Two Decades Later, US Senate Votes To Abolish Iraq War Authorization

Two Decades Later, US Senate Votes To Abolish Iraq War Authorization

Via The Cradle,

The US Senate voted 66-30 on 29 March to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that allowed former president George W. Bush to launch a military invasion of Iraq under false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The bill is now headed to the Republican-led House of Representatives, where it remains unclear if lawmakers will put it on the floor for a vote.

“Congress has abdicated its powers to the executive for too long,” said Senator Tim Kaine, who over the past several years has authored the Senate’s efforts to repeal the Iraq AUMF. “Presidents can do mischief if there are outdated authorizations on the books,” he added.

AFP via Getty Images

If the bill passes a vote on the House of floor — and is signed by President Joe Biden — it will be the first repeal of a war authorization since 1974.

Nonetheless, just last week, the US Senate overwhelmingly voted against repealing the original AUMF, which was signed into law on 18 September, 2001 by George W. Bush in response to the 11 September attacks.

As opposed to the Iraq AUMF, the 2001 AUMF is seen as a more sweeping, blank-check legislation that was passed to target the alleged perpetrators of the 11 September attacks.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 AUMF has been used to justify more than 40 military interventions in at least 22 countries without the approval of Congress.

In the years after 2001, the US Congress also approved so-called ‘security cooperation authorities‘ (SCA) that have allowed the Pentagon to covertly deploy troops and wage secret wars in dozens of countries across the globe.

According to a report by the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, the SCA allows the Pentagon to “train and equip foreign forces anywhere in the world” and to “provide support to foreign forces, paramilitaries, and private individuals who are in turn supporting US counterterrorism operations,” with a spending limit of $100,000,000 per fiscal year.

As a result of this, in dozens of countries, these programs have been used as a springboard for hostilities, with the Pentagon declining to inform Congress or the US public about their secret operations.

“Researchers and reporters uncovered [SCA] programs not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen,” the report highlights.

Christopher C. Miller, a former acting head of the Pentagon, said in his memoir released last month that the US should be held accountable for the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The US military-industrial complex has grown into a hydra-headed monster with almost no controls on the American war machine,” Miller writes.

In an interview with The Hill, Miller went on to say that, “We invaded a sovereign nation, killed and maimed a lot of Iraqis, and lost some of the greatest American patriots to ever live — all for a goddamned lie.”

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 23:40

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CFA Pass Rates Finally Tick Higher After Plunging To Record Lows During Pandemic

CFA Pass Rates Finally Tick Higher After Plunging To Record Lows During Pandemic

The pass rate for the first level of the chartered financial analyst (CFA) exam ticked up with zero pandemic related cancellations for the first time since 2021, Bloomberg reported this week

38% of those who took the Level I test passed it, which was up from 36% in November 2022 and 37% in August of last year. Despite the tick higher, the numbers still come in under the 41% average pass rate over the last decade, the report notes. 

The report says the pass rates are among “signs of improvement and waning impact from the pandemic”, which helped drive pass rates significantly lower coinciding with the onset of the pandemic. 

Record low pass rates were recorded last year across all levels of the CFA, the report says. In February, about 17,000 candidates sat for the exam, which was administered at 459 testing centers worldwide. 

And the CFA Institute did a bit of what public schools have been doing when pass rates drop: they reworked some of the exam earlier this month to “emphasize practical skills and reduce the amount of time candidates study, in the biggest reworking since the test was introduced in 1963”, Bloomberg wrote

The record low pass rates also (conspicuously?) coincide with the CFA Institute choosing to offer the exam via computer, instead of on paper, as a result of Covid protocols. There are currently 190,000 charterholders worldwide, who took an average of 4 years to complete all three levels of the exam. 

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 23:20

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Pozsar’s Warning Of Dollar’s Waning Sway Comes True

Pozsar’s Warning Of Dollar’s Waning Sway Comes True

By Ye Xie, Bloomberg Markets Live reporter and strategist

In a quick succession this week, Beijing unveiled ground-breaking deals to further its efforts to promote the yuan and ditch the US dollar. It’s the kind of thing money-market guru Zoltan Pozsar had in mind when he warned that the dollar’s centrality in the world financial system is slowly being whittled away.  

What occurred in Beijing this week was easy to overlook, but it could just as easily have a place in future history books. On Wednesday, Banco BOCOM BBM became the first Latin American bank to sign up as a direct participant in CIPS, a Chinese alternative to the US-dominated global payment system. The two countries also agreed to settle trade in their own currencies.

