The Predictable Result of Asymmetry in Terrorism Policing: Andrew McCabe’s Demise

I recently finished Andrew McCabe’s book.

It is very effective at what I imagine its intended purposes are. It provides some fascinating new details about the genesis of the Russian investigation. It offers a great introduction in how the FBI (at its best) can work. It gives a self-congratulatory version of McCabe’s career, including key events like the Najibullah Zazi and Boston Marathon investigations; even if McCabe had wanted to tell fully honest stories about those investigations, I’m sure the less flattering details wouldn’t have passed FBI’s publication review.

The book also says satisfyingly mean things about Trump, Jeff Sessions, and (more obliquely) Rod Rosenstein. (I think McCabe’s book release significantly explains the rumors reported as fact that Mueller’s report was imminent some weeks ago; that claim served, in part, to once again eliminate any pressure to fire Rosenstein immediately).

The latter of two, of course, implemented McCabe’s firing. McCabe’s excuse for lying to the Inspector General, which led to his firing, is one of the least convincing parts of the book (he admits he can’t say more because of his continued legal jeopardy, but he does raise it). That’s true, in part, because McCabe only deals with one of the conversations in question; there were a number of them. But he also excuses his chief lie because he was frazzled about learning of the Strzok-Page texts in the same conversation. I can understand that, but elsewhere, one of his digs against Rosenstein is how overwhelmed the Deputy Attorney General was in the wake of the Jim Comey firing. McCabe suggests, in that context, that because he had dealt with big stressful issues (like the Boston Marathon attack), he wasn’t similarly rattled. Which is why I find it disingenuous to use being frazzled for not being fully truthful to the Inspector General. Plus, virtually all defendants prosecuted for lying to the FBI (including George Papadopoulos, but not Mike Flynn, who is a very accomplished liar) are frazzled when they tell those lies; it’s a tactic the FBI uses to catch people unguarded.

I was most frustrated, however, by something that has become increasingly important in recent days: McCabe’s utter lack of awareness (at least in the book) of the import of the asymmetric focus on Islamic terrorism across his career.

After moving to counterterrorism in the mid-00s from working organized crime, McCabe became an utterly central player in the war on Islamic terror, founding the High Value Interrogation Group, and then leading the CT and National Security Divisions of FBI. He was a key player in investigations — like Zazi — that the FBI is rightly proud of.

But McCabe normalizes the choices made after 9/11 to pursue Islamic terrorism as a distinct danger. He (of course) whitewashes Jim Comey’s decision to retain the Internet dragnet in 2004 under an indefensible use of the PATRIOT Act. He argues that it is politically impossible to survive a failure to prevent an attack even though he managed the Boston Marathon attack, where FBI and NSA had some warning of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s danger, but nevertheless got very little criticism as a result. Most remarkably, McCabe talks about Kevin Harpham’s attempted attack on the Martin Luther King Day parade, mentions as an aside that this was (obviously) not an Islamic terror attack, but offers no reflection on how Harpham’s attack undermines much of what he presents, unquestioningly, as a greater risk from Islamic terrorism (here’s a story on how Barack Obama did not get briefed on Harpham, a decision that may well have involved McCabe).

Granted, McCabe’s blind spots (at least in the book) are typical of people who have spent their lives reinforcing this asymmetry. You see it, too, in this utterly nonsensical paragraph in a largely ridiculous piece from Joshua Geltzer, Mary McCord, and Nick Rasmussen — all likewise accomplished players in the War on Just One Kind of Terrorism — at Lawfare.

The phrases “international terrorism” (think of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda) and “domestic terrorism” (think of the Oklahoma City bombing and the October 2018 shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue) have often been a source of confusion to those not steeped in counterterrorism. The Islamic State has its roots internationally, but what makes it such a threat to Americans is, in part, its ability to influence domestic actors like Omar Mateen to kill Americans in domestic locations like Orlando, Florida. The group may be “international,” but its attackers and attacks can be, and have been, domestic—to tragic effect.

This paragraph, in a piece that admits the focus of their career has been wrong (and neglects to mention that Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant named Donald Trump, along with Anders Behring Breivik, as an inspiration), suggests that the reason international terrorism is “such a threat” is because it can inspire domestic actors. The logic inherent to that paragraph is that terrorism carried out by “domestic terrorists,” inspired by a domestic white supremacist ideology is any less dangerous than terrorism carried out by people inspired by what is treated as an international ideology. International terrorism is worse than domestic terrorism, these experts argue, because it can lead to domestic terrorism.

Dead is dead. And given the significant number of white supremacists who have had experience in the military and greater tolerance for their training, white supremacists have the potential of being far more effective, as individuals, at killing than US-based Islamic terrorists.

One thing the Lawfare piece studiously avoids acknowledging is that what it calls “domestic” terrorism (the racist ideology of which they never describe) is an ideology significantly exported by the United States. Even in a piece that rightly calls for an equal focus on both white supremacist terrorism and Islamic terrorism, it ducks labeling the ideology in question. And while this WaPo piece does label the ideology in question, it bizarrely calls an attack in New Zealand carried out by an Australian a “domestic” attack.

The WaPo piece describes one problem with the asymmetric treatment of different kinds of terrorism: that governments don’t share intelligence about international violent racist ideology. In fact, in the US, such intelligence gets treated differently, if the FBI’s failure to track the networks around Frazier Glenn Miller and Eric Rudolph is any indication.

Ironically, that’s one reason that McCabe’s failure to track white supremacist terrorism in the same way he tracked Islamic terrorism led to his demise. While the network behind the election year operation that helped elect Trump involves a lot of Russians, it also clearly involves a lot of white supremacists like Nigel Farage (and David Duke), a network Russia exploited. Additionally, as I have argued (and at least one study backs) white supremacist networks provided the real fire behind the attacks on Clinton; Russia’s information operations had the effect of throwing more fuel on a blazing bonfire.

The other problem with the US government’s asymmetric treatment of terrorism is legitimacy. Labeling Islamic terrorism “foreign” and pursuing material support cases based partly on speech has had the effect of criminalizing some speech that criticizes US foreign policy, even well-deserved criticism about the effect of US killing of Muslims. By contrast, white supremacist speech, even that which  more aggressively advocates violence is treated as speech. Yes, deplatforming has begun to change that.

But we’re still not at a place where those who incite white supremacist violence are held accountable for it.

That’s how it was possible for a man to kick off a campaign by inventing lies about Mexican immigrants and how the entire Republican party, up to and including the new supposedly sane Attorney General, are permitted to pursue counterproductive policies solely so they can appear to demonize brown people.

