It was July 2012, and a former National Security Agency counterintelligence officer turned professor at the U.S. Naval War College, John R. Schindler, was writing on his blog, the XX Committee and Twitter feed @20Committee (named for the British double cross intelligence system of WWII). Back then no one associated the academic with NSFW selfies or jokes over his own tweets constituting defamation. This was before ‘ex’ spooks like Schindler and then obscure college dropout World of Warcraft gamer Eliot Higgins in the UK became conduits for major disinformation campaigns pushed by some of the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies, no longer confident in their ability to ‘sell’ the public through mainstream media outlets alone as they had for the most part done with the 2003 Iraq war.
What Schindler wrote then displays an interesting contrast to what Schindler became — the hard hitting but occasionally short tempered NSA and intel guru (according to National Review, and the man’s cult like, ignore all of his megalomania Twitter following), or the pompous crank embittered by the U.S. government and civil libertarians alike not recognizing his brilliant insights and their own stupidity (the image of Schindler according to his critics).
(All photos used in the cover banner and within this post are hereby reproduced in accordance with United States copyright law permitting Fair Use for purposes of comment or criticism)
See “Lowdown Dirty Psyops, Part 1: From Jade Helm to NATO’s Pet Azov Neo-Nazis“, RogueMoney August 2015
NSA workforce suffering low morale in post-Snowden era… https://t.co/XpBvMcC5Pt
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) November 10, 2015
John Schindler aka @20Committee Pre-Snowden and After Snowden
What Schindler wrote then about William Binney, the foremost NSA whistleblower before Edward Snowden came along, was both cogent and above all an admission of just how small a piece of the puzzle Schindler saw while inside ‘the Puzzle Palace’ compared to others who held higher classifications or broader knowledge of the NSA’s operations like James Bamford, Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, or Kirk Weibe:
In recent years several NSA whistlebowers have come forward to explain how Big Brother really is listening in on you, reading your emails, snooping on your chats, et al. Most of those speaking out are individuals with agendas and sometimes failed careers behind them.
But Bill Binney was different. One of the finest Agency crypto-mathematicians of his generation – these being the scarily brilliant geeks who develop the code-cracking algorithims that allow NSA to protect you, dear citizen, while you sleep – Bill resigned in 2001 in disgust over what he believed to be the Agency’s misuse of his pet project, THINTHREAD, to spy domestically.
Bill has kept chugging along, explaining repeatedly that domestic espionage is out of control, and now he’s stated that NSA is collecting information on practically every American. Mincing words, not so much:
“They’re pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country … and assembling that information,” Binney explained. “So government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it’s a very dangerous process.” He estimated that something like 1.6 billion logs have been processed since 2001.
I simply don’t know if this is true. And if I did, I wouldn’t be stating it openly on a blog anyway. But I will say is that this statement, if accurate, runs deeply contrary to the training about privacy protection which I had rammed into mereceived as a larval intelligence analyst some years ago. Moreover, Bill Binney is not a crank, a weirdo, or a charlatan. He is a very gifted man and a patriot who believes NSA, presumably on orders from “the top,” is misusing its enormous technological prowess. Certainly some public debate about espionage and privacy in the digital age – something which of course NSA and the Intelligence Community but also very much the Bush and Obama administrations have avoided at every turn – seems overdue.
Why do we bring up this extensive 2012 quote to Schindler and his followers today? Well, in part to pose it in contrast to how little interaction much less debate Schindler has had since May 2013 with actual NSA whistleblowers who did not flee the U.S., especially Thomas Drake, who is active on Twitter and in the media. It seems while in 2012 Schindler was more humble about what he as a counterintelligence officer deployed to the war-torn Balkans and later serving in the US Navy Reserves would actually know more than just basics about NSA bulk collection and how it impacted ‘U.S. persons’ protected by the 4th Amendment.
