This election has altered how we perceive and evaluate information. Fake news and strategically-timed leaks have effectively blurred the lines between fact and fiction.
Misinformation and lies have kept us guessing as to what is going on. And as quickly as bits of truth have surfaced they have been labeled ‘fake news’ and the media branded the “opposition party.”
Like many Americans, you may have questions like: What is Donald Trump after? What is his relationship to Vladimir Putin and Russia? What is the purpose of the dizzying pace his administration has been moving at? Why has he assembled a white supremacist think-tank for a cabinet? How does Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobile, fit into all of this? Why does Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, believe in such crazy stuff, that economic depression, engineered mass depopulation and war are caused by a secret society that controls the central banks?
If you feel like you are drowning in a sea of misinformation, I shall throw you a life raft and attempt to steer you back to safety.
I cannot promise the truth is any safer.
Answers from the Middle East
The answers begin in the Middle East. They always have. That is where the wealth from the largest oil producing nations in the world is found. And that is where much military effort from Russia and the United States has been focused for the past 30 years.
Since the Sept. 11 attack on U.S. soil, America’s narrative has been that the Middle East poses a significant terrorist threat. It is on this basis that our past five presidents have invaded, bombed or occupied the Muslim nations of Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo, Yemen, Pakistan and now Syria, according to The Intercept.
It was under the false claim of the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had acquired nuclear weapons that we secured U.N. approval to invade Iraq in 2003. It is commonly accepted that our military operations led to the destabilization of Middle Eastern governments and the subsequent rise to power of ISIS.
And it is the Sept. 11 attack that justifies our continued military presence in the region, despite violating the Annex to the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention.
Political extremism finds a voice
He seemed to come out of nowhere. One day he was a real estate investor and reality TV star, the next he was running for president of the United States. To a shocked nation, Trump shed his moderate political skin and ran on a platform of overt racism and extreme nationalism.
His tough immigration and border control policies, criticism of Barrack Obama, calls for government deregulation, attacks on national healthcare, job creation promises and anti-minority statements appealed to Conservatives, fundamental Christians, white supremacists and a growing segment of the populace that embraces authoritarian control and extreme right-wing populism. And to an even more shocked nation, he secured the electoral vote and became the 45th President of the United States.
But his victory was not without significant political corruption and foreign espionage.
Donald Trump’s relationship with Putin
In the past five years, fracking and pipeline construction have made Russia and the U.S. the second and third-largest oil producers in the world. We are locked in a bitter fight to control the production of the world’s oil supply.
No more than 400,000 barrels a day separates Russian and Saudi Arabian production efforts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The race to produce oil is a reminder we are still locked in a Cold War with Russia we have been fighting for the past 70 years. Political alliances like Trump-Putin do not happen overnight. They take years to build. Intelligence reports say the ties began five years ago, when Trump began visiting Russia to scout real estate opportunities. This was coincidentally the same time ExxonMobile signed a partnership with Russian oil company Rosneft. British intelligence alleges Putin offered him cheap real estate deals that Trump smartly refused.
But the Russian efforts to influence Trump did not stop there. The now viral dossier compiled by a former MI6 operative now in hiding chronicles Kremlin blackmail efforts to gain Trump’s cooperation. The dossier details how Putin used “kompromat” video of Trump with Russian prostitutes captured by the FSB as leverage.
It also brings to light other Russian political espionage strategies, practices, and methodologies. You can read Christopher Steele’s full 35-page dossier here. It makes for a pretty damning and frightening read and it goes far to explain Trump’s odd behavior.
During a live news conference, Trump called on Russian hackers to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, promising a reward. Shortly thereafter, WikiLeaks, a news site known for its anti-Semitic posts and an alleged distributor of Russian propaganda, published the infamous Clinton and Podesta emails.
From the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, 13 of our intelligence agencies concluded that Putin led the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee as part of a larger cyber warfare effort, according to The New York Times. Trump called the intelligence agency findings “fake news.” The resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over inappropriate communications with Russia provides some guidance as to the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia.
