to “the culture, traditions, and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has been open about his determination to replace western-style democracy with what he has, on different occasions, called “illiberal democracy,” or “Christian democracy,” ending the immigration that he believes undermines Hungarian culture and rejecting “adaptable family models” with “the Christian family model.”

According to President Joe Biden, Chinese president Xi Jinping believes that autocracies are “the wave of the future—democracy can’t function in an ever complex world.”

Freedom House documents that for sixteen years, global freedom has declined. Authoritarians are undermining basic liberties, abusing power, and violating human rights, and their growing global influence is shifting global incentives toward autocratic governments and away from democracy, “jeopardizing the consensus that democracy is the only viable path to prosperity and security, while encouraging more authoritarian approaches to governance.” Over the past year, 60 countries became less free, while only 25 improved.

“They’re going to write about this point in history,” Biden told a group of news anchors in April 2021, shortly after he took office. “Not about any of us in here, but about whether or not democracy can function in the 21st century…. Things are changing so rapidly in the world, in science and technology and a whole range of other issues, that—the question is: In a democracy that’s such a genius as ours, can you get consensus in the timeframe that can compete with autocracy?”

The last few weeks have demonstrated the same advantage of democracy over authoritarianism that FDR saw in the fall of Rome. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was supposed to demonstrate the efficient juggernaut of authoritarianism. But Putin’s lightning attack on a neighboring state did not go as planned. Ukrainians have insisted on their right to self-determination, demonstrating the power of democracy with their lives.

At the same time, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown the weakness of modern authoritarianism. Putin expected to overrun a democratic neighbor quickly, but his failure to do so has revealed that his army’s perceived power was FDR’s “tinsel at the top”: lots of bells and whistles but outdated food, a lack of support vehicles, conscripted and confused soldiers, and compromised communications. The corruption inherent in a one-party state of loyalists, unafflicted by oversight, has hollowed out the Russian military, making it unable to feed or supply its troops.

That authoritarian government, it turns out, depended on democracies. As businesses pull out of Russia, the economy has collapsed. The ruble is worth less than a penny, and the Russian stock market remains closed. Today, the Russian economic ministry announced it would take the property of businesses leaving the country. Notably, it claimed the right to take about $10 billion of jets that had been leased to Russian airlines, quite possibly a way to get spare parts for the airplanes the huge country needs and can no longer get.

Putin is trying to prop up his power by insisting his people believe lies: on Friday, he signed a law making it a crime for media to produce any coverage the government says is “false information” about the invasion. He is now pushing the false claim that the U.S. is developing biological weapons in Ukraine, and has requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council tomorrow to discuss this issue. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby called the story “classic Russian propaganda.”

In contrast, democracies and allies, marshaled into a unified force in large part by Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the U.S. State Department, have done the boring, complicated, hard work of logistics, diplomacy, and intelligence, a combination that has crushed the Russian economy and is enabling the Ukrainian army to hold off an army 8 times its size. While there is a horrific humanitarian crisis inside Ukraine, those over the borders have managed the extraordinary logistics of processing and moving 2 million refugees from Ukraine in two weeks.

In 1944, FDR pointed out that democratic government was messy but it freed its people to work and think and fight in ways that authoritarian governments could not. In Fireside Chat 29, he warned his listeners not to read too much into the fall of Rome, because fascism had “not yet been driven to the point where [it] will be unable to recommence world conquest a generation hence…. Therefore, the victory still lies some distance ahead.” But, he added, “That distance will be covered in due time—have no fear of that.”

—-

Notes:

https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/june-5-1944-fireside-chat-29-fall-rome

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/28/politics/china-us-democracy-autocracy/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48795764

https://thehill.com/policy/international/544970-biden-warns-chinas-xi-sees-autocracy-as-wave-of-the-future

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/10/russia-plans-to-seize-assets-of-western-companies-exiting-country

https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-demands-us-explain-biological-programme-ukraine-2022-03-09/

Anne Applebaum @anneapplebaumRussians following Stalinist playbook in occupied Ukraine: arrest intellectuals, artists, curators, leaders. Decapitate society. They did it in 1933, they will do it in 2022. History repeats itself Andrei Kurkov @AKurkovfirst house searches and first arrests of Crimean-Tatars in the occupied territories adjacent to Crimea. The first to be arrested is Leila Ibragimova, director of Melitopol History museum.March 10th 20223,444 Retweets6,206 Likes

Phil Stewart @phildstewart(Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council will convene on Friday at Russia’s request, diplomats said, to discuss Moscow’s claims, presented without evidence, of U.S. “biological activities” in Ukraine, a move Washington described as gaslighting.March 11th 2022390 Retweets1,416 Likes