A.S. (after Snowden), Schindler was not comfortable admitting to his Twitter followers any limits to his expertise when compared to the fraternity of NSA whistleblowers. Not only on topics the Snowden leaks directly addressed like bulk collection of Americans and U.S.-allied nation citizens’ personal data, but also what the NSA knew prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. An issue itself increasingly relevant to what the U.S. government has kept classified about its knowledge of Saudi royals’ direct payments to the 9/11 hijackers, the notorious ’28 pages’ retired Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and others have pushed to be released.
Blame Snowden, Evil Ed Turned John R. Schindler From a Conscientious ‘Maybe NSA Whistleblowers Have a Point’ Prof to #TeamNSA Social Media Cult-Leader Bullyboy
The only Twitter interaction we can find between Schindler and Tom Drake involves Schindler ‘staying classy’ by mocking Drake for having to support his family as an employee at an Apple store after losing his government salary in retaliation for Drake’s whistleblowing. That’s it.
This ducking of debate with NSA whistleblowers whom he cannot accuse of treason under the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy that since Snowden now resides in Russia he must’ve been a Russian intelligence asset all along cuts to the heart of the problem with John R. Schindler’s persona as a ‘public intellectual’.
So too, does Schindler’s willingness to selectively cite former FBI whistle blower Sibel Edmonds while skipping over the explosive implications of her allegations regarding covert U.S. support for Al-Qaeda and Chechen jihadists, as well as the more immediate issue for Schindler of Edmonds’ belief that Snowden’s leaks were a ‘CIA limited hangout’ designed to cut a ballooning rival in the NSA down to size. It should also be noted here that former Tom Clancy co-author Dr. Steve Pieczenik shares Edmonds’ belief that Snowden is a red herring or a frontman for others inside the U.S. government.
Can the public really evaluate whether Schindler knows what the hell he’s talking about when it comes to certain classified matters, especially those arising since Schindler left the NSA a decade ago? Would Schindler risk his aura of NSA guru by going toe to toe in live debate with a Bill Binney or Thomas Drake whose years of experience at the Agency and knowledge of Ft. Meade’s bulk collection architecture dwarf his own? Or does Schindler avoid debating the NSA whistleblowers for fear of being ‘found out’ in his area of ‘expertise’ and the audience realizing John never knew all that much about bulk collection?
As an aside, this is not all that dissimilar from another pundit critiqued by our friends at Russia Insider, Michael D. Weiss. As many observers on Twitter have noted, this neocon ‘expert’ on Syria and Russia has never been pitted in a debate on cable news that would expose his lack of spoken Arabic and Russian (or for that matter, a Frenchman who can speak English without a thick accent). Nor has Weiss ever had to face challenges to his book ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror and his former Henry Jackson Society colleagues’ contention that the Islamic State is principally a creation of ex-Baathists and anti-U.S. jihadist insurgents in Iraq. One could only imagine Weiss’ reaction if he were pressed to the mat verbally on just how much support NATO member Turkey and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia have given to the super terrorist army.
— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) November 6, 2015
Weiss lack of expertise despite being touted by those who bemoan a lack of experts shaping rational debate on foreign policy and terrorism is just one aspect of this mess. Another part of it is this question: how can members of the public and press truly recognize whether or not Schindler was exposed to the information and sources he claims to have had both as an ‘insider’ and now as a private citizen with alleged ‘intel community’ sources who talk to him? Or is Schindler simply ‘playing’ the public and social media followers with the products of his imagination? Even worse, according to some of his critics such as former Navy NSA analyst Wayne Madsen, does Schindler personify a kind of ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ for the social media age, a failed sock puppet for the NSA’s efforts to ‘troll’ and smear critics online not unlike the slide below leaked Snowden obtained from its Ft. Meade’s 5Eyes sister agency GCHQ?
Trust John Schindler: the NSA/GCHQ would never do this stuff to innocent Americans or Britons merely for the ‘crime’ of opposing their government’s policies…
This question is made all the more urgent by Schindler’s tendency, for a man who talks so much about Russian ‘active measures’ and disinformatziya, to push out his own disinfo and trolling of alternative media outlets with alarmist (non-#Belling)crap.