Irrespective of the merit or not in the finding that Andrew McCabe lacked candor with the IG, he got treated the way he did because a man whose entire political career is based off feeding white resentment needed to appear to be a victim of Andrew McCabe. That act, by itself, was not about Trump’s white supremacist ideology. But it is a structure of power that is white supremacist (exacerbated by Trump’s narcissism).

We have a President Trump in significant part because this country has tolerated and even rewarded white supremacist ideology, institutionally ignoring that it poses as much of a risk as violent Islamic ideology. It would be really useful if people like Andrew McCabe spend some time publicly accounting for that fact.

The white supremacy that brought us the Trump presidency would not be possible if we had treated violent white supremacist terror as terror for the last twenty years.

132 replies
  1. Eric says:

    For a provocative view of the FBI’s efforts in counterterrorism from the perspective of a community who’s fabric has come unwoven through Islamic focused surveillance, I recommend Assia Boundaoui’s documentary, out this year, titled “The Feeling Of Being Watched” –

  2. Bryan Plumber says:

    It’s like the US is racist or something. To treat terrorism by brown people differently than white people.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      No, it’s not as if US politics, economy and society – not to mention a good portion of its criminal justice and prison systems – were founded and dependent on race. Nope, not a bit.

      A little introspection into the ways that US foreign and military policy so fertilize the ground for the growth of Islamic and other forms of “foreign” terrorism might be useful. Rape, pillage, and random death have a way of alienating the occupied. We would now have to add the effects of the widespread outsourcing of those functions to for-profit mercenaries.

      Armed occupation, for example, tends not to endear the occupier to the occupied, an outcome well-known to Alexander and Caesar. In fact, there’s at least one world religion that traces its origins in and rejection of that occupation, until it was later co-opted by the occupier for its own purposes.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        My favorite, perspective-changing t-shirt art remains the sepia picture of Geronimo and friends, with the caption: “Fighting Terrorists Since 1492.”

  3. Michael Keenan says:

    As per comment: Michael Keenan says:
    March 17, 2019 at 9:30 pm
    [Michael Keenan. I have disabled your asinine link, and that was all your offending comment contained, because it went to Lee Stranahan, Jack Posobiec and bullshit. If you ever post that kind of crap here again, you will be gone.]
    You may be already.”

    My response:
    Not always sure of who the players are but I do come here because of Marcy and not you Bmaz. I come for Marcy and the dissection of PRIMARY documents and on the ground reporting. All I seem to get instead is your name-calling, what seems like a bias and complete dismissal for my questions in trying to get to the truth and informative comments. For an officer and gentleman of the court I find your behavior offensive and what I would expect from a moron. “Our civilization cannot afford to let the censor-moron loose. The censor-moron does not really hate anything but the living and growing human consciousness. It is our developing and extending consciousness that he threatens – and our consciousness in its newest, most sensitive activity, its vital growth. To arrest or circumscribe the vital consciousness is to produce morons, and nothing but a moron would do it.” H.D. Lawrence.

    • e.a.f. says:

      If you don’t know who all the players are, and I certainly don’t, its best to tread lightly, until you do. Name calling never helped a situation. Might make you feel better, but really, its not polite and I’ve found it doesn’t help the situation. Some times its better to just ask questions.

      This blog is extremely informative and is on the blog roll of a Canadian blogger, RossK, The Pacific Gazetteer. Its how I found it. Had an interesting name,

    • orionATL says:

      get it right. the quote is from d.h. lawrence a ground-breaking english novelist writing about sex and hence subject to intense censorship.

      put your violin down. you are not, by any stretch a victim similar to lawrence. nor does your quote fairly apply to bmaz who hauled you up short for association with rightwing crackpots stranahan and prosobiec.

      keep in mind, overtly pious lad, that lots of rightwingers try the trick of commenting in rightwing mode and then professing amazement that others detect their fraud. does this apply to you?

      • Wajim says:

        Well, nothing like context to disable a quote mining operation, for sure. I, for one, can’t wait to hear what Q has to say about this. And by the way, who here has ever accused bmaz of being a gentleman?

        • bmaz says:

          Hi. Even I do not claim that. I simply do what is necessary. Your mileage may vary, but you are not on this side of it all. Cheers.

  4. BobCon says:

    I’d add that the FBI and related arms of the government have up into the present carried out investigations of environmentalists, civil rights groups and peace groups far out of proportion to any threat they might harbor. The so called “Black Identity Extremists” being a notable recent fabricated target.

    The obvious irony is that the protests in Ferguson and elsewhere were sparked in large part by the high degree of bias in police departments, and even White nationalism, which the FBI and other parts of the government have long overlooked or minimized.

  5. gedouttahear says:

    Outstanding incisive piece!
    “until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned;
    that until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation;
    that until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes;
    that until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race;
    that until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained.” H.Selassie.

    • Areader2019 says:

      That’s how it was possible for a man to kick off a campaign by inventing lies about Mexican immigrants

      Let me add:

      A man who published racist full page ads in the NYT against black people wrongly accused of a crime. And who fueled his political profile by attacking the first black president as invalid, because he was supposedly not born here.

  6. Peterr says:

    The only reason for distinguishing between “domestic terrorism” and “international Islamic terrorism” is one of tactics and the authorities under which the FBI operates. The FBI can act fairly independently domestically, under rules overseen by the US courts. With regard to international stuff, on the other hand, they have to be extremely diplomatic, act in partnership with others, and generally be persuasive rather than dictatorial when pursuing leads. They cannot demand compliance, but must encourage cooperation.

    But there’s an additional layer to the asymmetry you describe: the additional suspicion put upon African-Americans and other minority populations in the US. Former FBI agent and now Fellow at the Brennan Center Michael German spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus a year ago this very day, and opened his remarks like this:

    Chairman Richmond and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, thank you for inviting me to speak to you today about the FBI’s August 2017 intelligence assessment describing a purported threat posed to law enforcement officers by “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE). [1] The assessment is of such poor analytic quality that it raises serious questions about the FBI’s purpose in producing it. What is most troubling about the BIE assessment is its potential to incite irrational police fear of black political activists. Irrational fear, unfortunately, too often in the past translated into unnecessary police violence against unarmed and unthreatening black men and women.[2]

    As a former FBI agent, civil rights advocate at the ACLU, and now fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, I have reviewed hundreds of terrorism intelligence products like the BIE report, and I am sorry to say it isn’t unusual. In 2011, the ACLU exposed bigoted FBI training materials that demonstrated bias against Arabs, Muslims, and Asians. In 2012, I wrote articles criticizing FBI intelligence materials on “Black Separatist Extremists,” “American Islamic Extremists,” “Animal Rights Extremists,” and “The Chinese,”, which I provided to CBC staff. Since the BIE report came out, I have seen training materials produced by state and local law enforcement agencies adopting its language. The problem is much bigger than one report.