Earlier this week, Saudi Aramco agreed to buy a stake in Rongsheng Petrochemical, one of China’s refining giants, in its biggest-ever foreign acquisition to expand its presence in the world’s biggest energy importer. A day later, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and France’s TotalEnergies completed China’s first yuan-settled liquefied-natural-gas trade through the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange.

These developments followed an earlier warning by Pozsar, a former Fed and US Treasury Department official, that we could be witnessing the dusk for the petro-dollar and the dawn of the “petro-yuan.” He flagged the so-called BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — in particular in an essay in December:

“China is proactively writing a new set of rules as it replays the “Great Game,” creating a new type of globalization with new institutions like the Belt and Road Initiative, BRICS+, and the SCO  (Shanghai Cooperation Organization)

…the one thing that the BRICS are most aligned on is the de-dollarization of their fast-growing, bilateral trade flows…the drive to de-dollarize intra-BRICS trade and soon intra -BRICS+ trade will speed up.  Don’t tell me that doesn’t threaten the dollar’s supremacy, or that it won’t hurt the “exorbitant privilege”

…the U.S. dollar and Treasury securities will likely be dealing with issues they never had to deal with before: less demand, not more; more competition, not less.  

To be sure, the yuan’s market share in the global system remains minuscule. But the direction is clear. As Victor Xing at Kekselias Inc. put it: “The key characteristic of the present geopolitical development is ideological, rather than based on economic calculus. Therefore, it is harder to de-escalate, and it means the disruptions and decoupling has momentum to go on for a longer period of time.”

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 23:00

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WHO Now Says COVID Vaccines Not Recommended For Healthy Kids & Teens

WHO Now Says COVID Vaccines Not Recommended For Healthy Kids & Teens

Yet another leading health institution has unveiled a significant Covid policy reversal this week… this time it’s none other than the World Health Organization (WHO) saying something that might have gotten an individual suspended from social media or publicly “canceled” a mere one or two years ago:

The revision in guidelines was put out this week by the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) – a group of scientists and officials which said they no longer recommend the Covid vaccine for “healthy” children ages 6 months to 17 years.

“The public health impact of vaccinating healthy children and adolescents is comparatively much lower than the established benefits of traditional essential vaccines for children – such as the rotavirus, measles, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines,” SAGE wrote.

The new policy identifies three priority groups — high, medium and low — and puts children and teens in the low category. The definitions assess categories for “risk of severe disease and death”. The WHO still recommends that “Children who have compromised immune systems or existing health conditions should still get the vaccine.”

SAGE Chair Dr. Hanna Nohyn stated in explaining the updated guidelines, “Updated to reflect that much of the population is either vaccinated or previously infected with COVID-19, or both, the revised roadmap reemphasizes the importance of vaccinating those still at-risk of severe disease, mostly older adults and those with underlying conditions, including with additional boosters.”

The United States CDC currently recommends Covid vaccines for children 6 months and up

It’s unclear whether the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will follow in adapting its recommendations to this revised WHO policy, but what is clear is that those parents who remained skeptical of putting hastily developed “Authorized for Emergency Use” mRNA vaccines into their children have been clearly vindicated… and this time by no less than the WHO.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 22:40

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More Biden Madness: Asking Black Americans On Census if They Are Slave Descendants

More Biden Madness: Asking Black Americans On Census if They Are Slave Descendants

By Mish Shedlock of MishTalk

Please note another ultra-Left mad proposal is underway: U.S. Considers Asking Black Americans on Census if They Are Slave Descendants

In a proposed update to how the government tracks Americans’ race and ethnicity, the Biden administration is asking the public for input on how it might go about differentiating Black people who are descendants of slaves in America from those whose families arrived more recently as immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean or other countries.

Supporters of the change say one reason they are pushing it is to quantify who would be eligible to receive reparations for slavery should the government ever agree to pay them.

The Biden administration has proposed combining existing race and ethnicity questions so that “Hispanic or Latino” would no longer be a separate question, but instead would be one of several choices on the race question. It has also proposed creating a new race question category for Americans of Middle Eastern or North African heritage.

In its proposed rule on those broader changes, the administration asked whether the term “American Descendants of Slavery” or “American Freedmen” would be the best terms to describe the group. Some have suggested the term “Foundational Black Americans.”

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which is spearheading the race-category overhaul, declined to comment on the idea.

Last Living Slave

Sylvester Magee (claimed May 29, 1841 – October 15, 1971) claimed to be the last living former American slave. If this claim were true, Magee would not only have been the last surviving American Civil War veteran, but the oldest recorded person to have ever lived.