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Apparently, the GOP is more concerned with elections than supporting our European allies and partners from Russian dominance. Botch McConnell has stated that President Biden acted too slow and not forcibly enough with sanctions on Russia. This is from a man whose sole purpose in Congress is to be in power and all for himself. Now there are several other GOP members who if they were working for their constituents would be supporting the President in his action on Russia as all of the actions taken by Russia affects everyone else at some point. Mr. Biden stepped into ankle deep problems when taking office and the GOP has allowed other things to happen by being unconscionably loyal to the former guy. The job of president is extremely difficult which is why the former guy could not do it except badly much like he runs his business. You would think the Congress would want their constituents to prosper but apparently, they don’t and continue to lie on live on right wing TV and podcasts. We (voters) need to become more informed about what is occurring around the United States and the world as it all affects us even if we do not live in those areas. The General political arena has never been particularly honest or faithful for that matter but “neo” politics are downright dishonest and untrustworthy. Now the lie has become fact (in some minds) along the lines of the “Great propagandist” Joseph Goebbels who mastered the art of lying just by lying over and over again. This is evident now in Ukraine as evoked by Mr. Putin and in our last election by Donald J. Trump and “his” Republican party. It is unfortunate that these times mirror the worst of the 1950’s Joe McCarthy hearings with a communist behind every door and the Reconstruction era when the South continued the civil war in the shadows with the suppression of voting rights for nonwhites and limiting educational and job opportunities, keeping poor folks living below the poverty line. It would have been theoretically inconceivable after WWll for the United States to become what we are now but unfortunately; we are where we are because we the people are susceptible to mass media which have lying as a monetizing model. So many of us have been duped by our own anger, the high-profile celebrity media presenters and indeed our long serving Congressional members who have their own wellbeing as a top priority. As voters our sole objective is to be informed and not distracted by “shiny objects” disguising half facts and outright lies. Answer the question of: “what do you believe? Facts or a nice sounding lie that goes against your personal interests.

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March 2, 2022

Heather Cox Richardson

Mar 3   

In the midst of all the news stories that have taken the headlines, the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has continued its work. Today, in a lawsuit, it told a judge that the committee “has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

The filing also said that a “review of the materials may reveal that the president and members of his campaign engaged in common law fraud in connection with their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.” One of the emails it released to support the filing indicated that Trump legal advisor John Eastman knew those delaying the electoral count were breaking the law.

The January 6th committee is investigating the events of January 6, 2021, to see what changes in the law, if any, should be in place to make sure what happened on January 6 cannot happen again. It cannot charge anyone with a crime, although it can make a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, which the department will then consider. Today’s statement makes it seem likely that the committee will be making such a referral.

Former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal told MSNBC: “This is as deadly serious as it gets, seditious conspiracy.”

The filing was in a case over whether Eastman, the author of the memo outlining how then–vice president Mike Pence could use his role in the counting of electoral votes to overturn the election, can refuse to turn over about 11,000 pages of emails and documents to the committee. Eastman wants to withhold them, saying they are covered by attorney-client privilege. But he has not been able to establish that Trump was his client, and, further, attorney-client privilege cannot be invoked to cover a crime.

Also today, in a case concerning whether the Oath Keepers, who stormed the Capitol on January 6, engaged in seditious conspiracy, Joshua James of Alabama pleaded guilty. According to CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who is following all the January 6 cases, James agreed that he tried to disrupt the peaceful transfer of presidential power and that Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes had a “plan” for accomplishing that disruption. In the plea deal, James said that “Rhodes instructed James &..conspirators to be prepared, if called upon, to report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter & use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump.”

Meanwhile, the Russian attack on Ukraine continues to escalate. Today, United States ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed that Russia has used cluster munitions and vacuum bombs, which are prohibited under the Geneva Conventions establishing limits to deadly weapons, in Ukraine.

A million refugees have now crossed the border to get out of Ukraine. People are also fleeing Russia as its economy collapses and Russian president Vladimir Putin persists in turning the country into a global outcast. Russian-American journalist Julia Ioffe wrote: “Friend after friend fleeing Russia. Five today alone. The best and the brightest, the journalists who were telling people the truth about their country—gone. Emigres, like the white Russians of a century ago. Putin is destroying two countries at once.” Russian authorities have started to crack down and refuse to let people leave.

In both the U.S. and Russia in the last several years, anti-democratic leaders have sought to impose their will on voters, and the similarities between those impulses make them unlikely to be independent of each other.