    German also adds this under his policy recommendations at the end of his remarks: ” According to 2016 data, the FBI is 83.4% white and 80% male. [10] Congress should order an independent study to determine why diversity gains throughout the 1990s have fallen over the last 18 years. It should examine bias in hiring, promotion, and disciplinary processes.”

    It’s not only a failure to track and address white supremacists, but the stoking of fears and misguided tracking of non-white activists. These are the flip sides of the same coin — a coin which the leaders of the US law enforcement community decline to admit even exists.

    • orionATL says:

      thanks peterr.

      this is very helpful information and perspective.

      if fbi diversity hiring has fallen over the last 30 yrs it is almost certainly because “network relationships” of current fbi employees have been allowed to dominate who learns about posted positions and who gets accepted, which in turn suggests experience and credentials requirements for at least some jobs are being ignored, not to mention agency diversity targets (if there are any). rapid “exceptional circumstances” hiring after 2001 might also be involved.

      changing this climate, if anyone cares enough to do it, will require a well-publicized agency wide effort.

      • P J Evans says:

        Requirements carefully set to let in only people like the ones they’re not trying to hire – or requirements with a misspelling (or poor grammar) that must be reproduced to get through the HR screen (carefully set up to direct to someone who knows the key).

        • Jockobadger says:

          PJ/Orion: I observed something very similar when once employed by a gov’t agency. Job descriptions were written by our Mgmt in such a way that only a single individual (one known to the writer) could really be considered “qualified.” Forward it on to HR, notify the “qualified” individual on the sly, and Viola, you’ve got a person who may or may not be qualified, but is certainly beholden!

          I left there after a few years of that and other forms of corruption drove me out. I left 6 figs, great pension, blah, blah. In hindsight, it seems foolish, but I’m still glad I did it. Still have a shred of dignity and integrity left – and things were pretty good after, too!

          Thanks EW and Commentariat

  7. Savage Librarian says:

    Marcy, as you say in your last para: “The white supremacy that brought us the Trump presidency would not be possible if we had treated violent white supremacist terror as terror for the last twenty years.”

    I agree 100%. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, an experience I had with local gov’t and white supremacists 20+ years ago was chilling in many regards. I think I actually was traumatized by the whole ordeal.

    That’s why I think I reacted so strongly about the info about Susie and Lanny Wiles, Stone, Manafort, etc. It might have been some kind of PTSD symptom that surfaced in me.

    The judge for my case against local officials was brought in from Oklahoma City. Info on the internet said he had told his home town paper that he was forewarned about the federal bldg bombing. He didn’t show up for work that day and had taken his grandson out of the daycare. Later, he was taken off the McVeigh case. So, was this “fake news” or not? Don’t know, but I tend to believe it.

    While I was being severely jerked around by the City, before my lawsuit went to trial, one day a customer came up to me and said something like this,
    “You know, you should just shut up about everything and do your job!”

    I said, “Why is that?”
    He said, “Because those white supremacists you are so worried about are some of the same people in high levels of the local GOP.”

    Don’t know who that guy was. Never saw him before. But shortly after that I was taken off the public service desk and put on telephone reference, out of sight.

    But I can tell you, I strongly believe that things are beginning to change. I am so grateful for Gillum, Abrams, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley, and all the other people who won’t be daunted. A big shout out to everyone everywhere who is willing to speak truth to power!

  8. Hika says:

    This problem isn’t new. Early in Obama’s presidency, there was a big push from the Republicans to go easy on the right-wing white militias.
    Obama’s admin. built some alternative mechanisms to keep looking into these things, but then Trump’s people have done their best to again give these groups the darkness they need to grow.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A lot of votes there, a minority, but a lot of votes. It also tends to resurrect portions of Jim Crow, always helpful in tamping down the vote of those that white supremacists would rather not vote.

  9. Sam Penrose says:

    Wonderful work, thank you. Your command of the facts lends great weight to your conclusions.

  10. Greenhouse says:

    “Some of those that work forces
    Are the same that burn crosses”
    Rage Against The Machine

  11. jayedcoins says:

    Great thoughts, Marcy, thanks for sharing. These are critical points right now, because it shows the importance that lingers beneath the surface of Russia as the headline, no matter how that story plays out.

    And, I cannot resist — it will continue to be absurdly funny and sad to see clowns like Aaron Mate paint MW as a #resister that’s addicted to the “collusion” story and going easy on the “deep state” in the process.

    If anything, the fact that Mate and his ilk think exactly that, just goes to show that they aren’t reading all the posts on this blog (such as this *excellent* post that puts the fire to institutional players in this saga), but rather just the posts that are about Russia. If they would pay attention, they’d see a pretty steadfast defense of speech and criticism of our entire law enforcement system.

    Oh well, I shouldn’t let those people bother me, but sometimes it’s just crazy to see the knots they tie themselves in to avoid acknowledging plainly visible truths.

    • harpie says:

      From Yahoo, about the same leaked chat logs:
      Virginia cop ID’d as part of white nationalist group Identity Evropa
      Daniel Morley, 31, a school resource officer at L.C. Bird High School in Virginia, holds a side gig as an organizer for Identity Evropa, a group noted for its part in the organizing of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. The group (also known as the “American Identity Movement”) tasked Morley with helping new recruits through the application process.

    • harpie says:

      I wonder how long it will be before some employees of ICE and CBP are identified in those logs.

  12. cfost says:

    Maybe it’s time to begin again, as the Framers did 200+ years ago: What is a person? If one is white, is one a person? Black? Brown? Yellow? A corporation?
    Shall we establish only one approved and recognized religion? Which one?
    Re McCabe, I think his background in investigating organized crime is relevant. McCabe, Ohr, and Mueller would have all been familiar with Trump and his laundromat since long before Trump’s foray into politics, which would explain Trump’s (and the GOP’s) need to discredit the FBI. The FBI has the goods. Will the goods become public?

  13. jaango says:

    From the Latino “perspective” on the seminal distinction of terrorism, the confluence between “domestic” and “foreign” is irrelevant. Why? Back in the early 2000’s when the AUMF was being discussed and widely debated, European Americans were highly supportive while simultaneously, “racial and ethnics” were highly opposed. Thus, the facile approach to “terrorism” has been aptly demonstrated and where those of us and whom have served in the military, has convinced us that the Iraq War was a waste of lives and perpetuated by the “majority” of our nation unwilling to challenge the War Mongers. And in the future, the Academy of Historians will be writing of their seminal belief that changed minds is indicative that Democracy Works and without ever addressing the Character that is ingrained in Decency Personified.