Assuming the claim is true, the last slave died 52 years ago. 

More realistically, assuming a very generous average age at death of 80 and not 130 years, nearly all slaves died 100 years or more ago. That means most of the direct descendants have passed as well.

Thus, we are talking about reparations to descendants of descendants of descendants all of which had the benefit of growing up in the greatest country on earth, with all of the associated benefits. 

Questions Abound

Let’s give reparations to descendants of slaves, but let’s not even call them slaves, let’s call them “Foundational Black Americans,” muting the reason for the reparation.

And what percentage ancestry fits the bill? 5%, 10%, 50.01%? 

Does an 88% descendent get twice as much as a 44% descendent? Was he or she twice as harmed? Harmed at all? 

Do we have everyone take genetic tests or do we take people’s word for it? If a boy can proclaim to be a girl, can I proclaim to be black? 

Does the process unite or further divide the United States? 

San Francisco Board Unanimously Supports $5 Million Per Person Reparation Payments

On March 17, I noted San Francisco Board Unanimously Supports $5 Million Per Person Reparation Payments

I did the math based on the number of households in San Francisco. The price tag would be $192 billion. The city budget is $13 billion.

But note the bill did not pass. It was “supported” unanimously. 

If the board actually approved this nonsense, I suspect everyone who voted in favor would immediately be voted out of office in special elections and the bill would be quickly struck down as unconstitutional.

Slave State Analysis

The 15 slave states were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Elsewhere, people who never owned slaves would make payments to people who never were slaves in states that never had slaves.

Political Race Baiting

One cannot undo a wrong of 200 years ago by taking money from people who had nothing to do with the problem and solve the wrong by giving money to people who were never harmed in process. 

Anyone sponsoring this idea knows reparations cannot possibly pass Congress. 

Expense bills need to garner 60 votes in the Senate. And many Democrats would not stomach a vote for it. Reparations would be  dead on arrival. 

Seriously Crazy?

The reparation idea seems seriously crazy. But is it? 

Team Biden knows reparations will never pass. The proposal is nothing but race-baiting, virtue-signaling meant to further divide the United States.

Blacks will not benefit from this. 

No one will benefit from this except perhaps the politicians who see a benefit in further dividing the county to enhance their political goals. 

This post originated at MishTalk.Com.

Addendum – Biden Declares Transgender Day of Visibility

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2023, as Transgender Day of Visibility.”

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 22:20

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China And Brazil Strike Deal To Ditch The US Dollar

China And Brazil Strike Deal To Ditch The US Dollar

In a time when de-dollarization news are dropping fast and furious and even Elon Musk is now jumping on a bandwagon…

… which we first defined a decade ago, not a day goes by without some modest or not so modest shift toward a world in which the US currency – fully weaponized after February 2022 for the entire world to see and fear – is no longer the world’s reserve. And today was no exception.

According to the Brazilian government, China and Brazil have reached a deal to trade in their own currencies, ditching the United States dollar as an intermediary entirely, AFP reported.

The deal, Beijing’s latest salvo against the almighty greenback, will enable China, the top rival to US economic hegemony, and Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, to conduct their massive trade which amounts to $150 billion per year, and financial transactions directly, exchanging yuan for reais and vice versa instead of going through the US dollar. In doing so China extends its bilateral, USD-exempting currency arrangements beyond countries such as Russia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to now include the Latin American exporting powerhouse.

“The expectation is that this will reduce costs… promote even greater bilateral trade and facilitate investment,” the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) said in a statement.

China is Brazil’s biggest trading partner, with a record US$150.5 billion (S$200 billion) in bilateral trade last year.

The deal, which follows a preliminary agreement in January, was announced after a high-level China-Brazil business forum in Beijing.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was originally scheduled to attend the forum as part of a high-profile China visit, but had to postpone his trip indefinitely on Sunday after he came down with pneumonia.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of Communications BBM will execute the transactions, officials said.

