Author Archives: Wayne Madsen

Key indicators that January 6 was an attempted coup d’état

The history of modern political era coups and coup plots provides a great deal of insight in forming a conclusion that what occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was no mere “riot” or protest “gone wild.” Recent disclosures in federal charging documents of insurrection participants and leaders, as well as the feeble attempt by the Capitol’s three top law enforcement officials—who either resigned or were fired after the mêlée—to blame others for the lack of security all point to a coordinated operation involving the Trump White House, the political leadership of the Pentagon, far right extremist groups, and last, but not least, GOP congressional insiders, including senators and U.S. representatives and their staffs. Continue reading

Computer security breaches and Trojan Horse backdoors

Who is at fault for the succession of major hacking events in the United States? “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

The U.S. Congress wants answers on what has been apparent foot-dragging by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in answering congressional questions about NSA forcing the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) into incorporating a NSA-engineered back door into the Dual_EC_DRBG encryption algorithm standard developed for use in federal government computer systems and networks. On January 28, Democratic Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Cory Booker of New Jersey, along with eight of their Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives—Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Ted Lieu of California, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Bill Foster of Illinois, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Yvette Clarke of New York, and Anna Eshoo of California—sent a letter to NSA director General Paul Nakasone requesting information on the forced introduction by NSA of the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm into the products of Juniper Networks that permitted a massive breach of its customers’ systems in 2015, five years before a similar breach occurred with the products of SolarWinds, another vendor reliant on the same NSA-manipulated encryption algorithm. Continue reading

Texas deep freeze points out the absurdity of libertarianism

As Texas was plunged into a fourth day of Arctic temperatures, the cries went out from the uber-wealthy suburbs of Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. “Where’s my power?” “I have no water!” “I can’t buy gas and food!” As Texans looked to their Republican libertarian governor, Greg Abbott, they only received a lesson on the evils of green energy. Blaming the power failures caused by the deep freeze—another warning indicator about the increasingly dire effects of global climate change—Abbott, backed by Republican U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw from Houston, cited frozen wind generators as the main culprit. In reality, a place where libertarians have never existed and never will, the wind turbines failed because Texas’s toothless regulators refused to ensure that they were winterized. Similar temperatures do not affect wind turbines in northern climes or even Antarctica because they have been engineered to withstand sub-freezing temperatures. Texas resorted to using helicopters to “de-ice” wind turbines. Continue reading

The fascist ‘big lies’—deceptive names are back

We should remain vigilant against the far-right, which continues to misappropriate the historical and traditional names of the parties of labor, the popular masses, equality, and progressivism

From 1920 to 1945, the formal name of the German Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, abbreviated NSDAP in German. Despite its name, there was nothing even remotely “socialist” or “workers” related about the Nazi Party. Its very foundation was to combat the influence of labor unions, particularly those closely-linked to the Socialists or Communists. Socialist ideology, whether it was of the social democratic or Marxist -Leninist version, was anathema to Nazi policy. Therefore, it was the height of hypocrisy that the Nazis, with their financial backing from Germany’s leading industrialists—Krupp, Thyssen, and Opel, to name a few—would appropriate the terms socialist and workers for their own designs. When “socialist” was added to the “National German Workers’ Party” in 1920, in a jaded attempt to appeal to lower middle class left-wing laborers, Adolf Hitler vehemently objected. The term “socialist” within the official name of the Nazi Party was more of a mockery of socialism than anything else. Continue reading

The new guardrails for Biden’s Obama interventionists

The devastation left by the Trump administration makes it nearly impossible for the Biden State Department to achieve a pre-Trump status quo ante.

It might have come as a shock to the old Obama administration global interventionists who have landed top foreign policy positions in the Biden administration that the world has moved on from 2016. Whether it likes it or not, the Biden foreign policy team is dealing with a world that no longer reacts to every move made in Washington, DC. In fact, the U.S. capital city is now viewed as a place where a far-right insurrection nearly toppled constitutional rule and imposed a dictatorial regime rife with neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, private militias, and other societal nasties. So much for lectures from U.S. ambassadors about the need to maintain a civil society. Continue reading

The fascist insurrection is far from over

For many of the far-right insurrectionists who stormed and briefly occupied the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the day represented only their first battle in what they believe will be their successful quest of bringing down the U.S. government and replacing it with a nightmare dictatorship that would mix extreme libertarianism with white supremacy as its core doctrine. Facilitating this sedition is the Republican Party, which, in its present incarnation, has shown itself to be incapable of governing and a threat to the security, health, and welfare of the United States and its people. Continue reading

Minority rule always destined for collapse

Governments that rely on support from a minority of their nation’s population are doomed to fail.