  14. Areader2019 says:

    It’s a testament to the complexity of the Mueller investigation that this very good NYT explainer of what we know doesn’t even mention two key players: Sergei Millian and Dmitri Simes.

    I think they also missed :

    Bijan Kian / Rafiekian. Trial date July 15

    He is on my crazy wall, and Maddow talked about him last night.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    For those of you worried about his future, you can stop worrying. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan has accepted a position on the board of directors of Rupert Murdoch’s new Fox Corporation. It will house the old Fox – Fox Noise, Sports and Broadcasting – without the movie and entertainment business run out of 21st Century Fox, a recently approved, $71 billion odd divestiture that will close next Tuesday.

    Wheww, that was close. I was worried that the Wisconsite might have to land a real job in his home state.


    • Tom says:

      Somehow sitting on the board of directors of a large corporation doesn’t seem like the sort of job a strong, stalwart, forthright, independent-minded, Ayn Randian hero such as Paul Ryan would take.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Rand’s vaunted independence was among her greatest cons. She would have been all for wingnut welfare – communism of, by, and for the wealthy – so long as it was limited to the neoliberal great and good, including her.

        Besides, sitting on a board of the powerful is to join the Roarks and the Galts. In Ryan’s case, it would be about the money and patronage, and would naturally lead to other similar gigs. For the Murdochs, it’s about prospering during and after Trump: Caesars come and go, only Rome endures, and Rupert is Rome.

    • Cheyenne Morrison says:

      Hope Hicks also got a soft landing there, as an Australian I am so ashamed of Rupert Murdoch. I pray the old bastard dies soon because his sons don’t have the stomach for Fox News, and now the massacre in New Zealand shows that their rabid right-wing white nationalism has a direct cost in human life. Murdoch has infected Australia with this as well, thus the rise of Pauline Hanson, et al and their racist ideology. I try to be positive and that this will be a wake up call for the real threat posed by white nationalist terrorism.

      • orionATL says:

        i like this perceptive comment very much, not least because a 5-eyes citizen has confirmed what i have long thought – that rupert murdoch’s print and electronic products rupert murdoch actually do infect a society and thence damage it irretrievably. this certainly happened here in the u.s. where the republican party had a party broadcast voice so long as murdoch kept republican operative roger ailes in power at fox news. the same was true in canada and britain, and now you’ve confirmed in Australia and new zealand too.

        murdoch news media deliberately deal in news or “opinion news” that manipulates common political decency, inflame political loyalty to republican causes, and cheer on angry political fantasies involving scapegoating. his personal goals seem to revolve around making huge sums of money from these manipulations while gaining enormous political power without ever running for a single office. his habit of buying out major media papers and broadcast stations gives this perverse businessman, immensely dangerous and damaging to every nation his hands have touched, the power to control political discourse.

        my view of murdoch here in the u.s. has been that the congress should rescind the citizenship it extended to him years ago, sell off the rights to his media businesses, and raze all their buildings to the ground.

        • P J Evans says:

          It didn’t help, in the US, that they convinced a court that “Fox News” was entertainment, not actual news – that means they can’t easily be held liable for their lies and the damage they inflict.

          • orionATL says:


            entertainment? that is absurd. i hadn’t heard that that joke had been played on the american polity.

            what a destructive tragedy. we read endlessly about how politically “polarized” americans are today. fox news bears the prime responsibility for initiating and sustaining that polarization beginning in 1996 by repeatedly affirming political speech and conduct that heretofore was considered by our society socially unacceptable – beyond our traditional political attitudes, customs, values, mores.

            if our click-bait, mainstream media corporatti had an editorial brain they would understand that “polarization” is just a cheap, easy linguistic borrow standing in for the breakdown of traditional political values and attitudes. fox news is responsible for initiating that breakdown with roger Ailes leading rupert murdoch’s money machine in a republican propaganda charge against the nation.

  16. Willis Warren says:

    I was surprised that the Obama administration didn’t throw the book at the Bundy supporters who were showing up with guns. Obama didn’t want to get his hands dirty, and they were clearly begging him to. That was an ugly moment, and history won’t be kind.

    • Areader2019 says:

      Obama pulled his punches.

      He did not want to be racially divisive. In hindsight, now, yes I agree it will be viewed as a lost opportunity to stop the growth of white supremacy. Maybe he was over confident? He thought that America electing a black president was a sign that racism would recede. He also thought Hillary would win, and could address the things that he passed on.

      Wrong on both counts.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Obama pulling his punches was a professional courtesy. He agrees with many of the GOP’s priorities and would never dream of fighting in open conflict with them.

      He is much more centrist than the language he ran on. His politics, as is true of O’Rourke, are largely about him, not the people who voted for him. Despite the lilting tones with which he can describe the needs of the many, he’s not much given to fighting for them.

      His proposed presidential non-library, for example, on Chicago’s South Side waterfront is a real estate development in a less prosperous but gentrifying part of the city. It is not primarily a library – research materials will not be available there. It is a multi-purpose entertainment cum training and recruitment center.

      O’Rourke, too, often voted with the GOP during his six years in the House. He’s a good Democrat for Texas, and should focus on beating Cornyn in 2020.

      • Areader2019 says:

        Yeah, I guess I agree.

        When Obama walked out of that meeting with BP, after the worst spill ever, and they were all smiling I knew the fix was in.

        If I had my way, BP execs would have left that meeting in tears.

        But Obama signaled that he was ‘centerist’, which means ‘corporate’. So Beto is kinda signaling on the same wavelength. Give the people hope, show you care, but don’t do anything that might cost the actual corporate powers any money.

        • Rollo T says:

          Wasn’t it Obama who told the Wall Street bankers in 2008 “I’m the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks”? Not a position he should have been espousing.

      • Greenhouse says:

        EOH re gentrifying the southside, Eve Ewing has great book “Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side” which describes how school reform movement, (charter schools, closing public schools) is a trojan horse for clearing out what had been red lined neighborhoods to make way for the Caucasian great horde. There goes the neighborhood.