How Do We Know You Didn’t Just Make That Up? The Faith Based Cult of Schindler
For example, in May 2015 Schindler tweeted out that an alleged non-U.S. NATO member GOFO (general flag officer for those of you not familiar with military acronyms) who told him quote, “We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.” Let that sink in.
Said a senior NATO (non-US) GOFO to me today: “We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.” Let that sink in.
— John Schindler (@20committee) May 20, 2015
OMG! I should have dug that Bomb shelter months ago! Schindler tweeted we’re all gonna die in a nukyulur war with the Rooskies!
The scare-tweet was carried around the world by the UFO and earth changes conspiracy site Before Its News, and even made the ‘King of Conspiracy’ Alex Jones’ page Infowars.com. Brother Jones’ writers apparently confused Schindler with his 1970s SHAMROCK domestic spying opponent father by labeling him an ‘NSA whistle blower’. This was ironic considering that Alex Jones had hosted one of Schindler’s leading critics, former U.S. Navy/NSA analyst Wayne Madsen, on his show. During multiple appearances on the Alex Jones program, Madsen had denounced what he saw as an organized campaign by John Schindler and fellow USNWC professor Tom Nichols to defame him as a Jew hater and conspiracy nut.
Of course, the U.S. and Russia didn’t go to war this summer and haven’t by the grace of God yet despite the close proximity of their forces in Syria. And there is no way you and I, brother Alex Jones, or even the NSA themselves can know (especially if the commander took the prudent measure of communicating face to face or via an old school dead dropped letter with Schindler) that this ‘non-U.S. NATO GOFO’ actually exists, whether in Schindler’s McMaster’s University alma mater country of Canada or anywhere else. Schindler could’ve made the whole story up, and in our estimation he probably did. What would be the motivation you ask? To deliberately discredit sites like Infowars that he has described in the past as Kremlin propaganda dupes, by having them publish stuff he knows to be false and then mocking them for it.
How the Cold War 2 Info-War Game is Played: Pay Off Russian Journalists to Run Falsehoods, Then Mock Russian Media When it Actually Happens to Be Telling the Truth
The CIA has been using this technique to attack Russian media for months if not decades, with its own form of активные мероприятия. Getting Russia’s First Channel (Pervy Kanal) or Rossiya to run stories with obviously fake satellite pictures of a Ukrainian SU-27 shooting down MH17 was one such coup. Once Rossiya discredited itself by running such an obvious fake, who would believe them tomorrow if tomorrow they produce intercepted Russia SIGINT of the Ukrainian pilot talking to his handlers shortly before he pulled the trigger on the air to air missiles that probably killed MH17’s passengers and crew (given the ridiculously small amount of BUK shrapnel found in the pilot and forward passenger victims’ bodies)? Who would buy it if Russia dropped a truthbomb tomorrow by producing pieces of Israeli Python 5 AAMs it says were pulled from the wreckage of MH17 by GRU operatives at the scene within hours of the shoot down? After all, these Donbass locals who spoke to a BBC Russian service reporter about seeing Ukrainian fighter jets aloft on July 17, 2014 near the crash scene must all be lying, while the dog eating Kiev’s military radar data from that day is no big deal.
Given how easy it is to pay off Russian journalists or even convince gullible young liberal Muscovites that they’re sabotaging the Kremlin’s evil propaganda machine from inside, there have been and will likely be many other examples. As we’ve explained here in “Lowdown Dirty Psyops Part 1“, getting the Western media to focus on the silly stuff that appears in Russian media as opposed to the shoddy, Kiev-manufactured nature of the ‘evidence’ pinning MH17 on the Kremlin instead of ‘rogue’ Ukrainian military members is a great way to avoid having to explain awkward things. Like why hell is going to freeze over before the U.S. will release the satellite photographs that supposedly prove a Russian BUK did it.
Why Take Tom Nichols Seriously When He Was Spectacularly Wrong About Syria?
