Those Times the NSA Hacked America’s Allies

Published on informed comment, by Juan Cole, Jan 7, 2017.

The hysteria about Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee servers and the phishing scam run on Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, is short on evidence and high in self-righteousness. Much of the report issued Friday was old boilerplate about the Russia Today cable channel, which proves nothing.

My complaint is that American television news reports all this as if it is The First Time in History Anyone has Acted like This. But the head of the Republican Party in the early 1970s hired burglars to do the same thing– break into the Watergate building and get access to DNC documents in hopes of throwing an election. Dick Nixon even ordered a second break-in. And it took a long time for Republican members of Congress to come around to the idea that a crime had been committed; if it hadn’t been for the Supreme Court, Nixon might have served out his term.

In the past decade and a half, the US National Security Agency has been deployed for hacking purposes not, as the cover story would have it, for counter-terrorism (there isn’t much evidence that they’re any good at that), but to gain political advantage over allies.

So, for instance, George W. Bush had German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s personal cell phone hacked to monitor his position on the Iraq War that Bush wanted to launch illegally … //

… If we started going into the dozens of times the US has casually switched out other people’s governments since WW II, despite the lack of any direct threat to the United States, this would be a very long blog entry.

Video: Trump on Russian Hacking, 10.35 min … (also on YouTube).

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More evidence of early US involvement in Indian demonetisation, on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Norbert Haering, Jan 9, 2017: when Prime minister Narendra Modi took the bulk of Indian cash out of circulation, they caused great hardship for many Indians, while a disruption-loving tech elite and political establishment asked for optimism and patience …;

Has Income Inequality Finally Got To Top Of The IMF Agenda? on Social Europe, by Christian Proaño, Jan 9, 2017;

How the US Blew the Post-Cold-War Era, on Tom Dispatch, by Andrew Bacevich, Jan 8, 2017: … Forgive and Forget – the end of the Cold War caught the United States completely by surprise. During the 1980s, even with Mikhail Gorbachev running the Kremlin, few in Washington questioned the prevailing conviction that the Soviet-American rivalry was and would remain a defining feature of international politics more or less in perpetuity …;

European inflation is NOT soaring, on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by merijntknibbe, Jan 8, 2017;

Utopia: Room for all, on Red, Jan 7, 2017: Nadhira Halim and Andy Edwards report on the range of creative responses to the housing crisis that are providing secure, affordable housing across the UK;


  • clash of authorities, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Mona El-Nahhas, Jan 5, 2017: a government decree referring the Egyptian-Saudi Arabian maritime border agreement to parliament threatens a constitutional crisis …;
  • controversy escalates over islands, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, Jan 5, 2017: the cabinet’s decision to refer the controversial Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea border demarcation agreement to parliament has split MPs into two camps. The House of Representatives begins discussing the controversial Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea maritime demarcation agreement next week amid deep divisions among MPs …;

Report from Santiago de Cuba, celebrating Fidel’s rebellious life, on John Riddell, by Katheryne Schulz, Dec 9, 2016;

Nuhr im Ersten – die große radioeins Satireshow mit Florian Schroeder, von Florian SchroederTV auf YouTube hochgeladen:

… and this:

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