The Republican Party of the United States has reconstructed itself as the party of Donald Trump and, as such, has become no different than the minority rule political parties of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. Continue reading

COVID wiping out an entire generation of political leadership in developing countries

Mainly as the result of the Trump administration’s U.S.-centric view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American media has largely ignored the dire effects the disease has had in other countries, particularly developing nations in Africa and Asia. WMR has received a first-hand report of the virus taking the lives of a number of political leaders in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and other countries. South Africa’s dynamic Minister of the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu was the latest to fall victim to the virus. Mthembu was a stalwart of the governing African National Congress (ANC) who began fighting against the apartheid regime in the 1970s. Mthembu became ill from the virus on January 11 and he died on January 21, ten days later. A more dangerous mutation of COVID-19 has been discovered in South Africa. However, it is not known if that was what took Mthembu’s life. Continue reading

The scourge of anti-government libertarianism

Lying at the heart of the increasingly discredited ideology of Trumpism is the bankrupt politics of libertarianism. Like the old joke about the dog chasing the car and finally catching up with it, the seething crew of armed and deranged Donald Trump supporters who managed to temporarily seize control of the upper and lower chambers of the U.S. Congress on January 6 were unsure of what to do with their briefly captured prize. Some decided to rifle through Senate desks in search of some holy grail of secret documents. Others were content with snatching laptop computers from offices. A few felt encumbered to aim canisters of destructive caustic bear spray at priceless oil paintings of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. Continue reading

Libertarian terrorism

The temporary seizure of the U.S. Capitol by far-right supporters of Donald Trump should serve as the political death knell for the libertarian ideological base of “Trumpism.” Every day around the globe, legislators convene to deliberate over the passage of bills designed to improve the lot of the people who sent them there. These legislatures exist at the national, supranational, state, provincial, municipal, tribal, and island level. They have names like Chamber of Deputies, Diet, Senate, House of Commons, House of Representatives, National Assembly, Duma, Council of State, House of Keys, and House of Lords. Continue reading

Sophistication of fascist coup attempt coming to light

America is just starting to discover that it came within a hair’s breadth of witnessing its Constitution upended and a fascist dictatorship declared by Donald Trump as a result of the January 6 insurrection targeting the U.S. Capitol. Indeed, it is all but certain that Trump was borrowing a page from Adolf Hitler’s playbook in ordering Brown Shirts to set fire to the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933 and blaming the arson attack on “Communists” as a reason to suspend the democratic guarantees contained in the Weimar Constitution. According to those few witnesses to Trump’s expletive-laden rants in the Oval Office, the would-be dictator continues to blame the non-existent “antifa” for the attack on the Capitol. Bogus “antifa” attackers in 2021 are as much a propaganda device for Trump as fake “Communists” were for Hitler in 1933. Continue reading

The return of the “Know Nothing Party”

Founded in 1844, the American “Know Nothing Party,” officially known as the Native American Party—not to be confused with the indigenous native Americans—rallied around the causes of anti-immigration, xenophobia, and anti-Catholicism. Its name derived from the party’s secretive membership list and political operations. When non-members of the party queried a member about specific details of the organization, they were to reply, “I know nothing.” Continue reading

De-Trumpification must be carried out with a heavy club

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s terrorists managed to do something on January 6 that Adolf Hitler could have only dreamed of: enabling the full display of Nazi symbols on and inside the U.S. Capitol Building. Having failed in their attempt to overthrow the Legislative branch of the U.S. government in a partially-armed insurrection, Trump and his supporters must pay a heavy price, with the death penalty being offered as one option. Continue reading

Terrorism: A menace from the right-wing and allied fundamentalists

On early Christmas morning a vehicle bomb exploded in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The target was the AT&T metropolitan area network hub “Batman” building, a 33-story structure—the tallest building in Tennessee—which resembles the fictional cape crusader’s cowl. The bomber turned out to be a 63-year-old white man. Anthony Quinn Warren, who blew himself up in the terrorist attack, apparently subscribed to the babble from the pro-Donald Trump “Qanon” group of far-right conspiracy advocates who believe that Fifth Generation (5G) wireless communications networks are linked to both the COVID pandemic and electronic surveillance. Continue reading