Forget trolling Alex Jones’ crew — nobody says if they were fools enough to buy what Schindler is selling in that tweet that they didn’t deserve to get trolled. What about the core issue Schindler’s cult-like following on Twitter ignore, his expertise, and whether emotional and personal biases cloud his judgment? That’s an important topic to John R. Schindler and the man who hired him years before Schindler’s forced resignation from the U.S. Naval War College — Prof. Tom Nichols. It’s so important, in fact, that Nichols is publishing a book, titled The Death of Expertise, about the general lack of respect for erudition and the emotional immaturity among Americans. For the record, here’s what Nichols wrote back in August 2013, regarding the prospect of Russian intervention in Syria to block the U.S. or Turkey from directly attacking Assad:
The Russians aren’t going to do a damned thing.
The Russians not only will not go to war over Assad, they can’t. I don’t know where people get these ideas (first guess: Google University), but the Russian Navy isn’t even remotely capable of getting in NATO’s way in the Med. Unless Vladimir Putin wants to threaten a nuclear war for Bashar Assad, this is not an issue.
The fact that Nichols threw a blogging tantrum when the Obama Administration backed off its threats to bomb Damascus in September 2013, shouldn’t be used to discount his claim that Americans increasingly lack maturity and respect for expertise. After all, nobody’s perfect and Schindler’s own embarrassingly outed ‘selfies’ (the product, according to his most conspiracy minded and fanatical followers, of a nefarious Russian ‘honey pot’) shouldn’t discredit him as an expert on counterintelligence and data protection, should it?
Blurring the Lines Between Personal and Professional Accountability at USNWC
Well no. But if John R. Schindler and Tom Nichols his ex-colleague get to make the argument that Edward Snowden’s leaks distracted people from the debate Americans ought to have had about NSA surveillance, then there’s plenty of room to criticize both for preferring fantasies and half-assed outsourcing of ‘expertise’ over actual presentation of credible U.S. intelligence.
— Eliot Higgins (@EIiotHiggins) November 7, 2015
If You Want U.S. Intel Expertise Taken Seriously, You Can’t Outsource It to @Bellingcat (#Bellingcrap) — The Hypocrisy of ‘Twitter Warriors’ Tom Nichols and John Schindler
For example, if John R. Schindler was serious as he wrote in his latest New York Observer article about exposing ‘Kremlin lies’ regarding MH17, he could start by demanding — as blogger Eliot Higgins refuses to do — that the U.S. intelligence community ‘call the Kremlin’s bluff’ and release satellite imagery of the alleged Russian BUK launcher that brought down the Malaysian airliner.
Since Schindler views SIGINT as the be all do all of the intelligence community and sneers at those who criticize the U.S. for leaning too heavily on it and lacking human intelligence, he could ask his beloved NSA to release the ELINT of a BUK Kupola radar firing off just before MH17 was hit by a missile on July 17, 2014.
Of course Schindler can state his metaphysical certainty that the NSA’s low earth orbit satellites and/or secret antennae on the ground near the Donbass collected the radar waves emitted by a Russian, rather than a Ukrainian Army BUK locking on to MH17 (the total absence of ‘alibis’ for where Kiev’s BUKs were on that day not being an issue for the Dutch Safety Board, the MSM, Schindler or the Kiev/NATO Twitter hordes who guard the holy #MH17 hash tag around the clock?).
— Masami Kuramoto (@masamikuramoto) November 4, 2015
What about protecting holy sources and methods you say? Or satellite imagery and space based infrared too ‘eye popping’ to be believed, as the ex-underwear salesman Higgins and the@MJoyce2244 “the U.S. released its space based infrared of the BUK missile launch (to whom, exactly?)” trolls who pop up every time you tweet critically of the U.S. and Kiev under the hashtag #MH17 insist?
