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48 Hills  (January 21, 2018)
Countercurrents  (January 23, 2018)  (updated version)
CounterPunch  (January 24, 2018)  (updated version)

Copyright © 2018 by Marc Norton

The news cycle these days moves fast and furious, especially when it comes to our esteemed President Donald Trump.  The reader may remember that a few days back Trump referred to parts of the planet as peopled by “shithole countries,” including Haiti and all of Africa, among other places.  Trump was greeted with nearly unanimous, bipartisan condemnation for his blatant racism.  It was all over the news.  But that was days ago, an eternity in the ongoing Trump saga.

There was one prominent loyal Trump supporter – Erik Prince – who greeted Trump’s racism with glee, but whose comment did not make it into the mainstream news.  Prince, the founder of the Blackwater mercenary army outfit, is the brother of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Secretary, the opponent of all things public in public education.

“I’m happy to have a president that will bluntly speak the truth in negotiations,” Prince commented on Breitbart News Tonight.  “If the president says some places are shitholes, he’s accurate.”

According to Prince, “It’s a sad characterization of many of these places.  It’s not based on race.  It has nothing to do with race.  It has to do with corrupt incompetent governments that abuse their citizens, and that results in completely absent infrastructure to include open sewers, and unclean water, and crime.  It’s everything we don’t want in America.”

Of course, the worst “open sewer” on the planet is Washington DC, but Prince has ideas about how to fix that, and has the contacts to get some unusual things done.  Prince’s comments about “shithole countries” will undoubtedly only further ingratiate himself with Trump, who is somewhat known for his susceptibility to flattery.

Prince’s latest initiative in Washington is a proposal to provide a private, global spy network that would report directly to CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the Prez, bypassing official U.S. intelligence agencies.  Pompeo, like Prince, is one of Trump’s most loyal partisans.

Prince’s proposal was developed with the assistance of a guy named Oliver North of the Iran-Contra scandal who worked for another guy named Ronald Reagan.  There are reports that this proposal, in addition to supplying spy info, would have a “direct-action arm, totally off the books.”  Other reports indicate that Pompeo likes Prince’s plan and has lobbied Trump to support it. There are even reports that Prince has already started supplying Pompeo with intel.

                                     Kissing Cousins: Oliver North & Erik Prince
                                     Family Values: Erik Prince & Betsy DeVos

Think I am dreaming this up?  Check out the December 4, 2017 article in The Intercept if you don’t believe me.  Don’t ask me why you haven’t read about this in the New York Times or the Washington Post (sorry, Meryl Streep).

And I didn’t dream this up either: the House spending bill released on January 17 would allow Trump, or people under him, like Pompeo, to fund intelligence programs in complete secrecy, without any authorization from Congress.  And allow the Prez to do so without even informing Congress’ already-secretive intelligence committees, a break with long-standing practices that date back to the National Security Act of 1947 in the early days of the CIA. What could Trump possibly have in mind?

Do you, dear reader, even want to hear about Prince’s recent plan to completely privatize the never-ending war in Afghanistan by appointing a "viceroy" at the head of a Blackwater-style private army to replace U.S. troops, a proposal which got a serious hearing from Trump?  Or about Prince's plan to create a private police force to keep Libyan refugees out of Europe?  Or about Prince's contract with the beleaguered government of Somalia to provide "logistics, aviation and security services" for a Free Zone Investment Authority?

Prince has his bloody hands everywhere.  As if he doesn't have enough to do, he is also sending up trial balloons about entering the Wyoming Senate race.

Meanwhile, Republicans and many Senate Democrats alike voted on January 16 to renew the FBI’s power to search U.S. citizens' digital communications without a warrant.  Is this part of the Democrat's “Better Deal?”  No wonder all the Princes, mercenaries and spooks are prospering and thriving.

You know what they say.  Just because you are paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.  And they are.

Trump has just finished his first year as Shithole-in-Chief.  The ride just gets bumpier from here.


 
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