Pompeo’s ugly Christian Dominionist dogma infects global relations

The most tarnished legacy of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be his introduction to U.S. foreign policy the racist dogma of the Christian Reconstructionist/Dominionist Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which, along with its sister Presbyterian denominations – the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC) and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) – are rife with warnings of a “yellow peril” endangering Western Christian “civilization.” Continue reading

We are experiencing a zombie apocalypse

Public health workers, election officials, and political office holders — from city commissioners to governors — are all reporting death threats and other threatened acts of violence by a group of people who seem to have become zombified as mindless sycophants of Donald Trump. For those who have been in range of the dead-eye stares of mouth-agape Trump supporters pounding on windows and doors, it is literally out of a scene of a George Romero zombie flick. Yes folks, we have a zombie apocalypse on our hands! Continue reading

Right-wing generals calling for a military coup: A long history

History books record that there were a mere handful of cases in which generals plotted the overthrow of a far-right regime to institute moderate or leftist government. In the vast majority of cases, however, generals’ putsches are fascist affairs having dire consequences for the rule of law and human rights. Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and Donald Trump national security adviser, circulated an on-line petition calling for Trump to suspend the U.S. Constitution, declare martial law, and have the Pentagon oversee a “re-vote” of the presidential election, one that would assuredly have Trump “win” over the current President-elect, former Vice President Joe Biden. Continue reading

Erik Prince: Back in action for the Pentagon

Erik Prince, the founder of the discredited former mercenary firm Blackwater USA and brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, has apparently landed a major secret Pentagon contract for mercenary services in Africa. The announcement of the contract was practically simultaneous with Donald Trump’s order to withdraw some 7,000 U.S. military personnel from Somalia. The moves by Trump and the Pentagon, which has seen several Trump loyalists embedded in key positions after Trump’s firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other Pentagon officials on November 9, is yet another monetization of government services by Trump and his grifter supporters prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Continue reading

Problematic mercenary firm reconstitutes: the re-arrival of Executive Outcomes is not good news

The reconstitution of Executive Outcomes (E.O.), the South Africa-based mercenary firm that was involved in civil wars in Sierra Leone, Angola, and Rwanda in the 1990s, is troubling news for not only Africa, but other nations that have seen their fair share of mercenary force destabilization. Amid an outcry over its activities in Africa and other nations, E.O. ceased operations in 1998. The cessation of the firm’s activities came after South Africa passed legislation, the “Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act,” which required mercenary firms like E.O. to have South African government authorization prior to signing contracts with foreign entities. Continue reading

Mass ignorance in the Age of Information

It is beyond counter-intuitive that in the Age of Information, the masses are more ignorant of facts than at any time in the past. It matters not that smart phones provide reliable information to individuals at their fingertips. Increasingly, some of the most well-informed people on the planet are adopting the mindsets of the Luddites, the anti-technology English workers of the 19th century. Continue reading

Another Trump surprise for his “losers and suckers”

Donald Trump has another surprise in store for military veterans—dubbed “losers and suckers” by the outgoing president. Due to the financial stress experienced from COVID-19 by many veterans receiving co-pay prescription drugs from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA placed a hold on billing statements on April 6, 2020. Continue reading

Has the Trump International Hotel been bugged by Trump and his associates?

While Donald Trump has continually lambasted the FBI for wiretapping his Trump Tower in New York—legally authorized by court orders as a result of the amount of organized crime activity taking place there—there is evidence that he had at least one condominium outfitted with audio and video bugs during its use by contestants on Trump’s NBC reality show, “The Apprentice.” Moreover, there are fears being expressed from informed quarters that Trump has been blackmailing individuals who have stayed at his Trump International Hotel, located in the Old Post Office building, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Continue reading

Pandemia’s norm: Wars and rumors of wars

Welcome to the world of Pandemia. It is a place where a deadly virus pandemic spreads in an out-of-control fashion. Sheltering at home has led to widespread unemployment. With closed borders and reduced airline flights, international and some domestic travel are all but dead. Legislatures and judicial courts render their decisions over video-conferencing connections. People of all ages die without being able to physically say farewell to their loved ones. Continue reading