The New York Times reported that Intelligence wiretaps found significant communication with Russia from Flynn and other aides over the past year. The findings of contact, cyber warfare efforts, and the allegations of blackmail are serious enough that Obama was briefed on them before he left the White House. They also led Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to call for further investigation. Trump still publicly endorses WikiLeaks.
Trump appointment of Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobile, to Secretary of State
Trump, in a 2015 CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, admitted, “I would take away their wealth. I would take away the oil. What you should be doing now is taking away the oil.” These statements on the Middle East make more sense when we consider the connection between American and Russian oil.
As CEO of Exxon, Tillerson entered into a partnership with Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, in 2011. Igor Sechin, chairman of Rosneft, said the value of the Russian oil giant rose by $7 billion just five days after the partnership was formed. The partnership also gave Rosneft a stake in Exxon’s North American projects in West Texas and in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
CNN Money reported that in 2013, Putin awarded Tillerson with the Order of Friendship, Russia’s highest honor given to foreign citizens. Tillerson and Trump also have an investment stake in Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and a stake in Phillips 66, a company that will hold a share of the pipeline once it is completed, according to The Guardian.
Trump recently signed an executive order overturning the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and to greenlight the Keystone Pipeline. His administration is now in a frenzy to remove as much government regulation as possible and calling to defund the U.N., NATO, NAFTA, and the EPA.
Trump’s white supremacy think-tank Cabinet
Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, believes fear of Muslims is rational, according to his Tweets. He has also made claims that Obama is a jihadist who laundered money for Muslim terrorists, according to The Washington Post. Jeff Sessions, acting attorney general, has a racially-charged past, too.
He was blocked by Congress for a federal judge nomination in 1986 over Coretta Scott’s letter that spoke of his practice of intimidating elderly black voters. You can read Scott’s full letter here. Stephen Miller, Trump’s newest advisor, has a history of making anti-Muslim, anti-gay, and anti-Mexican statements. During a recent appearance on “Face the Nation,” Miller responded to the recent judicial decision to halt the Muslim ban.
He proclaimed, “Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” Click here to see footage of Miller’s statements. But most concerning of the Trump appointees is his choice for chief strategist.
Bannon slithers onto National Security Council
Bannon is a well-spoken, highly intelligent, and well-educated ex-Naval officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, a master’s degree in National Security Studies, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, served as an assistant to the Pentagon and was a founding member and executive chair of Breitbart News before he joined the Trump campaign as its chief executive. He is now the chief strategist to Trump and sits on the National Security Council.
Breitbart, the Alt-Right, and Neo-Nazi Propaganda
Bannon describes his strategy, “We don’t believe there is a functional conservative party in this country, and we certainly don’t think the Republican Party is that. It’s going to be an insurgent, center-right populist movement that is virulently anti-establishment, and it’s going to continue to hammer this city, both the progressive left and the institutional Republican Party.” This statement, reported by CBS News, was made before Bannon was head of the Trump campaign, when he ran Breitbart News, an Alt-Right website that publishes anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic news stories.
He is a part of the Dark Enlightenment, an early Alt-Right group that embraces anti-systemic politics and anti-Semitic values. He’s also an avid Nazi propagandist. Before coming to the White House, he went city-to-city giving speeches that contain a blend of economic observations, right-wing populist views, Alt-Right conspiracy theory, anarchist sentiments and war conspiracy theory, peppered with a revolutionary call-to-arms.
His speeches cover subjects like the global economic recession, Nietzscheism philosophy and references to The New World Order conspiracy theory that implicates the Jews in a secret Satan-worshipping society that uses its control of the central banks to create economic depression, engineer mass depopulation, start wars and impose a zero-growth economic policy on an unsuspecting Millennial generation.
He ties these themes into solid economic observation and he speaks like an authority on these subjects. His speeches also vilify Obama and suggest larger conspiracies. “Barack Obama is not the problem. He is a symptom of a problem … 100 years from now when they look back, if we come out of this crisis and we’re still the country … of American exceptionalism based upon Judeo-Christian values, … it’s gonna be because of guys like you. And if you quit, we are done. We’re gonna be something very different on the other side. You can already see in President Obama, you can already see what that’s gonna be. Cause that’s just the harbinger.”
Click here to watch one of Bannon’s speeches.