On July 27, 2016, even before the Republican National Committee changed the party’s platform to weaken the U.S. stance in favor of Ukraine in its struggle to fight off Russia’s 2014 invasion, U.S. News & World Report senior politics writer David Catanese noted that senior security officials were deeply concerned about then-candidate Trump’s ties to Russia.

July 27 was the day Trump referred at a news conference to his opponent and then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s emails that were not turned over for public disclosure from her private server and said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” (We know now that Russian hackers did, in fact, begin to target her accounts on or around that day.)

Former secretary of defense Leon Panetta, who served under nine presidents, told Catanese that Trump was “a threat to national security,” not only because of his call for help from Russia, but because of his suggestion that he would abandon the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) if he were elected and, as Catanese put it, “his coziness toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Former National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon also expressed concern over the hack of the Democratic National Committee by Russian operatives, and said that such an attack mirrored similar attacks in Estonia, Georgia, and, most prominently, Ukraine. He called on officials to confront Russian leaders publicly.

Cybersecurity expert Alan Silberberg told Catanese that Trump looked like an ally of Putin. “The Twitter trail, if you dig into it over the last year, the Russian media is mirroring him, putting out the same tweets at almost the same time,” Silberberg said.

“You get the sense that people think it’s a joke,” Panetta said. “The fact is what he has said has already represented a threat to our national security.”

Putin’s attempt to destroy democracy in Ukraine militarily has invited a reexamination of the cyberattacks, disinformation, division, attacks on opponents, and installation of puppet leaders he used to gain control of Ukraine before finally turning to bombs. This reexamination, in turn, has led journalists to note that those same techniques have poisoned politics in countries other than Ukraine.

Over the weekend, British investigative journalist Carol Cadwalladr warned that we are 8 years into “The first Great Information War,” a war sparked by Putin’s fury at the removal of his puppet Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 from the presidency of Ukraine. Putin set out to warp reality to confuse both Ukrainians & the world. The “meddling” we saw in the 2016 election was not an attempt to elect Trump simply so he would end the sanctions former president Barack Obama had imposed on Russia in 2014 after it invaded Ukraine. It was an attempt to destabilize democracy. “And it’s absolutely crucial that we now understand that Putin’s attack on Ukraine & the West was a JOINT attack on both,” she wrote.

Today in The Guardian, political and cultural observer Rebecca Solnit wrote a piece titled “It’s time to confront the Trump-Putin network.”

Notes:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/02/january-6-commitee-challenge-trump-lawyer

Twitter avatar for @MacFarlaneNews

Scott MacFarlane

@MacFarlaneNews

Here it comes. Plea agreement hearing is beginning in a Jan 6 OathKeepers seditious conspiracy case. Joshua James of Alabama .. who is a co-defendant of Stewart Rhodes Standby

March 2nd 2022

1,225 Retweets6,579 Likes

Twitter avatar for @MacFarlaneNews

Scott MacFarlane

@MacFarlaneNews

Jan 6 defendant Josh James signs plea deal saying: “(Stewart) Rhodes instructed James &..conspirators to be prepared, if called upon, to report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter & use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump” Image

March 3rd 2022

1,486 Retweets3,118 Likes

https://www.rawstory.com/trump-felony/

​​https://thehill.com/policy/international/596520-us-ambassador-to-un-offers-condemnation-of-russian-actions

Twitter avatar for @jimsciutto

Jim Sciutto

@jimsciutto

—>> @USAmbUN Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirms Russia has deployed cluster munitions and vacuum bombs in Ukraine.

March 2nd 2022

3,518 Retweets7,532 Likes

https://www.npr.org/2022/03/02/1084100763/1-million-refugees-fled-ukraine

Twitter avatar for @juliaioffe

Julia Ioffe

@juliaioffe

Friend after friend fleeing Russia. Five today alone. The best and the brightest, the journalists who were telling people the truth about their country—gone. Emigres, like the white Russians of a century ago. Putin is destroying two countries at once.

March 3rd 2022

1,896 Retweets7,210 Likes

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/03/02/fleeing-russians-report-lengthy-interrogations-at-airports-a76721

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/trump-asked-russia-to-find-clintons-emails-on-or-around-the-same-day-russians-targeted-her-accounts

​​https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-07-27/after-russia-email-remarks-democrats-say-trump-a-danger-on-national-security

Twitter avatar for @carolecadwalla

Carole Cadwalladr

@carolecadwalla

Ok. Deep breath. I think we may look back on this as the first Great Information War. Except we’re already 8 years in. The first Great Information War began in 2014. The invasion of Ukraine is the latest front. And the idea it doesn’t already involve us is fiction, a lie. 1/

February 27th 2022

28,886 Retweets75,284 Likes https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/02/time-to-confront-trump-putin-network

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