Pompeo committed treacherous sedition with his announcement of Trump’s coup

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo committed an act of treacherous sedition when he commented on a smooth presidential transition at a Tuesday press conference at the Department of State. In answer to a Fox News’s reporter’s question about the transition, Pompeo relied, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” Continue reading

Rival governments are often recipes for violence and regional warfare

With Donald Trump failing to concede his loss in the U.S. presidential election and some of his aides suggesting that he will conduct a counter inauguration and swearing in to rival an official inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, there is a distinct possibility that the United States will be plunged into political anarchy not seen since the U.S. Civil War of the mid-19th Century. Continue reading

Traffic jams and boarded windows: Trump’s American carnage

With only a few days to go before Election Day 2020, Donald Trump supporters attempted to run a Biden-Harris campaign bus off of a highway near Austin, Texas, and blocked traffic on the Mario Cuomo Bridge over the Hudson River, the Garden State Parkway, and the Washington DC Beltway. Two Trump “poll challengers,” one wearing a horror movie mask, attempted to intimidate early voters in Detroit and there were reports of other Trump supporters menacing voters and polling precinct authorities in other locations around the nation. Continue reading

Political assassinations are a hallmark of fascist regimes

Recent arrests made in the United States of armed right-wing gangsters intent on kidnapping and assassinating state, local, and national leaders is another indication of the adverse effect the Trump administration and its supporters have had on the overall political stability of the United States. There have been right wing plots to kidnap and place on “trial” the Democratic Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, and the Republican Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine. The same Michigan group that threatened Whitmer also threatened to abduct Democratic Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia. In all three cases, the governors were targeted by self-styled “citizens’ militias,” which are nothing more than terrorist groups, that planned to place the governors on trial in sham proceedings with likely guilty verdicts for instituting public health restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the violent nature of these groups, the executions of the governors would have been the likely outcomes of the vigilantes’ clandestine “trials” for alleged “tyranny.” Continue reading

Trump’s lies to seniors and veterans

Here in the heart of Florida’s retirement community, that swath consisting of gated communities, condominiums, and apartment complexes that surround Interstate 4 from Tampa through Lakeland, Kissimmee, and Orlando to Daytona Beach, Donald Trump’s promises to senior citizens and veterans have never produced any results. The laissez-faire public health policies enacted by Trump, aided and abetted by Florida’s incompetent Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, have resulted in needless deaths among seniors and veterans. These vulnerable members of society with co-morbidities, including heart disease, diabetes, and for veterans, combat-related injuries, were made more susceptible to Covid-19 super-spreading resulting from Trump campaign rallies in Sanford, The Villages, and Ocala. Continue reading

Right-wing SCOTUS justices: Impeach them

There is a constitutional method for ridding the U.S. Supreme Court of its two far-right justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. It borrows a page from the right-wing in the 1960s. Conservatives, including members of the far-right John Birch Society, outraged over President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s pick for Chief Justice, former California Governor Earl Warren, steering the court in a liberal direction, began a national “Impeach Warren” campaign. Continue reading

A Democratic senator proposed a top-shelf national health care system in 1949

A postage stamp cost 3 cents, milk was 84 cents a gallon, a bottle of Coke was a nickle, bread was 14 cents a loaf, and a Democratic Senator from the State of Minnesota proposed a comprehensive national health insurance system that would reduce medical costs for a majority of Americans. The year was 1949 and the senator was Hubert Humphrey, who was later to serve as Vice President and the 1968 Democratic presidential candidate. Continue reading

Pro-Trump militants plot against two governors places the U.S. into banana republic status

A plot by pro-Trump militants to kidnap the Democratic Governors of Michigan and Virginia, Gretchen Whitmer and Ralph Northam, respectively, points out the degree to which the United States has fallen into Latin American “banana republic” status. The assassination of state governors and other local leaders in Latin America have become so commonplace, the actions receive barely a mention in the U.S. media. Continue reading

No need to pack the Supreme Court, just unpack it

Democrats who are fretting over Amy Coney Barrett—the creepy Aunt Lydia clone from “The Handmaid’s Tale”—becoming the sixth right-wing justice on the U.S. Supreme Court are suggesting that a Joe Biden administration use its constitutional prerogative and add additional members to the court in an effort to restore jurisprudential equilibrium to the court. There is another solution to returning balance to the nation’s highest court that does not entail “packing.” Continue reading