The origins of Bannon’s conspiracy theories
The subject of Bannon’s speeches, The New World Order theory, the End the Fed movement and the Globalist Elite theories all have the same black propaganda origins: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book published in Russia in 1903 that alleges a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy to achieve world domination and a 1909 Walter Rathenau article “Geschäftlicher Nachwuchs” published in Germany right before the 1913 inception of the Federal Reserve.
When Rathenau’s article is translated, it says, “Three hundred men, all of whom know one another, direct the economic destiny of the continent and choose their successors from their area.” Rathenau was murdered in 1922 and one of his assassins cited Rathenau’s membership in the “Three hundred Elders of Zion” as justification for his murder. His article led to the development of more sophisticated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
The book The Committee of 300 borrowed elements from the 1900-era anti-Semitic texts and synthesized the theories to include modern events and people. Bannon’s lecture concepts such as planned welfare states and zero-growth generations, Great Turnings (the engineered cataclysmic economic and war cycles ending in regime change), allegations that global warming is a globalist hoax, and engineered mass depopulation are all taken from this book. Click here to read the full 252-page The Committee of 300. Bannon also recently proclaimed “darkness is good,” and praised the power the likes of Dick Cheney, Satan and Darth Vader. He also gave the following statement: “It only helps us when [the liberals and media] get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
Chip Bertlet, a senior analyst for Political Research Associates, writes, “Right-wing populist movements can cause serious damage to a society because they often popularize xenophobia, authoritarianism, scapegoating, and conspiracism. This can lure mainstream politicians to adopt these themes to attract voters, legitimize acts of discrimination (or even violence), and open the door for revolutionary right-wing populist movements, such as fascism, to recruit from the reformist populist movements.”
Given his position as a leader in the Alt-Right community, the nefarious content of his lectures, and his ominous public statements, his injection into the National Security Council is far more concerning. Trump’s recent executive order removed the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the National Security Council and permanently installed Bannon as a Council member. This brings us to the ringleader.
Who is Putin?
Putin is a former KGB foreign intelligence officer who served in Dresden, East Germany. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and later became the director of the FSB. He was appointed to prime minister by Boris Yeltsin in 1999 and became the defacto President of Russia after Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned. His first act as president was to pardon the Yeltsin family in connection with its corruption charges. He’s also suspected of imprisoning or exiling political opponents Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Roman Abramovich, and Arcady Rotenberg.
Putin was re-elected for a second term in 2004 but was prevented by the Constitution from holding office for a third term in 2008. Dmitry Medvedev was elected President in 2008 and, like Yeltsin, immediately appointed Putin as Prime Minister. Critics contend Medvedev’s presidency was only symbolic and allowed Putin to remain in full power.
Putin amended the Constitution to increase the term of the presidency to six years and to allow for third terms. He then ran and was elected to a third term in 2012. After the election, tens of thousands of Russians protested over alleged voter fraud and demanded annulment of the election results, to no avail.
In 2003, Putin began to exert greater control over the economy by placing individuals from the intelligence agencies and the military into key economy positions. Massive infrastructure projects commenced. Russia and China entered into a $70 billion joint partnership that year to construct a trans-Siberian pipeline. Russia completed the Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean pipeline in 2009, allowing it to export oil to China, Japan, and Korea.
A partnership between ExxonMobile and Rosneft was formed in 2011 to increase Russian oil holdings and to give Russia a future stake in American oil drilling operations. A large number of nuclear power stations are currently being constructed by the state corporation Rosatom in Russia and abroad. Russia and Iran trade uranium and Russian specialists have helped Iran build and operate nuclear reactors for many years, including the Bushehr nuclear plant. Russia also supplies Iran with conventional weapons such as S-300 surface-to-air missiles.
Anti-Democratic legislation, corruption
Putin has also been accused of anti-democratic legislation and corruption. In 2000, he proposed a law that would grant him the right to dismiss federal judges. In 2004, the popular vote was replaced by a system that allowed Putin to nominate federal members. This move has been widely criticized for its anti-democratic nature. Putin is also alleged to have embezzled over $100 million from a 1992 barter deal that traded metal exports for food shipments. The food was to be delivered to the city of St. Petersburg during a food shortage, but the food never appeared.