— Eliot Higgins (@EIiotHiggins) November 4, 2015
The Problem With the U.S. and NATO Outsourcing their #MH17 Case to Some Ex-Office Plankton/Underware Salesman Slob in the UK — U.S. Credibility Suffers
Well sorry Prof. Nichols and ex-Prof. Schindler, you don’t get to have it both ways. If you want the world to respect the U.S. and ‘debunk the Kremlin lies’ you need more than BS from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), themselves as Forbes’ Mark Adomanis observes apt pupils of Soviet active measures. Who besides Schindler, for example, could forget Kiev’s laughable ‘the Donetsk rebels are making a dirty bomb from USSR x-ray machine waste’ story? If people like Tom Nichols take expertise seriously, why promote a stay at home dad blogger with zero military or intelligence training in Leicester, UK to make Washington’s case? Why not demand Secretary of State John Kerry or Samantha Power show the goods at the United Nations, like Adlai Stevenson with recon photos of Soviet missiles in 1962 Cuba?
Otherwise, the suspicion that Mr. Kerry and Madame Power cannot back up their “we know” statements regarding MH17 will fester, as will the (likely SBU) Photoshop-ped images of a BUK on a trailer that look like they’re reflected in a funhouse mirror Eliot Higgins touts as totally legit. Eliot Higgins’ absence of ‘expertise’ in things like weapons, avionics and intelligence doesn’t matter to Tom Nichols or John R. Schindler if his ‘look what I found having never actually visited the crime scenes in Syria or Donbass’ ‘findings’ support their ‘team’. But no, anybody who mocks or parodies Eliot Higgins for being dismissed as “not knowing what he’s talking about” by veteran MIT arms control expert Ted Postol regarding the 2013 East Ghouta chemical attack in Syria surely must be a ‘Kremlin troll’.
— Syricide (@Syricide) August 24, 2014
There’s no need to imagine that the outsourcing of the U.S. intelligence community’s case regarding two critical incidents related to Russia or a Russian ally between August 2013 and July 2014 is any sign of the ‘death of expertise’ Prof. Nichols rightly criticizes or has damaged U.S. credibility. Look, here’s an org chart of KremlinTrolls John Schindler’s ‘tweep’ Andrew Aaron Weisburd made by drawing lots of lines between pro-Russian Twitter accounts working from his attic in Carbondale, Illinois. Eat your heart out with those chalkboard conspiracy charts of yours, Glenn Beck!
The Menace of Information Cold War-rior Unreality in Ukraine
A similar lack of intellectual rigor plagues John R. Schindler on other hot button topics involving Russia besides MH17. Having observed Schindler’s writings for a while, we often sense he wants to say much more, but shrinks back for fear of offending his considerable following among the Kiev/NATO troll community (both paid and unpaid). While Schindler essentially labeled NATO deputy director Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow a Russian intelligence asset and got away with it in the press and among his ‘see no evil’ followers, he took some flak for admitting that not enough Ukrainians wanted to fight for their country in Donbass to see the Ukrainian Army to victory.
What Schindler would not say to his Ukrainian ‘tweeps’ is that the Ukrainian Army’s official and the unofficial Kyiv Post casualty figures are a sick joke, that likely underestimate the country’s battlefield losses by between 10,000 and 14,000 KIA. As are the fantasies that Kiev’s ‘cyborgs’ mowed down bazillions of VDV paratroopers at the Donetsk Airport or inside the Debaltsevo cauldron and fought the regular Russian military which inexplicably didn’t drop a single fuel air explosive bomb from a Su-34 or a Kalibr cruise missile on either of these hotly defended strongpoints. Or that the Azov Battalion’s logo merely bears an unfortunate resemblance to, rather than is a direct copy of, the flag of Hitler’s 2nd SS Das Reich division. John Schindler’s ‘tweep’ the Swedish PR man for the battalion Mikael Skillt, hailed by Heritage Foundation paid hacks, really is a sincere ‘ex’ Nazi — honest.