To be sure, we are still a long away away from the yuan replacing the USD as global reserve currency, or maybe not so far if one reads the recent reports from Zoltan Pozsar. And yet, even such foaming Bretton Woods III skeptics as Rabobank’s Michael Every is starting to realize that he may have been wrong. From his morning note today:

We showed in ‘Why Bretton Woods 3 Won’t Work’ (2022) that an anti-US BW3 bloc does not balance its trade internally by value or structure: BW3 can sell commodities to China; but unless they absorb the exports China now sends to the West, or China runs trade deficits like the US, then it can’t happen. Instead, we all just return to global mercantilism – which is happening, is inflationary, and ultimately suits the US – just not Wall Street (either in terms of mercantilism or monetary policy). When BW3 players no longer hold their official and unofficial savings in USD assets (if not Treasuries, then agencies or stocks, or property), and want to stash cash in Moscow and retire in China, then things are changing

Alas, at the rate the current US ruling regime is destroying the world’s faith and confidence not only in the dollar but in what was once truly a superpower and is increasingly a third world banana republic – the latest news of Trump’s indictment for political reasons being the third world cherry on top – we won’t have very long to wait.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 22:00

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Freeport LNG Returns To Full Power

Freeport LNG Returns To Full Power

By Tsvetana Paraskova of,

The Freeport LNG export facility in Texas is receiving natural gas from pipelines at full capacity, suggesting that the liquefaction operations are back to full power, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing data from data provider Refinitiv.   

The Freeport LNG export facility in Texas was shut down in June last year when a fire broke out and damaged the plant.

Two of the three trains at Freeport LNG have resumed full commercial operations in recent weeks after receiving regulatory approval in February.  

The third and final train at the Freeport LNG facility received regulatory approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in early March.

By then, the other two trains had returned to full commercial operation, reaching production levels in excess of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), Freeport LNG, the company operating the export facility, said early this month.

At the end of this month, data on natural gas flows suggest that Freeport LNG is back to full operations.

According to Refinitiv data, quoted by Reuters, natural gas flows from pipelines to Freeport LNG were on track to rise to 2.1 Bcf/d on Thursday, up from 1.8 Bcf/d on Wednesday. That’s as much natural gas as all three trains at Freeport can process into LNG.

Pipeline gas deliveries to US liquefied natural gas export plants hit an all-time high this week, after the Freeport facility ramped-up service.

Until it was forced to shut down due to the fire in June, Freeport, responsible for some 20% of total LNG exports from the United States and generating $35 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2022, served Europe well as the continent looked to squelch a growing energy crisis this winter.

The return of Freeport LNG is set to further ease concerns about LNG supply in Europe, which has managed its gas supply and demand well this winter, mostly due to long periods of mild weather and lower consumption because of demand destruction in the industry and energy savings from households.  

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 21:40

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Finland Clears Last Hurdle, Will Become The 31st Member Of NATO

Finland Clears Last Hurdle, Will Become The 31st Member Of NATO

Late Thursday night (local time), Turkey’s parliament approved Finland’s NATO application, which puts the Nordic country on the verge of formal membership in the Western military alliance as the 31st nation. This comes after on Monday Hungarian parliament ratified Finland’s for NATO membership.

The unanimous Turkish vote was the last hurdle in the process, after for months both Ankara and Budapest stalled the application – but in the case of Sweden it will be left behind, this despite the Finland-Sweden bids being initially launched as a package deal. Turkey’s relations with Sweden continue to be at a low-point, suggesting its application will not move forward for a Turkish vote anytime soon.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto hailed the news out of Turkey, saying his country is “now ready to join NATO.” He added: “All 30 NATO members have now ratified Finland’s membership. I want to thank every one of them for their trust and support. Finland will be a strong and capable ally, committed to the security of the Alliance.” NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg also issued a statement of congratulations on Twitter…

Earlier this month, the Kremlin weighed in on Finland being fast-tracked for entry, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying, “We have many times expressed regret over Finland and Sweden’s move toward membership and said many times that Russia does not pose a threat to these countries.”

“We do not have any dispute with these countries… They have never posed any threat to us and, logically, we did not threaten them,” Peskov added.

Finland meanwhile is building a 200km fence along its border with Russia to boost security, also after reporting that Russian men fled into Sweden by the droves in order to escape conscription. The fence will reportedly be 10 feet high and topped with barbed wire.

Sweden’s membership bid is expected to continue to stall, after deteriorating relations with Turkey in the wake of the Quran-burning incident by a far-right activist. Turkey has also demanded Swedish authorities crackdown on Kurdish political groups and operatives while alleging that Stockholm has hosted “terrorists” on its soil. But no matter what limited steps Sweden has taken thus far, none of its has satisfied Turkish leadership. 