Investigators’ calls for Putin to be fired went unheard. In 2001, his alleged embezzlement was thrust back into the limelight by Marina Salye, a geologist and politician. She was silenced and forced to leave St. Petersburg. Russian-American relations were eroded when Russia gave asylum to Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who leaked classified documents that detail illegal U.S. domestic surveillance and wiretapping.
Of importance is that Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, also has asylum in Russia. Putin has also passed anti-LGBT legislation that includes a ban on “homosexual propaganda” and anti-family legislation by decriminalizing domestic abuse.
Putin is also considered the wealthiest individual in the world. A 2017 report from International Business Times declares his net worth at $200 billion. And Putin was named person of the year in 2014 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project for “furthering corruption and organized crime.” His aggressive and dictatorial political methods have consistently been met with dissent.
What happened to Putin’s opposition?
Putin is suspected of murdering his political opponents and critics. Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian journalist and political activist who lives in Virginia with his wife, was poisoned near the Kremlin. He eventually recovered and went back to investigative journalism.
A close friend of Kara-Murza, Alexander Litvinenko, was an officer in the FSB. In 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers accused their supervisors of ordering the assassination of Boris Berezofsky. After an acquittal on charges of exceeding his authority, Litvinenko and his family fled Russia and sought asylum in London. In 2006, he was poisoned by the radioactive compound Polonium 210 and died of acute radiation poisoning on November 23, according to Carbonated.TV. Sergei Yushenkov, a Russian politician investigating Russia’s involvement in a bombing incident was executed by a single shot to the chest in 2003.
Sergei Magnistsky, an anti-corruption attorney who alleged large-scale theft by members of the judiciary, tax officers, and the mafia, died under suspicious circumstances. Paul Klebnikov, the chief editor of Forbes in Russia, was assassinated in a 2004 contract killing in Moscow. Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with TCDD, the most potent contaminant in Agent Orange, after his presidential victory in 2004. His face was horribly disfigured with boils and lesions but he survived to serve as president of the Ukraine until 2010, according to The Lancet.
Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist that accused Putin of turning Russia into a police state, was shot to death in the lobby of her apartment on Oct. 7, 2006, Putin’s birthday. In 2015, Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken Putin critic and chair of the Republican Party of Russia, was shot to death not 200 meters from the Kremlin.
In 2017, Kara-Murza returned to the Kremlin to honor Nemtsov and he was poisoned for the second time. Kara-Murza is currently on life support and in a medically-induced coma.
Dangers of the Trump Administration
These revelations speak of a very troubling administration. Amid findings of blackmail, foreign espionage, and treasonous ties to Russia, Trump has quickly installed his own people into key strategic positions in the government, attempted to discredit the media, cast doubt on the intentions of our intelligence agencies, and begun the process of undermining our system of checks and balances through repeated public attacks on the Judicial Branch.
His hostile takeover of politics was well-planned and these actions are all carefully-measured tactics to lead to dictatorship through the deliberate erosion of our system of democracy. His executive orders threaten the civil rights of Americans, his economic policies threaten to bankrupt America and leave the environment decimated, and his foreign policies threaten to bring war to our doorsteps. The Trump administration must be brought to its knees in order to preserve the democracy our revolutionary framers fought so hard to achieve.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 10: “From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments, not only against the forms of republican government, but against the very principles of civil liberty. They have decried all free government as inconsistent with the order of society, and have indulged themselves in malicious exultation over its friends and partisans. Happily for mankind, stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty, which have flourished for ages, have, in a few glorious instances, refuted their gloomy sophisms. And, I trust, America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices, not less magnificent, which will be equally permanent monuments of their errors.”
It is your choice what to do.
It is your America.
Mike Gallo is a Phi Theta Kappa and President’s List member. He designs web sites and is currently pursuing a degree in psychology in Southwest Virginia. He enjoys philosophy, live music, cooking and culinary exploration, movies and outdoor activities. He lives in Roanoke with his family and his cat Odin. He is planning to settle in Asheville with his lovely girlfriend, Penny, and her two cats.