      • orionATL says:

        they certainly could have arrested ringleaders, the fbi is trained and equipped to identify those critical individuals. but anything to do with a shootout would have been, ahem, verboten due to waco and ruby ridge. i suspect the fbi negotiating team was in control on this one, and i know they were in full control later in oregon where the new morroni hovered.

        in oregon the fbi team lead said in effect “we will wait as long as it takes” – cut off the water, cut of the electricity, arrest any who leave the compound, and wait, wait wait. it worked from the fbi perspective, no bad national memories, no bad marks for the fbi. there was a trial in portsmouth, oregon in which all 7 defendants were found not guilty:

        • orionATL says:

          the two victims that media rarely mention are the two ranchers, the hammond father and son, who bore the entire brunt of federal doj/fbi/judgely power and ended up being convicted and doing 5 years in the pen.

          on a map, their ranch formed a u-shaped intrusion into the malhour federal preserve. it seems highly likely to me that federal officials in the dept of interior instigated the charges against the ranching family in order to force a bankruptcy and sale. in fact, the settlement papers were said to include a right-of-first refusal (federal droit du signeur!) if the hammond ranch ever came on the market. the federal charges were filed against the hammond family a decade after the charging events occurred:

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Chuck Todd and MTP win a Walter Cronkite Award for their December 30, 2018, show on climate change – apparently for denying climate change deniers the opportunity to broadcast their propaganda as part of his “report.” The science is settled, declares Chuck. A profile in courage or a blind pig and an acorn?


  18. Eslinger says:

    Time and again I have been startled to hear people familiar to me make surprising statements about racism, conspiracies, how “the playing field” is uneven and tilted to their disadvantage, and so on. Given my occupation, a large fraction of these people are well educated, well traveled, and members of a diverse workforce.
    And yet they can say things that make me blink and do a double take: did they actually say what I think I heard?
    It’s experiences like these that can make ideas for effective remedies so slippery for me. There are the radical, obviously and publicly unhinged, and then there are these sleeper cells that can, suddenly, be stirred to widely varying degrees by some strange mix of perceived grievances, fear, and, perhaps, cultural priming.

    At times I wonder how much I know – how much I can know – about even myself. The answers do not reassure me.

      • rip says:

        I think we’re seeing either a person with some intellectual issues, or perhaps a bot programmed by a similar person (or a bot programmed by a similar …).

        In the fields of data mining and natural language processing, this is known as “word salad”. Filling but not satisfying or nutritious.

        (Like much of my ramblings.)

          • timbo says:

            “I push the buttons for a sandwich but all I seem to get is a wurd salad.” —Hero no-Hero?

          • Laura says:

            My mom has Alzheimer’s and her word salad isn’t anything like this. I’ll go with computational linguistics ‘Bot’ for $200, bmaz.

        • Tom says:

          Sounds like the commenter was referring to conversations he/she has had with people who begin sentences with phrases such as, “I’m not a racist, but …”

          • P J Evans says:

            Or with people like some I worked with, who kept it quiet most of the time, but let it come out when they were alone with me, apparently being under the impression that I agreed with them.

      • mfmikula says:

        Apologies, Eslinger, if this is wrong – it’s tribalism, as Greenwald and others have described it. All of us are tribal to some degree. Education, being well travelled, etc, does not cure tribalism. It can lead us to cheat in sports or business, or to use whatever political power we have to tilt the playing field in our own favor, or in the worst case, wars and genocide. People in 1930s-1940s Germany were not evil themselves, but they allowed Hitler to do evil things. But, of course, that could never happen here.

    • Greenhouse says:

      Eslinger, your comment made perfect sense to me. Thanks for your honesty regarding the irony of your associates’ gripes about the playing field not being in their favor (assuming they’re mid-upper class and white). You’re right about the slippery aspect of effective remedies (ie affirmative action). But there’s hope. At least Elizabeth Warren is pushing for reparations. Look, this dialogue should’ve started long ago with Conyer’s HR 40. Reparations would be an effective remedy. After all, the Jews received reparations from Germany. But don’t believe me. Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a great case for why:

    • Don Utter says:

      “At times I wonder how much I know – how much I can know – about even myself. The answers do not reassure me.”

      This seems to be a honest statement of the confusion of the age we live in.

      Humans are proud to be rational but we have been able to ignore our own doom due to our violence to the earth. Something is fundamentally wrong with modernity.

      Trump in walking away from the Paris agreement declared war on humans and the earth. USA continues to be the largest polluter and it is justified by economics. This is crazy as the first part of the comment, says to me, how can someone I thought I knew, someone I have been in relationship for years, have such crazy views?

      “No attested knowledge can stand on its own, as we know very well. Facts remain robust only when they are supported by a common culture, by institutions that can be trusted, by a more or less decent public like, by more or less reliable media. (23)

      It is not a matter of learning how to repair cognitive deficiencies, but rather of how to live in the same world, share the same culture, face up to the same stakes, perceive a landscape that can be explored in concert. Here we find the habitual vice of epistemology, which consists in attributing to intellectual deficits something that is quite simply a deficit in shared practice. ”

      This is taken from a book, and in a book review by a Columbia Univ Law Prof. The book is by the French polymath Bruno Latour.


    • orionATL says:

      eslinger –

      “… At times I wonder how much I know – how much I can know – about even myself. The answers do not reassure me…”

      and “… it’s experiences like these that can make ideas for effective remedies so slippery for me.”

      practicing your psy ops are you, eslinger. what blatant, clumsy attempted manipulation.

      fine fodder for fools with a weak, equivocal sense of injustice.

      • orionATL says:


        “… Time and again I have been startled to hear people familiar to me make surprising statements about racism, conspiracies, how “the playing field” is uneven and tilted to their disadvantage, and so on. Given my occupation, a large fraction of these people are well educated, well traveled, and members of a diverse workforce.
        And yet they can say things that make me blink and do a double take: did they actually say what I think I heard?…”

        a phrase was invented that describes the situation of the good people who are complicitous in the unfair treatment of others thru their gentile practice of that mistreatment or thru their bemusement as to a citizen’s proper viewpoint:

        “the banality of evil”.

        • orionATL says:


          good grief: that should be “thru their genteel practice…” rather than “gentile practice”.

      • Greenhouse says:

        That’s real rich Orion. We’re all complicit to some degree or other in direct observations of injustice and lacking courage to address it. Doesn’t make his self-examination and sharing invalid. As a matter of fact, that’s the first step to healing. Don’t be so self-righteous.