Hungary too is expected to continue also blocking Sweden’s application for the time being. “Hungary is holding up Sweden’s admission to NATO because of grievances over criticism by Stockholm of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies, the Hungarian government spokesman said on Wednesday,” according to Reuters.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 21:20

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Tablet’s Grand Opus On The Anti-Disinformation Complex

Tablet’s Grand Opus On The Anti-Disinformation Complex

Authored by Matt Taibbi via Racket News,

Years ago, when I first began to have doubts about the Trump-Russia story, I struggled to come up with a word to articulate my suspicions.

If the story was wrong, and Trump wasn’t a Russian spy, there wasn’t a word for what was being perpetrated. This was a system-wide effort to re-frame reality itself, which was both too intellectually ambitious to fit in a word like “hoax,” but also probably not against any one law, either. New language would have to be invented just to define the wrongdoing, which not only meant whatever this was would likely go unpunished, but that it could be years before the public was ready to talk about it.

Around that same time, writer Jacob Siegel — a former army infantry and intelligence officer who edits Tablet’s afternoon digest, The Scroll — was beginning the job of putting key concepts on paper. As far back as 2019, he sketched out the core ideas for a sprawling, illuminating 13,000-word piece that just came out this week. Called “A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century: Thirteen ways of looking at disinformation,” Siegel’s Tablet article is the enterprise effort at describing the whole anti-disinformation elephant I’ve been hoping for years someone in journalism would take on.

It will escape no one’s notice that Siegel’s lede recounts the Hamilton 68 story from the Twitter Files. Siegel says the internal dialogues of Twitter executives about the infamous Russia-tracking “dashboard” helped him frame the piece he’d been working on for so long. Which is great, I’m glad about that, but he goes far deeper into the topic than I have, and in a way that has a real chance to be accessible to all political audiences.

Siegel threads together all the disparate strands of a very complex story, in which the sheer quantity of themes is daunting: the roots in counter-terrorism strategy, Russiagate as a first great test case, the rise of a public-private “counter-disinformation complex” nurturing an “NGO Borg,” the importance of Trump and “domestic extremism” as organizing targets, the development of a new uniparty politics anointing itself “protector” of things like elections, amid many other things.

He concludes with an escalating string of anxiety-provoking propositions. One is that our first windows into this new censorship system, like Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership, might also be our last, as AI and machine learning appear ready to step in to do the job at scale. The National Science Foundation just announced it was “building a set of use cases” to enable ChatGPT to “further automate” the propaganda mechanism, as Siegel puts it. The messy process people like me got to see, just barely, in the outlines of Twitter emails made public by a one-in-a-million lucky strike, may not appear in recorded human conversations going forward. “Future battles fought through AI technologies,” says Siegel, “will be harder to see.”

More unnerving is the portion near the end describing how seemingly smart people are fast constructing an ideology of mass surrender. Siegel recounts the horrible New York Times Magazine article (how did I forget it?) written by Yale law graduate Emily Bazelon just before the 2020 election, whose URL is titled “The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation.” Shorter Bazelon could have been Fox Nazis Censorship Derp: the article the Times really ran was insanely long and ended with flourishes like, “It’s time to ask whether the American way of protecting free speech is actually keeping us free.”

Both the actors in the Twitter Files and the multitudinous papers produced by groups like the Aspen Institute and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center are perpetually concerned with re-thinking the “problem” of the First Amendment, which of course is not popularly thought of as a problem. It’s notable that the Anti-Disinformation machine, a clear sequel to the Military-Industrial Complex, doesn’t trumpet the virtues of the “free world” but rather the “rules-based international order,” within which (as Siegel points out) people like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich talk about digital deletion as “necessary to protect American democracy.” This idea of pruning fingers off democracy to save it is increasingly popular; we await the arrival of the Jerzy Kozinski character who’ll propound this political gardening metaphor to the smart set.

I asked Siegel a few questions about his mammoth publication, which happily he plans to expand to a book. The following is edited for length:

Matt Taibbi: How did you end up in Army intelligence?

Jacob Siegel: 9/11 is the short version of the story. I enlisted right after 9/11 and intelligence was probably a mistake (laughs). I ended up switching over into the infantry. So, I started in intelligence and then finished off in the infantry.

Matt Taibbi: Did you know anyone in intelligence who made the transition to anti-disinformation?

Jacob Siegel: Not in the intelligence world directly. But I was at the Daily Beast right when I got back from Afghanistan, and I quickly started covering digital culture, protest politics, weird internet ideology, and national security. I was writing about ISIS’s social media campaigns and talking to Clint Watts and talking to J.M. Berger, and taking what they were saying quite seriously at the time. I was watching that transition gradually into a rubric for understanding domestic politics in a way that – frankly – I wasn’t fully aware of what I was watching until probably a few years later. I would say I saw more of that counterterrorism-to-disinformation pipeline as a journalist than I did as an army officer.