Schindler’s Listing: Palling Around With an ‘Ex’ Swedish Nazi on Twitter
Neocons for Hugging Neo-Nazis (As Long As They’re Fighting Pro-Russians in Donbass)
@20committee So the Donbas will be like the shots in Sarajevo, the start of something really big and nasty
— Mikael Skillt (@MikaelSkillt) May 20, 2015
Schindler says hi-eil to the Azov Battalion, and its Aryan superman Swedish sniper!
Poles whose language John Schindler speaks are so terrified of or angry at Russia that they forgive all the glorification of mass murderers of Poles during WWII like Roman Shushkeyvich. Anyway if you don’t buy that you must be — what else? — a Kremlin troll. Schindler and his Internet Haganah buddy from Carbondale, Illinois Andrew Aaron Weissburd should feel no cognitive dissonance whatsoever over cheering on a battalion that proudly wears the runes of Hitler’s SS and which during WWII killed Americans. There’s no harm whatsoever to the Pentagon’s reputation from funding a unit headed by a proud Stepan Bandera-worshipping National Socialist named Andriy Biletsky…because Russia=evil, and those Azov battalion members are our Nazis, dagnabit!
Such are the fantasies that come with the cult of John Schindler, along with a protean ideology that nonetheless, ranks Russophobia as its lodestar. Schindler can’t quite decide if he’s a proud German-style social democrat (read: socialist without the Bernie Sanders hippie dippie Vermont Ben and Jerry’s) or should be hailed as a conservative by National Review (somewhere in the great beyond William F. Buckley, despite his lifelong Langley loyalties, is probably wishing he could slap NR editor Rich Lowry now). Schindler’s own relationship with the U.S. intelligence community and military, as he himself admits in disavowing the charge of sock puppetry for his former bosses at Ft. Meade, is fraught.
If It Weren’t for his Personal Quirks, Schindler Would Still Be Trolling from USNWC
Frankly, we’d be bitter too if we were Schindler and had trolled the NSA’s critics on Twitter obsessively for over a year, only to get dumped overboard by the U.S. Naval War College without so much as a ‘good word’ being put in by NSA handlers at the first hint of a little bad press from a sexting scandal. All the same, the @20Committee hive mind shows many characteristics of a cult — a circle of female groupies, the charismatic leader’s flaws all overlooked if not praised, the shunning of dissenters via the hurled epithet or instant block button, the instant emotional distress of adherents when faced with any one with expertise or knowledge that contradicts the leader’s line.
Not that ideological purity, as opposed to emotional faith in the goodness of great daddy Deep State and American Empire rather than the politicians, is the main thing about this cult. Like a snake handling revival meeting it’s not about theology school, it’s about the altar call — in this case accepting the three letter Agencies as lords. Incompetence, defined as sins in this cult according to brother Nichols, are always possible. But malfeasance or treason of a non-Russian involved sort (say, involving the selling of America’s Syria policy and subsequent boots on the ground to Saudi Arabia and Qatar), never.
LOL a future serial killer and Justin Bieber apparently know more about Syria than Syrians pic.twitter.com/Gl4TLQTnbx
— Leith Abou Fadel (@leithfadel) November 10, 2015
The only non-negotiable aspects of the Schindler cult are that Snowden is the greatest traitor since Kim Philby if not Judas Iscariot, Russia is Mordor (per The Economist’s Edward Lucas), Putin is pure evil and Russia is a laughably weak, shambolic country that somehow, because of special war black magic and Western weakness could nonetheless overrun Poland soon (no we’re not making that part up, watch Schindler’s panel earlier this year at a Baltic embassy with ex-Russia Today presenter Liz Wahl).