        • orionATl says:

          greenhouse –


          only a simpleton would make the absurd claim “we are all complicit to some degree”; common observation makes clear that is not the case. our history, and human in general, is clear speaking out is manifestly a recognition of injustice being done and an attack on the injustice. not speaking out is precisely how the unjust and their injustice gain a foothold in society.

          do you ever read history or science on the social psychology of crowds? germany in the 20’s and 30’s always comes to mind, but lets not dwell on the too well known.what about the major russian role and intervention in the brexit mess in great britain and ireland? heard enough folks speaking out on that NO! what about domestic terrorism in the u.s, performed by individual white men and white-boy gangs? the failure of enough people not speaking out is precisely why our government can get away with avoiding treating white-engendered, domestic violence against non-whites and government institutions and employees (naval yard, oregon).

          you can take your “we are all complicit” pablum and stuff it.

          then try and do something for the enrichment of your understanding.

  19. Fran of the North says:

    This morning on NPR Brian Levin from the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino had some amazing stats for a spectrum of hate from extreme, over the top, to almost acceptable that are social commentary that can be heard as ‘policy-like’ and debatable. The challenge is that as the lines blur, a leaning in one direction can make extreme messages less extreme.

    Of Americans:
    36% believe that whites are under attack (from Reuters Ipsos)
    14% believe that whites are under attack and African Americans are not (from Reuters Ipsos)
    9% see Nazis views as acceptable. ( from Wapo / ABC Poll)

    In the same way that ‘international terrorists’ can influence and inculcate hate within a domestic audience, so too can ‘domestic terrorists’ influence a new audience within our borders.

  20. e.a.f. says:

    Interesting read.

    Don’t know how the WaPo can assert the N.Z. terrorist attack was “domestic terrorism”. The act was committed by some one from Australia and that would mean it was committed by a foreigner and thus is “foreign terrorism”. Now it may the WaPo, isn’t up on its geography, so let me explain, those of us in Canada, know Australia and N.Z. are two separate countries and as such each have status as individual countries within the Commonwealth.

    Some of these people need to get their heads out of their arses. Terrorism is terrorism. If its committed in country by one of its own citizens I’d consider it domestic terrorism and if terrorism is committed by some one from another country its foreign terrorism. Colour, ethnic origin, religion, languiage in my opinion doesn’t matter. If you have people engaging in terrorism or planning terrorist attacks it usually comes down to them murdering some one or a great many some ones. Last time I checked, all murder was pretty much dealt with the same way. There weren’t different instruction manuals.

    The perpetrators of terrorism are all going to be charged with murder. The people who were the victims are all dead. You’d think police, national security, etc. would be interested in the impending deaths of any of their citizens regardless of who was doing the killing. Not all American news makes it to Canada so are Americans considering being murdered by a fellow American is better than being murdered by a foreign person?

    There were some stats on t.v. last night which advised approx. 75% of terrorism is perpetrated by white guys who live in the U.S.A. and about 25% of the other. Now if I were trying to protect my country, I’d be more interested in the “white boys” and their activities. Doesn’t matter what colour you’re murderer is, you’re still dead.

    • Tom says:

      Not sure that New Zealanders and Australians see each other as “foreigners”. As you say, they are fellow Commonwealth members and they have the shared heritage of ANZAC Day, which they commemorate every 25th of April. As for acts of terror committed by our own countrymen vs. those from abroad, it’s always tempting to put the blame for any wrongdoing on “the other”. Remember the 1987 Olympics where sprinter Ben Johnson went from being described in the news as “Canadian Ben Johnson” to “Canadian-Jamaican Ben Johnson” to “Jamaican-born Ben Johnson”?

      • Cicero101 says:

        Isn’t the correct distinction between domestic and international terrorism, not domestic and foreign terrorism? “Foreign” can be a slippery word.

        There’s no question Christchurch was international terrorism. The terrorist deliberately chose a city in a country other than his own as his target.

        • Tom says:

          You’re probably correct about the need to be cautious using the term “foreigner”, especially when it’s pronounced “furrener”.

          • P J Evans says:

            My family only uses “furriner” for cars with out-of-state plates. (Yeah, we’ve been on the receiving end. Don’t try driving in Oklahoma with Texas plates, even if you’re two grey-haired females.)

      • e.a.f. says:

        Do I ever. My thoughts at the time were more along the line of they wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of this if he were white. Black runners were starting to take a major role in Canadian track and field and I’m sure there were those who weren’t happy about it.

        Just because you’re both Commonwealth members doesn’t make you think they are less foreign. They understand country distinction. As to how they view each other, some in the Commonwealth are of the opinion people in N.Z. have better manners and the males are more civilized. Canadians look at N.Z. as more similar to us. N.Z. looks more like our Gulf Islands, Australia is a different kettle of fish. They may share some “events”, but do not expect them to ever become one country. When you’re sitting thousands of miles from every one else, you do have to “like” the neighbours.

        Things can also change quickly. “One day” a country is your “best” neighbour, the “next”, your steel and al. are a nationally security risk. “One day” you’re taking in thousands upon thousands of “the neighbours” because they have had their office buildings in N.Y. bombed, the “next day” you need passports and they’re alleging killers came from your country……..

  21. Ollie says:

    Forgive me? OT: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has banned every type of weapon that was used in the terrorist attack that murdered 50. “The ban includes military-style assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and tools to modify firearms, and the arms “will be categorized as weapons with an E-class endorsement” until legislation formally passes, according to Ardern.”

    I”m stunned. The opposing party of NZ supports the ban. No debates. No whining. No threats of violence from the people. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong w/us?

    Please forgive me for being off topic. There hasn’t been much in the World lately that I could feel hope over. But this? This is hope.

    • Wajim says:

      And they did it in 6. Fucking. Days. You know, precisely as long as it took Wahoo to create the universe.

      • Tom says:

        I’ve heard reports that there was an upsurge in gun sales after the ban was first proposed, but otherwise the Kiwis can see the writing–or bullet holes–on the wall if they fail to nip this problem in the bud now.

        • Ollie says:

          ‘Police Minister Stuart Nash said Thursday that “owning a firearm is a privilege and not a right in New Zealand.”

          Nash also said the full ban will go into effect in three weeks and that anyone who applies to buy a gun during that period is wasting their time.

          “I can assure you that’d be a fairly pointless exercise,” Ardern said.’

        • e.a.f. says:

          the first news I saw about it was a N.Z. farmer taking his semi into the local police station, before the law was even passed. I gather many followed his e.g..

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Absofuckinlutely. Accents are slightly different, as are the cultures. The Kiwis would claim greater refinement and a slightly different European immigrant base, but that wouldn’t wash anywhere in Australia. Arguably, the Kiwis play better rugby union, the Aussies better cricket, and the beer’s a toss-up. But as compared to the rest of the world, they are kissin’ cousins.