Matt Taibbi: What gave you the idea to do this? It’s such a huge project.

Jacob Siegel: There are whole sections from this piece that come from a draft that I started working on in 2019. I think I submitted the first version of this in late 2020. So I’ve been working on this for a long time. I moved to Israel, my son was born, shit happens, you know… I just couldn’t quite bring it all together in the original version.

I wasn’t an immediate Russiagate skeptic. I didn’t see it and immediately think, “This is bullshit.” I saw it and thought to myself, “This is exaggerated… Adam Schiff is exaggerating, but he can’t be just lying like that (laughs) in public.” Really on a very fundamental level, in terms of my unquestioned premises, I was not capable of believing that an American national elected official could lie that brazenly, or that the intelligence agencies, which I knew to be corrupt and inefficient in a billion different ways, could be involved in a grand sort of conspiracy. It seemed too farfetched.

Adam Schiff is a weird guy to be responsible for lifting the veil, because he’s such a schmuck. But realizing that he just kept lying over and over, something clicked for me. Probably the next big turning point was the Russian bounty story. I wrote a piece on that for Tablet at the time, and there was no going back from that.

Matt Taibbi: What’s the reaction been to the new piece so far?

Jacob Siegel: I would say overall very positive, but also somewhat siloed. Broadly speaking, it’s gotten a great response, but it certainly hasn’t penetrated the liberal intelligentsia yet. It hasn’t penetrated the liberal mainstream at all. Maybe I have a somewhat blinkered view of that, but I had hoped that it would.

I don’t want to hang everything on the liberal gatekeepers, and politically, I’m not really clearly identified ideologically. I’m sometimes capable of slipping pieces through that get good receptions with various audiences over the years. And so I hope that would be the case here.

Subscribers to Racket News can read the rest here…

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 21:00

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Lockheed’s Bad Week Ends With F-35 Software Upgrade Delay, Termination Of Hypersonic Missile Program

Lockheed’s Bad Week Ends With F-35 Software Upgrade Delay, Termination Of Hypersonic Missile Program

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. has faced a challenging week. 

First, the US Air Force announced that the Lockheed Martin hypersonic weapons program would be terminated due to test failures. Now, the defense contractor faces significant software delays for its stealth fighter jets. Despite Washington elites showering the defense firm with significant amounts of taxpayer funds, its ability to develop and produce cutting-edge weaponry is encountering difficulties amid threats of global conflict

The latest news from Bloomberg highlights additional F-35 software delays by Lockheed for at least a year, making it 16 months behind schedule. The stealth fighter was set to receive a substantial technological upgrade, increasing processing power by 37 times and memory by 20 times, enabling it to carry more advanced weapons and enhance surveillance capabilities. 

Representative Rob Wittman, a Virginia Republican, first disclosed the delays could last until April 2024. He said Wednesday at a House hearing:

“We’re learned that the late delivery is now impacting existing fighter squadrons” awaiting the upgraded F-35s.

“To quote a senior Air Force official I’ve met with on the subject: ‘We’re paying for great capability but we currently only have good capability,'” Wittman continued. 

“The F-35 is essentially a flying computer, with more than 8 million lines of code. The delayed software upgrade is known as TR-3,” Bloomberg said. 

Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt, F-35 program manager, told a House Armed Services subcommittee headed by Wittman that the TR-3 delivery schedule “has been affected by delays associated with hardware and software development as well as testing of the Integrated Core Processor — the brains of TR-3.”

“The key risks ahead of us are centered around maturity and stability of the final integrated software, flight test execution with an aging fleet of test aircraft and infrastructure and delivery of TR-3 hardware to the production line,” Schmidt said. 

The first F-35 equipped with the new software upgrade took flight in January. Around that time, readers might remember, an F-35 crashed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. It was suspected that the problem was related to the jet’s engine.

Besides the stealth fighter jet having hundreds of software and hardware flaws that could impact combat missions, Lockheed was busy this week with another significant issue: the UASF terminated its AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon hypersonic missile program after test failures. 

Investors could care less about the mounting issues Lockheed has come across with its stealth jets and hypersonic missile. 

While the US is at the forefront of developing and deploying stealth fighters and soon stealth bombers, the world’s largest military spender has yet to master hypersonic missile technology, a feat already achieved by Russia and China.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 03/30/2023 – 20:40

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