The Apotheosis of the Stupid | Jay’s Analysis https://t.co/2NOOhpBJJR
— JaysAnalysis (@Jay_D007) November 7, 2015
Perhaps the funniest aspect of the Schindler cult and one its oh so respectable mainstream media promoters ignore is the fact that its own leader has occasionally published ravings that, if we hadn’t read them carefully, we might have mistaken for the products of alt (as in ‘race realist’) right or ‘doomsday prepper’ web sites. You know, the ones that Schindler cultists love telling us just might be influenced by…what else?…Kremlin agitprop (cue the scary ‘Dr. Evil’ music from Austin Powers)
I Don’t Need Your Civil War, It Feeds the Rich While it Buries the Poor…
On March 2, 2015 Schindler published an essay on his blog that’s probably more revealing than anything else he’s put there, aside from his thoughts on ‘Putin’s Orthodox Jihad’ which extensively cited (without attribution) a post at Soul of the East. In his March post Schindler responded to an essay by lefty journalist Matthew Yglesias about middle class collapse, partisan gridlock and dysfunctional governance turning America into a nuclear armed version of a Latin America banana republic. Many in the alternative media of course, of exactly the type that Schindler and ex-colleague Nichols would ridicule as conspiracy nuts, (Ron) ‘Paulbots’ or Kremlin dupes, argue that if it weren’t for world reserve currency status the U.S. would already be Brazil with nukes — the precise analogy Schindler uses!
As our friends at Russia Insider previously argued, the hallmark of Schindler and his supporters is conspiracy theory for me but not for thee and it’s not a conspiracy theory…because Russians. But there’s another aspect to the Schindler and Nichols’ story that national journalists have skipped, and that is religion.
Both men profess Orthodox Christianity, but unlike in Nichols’ ‘get off my lawn’ Republican Establishmentarian writings, there is more than a whiff of approaching apocalypse in Schindler’s screed, “Yugoslavia’s Warning to America”.
Yglesias gives short shrift to notions of a military coup or even a second American Civil War, and I don’t think he’s correct here. While it is difficult for anybody who knows the Pentagon well to imagine American generals and admirals getting together to overthrow the civilian government — that would require obscene amounts of PowerPoint and might endanger top brass golden parachutes with Beltway Bandits — the notion of a Civil War 2.0, however terrifying it may be, needs to be faced squarely, if we wish to avoid that awful fate.
America in the 21st century runs little risk of becoming Honduras Grande, but if current politico-economic trends continue much longer, we might well wind up a lot like Yugoslavia. That statement is sure to be controversial, since few Americans, citizens of the global hegemon and to many of them a most exceptional country, like to be compared with a relatively small Balkan federation that collapsed into wars and genocide a generation ago.
A military coup in America, as depicted during the late JFK era…Seven Days in May starring Burt Lancaster (1964). If John R. Schindler says this could happen here, he’s an expert. If YOU say so, you’re a conspiracy nut. Because…that’s how team USNWC troll rolls, and because Tom Nichols said so!
That Schindler does not answer the core question of who exactly would be fighting whom in an American Yugoslavia writ large scenario has thus far escaped scrutiny, from friends and critics alike. The who/whom is well known to a student of Soviet history like Schindler, and comes from Lenin. Schindler mentions generals and admirals overthrowing a civilian government in Washington — an apparent preoccupation of his former colleague at USNWC Tom “tweeting about Seven Days in May” Nichols as well. But he fears treading too far in terms of describing who exactly would be shooting whom in a second American Civil War. He also neglects to say which side the intelligence agencies including his beloved NSA would fall on — and this before we get into Russian, Chinese or European concerns about loose U.S. nukes in their missile silos ala Russia in the Crimson Tide movie version of the 1990s!
All in all, it sounds to us like Schindler has been spending time on the very type of websites his supporters denounce as conspiracy fluff, whenever he isn’t ‘trolling’ the Infowars crowd with fresh ‘WW3 imminent’ ‘scoops’ from super secret flag officer sources who won’t get caught by the NATO counterintelligence officers in his head. In Schindler’s conclusion, he hints that the 2nd American Civil War he sees possible could fall along racial lines. Yet he also admits that he sees America becoming “a nuclear armed Brazil” — not a very pretty outcome if one considers that the poverty-plagued BRICS nation not only lacks an overseas empire of military bases, but is also allied to…wait for it…Russia.