  22. harpie says:

    To me, this is the most important take away from this insightful piece:
    […] Labeling Islamic terrorism “foreign” and pursuing material support cases based partly on speech has had the effect of criminalizing some speech that criticizes US foreign policy, even well-deserved criticism about the effect of US killing of Muslims. By contrast, white supremacist speech, even that which more aggressively advocates violence is treated as speech. Yes, deplatforming has begun to change that.
    But we’re still not at a place where those who incite white supremacist violence are held accountable for it. […]
    THOSE who can make 36% of Americans surveyed BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that “whites are under attack”*, can make them commit ATROCITIES.
    *[See Fran of the North’s comment at March 20, 2019 at 7:14 pm]

    • harpie says:

      “But we’re still not at a place where those who incite white supremacist violence are held accountable for it.”
      THOSE who can make 36% of Americans surveyed BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that “whites are under attack”*, can make them commit ATROCITIES.
      FOX NEWS [this time Laura Ingraham] can make a certain percentage of the population BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that [video]:
      * is a
      [quote] “little journo-terrorist.” [end quote]
      AR Moxon:
      [quote] I wish every single one of my followers would post this GIF to let the world know that Laura Ingraham gave a Nazi salute at the Republican national convention, and wonder why she still has a career. [>>>GIF] / Demonstrating that they know what they can get away with. [end quote]

        • harpie says:

          THOSE who can make 36% of Americans surveyed BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that “whites are under attack”*, can make them commit ATROCITIES.
          [Quote from the DB article:] QAnon believers [BELIEVE the ABSURDITIES that] Trump is about to arrest and even execute top Democrats, and much of their time is spent in online messages boards awaiting the day when Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama will face military tribunals.
          QAnon has taken among a segment of Trump supporters. BELIEVErs have shown up at TRUMP rallies with “Q” shirts and signs, and Trump met with a major QAnon follower in the WHITE HOUSE last year.
          QAnon supporters have also been linked to several violent incidents [ATROCITIES], including a Seattle murder and the recent killing of a mafia boss. [end quote emphasis added]

        • harpie says:

          [quote] A tweet from one of the largest QAnon Twitter accounts was featured on Fox News this morning. Though the tweet itself didn’t reference QAnon.
          Kate Starbird:
          [quote] This is how Fox News “mainstreams” fringe conspiracy theories. And this is why we can’t simply measure the effects of online disinformation… because online information behaviors are integrated into broader, complex media dynamics with 2nd to nth order effects. [end quote]
          Zeynep Tufecki

          [quote] Replying to @katestarbird Yep. Online-only disinformation research doesn’t capture this ecology at all. [end quote]
          AND there is FOX in the White House

    • harpie says:

      THOSE who can make 36% of Americans surveyed BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that “whites are under attack”*, can make them commit ATROCITIES.
      QANON, who can make a certain percentage of people BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that a random woman named Rachel Chandler is a murderer, a trafficker and Satanist, can make them commit ATROCITIES.
      * [quote] Spurred by vague Q posts, Qanon followers have decided to attack a single person, a woman named Rachel Chandler, randomly claiming she’s part of something nefarious. // D-Day came and went two days ago. Now Q’s taking it out on a random person. // Here are the top results on YouTube. [end quote]
      QAnon is attacking a random woman in a disturbing and dangerous way
      Mike Rothschild— 2019-03-21
      Replying to @jjmacnab @dailydot
      [quote] Here’s a Q influencer with 100k followers just straight-up admitting that Q instructed him & the other followers to harass her. Is @TwitterSafety paying attention? Is the @FBI? [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      THOSE who can make 36% of Americans surveyed BELIEVE the ABSURDITY that “whites are under attack”*, can make them commit ATROCITIES.
      Public schools in Charlottesville, Va are closed for the second day in a row because “of anonymous threats of an “ethnic cleansing” massacre coming from 4chan.”
      [quote] President Trump has been riding the tiger of #WhiteSupremacists.
      Now this chapter in #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism opens: “Public school campuses in Charlottesville will be shuttered…for a second straight day…after a threat of racial violence” on 4chan. [link to WaPo >>>] [end quote]

      • harpie says:

        Arrest in Charlottesville school closings: 9:57 AM – 22 Mar 2019
        [quote] a seventeen year old boy has been arrested in connection with the 4chan threats of “ethnic cleansing” that closed charlottesville city schools yesterday and today. the press conference at the police station is starting momentarily […] “the male suspect identifies as portuguese,” […] “non student” […] [police chief] brackney refuses to demean the threat by calling it a prank. “the thing about terrorism is that it does strike fear” into the hearts of the community. “you don’t necessarily need a weapon in your hand” to cause that fear. […] [end quote]

        • harpie says:

          Washington Post on this arrest, March 22 at 7:21 PM:
          Charlottesville police charge teen in racist school threat
          [quote] […] [Police chief] Brackney addressed the city’s apprehension with a firm statement of resolve.
          “Any threats made against our community and its residents will be thoroughly and vigorously investigated,” she said. “We want the community and the world to know that hate is not welcomed in Charlottesville. Violence is not welcomed in Charlottesville. Intolerance is not welcomed in Charlottesville.”
          Then, in an apparent reference to President Trump’s remark that “very fine people on both sides” took part in the deadly white supremacy rally that rocked the city in August 2017, Brackney said,
          “In Charlottesville and around the globe, we stand firmly in stating there are not very fine people on both sides of this issue.” […] [end quote]

      • harpie says:

        In the WaPo, today:
        Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes There is suggestive evidence that Trump’s rhetoric matters. March 22 at 7:45 AM
        [quote] During an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” this past Sunday, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) lambasted President Trump for emboldening white nationalism after a young man killed at least 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.
        Our research [link] finds that Kaine could be correct, […] Trump’s rhetoric may encourage hate crimes, as we explain below. […] [end quote]

  23. harpie says:

    For bmaz:
    [quote] EXCLUSIVE: The safety “fix” Boeing is now going to make on the troubled 737 was available all along – airline just had to pay handsomely for it. Boeing turned safety into “extras” on its $100-plus million plane. [NYT link] >>>
    Doomed Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Boeing Sold as Extras
    [quote NYT] Neither feature was mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. All 737 Max jets have been grounded. [end quote]

    • P J Evans says:

      I read an article yesterday about a 737 MAX flight the day before the Lion Air crash, that made it only because a third pilot was deadheading in the cockpit and knew what to do when the automatic stuff kept trying to countermand the pilots.

    • bmaz says:

      Good grief. All very reassuring, right? They were literally monetizing improved security with the knowledge their plane was crap. Absolutely insane. And criminal.

  24. harpie says:

    Related, from Ben Collins, 5:35 AM – 15 Mar 2019:
    [quote] After all of this, I still have hope we can end the YouTube radicalization cycle. Here’s why: When was the last time you were recommended an ISIS video on YouTube or Facebook?The answer is probably never. Thats because law enforcement and tech companies made it a top priority.
    It will take a realignment of priorities for tech companies to snuff out white supremacists seizing on faulty algorithms to incite violence.
    Both law enforcement and tech co’s need to treat violent white supremacy for what it is: terror cells taking advantage of the vulnerable.
    It is not impossible. It has been done. But tech companies need to get over the politics of upsetting white supremacists, and the dark money that dogwhistles them into immense power.
    They need to show some guts during a spate of terror they unknowingly helped abet. [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      Also, this from JM Berger, 8:34 AM – 17 Mar 2019:
      [quote] As I’ve seen a lot of media sharing the 2016 Nazis vs. ISIS report I did for @gwupoe [link] I want to make sure people also see the 2018 Alt-Right Twitter Census I did for @VOX_Pol, which has more current data and is highly relevant [link]
      A couple of key findings relevant to the Christchurch terrorist attack: // 1) Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim content was overwhelmingly prevalent in tweets from people who followed self-identified alt-right accounts, with many suspended users calling for violence against both.
      A hashtag related to Australian politics was found in the top 10, reflecting a high amount of Australian content and the presence of Australians among top influencers.
      Top-linked domains also included a number of outlets promoting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim content — moreso than outlets promoting unambiguous white nationalism. [end quote]

  25. klynn says:

    Slightly OT but related..The ZDFzoom investigative piece you retreated needs to go viral in English or with English subtitles ASAP. Just watched it. Great to see all the facts nicely pulled together. The EU needs to address this with the UK,

  26. Badger Robert says:

    The thread shows a lack of attention to Ms. Wheeler’s original observation that Mr. McCabe is implicated in the normalization of political violence. The risk is that we are already at a threshold of 10% of fanatically devoted people and a middle 30% would go along with whatever happens to stay out of trouble.
    Its not an abstract issue. The situation is not that different than 1968.

    • Greenhouse says:

      “The white supremacy that brought us the Trump presidency would not be possible if we had treated violent white supremacist terror as terror for the last twenty years”. Dude, that’s what this post is about. I didn’t see Nixon advocating white supremacy (or for that matter Reagan or any Bush). You didn’t see the proliferation of assault rifles in the hands of numerous white militias back ’68. Sheeit, who needs lynching when white supremacists can advertise in broad daylight. Gotta love the FBI going after BLM, but giving a free pass to Identity Evropa. I’d say the landscape has changed significantly since 1968.

      • P J Evans says:

        Nixon and Reagan didn’t advocate it openly – but they sure didn’t support minorities the way they did white people (look at where Reagan’s campaign started). Remember J Edgar? Nixon could have stopped him from going after minority and left-wing groups more than white supremacists. (So could Johnson.)

        • Greenhouse says:

          True dat PJ, I don’t forget what happened to Fred Hampton. My point being that Trump does everything overtly possible to let these thugs know he’s with them. “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough – until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad,” It that’s not a clarion call for the nouveau sturmabteilung, then I don’t know what. Remember “Russia if you’re listening”? That would’ve been unthinkable with the other 4 repub presidents.

          • Badger Robert says:

            Fred Hampton was one of the examples I had in mind.
            The violence is somewhat more stochastic. But the war on drugs and war on crime stuff, is just Jim Crow by another name.
            As noted by the blogger, many of the possible participants in political violence have US military training.

            • Greenhouse says:

              Stochastic terrorism obviously doesn’t need centralized decision making. All it needs is a powerful demagogue acting as the kindle igniting the flame of their hatred and bigotry — Pittsburgh synagogue, Christchurch, Cesar Sayoc being the latest examples with one thing in common – the terrorists’ praise of Trump.

          • e.a.f. says:

            Whether they’re open or closed about their views, its was/is still racism. Trump is out in the open about it and uses it for campaigning purposes.

            Do not remember an American President say the things Trump has said. Other Presidents had better manners.

            Greenhouse, when I heard Trump say that at one level it was shocking, it was an open threat. On another it was, that man is nuts and doesn’t understand how his own country’s military and police work. Perhaps he was trying to appear “macho” or simply trying to threatening people with violence. In some places that is against the law. Some may want to consider it “freedom of speech”. However, then why are there conspiracy laws? You could consider it all “freedom of speech” and the pursuit of happiness.

            Having watched any number of countries become dictatorships, the U.S.A. has all the trappings of becoming something less than it is now.

  27. Jenny says:

    Thanks Marcy. Reading McCabe’s book took me back many years ago as an informant for the FBI regarding Russia. An intriguing, educational and memorable experience.

    Interested in a book about the FBI? Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann.

  28. Tim G says:

    Kinda weird to hear one of my former classmates/friends critique another of my former classmates/friends.

  29. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    In some respects, the overt actions of white supremacists, including Trump, seem to be dragging us back towards how things were in Florida (and other parts of the US) some 70 years ago. I recently read Devil in the Grove. It is very well written, very scary. I did not realize how close Thurgood Marshall came to being murdered.

    • bmaz says:

      Thurgood Marshall is one of the best and most amazing stories in American history. A huge figure.

    • orionATL says:

      thank you for this cite.

      justice marshall was a premier advocate as a private attorney (cf, brown vs board of education) for civil rights protection for minorities. he had good reason from personal experience to know that landscape. Justice marshall retired from the supreme court in 1991.

      the republican party, in the person of president g.h,w. bush, replaced thurgood marshall with former government administrator and lower court judge clarence thomas in 1991. thomas is an “originalist” in his reading of the constitution and is now the longest serving supreme court justice.

  30. Rad says:

    Respectfully, the attack in New Zealand was a domestic terror attack. The attacker (I won’t name him) didn’t go to NZ with the intent of killing people there. He has lived in NZ on what is effectively a permanent resident visa for the last couple of years. Regardless of his citizenship, he planned and carried out this attack as a resident of NZ, and that makes him a domestic terrorist.

  31. dat says:

    An aspect of the US gun disease might be elucidated by recalling which Americans previously felt obliged to stockpile weapons of war because the nation government was untrustworthy. Who you say? They called themselves the Confederate States of America, AKA treason in defense of slavery. I don’t think this connection reveals a route to curing this disease, but it might suggest another reason cure remains so elusive.
    Supervisors, I admit to having used another name. I promise to use this one until I think of a dashing, distinguished, distinctive, and declarative nom de plume

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